(re: What about new sequels?) i agree. the hardware is the major factor in the change in the game market. i am a programmer who does a lot of graphics stuff and i can tell you there is NO hardware support for 2d graphics anymore on graphics cards. thats not to say that it cant be done, but there isnt direct support. in fact, i just downloaded the new directx sdk, which is microsofts high performance graphics interface, and the documentation comes right out and says that microsoft advises against using directdraw, which was the 2d graphics part of the sdk. you can fake 2d in direct3d, but its not that straight forward, and with development times being as long as they are now, no company wants to end up making its own graphics library. thats what directx and opengl are for, so you dont have to do that. i think that a lot of game companies see this kind of thing and think that they have to make it 3d. with nvidia and ati only pushing 3d, than it must be hard to get approval for a 2d game. im not actually a game programmer ( yet:) ) but i cant imagine a major company approving a 2d game anymore. it needs to be flashy and take advantage of all that the 3d hardware has to offer, or it wont sell i guess. or at least they think it wont. there is one exception, which is the gameboy advance. since the hardware is designed for 2d, thats what is made. its funny how that works since the gameboy is capable of some 3d stuff, but there are very few 3d gameboy games.
its natural that the hardware will advance, and eventually we will see 3d games that look as good as pixar movies, at least i think we will, but some really fun gameplay ideas just dont work in 3d. a lot is going to be lost if 2d games dissapear forever. its actually very sad. i love the 3d mario and zelda games, but i long for another 2d one. and i dont think i have played a TRUE adventure game done in 3d, so i dont know if that would be good or not. i personaly prefer the hand drawn 2d background and stuff over the geometrical worlds of today.