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IGN64 feature article on N2000 (pre-Dolphin/GameCube) from early 1999

JSR

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[Nintex] said:
It would have been interesting if Nintendo shipped it in 2000. I'm wondering what games they would have for launch since the NGC seemed like a compromise both on the hardware and software side. The Wind Waker baton and F.L.U.D.D actually make sense if you connect them to a Wii remote interface.
Apparently the F.L.U.D.D. was in fact designed with a motion controller in mind. When I was at Nintendo's official Wii launch party at Universal Studios, I ended up chatting with a Nintendo rep for a while and he told me that the entire water-spraying mechanic was built around the idea of motion control. But there were some problems with the concept (I'm guessing motion controllers were too costly at the time or the technology simply wasn't ready), so they instead built the game around the standard GameCube controller. I'd assume the same situation is true for the development of Wind Waker's baton-based gameplay.
 

DrGAKMAN

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Let's talk about Nintendo's future hardware plans. I do believe Nintendo plans to milk NDS & Wii for a while (which I don't mind since I think most people would enjoy a longer generation) so this gives them time to strategize for the next portable & console they make.

It's obvious we expect more power, better online, better storage solution, more VC/WiiWare type stuff for both portable and home console, HiDef & better Wiimote for console, multi-touch & tilt for portable...but...what else?
 

Gwanatu T

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camineet said:
I think the limit for Dreamcast was 5-6 million polygons/sec. Some aspects of PowerVR2DC allowed for 7 million but other factors limited it to 6 million. Either way, it was significantly beyond the 3 million Sega stated in 1998,1999. I would've preferred a lower polygon count like MODEL3, with more stable 60fps framerates that included anti-aliasing and more textures, even if of a lower texture resolution.

The PowerVR chip inside the Dreamcast offered free AA via the tile rendering that it did AFAIK. It's fillrate and polygon limitations were also succumbed by using the excellent tile render/occlusion engine that the PowerVR unit inside the Dreamcast had, allowing games with close-quarters to theoretically be higher detailed. I don't know how many developers made use of this, but I suspect that Shenmue's city design used this feature heavily to feature more polygons per area than if they made a larger more open city like the one found in GTA3.

camineet said:
I understand what you're saying. I wish N64 had allowed / been built around a standard like; 300,000 polys/sec and the choice of either 5000 polys per frame at 60fps (like MODEL2) or 10000 polys per frame at 30fps.

The DS is designed that way AFAIK or at least from what I've been told by people who make homebrew games for it. I don't remember the numbers exactly but from what I understand every game has to run at 60fps, and games that have 3D on both screens are technically running at 60fps, but alternating frames go on different screens, leaving 30fps per screen. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, and I'm probably not completely in the loop here (since I don't do development in general), so maybe someone else here can explain better.

DrGAKMAN said:
I was a Sony/Nintendo lover back then and the thought of them getting together was awesome (as I used to be one of those Sega haters, yeah), but knowing a lot of the history Sony are basterds to me...they weren't a gaming company to me, but they (like MS who I also hated for a time as I felt they didn't belong (Sega I at least had respect for since they actually were a gaming company)) basically tried to sneak their way in with Nintendo (and all their 3RD parties) bitched into making games for their format.

You know it's funny, because I was the exact same way except on Sega's "side". I hated Sony and never owned a PSX because I felt that they didn't belong in the industry. I also felt the same way about MS but to a lesser extent, simply because they helped Sega all throughout the 90s, especially with the Dreamcast, and it redeemed them in my eyes. Sony to me was just a hardware company, and cared nothing for video games outside of making a profit, and as such they were an outcast that didn't deserve my money. After playing many awesome games on friends' PSX's and then subsequently their PS2's, I had to eventually get a PS2 for Christmas 2003. I also proceeded to buy a PSP at launch and loved the thing for a period, and since then I've had a love/hate relationship with it until Monster Hunter Freedom launched :D .

A Black Falcon said:
Then Nintendo released the Expansion Pak which added 4MB more RAM, which allowed for some higher-resolution games... and some even lower framerates. In many titles where you can switch, you have to choose between the ugly, but higher framerate, low-res version and the prettier, but slow, high-res one... the system couldn't quite keep up with the amount of polygons it could generate.

I loved the games that supported that thing though, because they made an absolute WORLD of difference. The best looking games that used this from my memory were Turok 2, Perfect Dark and SW Rogue Squadron. Seeing RS in Toys R Us for the first time made me buy it with that expansion pack, it was like looking at a whole new system.

A Black Falcon said:
Anything from Sega? As if Daytona USA Deluxe and Sega Rally 2 look so amazing? They don't. You can't just pass it all off as "developers didn't care and liked to port things from other systems...

Maybe I should have rephrased that to most of the games Sega put out, and I think that holds up honestly. Sega Rally was a terrible port, and anything ported from Model 3 and even Naomi sometimes just wasn't done very well. There are reasons for this and I can't remember them nor do I want to look them up, but basically Sega didn't have their crap together and just slopped out quick ports of those games graphically, even if they spent the time to add extra features. The Dreamcast was a mess and a blessing at the same time. Many reviews for games like Rush 2049 praised the graphics simply because it was such a massive improvement on a multi-platform level. Can you imagine if we saw the same exact game come out on the Wii and the 360/PS3 today? I guess we'll see that come CoD WaW this winter, but no one is going to directly compare that because it's such a vast chasm as far as graphics are concerned, and this really isn't quite that leap anyway since Rush 2049 wasn't completely remade for the Dreamcast to begin with. Regardless of that though, it did look a lot better than the arcade and it had twice the framerate of it's Voodoo-counterpart arcade unit, which was an incredible feat at the time anyway. The Dreamcast truly brought the arcade home in a way that no other system before it did; hell I even remember when I first brought Crazy Taxi home, my dad saw me playing it and said "man, the arcade is definitely dead now, this looks exactly the same!" He knew that because every time we went to Wal-Mart I'd sit in the front of the store and pump coins in to the Crazy Taxi machine they had there. It was my favorite arcade game of all time, and definitely in my top DC games.

A Black Falcon said:
Sure, the DC did better than Saturn in the US and Europe, but better than almost nothing (Saturn hardware sales: 1.2 million US, about the same Europe, I believe...) isn't a great success when you still finish behind your last-gen competition, and even farther behind your current-gen competition.

Sega's success in Europe and especially the US with the Dreamcast really reminds me of the Xbox, honestly, and I'll reiterate that I think it could have reached Xbox levels of success if MS had partnered with Sega or some kind of crazy miracle could have held Sega on. Alas they were way too much of a mess for nearly anything to have saved them unfortunately, but they will surely be missed. Thanks for those articles, they are bookmarked for another time :D
 

Gwanatu T

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Since this is a completely different subject matter, I'll just make a separate post.

DrGAKMAN said:
Let's talk about Nintendo's future hardware plans. I do believe Nintendo plans to milk NDS & Wii for a while (which I don't mind since I think most people would enjoy a longer generation) so this gives them time to strategize for the next portable & console they make.

It's obvious we expect more power, better online, better storage solution, more VC/WiiWare type stuff for both portable and home console, HiDef & better Wiimote for console, multi-touch & tilt for portable...but...what else?

It would be interesting to see them incorporate something akin to what they were planning on for the N21 or any of their other Revolution-esque consoles, even the Do!phin. I'm not sure what they're going to do with the controller, but based on previous entries and console successors from them, it'll be similar looking to the Wiimote but with added features. Maybe they'll finally have the microphone on the controller like I think they should have put instead of a stupid speaker. They'll also definitely have the 1:1 technology built in, and it's possible that a balance board type of device will be included in the next console just to continue the multiple input strategy that they've been working on, although I'm not sure we can bank on this simply because it's a lot of hardware to be packing in with a console, but then again they could forgo packing in a game to make up for that. I don't think they'll go with the secondary screen like was shown on those Do!phin controllers.

As for another portable, I really wonder what they would do. It's possible that we'll just get a re-stylized, more powerful DS, but it's going to have to have something drastically new on it, kind of like what they had done with the DS. At the end of the E3 conference it seemed to me like Reggie was going to drop some crazy hardware bomb, because he started talking about disrupting the market and how you've got to continually disrupt it in order to keep gaining momentum, and then the conference ended. I expect that this was some sort of hint at what may be to come, and to expect something new from them in the future rather than just mere upgrades of the same things they have out now.
 

camineet

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Mar 30, 2007
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A Black Falcon said:
So essentially, your problem is that you think that the N64 should have either come out a year earlier, or been more powerful? But it was tough as it was to get it at $200 in late 1996... where would Nintendo have gotten a more powerful system from? They couldn't just scale up the N64 without unacceptably increasing prices, I'm sure. And the games weren't ready in 1995.

On one hand, I think if N64 had been out in 1995 it would've been closer to state-of-the-art. Since it launched in 1996, i think it could've been more powerful given that other consumer level hardware was going to be on the same level (Rendition Verite, 3Dfx Voodoo, 3DO M2). On the other hand, Nintendo & SGI still worked a major miracle by bringing out beyond-midrange SGI workstation (circa 1992-1995) performance, with the characteristics of highend SGI visualization systems at $199 in 1996. It was still impressive compared to Saturn and PS1.

You are right, though, that the system didn't quite match up to the MASSIVE, MASSIVE "Project Reality" hype (things like the N64 demo videos that have been linked in past threads here). It simply couldn't have, no system could have matched that level of graphics at an affordable price. So in that regards it was disappointing, somewhat... but unavoidably so. And when it came out, it did have the best graphics of anything you could get at any kind of normal price. It is true that the Voodoo1 came out just a few months later and slightly passed it, and some arcade machines were there too, but the Voodoo1 was a few months later and was also a revolutionary product (the PC market is smaller, but the Voodoo1 was an unbelievable improvement over what had come before... and arcade machines are very expensive...

Nothing that did realtime graphics, even single pipeline Onyx RealityEngine $100,000 to $1,000,000 multipipe rack systems SGI supercomputers could ever match the Project Reality hype.


At what cost?

I agree, Nintendo did about the best they could with SGI.


Nintendo's future: I hope they leap far, far ahead of GameCube/Wii level performance for their next home console. DirectX 11 / Direct3D11 level features sound wonderful and almost any performance level that can handle Direct3D 11 features should be fast enough, even if its a GPU that's not that much faster than todays highend cards which will be at or below lowend by 2011-2012. A dual-core POWER6 derivative CPU, plus highly custom R8xx derivative GPU 1 to 1.5 GB RAM using a 256 bit-bus, GDDR5 memory, 120-180 GB/sec system bandwidth and ~1 TB/sec eDRAM bandwidth 24-32 MB eDRAM would provide a leap over 360/PS3 graphics without having to have an expensive chipset+RAM like Xbox3 & PS4 are likely to have. Price could be kept under $300. The money saved from a conservative (but powerful) chipset could go into the next-gen control scheme, which could be a refinement on Wii Remote w/ MotionPlus.


Nintendo could balance themselves better with both casual gamers and hardcore gamers since Wii is a little too much leaning toward casuals.

Nintendo should also invest in a comprehensive 'Nintendo Online' service that goes well beyond WiiConnect24. A persistant online presence, and WiiHD is the gateway to the internet. Since Microsoft refuses to allow Xbox,Xbox 360 LIVE owners access to the internet through their boxes, Nintendo has a big oppertinity in online. They should hookup with Google and major online content providers to trump LIVE in everyway they can. Not just in online gaming, but every area of fun on the internet. Sony is trying to do this, halfheartedly, Microsoft wants to keep much of this on Windows and off Xbox. Nintendo has a big chance, and it can experiment with the current Wii, finding out what works, then go full force with WiiHD on day ONE.

Next-gen DS could have more or less Gamecube/Wii level performance, a very large leap from DS. Every Nintendo handheld generation (GameBoy to GBA to DS) has offered a big leap in performance. The main features would be multi-touch screen(s), very accurate tilt, more refined voice recognition, 480p screens, and one or two other major features. The power of the unit would be nowhere near PSP2 or Xboy but that doesn't matter, since it never has with Nintendo handhelds.
 

DrGAKMAN

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Gwanatu T said:
You know it's funny, because I was the exact same way except on Sega's "side". I hated Sony and never owned a PSX because I felt that they didn't belong in the industry. I also felt the same way about MS but to a lesser extent, simply because they helped Sega all throughout the 90s, especially with the Dreamcast, and it redeemed them in my eyes. Sony to me was just a hardware company, and cared nothing for video games outside of making a profit, and as such they were an outcast that didn't deserve my money. After playing many awesome games on friends' PSX's and then subsequently their PS2's, I had to eventually get a PS2 for Christmas 2003. I also proceeded to buy a PSP at launch and loved the thing for a period, and since then I've had a love/hate relationship with it until Monster Hunter Freedom launched :D .

Sega's success in Europe and especially the US with the Dreamcast really reminds me of the Xbox, honestly, and I'll reiterate that I think it could have reached Xbox levels of success if MS had partnered with Sega or some kind of crazy miracle could have held Sega on. Alas they were way too much of a mess for nearly anything to have saved them unfortunately, but they will surely be missed. Thanks for those articles, they are bookmarked for another time :D

Ya know...I always saw Nintendo and Sega as the "OG's" with their roots even being in the arcades and that the SNES vs Genisis period was a great period for gamers and gaming. As was said I saw Sony, MS and others trying to get in as a bad thing...since then, they have established themselves as gaming companies now, but I can't respect them as much as I can the OG's. Looking at Sega, I'm sure the Dreamcast era was a difficult time for them internally...with all their hardware woes (Japan trying to push Saturn, while the American side was doing Genisis add-ons) it seemed they were finally united. i too paid attention to the Sega/MS alliance as it made sense for them to be together since Sega was so ambitious about online gaming and MS could certainly help them. Instead though, I feel as though MS sorta abandonned Sega near the end of the DC (for good reason, but still it was shitty) and I didn't like them getting into gaming. There *was* a miracle move that would've been crazy...MS was suppossedly in talks to make the original X-BOX compatible with DC games and that Sega would align with MS in supporting it against the system (PS2 hype) that killed their baby. But, Sega really wasn't united...if ever...and some wanted to go here(Sonic Team to Nintendo for example) and others wanted to make games on all systems, while other still just wanted not to support the thing that killed DC: PS2. MS didn't go for DC compatibility and instead worked out a deal for like 11 Sega exclussives (that sold for shit BTW) most of which were good games that probably woulda sold better on GCN. Sad sad story.

More back on topic...or at least on speculation...
It would be interesting to see them incorporate something akin to what they were planning on for the N21 or any of their other Revolution-esque consoles, even the Do!phin. I'm not sure what they're going to do with the controller, but based on previous entries and console successors from them, it'll be similar looking to the Wiimote but with added features. Maybe they'll finally have the microphone on the controller like I think they should have put instead of a stupid speaker. They'll also definitely have the 1:1 technology built in, and it's possible that a balance board type of device will be included in the next console just to continue the multiple input strategy that they've been working on, although I'm not sure we can bank on this simply because it's a lot of hardware to be packing in with a console, but then again they could forgo packing in a game to make up for that. I don't think they'll go with the secondary screen like was shown on those Do!phin controllers.

As for another portable, I really wonder what they would do. It's possible that we'll just get a re-stylized, more powerful DS, but it's going to have to have something drastically new on it, kind of like what they had done with the DS. At the end of the E3 conference it seemed to me like Reggie was going to drop some crazy hardware bomb, because he started talking about disrupting the market and how you've got to continually disrupt it in order to keep gaining momentum, and then the conference ended. I expect that this was some sort of hint at what may be to come, and to expect something new from them in the future rather than just mere upgrades of the same things they have out now.

To address the bolded part first...I do agree that Nintendo won't just bring out a "DS with more powah" but I don't really agree that Nintendo is hinting at new hardware anytime soon...in fact I think the contrary. For whatever reason, MOST (gamers and gaming journalists alike) seemed to believe that Nintendo was going to announce a new NDS (whether it be a slimmer one (WHY?) or the "next" one) at E3 or sometime soon. Instead, Nintendo gave tons of stats supporting that there is still much life in NDS and that it hasn't even peaked yet. When Iwata/Reggie talked of further disrupting even themselves I think they were saying that in light of competition (MS & Sony possibly imitating their disruption) and on the peripheral/software/features end RATHER than introducing new platforms...I mean seriously, why do that as that would hurt their possition as userbase leaders and their bragging rights (NDS/Wii both possibly being the best selling systems of all time in a few years) *let alone* the mass profits they must be making selling low-power hardware.

So in that...I don't see them (or Sony or MS) wanting to end this generation by introducing a next-next generation. Sony's comitted to a 10 year plan and they almost have to in order to make money and have relevance by the end of this cycle (and on the portable end, PSP is finally making them money, they're not gonna brickwall that and introduce the next one). MS really surprized me by staying hungry for their current console and saying nothing of their next one and is probably just finally holding their own whilst making money...so no, they won't be trying to get another headstart like they did last time by brcikwalling their current console when it's making them money. Nintendo...ha ha ha...they're the leaders and they're BANKIN' here, they don't want to move to the next generation on either the home console or portable end. This really is good for the industry and for gamers & game-makers...a longer healthier cycle for all is a good thing.

Knowing this, I still would like to speculate on what Nintendo will do for their next console/portable. Sorry it took so long to explain my retort to the bolded part of your quote.

I can go on and on about what I'd speculate beyond just more power, better specs, more obvious features...but I really do think that Nintendo will be bold...and not just with user interface (like they did with NDS & Wii to reach new audiences), but in other ways too! Going into the next-gen it's likely that all three will be looking to expand in user-interface in order to out-Wii the Wii's success/outreach. However, what could Nintendo do to stay ahead? Call me crazy and I've stated this before (wether it'd be next generation or next-gext-gen) Nintendo will create a console/portable hybrid. I believe the best way to do this is to have a home console and a portable that universally plays the same game format (a universal solid-state card-based format) so that 1 game reaches both markets. The home unit would have higher-definition output & sound and Wiimote-like interface while the portable would have a lower-resolution screen and a multi-touch interface and that 1 game could be played across both systems with this in mind. This would be great for gamers and the industry as a whole and would be a radically bold move on Nintendo's part. It does beg the question HOW (both specs-wise & control interface wise), but the beauty of it would be in the universal card format itself which carries assets/code for both versions while the chipsets in both systems would be optimized for their respective markets. Controls-wise the game would know which system it's being played on and adjust accordingly allowing for either touch/pointer/traditional controls.

The longer that Nintendo can milk Wii & NDS and keep this generation going, the more likely I believe in a Nintendo universal media format to work across both their next-gen console & portable (WiiDS & WiiHD).
 
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Gwanatu T said:
The PowerVR chip inside the Dreamcast offered free AA via the tile rendering that it did AFAIK. It's fillrate and polygon limitations were also succumbed by using the excellent tile render/occlusion engine that the PowerVR unit inside the Dreamcast had, allowing games with close-quarters to theoretically be higher detailed. I don't know how many developers made use of this, but I suspect that Shenmue's city design used this feature heavily to feature more polygons per area than if they made a larger more open city like the one found in GTA3.

The DS is designed that way AFAIK or at least from what I've been told by people who make homebrew games for it. I don't remember the numbers exactly but from what I understand every game has to run at 60fps, and games that have 3D on both screens are technically running at 60fps, but alternating frames go on different screens, leaving 30fps per screen. I'm sure there are exceptions to this, and I'm probably not completely in the loop here (since I don't do development in general), so maybe someone else here can explain better.

Kind of frustrating really, because that design doesn't allow you to push the hardware; instead, you have mandated polygon limits that keep the framerate up. I don't think that's necessarily a better solution than the N64's design... as I said, sure the framerates were often low, but the graphics looked so good! With that kind of limit you couldn't have done that, which would be too bad.

I know a lot of people would disagree with that, though... I just have a pretty high tolerance for bad framerates.

The biggest problem with DS hardware is, of course, its lack of anti-aliasing, though. N64 looks best not because of its amazing polygon count (it's not that amazing, as we have established), but because of all the effects it can put on those polygons. It's too bad that the DS left out probably the most important of those effects, it makes DS 3d look like Playstation 3d -- awful, in all but the very best cases! It should have looked like N64 3d but better (better texture resolutions and framerates, that is), but it doesn't. :(

You know it's funny, because I was the exact same way except on Sega's "side". I hated Sony and never owned a PSX because I felt that they didn't belong in the industry. I also felt the same way about MS but to a lesser extent, simply because they helped Sega all throughout the 90s, especially with the Dreamcast, and it redeemed them in my eyes. Sony to me was just a hardware company, and cared nothing for video games outside of making a profit, and as such they were an outcast that didn't deserve my money. After playing many awesome games on friends' PSX's and then subsequently their PS2's, I had to eventually get a PS2 for Christmas 2003. I also proceeded to buy a PSP at launch and loved the thing for a period, and since then I've had a love/hate relationship with it until Monster Hunter Freedom launched :D .

I hated Sony too, but from the PC/Nintendo "Side"... though I never disliked Sega like I did (and sort of do) Sony, that's for sure. Sega was okay, it just wasn't as good as Nintendo, which wasn't as good as PC. Not that I love MS (I can't stand Word or Internet Explorer...), but I do like Windows. Microsoft was always a gaming company, they made Windows, a platform which had more than a few games on it. :)

But of course, back then all I actually had was a PC and Game Boy... though I had considered asking for a Game Gear (my parents would not let me have a major console then... they thought I'd get addicted to it, I think. They were, obviously, right. :D), I decided the GB was a better choice due to better games and battery life. (Just like how when in late 1999 I finally had the money to buy a major console, I considered the options -- PSX, N64, DC -- and went with Nintendo, wishing I could get a DC too (while only having barely enough money for one; indeed, for $200 I could get an N64 with two controllers, Mario 64, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time (and have $20 left over for tax), or... a DC with a demo disc? Yeah, hard choice.), but having no interest in the PSX.)

If you'd told me even five years ago that now I'd have a NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, PSone, Virtual Boy, PS2, and Dreamcast, I don't know that I'd have believed you... (those are all systems I've bought since July 2005, along with a new PC and a DS... and replacement GBA and Gamecube, since both of my originals of those died (poor launch GC, it DRE'd to death in mid 2006...)).

I do sometimes kind of feel like owning all these console games is sort of wrong because it keeps me from playing more PC games, which are deeper and more complex and I love, but... oh well. Console games are fun. :)

I knew way more people who owned Genesises than SNESes, though... it was mostly NES and Genesis, I'd say. And even in demo stations, the local Sears had a SNES with one cart, or a Genesis with a 6-cart changer... I definitely spent a lot more time on Genesis than SNES back then, and liked the system... but still, I was reading Nintendo Power (and, later on, PC Gamer US), not Sega Visions. But still, I never disliked Sega.

... Sony, though... even now, I like some of the games on the PS1 and PS2, but the systems... I just can't like them. I still dislike Sony. Can't stand Sony's controllers, either... I know it's kind of silly, but... oh well. Even though I have a bunch of great games for the PSone and PS2, I don't use the systems as much as I could, probably mostly because I still just don't like Sony all that much... so sure, I like the games, but... I'd rather play something else, often. But I do like that I have the platforms now.

I loved the games that supported that thing though, because they made an absolute WORLD of difference. The best looking games that used this from my memory were Turok 2, Perfect Dark and SW Rogue Squadron. Seeing RS in Toys R Us for the first time made me buy it with that expansion pack, it was like looking at a whole new system.

Agreed, the expansion pak was fantastic. The only thing wrong with it was that more games didn't support it... most major titles from its release in late 1998 on did, but some significant ones notably did not, with Conker and Banjo-Tooie being two of the best examples. Those games had such awful framerates, I really wished that they'd supported expansion pak somehow to help with that... but yeah, the expansion pak was great. Along with the rumble pak, it's got to be one of the most successful addons ever.

I didn't see quite that difference because I'd only gotten an N64 in Sept. 1999 and then got an expansion pak that Christmas with Donkey Kong 64, but still, comparing games that supported it to ones that didn't, the difference was clear. What I said about framerates was also true, though. Those high-res modes frequently had worse framerates... but I did use them anyway, the improvement was worth it.

Though, of course, in Rogue Squadron's case, even the expansion pak didn't make it look as good as the PC version of the game, which was the one I got in early 1999 (shortly after getting my Voodoo2 in late '98... :))... I did get Battle for Naboo on N64 though, that game looks absolutely phenomenal. Easily some of the best quality textures on the system. Rogue Squadron looks good, but Factor 5 improved things for the second game. Want to see the N64 being pushed about as hard as it can go, with decent framerates too? Play Battle for Naboo.

Acclaim, on the other hand, liked to make N64 games with graphics over framerate, and thus many of their games have serious framerate issues. Extreme-G 2, Turok 2 in high-res mode, and more... those games do not run well. But they look so good... the same was true for Aidyn Chronicles, Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness, and many more -- bad framerate high-res, or medium framerate low-res. I think that it's great that we were given the option, and that the system was better off for it; if someone doesn't mind the hit and likes seeing the better graphics, why not let them?

Episode I Racer looks quite amazing too... though in that case, I kind of hated the game because of its way too high difficulty level. Good game, but so, so hard and frustrating that it stopped being fun... but graphically, it was pretty great.

Episode I Racer had a Dreamcast port too (it was initially PC/N64), and supposedly the DC version pretty much looks exactly like it did on N64 except for extremely minimal changes. THAT one was criticized for not looking different enough... though I've seen a few copies around, I don't like the game enough to want to buy it again and see.

But overall, really, the expansion pak is the rare model of a truly successful addon. Very few addons do nearly that well. Console manufacturers love to make things, but they often don't catch on all that well overall. Every new one splits the market even more. This is definitely a problem Nintendo is facing with the Wii -- Balance Board, Wii Motion Plus, etc. The Balance Board seems like a more limited-use item, like the light guns available on so many consoles that were usually supported by only a few games, but we'll see. The more successful addons are small ones, I think -- the Expansion Pak, Rumble Pak, SNES Mouse, various multitaps, etc. This lends some hope to the Wii Motion Plus... we'll see. It could do well. Wii Sports Resort certainly is a good vehicle for selling them, like DK64 and Zelda: MM were for the Expansion Pak.

Maybe I should have rephrased that to most of the games Sega put out, and I think that holds up honestly. Sega Rally was a terrible port, and anything ported from Model 3 and even Naomi sometimes just wasn't done very well. There are reasons for this and I can't remember them nor do I want to look them up, but basically Sega didn't have their crap together and just slopped out quick ports of those games graphically, even if they spent the time to add extra features. The Dreamcast was a mess and a blessing at the same time. Many reviews for games like Rush 2049 praised the graphics simply because it was such a massive improvement on a multi-platform level. Can you imagine if we saw the same exact game come out on the Wii and the 360/PS3 today? I guess we'll see that come CoD WaW this winter, but no one is going to directly compare that because it's such a vast chasm as far as graphics are concerned, and this really isn't quite that leap anyway since Rush 2049 wasn't completely remade for the Dreamcast to begin with. Regardless of that though, it did look a lot better than the arcade and it had twice the framerate of it's Voodoo-counterpart arcade unit, which was an incredible feat at the time anyway. The Dreamcast truly brought the arcade home in a way that no other system before it did; hell I even remember when I first brought Crazy Taxi home, my dad saw me playing it and said "man, the arcade is definitely dead now, this looks exactly the same!" He knew that because every time we went to Wal-Mart I'd sit in the front of the store and pump coins in to the Crazy Taxi machine they had there. It was my favorite arcade game of all time, and definitely in my top DC games.

Wait... you think Rush 2049 looked better on DC than arcade? Pretty much every fan of the game I've seen has said the exact opposite... that the DC version didn't quite match up to the arcade. The arcade and home versions of Rush 2049 are pretty different. The arcade version has no stunt mode, no battle mode, no wings, better graphics, different shortcuts (the trackside areas were completely redesigned for the home versions), more coins in completely different places, one more track (The Rock), etc. There was also a second arcade release, the Tournament Edition, that was to add two new tracks, a few cars, and online play... it was cancelled in location testing because Midway shut down its arcade division. Later on another company licensed it and released it as the Rush 2049 Special Edition upgrade for arcades, which had the TE tracks and cars added on but without the online features.

See this for instance, arcade version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmAcVnjNeqc
N64: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9CphvhE4oA
DC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDYGuAJ0-l8 (or look up others, most of the Rush 2049 videos on Youtube are of the DC version)

(I know, with Youtube quality most of the differences can't be seen. A few can, at least.)

I'm still hoping we'll someday get a port of the TE or SE arcade versions... that would be incredibly awesome. I mean, I LOVE the home versions as they are (wings are amazing, so, SO useful), but I'd like to be able to play the arcade versions too.


You are right about Crazy Taxi though. That game definitely looked next gen. But relatively few DC games actually looked that good... as I said, even many exclusives didn't. This goes beyond the racing genre; I also just thought of Red Dog: Superior Firepower... very fun game, but graphically, again, it's somewhere in between N64 and PS2... but yes, the system did have some games that proved that the graphics of the majority did not have to be the rule. I do think that if the system had lived longer, we'd have seen more games with clearly next-gen graphics; maybe the system had been nearly maxed out powerwise by the best titles, but the average game clearly had a ways to go... but, aside from Naomi titles, the system died in its third year, and rumors of its imminent demise began in its second (dating from the Dec. 1998 system release in Japan). I love the Dreamcast for its design and its games, but I don't think so much of its graphics, overall. It's just so, SO far behind my benchmark for the generation (aka the only last-gen major console I owned between November 2001 and July 2007), the Gamecube...

PS2 is too, of course. Average PS2 graphics don't exactly impress either... if there was one thing that really frustrated me about the Gamecube when compared to the N64, it's that it had so many PS2 ports. I've talked about this here before, but the GC had a LOT of PS2 ports, while the N64 had many fewer PSX ports, and more exclusives. I liked things better when we had the exclusives, because the games just fit the system so much better that way. As it was last gen, a lot of games just didn't make the transition all that well... so many racing games pointlessly restricted to 2 players only, games with graphics that obviously don't push the GC (or Xbox) hardware, etc. It really was a significant shift when compared to the previous generation. This goes along with the "US third parties abandoned N64 for Xbox" thing too, I'd say.

Sega's success in Europe and especially the US with the Dreamcast really reminds me of the Xbox, honestly, and I'll reiterate that I think it could have reached Xbox levels of success if MS had partnered with Sega or some kind of crazy miracle could have held Sega on. Alas they were way too much of a mess for nearly anything to have saved them unfortunately, but they will surely be missed. Thanks for those articles, they are bookmarked for another time :D

Yeah, Sega's DC strategy and Microsoft's Xbox strategy do have a lot of similarities. I'm sure you've seen the "Dreamcast-Xbox 360 comparisons' list things... white color, circular logo, Peter Main, similar controllers, online gaming, etc, etc. :)

Those articles are great, the Eidolons Inn ones have a whole series of very long articles about most of Sega's consoles. They are very biased and the guy regularly tosses in stuff like anti-Nintendo comments, but oh well. They're worth going through sometime anyway.

DrGAKMAN said:
Ya know...I always saw Nintendo and Sega as the "OG's" with their roots even being in the arcades and that the SNES vs Genisis period was a great period for gamers and gaming. As was said I saw Sony, MS and others trying to get in as a bad thing...since then, they have established themselves as gaming companies now, but I can't respect them as much as I can the OG's. Looking at Sega, I'm sure the Dreamcast era was a difficult time for them internally...with all their hardware woes (Japan trying to push Saturn, while the American side was doing Genisis add-ons) it seemed they were finally united. i too paid attention to the Sega/MS alliance as it made sense for them to be together since Sega was so ambitious about online gaming and MS could certainly help them. Instead though, I feel as though MS sorta abandonned Sega near the end of the DC (for good reason, but still it was shitty) and I didn't like them getting into gaming. There *was* a miracle move that would've been crazy...MS was suppossedly in talks to make the original X-BOX compatible with DC games and that Sega would align with MS in supporting it against the system (PS2 hype) that killed their baby. But, Sega really wasn't united...if ever...and some wanted to go here(Sonic Team to Nintendo for example) and others wanted to make games on all systems, while other still just wanted not to support the thing that killed DC: PS2. MS didn't go for DC compatibility and instead worked out a deal for like 11 Sega exclussives (that sold for shit BTW) most of which were good games that probably woulda sold better on GCN. Sad sad story.

Yeah, it is kind of too bad that the Sega-MS thing didn't happen. I mean, I was happy that it didn't, because I wanted Sega support on the GC (my GC would be so much less interesting without Skies of Arcadia Legends...), but Sega almost certainly would have benefited from that move. But the talks broke down, and MS launched the Xbox without Sega... I wonder if Sega later regretted not following through with that or not. If the problem was independence, they ended up as part of a large corporation anyway...

But you probably are right that, considering Sega's lack of unity, it was never going to happen. Each team just went its own way and supported the platform it more liked... of course this gen now everything is multiplatform, but while last gen Western games were very frequently multiplatform (unless they were first or second party), Japanese games were still more often exclusive.


On a note more related to this thread, it's too bad that the Famicom Disk System, Satellaview, and 64DD were all Japan-only. The NES, SNES, and N64 all had addons, but we didn't get ANY of them? That's awful... sure, at least for NES many of the better FDS games were brought here on cartridge, but the Satellaview and 64DD concepts could not be so translated to normal cartridges. Sure, F-Zero X Expansion Kit was the one great thiing on the 64DD, and it really is kind of amazing that they released the thing at all, but still... it would have been nice to see, even if it's too bad that it was nothing remotely like what Nintendo had been promising for all those years. Now THERE'S another great story, maybe just as epic as the SNES CD story that has been mentioned here... the saga of the 64DD, from early promise of large-format writable media on the N64 that would be used by games like Zelda to the result of, well, total failure.

The Satellaview was also a cool idea, kind of like Sega Channel, except via satellite, and you could save games onto writable cartridges, instead of just losing stuff when you turned off the system... and some games had live broadcasts so there could be voice acting and such, and time limits. And multiplayer in a few cases, I think. Very interesting idea. I can see why it only caught on really as a downloadable-games service, but even just as that, it would have been great to see... (along with stuff like F-Zero Ace Cup!)
 

daCuk

Member
Jan 9, 2008
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Wow.
This is one of the best threads of GAF.

Thanks for all the knowledge being shared, guys!

If somebody knows some info about Project Atlantis....
 
Dec 25, 2004
4,367
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daCuk said:
Wow.
This is one of the best threads of GAF.

Thanks for all the knowledge being shared, guys!

If somebody knows some info about Project Atlantis....
Wasn't Atlantis revealed eventually as GBA?
 

camineet

Banned
Mar 30, 2007
8,073
0
0
It's plausible to say that Atlantis was eventually, much later, revealed in much downgraded form as the GBA.

That said, Atlantis was first reported in 1996, due to be released in 1997. It was supposed to use an ARM110 processor @ anywhere from 100 to 166 MHz to 200 MHz.

thread on Atlantis I did awhile back....
http://www.ga-forum.com/showthread.php?p=7539922#post7539922

It's a real shame imagepup.com went down, you won't be able to see the Next Generation article on Atlantis I had there.. should've used imageshack.us :/


btw I wanted to say that DrGAKMAN & A Black Falcon have helped make this thread turn out far better than expected. Thanks to many others as well.
 

Gwanatu T

Junior Member
Jul 8, 2007
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A Black Falcon said:
The biggest problem with DS hardware is, of course, its lack of anti-aliasing, though. N64 looks best not because of its amazing polygon count (it's not that amazing, as we have established), but because of all the effects it can put on those polygons. It's too bad that the DS left out probably the most important of those effects, it makes DS 3d look like Playstation 3d -- awful, in all but the very best cases! It should have looked like N64 3d but better (better texture resolutions and framerates, that is), but it doesn't. :(

You're mixing up Anti-aliasing with texture filtering. The DS actually does have anti-aliasing, and it's what keeps the screen from becoming a pixilated mess. It's got a custom edge AA filter I believe and it's something the developers cannot disable, just like they can't circumvent the framerate requirements. This was a tradeoff Nintendo had to make with the power of the hardware, and ultimately I think it was a good one. The textures are tolerable but the screen pixilation would have been completely unbearable; just take a look at the GBA's 3D games for instance, you can hardly make out anything on that screen at that resolution.

A Black Falcon said:
I knew way more people who owned Genesises than SNESes, though... it was mostly NES and Genesis, I'd say. And even in demo stations, the local Sears had a SNES with one cart, or a Genesis with a 6-cart changer... I definitely spent a lot more time on Genesis than SNES back then, and liked the system... but still, I was reading Nintendo Power (and, later on, PC Gamer US), not Sega Visions. But still, I never disliked Sega.

It's funny how that works, because I was the only Sega person out of everyone I knew. I had the Genesis and the Saturn, and it wasn't until the Dreamcast came out that I finally got people to switch over. Everyone I knew as a kid had a SNES, and even though I had owned an NES prior to my Genesis I just loved Sonic and Sega's games so much that I felt compelled to stick with them over Nintendo. I got a Saturn after the Genesis, and then an N64 after that for obvious reasons, and then of course a Dreamcast after that. I traded in every system and game I ever owned unfortunately, simply because my parents weren't exactly rich and I only got a few bucks allowance per month, so when something new came out it was out with the old, in with the new, you know? The Dreamcast was the first system I didn't have to sell, simply because I was finally at working age and bought a new game every single week with that money. Man I miss being able to do that, lol :lol

A Black Falcon said:
... Sony, though... even now, I like some of the games on the PS1 and PS2, but the systems... I just can't like them. I still dislike Sony. Can't stand Sony's controllers, either... I know it's kind of silly, but... oh well. Even though I have a bunch of great games for the PSone and PS2, I don't use the systems as much as I could, probably mostly because I still just don't like Sony all that much... so sure, I like the games, but... I'd rather play something else, often. But I do like that I have the platforms now.

I only own a PSP right now, so don't feel too bad. I'll get a PS3 one day, but that's not any time soon. It's too expensive and I just don't care enough honestly.

A Black Falcon said:
Episode I Racer had a Dreamcast port too (it was initially PC/N64), and supposedly the DC version pretty much looks exactly like it did on N64 except for extremely minimal changes. THAT one was criticized for not looking different enough... though I've seen a few copies around, I don't like the game enough to want to buy it again and see.

But overall, really, the expansion pak is the rare model of a truly successful addon. Very few addons do nearly that well. Console manufacturers love to make things, but they often don't catch on all that well overall. Every new one splits the market even more. This is definitely a problem Nintendo is facing with the Wii -- Balance Board, Wii Motion Plus, etc. The Balance Board seems like a more limited-use item, like the light guns available on so many consoles that were usually supported by only a few games, but we'll see. The more successful addons are small ones, I think -- the Expansion Pak, Rumble Pak, SNES Mouse, various multitaps, etc. This lends some hope to the Wii Motion Plus... we'll see. It could do well. Wii Sports Resort certainly is a good vehicle for selling them, like DK64 and Zelda: MM were for the Expansion Pak.

SW Episode 1 Racer looked terrible on the Dreamcast, and ran just as bad as it looked. IIRC it was a direct port of the N64 version, framerate and all. The only difference was that it had to run in 640x480 like all DC games did, otherwise I'm sure they would have kept the 320x240 original N64 resolution the same :lol

As for add-ons, it really helps when an add-on is not only bundled with a popular game, but when it's cheap. The fact that I can't buy a balance board on it's own and for less than $50 really is a difficult thing. I'm not sure when I'll end up with the balance board, because I'll get one eventually with all the titles that are coming out supporting it, but having an add-on for $80 and having one for, let's say $20, makes a huge difference, and it would probably show in sales if there's enough incentive in games.

A Black Falcon said:
Wait... you think Rush 2049 looked better on DC than arcade? Pretty much every fan of the game I've seen has said the exact opposite... that the DC version didn't quite match up to the arcade. The arcade and home versions of Rush 2049 are pretty different. The arcade version has no stunt mode, no battle mode, no wings, better graphics, different shortcuts (the trackside areas were completely redesigned for the home versions), more coins in completely different places, one more track (The Rock), etc. There was also a second arcade release, the Tournament Edition, that was to add two new tracks, a few cars, and online play... it was cancelled in location testing because Midway shut down its arcade division. Later on another company licensed it and released it as the Rush 2049 Special Edition upgrade for arcades, which had the TE tracks and cars added on but without the online features.

Yeah, I can't tell the difference at all in those videos, but I distinctly remember being blown away by the DC version's framerate, but I remember that the arcade version had a "softer" look for whatever reason, don't know what that was. I'd have to see it in person again to see, but you may be right. The DC version was absolutely unbelievable though, and remains my favorite arcade racer next to Crazy Taxi. It's feature set was unmatched and it's gameplay remains unchallenged to this day, unbelievably.

A Black Falcon said:
You are right about Crazy Taxi though. That game definitely looked next gen. But relatively few DC games actually looked that good... as I said, even many exclusives didn't. This goes beyond the racing genre; I also just thought of Red Dog: Superior Firepower... very fun game, but graphically, again, it's somewhere in between N64 and PS2... but yes, the system did have some games that proved that the graphics of the majority did not have to be the rule. I do think that if the system had lived longer, we'd have seen more games with clearly next-gen graphics; maybe the system had been nearly maxed out powerwise by the best titles, but the average game clearly had a ways to go... but, aside from Naomi titles, the system died in its third year, and rumors of its imminent demise began in its second (dating from the Dec. 1998 system release in Japan). I love the Dreamcast for its design and its games, but I don't think so much of its graphics, overall. It's just so, SO far behind my benchmark for the generation (aka the only last-gen major console I owned between November 2001 and July 2007), the Gamecube...

PS2 is too, of course. Average PS2 graphics don't exactly impress either... if there was one thing that really frustrated me about the Gamecube when compared to the N64, it's that it had so many PS2 ports. I've talked about this here before, but the GC had a LOT of PS2 ports, while the N64 had many fewer PSX ports, and more exclusives. I liked things better when we had the exclusives, because the games just fit the system so much better that way. As it was last gen, a lot of games just didn't make the transition all that well... so many racing games pointlessly restricted to 2 players only, games with graphics that obviously don't push the GC (or Xbox) hardware, etc. It really was a significant shift when compared to the previous generation. This goes along with the "US third parties abandoned N64 for Xbox" thing too, I'd say.

Well the Dreamcast effectively ushered in the new generation of games; multi-platform everything. Last-gen really started this trend, and I'm not sure if it's just the sheer complexity of games nowadays that's brought this, or that companies feel more compelled to go multi-platform because they can make so much more money. It's frustrating but it's yet another reason that I own a 360 and a Wii and not a PS3. The PS2's domination of last generation coupled with the fact that many large companies preferred to work on the PS2 resulted in a lot of PS2 ports that simply just did not take advantage of the Xbox or the GC, and especially the GC since it took more work to port things over (I'm sure mostly because of the discs and the drive speed).

If you look at Dreamcast exclusive games you'll find that the games definitely looked significantly better than the N64/PSX exclusive games. Games like Headhunter, Phantasy Star Online, Ooga-Booga, any 2K sports title, Sonic Adventure 2, Outtrigger, House of the Dead 2, Crazy Taxi 1/2, Metropolis Street Racer, Shenmue 1/2, Jet Grind Radio, Skies of Arcadia, Quake 3, Test Drive LeMans, Ferrari F355, UFC, MDK2 and Soul Calibur to name a handful. I'm sure there are more, but I will agree with you that most games looked like high-res PSX/N64 titles, simply because they were. Many developers were probably afraid to develop specifically for the DC, and with good reason given Sega's history.

camineet, thanks for that thread, I'll read it in a minute.
 

[Nintex]

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For starters, the next Nintendo system will be launched in 4 to 5 years I think. Sony and MS are looking at these 10 year plans. Nintendo might push them out of the market with 2 systems Wii($99 budget console), new machine($249). Nintendo could close the gap in performance and beat the competition on every level. By then they must've expaned enough to support multiple consoles on the market. The Wii will most likely see it's last big releases by 2011 and a couple of more Wii Sports/Play/Music titles along the line together with the established third party support.

In short Nintendo would be able to:
Provide improved versions of Xbox 360/PS3 third party games(Call of Duty, GTA etc.)
Give Nintendo gamers the newest Zelda and Mario games, well ahead of what the competition has to offer at that moment
Use the next technical/GPU advancements before the competition can(I'm thinking of a system which is only 10%-20% more powerfull than the Xbox 360/PS3 but able to use the newest shaders and features)
Aim at the hardcore market and the casual market with the $249 price and a stunning line-up
Disrupt Sony's 10 year plan by launching their new machine early, kicking MS out of the "budget" market with a $99 Wii and still make a profit, if MS hasn't launched a new system by then...


Project Atlantis is rather interesting though. I always thought it was the GBA but I have my doubts. The system was supposed to launch in 1997(way to early) so what we might've been looking at was the early replacement for the N64 in Japan or an 64DD that offered more than just a Disk to save data on(it might explain the delay of the 64DD). A high end Gameboy at the end of 1997 wouldn't make any sense with the N64 on the market.
 

Gwanatu T

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Jul 8, 2007
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That project Atlantis thread is awesome, but I dare not respond because it's so old, so I'll just post here.

Anyone think that's what ended up being the DS? They said 160mhz ARM processor and 30 hour battery life? That's crazy, DS doesn't even get that now and it's slower than that, so how would that have been possible? I imagine that parts of Atlantis ended up turning in to the DS and the design probably ended up as the GBA.
 

pn18

Banned
Oct 8, 2006
1,421
0
0
Since you guys are talking about the DS now, this might be helpfull for the discussion:

It's the spec sheet of the DS, former known as Project Nitro.
 

Log4Girlz

Member
May 23, 2006
40,774
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0
[Nintex] said:
For starters, the next Nintendo system will be launched in 4 to 5 years I think. Sony and MS are looking at these 10 year plans. Nintendo might push them out of the market with 2 systems Wii($99 budget console), new machine($249). Nintendo could close the gap in performance and beat the competition on every level. By then they must've expaned enough to support multiple consoles on the market. The Wii will most likely see it's last big releases by 2011 and a couple of more Wii Sports/Play/Music titles along the line together with the established third party support.

In short Nintendo would be able to:
Provide improved versions of Xbox 360/PS3 third party games(Call of Duty, GTA etc.)
Give Nintendo gamers the newest Zelda and Mario games, well ahead of what the competition has to offer at that moment
Use the next technical/GPU advancements before the competition can(I'm thinking of a system which is only 10%-20% more powerfull than the Xbox 360/PS3 but able to use the newest shaders and features)
Aim at the hardcore market and the casual market with the $249 price and a stunning line-up
Disrupt Sony's 10 year plan by launching their new machine early, kicking MS out of the "budget" market with a $99 Wii and still make a profit, if MS hasn't launched a new system by then...


Project Atlantis is rather interesting though. I always thought it was the GBA but I have my doubts. The system was supposed to launch in 1997(way to early) so what we might've been looking at was the early replacement for the N64 in Japan or an 64DD that offered more than just a Disk to save data on(it might explain the delay of the 64DD). A high end Gameboy at the end of 1997 wouldn't make any sense with the N64 on the market.

Nintendo really is in a great position. Wii has been so well received, that an upgrade to Xbox360 (or close to it) performance would be a massive boost in graphical output, which they could easily sell for $299 and smash the competition. Though, something inside me would be surprised if they take it that far...I hope they do, but I'm thinking Wii-HD or whatever its called will just be powerful enough to push Wii looking titles in high-resolution with perhaps better textures and a little higher poly count. That sort of device would still sell like hotcakes though lol.
 

camineet

Banned
Mar 30, 2007
8,073
0
0
daCuk said:
Thanks for the info, camineet.

Small question...

Was Project Atlantis the same as EGM-rumored LiDo-239?


No, Project Atlantis was real -- It was just never brought to market, like other Nintendo hardware.


EGM-rumored LiDo239 was completely bogus.
 

Neomoto

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May 27, 2006
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This thread is amazing, I've read through it all and even though I can't really contribute on what has been said about the past, I will post what I feel Nintendo may do next.

Obviously this blue ocean strategy has been working out like a charm for them, but there are 2 negatives. They lost the upportunity to have multi-platform games. Developers are starting to put out more Wii versions alongside the "HD twins" counterparts, but in most cases it's a different team making a Wii version, and not truly multi-platform and it's causing the Wii to miss a lot of great titles. The second is that they didn't put enough effort in appealing to the "hardcore" (or so you would think going by general perception). From the lack of power, lack of multi-platform (and general quality 3rd party support), lack of space and "crippled" online system (it is more catered for the whole family / casuals while say Xbox Live is more catered specificly to the hardcore).

I think, that one of their objectives for their next-gen console system will be to deal with this. I don't know how long this console life-span will play out for Wii, but when the next system hits, surely a decent amount of power and everything can be made and still be $ 249.95 (they won't go higher, perhaps even lower if competition forces them, if I'm not wrong Wii is their most costly system ever, and it is the right mark or they would be priced outside the market).

With a fairly strong system, they will get most multiplatform versions and overall increased 3rd party support in general (which in turn will help perception towards the hardcore and even casual since the system would likely get all the mainstream genre's/games). I hope they'll have a "Nintendo WiFi Connection version 2" ready by then, which would give a good (but basic) online infrastructure to fix the disadvantages they have now.

The system will come with a harddrive (or build in flash memory like the Wii, but significantly increased to please both consumers and developers). This 3 things will fix most of Nintendo's disadvantages and aren't exactly hard to pull off.

In the meantime Virtual Console should be filled completely in the previous generation, so obviously they can't drop it and need to include it again. Same with WiiWare and possibly the newly added "Handheld Console", which of course gives consumers the ability to play all the great Game Boy and maybe even other handhelds games. Via WiFi they can even be transferred (and stored) on "DS 2". Depending on the avaiable space and such, perhaps even Gamecube games will be added to the virtual console? On the other hand, I guess it won't be easy to emulate it properly and it will take a lot of space and even then are there enough "sell-worthy" Gamecube games to justify it?). It would make Nintendo's total history avaiable (well, sort off). To accommodate the large increase of all these titles (VC, WiiWare, possible HV) they, and also the Wii Shop Channel, will see face lifts to make it easier / handier whatever (a lot of people on forums have also had complaints about the user interaction in the Wii Shop). The Everybody Nintendo's Channel may be fully integrated into all these channels. Perhaps even upgraded; say a feature which let you see what games your family and friends (that you have stored in your friendlist) have bought previously and perhaps even what they had to say about it (but perhaps this is already in the channel, I don't know exactly). Extra advantage next round will be that all these channels will in fact be there DAY ONE stored on every single console. I'm sure there are a lot of people not connected to the internet and don't know about something like WiiWare. Everyone will know after spending a couple of minutes on it and seeing the dashboard (and then they have (a lot more) intensive to hook it up to the Wii). Perhaps even advertise trailers accessable from the system's dashboard that showcase a lot of games you can purchase.

Having all these channels there day one will be pretty significant imo, people woudln't be dependent on a internet connection. This also means that things like the Internet Channel and what not will be there too. In Japan, there is a TV Guide Channel in which you can even use your Wiimote as a real tv remote and such. These are things that Nintendo could persue. Nintendo have shown interest in giving people options aside from gaming to entertain the whole family (things like everything with the Mii concept, with the channels and such, or the Everybody Votes Channel, News Channel or Weather Channel). Just throwing stuff out there, but what about a Youtube Channel, iPhone / iPod Touch did it and Wii users apparently view Youtube when browsing with the Wii and such, could be something interesting and appealing to the family. Maybe do more stuff with tv shows, movies or music. Perhaps even elements from Stage Debut could be turned into dedicated channels (with "upgraded WiiConnect24" usage).

It would be awesome to see them keeping a pack-in showcase game, like they did with Wii Sports. But instead of a disc it would be in the form of (a) channel(s) already installed. Hell, by that time they could even throw in some updated aspects of their Wii ___ games. Like the music making from Wii Music (along with that feature where you can record your videos and send them to others and such), Or certain parts from Wii Fit and Wii Sports / Resort. I would love to have a "Wii Sports Bowling lane Channel" with online (with friends)/Wii Speak integration to name something. They could integrate it in a central hub channel hehe (like how Home is doing some stuff) but in line with the Mii concept and such. Certain ideas from Animal Crossing but all in Mii style with Wii Speak in meeting places (a bar, theatre for music or movies, just a lounge room with own created furniture whatever). With a beach where you can do some of the Wii Sports Resort activities (waveracing or fishing and such) Or that could be the central hub. There are lots of upportunities (and that's just what I thought of in a small period of time, so just think what actual designers at Nintendo can come up with). Of course most of this wouldn't quite as simple if Nintendo decides to release sequals to these games but I don't see them releasing a sequal to something like Wii Fit and Wii Music or a direct sequal to Wii Sports (Resort carries just the name and same style, but all the sports are very different). Just like I don't see them releasing a sequal to say Nintendogs. They also probably won't be selling at that time so why not use some of those great ideas that have universal appeal and proven to be enormous hits. :) (while building upon them and expanding)

If Wii endures a long life-span they're first party backing will be hot as fuck when the new console launches. Think about it. There will be a new Zelda and a new Mario on Wii, they are working for over a year on Zelda already. What this means is, that there will also be a new Zelda and Mario very early when the next console launches. It takes 2-3 years to make one generally, so for the next, next Zelda it would take roughly 4 to 5 years from now which can easily make it a launch title again. Same can be applied for Mario (but I think Mario will be the launch game). Mario Kart and other big time franchises will have more than enough development time to release shortly on that console too, sort of like what happened with the Wii. But they can spread out their releases a bit more because of added 3rd party content instead of how they had to blew their load early to make up for the lack of it this generation, and they have more time to actually develop them if the Wii has a long life-span (unlike the gamecube which they needed to halt all development from a lot of studios after a couple of years).

Nintendo WILL have the backing of 3rd parties, western and eastern. For the first time in 3 generations they will have it (unless suddenly they fuck up during the Wii era). They'll have a steady flow of great multi-platform games, exclusive games, (obligatory crap fillercontent), great first party library and a very high amount of downloadable games. Basicly what you should expect from the market leader.

If Nintendo plays there cards right, they could have some serious momentum. Nintendo is doing the legwork right NOW, they are laying the foundation of potentially incredible succes next-generation (a lot more so even than this generation).

After reading all this, it may come across as that I think Nintendo will basicly do a WiiHD, but with a lot of extra features and expanding on what made the Wii succesfull and such. And well, that is true. I don't think Nintendo will do some insane stuff just to be innovative again. They have worked so hard to get where they are now during tough times, I don't think they'll all risk it again not when they have struck gold twice in a way no one would have thought possible (and they have felt the market needs perfectly and increased the whole gameindustry so they'll expand on what made Wii succesfull and fix the issues and add more features and such). Going "crazy" again would also burn more bridges between developers and Nintendo (again lack of power, online etc what I explained would be not ideal for Nintendo). So that's it then? Of course not, this is Nintendo. I haven't talked about the controlls :) What will they do? Frankly, I have no idea. Will it be a Wiimote (with the MotionPlus build in) but upgraded? New features? You know, that would be my best guess.

On the other hand.. Wii MotionPlus will be here in 9 months. If the Wii does have a long life-span, that would be developers years and years of getting the most out of it. Even Nintendo's EAD teams. Would the same thing but better and new features (along with better graphics) be enough? Wouldn't developers have run out of new things to think off? Wouldn't the competition be close to what you're doing? Would the expanded audience still be interested in gaming at all?! I think I'm going with the "it's to early to say, really" card, in so much time anything can happen. This thread proves it more than anything. It also depends on how the market will potentially change. Will they make a radicly different controller? It could happen, they've done it before after all. Nintendo made a prototype of a frisbee controller with a star-shaped big ass button on it, who knows what those guys will think off!
 

DrGAKMAN

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While Project Atlantis was real...it was real in the sense that when Gunpei Yokoi was with the company they were *always* tinkering with new hardware...especially portables. Project Atlantis was probably an outside codename for one or *many* handhelds Nintendo was working with around the time. Think about it, Nintendo has created TONS of portable devices or should I say platforms:
-Game & Watch (dozens of variants)
-GameBoy
-GameBoy Pocket
-GameBoy Light
-Virtual Boy
-GameBoy Color
-PokeMon mini
-Pikachu Unit
-Pikachu Unit 2
-GBA
-GBA sp
-GBA sp bright
-GB mini
-NDS prototype (E3 display unit)
-NDS (to market)
-NDS lite
Again, tons of portables, and even as he worked for Bandai he created the WonderSwan & WonderSwan Color. There's probably way more than we know of, but I'd imagine the closest thing Project Atlantis was to a released unit (in timeframe, technology and R&D) was the original GBA.

--------------------------------

Onto Nintendo's future, I really wanna see what you guys think about my universal format that plays in the next home & portable they make?

I know it's popular to think Nintendo will come out with a "WiiHD" (Michael Pachter being very vocal about it as well) to compete (more directly) with PS3 & X360. I...don't make sense of this. I mean, some developers aren't going to suddenly make games for it just 'cos it's as so or more so powerful than the machines out. This was discussed in another thread about how some developers just DON'T like Nintendo and just prefer more "serious" platforms for their "art" or whatever...and it's true, there's fanboys outside *and* inside of the industry, so I don't see the reasoning/benifit for Nintendo releasing a "WiiHD" as suggested. The likely outcome would be that MS & Sony would just boast about how much even betterer their systems would be and Nintendo would lose that fight in mindshare.

I'm *not* saying Nintendo's next system won't be powerful or HD, but that won't be it's lead point, nor will they introduce it early to try to "sandwich" the HD systems. Would that even make sense to do so...the major benifits of Wii besides it's different approach/interface is it's popularity/momentum/marketshare...it's attractive to 3RD parties who may have otherwise not been interested before (see: GTA on NDS, DR on Wii) 'cos of the potential their games would have to sell. Take away that major advantage with a (as some of you have said) early $250 to $300 (thus also losing the price advantage as MS will be aiming for sub $200 by then) Wii in HiDef would be a shot in the foot of the current Wii as the userbase would have to start over for this new system. If you're talking a split Wii/WiiHD co-existing thing then that's even worse as you draw a line between the haves and don't haves. Nintendo isn't going to do this just to appease some of us who want HD graphics sooner...if you haven't noticed Nintendo doesn't do what we want, they do their own thing.

I believe Nintendo will milk NDS & Wii as long as possible lasting JUST as long as the X360 & PS3 generation. I know some of you are thinking PS3 having a 10 year plan means Nintendo could do the current low-end Wii for the first 5 and the higher-end WiiHD the last 5. What you're missing is, Nintendo is the current market leader now, not Sony...the market will follow their lead in the end. Sony says that PS3 will last for 10 years, but that in no way means that it'll be the lead platform the whole of 10 years as PS4 will likely come before PS3's 10 years as up, just as PS3 & PS2 did before it. It could even be worse if Nintendo's Wii peak is still years from now (if NDS is any indication) and MS decides to "jump in" early again...however...I sorta have this feeling that Sony & MS won't want to start another generation until they've broke even and gained profit/marketshare/mindshare in this generation. They also likely won't want to start their marketshare all over again until Nintendo plans to and letting Nintendo just have the "victory" this time. So, in that, I really don't see the next Nintendo console coming until late 2011, maybe even 2012 or later with the next portable only being around a year before.

The only hints Nintendo has given us so far about their next generation is that the next one will be in HD (Iwata) and they plan to disrupt themselves (Iwata & Reggie) yet Mr Miyamoto did say that the generations usually follow a revolution to evolution cycle (with the Wii of course being a revolution) and that they may not make a new platform until the next revolution (skipping evolution perhaps?) comes to them. This could mean that they're waiting a long time until they believe the current Wii is no longer viable (long lifespan, no stop-gaps) or that they may just evolve Wii (an upscaled Wii possibly?) next generation. I like to think he meant longer life (more milking, profits, etc.) which means no minor Wii upgrade in a year or two as they'll wait for the next revolution instead. However, I would imagine that Nintendo is planning for BOTH (low end short term evolution of the current Wii, possibly the WiiDVD Iwata said would be delayed (to add more features???) AND the longer-term higher-end revolutionary next-gen system). And by revolution or disrupting themselves they could mean more than just in interface (as the competition will likely do so with their next-gen systems as well) which leads me to believe they plan on causing a shift in their business as well!

Taking that into account and depending on if they can milk this current generation long enough I really do believe that Nintendo will go for a universal format that plays across all their platforms (home console & portable).
 

agrajag

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Why are people saying Nintendo will introduce the new system early? There's no reason to. As long as Wii is making money, they will milk it for all its worth. It makes no sense for them to segment their own market and compete against their own console. The Wii is doing a fine job leading the market, and I figure it will have a longer market lifespan than 360 and PS3.
 

Gwanatu T

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Sorry, I meant to reply to your post about the universal format earlier. Although I think it's a novel idea and certainly part of the disruption theme they've been working on for the last 4 years, I'm not sure how feasible this is. Think about this from a developers perspective, think about how much work it would be just to get the same game to work with two different consoles, even if they are only different on an input level. I guess it would make it a multi-platform release in some ways and sell to some people over others, but at the same time I think it would be just too hard to sell to developers as is. It ultimately seems that this is the way Nintendo could go for sure though, so I guess we'll have to wait and see. Maybe they'll just have the portable system hook up to the TV as well.

As for "WiiHD" or whatever, when I was reading it from other people I was thinking that this would be their next-gen system, not just an upgraded version of the Wii, sort of like Wii2 or something. The problem that Nintendo has right now in regards to power really isn't about polygons or effects or even texture resolution, it's plain old resolution. The Wii isn't HD and that's what's holding it back the most if you ask me. Making things sharper and clearer always helps, regardless of what the final outcome is. It's nice to see things without jaggies, to not have a fuzzy screen, and to generally be able to see more on the screen. I'm glad to see that they will have HD next-gen, because that's really what's going to help it the most. Right now though most people don't have an HDTV and most likely won't be buying an HDTV for a while anyway. Once HDTV sell through rates reach to the vast majority (read: 80%+) then that's when HD will really matter in a console, but for now the mainstream, who Nintendo is primarily selling to anyway, couldn't care less about HD and why they "need it now!" as MS and Sony want to tell you. I think ultimately this is what needs to happen of course, as we've moved from 320*240 to 1920*1080 that the 360/PS3 offers, and it's just something that eventually needs to happen.

That being said I also expect them to have more inputs/interfaces/whatever for the next system, much like they've been introducing with the Wii via Balance Board, Motion Plus, etc. I'm not sure what they're going to do next-next gen, but next gen will almost certainly be an upgrade of sorts with new things "tacked on" rather than a complete redesign like going from Wii>Gamecube. If they can I'm sure they'll follow the pattern of

major hardware upgrade/minor interface upgrade>minor hardware upgrade/redesigned interface>back to the start
 

Lionheart1827

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Jul 27, 2007
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Eiolon said:
Does anyone know if they intended the Dolphin to be cartridge-based or is this system purely for development (cause I think it has a CD drive as well).


I believe that is just a development GC. I remember watching a Rogue Leader video with Julian Eggebrecht on gamespot back around the GC was released and he was saying something about different kits and I think one of them was a cart based one for debugging or whatever. I think they had that red one as well as a Teal one.
 

DrGAKMAN

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Gwanatu T said:
Sorry, I meant to reply to your post about the universal format earlier. Although I think it's a novel idea and certainly part of the disruption theme they've been working on for the last 4 years, I'm not sure how feasible this is. Think about this from a developers perspective, think about how much work it would be just to get the same game to work with two different consoles, even if they are only different on an input level. I guess it would make it a multi-platform release in some ways and sell to some people over others, but at the same time I think it would be just too hard to sell to developers as is. It ultimately seems that this is the way Nintendo could go for sure though, so I guess we'll have to wait and see. Maybe they'll just have the portable system hook up to the TV as well.

As for "WiiHD" or whatever, when I was reading it from other people I was thinking that this would be their next-gen system, not just an upgraded version of the Wii, sort of like Wii2 or something. The problem that Nintendo has right now in regards to power really isn't about polygons or effects or even texture resolution, it's plain old resolution. The Wii isn't HD and that's what's holding it back the most if you ask me. Making things sharper and clearer always helps, regardless of what the final outcome is. It's nice to see things without jaggies, to not have a fuzzy screen, and to generally be able to see more on the screen. I'm glad to see that they will have HD next-gen, because that's really what's going to help it the most. Right now though most people don't have an HDTV and most likely won't be buying an HDTV for a while anyway. Once HDTV sell through rates reach to the vast majority (read: 80%+) then that's when HD will really matter in a console, but for now the mainstream, who Nintendo is primarily selling to anyway, couldn't care less about HD and why they "need it now!" as MS and Sony want to tell you. I think ultimately this is what needs to happen of course, as we've moved from 320*240 to 1920*1080 that the 360/PS3 offers, and it's just something that eventually needs to happen.

That being said I also expect them to have more inputs/interfaces/whatever for the next system, much like they've been introducing with the Wii via Balance Board, Motion Plus, etc. I'm not sure what they're going to do next-next gen, but next gen will almost certainly be an upgrade of sorts with new things "tacked on" rather than a complete redesign like going from Wii>Gamecube. If they can I'm sure they'll follow the pattern of

major hardware upgrade/minor interface upgrade>minor hardware upgrade/redesigned interface>back to the start

If you're willing to take a look, follow the later pages of this thread where Shogmaster & myself discuss Nintendo's future handheld successor to NDS. He's certainly more technically-informed than I am when it comes to matters of specs BUT I do believe I'm onto something when I believe that Nintendo could definatly be aiming at this kind of performance on a chip like the Imageon which would line-up perfectly with a universal chipset/format. It boils down to him believing that Nintendo will go the cheap/conservative route (and i'll give him that), but that they'll launch it sooner (and you'll note his propossed launch of a PowerVR-based DC-level portable has already came & went even with NO talk from Nintendo on their next portable) VS me believing that Nintendo will go with a kill 2 birds with 1 stone (portable & console) chipset/format solution and that the portable (being the lower-end of the two) would be GC/Wii-level making it a full generation ahead of NDS since it would have a later release date. I doubt PowerVR 'cos (while it's a good option) Nintendo Nintendo has never gone with their designs...whereas Nintendo *has* been with ATi's technology (fitting with B/C & history) and the OPEN GL developement API which is what the Imageon SoC would give them.

That long story short...this universal format idea is just as much about the portable as it is the console and since Imageon is scalable (from portable to HiDef applications) and use cheaper, cooler running, smaller, less power consuming, more focused SoC architectures...Nintendo really could kill 2 birds with 1 stone this way. A souped up Imageon SoC for a home console wouldn't be OMG-PS4 killer or anything, but that fits with Nintendo's conservativeness while still offering a HD Wii at mass consumer prices *and* allowing cross-code games to it's lower-resolution portable cousin.

Chips & screen resolutions aside I'm sure that the biggest concern would be how to play Wii-like games on a portable and vice versa how to play NDS-like games on Wii...well, the lowest common denominator across both systems would be the portable both in power/graphics and play control. It's one thing to code a game that works at two different resolutions, but controls would be a concern...that's why I believe having more traditional controls (digital buttons) available to both platforms out of the box is the best way to make the same game work on both. The "core" gamer would like this as well and I *know* that sounds like Nintendo would be going backwords on their new interface/reach everyone success, but not really. Nintendo has never told a developer on either the current NDS or Wii that they CAN'T do traditional controls...in fact, their own games like Mario Kart & Smash Bros. offer a variety of controls...which I think is what's BEST...giving people the options to do either. Some games (like a boxing game or more interactive games) would work better at home of course and other games (like pinpoint precision games) would work better with a touchscreen...however, that doesn't mean that the games can't be offered in some way in either form and there are ways to work around it somewhat. Especially given that Wiimote aiming and touchscreen gaming are similar, tilting & traditional controls work either way and certain peripherals (like say a new wireless Nunchuck) could work with either platform. As it stands right now, there are tons of games that developers make that get released on both NDS & Wii despite their control differences (puzzle games, RPG's, Sim games, etc.) and I think it would be very attractive for publishers of those types of games to develope, produce, distribute & market ONE game to reach BOTH markets as oppossed to two seperate sku's...and I'm sure retailers & consumers would like it too...plus it makes connectivity a much easier concept to put into action as well.

I have thought about a portable that could plug into the TV as you said...but...in the end, it would leave the home consumer high'n'dry as they'd have to buy the portable (which they may not want) and the "home kit" to play the games at home and the performance on the home set-up wouldn't be as nice as a home console made for it that just happens to play the same games.

A universal format isn't too far-fetched since digital distribution is where a chunk of the industry is (and other industries are) headed and that too can be universal cross-platform. I don't think it'll kill off physical media at all, but making physical media more universal itself would help keep things in balance in an industry where there isn't much balance (console vs arcade vs portable vs mobile vs pc).
 

blu

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Gwanatu T said:
The PowerVR chip inside the Dreamcast offered free AA via the tile rendering that it did AFAIK. It's fillrate and polygon limitations were also succumbed by using the excellent tile render/occlusion engine that the PowerVR unit inside the Dreamcast had, allowing games with close-quarters to theoretically be higher detailed. I don't know how many developers made use of this, but I suspect that Shenmue's city design used this feature heavily to feature more polygons per area than if they made a larger more open city like the one found in GTA3.
despite having an advanced rasteriser .. scratch that, the most advanced piece of consumer-grade 3D rasterizer money could buy at the time, the DC suffered in two departments in comparison with the rest of the hw that gen: RAM volume, and lack of hw TnL, the latter posing the Sisyphus task of vertex-crunching on the CPU's SIMD. also, AFAIK, there was a practical upper limit on the polygonal complexity of a scene - the deferred renderer's scene-capturing buffers could hold only so many polies, which would've forced an artificial scene partitioning at reaching that limit, (ala 360's current approach at AA @ high res) thus posing a performance hit at already heavy scenes.

had the DC been equipped with NAOMI's ELAN TnL unit, things would've been quite different performance-minset-wise. of course, that would've made the console's already-costly design skyrocket, so take that with a pinch of lala-land salt.

You know it's funny, because I was the exact same way except on Sega's "side". I hated Sony and never owned a PSX because I felt that they didn't belong in the industry. I also felt the same way about MS but to a lesser extent, simply because they helped Sega all throughout the 90s, especially with the Dreamcast, and it redeemed them in my eyes.
i don't know why so many sega fans think of MS as some kind of sega patrons and/or disciples, as the similarities between the two companies are totally superficial. MS' technological participation in the DC project did nothing to help sega's cause ('opening the door for the vast windows 3d catalogue', really?), and was essentially only for MS' own good, as they got unrestricted access to some state-of-the-art console tech, which fact surely must have helped them with getting their joke of a 3d API (at the time), dx's d3d, off the mud (for reference, that's the dx6-to-dx7 timeframe).

last but not least, it was not the dreaded ps2 but MS' plans for an own console later on that played the final straw breaking the DC camel's back, forcing sega to drop the towel.
 

[Nintex]

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blu said:
last but not least, it was not the dreaded ps2 but MS' plans for an own console later on that played the final straw breaking the DC camel's back, forcing sega to drop the towel.
It was SEGA's own grave digging that made them bankrupt. Even the Genesis which was very succesfull didn't brought in enough money for various reasons. The expansions, multiple hardware projects and other stuff in development that went nowhere. Then the Saturn was released and it bombed right out of the gate because it was too expensive and they didn't have software ready. For example, Nintendo would never announce a Mario platform game and cancel it down the line. SEGA did just that with Sonic X-Treme and although they always seemed to have back-up plans I always wondered why tey didn't use the "back-up" teams to fix games that didn't make the holiday season.They were constantly working on 2 titles to be released in the same timeframe. Like they knew that one of those games would end up in development hell.

Once the Dreamcast hit SEGA of America had lost their influence and I doubt that they liked the Sammy merger. My guess is that SoA wanted to join Microsoft but I guess that Microsoft didn't want to support SEGA's system and instead wanted to launch a new console to take on the PS2. A Microsoft console with SEGA as their first party developer would've been the most awesome thing ever although SEGA's arcades might have taken a hit. On the other hand, I remember that Sammy was a Panchiko giant with billions of cash reserves. And now that they're with SEGA they're living of table scraps.
 

Neomoto

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DrGAKMAN said:
I know it's popular to think Nintendo will come out with a "WiiHD" (Michael Pachter being very vocal about it as well) to compete (more directly) with PS3 & X360. I...don't make sense of this. I mean, some developers aren't going to suddenly make games for it just 'cos it's as so or more so powerful than the machines out. This was discussed in another thread about how some developers just DON'T like Nintendo and just prefer more "serious" platforms for their "art" or whatever...and it's true, there's fanboys outside *and* inside of the industry, so I don't see the reasoning/benifit for Nintendo releasing a "WiiHD" as suggested. The likely outcome would be that MS & Sony would just boast about how much even betterer their systems would be and Nintendo would lose that fight in mindshare.
You know, it doesn't matter at all what the "fanboys" that reside in developmenthouses think. Nintendo is marketleader by far. They have already a enormous userbase, which will only grow and grow the coming years. When they release their next console, these developers (or should I say Publishers) will be there from the start, they have to. No matter what they think of Nintendo, if they don't fuck up with huge royalties or some non-standard disc medium (and perhaps again lack of power) then they have no reason to not support Nintendo. It will lose them money. Sure, not EVERY game will be ported to "Wii 2" because some publishers really don't care, but the majority will (and that is still infinitely better than what Wii is currently getting). Perhaps they even get (ports) of the bigger titles from both east and western companies. What if the console has games like high profile 3rd party games like "RE 5", "FF XIII", "CoD 4" and "GTA IV" this generation turned out to be? They haven't got such high profile games for 3 generations now. A LOT of people buy consoles for this kind of support, it would also be a hit to the competition because "Wii 2" will have the best of both worlds (Western and Eastern + heavy first party backing no other console can compete with). Also, to be clear I only said "WiiHD" to give it some kind of name, I don't mean just the Wii but with a higher resolution output, just a next-generation system "Wii 2" in case that bit was directed at me, I thought it would be clear from the context :)

And my point was, that if the Wii could at least be powerfull enough to make multi platform porting possible, that and that alone will suffice. There is no need to go head to head with Sony and Microsoft, they just need the 3rd party efforts. Wii has very low development costs, low royalties, normal media etc but it doesn't get multi platform titles and that's because of the lack of power. Even the gamecube got it's fair share of multiplatform titles in the first 2 years (some inferior because lack of online), because the hardware was at least powerfull enough and the gamecube sold pretty well at first.

Btw, Nintendo (Iwata) have already publicly said that they will support HD output with their next console, because he felt that at that time the HD adoption rate would be high enough and the cost would be low enough to be profitable.

All these things would do a lot for Nintendo, they also can't for a THIRD generation go with basicly the same hardware. So a hardware upgrade is necessary, especially if the Wii has a long lifespan. They still won't be in the techrace, they just would have an affordable console that is powerfull enough to do it's thing while not putting of developers to give them their support.

DrGAKMAN said:
I'm *not* saying Nintendo's next system won't be powerful or HD, but that won't be it's lead point, nor will they introduce it early to try to "sandwich" the HD systems. Would that even make sense to do so...the major benifits of Wii besides it's different approach/interface is it's popularity/momentum/marketshare...it's attractive to 3RD parties who may have otherwise not been interested before (see: GTA on NDS, DR on Wii) 'cos of the potential their games would have to sell. Take away that major advantage with a (as some of you have said) early $250 to $300 (thus also losing the price advantage as MS will be aiming for sub $200 by then) Wii in HiDef would be a shot in the foot of the current Wii as the userbase would have to start over for this new system. If you're talking a split Wii/WiiHD co-existing thing then that's even worse as you draw a line between the haves and don't haves. Nintendo isn't going to do this just to appease some of us who want HD graphics sooner...if you haven't noticed Nintendo doesn't do what we want, they do their own thing.
I have addressed some points above and I absolutely agree with the first part. They won't and don't need to compete directly. That is not the point. The major benefits of the Wii will still be there, but they will expand on it. How much does the Xbox360 cost NOW to produce? I bet not much more (if at all) then the retail price, since they are profitable now. So if Microsoft with it's less efficient hardware can produce them at such a price, I really don't see how Nintendo can't make a somewhat decent capable system for 200 - 250 dollars years and years from now when Wii will die. It will still have all the advantages and perhaps more appeal for whatever they'll do, but also a upgrade in power without increase in price (they'll sell it for 200 - 250 dollars anyway, no matter how much less the producing costs are).

DrGAKMAN said:
The only hints Nintendo has given us so far about their next generation is that the next one will be in HD (Iwata) and they plan to disrupt themselves (Iwata & Reggie) yet Mr Miyamoto did say that the generations usually follow a revolution to evolution cycle (with the Wii of course being a revolution) and that they may not make a new platform until the next revolution (skipping evolution perhaps?) comes to them. This could mean that they're waiting a long time until they believe the current Wii is no longer viable (long lifespan, no stop-gaps) or that they may just evolve Wii (an upscaled Wii possibly?) next generation. I like to think he meant longer life (more milking, profits, etc.) which means no minor Wii upgrade in a year or two as they'll wait for the next revolution instead. However, I would imagine that Nintendo is planning for BOTH (low end short term evolution of the current Wii, possibly the WiiDVD Iwata said would be delayed (to add more features???) AND the longer-term higher-end revolutionary next-gen system). [...]
Interesting. I knew about the comments from Nintendo's representatives. Perhaps it would be interesting to not forget Miyamoto's statements on how he feels someday there won't be a TV screen needed to play games (or that you don't need to look at it?) or that he wants to make a game that makes something like that possible? something to that effect, my memory is pretty hazy about that.

I agree that Nintendo is likely covering all their basis. Both with the Wii and DS. I think you are right in that they are at least (or have been) experimenting with a low-end and a high-end (both in features/controlls or power) system. It wouldn't even surprise me if they have been working on a third revised DS model. Personally I think the DS Lite is absolutely perfect as it is, but you never know (especially if the DS has a very long life-span, to make something like a "Handheld Console" downloadable service possible before their next system). It could even fight of a PSP2 if Sony decides to drop it early while there is still plenty of life in the DS.


On your theory about a universal medium / system. Hmm, it's intersting and a cool concept. I think that it *could* be a great succes but they would need full backing on the stronger development houses or both consoles would fail (since they share the same medium). You said cartridge, which frankly would be perfect (onboard memory for saving and dlc and whatever, no loading times, cartridges can have enough space these days -- but how about piracy issues?). But would developers fall for it? (Western DS support is worthless, even after 3.5 years of mega succes) They would still have a lot of problems because it would again split the market (normal medium, possibility to have a bunch of consoles as one audience) and "Nintendo" because of medium and possibly lack of power again. At least Nintendo will be clear marketleader this time around which could make a world of difference I guess.

I think Nintendo will see possibilities. A game like Mario and Sonic which one might see as the same game but 2 SKU's, sold enormously and that would be a perfect example of how software could be handled I think (not exactly the same but theoretical as a concept). Nintendo wouldn't need to split their internal development teams for handheld and console development (say, they'll develop 1 Mario Kart and they have covered both markets). People with both consoles would only need to buy 1 game and they can play it on both (or with something like Animal Crossing, you can play at home and when you go on vacation or whatever you continue on your handheld with the same savefile and everything). They could also use their interaction between home and handheld console more, we've yet to see them really take advantage of Wii <-> DS. But how will they sell the games? The boxart I mean? They can't do a "DS 2" and a "Wii 2" boxart anymore then? A hybrid boxart?

About the DS's succesor. I really don't know what they'll do, but if they are going the evolution route I think (hope?) they'll continue with the 2 screens, but make them widescreen and perhaps a bit larger in height (would also help in DS backwards compatibility, gba support will be dropped). We already saw a patent from Nintendo about using multi-touchscreens, in which they also showed an theoretical example of Star Fox in which you fly the plane (arwing) by using 2 fingers. Perhaps they would make both screens a touchscreen. Increase in power, build in flash memory for storage and firmware updates and whatnot. A dashboard like the Wii has with channels would perhaps be a good idea too. Online infrastructure improved, ready from the get-go, standard voice chat functionality. A "handheld shop" in which you can purchase things. Perhaps integrated features like GPS, Video playback, music, build in Opera/Safari browser like the Wii or iPhone, Mii integration like with Wii / "Wii 2".
 

josh_tarrant

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Feb 28, 2008
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I have read GAF for years and this is the first time that i have posted and it is due to this thread. It is amazing. The way that I see Nintendo progressing is do to with the quote from Robert rodriguez from a couple of years ago to do with a full stereoscopic 3D games machine (tried to find a link for it, but cant really find anything). The quote went along the lines of - Nintendo, behind closed doors, showed an add on for the cube a few years back that would involved a stereoscopic 3D machine . It was then later discussed in a round table with other directors Peter Jackson, James Cameron and others who said that they all thought that this technology would hit the video games industry quicker than Hollywood.

and wasnt here a Ubisoft video recently that focused on something similar. Unsure what it would do to games and how it would work but I think that could be the next major "disruption" in the video games industry.
 

marc^o^

Nintendo's Pro Bono PR Firm
Feb 17, 2005
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Next Nintendo's disruption could involve a 3D display rendering, using the sensor bar.
I am 100% sure they will keep the MotionPlus+wiimote controller for their next system. They will certainly fusion it, make a cosmetic change but it will keep the same functionnalities. It is already one generation ahead of its time, and its huge penetration will represent their main competitive advantage to secure customer's loyalty.

I don't believe in interoperabily for their next handleld/console: they will want to make as much money as they can from both devices. Besides their next portable will leverage their Gc/wii technology, whereas their next HD console will look a lot like a 360/PS3. They will assume 3rd parties will want to put an end on costly technology inflation (didn't gta4 cost $100 millions while selling less than the previous episode?) and that they'll be keen to adapt their best sellers for the Wii HD with motion controls (a trend that is already seen with Capcom).

Wii's business model is so good they are not only winning this gen, but also creating a strong foundation to win the upcoming console competition.
 

Neomoto

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josh_tarrant said:
I have read GAF for years and this is the first time that i have posted and it is due to this thread. It is amazing. The way that I see Nintendo progressing is do to with the quote from Robert rodriguez from a couple of years ago to do with a full stereoscopic 3D games machine (tried to find a link for it, but cant really find anything). The quote went along the lines of - Nintendo, behind closed doors, showed an add on for the cube a few years back that would involved a stereoscopic 3D machine . It was then later discussed in a round table with other directors Peter Jackson, James Cameron and others who said that they all thought that this technology would hit the video games industry quicker than Hollywood.
I totally forgot about that.

http://www.gamespot.com/pages/forums/show_msgs.php?topic_id=26124662

First hit in Google I got.

"Lightspeed Design Group 3D Show Reel" by Lightspeed Design Group (Bellevue, Washington) featuring a range of computer animated 3D video productions for clients including Nintendo Gamecube, [...]
All of the directors agreed that exhibitors likely would face their greatest competition in the future from owners of sophisticated and affordable home-theater systems. Portable digital projectors can throw images on nearly any surface -- including glass and water -- and at sizes ranging from compact to the broad side of a barn. Video gaming is also expected to provide an attractive revenue stream for backers of true 3-D.

"Sure, it's inevitable," Lucas said. "It'll probably make it into homes through video games before anything else.
If that's not enough, he goes on. During the ShoWest film conference, a panel featuring George Lucus, Robert Zemekis, James Cameron, Robert Rodriguez, and a satellite feed from Peter Jackson discuss their plans to integrate cheap digital stereoscopic 3D into major theater chains by 2007. Here's where things get interesting: Burgess claims to know an agent who spoke to Robert Rodriguez, stating they knew of a game machine that would exploit this new wave of 3D entertainment well before Hollywood could jump in on the market."
Burgess goes on to say he spoke to an industry friend about his new theory, to which the industry friend said that Nintendo had shown a real-time 3D add-on for GameCube behind closed doors. When? At last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

Going by the date of when that was posted, and the reference to "last year's e3" that would make it e3 2003 when Nintendo supposedly did this behind closed doors, which would fall in line with the time they were actively working on Nintendo Revolution. It would also fall in line with this quote from Miyamoto:

Miyamoto said:
"I've always thought that games would eventually break free of the confines of a TV screen to fill an entire room. But I would rather not say anything more about that."
(I referenced it before in my post above but now I've looked the quote up). This was from november 2005

Hmm I wonder, who knows what crazy shit Nintendo has been doing all that time since Gamecube "failed". Perhaps Wii and DS where just the beginning.
 

pn18

Banned
Oct 8, 2006
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Neomoto said:
Hmm I wonder, who knows what crazy shit Nintendo has been doing all that time since Gamecube "failed". Perhaps Wii and DS where just the beginning.
They're swimming in money right now and therefore they won't take any risk till they hitting the dust again in 2-3 generations.
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
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[Nintex] said:
It was SEGA's own grave digging that made them bankrupt.
oh, it surely did. i was speaking of the metaphoric final straw. i can't provide sources for that ATM but i do remember that sega officially dropped the towel the moment ms showed clear intentions for a console of their own. an absolutely logical step, given that the market cannot sustain 4 direct competitors. heck, you'd have to be called nintendo to get away even with a 3rd place. and sega circa 2000 were not nintendo circa 2002, let alone nintedo circa 2006.

Once the Dreamcast hit SEGA of America had lost their influence and I doubt that they liked the Sammy merger. My guess is that SoA wanted to join Microsoft but I guess that Microsoft didn't want to support SEGA's system and instead wanted to launch a new console to take on the PS2.
i think you have the timelines slightly confused. by the time sammy showed strong interest in sega there was no more 'a sega (home) system' to speak of, sega had already gone 3rd party. check the wiki account on the timeframe. and ms had long declared plans for a console of their own.

A Microsoft console with SEGA as their first party developer would've been the most awesome thing ever although SEGA's arcades might have taken a hit. On the other hand, I remember that Sammy was a Panchiko giant with billions of cash reserves. And now that they're with SEGA they're living of table scraps.
i don't see what would've been so awesome, given sega had their fair share of 3rd party stuff on the xbox anyway, and even though some of those titles were acclaimed successes, they did not make the brand what it is today (a game by a certain macintosh game company did that).
 

camineet

Banned
Mar 30, 2007
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DrGAKMAN - your posts on Nintendo's future, and what you see/hope/want/etc for Nintendo's future, are so overwhelming interesting, and long (a GOOD thing), that I will have to take some significant time to write my own replies to those. I don't have that time just now, but believe me, I read everything you write, with interest :D



As for Project Atlantis and its StrongARM110 CPU @ 100 or 166 or 200 MHz, although that's faster than not only GBA @ 16 MHz and DS @ 67 MHz, I doubt the graphics engine was anywhere near that of DS (which is PS1/N64 level), and was probably something closer to a beefed up SNES, not too much unlike what GBA got. Also, Atlantis certainly would not have the features of DS. Basicly Atlantis would probably have been a very very fast GBA with more than enough CPU power to handle any chip-enhanced SNES game, and at least the processing power that the 32-bit Nintendo Disc would've provided, without the CD-ROM medium.


It would've been interesting to see Atlantis in 1999/2000 and the higher-end Dolphin in 2000/2001 instead of GBA/GCN. Then a Nitro/DS with the tilt kept in, and Revolution/Wii with the original known higher-end GameCube2 specs (which I assume would've been close to 360) as well. But Nintendo does what they think is best for THEIR bottem line, not what will please us. Their current strategy couldn't be much better from a profit point of view.


As for stereoscopic 3D or 3D/holographics projection that allows gamers to break free from the confines of the TV, that sounds like something that would be the next revolutionary system, for the 2017-2020 timeframe, and of the same generation as Xbox4/PS5.

I think Nintendo will go with an evolutionary WiiHD in 2011-2012 with more advanced motion controls and a somewhat better chipset than Xbox360,PS3 (yet also simpler)

WiiHD: simple, fast dual-core CPU @ 3-4 GHz
~1B transistor 1 TeraFLOP GPU - 1 GB RAM - small HDD
whereas Xbox3,PS4 will use
CPUs with dozens of small cores @ 4-6 GHz,
4 GB RAM, multi TeraFlop, multi-billion transistor GPUs

Nintendo needs their 2011/2012 console to be on par with what midrange PCs can do now, if not better, and if not closer to Xbox3,PS4 but in a simple effiecient low-cost architecture, similar to how GameCube compared to PS2,Xbox1.
 

Hcoregamer00

The 'H' stands for hentai.
Feb 9, 2007
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camineet said:
Then for this generation, perhaps Nintendo would've gone with a more 'revolutionary' interface for Dolphin2/GameCube2/Revolution. Well, at least what the MotionPlus is soon going to offer. Plus, modern visuals with a more powerful GPU with a modern architecture, as powerful as Xbox360's Xenos, but rendering everything in SD instead of HD or near-HD as 360/PS3 do, to keep game development costs down. Also a simple, fast, single-core CPU instead of multicore CPU, 256 MB RAM instead of 512 MB, to also keep costs in check. Nintendo could still have launched at $249 and still have had a 'disruptive' console this gen. Game developers would have lowend hardware that was a major improvement over Dolphin/GameCube, but not totally obsolete late 90s hardware. Gameplay and new control would still be the focus, not hardware specs.

Quoted for so much damn truth.

My problem with the wii was not the lack of power, it was the lack of improvement over the Gamecube. Sure there are some games that look pretty nice, but having been spoiled by XBOX I was expecting at least that much of an improvement. I was hoping for 480p standard in every game along with a huge improvement pixel/vertex shaders. Even if Nintendo got a low end modern GPU, this problem would be resolved, especially since BC IS NOT important for gamecube fans. After all, I have a working gamecube that works wonderfully, I don't care about playing my gamecube games on the Wii.

Then you consider a far more important aspect, the developers. Many developers have been avoiding the wii, not because of the type of people who buy the games, but because of the limitation of the hardware. If they would spend time learning new shading techniques required by the X360/PS3, then why would they want to go relearn past information? If the Wii had a more modern CPU/GPU but was in the lower end, the console would still be $250, and Nintendo would be making smaller profit margins. They would also have a shit ton of developers jumping the 360 and PS3 ship because it would be similar technology.

By making the Wii with a modern GPU and CPU, Nintendo could have had its cake and eat it too. They could have the casual market that they are gaining right now, but they would also have the Japanese and Western developers jumping into the Wii family to appeal to the hardcore gamers. The Nintendo domination would have been INSANE.
 

[Nintex]

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camineet said:
It would've been interesting to see Atlantis in 1999/2000 and the higher-end Dolphin in 2000/2001 instead of GBA/GCN. Then a Nitro/DS with the tilt kept in, and Revolution/Wii with the original known higher-end GameCube2 specs (which I assume would've been close to 360) as well. But Nintendo does what they think is best for THEIR bottem line, not what will please us. Their current strategy couldn't be much better from a profit point of view.
Nintendo designed the GameCube with a 200mhz GPU, they couldn't do it because of low yields so they had to change the GPU to 166mhz to avoid supply problems. The GCN was a comprimise on every level, but the high-end Dolphin was released in the end as the Tri-Force arcade board which had more ram. AV still managed to bring the F-Zero AX tracks to GX though, although the textures are slightly less detailed among other things. I doubt that a faster dolphin would've made much of a difference. Nintendo already beat the PS2 in performance(that was their goal). With more RAM we might've seen more sandbox/open world games for the system that's the only thing next to the small disks that held the GameCube back, the lack of RAM.
 

camineet

Banned
Mar 30, 2007
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[Nintex] said:
Nintendo designed the GameCube with a 200mhz GPU, they couldn't do it because of low yields so they had to change the GPU to 166mhz to avoid supply problems. The GCN was a comprimise on every level, but the high-end Dolphin was released in the end as the Tri-Force arcade board which had more ram. AV still managed to bring the F-Zero AX tracks to GX though, although the textures are slightly less detailed among other things. I doubt that a faster dolphin would've made much of a difference. Nintendo already beat the PS2 in performance(that was their goal). With more RAM we might've seen more sandbox/open world games for the system that's the only thing next to the small disks that held the GameCube back, the lack of RAM.

No, the TriForce board was not the highend Dolphin. TriForce was merely the downgraded GameCube with 48 MB 1T-SRAM main memory.

The downgrade you're talking about was the 2nd downgrade (and lesser of the two). It was the downgrade that happened after GameCube had been announced at SpaceWorld 2000 that happened sometime between that SpaceWorld and E3 2001.

What you're thinking of, the 200 MHz Dolphin/GameCube, that's not the highend Dolphin that was described by a combination of official specs, and reported specs during 1999 and just upto SpaceWorld 2000.

The highend Dolphin that was expected/anticipated before GameCube was revealed at SW2000 was basicly this:
bold = official Dolphin info, non-bold = reported/rumored Dolphin info.

CPU: IBM Gekko 400+ MHz supposedly more powerful than Emotion Engine clock for clock, early version of which was already blowing Emotion Engine away.
GPU: ArtX Flipper 200+ MHz. 20-30 possibly upto 40 million texture-mapped, gouraud shaded, polygons/sec with anti-aliasing, lighting, plus all other features/effects on.
8 to 16 MB embedded 1T-SRAM on Flipper
32 MB custom NEC DDR RAM upto 64 MB
DVD media
ability to connect to and browse the internet. some sort of online network, 'Star Road'
New type of controller with new capabilities: color screen, analog, trackball, some sort of tilt-motion capability, maybe a microphone & speaker, as seen in that Dolphin controller mockup on the first page.

The GameCube revealed at SpaceWorld 2000 was significantly lower spec, even though the GPU was still listed as 200 MHz. Everything was lower-end. The RAM was only 24 MB (not counting the very slow 16 MB 'ARAM') the embedded RAM was only 3.12 MB. The polygon count, although conservatively 6-12M in-game, was still only about 15M at most. The controller was very conventional, just shaped the way Nintendo wanted. There was no internet capability or online network, just seperate modem and BBA which would never be used for more than a few games.

The 2nd significant but less severe downgrade, the one most people remember was when the GPU was lowered from 200 MHz to 162 MHz, the CPU was increased from 405 MHz to 485 MHz, and every area of bandwidth (system wide, and within the GPU) was significantly lowered to match the lower clockspeed of the GPU. The latency of the RAM (main & embedded) went up, making it slower.

The Wii, in many (not all/every) ways, brings GameCube back upto the high-end Dolphin, more or less. When I say more or less, that means in some ways, Wii is a bit more than the high-end Dolphin (more advanced motion controls), and somewhat less (still only 3.12 MB 1T-SRAM embedded on the GPU, not the original 8-16MB. Also don't confuse Hollywood's on-package 24 MB 1T-SRAM, which is still external, with true embedded on-chip RAM, its not the same thing. Also, if GameCube provides 15 million fully featured polygons/sec then Wii is about 22.5 million, which is on the lower end of the high-end Dolphin.

I think that might have confused many of you, perhaps 3 or 4 people that very, very closely followed Dolphin's development in 1999-2000 and from 2000 to 2001, not just from 2000 to 2001.
 

zabaioth

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Mar 28, 2007
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Slightly OT, but somehow i think it fits:
Is anyone aware of what HAL is/was doing all the time?
They released very few titles in the last years. I believe to remember something like they never were just for games but doing librarys and other stuff for the then current console generation.
So, is HAL producing middle ware? Engines? Other tools? I´m curious about this and can´t find any info.
Didn´t want to make a new thread just on this small piece of information.
 

DrGAKMAN

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Jun 7, 2004
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Thanks to everyone for the participation in this topic.

I want to point out to those saying that Nintendo should have went with a more powerful chipset (even at the sacrifice of GCN B/C) with Revolution that it wouldn't have mattered too much. It would've likely still been the least powerful of the three, certain developers *still* wouldn't make games for it (even it was the more powerful system) and port jobs still would've resulted in B-teams doing the porting and Wii controls (the selling point of the system) would've just been tacked on. By going the route that they did, they of course spent less (more profit), allowed for full B/C with GCN *and* FORCED game makers to make games more ground-up rather than just simple crappy ports. MIND YOU, I realize there was/is still a lot of shoddy ports anyways, but it makes the games that were made for IT (and not HD-gen systems) shine much better as they likely used the Wiimote as the basis rather than a tacked-on afterthought. Also, you gotta remember, Nintendo was probably (not probably, more like WAS) using GCN architecture for their bigger 1ST party games (Mario Galaxy, Zelda TP & Metroid Prime 3) so having a GCN-like B/C system (Wii) really helped in their transition...so yeah, I think GCN B/C was important to them while also giving them an extra selling point just in case.

The only regret I bet they have with GCN B/C is that it left them wide open for hacking through Twilight Princess (a game that appeared on BOTH systems). This also leads me to believe that Nintendo will ditch GCN/Wii B/C* with the next console (I know, sounds crazy, but there's reasoning), as well as USB & SD, with the main reason being piracy protection. This also further pushes me to believe that they also won't do a disc media (as by the time the next system comes Nintendo will want to avoid the whole "will it have BR discs?" BS and they can't go with propriety DVD again as that would be begging to be pirated) and instead go solid-state (and no, not carts, more like cheap, high capacity, propriety flash cards) for both their home console and portable...and while they're at it, why not just make these cards universally playable on both their systems? This and a ton of other reasons is why I believe Nintendo will do this.

*- To note: GCN & Wii games could probably be offered on the next-gen VC and/or there will be either budget WiiSlim standalone systems or a Wii/GCN B/C drive kit to plug into the next system...so really,no bigger, free's them up on specs and helps to lower costs.

I also want to add that other things (besides Nintendo ditching discs & possibly wanting to disrupt themselves business-wise) sorta lead Nintendo in this dirrection:
-it isn't just wishful thinking that Nintendo doesn't want to lose the "core" gamer in favor of "casuals"...by offering new controls as well as traditional controls they can serve both audiences and since traditional controls are the lowest common denominator (for their portable, home *and* VC lines) then it's a no brainer they'll offer them to both their next console & portable
-universalizing their platforms hybridly (fusion of console/portable in some ways) with a cross-platform media format also helps in defending against the basic competition (MS & Sony) as well as other forms (PC & mobile) by offering games that can play either at home or on the go
-B/C with the next NDS will be key and the SoC architecture I believe in (ATi's Imageon) allows for dual screen computing...but even if (and I think this is likely given costs/ergonomics of B/C for the next portable) it's just one screen it would need to be a bigger 480p-level screen to fit both screens resolutions into one screen wether it is horizontal or vertical...again, something Imageon can handle and would fit as a lowest common denominator in relation to screen resolution for portable & home gaming
-since they held back on the Wii's power they have let the possiblity of an even cross-platform (between their console 7 portable lines) developement feild to arise as their next portable will jump to near Wii-levels (good graphics for low-res portable screen) while their next home system will have similar graphics (good graphics only in much higher resolutions) making games that look good either way possible
-ties to IBM/PowerPC Gekko/Broadway no longer needed (basic ARM cpu's today can handle what the PowerPC did for Nintendo's systems as graphics processors will step up and the timing fits since IBM is no longer pursuing anything PowerPC related)
-with competitor's looking to make super-computing expensive bleeding edge multi-core processors there are powerful SoC (system on a chip = CPU + GPU) architectures already emerging that offer less but similar performance only in lower-power consuming mobile platforms (next NDS), yet scalable to higher-end applications 9the next Wii) and similar architectures means 2 things: games that can work across both systems & R&D on both systems now done on one budget

I bet a lot of people don't realize that the Wii features a SoC architecture for the Hollywood chip. it's basically an overclocked Flipper with an ARM9 embedded to handle WiiConnect24 functions in low-power sleep mode...all without any computing done by Broadway. It's refered to as the "Starlet" and could be pointing to what Nintendo may be planning.

I could be COMPLETELY wrong about Imageon though, as when AMD aquired ATi recently, it seems maybe it might be a discontinued product. =[
 

[Nintex]

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zabaioth said:
Slightly OT, but somehow i think it fits:
Is anyone aware of what HAL is/was doing all the time?
They released very few titles in the last years. I believe to remember something like they never were just for games but doing librarys and other stuff for the then current console generation.
So, is HAL producing middle ware? Engines? Other tools? I´m curious about this and can´t find any info.
Didn´t want to make a new thread just on this small piece of information.
HAL isn't very big and they are credited for Smash Bros. Brawl and they're currently working on Kirby Super Star Ultra.
 

[Nintex]

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camineet said:
The downgrade you're talking about was the 2nd downgrade (and lesser of the two). It was the downgrade that happened after GameCube had been announced at SpaceWorld 2000 that happened sometime between that SpaceWorld and E3 2001.

What you're thinking of, the 200 MHz Dolphin/GameCube, that's not the highend Dolphin that was described by a combination of official specs, and reported specs during 1999 and just upto SpaceWorld 2000.

The highend Dolphin that was expected/anticipated before GameCube was revealed at SW2000 was basicly this:
bold = official Dolphin info, non-bold = reported/rumored Dolphin info.

CPU: IBM Gekko 400+ MHz supposedly more powerful than Emotion Engine clock for clock, early version of which was already blowing Emotion Engine away.
GPU: ArtX Flipper 200+ MHz. 20-30 possibly upto 40 million texture-mapped, gouraud shaded, polygons/sec with anti-aliasing, lighting, plus all other features/effects on.
8 to 16 MB embedded 1T-SRAM on Flipper
32 MB custom NEC DDR RAM upto 64 MB
DVD media
ability to connect to and browse the internet. some sort of online network, 'Star Road'
New type of controller with new capabilities: color screen, analog, trackball, some sort of tilt-motion capability, maybe a microphone & speaker, as seen in that Dolphin controller mockup on the first
Yes I confused the High end dolphin with the more or less high end GameCube. I also heard rumors of the high end dolphin but not everything makes sense. It's obvious that HD was out of the question so why did they need 16MB embedded RAM on the Flipper? I don't think such a system would've been possible for Nintendo's usual $199 price point the system might've been $399 when I look at all the features it was supposed to have. It seems that they had alot of plans for Dolphin and it would've kicked ass if they released it. The GameCube is a system more in line with Nintendo's thinking and overall strategy but the Dolphin would've given them an edge of the competition and since the GameCube's design despite it flaws had some of the most impressive games the Dolphin would've been on another level compared to the competition. I keep wondering if the CG footage of WaveRace and Metroid would've been possible on such a system(not the bullshot motion blur techniques of course but the geometry and such). The GPU and RAM obviously took the biggest hit when they downgraded the specs.
 

zabaioth

Member
Mar 28, 2007
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[Nintex] said:
HAL isn't very big and they are credited for Smash Bros. Brawl and they're currently working on Kirby Super Star Ultra.

Sure, they aren´t. But for example they developed Sysdolphin, a GC developement kit and stuff like that in their past. And even considering HALs size only one ds game that is something like a 'remake plus' in production seems odd to me.
 

[Nintex]

Member
Jun 21, 2005
18,889
5
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The Netherlands
www.n1ntendo.nl
zabaioth said:
Sure, they aren´t. But for example they developed Sysdolphin, a GC developement kit and stuff like that in their past. And even considering HALs size only one ds game that is something like a 'remake plus' in production seems odd to me.
Well Smash was finished early 2008 with all the delays and stuff so they might be working on the Kirby game again but it will take some time to finish it.
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
13,696
272
1,285
camineet said:
The Wii, in many (not all/every) ways, brings GameCube back upto the high-end Dolphin, more or less. When I say more or less, that means in some ways, Wii is a bit more than the high-end Dolphin (more advanced motion controls), and somewhat less (still only 3.12 MB 1T-SRAM embedded on the GPU, not the original 8-16MB. Also don't confuse Hollywood's on-package 24 MB 1T-SRAM, which is still external, with true embedded on-chip RAM, its not the same thing. Also, if GameCube provides 15 million fully featured polygons/sec then Wii is about 22.5 million, which is on the lower end of the high-end Dolphin.
just a footnote: flipper's 15M vertices/s would come with 2 light sources and 2 texcoord sets. a bare-bone single-color-per-vertex setup (i.e. the same setup as ps2's proverbial quote of '66MV/s', IIRC) would give ~33MV/s.
 

camineet

Banned
Mar 30, 2007
8,073
0
0
[Nintex] said:
Yes I confused the High end dolphin with the more or less high end GameCube. I also heard rumors of the high end dolphin but not everything makes sense. It's obvious that HD was out of the question so why did they need 16MB embedded RAM on the Flipper? I don't think such a system would've been possible for Nintendo's usual $199 price point the system might've been $399 when I look at all the features it was supposed to have. It seems that they had alot of plans for Dolphin and it would've kicked ass if they released it. The GameCube is a system more in line with Nintendo's thinking and overall strategy but the Dolphin would've given them an edge of the competition and since the GameCube's design despite it flaws had some of the most impressive games the Dolphin would've been on another level compared to the competition. I keep wondering if the CG footage of WaveRace and Metroid would've been possible on such a system(not the bullshot motion blur techniques of course but the geometry and such). The GPU and RAM obviously took the biggest hit when they downgraded the specs.

With 16 MB embedded 1T-SRAM on Flipper, the entire framebuffer could be in there, not just part of it. Also, with Xbox 360's 10 MB EDRAM, that was originally intended for an SD system, so 16 MB not being much more, also, for an SD system. Though I must admit I'm not that knowledgeable in that area. I still would've thought the minumum of 8 MB embedded 1T-SRAM would've been used, twice as much as what was on PS2's GS.

I also think its true that all those features and specs would've made Dolphin an Xbox killer. I too wonder if the prerendered CG Wave Race, Metroid and Rebirth could've been done realtime on such a system. Such a system would certainly have cost $299 or $399, price unacceptable to Nintendo.
 

camineet

Banned
Mar 30, 2007
8,073
0
0
blu said:
just a footnote: flipper's 15M vertices/s would come with 2 light sources and 2 texcoord sets. a bare-bone single-color-per-vertex setup (i.e. the same setup as ps2's proverbial quote of '66MV/s', IIRC) would give ~33MV/s.

I'm a bit confused now, even though I shouldn't be. where Flipper's spec given in verticles , thus 1/3 of a triangle ?


http://www.segatech.com/gamecube/overview/index.html
Features................................................Performance
1 vertex color + 1 light + 1 texture........................20M polygons/sec
no vertex color + 1 texture...................................26.4M polygons/sec
1 vertex color + no texture (gouraud shading)........32M polygons/sec
 

camineet

Banned
Mar 30, 2007
8,073
0
0
Something else I've been wondering about for the future Nintendo console. What if Nintendo skips out entirely on pixel shaders? The GameCube & Wii both use fixed function hardware, and although they can approximate what DX8 / DX8.1 Shader Model 1.0 / 1.1 can do, more or less, Flipper & Hollywood lack programmable shaders in the sense that Nvidia & ATI have had since NV20/GeForce3 & R200/Radeon 8500. What would be the next logical step beyond pixel shaders, but before raytracing? I guess this is dumb question. Nintendo just might go with Shader Model 4.0/5.0/6.0 without using Microsoft's API in the same sense Sony does with PS3 (Shader Model 3.0), right?

I would seriously be happy if WiiHD was capable of reproducing in realtime, in-game the Spaceworld 2000 CG Wave Race, Metroid and Rebirth. The main features of Metroid CG that are not seen in any of the Metroid Prime games are: per-pixel lighting, some significant type and amount of anti-aliasing, true motion blurr, other post-processing effects, overall higher polygon count. The Wave Race and CG segments of Rebirth offered more or less the same. That combined with 720p @ 60fps in-game would be very nice. I think think Nintendo would need a chipset on the level of what Microsoft & Sony are likely to have with their next-gen consoles. Actually, I have my doubts if Microsoft & Sony will really improve the image quality of their graphics all that much, other than offering the same but more. I'm very disappointed for the most part with the state of graphics on HD consoles. Well below my expectations that I had in 2002,2003,2004. Nintendo has shown they can do more with less. I think if image quality & post processing are made the priority within graphics and at high framerates, the graphics issue will go away. Iwata was right when talking about Revolution's specs, they don't matter. Get to a certain level of capability, and you're set. In 4-6 years or whenever Nintendo releases their next home console, they have the oppertunnity to "effectively" leap forward 2 entire console generations as far as how their games look. going from late 1990s graphics tech to the technology of early next decade. I think Nintendo actually realizes this, plans to take advantage of it, so that Nintendo gamers who don't pay attention to 360/PS3/PC will be wowed by a moderately powerful system for the time. Imagine going from Nintendo64 (1996) to PlayStation3 (2006), that's the kind of leap Nintendo could offer if they wanted to, from GameCube/Wii to Nintendo's next-gen.
Not that graphics matter, but, to some developers, it does. I'd like to see every 3rd party that's not wanted to work on Wii, to work on Nintendo's next-gen. Such as id Software with Tech 6 and Epic Games with UE4 :D
 

Lazy8s

The ghost of Dreamcast past
Jun 7, 2004
1,897
2
0
An inherent advantage of PowerVR's tile based deferred rendering is scalability. Multiple cores can efficiently share a workload because the scene has been pre-sorted and split into tiles.

OpenGL is a common standard and is supported just as well by Imageon's competitors.

AMD's most recent financial problems have caused them to restructure and reportedly now eliminate the handheld business they were supporting, so how this affects their potential for involvement in the next Nintendo portable remains to be seen.