Ronin4life's Profile - Destructoid

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I never know exactly what I should put in these things so I usually leave them blank.... >.<;
Well, I suppose a short summary wouldn't hurt:
I like video games and gaming in general. I'm still pissed that Gintama was cancelled by viz. My brain refuses to learn Japanese (or maybe I'm just too lazy?... nah.)
Penguins are awesome, as are giant robots and feudal samurai armies.
And I'm pretty awful at introductions, if this passage is anything to go by.
Well, that's enough self exposition for one day. ^_^;
Following (1)  

In the last few weeks, WiiU has had key dev support stripped away. Lost exclusives. Yearly Titles not being developed. Publishers taking pot shots at the fledgling system, and supposedly canceling games outright. One would think Nintendo has done something wrong to be in this position.

And they have. They have committed apparently the greatest crime in the eyes of Western publishers: Not doing Good enough.

Reports have come in that the system has under-performed. Even Nintendo has cut forecasts, which is admittedly a bad sign. But lets take a step back and think:
The system is outperforming all but its most powerful of its predecessors(the Wii). It is outperforming its most recent "sibling" in the Vita. While sales have under performed what some could argue were overly ambitious goals anyway, on its own it is performing decently.

Right in line with previous console launches in fact. As many of us would have expected, if not perhaps a little worse. And yet, the result is so disproportionately different than those other systems... But why?

Because they haven't done "Good Enough".

In case you didn't already hear, take a look at this:
Devs are supposedly cancelling games in development, as I have previously stated. But that isn't what I want to bring your attention to. It is this line:

" I had a data point yesterday at lunch with a high budget Wii U game that was hoping to sell “millions” over time. It only managed “tens of thousands”."

Does anyone see what is wrong with this? If you can't, I'll make it perfectly clear:
You would have to be a total DUMBASS to expect a new console to push out a seller "in the MILLIONS" only weeks after launch. This is a ridiculous level of expectation, bordering on delusional. Yet, publishers are lamenting about "under performing targets" and "less than expected install base". What on earth were they expecting? Wii levels?

The Wii was an anomaly. Certainly, no one in their right minds would put such a burden of expectation on the company that recently failed to copy the Wii already with the 3ds? But to some extent, these Western companies DID. Once again, look at that statement. "Millions"? Lets look at the anomaly that the wii was again. One would have been hard pressed to come out with a million seller even in that instance, yet at least one Western pub expected a NORMAL console launch to outperform a market phenomenon?

Surely Ubi must have understood the risk of "exclusivity" when they made their commitment, right?

By now, you have no doubt noticed my choice in descriptors. "Western Companies". "Western Devs". "Western Publishers": Why the distinction? The difference lies in the focal point of this situation. Expectation.

Of all the devs and publishers, The Western based ones have been complaining far more, if not exclusively. But what of Namco Bandai? Capcom? Tecmo Koei? Look at the link again: the poster singles out Japanese participators from the list of devs walking out... why the signifigance?

The WiiU didn't exactly set Japan on fire either. In fact, sales have continued to fall week over week as titles remain sparse. The newest Mario is pretty much the only title in the top 20 at this point. And yet, look at the difference in reaction. Of key note, Capcom:

Monster Hunter is THE Japanese franchise in many eyes. It is a massive seller and console pusher. So, how did the WiiU version perform, based solely on numbers?
It is currently being outsold by its handheld counterpart a year older than itself. It did not remain in the top 20 more than a few weeks, if that. And yet, it is still a "Smash Hit".


The WiiU has "under performed". But it hasn't at the same time? The only noticeable variable is the Western publishing sphere and their "expectations". A group now touting the glory of their next money grab target; the new consoles due out this year. I wonder what their "expectations" are for these entries in the market? And should they fail to meet those targets, what next? Is this a one sided, anti Nintendo street... with 3rd parties creating issues in their mind and willing them into reality against only them? We have already seen this behavior with towards the Gamepad, after all.

Or maybe these companies are preying on early adopters to make a quick buck off low cost ports. Hyping these New devices to drum up easy sales, just waiting to complain when unrealistic expectations fail the platform holders so they can run back to the large install base of the last gen... and by this point, perhaps the WiiU? It isn't like new consoles haven't gone through this little play already... since that is exactly what they are doing to WiiU now.

Regardless of the reasoning, Something isn't right with this situation. One would be daft to expect the "next gen" dev costs to not rise, the returns to most certainly be met in spades, and the consoles to be instant "Million sellers". WiiU had a 25 year history and the phenomenal Wii name behind it, relatively cheap dev costs, the hype of being the first new console in years, but even so most knew it wouldn't exactly come into the industry in such an all consuming blaze of glory. And yet some idiot group expected, or perhaps NEEDED a *Launch* game to be a Million seller in order to make its desired return. To make things all the more puzzling, they are ditching a system committing no outrageous crime against the industry or market, other than failing to meet "expectations". A system which could only continue to grow so long as it is given the attention it deserves as a new console... while simultaneously preparing to do an unpredictable launch all over again?

I am a conspiracy nut, and could go for paragraphs on all the potential BS companies could be pulling behind the scenes. But even without such ludicrous imaginings, this recent trend is still horrifying to anyone with vested interest in the industry. That so many companies could be so blind, stupid, or short sighted as to damage the industry and themselves with their horrible practices and decisions and not even notice cannot spell out good fortune to come for our favorite hobby.

Well, regardless of reason, I guess I know one thing to certainly expect: Those consoles better do "Good Enough", or it will be the WiiU all over again.
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"It's Super Effective!"

So, there I was commenting on Siliconera and D-toid. All day, as Disqus had finally come back after a brief absence which occurred after a snowstorm blew in(I live on the east coast) and I was really excited about the Nintendo Direct that had occurred that morning.

After a little break away from discussion, I hop back on to make a few quick replies...
And it was gone again. It would hang on the "Disqus is taking longer than usual. Reload?" Message.
I waited for it to return(it does this sometimes for a few seconds, and then works). Got another reply that I couldn't answer, and realised it probably won't be coming back.

And then, while playing Nobunaga's ambition on my Wii an hour or so later, I am told something wonderful:
"It's snowing. It's really pretty."

Is it the snow? Does snow shut you down?? Is that why I can't comment??
It really makes no sense. After all, Disqus still works on IGN, Gaming everything and it works on Wired; seemingly everywhere except Siliconera, tomopop and destructoid. Hell, I can access it on windows to comment on the sites in question, But not android or wiiu?
Not that I am alone either: a blog on tomo was written by someone else during the first Disqus black out, though I can't prove if they too were in proximity to snowfall... Surely, someone knows why this keeps happening?

But for now, there is but one possibility. A loose, illogical connection? Perhaps... but to me it is almost too clear:
Snow-storm is Super Effective against Disqus.


As a side note, I'm not sure how to add pics... it doesn't seem to work on my tablet the same way it did last year. But I will try do so when/if I learn how...

3:47 PM on 01.24.2013

My thoughts on the often predictable behavior and reactions of illogical Commentors, Forum goers and even Journalists and Writers when things are different then they imagine them to be, and what It really means to have an opinion

"*gasp* Is that n4g?" I say to my little bro in a joking tone, while he surfed the web on his SmartPhone as I hovered over his shoulder. I had abandoned the site during the Pokemon x/y backlash, and hadn't seen it since.
"Yeah" he replied. "It's awful"

"Huh? What is?" I asked, though I already knew.
"The response to the Nintendo Direct. People are angry about it. They're are in denial."
As I had guessed. It wasn't but 35 or so minutes before I was ranting about a ridiculous article on Wired accusing Nintendo of displaying "vaporware". He was probably curious what the rabid fanbase of the aggregate site thought of the presentation as well.
"They're mad that Nintendo had a good showing, saying that it was all nothing but rehashes and remakes. One guy even said that all they announced at all were rehashes and HD conversions"

But of course they were. This ridiculous, un-intelligent lip flipping and BS is why I left.
But why is it important enough to bring up here?

In my mind, We all love video games here, and I imagine that people on other such sites do as well. Many of us are completely encapsulated by our virtual worlds. So of course, it isn't surprising that we would take it seriously from time to time. For me, I love to follow the industry, trends, sales and peoples opinions and reactions. And it infuriates me that, even within the spectrum of open mindedness and vastly differing opinions, voices and stances... That someone can be completely and utterly wrong, and delude themselves and others into contorting reality.

An opinion... wrong? Yes, a persons self gathered stance can be incorrect when made up of half truths, lies and groundless assumption. And if you take the time to look at what you are so passionate about enough to comment on in the first place and use logic to understand it, to see how it truly is through your own eyes, then you are "right" in your mind even if there are other "rights" that clash against yours. That's what an opinion is, after all... a gathering of information brewed by your personality.

This subset, however, so vocal and aggressive in placing their stance for others to see doesn't always appear to do this. The information is already stored up in their heads in bits and pieces of fallacy and fact. The answers are made from a set material, either too stained with "lies" or weak assumption to be anywhere near reality. Illogical, inconsistent and boisterous, they crow from their rooftops things they appear to me to know little to nothing about.

And people are listening. How can they not? They are loud, over-reactive and, in the case of some places like n4g, in control. There are even those sitting in higher positions like the aforementioned article on Wired, though admittedly the writer wasn't nearly as bad in his analysis as I imagine the n4g flock were. Places of even greater influence to a wider audience of people, many of whom may be easily affected.

What's worse, many fail to ever see reason. To accept fact and logic for what it is, and to admit their previous stance was wrong. Instead, they close their ears and scream the same things they have already said louder and louder.

It upsets me. It grinds my gears.
It scares the HELL out of me.

That misinformation, irrational hate and bias can be broadcast to have the self fulfilling desired effect of its Criers. To tarnish their targets or brighten their deity, it doesn't matter greatly which. Just the fact that it can, no matter how small it may appear. Yet, all the same convincing some such person of the truths and realities nearly impossible. And while I'm sure I am giving to much credit to such "xenophobic" minorities, I have always had this worry that such acts will damage not only a company I love, but an industry I adore.

But, in the end I guess it matters little. Even if these uninformed ramblings do have any grand effect, it would be impossible to stop it by acting against the offenders. So I'll just ignore it where it festers, and stick to having actual discussions within communities where logic makes sense. Where it means more to have a disagreement with someone, because it matters less that I think differently than someone with another legitimate opinion of their own. And who knows. Maybe, even if inadvertently so, that will help make up for the rantings of fools.

"Well, that's not surprising" I replied to my brother. "That's why I left in the first place."
"Though I do wonder if my absence has made it worse(to jokingly stroke my own inflated ego). If I made a difference there."
"It wouldn't matter" he replied. "They wouldn't have listened anyway."
"Yeah. I know."

Microsoft: Throwing Gears in (Xbox)Glass houses.

EA: " 'New Games'? What is that"

Ubisoft: Puppetmaster of Everyone. Also, Watchdogs.

Sony: "...No news is good news?"

Nintendo: Reggie's Purple-Pikmin Body was Ready.

File/ Vita Vs 3ds/ The West/ 2 of 2
The 11th of May 2012 Approx. 1700 hours US EST

Previously, I posted an assessment of the Vita's standing in Japan against it's competitor, Which can be found here. Now I shall do the same for the second front: The West

The USoA. One of many points of interest on this front, and perhaps the most vital

Here, too the Vita is up against a stronger opponent. But without the hindrance of fighting a revolution to contend with, the Vita has far more breathing room and a stronger presence. Also working in the Vita's favor, albeit only slightly, is the comparative lack of support for the 3ds on this front, as well as the Vita's more comparatively Western oriented support. However, this front is brutal and unfriendly towards handhelds, something neither the 3ds nor the Vita can fully avoid. Furthermore, many disadvantages from the Home Front carry over: Less overall support, whether it be from original titles or backing from its predecessor is still a thorn in the Vita's side. The cost differences are also evident, and further exasperated by the hostile environment.

But additional support is on the way for both parties. A build up of forces around Los Angeles is culminating into a mighty clash which may well be one of the most important battles of this war:

E3 is upon us.

Sony has already made proclamations of an incredible force, and undoubtedly much of this will be resourced to the handheld fronts; Especially the West. Big name guns such as CoD, Little Big Planet, Killzone, Bioshock and potentially more are expected to bolster the currently frail Vita force. In this, however, Sony is not alone.

While many are expecting Nintendo to be to preoccupied preparing the Crown Prince WiiU for the home console war, those who are may be grossly underestimating Nintendo's resources and diplomatic capabilities. Nintendo has also made bold boasts of Strong support for its Western front, including local forces, and also has many forces to spare along the Japanese front that will no doubt greatly aid their cause here, such as Animal Crossing, Monster Hunter and Fire Emblem, to name a few.
But what could be the most damaging to the Vita's already disadvantages position is a wild card that should come as no surprise yet few seem to be expecting:
CoD is by no means an exclusive Game, and could well be found within the 3ds's ranks as well.

A Mercenary who could benefit from drawn out conflict

The idea that they would side with only one group is one of ignorance of the forces and situation involved. After all, CoD is no loyal General; but a grizzly, hardened group of Mercenaries. And if they are going to support both sides, it is hard for this scout to imagine this support being too uneven. This could result in a similar standing for both forces in regards to CoD. One need only look at the Home Console American front to see how this situation could potentially play out: Yearly, the cheaper system with the higher install base allows CoD to perform better, which in turn drives up that console's status. Should CoD be a supporter of both sides, it could bode ill for the Vita

My assessment: The Western front hinges on many unknowns, and the war may well heat into a long drawn out affair up or be prematurely decided at the upcoming major battle of e3.

So, what does this all mean? Will Nintendo and its 3ds army slaughter the Vita on all fronts?
No. Not in the slightest. Nintendo knows this. Sony knows this. And neither are working towards total destruction or capitulation of the other.
Are they competing? Absolutely. Will exclusives, sales and marketing position be battled over? Yes. But this is hardly a winner take all slug fest. And I believe no one knows this better than Sony, as they have taken steps to assure their standing within the market but otherwise done little else(Not necessarily to avoid conflict, but perhaps simply because they know they can get by with a slow and steady approach.). They aren't out to crush Nintendo. They are simply fighting over some common ground. Over a piece of a pie that is more than big enough.

Okay, this image is too dramatic. But it is as good as I could get, so bear with me.

Sure, both sides would take it all if they could. But the risks of attempting this are to high, and neither side could afford to lose. This is no war: it's a border skirmish. A fancy show of power between two Mega Houses. And while their may be a "winner", at the end of the day, I find it hard to believe there will be a "Loser".

For while Front line combat analogies may well suit the topic of discussion, that's were the similarities between this conflict and true battles end. After all, these two companies make Games: Not War.

Final Overall Assessment:
The Vita's slow start is just that; a slow start. Even if it never catches up to its rival, I find it hard to believe that it will outright fail. If the Vita follows in its predecessors footsteps, expect to be blown away within the next couple of years.
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File/ Vita Vs 3ds/ Japan/ 1 of 2
Thursday, The 10th of May 2012 Approx. 1700 hours US EST

Okay, Here's the Situation.
Sony and Nintendo are currently engaged in a war with two fronts: Japan And Everywhere else.
A battle Nintendo has been dominating since the Winter of fiscal 2011.
And as things stand now, that's not about to change.

Front 1: Japan

There are many factors to consider here, but lets start at home. In Japan, The vita has two opponents: The army of Nintendo 3ds, and It's own Forebear; the incumbent PSP. (Dismissing the ps3, as it is a constant for all involved parties that for this scout report can be overlooked.) Fighting a war on two fronts is challenging enough on its own without the added factor of a revolution at home. A Revolution against a seasoned Veteran with far more standing and support.

The PSP continues to gain extra support everyday, but much of this will refuse to follow the Vita once the Revolution finally ends. And even then, this support will come at a cost to consumers; consumers who would rather support the old King in the first place. Or, of course, Nintendo. A competitor whose transition of power was not only peaceful, but fully amicable; nearly all support from the previous regime has come over, and new support continues to follow along. (Two new Pokemon games, for instance.) Support that may be completely unnecessary anyway.

The PSP may be strengthening, but the Vita's inheritance will be lacking and veiled behind Proprietary Memory

For you see, Nintendo has and continues to gain extra power for the 3ds's army in Japan: and at an alarming rate. A rate that even the PSP will struggle to keep up with in the coming months. The main cause of which could be attributed to the Betrayal of the PSP's greatest general: Monster Hunter.(Of course, support may have been building behind the scenes before hand, but this was the obvious visible turning point.) Even without the addition of Backwards compatibility, the 3ds has more than enough power to keep both the Vita and PSP pinned down.

Furthermore, even if the Vita were to gain a large boost of additional support to match the 3ds's lineup, it may hardly matter: For Nintendo has already announced that it still holds reserves ready to meet such an assault. With Monster Hunter no longer being an exclusive supporter, even its appearance on the Vita or the PSP would do little to help their position against the 3ds.

Monster Hunter Tri G's Impact was obvious, as it was a combined effort with multiple big hitting exclusives. Something a Vita version, as things stand now, would lack.

My Assessment: The Vita, with its higher price and comparative lack of support is no match for its opponent, a problem compounded by troubles at home against its own predecessor.

My Western Front Report, And Final Assessment, will be detailed in the forthcoming page 2.
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