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Nintendo criticized at GDC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 07 Mar 2007 19:59 User comments (34)

Nintendo criticized at GDC At the recent Game Developers Conference, Chris Hecker, the founder of "Defintion 6", unleashed an attack on the Wii and Nintendo claiming they fail to recognize games as an "art form".
His attack came during the "Burning Mad: Game Publishers Rant session". Last year at the same rant session, he attacked the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for focusing on graphics instead of gameplay. He finished off his 2006 rant by asking "Will Nintendo save us?". Judging by his 2007 rant, the answer to that is "No".

Included in his rant were the following comments: "I have uncovered the secret to Wii manufacturing. The way you manufacture a Wii is you take two GameCubes and some duct tape".

He continues with: "This thing is totally underpowered... This is not about graphics, more polygons, all that kind of crap. What I want to be able to do is spend CPU to make the machine smarter, more interesting and more automatically intelligent.

"It's about interactivity - that is the key differentiator of our art form, and interactivity is about doing something interesting with that input and threading it back to the user. You can't do that with a POS underpowered computer."


Hecker then questioned whether Nintendo cared about games as an "art form".He observed that a simple Google search revealed that the phrase "art form" was found on PlayStation.com 30 times, on Xbox.com 13 times, and a combined 7 times on Wii.com and nintendo.com.

Hecker then took a quote from Zelda creator Eiji Aonuma, "I don't feel that games can necessarily be considered art. There's nothing wrong with that; our goal is just to make games that are fun." His response was: "This is not good enough for people who are leading our industry... If we're going to make games the art from of the 21st century, we need people who care more than just, 'I'm going to make some fun toys."

Hecker concluded his speech by outlining his demands for Nintendo: "Number one: recognise and push games as a serious art form. Number two: make a console that doesn't suck ass."

Source:
Gamesindustry.biz

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34 user comments

17.3.2007 20:19

Well number one: Mr. Chris Hecker you suck ass and Number two: it doesn't matter what you think and if you don't like that make your own damn console.

27.3.2007 20:44
theridges
Inactive

"It's about interactivity - that is the key differentiator of our art form, and interactivity is about doing something interesting with that input and threading it back to the user. You can't do that with a POS underpowered computer."

What system does the user interact with more than the Damn Wii...
what an Idiot Get a life..

37.3.2007 20:46

Wow this guy went to town.

Interesting how he arguesd about interactivity when that is one of Wii's strong points though.

The gamecube duct tape thing made me laugh though.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Mar 2007 @ 23:27

47.3.2007 21:37

i wonder if he's even played a Wii. but yea anyways hes probably some loser who believes he stuck in the matrix well Chris Hecker u should try and leap from building to building and find out for ur self ^^

SmeeZus

57.3.2007 22:02
theridges
Inactive

Quote:
Last year at the same rant session, he attacked the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for focusing on graphics instead of gameplay.

And now he is saying the Wii is too weak with graphics??
what a hypocrite...

67.3.2007 22:55

Quote:
And now he is saying the Wii is too weak with graphics??
what a hypocrite...

no hes saying it doesn't have a powerful enough cpu for AI in games
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 07 Mar 2007 @ 22:56

77.3.2007 22:59

ah, so games are an art form instead of a business form?... that explains why he publishes the games for free... hypocrite indeed...

88.3.2007 2:08
BobbyBlu
Inactive

Quote:
The way you manufacture a Wii is you take two GameCubes and some duct tape".
LMAO..But he is a hypocrite.I wonder did anyone remind him what he said last year....lol.

98.3.2007 2:55

Quote:
His attack came during the "Burning Mad: Game Publishers Rant session". Last year at the same rant session, he attacked the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for focusing on graphics instead of gameplay. He finished off his 2006 rant by asking "Will Nintendo save us?". Judging by his 2007 rant, the answer to that is "No".
I'll give you some rope for this one,Nintendo is not putting the extra bit of needed polish in controls,Sony and MS are still as lost as ever.

Quote:
"
Included in his rant were the following comments: "I have uncovered the secret to Wii manufacturing. The way you manufacture a Wii is you take two GameCubes and some duct tape".

He continues with: "This thing is totally underpowered... This is not about graphics, more polygons, all that kind of crap. What I want to be able to do is spend CPU to make the machine smarter, more interesting and more automatically intelligent.

"It's about interactivity - that is the key differentiator of our art form, and interactivity is about doing something interesting with that input and threading it back to the user. You can't do that with a POS underpowered computer."
Ok the WII is a bit underpowered but to rape it verbally is a bit much....

Quote:
Hecker then took a quote from Zelda creator Eiji Aonuma, "I don't feel that games can necessarily be considered art. There's nothing wrong with that; our goal is just to make games that are fun." His response was: "This is not good enough for people who are leading our industry... If we're going to make games the art from of the 21st century, we need people who care more than just, 'I'm going to make some fun toys."

ya ya ya ya you fail to see the art within because you have your elitist glasses on I am sorry but I would rather have a fun game/movie over a POS posh artistry pointless game or movie...much like good writing in Hollywood good gameplay/fun is rarity in gaming.

In final its not Nintendo's fault games are not a art form look at all the other publishers what do you think they do when they have a choice between a Quick cash title a "art" game or one of thos games that breaks the mold thats great in story/art and fun? they pick the whatever will get them cash as soon as possible....

108.3.2007 5:33

He should have lunch with Jack Thompson and talk about how Super Monkey Ball is not art and how violent it is, and video games should be banned forever...

118.3.2007 6:20

i agree with him.. the wii isnt all its cracked up to be. I do have a good time playing sports on there, but it could easily be a 100 dollar add on feature for any ps3 or 360.

its so simple it doesnt deserve to be its own console. The controller delays and bugs out which can be annoying during certain games. if that was better, and the graphics were better for action games, it would be legitimate.

far cry was the worst game ever on wii. The most horrible controls and graphics.

128.3.2007 6:38

He could create a game where you use the wii-mote like a paintbrush and paint on your tv screen, that would be artistic...

138.3.2007 7:12
vdawg1
Inactive

last time i checked, I didn't play video games to learn about art. Heck you can't even bring a game system to class. I dont want to have my wii in a glass case looking at it and thinking, "is that baroque?" I swear anyone with money makes up the dumbiest contests and awards for just about anything. But if somebody wants to buy my wii for 1 million, I'll sell it to them. I'll play along too. "Yes I acquired that piece from the late Mario Mario. Now that was an artist, who else could make ink plots from smashing turtles?"

148.3.2007 8:36

Originally posted by jetyi83:
i agree with him.. the wii isnt all its cracked up to be. I do have a good time playing sports on there, but it could easily be a 100 dollar add on feature for any ps3 or 360.

its so simple it doesnt deserve to be its own console. The controller delays and bugs out which can be annoying during certain games. if that was better, and the graphics were better for action games, it would be legitimate.

far cry was the worst game ever on wii. The most horrible controls and graphics.
*L*
could be worse XIII on the GC has non configurable controls you are given the generic defaults and nothing else,the reasn for it a pub not willing to let/pay the dev to port the game over fully there are going to be alot of pubs/devs doing poor ports but they dont give a damn about play control.

Nintendo them selfs can fix this by making the WII fully RE configurable meaning you go into the OS go into a control config setup and remap all the controls and sensitivities,hell devs could polish the control schemes bit by bit and to add to it you can save and share your control schemes Nintendo is losing control because of greed by others...

158.3.2007 11:24

I believe it was EGM, or Game Informer; who interviewed Hideo Kojima regarding MGS4, and his vision for the gaming industry. The piece was largely centered around games as 'art'. And what was the opinion of someone recognized for making some of the most cinematicly in depth, best selling games in the last decade?

"A game is not art."

I'm not saying he's correct, or that he's wrong. But whether(you feel?) that a coporation or a producer recognizes the medium as 'art' is irrelevant to whether the product is tragic or phenominal. He was complaining about a system being underpowered and stating:

Quote:
This thing is totally underpowered... This is not about graphics, more polygons, all that kind of crap. What I want to be able to do is spend CPU to make the machine smarter, more interesting and more automatically intelligent.
This comes as a major strike of hypocracy. He went from "I want to be an artist" last year, to "I want a machine so crazy fast that I can be lazy, and not have to work to make good AI/cpu threads." It's really pathetic that this is his complaint. Especially in an industry where the PS2, the most underpowered system for a good five-six year cycle, remained on top, with lots of innovative titles.

I feel that the industry is becoming spoiled to good hardware, and is unwilling to work on condesing their bandwidth usage, through better optimization. They want machines that are so fast it won't matter. Last year they didn't care, they just wanted innovation; now that they've got it, they aren't interested anymore.

It's just a good example that most people will never be satisfied with what they've got to work with, there's always "more" they want.

I hope he gets laughed out of the industry for his 180 degree turn of hipocracy; but he won't, fools high up will praise him as a genius for being so bold as to criticize the industry. I always goes that way. I hope to see more developers like Carmack, who genuinely spent a lot of time optimizing code, condensing bandwidth, and basically 'inventing the better mousetrap' with what he's got; rather than what he wishes he had. It's because of developers like him, and Kojima, who strongly searches for the best presentation and immersion methods; that we have the memorable gaming experiences that we do. Not because of some hypocrite criticizing the industry from every possible angle.

168.3.2007 11:38

Hansom
can I have some of your IQ? I doubt you would need all 1000 of it :P
Art is where you find it,I love transformers and think they are a form of art,the art world would piss in its pants if it heard that,piss in its pants then display it with the cross in pee,point is a great game that can tell a great story and not lose allot of the basics of being a game is "art" at tis best a dim lil 2d blob fighter is "art" at its worst...

178.3.2007 13:19

Who the hell does this guy think he is?!

And what the hell is "Definition 6"?!

188.3.2007 13:35

my 3 year old cousin will probably grow up knowing only game controllers that you tilt and move and swing. if that's not artful i don't know what is.

he'll get to watch his 12 year old brother play nintendo wii because his mom can afford to buy him one. i'm sure the low processing power on the cpu has something to do with it being less expensive than a ps2 was when they were released.
wii was the baddest on the block before i even played it. reason being i can freakin afford to buy it, plus it comes with a game(first in years). if you can afford a ps3, take my advice and buy a wii, then use the leftover money to buy an xbox360. or a library of wii games.

198.3.2007 14:04
tourchman
Inactive

i agree with vashwolf.

208.3.2007 16:10

Lol; I also agree with vashdwolf. :D

@ZippyDSM - Here you go; I'm lending you 100 of it. But beware, if you aren't absolutely careful with it, you'll get a huge, overbloated sense of pride and arrogance, start spouting off opinions as facts; then tell off senior members and get yourself banned. lol.

It's good to be back.

And I want that 100 back tenfold; I hope you're a good investor!

Edit:
I find the 'art' argument completely trivial, yet a lot of people argue passionately. Art is a matter of opinion. Especially when you consider some of the extreme 'abstract' artists in the last decades. We could all argue until we're blue in the face; but I'd rather sit down and play the games.... Or at least argue about the games themselves, lol. :D But really; don't let anyone's stance on games as art/not art give you any conceptions of the quality they produce, it's an unrelated opinion, as Hideo Kojima is a great example of.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Mar 2007 @ 16:13



"Its not stupid, its advanced!" - The Almighty Tallest, Invader Zim

218.3.2007 16:23
mark5hs
Inactive

though he does have a point. there is no reason why Wii couldn't have been at least twice as powerful at its price point

228.3.2007 21:26

Quote:
Chris Hecker, the founder of "Defintion 6"

Definition 6, by there website, it doesnt even look like they make games, so what is he bitching about? ( http://www.definition6.com/home.asp ) Also, if you need good processing power to made "art" then The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past wouldnt be considered art even though the graphics on it were absolutely amazing. Looked like they took the graphics right out of a picture book. Also, if you need more power to make "art" then I guess he thinks DoA Extreme Beach Volleyball would be qualify. Like Zippy has said for the past 6 months, give me a fun game over any "art."

P.S. Glad Zippy brought up that Piss Cross picture. Some dude got paid to piss on things and take a picture of it and everyone called it "art." Now thats what you call *cough*bullsh!t*cough*cough*.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Mar 2007 @ 21:27

God hates console fan boys.
http://cad-comic.com/comic.php?d=20050205
-----
May the way of the hero lead to the Triforce.

239.3.2007 7:03

Wii is supprisingly underpowered. I don't understand why they couldn't make it a bit better. And it's not like it came out super cheap. It can out at a very standard price with no real games and the extra controllers and such are very expensive. The games arn't that cheap eather. Overall it has some neat concepts, but it ends up being not enough in the end. It'll take some creative genious to bring out any sort of meaningfull or longlasting game.

249.3.2007 9:58

Originally posted by Legir:
Wii is supprisingly underpowered. I don't understand why they couldn't make it a bit better. And it's not like it came out super cheap. It can out at a very standard price with no real games and the extra controllers and such are very expensive. The games arn't that cheap eather. Overall it has some neat concepts, but it ends up being not enough in the end. It'll take some creative genious to bring out any sort of meaningfull or longlasting game.
No real games, huh? Then what would you consider Zelda: Twilight Princess to be?

259.3.2007 12:02

The Wii isn't by any means a "Standard" price. It's the cheapest console(tv, not portable) launch in quite some time. Plus it's the first one to be *launched* with a pack in game in a decade. To say this is standard is ludicrous. Despite raising game prices, and new systems skyrocketing higher and higher; Nintendo managed to launch a system for less than the PS2 launched for over five years before; while even including a game.

That's honestly quite a feat. Sure, they aren't putting out a bazillion-core processor with hyperactive multi-threading and 800 gigabyte hard drive; but they're delivering a brand new control type, and giving you more out of the box than the ps3 did. I won't say the 360, and it's not for 'fanboy' reasons; it's because the 360 launched with it's online store up and running, with about twelve live arcade games, movie and game trailers, and full online play all on day one. The PS3 did not have all that on day one. Regardless of your personal opinions on the systems, these are facts.

Nintendo has done a marvelous job of launching a system with great new ways for the developers to draw you in with methods they have never been able to. They've launched it cheaper than the competition, and ensured game developers a large audience to develop for by enticing consumers to purchase it with a pack-in game.

I'm not saying Wii Sports is a great game. It's not, unless you have a bunch of buddies, and even then, it gets old. But it's a pack in game that makes full use of the system's controller, and enjoyably lets you try out the functions of the system; which is more than could be said at the launch of the 360 and the PS3. Nintendo sought to be a better value on day one, regardless of specs. And, here comes the opinion part, I think they did, by putting out a lower price point; including internal memory, without making a Core/Premium setup; and making it come with a game to enjoy with friends and family(Even if it does feel extremely limited).

I can't say I'm dissapointed in Nintendo's new system in the least; it's exactly what I expected, and my hopes were high.

To criticize Nintendo's package seems completely out of place, because they've provided a more complete experience for a fraction of the price. Quite frankly, I'll live with the fact that it's 900Mhz; although as stated before, this speed isn't directly comparable to a PC at 900Mhz, it runs extra cycles, and it more comparable to a 1.2ghz system, which is still slower than the competition, significantly. But I'd rather see lower end graphics and enjoy my game more. And this really goes back to the 'art' statement, if you are someone who believes in games as art, this leads that Nintendo is more interested in providing you with the better experience, rather than cheap production values on high graphics. Even if you're not, it at least goes to show that Nintendo genuinely believes in making a game immersive by any means necessary; and immersion provides some of the best experiences to be found in gaming.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Mar 2007 @ 12:03



"Its not stupid, its advanced!" - The Almighty Tallest, Invader Zim

269.3.2007 12:04

He later appologized for his remark:

http://wii.ign.com/articles/771/771849p1.html

279.3.2007 12:22

Games aren't about graphics, but I admit that Nintendo has one weak-ass system.

They should have put a little more thought into the CPU and graphics engine. The Wii is going to fall into the same trap that the Gamcube fell itno.

Without the ability to have high definition xbox360/PS3 ports that also contain physical calculations that the Wii cannot compute, it [Wii] is isolating itself.

The idea of the Wiimote control interface is great, but more raw horsepower under the hood is needed to keep up with the market over the next few years.

Their only hope is to come out with some really ingenious killer apps.

289.3.2007 14:48

The controller is what gives it an edge in the killer apps department; provided developers start using it right, like Atlus did with Trauma Center and Nintendo with their first party software.

I think that will keep it from falling into the 'cube-hole, personally, much like the DS stylus did against the vastly superior PSP system. Nintendo knows what they're doing here, IMO.

While I wouldn't ind more horsepower, better gameplay is going to be more decisive in this war, I think. It proved to be true in the portable race, so it may likely be true on the console race as well, perhaps...




"Its not stupid, its advanced!" - The Almighty Tallest, Invader Zim

299.3.2007 16:41
bugguy
Inactive

Maybe I am just not catching things right but this is what I hear from Mr. Hecker.

1. I don't see the hypocrisy that everyone is talking about. He did not praise Nintendo last year. He posed a question that was valid. He simply wanted to know if Nintendo would save us from games that relied too much on graphics and not enough on content.

2. Hecker is not attacking the quality of graphics on the Wii, he was disappointed that the Wii focused too much on graphics and not enough on the AI.
This is not about graphics, more polygons, all that kind of crap. What I want to be able to do is spend CPU to make the machine smarter, more interesting and more automatically intelligent.

3. It appears to me that Hecker's version of "interactive" means brains, not brawn. I don't think that he is talking about swinging a controller like a golf club. He seems to be going more along the lines of games that challenge us to think and use our brains to outwit the game.

309.3.2007 18:36

Originally posted by handsom:
The controller is what gives it an edge in the killer apps department; provided developers start using it right, like Atlus did with Trauma Center and Nintendo with their first party software.

I think that will keep it from falling into the 'cube-hole, personally, much like the DS stylus did against the vastly superior PSP system. Nintendo knows what they're doing here, IMO.

While I wouldn't ind more horsepower, better gameplay is going to be more decisive in this war, I think. It proved to be true in the portable race, so it may likely be true on the console race as well, perhaps...
meh the PSP needed that 2nd nub for better porting,if it had that and maybe a 50$ price drop it would almsot be even with the DS but sicne the PSP was sloppy with tis design, ports were half arsed half the time and since the ports where lacking it could not right itself with enough 3rd party games to catch up with the DS,its not like the DS is prefect but they need to better support the PSP 2......



Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

---
Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

3110.3.2007 13:45

bloody tossjob how old is this man and he's speaking crap about kids computer consoles

3210.3.2007 20:02

Originally posted by johnblaze:
He later appologized for his remark:

wii.ign.com/articles/771/771849p1.html
Ranting like sarcasm maybe? I didn't play the game from round dere until just now, but that's becuase I had to hit it with AVG seven and a half times. Dogpile search for definition six turned up http://www.d6.com at sometime around exactly 18:35 on 03/08/07.

Carefully read the website and carefully download the game and when you try and tactfully play it you're going to get it. It says I'm hosting a game now or something, but the point is he got me. I think he got us all. If we drag this thread out enough we might figure it out.

I think he simply wants to spark the sort of fervent discussion and debate in the industry as we are participating in on this very forum. The king of the hill is the company that wins that debate, for the record.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Mar 2007 @ 23:26

nintendo:sony::ford:chevy

3310.3.2007 21:33

Sounds to me like he's an angry Jack Ass. He needs to get off the drugs and realize how well Nintendo is doing compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360, they must being doing something right. He actually doesn't sound like he knows what he's talking about. Like a sad little kid bitching about gay ass art crap.

3417.3.2007 5:56

If this idiot does not like any of the consoles, he should create one or shut up.

About Nintendo, if it suck so much, how is still impossible to get one WII?? it's sold out everywhere!!! they can't keep it in stock, perhaps regular families don't read geek's web sites......

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