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If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

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If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Old 01-17-17, 05:20 PM
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If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

The Nintendo GameCube was the last Nintendo home console that really competed with powerful hardware, being overall more powerful than the PlayStation 2 but not quite as capable as the Xbox. Of course, like the Xbox, the GameCube was dominated by the PlayStation 2 in terms of systems sold, ultimately ending up a distant third in terms of total number of systems sold. When it came time to release a new system, Nintendo decided to no longer compete with powerful hardware, but instead rely more on a new control method, releasing the Wii that used motion control as its primary control input. However, if the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube would of had more equal market share, would Nintendo have still decided to focus less on the overall power of their future consoles and rely instead on "gimmicks," or would Nintendo have continued to compete with powerful video game consoles?
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Old 01-17-17, 05:39 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

I don't think it's necessarily an either/or situation. Nintendo was experimenting with motion controls at least as far back as 2001. It wouldn't surprise me if some/many elements of the Wii would've still made it in even if the GameCube had been a success.
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Old 01-17-17, 07:04 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Distant third? I don't think so. The Xbox and Gamecube were neck and neck...both a distant second to PS2.

The problem is their lack of forsight into the online space and social gaming. They decided to go back to their roots with couch co-op and multiplayer. It paid off in the short term but failed them in the long term.

So even if their console was on par with X1 or PS4, they would still lose out because their online capabilities are shit. Friend codes anyone? Add to that their bungling of the Virtual Console not once, but twice and apparently again with the Switch is sad. Unified accounts that would allow your library to move with you would be a godsend but nope, Nintendo wants their $6 for Super Mario Bros every 4 years.

You could also toss in HD gaming. Everyone's getting HD sets and wants to see their games in glorious 720-1080p and Nintendo goes with SD, and then gets totally blindsided by HD gaming with the WiiU ("this is harder than we expected"). Mind boggling.

They've just been blazing their own trail, to hell with what gamers actually want.
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Old 01-17-17, 07:06 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
Friend codes anyone?
No argument about pretty much anything you posted, but Nintendo didn't do friend codes with the Wii U, so that's at least a very small step in the right direction.

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
They've just been blazing their own trail, to hell with what gamers actually want.
Ideally, Nintendo would meet somewhere in the middle. Making a third PSXbox would be pointless, and making oddball devices with little-to-no appeal obviously doesn't do all that many people any good, but if they could draw from the best of what other folks are doing and take it in a wonderfully unexpected direction, everyone wins. You can't really bank on capturing lightning in a bottle every five or so years, though, so...
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Old 01-17-17, 07:40 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
I don't think it's necessarily an either/or situation. Nintendo was experimenting with motion controls at least as far back as 2001. It wouldn't surprise me if some/many elements of the Wii would've still made it in even if the GameCube had been a success.
A good point about Nintendo experimenting with motion for many years before the Wii was announced and I agree that regardless of how successful the GameCube ultimately ended up being, that Nintendo might have used motion controls in their next console regardless. To clarify, I meant that after seeing the Nintendo 64 and GameCube, both very powerful consoles for their time, be completely dominated by the original PlayStation and then the PlayStation 2, it seems like the executives at Nintendo lost all desire to make another big investment in making another powerful system, only to end up seeing their console once again lose to the PlayStation juggernaut. I just wonder if the GameCube would have been more successful, would the Wii, regardless of if it still used motion control, have been a much more powerful console (about as powerful as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) or would Nintendo still have given up on trying to compete with powerful hardware?

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
Distant third? I don't think so. The Xbox and Gamecube were neck and neck...both a distant second to PS2.
You're right about the Xbox and the GameCube having a similar amount of success at the time, with the Xbox ultimately ending that generation in second place and the GameCube in third place, both well behind the PlayStation 2. I apologize for the confusing wording.

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Old 01-17-17, 08:03 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

I definitely think the Gamecube's performance affected how much money they put in to the tech specs of their next console.
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Old 01-17-17, 08:45 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

I don't think so. The GameCube was the oddball console of its era anyway. Look at all the ports that were made between the PS2 and Xbox. The GameCube had a vastly different controller design and discs. Third party support started waning when the few ports there were sold much much less than the equivalent PS2 and Xbox versions. Ironically Nintendo had from the start designed the GameCube to curb developer costs, but it was still easier for developers to develop one game for both rival systems than bothering to rearchitect it for the GameCube.

I also think because of this that Nintendo also didn't want to play around with increased development costs for their own titles. How many Nintendo games have voice acting, for instance? They're a smaller company than both Sony and Microsoft, and unlike the other two they are completely dependent on their game division, they can't afford a huge loss on a per system basis, or to lose massive amounts of money like Microsoft did to gain market share.
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Old 01-17-17, 10:28 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

The controller wasn't that different. They shot themselves in the foot with the 1.3gb discs though. Third parties are making 4-8gb games? Let's limit them to 1.3gb. Wasn't their claim that it was a deterrent to pirates?

Same could be said for the Switch by going back to cartridges and limiting storage. There are current gen games that have day 1 patches larger than the entire Switch hard drive and they want third parties to tailor their games to the Switch?
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Old 01-17-17, 10:31 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

It's a niggling thing, but no Nintendo console has ever had an internal hard drive. No argument that 32 GB is woefully insufficient for anyone planning to go all-digital, of course.
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Old 01-17-17, 10:40 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Yeah, that falls into "maybe this one thing that EVERYONE else is doing, we should probably do."
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Old 01-17-17, 10:45 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

If it were a standalone console, there would be no question. Get over the tiny form factors and slap in a proper hard drive. However, I don't think there's a good way right now to get, say, 2 TB on a tablet without the price being as much as a new TV or being massively unwieldy.

It's frustrating to have a portable, dedicated gaming device where you either have to lug around game cards or shell out extra cash for your own SD card (on top of an already expensive system), but I don't think there's a massively superior option for the Switch.
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Old 01-19-17, 03:59 PM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

I don't think the HDD is an issue with the WiiU. It's easier to upgrade your storage on the WiiU than on a PS4.

As to the question of the gamecube sales driving them to do something radically different with the Wii, I don't know. They were experimenting with all kinds of weird stuff on the GC like the microphone to control games, drums to control games and the Gameboy link. I expect that even if they had been widely successful, they might still gone the motion control route.
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Old 01-20-17, 12:17 AM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Yeah, I don't think not having a lot of storage is a big issue with the Switch, considering that it's supposed to be portable.

But that just speaks to the issues with it. It has compromises to be both kinds of systems. It's not ideal as a home console because of the lack of storage and overall power, yet it's not ideal as a portable due to its relatively large size and limited battery life. I think the question of its worth depends on whether or not you're going to use it as a true hybrid system, playing games at home and then taking them on the go and back. If you're going to use it exclusively at home or on the go, it's probably not worth it - at least until it gets a price drop, or, more likely nowadays, some kind of value-added bundle.

One thing I don't get is that Capcom is putting out a version of Street Fighter - for a system with no D-pad. Hopefully at some point they'll release a Joy-Con with a D-pad instead of buttons. Just leave out whatever's in there that drives up the price.
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Old 01-20-17, 12:39 AM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Yeah, the storage bothers me but makes practical sense - I mentioned it before, but I think people really need to think of it as a tablet/portable first. 32 GB is still basically the base for most high end cell phones these days, so it's not really crazy in those terms even though I would have hoped it was larger.
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Old 01-20-17, 05:32 AM
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Re: If the GameCube was more successful, would Nintendo still make powerful consoles?

Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
One thing I don't get is that Capcom is putting out a version of Street Fighter - for a system with no D-pad.
It didn't have a D-pad in the arcade.

The hardware looks, as you say, like kind of a worst of both worlds scenario. It's strange because the Switch is by all accounts a remarkably well-engineered device -- every preview I've read marvels at how seamless it is to go from tablet/TV and back, and many have praised the joy cons and HD rumble -- and yet there are still so many compromises to get there.
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