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Reasons Nintendo Won't Have the Next GBA at E3 (Broken)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on March 06, 2005   |   Episode 60 (Show Archive)  

WALL OF TEXT EXPLAINED: What you're looking at is an episode of Countdown w/ Defunct Games published before 2006. As you can tell, something has gone horribly awry. I won't bore you with the technical details, but it has to do with the old layout being incompatible with the new. Eventually, we would like to retrofit these old episodes of Countdown, but that will require a significant amount of time. As Defunct Games has only a limited staff, we aren't sure when we'll have the chance to fix this article. If you absolutely need to know what this article said, get a hold of us on Twitter or leave a message in the comment section below. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you will enjoy the episodes created post-2006.

#5 Three Portables in Five Years? For a company who took over a decade to release a follow up to the Game Boy, it seems out of character for them to announce a third portable all within a five year period. Although nobody expected the Game Boy Advance to live nearly as long as the original, I suspect that a lot of people felt it would be a viable platform for a few years longer. And what does this do for the Nintendo DS, a system that won't even be a year old at E3. Even if Nintendo still plans on supporting the dual screened handheld, one has to be concerned about third parties . who already seem to prefer programming on for Sony's rival PSP. But beyond what it would do to its current portables, it would simply be too out of character for Nintendo to announce and release three portables all within this short of time frame. This is Nintendo we're talking about, a company that has always marched to a different drummer. #4 Nintendo Doesn't Have Any More Console Games to Port! Anybody who has ever owned a Nintendo handheld knows that you can expect a fair share of remakes. Heck, most of the biggest games for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS has been remakes of games on classic Nintendo consoles. But with the Game Boy recreating the feeling of the NES, the Game Boy Advance being on par with the Super NES, and their recent Nintendo DS doing as good of an imitation of the Nintendo 64 as you could want, it would seem like Nintendo has run out of old consoles to remake games from. With Nintendo standing by the GameCube until at least next year it would seem unlikely for Nintendo to port those games when they still expect gamers and parents to buy them for the console. I suppose they could remake a few of those Virtual Boy games . but on second thought. #3 Nintendo Stresses Innovation over Technology Although Nintendo fought the CD format and online gaming, lately they have been a voice for change and innovation. The Nintendo DS is full of new ideas and they promise that their next console would be more just an upgrade, stressing new concepts and ways to play. While I have no doubt that Nintendo could pull out another unique portable to go toe to toe with the PSP, common sense would point to Nintendo using the strengths of their current systems instead of rushing out a new system with better graphics. After all, at E3 2004 Nintendo talked non-stop about how the DS would revolutionize the way we play games, and while that hasn't happened, it would seem odd for them to simply try something new when they haven't tapped the resources of their current system. Sometimes innovation doesn't mean the games are going to look and sound the best. #2 They're Already Going to Announce the New Console Late last year the heads of Nintendo announced that we would hear about their next console at E3 2005. A direct quote by Reggie Flis-Aime in EGM states that they've "gone on record saying we'll be sharing much more details [on the new console] come E3." Assuming the successor to the GameCube is announced at E3 (which it certainly sounds like it's going to be), what would the point of announcing a new portable be? Two system announcements at the same time runs the risk of limiting coverage of both consoles. Announce too much and something is bound to be forgotten in the excitement, and chances are it would be the new portable device. Nintendo isn't stupid, unless the new console IS a portable and a console combination; there is no reason for them to announce two systems at the same time. #1 Nintendo Still Leads the Handheld Race With all this talk about how the PSP is going to over power the GBA and DS you'd think Sony had already won, but things couldn't be further from the truth. In actuality the PSP hasn't even been released in the U.S., so we have no idea how receptive the market will be to this new handheld. But even if the PSP does better than expected, the numbers don't lie, and Nintendo has sold a hell of a lot of GBA and DS systems, and won't be threatened by just a few million PSP units selling. Of course, in the long run Nintendo may have something to worry about, but when it comes to E3 2005, Nintendo is sitting in the driver's seat; the same seat they've been in since the launch of the original Game Boy over fifteen years ago. Question: Why would Nintendo want to get rid of their Game Boy Advance, hasn't it sold millions of systems? Although the GBA has been an extremely successful portable for Nintendo, they can't overlook the fact that they are losing millions, possibly billions of dollars in illegal pirating online. Granted, piracy is a problem for all consoles and companies, but the Game Boy Advance was a special case. Unlike most console games that come on DVDs, GBA games were small and could be downloaded in a matter of minutes. They were also extremely easy to crack and pirate, leaving the window open to millions of people who normally wouldn't be able to pirate games. Plus, the games ran flawlessly on just about every computer, no matter how slow it was. Seeing this problem, and the potential loss of millions of dollars, Nintendo has been trying to come up with a solution for some time now. It would make more sense for Nintendo to slowly phase out the GBA while refocusing attention on the Nintendo DS. Thanks to the fact that it plays GBA games, it makes it an easy transition, and has already been proven to be a popular item. But a lot of people seem to think that the DS is not the successor, and thus, if the GBA dies, Nintendo will need to release another portable to take over for the loss. While the PSP is a technologically superior system, nobody knows how well it's going to sell in 2005, and it's in Nintendo's best interest to watch the market and see what happens. I suspect we'll see fewer GBA games at E3, but I just don't see why Nintendo would want to release another portable so soon after the DS. Perhaps we will all be surprised in May.


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