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Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 9.15.06

posted on September 15th, 2006 by jay

All that Nintendo jazz
So the Wii will cost $250 and debut November 17th. Nintendo knows how to deliver as little as possible without breaking a promise. The system will come with Wii Sports (in NA, but not Japan) as a pack in. This makes a lot of sense; consumers will be worried about the new control interface being new and strange, including an easily accessible fun title that makes full use of the controller is a great way to usher in the Wii.

Only they decided to include one controller, not two. This is a very stupid move precisely because it limits the strategy I just outlined. With two controllers and a simple game right out of the box, couples, fathers and daughters, johns and prostitutes, Lavern and Shirley or any other combination of two people could be having a ball with the Wii from the minute they plug it in. By including only one controller, Nintendo is not encouraging the social aspect of gaming they claim to support. Oh, and a second controller is 40 fucking bucks.

My final complaint on the Wii launch (at least under this headline) is Nintendo is losing sight of itself. I have supported them more than Sony and MS because, simply put, they make the best games and they make consoles for gaming. Sony wants to release a computer, MS put out an entertainment center. Nintendo, I thought, would ignore their competitors strategies and release a game system. What’s the deal with the Wii channels, then? Mii channel, which allows you to make an avatar or some crap, sounds decent and still game related, but photo browsing capabilities? News and weather? Nintendo should focus on bringing more people to games by making more great accessible games, not by following their competitors lead and throwing a lot of excess capabilities into their hardware.

This is what I think of your capitalist economic theories.

Joystiq makes asinine economics argument
Upon posting that Nintendo will make a profit on every Wii sold, which puts them in a rare position for a console producer (but not rare for themselves), Joystiq was unsatisfied with their readers response. Thus, they have written this grand economic treatise on why the rational consumer should prefer to buy the PS3 or 360 because those systems are more highly subsidized than the Wii and therefore a better value. The author manages to use the phrase “all else equal” about six times and even writes it in Latin twice.

The problem is that he is holding things equal that are vitally important. For example, the fact that systems are different and play different games. His argument might as well be “Ceteris paribus, books are subsidized less than corn, thus any rational consumer will choose corn over books.”

Zelda delayed on cube
If you have a GC and want the game Nintendo’s promised, tough luck, Super Paper Mario isn’t coming out on the GC. But if for some reason you were still waiting for a Cube version of Zelda, you’ll have to wait for an extra two weeks because in yet another cunning move of douche baggery, Nintendo has delayed just the version for their aging system. How could this be? Did Nintendo stop working on the GC controls and focus soley on the Wii? Maybe, but I’d guess they are simply creating an artificial delay in order to sell more Wiis.

Father kills daughter for dropping Xbox
Another terrible game related murder. Ignore that games are Satan’s creation and make people murder each other for now. Also ignore the tragedy. You didn’t know the people involved and tons of people die daily; your abstract sympathy is valid but not comical. Today is a fine day, so let us focus on humor. Enjoy this feigned outrage from the 1up article I’ve linked to.

“How does this happen? Is the system so broken that nobody noticed the child’s father had an insanely violent temper? How did nobody, and I don’t just mean authorities, but family members as well, see this coming?”

Should I assume this writer will now be responsible for lamenting the death’s of all murder victims, or is her indignation reserved only for those criminals who make video games look bad?

8 Comments

  1. Christian said on September 15, 2006:

    Couple of Points Jay 1) Nintendo delayed Zelda Cube on purpose.  They had to.  They want more people, the zelda fans who must get it right away, to buy a Wii.  When you’ve got a new system and want it in homes, this is a smart move from a business perspective.  And if you don’t need Zelda right away, the wait is two weeks.  Big deal.  Remember people: Nintendo is a business. Not your Friend        2) Look up prices for a 360 controller. A few places list it as $30, but the vast majority have it for $40.  Same as the Wii.  I don’t see the complaint here, and unless it becomes apparent that every game needs the Nunchaku peripheral (sold separately for $20), they’re not price gouging us.  If that is the case, then prepare for some serious windfall.       3) I’ll agree that two controllers would be better, but how many consoles have done that?  Back in the day it used to be that you brought your own pad over to a friends’ place to play, and most people I know who buy launch hardware get a second pad anyway.  Its really not that big a deal, aside from the social perspective the Wii is trying to convey.  I agree that Wii sports and one controller is more than a bit at odds,  but compared to industry trends they’re not being ridiculous.

  2. jay said on September 15, 2006:

    I’ll answer the last point first. We basically agree. That was easy. For the second point, I wasn’t complaining about the wand being too expensive, it was only a complaint in relation tot he previous one about how if you want to be social with your Wii that’s another $40 right there. At least one of my broken Logitec controllers cost me $40 so that price isn’t that terrible. And finally for your first point. I ultimately care how Nintendo does financially, but I think it’s important to still blow the whistle when a company you like does something shady to its customers in order to benefit financially. When it comes to a company like Sony, it’s a lot easier for most of us to only look at it from a consumer point of view, but remember there are those who act as if they owned stock int he company and defend all of their terrible moves as valid business decisions. It’s hard to walk the line between consumer and fan. I think both of our points on Zelda are entirely valid.

  3. Max said on September 15, 2006:

    wow, were did you dig that picture up?  It takes me back to my long gone childhood days as a wee boy growing up in Ukraine… :)

  4. Matt said on September 16, 2006:

     Well, I can’t see the controller being too cheap on the fact that it has so much in it. Speaker, laser, accelerometer, expansion port. You’re getting a lot, and as Christian said, the WIRED xbox 360 controller is the same price. The Wii one-ups it by being wireless. I wished it wouldn’t be so much, but this just means that your friends can buy their own controllers. Also, I definitely see the reason for the Channels. I’ll give you an example. My girlfriend isn’t the biggest gamer (she only has a DS), but I can easily see her starting the Wii (which is always on, by the way), and quickly browsing the weather. The interface is so smooth that people outside of gaming will see a gain from it, be it the online, news, or weather. It will help them ingrain the idea that video games aren’t that crazy, and can be interesting. They would then give it a try, and with Wii sports to start out with, the sky’s the limit. Nintendo played their cards right on this one, and I actually like those additions. It’s all free, so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

  5. jay said on September 16, 2006:

    My computer’s DVD burner is free to use but that doesn’t mean it was free. Free to use does not mean free to buy. Although, I do see how the weather service would be useful for someone without the internet, a TV, a radio, or a window.

  6. Matt said on September 16, 2006:

    I sensing sarcasm in that last sentence, but it’s still cool. What would you rather have, an interface like GameCube or Wii’s? Something or nothing? It might not be the most used piece of software but it’s still interesting and I’ll definitely use it at one point or another. The streamlined interface is very appealing, and it’s always on. You don’t have to turn your comp on, open a browser, and search google. If you’re playing a game, and want to check something real quick, hit the home button, turn the internet, news, or weather channel on and check it out. You don’t even have to worry about flipping the AV channel on the TV. I just don’t see any reason to complain about it. And it’s interesting, that’s almost what Nintendo was trying NOT to do, not to create a home-convergence piece of hardware, but they almost did. They essentially turned it into a computer with online capabilites, albeit stuck in a Nintendo-branded OS with limited expansion. Also, what happened to the Shell controller? Is it Nintendo getting smart and just using the old GC controller itself for games that run with that kind of controlling, or did Nintendo just abandon it because developers never needed it? I haven’t heard anything about it since E3. 

  7. jay said on September 16, 2006:

    "And it’s interesting, that’s almost what Nintendo was trying NOT to do,
    not to create a home-convergence piece of hardware, but they almost did."

     

    This
    was my point. My complaint stems from liking what they were trying to
    do combined with  fact that everything costs something. If we aren’t
    paying per use or by the month for these extra things then we’re paying
    extra up front.

  8. Matt said on September 16, 2006:

    I can see your point. You’re theoretically can’t get something for free, but the price is almost suggestive of the opposite. $250 is not a lot of money. I would kind of prefer Wii Sports not to be in the bundle to reduce the price, but it’s not making me change my mind on the issue of buying it. Also, take the game out and the system is worth $200. That EA quote that pinpointed the price at 170 was probably correct, and Nintendo would have to increase the price for profit sake. So, even though we get these things that could have initially increased the price, it was probably marginal compared to everything else. Software isn’t the most expensive thing to add when you’re Nintendo.

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