Nintendo Fears Gamers Won't Get It: Probably Right

IGN is reporting that Nintendo's big unveiling at this year's E3 will be a freak of nature judging by the description offered o­n the site.

The company's mystery machine is in fact a dual-screened portable game device that is entirely separate from both the GameCube and the Game Boy Advance. It will be marketed completely free of its sister hardware. It's called Nintendo DS for Nintendo Dual-Screen.

Nintendo DS features two connected 3-inch TFT LCD display panels, separate processors, and semiconductor memory of up to 1 Gigabit, according to the manufacturer.

----

"Players will no longer be forced to interrupt game play to shift perspective, such as moving from a wide shot to a close up, or alternating between a character's o­ngoing battle and a map of the environment. Nintendo DS makes it possible to perform the tasks in real time by simply glancing from o­ne screen to the other."

"We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century," explained Satoru Iwata, Nintendo president.

Tell me this is some sort of sick joke, there has to be more to it than this. A portable game device that doesn't support either Gamecube or Gameboy games is their big plan to make a splash in the industry? Who is going to make games for this thing? As much as I like a good train wreck I hope there's a reasonable explanation to this. Regardless, 1/10th of E3 attendees applauding this idea may be too high an estimate Satoru.

Comments

Yep, it's official: They've gone senile. So senile, in fact, that they're like that great aunt that people lovingly joke about while she steals money from people's purses at family functions.

If they were planning to make this a new generation of handheld portable, then I could see why they were doing this. It would still be a bad idea, but it might be viable. But to release something like this in competition with one of their existing and successful products...my head hurts.

Nintendo, the king of non compatability!

I can see the discussion for this concept in the board room.

Exec 1: Ok I got this great idea. How about a new portable unit with two screens.

Exec 2: Ok but were missing something here. Oh I know! Let's make it noncompatable with all the other hardware and games the poor suckers... I mean costumers have already bought!

Exec1: Perfect!

That has to be the most hilarious idea ever. Okay, we haven't seen anything concrete yet, but this PR really makes me wonder how the hell they thought this is the product they have to come up with now. I kinda expected them to bring up a cell-phone with GBA functionality. There would have been quite a market for a device like this (under the assumption the design was better than the N-Gage one). Right now I'm so uninterested in this DS-thingy it's hard to describe. (Take note that I own basically any Nintendo system they've released since the NES with the exception of the GBC and Virtual Boy.)

This sounds like a disaster of Virtual Boy proportions. I'm with bagga, they've gone senile.

Man, talk about misguided. What are they thinking? This thing has "Worst of 2004" list written all over it. I guess that's what you get for hiring Gomer Pyle as head of R&D.

For a minute I thought they were talking about 2 screens for head to head, like in the cool old Coleco games. I could see that being fun...But watching crappy games from two different angles just means they'll be doubly crappy.

[edit]

And another thing, what the hell is this about:
"Players can look forward to being able to manage their game progress from two different perspectives". Dammit Nintendo, when I play a game I don't want to "manage my game progress". I want to PLAY. P.L.A.Y. If I want to manage something I go to work, or I pay my heating bill. I don't look forward to the day when my kids run up to me pleading, "Daddy can I manage a video game?"

Umm . . . yeah. It's either one of those things that is so far ahead of its time that it seems retarded, or it's actually retarded. I'm inclined to go with the latter.

I guess Nintendo has decided they no longer want to be in business, and are determined to be remembered for a huge boondoggle of a failure as the reason why.

Nintendo is going down the same road as SEGA, they might as well accept it... the end is near!

Jeeze thats a lot of negativity seeing as to how all we know is its going to have 2 screens...and a gig of memory.

I kind of like the idea. Assuming the duel screens are backlit(or frontlit or whatever). Who hasnt wanted to set up a dual monitor system and have games that take advantage of that(different views in racing/flying games, inventory and information screens open all the time, maps, who knows what else they could come up with).

It's also saying "Screw you" to all the people who have the current Game Boy by being incompatible. It's just like thier GBA <-> GC connector, until everything starts using it it's going to be a gimmick. Is the gimmick really worth a totally new system that is incompatible with all your current games?

and a gig of memory.

Uh... What? I didn't read anything about it having a gig of memory. The article mentioned that it was capable of addressing a gigaBIT of memory (128MB)...

Jesus, I'm a massive Nintendo booster (in terms of commitment, not physical scale, of course;)) but this thing just smacks of, well, jinkyness.

The hardware sounds neat, the specs should be high, but I think it's too different and weird to get much 3rd party support. I get the feeling that we're going to get some (obviously) neato Nintendo games and a bunch of ports from other publishers that at best treat the two screen option the same way they treat GBA/GCN compatability (aka, as a worthless trifle).

Consequently, the machine will be eaten alive by the widely committed to (and less weird) PSP in the next-gen hardware stakes, and the GBA will carry on dominating regardless. Maybe I'm wrong (I have been before;)) but the vibe is scary scary scary.

The hardware sounds neat, the specs should be high, but I think it's too different and weird to get much 3rd party support. I get the feeling that we're going to get some (obviously) neato Nintendo games

And that's one of the resulting problems. Nintendo obviously will try to put up a few exclusive killer apps for that system. And that's a number of internal developers NOT dedicated to creating GBA and GC software. And especially the latter system wouldn't mind some more titles.

Yep, it's N64 n' GCN all over again...

"Yeah, the Nintendo games are great dude! All 2 of them, plus that one port of Mario Party XII: Noveaux Fantasy Crisis. I hear Squaresoft are porting Legend of Secret of Fantasy Mana Chronicles too"

The real problem is that it indicates that Nintendo is less interested in what gamers want to play and more interested in proving how they know best. They're so determined to be apart from the crowd, that they are sacrificing smart business for unwanted innovation. They're certainly right that gamers aren't going to get it, but what they fail to realize is that by 'not get it' they should mean 'not buy it'.

From the-magicbox.com

The Nintendo DS will use rewriteable media for games

They're certainly right that gamers aren't going to get it, but what they fail to realize is that by 'not get it' they should mean 'not buy it'.

What! That's crazy talk!

People buy things they don't understand all the time, like, like....um...dammit...

Upon further reflection I do think this is actually Nintendo's new marketing strategy: getting them ridiculed as much and early as possible so people start buying the system out of pity.

I can already see tons of SomethingAwful threads with nonsense like this.

Gee, we all get so suspicious and hostile whenever a game company does something outside the bounds of our preconceptions.

And OH NO! It doesn't indulge in goofy and usually unsupported corporate synergy with the other products in Nintendo's product line! God damn the evil bastards!

And then we all have the gall to bitch about lack of innovation in our precious passtime.

The real problem is that it indicates that Nintendo is less interested in what gamers want to play and more interested in proving how they know best. They're so determined to be apart from the crowd, that they are sacrificing smart business for unwanted innovation.

How do we know we don't want this innovation? Maybe it will turn out to be the coolest thing since sliced bread?
In fact, it probably will depend on how good the games are.

And finally, yes, this product does sound a little sketchy to me too. But, I'll maintain a polite interest and an open mind, at least until I see the product demoed with a few games.

And then we all have the gall to bitch about lack of innovation in our precious passtime.

Listen, if I made a video game system that had a toaster slot, that's not innovation.

Maybe it will turn out to be the coolest thing since sliced bread?

It won't. Why? Because it doesn't fix anything. It doesn't stand to enhance the gaming experience, or to approach an existing problem in a new way. It's a gimmick, and a poor one at that. Not all gimmicks are innovations. In fact, very few are.

If nothing else, it looks like their 9 out of 10 people will hate it is holding pretty much to form. The surprising thing to me, is that it's not the "it" specifically everybody is hating on, but the idea of "it"

phragged wrote:

If nothing else, it looks like their 9 out of 10 people will hate it is holding pretty much to form. The surprising thing to me, is that it's not the "it" specifically everybody is hating on, but the idea of "it"

I'm seriously confused here. Are you saying that we don't think the product is stupid but the idea of the product? Because I'm not intrinsically opposed to the idea of the thing, it just sounds pointless. Or that we should only hate products because of how they're implemented, instead of hating products that sound useless in the first place?

And besides, I think hate is too strong a word. If it comes out and becomes the next great thing then I'll probably buy one, I'm not morally opposed to having two screens on a handheld. It just sounds like something I wouldn't want to play. And I don't want to play it. How does that make me a hater?

I'm feeling kind of ambivalent to it. I'm very interested to see what they demo at E3 and what kind of ideas they come up with.

Hey, if they demo it at E3 and it's awesome I'll eat my words with mustard and a grin. But, I don't think it's out of line to call it a crappy idea that nobody is asking for, regardless of whether it's out yet or not.

Sorry, I agree Pyro, hate was too strong of a word, how about opionated indifference with a side of negativity then?

And Elysium my point was just that it seems there was a lot of negativity for what little we do know and I was surprised by it. Most of that surprise comes from the fact that I actually think it could be a pretty neat idea. Your opinion that its a crappy idea is of course valid, but it seems like we have so little information to go on at this point versus the potential of the idea(I guess I'm still in naive gamer mode) that its hard for me to see your point of view.

Fair enough. I suppose we'll know more in the coming months.

I have no real opinion on this yet. I just wanted to comment so people don't think I'm dead.

Anyone heard from Rumblefish lately? I hear he's dead.

Yeah, I heard he drowned in a rainstorm or something. Totally dead.