A few thoughts on the Nintendo Fall Media Summitt:Regarding the Wii Storage Solution
Nintendo has been stalling with the storage solution for quite a long time. This solution is at least a full year overdue. So does it measure up? For those unaware of the issue, the facts are these: Nintendo's console comes with 512 MB of built in memory, for game saves and Wii Shop downloads (Virtual Console/WiiWare titles). For 70-80 % of consumers, this is enough memory. However, a fairly significant chunk of the Wii's audience will easily fill up the 512 MB of memory with purchased games. The Wii has an SD card slot RIGHT on the console, but as of right now, you cannot play games copied to the SD card - merely store and retrieve them. Nintendo's proposed solution for the storage issue is merely to release a firmware update that let's us play games that are stored on the SD card. Is that enough?
Yes and No. For me personally, a 2 GB SD card is more than enough for my Wii Shop downloads and game saves, however that is because I play Rock Band on my 360. What about the Wii Rock Band 2 owners who will be loading their SD cards up with downloadable content? Same with Guitar Hero World Tour. I don't think it's a stretch to say that 2 GB could be filled up awfully quickly when DLC is taken into account.
The other major problem with the proposed solution? It won't be released until Spring 2009. What could possibly be taking this incredibly obvious firmware fix SO long to be developed? I'm tired of waiting, Nintendo.
Grade: BRegarding the Nintendo DSi
Nintendo has announced another revision to the Nintendo DS: the DSi. As you can tell from the pictures above, it is very similar in form factor to the DS, while being slightly smaller with slightly larger screens. I was hoping for something a little different looking, just so I could get excited about a new gadget. The biggest advantages of the DSi are as follows:
-Cameras. 2 of them. Why 2? Beats me.
-SD Card support. Brilliant. It's time we started bringing the joy that is the Wii Virtual Console over to the handheld side of things. The one thing the DS has always been missing was internal storage.
-Media Playback. DS, meet iPod. Never a bad thing, curious to how it sounds, though. The DS sound output has never been super impressive.
The price in Japan is approx. $180, and it's coming out there on Nov 1st. They haven't announced details for a US launch yet, other than to say "well into the calendar year" as to not cannibalize DS sales.
Grade: B+Regarding Club Nintendo
For a long time now, Nintendo of Japan has had a "loyalty" system where customers could register their Nintendo products on the website, and earned prizes as a result. This program is now coming to the US. Some very cool prizes, such ash as Wii Remotes with television remote control functionality and exclusive accessories such as a Super Famicom style Classic Controller for the Wii. Very happy to see this kind of swag come to the states.
Grade: A-Regarding the Games
Very happy to see Cave Story
, what has been a downloadable freeware game for a few years now, get a proper console release on Nintendo's system. It's a MetroidVania style adventure game with RPG elements. Very, very cool.
This is one of my favorite NES games, so I'm interested to see how the Wii version will turn out. I really hope it's better than Wii Sports: Flail
, which was my least favorite launch game.
Pikmin/Metroid Prime for Wii:
Nintendo is putting together a lineup of games they're calling "Play on Wii" which consists of a Greatest Hits of the Gamecube era, retrofitted with Wii controls. Is this a good thing? Well, considering that we're talking about some awesome games here (Metroid Prime 1 & 2, Pikmin, DK Jungle Beat), yeah. I'm really excited about it. I'm on record as being one of the few who picks Gamecube as his favorite Nintendo console, so yeah. Bring them on, Nintendo. But, as I've already played through these games quite a few times, budget price would be nice.