Newsweek, with a little help, takes on Wii as 'GameCube 1.5'

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by B3D News, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. B3D News

    B3D News Beyond3D News
    Regular

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    1
    It's always nice when the MSM (Main Stream Media) has the sense to dig up specialists to help in communicating complicated subjects. For instance, our gaming editor, Farid Bouzid, recently got to chatting with Newsweek's N'Gai Croal about the techincal specifications of Nintendo's Wii.

    Read the full news item
     
  2. Farid

    Farid Artist formely known as Vysez
    Veteran Subscriber

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,844
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Paris, France
    B3D is now mainstream

    So, it's finally live?

    And don't listen to Croal, he's the one who asked my opinion on that Wii piece of his! ...Okay, well, he didn't technically ask my opinion but he pointed it to me, which is more than enough for me to write a long winded reply about the Wii technology, as you might have guessed. :razz:
     
  3. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    17,582
    Likes Received:
    1,134
    Location:
    Maastricht, The Netherlands
  4. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    16,759
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    Not too shabby, how come you didn't mention the Wii HD? :|
     
  5. Tim Murray

    Tim Murray the Windom Earle of mobile SOCs
    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    Dig... :|
     
  6. Dr Evil

    Dr Evil Anas platyrhynchos
    Legend Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    5,666
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    Finland
    Nicely done guys!
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    85
    Congrats on the mainstream coverage, but I have to say: For a 'technical article', that conclusion read more like a cross between media critique and an op. ed.
    I, for one, is looking forward to the inevitable slew of B3D content that is to follow given the interesting questions, I agree, posed in the article from the quoted point onwards.
     
  8. Skrying

    Skrying S K R Y I N G
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    61
    I fail to see what this means other than the Wii is not a powerful console (everyone knows that, even your average joe). It does not effect what will be on the console in a sense of limits, but instead the gaps in those limits. It can have games that the Xbox 360 and PS3 won't and vice versa. Simply put, you cannot state that is superior or inferior unless you're willing to openly admit to bias. The technical aspects really won't matter at all for the Wii until Microsoft and Sony bring out their next generation of systems (720, PS4, whatever they'll be called) and deliver a similar or better control scheme. The fact is that Nintendo targeted a different market that just happened to have a lot of overlap. Technical specifications are irrelevant when it comes to the Wii, if you don't see that then you're probably not in the target market. It's really rather tiring to see people still try to tie technical aspects of the consoles to their success, they are hardly related (if at all) to success.
     
  9. tongue_of_colicab

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,326
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    Japan
    I kinda agree with that. I hoped there would be a bit more ''what can be done'' instead of what ''cant be done''. Because whats in that article I already read long ago on B3D :) Also I wished there was a bit more about what the extra memory could do as it was one of the downsides of the GC which had to little. Something about the Julian from factor5 comment about that you could do most shaders with the TEV's that ps3/x360 can do would be nice in perspective to how usefull it actually is on Wii given it has far less power.
     
  10. StefanS

    StefanS meandering Velosoph
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,608
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Vienna
    To call a spade a spade, it's indeed an opinionated blog entry and not the usual B3D article / technical break-down. It is intended as food for thought and as a starting point to look at more than just the usual sides in the debate.

    We were aiming for a short and honest break-down of the hardware facts (we admit there's only a few stuff that hasn't been said before [e.g. the AA part], but we've even documented prior analysis) bundled with some open questions
     
  11. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
    Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    16,759
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Location:
    Winfield, IN USA
    You B3D guys sure are the kwnolage guys. :yep2:
     
  12. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Messages:
    39,180
    Likes Received:
    9,080
    Location:
    Under my bridge
    This article wasn't doing that. It was looking to raise questions, which is what B3D is all about. And IMO the concluding paragraph was good. If you don't know the specs of the machine, you don't know what evolutions will be happening over time. eg. Looking at Eye Of Judgement on PS3, we can see some augmented reality, but not a huge amount. Is that the limit of the hardware? Looking at the specs of PS3, it's safe to say no, they could do more impressive things. Now look at Wii. Wii Sports Tennis doesn't have 1:1 motion mapping. Is that a limit of the hardware? Is it technically impossible to have 1:1 mapping? That's where tech-specs come in. They are important in understanding what the machine will be doing. In this case we can say no, 1:1 mapping isn't clearly a hardware fault. For the people who just play the games that are out now and don't care, tech-specs are irrelevant, but that goes for any platform. For people discussing the consoles and their future, and what games and software these machines will be running, technical details are important. As a last example, looking at the Force Unleashed trailers shown so far, can we look forward to a Wiimote Lightsabre duelling game combined with molecular matter and behavioural physics? You wouldn't know that without looking at Wii's hardware, but knowing the hardware we can say 'highly unlikely'. So now we know what to expect on Wii despite limited showings, and we have a point to consider - how is the game adapted for different machines with different inputs and abilities? Was it a good move for Nintendo to skimp on the hardware? Would the machine be in a far stronger position with stronger hardware, or would better hardware add very little in terms of real gameplay elements compared to what is possible on the current design? This considerations go for the whole of the market, and not just gamers who like what they've got and don't care what goes on inside it. Open debate is good for getting people thinking about what they're doing now and where they're headed in future. If debate decides Nintendo could have managed far more with a marginal cost increase in hardware, perhaps next gen Nintendo will be a little more adventurous...
     
  13. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,116
    Likes Received:
    213
    Location:
    Uffda-land
    It seems to me that the questions about Wii's hardware prowess (or lack therof) have always been forward looking questions based on the typical console generation lifespan. So to those who say that the hardware has nothing to do with the current success of the Wii, I'd answer in two ways. 1) Yes, indeed, today. 2). And 2009?
     
  14. Arwin

    Arwin Now Officially a Top 10 Poster
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    17,582
    Likes Received:
    1,134
    Location:
    Maastricht, The Netherlands
    Tssk. Wii's success has a lot to with hardware. Choosing to not upgrade the hardware siginficantly and instead opting for a different defining feature that brings innovation at relatively low cost to both manufacturor and developer, with as an added bonus day 1 profitability and a short time to market to reach the peak of the lifespan at least two years before rival consoles, finds its basis almost 100% in hardware. If you can't see that, then you definitely also don't need to be involved in any discussions regarding its potential lifespan (which by the way no matter how long - or short - will still be lengthened by virtue of its early success alone).

    Though I may be wrong. I certainly wasn't intending to partially exclude Geo from future discussions with my definition, so it can't be all right. ;)
     
  15. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    85
    Well... My, perhaps too understated point was that you kinda' failed.

    Skyring put it well when he said that the "fact is that Nintendo targeted a different market that just happened to have a lot of overlap", and in that sense there is no need to free ourselves from the notion that the Wii is any kind of "magical device that will completely redefine gaming".

    For many, quite obviously, it already has.

    I'm sure the is a good MA thesis in a question like "Are there games that could seriously benefit from the Wii's control scheme that are hampered by its technical limitations?", but unless you're prepared to extrapolate and give your ideas, I'll treat it as a rhetorical question.

    Unless you subscribe to the notion that the Wii will kill traditional gaming (parallel paradigms are an option, you know, it doesn't have to be a complete shift), what it can't do is of absolutely no interest in the context of the console itself. What should be of interest is what it can do that's different (and how those ideas could be exploited and improved upon by it's more powerful brethren).
     
  16. Carl B

    Carl B Friends call me xbd
    Moderator Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    6,266
    Likes Received:
    63
    Well, I'm one that thinks the forum mentality can sometimes be overly harsh on gadgets that are "technologically challenged." Personally I don't view the Wii through the same lens I would view the 360 and PS3; rather I would view it the same as I would an iPod; it's a product whose value is derived from factors that go beyond its hardware specifications, and whose appeal - an appeal I consider valid - stems from a different angle.

    I think a lot of the maelstrom surrounding the Wii on tech forums like this one stems from a thought process that is partly contemptuous of what is almost viewed it seems as a sleight of hand between what the consumer is getting and what they should be expecting. I've never really gone for that, because it sort of resembles imposing a value system based on technological advancement onto folk that really don't care much about that aspect of the hardware. I think case in point to my own experience, a family member who is otherwise always looking for technological marvels became enamored with the Wii last year and got it shortly after launch. He didn't have any idea as to its technical capabilities, but nor did I try to inform him of such; it was obvious that the desire for the system was coming from somewhere else than a "power" mentality, and I felt no need to try to dampen his enthusiasm.

    IMO it's not an achievement of Nintendo's marketing that has the Wii well-received - it's simply an achievement of conceptualization. From a market standpoint though, obviously many factors came together in a perfect storm to allow Nintendo's resurgence to be so broad in scope, but I don't think those considerations diminish the validation of the approach itself.
     
  17. Geo

    Geo Mostly Harmless
    Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,116
    Likes Received:
    213
    Location:
    Uffda-land
    There is no cheating of the consumer here because the thing doesn't cost $499. But Wii proponents seem to want to have it both ways. It must be both cheap and a triumph of technology. Well, no, it isn't. It's been a fabulous success for Nintendo, no question. But it's not a success of technology, whatever it is a success of. Why some feel a need to defend what it isn't as if it really was, is a mystery. Isn't it enuf to say "not meant to be" and move on to the implications of that?
     
  18. ninzel

    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Messages:
    1,606
    Likes Received:
    6
    So the sources of the technical specs are not new,just another reporting of what we already knew? And the developer sources,were they actually spoken to in person to verify their authenticity,or is there just an acceptance of what's been written by anonymous sources on the net? I'm just trying to figure out how much stock to put in this article.
     
  19. Zaphod

    Zaphod Remember
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Messages:
    2,193
    Likes Received:
    85
    Care to point to any examples? I tend to see it more as people deriding the Wii for not being what they in particular want, rather than on any actual merit on how its impact can/may/will change/improve/destroy gaming.
    I'd rather say "it is what it is" and move on to the implications of that. When we're done with the first one, let's do "how can we improve on it".
     
  20. Skrying

    Skrying S K R Y I N G
    Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    61
    There no point at all to it though, frankly it was more of the same. Everyone knows that the Wii is not a powerhouse and we all have a solid idea of what it is technically capable of for awhile now. Deep looks into the hardware are entirely pointless for the system, it is what it is and that's where it stands. The Wii will live or die solely on if its control scheme and marketing are able to deliver the message. It's accessible and it's new. It at least puts up the image of trying to be something completely new. Therefore a true analysis of the product would have so little dedicated to the hardware. What you do with it is the point and why I really wish more exploration was done into this. Simply put the article comes across as a negative tone and was very hard for me to read from the get go. It doesn't ask question, its condemning really.

    Maybe my issue is that the article doesn't raise any questions, it simply is restating what you and I already know. I think questions about hardware have worn well thin and that instead of looking deeper into it, we should be looking deeper into what other aspects of the product make it popular, prolong its lifespan, etc.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Beyond3D has been around for over a decade and prides itself on being the best place on the web for in-depth, technically-driven discussion and analysis of 3D graphics hardware. If you love pixels and transistors, you've come to the right place!

    Beyond3D is proudly published by GPU Tools Ltd.
Loading...