- SAMURAI NINTENDO ANSWERS TO IGN CUBE'S READERS -


Tuesday, the 24th of February 2004

I received an e-mail from a friend sharing his views on the matter discussed below. I think it's worth publishing and so I open a new section where people can express their views, if more readers want to do so.

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Sunday, the 14th of February 2004

Yesterday, the Japanese newspaper Nihon Keizai Shinbun published an interview of both Nintendo's former president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, and current president, Satoru Iwata. Some extracts of the article were published in various sites including Game Science (link 1)and IGN Cube (link 2, link 3). Along with it, IGN Cube published a 4 pages mail column with reactions from readers (link 4). When reading these letters, which for the most parts were strongly criticizing the statements of the two interviewed men and Nintendo in general, I felt there was much to reply to these people, many arguments and facts came to my mind that I would have liked to tell them. It would be useless to try to do this by writing to IGN with the hope they would add my reply which, anyway, would be too lenghty, so I thought I could as well make a reply through Samurai Nintendo.

I'm going to reproduce here all the e-mails and reply to them, hopefully some of these people might run into this page someday soon. What's the point of doing that ? Well, it's quite simple, some people are tired and angry that Nintendo don't do things the way they'd like them to be done, they are annoyed with Nintendo's policy and philosophy. I'd like to point out a few facts about all that, put forward some arguments that they seem to overlook. Maybe they just never heard it that way, maybe they don't care, I don't know, but I sort of feel sore towards them as much as they do towards Nintendo. I too grew tired and angry of the immediate mean stances and rising firsts as soon as Nintendo speaks, I too grew very tired of these people who spit on what they claim to have once loved, tired of these people who always open their mouth to slander until they are proven to be wrong and are never heard afterwards until they find a new reason to shout about. And with this, let's start.



All the letters below have been published on IGN Cube and are reproduced
without the authorization of the persons who wrote them and without the authorization of IGN Cube.
Replies in blue are Samurai Nintendo's own.




A few things to remember:
- The original interview was published in a Japanese newspaper for a Japanese audience. I don't think Nintendo expects what they say there to become common knowledge for everyone in the rest of the world.
- Many comments there were taken out of context, the context being the Japanese market for the most part.
- Translation is never as reliable as the understanding of the actual language.
- Another reason why I do this is that I know IGN wouldn't bother reply to these e-mails because for the most part they must agree with it given the way they cover information and write about games.




"In spite of the spin put on this week's will-they-or-won't-they scandal, Nintendo still seems to be out of touch with reality. The recent interviews with Hiroshi Yamauchi and Satoru Iwata reveal a very defiant, father-knows-best attitude that is sure to sink the company. On a basic level, they have a point: better graphics, better sound and epic storylines do not guarantee a better product."

>> It's always been Hiroshi Yamauchi's attitude and it never had any negative effect on the company. As long as he's been the head of Nintendo, they never lost money and he and his attitude made Nintendo what it is.

"On the other hand, most gamers need more to immerse themselves in virtual worlds. Lifelike images and sophisticated surround sound heighten the sensory experience and help pull you into a game. It's mind-boggling to hear Nintendo's top dogs deride these technologies as if they are completely unnecessary. Is Grand Theft Auto not a better game because you have the freedom to go wherever you want? Is Pokemon not better when you face animated animals (as in Colosseum) rather than static images (as in Ruby and Sapphire)? Clearly, better technology allows game developers to deliver better experiences. It can't save a bad game, but it sure as hell can make a good game even better. And this appears to be where the industry is going with its games."

>> Do the improvement of graphics and sound means you'll be more immersed in the game ? I don't think so. Does it really make the game more interesting to play, or just to look at ? An immersive game that makes you forget about your surroundings because you are so much into it can be something simplisitic, like Tetris. You talk about the freedom in GTA, that has nothing to do with graphics power, the game is not even one of the best-looking game in its genre. Same contradictory example with Pokemon, if it's a success, it's largely thanks to the Game Boy. If you compare the sale numbers between Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire in Japan, it's not in favor of the most technlogical version.

"Well, except for Nintendo. It seems they want to regress, reveling in puzzle games that require minimal effort to make, minimal technology to run and minimal involvement to play. Yes, it's all about the bottom line. I really think they've been brainwashed by the success of the Game Boy, a technologically crippled device that hasn't had any real competition. They've owned the market, made tons of money, and yet they've done the bare minimum to advance handheld gaming. Once the PSP hits the shelves, I think they're in for a major wakeup call; suddenly, their cash cow will look like an old goat. A Fran Goat, if you will. And who wants that?

Chris the Crank"

>> Nintendo wants to regress ? How's that ? Graphics on Nintendo games have been improving all the way. Here again you comment what they say but you don't look at the facts: the GameCube hosts some of the most beautiful games to date (Resident Evil, Metroid Prime, Baten Kaitos...), it has the power to receive such games. About the simplistic games and technology, I do not see what you are refering to and I'd like to hear one significant example of this. Maybe Nintendo don't want to advance the handheld technology because there's no need for that, there's still a lot to do with the current technology, to make good games creators will only be limited by their imagination not by the technology.





"What's with Nintendo focusing all of their energy in the Japanese market? Why?

What bothers me most is the majority of Nintendo's decisions are based on what's best for Nintendo of Japan."

>> It's false. If Nintendo's decisions were like that, you wouldn't be playing a Metroid game developed in USA, a horror adventure made in Canada, you wouldn't even be playing F-Zero GX or Starfox Adventure, because these games have been a flop in Japan and were likely to be as neither first person shooters, foreign games and F-Zero series are popular in Japan. If Nintendo wanted to take decisions according to what's best for Japan, they wouldn't bother with such games, they wouldn't plan Geist, a sequel to Metroid Prime and keep colaborating with foreign developers. Yet, it's true that the Japanese market is very important to Nintendo. There's one reason for that, their home market reflects quite well the global market, they might think of it as an experiment lab, what will succeed in Japan might succeed in the rest of the world. Pokemon is the best example, but in the case of Nintendo, it's almost always been like that, all their biggest successes in Japan were successes in the rest of the world and so were their biggest failures.

"Japan's videogame market is currently struggling and Nintendo blames this on the lack of innovation and growth, which is a major contributing reason as to why they are releasing the Nintendo DS.

Designing the DS to solely jump-start the Japanese market would be just plain selfish. I hope this isn't the case. Statistical data indicates that North America and European gaming markets are still growing. I truly believe Nintendo needs to loosen up a bit and stop worrying so much about Japan's current slump and start designing and developing more hardware and games aimed at Western audiences."

>> Of course it's not the case, otherwise they wouldn't plan a straight world release for the DS and wouldn't introduce it at such popular and international trade event like E3.

"Too often their decisions are made to benefit Japan first, then the rest of the world, which is ironically a much larger market.

Japan's market is in a major slump, but videogames are at an all time high in Europe and the United States.

MUCH more money and time needs to be invested in the areas where they are having the most success in. There's no reason why we (West) shouldn't have more games (and hardware for that matter) SPECIFICALLY aimed, planned, designed, and developed for our market.

One could make a valid argument that the Western world is keeping Nintendo afloat. They owe it to US to invest a greater amount of energy in our market than in their own.

MarioLinkSamus"

>> I don't really see the connection with the interview. Moreover this interview was published in a Japanese newspaper for a Japanese audience, it's normal it's more concerned about what happens in Japan. I don't see what kind of games Nintendo should make to appeal more to US market. You don't ask US game makers to make games to appeal Japanese audience, creators make the games they want and good games appeal to every kind of people. Besides, Nintendo already makes this effort as I said earlier with games like Metroid Prime, Eternal Darkness and others developed by non-Japanese teams. I think Nintendo is the only one among the three hardware makers to own foreign studios to develop games for their system.





"Nintendo needs to shake its head. How can they think that people don't want epic, grand gaming experiences. I have never owned anything but Nintendo products. I will buy the next Nintendo system, but it will come after Sony's or Microsoft's. Nintendo, I weep for you.

Daniel"

>> How can you claim that you own Nintendo products and think Nintendo doesn't want to offer grand gaming experience ? If Nintendo didn't want to offer such games, once again, they wouldn't make games like Metroid Prime and Eternal Darkness or make a deal with Konami for The Twin Snakes, they wouldn't even make Zelda which is an epic story. There's a big misunderstanding I think between how people imagine the future, how they interprete it from what is said in the interview, and the way the facts and the current games tell us to imagine the future. We've been all afraid when seeing pictures of the Four Swords+, but now the game sounds more appealing if it was not for it's damn GBA connection (grr..) and it has improved in many ways including its graphics style. People seem to think that suddenly Nintendo games are going to become ugly and stupid, that it's their new strategy... come on, I don't think at all Nintendo's bosses are so out of touch with reality, it's people who might be.









"What is it with Nintendo executives saying freaking retarded things!? Every time I put faith in their systems, they go on with some nonsense that scares the crap out of me. What the hell is Hiroshi Yamauchi talking about when better graphics, better storyline, and online play don't make games better? One of the main reasons why I buy some games is solely for good graphics and storyline, which is why I'm bought Star Fox Adventures and I'm going to buy the Twin Snakes. And they keep on scaring developers by saying that online play is going to lead the gaming industry to a black market. That's no way to get third party action. I then see Satoru saying that DS would hurt Nintendo if it didn't succeed. Then don't sell it! I love the games Nintendo produces, but their philosophies and current actions don't make any sense. If they don't shape up anytime soon, I'm saying goodbye to their systems forever.

Ryan"

>> If you bought StarFox Adventures and will buy The Twin Snakes, you somehow admit graphics and storyline are good both in the past and future games on GameCube. So why should you care about what they say to Japanese people who read the Nihon Keizai Shinbun ? In Japan, online gaming is not such a success. In Japan, games with great graphics like Baten Kaitos haven't been doing well at all. In Japan, games which have been leading the pack are mostly Nintendo's own games and a couple of RPG, not the most graphically stunning, but none of them are bad-looking either. What Yamauchi said made sense. They don't really try to spread this view in USA, but even when they do, whether it's in USA or Japan, they do get some positive feedback from the industry. I think what Yamauchi is saying about storylines and graphics is that video games are getting way too sophisticated, some are more and more like movies and cost and take as much time to produce, but they don't bring enough money in return and it's getting too far from the initial concept of video games: take your controller, play and have fun. Maybe Yamauchi views seem too extremist, but I don't think what he says is well understood. I don't think he's against better graphics and some storyline, I just think he doesn't want only that and he doesn't want Nintendo to make anything too expensive because when a game like that fails to achieve the expected result, it's a severe blow to the company. Activion's True Crime probably cost a lot, I'm not sure in the end they'll make so much money with it and the game is not even that great despite all its big story and tons of graphics. Same with Ubisoft as someone else said, Prince of Persia and Beyond Good and Evil didn't attract enough players. Personally, I'm not interested in these games at all, no matter how much IGN and others insist that they are good. I just don't like the style, don't feel like playing them, there are other games I'm more interested in and enough games out there to play. Graphics and storyline don't guarantee a game to sell well, but if you take time to invest in games like this, then you'd better have a guaranty that they'll sell well. In my opinion, what Yamauchi is simply saying is that graphics and storyline must never be more important than the gameplay and the fun, it's always been Nintendo's true philosophy, and it doesn't rely on technology.





"Hiroshi Yamauchi, and Satoru Iwata, were just recently interviewed concerning Nintendo's projects and views on the videogame market... I don't mean to complain, but technology does influence "fun" in many ways.

If Nintendo would look at other types of media such as film, and music, you will notice technology can in fact, play a significant part in progressing it's media to perfection. Music used to use hardware synths, and expensive recording studios, while now, technology has made it possible to create the same studio sound on one single computer. Just a keyboard, computer, and the creator. With movies, it's obvious that CG can create certain moods and atmosphere that sets, and models simply cannot do. Look at the animatronics of yesteryear, and look at the CG of today's films. Also, digital video, and post processing has taken next steps into perfection as well. I can go on forever, and even talk about DVD versus tapes, but I think it's a little obvious with that one. Oh yah, one more thing, how about, the birth of the Internet?"

>> Nintendo is not against technology otherwise they wouldn't be making hardware and video games but would still be making cards. They just think the technology is moving faster than it should and possibly in the wrong direction. Before improving the hardware, first improve the software, why moving to a new generation of consoles when we haven't used all the possibilities of the current one yet ? Look at the latest pictures of Resident Evil 4. That's what the GameCube can do. What's the use to change your system for a better one when developers have only scratched the surface of all the things they can do with the GameCube ? So many third parties are unable to put together a decent game with all the possibilites that they already have at hand, if you extend the scope of their possibilities, it's not going to make their games better. If you have trouble taking care of a 100 acres farm, it's not by moving to a 200 acres farm that you'll have a better crop. If Nintendo was against technology, they wouldn't be releasing peripherals regularly, they wouldn't plan an extension for the GameCube in 2005, they wouldn't release a two screens console this year.

"Technology in a sense, I think, promotes advancement. With everyday advancing, and moods and trends advancing, we need entertainment that advances as well. If I had a choice between playing the same game on the Nintendo 64, and the PlayStation2, I will ultimately and no doubt, HANDS DOWN, choose the PS2 port of the same title. Why? Better visuals. Better sound. And sometimes, that can lead to a person's tolerance level of a game, and also, their tendencies to playing. But those aren't the only reasons. Technology has given games more life. Look at cartridge based games, versus CD and DVD media. Remember what happened with Square and Nintendo? Nintendo is still severing pains, and that event probably ultimately destroyed Nintendo's dominance on games. Since than, it has been a downward hill in terms of Nintendo's former No. 1 crown."

>> The question is rather this: if you were playing a very addictive game on Nintendo 64, would you drop it for playing a beautiful game on PS2 ? Anyway, it's a stupid debate, the three consoles being pratically as powerful. It sounds again like if one would believe Nintendo is going to make less good looking games. Nintendo is not saying they are going to regress, they are commenting on not moving even further for now. You can do plenty of amazing things already with the GameCube but almost no one seems to need it. Only a few editors like Capcom uses the technology at its best and it can give amazing results. You're talking about advancement, but that exactly what Nintendo is doing with the DS. They want to go on unexplored paths unlike Sony who just wants to broaden used path. Nintendo wants to go the innovative way and take the risks with them, just for this they should be admired. It's nothing like Sony who just throws all the popular crap in one system, they do not want to take a single risk, a single step toward creativity.

"Online games not significant says Nintendo? Surely, Microsoft and Sony aren't very successful with online gaming yet, but look at online gaming on PC's. Games such as Lineage, Everquest, Ultima Online, has proven that it can profit. The reason why Everquest was not sucessful on PS2, is because the console player has different tastes in terms of games, and the Magic and Sorcery type game, doesn't sell well on consoles as history has told us. But with companies such as Microsoft and Sony pushing online gaming... Nintendo, don't you think that will have some type of influence as to how that market might be able to fluctuate to a positive business? Your concept of LAN games are great, but companies not pushing standards haven't had great mainstream success. Perhaps to the purists, but Nintendo, you have to remember, we are not all fanboys. The majority of the audience will not stick with your company simply for its name and its history, and your franchises only. We want features. We want online play, though we might not always want to use it. Knowing the option is there, and will be used it very satisfying. We want better graphics. Knowing that the possibility of Toy Story like graphics will be capable by the end of 2005 is something that amazes me. Imagine playing a sports game, where you are truly zoned into the experience. You can look around, and it's like, everybody there is with you, and you are really on the court."

>> What's the use of talking of online PC when we're talking online consoles ? It's a completely different model. Nintendo is not interested in the online, it's too big for them and there are too many riskes with it. They don't believe in it, maybe they are right, maybe they are wrong. If they are wrong, it'll be time to enter the business when a profitable model will have appeared, they don't see one at the moment and it's normal they can't jump in, they are not as rich as Microsoft and Sony. If they are right, they won't lose anything. With LAN, players are able to play online through unofficial ways, you will notice as a matter of fact, that Nintendo did not complain about it or didn't do anything to stop it. Maybe it was in their plan, it doesn't cost them anything like that. Online and better graphics won't make better games, besides not everyone is interested in them. I'm not. I don't need the online and I think there's still a lot to do with the current generation of console, and it seems Resident Evil 4 is just proving me right. Nintendo can make great games without online and life-like graphics, and I believe this year they will prove it again as they proved it in the past.

"Oh yah... and also, it seems as though, Nintendo doesn't look very supporting of creating a GameCube successor after those two interviews... At least, that's what it suggests I think...

Dandan!"





"How can Yamauchi be so right and so wrong? He's right, in a way, that grand epic fantastic games with high quality production values aren't selling as well as they should. Prince of Persia and Beyond Good & Evil are both good examples of this.

And then in his next breath he says that consumers aren't interested in cutting edge technology. Does he not realize that half the fun of videogames is having the best system around? Showing off your superior purple system to your less educated friends is how you get immediate gratification from that two or three hundred dollar purchase.

Yamauchi says that the videogame industry is heading towards a crisis in the next two years. Well I don't know about the industry as a whole but I know Nintendo is heading for a crisis. If they don't have a system out in 2006 they're finished.

Anthony"

>> The first argument is as much right as the second argument is completely stupid. Both are good arguments though, the second one showing that only deep morons would be interested in buying a new home system now. But if you want to show off something unique and of cutting edge technology to your less educated friends, I'm sure the Nintendo DS will be a good choice. And about predicting when Nintendo is finished, it's just as good as trying to guess when video games are finished.





"Nintendo doesn't seem to have much consistency, at least as far as they're portrayed in the gaming news. Why do I say this? Consider this:

It was reported that they're delaying plans for a next-gen. Nintendo refutes the claim, saying that they'll launch a next-gen console in time to compete with PS3/Xbox 2. Today, BOTH Hiroshi Yamauchi and Satoru Iwata state in seperate interviews that new, more powerful hardware is NOT the answer, and that the industry should NOT be hardware driven.

Onto the DS: Nintendo says they'll be happy even if a small group of gamers accept it.

Today, Yamauchi states that if the DS does not sell well, "Nintendo will be crushed."

What's with all the double-talk?

IGNcube: We are as confused are you are."

>> Maybe the translation is improper. About the next hardware it's pretty clear: Nintendo will have a new hardware, but it will not necessarily be something as powerful as the others. Maybe it'll be something different. We don't know what's behind the Nintendo DS, maybe its specific asset could be bring to a home console as well. Miyamoto said in the latest interview that they are exploring new ways for the next home console. The new consoles from Sony and Microsoft might be competing just for the technological show off, Nintendo, it's obvious, won't feel like following that trend. Maybe they'll come up with something much better, much more innovative and interesting than just a faster processor, more polygons and other craps. Although in the end, I doubt Nintendo's next console will be significantly less powerful. The Nintendo 64 was more powerful than the Playstation, the GameCube is a very powerful system too, in comparison to the others, it often did better than them graphics wise (Star Wars games, Resident Evil games, cel shading, etc.). Nintendo consoles have always been the best on the market and made the best of what they had inside them if you consider all the factors, I don't think it's going to change.





"I cannot believe the comments of either Yamauchi or Iwata. Perhaps online gaming doesn't make Sony or Microsoft any money directly, but it sure contributes to their selling more systems and games than competitors (read: Nintendo) who don't offer that chance. And I do want epic story lines, cutting edge graphics, and cinematic feel! I want Space World Link with genuine emotion, not Powerpuff Link with grunts and squeaks! Sure, I want gameplay, but the absolute, must have games are the ones that also have technology to back it up. Video games belong to a different demographic than what sold the NES; why does Nintendo refuse to acknowledge that?

Ck_Phoenix"

>> I don't think you can prove online gaming makes Sony and Microsoft sell more systems and games. For one, Microsoft is not selling more consoles than Nintendo. Then, Nintendo must be selling more games than they each do, I can't think of many games for only one of these systems that sell better than Nintendo games. Finally, online must be useful for the Xbox but I don't think it is so much for the Playstation 2 and this one is the best selling system and was before the online was introduced on it. Ah... you're one of the persons I was talking at the beginning, spitting on cel-shaded Link, huh ? You want cinematic feel ? Watch a movie. You want genuine emotions ? My goodness, then live your life, you won't find genuine emotions anywhere else. If The Wind Waker didn't give you any emotions, then you must be a silly person and I don't think better graphics would help you out about that.





"I was just reading about Nintendo interviews saying that people are not interested in cutting edge technologies. Do these guys pay any attention at all to what is going on?

And also the bit about online games not adopting the right business model and people not lining up to pay for them: Give me a break! Every Xbox game I own is online, and I sure know a lot of people who like them just as much as I do. Maybe Nintendo is in the wrong business after all. I have been a huge fan ever since the NES days, but I have had it. Nintendo is on its way out I think.

Z"

>> Did Nintendo say people don't like online games ? They just say it's not profitable enough, which must be true because if it was an El Dorado, I don't think they would stay away. It's great that you like your online games, but I believe you can still find attraction in your offline games, alone or with your friends. Oh, and again, they do pay attention to what is going on. Check the best selling games in Japan and you'll see how much the Game Boy Pokemon titles have been dominating the charts and how much beautiful games like Baten Kaitos have failed.





"What is Yamauchi thinking? Having read his comments, I must ask: What audience is he talking about? Last I checked, the top selling (and top rated) games of last year and the year prior were graphical masterpieces with great stories. For instance, Splinter Cell, KOTOR, Halo, even Nintendo's own Metroid Prime. Everytime Nintendo says that the average consumer isn't interested in technologically advanced games, I just wonder what they are basing that on. Hell, Splinter Cell's gameplay wouldn't even be possible without advanced graphics and sound.

Yamauchi and Nintendo seem to neglect the fact that advancing hardware creates the possibility for new and exciting gameplay. I just don't understand why a traditionally groundbreaking company has such a backwards assessment of its core audience.

Richard Mitchell"

>> Maybe Yamauchi is thinking of the Japanese market, after all it was not intended to be read by Americans but by Japanese where the market of the GameCube is quite close to the description made by the two Nintendo managers. Yep, Metroid Prime was among the top rated, there's also Zelda, far better in my opinion. There's also a sequel coming to Metroid Prime. What does this prove ? That beautiful games came and will keep coming on Nintendo consoles and that people are making a lot of fuss about nothing. Nintendo is not neglecting hardware, if they were, would they bother release a more compact version of the GBA ? Would they release the Nintendo DS ? Would they keep talking about a new console for 2006 ? A new peripheral for 2005 ? It's just that games are reaching a limit in technology. As I've been repeating over and over since I began writing, editors don't even bother to use the power of the console fully. With the GameCube, Nintendo has enough power for their own games while other editors, who could make great things with the GC specs, don't bother using all that power. Only a few do like Capcom and Namco. So why on earth should they make a more powerful console when only 2 or 5% of the games use what the GameCube is really able to do ?





"What the hell is going on in Nintendo? I think they have all cracked, or are on some sort of extended drug induced hallucination.

Hiroshi Yamauchi "I have been saying this for some time, but customers are not interested in grand games with higher-quality graphics and sound and epic stories,"

Warning: I am about to get very sarcastic. I know personally I wish that The Wind Waker was done with 16 colors and all took place on an island the size of Outset. I also wish it only took me half an hour to complete and I could only do that if I had four friends over. All of who own the new Power Gloves GC (which by the way has two gloves instead of one, to bad they're both right handed)"

>> Warning: I'm not going to be sarcastic at all. Where the hell did you read that Nintendo wants to go backward ? What makes you think "higher-quality graphics, sound and epic stories" is the only way forward ? Look at the results of the GameCube in Japan and you'll see what Yamauchi says is far from being wrong.

"What the *@&% is he talking about? I dare anyone to find one gamer who isn't interested in "grand games with higher-quality graphics and sound and EPIC STORIES"! If Nintendo thinks it is hard to find third party support now wait till the next generation when there system isn't even going to be capable of running a shoddy port of what the other two systems are doing.

I've been a long time Nintendo Fan, (I currently own a GBA, a GBSP, and a GC) but I'm currently much more excited about a PS3 or an XBox2 then anything the people at Nintendo may be developing."

>> Yes, it's always interesting to be much more excited about nothing.

"I know for a fact that many people feel the same way. Could someone, anyone, please explain to me what the hell is going on at Nintendo? Thanks.

Guy"

>> I'm going to be kind enough to explain you: they - make - games. Wait to play them.





"Wait, wait, I've got it now. I just read Iwata and Yamauchi's comments, and realized where I've seen this particularly Japanese (read "goofy and against all logic") reasoning before. Think back to your Japanese history, when the country almost completely shut its doors to the outside world and its ever-growing technological know-how. Lo-and-behold, two hundred plus years later, the nation is shocked by the advancements of the outside world, and quickly realizes it needs to catch up. So if all these off-the-wall comments aren't some sort of trickery, then the lesson we can take from history is that two hundred years from now, Nintendo (like a scaled down version of the Japanese nation) will emerge a revitalized powerhouse in the videogaming market. In the meantime, we'll have our peripherals and DS systems. So with advances in modern medicine, we just may live to see Nintendo reclaim its crown.

sa_shoemaker"

>> I read some pretty "goofy and against all logic" critics towards Nintendo today too, but they were not written by Japanese. Goofiness and lack of logic seems to be a privilege granted world wide.





"Reading that article with the former Nintendo president was like reading the obituary.

I loved the Big-N, and will miss them. R.I.P. Nintendo.

Rek Las"

>> You will definitely miss Nintendo when other guys are playing all the good GameCube and Game Boy Advance titles to be released this year.





"Nintendo seemed to have learned. Then this article comes out. Back to good old Nintendo ways where the customer will buy what we want them to buy. If the DS fails, Nintendo will be crushed. However, if Nintendo continues to be this pigheaded then it's their fanbase and consumer support that will be crushed.

Adriel"

>> Between imbecile consumers and stubborn Nintendo, I'd rather choose to listen to Nintendo's opinion. Nintendo didn't learn, because they had nothing to learn: should they learn to fail like Sega, or maybe learn to pretend to be as big as Sony and Microsoft to fall harder ? Why do you blame Nintendo for ? Did they change in the bad way ? How ? If you bother looking at it, Nintendo hardly changed, it's with the GameCube that they started to make games of a completely different mood like Metroid Prime and Eternal Darkness. Even mistakes like Pacman VS, Four Swords and Tetra's Trackers were very well corrected on time.





"Oh my, oh my, oh my. Let me quote some things.

"...customers are not interested in grand games with higher-quality graphics and sound and epic stories..."

Seeing as how I am a customer, I have a hard time agreeing with this.

"...people are not interested in cutting-edge technologies..."

Again, WTF????!!!!

"Nintendo has no plans to release a so-called 'next-generation' videogame console at the next year's Electronic Entertainment Expo..."

Well, you've made my decision for me. Thanks Nintendo for all the good times. Although, I am a Nintendo "fanboy" through and through, it must come to an end now. Goodbye Mario. Goodbye "Too Human." Goodbye Samus. I better go wait in line for my PS3. :(

Rainman"

>> Same useless rant, replies are all above.
And yes, that's the problem with fan boys, they ARE stupid.





"I'm fascinated by all these comments from Nintendo that they don't think bigger and better consoles are the right way to go. The thing is, I'm not sure that they're wrong.

I mean, what can a new console do at this point? Better lighting effects? More polygons? Those things don't make better games, and they are extremely subtle graphical improvements. Certainly not the "wow" factor of moving from the N64 generation to the Cube generation.

The thing is, I don't think the market will support an upgrade to the next generation if the console companies can't prove that the new consoles are vastly superior to the old ones. Maybe they can get a generation out of momentum, because we're all used to upgrading our consoles, but I don't think it can continue much beyond that.

And why do they want to anyway? Don't they make vastly more money off the software? Wouldn't it be more profitable to keep cranking out games for the current generation?

If Nintendo decides to not participate in the next generation (and I suspect all these rumors are actually Nintendo leaking the idea to see how it plays in the press), I'll be more than happy to spend the money that would have gone to a new console on new GameCube games instead.

Am I wrong? Is there a counterargument that doesn't amount to "momentum" (people will buy new consoles because they have in the past)? Is the "momentum" argument good enough?

Brad Austin"

>> At last a sensible comment ! However I do think Nintendo will join the next consoles roundup, but I believe it won't be just with a technological upgrade of their console, neither a multimedia circus a la Sony. The console will surely be better but above all, with new ideas inside.





"Yamauchi's comments on the future of Nintendo can be scary, but at the same time it's very exciting. His statement that if the DS is received poorly then Nintendo will be crushed goes to show the level of commitment behind it. They'll put all they have into it. With the unleashed might of Nintendo behind it, what could go wrong? I think Nintendo fans (and others) can look ahead to something pretty spectacular.

Kosit"

>> Good to read another rather optimistic comment, I totally agree on the fact that we should get excited about the Nintendo DS. Nintendo releasing a brand new system is always something worth paying attention to, even more when it's something totally unique. Many people said this device could be the next Virtual Boy, but you could say that the odds are equal that it could become the next Game Boy in term of success. Wait, and see.





"A lot of people complain at Nintendo today, but you gotta give them credit that they hold on to their thoughts, and believe in what they do. There will be light in the end of the tunnel.

Lars"

>> Definitely something I'm proud to read. That's the spirit of Nintendo, the samurai spirit perhaps, almost no one cares to respect them for this while it's one of the reasons why it's such a precious and important company. Long live Nintendo ! They deserve it, and we need it.





- REACTIONS FROM SAMURAI NINTENDO'S READERS -

I just wanted to react briefly to the "IGN Cube" story that I entirely read (phew, =-p), to say that on the whole I totally agree with you !! I don't even see what all these good people are ranting about, if you look at the big picture, they are just commenting a few sentences from an interview ! In the meantime, great games are being released in the real world, GameCube's graphics are very well, thank you, and the stories are epic enough to appeal to a large audience (Zelda, Skies of Arcadia, Metal Gear Solid...). They imagine things and don't have concrete arguments to sustain their thesis.

About the technological race, one must be a dummy fan of Playstation soccer games for not seeing that's it's mostly a marketing race that doesn't give anything much to the players. Let's work with existing technology ! In the far away past of the 8 and 16 bit, each new generation of consoles was REALLY a graphic and technological leap which, moreover had a direct impact on the gameplay and entertainment value (Would Yoshi's Island have been the same without zooms and rotations ? I don't think so) ! On the contrary, with the latest systems, I don't know your opinion, but you really need to open your eyes wide to see a difference.

The trouble since we moved to 3D is that almost everything has been made (mostly by Nintendo, no matter what the people who dislike them say, just look at the ergonomics of the controllers...) and we don't create anymore new mechanics or graphical environment: one significant exception being the cel-shading, already overly and badly used, we only improve existing technologies. So yeah, having more powerful systems is great, but we forget too often this nice theory bumps into one major problem: at the root of the game making line there are men, and above them companies; companies which must follow a schedule and pay their staff. In this situation, and even if the tools provided to developers are better, how can you expect that in the same production time games are more and more beautiful ?

I think what the two presidents meant and is anyway a fact, is that no matter the technology what counts is to have innovative ideas, to ensure a good gameplay and to master at best the capacities of a system rather than changing it every 6 months. Every second spent on the instruction booklet of the software is as many seconds lost on working on the game. Just think of the Dreamcast: at the end of its lifetime, when the PS2 was released, DC games were twice more beautiful than the best PS2 games (and I don't mention their overall interest) ! Frankly, for me, they can keep their PS3 and Xbox 2 - unless the games are REALLY worth it (by the way, what creative names, congrats ! And they want us to believe that their agument is not "only" commercial).

CÚdric Muffat