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Are sequels bad for the sport?

Joystiq Staff

Sequels are a double-edged sword in the gaming world. On one hand, you have familiarity and nostalgia appeal and on the other you have cries of non-originality and staleness. Blogger SuicideNinja gives a nice breakdown of each side, complete with stereotypical examples of why sequels are both bad and good for the industry on their respective consoles.

In this easy-to-read post, SuicideNinja takes you inside the mind of fanboys on all three fronts -- Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. He then follows up a typical blind rant with a reality check of just what he thinks is really going on. We dissect it all for you after the break.

First he tackles Microsoft:

  • Why they support the consoles: As for the Xbox, they either waited to buy this "better" console [Xbox] or bought it after buying the PS2 and were disappointed from its lack of everything Sony promised.
  • Why they think the other consoles suck: They lack comprehensive online services such as Xbox Live. The PS2 and Gamecube have less features and were less powerful.
It's safe to say that the 360 will try to bank not only on Halo 3 and other key sequels -- such as Fable 2 and Forza 2 -- but also on a bevy of original titles slated to hit the system. Since Microsoft is relatively new to the console game, their reliance on ancient original IPs hasn't been as strong as the other two, allowing them to appear on the outside like the more original of the three. But, Microsoft's clock is ticking, as SuicideNinja says: "Some gamers feel that the 'good wave' of titles is taking too long to arrive."

Sony fanboys are up next:
  • Why they support the consoles: The PlayStation has the largest library, and has the most popular exclusives.
  • Why they think the other consoles suck: Most likely, they never tried the other consoles, or played them very briefly. The competition's library is smaller.
Despite the loss of exclusivity with the Grand Theft Auto franchise, Sony still has a list of exclusive sequels to make any gamer's jaw drop. As long as they continue to hold the aces of Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy in their hand, then Sony need not worry about anyone coming close to bringing them down. Even as the PS3 makes your stomach grumble for the next year or so, there are so many good PS2 games coming out to tide you over that it might not even matter. By the time the PS3 price drops and things have stabilized, who's to say that Sony won't be smiling on top of the mountain after all?

And, last but not least, the rabid fan base of Nintendo:
  • Why they support the consoles: They are totally content with Nintendo's first-party offerings. Nostalgic value is present for older gamers.
  • Why they think the other consoles suck: The other consoles don't have Nintendo's first-party titles. They aren't innovative in the next generation.
Nintendo is the ultimate wild card. No one can argue the immense interest and popularity the Nintendo booth garnered at E3. The big question is if this monumental shift in momentum will continue into the fall when the Wii is finally released. Will the company's continued reliance on sequels continue to propel Nintendo forward into a new generation? Certainly it hasn't hurt them. Mario is still going strong. Zelda is a guaranteed hit and the Pokémon franchise still sells like virtual crack.

So, all in all, are sequels still your best bet or are new franchises the way to go? It'd be wise to put your money down on a console or game maker that can give you a good mix of both. Sequels really aren't the enemy here. Bad games are.

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