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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Signs Of Similarites Between The Gamecube And Wii
By: Tyler Norton

November 18th, 2001 Ė a day that lives in infamy. It was on this day that the commercial failure, the Nintendo Gamecube, launched in North America. Sure, you may debate whether the Gamecube was a commercial failure or not, but you canít deny that it wasnít a success. Actually, it was very far from a success. Now, unfortunately, the Wii might be headed down that same path that the Gamecube went down.

Rocked By The "Kiddy" Image And Lack Of Support

One reason the Gamecube failed to receive initial success was due to lack of blockbuster launch titles. Seeing as games like All-Star Baseball 2002, Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2, and Disneyís Tarzan Untamed arenít exactly blockbusters, the Gamecube depended on Luigiís Mansion to carry the Gamecube on until the launch of several other large titles. This was a key reason the Gamecube failed to get initial success, which is a large factor in the release of a new videogame console and could be one of the reasons the Gamecube failed to reach the heights of its competition.

With a lack of major titles, the Gamecube really missed out on online gaming. While the Playstation 2 went online and Xbox had Xbox Live, the Gamecube had virtually no online connectivity with the exception of Phantasy Star Online. Without online play, Nintendo fell even further behind in technology, seeing as they only recently switched from cartridges to discs when they launched the Gamecube.

Aside from a lack of initial first-party blockbusters, Nintendo also suffered a shortage of third-party games. It wasnít until halfway through the Gamecubeís lifespan that we saw the grace of third-party games like Resident Evil 4 and Killer7 as well as games like Geist and Gun which appealed to the adult crowd, something Nintendo should have done right off the bat. Instead, by launching various titles that appealed to the younger crowd, they immediately lost the interest of the adult audience.

Now, with the Wii out, itís time to think, what if this happens again? Well, the odds of another failure are weighing in. One reason the Wii is starting to look like itís going to pull a Gamecube is because of the lack of follow-up titles. Sure, the Wii had some awesome launch titles like Red Steel and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but what happens after that? Well, weíre now about three months into the Wii and so far, no ridiculously huge titles have hit the markets. Actually, the closest thing we have to a large title is WarioWare: Smooth Moves and I donít think that Smooth Moves should be considered a large title. Donít get me wrong, itís a rather large titleÖbut nothing spectacular.

Nintendo's Saving Grace?

Sure, minor filling titles like Wii Play will grasp some attention seeing as it appeals to such a variety of players, much like Wii Sports did. Mini-games in Wii Play such as Billiards and Shooting Gallery will attract a variety of gamers and Tank! will challenge more cultured gamers. Also, being bundled with a Wii controller can also attract more customers. Wii Play might just have enough spark, so to speak, to help boost Wii sales.

Another title that could help carry the Wiiís success is Sonic and the Secret Rings. Secret Rings looks like the Sonic 3-D game that should have been. Nothing against the Sonic Adventure series, but hey, you canít deny that Secret Rings will (hopefully) capitalize on the Wiiís gameplay, something that looks like it will from the demo trailer.

So, after Secret Rings, whatís left? Iíll tell you whatís left, portsÖlots and lots of ports. Just a bunch of random games from other systems remade to fit the Wii and have Wii plastered all over it. Sure, some of the ports look fun, but they get oldÖI mean, come on, if you played the older original versions, whatís left to do? These ports will spread out through the year and will take up the limelight that other larger titles deserve. Seem familiar? It should, itís exactly what happened to the Gamecube.

No Supporting Cast For Sonic...

You know what else happened to the Gamecube? Well, it got overloaded with tons of licensed games that just took up space. These licensed games are now on the Wii and are one of the reasons Nintendo is getting a reputation for being ďkiddyĒ. Sure, other consoles have these licensed games, but I donít see Herbie Fully Loaded topping the sales charts of the other consoles. Sure this is because Nintendo picks up a large following from those in the young ages, but that doesnít exactly give Nintendo an excuse to have their sale charts massacred by licensed games.

Luckily, we Nintendo fans have some light at the end of the tunnel. Thatís right; we got three incredibly large titles heading our way in 2007. These titles are Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Super Mario Galaxy, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Those titles are the games that the Wii has been waiting for, three major blockbusters that will easily bring the Wii the success and recognition it deserves. Now thereís only one problem with this, and itís the way theyíre released.

We currently have no word on their release dates, but we know it will be sometime in 2007. Yet, we all know Nintendo and how they work, releasing a large amount of large title games in a relatively close amount of time, usually in a matter of a few months. This is a big no to any videogame company. Releasing so many titles at once is a bad idea for quite a few reasons. One is that it brings all the large titles together during one quarter (usually) leaving the other three empty and very lackluster. Also, releasing a lot of large titles at once can overpower the other titles that deserve the attention, and by releasing them all at once, this doesnít give the games the opportunity to do just that.

Now what Nintendo needs to do is spread out those titles through out the rest of 2007. Just think if Nintendo launches Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in the spring that will build up the Wii library as well as making a successful spring for Nintendo. The game was scheduled for a launch release, but got pushed back; it should be ready by sometime in the spring. Once launched, it will get critical launch success as well as good follow-up success; something a Nintendo game needs.

Super Mario Galaxy is one title that could help the Wii win the console war. Galaxy is already a common name for gamers that are eagerly awaiting its release, itís been in development for quite some time and various demos were available at last years E3, so a release sometime over the summer could easily break the summer draught of games. That is if it is ready and not delayed which could change everything instantly.

Smash Brothers, The Deciding Factor For Nintendo?

Finally, Super Smash Brothers Brawl could possibly take the cake; so to speak, of 2007 Wii games in quarter four. The game is already on top of the most wanted list in Nintendo Power and is constantly being eyed by the gamers. The new characters and levels as well as new style of gameplay will probably make Brawl an instant classic. If Nintendo does launch Brawl in November or December, it would be the perfect way to put 2007 out with a bang.

Nintendo should also consider getting more third-party support for the Wii, something that the Gamecube evidently lacked until the later half of its lifespan. If the Wii can get some third-party support from larger companies like Capcom, Wii sales will go through the roof. Now one game that could make the Wii a large success is a third-party game known as No More Heroes. A Grasshopper produced game; No More Heroes should make quite a splash if it gets the attention.

So Nintendo, if you donít act now, the Wii just might wind up with the Gamecube. Yet, we can stop this right now, at this very second, if you just bring in some more high-title games and spread them out through the year. Also, third-party support can also help bring in success for the Wii. This is an inconvenience that can be easily resolved if you just follow through and spread titles out. If theyíre able to do that, the Wii will easily dominate the sales and become a commercial success, now if they donít, we might just relive history and pull another Gamecube; something none of us Nintendo fans want to live through again.

Thank you for reading.

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