TSM Episode 112: Nintend-woes

Yup, that just about sums it up.

Download: Produced 2013.08.11

The Ashes continues at Chester-le-Street. Even though Lusipurr and SiliconNooB back opposing teams, they are united–along with Mel and TsubakiSamurai–in their dismay at Nintendo’s continued faffing about with the overpriced, under-supported, Wii U.


  1. Episodes like this are why I’d like to see more general discussion topics on the podcast in lieu of news sometimes. Nintendo was dumb, Microsoft was dumb, yadda yadda yadda Cricket. Most of what was covered we’ve heard before and nothing astoundingly new was discussed. Someone said that they were interested in The Wonderful 101, but then you guys didn’t talk about that either. I still enjoyed the podcast but it was in spite of the topics, not because of them.

  2. Did you ever stop to think that perhaps the reason that we didn’t say more about The Wonderful 101 is because none of us had anything further to add?

    If you are after directionless blather, then I’m sure that Cat Fancy would be more than happy to oblige…

  3. I did not think that, because whoever it was that said that sounded enthusiastic about it and to my knowledge the game has not been discussed (at least recently) on the podcast. Discussion of things that people are interested in or excited about makes for much more interesting listening than does general annoyance. Lusi is very interested in Cricket and it shows. Those segments are more interesting because he actually cares and is excited about it. I don’t give a crap about Cricket and I feel that way.

    Regarding directionless blather: I believe I was unclear when I said “general discussion”. I don’t mean the extra-orbital tangents of Cat Fancy. I mean that there are productive and interesting discussions to be had about gaming topics that are not necessarily directly related to news, especially when it’s been a slow news week (atmospheric flights if you want to continue the metaphor). I used to do a podcast/web radio show myself, so I understand that these segments take a lot more planning than riffing on news, but I think they would make the show more accessible on a regular basis and would certainly increase the value of older podcasts which currently lose relevance after a couple of weeks (if that). Maybe the half-way point on this is to have more regular features. It’s a segment that you already have and it fits the bill almost perfectly.

    I totally understand why you guys would choose to do the podcast the way you do, but expressing interest in improving (or discussing improving) the podcast should not be greeted with what was essentially “Piss off”. Please don’t tell your readers or listeners to leave because they disagree with your opinion. Some of them are likely to actually do it, and that benefits no one. That being said, thank you for your work on the site and podcast and please take my words as a vested interest, not an attack.

  4. Ummmm… I’m pretty sure that I brought up W101…

    I plan on buying it. I don’t really have much to add beyond that.

  5. @DA: You must excuse our SiliconNooB, he is trained to attack critics on sight!

    One of the issues with the discussion podcasts is that they require some significant preparation work on the part of the presenters. This is, itself, not an insurmountable problem, however:

    1. We do not often know who is presenting until a few minutes before the podcast begins recording, and
    2. We do not know what the news to be presented looks like until the same time.

    Consequently, by the time we are aware that it is more Nintendo/Microsoft nonsense on the whole, we are past a point where much can be done other than to report it.

    We often had situations where discussions occured during busy news weeks, so that we were forced to ignore important news in lieu of discussions, or else have excessively long podcasts. Whilst this does not mean that we will not do discussion podcasts again, it does mean that we have to be cognisant of how much time they take and what the state of the industry is. And, of course, we also need presenters who are willing and able to put in the significant extra time necessary to prepare for the discussion–a significant difficulty given the time constraints which some of us labour under.

    Hopefully that clarifies things somewhat!

  6. I totally get that. There’s only so many hours in a week, and putting several more into podcasting isn’t always an option. Instead of a focused presentation like in the early TSM days have you considered just picking a topic and having everyone jot down a couple bullet points on the matter? That would spread the work out a lot more.

  7. Don’t have much to add really, but I don’t see any problem with the way the show is handled. Not much of a cricket (or sports fan), but that comes with the show along with the things I do like (a refusal to bow the politically correct bullshit that so many weak-minded twits adopt as social standards). I don’t see where it needs any sort of restructuring, or guiding bullet points, as it seems to have those intact as is.

    On another note, Final Fantasy XII remains my favorite FF in the entire series and I attribute that to the fact that the world was built in the same fashion I’d expect to find in western fantasy literature. Which is to say: they actually built a world, then cast characters in that world.. As opposed to building a world around characters which is how much of the others seem to be conceived. See you next week.

  8. I want to step in and defend Nintendo, despite the fact I haven’t gotten a WiiU, I still play my DS from time to time, but when the continue to do nonsense like this, I want to bow my head and just hope that they finally get a clue that they won’t be able to gain back the good will from third parties with these kinds of shenanigans.

    It’s a horrible crime. Nintendo has in its employ, some of the best designers in the industry that can appeal to anyone and everyone, however, there’s such a cognitive dissonance from the company heads that results in this kind of stupidity that makes me wish that Iwata goes back to being a game designer and Reggie just goes back to marketing.

  9. I do hope some of you non-Cricket-fans will at least look into the game (possibly by watching some of the upcoming test at the Oval, running 21-25 August, running from 0600-1400ish EDT, on Sky 2 over at http://www.timefortv.com) before dismissing it out of hand. People who have known me for many years will tell you that I have (and have had) absolutely zero interest in sports, but Cricket is truly exceptional. It is the team field game equivalent of Chess, and the level of physical skill and reflex it demands is astonishing.

    No hyperbole here. If you get to know Cricket and learn about it, it will reward you many times over. Like all great, rewarding things, it has a barrier to entry. But like all great, rewarding things it is great and rewarding. It compliments the intellectual life.

    Put succinctly, Cricket is worth your time.

  10. Cricket is statistics porn – making it the ideal sport for anyone who is even vaguely interested in the number-crunching aspects of RPGs [insofar as the person in question can be interested in any sport]. It is basically the most technical sport ever devised by the hand of man.

    I would guess that the main impediment to our American listeners enjoying the Cricket would be their lack of a surrogate team to barrack for. A few years back the IPL was broadcast on Aussie TV for a while, and I found it much more boring than even regular 20-20, as I really didn’t feel invested in any of the teams playing.

  11. I’m all for gratifying experiences, but I have two main impediments. The first is the barrier of entry: I don’t know anyone who watches Cricket that could explain it to me while we watched a game and there’s no cultural background knowledge for me to draw upon in the US as a possible surrogate. The second is time investment. It sounds like these matches take days or weeks to complete and I’ve already got a decently busy schedule. I suppose I could just look at highlights afterwards, but that doesn’t sound very fun at all.

    I moved to a new area not too long ago so I’m still going to lots of events to meet people, so maybe once I feel I’ve completed that to the point where I no longer need to go out to things constantly then I’ll probably have a more relaxed schedule and time to learn about something new. Cricket isn’t on the short list though. Gaelic, Android Development, and some form of social dance (probably more swing) currently occupy the top 3 spots in no particular order.

    Do you support England Lusi? I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten the impression that you really cared who won as much as the about the numbers.

  12. @DA: I’m an England man through and through.

    But of course, being an England fan often comes with a rather rueful demeanour toward their Cricketing. They are a very mercurial team, and have ways of losing certain victories which other teams do not.

  13. There’s a team like that in College Football: The WSU Cougars. They are experts and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Who all plays Cricket? Does Canada get in on the action? I would expect that they would if the other Commonwealth Nations do.

  14. Chievos!?!?!?!? AHAHAHAHAHA! That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that. Oh, man!

    The wow game for the Wii U could have been X (the Monolith game) if they had gotten that ready sooner. Instead, it has ended up becoming the wow trailer for the Wii U.

    Kid Icarus and Metroid used the same engine. Tsubaki is right. Square should just use the same engine for completely different games. Perhaps it’s not just the engine but also the setting and characters that they’d like to take a quick shortcut on.

    I can tolerate bad menus pretty well but I DO care about them and good menus really make me happy.

    Nice show, guys!

  15. Basically, Nintendo needed to release every one of their 2014 games during holiday 2013, plus sell one configuration of the Wii U for $250 [one which preferably comes with the full 32GB storage, but could probably lose the other stuff from the premium model].

    Then if they wanted to sell a premium model, Nintendo could include both Mario 3D Land and New Super Mario Bros. U as pack-in titles in a $300 pack [or Mario Kart if they if they opted to bring out the big guns].

    They need to surprise gamers with the value on offer if they wish to attract more than diehard Nintendo fans.

    All of this is highly theoretical however, as modern Nintendo seems to abhor giving something away for nothing [as they see it].

    Remember when the SNES came with Mario World as default?

    If all of these conditions were at least predominantly met, then I think Nintendo could turn their console into a hit this Christmas. But Nintendo won’t go anywhere near as far as they need to, and thus will hurt themselves even more by offering a shallow price cut and thinking it enough, or other assorted breadcrumbs cum band-aid solutions.

  16. @SN: You’re quite right.

    My concern now is that the inevitable half-measures will certainly harm and will do no good. Cutting the price will hurt Nintendo’s bottom line no matter what the cut is, but if the cut is not deep enough, then there will be no increased sales as a benefit. Similarly, releasing titles slated for the 2014 fiscal year inside of 2013 will hurt their balance sheets, but releasing only one or two will not be sufficient to sway things, either.

    CONSIDERABLE action is now required. Considerable action is risky. Considerable action will hurt. But so will minimal action. At least with the considerable action there is a good chance (if not a certainty) of the Wii U coming good. But if Nintendo does nothing, or very little, then I think there is no chance of a successful Wii U this holiday season–or, perhaps, ever.

  17. Well, it’s likely impossible for them to release any of those titles now – they’d have had to pull their fingers out months ago. This is where Iwata’s lack of vision [-_-] and strategy come in to bite Nintendo in the arse.

    Nintendo’s 2013 games look pretty ordinary compared to their 2014 ones.

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