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From Microsoft Guides To Sony's Stab At Nintendo: News Roundup November 27th

Microsoft, News, Sony, Square Enix, Wii

Today’s news roundup sees Microsoft possibly offer their own alternative to Nintendo’s Super Guide feature, Square Enix prepare for the demise of consoles and disc-based gaming, and Sony suggest the Wii isn’t doing as well as expected.

Microsoft Offer Their Own Answer to Nintendo’s Super Guide Feature

From Microsoft Guides To Sony's Stab At Nintendo: News Roundup November 27th

The New Super Mario Bros.  Wii offered players a new feature in gaming, the appropriately named Super Guide.  When players fail to complete a level eight or more times, Luigi will jump in for some much-needed assistance, even completing the entire level for you, if you wish.  Speculation suggests Microsoft have been planning a similar feature since February 2008, with a patent filed for “User-Powered Always Available Contextual Game Help” within a game.

The technology would give players the option to consult the guide whenever stuck, prompting the guide to analyse “the current context of the game” and offer the solution most relevant to completing the current obstacle.  Apparently each object in the game is tagged with a unique ID, allowing the guide to recognise what solution from a list of entries would best solve the current challenge.  When questioned about the current progress of the in-game guide system, Microsoft claimed they’re looking into the matter, but didn’t reveal anything else.  [Siliconera]

Downfall of Consoles and Software Inevitable Announces Square Enix Bigwig

From Microsoft Guides To Sony's Stab At Nintendo: News Roundup November 27th

According to Square Enix main man Yoichi Wada digital distribution must be embraced to prepare for the demise of physical media, and possibly even home consoles.  Wada believes in a decade’s time console games simply won’t exist.  Instead server-based offerings, game streaming and digital distribution will take the place of software, warning that “all the distributors and sales firms will suffer a big negative impact” when that time comes.  Sony and Microsoft have already prepared for the shift says Wada, suggesting third-parties get on board and do the same thing.

In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed anymore,” said Wada.  “With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous.”  Square Enix are currently in the process of speeding up production of social and browser games in preparation for the change, but whether other third parties believe the change to be as soon and dramatic as Wada suggests is unclear.  [MCVUK]

Sony Poke Fun at the Wii

From Microsoft Guides To Sony's Stab At Nintendo: News Roundup November 27th

With the PS3 doing pretty well for itself recently, Sony computer Entertainment boss Andrew House has taken the chance to poke a little fun at the Wii, suggesting the white wonder is experiencing a bit of a “downturn”.   “I think at a time when we're seeing one of the major competitors somewhat losing a sense of momentum - at least in many of the markets I've looked at - it's gratifying to see a platform that's always had a very significant share of sales go to third party publishers capture that momentum again.

He announces that publishers are flocking to the PS3 as they are managing up to 75% of their sales on the platform, as opposed “to a much smaller share elsewhere.”  He further drives his point home by claiming “we're seeing a significant year-on-year downturn for the Wii. I think that's just a factor of this Holiday season.”  [GamesIndustry]

Add a comment5 comments
Bob Job  Nov. 27, 2009 at 23:01

No wonder Nintendo are seeing a downturn on the Wii, every house on the bloody planet has one now, the market is almost completely saturated. For sony to spin that fact to their own advantage only how weak they have been this generation, as they are only now seeing an exponential growth in PS3 sales, more than three years after launch.

Remember in the early days when everyone was talking about having a Wii 360 or Wii-PS3?

ninty  Nov. 28, 2009 at 01:08

Where do Nintendo go from here? Either something really innovative and different like the Wii's motion controls, but moreso, or they have to finally spec a console without jaggies... its gonna be a tough pill for them to swallow when they finally have to put a reasonable graphics card in one of their consoles.

Rubisco  Nov. 28, 2009 at 08:12

Nice to see that Mr Wada thinks that the quantum networking required for streaming games to have low enough latency to be able to compete with powerful local console hardware will be with us in a decade. Final fantasist!

Goity  Nov. 28, 2009 at 09:20

Yes, it's a bit of a spin to say that, considering the Wii is still outselling the PS3 worldwide (not in Japan though), but that's only because people are having to buy second Wiis because their old ones are so dusty in their attic from lack of use they forgot they owned one.

John McLaggan  Nov. 28, 2009 at 12:42

With regards to Mr Wada's comments, it will be interesting to see if Onlive ever get anywhere:


This is what they are trying to offer however despite some impressive announcements there's not been anything to back the claims up to my knowledge, I don't believe it can work as they claim personally.

However while I think Mr Wada's comments are an exaggeration I do think there is going to be expansion in this market, just not enough to remove home consoles. While a first person shooter is heavily dependent on latency and therefore not suitable for a cloud computing style game system on the other hand the likes of an mmorpg could be very successful. Blizzard have shown this is a lucrative market therefore the ability to play the game smoothly through a netbook or even possibly a mobile phone could be extremely successful.



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