Thursday, December 08, 2005

Revolution #9

May 2005, E3: Nintendo unveils their new console, the Revolution. Console design was sleek, announcement of normal sized discs intrigued, and the prospect of being able to download every game from Nintendo's past consoles caused a massive flood of saliva. Still, the controller was missing, and it harbored the Revolution's secret weapon.

September 2005: Nintendo unveils the controller, which ditches standard design for a remote with several possible attachments. Fanbase was split: Several liked the new direction, several wannabe prophets predicted Nintendoom. Apparently, there is still another secret concept in the Revolution's arsenal. We still don't know what that is.

December 2005: Rumor sources indicated that the Revolution will use slightly weaker graphical resources, in order to make the system more affordable. Not as much a controversy as the controller announcement, but it did bring up the 'Style vs. Substance' debate.

As you can see, Nintendo has done some very pleasing things for the people (downloading games, shift to hefty online support), and many things that confused and even angered some (controller, graphics). Is it really worth it to try and be different in this day and age? Microsoft's 360 has recently been released, not straying far from it's predecessor. Sony's PS3 looms ahead like an army of vikings in the sunset, not only packing it's popular brand and it's constant support from 3rd parties, but also the most powerful visual processors of the trio, a tantalizing collection for game players of all shades of devotion (even if statements from Sony's main game man indicates that the system may cost upwards of $700.)Can the Revolution stand a chance? Some of Nintendo's statements indicate that it's not even trying to compete with the other two.
Which makes sense. If the controller makes it so the Revolution hosts more of it's own games(rather than ports from the others), and coupled with the cheap price, it sounds like it would be a good companion to one of the other two consoles rather than being a player's exclusive machine. Your 360/PS3 gets the big-named, mainstream titles, and your Revolution gets the smaller, quirky titles. A balanced gaming diet, with the added bonus of having access to a plethoa of NES, SNES, & N64 titles for the dry seasons.
But it's trully hard to say at this point whether or not the Revolution ends up being a remora. We've yet to see any games shown, and have not seen how third parties will support the console, if they support it at all. We still haven't seen what the third major 'innovation'of the console (some speculate 3D projections, but it's a little hard for me to believe, since if such technology existed in a way that is impressive at all, I would have heard of it being implemented elsewhere.) Maybe the Revolution does have a chance at being a great standalone console. It's still pretty much up in the air.
My opinion on the subject? I was one of the defenders of the controller, as after doing a bit of thinking, I can say that the basic set-up (the remote and seperate analog stick attachment, aka the 'Nunchaku') will work well with many games, including First-person shooters (where the remote will aim, and the analog stick will allow you to move and perform secondary actions), and the possibility of other attachments expands the possibilites to mammoth amounts. And if you aren't really up for waving the damn thing around, there will be a 'normal controller' shell for the console as well (probably to help you play the downloadable games). And the graphics...well, I don't really notice them all that much, and unless they end up so terrible they interfer with my playing experience, I don't think I'll notice them here. I think my biggest fear for it is the possibility of lack of 3rd party games (again), as it may force them to be creative, which several publishers and developers are not willing to do.
In the end, however, I'm still buying the syste. It has an online Smash Brothers sequel. That sells it for me, for I am a sucker.


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