Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 10.13.06

Japanese consumers want the PS3
Famitsu surveyed people at the Tokyo Games Show and got some interesting if odd results. Although we are talking about Japan so odd is a relative term. About 56% of those surveyed felt the low end PS3 was pricey. Even considering that the TGS would be full of hardcore gamers, this number seems low. Compare this to the 13% who think the Wii costs too much and 25% who think the 360 is expensive.

When asked what system they most looked forward to, 58% said the PS3 and 34% said the Wii. Contrast this, though, to what people said about which system they plan to buy on launch. 11% said they’d get a PS3 at launch while 18% said they’d get a Wii. Further. 36% said they have no current plan for getting a PS3 and 33% said the same of the Wii. The two consoles seem pretty neck and neck in Japan, at least amongst the more serious gamers. If Nintendo can pull in nearly as many hardcore gamers and their appeal to my mom strategy works, things may work out for the Wii.

Gamestop taking Wii orders today
I get spam from Gamestop but posting a link to a proper article seemed like the professional way to announce pwiiorders. Sure, you can order the system now and be boring, but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to drive around all night the Sunday it launches? Most stores will close long before my Wii search ends, but that makes it doubly exciting. Leaving things up to chance is not only fun, but a decent way to cut back on spending without having to give up anticipating new things.

PS3 preorders have come and gone
Reports have said that the console sold out quickly. This may be true, but keep in mind that Sony is launching with approximately 29 units in North America. Also, like the Wii preorder, paying Gamestop money and being put on a list doesn’t mean you’ll actually get a PS3. Think of it as a way to give them your home phone number and $100 at the same time. Doesn’t it feel good to kill two birds with one stone?

Microsoft cares about your kids
And by cares, I mean releases mostly family unfriendly games but engages in pro-kid PR campaigns. Games I play with my daughter include Dead or Alive 3, Oblivion, Dead Rising, Saint’s Row, Prey, The Godfather and Scarface.

eDimensional’s 3D glasses allow you to experience looking like a douche bag.

The impossible now possible – PS3 controller with rumble
Third party eDimensional has hired MacGyver to build a PS3 control that senses motion and has a built in rumble. But will designers need to code rumble into their games, or can this state of the art piece of technology (built with space age polymers) somehow interpret action on screen? If the former, the controller may be pretty useless since it seems unlikely designers make games that support rumble when the majority of PS3 owners will use Sony made SIXAXISes. Then there’s always the cost of the eDimensional controller — One million dollars.

Clover not so lucky
Reports on some sites say that the main guys in Clover studios left Capcom to form a new company, but it seems unclear if this is why Clover was dissolved, if they did this as a result of Clover being broken up, or if the studio was closed but the talent hasn’t left Capcom. It’s tempting to be pissed off that a good company that focused on designing creative games (Clover means Creativity Lover, afterall) is gone and curse the evils of the industry and capitalism. Actually, I’m still going to do those things. My point was, though, that if the team left to make a new company then we can hardly blame Capcom for closing Clover.

Ah, blame. That’s what many citizens of the interweb have been focused on. If the studios demise is Capcoms doing, then it seems they can have most of the blame. I’ve stumbled on message board posts that blame the consumer for not supporting Clover enough. I guess this makes sense, but then if you leave it up to the consumer, you get mostly shit. Look at the movie and music industry for examples. Capcom likely could keep a company like Clover going if they are willing to make less. I know the point of a business is to make money (or so you say, Henry Ford would disagree) but keeping an arthouse like Clover alive may ultimately make Capcom richer. Think of all the positive PR they get from supporting artsy projects like Okami.

New Afterburner for the PSP
Bitter Sega fan rant warning.

Sega hopes the fancy arcade cabinet will distract you from the boring gameplay.

After Burner was a crappy game when it came out in the 80s. Yu Suzuki, while brilliant, milked his rapidly scaling sprite technology for all it was worth. Hang On, Space Harrier, Outrun and After Burner were all the same game. Those with an eye for detail may think Hang On and Outrun are the same game and Space Harrier and After Burner the same, but the two groupings are slightly different from each other. Fine, I’ll give you that. Two had just racing and two had dodging crap.

Even worse, Sega isn’t making the new game. Wouldn’t you be significantly less interested in a new Final Fantasy if Taito were making it? See the Shining series for an example of a change in developers completely ruining a series while making sure branding remained unchanged.

Wii may have problems in direct sunlight
It’s hard to call this one. If it were Sony getting the bad PR, would people react more harshly? With Nintendo’s history of quality control, can the problem be that significant? Will window light fuck up the Wii sensor bar, or do you need to play on a beach to encounter any trouble? The good news for Wii owners is that the sun is scheduled to burn out in 7 billion years or so.

Calendar of naked women
And they’re holding GameBoys! I don’t remember enough of the lectures I’ve gotten from feminists to know if this is degrading or empowering, but I do know it’s stupid. I also am not sure if it makes gamers look like sad perverts or outgoing and willing to joke about themselves, but did I mention it’s stupid? If anyone needs help finding pictures of naked women, try this new site called Google.

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17 years ago

I know whenever I pick a gameboy with my brand new pokemon game I think, "Damn it all, where are the boobs!"  

17 years ago

I got the spam about Wii preorders from Gamestop as well; I found it entertaining that they used the exact same wording as in the PS3 email, right down to the extremely limited supply.