Nintendo Ready To Usher In Another Gaming Revolution: Could This Be The Wii 2

Is an E3 reveal for the next Generation Wii too soon? My thoughts after the jump.

Anyone that knows me knows that I grew up on Nintendo, and in my book, speaking ill will toward Nintendo might as well be blasphemy, so of course, when I heard the news today that The Wii 2 would “supposedly” be full on revealed at E3 later this year, I flipped. I couldn’t have been more excited by the idea of this. A lot of younger gamers out there might be saying what many playstation and X360 loyalists are saying…it is WAY too soon for a new console.

So really, this is more or less to educate you youngsters out there. Before the current generation of consoles, the average life cycle of ANY gaming system was intentionally 4 years long. After 4 years, the ideas that were fresh and fun were usually out of the boundaries of the consoles limitations. It wasn’t until the current generation that Sony and Microsoft opted to expand their life cycles to run a full decade. That said, Nintendo may be a lot smarter than many of you think.

What Nintendo has in actuality done here is allow themselves the room to release 3 major game changing platforms in the same cycle as the competition releases one, and grow start an Apple like ecosystem of next gen products. “But the Wii surely isn’t next gene Maikerukun, just look at those ugly graphics!” you might say, and you would be wrong in saying so. New graphics engines do not equal next generation products alone…nope, it’s all about the new tech involved with the latest product in a line. What Nintendo did with the original Wii was say, “hey, we are tired of playing games the same way every four years and the only thing that keeps improving are the graphics. We revolutionize damn near every gaming cycle and nobody gives us the credit for it.” Now, many of you youngsters actually have no idea how much impact Nintendo has actually had on the world of video games, so let me break it down for you.

In 1985, Nintendo brought from overseas the system that would change gaming forever, the famicom, renamed stateside the Nintendo Entertainment System. This thing sold like hotcakes and introduced an entire nation to a franchise that would go down in history as the number one selling franchise of all time to this day…Super Mario Brothers. Mario himself has appeared in over 200 different video games across the world and is the most recognized gaming character on the planet.

After that, of course, the late 80’s brought with it a slew of competitors came to the market, some amazing, some not so much. The Sega Master System, followed by Sega Genesis, and the NEC Turbo Duo, and the most expensive of the bunch, the SNK Neo Geo. Now Nintendo is a company that started as a card game company over 100 years ago, and a lot of people don’t realize they are the oldest gaming company in the console gaming space technically because of this, so they have sage strategy that nobody else could’ve predicted on their side.

I hold said strategy responsible for what would ultimately become what is to this day what is arguably the best gaming systems of all time…the Super Famicom, known in America as the Super Nintendo, released in 1991.

This system single-handedly dismantled any competition with it’s amazingly vibrant graphics, aesthetically and ergonomically pleasing controllers, and 16 bit graphical innovations across the board. The world had never seen anything like it.

Now in 1992 Nintendo began talking with Sony about developing a CD spinning add on that they called PlayStation. Yes, that’s right kids, the Playstation was originally a Nintendo system 🙂 What ended up happening is that Sony wanted %25 of all profits earned from the system and all it’s games. Nintendo obviously weren’t going for that and the rest is a bloody history.

After the CD-Rom craze caught on, Ninty still felt there was work to be done and great work that can be had in the cartridge platform, so once again they went hard to work on the system that would introduce is to another revolution and once again, as with every Nintendo system, change the game forever. In 1996, we got our hands on a little system called Nintendo 64, and with it, the first taste of 64 bit gaming. I can remember my first interaction with this thing. I was in a blockbuster video with a friend looking for a movie to rent, and my friend disappeared.

About 20 minutes later he walked up to me with his jaw literally on the floor and said “you need to come see this with your own eyes.” He drug me over to a demo system for the new Nintendo unit, and put this crazy looking controller in my hand. From the moment that controller touched my hand I was in ergonomic love. From the moment my eyes looked at the screen, I knew gaming would never be the same again. I walked up to a painting with Mario and touched it, and as I did so, liquid paint filled ripples made their way across the painting with such fluidity that I just couldn’t even accept it. I was so hooked, as was everyone else. The controller and the design of Super Mario 64 itself introduced us to the next revolution in modern gaming controls, by creating out of necessity, camera controls…4 yellow buttons that allowed you to choose where the camera was looking, as well as the analog stick necessary for guiding yourself through a completely 3D environment, as well as introducing the world to rumbling controllers, triggered to shake and vibrate based on the actions happening in the game.

The next system to come out of Nintendo’s camp once again was more of an evolution than a revolution as the entire idea was to introduce Nintendo gaming to Disc based gaming. It was a great system that is to this day home to some of the most innovative games in our history, Resident Evil 4 being a primary example.

While everyone else was going through the same 4 year cycle mantra that had been established over 2 decades ago at this point about every generation just upping the ante with graphics, the playstation 3 and xbox360 were promising a revolution in graphics so big, that it was simply going to change the gaming world forever and to their credit, the graphics were flat out amazing. Nintendo in the meantime thought to themselves, we need a way to put ourselves back on top after the disappointing drop to 3rd place in the season of the Gamecube.

Enter Reggie Fils-Aime

Reggie Fils-Aime is the President and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America, and he came to kick ass and take names. He joined Nintendo in December of 2003, but it wasn’t until 2006 when he became President. The first sign that this was his fate? In 2004 at Nintendo’s E3 conference, Reggie introduced himself to the entire world by proclaiming “My name is Reggie. I’m about kicking’ ass, I’m about taken’ names, and we’re about makin’ games.” This garnered Nintendo some much needed attention from their abandoned hardcore base, and the hardcore fans lovingly embraced him as the bringer of a new generation of Nintendo giving him the nickname “the Regginator”.

He told fans that he would bring Nintendo WAY back to the top using the Blue Ocean business strategy, a strategy that says that innovation, differentiation, and low coast are the key ingredients to successfully blowing the shit out of the competition…and boy was he right. Nintendo literally ignored improving their graphics engine and competing with PS3 or X360 all together, and instead decided to create a new market.

Welcome to the world of motion gaming, the Nintendo Wii

The Wii brought with it gamings biggest innovation in decades, by introducing the world to home based motion control virtual reality gaming. The world went crazy. This thing was sold out for a record 1 year and a half, and it just kept on selling. The system didn’t become widely available in stores until several years after its release and Nintendo once again set without question at the top of the gaming throne.

Despite being the first to market and innovating the game space, rocking the foundation with new ideas and standards like vibrating controllers, analog joysticks standard, camera controls, 3D standards, and motion controls, Nintendo is still garnered by the PS3 and X360 crowds as “for children only”. Ironically, the majority of folks playing the Wii where I’m from are the same as myself, 80’s babies who grew up on Nintendo innovations. And there is nothing childish about making games that are fun!

So here we are in 2011 and in the coming months information will surely leak as we approach E3. But what are we in for? And why do I think it is smart for Nintendo to go ahead and jump the gun and release a new console? Well, Nintendo’s smartest decision ever was building a console that took the focus OFF of graphics, because more than anything, it allowed them to innovate at a MASS AUDIENCE price point! This is the real secret. And the biggest complaint from the hardcore gamers were that they didn’t have the graphics to keep up. Well, now Nintendo is going to be able to release” what I speculate will be” a high definition, full 1080p, gaming system far better than the PS3 graphics, with whatever new groundbreaking innovations Nintendo decides to bring to the table, and they will be able to do it for under $250. And because Sony and Microsoft have another 5 years to go, Nintendo will have NO competitors for this new and unique generation that they have magically created out of thin air.

All the games coming to the other systems from the time of release, you will also be able to get on the Wii 2…but what you will not be able to get anywhere else, is the one thing that has made Nintendo what it is today, 1st party Nintendo games. Let’s face it, there are a lot of amazing games out there. In fact, I would say %50 to %60 of my top 25 games this generation have come from PS3 and X360. But what I cannot get from them, is that damn Nintendo magic. Mario, Zelda, Link, Kirby, Luigi, Princess, Kid Icarus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Pikmon, Samus, and on and on and on. And what’s scary? I have often dreamed of these ip’s in high definition, only imagining what could possibly be done with them in full 1080p resolutions…I’m almost scared to find out.

Quite frankly, Nintendo can announce those ip’s in high definition at E3, and wether you like it or not, %80 of the people there will pre-order on this alone, myself included. Whatever monster it is Nintendo is hiding under the bed, all will apparently be revealed at E3, and that day couldn’t come sooner.

By: Maikerukun Writer, On-Air Personality, Reviewer

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