Extra Punctuation: Getting Innovation Wrong

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Nice bit of pandering the crowd there Yahtzee. The Escapist forums in general hates Nintendo irrationally, and seems to be set in their ways. Had the forums been around at the time, I'd have expected the people in here would have declared the rumble pack or the analogue stick a gimmick.

The point is, declaring something a gimmick does not make it a gimmick. Kinect has sold enough that I fully expect Microsoft to try again next generation, and Sony will probably still want some of the casual gaming pie. I find it hard to believe that Nintendo will want to throw that sector away, so expect some form of Wiimote in there as well. Touchscreens are very much part of the furniture for handhelds (and mobile phones), and I expect motion controls will be present in a major way on all three consoles. After all, it's the only way they've come up with to differentiate home consoles from all the tablets, app stores and stuff like OnLive that's come onto the market.

The screen on the controller reminds me of the GBA uplink for the Gamecube. Got to love Zelda FSA.

Squilookle:
And you know what? Blue Ray and HD-DVD were exactly the same thing- a technological gimmick that nobody even needed.

I disagree. Those technologies (particularly Blue Ray) heralded the long-awaited beginning of the end for "disc swapping," which has to be the most irritating hurdle console games have ever had to contend with since the loading screen. Thanks to high-storage media, we can have suitably epic and graphically appealing games without losing the "pop in and play" appeal that consoles have.

ME2 on the 360 reminded me just how much I hated that godawful mechanic, and it's my hope that gaming can one day be done with it forever. Unfortunately, until "cloud gaming" takes off, a physical storage medium will be a fixture for the AAA titles.

I don't think that motion controls or 3D is the right thing to head towards for the future. Its like Yahtzee said, motion controls increase the time it takes for a thought to become an action in a game. Normal controls: Thought, small finger moves, action. Motion controls: Thought, large body or arm moves, then a moment for it to read your moves (if you did it right), then action. Also 3D can't get you more in to the game because for it to work you have to notice it working meaning you have to be reminded your playing a game! Plus, like he said to make it work better they have to lower the image quality. I don't agree with Yahtzee completely that motion controls or 3D are a step backwards, and I don't think that they couldn't be used at all. However, I think they are a step sideways. They don't regress the Games industry, or its progress on their own, but they do stop us from finding the right path.
p.s.Before they kill us, why don't we overthrow them first?! Then Yahtzee can make them make better games!

Squilookle:
And you know what? Blue Ray and HD-DVD were exactly the same thing- a technological gimmick that nobody even needed.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD weren't "gimmicks". I'm not even sure how to respond to you on that one. It's just mind-boggling that you would even say that.

Is more megapixels in a digital camera a "gimmick"? What about bigger flash drives? Or the storage on your PC? Are better graphics cards gimmicks?

I get the sense that you don't even know what "gimmick" means.

Raeil:
Finally, this: "I'm trying to think of ways to employ a touch screen and a TV, and the problem I keep bumping against is that the player can only look at one screen at a time." You're right, they can only look at one screen at a time, that explains why the Nintendo DS has flopped completely... oh wait, it's the highest selling handheld of all time (if you use the numbers for all its iterations).

The difference being that with a DS, the screens are side by side in your hand, as opposed to one held in your hands down in your lap (or where ever you hold your controller) and one anywhere from 6 to 12 feet away from you. The screens would be of hugely different sizes and on different focal planes. So instead of flicking your eyes back and forth between two adjacent screens, you'd most likely be forced not only to change where you're looking and where you're focussing, but you might even need to change the angle of your head and neck. I think that's the main issue, not that there's literally two displays, just that it would be more problematic to play games using both.

At least with the 3DS I see the 3D as more of an extra added on to a more powerful DS.

Good points yahtzee.

Motion controls are still the future mind, but they need a hell of alot of work before I'll be willing to give up my dual-analogue pad.

I also really really hope that those pads are fake. Think about it for a moment. They have more electronic hardware in them than the DS, meaning they will cost more to produce than the DS, meaning stupidly over-priced hardware.

Delusibeta:
Nice bit of pandering the crowd there Yahtzee. The Escapist forums in general hates Nintendo irrationally, and seems to be set in their ways. Had the forums been around at the time, I'd have expected the people in here would have declared the rumble pack or the analogue stick a gimmick.

Kinect is not a gimmick. It has far more utility outside of the gaming sphere Microsoft intended it for.

3DS IS a gimmick. Hand-held 3D does nothing to advance gaming as either art or science. It's all flash (bad flash at that) with no substance, and all the prominent gamers (Penny-Arcade, IGN, the Escapist themselves) that end up just turning the damn thing off during play prove what a monumental failure it's been.

And screens-inside-controllers are also a gimmick, simply because the human mind can only process one at a time. Again we have Nintendo devoting resources to a feature that adds nothing.

Motion controls kinda worked because there were games that actually required you to use them. I don't see how having certain images pop up in front of me is going to be vital to my gameplay unless I'm taking a DMV eye test.

Optimystic:

Delusibeta:
Nice bit of pandering the crowd there Yahtzee. The Escapist forums in general hates Nintendo irrationally, and seems to be set in their ways. Had the forums been around at the time, I'd have expected the people in here would have declared the rumble pack or the analogue stick a gimmick.

Kinect is not a gimmick. It has far more utility outside of the gaming sphere Microsoft intended it for.

3DS IS a gimmick. Hand-held 3D does nothing to advance gaming as either art or science. It's all flash (bad flash at that) with no substance, and all the prominent gamers (Penny-Arcade, IGN, the Escapist themselves) that end up just turning the damn thing off during play prove what a monumental failure it's been.

And screens-inside-controllers are also a gimmick, simply because the human mind can only process one at a time. Again we have Nintendo devoting resources to a feature that adds nothing.

Thank you for proving my point.

There are several hacks floating around for people using the Wii remote far beyond your standard motion controls. Here's an example:

Does that make the Wii remote less of a "gimmick" to you?

I'd also think you'll find that your argument against screens-in-controls have been floating around since the reveal of the DS, and has hence been disproved.

Delusibeta:
Nice bit of pandering the crowd there Yahtzee. The Escapist forums in general hates Nintendo irrationally, and seems to be set in their ways.

Eh.. I've always seen it as actually being willing to call Nintendo out for their faults and mistakes, unlike most game related media which trips all over itself to praise anything and everything Nintendo does. Bear in mind that there are many here who also aren't afraid to list recent Nintendo series iterations as some of their favourites, regardless of actually allowing themselves to be critical.

Can't really say that I agree with this much. For one I actually like the 3D effect on the 3DS and find it rather easy to maintain a proper position while playing, nor does it give me a headache or any kind of eyestrain (and this is coming from someone who suffers it watching 3D movies). Also isn't it a little early to call the 3DS 'failed'? I mean sure the launch titles don't have anything particularly impressive, we really won't know for sure until its been out awhile longer. Really I think we need to give it time to get some decent software. The DS had some great titles for it - I have a hard time imagining that things aren't going to pick up for the 3DS.

While motion controls may not have panned out as well as Nintendo would have liked, at least they're trying things - it seems a little hypocritical to bemoan lack of innovation in the same breath as you decry Nintendo for trying new things out because apparently they aren't the "right" innovations. Last time I checked figuring out what works and doesn't tends to involve actually trying them in the first place.

More than anything this article just makes you come off as biased against Nintendo.

Are people so quickly bashing designs before they've even had a chance to get a preview of them yet?

The 3DS's 3D is a good design. Optional, and was an extra on top of the added power to the handheld. Yeah Yahtzee will complain about the Nintendo franchises but it doesn't stop them from being fun. I mean he hates on a lot of good games and plenty of great ones.

The new controller might work. First off if it incorporates that technology that actually lets you "feel" through the screen then that solves your physical feedback when tapping a button there or something. It will undoubtedly be used for quick time events that you'll have to maybe draw something onto the touch screen and be forced to look away from any events on the TV and that'll probably be bad.

What I think it'll be great for is like a weapon select or inventory system. Something that required menus of navigation just always up in your hands. I think a designer could come up with some innovative way to use that before immedietly dismissing it. You'd rather have Modern Warfare 6?

Delusibeta:

Does that make the Wii remote less of a "gimmick" to you?

I just reread my entire post, and don't see a mention of the Wii anywhere in it. I said THE 3DS IS A GIMMICK, and I stand by that statement.

Now show me a hack that makes the 3DS useful.

Excuse me, buddy, but I'm pretty sure enslaving Zeus to power our homes is less convenient than just setting them on fire.

"Neither motion controls nor 3D represent the way forward because they both involve making games and movies less immersive"
I'll take games that are more fun than more "immersive". I don't give a shit if I feel like I'm there if the game is boring as hell. Also the whole reason for 3D is because not everyone finds it easy to judge depth on a 2D screen, so it does help.

Immersion is not nor ever was the way forward in gaming.

I'm not impressed with the 3D gimmicks at all. The 3DS is selling at a more expensive price than when the PS2 was released (Or even the Gamecube). I know these are different times and inflation and everything but still! My problems with the current consoles are that A) The incredibly ridiculous price tag and B) Developers giving us stuff we don't want/need but end up getting used to. I mean, I get it, developers. If people are buying it, then it works. Keep 'em coming, right?

But 3D? Yahtzee is right; it's not that convenient when you gotta stand still in front of the screen. Move an inch off and whoops! No more 3D! When they said "3D WITH NO GLASSES!", I though "OH SNAP! Holograms like Star Wars?! I'm sold!". I mean, that IS 3D without glasses, right? But instead we got the 3DS that, mind you, it's still very glitchy. I don't want to pretend that Mario is right beside me, teaching me how to speak Italian. I know he's not no matter how real he looks or not. I just wanna play my friggin' game!

I'll admit I bought a PS3 about a year ago after resisting the temptation a hybrid between a computer and my beloved PS2. I already have two computers, Sony! Don't try to sell me another one! And while we're at it, I'm also happy with my PS2's DVD player! I had to buy my PS3 because I was being left behind and well, I'm a gamer. You can't keep me off new, cool games for too long. So here I am.

But still...it seems developers are focusing on everything but gaming. Online playing, internet browsing, Netflix, computer-like gimmicks; all that are things that are irrelevant to gaming and that we don't need that badly. Sure, they're cool gimmicks but hey, I was happy with my PS2. And my SNES. And my 64. And my NES. Now every time I play, I worry about my computer hybrid (PS3) dying on me or needing an update or...getting hacked. I didn't have to worry about that with my other systems...

My point is! The industry needs to focus on a console that goes back to enhancing the gaming experience. Yes, keep online co-op; we're all used to it now. Keep the cool stuff but remember that at the end, people just wanna play their games. They don't want to be forced to stand up and look like a retard in front of the TV, they don't want to be fooled into spending more money on a console that just looks pwetty and they don't want their system to come with a DVD player, blu ray player, a TV, music player, a microwave, a can opener and a banana. Make a better systems, come up with original games and not remakes of old ones, remember that your audience is made of kids whose income is 5 dollars a week to grown ups whose income might be 5 dollars per week or 100 dollars. I don't need gimmicky consoles, I need something that keeps me truly entertained without the fear that it might implode on me due to my lack of computer knowledge.

Man, I wish my PS2 was still cool...

I'm not sold on 3-D yet but I think I soon well be. I'm basing this on the experiences with HD with movies it made little difference at first, all it did is triple the price of film, and then they tried to put it on the TV and it made the image worse, in fact HDTV still looks worse then the old standard but I have come around and started to like it as the movie visuals are improving with it and Blu-rays do look nice. Things like this make me wonder how did people react to color and sound getting introduced into movies.

As for the touch screen I look forward to not pausing my game to switch weapons.

3DS IS a gimmick. Hand-held 3D does nothing to advance gaming as either art or science. It's all flash (bad flash at that) with no substance, and all the prominent gamers (Penny-Arcade, IGN, the Escapist themselves) that end up just turning the damn thing off during play prove what a monumental failure it's been.

Excuse me? IGN are prominent gamers? What the fuck is wrong with you? There's a reason why the mantra "You can't spell ignorant without IGN" exists. IGN aren't prominent gamers. If anything, they're full of elitist snobs as well.

That's one thing I do like about the XBLA is that they have an indie section where people can program their small scale games and put them up for about $1 for people to buy. Some of my favorite games come from that section of the XBLA. There is Baby-Maker Extreme, Try Not to Fart, and Cthulu Saves the World.

The last in that list I highly recommend, it is turn-based combat but it's not too punishing and the humor that the game has is well worth it :D

zehydra:
I disagree. I love 3D, and I love it mainly because of the level of depth it adds to the picture. It makes whatever you're viewing much more like you're experiencing it.

I realize that a ton of people do not share this view, and do not appreciate 3d. Good for them. But at least let me enjoy my 3d, okay?

Amen, brother.

I don't get upset when 3D isn't an option, but when it is it's preferable. I certainly miss it when I boot MK and forget to turn it on before I start a fight. I've also had great fun watching 3D films with my brother. Piranha 3D just a few nights ago, stupid but hilarious.

My only complaint is the price of the 3D blu-rays. If they weren't so dear, I'd own them all.

3d was useless in the early 80's and its not much better now. Good to see people are noticing it.

Having played with 3D shutter glasses on the PC before, I have to say that I like true 3D, I feel that true 3D is a step forward that I'd like to see the gaming industry make. There were relatively few PC games that made really good use of it, but when I found those gems then I was fairly blown away with how much more immersive true 3D made the game feel, Natural Selection and Sinistar Unleashed being some of my better experiences.

Only trouble is, the 3DS may be a rather poor example, what with its tiny screen and very poor app support. A larger screen eliminates the bothersome requirement of having to sit in an exact position to do use it. Good 3D-centric games would be Metroid Prime 3D or StarFox 3D, those would really make gamers aware of what true 3D can do, but there's no sign of them.

As it stands, the 3DS is a platform that makes true 3D look bad, and I'm hoping its poor reception doesn't bury what would be an excellent feature in future games.

I summon...

Did that picture of the controller say something about streaming video? Cause honestly this is the only way I see the point is if it was using the console as a server for the game and wirelessly streaming the video to the controller to play else where in your house without needing a TV. I can get behind that. I hardly play consoles anymore because I just don't feel like sitting in front of a TV all day and rather lay in bed or something.

Ace IV:
Just because Project Cafe will have superior hardware doesn't mean 3rd party developers will have to use them. As a PC gamer, I still buy, play, and enjoy games that I can't run in 1920x1080 resolution. Sure, it'd be better if they could, but graphics don't make the game.

This. Case in point - Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana and Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (or if that isn't good enough for you, then Ocarina of Time).

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Then they'll probably think, "Ah, why not cut out the middleman?" and then just kill us and take all our money.

I thoroughly expect to one day see the headline:
Apple Stores Unveil New Policy: Pay Us Before Entering
and people will just go along with it

I haven't been bothered so much by the 3D thing. It's still expensive enough that it hasn't become immensely widespread and popular, so I don't see it being "mandatory" any time soon. Motion controls freak me out way more since they have proliferated to an astounding degree.

Seeing as I'm one of those rabid PC only "nazi" people I let everything that is 3D and motioncontrolled slide. I won't beleive one squat that 3D is the future until I can play RTS games on a holodeck, an FPS? Maaaaaaybe, if it's done right. Motioncontrols? Not accurate enough even if wearing an exosuit that helps stabilize ones hands.

I for one welcome more oomph in hardware for the consoles. I'm tired of low-res textures and sloppy AA. Even in some cases game mechanics suffer because there's too little RAM, too slow CPU or GPU.

Usually the "Extra Punctuation" articles are a little more thought-out than the gripe and mock shtick for the videos, but this is just whining. And frankly, it's gotten tedious. Yes, you don't like motion controls. Yes, you have many convoluted reasons for why you think making a gimmicky new controller is a bad thing. We get it.

It's the same old thing repeated over and over on a topic that seems little more than purely personal opinion justified by rambling sort-of-sensical arguments.

Srdjan Tanaskovic:
Yahtzee I know you probably aren't doing it intentionally but I can't help but feel that no mater what Nintendo does these days you complain

Motion Control: Bad
3DS: Bad
New Games in there franchises: Bad
Upcoming Console: Bad

I mean really?

Squilookle:
And you know what? Blue Ray and HD-DVD were exactly the same thing- a technological gimmick that nobody even needed.

there is a reason HD-DVD died and not Blu-Ray

Oroboros:
I agree that the Wii and 3DS are just gimmicks that don't really advance the industry. I still have my old fat DS and I have seen no need to upgrade. I don't see why I should upgrade to this ridiculously expensive piece of hardware when I can't conceivably gain anything by switching over, except possibly eye strain.

A. new Machine
B. New and better games
C. Improvement functionality
D. Virtual Console with more games
E. There is no eye strain

Hell using your logic one could ask why buy a new gaming machine next generation

B: That didn't work out to well for the DSi and with this

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/03/nintendo-backs-away-from-3ds-games-that-require-3d-others-may-follow.ars

Why bother.

E: There is.

Yahtzee I expect better from you. Typically you have something that gives your point some validation. While I don't think the 3DS will really take off, bitching about it because you dislike the direction Nintendo is taking for the sake of bitching is beneath you. At least Nintendo had to balls to actually try something different instead of, "oh let's pump more graphics into it". It may not be perfect, but the first steps towards real change never are.

Hitman Dread:

Falseprophet:
The only use for a controller screen I can think of would be a local multiplayer game where you have information you want hidden from other players, like strategy (turn-based or RTS), card games or football. Does anyone make these kinds of games any more?

You are rather simply minded if that is truly all you can think of. A 2nd screen opens up a world of options. Allow me to go through some current gen games and showcase how they could be improved with this alleged controller.

Metal Gear Solid 4: You now discuss with Otocan during battle, drastically cutting down on cutscene time (something the game needs) as well as increasing emersion. The visuals were rarely essential in those cam calls anyway, so they video could play while you continue scoping out the level. Now Metal Gear Solid has finally successfully fused it's story with it's gameplay, instead of them being two separate entities.

Multiweapon FPS: Your items are all on the touch screen, allowing you to call them in on the fly. The basic UI on this could be done a number of different ways, and done correctly the player could easily commit this to muscle memory as he already does many other things. There's actually quite a bit that can be done with FPSes and this 2nd screen, from simple item interface to calling an air strike.

RTS: RTS's have never worked with consols, but this may give them a chance. Having this screen could allow for dealing with complex interfaces that RTS's require.

These are just basic UI enhancements too, from an artistic standpoint there's a flurry of ideas that could be brought to the table.

Some of this I agree with, but the FPS and RTS in a competitive environment seem way too hard to pull off. Muscle memory, yes, but I still feel like it would further alienate the more casual online crowd, the group of people who enjoy non casual games but don't have the time to become the 50 kill "noob haters" like some people are. I always thought the second screen on a dreamcast was neat, and, if anything, they should make it a removable mini game system, so you can bring your games with you, link up outside of the house, etc.

I'm sorry, but am I the only one getting the feeling that Yahtzee wants us all to not go forwards? To not experiment and learn more about video gaming?

He bitches about how people try new things and it ruins everything, and in the same breath he bitches about how everything is so 'samey'.

You can't have it both ways, Yahtzee. If you want the same old games over and over and over again, then go ahead and bitch about how everything keeps changing, but you cannot in the same breath condemn a game for being 'more of the same'.

I don't have a problem with 3D at all really. I think its a cool system to employ in future generations of consoles and handhelds. The 3DS is just a starting point for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. I count Sony too because Nintendo found a way to make it work without the glasses and the fact that the option is there makes it better. It feels like too many think 3D is going to become the MUST be in standard in games, but it should just remain an option like we have right now. Course that being said quality of games could be diminished because of the entire putting some 3D elements in the game for those who like it and keeping the game itself regular for those who don't, but thats another story. I don't consider 3D a gimmick at all as of now as its a pretty new idea that's being incorporated into things and some time has to be given before final judgement on it has been passed. Too many are calling it right now with this just barely in development.

Regarding the whole "PDA thing is cool but isn't an adequate substitute for pausing" thing, I think Yahtzee sort of has a point. However, I think what this really shows is that Nintendo is looking back to past failures and trying to build a success out of them.

Look at GBA-GC connectivity. Four Swords Adventures was a great game for single OR multiplayer and it used the dual-screen system quite well in allowing people to enter rooms and caves without all having to do so at once, but the need for a GBA and a cable for each player made it expensive and inconvenient to get a four-player game going, not to mention the original GBA's screen sucked.

The same thing with Crystal Chronicles, letting each player have their own inventory really added a wonderful layer of depth to the game. Where it ran into issues was with the shortage of buttons, lack of analog control, and clunky menu navigation. However, the supposed Project Cafe controller HAS more buttons and dual-analog sticks, not to mention a touchscreen would really help to lessen the difficulty of navigating a menu mid-battle.

In all, reusing this idea but with a lower cost of entry and more convenience, as well as building it in so that other developers will be more likely to use it, is a fantastic idea as far as I'm concerned. Sure, some developers will misuse or abuse it, but hell there's always gonna be someone who can't make decent control schemes, even on a traditional controller (see: about a third of the NES games that AVGN has reviewed).

Instead of merely passing it off as a pointless gimmick, imagine the possible uses for it: Card games can hide players' hands, sports games can hide plays, people can solve puzzles separately in a cooperative game, players can manage their own inventories or spells without everyone else having to pause, and command menus don't have to clutter up the main screen. That's just off the top of my head, I'm sure there's more.

What it boils down to is that this is Nintendo catering to the crowd that they've been serving since the N64: multiplayer. They were the first to have a console with four controller ports without the need of a multitap since the Atari 5200. They released the first handheld game system with any sort of remotely decent online play capabilities. They've launched series after series designed with multiplayer in mind (Mario Part, Mario Kart, Smash Bros, etc). While I don't doubt that this new controller has its uses in single player, I'm almost positive that they were thinking of multiplayer games when they made it.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. I hope they remake Pac-Man VS for this system, and sell it as a low-cost downloadable title.

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