Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from David Kushner

Nintendo's Woes

According to BBC News Online, Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo games, is worried about the future of his industry. He bemoaned the prevailing attitude among game developers that “as long as we could beef up the processing power, as…

  • May 26, 2004

According to BBC News Online, Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo games, is worried about the future of his industry. He bemoaned the prevailing attitude among game developers that “as long as we could beef up the processing power, as long as we could make computer graphics approach realism, then people [will be] excited about the result,” he said, “Some of the people in the industry still believe we can simply beef up the current technology in order to provide a constant supply of games to people. We don’t agree with that.”

Neither do I. The rush to realism, in particular, is a lost leader in the gaming industry. Even the most “realistic” looking games, like Half-Life 2, are still a far cry from the real thing Humans don’t look convincing, they’re animatronic at best – with worse lip-syncing than Britney Spears. John Carmack of id Software once said that this is why he prefers to feature zombies and mutants in his games; when a Pinky Demon lumbers awkwardly, no one notices.

The most refreshing innovations in the industry are entirely new approaches to gaming – the Sony EyeToy, for one, and the upcoming Nintendo DS too. Such hardware creates a unique – and uniquely intuitive - kind of entertainment experience. And that’s a lot more compelling than a bad guy who falls off a building with rag doll physics.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

    Bimonthly digital/PDF edition

    Access to the magazine PDF archive—thousands of articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips

    Special interest publications

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Special discounts to select partner offerings

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.