Sunday, May 29, 2011

Early E3 thoughts on Nintendo

     The Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, is right around the corner. For those of you lucky enough to get tickets, congrats. I was lucky to get my pass but alas I could not make it this year. For the rest of us we will be watching either G4 or reading the live blogs from the web. Information has already been leaked and confirmed about upcoming games like Modern Warfare 3. I’m sure there are quite a few more but I’m sure we can all wait until the actual screen shots and release dates hit the media next week. I’m here to discuss one of the bigger confirmations that have of dropped off the news run. It is Nintendo’s new console.

     Do I have any earth shattering news about what are the specs and how awesome it will be? Of course not. I don’t have that kind of juice or power. What I do have are some thoughts on this machine. According to reports, the console, dubbed Project Café, will be a monster. Rumors have it running a more powerful processor than the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. If I remember correctly, the hierarchy of machine that are out now are Wii, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 going from weakest to strongest. Each one had its own market niche. Wii was ease of use and family play, Xbox was online gaming and Sony was power. Pure, unadulterated power. With Both Sony and Microsoft were coming into the family or casual gaming arena, that put Nintendo at an enormous disadvantage. Not only did Nintendo no longer hold a niche market, they could not compete with the power of the other two systems.    
     Enter the next obvious step for Nintendo, a faster, stronger console. Most of you that have been around for some time know this is not Nintendo’s first whack at running a power system. There have been several chances Nintendo has taken to create a more powerful console to only leave most of the power behind in order to cater to the masses. The most recent one that comes to mind is the Game Cube. That system at the time had some many bells and whistles that could have been added but never came about. So Nintendo will be doing the same thing again with this new system. To have information leaked about how much more powerful it will be is setting an expectation for gamers. We know what the Xbox is capable of and have been well schooled on PS3 power. This has potential to be a huge failure if Project Café falls short of what is being touted.

     I’m not saying this is a make or break move by Nintendo. It does show me that they are a little scared on losing market share and moved to push Project Café to market first. Microsoft has made it known they are working on a new console with Sony leaking information on their intent as well. Neither Sony nor Microsoft will have a new system out before 2012. I think Nintendo feels if they get their system to market first, they will hold market share for some time. It worked for Microsoft on the launch of the Xbox 360 but also cost them in the amount of bad press and the infamous RROD. This isn’t Ricky Bobby, it’s ok to be second in something.

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