Nintendo Stands By Consoles

Nintendo Stands By Consoles

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Nintendo's Satoru Iwata thinks latency will spoil cloud gaming's future.

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's boss, has put it on record: consoles are here to stay, and cloud gaming isn't all it's cracked up to be. In a Q&A held in the wake of Nintendo's financial statement, Iwata made it clear that dedicated gaming platforms won't be dying out any time soon, not if Nintendo has anything to say about it.

"What do you think gaming will be like in the near future?" asked an investor. Cloud gaming's all the rage, and the questioner wanted to know whether Nintendo had any intention of moving in that direction, or perhaps keeping handheld devices but dumping dedicated gaming hardware. Iwata made it clear that he doesn't see cloud gaming taking over.

"I would like people to understand that there are certain things that cloud gaming cannot achieve," said Iwata, arguing that latency will always be a problem, particularly for action games. "There are many things that cloud gaming cannot do by design," Iwata went on to say, "but this fact has not been communicated well to the public, and I find it strange that many people claim that cloud gaming is the future."

Meanwhile he sees Nintendo as a company determined to make sure consoles never die out. Nintendo does intend to streamline its production processes, so that different devices share the same methods of production, operating systems and software, so as to make porting games from one system to the other that much easier. However even that won't solve all problems.

"If we try to linearly pursue this direction," says Iwata, "software development will become so complicated that we will eventually face a situation where cost recovery becomes a serious issue. Therefore we feel that we are nearing a saturation point in terms of simply improving performance or enhancing graphics." It could be, Iwata believes, that the time has come to start pursuing other avenues of game making, creating entertainment out of elements that people just don't expect to see in a videogame.

As to what those elements might be, Iwata didn't elaborate, but in another question regarding Wii U architecture, Iwata did say that Nintendo's in-house teams were forging ahead with its new console. Iwata went on to directly link Nintendo's promise of a 100 billion operating profit in the next fiscal year to the Wii U's development.

Source: Nintendo Q&A

Permalink

Karloff:
Therefore we feel that we are nearing a saturation point in terms of simply improving performance or enhancing graphics." It could be, Iwata believes, that the time has come to start pursuing other avenues of game making, creating entertainment out of elements that people just don't expect to see in a videogame.

Does this mean developing more videogames that aren't Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Pokemon or Animal Crossing related? *crosses fingers*

In any case, I'm not particularly sure cloud gaming is the future, but it remains to be seen if it takes a bigger piece of the market.

Failing to see the financial viability of the Android/iOS platforms that print more money than you could've ever hoped? Not opening the floodgates and making Nintendo's classics available across different platforms? Oh Iwata... what a disappointment you are.

inB4FanboyBiasMovieBobsucksNintendo'sdickdespiteofallthis.

Karloff:
Therefore we feel that we are nearing a saturation point in terms of simply improving performance or enhancing graphics." It could be, Iwata believes, that the time has come to start pursuing other avenues of game making, creating entertainment out of elements that people just don't expect to see in a videogame.

So does this mean motion controls will finally be worth using?

Grenge Di Origin:
Failing to see the financial viability of the Android/iOS platforms that print more money than you could've ever hoped? Not opening the floodgates and making Nintendo's classics available across different platforms? Oh Iwata... what a disappointment you are.

Last I checked, Iwata was arguing about cloud gaming services (see; Gaiki, Onlive, etc.) being un-viable and not about creating games for IOS/Android devices and porting their classics to those same platforms. Also, Nintendo already has taken your first point into consideration.

I'm willing to give cloud-gaming a chance, but I suspect it would take quite some time before it even becomes feasible. As for his comment about streamlining, it make me wonder if that's a feasible decision. Assuming he means "moving stuff from Nintendo Console X to Nintendo Console Y", it seems counterproductive to what he hopes Nintendo will do, which is too keep consoles alive and relevant. Unfortunately, streamlining in such a manner runs the risk of making things feel stale or unnecessary. If he means the other possibility, having Nintendo Console X play games from Nintendo Handheld X and vice versa, I see a few issues. Presumably, if you had the chance to play a game on a console or handheld, the console will probably be preferable if going by use on average. I get why it may seem like a good idea, but it means you are always going to face the issue that one side of development resources is mostly for naught.

Eternal_Lament:
Presumably, if you had the chance to play a game on a console or handheld, the console will probably be preferable if going by use on average.

Nintendo makes most of their money off their handheld games and according to the numbers when they combined handheld and console developers, most of their designers were working on handheld games. I don't think they're worried about the WiiU killing off interest in the 3DS.

I really wish Nintendo would just become a 3rd party developer. I've outgrown their expensive, gimmicky devices, but sometimes I miss me some Zelda or Metroid. Not enough to buy a WiiU or a 3DS, of course.

The reason I don't see cloud gaming ever becoming as popular as console gaming is the consumer has absolutely no control over the service. Even if they could build a system with 100% uptime and zero latency, there is no guarantee that I can play a game I paid for tomorrow. It could be pulled from the service, or I could lose the right to access it through no fault of my own, or any other number of unforeseeable hiccups could make it not worth my time.

With a functioning hardware console (sans any unsavory online DRM schemes or the like), you will always be able to plug it into your TV and play. Not to say they're without their share of problems, but accessibility isn't one of them.

And I stand by not having bought or played anything Nintendo since Golden Sun on the GBA.

V8 Ninja:

Grenge Di Origin:
Failing to see the financial viability of the Android/iOS platforms that print more money than you could've ever hoped? Not opening the floodgates and making Nintendo's classics available across different platforms? Oh Iwata... what a disappointment you are.

Last I checked, Iwata was arguing about cloud gaming services (see; Gaiki, Onlive, etc.) being un-viable and not about creating games for IOS/Android devices and porting their classics to those same platforms. Also, Nintendo already has taken your first point into consideration.

^ *uses a non-gameplay app that's only released in Japan as an argument for Nintendo embracing mobile platforms*
LOL.

Jumwa:

Eternal_Lament:
Presumably, if you had the chance to play a game on a console or handheld, the console will probably be preferable if going by use on average.

Nintendo makes most of their money off their handheld games and according to the numbers when they combined handheld and console developers, most of their designers were working on handheld games. I don't think they're worried about the WiiU killing off interest in the 3DS.

Perhaps, but even still, on average the handheld version of a game is a little barebones or lacking compared to the console version. Even Ocarina of Time has been said by several reviewers to be better on consoles rather than for a handheld. But even in the reverse situation, where the handheld version is more fulfilling than the console version, that still runs into the same issue that, either way, a lot of resources were ultimately wasted on one version. Again, it could be the other situation where they're consoles are more streamlined to be similar to one another (which has several problems), but assuming that it's this scenario with the consoles and handhelds, one has to wonder how worth it it really is.

Grenge Di Origin:

V8 Ninja:
Last I checked, Iwata was arguing about cloud gaming services (see; Gaiki, Onlive, etc.) being un-viable and not about creating games for IOS/Android devices and porting their classics to those same platforms. Also, Nintendo already has taken your first point into consideration.

^ *uses a non-gameplay app that's only released in Japan as an argument for Nintendo embracing mobile platforms*
LOL.

I had no intentions of showing that Nintendo has embraced mobile platforms. All I wanted to communicate was that Nintendo isn't viewing IOS/Android platforms as toxic or detrimental to their business plans, the opposite viewpoint of which I extracted from your comment. Also, "Consideration" doesn't mean "They Have Taken Your Point To Heart".

Scribblesense:
The reason I don't see cloud gaming ever becoming as popular as console gaming is the consumer has absolutely no control over the service. Even if they could build a system with 100% uptime and zero latency, there is no guarantee that I can play a game I paid for tomorrow. It could be pulled from the service, or I could lose the right to access it through no fault of my own, or any other number of unforeseeable hiccups could make it not worth my time.

With a functioning hardware console (sans any unsavory online DRM schemes or the like), you will always be able to plug it into your TV and play. Not to say they're without their share of problems, but accessibility isn't one of them.

First of all, the minimum latency to any point on earth (barring drilling through the core) is around 60ms, which is significant when it adds up with monitor delay, wireless controller input and every thing else.

As it stands, the minimum ping I get to the USA (where the majority of these things are hosted; even if they aren't it'll still be at least 60ms to Sydney) is 220, so cloud gaming will not be viable unless they build up a significant audience in the USA that makes it worthwhile to expand into other countries.

Assuming that's streaming anyway (i.e. processing the data on a server) and not just uploading all the stuff to go onto your RAM from the internet, then that's not so bad and could be viable as a cheap way to 'rent' games.

 

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