Do I care? Yes. Why? Two words: pointer control:
Only on Wii.
Also: note the impartial game media being part of another promo video.
Say it with me again: they don’t work for you, they work for the PR departments of the gaming pubs.
…would probably be pretty bad:
MCV: Has the bubble burst for the Wii and DS?
NAMCO: It’s a tough market. DS is the most successful platform ever, but all my kids’ friends at school have a DS with an R4. They have 100 games for no money. So yes, the market has collapsed for the DS and Wii.
So: the Wii market has collapsed because piracy in Europe is rampant on DS…which makes perfect sense…right?
This, folks, is what’s known as a Freudian slip, i.e. he’s conflating (inadvertently?) the Wii with the DS because he needs to spin Namco’s abject failure in the Wii market with the popular notion that the DS is dead in Europe due to piracy, because that’s what he needs Namco’s shareholders to believe if guys like him are going to keep their jobs. (More on this below.)
I also enjoy how MCV sets up the narrative with an incredibly-leading question for the corporate shill because–surprise!!–they’re all-in on the ‘Nintendo is doomed…again’ meme, that was on hiatus for nearly 3 months! Wow! And some of us thought they’d finally kicked the habit but, as it turns out, they just can’t quit it. Like their salad-tossing ‘games’.
We had a lot of product, and the average quality of a game on DS and Wii is very, very bad. So in the mind of the consumer today, to buy a DS or Wii game is to buy a game that isn’t very good.
Oh, I agree, the quality of the average Namco product on Wii is absolutely atrocious…hey…wait…I wonder (and I’m just spit-balling here) if there’s a correlation or, gasp!, maybe even some causation! Maybe!
I mean, with super high quality titles like Happy Dance Collection, Daikaijuu Battle, more Dragon Ball games than you can shake a capsule at, Wii Cheer, and Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked, how can it be that they aren’t selling eleventy-billion copies per game??? I mean, Jesus, next thing you know you’ll be telling me Active Life: Extreme Challenge isn’t as good a game as New Super Mario Bros. Wii…or a bag of dog sh*t.
Call me crazy, but maybe the market has a dim view of Namco Bandai games on Wii when pretty much everyone agrees (even those rubes that buy Wii games) that they produce acres and acres of grade AAA feces. Is that maybe possible? That if you produce sh*t, it won’t sell because–surprise!–it’s sh*t? Hello? Tekken?
I mean, who would do something completely crazy like spend some actual money and put Tekken or a real Soul Calibur on Wii instead of Tamagotchi Party On! and Family Jockey? Not Namco Bandai, no sir!1
After all, those games are quality enough for customers weaned on trash like Mario Kart Wii, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and, pretty much, every other Nintendo-published game which, obviously, only meet the bare minimum level of quality and competence…oh, and also happen to be their big guns, which everyone likes supported with sizable marketing *and* development budgets. Gee, some more correlation (or, gasp!, causation!) at work again? Maybe??
And, in light of this naked, pathetic, spin, I am forced to ask: if the Wii market has collapsed, what’s happened to the PS3 and 360 markets? Destroyed by a meteor strike? Sucked into a blackhole? Moonlighting as a space heater (360) and movie player (PS3)? I mean, the Wii is still selling out, 3.5 years on, while the 360 is actually starting to, literally, collapse in light of a surging PS3 that is only ‘surging’ in relation to the wind-sucking 360. But, yeah, the Wii market is just falling apart…because of piracy on DS…or something.
Anyway, the takeaway from all of this is, err, thus: “we [Namco] completely dropped the ball on the Wii market, ignoring it until we couldn’t ignore it any longer, then we dropped mostly sh*t on it and, when that didn’t sell (because, you see, it’s sh*t), we’ll blame “the quality level” of the same shit we shoveled out the door for our poor sales. (And pray our shareholders love to eat the sh*t we’re shovleing down their gaping maws.)”
Also: remember, these interviews w/ industry execs are not for your consumption but spin for shareholders who are completely apoplectic that companies (like Namco)–who are losing their asses–cannot make a go of it on platforms with absolutely massive userbases.
Keep in mind that it is these companies entire purpose to make profit, not satisfy some imaginary quality level and the fact that they can’t make any on machines that have literally annihilated the competition is a damning indictment of the management running these companies, i.e. this drivel is the same pablum they spoon-feed their investors at annual meetings when they take massive losses in areas in which they should–becaue they’re bloody game companies–be turning massive profits, i.e. this is full CYA mode.
P.S. Namco adds: “This is all Nintendo’s fault for raising the bar too high–if only they sucked as much as everyone else, we could make some money with our terrible f*cking games.”
P.P.S. I add: “Hey MCV, how about actually entertaining the idea of probing follow-up questions that don’t let slippyer d*cks like this dude wriggle off the hook with little more than a blow job and collecting your money on the table? Oh, and while you’re at it, instead of establishing the narrative, how about you act like actual, honest, journalists and perhaps ask questions rather than leading your interviewees to your desired conclusion?”
1 This would be like Capcom bitching that Tatsunoko vs. Capcom didn’t sell–they didn’t, mind you–because, you know, everyone knows what a Tatsunoko is and they marketed it with the full fury of a used piece of toilet paper.
Awww, isn’t this cute–Sony thinks they’re Apple now1:
Sony Computer Entertainment’s UK boss Ray Maguire has told Eurogamer that he has no worries about people buying into the company’s 3D dream because there will always be early adopters.
“The same argument would have been levelled at introducing a £425 PS3,” he told Eurogamer in an interview at the launch of Sony’s 3D services when asked who was actually going to buy all this 3D content.
Yes, and the same “argument” could be leveled at:
- Memory Stick
Hmm, and you know, there’s something (SONY) all of these products have in common (SONY) but I just can’t put my finger on it (SONY).2
1 In other words, they think that, like Apple, slapping their logo on the box means instant sales to a mindless, near-undead, captured audience that will buy whatever Steve Jobs tells them to buy. Like Scientologists. But dumber.
2 In case you missed the subtle implication, they were all going to be sure-things and they were all invented by…Sony.
If Sony stopped spinning for a half-a-minute and let the vertigo subside1, maybe they’d stand half a chance at competing for market share again:
“One of the reasons we launched PSPgo was to understand where that consumer behaviour was going. We were getting signals from consumers that this was the kind of device that they wanted. But we need to recognise that consumers like their packaged media library.”
So their plan was to toss out a grossly-overpriced, under-featured, portable that alienated their playerbase and made them the butt of countless jokes as a focus group experiment writ large?? I guess they forgot to mention that it was also developed to stave off an Illuminati-abetted alien invasion (with the lizard people serving as shock troopers) hell-bent on turning Earth into a subsidiary of Vogon Acid Mines Inc. (No doubt the source of the “signals” they were getting to produce this product in the first place.)
Some other things Sony hoped to learn from the PSPgo experiment:
- Do people always ‘bet on black’?
- If they release a system and nobody buys it, will they still get their yearly bonuses?
- Can we make Michael Pachter look like a corporate shill, beholden to game companies?2
- Will Sony fanboys defend anything?3
- Will Sony fanboys buy anything?4
I’d also hasten to add that if this sort of thing is actually true (it isn’t) that they had no intention of really going to the mat for the machine and that the people that did actually buy it were little more than paying (not paid!) focus testers. How does that feel, gowners?
Also: though the full text isn’t yet available, my guess is there’s literally zero chance that MCV called them out on this disingenuous bullsh*t.
1 Granted, much of Eastern Europe would be plunged into darkness as their primary, turbine-driven, power source went offline.
4 Nope, even they know where to draw the line between sycophancy and cold, hard, cash/reality.
In case your life was lacking in naked shilling, Best Buy steps in to lend a hand
In truth, this is probably the only way a new print mag is going to last more than two years, but anyone looking to this for timely/honest/sales pitch-free/honest editorial should probably stick to, well, uh…the honest/sales pitch-free thing is gonna be hard to come by, period, but I guess timely still counts in the Internet’s favor:
Kyle Orland reports via his The Game Beat Blog, that Best Buy and Future Publishing US are teaming up to create a game magazine exclusively for the electronic store chain. The magazine, which is being called “@Gamer,” will be helmed by former IGN Editor in Chief Andy Eddy. Orland dug up the following tidbit from Eddy’s profile on Facebook. It reads:
“I’m working at Future US in the Future Plus group on a new publication called @Gamer, the “official games magazine of Best Buy.”
I remember when Andy Eddy was respectable, way, way back in the days of VG&CE–shame to see him end up hocking games for Best Buy at what has to be, at this point, the twilight of his career.
Personally, any price is too high for what is going to amount to targeted-advertising for the companies trying to sell games at Best Buy, but I’m sure they’ll sweeten the deal w/ various coupons, etc. (a la Game Informer) to get you to sign on for their marketing campaign, so maybe it’s not a total loss for those of you that still actually shop brick & mortar.1
1 Amazon 4 Life! (And they didn’t even have to pay me to say that.)
IGN: We’re so desperate for traffic we’ll post literally anything
Nintendo of America Comments on Wii Party1
May 7, 2010 – Earlier today Nintendo Co. LTD (the Japanese parent company) revealed Wii Party, a multiplayer focused Wii title set for release in Japan later this year. We contacted Nintendo of America for possible details on a US release.
Direct from representatives at NOA: “We’re not making any further announcements other than what NCL announced in Japan.”
Expect further details at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo. E3 2010, the huge three day gaming industry event, runs the week of June 14th at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
So the “news” is that there isn’t any (or, rather, that Nintendo’s “comment” is “no comment”)–thank God those guys at IGN are on top of their sh*t, keeping us abreast of non-breaking events like this!2 Next up at IGN: we didn’t play Little Big Planet 2 but Sony assures us it’s awesome so let’s really talk it up! (Oh, wait…)
The killer is that Craig Harris has, generally, been the only thing worth reading IGN for in about, oh, a decade3, so this is just doubly-idiotic and takes the dude down several dozen pegs in my book, but the good news is IGN itself has been a laughing-stock for so long that it doesn’t even really matter.
1 No, really, that’s the headline for this, alleged, news post.
2 Meanwhile, in breaking news exclusive to this footnote, I am not having a roast beef sandwich today–stay tuned for more on this hot
3 Which will be the span of time that passes before I read IGN again.
I wouldn’t buy
a used car market analysis from this man
Edge highlights these charts from Nintendo’s recent financial briefing, and it paints a rather robust picture for Nintendo even as their profits slid:
11 Nintendo Games; 5 Sony Games; 0 Microsoft Games
Got that? Nintendo accounted for half the top ten in the 1st quarter and nearly half the top 30 (when taking into account games on their platforms) in the first quarter, which probably help explains, at least in part, their recent 2.2 billion dollar profit, even if it is down from a record high.1
9 Nintendo Games; 2 Sony Games; 0 Microsoft Games
I anxiously await Pachter’s cries of “bring on the PS4 and 720 because MS and Sony are doomed–DOOMED!–if they don’t get them out by June!” in light of these disturbing revelations.
Some have inquired about Japan, but as I don’t have those charts2 handy, I can’t comment. (But I can tell you that it is, in all likelihood, even more lopsided in Nintendo’s favor due to a Wii userbase that is approximately double the PS3 and eight times that of the 360. Meanwhile, the DS is double the PSP which is actually a better ratio than it is in other territories.)
1 To ‘only’, iirc, 3rd highest ever. (Including the glory days of the NES which, realistically, is now the Wii/DS era–pretty amazing considering the competition is far, far more fierce than then.)
2 Nintendo didn’t even cite them in their report, oddly enough.
Sackboy shows his less endearing, more burlapy, side
For a game that has gotten, at best, mixed reviews1, it’s amazing the big gaming sites have basically gone all Little Big Planet 2, all the time, today:
Little Big Planet 2 is in production and the gaming sites want you to know it.
Currently the front page of Edge has four LBP2 related stories running, including the top article:
*An announcement of the game
*A news piece on how it is not just an expansion
*An article detailing the newest Edge issue, featuring a LBP2 cover story
*A story on the new features
1Up is also a little LBP2 crazy, with five stories on the game including the top article:
*An announcement of the game
*A news piece on how it is not just an expansion
*“Six Levels I’d Love To Create Using Little Big Planet 2’s New Features and Themes”
*A LBP2 music announcements piece
*And the LBP2 debut trailer
Oh, there’s much more at the link, but it’s almost like, I dunno, Sony PR called in some favors to get this sort of saturation-bombing coverage all on the same day, dontcha think?
And notice how a lot of the stories appear to be dupes of one another (e.g. a news piece on how it is not just an expansion, because that was the first thing that leapt to anyone’s mind??), no doubt purely coincidental, even across sites that don’t share any connection at all, except…Sony PR.
Hell, I bet they didn’t even get lots of advance notice to have pieces like “Six Levels I’d Love To Create Using Little Big Planet 2’s New Features and Themes” ready to go just in the nick of time! Right?2
(Yeah, yeah: “slow news day” except that legitimately huge/universally-loved/mega-selling games don’t get this kind of ‘we’re caught in a tractor beam’-level coverage all in one day–a day that’s not even close to being over yet, so there’s still time for more!)
Note: if you haven’t gotten it yet, this is a coordinated PR event. The problem is that the allegedly independent gaming ‘journos’ are part and parcel of the hype machine that’s trying to sell the game to you, their readers, when they should be viewing such things with at least a semi-jaundiced, un-compromised by noxious spin, eye.3
Meanwhile, this story labors in complete obscurity, probably because shining a light on it would tick off the hand that feeds them and that’s a huge no-no in game ‘journo’ circles. Oh, and of course LITTLE BIG PLANET 2 (BUY IT THIS YEAR)! is much more important than prison labor/sweatshops/child labor in China. Naturally.
1 Not in the gaming media, but in general, by the end-users who were a great deal more circumspect in their praise/adulation than the absolutely hysterical (in the crazy, not so much funny, sense) worship given to a game most people have concluded has a kinda cool tool set wrapped around a game w/ pretty lousy controls.
2 This is standard op for game journos: they’ll get packages of materials before the big reveal (which is, of course, a coordinated PR effort) so they can have plenty of unbiased, original, content for the gullible fools that think all of this stuff comes from their ‘scoop’ and ‘from the heart’ or in the heat of the ‘ZOMG this is awesome’ moment.
3 There are no jaundiced eyes in the world of game ‘journalism’, as credulity carries the day when there’s money to be made.
A serious face, not a serious man
If he expects us to take this at face value:
There is a Wii HD in 2010, it’s just called PS3 with Move.
There are credible analysts in myriad fields, they’re just not named Michael Pachter.
Normally Jack at iatm would have already hammered him, but as he’s out of the office (or something), I’ll just add that this is the ‘expert’ that has, for at least the past year, been saying that it’s a slam dunk that the WiiHD1 will be out in 2010 even though Nintendo has sworn on a stack of Bibles that it’s not coming anytime remotely soon.
(Yes, I know: of course they’d say that, but the difference is, if you do even some cursory thinking on the subject, launching another Wii while first is still selling like hotcakes and (this is very important) your userbase is hugely-comprised of the types that don’t normally buy *any* console, you would have to be clearly insane–or arch-super-analyst Michael Pachter–to launch a new machine this early on.2 There’s also the issue of launching a very substantial DS update this year, which would guarantee there won’t be a WiiHD anytime soon due to resource-allocation, marketing issues with trying to hype two separate machines, etc.)
So, yeah, if you’re a gaming site and you continue to quote this clown as an authority on anything, short how to mis-manage a going concern, you’re about as un-serious as he is.3
1 A creature more mythical than unicorns, dragons and my social life.
2 It’s only been about 3.5 years since the Wii came out and console lifecycles are, typically, measured in 5 years increments, making this hobbyhorse of Pacther’s even more stupifyingly, well, stupid.
3 Naturally we’ll see him being quoted by some other ‘credible’ source in the next fifteen minutes.
Justification is hard work…in Hawaii…on someone else’s dime
Originally I had planned to do a long write-up about this little exchange but, really, if you watch this video and don’t see how wrong all of it is, there’s probably no hope for you1:
But, hey, at least this
porno feeble attempt at justification has nice production values, though a little light on the boom-chicka-wah-wah given the hot, nerd-on-source, action.
1 I’m actually saving the better parts of that write-up for my first video project so please look forward to that /Japanese game dev2
2 No, really: a video. On YouTube. So you know it’s going to be a high quality production just as soon as I get my green sheets out of the dryer.