While the Xbox 360 and Playstation3 (PS3) are going to ‘redefine’ game consoles from something that can play games to something that you can also watch movies on, chat, view pictures, etc, I’ll be sticking with the company that has always focused on making games that are fun to play; Nintendo and their upcoming console Revolution. From the wiki, the talk about the backwards compatibility sounds very promising. Think about it, Nintendo has some of the best games ever, and that goes back 20+ years; why not make them all available instead of locking them out? The fact that GameCube controlers, memory sticks, etc. will work too is very cool. “Nintendo has announced that Revolution will have the ability to play all the Nintendo-produced Nintendo 64, SNES/Super Famicom, and Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom games; the software may be recompiled or emulated but will be offered via the Nintendo online download service. Satoru Iwata refers to this feature as the “Virtual Console”. According to a Japanese press release, “all downloaded games will be stored on the 512 Meg flash memory built into the system.” … Nintendo announced that the downloadable games may be redesigned. It was also said that although the gameplay would stay the same, it would be possible “that with Revolution, we may be able to see the old games with new looks.” Some 3D games may “look sharper when played on Revolution.” (this may be compared to the 1993 SNES release Super Mario All-Stars, a single cartridge containing several classic Super Mario Bros games with updated graphics). If the technical aspects of Revolution also go well, “Nintendo is discussing the possibility of having older games like Mario Party playable online.” With Meanwhile the Xbox 360 is starting to look like it was rushed out, as it has only been out a day, there are already plenty of screenshots and video of the console crashing! Again, trying to make something do everything takes time, perhaps more than they gave it. I’m willing to wait for fun games from Nintendo, vs the latest graphics and Grand Theft Auto style ‘kill everything’ games. I mean hell, I love playing Mario Kart Double Dash on the Gamecube as much as my kids, and if you throw the red turtle shell at the other player, he’ll get knocked down for a second losing all of his speed. It’s not focusing on gore, it’s focused on fun gameplay, which lots of Nintendo games have in spades.
UPDATE: apparently MS is going with their old plan of running the game console as a loss leader, with the thought of it gaining marketshare and recouping money from game sales. According to a report, Microsoft is losing an estimated $126 per Xbox 360 unit.