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Friday, June 03, 2005

Why tease us, Nintendo?

Via games.slashdot, I read:

This is a clever move by Nintendo: regardless of the final power of Revolution and the frequency of new titles, Nintendo knows that its loyal fans will cry tears of joy over a free service that lets them download previous Nintendo classics straight out of the box.

Third-party developers could charge for the privilege to download though. Or, alternatively, they could offer downloadable classics as an incentive to buy their next-gen full price releases. Either way, classic Nintendo titles such as Castlevania and MegaMan may not be immediately accessible.
-- Nintendo Vice President Speaks [gamesradar]

OK. So we know that they'll have robust internet capabilities. We know they are going to be banking on downloadable games. We know it will have some kind of transaction capability. So when will the big N answer the question on the minds of several small developers --

What will it take to be invited to the table?

Embracing a really solid online market, for any of the console makers, and not making the system as open as reasonably possible, seems like a huge missed opportunity. Even with the PSP gaining speed when it comes to downloadable content and the emu community storms that platform, it leaves one wondering - why can't I download an app to my PSP like I could to my Palm.

Palm is probably a good example here. While Microsoft and others have been throwing hardware at the problem, Palm's software library helps keep it afloat. And there's some truly quality titles made by small studios or even individuals. Why shouldn't Sony leverage off the same group to achieve a similar effect. I suspect the PSP is harder to develop for, but with the right tools and if they removed their $15k dev kit from the equation - they'd get the games into the community ... and from the community.

So stop with the teasing, Nintendo. You got a lot of press from that one blurb during E3, but haven't come out to clarify. If you're going to ask someone to dance, just get up the courage to do it. The industry needs to stop being a wallflower on this one.

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