Nintendo has two huge things going for it when we’re talking Revolution. First and foremost the company has the download service that will allow Revolution owners to download classic Nintendo, Sega and Hudson (Turbo Grafx-16) titles from the vast history of games that all three companies bring to the table. In addition, more partners are likely to be uncovered as we draw closer to the Revolution launch later this year.
Not only does the download service give Nintendo something to compete directly with Xbox Live Arcade, but it also has the nostalgic feel from the millions of people who grew up with Mario and his crew on the original Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo, as well as the Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System and TurboGrafx-16. Toss in the ability to play GameCube titles right out of the box and you’ve got a heavy duty lineup of classic and modern titles that will appeal to a very large number of gamers old and new.
In Japan alone, this should cause quite a competition for the number one console next generation. Looking at the success of the classic series of titles Nintendo released for the Game Boy Advance over the last few years, it’s no secret that the Japan love old school Mario, and old school Nintendo in general. While the download service will be big in the US and Europe, if the Revolution heats up in Japan, Japanese developers will hop on board to develop some big time titles for the Revolution that will ship across the world. The downfall of the Nintendo 64 and GameCube was mainly due to the lack of third party support for each console after the primary launch period and first year.
The second thing Nintendo has going for it with the Revolution is the extremely unique controller design. You can say what you want about playing a game with a remote control, but the fact remains that every developer we’ve spoken with has something very unique in the pipeline for the Revolution. Imagine titles such as Madden, with set control schemes that sell millions of units on the other consoles, having a unique approach to the Revolution. Many of these unique ideas will open up gaming to a much wider audience. People who would normally look down on gaming will be having fun partying with the Revolution version of Madden that may be more fun to them than the tried and true PlayStation 2 version of Madden.
Of course the controller and download library are not the only two things Nintendo has going for it with the Revolution. The price and the launch window lineup will be very critical when it comes to how well the console performs this holiday season and in the future. When the Revolution releases later this year (presumably November) it will be up against an expensive PlayStation 3 with Blu-Ray DVD capabilities and an equally expensive Xbox 360 in its second year of software titles. We know the Revolution will be less than $300, but if Nintendo can get the price of the Revolution down to around $200, it will be a huge win for the company. When presented with a $400 Xbox 360 or PS3, against a $200 Revolution, money savvy consumers are going to be picking up the Revolution just as much as the hardcore gamers will be going for the newly released PS3.