The Angry Gamer 01.08.04: Let’s Get This Party Started

I hope everyone had a lovely set of holidays, whatever the f*ck you people celebrate. I’m not even going to attempt political correctness. My Christmas and New Year’s went quite well, thanks; snagged some new games, and all that jazz. But now it’s 2004, after my hiatus of a few weeks, it’s time to start making a mess again. So without further ado, here’s what I see as some possible f*ckups coming down the pipe in 2004. Each of these has a sliver of hope, but I’m not going to go into great details about that; my job is being negative. Go read Retrograding if you want happiness and sunshine.

Playstation Portable. Sony has kicked Nintendo’s ass in the home console market two generations in a row. Now they’re setting their sights on the portable console market, which could easily spell Nintendo’s doom. The problem? Concept images have been presented by Sony, and the system looks like ass. Gamers want something that looks cool, and functions just as well. The system specs look tight, but Sony dropped the ball on their recent PSX system by dropping key features to get it launched in time. If that happens with the PSP, people will go apeshit. The other problem may well be developers; while most are planning to publish software for the new handheld, a good amount are still “unsure.” If you want a console to succeed, you really need to score as many developers as humanly possible.

Nintendo’s new “console.” As reported by the Magic Box: “The Mainichi newspaper reported that Nintendo president Saturo Iwata intends to launch a new console system by the end of 2004, which is neither the successor of GameCube nor Game Boy Advance, the new system will have a new direction, and it will coexist with the successor of GameCube and Game Boy Advance in future. The new machine is said to have wireless data communication via radio.” That’s retarded. They’ve got a console for the home market, and one in the portable market…what’s next? Eye implants? Am I missing something here? Or is Nintendo just trying to flood the market with even more hardware? Maybe this new gadget is another peripheral (like Sony’s EyeToy), but let’s just pray it’s not that iQue crap they cranked out in China.

Mario 128. Shigeru “Let’s Get Bizzay” Miyamoto spoke about this in 2003, saying that the as-yet-untitled “Mario 128” would be more of a “traditional” Mario title, unlike the wandering explorefests in Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. This would be nice, as we haven’t had an original Mario platformer since the SNES days. However, Shiggy also mentioned that it may have something to do with the Gamecube tech demo seen way back in 2000, where a whole buttload of Marios were running around on the screen together. It could end up being another flashy product like Sunshine, but lacking any real substance.

I’m sure plenty of other things will go wrong…but we’ll take them in stride. Given the sorry state of gaming these days, I can only wonder if we’re headed towards another gaming industry crash like the one in 1983…