The Future of Gaming....

By James Temperton 24.04.2003 1

The Future of Gaming

Article By James2k3

For a long time now, Nintendo have been sat on the crest of a wave, doing nothing themselves and just expecting that their loyal fan base will buy the games and somehow manage to compete with the astronomical amounts that the Playstation 2 sells. Nintendo will have to change their ways in order to survive…

They say to look at what the future will be like you have to look at the past and what can happen and has happened. A few weeks ago many thought that the Japanese game publisher and developer that is Nintendo was hanging off the pit of oblivion that is the gaming industry. This infact couldn’t be further from the truth. Nintendo, while not having a rosy red Christmas period, and the simple fact that it hung on one game which would either make it or break it. If Metroid Prime had have sold badly, Nintendo would have to be worried. The GameCube isn’t the only console that has been in this position though. Look at the Nintendo 64 saviour in 007 Goldeneye, then there’s Splinter Cell on the Xbox.
The problem with the industry is that only licensed movie titles sell, such as the James Bond license, since 007 Goldeneye (RARE) I can honestly say that every other Bond title has been highly disappointing. The 007 License (Electronic Arts) isn’t the only licence that rolls out every year and the casual gamers just buy it because they know the name, the FIFA series by EA (Electronic Arts) is a mass seller but a mass disappointment. Its sad when such good licences with such a lot of potential are wasted, surely if the game was better the sales would be better aswell? Obviously EA don’t agree.

Then there are the games which aren’t of a licence but use a controversial manner to sell well, this all very good and well, they, after all are only trying to make their way in the industry but when the gameplay factor comes into it, they never seem to be bothered to test it, make it fun, polish off the graphics and to try balance the gameplay and get a variety of modes. The culprits of this are Acclaim, they’ve done many stupid things in the past. Mainly in BMX XXX with its prostitutes riding BMXs. Not really the type of appropriate style of game for the younger half of the industry but fair enough, it will appeal to the elder half. The sadder part is not that they have to use the controversy to shift copies of it but the fact that they’re too lazy to make anything of the game. There are sadly not many good controversial games; even the highly acclaimed GTA falls down to bad gameplay.

Then there are games that try to add different styles to sell well, Cell Damage being a big culprit. The gameplay whilst being fast gives you no feeling of control, as for the cell shading; well they just used it as a stupid gimmick. Having said that there is a better game which includes cell shading, that being The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker, it utilises the graphical effect in the best way possible using it for a totally new type of lighting effects and makes the game somewhat look more emotional by giving Link brilliant expressions that really show what’s going on.

People are beginning to become sick of rubbish games, which just use the licence to sell regardless of gameplay and so on. And why
not be, the gaming industry should be aiming for higher standards. Gaming should be fun, games like Cell Damage and BMX XXX and many others don’t provide this as well as they should do, so, surely this can’t be the way forward. What Nintendo and many other developers need to do is to instead of just expecting sales to come, and they will eventually drop is to raise the bar. Go one better, the developers need to be innovative and provide something different. It is not game over for Nintendo but in 2 or 3 console generations, it certainly could be if they don’t change. To say that they will have to pull out is stupid, the Gamecube is not doing anywhere near as bad as the Dreamcast was and Nintendo are making massive amounts from the sales of their games. Nintendo will continue for a long while yet. Nintendo have done this recently with the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker which has influenced many other developers to use Cell Shading in different ways, next year Ubi Soft are releasing a Cell Shaded First Person Shooter named XIII. SEGA and AV brought a whole new genre of gaming in Super Monkey Ball. Simple, retro like gameplay providing for addictive fun.

Remember playing Tetris, Pong or Pacman for the first time? Its that kind of difference that developers need today. This is what Nintendo need to do, but they need to implement it in a way that can appeal more to casual gamers, what do they need to do different then?

Well releasing the Gamecube in purple was a bad idea for a start; maybe black or blue would have been better. Using Cell shading is all good and well but do casual gamers want it? I think we all know the answer to that. And maybe they should start to concentrate on bringing new games to the Gameboy Advance instead of dishing out tonnes or remakes. The Gameboy range cannot last forever, neither can SNES, n64 and GC remakes either, eventually people will get sick and tired and will want something new. Innovation is the way forward for Microsoft and SONY. The way forward for Nintendo is to make a compromise and change their ways so that they appeal to everybody.

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