- Feb 28, 2004
- Best answers
Ever since Nintendo stated that the Revolution will not likely support HD (High-Definition) content, tens of thousands of people have complained about the decision; many who complain do not even know what HD is. For those who don't, HD is, in short, a technology used on TVs and some computer monitors that allows for more pixels to be displayed on the screen. There are several different 'levels' of HD, each with a different level of quality. In essence, HD content allows for greater clarity when viewing TV or games. However, it comes at the cost of slower framerates, more processing power needed, and more disk-room needed on disk for HD content. Why wouldn't Nintendo want to get in on the HD-craze? After all, Sony and Microsoft are both supporting it...Is Nintendo getting left out in the cold again? Will this alienate Nintendo from the rest of the market? Perhaps...But than, perhaps not.
Is HD the future?
Sony and Microsoft have both chosen to support almost all of the HD formats in their next-gen console. Nintendo, however, has chosen to stay out of the HD-craze. Now, one thing to keep in mind is that by Nintendo staying out, that does not mean that those with HDTVs cannot use the Revolution. It simply means that the content will not have the same clarity as an HD broadcast. For those without HDTVs, HD will only raise the prices that you pay for games and consoles. So is HD the future or not? Sony and Microsoft say that it is, even going to the point where Microsoft refers to the next-gen age of gaming as 'The HD Era'. They claim that by the end of the next-generation consoles, nearly the entire world will own HDTV sets. Nintendo says differently. It should also be noted that at this time less than 20% of America, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, owns HDTVs...Imagine the percentage in other countries. Right now, HD is a luxury, not a must-have and Nintendo believes that it will remain that way throughout the next-generation console wars. Sony has reason to include HD support due to its marketing plan of keeping the PS3 out on the market for 10 years (double the traditional 4-5 year lifecycle of a console). By 2016, HD is sure to be the industry standard. Microsoft, however, has no reason to support HD. Their system will likely last only until 2011 and that generation would be a much more financially sensible time to introduce HD content. In addition, unlike Sony, Microsoft is not giving developers enough disk-space to create large games with HD content resulting in restraining the creativity of developers and the size of the game that they can create.
Nintendo has other reasons than the popularity of HD to back their decision. For example, by adding HD support, the price of a console may rise significantly. This is not only because of the support itself but also because the machine than needs a more powerful processor, larger optical disks to store large amounts of HD content on which leads to a more expensive optical disk reader, and so on. The fact is, HD support significantly increases the price of a console and Nintendo feels that at the current time, the tradeoff is not a favorable one especially considering that not many people would currently use the HD support. Therefore, they see no reason to add HD into the Revolution. From such a standpoint, the decision does make sense but this is not Nintendo's only reason.
Despite what common sense might tell you, Nintendo will likely have much more high-quality games than Sony and Microsoft simply because of the lack of HD support. You see, even if the competition has more powerful hardware, the lack of HD will allow for more content to be stored. HD content takes up MUCH more room than standard content thus allowing Nintendo to cut resources and produce the same game for a fraction of the cost. In addition, developers have stated that without HD, they would be able to do anything on the next-gen consoles. However, since HD will make the consoles lag much easier and will result in poor framerates, it limits the creativity of developers. Combining HD with the strains of developing on a multi-core system, the console suddenly becomes extremely difficult to develop quality games for. Since Nintendo is not supporting HD and will likely stick with single-core processors, the games that developers create for them will be virtually unrestrained. This will also likely gain Nintendo some additional third-party support.
Lastly, as most of you know, Nintendo's Revolution is shrouded in mystery. Though we know some features of it, the console's most important details have not yet been unveiled. We know next to nothing regarding the system....and even less about the controller. Yes, it is the controller that will supposedly bring about a revolution in the industry. Nobody knows anything about the controller except it will be simpler than others. Knowing this, many speculate that the reason for Nintendo's lack of HD support is coupled with the mysteries surrounding the Revolution. In otherwords, maybe the reason that Nintendo refuses to support HD is because it would be incompatible with certain features of the Revolution. Who knows? I sure as hell don't. But I sure wouldn't overlook it...It very well could be a possibility.
So is HD the future? I would say, yes, it is. But is it neccessary for the next-gen consoles? I would have to say no, it isn't. Currently, HD will place to many limitations on the games that developers can create. It will result in poor framerates and smaller games. It will raise prices of nearly all next-gen components significantly. However, by Nintendo staying out of the HD-craze, they are in fact allowing for developers to significantly decrease development time, decrease development costs, and lower prices for games and consoles in the coming generation. I feel that Nintendo is smart to sit out of this craze and I feel that by the 2011 generation, HD will be an essential. Until than, Nintendo will be better off without it.