Nintendo's recent announcement of the 2DS has spurred approximately one bajillion opinions on the matter, if the Internet is any indication. Kevin VanOrd, Chris Watters, and Tom Mc Shea muse on who the 2DS is for, spelunk onto the Vita, and imagine a future led by the Oculus Rift.
What is so difficult to understand about this product being directed at children? Of course Nintendo will show adults using it on their commercial because as this podcast shows, some people think that's enough justification for owning a child's toy as an adult.
I think it's very hard to try to imagine which technologies will be successful and which not. Mainly because some of them can completely chance the way people live. Look at cell phones for example, 15 years ago, nobody really cared about them, today we don't leave home without them... you might forget your wallet, but you don't forget your cell phone.... and even though I don't like iPhones, it changed the way we use the internet... Oculus Rift and Google Glass might change the way we see TV and interact with media, but we will only know that in a few years
This may be the best podcast episode for 2013. I think I'll get a 3DS over this 2DS or the Nintendo Brick is what I am calling it. Seriously it looks Nintendo's attempt at a Ipad and it's for children >.<
Oculus Rift is cool, they've still got a ways to go with it though. I feel that it'll probably be a must have peripheral in certain spaces, something like joysticks are for flight sims or wheels for racing sims are. But those are relatively niche groups of people and a $300 Oculus doesn't strike me as something that'll get wide appeal. Not when it's something that you need to buy on top of something else. The potential it has as a VR headset is amazing and I hope really awesome things come out of it, I would love to play something like Gone Home or Star Citizen with the thing. It will exist, there will be awesome things that are made with it, Oculus has plenty of non-gaming applications that will no doubt help keep it alive as a thing. Not sure that it'll get massive widespread adoption, but further down the line who the heck can say.
Hey Kevin and Tom, just got to the part where you mentioned you haven't played ZombiU. You guys have to play this game. From listening to all of your podcasts Dark Souls comes up at least every 2nd podcast. Anyway, my point is ZombiU uses many elements of Darks Souls. Also, no other game in the WiiU's library uses the gamepad better. The learning curve is a little tough at first, but once you get into it you can't stop. Just like Dark Souls those who get ZombiU love it and those who don't get ZombiU hate it.
I feel like the oculus rift will end up as a niche product. Putting on a large helmet to play a game is too much of a pain and turns gaming into a production type event. While this may be fun for a while, it is asking a bit too much for the average gamer to be expected to fiddle with.
One thing that consoles have taught me, is that the convenience factor is fairly massive when it comes to widespread acceptance of a product. On one side you have a PC, a very powerful machine which allows a huge amount of customization with a persons hardware and software. On the other you have a console, where people press 1 button and they can be playing a game. Sure they lose a lot when it comes to power and features, but they gain a massive amount of convenience.
I believe the same sort of market forces will drive the oculus rift. Its lack of convenience will limit its consumer penetration. This will reduce the amount of games that are built to take advantage of its technology, which will limit its consumer appeal more. . and so on. Basically I foresee it becoming a niche product which only people with large amounts of money and a hardcore interest in games will ever really purchase.
The next big shift will have to focus on convenience and ease of use in order to really shake things up and change the way games are played.
The oculus rift seems awesome in concept but it kind of reminds me of "project natal" now known as kinect.I remember watching the Milo demo and I thought that the kinect was going to revolutionize gaming.I rushed out to buy a kinect on release day and now it sits on my shelf untouched for over a year.That's why I'm still skeptical.Good ideas are useless if they're not put to good use and the oculus rift will be useless if we don't get top notch developers to make innovative games for it.
I'm wondering if Nintendo never got hit with that patent lawsuit, where Nintendo is now forced to pay this dude money for every 3DS sale (and future sales) because he has the patent on the 3D technology, would we even have seen the 2DS? Or maybe the better question is how much did it influence the decision? Or maybe it had no weight....I don't know. I'm just guessing that Nintendo is probably not that happy about losing 3DS profits to this guy. The 2DS is a way around this conundrum.
Guys, this was a great podcast. This was an educated, well thought out, and incredibly open minded conversation that I am just not used to hearing when it comes to people discussing video games. In this day and age, video game conversation has become so hostile, so vile, and so hateful, that your discussion was as refreshing as taking a cold drink of water after 4 days of desert. Keep it up!
Yay! There is a new one! I wrote a little poem of lament in the comments of the previous podcast, but here's the new episode, just a little late.
Here's what I wrote again, for those interested:
This Thursday I am coping with a great disappointment -- there's no new Gamespot Gameplay here for my enjoyment. Without Kevin VanOrd going on about his game music obsession, I feel the slow building of a subtle depression. Where's McShea with his dual "Dark Souls!" and "Go buy a Vita!" proclamations? He's so subtle, I'm not sure I would've known his allegiances from his other publications. I miss Caro's excitement when it starts with round one, because, after all, starting with round two wouldn't be any fun. Where's Tyler Winegarner with his unrelated damp shirt and aquarium story, and Brendan Sinclair with his impression of characters who are bald and powdery? Where's Chris Watters with a spontaneous song lyric substitution, and Peter Brown explaining his Cow Clicker-related new year's resolution? For ye staffers at Gamespot, missing a week may seem of no great moment, but for us humble listeners it qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. Even remembering Kevin talking about how a tasty dog biscuit would make his day makes me yearn for my weekly (two-hour! at least!) fix of Gamespot Gameplay.
For example, I feel like the Kinect has a lot of good ideas in it, but it is flawed because of the way our bodies work. When I reach out my hand and grab something in real life, I get a tactile response from that object, I see my hand move toward the object and can interact Directly with it.
The problem with the kinect in its current iteration is that it asks too much at once. It is asking me to move my real hand, to move a virtual disembodied hand, to grasp a virtual object which can not be touched or felt, or in any way truly interacted with by my real body. This is why the kinect fails. I get no real sense of feedback with any interaction I could do with a kinect. This is due to limits with the technology, and I feel is why motion control is not really ready yet.
If The game could put a hologram of an object in front of me, and let my real hand reach out and pick that hologram up and move it around, then that might work. But the technology to give us that more direct interaction does not yet exist without putting a helmet on my head and modeling my body in a virtual space which I can see and moves with my own true movements, But then we get the problem from my earlier post about turning gaming into a production event.
Controllers on the other hand, give me something tactile which I can hold, touch,and easily interact with, pressing the buttons or waggling the control stick, gives me a direct response in the game. This works well because of the aforementioned factors.
I feel like I am rambling a bit now. . but I wanted to get across why I feel things like the kinect and the oculus rift will never really become a big success or change the way we play games.
@Rotondi They only had to pay the guy a settlement. It was initially $30m and later got reduced (can't remember what the final figure was). They don't need to pay the guy anything else (the issue wasn't about patents).
Estimates so far put the 3DS at well over 30m units sold. So less than a dollar for every unit sold - which is less than 0.5% of total revenue for 3DS - barely affects Nintendo financially. Not to mention they're sitting on roughly $15 billion in assets.
So you can rest assured that lawsuit didn't have diddly squat to do with the release of the 2DS.
@Rotondi That's a question you should totally put up to Pachter. His predictions often fail to take into account the nuances of game fandom but when it comes to digging up stuff like that he has the contacts and resources to get an answer.
@TomMcShea@Snakepond1 I'll tell you something Tom I was fortunate enough to receive a WiiU/ZombiU combo last holiday season from my wife and family, but never in a million years would I have guest that my favourite game of 2012 was going to be ZombiU. This game brought back the scares and tight management of inventory I felt in the original Resident Evil. Holding on to every bullet, looking in every corner for health items and slowly trying to draw out every zombie one by one so I would not be overwhelmed. The game has some technical problems, but still is an experience that needs to be had. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the podcasts following the holiday season. Enjoy.
However! I feel like voice command technology could do a lot for gaming. I have played a few games which featured voice controls and I thought worked very well.
One was that Tom Clancy strategy game on the consoles which allowed voice commands for designating certain units and had features to give commands to send those units to attack certain points, retreat, use special abilities, etc. (I can't remember what it was called though..)
The other was a game called Binary Domain which used the players voice to interact in a story and character development fashion with other characters in the game. I felt this made the game feel much more like a personal experience as characters reacted and spoke back when I talked to them in-game. I became more emotionally invested in the game which made it much more interesting to play.
But microphone technology has been around forever and is accepted, easy to use, and could work with pretty much anything provided the developers put enough time into the speech recognition side of their titles. It is an innovation which is simply waiting for a very popular game to incorporate it into itself and pull it off well - before it will start becoming a common part of our gaming experience.
@Rotondi @u1tradt The guy pitched his own concept of 3D gaming to Nintendo years ago and they refused his pitch. But then they come out with 3D gaming on their own anyway which doesn't actually use the guy's specific technologies. So they ended up owing the guy about $30m. The articles don't state on what basis they owe him money but I'd venture to say it was lawful contractual obligations, which is a bit of a grey area.
If it was an issue of patents then Nintendo would owe the guy far more than $30m considering they've made billions of dollars from 3DS sales. They would also have to pay royalties (which they don't as well).