Today, I opened a new category to this site. In case if you want to find anything somewhat irrelevant to Animal Crossing or anything completely different, you can search through this category. I have primarily talked about Animal Crossing on this blog, more typically Happy Home Designer since it came out a few weeks ago, but it’s not 100% Animal Crossing. Having a few off-topic stories would be fine. Anyway…
We all know that the video game business wars was at the peak back during the 7th generation. In case if you’re wondering, 7th generation gaming refers to the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation Portable. It was a huge era for video gaming, more typically home systems. It was the first to have exercise games (which is the whole point of the Wii, as well as the Kinect and PlayStation Move). Sony copied a lot off of Nintendo. Microsoft got sued for multiple Xbox failures. And the third party developers and publishers were very active during this time. Now we are in the 8th generation of gaming (Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, and PlayStation Vita). It’s been four years since the first system was released, but two years when we see the whole set.
Here’s what’s going on. All of the systems in the current generation did not sell as well as their previous counterparts. In fact, the sales average in units sold is 21.6 million units (the total number of 3DSs, Vitas, Wii Us, Xbox Ones, and PS4s divided by 5). The GameCube sold about 22 million units, which is a poorly-selling system. The 3DS may be the highest selling of the generation, but the 3DS doesn’t even outsell the NES. The highest selling console, the PlayStation 4, barely outsold the GameCube in less than two years. We all know why the Wii U was failing. It’s because their concept was not friendly to third party developers, and people are unwillingly to buy systems with a lack of third party support. But seeing the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 not doing too well makes me wonder. Why isn’t the new generation not doing as good as the old generation? No, you can’t blame Obama for the recent game sales stats. The economy may be under tough times right now, but neither politics nor his presidency have anything to do with the problems with the gaming industry. A lot of people think Reagan was the best president in the post-Kennedy era (1964 to today), but the gaming industry was in much worse condition during his first term. It’s not that he was bad for gaming or that games fail when the economy succeeds, but it shows how irrelevant politics is to the gaming industry. As a bonus, the 7th generation has the most units sold out of any generation, as well as the PS2 still in sales during the prime era of the 7th generation (2006-2010), and the Great Recession took up the majority of those years. No, you can’t blame Apple for this either. They may have made devices that play games just as good as handhelds and consoles had, but iOS games don’t compete in the gaming industry. Apple only makes devices for communications and entertainment. They have no intentions of joining the gaming industry, even with all of these game apps. You can’t even say that people are being too loyal towards their older systems to the point where they won’t buy newer ones. As a result, the reasons behind the current failures in the gaming industry is complicated. There are so many reasons that you can’t even find the central reason.
Because of how the industry isn’t doing too well, I came up with an idea that Nintendo should make. It’s not an addition to any of their franchises or a new franchise (even if I wanted to share my Winter Island platformer idea with them). It’s a new CONSOLE idea. The following sections will explain what I would want out of them and why.
Eliminate the home console
Yes indeed, I feel that home consoles have phased out, but not systems that can play 32GB games. It’s time they should merge handhelds with consoles to one super-console. My dream system should be able to play games as big as Super Mario 3D Platformers and the Legend of Zelda console games, assuming that we have better game cartridges than ever. As a handheld, it should be portable so games like Pokémon and Animal Crossing would be compatible (both of them are better suitable for handhelds than consoles). If you want to know why I prefer handhelds over consoles, here are some reasons:
- Freedom of location – you can only play home consoles when they are hooked up to a TV and plugged in. Since it’s not worth our time to constantly plug and unplug consoles to move, it’s best to leave your console at home when you go out of town. This is why Animal Crossing is not suitable for consoles. If we get every game onto the handheld, we can play any big games while being able to play anywhere we like. This is the advantage of handheld systems. You can play them anywhere, including in the car, in the hotel, outside, and even in bed.
- Sharing – the problem with home consoles is that they are easy to fight over. We can’t have three-of-the-same home consoles and have one TV to connect to, and it’s not practical to have one console per child if it includes a TV. If we all have our own handhelds, which is more practical, then we should be able to play at any time we want without fighting others over turns.
- Privacy – if you don’t like others watching you play video games when you’re frustrated, here’s the good news. The screen is small enough for you to see for yourself and not others. This will be a problem if you want others to watch, but not if you want to be in the same room alone.
- Sales – for the past four generations, Nintendo handhelds have sold better than their console counterparts. The Gameboy Color sold better than the Nintendo 64, the Gameboy Advance sold better than the GameCube, the DS sold better than the Wii, and the 3DS sold better than the Wii U. In fact, the greatest Nintendo console of all time (Nintendo 64) has been outsold by the gaming device that can play the best Animal Crossing games of all time (Nintendo 3DS). This tells us that Nintendo was meant for handhelds, not consoles.
Here are the problems with handhelds and how we can fix them:
- Battery life – this is the biggest downfall with handhelds. Since they aren’t plugged into the wall, there is a battery limit. If the battery runs out, that’s it! You can’t play until it’s fully charged. Because the newer systems aren’t as energy efficient, battery life appears to be shorter. A way to fix this is for Nintendo to be more energy efficient. I’m not sure how, but it would extend the battery life.
- Multiplayer – with everything off of consoles, multiplayer would be a problem. Since there aren’t very many multiplayer games, they should rely on using the download play feature as a way to connect to the host system for multiplayer games. The guest systems don’t need the game, but the host system does.
- Screen Size – yes, handhelds don’t need the bigger screens. But smaller screens aren’t good to look at all day. Perhaps they can make the touchscreen (or main screen) as big as an iPad Mini. This way, the handheld would be a gamepad like the Wii U’s, but not a hybrid like the Wii U.
Switch back to the cartridge format
So we know why we’ve been stuck with the disc format for a while. Ever since it was discovered that discs were cheaper to mass produce with more memory, all future consoles went with the discs and never returned to the cartridges. But after hearing about the Red Ring of Death and Yellow Light of Death killing older consoles, we want to know what happened. It turns out that the disc drive has a negative impact on the durability. At the same time, there are still some functional Nintendo 64s out there that have been purchased no later than the summer of 1997. It seems that cartridge players tend to last longer since they produce less heat and use less moving parts to functionally read the physical game like the disc drives can, and at the same level.
Other reasons to return to the cartridge format (besides durability):
- Piracy – it’s not possible to make illegal copies of cartridge games, unlike discs.
- Loading – cartridge players tend to load really fast, which makes us think there is no such thing as “loading” in cartridge games. There still is, but they aren’t as slow as the discs.
- Strength – cartridges will require a super strong person to snap them completely, especially with the plastic on them. Discs are easy to break. And we don’t want to break our games.
- Size – over time, cartridges have improved when it came to data size. When the 64 first came out, the maximum size for the cartridges was 8MB. The 3DS cartridges, which are no bigger than the N64 cartridges, at least physically, have 8GB (8192MB) carteidges. Since they have improved in size, I’m sure we can go back.
Other things they can do
Here is a list of things they should do with this dream console of mine. I already suggested the cartridge format and all handheld, but here are some other things I want:
- Eliminate region-lock. There’s no reason to do regional lockout.
- Add online services. Like the eShop or the Nintendo Network. They have been doing ts for a while. They can even have the Virtual Console for all previous hanhelds and consoles.
- Make them come in many different colors. I’m getting tired of seeing only black and white consoles and controllers. Look at Nintendo 64. It came in many different colors, such as green, red, yellow, or blue. The Wii U was only in black or white.
- Add memory cards. At this point, everything should be saved to the system’s internal memory. They can also have memory card slots in case if you download something from the eShop that’s too big for the system. In this case, you can have the eShop purchase saved onto a memory card. At the same time, if someone else takes the card, they can’t play the games on them unless if they own the rights to the game (which means they purchased it).
- amiibo Feature. They should retain it since it’s working well.
I personally think this idea is a good idea. I’m not sure if it will save them from failing, but this is the kind of system I want to see. You are free to reblog this entry if you want to spread the word. You can also edit it a bit, but keep the ideas the same.