What are the benefits of Nintendo staying a hardware maker?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by FAST6191, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    So around the place I saw various sentiments along the lines of it would be tragic for Nintendo to stop making consoles, and it would be awful if they went whole hog into mobile games.

    Other than "I don't like change" I am not seeing the tragedy others seem to fear.

    They don't seem to make hardware in terms of processing power/capability that does anything others do not have, and most of the time it has been worse than other things.
    Them going to a more software focused role would hardly stop them from doing certain things -- they hardly make far out decisions in terms of content that the likes of Sony or MS would turn their noses up at.
    On mobile then what says they would have to do microtransactional pay to win nonsense? Also it is hardly absent on the 3ds.
    Their abilities to make and maintain network play and online infrastructure are woeful. I guess it is free but that can hardly be a massive draw.
    By similar token they hardly seem to be doing much in the way of middleware and software development (not like Nintendo engine is uttered in the same breath as unreal engine or something). Going further they do not seem to be a massive in for anybody breaking into games, and others are providing significant avenues.
    Some might say controllers but other than popularising the notion of an analogue stick, which everybody else picked up a somewhat different design for and stuck with ever since, they have not done a lot that I can see. Even if you did think it a strength of theirs then any number of devs make controllers for far less popular games.

    There might even be a few upsides somewhere in it all (something about a larger potential audience -- everybody buys games, fewer people buy console + games).

    I am really quite baffled at this one.
     
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  2. Catastrophic

    Catastrophic Perfectly Normal

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    I'd like to see Nintendo become primarily a software developer. I like Nintendo games but feel like they're being bottlenecked by their own consoles.
     
  3. KingVamp

    KingVamp Great... AETHER!

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    I disagree.

    Like saying Sony and Microsoft should stop being hardware makers because PC's can be built to be stronger than any consoles they come out with and most games go to PC anyway.
     
  4. invaderyoyo

    invaderyoyo invader

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    I totally agree. I like their handhelds, but it sucks that I have to buy their weak home console for a handful of games. If I only buy their console I'll miss out on too much.

    It wouldn't be a problem if their console was more powerful. That way I would only have to buy one console, but it's pretty clear that's not gonna happen with the Switch.
     
  5. tech3475

    tech3475 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    My guess is probably a combination of money (don't forget licensing), hope, control and habit. I also wouldn't be surprised if they like weaker hardware to reduce dev costs (not just hardware but software as well).

    While I can understand people wanting them to go software only (it would save me a few hundred quid), my main concern is that their quality may decline like what happened with Sega.

    Look at something like Pokemon Go, if Nintendo find themselves as a software only developer and something like Pokemon Go or the Mario runner cost a fraction of a Zelda game while still making money, they may decide to stop making their AAA games as they no longer have a platform they need to support where making such titles is more necessary.
     
  6. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Though something is going to happen to consoles before too long (I am not sure what but something is coming) there is some merit to having a fixed target for games. The quality of Nintendo's fixed targets though I am seriously questioning. That said I have long espoused a want for DVD player style consoles and having that model with dozens of makers making subtly different but ultimately functional devices that you pop a disc in an go with.

    On dev costs I am not especially seeing it. Their devices seem to lack a lot of the middleware out there on other things. I guess the best looking game that is practical for a group of normal devs (so basically not a room full of http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/story-of-mel.html ) tops out somewhat lower, but at the same time Johnny just squeaked through Java school could probably smack unreal or unity or something and make something the envy of any PS2 dev and perfectly acceptable in the PS3 world and thus a perfectly playable game, and any kid with game maker could probably do something any 16 bit 2d dev would be happy to have published. Basic wage increases and office costs mean things are not going to be exactly the same but ballooning dev costs seem to be almost pathological among devs.

    Cash ins and a race to the bottom could pose an issue, and looking at New Super Mario Brothers Nintendo are hardly immune,
     
  7. Classicgamer

    Classicgamer GBAtemp Fan

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    Even selling 10m units is quite a lot...

    They will always move at least that many units because of their exclusives. Switch will be a hit!
     
  8. DinohScene

    DinohScene Dino May Fire

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    Selling 10 million units on a planet with 7 billion people with ~5 billion that have access to games is low.
     
  9. gnmmarechal

    gnmmarechal Kirigiri > Naoto

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    Frankly, I kind of... like how Nintendo consoles are usually underpowered, and still have good games. I like Nintendo because of how it greatly differs from Sony/MS (as those are basically comparing specs against the other)
     
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  10. Sliter

    Sliter GBAtemp Addict

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    we nee dto agree that nintendo is what inovate everythings, what nintendo starts, the gamming word get a way to improve later
    An handheld console? done!
    Touch screen on portable? we already had palmtops and others but first in come in DS and then it was followed by iphones/stuff, other portables devices with a better touch thing.
    Motion control? also was someting small that was big implemented and then come psmove, kinect ...
    Nintendo will keep inovating , maybe fail sometimes but these investitors want them to stop becau ethey have an big brand that can sell more if go to other devices? they area bunch of idiotas that know nothing about games at all
     
  11. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Why would Nintendo not being a hardware maker, or not rolling their own and only sticking to that, mean they have to fall into line with Sony and MS, assuming I do believe they are best represented by Halo, COD and Uncharted?
    I suppose it is more that I view programming as a cost you pay to make games rather than a necessity as it were. We could figure out the rules and maths for a good board game via whatever we are using to talk to each other now, write a book, possibly do some music.... the higher powered stuff gives more people the chance by being able to swallow the overhead and not see them constantly have to optimise.

    Nintendo were hardly the only ones or first ones to do handheld games at any point. They beat off the competition and had a bit of monopoly for a while but were never the first.
    Was touch an innovation or an inevitability? The tech had improved somewhat irrespective of what Nintendo was doing around the same time and ARM had come up massively in the world (10 years ago I recall seeing posters in electronics labs and shops extolling the virtues of ARM by mentioning the surprising things ARM had powered and most outside embedded electronics did not know the name of the company). I would agree though that Nintendo probably jumped earlier than I would have expected.
    I am not saying motion controls can't work, and the group that cracks it with VR will make a mint, but point me at 10 games which current/last gen motion control truly benefited and will continue to hold up in years to come, now do the same for things that the xbox and PS2 could not have even contemplated running in real time. Nobody would dream of releasing a device without analogue controls today but nobody batted an eyelid when the PSBone controllers were basically the same as before.

    I think it was said before but innovation is not a synonym for good. Also where did the investors want them to stop innovation; being a software and peripheral dev does not preclude that. Also the average investor is the last person you will have to teach the idea of "throw enough stuff at the wall and see what sticks, or indeed blows up massively" to -- it is not the only model in investing but it is a commonly seen one and is pretty much how venture capital works/is geared.
     
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  12. Sliter

    Sliter GBAtemp Addict

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    isn't all for good, but as yous aid about VR, virtual boy was like dreamcast, come too early for the idea being something, now with more technology, what VB wanted t be on that time, are happening...
    I don't think that nintendo would must leave they way to do stuff to get the " easier and safer zone", when they get on this area, everything turn much generic and tasteless :/
    also that mobile and pc gaming have a very bad thing that is being outdated so much quick, big companies even want to develop want to get the better of it but to end user this is a problem, having to update the system in less than an year to be able to run stuff is not what console fans want...
    Idk I think nintendo could do some "virtual console" like for mobile, maybe some small original games like they are doing and swin in the money it gonna generate, but not focus only in that
     
  13. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Did the dreamcast come too early? It arrived, did mostly what it said, had quite a few games and then some bad decisions and the PS2's DVD player and Sony being relatively pleasant to work with saw it end. I am not sure what relevance the virtual boy has here either, I would certainly look at it as part of things but how relevant it is to anything happening today I am not sure.

    On PCs being outdated then when did that start again? Throughout most of the life of the PS360 specs stuck around at 2 gigs of RAM, something reasonable in the core2 range and a top of the line directx 9 graphics card. Today from what I have seen it is creeping up a bit but it is still not anywhere near as bad as it was in the PS1 and N64 era (and was not absent in the xbox and PS2 era) where a decent machine 1 year ago would truly struggle with the current stuff, and a top of the line would last not all that much longer.
    Mobile phones saw something similar for a while but even they have slowed somewhat and people would quite happily consider a two or three year old model at times.

    Time was your hardware mattered and what you did there had a real effect. If today it is mainly in controls instead then it is USB, or some simple protocol, in the end and thus if Nintendo have proven themselves unable to do hardware and infrastructure at a competitive level then carrying on just seems pointless.
     
  14. Sliter

    Sliter GBAtemp Addict

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    well they said tht dreamcats wa sto powerfull for it's time that the developers couldn't use well it's potential xD and VB is about VR that became a thing today, on the past they haven't the technologyto do what they really wanted and it failed in that way ...
     
  15. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Never heard that about the dreamcast, if anything I would expect to hear the opposite and people wonder whether even if it had survived then would the PS2 and xbox and GC have walked all over it, or at least made it the platform of crap ports. I might go see what goes for homebrew devs but I would have to be careful as compilers did improve rather dramatically since then.
    Now the saturn was a pig to develop for, not unlike some aspects of the wii u today with its somewhat odd architecture, and that troubled things but that was the Saturn and not the dreamcast.

    I don't think the virtual boy was VR as much as a way of doing 3d imagery of a form, and I would agree the tech used (some say the actual VB design would have been better but it was forced out of the door and I think the maker of it died too) pretty much ended it before it began. There was VR around that time, and yes the hardware was bad as trying to cram a CRT on your head is not fun, but that was not it.
     
  16. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    I hope they quit making consoles and become more of a high quality game developer for the other consoles or pc sort of like becoming say Platinum Games or something but I doubt that will happen.
     
  17. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    Err..what? The Dreamcast was never considered "too powerful", it was more the opposite. The main reason the Dreamcast failed was because Sega was bleeding money after the Saturn, 32x, and Sega CD were commercial failures along with the fact that it released way prematurely for a "next gen" console. Then the PS2 released with mostly superior hardware and a customer base that took up like 70% of the market or something, which ended up killing the Dreamcast more.

    To be fair to the Dreamcast, it was slightly superior in some ways (it had more VRAM and a better sound chip) but in no way was it "too powerful".

    I think you're thinking of the Saturn, which had some pretty powerful hardware on release but was extremely complex (it had like 8 different processors in it) and had some hardware faults (like the 2 main CPUs sharing the same bus so both couldn't access memory at the same time).

    Anyways, as to the OP, I would agree that Nintendo should (at some point) abandon hardware development and focus more on software. I would like to see, by the time the Switch reaches EOL, Nintendo opt out of hardware to go software only and then proceed to continue making good games on hardware that isn't potato quality.
     
  18. xtheman

    xtheman GBAtemp Guru

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    The major benefit is we will still have current gen console hacks.
     
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  19. FAST6191
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    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Normally that would have been a winning glib remark (it still earns a respectful nod), however I would have to wonder what benefit such hacks are these days. The xbox having all its emulators + XBMC on my TV of the time was awesome. Today even if I can't be bothered to plug my laptop into a TV via HDMI or something then a cheapo raspberry pi will do basically all a hacked console would have done.

    Handhelds at the time were also class leading devices (google maps on your handheld in 2007? done http://pdroms.de/files/nintendods/treasures-of-gaia-v0-2 , though I did sort a few more specialist phones at around the same time), today not so much. Emulator wise we seem to have hit a bit of a roadblock at the end of the 16 bit era with such things (unless when I stopped paying attention the 3ds gained a PS1 emulator?).
     
  20. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    And what's the counterargument to that?