:: Editorial: Our Revolution
May 20, 2005 10:53am
Now that things have quiet down, that one day has gone since the conference, that we have an overview of the next generation consoles, I must say I am very confident about the Revolution and I realize that I don't share the feeling Nintendo's showing was disappointing.
The one thing which angered me indeed was that the revolution didn't seem to be revolutionary. The frustration bursted out mostly because of all these days and topics of speculation and because of this secret weapon which really sounded like the most ridiculous thing. Also, of course, because Microsoft and Sony were unleashing a storm over the E3 while Nintendo, like an old wise man (you know, the old Chinese man who kills everyone at the end thanks to his long-matured kung fu skill), stayed quietly in the shadow with a sober presentation of their new system.
Nintendo just chose not to join the hype and the madness, not to follow "Microsoft's and Sony's path" as they said (they followed the path of the Samurai Nintendo ! gosh, that's what my site is all about and I failed to see it) and to do the things right. What did they do right ? Well, not everything was right of course, I haven't turned into a fanboy despite what some people may think, some things were out of place like the usual boasting which seems vain and sometimes contradictory to the reality of what's happening. And I still think the Game Boy Micro is... crap.
The right thing they did was to restrain themselves from unveiling too much of the Revolution. For now, it may seem like a mistake, but later, in a few months or next year, when Nintendo will have a lot to show off for the very first time (and we know, for sure, they will), an advantage their competitors lost today by fighting each other, they will be able to deliver a powerful blow. If you love comparisons, take this one: while Microsoft and Sony were shooting at each other with assault rifles and rocket launchers, Nintendo was waiting for the battle to end, building better and more weapons for a deadly strike on their opponents. Again this wicked old Chinese man.
Not that they will necessarily win the battle in the next generation race (war would be more accurate), but at least they might be able to fight head to head even though their console doesn't offer as much technological power as the two others. Another reason why this was the right decision is for their current consoles and games currently under development. Look at the Xbox for instance, does anyone feel like buying more game for this sytem after seeing what's coming on Xbox 360 soon ? I wouldn't think so, especially that Xbox games will have to be recompiled (that's hilarious !) to be played on 360.
What Bill Gates doesn't care about, Nintendo does (remember "Genesis does what Nintendon't" ?). The Revolution did not overshadow games which have been in development for a very long time on GameCube, neither did they eclipse an interesting line-up for their handheld, and that's very well. It would have been terrible to make people more interested in saving their money for the revolution than buying the latest GameCube offering, and as such wasting years of work from development teams. Look at how Geist improved since its first showing ! I think it's amazing, this game that I personally felt no attraction to looks great now and here we have another promising FPS on GameCube.
There were not so many games displayed on GameCube, but the games shown have really turned out well. You can feel Nintendo has put a lot of efforts in games which didn't necessarily looked so appealing when we first heard about them. Chibi-Robo, Fire Emblem: Path of radiance, Odama, The Legend of Zelda, Battalion Wars... sincerely, I'm excited about all these games and they are now on my must-buy list. However, to be fair, some games disappointed me, all these Mario titles for instance leave me stone cold. But this again, is just my point of view, some people might be excited to wiggle with Mario in DDR while I think this is just the most pathetic way for Mario to be displayed.
So, unlike Microsoft and Sony customers who are now so excited about the future that they will probably pay less attention to the current games available on the systems they own, Nintendo fans can focus on the present with great games coming out soon and look forward to the future with mysterious and exciting promises ahead. Do I still believe backward compatibility is the big (and lame, if real) secret behind the Revolution ? Actually, no. I'm not sure I can still believe in something revolutionary though, no matter what the controllers look like, but even if the console doesn't lie up to its name, I don't really care for my part. Why exactly ?
Well, what I'm going to explain is just my point of view, and this has nothing to do with "fanboyism". I'm afraid that when someone expresses an idea which goes against mainstream thinking he is called a fanboy, like some people are called pariah because they refuse to obey the same blind doctrines as the mass. My point anyway is that what the Revolution is supposed to be, appeals to me more than what the Xbox 360 and PS3 are. If you've seen games on these two systems, you know it all looks the same: it's all about ultra-realistic graphics. I like realistic graphics too, sometimes, like in Resident Evil 4, it doesn't drive me insane, but yeah, it's nice once in a while. However, seeing only this makes me already sick of it and I definitely don't want a console which has nothing else to offer.
In addition, all the games on Xbox 360 and PS3 seem to be targeted at some retarded barbarians: an amazing amount of war-oriented titles, and all games seem to be about killing and fighting and driving cars. Nothing but dark violence and primitive action. Mature games, huh ? This is exactly the contrary, no one as far as I know has been calling 'chess' the kiddy game and 'war' the mature game. And those Xbox 360 and PS3 titles are nothing but immature games adressing the most primitive instincts of men, its animal unthinking side, with mostly violence and even sex. And there's no mistake to the type of people who respond the best to it, mediocre adolescents mostly and adults who didn't grow up beyond this stage. If this is the future of video games, well, it is definitely not for me.
On other hand, the Revolution does promise something different and I'm absolutely confident Nintendo will keep their word, because the contrary just wouldn't look like them. The thing which for me probably changed everything was also to be found in their press release:
Freedom of design: A dynamic development architecture equally accommodates both big-budget, high-profile game "masterpieces" as well as indie games conceived by individual developers equipped with only a big idea.
This is exactly what I wanted to read, what any video games fan should see as THE sign to choose their next generation game console. This line bears a secret message whispered only to the most attentive ear like some elven forgotten knowledge: the magic of video games still exists, and you will find it on Revolution.
And maybe this is the true meaning behind the word Revolution:
Revolution doesn't mean something completely new and never seen before.
Revolution doesn't mean Nintendo is going in circle around their own history.
Revolution means to revolt against what's happening in the video games industry, how from an art form, from an intelligent and friendly entertainment, it is turning solely into a vehicle for violence, alienating players.
Because if no one revolts, some games will simply disappear and it will be the rise of brutality and stupidity.