Nintendo's New Chapter
Review by: Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)

Editorial Posted: November 17, 2001

With only one day left until the Nintendo GameCube launch in North America (minus those stores that broke the release date) Nintendo is onto a much newer and difficult challenge.

Perhaps, this is the greatest week in video game history, Microsoft's Xbox comes out November 15, and Nintendo GameCube on November 18. And also, Sony's already superior PlayStation 2, which already has a year head star. It has already sold millions, and therefore has a huge user base.

The most obvious change that the GameCube is that it no longer uses cartridges, Nintendo has finally got with the program, gone with the much cheaper disc format, which may lure more 3rd party developers.

After the somewhat disappointment of the N64, Nintendo has much to do to impress the Nintendo fans once again. It's going to be a tough challenge, with 3 superior systems, GCN, PS2, and Xbox. They are all just as good hardware-wise, so it is the games that will count.

But Nintendo still does have an advantage, with their solid first-party titles in development. While Sony and Microsoft will depend more on their third-party developers. But the PS2 and Xbox still have their own exclusive titles, but compared to Nintendo's great history and success, it's something that will be hard for these 2 systems to defeat.

But at the moment, Nintendo doesn't have many solid titles out for the GameCube. While games like Luigi's Mansion, Wave Race, and Rogue Squadron 2 should be stellar titles, Nintendo doesn't have something like Super Mario 64 did for the N64. A game that is a must-get for anyone getting the new console.

But in about 3 weeks, Nintendo does have some more interesting titles coming out, such as Pikmin and Super Smash Bros. Melee. These games should bring more joy into the holiday season, as they are highly anticipated titles. Games like the new Mario platform title, Star Fox, Metroid, and others in the future should bring the GCN to up to the top.

Despite the hopes Nintendo has for the GameCube, it will be awfully hard to win, as Sony already has had a year of sales already. And with Xbox coming out at the same time as the GCN. This is going to turn out to a battle for 2nd place in video game bragging rights, Sony is going to win, it's just to see who comes up next.

Though Nintendo won't be number 1, it could still be a lot of fun for the Nintendo gamers. A system doesn't need to be the "top-selling" to be the best, but in a way, sales do represent the problems that Nintendo has. There isn't really a "best" system anyway because each system has their own good things, and bad things. It's up to the gamer to decide what it is.

3rd party support should also be up drastically, since Nintendo has switched to the disc format. One of the problems that the N64 had, was that there were few developers willing to make games on the system, due to high cartridge costs. More 3rd parties could bring more luck to the GCN.

Nintendo's future could very depend on the success or failure of the GameCube, much like Sega put their money on the Dreamcast. Think about it, it has happened to Atari and Sega. Nintendo could just as well stop making consoles, and only concentrate on making games for other systems, and sticking with the Game Boy, something they've had huge success with in the past, and the present.

-- Hairball (hairball@sm128c.com)