N-Sider Q&A Mailbag
Column by Jeff Van Camp

Edition: 04-11-2006

Oh man. You guys must be really mad. I have a ton of letters that are probably never going to get posted, due to lack of updates at appropriate intervals! However, I did read them all, if that is any consolidation. Some were very good! In any case, I'll try and keep this column much more regular and maybe even throw in some guests more often. Send your your questions, criticisms, commentary, feedback, praise, or rants to qa@n-sider.com.

Naming a Revolution

I've heard rumblings that the big N plans to change the name of their next console. Why? Revolution is a sweet name. think about how cool it would be to make prince references towards it. like your're bringing it to a friends house to play smash brothers and your friends like hey who is coming with you. and then you say "Just me,...and the Revolution."

- Jeff Dixon

Jeff: It's definitely going to be renamed. I've heard rumblings about a possible name of "Nintendo RS," though I have absolutely no evidence to back that up. Perhaps something along the lines of "Nintendo FreeStyle" as well. Who knows. Nintendo continually claims that Revolution is strictly a codename and that the system will get a new label soon. The Nintendo DS is the only Nintendo system that's stuck with its codename. Well...second codename I suppose. The hardware was originally referred to as "Nitro." In any case, I firmly believe it will be renamed. E3 will be the place.

Nintendo Revolution Sales Rant


I'm an avid Nintendo fan. I liked your article about the projected sales of the Nintendo Revolution being, at best, a crock of... you get the picture. I thought I'd point out one little detail, however...

Since the Sony Playstation 3 won't be out until Novemeber, and the Revoultion not having a definite release date, (I've heard April, also November, but probably November...) it seems that Microsoft would have a clear advantage over Sony and Nintendo. This would be true, however...

  • Microsoft has been struggling to keep units on the shelf, much like PS2 disaster.
  • There has yet to be a killer application for the 360.
  • Japanese intrest is, at best, poor.
  • They are planning to ship HD-DVD drive add-on. Makes more sense to release it first.

That, and if you happened to watch the Microsoft press stunts, you'd notice that they have been giving away units to celebrities (Paris Hilton...) who don't know how to play the games, and inbetween making sub-par television series, it will likely sit in a closet, unused. It is a waste, when to think that they could be sold to actual consumers.

- Yoshi Lockehart

Jeff: In all likelihood, Revolution and PS3 will both hit shelves sometime around November this year. I think you're being a bit harsh on Microsoft though. Xbox 360 units are finally beginning to creep back onto store shelves and there are some decent titles for the system. Perhaps no "killer app" as of yet, but it also has no competition for a year. Trust me, the console's still selling.

The only big problem, as you pointed out, is a complete lack of interest in Japan. Currently, the 360 has a tough time outselling the GameCube, a five year old system that hasn't had more than a three percent share of the market for a few years now. The Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, and Game Boy Advance dominate the Japanese industry. Unless Microsoft can do a complete 180 and turn this trend around entirely, Sony and Nintendo will continue to dominate Japan, ending any chance that the Xbox can become a worldwide dominant platform. Japan is the second largest video game market in the world. Success there is key to any global strategy, I believe.

Can Revolution play HD-DVDs?

Hey N-sider,

I have a question about HD. No, not gaming, but DVD. I know that Revolution cannot and will not have HD games, but given Revolution's specs does that mean that it physically cannot do HD-DVD? I don't know much about HD-DVD, but does it require a special HD DVD drive to work? If so, if Nintendo were have this special drive is that all they would need, or would they have to beef up the specs as well in order for it to work?


- David Treado

Jeff: The Revolution's internal drive can read DVDs and GameCube 8cm Optical Discs only. I suppose there's a possibility of it being able to read a CD, but that's it. You need a special high definition disc drive to do HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. The only real way it could be done is if there was an add-on attachment drive you could buy for the device, but that kind of defeats the purpose, as you might as well buy an HD-DVD standalone player if you're going to have a totally separate drive anyway. As for processing, I'm really not certain how much power it takes to run one of those drives. I'll have to look into it. If I had to guess, I'd say Revolution would be strained heavily to try and play HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. It might be too weak all together.

Revolution's Ten Keys to Success

Dear N-sider

I agree with all of your ten points as vital to the success of a console but I have a couple of others and one i think is actually more important than any other.

1) Lowest Common Denominator Gaming - Most games are rubbish. It's true, go and look in a games shop and see how many average games there are. This mass of poor and average games represent what the casual gamer is actually playing. In a world of XXX extreme sports title the layers of third party rubbish are what people can actually afford. Double dash second hand £25 vs WWE 8 £4 it sad but true.

Lots of guns, lot's of naked ladies, lot of penis mobile driving games and you have the PS2 back cat.

2) Fifa/Pro evo sell more machines to the above than anything else.

3) Being THE console. By that I mean the one they put in ads and on soaps to represent what a console is. If your machine becomes a visual short hand for a "Games Console" then parent will know what they are looking for when they go shopping at Christmas.

4)All of the above was me being catty but this for me the one defining factor of a consoles success. THE GAME, be it Mario on the Nes, Sonic on the Mega Drive, Tetris on the game boy, Tomb Raider on the Playstation, Halo on the Xbox or Nintendogs on the DS what makes a console sell is just one title. Thats what it comes down to.

- Will Porter

Jeff: Those are some good keys to success. Having a few killer titles is absolutely imperative to the adoption of a platform by a new audience. For the Nintendo DS in Japan it was Brain Training. The title blew up out of nowhere. Lucky for Nintendo, the company also hit it big with Nintendogs, Mario Kart DS, and Animal Crossing: Wild World. In a year, the DS has had six million+ selling titles in Japan. That's one more than the GBA, which has a million+ seller list almost entirely populated by Pokemon. The Revolution needs to strike a similar chord with consumers if it's going to become a big success. A console version of Brain Training isn't going to do it either. Nintendo's going to have to pull out all the stops.