Revolution: Lower Horsepower, Lower Price, Wider Audience?

IGN reports that the Nintendo Revolution will be “not much more powerful than a [first generation] Xbox”, but instead “small, quiet and affordable.” Also predicted: 128mb of RAM, a fraction of the 512mb found in the Xbox 360. One source also said “It’s like another current generation platform for us. But it’s such a nice controller that it opens up a lot of possibilities.” Contrast all this with speculation on upcoming 360 titles which may fill four DVDs full of high-definition content.

I continue to be impressed with the gambles that Nintendo is willing to make. While everyone else is trying to win the entertainment war via better graphics and/or internet play, Nintendo is betting on more interesting games and a more diverse audience (as well as internet play.) The shrinking Japanese game market may be a primary contributor to Nintendo’s tactics — i.e. “something’s gotta change.” And of course, the PS2’s triumph over the more-powerful Xbox is proof enough that power does not always decide the victor in the console wars.

Silly idea of the day: an advertisement showing a whole family fighting over the Revolution, using their controllers to make stuff happen in real life (games flying through the air, chairs falling over, Dad’s shirt yanking up over his face, etc.) *grin*

6 responses to “Revolution: Lower Horsepower, Lower Price, Wider Audience?

  1. I’m a little disappointed about the amount of RAM, since that almost always seems to be the bottleneck in a game system. However, that 128MB doesn’t include RAM on the video card, so here’s hoping that they throw a 64MB sucker in there. To a large degree, they can compensate for having a weak main CPU by having a powerful graphics card.

    I think Nintendo is going to succeed, because nearly everyone is rooting for them. The elite in the games industry who are upset about the lack of creativity in the industry love the potential of the controller. Journalists love them because they’re different, and also easy to justify to audiences (underdogs always get positive press). I think (hope) that business people are excited about them growing the market. Casual/non gamers, were they to follow gaming news, would be interested in a console catering specifically to them. Hell, even the hardcore gamers are interested in playing FPSs and flight sims with the controller.

    I wonder if Nintendo is going to make an effort to keep the controller tied to the Revolution console itself. I personally would love nothing more than seeing a ton of adapters for using the Rev controller with your PC, your Xbox, etc. and seeing the controller take over as the dominant videogame interface. But of course if that happens there’s little incentive to produce a game specifically for the Revolution console, which would be bad for Nintendo.

  2. Maybe they’ll charge license fees on games that use the controller, though I’m not sure how they’d do that.

  3. You know what’s on my desk right now? A papercraft Revolution controller.

    People come by and try and play with it and I’m like, “You’re not worthy of the Reeeeevolution!”

    The console hasn’t even been released and already I’m having fun with it.

  4. LOL — great link. 🙂

  5. What’s your opinion on the controller exclusivity thing? I’ve not seen anyone talk about it yet (maybe I just don’t read the right sites), and it’s probably going to be very important bit to their overall strategy.

  6. I see little chance of cross-pollination. If the Revolution’s controller proves to be a big success, Microsoft and Sony will eventually find a way to duplicate its functionality (or even improve upon it.)

    If the Revolution utterly fails to penetrate the mass market, Nintendo might become desperate (since no one will want to make games for them). But even then, it’s hard to imagine them attempting to license out the controller. For that matter, I’d guess that (in this scenario) Microsoft and Sony would rather just watch Nintendo shrivel up and die.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.