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[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 12/07/05 ] = Misery Bound By Memory

Lately, all the buzz has been about the controller for Nintendo's new system. Everyone is talking about it. Some say it will be revolutionary, some say it will be a gimmick; either way this whole situation pisses me off. I say it's a mistake. A mistake in an age where true innovation is not wanted. Why does Nintendo continue to try to innovate in an age where innovation is punished? "Gamers" these days don't want true innovation, they want what's "cool." And what's "cool" is shit like Grand Theft Auto and "True Crime NFL Streets Of LA 2." What does this mean? It means that unless GTA hits Nintendo's new (recently unnamed) hardware, support will once again be weak. If self-proclaimed "gamers" can't play the new GTA or 50 Cent game on the new Nintendo hardware with Nintendo's new controller, nobody will like it. This is the truth. If the majority can't even take the time to adapt to the slightly unorthodox GameCube controller, there's no way in hell they will with a new controller. The majority doesn't want something that they would have to put any extra effort into; it's all about convenience, and if a product doesn't have it then people don't want it. Didn't Nintendo learn from the GC controller that the majority doesn't want new controllers? I've always loved Nintendo, but they are making a big mistake with their new controller. It is a risk that they can't take.

Everyone thinks that Nintendo's new controller will succeed just because key developers have said nice things about it, but just like before what they say doesn't mean a damn thing. Sure, some asshole from Square said some good things about it, but will he actually make games that will sell for the Revolution? Square's halfhearted efforts on the GC lead me to believe otherwise. A long list of other key figures have said good things, as well, but will they actually support Nintendo's new hardware? There is a difference between saying good things about hardware and actually supporting it. Developers quickly jumped aboard and said great things about the GC, too, but developers aren't supporting it as faithfully as their comments led many to believe. Sure, they say the controller is innovative and all that, but we'll find out what they really think by their support when the system launches. There are already some developers calling it a gimmick (some outright, some indirectly), and if this precept spreads support from key developers could plummet.

My point? Don't get too excited; developers have said "great" things about Nintendo hardware before and either cut back on development or turned their back completely. Unless Nintendo's new hardware and controller catch on with the masses right away, you can bet developers will play a different tune. Whether this controller is innovative or not means nothing to developers; they won't really support it unless the majority does. If the masses don't buy the system because they dislike like the controller, then developers will jump ship just like they did with the N64 and GC. And if developers jump ship, that means no GTA or other big-sellers, and anymore lack of developer support could prove to be fatal for Nintendo. Sure, GC controllers can be used with the new hardware (for those who don't like the new controller), but if the majority didn't like the GC controller to begin with, what the fuck does it matter? Sure, I like the GC controller, and a select few people I know also like it, but we are the minority. Like the DreamCast controller, the GameCube controller wasn't well-received by the average "gamer." Nintendo claims that there's much more to the new controller than meets the eye, but at this point any new information or demonstration might not even matter, since magazines and the media have already wrote both it and Nintendo off as a joke. It may not seem like it, but the controller is very important; in many cases games are actually judged solely off the stock controller of a system. Sad but true (especially with EGM).

What was Nintendo thinking when they came up with this? Didn't they see that people wouldn't even try to get used to the CG controller? With that in mind, wouldn't they have decided to go with a more orthodox design? I guess not. They say there will be a controller skeleton to plug it into, but that won't be good enough for the masses (because they don't want to spend the money). I can see it now; magazines and websites slamming Nintendo's new system because the controller is unorthodox. This has nothing to do with my opinion on the controller; I don't even really care about it because I can adapt to different controllers, but the majority who plays GTA cannot. Unless Rockstar makes a GTA where the player can beat old ladies (and other innocent people) to death by swinging Nintendo's new controller like a baseball bat, the majority won't care. I'm excited about Nintendo's new system, I'm just not excited about the rash and shit the media will give it when it's released (thanks to the controller). I can't understand why Nintendo is taking chances like this when they are considered "third place" by developers, media, and the majority. Sure, they got Pokemon, Mario, and Metroid, but with decisions like this we might not see Nintendo hardware in the future. In this age of videogames, there's no room for error.

I have always loved Nintendo, and I defend them to the death when they are spoken ill of, but even I have to say that the decision on the new controller is a bad one. Sony and Microsoft can afford to take chances (Microsoft moreso than Sony), but Nintendo can't. Why? Because Nintendo specializes in videogames, and the majority doesn't want videogames (they want "simulators" that don't actually require effort). Nintendo cannot afford a deathblow, and the failure of this controller can put them in the red. I hate to think of it, but Nintendo could go the way of Sega (third-party development) if their new hardware fails. The bottom line is that Nintendo isn't in the same position they used to be; they got through the tough times of the N64 and the GC, but the repercussions could be fatal this time...