1: The Contrarian

The Contrarian

Gamers talk about how game culture has permeated everything, but resident contrarian John Tynes is on hand to explain that when gaming is everywhere - It's nowhere.

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It takes guts to make predictions in a public forum like this, because there's always a chance that you'll be wrong and people will mock you for it. Still, I'm guessing that the author is happy to have been wrong about this one. I know I would be.

Well, there's certainly no doubt that the Wii has been extremely successful for what is now a full year. But there are still people like myself who are suspicious that boredom will set in due to the eventual limitations of the controller, and mere promises of later games. I doubt that'll happen, though; when it's being bought for hospitals and non-gamers, you know it's more than likely going to be around for a long time, regardlessly.

Can they get "ONLINE" through their heads though?

The thing that's always put me off about Nintendo is that it appears to heavily favour style, with very very little substance to back it up. It's gimmicky. Nintendo innovates for innovations sake, reinventing the wheel and expecting others to pat them on the back for it.

Take the wii-mote, for example: A device which allows you to achieve with a complex series of gestures what most control-pads let you do with the push of a button. This is progress? Hardly, for all that it's very clever.

I sat there, reading this in amazement, trying to figure out what the heck he was going off about. The DS and "Revolution" "dead on arrival"?

Then I checked the date. 2005.

Ah. Now I get it.

And I can understand what he was thinking at the time. Two years ago, Nintendo was "dead in the water". The Gamecube was flopping the almighty PSP was coming with the same powers the PS2 had (it not only plays games, but music and moves too!). The Xbox was everywhere.

I think what happened wasn't so much a Nintendo thing - it was an Iwata thing.

Iwata, I am guessing, must have at some point read Sun Tsu or even Miyamoto Musashi. The former counseled that the best defense is where there is no attack, the best attack where there is no defense.

It worked for Nintendo, and Harmonix, and others - don't do what everyone else does, and you can find success. The question now is:

Now what?

I had to change my my msn's personal message about 6 times whilst reading this. So many good quotes, a very nice piece of writing.

Predictions are dangerous things without a bit of logic and a few cold hard facts, and Mr.Tynes here was well and truly drowning in logic when he wrote this piece. It make sense, it all makes sense. To the point where he can't possibly be wrong. I see truth, I see logic, I see a point. What I don't see, is the resolution of his claims. Why? Because it's simply too early.

He's right, there's no two ways about it. Nintendo have done what Nintendo always do, bring on the innovation, and the only reason the Wii's been so successful is all down to clever marketing , lucky timing and Sony releasing something that i'd have to sell my good testy to buy, three factors that can't be , and were not predicted.

The console race isn't over until development stops, this means the PS2 is still in it, alongside its bulky-over weight and egotistical brother the PS3, and of course the crooked pick-pocketing little bastard child, PSP. And what have nintendo got? The DS and the Wii. This generation race is only just beginning, it had a slow f**king start i'll admit that, but it's still just the beginning. For both the main contenders, Wii and PS3.

And so I think John Tynes logic hasn't failed him yet. The facts of 2005 are still the facts of 2007, and they will still be factual in many years to come. Unless of course publishers spontaneously decide they don't really fancy making as much money as they can possibly squeeze out of a title. They practise on wet ties y'know?... and bunnys, and terminally ill toddlers.

I bet John Tynes is pretty embarrassed about this article by now.
In retrospect, it's hilariously wrong.

Soulreaverm:
I bet John Tynes is pretty embarrassed about this article by now.
In retrospect, it's hilariously wrong.

I almost thought this article was a joke--like look how wrong "industry analysists" are--but it's not a joke. It's just sad, sad journalism--if this can even be called that.

"Sell your stock short." BHAHAHA! I'd like to see the look on anyone's face that took that gem to heart.

righthanded:

Soulreaverm:
I bet John Tynes is pretty embarrassed about this article by now.
In retrospect, it's hilariously wrong.

I almost thought this article was a joke--like look how wrong "industry analysists" are--but it's not a joke. It's just sad, sad journalism--if this can even be called that.

"Sell your stock short." BHAHAHA! I'd like to see the look on anyone's face that took that gem to heart.

What had you predicted back in 2005?

Armitage Shanks:

righthanded:

Soulreaverm:
I bet John Tynes is pretty embarrassed about this article by now.
In retrospect, it's hilariously wrong.

I almost thought this article was a joke--like look how wrong "industry analysists" are--but it's not a joke. It's just sad, sad journalism--if this can even be called that.

"Sell your stock short." BHAHAHA! I'd like to see the look on anyone's face that took that gem to heart.

What had you predicted back in 2005?

I thought the Wii was going to be huge.

I had been working a steady, well paying job for a year and change at that point and had a few grand that I wanted to invest in the market. I've been pretty distrustful of the banking/market system--after seeing other family and friends steadily lose money in 2000-2001 post dot-com aftermath and then again after 9-11-01. Also, in the late 90's, I worked for as a gofer for a clearing company and got work with traders--if you met these people, you'd consider keeping your money under a mattress as a viable investment option. Anyways, I'm not a huge risk taker, at least when it comes to money I worked long hours for, so I consulted with my father who worked in the financial business for 25 years at that point--mostly as a risk manager for a trading company. My father lost that job when the company went tits up after being broken up and sold for about $8,000,000--this is after the company ignored my father's advice to take the offer of a buyer offering over $100,000,000. He's a level headed guy that made a lot of money for his employers.

Investing in a single company is not a good investment strategy. I knew this beforehand so I kept my money in the IRA and the high interest CDs and didn't buy Nintendo stock. Financially, this makes sense--but, man. I was super hyped for the Wii and wish I put some money on it.

righthanded:

Armitage Shanks:

righthanded:

Soulreaverm:
I bet John Tynes is pretty embarrassed about this article by now.
In retrospect, it's hilariously wrong.

I almost thought this article was a joke--like look how wrong "industry analysists" are--but it's not a joke. It's just sad, sad journalism--if this can even be called that.

"Sell your stock short." BHAHAHA! I'd like to see the look on anyone's face that took that gem to heart.

What had you predicted back in 2005?

I thought the Wii was going to be huge.
his employers.

Investing in a single company is not a good investment strategy. I knew this beforehand so I kept my money in the IRA and the high interest CDs and didn't buy Nintendo stock. Financially, this makes sense--but, man. I was super hyped for the Wii and wish I put some money on it.

But 'hype' shouldn't be a basis for a decision or a prediction.

I was super hyped for Fire Warrior on the PS2, but when it finally came out, not even with all my love of 40k could I delude myself into having fun with it.

Working with what he had in 2005, based on industry trends, Mr Tynes should have been spot on. The majority of the gaming public liked the kind of standardization Sony and Microsoft were heading towards, they had moulded to fit the market (or moulded the market to fit around them, depending on your point of view) and were set to clean up big in this console generation.

The Gamecube had performed in a very lackluster manner (it did not even surpass sales of the N64), especially outside of Japan, and it was its deviation that let it down. Less powerful than the Xbox or PS2, inability to play DVDs and CDs, very few online capable games, an unshakeable 'family friendly' image and an odd shaped controller caused the Gamecube to be relegated to the 'children who didn't know better' section of the gaming publics mind, the exclusive games were the only good things about it, and even then they weren't all great. Yes, there was a Zelda or two fighting its way out of the ruck, Paper Mario was a bit of a gem, but for every good game there was a Geist, or a Disney's Party.

In start contrast, the PS2 and Xbox were firmly marching along the mainstream, with darker and edgier shooters, outstanding (for the time) graphics, in your face visceral combat games, easy access online play with or without mic support and as a bonus, anyone thinking of purchasing had "... and its also a DVD player, I could use one of those." running through their minds. Microsoft and Sony were going to go into this generation and run with a good thing; increase the hardware, increase the online support, add more fancy playback and multimedia support, up the violence, up everything: Give the market exactly what it wanted.

Based on all this, the Wii, the "Revolution" should have failed. Failed hard. This article was anything but 'poor journalism', it was a well researched and crafted piece of speculation. Just as Tynes pointed out, the Wii was going to mutate and be killed off.

But it deviated not because it was trying to sell the market something new, but because it was trying to sell to a new market. And thats why its alive and laughing.

Think about it. Xbox and PS2 owners went out to buy Xbox 360s and PS3s. They still deride the Wii to this day for being inferior graphically and having 'gay' games, and that is precislely why they don't buy it.

But Nintendo don't care.

Don't try and lure the Halo fanboy away from the Master Chief, its futile. And why bother, when you can instead convince a hundred odd twenty somethings who've never even heard of the Master Chief to buy Wii Fit? Or Wii Sport? Or Wii Black Market Organ Donation?

Most people who consider themselves 'gamers' don't have Wii's; and if they do its for Metroid or No More Heroes or Mario Galaxy.

Yes, this article ended up being wrong, but misunderstanding gaming culture had nothing to do with it. In the short term it was right, mainstream gamers did not approve. But a much, much wider market was drawn in, and it didn't matter what mainstream gamers bought anymore.

NB: Not anything above relating to consoles and the people who buy them are large generalizations, but probably accurate generalizations ;)

Armitage Shanks:

righthanded:

Armitage Shanks:

righthanded:

Soulreaverm:
I bet John Tynes is pretty embarrassed about this article by now.
In retrospect, it's hilariously wrong.

I almost thought this article was a joke--like look how wrong "industry analysists" are--but it's not a joke. It's just sad, sad journalism--if this can even be called that.

"Sell your stock short." BHAHAHA! I'd like to see the look on anyone's face that took that gem to heart.

What had you predicted back in 2005?

I thought the Wii was going to be huge.
his employers.

Investing in a single company is not a good investment strategy. I knew this beforehand so I kept my money in the IRA and the high interest CDs and didn't buy Nintendo stock. Financially, this makes sense--but, man. I was super hyped for the Wii and wish I put some money on it.

But 'hype' shouldn't be a basis for a decision or a prediction.

I was super hyped for Fire Warrior on the PS2, but when it finally came out, not even with all my love of 40k could I delude myself into having fun with it.

Working with what he had in 2005, based on industry trends, Mr Tynes should have been spot on. The majority of the gaming public liked the kind of standardization Sony and Microsoft were heading towards, they had moulded to fit the market (or moulded the market to fit around them, depending on your point of view) and were set to clean up big in this console generation.

...etc

Agreed - people whining that he was wrong need to remember it was a prediction, and frankly, I'm willing to bet even the Nintendo fanboys, in their heart-of-hearts, felt that the Wii would be another GameCube (although the Zelda on that rocked, and I enjoyed the Mario Sunshine too) and tank. The fact he's wrong is fair enough, but it was a good prediction without hindsight.

I love reading old predictions :D

John Scott Tynes:
The Contrarian

Gamers talk about how game culture has permeated everything, but resident contrarian John Tynes is on hand to explain that when gaming is everywhere - It's nowhere.

Permalink

His other articles were excellent, but
it really feels like this thread should end with an "Oops--Sorry about that".

Fascinating to stumble across this.

Much of what John Tynes said was true. Publishers didn't take to Nintendo (not for a long time). Precisely because they couldn't easily port over there standard PS3/PS2/PSP/360 games. Obviously though John missed the boat though, because in the end it didn't matter. USERS liked the Wii. They were the ones buying the system, making it profitable. No one seemed to care that for the first 12 months it had something like 2 Core Games. The controller did all the selling and boy was it a wild ride for us all.

Eventually, Publishers were forced by their shareholders to support the system. To go where the money was. What an interesting turn of events that made.

 

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