Reggie Lays it Out[nintendo] [gamecube] [ds] [gba]
At Nintendo's most recent press summit, held yesterday and today, outspoken Nintendo PR VP Reggie Fils-Aime outlined the state of the gaming industry today, and explained Nintendo's short- and long-term strategies to deal with it. His talk is actually worth reading or watching whether you have any interest in Nintendo or not, just for his industry overview, which reveals some sobering facts regarding the growth (or lack of growth) of actual household console ownership growth and interest in games.
Fils-Aime also explained Nintendo's business strategy under current president Satoru Iwata. For those with an interest in the industry's history, it is a markedly different approach than the one taken by former president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who ran the company with a very strong-willed approach that directly challenged its competitors. Iwata and his newer executives, such as Fils-Aime, are proponents of the so-called "Blue Ocean" strategy which, rather than compete on the same ground as competitors, seeks to create new market space and new demand which is unaddressed by its competitors. Nintendo is following a two-pronged approach, currently best exhibited by DS, which with games such as Nintendogs and Brain Training has created new gaming demographics untapped by Nintendo's competitors. The other side of the strategy is to cater to the core gaming audience, best demonstrated by the strange (for Nintendo) focus on FPS gaming constantly referred to by Iwata, and which is coming in the form of offerings like Metroid Prime Hunters (DS) and the Revolution controller. Iwata claims the controller offers the best FPS control yet.
The presentation offers some interesting insights into why Nintendo does things the way it does, which is sometimes criticized as being out of step with the industry. Nintendo refers to such initiatives as "disruptive technologies," and recent comments by Iwata seem to indicate the company realizes it failed to achieve that goal with Gamecube. DS and particularly Revolution mark much more conscious and focused attempts at creating "disruptive technologies." DS has already achieved a surprisingly high degree of success, and Revolution has garnered plenty of positive developer response (Fils-Aime cites statements from a surprisingly wide range of major publishers), but is that enough to open up the market as wide as Nintendo hopes? It looks like 2006 will be the year to watch.
Mother 3/Earthbound 2, Seriously[gba]
It looks like the recent rumors that Mother 3 (essentially the sequel to Earthbound [SNES], which was the English localization of Shigesato Itoi's Mother 2) would be developed for DS are false. The game does exist, however, but it will be on Game Boy Advance. Series creator Shigesato Itoi revealed the news on his website yesterday, and the announcement was quickly translated by a fan at Starmen.net. The announcement comes after Itoi's recent cryptic notes that he is working on a secret project referred to only as "it."
Itoi explained in yesterday's announcement that he had no desire to reveal the game until it was quite far along in development, and after discussion with Nintendo he decided that it is now safe to say the game is approaching completion. According to the translation, the final release is "about one season away." With the exception of this news, he plans to continue staying quiet about the game until it ships. "I know the importance of publicity, but what I feel is that I want players to REALLY enjoy Mother 3," he stated.
Note: for the skeptical, a Babelfish translation results in a hilariously ridiculous text, but one which does corroborate the fan translation. (This news comes via Joystiq.)
ICO All Over Again in Europe[ps2]
To help promote the the release of SCEJ's Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) in Europe early next year, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe will be re-releasing the acclaimed but commercially overlooked action/adventure title Ico (PS2); both games were headed up by designer Fumito Ueda. Europe's original release of Ico was a very limited run, greatly inflating the price of used PAL copies of the game. Both games are expected for release in February 2006.
North American gamers looking to acquire a new copy of Ico shouldn't get their hopes up, however. With the game having received a much wider release in North America and with Shadow already released, it seems unlikely Sony would feel that there is enough demand to justify a reissue.
Play PSP on TV[psp]
If you've got a PSP and you feel the need to play PSP games on your TV using a PS2 controller (for example, if you don't have a PS2 but do have a PS2 controller), well now you can. Importer Lik-Sang is selling a PSP TV Adapter Kit for $119.90, and has also thoughtfully posted a page detailing just how the installation works. It's a good thing they did, because there's quite a bit of disassembly required. The PSP must be cracked open and its faceplate replaced with a different one that allows the console to fit the adapter. In the end, you're left with a PSP that outputs to composite video and accepts a DualShock2 controller.
Amped 3 For 360 Launch[xbox360]
It looks like the Xbox 360 confirmed launch titles are finally starting to slowly trickle in. Take Two has announced that Indie Built's Amped 3 (X360) should be making it to launch day of Microsoft's upcoming next-gen console. With no 360 port of EA Canada's SSX On Tour (PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP) planned, Amped 3 looks to be the unchallenged on the 360 in the snowboarding segment. Those who preorder the game at participating major retailers will receive a soundtrack CD for the game.
Idle Thumbs' Marek Bronstring chats it up with Jonathan Hayes, visual designer of the Xbox 360 and its user interface. The article also takes a look at a bunch of prototype designs for the console and its controller, ranging from quite bad to...a little bit bad.
IGN has a video interview on EA Canada's Need For Speed Most Wanted (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, DS, PSP, GBA, PC).
Game Informer has an interview with Jeremy Strouser, senior producer on EA Tiburon's Madden NFL 06 (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, DS, PSP, GBA, PC).
GameSpot checks out Yuke's' WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2006 (PS2, also PSP).
GameSpot goes hands-on with EA Canada's NBA Live 06 (X360, also PS2, Xbox, GCN, PSP, PC).
Movies: Super Mario Strikers (GCN).
GameSpot has some Famitsu-sourced details on New Super Mario Bros. (DS), and previews of Nintendo's Mario Kart DS (DS), Capcom's Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (DS), Arc System Works' Guilty Gear Dust Strikers, Nintendo's Brian Flex, Alphadream's Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (DS), Toshio Iwai's Electroplankton (DS), Camelot's Mario Tennis: Power Tour (GBA), and Taito's Bust-A-Move DS (DS). IGN checks Alphadream's Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (DS), Vicarious Visions' Tony Hawk's American Sk8land (DS), and Capcom's Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (DS). 1UP goes hands-on with Capcom's Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (DS), Pipeworks' Prince of Persia: Revelations (DS), Nintendo's Brain Flex (DS), T&E's True Swing Golf (DS), Planet Moon's Infected (PSP) and Vicarious Visions' Tony Hawk's American Sk8land (DS). GameSpy checks out Nintendo's Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS), Alphadream's Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (DS), Nintendo's Brain Flex, T&E Soft's True Swing Golf, and Sonic Team's Sonic Rush (DS).
Movies: Gun (PS2, Xbox, GCN, X360, PSP, PC).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Alien Trilogy for the Sega Saturn. "Highly immersive and creepy first person shooter for it's time, complete with that stressful radar beeping!" (submitted by megarust32)