6 games industry mistakes absolutely no-one learned from

Time flows like a river and history repeats...

It must be. Because for all the evolution and progress, there are certain monumental gaming screw-ups that keep happening. No matter how face-crunching a beating the previous perpetrator took as a result, there's always another company waiting to prove that a balls-up can strike in the same place twice.

Six absolute howlers are detailed overleaf, so come along and ready your best pointing finger and accusationally-toned laughter. Time flows like a river... and history repeats...*

Thinkingthat casual waggleis the future

Made by: Microsoft

Should have learned from: Nintendo, Sony

The original mistake: It%26rsquo;s small, it%26rsquo;s white, and it remains a pun factory for the terminally humourless.Remember Nintendo%26rsquo;s bright gleaming, motion-controlled future of 2006? Remember the reasons we got excited about it? (don%26rsquo;t pretend you didn%26rsquo;t) FPS. RTS. Deep, hitherto-unseen interaction with 3D environments. 1:1 sword fighting. But instead, the potential was wasted on turgid epileptic fit simulators and a thousand and one things involving bats.

Between an overly focused grab at the casual market and the failings of imprecise control inputs, all hardcore goodwill was swiftly lost and Nintendo%26rsquo;s long-held fanbase of serious gamers turned away from the Wii remote in droves. Despite Sony%26rsquo;s later comments about the wonder of the Sixaxis, it turned out we all preferred rumble after all.

The new mistake: The 360 is getting Kinect, a motion capture motion controller that once again promises a whole new era of interaction. And how did MS show it off at E3 2010, as the eyes of the world%26rsquo;s hardcore fell upon its wares? An overly focused grab at the casual market with bugger all to appeal to its own long-held fanbase, who are now turning away from Kinect in droves. And given the confirmed %26pound;129:99 price tag, it's ironically going to need that big-spending hardcore audience more than ever.

And Kudo Tsunoda%26rsquo;s recent Sony-aping comment that rumble about rumble being an outdated immersion tool did not help one little bit.

Made by: Microsoft

Should have learned from: Microsoft, 3DO

The original mistake(s): Powerful the original Xbox was, but an attractive piece of kit it was not. Looking for all the world like an obese VCR, it in no way helped MS%26rsquo; then woefully uncool computer-spod image as it tried to break into the hip new world of modern gaming. The 3DO%26rsquo;s best-known model was a similar aesthetic affront, with all the svelte consumer-baiting charm of a %26lsquo;roid-raging N64. The looks themselves didn%26rsquo;t hurt either of these machines, but they did ensure that our TV set ups became a great deal less sexy.

The new mistake: Who at MS thought that the %26lsquo;slimline%26rsquo; 360 should look like it had just been pulled out of a car wreck? Yes, it%26rsquo;s slightly smaller, but all those angular chunks make it look like a cubist sculpture chiselled out of a solid block of ugly.

Made by: Sony

Should have learned from: Sega

The original mistake: Going up against Nintendo%26rsquo;s monochrome Game Boy in 1990, Sega decided that the best retaliatory move was to launch a more powerful, full-colour handheld. But alas, handheld gaming culture works very differently from home gaming. Convenience and battery life are king, and the GG%26rsquo;s horsepower meant that the average gaming session lasted around 14 seconds unless you were plugged into a wall.

The new mistake: Going up against Nintendo%26rsquo;s quirkier, less powerful DS in 2004, Sony decided that the best retaliatory move was to get as near as damnit to bringing full-scale PS2 games to your pocket. And you know where this going. Less-than-ideal battery life thanks to the unsuitable installation of a disc drive and higher-than-needed technical specs, and colossal games like GTA that just weren%26rsquo;t suited to the pick-up-and-play philosophy of handheld gaming. And once again, a massive handheld win for Ninty.

The PSP is a good little machine in its own right, and hassome corking games, but despite decent hardware sales it couldn%26rsquo;t make anything like the cultural impact of the DS. And that wasn%26rsquo;t helped by Sony%26rsquo;s other mistake of%26hellip;


Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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