Malik  (5/17/05) 

Nintendo: In a World of Their Own 

Well, Nintendo seems to be in a completely different world than Microsoft and Sony. At their pre-E3 press conference, as I read on IGN and Gamespot, Nintendo is going to walk a unique path with the Revolution. The system is still slated for 2006 (well, now it's officially slated for 2006, as opposed to anticipated for 2006...whatever the difference is, I don't care). 

Instead of going for a massively more powerful system over the current generation, the Revolution aims to be only 2-3 times more powerful than the Gamecube. Ummm...WTF? I mean 360 and PS3 are each aiming to be 15 or more times as powerful as their predecessors, so why the hell is Nintendo setting it's aim so low? I guess, since no prices have been given, maybe Nintendo is going to try to be the more affordable system to win over those with tighter budgets. That's the only explanation I can see in this. Either that, or Nintendo may have realized what the other two have not; the current levels of technology in consoles have not even been utilized to their fullest, thus why should Nintendo waste money (and waste our money) when they could give us a top-notch experience for far the end, either Nintendo will have a great laugh at the competition with their philosophy of "it's not what you have, but how you use it"...or Nintendo will be a laughing stock, once again. 

The Revolution will use it's online abilities to allow gamers to download new and classic Nintendo games onto the Revolution. I'm guessing that this means Nintendo is also going the HDD route. Nothing has really been said, but I'm guessing since Gamecube games will also be in the downloadable category that one would need a larger storage device to hold it. 

Also, like the 360 and the PS3, the Revolution will, thankfully, be backwards compatible. Beyond that, the Revolution will also be able to play DVD video, so it sounds like Nintendo is breaking a little out of their "games only" mentality. 

Sadly, the last part that I want to know about is not yet being revealed. The controllers. The only thing that's known about this subject is that nothing is known. Nintendo says that the controllers (well, the system, but so far the controllers are the only part up in the air, and the only part that could be unconventional) will be completely unlike anything that has come before...sadly, this can mean anything from something really cool and new, to Nintendo showing that they are stuck on the touch-screen concept (which is nice for a portable and a PDA, but not my idea of a smart move for one of the big boys). Well, I guess it's known that Nintendo, the ones who first gave us mass access to wireless controllers will be bringing that feature back...just like how MS and Sony are doing. 

Beyond this little bit of information, the only other part of the Revolution that's been revealed is how it looks. It actually looks a little more sophisticated than previous Nintendo systems. It's sleek, slim, and looks like it's more designed for a more mature audience. Gone are the days of silly and novel designs. 

That's about it. No news of potential games (I see Mario, Zelda, Metroid, blah, blah, all in Nintendo's future, but a blind man could see that). No big surprises to get us hyped. Nothing. I have always rooted for Nintendo...they were my system of choice as a kid, and I loved rooting for the underdog as an adult. However, if they don't try to do something, and soon, I think Nintendo may be getting in way over their heads. At the very least, they could give us some hype about a new Smash that asking too much? 

On top of the weird news, and lack of news, with the Revolution, Nintendo is doing what they do best. This fall, the Game Boy Micro will hit the shelves. Some more specifics can be seen at, but basically Nintendo is once again making a new variation of the same old GBA. The Micro will play GBA games (and GB games), it will have a lit screen, it will blah, blah. Seriously, this is the third major re-release of the GBA since it's initial release about half a decade ago. 

There is no new technology this time. It still has a lit screen. There's absolutely nothing new except for the size. The GB Micro is only 4"x2"x0.7". In other words, it's about the size of a small cell phone. This also means that, more than how the SP was, it's too small for the hands of the people who would actually care about shrinking it so much to make it so portable; adults. True, you could fit it in your pocket, but will you be able to hold it comfortably? Nope.

Wait, there is one more change to the system. You can change the face-plate on it. Did Nintendo take a wrong page from the book of Microsoft, or what? If this is the real selling point, along with being too small to play, then there is something seriously wrong.

In a year in which we are seeing so many new things, maybe Nintendo should be overlooked or ignored, rather than being taken seriously. Right now, to take Nintendo seriously would be the same as recognizing that Iwata may have completely lost his mind. Plus, could we maybe see either a new Gameboy, or at least some actual games for the DS, instead of just rehashing the same old (and I mean OLD) crap.