Join Date: Jun 2004
Nintendo confirms: No HD support for next-gen console
Nintendo on the other hand, has downplayed the role of technology in its future console, codenamed Revolution, which is believed to ship in the latter half of 2006. Company president Satoru Iwata says that advancing technology has stifled the creativity of developers. Revolution, a slick, relatively small console, has been designed to be "quiet and affordable," according to company executives. As a result, the platform will likely be less powerful than PS3 and Xbox 360. |
A customer service e-mail informed Nintendo fans last week that the company would not offer high-definition support for Revolution. However, the e-mail was immediately changed to state that Nintendo was undecided about whether or not to support the format. Since then, it appears to have made up its mind and HD is again officially out.
"It is accurate that at this time we will not support high-definition [on Revolution]," confirms Nintendo of America's vice president of corporate affairs, Perrin Kaplan.
"Nintendo's Revolution is being built with a variety of gamers' needs in mind, such as quick start-up time, high power, and ease of use for development and play. It's also compact and sleek, and has beautiful graphics in which to enjoy innovative games," Kaplan says. "Nintendo doesn't plan for the system to be HD compatible as with that comes a higher price for both the consumer and also the developer creating the game. Will it make the game better to play? With the technology being built into the Revolution, we believe the games will look brilliant and play brilliantly. This can all be done without HD."
Nintendo could once again be sending mixed signals to potential audiences. The Revolution is designed to look like a high-end electronics component, but it lacks a defining element of other next-generation systems, which is of course compatibility with the high-definition standard. The company refused to support online gaming this generation, which some believe was a clear sign of shortsightedness, and as a result it alienated both third parties and consumers interested in the online movement. Might its refusal to embrace the HD format similarly backfire? Microsoft says yes.
"We're committed to delivering a product that caters to the needs of our consumers. To develop a console devoid of HD capability would be to alienate an important facet of the industry," says Microsoft's Henshaw. "High Definition is gaining momentum extremely quickly and we've developed advanced technologies that ensure that our games look great on standard definition television sets as well as HDTV sets. We're not limiting our audience by delivering to one quadrant of society. We want to ensure that everyone, whether they own an HD or standard definition set, gets the most out of the experience."
That Nintendo would choose to publicly dismiss high-definition games for Revolution rather than simply downplaying them could suggest that the console might be physically unable to output HD quality games. The company, notorious for its cost-cutting measures, may have opted to eliminate component output from its forthcoming system, which would make it impossible to display anything higher than standard definition signals, even if the hardware is powerful enough to render more. Nintendo has not yet confirmed what kind of output Revolution will feature.
"To think that Nintendo might not even embrace component output is absurd. If that's true, which quite frankly I doubt, I think that's a mistake. There's no doubt about it," says F5's Eggebrecht, who adds that HD-compatible consoles will make the transition to HD speedier. "It's a little bit sad that as a hardware manufacturer you wouldn't be embracing that because quite frankly it's exciting."
Do you think this will hurt Nintendo in the console race? Personally, when it launches, no; no one will care. In the long run? I think this could be a factor in some consumer's choices of buying. Obviously it won't affect Nintendo's core consumer base who are loyal to their products, but I think there's a possibility it might hurt sales later on. I mean, first no online support for present-gen, and now this? It certainly isn't a big deal, and their argument for not including HD support does hold water, but I really do think that later on in the selling year, it could prove a bit costly. Just my thoughts though. Discuss!