"Customers do not want online games" - Iwata

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Jun 7, 2004
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Some people here have made some really good points. Here's a few of the better quotes that I'd like to address:

Hellraizah said:
Iwata : "We don't see online as being an important factor for gamers"

Nintendo fans : "Right, screw online, make better multiplayer and connectivity titles"

Obscure european mag : "We have the details on Nintendo's online network...."

Nintendo fans : "Best day of my life, bring on all these online titles, can't wait for F-Zero online or Super Smash Brothers"
Oh, how true! You just have to love the eager Nintendo fanboy anticipation whenever even the slightest smidgen of a rumor of online gaming support is announced. :)

Tellaerin said:
And just because you have the luxury of inviting a bunch of friends over at a moment's notice whenever the urge to play a multiplayer game strikes doesn't mean that everybody else does. Some of us (particularly older gamers like myself) have families, jobs, and other responsibilities that impose constraints on our free time. When your friends have similar time issues, it becomes harder and harder to schedule these social gaming get-togethers. Hooking up with people online is a more than acceptable alternative--there's no travelling involved, no having to straighten up the house ahead of time if you're hosting, no dirty looks from the wife because you want to go hang out with the guys again, no 'keep it down, you'll wake the baby'. You can squeeze in a few hours of gaming with your pals online without leaving the house, and BS with them via voice chat the entire time. Sure, it's not quite as good as being there in the flesh, but it's a helluva lot more convenient.

That's what being 'adult' really means to a gamer, and Nintendo is turning a blind eye to it.
Agreed. You've described one of the best arguments that could be used to support online gaming. As others have stated, it's great to have multiplayer contests where everyone is in the same room, but this isn't always convenient. Online gaming helps fill that gap for when you want to share some gaming with your friends over a distance.

The next quote also addresses this.

Kiriku said:
Please, god, please, stop this about "I might have to play against UNKNOWN PEOPLE online OMG OMG OMGZ!!"
Well, bloody hell, just find your friends online and play with them!
Exactly. I don't always like to play against strangers online. With some games I don't mind it as much, but other types of games are usually better off played with people you know. Just find one or more pals who like the same types of games you do, and arrange to play with them and only them. Most of the newer online games allow you to do this very easily. Worrying about strangers potentially ruining the experience is a poor excuse indeed--unless you have no friends.

MightyHedgehog said:
Were consumers 'begging' for connectivity? Were they asking for light-gun games? Were they asking for LAN play? Were people 'begging' for a stylus and touch-screen support? No. It's about exploring options and giving these options to consumers. The way Nintendo treats online play is not much of an option.
Excellent point.

To expand on what you said, it's about developing new ideas and taking risks with them because you believe that this is something the consumer will find desirable. Most consumers don't necessarily write letters to their favorite video game company demanding a specific game experience--they just want something new and exciting. I doubt many people were asking for headset microphones, cameras, or dance pads just five years ago--but look at where we are now, and the possibilities that these peripherals can bring!

Many of the options you named were considered risky at one time--but Nintendo offered them anyway. It's sad to see that current-day Nintendo has been reduced to not only taking comparatively fewer risks, but even going so far as to downplay the significance of online gaming, which many people have vocally expressed their desire to have on the GameCube! After all, in the year 2000, IGN had this article, in which Nintendo fans told them what really thought of the prospects of online gaming:

http://cube.ign.com/articles/085/085165p1.html

Just for grins, there's also this article from about that same time, in which a high-ranking Nintendo executive clearly supported the concept of online gaming on the GameCube.

http://cube.ign.com/articles/083/083894p1.html

"Dolphin will combine Nintendo's world-class design and beloved franchise characters with the expansion of the world of gaming by an online network," said Genyo Takeda, Nintendo's corporate director and general manager of integrated research and development.
While Nintendo isn't yet providing specifics, it also announced plans for broadband connectivity. "Conexant's modem technology will connect Dolphin users to both the Internet and other gamers, creating a rich and dynamic entertainment experience," Takeda said. "We are also excited about working with Conexant to bring broadband connectivity to our powerful new gaming platform."
As I've said before, I feel they've only taken the "anti-online gaming" position in recent years as a "public face" because they've lagged so far behind Sony and Microsoft in garnering online gaming support. They feel they have to downplay the significance of online gaming as a whole in an attempt to bolster their standing in their fans' eyes. To the rest of the world, the "sour grapes" fable applies nicely here.
 
Jun 8, 2004
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DrGAKMAN said:
You're right. But what can Nintendo do? Microsoft has the HD/Ethernet built-in and Sony has way more of a userbase to work with...Nintendo has neither.
Nintendo has their GAMES, Pokemon is just one of their many games that would work so well with some online battle feature but they just refused to do anything about it, heck they still won't even put a real Pokemon game on their consoles
 
D

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DJ Demon J said:
Kobun, when you're done obstreperously using big words in your holier-than-thou attempt to prove your self-affirmed correctness (not to mention your nigh-religious affection for a game company, that is by all accounts in the industry and by consumers, out of touch with the direction of the market) perhaps you'll see that the only one(s) with a myopic worldview here is Iwata and Nintendo.
Myopic's a big word now?
 
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Hellraizah said:
Iwata : "We don't see online as being an important factor for gamers"

Nintendo fans : "Right, screw online, make better multiplayer and connectivity titles"

Obscure european mag : "We have the details on Nintendo's online network...."

Nintendo fans : "Best day of my life, bring on all these online titles, can't wait for F-Zero online or Super Smash Brothers"
There was a real life example of this in some "Pandora Tomorrow is online for GC" thread a while back. All of a sudden online play was great because "Ubisoft finally did it right" (or some other BS).
 
The Shadow said:
There was a real life example of this in some "Pandora Tomorrow is online for GC" thread a while back. All of a sudden online play was great because "Ubisoft finally did it right" (or some other BS).
Do I game online? No. Thus do I want Nintendo to make a fuss over it? No. But having said that, is it preferable to get a port with the full feature set of its brothers since the hardware is there to support it? Of course.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Why is online gaming considered a market, when its only a feature?

Alot of you seem to connect online gaming with optical storage media which Nintendo made the mistake of shunning last gen or the decision to not add DVD playback in their console. Online gaming is far from being in the same league, especially in the console gaming market.

When it becomes a feature that is as common as connecting your T.V to your console, then I'll agree with some of you but right know the argument is moot.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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OG_Original Gamer said:
Why is online gaming considered a market, when its only a feature?

Alot of you seem to connect online gaming with optical storage media which Nintendo made the mistake of shunning last gen or the decision to not add DVD playback in their console. Online gaming is far from being in the same league, especially in the console gaming market.

When it becomes a feature that is as common as connecting your T.V to your console, then I'll agree with some of you but right know the argument is moot.
No ones saying it's going to have the same big affect of not supporting CD formats (although there wil be some). What we're saying is that it's similar to it because its something that almost everyone agrees will catch and Nintendo is once again ignoring it while Sony and this time MS push it forward. So just like people didn't sit and wait around for Nintendo to finnaly go to CD formats, they aren't going to sit around and wait for them to finnaly realise that online gaming is going to be big.
 

shpankey

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As usual, Nintendo has to be drug, kicking and screaming, into the future of gaming. This is why I tire of those old Japanese senile farts who are conceited with themselves and why their old ways are always right and stick their fingers in their ears and "nah nah nah nah can't hear you" granpa ways. This is pretty much why I wish Nintendo would just die off. Old senile fuckers.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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Gahiggidy said:
I agree with Nintendo.
Of course you do, Gah. Then again, if Nintendo sent you a cardboard box with a large rock inside and told you it was 'the future of videogames', you'd probably agree with that, too. (Then Olimario would chime in with a post about how the fun really is there, if people would just sit down and play with the rock for sixty hours. :p )
 
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Tellaerin said:
And just because you have the luxury of inviting a bunch of friends over at a moment's notice whenever the urge to play a multiplayer game strikes doesn't mean that everybody else does. Some of us (particularly older gamers like myself) have families, jobs, and other responsibilities that impose constraints on our free time. When your friends have similar time issues, it becomes harder and harder to schedule these social gaming get-togethers. Hooking up with people online is a more than acceptable alternative--there's no travelling involved, no having to straighten up the house ahead of time if you're hosting, no dirty looks from the wife because you want to go hang out with the guys again, no 'keep it down, you'll wake the baby'. You can squeeze in a few hours of gaming with your pals online without leaving the house, and BS with them via voice chat the entire time. Sure, it's not quite as good as being there in the flesh, but it's a helluva lot more convenient.

That's what being 'adult' really means to a gamer, and Nintendo is turning a blind eye to it.
Finally someone makes some sense out of the "having people over is more fun than online" arguement. It's all about convienience and options.

xsarien said:
While the "I have a life/wife" argument is reaching a little - because ever since Poker was invented, men have been having buddies over despite growling looks from spouses - it fails to take into account that this particular segment - at the moment - is a sliver of the online gaming market, which in and of itself isn't that big when you consider how many PS2s, XBoxes, and Gamecubes are out in homes.
The arguement is not about having buddies over while the missus shoots evil looks your way. It's about playing when you want. Try organising a game of Rainbow 6 or MM3 on a Tuesday night at 8pm with your friends and see what responses you get.

I wont argue the point that having people in your place is much more fun - Halo LAN's are wonderful - but you can't always have people over at the drop of a hat. Some of the Halo gaming nights I've been involved with have been excruciating to organise with people dropping out late and things coming up at the last minute. Online just streamlines things.
 

8bit

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Jun 7, 2004
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Cubsfan23 said:
No matter what you say, online play gives you infinite replayability, so arguing against it is just plain idiotic.
And what happens when the game du jour is no longer in vogue? Empty lobbies are no fun.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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I think that Online is a selling point of a console, not really a strong selling point of games. Strengthening this argument is the loss of interest in the Gamecube after the Sony and Team Xbox networks became stronger established. BUT if you were to take the online component out of a lot of games, I would bet all my money that all of those games would sell less.
 
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By the way, anyone notice how ass-backwards his logic is?

Nintendo execs didn't go "Mario is selling less on Gamecube than on Nintendo 64. It appears as if Gamecube is not wanted by consumers. We will not support it"
 

TKM

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What a horrible comparision, Mingol Online is basically Minna no Golf 3 with online tournament that, not only has a monthly fee but also requires the HDD. Of course it's not going to sell as well. That's about as bad as calling FFXI a failure based on FFX sales.
 
Jun 15, 2004
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This whole Nintendo online argument pointless. There is nothing to debate. Nintendo has made a business decision to not go online at this time, deal with it. You can disagree with the decision all you want, but don't do it for the wrong reasons. Nintendo never said that online gaming is not fun. They didn't say that there aren't benefits to online play. They simply said that at this point in time online gaming is not financially feasible.

Not going online does not mean that Nintendo is ignoring online. They have tinkered with the idea of online gaming since the Famicom days. They could easily implement an online plan today if they wanted to. If they went online when the Xbox and PS2 did, they would have had no problem getting third parties to support the feature, and if at some point they do go online, I'm sure they will get support then too.

Online gaming is not profitable. There is not currently a business model out there that will make it profitable. Nintendo once mentioned a figure of something like $15 per month to play online. That is nearly $200 dollars per year just for the priveledge of using one gameplay feature. How many of you would be willing to pay that much? Some would point to Xbox live as an example of how online gaming should be done. Surely from a gameplay standpoint it is a success, but how much money is Microsoft losing on the service? Don't look at Sony, there is no indication that anyone's making money on that either.

Nintendo knows that online gaming has potential. They know that there is a growing demographic of game players that are interested in the feature. They will get involved when online gaming makes sense.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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Tellaerin said:
Of course you do, Gah. Then again, if Nintendo sent you a cardboard box with a large rock inside and told you it was 'the future of videogames', you'd probably agree with that, too. (Then Olimario would chime in with a post about how the fun really is there, if people would just sit down and play with the rock for sixty hours. :p )
HAHA
 

Keio

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I'd rather play with the rock for 60 hours than play Driv3r.

It's surprising to see so many people utterly convinced that not having online is going to kill Nintendo. I still fail to see how a tiny, online playing minority (less than a tenth of a consoles user base) would be that important for the success of the next gen consoles.
 
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If Nintendo does go online, I hope the sales pattern doesn't follow that of games like RSC2, Project Gotham Racing 2, and Pandora Tomorrow, all of which saw a massive drop in sales for their online-focused sequels...

I don't understand how the notion that enabling games with online capabilities would help unit sales to any significant extent...

Games like Halo 2, Madden 05, and Grand Turismo 4 (big sellers regardless of online) might provide a small spike in the attach rate of online, but even then, I doubt it's gonna hit the 10% (meaning a about 7 million on PS2 and 1.5 million on XBox) "breakthrough" number...
 
Jun 7, 2004
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"If Nintendo does go online, I hope the sales pattern doesn't follow that of games like RSC2, Project Gotham Racing 2, and Pandora Tomorrow, all of which saw a massive drop in sales for their online-focused sequels..."

Isn't Pandora Tomorrow selling really well? And RSC2 is a bad example as it was never a popular series.

"Games like Halo 2, Madden 05, and Grand Turismo 4 (big sellers regardless of online)"

Well if we go by Iwata, all of those games should bomb like Everybodys Golf. Since no one really wants online play as HSGOnline proved. They'll just be more proof of that.
 
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I didn't say Pandora Tomorrow wasn't selling well, I said I hope that Nintendo's games don't follow the pattern that these franchises took...

Why would games that are going to sell regardless of online play bomb?

It makes no sense to say Madden 05 is going to bomb...

Now if Madden 05 was an online-only game, I think we'd see a different situation with sales...
 
Jun 7, 2004
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"It makes no sense to say Madden 05 is going to bomb..."

Just as it makes no sense that the reason HSG Online didn't sell was because it was online as Iwata suggested. As someone pointed out in this thread, the reason why HSG Online didn't sell is because it was basically HSG3 but with online play, but ofcourse Iwata doesn't want to mention that.
 
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SolidSnakex said:
"It makes no sense to say Madden 05 is going to bomb..."

Just as it makes no sense that the reason HSG Online didn't sell was because it was online as Iwata suggested. As someone pointed out in this thread, the reason why HSG Online didn't sell is because it was basically HSG3 but with online play, but ofcourse Iwata doesn't want to mention that.

So what if it's just Hot Shots Golf with online play?

Consumers didn't go the extra length to get this version of an already released sequel, so is it wrong to assume that enabling sequels with online isn't going to spark that many additional sales (which is supposedly the business reason why Nintendo would benefit from online)?

I'd assume most (i.e. not 5% of the userbase) of customers aren't going to really care either way whether a game in online...
 
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efralope said:
Consumers didn't go the extra length to get this version of an already released sequel, so is it wrong to assume that enabling sequels with online isn't going to spark that many additional sales (which is supposedly the business reason why Nintendo would benefit from online)?
It is when the sequel to that already released game is coming out a short time after the upgraded online version is. Iwata was suggesting that people didn't want it because it was online. He didn't (or just refused to bring it up) factor in that it was an old game, that had it's real sequel coming out soon after the online version. Since he's clearly trying to base success of online games on established franchsies, let just see how GT4 and HALO 2 do now. I'm sure he won't do that though because it'll ruin the point he tried to make.
 

cja

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SolidSnakex said:
It is when the sequel to that already released game is coming out a short time after the upgraded online version is. Iwata was suggesting that people didn't want it because it was online. He didn't (or just refused to bring it up) factor in that it was an old game, that had it's real sequel coming out soon after the online version. Since he's clearly trying to base success of online games on established franchsies, let just see how GT4 and HALO 2 do now. I'm sure he won't do that though because it'll ruin the point he tried to make.
HSG4 was not announced until after HSG online came out and HSG3 was not treated like just an old game with online mode by the marketing men. SCEI pushed HSG online harder than any other game at TGS 2002. We don't need to wait for GT4 and Halo 2 since we've already got plenty of great case studies such as PGR2 that show online features do not sell games. Sony have had to sell off their network adaptor/ATV pack for the same price as the solo since they just weren't moving stock at retailers for just $20 more than the base unit.
 
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"We don't need to wait for GT4 and Halo 2 since we've already got plenty of great case studies such as PGR2 that show online features do not sell games."

How does an unestablished series prove anything? PGR sold yes, but MSR wasn't that popular and PGR2 wasn't popular. They're all basically in the same series. Iwata wants to use fully established series, so that'd eliminate PGR as it was never really established. With GT4 you've got the most succesulful racing franchise, just like with HSG you had the most succesful golf franchise. So if he can use that as an example that online isn't wanted, when GT4 ends up selling around 8+ million that'll be an example why it is wanted. But as i've said, that's something he's not going to want to do even though I hope an interviewer will bring it up to him when GT4 is released to see what he thinks of it.

Point is you can't base something like this off 1 thing that didn't do well as they're trying to do here. This is the exact same excuse they used for not using CD formats.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Thx for the summary Agent X... I really didn't want to read all 7 pages of stuff that has been said a million times over on GAF.


As usual, Nintendo has to be drug, kicking and screaming, into the future of gaming. This is why I tire of those old Japanese senile farts who are conceited with themselves and why their old ways are always right and stick their fingers in their ears and "nah nah nah nah can't hear you" granpa ways. This is pretty much why I wish Nintendo would just die off. Old senile fuckers.
Basically sums up my feelings too. I want the Nintendo who wasn't afraid of innovation.
 

cja

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SolidSnakex said:
"We don't need to wait for GT4 and Halo 2 since we've already got plenty of great case studies such as PGR2 that show online features do not sell games."

How does an unestablished series prove anything? PGR sold yes, but MSR wasn't that popular and PGR2 wasn't popular. They're all basically in the same series. Iwata wants to use fully established series, so that'd eliminate PGR as it was never really established. With GT4 you've got the most succesulful racing franchise, just like with HSG you had the most succesful golf franchise. So if he can use that as an example that online isn't wanted, when GT4 ends up selling around 8+ million that'll be an example why it is wanted. But as i've said, that's something he's not going to want to do even though I hope an interviewer will bring it up to him when GT4 is released to see what he thinks of it.

Point is you can't base something like this off 1 thing that didn't do well as they're trying to do here. This is the exact same excuse they used for not using CD formats.
You have a higher regard for the end consumer than I do SSx, I don't believe most know the development history of the PGR series. PGR2's advertising heavily emphasised the online aspect of the game, it didn't sell despite getting good critical reviews, high scores, good buzz and a lot of monetary backing from Microsoft. PGR is an imperfect example, it was a launch game that could have inflated numbers compared to a sequel but unlike a game like Rogue Squadron 3 (poor reviews) I can't think of another reason to suggest why sales tailed off so dramatically. Possibly people were buying NFS:U instead, but that was offline on Xbox.

GT4 will sell because of the offline mode of course. SOCOM, the supposed success story of console online gaming, has seen only one in three of the purchasers actually go online with the game.

Nintendo chose silicon over optical because it is a superior storage format qualitatively, it has no moving parts, there is no media player costs, it loads your game instantly and is silent. Nintendo made a commercially poor judgement call by thinking the general consumer would prefer instant loading, cheaper hardware and more expensive software ahead of FMV, more expensive hardware and cheaper software. I like (though think its imperfect) the analogy you're making between Nintendo's indifference to CD and online. But, CD failed as an add-on during the 16-bit days and online has, commercially, failed as an add-on this generation. Xbox Live is very popular with a small niche but thats all it is. Perhaps next-gen when we see more integrated strategy (ala CD as the media format for Playstation rather than Sega CD add-on) and wider broadband penetration things will be different but then Nintendo's strategy is unknown, again, Iwata strongly stressed that he was talking about the present with his remarks.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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jedimike said:
Thx for the summary Agent X... I really didn't want to read all 7 pages of stuff that has been said a million times over on GAF.




Basically sums up my feelings too. I want the Nintendo who wasn't afraid of innovation.
Oh but innovation = two screens! How could you forget? ;)
 
Jun 6, 2004
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jedimike said:
Basically sums up my feelings too. I want the Nintendo who wasn't afraid of innovation.
So going online is the innovation now? You can't say Nintendo isn't trying. Mini-DVD, Wavebird (one of the best wireless controller), gba-gc connectivity (like it or not, it's really cool), having the guts to bring Animal Crossing here, etc, etc.

They are always trying something new. They just don't see the point of bringing a young crowd online.

Oh but innovation = two screens! How could you forget?
Laugh all you want, but it IS innovation. What do you call innovation anyway? Making a portable gaming system not portable in the first place?
 
Jun 7, 2004
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Agent X said:
As I've said before, I feel they've only taken the "anti-online gaming" position in recent years as a "public face" because they've lagged so far behind Sony and Microsoft in garnering online gaming support. They feel they have to downplay the significance of online gaming as a whole in an attempt to bolster their standing in their fans' eyes. To the rest of the world, the "sour grapes" fable applies nicely here.
Thats just ridiculous, the fact is there is no online 3rd party support because Nintendo isnt supporting itselft thats the only reason.......... you're forgetting Nintendo did test a nes network in japan......
 
Jun 8, 2004
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I'm kind of on both sides of the fence. On one hand I love online gaming and 90% of my gaming is now online... but if Nintendo doesnt want or isnt innovative enough to bring games to an online environment, who cares? Let them tout how much gamers dont want online gaming just as we didnt need violence in games (MK SNES) or CD-ROMs sucked ass (N64). They'll learn soon enough. Until then just enjoy the online games that are out there and let Nintendo concentrate on Zelda! :D
 
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"GT4 will sell because of the offline mode of course."

But Minna no Golf Online had an offline multiplayer also and it didn't help it sell any.

"But, CD failed as an add-on during the 16-bit days and online has, commercially, failed as an add-on this generation."

The point is though that everyone knew CD's formats were the future of gaming, yet Nintendo ignored it because they believe people follow them no matter what they do. Now they're making the same mistake (and yes it is a mistake) with online gaming to believe that people will just wait for them to finnaly make the move on it. I think they'll recieve the same reception that they got when they finnaly realised they were wrong with the CD formats, and isn't a very warm one. They're already losing consumers right now because other manufacturer are offering more, and Nintendo continues to offer less.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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DCharlie said:
"Laugh all you want, but it IS innovation."

What about ... one big screen split into two smaller screens?
2 screens, with two processor, that's the innovation. 2 screens, one being able to show GBA, and the other 3D graphics. 2 screens, one being a touch screen, the other being a normal backlit screen.

That's innovation.
 
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