Hey Master Malstrom,
You mentioned recently about the lack of demand for 3D TVs and I
recall back at CES and a bunch of European trade shows, Samsung,
Panasonic and Sony were showing off Smart TVs as the “next big thing”,
and I couldn’t help but reactively think, “so this is what they think
might possibly save them from the 3DTV mess?”.
And then articles emerged saying how smart Nintendo was to reduce
dependency on the TV as a differentiator because it’s surely
inevitable that crippled non-standard specced PCs inside a TV will
surely be the death of Nintendo’s hardware business.
How likely is that? Is this like the “Mobile games are going to
destroy the *DS business model” all over again?
Enjoy your dos equis,
I think Smart TVs would gore Xbox and PlayStation consoles far more as they are nothing but dumb PCs connected to a TV. The smartphone didn’t really affect Nintendo’s handhelds, but it has devastated the Vita. I remember the PSP was so popular, at first, because you could play music, movies, and browse the Internet on it.
Smart TVs also show why it is important for Nintendo to offer a digital library that is account bound today. Eventually, the smaller games are going to drift to these TVs as well as classic games like the Sega 16-bit games. If Nintendo doesn’t lock in consumers with a library of their own, they are going to lose them to outside alternatives. It’s going to start with smaller games, and go on up.
I don’t think the Wii U will be a differentiator long. Tablets are going to connect to TVs extremely soon and probably within Wii U’s lifespan.
Usually, game consoles age gracefully because you can keep upgrading the TV. Handheld consoles age horribly because you are stuck with the display. My brick Gameboy is awful because its display is bad. Who wants to play it when you have the Gameboy Color? Or the GBA? Or the DS? And so on.
The GamePad will become the Ghetto Pad. The GamePad is going to seem incredibly archaic in a couple of years due to its lower resolution and small screen. I expect Nintendo to release new GamePad controllers in a couple years that offer better resolution and may be larger in size. Perhaps a GamePad XL.
I don’t see the Wii U as having the advantages of both the home console and the handheld console. I see Wii U as having the advantages and disadvantages of both. And I think the disadvantages are ultimately going to harm the home console experience.
Are we going to be using the Wii U fifteen years from now when handheld technology advances that looking at the Ghetto-Pad would be like looking at a GameBoy Color today? All the TViiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii will become obsolete in a few years anyway, and Nintendo will not update it. What parts of the Wii U will remain relevant fifteen years from now?
I don’t buy consoles with the intention of throwing them away after a few years (like how Nintendo does). I buy them and expect them to remain interesting for decades. I believe the Wii will age better than the Xbox 360 and PS3 (because graphics won’t matter much and Wii’s lack of online will age better than all the HD Twin games that will get crippled since they won’t have online). My NES and SNES remained interesting and unique after decades.
I can’t wait to hear stories of the kid breaking the GamePad and being unable to buy another one. You know that is going to happen around Christmas.