Well at least these comments give me a laugh. Really guys: very funny. After 3 years reading the register I finally, well, register to reply to the above:
I mean, reading a 5 page review of a gaming console, and having an account with el reg, and then taking the trouble to say "you're all geeks, go out and get a life"...? That's one of the funniest posts I've ever seen on the web. If you can't see the irony there, then ignore my comments, thanks - no doubt the healthy outdoor game of soccer you were enjoying when you posted this will distract you anyway.....?
And then there's this practise of calling console features a "gimmick"...?
Last I looked, video game consoles are probably the closest thing I can think of to being a "gimmick" in and of themselves: by their very nature, if you want to be a puris. They flash and bleep as much as possible, do no real "job" and have no real "function" (bar "recreation" which we all know requires no specific hardware LOL) - I mean, what a plainly dumb remark. All innovation in a game is a "gimmick" - moot point.
Honestly, the QWERTY keyboard I'm typing on this is just a "gimmick", too - the altair 8800 didn't need one, why should this machine?
But Hey, I could pick holes all day: fact is I'm no nintendo freak but time after time after time they point the way for everyone else. This is not an opinion, there is a thing called "the videogames industry" which proves it.
Remember the way the games market collapsed in 1983 because of the lack of structure for royalties, rights management and designers being paid? Remember who came along and rebuilt it with solid ideas based on gaming markets?
Remember the famicom / NES? Remember those wierd controllers - cross arrows on the right, two buttons on the left - they introduced... and how everyone now uses them? Joypads?
Remember who put the most effort into forming JAMMA and making coinops and consoles the same industry?
Please, don't be so silly: Nintendo are a games company. Sony and Microsoft are (naff) Stereo and (terrible) Operating system brokers, respectively. To try and say that Nintendo is using "gimmicks" when the Xbox and PS3 are just graphic processors with expensive optical drives attached is hilarious.
After all, in 30 years time what Sony or MS titles will people remember like they remember Donkey Kong?
Hats off to nintendo, they seem, as ever, to actually give a damn about their target market - kids and young adults - by producing intelligent, innovative devices at low prices with high usability.
The rest of the industry could take a couple hundred pages out of their book, really.