Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 3.30.07

PS3 sells well in Europe
Is this a sign that Sony is turning a corner? I recently noticed that the PS3 has a lot more well-reviewed titles and fewer games the critics hate than the Wii. Surely that’s a sign things will start picking up for Sony.

But then there’s the recent news that Devil May Cry 4 is going to be on both the PS3 and 360. A lot of smart people have said stupid things about this generation not being about console exclusives. Considering the Wii will have Nintendo first party titles and the 360 already has a number of good exclusives, I wonder if the sentiment that exclusives are dead is really just a nice way of saying, “Exclusives still matter but it’s depressing to think about how many Sony is losing.”

Imagine 3rd party exclusives were dead because the wisdom that it’s just too costly to not put a game on every system is accurate. What do we have to choose from now: A $600 Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and Fumito Ueda machine. A $400 Halo machine. And a $250 Zelda, Mario, Metroid machine. Nintendo is, I’ve decided right now, officially the best developer in the universe. Its a good thing the age of exclusives isn’t actually over.

Wii shortage unintentional, Nintendo says
A big shot at GameStop recently said that he personally thinks Nintendo is intentionally creating Wii shortages. Nintendo has denied this. I think the truth lies in what the word intentional means in this situation. They probably have the choice to open thirty more factories if they’d like but they don’t. But that’s like saying I intentionally don’t know how to ride a unicycle because I could go to classes to learn yet I don’t.

Disguised as a fire truck, I snap pictures of people waiting for a Wii.

Nintendo has made a profit for most or all of its long history (notice the lack of citation – it’s because I made this up). They have always been very conservative and it seems to have served them well. When Nintendo ran whore houses, they wouldn’t replace a girl until she had at least ten STDs. The point is, opening new factories, like hiring new prostitutes, is expensive and these factories will end up collecting dust when demand falls off. By ramping up production slowly, Nintendo is protecting themselves from this.

Then there’s the argument that they are keeping sales down because whatever they sell this quarter they will have to match or beat next quarter. This is known in business as, “keeping stupid board members happy by beating arbitrary numbers you shouldn’t have to beat.” I’d argue this does count as intentionally creating an artificial shortage.

If this is true, what message is Nintendo sending people? They want casual gamers to wait in lines before stores open in order to pick up a Wii. This seems like a strategy destined to fail, but somehow or another the Wii is doing well. Still, I sense a running theme. Nintendo has made a cheaper platform for the smaller companies who don’t want to go bankrupt developing on the other consoles, and thus Nintendo gave out development kits to Ubisoft and EA but ignored small developers. Nintendo has made a system to expand the market so they are content allowing the system to be very difficult to get.

Since when has being black been associated with being elite?

Elite Xbox pisses off early adopters
The new Xbox has HDMI outputs and a big hard drive. Not too exciting, but why did Microsoft only add one new version to the lineup? Where’s the $200 Xbox360 Pauper, complete with broken hard drive and RF output? And I’d pay $600 for the 360 Monarch Edition, the one that comes with a 200 gig hard drive and a crown.

It would’ve made a lot of sense for Microsoft to keep the pricing structure intact and simply replaced the high end 30 with the Elite, and the low end with the high end. They have said they wouldn’t be dropping the price but they’d add more value to the current price points. How is selling a more expensive system adding any value to the cheaper consoles?

A better 360 at the same price would probably hurt Sony. “A big hard drive, digital outs, and still $200 less than the PS3?!” people would say. The high price point is Sony’s greatest weakness, why on earth would Microsoft help Sony alleviate this sore spot?

NiGHTS 2 coming to the Wii
God damn it. I’ve already told everyone I know how bad an idea this is but Sega just doesn’t want to listen to me. Today’s Sonic Team creating a NiGHTS game is tantamount to MTV producing Citizen Kane 2. In conclusion, this game will suck and everyone who wants it is greedy and stupid. Especially you, mom.

Portable SRPGs abound (more, and more)

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