Friday, May 05, 2006

Nintendo has stunned us three times. First, they showed a stunning console design at E3 2005. Second, at TGS 2005 they showed us a stunning interface. Lastly, they revealed the stunning name of the console: the look and name both mean something. What's next at E3 2006?
You should not be stunned if the graphics look as good as the competition on ED-TV and maybe HD-TV. Nintendo knows how to make consoles. For example, many beginner Game Boy Advance programmers complain that the system does not have a floating point unit. However, in a 2-D game, floating point calculations are not often needed. The ARM32 can do left and right shifts in constant time. With fixed point arithmetic and look up tables, you can do fast calculations. Thus Nintendo saves money by having a CPU that does not support floating point operations. How would have Sony and Microsoft implemented the GBA? Moreover, how much power do you need to make impressive graphics?
And consider the following from http://revolution.ign.com/articles/704/704644p1.html:
"So much of what we do at the moment relies on textures," says David King a freelance modeler based in the UK. "Normal mapping, light mapping, dynamic cubic reflection mapping, depth mapping, it's all maps. Strangely, texture memory isn't expanding fast enough to deliver on the consoles."

Why haven't Sony and MS delivered on this need? Do you think Nintendo will?