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Book Review: Console Wars - Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

Posted by Jake Shapiro

An insightful history with a bit too much Blast Processing

It's crystal clear from the first page of Blake J. Harris' Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation that the book is destined for the big screen. With not one, but two movies based on Console Wars already in production before it even hit bookstore shelves– a documentary and a feature film starring Hollywood's favourite funnyman Seth Rogen – this self-described "business thriller" looks to capture the lightning in a bottle of Michael Lewis' Moneyball, the business-exposé-turned-cinema-blockbuster produced by Scott Rudin, who will also produce Rogen's Console Wars adaptation. Console Wars tells the tale of Sega of America's rise to prominence led by charismatic president Tom Kalinske, who reinvigorated the Sega Genesis and introduced Sonic to a generation of fans. While the book recollects Sega's lightspeed ascent in the early 1990s, author Blake Harris & Co. look to do the same with Console Wars in 2014.

In cinema-ready form, Console Wars opens with a foreword by Rogen and his collaborator Evan Goldberg. Rather than a traditional introduction to the book, the foreword consists of Rogen and Goldberg bantering back and forth with pontifications on the history of video games, reminiscent of a scene from one of their comedy films like Superbad or Pineapple Express. The two clearly have a love for games, but they come off as slightly out-of-touch with the gaming crowd likely to pick up the book. When discussing their current gaming habits, Rogen quips, "These days I mostly like to play games where you shoot people. Call of Duty, GTA5, and such." Goldberg responds, "I'm an iPad tower defense addict."

This sets the tone for Console Wars, appealing to the widest audience possible while still targeting the gaming community. Console Wars doesn't present itself as a dry history book, but rather "a narrative account based on information obtained from hundreds of interviews." Blake J. Harris has put an unprecedented amount of work into these first-hand perspectives on Sega's famous console war with Nintendo, but perhaps to prepare the story for its impending movie adaptation, he makes up his own dialogue between the people involved to make Console Wars read more like novel than a textbook:

In certain situations, details of settings and description have been altered, reconstructed, or imagined. Additionally, most of the dialogue in this book has been re-created based on source recollections of content, premise, and tone. Some of the conversations recounted in this book took place over extended periods of time or in multiple locations, but have been condensed, or re-organized in a slightly different manner, while remaining true to the integrity and spirit of all original discussions.

Whether you can get onboard with this approach determines whether you'll enjoy Console Wars or not. If you can stick with it, Harris presents a riveting, insightful look into the game industry in the late '80s and early '90s through the eyes of Tom Kalinske, from his pre-Sega career reinvigorating the Barbie brand at Mattel through his fateful exit from Sega in 1996. Console Wars explores the entire gaming landscape during this period, elucidating events at Nintendo, Sony, and other major players at the time, but Kalinske remains the story's protagonist. Readers get to see first-hand how Sega marketed itself as the anti-Nintendo, the rebellious upstart against the rigid incumbent that topped Nintendo in the United States for a few years before a spectacular collapse at the hands of the Sega CD, 32X, and hastily-released Sega Saturn.

While the book's title leads readers to believe the conflict will be Sega vs. Nintendo, Console Wars' real battle turns out to be the fight between the pioneer spirit of Kalinske's Sega of America and the ultra-conservative domineering of its parent company Sega of Japan. Kalinske is presented as an infallible figure, a marketing expert who thinks outside the box because he hungers for success, while the faceless Sega of Japan becomes the book's villain, ruining the party at every step of the way for no real reason other than jealousy of Sega of America's accomplishments.

This sets up an enticing dichotomy for Console Wars, and the America vs. Japan conflict reflects the xenophobic anti-Japanese fear spreading throughout the United States during this time period. It seems to deliberately tell only one side of the story, though; despite illustrating the motives behind nearly every company in the games industry at the time, from Nintendo to Sony to Electronic Arts, Harris never explores Sega of Japan's perspective. Harris presents a culture war between the pick-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps attitude of the Westerners and the strict, traditionalist attitude of the Japanese overlords. In fact, the only Sega of Japan figure whose motives are explored in the book is Mike Fischer, one of the parent company's sole Americans.

Harris expertly places events within their greater societal context. Explaining why Sonic was so popular in the United States, he writes:

Sonic embodied not only the spirit of Sega of America's employees but also the cultural zeitgeist of the early nineties. He had captured Kurt Cobain's "whatever" attitude, Michael Jordan's graceful arrogance, and Bill Clinton's get-it-done demeanor.

Insights like these are glimpses of what Console Wars could be if it hadn't decided to go with the cheesy narrative approach. The chapters focusing on Nintendo and Sony stand head-and-shoulders above the Sega chapters, if only because they feature far less of the imaged dialogue of the Kalinske-centric Sega sections. Kalinske's narrative story could work if it weren't so haphazardly written, from unrealistic dialogue ("I suppose your jumping to conclusions is a testament to the type of guys we are and, perhaps, also a sign of the times we live in," Sony exec Olaf Olafsson tells Tom Kalinske in a very deep and meaningful way) to over-extended sports metaphors:

But just because they would be playing defense didn't mean that they'd act passive; as any football fan knows, there are tons of strategies, schemes, formations, and blitz packages. With so many permutations, the key to winning on defense is all about identifying the offense's play as soon as possible and then calling the right audible to shut it down.

This was apparently Kalinske's train of thought going into a Consumer Electronics Show against Nintendo. Although everything in the book may be completely true, it's hard to quote any of its juicy stories for fear of the stories being simple conjecture by Harris rather than direct quotes. It's a shame, because there are some genius quotes in Console Wars. When exploring the origin of Sonic:

Fischer leaned in. "This is one of my favorite stories. Naka-san gets all the credit, because he designed the game and, you know, he's this powerful personality, but because of that I think Oshima-san gets lost in the shuffle. So one time I went up to him and asked Sonic's true creator where that spark of an idea had come from. He's really shy, this unassuming kid, and I expected him to say something like 'It was a team effort,' or 'It was just one of those things,' but he smiles really small and he says: 'I just put Felix the Cat on the body of Mickey Mouse.'"

This is a fantastic story, but can readers reliably quote it in confidence? We're not sure whether this is a direct quote from Mike Fischer or an imagined conversation by the author. Insightful stories throughout Console Wars suffer from this ethical dilemma.

The story of Sonic's origin is one of the few times in Console Wars that Harris focuses on the content of Sega's video games. Perhaps like Sega itself, the majority of Console Wars concentrates on the history of the marketing and business competition during the Genesis/Mega Drive years, and disappointingly avoids in-depth analysis of the games themselves. Harris appears more comfortable writing about more traditional topics like sports and movies than writing about video games; entire chapters are devoted to such topics as the defunct Seattle Pilots baseball team, the the history of Betamax tapes, and the profile of the marketing firm Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein.

These chapters are fantastic ways to broaden the story's scope, but they highlight the lack of focus on the core of the games industry: games. Harris devotes more pages to the production of the Super Mario Bros. live-action film than to the development of the first Sonic the Hedgehog. While other recent popular video game books like Tom Bissell's fantastic Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter and Harold Goldberg's All Your Base Are Belong to Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture centre around people with deep passions for the games themselves, Console Wars is very much a book about business and marketing. This fits Sega of America's style-over-substance approach in the '90s, and the book often feels like a giant list of shout-outs to people involved with the company strung together by stilted narrative.

If you persevere to the end, Console Wars hits its stride in the later sections of the book, as high-profile CESes and E3s mean there are more documented direct quotes from game industry figures involved. By far the best sequence in all of Console Wars is the section covering the U.S. Senate hearings on violent video games in 1993 that would lead to the formation of the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Sega's infamous Night Trap and bloodier-than-SNES version of Mortal Kombat are the primary scapegoats, and since Senate hearings are full of documentation, these chapters in Console Wars are full of direct quotes for Harris to pull from; they perfectly capture the complicated rivalry between Sega of America and Nintendo of America during the early '90s. By the end of Console Wars Tom Kalinske's story finally becomes a page-turner, and while the book fittingly ends with the introduction of the Sega Saturn at the inaugural E3 in 1995 and the ensuing fallout, readers hunger for more. What about the story of the Dreamcast?! This ending point provides a nice story arc for Kalinske, though, and despite our misgivings with Blake J. Harris' writing style, we look forward to the film adaptations.

Console Wars employs a polarising narrative style and a business-focused rather than games-focused perspective on the Nintendo vs. Sega battle of the early 1990s. If readers can forgive the liberties taken with the story, Blake J. Harris provides unparalleled insight into the minds of the U.S. industry leaders during a transformational period for the gaming medium.


You can pick up Console Wars today in North America and 19th June in the UK; check out the official Console Wars website for more info.

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User Comments (60)

unrandomsam

#1

unrandomsam said:

The Marketing parts are the least interesting ones I think. Maybe I will read it.

(I really enjoyed Dreamcast Worlds - Its about the situations that allowed Shenmue / SKies of Arcadia to happen - The Phantasy Star Online bit I didn't like as much.).

MAB

#2

MAB said:

It's good that its more about SEGA awesomeness than anything else... This gives it a major selling point ;)

Stu13

#3

Stu13 said:

I thought this was going to be more of an 'oral history' type of book. I could care less what this guy thinks might have happened/been said. No, thanks.

Kirk

#4

Kirk said:

More like: Nintendoes...and Sega isn't even in the console hardware business anymore.

;-)

Peach64

#5

Peach64 said:

Definitely going to pick this one up. I love a good book on the games industry, but nothing has topped David Sheff's Game Over as far as I'm concerned.

HappyMaskedGuy

#6

HappyMaskedGuy said:

They lost me the second they said GTA, Call of Duty, shooting people and IPad.

Stick it somewhere unpleasant.

HappyMaskedGuy

#8

HappyMaskedGuy said:

@Nik-Davies If people like them continue to assume the role of speaking on behalf of the gaming community, most of whom are cerebral, creative and appreciative of the work and art of good games, rejecting trash like CoD, the wider assumption of video games and their enthusiasts will continue to be viewed negatively with zero credibility.

Personally, it makes me feel bloody sick.

gingerbeardman

#9

gingerbeardman said:

I recently read The Ultimate History of Video Games (2001) and can't figure out if this is a simple rewriting/paraphrasing of that book, or whether there are only a certain number of ways to write about the historical events. Reading the recently published excerpts left me feeling a bit cheated.

Mega719

#10

Mega719 said:

Cool maybe i'll pick it up.Too bad it ends on the Sega Saturn i wanted to hear Sega's decisions on Sonic appearing in the Smash Bros games.He sas apparently suppose to appear in Melee

Xtremetdifan

#11

Xtremetdifan said:

@HappyMaskedGuy
Same, especially when the book is suspose to focus on Nintendo vs Sega affairs... Yet the author is more concerned with playing c.o.d and free to play tower defense?

Peach64

#12

Peach64 said:

Nice job reading the article, guys. Those are not the comments of the author.

Lobster

#14

Lobster said:

I was really interested in this book... and now I'm not. Shame. Maybe I'll pick up one of the other ones mentioned. Ultimate History of Video Games really is the best one out there, though. Shame it's so old!

SahashraLA

#16

SahashraLA said:

Of course their tastes are going to have changed. Consider just how busy Goldberg and Rogen are. They might only have a few hours a week to game, so they play what's most readily available. At the same time, I have no doubt that either would hesitate to pursue some retro gaming should they have a week or so between projects and appearances.
Kalinske was many things, but one thing he was to me was a right donkey that has a hard time taking constructive criticism or acknowledging any of his shortcomings.
Fischer, on the other hand, was a notoriously silent partner and relegated to the role of 'speaky', as in the guy that got to read cue cards but never had an original thought or opinion worth sharing.
Oh my trip to Japan was interesting, to say the least, as was my sole trek to E3. The locals, in both cases, were far more appreciable and open than those who had also made such a trip and everyone foreign seemed strangely alienating. I developed a strong distaste for Sega and Neversoft after that particular E3 and it took years to convince myself that either company's titles were still worth enjoying, trying or even replaying.
As an aside, I can say that this story (the Console Wars, not my personal encounters) is one worth telling. I can only hope that the story is once and truly legitimatized, in a light free of bias or emotional attachment. Our own respective connection to the era and experiences within will provide more than enough color to what would be a very intense commentary.

TheWhiteFalcon

#17

TheWhiteFalcon said:

While it's not perfect, I prefer "The Ultimate History of Videogames", as well as the also not perfect "Service Games: The Rise and Fall of Sega".

I dont have my copy of Console Wars yet, but I've read the iBooks sample, and the foreword is downright embarassing. I plan to cut it out of my copy when I get it. Just garbage.

Nintenjoe64

#19

Nintenjoe64 said:

I don't think the kids of today will truly understand what an old school console war was like, no matter how many Hollywood comedies they make on the subject.

If you wanted to defend your console, you couldn't use memes or internet words, you had to duke it out in the playground. Sometimes to the death. We were all at the mercy of a handful of reviewers, box art and hype. There were even dragons and white walkers to contend with.

HappyMaskedGuy

#21

HappyMaskedGuy said:

@Peach64 An author who;

1. Presents fictitious dialogue as actual events

2. Opens his book with a foreword by Seth Rogen

3. Gives the film rights of his book to Seth Rogen

Definitely is NOT an author I would give any time to!

Regardless of whether those comments were his or not, they are given privilege as foreword in his book.

hydeks

#22

hydeks said:

sigh I miss SEGA consoles, I still remembering being the only one with a Sega Genesis out of my friends, but they always wanted to play it, and they eventually all got one lol :-P

SphericalCrusher

#23

SphericalCrusher said:

Bought this book yesterday actually. Very excited to read it! Gonna wait to read over the review. I still think it's a little out of place for Seth and Evan to do the foward of this book... even if they are doing the movie for some reason.

blakejharrisnyc

#25

blakejharrisnyc said:

@Nintenjoe64 "If you wanted to defend your console, you couldn't use memes or internet words, you had to duke it out in the playground. Sometimes to the death. We were all at the mercy of a handful of reviewers, box art and hype. There were even dragons and white walkers to contend with."

And believe me, I tried (over many pages...)

ajcismo

#27

ajcismo said:

I remember those days fondly. Going over to a buddys house to play Madden and Golden Axe on his Genesis, good times. Can only imagine how out of control the Trolling would've gotten had the internet been around back then.

MrWu

#30

MrWu said:

I think a comedy movie with Kalinske as the protagonist could work as a film.

I wonder how Nintendo will be portrayed in that movie. Given the focus is on Sega America vs. Sega Japan rivalry, I assume it would be easier for the film to focus on that, with Nintendo as a peripheral player.

Nintenjoe64

#32

Nintenjoe64 said:

@blakejharrisnyc
I look forward to reading about it but it might stir up some painful memories of playground violence or arriving at school to find out the Bubsy the Bobcat SNES port proved the Genesis was better!

Yanchamaru

#33

Yanchamaru said:

Service Games: The Rise & Fall Of Sega and Game Over are two books that provide a more accurate and detailed account of the Sega vs Nintendo rivalry

somari

#34

somari said:

i think its great idea to write a book but i think it's a bit one sided for sega.

HappyMaskedGuy

#35

HappyMaskedGuy said:

@Peach64 can't say you're wrong there. But if you don't secure a degree of artistic or journalistic integrity when closing a deal with said publisher, there's something wrong.

I think I'd sooner burn a book I'd written before involving the 'hilarious' Seth Rogen...

Zach

#36

Zach said:

@HappyMaskedGuy I think that kind of argument is kind of overblown. I used to think the same way, but really, I believe that gaming is just becoming another form of media. Just because Michael Bay speaks as a filmmaker doesn't negate the artistic sphere in cinema. Just because John Grisham speaks as an author doesn't mean that every book is brought down a peg because of it. The worry is that the mainstream media will only pick up on the story of the blockbuster games like CoD, but that's just how it goes with media, the same as Michael Bay's films and John Grisham's books make the most money in general. But there are success stories in gaming outside of these examples, the same as how sometimes a great artistic film will make a lot of money and remind everyone that it's not all Transformers — games like Portal, Minecraft and Zelda. But I think just as important is the fact that without games like Call of Duty, we would have a less compelling context in which indy gaming can thrive, as now its identity is strengthened in contrast to the big blockbuster shooters and iOS games. (The two both existing side-by-side also means that neither one really threatens the other — just like we can have guilty pleasures in movies, books, music, and so on, we can enjoy an artsy indy game and not have to feel like we're betraying the art by playing a few rounds with a shallow but fun game.) My two cents!

absuplendous

#37

absuplendous said:

It's really disappointing that much of the book was "re-imagined." Even with that disclaimer, the book--or rather, the movie adaptation--will influence many people's understanding of what what happened, and over time that can sully our general understanding of the truth. I'm not going to lose sleep over muddying the facts of a console war, but it's not a good thing in general.

Also, "the America vs. Japan conflict reflects the xenophobic anti-Japanese fear spreading throughout the United States during this time period." Uh, what?

StarDust4Ever

#38

StarDust4Ever said:

Really not a good idea to make up quotes to inflate the story. I've read several books on the topic of video game history, but I'll give this one a pass. :p

Pj1

#40

Pj1 said:

Sega bring back the glory days, bring back the Mega Drive! what a console and what great-fond memories. Kid's today don't know a thing when it comes to those early consoles, shame.

JakeShapiroAdmin

#42

JakeShapiro said:

@absuplendous The 1980s and early '90s saw a huge rise of Japanese companies in the US market, which sparked a ton of anti-Japanese sentiment. You know how some people today think Evil China is taking over the world? That's how many Americans felt about Japan in the '80s.

AshFoxX

#43

AshFoxX said:

@Xtremetdifan The author of the article, nor the book made those statements. They were said by Seth Rogen (CoD and GTA5) & Evan Goldberg (iPad Tower Defense Addict) in the foreword for the book. They are going to be doing the film adaptation. IMO, I love these guys, but they are a strange fit for a film that is supposed to be a Business Thriller considering they are known for stoner comedy.

Aluwolf

#45

Aluwolf said:

@Kirk cause of piracy, the dreamcast hardware sales are almost on par with gamecubes.

Also nintendo is dumb for making hardware.

Sony and microsoft have consoles because they need money from third party sales, only in recent years have they bought into studios and are pumping out games owned by them.

Nintendo is opposite, most first party games ever, yet console are sold at loses. and good online infrastructure costs a fortune.

ZeroZX_Dev

#46

ZeroZX_Dev said:

@Aluwolf Nintendo's games feel better on their hardware IMO. Zelda on PS4 would feel like all kinds of wrong, even if it was made by Nintendo themselves. 'Sides if Nintendo was to go 3rd party, all our beloved franchises would die alongside their hardware. I think the "Nintendo should go 3rd party" mentality should die in a fire, but to each their own.

Aluwolf

#47

Aluwolf said:

@ZeroZX_Dev Look I get it, I've been a nintendo fan for near 20 Years. There's a sense of pride that goes with console owning and a feeling of failure if they stop, but that's not true.

Look, all of nintendos consoles for the past decade+ have had huge problems, anyone saying otherwise is blind or very uneducated on how computers work. The gamecube had 1/3 the storage space of a traditional disk, just a measly 1.4GB. Huge problem. The Wii's specs were identical to the first xbox despite launching after the xbox360, and the online never worked even for killer titles like smash. Also they totally flopped the motion control and wii motion plus was what it should have been at launch, now you need an add on no game wants to support to have motion controls that are actually accurate.

Finally, even the wii U is underwhelming, the Gpu and Cpu would retail both for about 100 usd ( around 50 each), to put it simply it's technology from 2008,Yes they make games that look good but that is partly due to aesthetics.

For years I have felt I have been putting up with lackluster hardware to enjoy Nintendo games. It's got to stop, I can't deal with it anymore. No online account system, took them until 2012 to get online thatch even playable, another gimmick that's not even used. Seriously, mario kart does not support 1 screen on tablet, 1 on TV. What the actual ****? One of the A+ 10/10 system of the year concepts was to finally get rid of screen looking. Nope.

I'm sorry but I'm weary, and sick of this. Nintendo has shown it's out of touch and living in the past. Anyone who can't see that Nintendo doesn't know a damn thing about good hardware is living in the 90's It's time to either make something good or stop. For the love of god stop making us buy a bad console just to play your games Nintendo.

absuplendous

#48

absuplendous said:

@JakeShapiro I may have been too young in the early 80's to be aware of any such sentiment, but I certainly didn't detect any by time Sega rose to prominence. Aside from "Japan has the best students" being generally accepted at face value, I don't recall there being strong feelings toward Japan one way or the other. Soviet sentiment, on the other hand...

Mommar

#49

Mommar said:

@JakeShapiro
Not once during my entire stint living during the 80's or 90's have I heard of an "anti-Japanese" phenomena or, rather, some sort of "xenophobia." The only time I ever really heard anything similar was in the late 80's/early 90's, very many Hawaiians weren't happy that so much land was being bought up by Japanese businessmen. Otherwise, no anti-Japanese sentiment of any kind as far as I can recollect.

ericflapjack

#50

ericflapjack said:

I have this book and I personally thought it was a very good read. Some of it may be open to question about its authenticity, but we shouldn't forget that this book has extensive input and interviews with people such as Sega'sTom Kalinske and Nintendo's Howard Lincoln. I found it to be quite fascinating - especially since I was a big Sega fan back during this era, and I learned quite a bit from it.

ericflapjack

#51

ericflapjack said:

I should also add that I was actually quite surprised when this book shifted its focus away from the Nintendo vs. Sega in certain chapters. The Console Wars have been written about so many times, so it was also refreshing to learn about the internal battles Sega of America had with Sega of Japan... I really did learn a lot and it gave me some more insight/sympathy towards SOA's struggles and eventual downfall.

Agent721

#52

Agent721 said:

I just started reading last night. So far, so good, but only a few chapters in. It is nice to see a book about the history of Nintendo/Sega wars getting so much notice in the main stream media.

Agent721

#53

Agent721 said:

Some of you need to get off your high horse. I ain't reading it because the intro says they play GTA, COD or IPad games? WELCOME TO REALITY. That's the vast majority of gamers now a days. Its 2014, not 1992...you may want to flip your calendar & updat that ridiculous holier than thou attitude. It's sad to see Nintendo fans being as narrowminded as the bro dudes.

OnionOverlord

#54

OnionOverlord said:

@Agent721

I agree. Even though I never play the said mentioned CoD games, I don't see what difference it makes. CoD is a modern game that modern gamers play. There's simply no logic behind hating on something to such an extent. If you don't like it, don't play it. Simple as that. Let those who do like it enjoy it. Don't trash on them for daring to have tastes that differ from yours.

With that said, the book comes off more as an opinion piece rather than focusing on the facts.

@Aluwolf

It's hard to take anything you say seriously when you seem to go out of your way to belittle differing views by saying "anyone who says otherwise". Basically anyone who disagrees with you is wrong? I'm surprised I'm even bothering to respond to such a blatantly narrow-minded point of view. You've already made up your mind and will simply cover your eyes going "No-no-no-no-no!" to anything anyone else says to you. Yes, Nintendo is obviously dumb for making hardware...Never mind the fact that without that hardware there would be no games. Hardware is needed to run games and this idea that Nintendo would go the way of Sega and start making their games for other consoles is both disgusting and hilarious. You suggest Nintendo rob itself of it's own identity? Because that strategy worked out so well for Sega, right? Sega abandoned their own hardware but they haven't become any better as a company. Sonic still struggles with his own fanbase, with each Sonic game being inconsistent. Rather than opting to pick a formula and stick with it, Sega keeps changing each Sonic game in a desperate attempt to find something that works. Has becoming a 3rd party developer helped Sonic at all? Not really. Aside from Sonic Adventure 2: Battle on the Gamecube, going 3rd party has done little to help Sonic, so it stands to reason that it would do little to help Nintendo. The only thing it would accomplish is pissing off their dedicated fanbase and making them a mockery. The very post you were quoting was mocking Sega. The same thing would happen to Nintendo if they followed the same route. They would be mocked and laughed at and would lose a lot more than they would ever gain. As a gamer who grew up in the time period, I can confirm that I don't feel the same about Sega today as I did back when they developed consoles. They are a fallen empire to me, and if Nintendo went the same path it would sadden me even more than it did when Sega fell. The argument that Nintendo should go 3rd party is even more absurd than the idea they should move their games to a mobile platform. I seriously don't understand why people think these ideas will just magically "fix" Nintendo. Yes, clearly abandoning their dedicated fanbase to go third party or mobile is going to fix their financial problem more than simply releasing games that customers want. The Wii U has done nothing but go up since the launch because more and more games are coming out. Once Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros 4 launch on the Wii U, sales will spike dramatically just like it did with the Wii and 3DS.

While I'm at it, I want to point out to all of you who want to use Nintendo's financial problem as an excuse to hate and bash that ALL of the consoles are suffering right now. Not one single company is selling more consoles now than they were in their hayday. Sony and Microsoft as well are suffering, a fact Nintendo haters seem quick to overlook.

Your remark that the DC failed because of piracy is simply hilarious and proves just how uninformed you really are. It obviously had NOTHING to do with the fact Sega had demonstrated atrocious business practices, or the fact it abandoned the Saturn faster than a Cheetah nomming on a fat kid. The fact is, Sega had lost a great deal of consumer trust after the Sega Saturn. Not to mention the fact it had issues the moment the console launched and suffered from a shortage of Dreamcasts. THAT was the reason for the system ultimately failing, it had nothing to do with piracy, just plain and simple bad business. The rest of your arguments are just as laughable, and barely worth the time to address.

If you are so upset with Nintendo, stop buying their consoles/games and stop preaching on a Nintendo news feed. Lastly, your post has nothing to do with the book or the topic of discussion, so all you've accomplished is derailing the discussion so you can vent your hatred. Nice work. Give yourself a pat on the back, you managed to completely miss the point of this article and rattle off about something no one asked about.

One thing I haven't addressed yet is the fact you seemed to have made your profile solely for the purpose of bashing the Wii U. Funny thing that. Doesn't help matters when you appear to go out of your way to be condescending and insulting and seem intent on rehashing the exact same tired argument about the Wii U (a system you have not owned yet according to your own posts). I just don't understand why you people who seem to hate Nintendo so much feel the need to visit a Nintendo website and comment on it. You contribute nothing to the overall discussion besides spewing venom and misinformation. Still, going by your own posts, it seems that you yourself want to buy a Wii U for the purpose of playing one game. If that's the case... Then it sounds to me like Nintendo's strategy has paid off two fold, don't you think? Like it or not, Nintendo's "90's" approach works. If they sell their games on other platforms, all they accomplish is splitting their own sales rather than doubling them. By selling their games on something like say a PS4, all they do is lose money. By selling their games on their own consoles, they make money from the game AND drum up sells for the console. If Nintendo follows your stupid advice, they will end up splitting their sales down the middle and will lose money because they aren't selling it on their own console anymore, they're selling it on someone else's.

Since you seem to know so much, you should already be aware of the fact that ALL of the consoles are weaker in comparison to the PC. You're trying to single out the Wii U for this "problem" but don't seem to address the fact the PS4 and One are also outclassed. While I like the PS3 and Xbox 360, it's difficult to deny that those systems are loaded with bloated junk that isn't needed. The Wii U and the 3DS on the other hand focus on what gaming consoles should be focusing on to begin with: Games. This has always been the selling point behind Nintendo hardware and probably always will be. The games sell the hardware, not the other way around. That's part of the reason the Wii U has bad 3rd party support to begin with. People don't buy Nintendo systems for the purpose of playing Xbox 360 games, so the argument that it is weaker is completely irrelevant because it only needs enough hardware power to run NINTENDO games. There's no reason it needs to be as strong as a PS4 because it's NOT RUNNING PS4 GAMES! Use a little common sense. A lot of PS4 and Xbox One owners are not interested in Nintendo games AT ALL, and the same is true of many Wii U and 3DS owners. There is simply no point in going multi-platform or 3rd party. It would only benefit people like you who are too stubborn to simply buy the console and instead prefer to cry and moan about how unfair it is, like a teenager denied access to an adult club and being left in the rain, pressing his face up to the glass in jealousy of the people inside having fun. Actual Nintendo fans (not you apparently) would benefit nothing from it whether they own other consoles or not.

A stronger hardware doesn't equal a better console, so your logic and argument on those grounds is completely flawed. Nintendo has always been an innovator, they go in new directions with their systems all the time. Just look at how Sony and Microsoft have resorted to aping some of Nintendo's ideas with things like the Kinect. The Xbox 360 was far more powerful than the Wii and yet the mighty 360 had to resort to trying to steal Nintendo's idea of motion-sensing gaming.

I didn't intend for this post to become so convoluted, so I'll close this post by giving you a glimpse of what Mario would be like on a PS4....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PP08q1F4ByU

Aluwolf

#55

Aluwolf said:

@OnionOverlord Stopped taking you seriously after first sentences. I'm sorry but you seem to entirely miss my post and I won't bother reading someone elses if they can't read mine. 1.4GB being less than 4GB is a fact. Being as powerful as your competitions previous console makes you less powerful is a fact. I did not say any "views" I said if you can't see that being able to hold 1/3 the space is a weakness and you're willing to argue that then you're too far gone and not worth replying too. There are people who will argue that floppy disks are better than say a blu ray disk in every way for the sake of an argument, and that was what i was referring to.

These facts are what are making me weary of nintendos hardware. These facts make me feel like I'm putting up with stuff to play nintendo's games. That was my point, if you can't take me "seriously" because of that view based on facts, you need to seek help.

Nothing I said was offensive, or aggressive yet you act as though I insulted your mother. You're a staunch Nintendo fan who thinks they are like the second coming of Jesus. And it's really off putting.

Also I did not "derail the topic", someone above me implied that not making hardware is somehow bad these days. I responded by saying It's how this company should be going.

As for the rest of your post, it's to be frank silly. The limitations of nintendos hardware as numerous times caused problems and gotten in the way. No native HD support on the Wii forced people to buy 20 dollars cables just to get 480P instead of 480I on their 1080P tv. The sketchy wireless adapter also caused problems in online games. The controllers didn't get real motion controls that were reliable until a 40 dollar adapter came out, no game wanted to support it. Gamecube needed expensive cables to go past 480I, the technology to do so wasnt even in the gamecube it was in the cables. And the Wii U isn't getting third party support outside of ports from the ps3/360.

So yes sir weak hardware does get in the way. Stop being a corporate apologist. Please note I only skimmed your post because to be frank I hate when people try and argue facts, it really shows they've gone off the deep end.

OnionOverlord

#57

OnionOverlord said:

@Aluwolf

I read your post just fine, unlike you, who just blatantly admitted to not reading mine. Instead of paying attention to your own post, you seem to pick one element and zoom in on it. You used that "anyone who says otherwise blah blah" remark more than once. How about you actually acknowledge ALL of the instances you used it rather than single out ONE instance and pretend to be innocent? For example (and this is just one example) you said "Nintendo consoles have had huge problems" and then followed it with "anyone saying otherwise". That is the kind of thing i am referring to, and whether or not Nintendo consoles have had "huge problems" is subjective. From the moment you said that, you made it obvious you are not open to any sort of differing views. The point about GB wasn't made until AFTER. Do you even read your own posts? There is also the "Anyone who can't see that Nintendo doesn't know a damn thing about good hardware is living in the 90's " remark, which does the same thing and was followed by "or make something good", implying that the Wii U isn't good as it is. Interesting, I wasn't aware that the Wii U isn't good, considering it's currently outselling the Xbox One by a large margin. It's funny that a "bad" console is outperforming one so much stronger, isn't it? That must be another one of those "facts" you love so much but I digress. It assumes that anyone disagreeing with your narrow point of view is wrong and that obviously they are living in the 90's... The idea that they like the console obviously does not enter into the equation. Do you really think the average Wii U consumer cares about how much RAM the Wii U does or doesn't have? It's not relevant. The games run just fine on it, so I'm confused as to what exactly is wrong with the Wii U other than being weaker. Oops that's right, I'm disagreeing with you so I'm living in the 90's. Let me get the DeLorean and time travel back to the modern world! You've made quite a few of these types of comments so I have no problem going and digging up more if you'd like.

If you feel you are "putting up" with Nintendo consoles then it begs the question... Why are you buying them (assuming that you are in fact buying them, which I doubt that you are)? You make no sense whatsoever. If you are buying consoles you don't like, that is your OWN fault, not Nintendo's. Unless Nintendo came into your home, put a gun against your head, and said "Go buy one of our systems", you have zero argument and no leg to stand on. Now if you want to argue that Nintendo should design better hardware , that's fine. There's not much anyone can say to that (staunch fanboy or not) but to declare an entire company "dumb" and then insist on them abandoning their hardware in favor of software is a different matter entirely. Designing stronger hardware would cost more, but would ultimately benefit everyone a lot more than abandoning one of their most profitable practices. I already addressed the 3rd party support issue so I have no idea why you're even bringing that up if you're not going to acknowledge what I said regarding that. 3rd party support, while nice, is not something Nintendo really needs. People buy Nintendo consoles to play Nintendo games, they don't really care about whether or not they can run GTA V. The only major 3rd party games I feel the Wii U desperately need are Monster Hunter. The rest (besides maybe Watch Dogs) are not really a big loss for Nintendo and the 3rd party games released for Nintendo consoles usually undersell anyway (Look at Mass Effect 3). Besides that, Xbox 360 and PS3 ports count as 3rd party support whether you're willing to acknowledge that or not, though it doesn't have much of those either.

Claiming that Nintendo should abandon their hardware is just foolish and shows how out of touch you are. Sega made that choice as I said (and was ignored) before. Are they really better off? Sega has become irrelevant in the eyes of gamers since then with the vast majority of their IP's having gone to waste and died off. As ZeroZX stated, this would be the fate of Nintendo. Beloved IP's would fade into obscurity and eventually die off. Atari made the same decision and we all know how they ended up. SNK and a few other companies have all made this decision and guess where they ended up? Not so well. SNK in particular had a console that was stronger than the rest. By your own logic, that meant the Neo Geo was better, and yet... It undersold and was never really a mainstream console. How strange that a "better" console with all these amazing specs under the hood could possibly sell less than the weaker consoles... Interestingly, the same can be said for the Game Gear. An overwhelmingly more powerful piece of hardware in comparison to the Game Boy, but ultimately failed to capture much of audience and joined the Saturn and the Dreamcast as an underrated system. Obviously this is a handheld, not a console, but it serves as yet another prime example of how better hardware does not equal a better system.

Going software-only robs them of what makes them a good company to begin with.They dominate the handheld market and their hardware is a vital part of their fanbase. The Nintendo hardware is a massive part of their identity and if they go the software only route, they become just another software developer out of hundreds. This is all in addition the myriad of points I already made, such as the fact they would lose more money that way.. Also nice work on the "seeking help", "corporate apologist" "going off the deep end" and "staunch Nintendo fan" comments, it just adds fuel to my point that you are quick to resort to belittling other points of view. I guess it makes you feel as if your arguments (which carry little weight of their own despite being made up of "facts") are more valid when you do that. Here's a hint: It doesn't.

For one who throws around the word "facts" so often you do little in presenting them and present mostly biased opinions. All you've really done is prattle on about hardware and declare your word as God. For example, the remark about the Wiimote not being "reliable" until the adapter came out is completely false. There were no issues with motion sensing in any games beyond programming errors on the designers part. The only reason they made the Wii Motion Plus was to make the motion sensing more accurate, it wasn't because with it being unreliable. The "sketchy" or "not working" online is also a bit subjective since many people have had no problems playing online games on the Wii, including myself. The fact so many are mourning the closure of the Wifi service in games like Mario Kart Wii is more than enough proof that the online worked just fine, with Nintendolife itself doing a well-written article on the fond memories the writers had playing on the Wifi service. The lack of HD Support being a problem is also subjective, considering the amount of people who were upset about systems being optimized for HD and having difficult to read text. At the time, it made sense not to use HD because it was not as commonplace in households as it is now. These days HD is standard, back then it was not. The difference in GB being a "huge problem" is also curious. How exactly was that a "huge problem"? Other than being weaker than the competition, how did it hurt it? I'm confused because I'm pretty sure the games released for the system ran just fine on it. In fact, most 3rd party games ran incredibly well, with Resident Evil 4 often being regarded as a system seller (it was exclusive to the GC at the time) and the only thing it had to do was run on 2 discs. Oh no, not that! Anything but an extra disc! What a huge problem! Many argue in fact that RE4 on the GC is superior to the PS2 port, despite that "huge problem" you stated. So yes, I am arguing these "facts". Or rather I'm arguing more with the logic behind these "facts". It takes quite a conceited mind to belittle other viewpoints while at the same time declaring his own as "fact". The more you post, the worse you make yourself look so I encourage you to keep at it, though judging by your last post that won't be happening, most likely because you've realized that you aren't capable of backing your own bold statements up with a constructive argument (unless disregarding the dozen's of points I made as "silly" and then cutting out on an argument YOU started counts as "constructive" these days). I suppose that saves us both some trouble then.

I find it amusing that you really don't seem to read your own posts. You started the entire thing by quoting something someone said about Sega and went off on a rant about Nintendo being "dumb for making hardware". I feel silly having to point out your own words to you. While it's true that making software instead of hardware isn't a bad thing, every company that has went from hardware to software has more or less backed themselves into a corner. As I mention several times throughout this post, other companies did what you are suggesting and have not ended up better at all. So why is it exactly they should be going the same route that has sunk so many others and reduced them to a shadow of their former glory? If it's because Nintendo is "selling hardware at a loss" then I simply must laugh at this statement, as Nintendo is one of the few companies who actually sells their systems with a profit, Unless people buy a Wii U and then never buy any games, they make pure profit from the Wii U. Most other companies actually sell their consoles at a loss because of the costs involved in making them hardware in the first place, this includes the PS3 which didn't start to earn a significant profit for Sony until a few years down the line. Nintendo on the other hand has sold most of their consoles with a profit because they keep the costs down. The Wii U was a more expensive hardware to build (probably because of the Gamepad) so obviously they don't stand to make the same profit from it they did from something like the Gamecube. Hell, the Wii U was popular enough to sell out at most retailers on the day of the launch. Unless you can provide a more solid argument to support your claim, I will chalk this up to more of your made up "facts".

Yes, I can tell you only skimmed my post because you ignored the vast majority of it and instead focused on going on your usual routine of belittling and assuming. For example you call me a staunch Nintendo fan, ignoring the fact I have an Xbox Live Account (which is plainly posted on my profile) as well as a PSn (which admittedly is not posted on my profile). If I'm such a Nintendo fan, why would I own anything other than Nintendo hardware? Perhaps if you focused less on being condescending you would notice small details like that.

No one is arguing that the Wii U is weaker. Had you read my post (which you admitted you didn't) you would have seen that nowhere do I argue it is weaker. I acknowledge it plainly. One of the points I made was that console strength does not equal a better console, it just means it has better specs, proven by the terrible sales of the Xbox One which in terms of specs, is a "better" console but ironically selling much less. Another being that all consoles are weaker in comparison to PC, so by your logic all games should be for the PC. As I stated before, the Wii U doesn't need PS4 or Xbox One graphics, it's not running PS4 or Xbox One games, but like all my other points that went ignored. Next time, read a post before assuming things and responding. You will make much less of an ass of yourself. Of course you will most likely ignore this post just like you did the first, so everything I've said will probably fall on deaf ears. It's a shame because I really would like to see you make some sort of argument to back up your logic, but thus far you have failed to do so and have proven yourself incapable of an intelligent discussion that doesn't contain borderline insults.

It's simple really. If you can argue your point about Nintendo abandoning hardware and why it would be better, then please do so instead of making pompous comments. Your posts are sorely lacking in facts and logic, despite your claims otherwise though, so my expectations on that are quite slim. Bear in mind that repeating over and over that the Wii U is weaker isn't exactly making a strong argument, since I've already addressed that and being weaker has nothing to do with the quality of the console or whether or not Nintendo should abandon it in favor of software. How about you actually argue your case constructively, explain how Nintendo would be better off? As I explained above, literally every single company that has ever made the decision to go from hardware to software has become irrelevant and dead, so a good argument as to why Nintendo should succeed if they did the same thing would be ideal instead of this holier-than-thou attitude of yours and made up facts. Going 3rd party and making only software would be the first step to becoming a failure just like others who followed the same path. It would do nothing to better their image among the dudebro gamers who already have no interest in Nintendo. If PS4, Xbox One, etc. owners wanted to play Nintendo games, they would have bought Nintendo consoles. This idea that going multiplatform and abandoning their hardware suddenly will make Xbox One and PS4 owners go "Awmg I gotta buy Mario Kart now!!" is just sad. The fact is, you don't care about Nintendo's financial issues nor their success. You want to play Nintendo games without actually investing in a Nintendo console. You admitted that yourself. That's pretty much the bottom line and it does a fine job of showing just how child-ish and narrow your way of thinking really is.

Your argument doesn't even leave room for the possibility that Nintendo can turn things around without the need of going software-only. The 3DS turned around nicely and I'm confident the Wii U will do so as well, especially considering it already has improved. Giving up now would only make them another Sega and doom them, not to mention pissing off the fanbase (as I said in my last post) the same way Sega did so many times. How do you think Sega fans felt when the Saturn was dropped as quickly as it was, only to see the same happen to the Dreamcast? Who is to say Sega couldn't have turned the Dreamcast around? They probably couldn't have, but it's a burning question none-the-less that we will never know the answer to because Sega cut the cord and abandoned their own hardware, leaving Dreamcast buyers up the creek.

I also like the fact you made no attempt to defend yourself in regards to the DC dying because of piracy... I will take that as a sign of you admitting that you didn't have a clue what you were talking about. More of those "facts" you're so fond of touting I suppose. Ignoring valid points seems to be a talent of yours, since you didn't really respond or acknowledge ZeroZX's point about the fate of Nintendo franchises dying off and instead continued on your little anti-nintendo hardware warpath.

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