Iwata Identifies New Market: Hipster Journalists
Come on guys, Nintendo’s E3 presentation was not that bad! Prease understand!!! Such was the message that the eternally optimistic Saturu Iwata took to investors this week at the 75th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. According to Iwata consumers may have heaped contempt upon what Nintendo had to show for themselves, yet the “media were not that unfavorable“. One imagines that Iwata’s bottom lip may have wobbled just a little when a gold star was not immediately forthcoming.
“We listen sincerely to the voices of fans who were not happy about the announcements we made in the online Digital Event, and we will have to make further efforts to improve, but when it comes to the reactions to our E3 activities overall, the reactions from trade customers and the media were not that unfavorable. I hope you will understand it.”
Great – Nintendo can just market their products exclusively toward several hundred perpetually insufferable San Franciscan game bloggers, because that will work! Of course the response to Nintendo’s offerings was “not that unfavorable” among hipster bloggers, as they used it as a pretext to once again attack gamers for being entitled. But entitled or no, the gamers constitute the market that Nintendo expects to have pay for their lackluster products, so one might have thought that the negative sentiments of gamers were not all that mitigated by the tepid responses of irrelevant third parties.
It requires special skill and planning to be able to take the announcement of a brand new Metroid Prime game, and have it come off as a slap in the face to series fans, but somehow Nintendo achieved it. Other than that Nintendo’s presentation was more or less completely barren – focusing on content that had mostly been announced a year [or more] previously. Nintendo’s explanation for mediocrity is as follows:
“Once again, about the reason why at E3 this year we focused on the titles that will be released in the near future, as Mr. Miyamoto just said, which points we should focus on at E3 change every year depending on the development status of each product and future deployment schedule. When we think it necessary to discuss future products even if the release timing is yet to be determined, we may do so without being able to discuss the details, and when we have more concrete proposals on the products to be released in the near future, we will try to explain the appeal of that product as best as we can.”
This corporate shill speak roughly translates as: ‘we are dropping the Wii U after this holiday season, so prease look forward to the NX’. Nintendo had no big announcements because they have nothing new in development for their current consoles, and they are not yet ready to show off the NX.
Nintendo Overdelivers on Poor Value Propositions
Part of the reason that consumers have so little patience with Nintendo is because of how pathetic their output of content is. Their rollout of Virtual titles on the Wii U has been painfully sluggish and sporadic to say the least, while any activity on the 3DS Virtual Console front has been absolutely stone dead since the end of 2014. This week Iwata explained to investors why precisely this has been the case [spoilers: it is too much effort].
“Back when we started this service, there were some points that we could not sufficiently foresee about how big this business would grow to be and how the business would expand. For example, Virtual Console titles are generally developed based on the original game software, but this does not mean that we can develop numerous Virtual Console titles simply if we have the original game software. Development of Virtual Console titles require detailed manual work, such as testing if the software runs smoothly on each platform, or making sure the content is appropriate under the various standards currently in place.
Thus, we occasionally receive opinions that our pace of releasing new Virtual Console titles is slow, but if we use much of our human resources on such detailed manual work, we would not be able to develop new titles, so we are currently researching how we can efficiently develop Virtual Console titles with limited human resources. One of the big issues for our system development is how to resolve the situation in which we can only release a few Virtual Console titles at a time when we release new platforms.
Since we can only release Virtual Console titles of third-party software publishers if they come to an agreement with the copyrights holders upon negotiating terms and conditions that were not included in their original contract, please understand that there are some titles that we cannot easily release despite many requests.”
Fantastic – we cannot have good Virtual Console support because Mr Nintendo is busy creating games for the NX launch! Still, it is something of a mystery as to how Nintendo were able to produce video games while also offering stronger Virtual Console support [for both Wii U and 3DS] during the first half of the Wii U’s abortive life. Moreover, the mind absolutely boggles at how expansive the Virtual Console library is on the original Wii. The Wii U hardware was designed to be compatible with the Wii, so why then are these titles not made available?
Nintendo has the capacity to very comfortably offer better Virtual Console support to their customers, they just simply choose not to. They simply do not consider their current Wii U userbase to be worth the effort. To make matters worse Nintendo owners cannot even supplement this dearth of Virtual Console titles with the odd digital bargain on sale, as Nintendo staunchly refuses to lower the price of their retail games, even long after release.
To this end Iwata has this week divulged to investors his rationale for keeping the pricing of Nintendo downloads artificially high. Iwata considers his company to be comprised of special and unique snowflakes who produce products that are just as valuable in their digital format as their physical form.
““We believe download versions have the same value and should be priced the same. Some companies price downloads cheaper due to the there being no used sales or store price reductions. We stress the value of Nintendo software, so we price the same.”
Loads of publishers charge the same price for their digital copies as they do for their physical ones, but the primary difference here is that none of them are so tone deaf retarded as to attempt to make a justification for it. Physical copies get priced the way they do because they need to be produced, packaged, shipped to retail, and the revenue from game sales has to be shared with the stores whereat they are purchased. On the other hand Nintendo’s digital copies have virtually no overhead, and as such are almost pure profit. Iwata’s shilling is cringeworthy in its brazenness. There is no justifiable reason as to why Nintendo should not offer a substantial discount to people who purchase a digital copy of one of their games, but they never will because they are greedy and mean.
Nintendo NX: No Third Party Support Confirmed
Nintendo is hard at work on the Nintendo NX. The reason that Nintendo are so hard at work is because they released a console that was so underpowered that they lost all third party support. To fix this they plan on releasing another underpowered console to replace it: the NX. This news comes via Youtuber Unseen64 [AKA Liam Robertson], the fellow who broke the news about the Fallout 4 Pip-boy collectors edition, along with the PS4 Uncharted collection. Apparently the NX will not come even remotely close to matching the extremely modest power of the PS4, even despite the fact that the NX will be released a full three years after the PS4 came to market.
“The NX is definitely not aiming to compete with the likes of PS4 on a power level. Absolutely sure of that now.”
Nintendo is essentially attempting to solve the problems of their previous console by repeating them all over again, which makes little sense. Perhaps an upside to Nintendo producing yet another uncompetitive console is that it may allow the company to hit a more palatable pricepoint like $199 – but then Nintendo are as greedy as they are arrogant, so what are the chances that they will be willing to do what needs to be done in order to sell a console? The NX is set to begin mass production mid-2016 for a 2016 holiday launch, so the truth of the matter will be evident soon enough.
Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace Available for Streaming Via Funimation
A grisly new horror themed mystery has debuted on Funimation this week, and is available for streaming to anyone with a subscription to that service. Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace is based around a middle school setting, and follows the exploits of a child detective, as these shows often do. The series has been produced by relative newcomers Lerche, who have also created animu series based on the Persona 4 and Danganronpa properties. Funimation has subbed episodes available for streaming a day after they air in Japan, and there is no word yet whether they plan on producing a dubbed version at a later date. Lusireaders can stay tuned to Lusipurr.com for further discussion on Ranpo Kitan.