215w ago - In the dark days of the GameCube, amidst Internet rumblings of Nintendo going third-party, a little white box was being secretly developed in the inner sanctums of Nintendo.
Having already launched the strange yet undeniably appealing DS, this new console had a working codename of Revolution.
Nintendo dropped that moniker for the more market-friendly and more perverse title of the Nintendo Wii. Revolutions were scary they said, revolutions were about bloodshed, terrorist organizations and babies crying. Nintendo just wanted everyone to play.
Controllers are scary, like the cockpit of a flaming 747. People just want to throw around their television remotes and Nintendo happily provided.
In Apple fuelled haze, Nintendo went on a marketing blitz and began to do something they haven't done since the era of Super Nintendo; they ran commercials that targeted everyone including your dear old Grand Pappy.
Gimmicky as the Wiimote may seem in retrospect, Nintendo grabbed the attention of the media and consumer wallets with its technology and Wii Sports. Not since the SNES has a system been so ready to play out of the box. It's that type of mass market acceptance that the other game companies would love to have.
On the outside to the hardcore set, it seems like Nintendo served up an underpowered console with a unique input device; however, Nintendo did more than that: they inverted the typical market scheme for video games.
Nintendo made money on the console from the first day it launched. Gone was the razor blade marketing, loss leading tactics that Microsoft and Sony and most previous consoles used to make money. Get the player to buy the hardware and make your money back on licensing and games sales.
With over 48 million consoles sold, maybe the Wii is the unheralded revolution in gaming. If it isn't, it very least is a huge financial success. Maybe it is too early to speculate about the next generation of gaming but you have to wonder if the Wii has started a trend that Microsoft and the Sony brands might try to follow in the years to come.
It has already been widely speculated that both Microsoft has Wii-like controllers in the works. MTV news reported that Microsoft has teamed with mouse maker Gyration to produce a motion controller code-named "Newton."
However, the issue extends far beyond waggle controllers. What if Sony and Microsoft decide to produce a new generation of consoles that have little or no graphical improvement than the current generations? What if they opt rather to explore new input devices?
Perhaps the next big thing won't be a major jump in movie realism and 7.1 Dolby Digital sound, but rather it'll be what type of 3D glasses the major companies are packing in with their game consoles.
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!
I agree with you on that %100. Why would they not put out a system that would be not up to date with technology to rake in the non gamer crowd like Nintendo has. Nintendo already has that fanbase and neither system would really be able to steal that fanbase away with a wanabe style console.
But... They can gain most of it's current fanbase in the future considering Wii players are mostly within the ages of 7-14 and when they get older these new sytems will be launching just on time to pick up that generation that has now matured enough to want the hardware and the goodies that come from a top of the line gaming unit.
On top of all of this Sony could easily launch boat loads of games that use sixaxis type goodies and target the younger generation, when they decide to make a price cut, making the system more affordable for parents.
However, it is interesting that the 360 is pretty much being utilised to its fullest already but people are only just beginning to show what the PS3 is really capable of, so I don't think Microsoft can afford to be complacent for too long, so I'd probably expect a new MS console within a year or two, whereas Sony could probably keep with the PS3 for maybe 3 or 4 years.
Of course, in the current economic climate, both companies would be best just releasing souped versions of their current consoles that remain backwards compatible.
I don't think that M$ and Sony are going to copy the hardware profile of the Wii. They are however going to take a note on their casual games that reach a high audience. It's all about hitting the biggest number of people, and unfortunately there are more casual/non-gamers out there then there are hardcore. Our market is getting weaker and weaker.
Anyway, both M$ and Sony analysts have stated that both companies have no plans to release new consoles before 2013 (probably longer for Sony). So this subject is kind of speculatory.