News Article

Talking Point: Another Look at the News - 20th July

Posted by Nintendo Life Staff

Sonic, retail downloads and a certain analyst

It's that time again, when a few members of the Nintendo Life team look at recent news and decide that they simply have to give their opinion on it. Last time out things were very serious, with topics such as Nintendo's online services, the number of 'new IPs' on Wii and the continued madness that is Super Smash Bros. hype dominating our thoughts. Is there any light relief this time?

Well, let's see. This week assistant editor Mike Mason looks at retail download promotions, writer Gaz Plant considers comments from everyone's favourite industry analyst, and contributer Morgan Sleeper brings things to a soft conclusion by talking about Sonic plushies.

Mike Mason

Another view on — Nintendo Offering Incentives for Retail Downloads in Japan

The digital download future is something that Nintendo is beginning to adopt enthusiastically. It's a necessity in a world where it's easier to log onto iTunes than to trot down to HMV; where you can instantly download or stream a movie rather than wait for a DVD to plop onto your doormat. It's a positive step to see it move in this direction with full retail game downloads – but why should digital downloaders get all the treats?

With a boxed game you get all the nice packaging, with a download you get nought but a file on your 3DS; it's more convenient but less tangible, and some people aren't quite ready to sacrifice the prospect of a physical collection filling their shelves. Nintendo seems to understand that, hence why it's continuing to offer both retail and download versions of games.

It could be considered a little unfair, though, that those who go for the latter option are rewarded with extra goodies: a free game here, some bonus Club Nintendo points there. Nintendo wants to promote the eShop in all its online glory, yes, but could that not be done by including codes for free eShop games with both avenues of purchase? A plastic case, pretty as it is, is not an extra bonus game. It's nice to see Nintendo offering something a little incentive to push this new channel, but I'm of the opinion that it shouldn't mean the alternative loses out; I don't want this to go the way of pre-order bonuses, where multiple retailers end up with different exclusive bits of content that can't be accessed otherwise.

Gaz Plant

Another view on — Michael Pachter: Activision Demanded Wii U Pro Controller for CoD

It seems that rarely a week goes by when everyone’s favourite industry analyst Michael Pachter has something to say about Nintendo, and the last few weeks have been no different. This time it’s the turn of the Wii U Pro Controller, which he claimed was forced into existence by Activision.

Naturally this caused a bit of commotion online, but Pachter did clarify what he meant, restating what many overlooked in his original quote – he was simply extrapolating from what has been confirmed. When he’s completely wrong I’ll happily join the detractors, but this time I feel he should be cut some slack; after all, a logical conclusion was reached from established facts.

And let’s face it, Michael Pachter arguably knows more about the industry’s finances than all of us put together, and his inside knowledge of this should be respected. There is a reason he still has a job after all. Remember back in 2009 when he suggested Nintendo needed to boost Wii up to HD graphics to keep third party software on the system? We all laughed back then. We haven’t been laughing recently.

What many people seem to miss is that his job is to predict the future as he sees it, and without a DeLorean to hand, he will ultimately miss the mark more often than not. No-one could have foreseen the success of the DS, and Nintendo stunned the entire industry with the selling power of Wii. Perhaps calling Wii U “a solution in search of a problem” was a bit over the top, but in the case of the Wii U Pro Controller, the whole situation was perhaps simply a case of bad phrasing; something that perhaps could have been solved by a simple word swap, as we suggested.

Michael Pachter aside, the existence of the Wii U Pro Controller, a controller borrowing from the now standard controller layout Nintendo originally reserved for the Virtual Console on Wii, certainly seems like a ploy to get third parties on board. After all, isn’t a standard controller directly opposed to the Wii U’s message?

Morgan Sleeper

Another view on — SEGA Wants Sonic to be the Next Hello Kitty

SEGA's recent announcement of a Sonic/Hello Kitty mashup plush, and its aspirations for the speedy little hedgehog to become a merchandising icon on par with Sanrio's legendary cat, might strike the gaming world as a bit of a stretch. After all, even with Sonic Colours and Sonic Generations marking a recent turn-around in the quality of his games, Sonic is still most fondly remembered for his adventures in the 90s: the original 16-bit outings, Sonic CD, and Sonic Adventure. Hasn't the time to take advantage of Sonic's success with merchandising deals already come and gone?

Here's the thing though; I was given a Sonic t-shirt last Christmas, and ever since I've started wearing it I've gotten lots of compliments from all kinds of different people: university students, too-cool-for-school teenagers at a ska concert, a mom who wanted to get one for her kids, younger Sonic X fans, and some enthusiastic gamers who would have been in middle school when Sonic first sped onto the Genesis/Mega Drive in 1991.

Sonic's games may have had a popularity slump in recent years, but it's still amazing to me that a video game character who was cool back when I was running around the playground (I have fond memories of swapping Sonic comics during recess and waiting patiently to play Sonic Blast on a friend's Game Gear) can still appeal to such a wide audience today. It's a unique situation that Sonic shares with few gaming heroes outside of Mario and company, and I think SEGA's wise to try and capitalize on it by marketing its mascot in as many ways as possible. If plushies, shirts, and schoolbags can turn a profit, and help keep SEGA in a position to create quirky, less profitable games like this year's phenomenal Rhythm Thief & the Emperor's Treasure, then a Hello Kitty Sonic is A-OK with me.

What do you think of these comments, and what news stories grabbed your attention this week?

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User Comments (25)

Bobhobob

#1

Bobhobob said:

I want a Hello Kitty Sonic plush, just so I could creep my friends out at sleepovers.
Oh Morgan, I got a Sonic shirt for Christmas too! Except I wore it to the Nintendo Store in Manhattan, and I got a LOT of dirty looks, until I bought Uprising for the 3DS. It's weird how people's opinions can change so quickly...

theblackdragonAdmin

#3

theblackdragon said:

@Gaz: He lied. I don't care how 'educated' he is or how many more people he's rubbed shoulders with than any of us here, you can't pass off opinion or speculation as dead-on fact and expect to get away without your integrity being called into question, and considering the Classic Controller has been used before as an alternate mode of control for Wii games, why would they bother 'demanding' what they technically already had (and what Nintendo would likely release anyway)? It makes no sense.

@mieu-fire: it's an article on a website. surprised? man, i know i was when i first noticed it! :3

fredtoy

#4

fredtoy said:

I can't see this Wii U Pro Controller as something other than concession to third parties.

The original Wii needed the classic controller for VC games and games that didn't fit the Wiimote scheme. But for Wii U, apparently, the original tablet controller can do everything the pro does, with the added screen in the middle to extra functionality.

IMHO, it's almost like to have a DS and play it with one screen covered or making a new DS with only one screen so thirdies could do lazy ports without worrying with the other screen.

Chuie

#5

Chuie said:

i dont really like the wii u pro controller i like the real wii u remote

Geonjaha

#6

Geonjaha said:

Once again, people who buy physics copies are at no disadvantage, as they can easily sell the game after they are done with it - whether it be within a month or a few years. In either scenario they will still get at least 50% of their money back. What do the digital downloaders get? the game nailed to their 3DS for the sake of never having to change the game card.

theblackdragonAdmin

#7

theblackdragon said:

@fredtoy: maybe, but to say Activision were the ones demanding it (when they've happily ported CoD to anything and everything that'll take it) is still strange — you'd think if they were going to push for any one thing in particular it'd be for more power to be able to beef up what's happening on the screen since they've already got the controls down.

Besides that, last we knew the Wii U only supported two tablets at once, and to use the Classic Controller you have to plug it into a Wiimote, which is clunky at best. to me the WUPC seems like a genuine control option, especially when SSBU is coming down the pipes.

zipmonStaff

#8

zipmon said:

@Bobhobob Haha, fantastic! Wear it with pride!! =)

Also, seeing the Pro Controller picture reminds me how excited I am to play NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams with that smooth circle analog stick! I'm assuming/hoping it'll work with Classic Controller compatible Wii games?

fredtoy

#9

fredtoy said:

@theblackdragon I didn't think about the two tablet limit of Wii U and multiplayer games. This is a good use for the pro controller. And I agree with you that one can not say that Activision specifically demanded the pro controller without proof. I wasn't exactly pointing at them. I was thinking about big developers in general.

Hejiru

#11

Hejiru said:

"Michael Pachter arguably knows more about the industry’s finances than all of us put together, and his inside knowledge of this should be respected."

rimshot

thanos316

#16

thanos316 said:

hold up. don't ninty drop a console every 5 yrs or close to it. can't the classic controller for the wii play different types of games if devs map the game for it. wasn't the wii being called 2 gamescubes glued together. cut patcher some slack yea ok. we all knew that ninty was gonna come out with a new console sooner than later and that it would need to support hd.. and i bet if you give devs unlimited power they will still be belly aching about something. guess we will be stuck with websites talking about patcher and his predictions for a long time to come.. heres a prediction ninty will drop another console in 2017.. boom. u heard it here first

CowLaunch

#17

CowLaunch said:

@TBD

Good point, I would have thought Sakurai might have put more pressure on Nintendo to include a conventional controller than Activision (to clarify, my musings, not fact!)

cfgk24

#19

cfgk24 said:

Downloads are great! Ninendo doesn't hve to pay distrinbution and retailer anything - thus increasing their profits by over 100 percent! This means if games are more profitable - they can develop better quality titles! Good for everyone!

Luffymcduck

#20

Luffymcduck said:

@fredtoy
I can see it as a much better controller for Smash Bros than one or two Wii U gamepads and the rest playing with... Wii remotes, blargh.

MattEriks

#21

MattEriks said:

@Geonjaha

finaly someone who thinks like me. I have sold many crappy games in my time. What i would do is trade my ocarina of time 3ds, RE revelations and Tales of Abyss 3d for download versions så i can have my fav 3ds games on my 3ds always

Silverbullet89

#24

Silverbullet89 said:

I'm personally glad they made the pro controller. I'm a big fan of fighting games, and although I know I'll be using the tablet more often than not I will probably not use anything but the pro controller for stuff like SSB, Injustice: Gods Among Us, or any other good fighting games I get for this awesome console. Sure, all it is is the Tablet minus the screen, but i would prefer something smaller in my hands for a fighter, with the D-pad easily accessible. Hopefully it's a good D-pad. Not to mention that having three different types of controllers for the WiiU makes it vastly different than everyone else in that it gives multilayer at least 3 different modes of playing.

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#25

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