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AMD On Graphics: 360 and Wii GPU Guru Speaks

October 29, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 4 Next

I recently saw numbers -- they're not necessarily 100% reliable, but the seem quite likely -- that nearly 60% of hardware that was sold in Japan so far this year has been the Nintendo DS.

BF: Yeah. DS has been the most successful thing around. And so, remember that. And every little kid in the airport, or wherever you walk, is playing the DS.

But in Japan the other thing you see is you see middle-aged women playing the DS.

BF: Yes you do.

We're not quite there, here.

BF: No, we're not there, but... a question someone asked me, a few weeks ago, an executive at a company... It could've been an executive for my company, for all I'm concerned about, said, "What's going to bring us 49 year olds to playing games on this console?" And my answer is, "You guys are going to die out."

It's the guys who -- he might be brought to it, but there's not going to be [a significant audience], it's the guys who grew up in 1970 and beyond who are just going to play games. And guys, and girls, and whoever else. And so, for them you might see them accepting a DS, or what have you. I think entertainment is more than television, for people after 1970. And especially, and then after 1980 for, you know, a huge leap.

Yeah. Obviously, this was a technical discussion, but some of the questions that were posed, I thought of them in more artistic terms. There was a brief discussion of the emergence of virtual worlds toward the end of the discussion. People were talking about flat display technologies and heads-up displays. But that made me wonder "What do people want?" Not, "What does technology drive?" I guess the thing that comes closest in my mind that is a consumer product that's upcoming, is Sony's Home. And obviously there's stuff like Habbo Hotel -- I don't know if you're familiar with it on the PC -- which is a pretty simple virtual world, frequented by 13-year-old kids.

BF: Yeah, you're right, and people don't want to be driven by technology, of like, "This lighting over here is a lot, a lot better than the lighting over here, because, you know, some game site says so." They want to have fun playing the game. And that's the drama of the game, as much as the beauty of the art, and all that. It's the whole gestalt, the whole thing that gets you into it. Something has to kinda unlock that door.

And the Wii, sometimes, is that easy joystick unlocks the door to this whole fun thing. Other things can unlock that door, too. Just the, you know, just the drama of the game can make it happen. If you're a good game developer, you may not need to have skinning effects, and all kinds of things; you may just need to have stick figures who just -- and you know, sometimes I watch cartoons that, they're funny, and the art is just lousy, but still you create a whole story around it. And that's what the game is. You create a narrative, you get into that narrative, and it's fun.

Article Start Previous Page 3 of 4 Next

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