What if Nintendo and Sony had a successful partnership instead of the tale of broken agreements and the creation of Nintendo’s most successful competitor that most of us are aware of?
For those who are not let’s take a journey back to 1988.
A Sony engineer named Ken Kutaragi wanted to strengthen the partnership with Nintendo after Sony agreed to create a custom sound chip for the SNES known as the SPC 700. Kutaragi started developing a CD add-on for the SNES which would have made the device a dual format console. They contacted and showed Nintendo a prototype, Nintendo approved and signed a contract, forming a partnership between the companies and after years of development the “Play Station” was shown at the 1991 Consumer Electronic Show except the CD add-on had now become a stand-alone console still being co-developed between Nintendo and Sony as a device that could play both SNES cartridges as well as SNES-CD titles.
Remember all those amazing sound effects and compositions this little chip made it all happen.
However, this is where problems arise because Sony wanted the full rights to all games published for the “Play Station” and Nintendo decided they could not allow this and so at the same CES that Sony showed their prototype Nintendo announced an exclusivity deal with Phillips, a deal that eventually fizzled out, its only legacy being the terrible CD-i games based on Nintendo properties. Sony became furious after Nintendo broke their agreement shelved the PlayStation project and decided to forget about breaking into the videogame industry but, Ken Kutaragi persuaded the then-CEO Norio Ohga to turn the prototype into a full-fledged console thus the PlayStation as we know it was born.
The prototype Play Station, what if this had been a reality?
But what if this wasn’t the case, what if Nintendo and Sony continued to work on hardware together combining Nintendo’s magnificent game design and Sony’s forward thinking console designs as well as excellent 1st and 2nd party support, the software drought that has plagued Nintendo since the N64 days or maybe the separation between the two Japanese giants was inevitable it was better to happen early on instead of having complications down the line.
So what are your thoughts on this partnership falling through, do you think it would’ve had a huge impact or do you think it wouldn’t have made any difference? Let me know in the comments.
E3 2014 is upon us, which is a blessing (and a curse for the stress and writing workload) for many game journalists and bloggers like us at Infendo. In a span of a few short days, Nintendo will be unveiling new games for the Wii U and 3DS and possibly some other surprises along the way. The excitement and anticipation alone has made myself included continue to dub E3 “Gamer Christmas.”
We have already shared our in-depth E3 predictions on a massive two-hour long episode of Infendo Radio last week, but we also left out some other details (yes, a two-hour show and we forgot some other information).
So, in the lieu of a massive E3 wish list, the crew at Infendo Radio (Lewis, Holly, Colin, and myself) have put together a short (somewhat, on my part) list of predictions. These predictions are split into two categories: Pipe Dream/Unlikely Scenario and Safe Bet scenario. We hope you enjoy the fun that is E3 next week with the constant streaming and refreshing of one’s Internet browser.
In addition to our predictions, what do you hope to see Nintendo unveil at E3 2014 (following our category system, of course)? Tell us in the comments below.
Hit the jump to see the Infendo Radio crew’s E3 predictions.
In 1998 Nintendo released the decade defining Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time which has one of the most recognizable soundtracks in video game history. In 2000 Nintedo released its successor Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, utilizing the 4 MB RAM Expansion Pak the game has a smoother framerate as well as more detailed textures and lighting, but the music is where things get more interesting because it carries over a few melodies from the previous game but everything sounds slightly lonelier, slightly darker.
Remixer Daybreak captures this mood perfectly with a short piano melody which prominently features the song of healing and the song of storms (as well as a few others), but also has a cameo appearance from a song that appears in Ocarina of Time.
Back in 1994 the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was at its height when Squaresoft released Final Fantasy VI. The game carried one of the most revolutionary pieces of music written at the time being an operatic theme. So advanced, in fact, that the Sony developed SPC700 sound chip couldn’t actually produce a vocal track.
This remix maintains the spirit of the original piece while pushing the production into rock opera territory, any fans of queen’s bohemian rhapsody will be pleased with the amount of vocal harmonies being used as well as the guitar leads. Jake Kaufman’s piano playing is incredible while Tommy Pedrini’s vocal quality and range does the original piece justice. Highly recommended.
This is a pilot for this feature so any feedback will be very appreciated.
Nintendo is ubiquitous with platformers (there’s no getting around it) and they have most of the other genres covered, such as the RTS (Pikmen) and RPG (Mario & Luigi series). But there are a few genres which are under represented by Nintendo such as an old school point and click adventure or a top-down hack and slash in the vein of Diablo in which item management could be made a lot simpler on the Gamepad.
As I have said before a new IP carries a lot of risk, but a way to circumvent this is to reinvent an existing franchise into another genre. Metroid Prime was a huge success going from a side scrolling action/adventure into a first person action/adventure while still retaining the core elements in the series.
The most suggested idea I have seen is an Pokémon MMORPG which makes perfect sense and would remove the hassle of having to transfer Pokémon from one game to another. The reason I can’t see Nintendo doing this is because Pokémon has become a foundation for their handheld platform and helps shift units while also keeping their handheld systems relevant. Many people only buy the portable consoles to play Pokémon.
So which genre would you like to see Nintendo attempt next?
So the Wii U has two Mario Games, Pikmen 3, Game & Wario, Wind Waker HD, Wii Fit U/Wii Party U and the newly released Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and still things look bleak for the fledgling console. The good news is Nintendo games generally have low first week sales, but push copies over a longer period than other first party titles. The bad news is long term sales are not going to help the struggling device anytime soon.
It seems all hope rests on the upcoming Super Smash Brothers or the future Zelda title, but with so little information about this latest entry in the series, it clearly is not going to be released for another year at least and Mario Kart 8 will certainly push more units and its predecessor helped the 3DS take off but can lightning strike twice.
Nintendo could try developing a new IP but an original game comes with risks which I’m not sure Nintendo will take and although strong third party support is instrumental for a successful console, it seems most developers are waiting for Nintendo to generate a larger install base. Until this happens, it seems the Wii U will remain in limbo.
To end this article on a more positive note, I truly believe the Wii U will see a resurgence, but what do you think it will take?