Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Exactly what Nintendo should do next generation

In Features, Games on October 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Nintendo are due to unveil the final specifications of their next home console, the Wii U, at E3 in June next year. A lot of people are worried about the company’s future, their success in introducing millions of new gamers to the industry has been offset by the decrease in respect from the more dedicated gamer due to a lack of software releases and networking innovations. The Last Story could earn them a little respect and a few million dollars if released and marketed as it should be.

In order for the best case scenario (the console being the most used next-gen):
1. Wii U must be at least 3 times as powerful as the ps3
2. We need at least 2 new first party IP’s debuting in the next 4 years
3. Wii U must have simplified “friend connection” online support
4. Wii U needs movie, television and modern web browsing services
5. Wii U needs a new HD-HQ first-person Metroid

It’s safe to say that most multi-platform games will be released on the Wii U and the absence of multi-touch on the tab-pad’s screen isn’t that big of a deal and will not be a source of upset for anyone. The proposed control scheme is straight-up exciting and needs no additions. Most of us are unable to fathom the ideas developers must have waiting to be realised so its best to just be optimistic. A microphone on the tablet controller must be there be used for voice recognition, allowing for new levels of immersion, you should be able to speak to your console ala Kinect and blow out flames like with a DS. Personally, I wouldn’t mind spending another generation still using the MotionPlus Wii-mote and Nunchuck, I had so much fun with MW:Reflex and Red Steel 2 (to name only two) that, for first-person games, I’d say I prefer this control scheme over a pad or even a mouse and keyboard.

I expect there to be a Skyward Sword Wii U edition out shortly after the consoles launch, it would be possible to convert the game to dx11 with tessellation, extra displacement mapping, a hi-res texture package and special effects (post processing and motion blur etc). The upgrade wouldn’t require too many new properties, could probably be done by download using an original Wii disc and cost less than £15. This digital product would sell consoles, peripherals and game discs, act as a milestone for Nintendo’s online framework effort, make them a whole lot more money and be really, really sweet for gamers, the game already looks spectacular, its maxing out the old Wii’s hardware. I can imagine after the overhaul with the game in 1920×1080+ with a slightly zoomed out perspective (in free-cam) and all sorts of graphical additions the game would look more than fabulous.

Previously, I had ideas of Nintendo using a dual-gpu system by way of an expansion slot that allows the casual users to run games with barely noticeably scaled back graphics without buying the extra “graphics pack” and hardcore users to spend an extra £100 for the second graphics unit allowing for higher anti-aliasing, tessellation support, sharper texturing and advanced physics. The very best of current-gen visuals are already pretty close to photorealistic, they can be pushed that bit further just by using sharper texturing, more realistic lighting, complex physics and smoother models all attainable at a relatively small performance increase with todays technology.

In PC graphics cards, an ATi 6870 (now £140 and ninty could get it cheaper) would be pretty pleasing as the Wii U’s standard graphics chip. This card coupled with another similarly powerful expansion gpu would provide for photorealism and all below, securing the console its position seven or so years from now.

The rumours tell me a 3-core cpu is in order, I don’t think that a tri-core setup will be good enough unless their clock speeds are over 3.5ghz. (The ultra basic and old-Unreal engine based) Mirrors edge, possibly due to the PC port not being very optimised, required at least a multicore central processor at 3ghz and that’s without PhysX enabled so Ninty need at least 4 units at 3ghz to stay with the future times and not get murdered by Sony and Microsoft’s hibernating beasts.

I know it is in Nintendo’s tradition to handle sub par graphics tech and they do it well but that is the only thing that has ever gone against them (business and image-wise), if they are smart, they will address that issue.

It’s not too late for some changes, especially if they are needed….

What do you think of Nintendo’s behaviour last generation?

Who do you think will win the next console war?


The only problem with eastern-europeans

In The Grinder on October 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

MOVED: to here

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