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Gamers Don't Want Online Games?

Nintendo President Iwata says so

By James Stevenson and Troy Roberts     July 09, 2004


Nintendo, home to Mario, Donkey Kong, the GameCube and now the Nintendo DS
© Nintendo

Just when you thought that we'd never get a good crazy sound clip out of a Nintendo executive again, Satoru Iwata comes out with a doozy. According the President of Nintendo, "Customers don't want online games." This quote game from Japan Economic Spotlight and had lots of folks scratching their heads. In this week's edition of Gamers' Thumb, CINESCAPE's resident gaming editors examine if gamers really do want more online games.


    "The main point he had was that online games didn't do well last Christmas in Japan. Specifically he seemed to be referring to HOT SHOTS GOLF FORE!. There is reason for this though as a lot of Japanese get high-speed internet from internet cafes, not necessarily from their homes. This puts a premium on the computer online games. Japanese gamers also spend much of their gaming time on cell phones and in portable games (and Nintendo has addressed portable internet features with the DS).


    The big question is how does it affect Nintendo in the U.S. market? Broadband is quickly becoming more mainstream (when my parents have it, it's

    MARIO KART DOUBLE DASH!!

    getting there). But if Nintendo feels it must cater to its home market, then that is what it must do. However, I'm positive gamers would appreciate the ability to play MARIO KART online with voice support. Xbox Live has taken off in the U.S. and it's sure to get bigger with the addition of MADDEN this fall.


    It might be short-sighted of Nintendo to refuse online functionality at this point, especially after already producing a broadband adapter. That said, the hopes of online gaming with the GameCube look slim but I sure did enjoy my PHANTASY STAR ONLINE and eight-player games of MARIO KART: DOUBLE DASH!!" JS


    "Satoru Iwata made some pretty interesting comments, and while I believe that to an extent these hold true, I'm not sure if they are completely correct. While I do believe that there are a lot

    Nintendo, home to Mario, Donkey Kong, the GameCube and now the Nintendo DS

    of gamers out there that do not wish to play online games (there are even those that detest it), there seem to be just as many that enjoy the online worlds presented to them. You don't have to look any further than the success of EVERQUEST, ULTIMA ONLINE, DARK AGE OF CAMELOT or STAR WARS GALAXIES to see how popular these games are. Of course, all of these are PC games and the console market hasn't yet been able to match this. But Microsoft's Xbox and Sony's Playstation 2 seem to be trying to close the gap quickly with their online services for games like SOCOM or MECHASSAULT. But to each his own, so companies should just keep doing what they are now: make games have both single and multiplayer modes and keep everyone happy."  - TR


 


Tidbits



Los Angeles has started a crackdown of minors' usage of game cafes... ESPN NFL 2K5 is not only 20 bucks, but it is shipping before MADDEN by a couple of weeks... Swinging Ape will develop STARCRAFT: GHOST... SPIDER-MAN 2 has shipped over two million copies.



On Shelves


It's that time of year. That smell of pigskin must only mean that it's football season, officially getting underway with the release of EA Sport's NCAA FOOTBALL 2005. Also out this week is TALES OF SYMPHONIA for the GameCube, as well as SPLINTER CELL: PANDORA TOMORROW. KARAOKE REVOLUTION: VOLUME 2 and BUJINGAI: THE FORSAKEN CITY are released for the Playstation 2, and SAMURAI WARRIORS for the Xbox as well.



Gamers' Thumb is our weekly Video Game column.



Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at GamersThumb@cinescape.com.

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