Saturday, July 14, 2007

Adam Bergstein and the Nintendo E3 Keynote

The Nintendo keynote address at E3 raises some interesting questions. How many women really play video games? Is Nintendo regressing in technology? Want a video game that knows how much fat we have? The beginning of the keynote explained that a larger increase in female gamers is evident in today’s gamer population. 33% of gamers are women between the ages of 25 and 49, which is a substantial increase over previous years. Nintendo would love to claim responsibility for this statistic, which is why they bring it up. I think it is more a case of people recognizing that female gamers are out there. The gamer girls have been there all along, only now there is a statistic to prove it.

A few new snazzies were announced at Nintendo’s toned down keynote, the first being the Wii Zapper. I fail to see how regressing back to the origins of video gaming is somehow a revolution. The light gun is the oldest of old school technology, and so I’m a bit disappointed that this is the great innovation from ultimate leaders in gaming technology. The same goes for their second release, the Wii balance board, which harkens back to the Power Pad available on the original NES. Yes, the Wii balance board can measure weight, center of gravity and BMI, and yes it’s wireless, but I fail to see how this is some great leap in technology when they’ve done it before. All this borrowing from previous years might be smart, but it’s not new. It just makes me tired.