For me interest in games consoles finished with ‘Sonic the hedgehog,’ over a decade ago (for those of you who haven’t yet come across Sonic, check it out here. In those far off days, when the joystick was still a fairly nifty innovation the advent of games machines from the likes of Nintendo and Sega seemed like a revolution.
These days watching the games market can seem rather reminiscent of the cold war, with each side escalating the threat not in terms of mega tonnage, but in terms of extra features and playability. For someone who wouldn’t know what to do with an Xbox if it bit me (though that would be fairly unusual I suppose,) much of what’s going on in the gaming market leaves me cold. In business terms though I find it interesting that the two companies who did more than any other (in my opinion,) to create today’s console market, Nintendo and Sega have in recent years been more or less sidelined by Sony and Microsoft, how are they going to fight back?
Well apparently Wii is part of the answer; this is going to be Nintendo’s 5th game console, and the successor to the game cube. Nintendo are touting this as a revolution in the market. How revolutionary, well apparently the systems controller (or wii-mote,) can detect its position in 3 dimension space, bringing this sensitivity into the game play. Wii was launched recently at the E3 games expo in sunny California, and ironically (for this columnist anyway,) one of the games being tried out was in fact Sonic the Hedgehog. To find out more check out Nintendo’s E3 sitehere
I haven’t always been this pathologically adverse to games; in fact I was one of the early pioneers. Not being quite old enough for Pong, I was at junior school when the first programmable Atari’s hit the streets. From then on it was a descent into manic game playing. To get home early from school, I would avoid teachers, get picked on by bullies so that I could play my favourite game ‘Skool Daze’, where you could pretend to avoid teachers and get picked on by bullies. Ah the joy of escapism.
I was always more into the role playing, empire building games than the shoot em ups, and this is perhaps where me and the games market sort of parted company. My own preferences were and are for games like civilisation, sim city and the sims. All best sellers of course, but perhaps never in the vanguard of gaming. It will be interesting to see whether Wii will help put Nintendo back in the game (pardon the pun,) my prediction for what is worth though it is that for the time being this will be one with only two main players.