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Analyst: Wii Is 'Fool's Gold' For Game Investors
Analyst: Wii Is 'Fool's Gold' For Game Investors
April 8, 2009 | By Staff

April 8, 2009 | By Staff
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In Gamasutra's new analyst column 'Analyze This', Cowen & Company's Doug Creutz says that despite Wii's massive installed base, its market may be just "fool's gold" to game company investors, who still find the PS3/Xbox 360 dev combination compelling.

At a glance, developing Wii games may look like the best investment thanks to its dominant market share. But when asked how he'd rate investing in development for current platforms, game market financial analyst Creutz explains:

"The choice here is really between investing for the Xbox 360 and PS3 -- since their capabilities are fairly similar -- or the Wii. I would caution investors and developers that the larger installed base of the Wii is really a bit of a red herring.

In the U.S., there is a 19-million unit installed base for the Wii versus 22-million units combined for the 360 and PS3. Assuming some overlap in the 360/PS3 installed bases, they're roughly equivalent.

In addition, Nintendo is the dominant publisher on the Wii with over one-third of software market share on its platform. Guitar Hero and Rock Band account for one-sixth of sales.

So the addressable market for third-party Wii titles is only about half of what the installed base would imply. The situation on the 360/PS3 is less daunting, with less than a quarter of software dollar share going to first-party publishers and Guitar Hero/Rock Band.

The other issue is that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are AAA-oriented platforms, while the Wii is casual-oriented. There is a very clear correlation between game quality and unit sales on the 360/PS3, while there is very little correlation on the Wii, at least for third-party games.

Thus, in some sense you have more control over your fate on the 360/PS3 if you can come up with a high-quality game. Whereas on the Wii, it's a bit of a crapshoot for what works and what doesn't.

I think the Wii installed base represents, to a certain extent, fool's gold for someone looking to invest in video game development.

You're rolling the dice on succeeding in a market which has proved very resistant to generating meaningful hits away from Nintendo titles and the music genre."


In thefull Gamasutra article on the subject Ed Barton of Screen Digest and Billy Pidgeon of IDC also weigh in on the questions, also discussing the iPhone as a gaming platform and regional investment possibilities.


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Comments


Casey Thorp
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I believe that not investing in Wii games has created a shortfall of games selections for the console. It seems there is far more opportunity for a smaller investments to lead to greater returns with Wii games.



In my opinion, the real fool's gold is investing in a AAA title in production. There is no such thing. AAA titles are determined after sales. Anyone remember Big Game Hunter? That was a AAA title game because it was cheap and appealed to the masses and was distributed by Wal-Mart, and is the basis of that store chain being seen as an important distributor of games.



The problem with most marketing is they are blinded by the numbers. One game's success is earmarked as a reference to the potential of game sales, but the other forty titles on the shelf are forgotten about.



We need to make games that have mass appeal and are easily attainable by the masses. Lower prices and simpler mechanics equals mass appeal.



So, make games that are $60 a pop and run on hardware that costs $400 and potentially appeals to a demographic that has a rough base of 22million people in the U.S., or make games that are $30 a pop, run on hardware that costs $200 and has potential appeal to a demographic that as a rough base of 280million people in the U.S. ...hmm... decisions, decisions...

Bob McIntyre
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Casey, I think that "AAA" is usually used to mean "big-budget and with high production values," not "sold lots of units." I don't know exactly how many dollars it takes to cross the line, or how you rate the production quality, but I think that how well a game sells is not the determining factor.

Otto Persson
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"In addition, Nintendo is the dominant publisher on the Wii with over one-third of software market share on its platform. Guitar Hero and Rock Band account for one-sixth of sales.



So the addressable market for third-party Wii titles is only about half of what the installed base would imply. The situation on the 360/PS3 is less daunting, with less than a quarter of software dollar share going to first-party publishers and Guitar Hero/Rock Band."





Are those figures true? Because I read an article that compared PS3 to 360, the author of that article wrote that the PS3 more or less was doomed because it was too expensive and because Sony actually published most of the AAA titles for the PS3, titles such as Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet.

So in that sense, when it comes to the publishing aspect of titles for the consoles, Sony is pretty much in a similar spot as Nintendo. The difference is that Sony doesn't create the games themselves (except for some titles like GoW 3), Nintendo does. So there's a lot more revenue for Nintendo in that sense. Sony instead buys great IP from third party developers, and helps to publish them, in an attempt to try and stay afloat (and considering Japan, it seems to work).

Fools gold? I think it's a shame that Madworld didn't perform great, I do; maybe Nintendo should have gone in and done some advertising for the game, since they need to show to the world that the console really have some games for the core gamer as well, I mean, because Nintendo have effectively branded the console a console for the masses that don't enjoy too much violence or long play sessions with "hard to master, button-mashing" gameplay. So in that sense, maybe Nintendo need to make some commercials that focused on these more hardcore games, with a less "familyfriendly" style to them.

Schizophrenic? Hey, ever heard of targeted adds?

But anyways, I don't see Wii as fools gold, and now with the advent of the Motion+ there really is no excuse for not making cool, truly original games for the console.

A final note on the whole "AAA titles not selling on Wii", one has to take into account the fact that Madworld isn't maximizing the graphics potential for the console. Some textures seem to be a bit too blurry, but I could be wrong. But if we are comparing AAA titles on respective console, cost has to be determining factor, and I'm not sure where Madworld would place in that case.

Casey Thorp
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It refers to both from what i understand, but initially it meant units sold. Peggle is a AAA title game. I think the problem in definition is the line got blurred between AAA title and AAA production or development. I used to work for a AAA development, but our title did not turn out to be AAA.



Our marketing person said they wanted a AAA game. We asked what he meant by AAA. He said having the game on a magazine cover constitutes a AAA title.



So, basically it boils down to perception. I perceive a AAA title being one that has sold mass units, someone else perceives it as production quality, and someone else perceives it as being on a magazine cover.



Either way, its a silly issue of perception that causes too much confusion in our industry, and because of such probably should be left out of potential conversations with potential investors.

Russell Carroll
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Cost is of development is one thing...



...but being able to make games for the Wii/PS2 is another one not noted here. The similarities in the graphical capabilities make for an easy way to reacy a very large install base (with some cross-over). Additionaly, many games are being made for Wii/PS2/PSP, which only further expands the potential market.



Unfortunately, the visuals then tend toward to lowest powered system (either the PSP or PS2), which leads to an inferior product on the Wii (compared to what certainly can and has been done). This can negatively impact sales on the Wii and indeed has a negative impact on the console's image for both publishers (low sales) and customers (why do we get crappy PSP ports) alike.



Still, the article not mentioning the ready ability and fact that developers are making PS2/Wii titles and that it then is much more favorable in terms of audience size than the X360/PS3 market makes the entire article and point unravel. What type of ignorance was involved? Active or Passive? If the analyst didn't know this fact, then they aren't much of an analyst. If they did and didn't mention it, they are biased and the information they provide is likely to not be as useful as they'd wish.

Mike Lunger
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It has nothing to do with sales only the production values of said game. The biggest reason its fools gold is that xbox 360sells more than twice as many games and gaming wares. Nintendo is were they should be in the industry, they have finally realized that they make very good games for children and non hardcore gamers. Although there are more of the "softcore core" gamers the money lies with the hardcore gamer who will buy 12+ games a year not the softcore gamer who loves his wii bowling and may get 2 games a year. I feel sorry for the fanboy who will never see the old Nintendo back due to the FACT that most hardcore gamers play PC, XBOX 360 or PS3.

John Palamarchuk
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@ Otto



"Are those figures true? Because I read an article that compared PS3 to 360, the author of that article wrote that the PS3 more or less was doomed because it was too expensive and because Sony actually published most of the AAA titles for the PS3, titles such as Killzone 2, LittleBigPlanet.

So in that sense, when it comes to the publishing aspect of titles for the consoles, Sony is pretty much in a similar spot as Nintendo. The difference is that Sony doesn't create the games themselves (except for some titles like GoW 3), Nintendo does. "



You are clearly confused. Killzone 2 was made by a Sony first party studio.



Sony has 17 first party studios located around the world.

Nintendo has 8, less than half.



Sony doesn't buy great IPs from 3rd parties, that's Microsoft, who has a piddly 5 first party studios. Gears of War, Ninja Blade, Too Human and Mass Effect all say hello. Published by MS, developed by a 3rd party.

Bob McIntyre
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Otto, what does "MotionPlus" have to do with anything? The MotionPlus add-on lets the Wii Remote sense angle. The PS3's SixAxis has done this since it was first released, and almost no game actually uses the functionality. It's just an annoying gimmick, it's not actually a good idea for most games. To get back to my main question, why should "now the remote can sense what angle it's pointed at if you bought this add-on!" mean that suddenly third parties should be able to do better on the platform? I don't see how it helps any of the core issues here at all.

eddie Del Rio
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This kind of thinking is what has led to huge inflated development cost and companies not making money. Majority of 360 titles just don't make back the money even when they cost even when they are considered AAA titles.



The Industry needs to change if it wants to get back into the cash positive. I don't see that happening any time soon. Huge budgets and sixty dollar titles are not going to help anyone.

Mike Lunger
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eddie Most game companies make money if they didnt they wouldn't make games for xbox 360, ps3 or pc. they do not live in the world of goverments where they spend more than they make, they make money and lots of it the ones that dont will go out of buiesness as they should. the game industry is set to make 20 billion this yr.

eddie Del Rio
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Most company's spent more then they have made the last few years. Most have not been profitable. Hence the big call last year from all the major studios about huge development cost and the massive amounts of closures and layoffs.



You need to look at the industry as a whole and not just the few big AAA that did well.



The industry is bringing in 20 billion a year, but how much did they invest? How much of that 20 billion is profit?

Carl Chavez
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I'm sick of Doug Creutz. As previously demonstrated on Gamasutra several times (for example, http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20209, where he bases his statement only on first-week sales of Madden versus the wrongness of his argument when looking at Madden's long-term sales), his statements and predictions are inaccurate or misleading.



His latest red herring? "There is a very clear correlation between game quality and unit sales on the 360/PS3, while there is very little correlation on the Wii, at least for third-party games." There is also very little correlation between game reviewers, on whom Mr. Creutz bases "game quality" through review scores, and the preferences of Wii users who purchase software. His argument is like saying "there is a very clear correlation between food quality and unit sales at my favorite specialty grocery store, while there is very little correlation at the local chain grocery, at least for non-store brands." Of course there's a correlation between quality and sales in a specialty market! Conversely, the market with more diversity and its own store brand still sells crates full of junk like Twinkies, Wonder bread, Lay's potato chips, and Pabst Blue Ribbon.



I think it's more important for investors to examine how well their potential investment target manages its spending in development, publishing, and marketing, so they can determine whether their ROI will be positive even with a conservative estimate of sales numbers. Note that the platform doesn't matter for this advice. Even in the gaming industry, diversification of investment is still the best way to go. Don't invest in one game on one platform. Invest in multiple games, on multiple platforms, with different audiences and genres. Just invest with some intelligence, and don't drop money on something with low ROI and high risk.

Roberto Alfonso
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So there are around 6 million people in USA who bought Wii only for Nintendo games, and another 3 that only bought it for Rock Band/Guitar Hero?



Bob, you cannot compare the Sixaxis with the Wii Remote. One is an old PS2 controller with a last minute addition, the other is probably a four or five year development. What game could possibly use all the possibilities of the Sixaxis?



I see he compares the Wii userbase with the HD userbase. When the Wii was launched it used to be compared against the PS3 base, then against the Xbox 360 base, now against both. I wonder what would people do once the Wii install base duplicates the HD userbase. Also, many developers create PS2 and PSP versions, so it could be 70 million against 20 million.



From what I see, the market is divided between those who want to compare themselves against Hollywood with superproductions that take years to execute (and which may not recover the invested money) and those that focus on building good experiences no matter the scale. There is a reason about why the most innovative games in the last years, like Little Big Planet, World of Goo, Braid and others, were produced by small developers.

Mike Lunger
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When taken as a whole the average profit margin in the USA is 8% some companies come in above or below that. Take the gaming industry they make an average of 15-18% one of the better industries to be in. Microsoft as a whole makes one of the worlds best at 75-80%. You also have one other thing backward. MOST gaming companies make money as with MOST companies, only the very biggest can lose money for more than a couple quaters let alone a couple of years it is simple math. The gaming industry is going thru a restructre it is a lot more competative than it has ever been. The industry in its infancy and the companies that make poor games and spend to much money will be gone.

Bob McIntyre
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Roberto, I don't understand why I can't compare them. In terms of motion data (ignoring the "pointer" function), the SixAxis is actually more advanced than the Wii Remote without Wii MotionPlus. As for what game would attempt to use the SixAxis heavily, well...Lair? Gesture-based controls just aren't good for games in general. There may be some games where it's a good idea, but I noticed that Nintendo was advertising the "Classic Controller Pro" a little while ago. That controller has almost exactly the same layout as the DualShock! The fact that Nintendo would produce that for the Wii says something, don't you think?



Even when (if) the Wii reaches the install base size that you mentioned, the real issue with it is that it's primarily sold to people who don't buy or play many games. They seem to buy the system and whatever product Nintendo is pitching at the time, and then drop off, only really returning for the next big Nintendo thing. That doesn't help third parties. If I sell ten consoles to people who buy twenty games each, that's better for the third-party developers than if I were to sell fifty consoles to people who buy two games each.



I agree with the overall idea in your last paragraph. The smaller companies are more able to be flexible and try genuinely new ideas. Bigger companies never seem to work that way.

Fábio Bernardon
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Bob, the SixAxis controller is inferior to the Wii-Remote without the motion plus. The wii-remote does a great job while capturing the angle it has (or do you think Mario Kart works with magic)? What it does a poor job is in determining the offset the controller has moved. That is what the Motion Plus is supposed to fix. Regarding the Classic Controller, it is intended to be used primarily with VC titles - but developers can optionally also support it in their games.



Regarding the game sales, if I'm not mistaken the Wii sells more software than the X360, but at a lower attach rate. But I could be mistaken, it has been a while that I heard that, and it was not a very accurate source. The issue with the Wii is that the profit is spread across the huge variety of games it offers, and not concentrated on a few blockbuster titles. Thus, if you want to increase your chances of making at least some profit, the Wii should be taken seriously.

Bob McIntyre
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Fabio, if what you're saying is correct, then the two are equal. Also, the Wii Motion Plus does not accurately capture movement distance. Watch their demo videos, you can see that they have to hit the "reset" button on the controller after every motion, and the on-screen controller frequently goes flying across the virtual room. The Classic Controller Pro wouldn't make sense with VC titles. What VC system has dual-analog support? I could be wrong here, so please let me know if I am.



That's all somewhat off-topic, though. My main point was what you addressed in your second paragraph. The purchases are spread across many users, and users who buy, for example, a second Wii Remote are usually also counted as a "Wii Play purchase." Users who bought a Wii to get Wii Fit are counted as a "Wii Fit purchase." If a user only buys two games (not counting Wii Sports), and one of them is Wii Play, then that means that the user was only really in the market for one additional (potentially third-party) game. I'm suggesting that third parties are having a tough time not because of the raw volume of sales being too low, but because of the way that the sales are counted and distributed.

Roberto Alfonso
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Bob, the SixAxis is not intended to be a motion sensing controller. For example, you can drive ships or cars by moving the controller to one side or the other. Or small movements like strafing. But what about tennis, can you play tennis with it in a easy way? You either have to grip it with a single hand or with both. What about golf? And it cannot be used as a pointer, since you need to grip it with both hands. That is why the Wii Remote is different. That motion sensing has failed for PS3 doesn't have to do with the fact that the technology is "gimmick" but with the fact that the PS3 controller are not intended to be natural.



From what we know, the attach ratio of Wii is almost the same as the attach rate of PS3, without including Wii Sports nor Wii Play into it (although Wii Play is played for 10 hours in average, which is more than several full games). And Nintendo will have a higher attach rate than other developers individually (although third party developers sell more games than Nintendo when combined, according to what has been explained previously). The problem for third parties is that the production values of Nintendo are much above the production values of third parties in Wii (and of many of them in PS3 and Xbox 360 as well). Companies don't spend enough resources to develop good games for Wii, and they are crushed by Nintendo offering. I don't just talk about good looking games, Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 for Wii was probably the best soccer game ever created with its pointing feature to control the whole team instead of a singular player.



Now, Bob, are you saying that Nintendo is launching the Classic Controller Pro because the Wii Remote failed and people will stop developing for it? Or just because they redesigned the Classic Controller that has been sold for over 2 years just like they have been redesigning their consoles? I think you missed the point of this new controller: it is not meant to replace the Wii Remote, just replace the Classic Controller so that people have another option when playing in the Virtual Console.



It kind of tickles me when I think that dual analog controllers, for Nintendo, are used to play games from the Virtual Console... as in, they are a residual from the past ;-) In the future, all the consoles will be controlled with gestures and motion sensing. Nintendo just made existing technology to pass through that door.

E Zachary Knight
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Bob,



I think you are confused about what the Classic Controller Plus is. The CCP is merely a reshaped classic controller. It was redesigned to make it more comfortable to reach all the buttons. The Analog sticks are the same featured on the Classic Controller.



Next, the reason 3rd parties are having a hard time is because they are not sure how to handle the Wii's overall user base. That is why so many crappy games are made. They don't want to sink in a ton of development time and money into something they are not even sure will be a hit with the Wii's user base.



Of course the 360/PS3 will be a better investment for established studios as those audiences have already been read and primed. Developers know what works and what doesn't for those gamers.



I don't think the Wii is such a bad investment, but it does require more R&D than most publishers/investors are willing to pay for.

eddie Del Rio
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If you count Nintendo and Rockband and of course Microsoft then yes, the industry is looking great. I think we all know that Nintendo had the most profitable year out of the bunch.



So yes, if we continue as we are going, a lot more companies are going to close down. But at least we know Nintendo and microsoft will be fine for a while. I don't know how that helps out a majority of us though.



The idea is not to back one console, but be smart across all of them.



100 mill spent on a game is pretty insane for something that has a shelf life of only a month or so. Yes, you can pull out numbers for a small amount of titles that did well, but that is a teeny tiny amount compared to all the games that are produced. Developers need to come back down to reality and realize they are not making films. This is not Hollywood, this is games.

Carl Chavez
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Bob, if you're going to use the attach rate argument to show weak software sales on the Wii, we'll have to do some math.



Xbox 360 attach rate, Feb 2009: 8.2-ish with 30% of the install base = 2.46 sold per total install base

PS3 attach rate, Feb 2009: 5.5-ish with 20% of the install base = 1.1 sold per total install base

Wii attach rate, Feb 2009: 5.5-ish with 50% of the install base = 2.75 sold per total install base



The resulting amount is the number of units sold when compared to the total available install base. In other words, more games are sold on the Wii platform than on the other two platforms. If one wishes to combine Xbox 360 and PS3 numbers to simulate "HD" vs Wii sales, HD gets 3.56 and Wii gets 2.75, but then you have to factor in the additional development costs. In that case, an HD game must be at most 23% more expensive to develop than a Wii game to maintain a profit, *if* profit is based on attach rate.



Of course, I'm just doing this to prove that attach rate is largely meaningless, because the numbers can be manipulated to show lots of lies. What really matters to developers, publishers, and investors is very simple: the likelihood that their game will earn more revenue on a particular platform(s) than the total development cost. That statistic is not tracked by analysts, statisticians, or console war forum dwellers because game companies generally keep that kind of information confidential. Stardock is one of the few companies to publicly release that kind of information, and, well, their numbers clearly show that game developers and investors are most successful when they know their market, develop for their market, and sell to their market.

Bob Stevens
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"Next, the reason 3rd parties are having a hard time is because they are not sure how to handle the Wii's overall user base. That is why so many crappy games are made. They don't want to sink in a ton of development time and money into something they are not even sure will be a hit with the Wii's user base."



I dunno, it seems like you can make games that should appeal to the Wii userbase on every level and they won't sell. I'm not convinced anyone can really predict how well specific Wii games will sell.



So many crappy games are being made for a few reasons:

1) The controller sucks for many genres. People are porting games over and adding motion controls that are stupid because they don't have a better option. Best strategy on Wii is to start with the controller and build a game around either its motion controls or its lack of buttons, but existing genres rarely work out well.



2) A lot of development teams moved over to "next-gen" practices at significant cost and effort and it's understandable if they aren't enthusiastic about going back to "last-gen" to develop on the Wii. It's the odd man out and while it can be cheap to develop for, it can be a significant challenge to port to. Most games are multiplatform for very good practical reasons, so the Wii gets screwed over a bit here.



3) For 3rd parties it's far from a guarantee that your game will sell on Wii, even if you nail it.

Stephen Chin
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In general, it seems to be a matter of perception. There's a jumble of perceptions about the Wii and that causes all sorts of stuff to happen. Gimmicky controls, non- or mis- awareness of what sort of userbase the Wii has, AAA (whatever that's suppose to imply) mentality, trying to re-invent the wheel because of the Wii's controls, and so forth.



Taking just the statement about AAA vs casual demographic, that's really just trying to say that the Wii lacks a hardcore audience. After all, a number of casual games have been AAA and vice versa. And that said, there are games that are certainly very hardcore on the Wii. Just that the perception (or the image of the Wii) seems to deter people from considering them hardcore but some sort of difficult casual game.

Roberto Alfonso
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Bob, I will give you a fourth reason about why there are not enough AAA games for Wii: AAA games need two, three or more years to be developed, and no third party went for Wii when they launched. They only did so when they noticed Wii was serious business, and that happened between 2007 and 2008. Therefore, it is not possible to expect third parties to develop AAA games when they have just realized the platform was a serious contender. Already Square Enix is betting big with Dragon Quest X, Capcom with Monster Hunter 3, etc.



I prefer this point of view, which makes pretty sense.

Otto Persson
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@ John Palamarchuk



Okey, clearly I was out of the loop, but in that case it shows something else I guess :) That Sony is spending money on new IP and distributing them, but that they still aren't reaching out to enough people (they're after the hardcore demographic, and these people aren't that rich, they are willing to spend a lot of money on games, but if the console costs as much as the PS3 does they definitely will buy a 360 instead).



So you have a console which is the wet dream of a typical hardcore gamer, but that's just too expensive, so all this money that Sony has poured into the PS3 fiasco isn't really ever going to pay off. Now that we've had our first look at the OnLive model, the PS3 (and 360 as well for that matter) is starting to look a bit dated in terms of business models (people paying a lot of money for a console that ain't generating any money for the companies in question (MS, Sony) and the companies compensating with taking a hefty fee from the games that are being sold on their consoles.

Obviously OnLive doesn't come with its share of difficulties, such as it being relied on bandwidth to work, but these kinds of games we're talking about here are mostly played at home anyways. Nintendo is doing something different, but they aren't really that dependent on super advanced hardware 1. because their main idea is games that are in some ways physical (that's why the newly announced dumbbells will sell tons), 2. because those games that Nintendo make that are dependent on graphics mainly use a unique artstyle as their selling point when it comes to the graphics (just like Madworld does)

Scott Allan
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Wow... that's a lot of responses lol.



I think this article is, AGAIN, taking the same mentality most of the gaming community has taken; since we don't actually KNOW how to make a good Wii game, lets just stick to the same FPS's and fancy graphics laden fodder we've been feeding fanboys for years.



The answer is not easy, but it kinda is; take the time to think outside the box. Get to know the casual gaming markets (don't just sit in the office and babble to other developers about the same old sh*t)... TRY TO THINK OF GAMES THAT DON'T INVOLVE VIOLENCE (oh my, what a crazy idea!)...



The Wii represents the future... do you think it sold as much as it did on accident? Nope! Its because people are sick of the same violent, contrived, unoriginal crap video games have digressed into, and now new markets want to play games. THINK OF THEM. Not about you and what you want.





...as for the sixaxis (appropriately dubbed the sucksasses early on)... what I've seen of it is NOT comparable to the Wii-mote, so don't even try to go there...

Bob McIntyre
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Scott:



"The Wii represents the future... do you think it sold as much as it did on accident? Nope! Its because people are sick of the same violent, contrived, unoriginal crap video games have digressed into, and now new markets want to play games. THINK OF THEM. Not about you and what you want."



Really? People are sick of violence? I guess that's why action and horror films have completely stopped selling tickets, you know, because people don't want it. Contrived and unoriginal? Please. Look at Nintendo's top-selling first-party stuff! There's the home-exercise-fad thing, which is hardly a new idea. Then there's the new Mario Kart, Super Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games, all of which are built on franchises over 20 years old, and Metroid is actually the third FPS in a row for that franchise. And atop it all sits Smash Bros, which is a cartoon-violence mashup of a ton of licensed characters, in addition to being a sequel itself! Don't tell me that people want new, revolutionary stuff. You're just reiterating Nintendo's marketing while disregarding reality.





"...as for the sixaxis (appropriately dubbed the sucksasses early on)... what I've seen of it is NOT comparable to the Wii-mote, so don't even try to go there..."



It was "appropriately" dubbed the "suckasses" by whom? Are you in elementary school, or is it just the people you associate with? Regardless, how isn't it comparable as a motion-based input device? It doesn't have a pointer function. That's it. Its ability to sense motion does not lag behind the base Wiimote. But nobody uses it because motion or gesture-based controls are inherently unresponsive ("laggy") and prone to error. The CPU has to apply smoothing algorithms and then interpret the smoothed data, which means it has to wait to get enough sample data (whereas a button-press is practically instantaneous) and it has to spend CPU power and RAM analyzing that data. The CPU and RAM use isn't such a big deal, but the lag is noticeable.

John Peterson
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I see two flaws in this argument. The analyst states, "In addition, Nintendo is the dominant publisher on the Wii with over one-third of software market... ...So the addressable market for third-party Wii titles is only about half of what the installed base would imply." and "The other issue is that the Xbox 360 and PS3 are AAA-oriented platforms, while the Wii is casual-oriented."



The first point implies that because Nintendo publishes the majority of the games that are currently on the platform, consumers that have purchased those Nintendo titles won't purchase a new 3rd party title? That's ridiculous. I own several Nintendo titles, but the fact that Nintendo published them is irrelevant to my purchase decision. The quality of the product is what determines my purchase.



The second point, at first glance, appears fine. The problem arises from two things. One, I thought a title was considered AAA based on sales, not on content/graphics capability. Unless the game is a sequel to a AAA title, I don't see how it could be considered such at any point during the development/investment stage without wild speculation. The second problem is that this is a label placed on all three primary systems by the community at large. They are hardware. Sure you can argue the installed base for the Wii is primarily looking for a casual experience, but from my personal observations, and this is based on being in a college program with 75 - 90 "Hardcore" gamers, some some owned a PS3, some owned a 360, almost everyone also had a Wii.



Nintendo is marketing toward a casual market, but the installed base includes a LARGE percentage of "hardcore" (god I hate that term) gamers. That's why people are complaining about the lack of content for the hardcore gamers, THEY OWN THE SYSTEM!! The only thing holding back that content is THE DEVELOPERS THAT LISTEN TO RIDICULOUS ANALYSIS LIKE THIS! The reason Nintendo's products sell so well isn't because they are casual, it's because they are good.

Corwyn Kalenda
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@christian:



Well, when i was a kid, I had an NES. We bought ours a bit late, so mine came with this mat that you could sort-of-run on and jump and such, which was designed for use with games like Track and Field(and there were a few token shots at other games). My parents picked it up specifically because Nintendo was pushing it as a home exercise kind of thing and figured maybe it'd burn off some of my hyperactivity. It did for a while, but then it stopped being novel. So no, there's very little new here in concept; technology is just better.



You're not reading his SixAxis argument right. He said that they're basically comparable aside from the Wiimote's pointer, but that the entire concept of motion controls is flawed. Big difference. They're comparable motion devices, BUT motion-based control scheme in general are prone to a LOT of problems that make the classic controller style generally better for most games that aren't designed around the gimmick. And most games aren't designed around it, even on the Wii. In most of the Wii games I've played (even first-party games!) Wiimote motions can be directly mapped to button-pressed on a controller. So the only thing I'm getting out of the Wiimote for those games is slower control response(because I have to do more, longer motions to achieve the same effect) and more wrist/arm fatigue. This is essentially true of the Six-Axis as well, because it's inherent to motion-based control schemes. So the argument isn't that the Six-Axis is inferior-- it's that they're both fully-capable of the basic motion capture functions, but motion capture is generally a poor choice of control mechanism for MOST(not all) games.


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