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Xeodrifter diary #13

GN Podcast #480

EoD - Smash Wii U!
 

GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - The joys of off-TV play



Man, it was unseasonably warm here today! I'm hoping for the same when I wake up. I like to work with the windows open! Not something you get to do much in the Winter in NJ. I hope all of you are having lovely weather as well! See you in a few, short hours.

Such a simple feature...such an interesting idea. Something we haven't seen any other console out there provide. The Wii U may have all sorts of motion controls, online features and touch-screen tricks, but there's one feature that seems to be trumping the rest. The Wii U's killer app could very well be off-TV play.

I live in a very game-friendly home. It's just Mom Brain and I, both of which play games. With that said, sometimes Mom Brain wants to play a different game than I do. Sometimes one of us wants to watch something on TV. We never, ever get into arguments about that stuff, but having off-TV play has given us even more freedom to enjoy the entertainment we want.

I played the majority of NSMBU in off-TV mode. I just found it so much easier to fire up the Wii U via GamePad, start up the game and play from the comfort of my couch. Mom Brain would usually end up watching something on TV while I'm playing, which made us both realize just how useful the feature is.

Late last week, a few friends stopped by to hang out. We're all pretty big Halo fans, which lead us to playing some Halo 4 online. Just before that, we were enjoying Scribblenauts Unlimited. Mom Brain didn't want to join in on the Halo action, but she did want to continue with Scribblenauts. We simply dropped the game to the GamePad, switched the input on TV and then we got into Halo. She enjoyed Scribblenauts Unlimited right next to us as we played Halo 4. Again, a very simple feature, but seeing it in action like that blows my mind.

What do you think of the off-TV play feature on Wii U? How much have you used it thus far? Has it already ended arguments over the TV in your home? Leave us a comment and fill us in!

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51 total comments (View all)
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04 Dec 2012 13:01

Jerome wrote:
metalpants wrote:@TheBitBlock

I'm gonna have to disagree with the whole SD thing.

I hooked up the Wii U to my parents' old tube TV (thank God they're upgrading to HD this Christmas) and looking at the TV screen and back to the GamePad screen showed an incredibly noticeable difference. When I looked at the GamePad it was like a veil of blur was lifted from what I saw displayed on the SD TV. And it looked absolutely gorgeous and as if it was HD already. Maybe it doesn't show when compared to an HDTV, but it's DEFINITELY not SD.


Actually, the Gamepad's output would qualify as Enhanced Definition Television, or EDTV*. This is basically an enhanced form of SD that runs in progressive scan, and (as on the Gamepad) can run at slightly higher horizontal resolution (about 850 pixels wide instead of 640 or 720, but still at the same 480 pixels vertically.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edtv


Edtv lol
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04 Dec 2012 13:08

gatorboi352 wrote:It's a tough one to call! Do we want new original 2 screen experiences or the traditional PS360 gaming experience ported over with the luxury of Off TV play?

It's not a tough call for me at all. The whole focus on dual-screen mechanics with Wii U is one of the most off-putting things about the console for me, and the ability to play off-screen is the only aspect I'm even slightly excited about. No matter how much Nintendo likes the idea of two separate screens, or how many decades they've been pushing it, human beings can only focus on one thing at a time, and the necessity to look at a subsidiary screen to see things that could just as easily displayed on the main one with the touch of a button is a waste of resources that could be better used elsewhere. For example, I ask anyone to name a single DS game that couldn't have worked on a single, larger screen. I realize Wii U's setup is slightly different, but aside from presenting information to one party and keeping it from another (which can be somewhat of an advantage in certain types of multiplayer), there's no need for a huge, expensive, battery-guzzling second screen. On the other hand, adding another set of things to look at and another, separate interface layer will (and has already begun to) result in clunkier, more bloated game design, which is the opposite of what Wii offered, and something we definitely don't need.
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04 Dec 2012 13:09

i don't have much use of it because well i just don't .
but i did use it while scribbling things down on miiverse , it's quite interesting , especially since changing the channel could be done so efficiently with the wii u . I guess if i was really into cinematic gaming like the ac , the cod s, the gta , batman , tomb raider and so on , and willing to play with analogs , that could not be beaten . Unfortunately i am not . If i watched tv a lot i might used it too . I am still going to use it for miiverse !

also yeah about the gamepad being an sdtv , let me assure you it's better than any CRT which for me are the only sdtv . It's not even close and in fact a good way to show the differences between CRT and LCD , it's quite ironic . Exactly like others have said , on an sdtv crt whatever it's like a veil is in front , look down to the gamepad and it's gone . I understand it might not be as good as other display which am sure are totally capable of putting less lag than an hdmi cable , but let's not get crazy about calling it an crt
User avatar
04 Dec 2012 13:26

Jerome wrote: For example, I ask anyone to name a single DS game that couldn't have worked on a single, larger screen.


1) The World Ends With You would not have worked with only one screen. Remove the top screen and your partner's gameplay becomes impossible, unless by 'one screen' you meant one screen with a vertical aspect ratio (hate to bring it up, but like an iPhone). Then it might work when you cut the screen in half, but then all you're doing is emulating have two screens which doesn't solve your problem.

2) Hotel Dusk and Trace Memory are games that wouldn't have been the same without two screens. A lot of the games puzzles rely on them, and they are (if you ask me) these games best and most memorable puzzles. Having to close the DS lid also allowed for clever puzzle solutions, which would, indirectly, be impossible without the top screen.

3) Metroid Prime Hunters, Dementium, Dementium II, Moon, Bionicle Heroes, etc. would have hideously bad controls without two screens. Using the touchscreen to aim is far more precise than using the face buttons, and drawing on the same screen that your game is being displayed on is cumbersome and annoying. First person games worked on DS thanks entirely to having two screens. I'll also point out that this isn't a problem that would be fixed by the presence of analog sticks. Touch screens are preferable to many people for being far quicker and easier.

These examples are going for gameplay, ignoring the base benefits of having two screens for far easier map and equipment screens and far better menu navigation, and having additional buttons on the touch screen that don't have to be mapped to your primary display, taking up screen space and leaving ugly fingerprints at that. Hundreds of DS games benefited from these easier features.

(More might come to me later, so if there're no objections I might update this post when that time comes.)
User avatar
04 Dec 2012 13:29

I often use it to play Darksiders II while my wife watches TV. Great feature
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04 Dec 2012 13:47

Jerome wrote:
metalpants wrote:@TheBitBlock

I'm gonna have to disagree with the whole SD thing.

I hooked up the Wii U to my parents' old tube TV (thank God they're upgrading to HD this Christmas) and looking at the TV screen and back to the GamePad screen showed an incredibly noticeable difference. When I looked at the GamePad it was like a veil of blur was lifted from what I saw displayed on the SD TV. And it looked absolutely gorgeous and as if it was HD already. Maybe it doesn't show when compared to an HDTV, but it's DEFINITELY not SD.


Actually, the Gamepad's output would qualify as Enhanced Definition Television, or EDTV*. This is basically an enhanced form of SD that runs in progressive scan, and (as on the Gamepad) can run at slightly higher horizontal resolution (about 850 pixels wide instead of 640 or 720, but still at the same 480 pixels vertically.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edtv

This is correct
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04 Dec 2012 13:51

Windsor wrote:
Jerome wrote: For example, I ask anyone to name a single DS game that couldn't have worked on a single, larger screen.


1) The World Ends With You would not have worked with only one screen. Remove the top screen and your partner's gameplay becomes impossible, unless by 'one screen' you meant one screen with a vertical aspect ratio (hate to bring it up, but like an iPhone). Then it might work when you cut the screen in half, but then all you're doing is emulating have two screens which doesn't solve your problem.

2) Hotel Dusk and Trace Memory are games that wouldn't have been the same without two screens. A lot of the games puzzles rely on them, and they are (if you ask me) these games best and most memorable puzzles. Having to close the DS lid also allowed for clever puzzle solutions, which would, indirectly, be impossible without the top screen.

3) Metroid Prime Hunters, Dementium, Dementium II, Moon, Bionicle Heroes, etc. would have hideously bad controls without two screens. Using the touchscreen to aim is far more precise than using the face buttons, and drawing on the same screen that your game is being displayed on is cumbersome and annoying. First person games worked on DS thanks entirely to having two screens. I'll also point out that this isn't a problem that would be fixed by the presence of analog sticks. Touch screens are preferable to many people for being far quicker and easier.

These examples are going for gameplay, ignoring the base benefits of having two screens for far easier map and equipment screens and far better menu navigation, and having additional buttons on the touch screen that don't have to be mapped to your primary display, taking up screen space and leaving ugly fingerprints at that. Hundreds of DS games benefited from these easier features.

(More might come to me later, so if there're no objections I might update this post when that time comes.)

Okay, maybe I should have clarified that basically all DS games could be done on a single larger touchscreen. That was DS's worthwhile innovation, the dual screens, not so much. Notice nobody else is even bothering to copy that.

1. That would have worked just fine with a single touchscreen. You'd just have to partition the larger screen with a software border instead of the two screens being partitioned by plastic. Also, what do you mean it doesn't "solve your problem"? If you can emulate something perfectly well on more standard layout that's more flexible, there isn't a problem.

2. You're talking about the touchscreen feature again. I'll say it again, you can use split-screen instead of having the screen physically split. As for closing the system, that's rarely used, and even then doesn't do anything you couldn't already do more easily by hitting a button.

3. Again, touchscreen and partition. Also, since DS only used a slim stylus, it wouldn't eat up your viewing space even if it got a bit out of bounds. A smaller aiming space (and keep in mind most of the time you don't end up using the whole second screen area for pointing anyway) sounds like a very fair trade off to me for having a larger, higher resolution view of the action. Also, having a slimmer, lighter system without a big lid hanging off could have been easier to hold and use with one hand while the other wielded the stylus.

As for the other stuff, I still remain unconvinced that stuff you have to look away from the main screen to use is more convenient. Mini-maps that are easy to see are more convenient most of the time, and these could have been used if DS had had a main screen of decent size and resolution. If you need a larger view, YOU COULD PRESS A BUTTON AND INSTANTLY BRING UP A LARGER TRANSPARENT MAP OVERLAY. I don't know why this is hard to understand. As for equipment management, this is also very easily addressed. Have a small icon in the bottom corner of the screen that shows your current item, one that, when tapped, brings up a transparent on-screen inventory overlay that you can then tap to select another item. I admit you might get more fingerprints on your main view area, but every single DS game could have benefitted from having a single screen of a decent size and resolution instead of the dinky, low-res ones it had.
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04 Dec 2012 14:01

TheBitBlock wrote:I'm not really a fan of the whole "Play only on the GamePad" concept. The GamePad screen's quality doesn't really impress me. It's like we have our first HD Nintendo system yet half of the experience is still SD. I also don't like my home console trying to pretend it's a handheld system.

But if others like it, that's awesome.



I disagree... I find that games like assassins creed III and Darksiders and Blackops Benefit from the lower resolution of the gamepad immensely... the reason being those games run naively at 720p ... (some may be up-scaled and whatnot, but either way it's not true native 1080p)... Playing on the gamepad, contrary to popular belief, does not actually run the game in 480p... the game is still running in native 720p but being displayed on the 480p screen of the gamepad... the result? A super smooth anti-aliased image that looks even more crisp and smooth than on the Television. While not an HD screen... the quality is far from bad... its great actually...
Now this isn't true for every game... and some games dual screen features outweigh the convenience of playing "off TV" Darksiders looks great but I'd rather have my inventory on the gamepad... (ITS SO CONVENIENT!!) ... It's all up to personal preference of course... My first off tv play had a huge impact on me... "OH so THIS is what PS Vita fails at... " was my first thought... "A literal console experience in my hands... " ... It may not be for you but it doesn't make it any less of a convenient innovative feature for others.
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04 Dec 2012 15:12

Blodtryck wrote:
BlueRangerVegeta wrote:It seems like a really useless feature to me. I am surprised at how well received it has been. It just seems like such a useless feature because everyone has multiple tvs these days myself included. Even if we didnt this s what handhelds like 3Ds and Vita are for. I tried it with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and just found myself missing the TV screen and touchscreen combo move buttons.


Who - living by hisself - has more than one TV and why? :S

Living room and bedroom. Thats how it was when I lived with my parents too. If I wanted to play Gamecube when they watched TV I just unhooked it and took it to my room, it wasnt a big deal.

I also have a smaller SD tv in the kitchen. That was my bedroom tv until I upgraded to an HD TV last Xmas. I admit that is superfluous and I may give it away eventually, but everyone I know around here has at least a TV in their bedroom and living room.
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04 Dec 2012 15:43

Jerome wrote:
It's not a tough call for me at all. The whole focus on dual-screen mechanics with Wii U is one of the most off-putting things about the console for me, and the ability to play off-screen is the only aspect I'm even slightly excited about. No matter how much Nintendo likes the idea of two separate screens, or how many decades they've been pushing it, human beings can only focus on one thing at a time, and the necessity to look at a subsidiary screen to see things that could just as easily displayed on the main one with the touch of a button is a waste of resources that could be better used elsewhere.

Why so quick to dismiss the concept, when you haven't seen anything yet! Who knows what uses they will come up with? Aiming with the pad, "lens of truth"-augmented reality in Zelda, the whole "asymmetrical gameplay" idea, a touch interface - it's NOT all stuff you might as well diplay on one bigger screen.
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04 Dec 2012 15:55

pummy84 wrote:The ability to play on the gamepad is amazing. Really useful when family is over and they want to watch Sports when I want to play something like New Super Mario Bros. U.


Speaking as a Wii U owner using a dinosaur of a TV (see: 32", 200-300LBs), the GamePad is well above the output of our SD TV.

Trine 2 looks incredibly better on the GamePad, than on our TV. The Wii U with the GamePad is a huge selling point for HD TVs for people that haven't made the upgrade yet. As of now, we are looking for an HD TV, but still haven't made our decision...

Again though, the GamePad has much brighter, crisper, vibrant visuals in games I have played on it directly (Trine 2 and BO2), than does our SD TV; perhaps you are comparing it to a particular HD TV brand you would recommend?
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04 Dec 2012 16:00

Jerome wrote:
Spoiler:
Okay, maybe I should have clarified that basically all DS games could be done on a single larger touchscreen. That was DS's worthwhile innovation, the dual screens, not so much. Notice nobody else is even bothering to copy that.

1. That would have worked just fine with a single touchscreen. You'd just have to partition the larger screen with a software border instead of the two screens being partitioned by plastic. Also, what do you mean it doesn't "solve your problem"? If you can emulate something perfectly well on more standard layout that's more flexible, there isn't a problem.

2. You're talking about the touchscreen feature again. I'll say it again, you can use split-screen instead of having the screen physically split. As for closing the system, that's rarely used, and even then doesn't do anything you couldn't already do more easily by hitting a button.

3. Again, touchscreen and partition. Also, since DS only used a slim stylus, it wouldn't eat up your viewing space even if it got a bit out of bounds. A smaller aiming space (and keep in mind most of the time you don't end up using the whole second screen area for pointing anyway) sounds like a very fair trade off to me for having a larger, higher resolution view of the action. Also, having a slimmer, lighter system without a big lid hanging off could have been easier to hold and use with one hand while the other wielded the stylus.

As for the other stuff, I still remain unconvinced that stuff you have to look away from the main screen to use is more convenient. Mini-maps that are easy to see are more convenient most of the time, and these could have been used if DS had had a main screen of decent size and resolution. If you need a larger view, YOU COULD PRESS A BUTTON AND INSTANTLY BRING UP A LARGER TRANSPARENT MAP OVERLAY. I don't know why this is hard to understand. As for equipment management, this is also very easily addressed. Have a small icon in the bottom corner of the screen that shows your current item, one that, when tapped, brings up a transparent on-screen inventory overlay that you can then tap to select another item. I admit you might get more fingerprints on your main view area, but every single DS game could have benefitted from having a single screen of a decent size and resolution instead of the dinky, low-res ones it had.


1) But you've still got a border. Isn't that your problem? How can you tell me that having two screens and dividing up your attention between them is a problem and then ask me how that problem isn't solved by a pretty graphic separating what is now effectively two screens that you must now divide your attention between? That makes no sense on your part, and having a second screen ensures that no competitor can slap a touch screen on their product and magically be able to play all the same games. Back in 2004 Nintendo had no way of knowing whether or not Sony would unveil a handheld with a touchscreen, and the idea was hardly far fetched. Nintendo had to go with the option that no other designer would dare to go with, and dual screens it was.

2) I'll say it again, if you're splitting the screen one way or another, what difference does it make? Not that it mattered here seeing as I never once mentioned the touch screen in regards to Hotel Dusk or Trace Memory. I mentioned having two screens, and I stand by that. Your response to this point makes it painfully obvious that you didn't play either game. These are gameplay mechanics that are only possible thanks entirely to having two screens. And no, how the hell pushing a button is gonna emulate closing a physical lid I have no idea. The point is that in game you're closing a book, folding a hinged picture frame, lining up reflections, etc.. A button push is not going to make these things possible.

3) Again, you would just have the same problem as you seem to have with a physical border. I don't understand your problem at all, man. If you're dividing up the screen anyway nothing has been changed, let alone solved. Having a second screen was hardly a problem for the systems weight. See the DSlite and DSi. Games like Kid Icarus would not benefit from aiming with the screen you're using, especially if you're increasing the size like you want it. Your hand will be over the screen every single time you aim at something on the side of the screen opposite of the hand you use the stylus with. The same goes for first person games, and until you explain how "partitioning the screen" is any different from just having two I'm not putting much stock in it as an answer.

If you just wanted higher resolution screens on the DS you should have just said so. Nintendo, however, went with the resolution they did because much higher/clearer and people would have complained at the system's actual visuals instead. The resolution was the right fit for the graphical level the system was capable of, and higher resolutions would have been a detriment to their having a lower priced system over the PSP, which, if you recall, people were more than content to declare Nintendo's death over (again).

A transparent overlay would have just confused both the action and the overlay. Diablo II is an example of a transparently overlaid map and it's cluttered and confusing as all hell. This is an inferior solution to your "problem". There's a reason few games ever used this idea. Not to mention that using an overlay for absolutely every action that the second screen fulfills much quicker would be a complete nightmare. Having a second screen keeps the action from being cluttered up by an interface and menu systems. It was a smart move and it's success and library of games utilizing them proves this. If you want a high resolution touch sensitive screen, that's literally a PlayStation Vita. It won't take long into Assassin's Creed Liberation for you to figure out how handy it would be to not have to push a button to call up the map, inventory, etc., or to have to wait for them to load.

In the end, you've got two options: You can press select to see your map, breaking up the entire flow of the game for as many times as it takes to get where you're going (Symphony of the Night), or you can take half a second to glance two inches down where it's always readily available, keeping the flow fully intact at all times where an overlay certainly would not (Dawn of Sorrow). The more convenient and immersive option is immediately identifiable.
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04 Dec 2012 16:17

stoopeed wrote:
Jerome wrote:
It's not a tough call for me at all. The whole focus on dual-screen mechanics with Wii U is one of the most off-putting things about the console for me, and the ability to play off-screen is the only aspect I'm even slightly excited about. No matter how much Nintendo likes the idea of two separate screens, or how many decades they've been pushing it, human beings can only focus on one thing at a time, and the necessity to look at a subsidiary screen to see things that could just as easily displayed on the main one with the touch of a button is a waste of resources that could be better used elsewhere.

Why so quick to dismiss the concept, when you haven't seen anything yet! Who knows what uses they will come up with? Aiming with the pad, "lens of truth"-augmented reality in Zelda, the whole "asymmetrical gameplay" idea, a touch interface - it's NOT all stuff you might as well diplay on one bigger screen.

What do you mean, the DS has been around for 8 years, and tons of dual screen gimmicks have been tried, none of which I find very impressive. The only difference in functionality here is that the small screen can be oriented so that some people can see it and some can't, that's the only significant difference. To address your suggestions in more detail, though:

1. Aiming with the pad: Why is this needed, and what benefit does it offer? Why is it better than, say, aiming with the Wii Remote's pointer, especially when you give up looking at the vaunted HD visuals to use it?

2. "Lens of truth"-style gameplay: In other words, holding up a small, non-HD display to function as a vision filter for the on-screen graphics. There is absolutely no reason why your character on screen can't be holding up a item that does the same thing, and again, this won't entail having to view the game through a sub-HD window.

3. Asymmetrical gameplay: I won't say this is without merit, but I will say that it only has any merit in multiplayer games, and then only in certain kinds of multiplayer games.

4. A touch interface: A single-touch interface, remember. I still fail to see why this is a breakthrough when the Wii already had a direct pointing interface via the Wii Remote's pointer. It also had the advantage of enabling multitouch-like gestures such as rotating objects, and allowed multiple people to point onscreen simultaneously. I can even think of current Wii U games that would have been bettered by using a pointer like the Wii Remote's*, such as the boost mode in NSMBU (you could have comfortably played while placing blocks for yourself), and games using the touchscreen for inventory (you could have just held a button to bring up a transparent screen overlay, then pointed to select an item, that way you'd never have to change your grip or look away from the TV.

*(I think it would have been an awesome idea to include a pointer in the Pro Controller. It could have been an even better choice for inventory management, and functioned as a sort of aim-assist in dual analog games.)
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04 Dec 2012 17:03

@Windsor,

The reason I don't have a problem with sub-dividing a single screen is that it can be un-sub-divided by all the other games. How in the name of sanity is sticking a physical border between two groups of pixels better than keeping them together and giving developers the flexibility to do anything whatsoever with that space? The show "24" made extensive use of complex, multi split screens, but never once while watching the show have I though "boy, this would be better on a collection of 7 tiny TV's". On the point of Nintendo going dual-screen to fight piracy, that's of very questionable merit since DS games can still be displayed on any screen of sufficient resolution. Besides, when did anti-piracy measures come into discussion? I thought we were talking about gameplay.

As for closing the DS lid, I admit that exact feature is not going to be exactly emulated by a non-clamshell system, but come on, it's an obscure, seldom-used feature, and can indeed be easily emulated (in functional, if not tactile terms) exactly by pressing a button. In fact, it is pressing a button, just one that that's activated by the closure of the lid. It's not analog, and it doesn't offer any kind of proportional control that depends on angle. It's an on-or-off, simple binary function, and pressing a button accompanied by an onscreen animation of things like a lid closing would exactly emulate that function for all intents and purposes of gameplay.

Windsor wrote:If you just wanted higher resolution screens on the DS you should have just said so. Nintendo, however, went with the resolution they did because much higher/clearer and people would have complained at the system's actual visuals instead.

Did you read that in a press release or something? DS is commonly said to have PS1/N64 class rendering power (even better than N64, according to Nintendo), how in the world would have giving it comparable resolution to those systems (instead of saddling it with sub-NES resolution) make it look worse? Shoot, near the end of those system's life spans, they both had games that employed much higher resolution rendering, and they were universally praised as superior-looking.

Windsor wrote:A transparent overlay would have just confused both the action and the overlay. Diablo II is an example of a transparently overlaid map

Yes, conveniently about the worst, most complicated overlay system ever. You can make any system look like junk through poor implementation.

Windsor wrote:Not to mention that using an overlay for absolutely every action that the second screen fulfills much quicker would be a complete nightmare.

You're not thinking of what I'm thinking of. I'm thinking a minimap in one corner and a small, possibly transparent item icon in the other. To bring up a larger, transparent full-size map occasionally, you can hold a button, then release to have it instantly disappear. To access your inventory, tap the icon, then tap one of a selection of transparent icons located in easy reach of that same thumb. Boom, done. It would take maybe two seconds in either case, and you'd never lose the ability to see your surroundings. How that's worse than looking away from the main game screen, I don't understand.

Windsor wrote:It was a smart move and it's success and library of games utilizing them proves this.

It does no such thing. What it proves is that the system had good games people liked. The best-selling DS game of all time is New Super Mario Bros., and its use of the second screen is just about worthless. The second-best selling is Mario Kart DS, and it would have also worked perfectly well without the second screen (with a larger screen, they could have displayed a slightly smaller, semi-transparent version of the bottom screen map in a corner, while giving you a larger main view). The third best selling is Nintendogs, and it could have very easily worked with one larger screen.
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Anonymous
04 Dec 2012 17:23

Jerome wrote:@Windsor,

The reason I don't have a problem with sub-dividing a single screen is that it can be un-sub-divided by all the other games. How in the name of sanity is sticking a physical border between two groups of pixels better than keeping them together and giving developers the flexibility to do anything whatsoever with that space? The show "24" made extensive use of complex, multi split screens, but never once while watching the show have I though "boy, this would be better on a collection of 7 tiny TV's". On the point of Nintendo going dual-screen to fight piracy, that's of very questionable merit since DS games can still be displayed on any screen of sufficient resolution. Besides, when did anti-piracy measures come into discussion? I thought we were talking about gameplay.

As for closing the DS lid, I admit that exact feature is not going to be exactly emulated by a non-clamshell system, but come on, it's an obscure, seldom-used feature, and can indeed be easily emulated (in functional, if not tactile terms) exactly by pressing a button. In fact, it is pressing a button, just one that that's activated by the closure of the lid. It's not analog, and it doesn't offer any kind of proportional control that depends on angle. It's an on-or-off, simple binary function, and pressing a button accompanied by an onscreen animation of things like a lid closing would exactly emulate that function for all intents and purposes of gameplay.

Windsor wrote:If you just wanted higher resolution screens on the DS you should have just said so. Nintendo, however, went with the resolution they did because much higher/clearer and people would have complained at the system's actual visuals instead.

Did you read that in a press release or something? DS is commonly said to have PS1/N64 class rendering power (even better than N64, according to Nintendo), how in the world would have giving it comparable resolution to those systems (instead of saddling it with sub-NES resolution) make it look worse? Shoot, near the end of those system's life spans, they both had games that employed much higher resolution rendering, and they were universally praised as superior-looking.

Windsor wrote:A transparent overlay would have just confused both the action and the overlay. Diablo II is an example of a transparently overlaid map

Yes, conveniently about the worst, most complicated overlay system ever. You can make any system look like junk through poor implementation.

Windsor wrote:Not to mention that using an overlay for absolutely every action that the second screen fulfills much quicker would be a complete nightmare.

You're not thinking of what I'm thinking of. I'm thinking a minimap in one corner and a small, possibly transparent item icon in the other. To bring up a larger, transparent full-size map occasionally, you can hold a button, then release to have it instantly disappear. To access your inventory, tap the icon, then tap one of a selection of transparent icons located in easy reach of that same thumb. Boom, done. It would take maybe two seconds in either case, and you'd never lose the ability to see your surroundings. How that's worse than looking away from the main game screen, I don't understand.

Windsor wrote:It was a smart move and it's success and library of games utilizing them proves this.

It does no such thing. What it proves is that the system had good games people liked. The best-selling DS game of all time is New Super Mario Bros., and its use of the second screen is just about worthless. The second-best selling is Mario Kart DS, and it would have also worked perfectly well without the second screen (with a larger screen, they could have displayed a slightly smaller, semi-transparent version of the bottom screen map in a corner, while giving you a larger main view). The third best selling is Nintendogs, and it could have very easily worked with one larger screen.

Portability. If you wanted the 2 ds screens to merge without the partition it would make it far less portable, which is bad for a PORTABLE GAME SYSTEM. Try putting a DS in your pocket without closing it and you'd se what I mean. ANd while yes, handheld exist with bigger screens, it's always because they focus on horizontal screen space, which wouldn't work for some of the DS two screen games
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04 Dec 2012 17:39

Aaronrules380 wrote:Portability. If you wanted the 2 ds screens to merge without the partition it would make it far less portable, which is bad for a PORTABLE GAME SYSTEM. Try putting a DS in your pocket without closing it and you'd se what I mean. ANd while yes, handheld exist with bigger screens, it's always because they focus on horizontal screen space, which wouldn't work for some of the DS two screen games

You could get the same screen area of both DS screens in a single screen if you made the unit about an inch wider and maybe a quarter inch taller. This would be offset by the fact that it would be much thinner, though. Thing is, I think you could get by with a bit less area than that for a very simple reason: maps, inventory, and other features don't need quite as much area as the main game view. I've seen absolutely tons of DS games that waste big chunks of the bottom screen with graphical bits and bobs trying to fill it up. In this regard, I have to admit that 3DS is a bit better than DS, in that it makes the main screen larger than the secondary one. The problem now is that the screen you use for most things isn't touch-capable.
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04 Dec 2012 20:29

Spoiler:
The reason I don't have a problem with sub-dividing a single screen is that it can be un-sub-divided by all the other games. How in the name of sanity is sticking a physical border between two groups of pixels better than keeping them together and giving developers the flexibility to do anything whatsoever with that space?


Name me any one single-screened game that actually divides up it's screen real estate in the fashion you describe, and it must keep that going for the entire duration of the game. I'll be impressed if you can name even one. Game developers have had all of forever to 'pretend' they had two screens out of one whole one. It's never happened. The thing here is that there's no innovation anywhere in this industry save for Nintendo, and Nintendo's got it because they force it on developers, for better or worse. The World Ends With You would not have been made if the DS wasn't a DS. No game on any other system "pretends" to have two screens. That just doesn't happen. The only reason that you believe it could is in hindsight with the DS being what it is. If it had never existed we'd just have a stronger GBA and nothing else. You also seem to be under the impression that having a second screen is detracting from what one screen usually does, rather than expanding on it, and that's false. There's nothing but benefits here.

Spoiler:
The show "24" made extensive use of complex, multi split screens, but never once while watching the show have I though "boy, this would be better on a collection of 7 tiny TV's".

I've never watched '24', so I have no idea what I'm supposed to say to that. Being a TV show, the same ideas hardly apply, making it somewhat silly to be talking about in this regard.

Spoiler:
On the point of Nintendo going dual-screen to fight piracy, that's of very questionable merit since DS games can still be displayed on any screen of sufficient resolution. Besides, when did anti-piracy measures come into discussion? I thought we were talking about gameplay.

Anti-piracy measures came into the discussion just now, when you brought them up, man. I never said anything about anti-piracy. What's tripped you up is when I referred to the idea that no system can effectively play two screen oriented games without indeed having two screens. Emulation is not a viable answer either, and even if it was, not even PC's can properly or reliably emulate DS games yet, let alone any handhelds.

Spoiler:
As for closing the DS lid, I admit that exact feature is not going to be exactly emulated by a non-clamshell system, but come on, it's an obscure, seldom-used feature, and can indeed be easily emulated (in functional, if not tactile terms) exactly by pressing a button. In fact, it is pressing a button, just one that that's activated by the closure of the lid. It's not analog, and it doesn't offer any kind of proportional control that depends on angle. It's an on-or-off, simple binary function, and pressing a button accompanied by an onscreen animation of things like a lid closing would exactly emulate that function for all intents and purposes of gameplay.

No it would not. You're missing the point beautifully. You're closing a book in game. You're closing your system in real life. It's that simple. I'm not talking about sleep mode. That's where you're stuck right now. I don't care that it was seldom used. This is what happens when you stop thinking about games and think only in a strict technological sense. It was there so the games used it and where better for it. If it was not there, they would not have, and they would not be. That's it. That's all there is to it. Frequency of use is entirely irrelevant. If they didn't have the ability to immerse you further with this puzzle, they sure as hell wouldn't have included it by having the player push a button to instantly solve the puzzle flat out. It absolutely would not "emulate that function for all intents and purposes of gameplay".

Spoiler:
Did you read that in a press release or something? DS is commonly said to have PS1/N64 class rendering power (even better than N64, according to Nintendo), how in the world would have giving it comparable resolution to those systems (instead of saddling it with sub-NES resolution) make it look worse? Shoot, near the end of those system's life spans, they both had games that employed much higher resolution rendering, and they were universally praised as superior-looking.

I never said DS games would look worse in higher resolution. That would be a silly thing to say, wouldn't it? Look at the DS next to the PSP, and consider their times of reveal/release. If the DS had had crystal clear graphics thanks to high resolution displays, the graphics themselves would have looked all the more dated next to Sony's PlayStation Portable. In a strange way, looking bad turned out well for Nintendo, if you ask me. If you don't like answer, it doesn't matter much. Nintendo made the decisions that they did and it obviously turned out well for them.

Spoiler:
Yes, conveniently about the worst, most complicated overlay system ever. You can make any system look like junk through poor implementation.

Okay, sure. Now how about instead of failing to shoot my example down, why not throw out a shining example of your idea done correctly? I figure if one jumped to mind you'd have mentioned it already, but go ahead if you've got one. Next time pull out a game that actually demonstrates your point well and I won't have to point out that the only game I'm aware of did it hideously. I'm glad we agree on that, though, despite it's uncanny resemblance to the system you later go on to describe (a semi-transparent mini-map with a button push toggling it over the screen).

Spoiler:
You're not thinking of what I'm thinking of. I'm thinking a minimap in one corner and a small, possibly transparent item icon in the other. To bring up a larger, transparent full-size map occasionally, you can hold a button, then release to have it instantly disappear. To access your inventory, tap the icon, then tap one of a selection of transparent icons located in easy reach of that same thumb. Boom, done. It would take maybe two seconds in either case, and you'd never lose the ability to see your surroundings. How that's worse than looking away from the main game screen, I don't understand.


Or, you could have a second screen dedicated to those functions so as to keep the information up at all times and keep the gameplay flowing and completely uncrowded by overlays and icons. You are contradicting the second screen's direct reason for being. Mini maps and on-game UI's need not exist any longer when you've got a completely different screen far more capable of relaying that information to the player. If this is really a massive problem for you the DS just isn't your system. Clearly, it wasn't a problem for 152 Million people around the world. If looking down off the main screen is a problem for you I don't know what else to say to you. There has never been a single game I've played in which the gameplay was too fast or easily changing to allow looking down at the bottom screen.

Spoiler:
It does no such thing. What it proves is that the system had good games people liked. The best-selling DS game of all time is New Super Mario Bros., and its use of the second screen is just about worthless. The second-best selling is Mario Kart DS, and it would have also worked perfectly well without the second screen (with a larger screen, they could have displayed a slightly smaller, semi-transparent version of the bottom screen map in a corner, while giving you a larger main view). The third best selling is Nintendogs, and it could have very easily worked with one larger screen.

Yes, it did have "good games that people liked". And those games that people liked used two screens. How on earth does this not matter to you? These games wouldn't exist in nearly the same forms, if at all, on just one. I don't see why you're so opposed to the idea of doing things differently. Every single thing you've mentioned has done nothing but put us back at square one, which is a by the books gaming handheld with nothing to set itself apart from any other gaming handheld but more powerful internals, and your debates with others do nothing but try to discredit everything the Wii-U is doing differently for a simple buttons controller. If that's your thing, Sony has you covered. Your arguments in regards to how a second screen's functions can be done just as easily on one just aren't accurate. What can be done on one screen has been being done for twenty+ years of gaming history and now Nintendo is ready to move on, and they have.

Right, "just about worthless" except for the progress bar, star coin counter, and stored item. I guess those should have been overlays. Mario Kart DS featured, guess what, on it's bottom screen! A constantly available map that showed every player's locations and removed any other UI element off of the action! I don't understand how you're missing this! The idea of semi-transparent interfaces is no longer necessary with a second screen! If you find it pointless, I'm sorry, but that's just you, man. Having two screens worked out unbelievably well for the system and it's library of games. Yes, even the ones that used it as a menu and user interface, like New Super Mario Brothers, Mario Kart DS, and Nintendogs.
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04 Dec 2012 21:53

Haven't had much need for this functionality as yet, but I can see that changing down the road as we invest in more games.
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04 Dec 2012 21:53

I actually didn't think the off-TV play was a big selling point for the Wii U, so I kind of forgot about it. It wasn't until my son wanted to continue playing Skylanders Giants when his sisters wanted to watch cartoons that I realized how truly awesome this feature is. I switched his game over to the gamepad and he just sat quietly next to the portal and continued to play. I never once heard my son complain that the gamepad wasn't as big as the TV or that not playing in full HD was ruining his gameplay experience. He just thought is was great that he didn't have to stop playing!

I think more parents would be inclined to check out the Wii U if the off-TV play feature was more prominently advertised.
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05 Dec 2012 01:43

@Jerome@TheBitBlock

Um... I never said it was HD O_o... I said it looked AS IF it was HD when compared to the blurry images of the standard tube TV resolution.

And I do agree with the jagged edges on the red. Bothers me every single time.
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05 Dec 2012 04:10

Windsor wrote:Name me any one single-screened game that actually divides up it's screen real estate in the fashion you describe, and it must keep that going for the entire duration of the game. I'll be impressed if you can name even one.

Here are a few I dug up after a few minutes of looking on YouTube:

Super Mario Kart (SNES)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI3e5Ln1efU

Mighty Flip Champs DX (PSP)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtKus6qDkTM

Chronos Twin DX (WiiWare)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juRyXVYsEkc

Granted, the last two are ports of DS games, but that just supports my point that DS games can be done on a single screen, and after all, I thought that's what the discussion was about. Speaking of that, here are a couple more instances of that:

The world Ends with you (redesigned for iOS devices, it debuted to higher critical review scores than the DS version)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3dIAxHcZt0

Hotel Dusk (formatted via Youtube to how it would look on a single touchscreen)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hxJ_FgvCPw

The instances of the view being split in half are going to be relatively rare (unless you count multiplayer console games, in which case there are gazillions), but there are tons of games with expanded interface and/or HUD sections partitioned off from the main view, especially in the PC realm.

Master of Orion (PC)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re3brg18f3c

Metal Gear 2 (MSX)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6l_IhAcIJw

Defender (Arcade)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht7cNlAAHZY

Windsor wrote:The thing here is that there's no innovation anywhere in this industry save for Nintendo.

I had a huge, long point-for-point reply to your last post ready, but I'm sorry, I just can't take this discussion seriously if you're going to pull out flagrantly incorrect fan declarations like that. Consider just the following few examples:

The analog stick: This was not invented by Nintendo. It first appeared on an obscure console in 1976, then in 1982 on the Atari 5200 and Vectrex, then in a Sony dual analog joystick peripheral for the Playstation before N64 came out, then in a Sega Saturn controller within a few weeks of N64's release.

-Motion Controls: Sony released a camera-based motion control system in 2003.

-Rumble: Sony introduced a Playstation controller with integrated rumble the same month the Rumble Pak was released, and both Sony and Nintendo followed in the footsteps of various other companies who had released rumble products before this.

-Controllers with integrated screens: Sega introduced this in 1999.

-The ability to stream console games remotely on a small screen. Sony has been doing this for several years now.

Besides all these things, tons of the features of modern consoles did not come from Nintendo. Dual analog controllers, analog triggers, robust account-based online services with easy contact management and achievements, home buttons, and many other things came about because other companies pushed for them. Nintendo may be a bit more bold at times in their willingness to position novel features front and center in their hardware and software, but they're far from the only innovative gaming company out there.

I started out by claiming that pretty much across the board DS games could be done effectively on a single-screen system, that was my statement. So far you haven't proved otherwise, and have resorted to such things as saying that an obscure, barely used feature that indeed functions by use of a button could not be emulated in a functional sense by a button, and that the space-filling progress bar in NSMB is an essential feature. Now you're making fan claims about Nintendo that are flagrantly inaccurate.

If you like having two screens, that's fine, you have that right. I don't have to agree, though. I think it's rather telling that nobody else has bothered to go the same route as Nintendo in building their hardware around this feature, though.

I do admit I messed up in misconstruing your statement about Nintendo not wanting to have their system be easy to copy in a creative sense as a reference to copy protection, so sorry for accusing you of bringing it up.
User avatar
05 Dec 2012 21:29

I love this feature, I just wish I could play my Virtual Console games this way and my Wii U would be twice as active right now.

I can't think of WHY it's not possible other than laziness or something. Technically, you should be able to even play Wii games this way if you WANTED because doesn't the GamePad have a sensor bar built into it?

So I'm guessing it's a feature they WANT to do, but haven't implemented yet for some reason. I just hope we don't have to freaking REbuy VC games AGAIN just to have GamePad support.
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05 Dec 2012 21:42

D3stiny_Sm4sher wrote:I love this feature, I just wish I could play my Virtual Console games this way and my Wii U would be twice as active right now.

I can't think of WHY it's not possible other than laziness or something. Technically, you should be able to even play Wii games this way if you WANTED because doesn't the GamePad have a sensor bar built into it?

So I'm guessing it's a feature they WANT to do, but haven't implemented yet for some reason. I just hope we don't have to freaking REbuy VC games AGAIN just to have GamePad support.

Or it could just be that they want to maximize profit. They've already said it won't happen, so it seems you will need to re-buy VC games if you want to do this. If Nintendo was more reasonable about their account systems, I would have invested in the Virtual console, but as things have been, I'm not interested except for like 1 or 2 games that are either very rare or expensive to buy physical copies of.
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06 Dec 2012 12:27

Too busy with college finals on my monitor to hook up the Wii-U and play.

Suffice to say I have been using the feature quite a bit, and it's awesome
User avatar
06 Dec 2012 21:23

You're right. Nintendo isn't the only innovative company, but I was speaking comparatively to begin with. Perhaps I should rephrase: Nintendo is the only company to take any risks innovating with their hardware. Maybe that's easier for you to swallow. I'm sure you'll call me a fanboy, or assume I have some bias for them, but I don't. I enjoy my PS3, PSP, Vita, 360, and gaming PC every day of the week along with my collection of old-school games ranging from NES to Dreamcast. I'm calling it the way I see it. Rather, I'm calling it the way I've been seeing it for over fifteen years of gaming.

Spoiler:
Granted, the last two are ports of DS games, but that just supports my point that DS games can be done on a single screen, and after all, I thought that's what the discussion was about. The instances of the view being split in half are going to be rare (unless you count multiplayer console games, in which case there are gazillions), but there are tons of games with expanded interface and/or HUD sections partitioned off from the main view, especially in the PC realm.

Well, I said I would be impressed and I certainly am. You've got Mario Kart, two DS games, a thirty year old arcade game, and two similarly ancient computer games. Mario Kart is the only one I'm willing to count, as the older games worked within severe technical limitations and the two DS games only prove another point of mine from earlier (that they only exist because the DS had, and without the DS's two screens, those ports wouldn't exist either). Nevertheless, they do permanently lock down areas of the screen for the interface, emulating two inside of one. Bravo, but more recent (and original) examples would have been welcomed.

Spoiler:
The world Ends with you (redesigned for iOS devices, it debuted to higher critical review scores than the DS version)

I rest my case. The combat was completely redesigned because they were not going to pretend that the iPhone had two screens. It's completely remastered both in audio and video. Of course it's going to see high praise, but you know what? It's jumping off the back of the DS game to achieve that praise, and the iPhone audience will praise anything to moon, if Angry Birds, Canabalt, and Infinity Blade are any examples. Without the original's reputation being what it was, nobody would have given this iPhone version a second glance, especially at it's price point. Fans of the original (such as myself) were extraordinarily unhappy with the inventive dual-screened combat being completely overhauled. How this is an example supporting your end of this discussion, I remain unsure.

Spoiler:
I had a huge, long reply to your last post ready, but I'm sorry, I just can't take this discussion seriously if you're going to pull out flagrantly incorrect fan declarations like that.

Right, right. I'm sure that's why you're bailing out, but since you presumably won't be replying I'll just clarify for anyone else reading.

Sega Saturn: Sega Genesis with more powerful internals. Launched without 3D-capable controls.
PlayStation 1: Launched without 3D-Capable controls.
Nintendo 64: Launched with 3D capable controls and set the standard for most 3D video game genres.

PlayStation 3: PlayStation 2 with more powerful internals. L2 and R2 turned into analog triggers.
Xbox 360: Xbox with more powerful internals. White and Black turned into bumpers.
Nintendo Wii: Held back on graphical power and introduced motion controls that were swiftly imitated by competitors and fundamentally changed the way people play games.

PlayStation Portable: "It's a PS2 in your pocket!"
Nintendo DS: Dual screens for better in-game UI's, touch screen for better menu navigation, microphone, etc..

PlayStation Vita: PSP with more powerful internals, similarly hoping to float on its visuals alone. Touchscreen and microphone, once called childish and gimmicky by Sony themselves, now innovate and brave new features.
Nintendo 3DS: 3D screen on top of the continued use of the DS's unique feature set.

Nintendo relies on their innovation. Their only two consoles where they relied on pure power both lost Nintendo that generation. Every other generation, Nintendo either changed everything or had superior third party backing, or were unrivaled. Meanwhile, all their competition knows how to do is upgrade their hardware ("It's a PS2 in your pocket!" "It's a PS3 in your pocket, and look at how easy ports are handled!" etc.), often to their own detriment (599 US Dollars), or in Microsoft's case, a hideous console failure rate.

Spoiler:
Consider just the following few examples:
The analog stick: Contrary to some people's belief, this was not invented by Nintendo. It first appeared on an obscure home console in 1976, then in 1982 on the Atari 5200 and Vectrex, then in a Sony dual analog joystick peripheral for the Playstation before N64 came out, then in a Sega Saturn controller within a few weeks of N64's release.

All right. Before I even begin with this, there's something you should understand. You do not have to be the inventor to be the innovator. Keep this in mind.

I'm not too familiar with Atari, but I know enough to know that the analog stick on the Atari 5200 was the primary complaint on that console, due to it being complete garbage. This leads me to my above point: You don't have to be the inventor to be the innovator. Neither of us ever claimed Nintendo invented touch screens either, but they were sure as hell the one to innovate with them, and no, the Game.Com doesn't count just because it existed with a touchscreen first and played some crappy games. Like the analog stick, Nintendo was the first to make it the industry standard. Analog technology was used in flight-stick style controllers for ages. I've never heard anybody say that Nintendo invented the analog stick, but they used it first in the fashion that would become the standard forever after.

In regards to Sony and Sega, I don't care which came first, I care which was announced and shown off first. You can take someone else's idea and still be the first to the market with it. Sega's controller coming out 'within a few weeks" of the N64 absolutely does not impress me. I'm unaware of any Sony controller with analog sticks being shown that predates the N64's unveiling. Both Sony and Sega launched their systems without analog sticks on their controllers. Nintendo was the one who knew that 3D gameplay required a better input method, and went for the analog style controls. ("style" used here since the N64 didn't use analog, but something more akin to an advanced track ball that gave it the same level of control and detail to movement. Wikipedia's got more details on that if you're curious.)

Spoiler:
Motion Controls: Sony released a camera-based motion control system in 2003.

Sony released a restrictive camera that hardly took the world by storm. The Wii remote was entirely different, but yes, the EyeToy would fall under "motion control", it was hardly satisfactory and nobody was in any rush to get in on it's "success". Nintendo, on the other hand...
It's also worth pointing out that Sony had all but abandoned the EyeToy concept when Nintendo executed the motion control concept properly, and more importantly, Sony's own answer to Nintendo's success held no resemblance to the EyeToy whatsoever. Not even Sony had any faith in the idea to create a stronger version, or link the two brands in any way. Even with their foot in the door with their EyeToy camera, Sony's half-hearted attempt at motion control was poorly executed and even was even poorer in game support.

Spoiler:
Rumble: Sony introduced a Playstation controller with integrated rumble the same month that the Rumble Pak was released, and both Sony and Nintendo followed in the footsteps of various other companies who had released rumble products before this.

And who announced their products first? Nintendo, or Sony? Regardless, I've never heard anybody claim that Nintendo invented the technology inside the Rumble Pack, but that instead they were the first to find inventive uses in-game for said technology aside from 'you got hit so the controller shakes'. You could be right, but rumble is hardly a large point on Nintendo's list of achievements.

Spoiler:
Controllers with integrated screens: Sega introduced this in 1999.

I don't know about you, but I own a Dreamcast, and the VMU was absolutely -nothing- like the Wii-U, as you are implying. The Dreamcast VMU is next to useless and was hardly a draw for the console. It was a memory card, for crying out loud. Nintendo hasn't copied the tiny monochrome screen of the Dreamcast. Even if they had, they waited thirteen years to do it and have actually made the feature worth having, and put it front and center. Not even Sega would tell you that they deserve the credit Nintendo gets for the Wii-U GamePad. This wasn't worth even insinuating.

Spoiler:
The ability to stream console games remotely on a small screen. Sony has been doing this for several years now.

It's been done, sure, but you have to spend (or have spent, if you already happen to own both consoles) colossal amounts of money for a poor setup that very few games actually support, let alone reliably, especially on PlayStation Vita. Nintendo is the first to make this feature a primary one that everyone can do straight out of the box. Sony does these sorts of things as unrefined afterthoughts. Nintendo takes ideas and turns them into selling points. I own a PS3, every iteration of the PSP, and a Vita, and this feature has neverbeen worth using. Lag, poor picture quality, poor receptions across the house, the aforementioned lack of support by PS3 games, and many other problems all guaranteed that this feature couldn't be used effectively.

Spoiler:
Besides all these things, tons of the features of modern consoles did not come from Nintendo. Dual analog controllers, analog triggers, robust account-based online services with easy contact management and achievements, and many other things came about because other companies pushed for them. Nintendo may be a bit more bold at times in their willingness to position novel features front and center in their hardware and software, but they're far from the only innovative gaming company out there.

Sure, not all of those came from Nintendo, but thinking that any of that amounts to half of what Nintendo pulls out is another thing entirely. Calling achievements "innovation" is a massive stretch that I can't help but chuckle at it. It's a near worthless artificial scam that tricks people into believing that a game has replay value when it doesn't, and the idea that it's forced on all developers is obscene. Play games because they're fun and you want too, not because they add to a completely useless "score" of some type. Online services are nice, but existed on PC's before any of the three console manufacturers got to it in their respective consoles.

If by "A bit more bold at times" you mean "the only one doing anything differently with their consoles", then yeah, they're "a bit more bold". As for other companies innovating, sure. But far and away, innovation is Nintendo's game. Sony and Microsoft are more than happy recycling that same crappy controller, and making sure they can still play Halo, respectively. There's nothing wrong with sticking to what works. Lacking innovation isn't a bad thing, but Sony and Microsoft never do it in any way that actually pushes them forward. What innovation they put forth is either an answer to Nintendo (Kinect, Move) or something they never put any stock into (Eyetoy).

Spoiler:
I started out by claiming that pretty much across the board DS games could be done effectively on a single-screen system, that was my statement. So far you haven't proved otherwise, and have resorted to such things as saying that an obscure, barely used feature that indeed functions by use of a button could not be emulated in a functional sense by a button, and that the space-filling progress bar in NSMB is an essential feature, even though it still isn't being integrated to the console games, to nobody's loss. Now you're making fan claims about Nintendo that are flagrantly inaccurate.

I have proven otherwise, you just won't listen. The World Ends With You, Hotel Dusk, Trace Memory, and DS FPS titles were three examples of games and an entire genre that would not have been possible without the second screen. If you still insist that they could have been done, it matters little because they would not have been done. Those games came out on DS for a reason, and it's a very simple one. Nintendo forced developers to be innovative and it clearly worked. The DS has what's easily one of the most creative libraries of games in the industry. Few would bother to refute that. You're the one grasping at straws, still pretending that I'm talking about sleep mode and the mechanics behind it rather than the highly immersive and creative use that having a second screen allowed that pressing a button is not going to capture. You're the one grasping at straws claiming that cutting a screen in half would give both characters enough space in The World Ends With You. I never called the progress bar any such thing. I only pointed out that without the second screen it wouldn't be there, so how the second screen is "worthless", I can't imagine. If it existed at all it would be taking up even more space on top of the action.

Spoiler:
If you like having two screens, that's fine, you have that right, and one size doesn't fit all, but I don't have to agree. I think it's rather telling that nobody else has bothered to go the same route as Nintendo in building their hardware around this feature, though, unlike in the cases I listed above.

What I find more telling is your idea that the feature must not be innovative or important because Sony and Microsoft didn't deem it worthy of stealing. That's the funniest thing I've heard in a while, and it was almost as funny the second time you said it. You're right though, one size certainly does not fit all. Me and 152 Million people will be over here enjoying our maps and menus no longer crowding and covering our gaming experiences, as we have for the past eight years, and can now continue to enjoy on our consoles. I suggest, if you haven't already, that you check out Sony. They've got, quite literally, every single thing you want in both the handheld and console departments.

You say you're done, and that's fine. It's been a pleasure discussing this with you.

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