Nintendo Underestimated the Cost of Going HD

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OlasDAlmighty:
Someone please remind me, why is HD important again? Seriously Nintendo, stop going down the dead end route that Sony and Microsoft are stumbling toward. You'll never be the most powerful and in the process you're just making everything harder and more expensive, which in turn means fewer and less risky games.

It isn't integral, but TVs nowadays are produced with either only an HDMI port or component cables and more and more TVs are moving away from SD so Nintendo was going to have to change eventually. Unfortunately MS set the standard for HD and having consoles be in HD so Nintendo would have to have no other choice but to eventually change.
Nintendo should have done at least some research into this in the past as they had plenty of opportunity to do so.

Nintendo goofed by not paying attention to the growing pains of the competition. Simple as.

However, to their credit, they're a company who readily admit their faults while rarely crowing over their successes (except Reggie). And in this case, I think part of the problem isn't just the shift to HD development, but the fact that Nintendo take their time developing games anyway. They've delayed plenty of games before they ever touched HD, so it would be silly to think they wouldn't delay games now. The last time they rushed out a mainline Nintendo game, we got Super Mario Sunshine.

Nintendo just operates on Nintendo time like Valve operates on Valve time. Not quite as extreme, perhaps, but they still like taking their time. And the games are nearly always worth it as a result.

Mmm interrestingly next gen hasn't really made game installations that much huger. I mean GTA IV was about 10. GTA V probably will also be around 10. So storage wise isn't that much huger.

That aside, yeah HD takes more.. that is why stylized graphics was so much easier. It didn't have to look real as long as you could give it a nice style!

But yes even then just stretching graphics doesn't do it does it. I do hope Nintendo does work things out, they are important on the games market.

This is rather unfortunate. I hope they get themselves sorted out so that the WiiU will be a lot better for when I decide to go and buy it. Just needs a few exclusives to release, then we're good, but it needs to survive afterwards. I love Nintendo, so I pray it all turns out fine in the end

IshimaruHayato:
Will Nintendo freak out when we tell them after HD is Blu-ray?

Umm... the WiiU uses Blu-Ray.

OT: I have to hand it to them for their honesty, though I can't help but wonder if this is a distraction from the fact that a lot of games still aren't out, and this must be an admission that a lot are going to take even longer to develop. Oh well, you shiv and burn.

I still support my purchase of the WiiU and am giddy every time I boot it up seeing new titles on the WiiUshop every day :D

Ugh. I respect Nintendo on a moral level, but I wish they'd COMPETE. I look at Nintendo and say "this is how other companies should treat their customers." Then I see they're releasing the same six franchises and I get bored. Oh well, I'm going to go play The Last of Us some more.

BiH-Kira:

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

I... you... are you serious?
No really, are you serious because I certainly can't say if this is sarcasm or not.

Yes, I'm serious. See my replies to the other posters below.

CrystalShadow:

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

OK, seriously? It's not the resolution.

'HD' is not merely a higher resolution. IT's all the extra texture and model details needed because of the extra resolution.

Try running a game from 2000 or so at 1280 by 1024 or higher on a PC... They don't have the detail compared to 'HD' games...

Resolution is simply an easy label to use to describe a massive increase in graphical detail level. (And cost in making graphical resources is more or less proportional to the amount of detail involved.)

And I will maintain that all that extra detail is simply not necessary for the game to look good. See also the next quoted post.

Dexter111:

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

Yep, Nintendo is bullshitting to try and hide their mediocre output so far. :P Although what they refer to is probably the extended scope of the gamedesign in comparison to other competitors. Anything that is rendered in 3D and even most 2D stuff will look better "in HD" no matter how much or less detail there is, it'll be sharper.
Even simple stuff like this looks better in 1080p: http://u.cubeupload.com/palutena/GZLE01133.png

Every single Wii game runs "in HD" on a PC and looks stunningly better: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=395121
This thread is filled with Screenshots and examples.

Other than that you could also type "Dolphin Emulator 1080p" in Google and see what you come up with: http://www.google.com/#q=dolphin+emulator+1080p&source=univ&tbm=vid&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=PFPYUaiMO47Psga56oCACg&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQqwQ&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.48705608,d.Yms&fp=ccb626272f92d105&biw=1904&bih=841

Couldn't have put it better myself. Yes, running older console games in emulators on the PC or older PC games after setting the resolution higher than you would have used 10-15 years ago look significantly better, especially if your graphics hardware is fast enough to also use anti-aliasing.

Roxor:

BiH-Kira:

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

I... you... are you serious?
No really, are you serious because I certainly can't say if this is sarcasm or not.

Yes, I'm serious. See my replies to the other posters below.

CrystalShadow:

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

OK, seriously? It's not the resolution.

'HD' is not merely a higher resolution. IT's all the extra texture and model details needed because of the extra resolution.

Try running a game from 2000 or so at 1280 by 1024 or higher on a PC... They don't have the detail compared to 'HD' games...

Resolution is simply an easy label to use to describe a massive increase in graphical detail level. (And cost in making graphical resources is more or less proportional to the amount of detail involved.)

And I will maintain that all that extra detail is simply not necessary for the game to look good. See also the next quoted post.

Dexter111:

Roxor:
This business of costing more to make when bumping up the screen resolution is bullshit. You can do it on any PC game just by changing the screen resolution in the game's settings or editing the configuration file.

Yep, Nintendo is bullshitting to try and hide their mediocre output so far. :P Although what they refer to is probably the extended scope of the gamedesign in comparison to other competitors. Anything that is rendered in 3D and even most 2D stuff will look better "in HD" no matter how much or less detail there is, it'll be sharper.
Even simple stuff like this looks better in 1080p: http://u.cubeupload.com/palutena/GZLE01133.png

Every single Wii game runs "in HD" on a PC and looks stunningly better: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=395121
This thread is filled with Screenshots and examples.

Other than that you could also type "Dolphin Emulator 1080p" in Google and see what you come up with: http://www.google.com/#q=dolphin+emulator+1080p&source=univ&tbm=vid&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=PFPYUaiMO47Psga56oCACg&sqi=2&ved=0CDIQqwQ&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.48705608,d.Yms&fp=ccb626272f92d105&biw=1904&bih=841

Couldn't have put it better myself. Yes, running older console games in emulators on the PC or older PC games after setting the resolution higher than you would have used 10-15 years ago look significantly better, especially if your graphics hardware is fast enough to also use anti-aliasing.

I've routinely run old games at much higher resolutions and honestly, I disagree completely.
For that matter, I've run newer games at very low resolutions too.

Personally, I find the exact opposite. Resolution doesn't do much at all. Running a game with better geometry, lighting, shadow detail and textures does far more for the experience than merely increasing the resolution.

In fact, I'd rather lower the resolution if it means increasing the detail some other way than increase the resolution at the expense of detail.

In other words, my opinion here is diametrically opposed to yours.

As a mainly PC gamer i can't help but look at this whole "HD/SD" business and chuckle a little. My monitor has technically been HD for about a decade now. I get that gaming consoles have severely limited resources but surely they realise that having a console that isn't basically still a gamecube would incur extra costs/ manpower to adapt to.

Nintendo are at a disadvantage, they have had zero experience in the HD world. It's not simply a question of "More pixels = more cost" it about the price of adapting to any advancement in technology. Modern Nintendo is a slow moving dinosaur of a company. As evidenced by... well everything they do.

Its not so much going HD its refusing to go HD that cost them.... Since they refuse to adapt they are paying for it now being a game desert.

Scrumpmonkey:
As a mainly PC gamer i can't help but look at this whole "HD/SD" business and chuckle a little. My monitor has technically been HD for about a decade now.

And even then, you've had a higher resolution screen for ages.Modern Nintendo is a slow moving dinosaur of a company. As evidenced by... well everything they do.

More specifically, they're a bunch of cheapskates. They build cheaper consoles they won't take a loss on, for te most part. Not only have Nintendo fans adapted, but they actively defend the process as being necessary, despite Nintendo being huge and more than capable of short term loss for long term gain. (almost typed "game" there)

And that always puts them behind the curve. Though the dinsaurs bit may be partially accurate in that I don't know how they didn't think new technology wasn't going to have these issues.

ZippyDSMlee:
Its not so much going HD its refusing to go HD that cost them.... Since they refuse to adapt they are paying for it now being a game desert.

Pretty good points. Had they gone HD last gen, they would have experience, and less issues with it. Then again, i stand by my "Nintendo is cheap" philosophy, so there's a decent chance they'd still have trouble adapting. I mean, just look at their internal storage solution: on the basic model, the system update pretty much fills the thing. And they want to sell HD content to people.

I wouldn't be surprised to find they even skimped on the Tablet, which seems to be the only expensive part of the unit.

The term HD makes me laugh. It's just a resolution difference but people act like they went from making cheeseburgers to space shuttles.

Nintendo gets no sympathy from me (and I imagine they don't seek sympathy either). They are a generation late to the 720p party and should have spent that time learning from others.

Ok I'm sorry if I come off a little harsh but a whole lot of people here are completely ignorant of what HD means in the context Nintendo is using it here. You could take a N64 game and run it in "HD" but this is not what Nintendo is talking about. Compare a N64 game running on an emulator at 1080p to Gears of War at 1080p.

The Gears of War type HD is what Nintendo is talking about, and that has little to do with outputting the gameplay to 1080p. Anyone can do that, that's not the issue.
The issue is the fact that in order to get that kind of visual quality, they have to change their workflows completely just so they can make the kinds of games that everyone else have been doing for a while. They kind of need to do this too in order to win back the core gamers, the WiiU isn't selling well and old standard definition games aren't really going to cut it anymore.
But they have absolutely no experience with this new way of doing things because it's a completely different workflow from what they're used to, hence why they're having trouble.

To give a quick example of the type of work they now have to do (and why they're so unprepared)...the Marcus Fenix 3d model in Gears of War is about 15,000 polygons while Link in Twilight Princess was about 6900. So the Fenix model is more detailed right off the bat, but that's not the issue.

To make the Link 3d model, they probably made the 3d model by hand, then they painted a texture for it in photoshop or whatever, and more or less voila. And that's about how they've done their games since the N64 days.

Marcus Fenix on the other hand? The detail was obtained by a 3d sculpture of the character of between oh say 10-40 million polygons, which some artist had to sculpt by hand. The idea is that you sculpt a master object and then lower the detail until it works in-game. This way you don't have to do the same work multiple times if you want to use it for film or cutscenes or close-ups or whatever.

The detail then gets transferred into a special texture that gets applied the original 15,000 polygon model, making it look like the 10-40 million poly model. And if you don't have them already, you need to write shaders to interpret that special detail texture (called a normal map) to make the detail appear in-game.

Alright, now do that process for every object you can ever see in the game. Characters, environments, weapons, plants, enemies, everything. From scratch. Yeah. And that's why Nintendo's having trouble. It's a lot of work even when you're completely familiar with the workflow and Nintendo...has never done this before.

And note: this is the industry standard way of doing things in pretty much any major modern Xbox 360/PS3 title you can think of, from Skyrim, to Call of Duty, to Bioshock, to Mass Effect, to Dead Space, to Mirror's Edge. Nintendo is trying to catch up with that.

Zachary Amaranth:

Scrumpmonkey:
As a mainly PC gamer i can't help but look at this whole "HD/SD" business and chuckle a little. My monitor has technically been HD for about a decade now.

And even then, you've had a higher resolution screen for ages.Modern Nintendo is a slow moving dinosaur of a company. As evidenced by... well everything they do.

More specifically, they're a bunch of cheapskates. They build cheaper consoles they won't take a loss on, for te most part. Not only have Nintendo fans adapted, but they actively defend the process as being necessary, despite Nintendo being huge and more than capable of short term loss for long term gain. (almost typed "game" there)

Except Nintendo have already said that they were taking a loss on the Wii U when it launched.

The reason people defend their reluctance to go full loss-leader on their consoles is because it's a damn stupid financial strategy. Sony had a huge warchest saved up from the PS2, a console they managed to sell at a good profit. The PS3 selling at a loss burned through that entire warchest, and ended up putting Sony's entire gaming division in the red this generation to the sum of several billion dollars.

If Sony didn't have other divisions to subsidise their games, the Playstation brand would have gone bankrupt years ago. Nintendo doesn't have other divisions outside their games division, so they can't subsidise stupidly huge hardware losses like Sony can.

Interestingly, Nintendo is the only company out of the big three to have consistently posted a profit this generation. I don't know about you, but I would quite like videogaming to remain a viable industry in the future, and that requires hardware makers are actually able to keep making consoles viable to produce. Nintendo do that. Sony and Microsoft do not.

Zachary Amaranth:

Scrumpmonkey:
As a mainly PC gamer i can't help but look at this whole "HD/SD" business and chuckle a little. My monitor has technically been HD for about a decade now.

And even then, you've had a higher resolution screen for ages.Modern Nintendo is a slow moving dinosaur of a company. As evidenced by... well everything they do.

More specifically, they're a bunch of cheapskates. They build cheaper consoles they won't take a loss on, for te most part. Not only have Nintendo fans adapted, but they actively defend the process as being necessary, despite Nintendo being huge and more than capable of short term loss for long term gain. (almost typed "game" there)

And that always puts them behind the curve. Though the dinsaurs bit may be partially accurate in that I don't know how they didn't think new technology wasn't going to have these issues.

ZippyDSMlee:
Its not so much going HD its refusing to go HD that cost them.... Since they refuse to adapt they are paying for it now being a game desert.

Pretty good points. Had they gone HD last gen, they would have experience, and less issues with it. Then again, i stand by my "Nintendo is cheap" philosophy, so there's a decent chance they'd still have trouble adapting. I mean, just look at their internal storage solution: on the basic model, the system update pretty much fills the thing. And they want to sell HD content to people.

I wouldn't be surprised to find they even skimped on the Tablet, which seems to be the only expensive part of the unit.

I dunno they are either cheap or have a do not follow the competition mindset. But even then they would have to see the need and change. So I guess cheap and stubborn is it.

Hell, The Wii U didn't need HD graphics in my personal opinion, it just needed gallops of room to make some fantastic things, I don't need your tiny grain details or intricate details so fucking small I forget to care, hell my favourite game of all time, Klonoa 2, doesn't look good because of textures or tremendously tiny details, it looks nice because the masterful work of the klonoa team KNOW aesthetics, the music was beautiful, the particle effects were pretty, the LIGHTING made everything feel alive and breathing, if you ask me assholes like the guys at Crytek have no idea how to make a good game, they always feel like a cardboard box covered in glitter, real pretty and shiny but the level of immersion is pathetic, it is always nailed home how much of a GAME it is rather than a experience, and they need to forget graphical intensity and focus on what made gaming in the first place: batshit crazy ideas lead by amazing game designers, a good idea led by amazing people has made history more than once, let's keep it up!

stabnex:

IshimaruHayato:
Will Nintendo freak out when we tell them after HD is Blu-ray?

Umm... the WiiU uses Blu-Ray.

Yes and no. They use a special type of Bluray disc developed by Panasonic that can only be single layered and can only hold up to 25GB, which is weird because they could have easily developed a version that can hold more space since Panasonic helped them. The discs can only be read on Nintendo's own optical disc drives. The Wii U itself does not have a Bluray drive, but a modified Nintendo Optical Drive which is why the Wii U can't play Bluray DVDs as well as regular DVDs.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Except Nintendo have already said that they were taking a loss on the Wii U when it launched.

I like how you always selectively ignore parts of my posts. "For the most part" means...Well, for the mot part.

Sony had a huge warchest saved up from the PS2, a console they managed to sell at a good profit. The PS3 selling at a loss burned through that entire warchest, and ended up putting Sony's entire gaming division in the red this generation to the sum of several billion dollars.

That's kind of a bad example, as the big reason they went so far in the red was to push BD. Of course, you probably know that.

If Sony didn't have other divisions to subsidise their games, the Playstation brand would have gone bankrupt years ago. Nintendo doesn't have other divisions outside their games division, so they can't subsidise stupidly huge hardware losses like Sony can.

If Sony didn't have other divisions, the PS3 wouldn't have launched a year late for the price it did pushing Blu-Ray. Even Jack Tretton bragged about the BD functionality above all else, because that was the overarching narrative.

I don't know about you, but I would quite like videogaming to remain a viable industry in the future

So would I. that's why I'd like consoles on the market that actually push games, rather than ones that people buy for the pack-in and pout in a box six months later. But hell, you're undercutting yourself.

ZippyDSMlee:

I dunno they are either cheap or have a do not follow the competition mindset. But even then they would have to see the need and change. So I guess cheap and stubborn is it.

Nintendo was one of the big perpetrators of price fixing in the 80s. It was evident that they didn't learn their lesson up to the Gamecube era at the very least. "Because fuck you, that's why" seemed to be their stock answer to developers, publishers, and fans. Well, anyone who wanted more than Smash Brothers, anyway.

So yeah, they don't have a competitive mindset. I suppose being worshiped in Japan, even when you can't give your consle away elsewhere, will do that to you. Then again, the apologetics seem to be indicating one successful cycle is sufficient to let Nintendo coast for, well....Probably forever.

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