Oh Nintendo, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Anyone that reads this and who also know me personally, knows my loyalty to Nintendo. However even I recognize the distress Nintendo is in with their consoles. Even though the 3DS was the best selling console last year, it still fell short of projections from Nintendo. I have many issues myself with their current products. I still believe they are great especially the 3DS but the Wii U does need some more love. And now Nintendo is finally tackling these issues. We probably won't see a lot of progress this generation. But we will see a new Nintendo emerge with their next console. If you didn't already know, Nintendo held a conference last week to build trust in their investors and to lay out ground work for what sounds like new technology for their next console.
Much of the news sounds really good for their gamers. They didn't go into much detail about any of the "announcements" but if you piece them together you can get a vision of what Nintendo wants to do. So I want to cover them now and do some speculation about what they mean.
Nintendo will be doing smart phone business. They will not however be making games for phones. So what does this mean? Nintendo will make apps for phones probably for marketing and social purposes. A Miiverse app would make a lot of sense so people can stay connected through an app on their phone and not just through a portal on a website. Nintendo can leverage the fact that billions of phones are out there and people see what is on the app store. Someone can download the Nintendo apps and see specials, news, discounts, Nintendo Directs, etc from their phone.
Another bit of information was that home consoles and handhelds will no longer be different. This is a HUGE update. So there is plenty to pick out from the script of the meeting. Nintendo's recent merger of their home console and handheld departments hint towards this as well. The software powering the separate devices will the same. No more learning curves between the system for users or developers! That will make it much easier to port games between the systems. Also, accounts will finally be completely merged and hopefully anything purchased on one will have the ability to be played on the other. I also believe this will help with cross platform titles as well. We will see this with Super Smash Bros later this year but I think we will have more and more games having cross platform features once this plan takes effect.
Lastly, Nintendo will be reworking their policy on their IP to other companies to make games on their consoles. This is fantastic news! If you remember a great gem of a game from the Super Nintendo this news should really be fun. Super Mario RPG was developed by Square Enix via a licensing deal. If this means that we can see more of these type of games flood Nintendo's consoles, I am more than happy to see it. This should help Nintendo push out their great catalog of games quicker and have different adventures with these beloved characters.
So there is what we have to look forward to next-gen. New adventures with old friends, cross platform abilities, smartphone apps, and a connected console/handheld devices. I'm excited for all this news. Hopefully marketing will pick up as well and we can see the new consoles really take off.
So what do you think about all the news that has been leaked from the call? Share your thoughts on the situation and any rumors that you know about. We can discuss them in the comments section!
I recently stumbled upon an article talking about Nintendo and how they have a new handheld in the works. Now I believe that they are in the early stages of development since that is usually how cycles work. Once you finish a product, you look into the future. But we are only three years into the 3DS line and it seems a little too early to release a new product any time soon. However, the article did get me thinking. What should the new product include?
We are all aware of Nintendo's struggles right now with the Wii U and 3DS. Many are still speculating that the Wii U is done and will fail. Also many argue the handheld market is drowning because of mobile game development. It's hard to ignore the sales projections by Nintendo being slashed by 2/3 in some instances. However, I still believe there is still a market in holding a device that has buttons and was built for gaming instead of a phone with virtual buttons. Personally I don't really see the appeal in mobile gaming as many games seem to want micro-transactions and all the marketing for the games appear to have the same basic screenshots and language. It's not for me, I guess.
So with Nintendo struggling and with the rise of mobile games, Nintendo should look into how to aggressively compete in this new mobile game market. Here are a couple of things I believe would benefit Nintendo and create a more acceptable device to the masses.
1. Streetpass - This should be included on all handheld devices moving forward. It promotes a unique idea of carrying your device with you everywhere. What a great marketing gimmick and shows off the device to friends as they ask, "Can I see that?". Also, it's fun to see what other people you run into and best of all, it unlocks perks in your games! I would love to see Streetpass 2.0 that includes perhaps new information exchanges, new ways to unlock content in games, an expanded Miiverse use, etc.
2. Graphics - When you look at the 3DS screen compared to the Vita or ANY smartphone, the difference in resolution is overwhelming. This is something that has got to change. If Nintendo wants to compete and appeal to third party development, they need to have the equipment to attract them into development. Graphics aren't everything in a game, however it should be an option to develop cutting edge graphics. The clarity and color palettes of new smartphones are so eye grabbing and fun to look at.
3. Clam shell - Time to move on from the dual screen clam shell design. I know this might turn some heads but it just makes the device too bulky. The second screen is great but many of the games I play usually don't have anything too fun to do on the second screen. It's nice to move around inventory but you can do the same thing with one screen and touchscreen ability. I understand the clam shell also helps fight scratches on the screen as well. I have a smartphone. My phone has a 4 inch screen and stays in my pocket with my keys. I've had this phone for a year. I have zero scratches on the screen. Screen protection is built into the technology of the screen anymore. It's obsolete to have a hard plastic covering on newer screen technology. As long as you semi regularly watch over your device, you won't have any problems.
Some more would be a stronger online network, easier navigation in the eShop, dual thumb sticks, Bluetooth, multi gesture touchscreen, updated friends app with chat, and expand download play for most games.
What do you think? What would you like to see in a new Nintendo device? Share your thoughts and comment. Let's have a discussion!
Pokemon Pokemon Pokemon. This month we saw the release of Pokemon X/Y for the Nintendo 3DS. And what a release it was. The game sold well and Pokemon was the topic of many discussions with friends. This generation of Pokemon saw many new features and additions to the old formula that has proven successful each release. We have new evolutions, Pokemon, items, upgraded 3D environments and great battle animations.
Now that everyone has had some time to play and complete the game. I come to a question that has always bothered me. Why haven't they released a game for the home console? I love the games on Nintendo handhelds but I always thought having a true Pokemon release on the home consoles would make for great sales and fun multiplayer action. Up to this point Game Freak has always held firm that they believe Pokemon should be a handheld game and that they will keep that idea.
With the Wii U struggling in sales I think a release will really help drive hype and sales of the console. Also with all the online/cross platform talk recently, we can even see battles across the Wii U and 3DS. My idea is that they release X/Y as they did on the 3DS. Then when they release the third in the series, we will assume it will be called Z. They release it on the Wii U. That way it will give incentive to get the Wii U and also make a BIG game on the console with a HUGE following. We will be able to see all our favorites in beautiful HD and perhaps have an expansive world with the added space on disc. This would be a monumental change in the formula and really be something special.
What do you guys think? Should Nintendo and Game Freak make a full RPG Pokemon game for the Wii U? If so, how do you think it would affect sales? Let me know!
It's no secret, I have been a fan of the Wii U since it's beginning. I love the gamepad and what the system can do. It's a fantastic gaming console. That being said the console is still suffering from lack of third party support and many argue first part support is rough too. Well that at least should change. And in my opinion it starts with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
I have the original game for the Gamecube still inside the system. I played it and beat it just as I do with all Zelda games. It's my favorite series so of course. The Wind Waker was most controversial at the time of it's release. I remember many fans (including me) at the time throwing a fit over the graphics. Mostly because we were shown demo footage of the system with Link in the Spaceworld 2000 trailer (if you don't know it, Google is your friend). This trailer made it seem that Nintendo was taking Link in a realistic adult version. Which we LOVED. Then we got Wind Waker. Now after playing it on the cube, I have to admit I do enjoy the graphics and story. The game is good. It wasn't on my top five but I did like it. It was somewhat limited with the hardware at the time and also had some annoying, imo, parts to the game.
Fast forward 10 years and I have played Wind Waker HD for my Wii U. This title has given new breath into this game for me. The Wii U version of this game bumps the game into my top five Zelda. I love all the new additions and upgrades this game has over the original. It really helps me get into the game and want to play more. Easily the best game for the Wii U right now. Believe me, I understand it's a decade old game and it's a new system BUT it's very fun and even if you have played Wind Waker, get this game. Boating is faster and more fun. The graphics make it so crisp. Finding bottles is fun and adds a layer of collection. The range of sight is so great too. You really feel it when you are boating or looking out at the horizon. I can't recommend this more.
Now with this game officially released, it sort of kicks off a new era for the Wii U. We have a ton of first party and some third party games coming out. We'll see the numbers soon to tell if Zelda has an impact on people wanting the Wii U. But I believe the holiday season will bring new consoles to people's homes. We have a price drop as well! That should be an extra incentive to pick up a Wii U. I know in my area that all the pre-orders were sold out which makes me feel that the game will do quite well. I really want to hear what you guys think. If you have a Wii U, did you purchase Zelda? If you don't have a Wii U, does Zelda make you want to purchase one? Or what software are you most excited for?
I'm back with another Nintendo post. However, this time I'll be a little more optimistic in what I want to discuss. As I said back in my post about third party support for the Wii U, Nintendo NEEDS third party support, the console is hurting in sales. However, I have been reading a TON of doomsayer's blogs predicting this is the end of Nintendo consoles and that the Wii U will go the way of the Sega Dreamcast. I want to make this as clear as I can and comfort anyone that is worried about Nintendo going software only.
This will not be the last Nintendo console.
There it is folks. You can quote that statement to your friends. Nintendo is not going anywhere. If you are old enough you will remember that people were saying this when the Gamecube was around. "Nintendo is doomed" "The last console" "Gamecube = Dreamcast" blah blah blah. There is nothing to worry about. Will the Wii U surpass life sales expectations? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure however, we will see that little Nintendo logo on hardware in the future.
Sure, Wii U sales are poor and the Wii U is an afterthought to most shadowed by Xbox One and the PS4. However, the company is in no trouble. With strong sales from their first party titles and the very fun Nintendo 3DS handheld, they are still green. The landscape is vastly different than it was for Sega. Sega had a string of failed systems and poor management. The Sega 32X, Saturn, and Nomad were the systems released by Sega prior to the Dreamcast. Each had poor sales and contributed to the demise of Sega.
Nintendo does not have a pattern of poor sales. With the Wii and the DSi, Nintendo just came out of their best sales ever for console/mobile combined (100 million Wii sold and 150 million DS). Nintendo has plenty of money and still turn profits each quarter. They don't have to consider leaving the industry. They are making some good moves too lately with Indie support and bringing out some big titles at E3 with Smash bros, Zelda, Mario Kart, Pikmin, and Mario.
Overall, the system is selling poorly now but may pick up when the right games hit the market. We still don't know the prices of the Xbox and Playstation so that might help boost sales of the Wii U if they are pretty expensive (comparably) by Christmas. I don't see Nintendo giving up the home console and will learn from the failures of the Wii U and hopefully capitalize in the next next gen.
Violence in video games and the impact it has in human behavior. This has been a hot topic for decades now. It has been talked about more and more now that graphics, animations, and behavior in video games have become more realistic. The question is do these more realistic violent scenarios in games contribute to real life violence in society. The answer may be surprising to some. However, the media and supporters against violent video games need to relax and stop with the horribly one sided arguments.
Does violence in video games contribute to real life violence? The answer is yes. Yes, it does contribute to violence in society. How can someone argue this? There are people that admit they developed their murder plans, robberies, etc from actual video games they have played. When someone gets their plans from a video game, that is a contribution. Even if it makes up a very small percentage of people that commit crimes and mention a game helped them. If it was just one person in history, you would still have to say video games contribute to violence in society. In all reality the percentage of people that attribute their crimes to video games is rather low.
Here is the thing though. Video games are not the only medium people get ideas of violence from. Throughout history any story or entertainment can contribute to violence. You take music, movies, theater, etc. They all have accounts of people using scenarios to plan or commit crimes. Anything people use to generate ideas could, in theory, led to violence. There are people that murder others in the name of their god even. There will always be the wack jobs that cannot separate fantasy and reality. We cannot place blame on violent video games for people in general. If someone is stupid enough to copy a dangerous stunt or commit a crime from some form of entertainment, then they deserve what is coming to them. It is on them! We would have to ban any story in any medium to completely remove the contribution of violence. And even if that was somehow possible, people still talk and share stories. We would have to stop people from communicating with each other.
The media in general needs to just relax and stop placing blame on video games. I have been a gamer for over two decades and have played the violent of the violent games. Does that make me a minority of people that played violent games and it hasn't somehow infected my mental stability? No, I'm not the minority. Once a story "breaks" it's the medias job to discuss and bring national attention to it by adding drama to it. Katie Couric just recently spoke about this topic and got gamers up in arms. So Katie went to twitter to pose a question to gamers.
Passionate gamers upset w convo whether violent video games can contribute to v behavior. Tweet the positive side of violent v games? Thanx! - @katiecouric
Now I did reply to this on Twitter. However, I had to stop and think. Not because I was trying to come up with a good response but because how does one come up with a positive about violence? I believe that violence doesn't belong in our world. If I could get rid of all the wife beaters, murderers, rapists, etc in the world, trust me I would. This question is why Katie is good at her job. She has put us into a situation that we are trying to defend violence but also are trying to say why violence in games should stay. The answer to this question isn't "Here is the positive side of violence in video games...". The answer to this question is, why does it matter if it's violent or not? That is why there is a ratings system. If parents are up in arms about violent video games, then stop buying violent games for your children. They are NOT recommended to play and are NOT the demographic for the game. Be responsible people. Just because there is violence in video games doesn't make the video game industry evil or responsible for a rise in violence. Violent games do not contribute enough to crime to justify this much coverage over the topic.
I'm quite frankly pretty sick of defending video games at this point. The wold isn't going to collapse because GTA IV allows you to murder dozen of people in broad daylight. Violence is in our nature and it will continue to occur unfortunately. There will be more wars, bombings, shootings, etc. Some might be inspired by games/music/movies/television/books/theater and many more will not. There are more pressing issues that need national attention and all this effort to be to the main stage.
Leave a comment on what you think. I'm interested to hear from more of you. Thanks!