Nintendo vice president speaks
NOA vice president George Harrison talks 'bout a Revolution
Amid the loud roars and beating chests of Sony and Microsoft last week, you'd be forgiven for forgetting about Nintendo completely.
Nintendo - the once dominating force of videogames - sat quietly in the corner, all alone and looking at its watch every five minutes, while its rivals danced and cheered the night away, full of satisfaction and optimism.
But Nintendo hasn't given up. The lack of any next-gen gameplay footage and the omission of the 'revolutionary' controller at the pre-E3 Nintendo conference may have been a disappointment, but Nintendo does have a plan up its sleeve.
In a recent interview with US website GameSpot, Nintendo of America vice president George Harrison answered some burning questions, finally giving some kind of clue as to how Nintendo plans to play this generation.
Beginning by referring to Nintendo's next-gen chances, Harrison confidently claimed, "Revolution will have no real problem standing up to [PS3 and Xbox 360]," keenly pointing out that, while Sony and Microsoft have laid their cards on the table, Nintendo is yet to actually reveal its final specs, regardless of what has been said by the press.
Harrison then explained that getting developers on board is key to the Revolution strategy, and Nintendo is working hard to ensure Revolution is both easy and cheap to develop for.
As far as what makes the console revolutionary, Harrison was coy regarding the controller, instead focusing on Nintendo's online plans and downloadable games service.
"People sort of picked on us for not prematurely jumping into online or internet gaming," he mused, going on to point out that now the company has more to offer besides online gaming. Harrison then confirmed that past-gen, Nintendo-created titles will indeed be downloadable for free.
This is a clever move by Nintendo: regardless of the final power of Revolution and the frequency of new titles, Nintendo knows that its loyal fans will cry tears of joy over a free service that lets them download previous Nintendo classics straight out of the box.
Third-party developers could charge for the privilege to download though. Or, alternatively, they could offer downloadable classics as an incentive to buy their next-gen full price releases. Either way, classic Nintendo titles such as Castlevania and MegaMan may not be immediately accessible.
A similar model applies to online gaming. Playing Nintendo titles across the internet will be free, whereas third-party publishers will be able to charge whatever subscription rates they wish.
Still, with a massive back-catalogue of titles and some key franchises that gamers have been wanting to play online for some time - Mario Kart, to name but one - it's unlikely the occasional fee for a third-party offering will spoil Nintendo's idea too much.