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Topic: What does Nintendo have to lose by making the gamepad "optional"?

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shingi_70

341. Posted:

@blaisedinsd

Depends on the game perhaps. I found Mass Effect 3's and few if the Kinect enabled shooters with voice controls to make much more sense than playing looking down at a screen. On the flip side I felt that the Madden and FIFA gamepad controls to be more useful than the voice controls.

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blaisedinsd

342. Posted:

SCAR392 wrote:

@Howard24U
The only reason why a GamePad costs that much, is because they have to specifically grap a GamePad and sell it individually. That doesn't have anything to do with the the cost of making the actual GamePad. When they sell it at retail, I can assure you that it won't cost that much, unless they make some sort of demand for people to want 2 GamePads.

The $250 price is already technically excluding most of the GamePad as part of the original price, that's why excluding it wouldn't really save consumers anymore money than they alreasy have. Even with your -$95 on a hypothetical Pro controller bundle, you're ignoring that that costs money to make, as well.

I think these are valid points but overall I think most agree they can significantly lower the price if they include a pro controller instead of a gamepad. USB cable is cheaper than a gamepad charger even.

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blaisedinsd

343. Posted:

shingi_70 wrote:

@blaisedinsd

Depends on the game perhaps. I found Mass Effect 3's and few if the Kinect enabled shooters with voice controls to make much more sense than playing looking down at a screen. On the flip side I felt that the Madden and FIFA gamepad controls to be more useful than the voice controls.

Well for me off tv play trumps all that.

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SCAR392

344. Posted:

As I said before, the Wii U GPGPU is specifically designed for multiscreen use.

Microsoft and Sony require PS Vita and smart devices with their own processors, because streaming to those devices doesn't require what Wii U's GPGPU can provide with the included GamePad. They have the optional second screen, but Nintendo specifically designed their hardware to incorporate a device that wouldn't necessarily need its own processor.

It gives more value to the Wii U, without costing much more for the consumer, and benefits the software/OS as whole. Even if they need more software and OS features to make the GamePads versatility more important, the console was designed to intergrate it more effectively than anything Microsoft or Siny can provide without buying another machine.

If you exclude the GamePad, you're literally devaluing the hardware in GPGPU terms, which in turn, makes the current OS design and software kind of pointless, which is exactly why it won't be optional.

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ZyroXZ2

345. Posted:

I REALLY don't want to read all 17 pages and all, but to answer the OP question straight-up: everything. The Gamepad is the only thing keeping the Wii U as "different". Without it, the Wii U just looks like a "weak" console next to the other two (despite not having the massive gap in power like the Wii vs XBox360/PS3), and will definitely have an even WORSE image than it does now.

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skywake

346. Posted:

Howard24U wrote:

Some comments are simply not worth wasting my time on. As an example, I won't try and argue with a stubborn child who insists that a picture of a square is in fact a circle. If that child refuses to believe that it's a square, when it is, what use is there to discuss it any more??

Classy. I would point out that your first point was about the GamePad being like the Kinect. If you've come to the conclusion that you were wrong there then it would be better to admit that rather than lashing out.

Howard24U wrote:

You can't disagree with math. Math is not an opinion. My math was clearly spelled out, using real prices in the explanation. Are you trying to suggest that US retailers are selling the pro controller at a loss and that it really costs around $100 to make? I can assure you they are not and it does not.

Gamepad CONSUMER PRICE = $140
Pro Controller CONSUMER PRICE = $45.
$140-$45 = $95 difference

Wii Basic CONSUMER PRICE = $250
Wii Basic with Pro Controller instead of gamepad ESTIMATED CONSUMER PRICE = $250 - $95 = $155

If anything I was being very conservative by suggesting that they could sell it for a retail price of $180. And there's no reason to try and bring in estimated manufacturing costs and component costs into this discussion, because that's all pure speculation. What I provided here is real data for what these things sell for today.

I wasn't saying and did not say the Pro Controller costs $100 or that they are selling it at a loss so please don't suggest that I was. I simply said that I don't agree with the saving you came up with. If you can find any wireless controller with a rechargeable battery in it that's $20 then we'll start talking about how huge their margin is on it. At $45 I would say that they're selling it with a very low margin. My evidence being the fact that cheap third party controllers with similar features can't kill it on price. The ones that even try to fall well short on quality and end up at about the same cost anyways.

The $140 number is a different number again. We're assuming firstly that the internet talk is accurate and then we're making the assumption that that would be their RRP if it was on shelves. This is not the RRP even allegedly, this is the cost to replace a broken GamePad. If you called up any company telling them your remote is broken you're not going to get it at cost. You're either going to get it for nothing or it's going to be well and truly above cost. That's just how it works.

The third thing I disagree with is the thought that this would be the price point they'd pick even if that was the saving. It doesn't make sense to sell it at that price, it's an odd price to land on. If they were to pick a price for this SKU it would for this reason and all of the above more likely be $199US. Now what I was saying before was that at that sort of price drop is not worth the hassle. They'd be better off keeping the price at $250US, giving Mario Kart 8 out for almost nothing and keeping the GamePad.

Edited on by skywake

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skywake

347. Posted:

blaisedinsd wrote:

shingi_70 wrote:

@blaisedinsd

Depends on the game perhaps. I found Mass Effect 3's and few if the Kinect enabled shooters with voice controls to make much more sense than playing looking down at a screen. On the flip side I felt that the Madden and FIFA gamepad controls to be more useful than the voice controls.

Well for me off tv play trumps all that.

Indeed it does, so stop comparing the two like they're equivalent

Edited on by skywake

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SCAR392

348. Posted:

blaisedinsd wrote:

SCAR392 wrote:

@Howard24U
The only reason why a GamePad costs that much, is because they have to specifically grap a GamePad and sell it individually. That doesn't have anything to do with the the cost of making the actual GamePad. When they sell it at retail, I can assure you that it won't cost that much, unless they make some sort of demand for people to want 2 GamePads.

The $250 price is already technically excluding most of the GamePad as part of the original price, that's why excluding it wouldn't really save consumers anymore money than they alreasy have. Even with your -$95 on a hypothetical Pro controller bundle, you're ignoring that that costs money to make, as well.

I think these are valid points but overall I think most agree they can significantly lower the price if they include a pro controller instead of a gamepad. USB cable is cheaper than a gamepad charger even.

They've already lowered the price, though. If it currently isn't worthwhile for people to own a GamePad, that's all the more reason to create more software and possibly improve the OS. Consumers literally aren't paying more for it's inclusion, so excluding it wouldn't exactly lower the price. The console on a hardware design level is already dedicated to making sure that second screen support is there, without requiring the GamePad to have its own processor. That's why excluding it would devalue the Wii U, as a whole.

Also, selling a GamePad separately when an SKU doesn't include it, would effect the price of GamePads for people who already have one and plan on buying another(which they plan on supporting). They would have to charge more for a GamePad as a stand alone product, because they would then be trying to compensate the money that they didn't make by excluding it. They have to make the GPGPU investments they have made worthwhile, excluding the GamePad would cause GamePads to cost more, because it's already integrated further in other areas, specifically the GPGPU, as I keep saying.

Edited on by SCAR392

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OptometristLime

349. Posted:

skywake wrote:

blaisedinsd wrote:

shingi_70 wrote:

@blaisedinsd

Depends on the game perhaps. I found Mass Effect 3's and few if the Kinect enabled shooters with voice controls to make much more sense than playing looking down at a screen. On the flip side I felt that the Madden and FIFA gamepad controls to be more useful than the voice controls.

Well for me off tv play trumps all that.

Indeed it does, so stop comparing the two like they're equivalent

The OP's enthusiasm for the Game Pad is what makes this entire topic so darn mystifying to me.

Edited on by OptometristLime

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MAB

350. Posted:

ZyroXZ2 wrote:

I REALLY don't want to read all 17 pages and all, but to answer the OP question straight-up: everything. The Gamepad is the only thing keeping the Wii U as "different". Without it, the Wii U just looks like a "weak" console next to the other two (despite not having the massive gap in power like the Wii vs XBox360/PS3), and will definitely have an even WORSE image than it does now.

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blaisedinsd

351. Posted:

@zyroXZ2

ZyroXZ2 wrote:

I REALLY don't want to read all 17 pages and all, but to answer the OP question straight-up: everything. The Gamepad is the only thing keeping the Wii U as "different". Without it, the Wii U just looks like a "weak" console next to the other two (despite not having the massive gap in power like the Wii vs XBox360/PS3), and will definitely have an even WORSE image than it does now.

Yeah, the thread has become a beast. Initially there was a bunch of this opinion that doesn't really apply to the topic.

Basically this is all thoughts on what the wii u is if the gamepad does not exist. The topic is not about that, it's about how it would affect the consoles business if Nintendo released an optional sku.

The thread has some interesting discussion. In summary from my point of view the discussion has yielded this(others may disagree, feel free to address a point by number)

1. There is agreement the software should evolve toward not requiring the gamepad for things that can be accomplished on a pro controller (or any wii u controller as well). It is a convenience for users not to have switch controllers and the effect of a non-working/missing gamepad is less crippling and the need to spend money on a costly replacement is less urgent.

2. The software evolving to this point (summer update maybe?) makes the idea or releasing an optional lesser version of the the wii u something to consider. This is the main topic.

3. The main objection to a no gp sku option is the type of fears you have expressed. I wish those with these type of fears to consider the rest of the points and see how much merit that fear has.

4. This gimped bundle is in some way ( but obviously not exactly the same in all ways) similar to the idea of the 2DS. It's for people who don't care for the consoles gimmic (gimmicks being 3D and the gamepad) at a lower production cost and sold at a higher profit margin. The main difference is wii u "1S" only plays a sub-library of games. Wii U "1S" is a new pillar just as "2DS" is on the handheld side, is not a replacement. It is appealing based on what it can do with out the gimmic. Yes losing 3d is not the same as losing the gp, but the "1s" is appealing based solely on its sub library of games. The appeal of the "1s" is independent of the appeal of the full wii u experience. It's an option aimed at a niche market of people who don't care for or completely dislike the gimmic.

5. This split user base, as far as the wii u's profitability is concerned, is no different than the 360's user base with the kinect add on. This is just in reverse but it's the same thing. The console plays a library of games and the add on enables more games and enhances some games as well. For the wii u the add on enables all games and enhances others. Some games are the same with or without the add on such as DKC Tropical Freeze which shuts the gamepad screen off when playing on the tv ( yet I believe the add on still would provide off tv play for this title which makes the gp cooler than kinect). The only mark against this is if future core titles utilize the gamepad in essential ways that makes them incompatible with "1s". This is not as big a deal because the gamepad add on can be made available for purchase just like motion plus for wii with skyward sword (but more expensive). It is a mark against the appeal if the "1s" however.

6. I think I had more points as far as why this makes good business sense but I am just going to post what I have so far. That discussion can be point 6

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blaisedinsd

352. Posted:

Also on point 5, if the gamepad is utilized in essential compelling ways in most software going forward that is a mark against the appeal of "1S". I don't think that's the case as I expect nintendos gamepad focused strategy to yield more of what we have so far, titles such as Nintendoland game and Wario and wii party u. Dk, mk8, and smash are coming and they make 1s appealing, I am thinking launch with one of these or even bundle it with "1s" sku.

7. This idea is not claimed to be likely. I am predicting it will happen but the discussion is solely to consider if it would be a mistake or not. I would say it's not likely but I think it's a good idea so I am predicting it will happen

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ferthepoet

353. Posted:

blaisedinsd wrote:

Also on point 5, if the gamepad is utilized in essential compelling ways in most software going forward that is a mark against the appeal of "1S". I don't think that's the case as I expect nintendos gamepad focused strategy to yield more of what we have so far, titles such as Nintendoland game and Wario and wii party u. Dk, mk8, and smash are coming and they make 1s appealing, I am thinking launch with one of these or even bundle it with "1s" sku.

7. This idea is not claimed to be likely. I am predicting it will happen but the discussion is solely to consider if it would be a mistake or not. I would say it's not likely but I think it's a good idea so I am predicting it will happen

I agree 100% with everything you said

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blaisedinsd

354. Posted:

@DefHalan

DefHalan wrote:

To reach the maximum amount of their customers they would have to drop GamePad support in order to reach those with the GamePad-less SKU.

This is true. How do we explaing DK, MK8, and Smash dropping gamepad support? The majority of the WIi U library doesn't have Gamepad support. As far as this optional SKU is concerned we have to think of gamepad support in these terms. 3D world has captain toad which can easily be done on a tv with a pro controller and some minimal touch and mic elements. You could argue these gamepad features are what make the game complelling and sell the system but I see little merit in that argument. I consider 3D worlld to be a game that would be patched to be "1S" capable. I also think those kinds of things could still be tacked on to 3D world 2 and it could be released as "1S" capable. Furthermore I only see this even as relevant if the "1S" sku blows up and turns the consoles fortune around. If it did that than I don't think there will be many tears for the loss of tacked on things like that or even for not getting Game and Wario 2. We will still have everything we have now with the gamepad and off tv play for all the "1S" games so we will still love our gamepads and be happy that we get more games due to a successful console.

DefHalan wrote:

blaisedinsd wrote:

They said they are going to keep trying more ideas and they will do that whether or not a gamepad ever sells again just for their 6 million most loyal users. No one else is going to be supporting it either unless it becomes more popular.

How does Nintendo make the GamePad more popular? By making Killer Apps that utilize the GamePad in unique ways. Killer Apps (not all of them have to use the GamePad) will drive system sales. So why split the install base thus killing any support for the GamePad?

Agree with this except for the last part. See above. I don't see how splitting the user base kills gamepad support. By far the most compelling gamepad features are off Tv play and secondly inventory/map screen. I don't see that stuff going away and I don't see the tacked on blow on your gampad stuff as something that matters. If you think the gamepad will be essential to lots of games going forward in the way motion plus was with skywardsword that is a mark against the appeal of the "1s" sku and not a point about how the option is bad for business. If gamepad support was killed off in any singnificant way it will be because the "1s" sku turned the consoles fortunes around and even then you still get off TV play.

I can't see the future but I can see either outcome is good for Wii U.

It is actually high risk, low reward. They risk killing off GamePad support, games that support the GamePad from selling well, Nintendo looking like a company that doesn't/can't support its systems, and this back-pedling following them into the next-gen console era where people will again wait for the re-launch of their system costing Nintendo more money. their reward is some extra money... possibly a slightly larger install base.

I think I showed at least the risk of killing off gp support is low. If this sku caused that it's because it was a huge success. GP will have OFF TV play and tacked on maps/inventory and those are the most important GP features and they are not at risk. I do not see the merit in these worst case scenario fears being expressed. You do it as new pillar just like the 2DS and I don't see much risk. Nintendolands sales are what they are, no one cried when ROB was't soledand people didn't buy Gyromite.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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blaisedinsd

355. Posted:

OptometristLime wrote:

The OP's enthusiasm for the Game Pad is what makes this entire topic so darn mystifying to me.

If anything I feel it gives me more credibility. I love the gamepad and feel it is a success so I am not arguing to do this because I think it sucks. I just don't see how it harms anything and I think it has some potential to help.

This article talks about how they won't give up on the gamepad and why they thought it was a good idea.
http://recode.net/2014/02/03/why-nintendo-wont-give-up-on-the...

I don't think an optional "1S" sku means they are giving up on the gamepad. That's the #1 thing I feel most people are having difficulty grasping.

The article suggests the trend of handheld gaming becoming more popular in Japan because of shared television situations being a big reason the felt the gamepad was a good idea. They make the console have its own screen and its more popular like handhelds.

If that is the main idea that's great. Off TV is the main reason for the gamepad and I think it is the gampads best feature. That is not threatened by offering the console with out it in the NA market where OFF TV is not as big of deal.

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blaisedinsd

356. Posted:

skywake wrote:

Then that's the second scenario. They keep pushing the GamePad as a feature and the people who buy this SKU feel like they've been had. The new games come out that require it as a feature and those people who thought they got a bargain now have to buy another controller to play it. If people see this before it happens then the cheaper SKU doesn't sell. As I was saying in the whole post, they can't do both at once. Someone is going to be screwed over by this.

And I would again note how far from your original posts you have now come. To the point where now you're almost not saying anything like what you originally suggested.

This is what I feel is the false dilemma once again. Why can't they do both? The WIi U marketing (whether it exists or not) doesn't change. Wii U "1S" would be a new pillar just like the 2DS. Are 2DS owners screwed over by games using 3D in new and interesting ways? No, they are not interested in 3D or the interesting ways it can be used, that's why they buy a 2DS. A "1S" buyer is the same thing. Your message for this is that it is for individuals while the gamepad is intended for groups. The gamepad brings off tv play and multi player applications. That marketing message if anything helps define what the gamepad is intended for which is something they are sorely lacking so far.

I haven't really come far at all. My message has been consistent and the only things added have been accepting that fear and panic could be an issue as well as Metroid mario and Zelda having deep gampad integration being a good reason not to do this. I fell the fear and panic is mostly irrational just as it was with 2DS and I feel the core franchises having deep integration is an extremely long shot base on what we know now.

skywake wrote:

blaisedinsd wrote:

[Whether or not by anecdotal evidence is relevant and whether it not the new sku is popular or not, it costs them almost nothing to do this. It's basically some rebranding and repackaging and maybe some game patches if you want to beef up the appeal of the sub-library if games. It doesn't need to be very successful at all to make it worth it. I am not saying it fixes the consoles problems I am just saying it doesn't really cause any and it's a low risk high reward proposition basically.

I was just saying it's not worth basing a whole change in strategy on the opinions of some randoms who could have any number of reasons for saying those things. The general thought, even by your own admittance, is that it's a good feature that has been underutilised and poorly marketed. I'm glad that we agree that it doesn't solve any of the Wii U's current problems. That precise reason is why I think they would be better off trying to solve those problems rather than doing something like this. The GamePad isn't the reason the Wii U isn't selling, the Wii U isn't selling because it doesn't have the games people want on it.

Well the main disagreement is that I feel offering a lower cost option that appeals to the Smash and Kart fan bases as well as DK is a good first step strategy to try to help the console. Whether or not the divisiveness of some people being driven away from the console by dislike of the gamepad is significant is not really the point. The point is these games are being counted on to boost the console and a lower cost entry point that gets access to these games makes sense. Your disagreement on how much they could lower cost of the "1S" sku is a factor in how good of an idea it actually is, but surely you agree that lowering the cost is good. The talk of price not being an issue is poppycock that you always hear when a console struggles because you don't want people waiting for a price cut before buying.

I also and becoming more convinced that marketing "1S" as an individual experience or as a secondary console for a household makes sense. If your message becomes the gamepad is for families and off tv play and fun and compelling multiplayer than people are more likely to understand it better.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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blaisedinsd

357. Posted:

I looked back at the beginning of the thread and I will say I have backed off on how likely I am claiming the prediction is.

So there's that.

Here is a story about the breakdown of the cost of just the components for reference. http://www.destructoid.com/cnn-estimates-the-cost-of-wii-u-s-...

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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KennyPowers

358. Posted:

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blaisedinsd

359. Posted:

The pic I still think strengthens my arguement.

They should sell fries and bigmacs and value meals.

Selling only value meals is the strategy of forcing the console and gamepad to only be sold together. When thats not working you should change your sales strategy.

Going with the strategy of only saying these fries are so great you should but a value meal isn't a good idea. Say this big mac is great and these fies are great and if you get them both you save seems to be the correct strategy to me.

Throwing away fries is more like this option coming out and people destroying their game pad on purpose. Maybe they sell there if they don't like it or give it away. Overall the analogy if throwing fries away demonstrates a lack of understanding if the concept. Selling Big Macs as an option has nothing to do with how great your fries are or their ability to bring you business on there own.

Edited on by blaisedinsd

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360. Posted:

I think you guys should try learn cooking, all this fast food will be bad for your health! ;)

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