If Nintendo follows through on a newly discovered patent, then the gap between video games and cinema will truly be erased.
According to a patent filed by Nintendo guru Shigeru Miyamoto, the company would implement a new "hint system" in their games. This Hint System would allow for gamers to watch a game being played by the console itself, either from start to finish or specific points in the game. Also, when the console is playing through a game, the user has the option of taking the game over with the push of a button.
So what does the development community think of this possible trend? Mixed feelings to say the least. Kotaku had a chance to ask several developers what they thought about the Hint System. "I'm in Fallout 3 and have focused energy on sneak and unarmed combat," said Prince of Persia Producer Ben Mattes. "If I'm in a particular point in the game I can't pass, and I use this system, what 'recording' could the game know to use? It can't possibly have developer walkthroughs of all possible configurations of a character and strategies to pass through each in-game challenge."
On the other hand, Todd Howard, who is a Game Director for Bethesda (who actually makes Fallout 3), sees it from a different perspective. "Most people stop playing a certain game because they get frustrated or confused by what the game wants them to do," says Howard. "It becomes work and frustration, as opposed to ‘playtime.’ This idea clearly tries to alleviate that. It’s much like passing the controller to someone who knows the game really well, so you can move ahead or simply enjoy the story."
Either way, the new feature would be optional, and even a fresh perspective for even the most hardcore gamers. Titles like Metal Gear Solid 4, if used in conjunction with this Hint System, could be played like the game that was so popular this year, or watched like a movie, with its plethora of cinematics.
If the Hint System does come to life, I doubt it will be on the Wii. Look for it on Nintendo's next generation offering...whatever that ends up being.