GC '07: Don Daglow's laws of next-gen

Industry veteran thinks that the Wii should be classed as next-gen, as it challenges what games are and do.

by

LEIPZIG, Germany--The latest next-generation console wars? Simply history repeating itself as part of a cycle, believes Don Daglow, president of Stormfront Studios (Eragon, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) and 36-year game industry veteran, speaking at the Game Convention Developer Conference. He gave examples from the past including the console war of 1984, which Nintendo won, and the battle between the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, of which the PS2 won. These cycles go in three distinct phases, he notes.

Daglow says that as a developer, the first phase of the face off between the so-called "next-gen" consoles has been incredibly frustrating to developers. He said, "It's like getting into a new apartment after midnight, and the lights don't work, and your furniture's been delivered and you don't know where it is." After a while, developers start to recognise how to do things on the new machines, or, in his analogy, work out where "the furniture" is. It's also a great time for new IP, and the console will be adopted by only the hardcore, early-adopter audience.

The second phase is evident when there are more than three magazines dedicated to a particular console on the market. That's when other people who have been waiting to see which way the wind blows make a choice and opt for a particular machine.

The third and final phase of the cycle sees the prior generation fade away, and the size of the installed base allows major hits. Then, every five years or so, it all starts over.

"So what is next-gen?" Daglow asked, before telling the audience "Daglow's Law of Next Gen 2007." Simply put: "next-gen hardware is any platform, that, upon its introduction, dramatically changes players' view of the potential for interactive entertainment."

Therefore, the Wii is next-gen hardware because people are playing with it in new ways, although Daglow agrees that he can understand why some people think it's not. He said, "You can make a consistent argument that without the processing power, it cannot be next-gen. But the great thing is we can decide that for ourselves."

The best next-gen software titles are usually only recognised in hindsight, believes Daglow, who put up a long list of nominees he believes are worthy. So, software-wise, he believes Guitar Hero is next-gen, because "people played it in a different way." Sim City is too, even though, "a lot of people said that that's not a game." Geometry Wars is also next-gen, because "it proved that old games can be new again." And World of Warcraft is too, because it "proved that a large audience existed for something that we didn’t know it existed for."

Daglow concluded his talk by saying, "There is always a next-gen tomorrow."

Discussion

205 comments
Myugenjin
Myugenjin

This dudes a skinhead! STORMFRONT Studios...indo european myth lore games. Thats right up Hitlers alley!!! But on a second note, his comments are pretty moot! Even though imma Sony fan im not here to bash the Wii. Simply put the Xavix game system by this mans definition is next gen since it did what the Wii can like 2-3 years before the Wii ever came out. Hell even Ultima Online/Everquest did what he claims WOW did (i don know which game came 1st) but the point is that those games/systems by his definition are at best only changing game play within a generation. Seeing as how WoW came out in 2004! Nextgen gaming should be defined by the new hardware thats released in its respective time bracket...so sure we all know the 360 was launched a year early (and suffered h/w failure:) and that the GF 8800GTX came out a few months after the PS3's release! But with such an assortment of hardware all systems (minus tha Wii) can play relatively the same games with pros and cons in each system! Thus allowing multi platform games to be made to a specification defined by a generation of H/W performance or aka "next gen"!

bf-medic
bf-medic

For me the Wii is the essential console. It got easy access to lots of old-school games with VC, and got great potential for multi-player fun in-front of the tv. And for me graphics aren't that important, and since Wii is currently outselling the other machines, more and more 3.party dev. will make games for it, and I guess in a year we will see a lot of great games on it, using the controller and online cap. to it's fully potential. I see some here are saying there are no decent games for it yet? Jesus Christ, have you ever played Zelda? Off course, we got different taste, but saying its not a decent game is just silly. And it looks like we are in for a treat when Metroid Prime comes our way (Europe), the reviews are looking really good. I consider ourself lucky, to have 3 great consoles on the market to choose from ;) Stop complaining, and have some fun.

K_r_a_u_s_e_r
K_r_a_u_s_e_r

"All those Wii's are now dust collectors and/or paperweights." Lucky enough for me, I was able to re-sell it for twice its value.

schitzonix
schitzonix

"Are you sure you are not talking about the PS3?" Theres a system called Playstation 3?... I forgot it existed :(

LivingMachine
LivingMachine

Schitzonic wrote; I'm so glad that through reading these comments people are finally seeing the Wii for what it truly is. Ridiculously hyped console with a stupidly overrated controller." You forgot to mention ZERO decent games... Are you sure you are not talking about the PS3? (has less games than the wii, no rumble, gimmicky last gen controller...kirby tilt and roll was a six axis game that you played by tilting the GAMEBOY color LEFT or RIGHT, UP or DOWN....sound like the ps3 controller....hmmmm.....

schitzonix
schitzonix

" But the great thing is we can decide that for ourselves." That's a scapegoat argument for just about anything in life... While the Wiimote is a good idea, its NOT REVOLUTIONARY. It does deserve praise BUT remember this... the best way to interact with a videogame is not the Wiimote, its a MOUSE AND A KEYBOARD. Remember that. The Wiimote is just a step forward towards the freedom and precision that the mouse + keyboard setup allows (but still WAYS off...).

panteral3
panteral3

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

schitzonix
schitzonix

Games look the same on the Wii as they did on the Gamecube. End of story. Praise the Wiimote all you like, it deserves it. But don't start giving praise where its not due... Nintendo cut corners on every aspect of the Wii sans the controller and thats a fact, everything other than that is lackluster or virtually nonexistant (online gaming). Sales numbers won't make a BUDGET system better than it is. When parents of 8 year olds are faced with the decision of buying their son a console for X-mas, they will see that the Wii is nearly half the price of the Xbox and PS3 and the decision will be made. The Wii also has an initial "ohh this is innovative" feel that goes away after a few days... and never comes back. I speak from experience since this is what happened to me and my friends when we bought into the Wii hype at launch and went to a bunch of stores getting one for all of us. All those Wii's are now dust collectors and/or paperweights.

Mtlguy
Mtlguy

... Schitzonix... RE4, looks the same on the Wii as the gamecube because all they did was reprogram the controls... which they had done before to make use of the chainsaw controller that was sold when it launched. So they slapped together another development kit and away they went. The Wii, is said to have double the graphical capability of the Wii. And yes., Nintendo is the best developer for their systems, and 3rd parties have a way to go. Take a look at the marketing numbers that have been published and you'll notice that Nintendo has overtaken Sony in market share. There were more GBA's sold than Ps2's, The DS is killing the PSP, especially in Japan and Europe, and you still have a hard time finding a Wii on the shelf at the store. Say what you will about the Wii, but the numbers are in and Wii is number one.

schitzonix
schitzonix

"Like I said, it's a Gamecube with a new controller." I own both a Wii and a Gamecube (and obviously a 360 or i'd shoot myself), and I can vouch for that statement. Too bad most Nintendo zealots get mad at that argument even though its stupidly obvious. The worst part is that the overhyped wiimote is YET to be put to good use by a 3rd party. The only one who has gotten it right is Capcom with Resident Evil 4. Also sad is that RE4 is a 2005 game that looks exactly the same on the Gamecube as it does on the Wii... because the Wii is a Gamecube with a gimmicky controller... and so the argument goes in circles, theres no way to deny it.

schitzonix
schitzonix

"I'm so glad that through reading these comments people are finally seeing the Wii for what it truly is. Ridiculously hyped console with a stupidly overrated controller." You forgot to mention ZERO decent games...

Icarusmk3
Icarusmk3

After reading/skimming through this article, I think Don Daglow has done us the justice of wasting our time telling us stuff we already know. 36-year game industry veteran?? I didn't come here to listen to what an old folk who makes crappy games, tell us what he thinks the next-gen is all about. Maybe Don should put more time polishing his games rather than lecture all of us on what is good or bad in gaming.

Franzkill
Franzkill

I'm so glad that through reading these comments people are finally seeing the Wii for what it truly is. Ridiculously hyped console with a stupidly overrated controller.

K_r_a_u_s_e_r
K_r_a_u_s_e_r

Like I said, it's a Gamecube with a new controller. No matter how badly you wii fanboys wish it, a game graphically intense such as Gears of War WILL NEVER COME TO THE WII, your ONLY good game is Brawl. By the way, what games are you guys playing for it right now? Mario Party 8? Red Steel? That's what I thought, I'm so jealous by the way... Oh wait, Zelda too? Wait a second, isn't that for Gamecube as well, I mean Wii... I mean Gamecube... Wii... Get the picture yet?

Silicon_Noob
Silicon_Noob

"Wii IS next gen since like he said it changes the way we play games (And its fun as hell)" Perhaps the Wii's innovative control scheme is next gen according to his definition, yet this is nothing that couldn't have been accomplished by a peripheral. So is it the Wii that is next-gen or just it's controller?

Kcube
Kcube

Wii IS next gen since like he said it changes the way we play games (And its fun as hell) PS3 IMO is next gen as well just for the cell chip and also the FOLDING@Home.It is genius IMO to use the PS3 processing power to do some good and for THAT Sony deserves a damn medal ^_^

ColdstoneX3
ColdstoneX3

Consoles tend to improve every generation, how they improve is different, I think its sad when people say, i want to go wow everytime i turn on my x360 or ps3....i could get a high resolution, colorful screensaver for my laptop and have the same thing. Why is the wii successful? well for one thing its an inovation, its the first step in the direction of human interface, which is nice, the logic that its simply a gamecube with a new controller is junk, it challenges things that neither sony nor X360 had the balls to touch, simply cause its new and might backfire, while i am not bashing on sony or the x360, i can't help but admire nintendo for trying something new. The x360 is a good console, great games are coming out, but even with improved AI or Graphics, its just the same of what we all allready had. The Ps3 like i said once before, is a decent cheap blu ray player, but sadly its the only thing that it has going for it, Great Gaming power? sure? but look at the statistics and see whats selling. also id like to encourage normal talking in here, cause i see some very heated arguments coming this way. peace cold

sigma8
sigma8

K_r_a_u_s_e_r: "all it is and trust me when I say it... It's a Gamecube with a new controller" And all the Xbox 360 is, is just an Xbox1 with a new cpu and videocard. It has the same "feel" to all the games. If all you want to do is play the same types of junk, the same way, with slightly better graphics, go go xbox360. No offense to the 360.. I just really hate that "gamecube with new controllers" logic. Every console is just the same as the old one with a few improvements. And often, those improvements are superficial.

sigma8
sigma8

rihan_z: What I don't get is how the Wii is next gen? Well, if you want to get REALLY technical.. Next gen is just the "next" console a company releases. You are the next generation of your parents...but you're not necessarily better. Your brain isn't bigger (probably not, anyway). Next-gen just means it's later in time, and belongs to the same family of things or beings. Of course, we have this preconceived notion with technology that time = better. And that's mostly true. But we also somehow got the notion in our heads that faster cpu's and gpu's is the only thing that equates to "better", which is a dicey proposition at best. The Wii hasn't substantially improved on the cpu or gpu (although they are an improvement over its predecessor), but its big power play is its input method, which represents the first major step forward in human interfaces on consoles since the original NES.

king_bobo
king_bobo

It's all a matter of opinion really, except the fact that the Wii is different and new...

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

What I don't get is how the Wii is next gen? PS3 has got a good lifetime with it's Blu Ray, I feel that there will be a good deal of hardware coming out, especiality for the 360 and PS3. I feel that the games for the Wii will be too short and with "small" place compared to 360 and PS3, it wouldn't stand. I would be surprised if Wii was popular.

masterrosi1
masterrosi1

wii is not next-generation is an after next-generation system.

K_r_a_u_s_e_r
K_r_a_u_s_e_r

axia_777 and ctg867, I fully agree with you the Wii is literally GARBAGE. I returned mine days after buying it, such a rip-off, all it is and trust me when I say it... It's a Gamecube with a new controller, the only decent thing coming out is Super Smash Bros and THAT'S ONLY BECAUSE SNAKE IS IN IT. All my friends, most of them bought a Wii and MAYBE play it ONCE a week if that. Next-gen console? Yeah right, more like an impulse to buy, people think they're getting such a good deal -- yeah right, enjoying playing NO GAMES.

smashinjin12
smashinjin12

Why are we listening to a guy that makes crappy games like eragon?

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

Can't we all agree that the systems are now "current" gen?

LordelX
LordelX

Ha ha...listen to these people speak of AI and gameplay as if they think it's a matter of processing power. Obviously, the Gamecube, Xbox and PS2 weren't able to do this either. All hail the PS3 and 360 for finally bringing AI and gameplay to gaming!

Areola54
Areola54

no, I am sure it's last gen. graphics is not the game, that is true. but Wii can barely pull out decent AI or gameplay. it's some party arcade machine. Just worthless.....

PIKA740
PIKA740

Graphics is not a game, a game is gameplay and the wii rocks at that...

vega666
vega666

I can see why all (or more accuratly, most of) the kids say the Wii is not next gen. It doesn't have the 1337 graphics, so naturally it can't be next gen.... Edit for clarity: Yes this is sarcasm.

XAF1
XAF1

The only thing Next Gen about the Wii--- and I own one--- is the controller. The system isn't anything new. Yes the Wii's controller can be considered as Next Gen because it allows a new way to experience game play but that doesn't make the console Next Gen. Any new method of interaction that truly works can be thought of Next Gen on it's on. When one thinks Next Gen with consoles he or she things of unbelievable graphic quality, system performance and the ability to be wowed every time they pick up the controller, not just the controller. In truth all of these console are just a step up to what we have been promise during every other generation so they are not truly Next Gen but images of what's to come in the Next Gen of true gaming. They are only small steps. For Nintendo the Wii's controller was its biggest step. Now MS and Sony have to catch up with some real innovation, and pretty graphics and bigger storage isn't really the answer either. A console with all those elements including the Wii's controller and great games that dazzle the mind could be.

Shinedown220
Shinedown220

Its seven year old technology, therefore I don't consider it Next Gen(or current gen-as of now)

packernation31
packernation31

Next-gen is about having the closest to perfection of a combination of all those things.

ColdstoneX3
ColdstoneX3

The wii is a completely different direction than what the x360 and the ps3 are taking, and it works, people like it, its innovative, games are good and fun, it works and thats good, not only that its making children with weight problems move a bit, *no offense intended to anyone* but its true gamers dont go out very often, or not as often as they should. in any event excuse my drifting off topic, the x360 offers a wide variety of games that are fun to play in excellent graphics, an improvement over that which was, the ps3....well a 500 dollar blue ray player is allways good, but besides that, i cant see the ps3 doing it much longer, i see a repeat of the gamecube situation, only this time for sony.

funky_muzic
funky_muzic

Who really cares if something is thought of as next-gen or not? Nintendo themselves have stated (very early on) that the Wii is not designed to compete with the XBox 360 or the PS3, and that it's not next-gen but "new-gen". Well, however you want to classify the Wii, it is definitely kicking butt in this round of the console wars (especially compared to the PS3). I mean when the competition even suggest buying their system along with the Wii (Wii-60 anyone?), you know they're on to something. I don't really care if the Wii has "last-gen" graphics. When I play a video game, I'm interested in having fun. I must admit that the PS3 looks gorgeous on an HD TV. I was watching The Bigs at Gamestop, and it almost looked like a real baseball game...but would it be more fun to play than Baseball on Wii Sports? I doubt it. And or course, fun is what really matters (to me at least).

choasfreak
choasfreak

He fails to mention game developers and the people buying the games win console wars.

emerald101
emerald101

the wii is next-gen but with old gen graphics.

thatguy0130
thatguy0130

I suppose thats one way to think about it. No matter what you think you have to admit that the next gen war is fierce. Though I don't see how nintendo is really in it. They are more off to the side doing there own thing with little to no competition

No_worrys_mate
No_worrys_mate

His development studios puts out sub par games, I think the average gamer has more of a say, I mean its basicaly a reworked gamecube with a controller that was possible ten years ago, Also he says that its being played in new ways, I dont see how, The only game worth noting thats uses the Wiimote properly is Truma centre and maybe a couple i forgot.

pigfish2
pigfish2

i agree with the wii being next-gen but not the rest

christopher_hk
christopher_hk

This article's ridiculous! The PlayStation EyeToy also changes the way we play games. So why can't we call PS2(with EyeToy) a next-gen system?

vaejas
vaejas

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't go see a seminar on "innovation" from the producer of Eragon. But I'll respect his experience, and I agree with the statement on changing player's views. But I'll take it a step further and say that the Wii introduces views to new players as well. People that didn't realize they would be game players. As with the WoW comment.

MasterAsh42
MasterAsh42

ctg867 wrote: "Next gen = newest, greatest, next generation hardware and software pushing the limits of what gaming can do as far as I'm concerned. The Wii and the DS are none of that. They are not next gen, they are last gen. End of story," Don Daglow said: "You can make a consistent argument that without the processing power, it cannot be next-gen. But the great thing is we can decide that for ourselves." I decide to reject ctg867's decision.

Silver_Crow
Silver_Crow

What is Next generation? that isn't s very important, you just need to know this: a videogame MUST be funny, it doesn't matter the revolutionary gameplay, or the amazing graphics. If the videogame isn't funny, thats mean one thing: videogame isn't a REAL/TRULY videogame.

ctg867
ctg867

Next gen = newest, greatest, next generation hardware and software pushing the limits of what gaming can do as far as I'm concerned. The Wii and the DS are none of that. They are not next gen, they are last gen. End of story,

axia_777
axia_777

I think money should be free but that does not make it so. Who cares what this asshat thinks? Nintendo fooled all the Wii fans into buying last gen tech with a "Next-Gen" controller. OOOOHHHHH, look mommy, I can movie it!!! Fooled soooo easily. Calling a turd chocolate does make it good to eat. The WIi is NOT next-gen tech, period.

Dark_Nexus3367
Dark_Nexus3367

Sonicplys wrote: "The Wii is the only Next-gen system on the market right now. Graphics and power dont make a system "next gen". Nintendo is because its making gaming innovative and interactive, more than Xbox 2.5 and PS2.5Wii is making a difference in the video game industry while Sony and MS are just trying to upgrade their last gen systems with "pretty graphics", that is not pushing the industry, its is dumbing it." So because the Wii has a feature that has been featured in previous systems it is next-gen huh?Motion sensing is nothing new to consoles,as it has been in the Magnavox Odyssey,Atari 2600,the PS1(controller designed by Pelican back in 1999 worked alot like the Sixaxis).The real reason the Wii is innovative is because it combines elements from all of those systems into one refined remote,which is used in new and creative ways in their games.The PS3 and Xbox 360 are next-gen because they use technology to evolve gameplay,physics,scale,etc.A 'next-gen' system can be classified in many ways,so to say the Wii is the ONLY next-gen system is incredibly short sighted of you.I love all 3 consoles and for different reasons,but for my demonic gaming needs,the 360 is my personal preference,that's just a matter of preference not fanboyism.

Steel_Cyclone
Steel_Cyclone

He can talk all he wants, but he's still just the brilliant mind behind the Eragon turd that eight very dissatisfied people bought.

Sonicplys
Sonicplys

The Wii is the only Next-gen system on the market right now. Graphics and power dont make a system "next gen". Nintendo is because its making gaming innovative and interactive, more than Xbox 2.5 and PS2.5 Wii is making a difference in the video game industry while Sony and MS are just trying to upgrade their last gen systems with "pretty graphics", that is not pushing the industry, its is dumbing it.

gonzalezj1
gonzalezj1

-autopsy- "wow is not a next gen its another crappy rip off of ant mmorpg games, linege2 is soo much better even regonrock is better then wow, the reason people love wow so much is cos it runs on any mahcine cos the graphics arent demanding and its easy to play, but compared to other mmorpgs its way overrated and no way its next-gn" You're right! Of course WOW can't be next-gen because YOU don't like it.