Ok, I realize it's a tad late to be doing a post about resolutions, but what the hey, we're only a few days into the new year here, so let's look at what the big 3 in gaming should resolve to accomplish in order to improve their situation, good or bad.
1.Get the hang of that wacky online deal. Seriously, you offer internet browsing, downloadable games, and up to date weather, but I can't play any multi-player anything against my friends? That's seriously lame, fix it and fix it soon. If Super Smash Melee has no online, look for people to start abandoning the Wii in droves.
2. Fixing the Virtual console-There are three major problems with the VC-First, the selection is mostly crap. I understand you don't want to release all the good stuff at once, but one truly classic title a week would be a great idea (hint, Urban Champion & Baseball, both released this past Monday, DO NOT QUALIFY). Second, leaving all these games "untouched" is just stupid. Virtually every single game can be enhanced to include simple things like leaderboards on online multi-player. Leave those classic graphics alone, sure, but there's no reason no to upgrade the games a bit. Finally, there is also no reason Nintendo shouldn't offer a quick playable demo of every VC game, much like MS does for all their Live Arcade titles. Just a couple of quick levels so we can see if we'll like these games.
3. Unleash the real power of the Wii. It's a well established fact that the Wii is maybe about as powerful as an Xbox, so I'm not expecting anything on the level of Gears of War, but most of these games could easily be pulled off on a Dreamcast, let alone maxing out the graphical power of the Wii. I'd be very happy with games that looked as stunning as Resident Evil 4 or Halo 2, but I'm not seeing anything close to that level in this line-up or in the near future. The PS2 was easily the least powerful console last time around, but it's still pulling out stunning titles now like Okami & FFXII. The fact that the Wii should be able to pull out something better-looking and hasn't just screams laziness on the developers part.
4. Quality & Quantity. Gamecube had some great games. Too bad they were nearly all from Nintendo and only amounted to a few select titles every year. I'd like to say the outlook is more rosy for the Wii, but the next 6 months are looking incredibly slim in terms of enticing titles. Nintendo & their 3rd party support need to deliver plenty of games and make sure most of them don't suck (i.e. do not just port over something without adjusting it for the Wii's controls or you get crap like Splinter Cell, which is great on every system but the Wii).
1. Broaden our horizons. You want to play shooters or sports games? 360 is the place to be. You want anything else? Try another console. I know there are a couple of unique gems like Viva Pinata & Oblivion (which won't be all that unique when the PS3 version is out anyways), but the 360 is severely lacking in variety. And they wonder why they fell short of the 10 million they swore they'd reach by the end of this year. I'm not saying they need to appeal to the broadest audience like Nintendo is trying to do, but more than two rpgs in a year (especially when one is the rather mediocre Enchanted Arms) would be nice, and you can't have Live Arcade delivering most of your original content, that'll really make people wonder why they paid $400 for a machine where most of the original stuff is made by two guys in a garage and can be pulled off on a 16-bit system.
2. Quality Control of Arcade. Maybe I'm just picky, but I've demo'd just about every single live arcade title and I don't think a single one is worth purchasing so far. There are a couple I'm extremely excited about (like Worms & Castle Crashers), but the fact that the current offering is so underwhelming is troubling. I have trouble justifying paying for arcade classics I can usually find on flash websites for free these days. And the original offerings aren't too inspiring to say the least. I mean, most of the free games I post at this website are far superior to anything offered on live arcade. Not only that, but the 360 has been out over a year, and Nintendo's Virtual Console has already surpassed them in sheer number of titles in just a couple of months, which is fairly embarrassing, quite frankly. Though it wouldn't be if some of the titles were actually good.
1. Truthiness. Bottom line, either get better at lying or stop bullshitting us. We've had more than enough of your racist ads, fake blogs, and blatant lies about what your console is actually capable of. The big three all lie, Sony just seems to be the worst by a long shot and also the worst at covering it up. Bottom line, you promised gamers the world and basically delivered on nothing, and it's biting you in the ass big time. Man up, admit your mistakes and try to move on before it kills you completely.
2. A price gamers are willing to pay. Surprisingly, I'm not talking about lowering the cost of the console, I don't think that's even that much of an issue if handled correctly, and the way to do that is to really show what this supposed uber-powerhouse can do. We've seen glimpses of it in upcoming games like Lair & White Knight Story but we need to see something concrete, and soon, or Sony will never regain any ground here. Stop focusing so much on Blu-ray. The whole format war is confusing and off-putting to most consumers, so don't bring it up and focus on the games and other features. People will pay pretty much whatever you want if they think it's worth the asking price, so make the PS3 worth our while.
3. Get the hang of that wacky online deal. It's amazing to me that Microsoft seems to be the only one with a solid online plan here. But at least we know Nintendo is trying this time around. We don't even really know what Sony's plan is for online. Sure, they have online play for a few games and have released some downloadable games, but how are they going to differentiate themselves here? Nobody seems to know, and everybody seems to more or less be flying blind on this one, which is exactly what happened with PS2 online and why it never caught on. Sony needs to come up with some sort of universal system for this. If they offer free yet incredibly messy internet play, nobody's going to go for it. And if all they are offering is just a weak copy of what everyone else is offering, no one will go for that either. Sony badly needs to establish a unique online plan if they really want to stand a chance against 360's massively slick Live.
And that's what the new year's resolutions of the big 3 should be. Since there isn't anything even remotely noteworthy opening up this weekend, I probably won't post tomorrow, but almost certainly sometime this weekend, until then, enjoy the BEST FANVID EVER: COLLEGE SAGA!!!!