Thing The First: The Revolution Controller.
It’s nice to see Nintendo finally take off the gloves, and just admit it.
“We admit it,” this controller says. “We admit that we’re tired of you guys not getting us. We’re tired of having to invite you guys to all of our parties. We just want to have some fun, you know? Fun? You remember fun, yeah?
“So, here’s the deal: from here on out, we’re going to make all of our own games. Yeah, that’s right. Turns out we don’t need any of your ports, because, well… our games are all better than yours, and it’s… frankly… getting kind of embarassing.
“So. From here on out, we’ll make the system, all the games, and you guys… well… just try and keep up, okay?”
About a year ago, Nintendo’s new prez-guy Saturo Iwata gave a talk or two in which he laid out in some detail the analysis that was (and is) driving Nintendo’s recent seemingly bizarre design decisions. In short:
The appeal of new technologies in display will become less and less important over the next decade. Thus, as a whole the gaming industry needs to figure out what it will look like once (say) we can create worlds that are indistinguishable from reality, and can no longer innovate with more polygons. Nintendo believes that part of the solution is changing the interface with each new iteration, to provide a springboard for new ideas that will seem fresh to the consumer.
You know, he just might have a point there.
Thing The Second: Final Fantasy: Advent Children leaked to the web.
Yeesh. It’s very strange, living with the dawning awareness that the longer I stay in this here games industry, the more folks stealing the work of entertainment professionals is starting to bother me.
I haven’t reached the “passing judgement” phase yet, but it does raise a certain amount of ire. This, unfortunately, puts me squarely in the “uncool” division of media consumers. sigh And, I was so cool before now.
I had this moment a while ago: there’s this kid I worked with at [–titanic game company’s name deleted to create false air of secrecy–], name of [–names have been erased to protect the innocent–]. Brilliant engineer, and a hell of a nice guy. Turns out his dad was one of the orignal founders of the games industry, an early entrant into the biz. This one day, I mentioned to him the idea that he could just “borrow” a copy of a video game to see if he liked it, and his reaction pretty much permanently changed how I thought about that practice. He laughed and said, “No, no, I don’t steal any video games. Every dollar I’ve ever had in my entire life came from video game sales, so, as much as I can, I want to give other people the opportunity that I had, and let them make a reasonable living off of the sale of their work.”
I kinda sat there for a while, just a little stunned, and mulled that over. And, see, now I don’t steal my entertainment.
So, when I saw that FF:AC had been leaked, I clicked to the site, read through some of the comments to see what was going on, and then left. My main emotion was (and still is) sympathy for the folks still working on the title. It is, perhaps, one of the unfortunate side effects of my time in the industry that I’m getting all creaky and unsympathetic about this topic. C’est la vie.
But, I will say that it is nice to hear that people like the film, at least.