Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm shocked.

Game editorial: Getting it wrong

Surely I must be dreaming. Did someone actually say that they were wrong about the overall judgement of the DS? Let me read that again.

** 15 minutes later**

wow... I'm actually impressed that someone on the internet had the fortitude to admit that they were wrong, and also goes so far as to break down the ideas surrounding the common opinions that were spread around during the launch of the system. These are a few excerpts from the article.

If you can cast your mind back to the time period when the Nintendo DS was announced, it's probably with a mild sense of embarrassment - because in the pundits' defence, almost everyone else was lining up to heap scorn on the DS when it was announced. The heir to the Game Boy it may have been, but quite frankly, it looked mental. It was ugly and plastic-looking, with a bizarre two screen configuration and, most peculiar of all, a stylus - something more familiar to users of PDAs like the Palm Pilot than to gamers. Worst of all, it was underpowered, we thought - on a par with the ancient N64 rather than with more modern home consoles.

The contrast with Sony's all-singing, all-dancing PlayStation Portable couldn't have been more obvious. Touted as a PlayStation 2 magically shrunk down into a sleek, glossy package, with a gorgeous widescreen display and convention console-style controls, the PSP felt like the device of the future. The markets agreed - Nintendo's stock plummeted as shareholders abandoned ship, convinced that the company had just made a fatal mis-step. In bars across Los Angeles that week, journalists and industry execs alike slurped mojitos and quietly questioned whether new Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata had lost his marbles.

In retrospect, this all seems quite funny - and it's also mostly forgivable, given the information which we had to work with. Everyone knew that gaming was slowly becoming more mainstream, but few people within the bubble of the industry quite understood the critical mass which had been reached in the preceding years. The Nintendo DS, in retrospect, wasn't just a great product with extraordinary potential - which most of us failed to see - it was also exactly the right product at the right time. There was a mass of people ready to try out gaming - they just needed the right hardware and software to tip them over the edge.
It's a really well done article, but I'm still just amazed . Usually, even in the face of facts, most journalists, forum dwellers, and "hardcore" gamers alike merely turn a blind eye and continue to spit their ignorance. But maybe the tide is slowly turning, and people are waking up to smell the proverbial coffee.

then again...

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