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WiiU MAD?


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WHY NINTENDO WILL BE JUST FINE

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Screw What The Media Says, Don’t Give Up On Nintendo. Ever !

NINTENDO DOES WHAT NO OTHER COMPANY CAN

Nintendo makes game’s that put fun and interesting gameplay ideas front and center over game graphics and system horsepower. This has been the case since Nintendo’s first ever home console back in the 80’s and still to this day no one does gameplay like Nintendo. Here is why Nintendo will be just fine and the Wii U will be a success even in the face of competition from the likes of Sony and Microsoft.

LIKE I SAID, NINTENDO DOES FUN AND GAMEPLAY LIKE NO ONE ELSE

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Many Have Tried to Imitate but can never duplicate

“Systems that generate pretty pictures by themselves aren’t selling propositions, and all you need to do is look at the last generation to see the evidence.”

http://kotaku.com/nintendo-of-america-chief-on-xbox-one-and-ps4-being-ne-1227028093

That was a quote from Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime taken from a recent article in Kotaku where the NOA President spoke on Nintendo’s beliefe that new and exciting experiences are what drive the industry not graphics. Guess what? He’s right.

Look at the original Wii. Nintendo’s last home console was vastly underpowered compared to the 360 and Ps3 yet it completely destroyed them in the sales department. Why? It’s Simple. The Wii offered gamers something that they had never experienced before. The Original Wii offered experiences that were new, innovative, fun and refreshing. In the case of the Wii U, Nintendo has admittedly had a tough time conveying the benefits of the Wii U’s Gamepad to those who have never held one in their hands before. On top unclear messaging, the Wii U has lacked meaningful first party content which is the main cause for sluggish sales of the console.

I’m excited to announce that the drought is over! Nintendo has just cut the price of the Wii U, making it 100 dollars cheaper than its closest competitor and has also dropped holiday release dates for many of its highly anticipated first party titles. Titles like Super Mario 3d World, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and the Legend of Zelda Wind Waker HD all represent that classic, patented Nintendo charm and will definitely contribute to moving Wii U’s off store shelves come this holiday season.

While Nintendo’s competitors will offer you the chance to jack cars and commit murder, stab people in the throat Roman Centurion style, and score head shots, Nintendo will deliver something that none of those experiences will quite match. Nintendo’s games often reminds me why i play games in the first place. Often times when i boot up a Nintendo title a certain level of nostalgia kicks in and a smile begins to form across my face. It’s not just nostalgia that keeps me coming back for more, either. It’s Nitntedo’s uncanny ability to keep reiterating their franchises with new gameplay ideas making them feel like new and fresh gaming experiences. What other developer in the gaming industry can consistently put out the quantity of games that Nintendo does with the level of quality that Nintendo titles demand? Anyone? No? I didn’t think so. while Sony and Microsoft are trying to lure gamer’s in with the definitive “Dude-Bro” experiences, Nintendo is aiming to deliver an emotional experience that in the end beyond all of the smoke and mirrors will resonate with gamer’s the most. That experience, my friends is pure Joy. Delivered the way only Nintendo can. Unmatched and unrivaled. This alone is the reason Nintendo will be just fine going forward into this upcoming console generation. Nintendo will be just fine.

As always, tell me what your thoughts are on the subject and remember to let me know what make Wii U Mad !?

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This Is What Happens When You Call For Nintendo’s Doom. They Go Super Nintendo !


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Is Nintendo Done? Everyone Else Seems To Think So

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Wii U Sad?

EA Sports software engineer, Johan Andersson says that the Wii U is crap. EA also says that the Nintendo’s newest console can’t even run the Frostbite 2 engine with favorable results. Heck, most of the gaming media thinks that Nintendo is “dead in the water” and that they should pull a Sega and become a software only developer. Well, here are a few thoughts on why Nintendo could be headed the way of Sega and a few thoughts as to why they could be on their way to absolute success. 

NINTENDO IS NOT SEGA. OR SONY OR MICROSOFT FOR THAT MATTER

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Nintendo is not like the other two console makers. They don’t run with the latest trends in hardware or software development. Nintendo looks at what is currently on the market and tries to come up with ways to innovate instead of imitate. Nintendo is all about doing things differently. Unfortunately it is this approach that gives fuel to the Nintendo haters, allowing them enough ammo for an all out assault on the beloved Japanese console maker. Here is what is unfair. When Nintendo doesn’t do something that fits in line with what the so-called industry professionals feel is the correct course of action they get heavily criticized. When that course of action seems to not resonate as much as Nintendo would have liked then the media crucifies them. God forbid that Nintendo does something that is widely considered “the right thing to do” because that’s when the media gets all up on the big N’s sack and forgets how much they previously hated them. That may sound like a good thing to have the media flip their perception of Nintendo into something positive but not when you consider the hypocritical nature of the gaming media in general. If said it before, E3 is judgement day for the Wii U, not Nintendo. Here are three things Nintendo needs to do to prove that the console is worth everyone’s attention and hard earned money. Believe me when i say that if Nintendo doesn’t do these things then they may as well pull up a chair next to good ‘ol Sega.

1. First party franchises

Nintendo has already stated that a new 3d Mario title as well as Mario Kart, Smash Bros and zelda will make an appearance during this years press events. This is great because Nintendo consoles thrive off of their first party titles. The problem is that Nintendo cant rely only on those. They need to resurrect some old franchises. Where is Wave Race? Where is F-Zero? Will Punch-Out make a return this generation? Also worth noting is that Nintendo needs to absolutely wow us with these titles. And yes i’m talking about graphics. We already know Nintendo will deliver on the gameplay but its the consoles graphical prowess or lack there of that has given the haters most of their Nintendo sniping ammo.

2. Partnerships

Nintendo seems to be doing well when it comes to partnering with other developer/publishers to bring the Wii U some interesting content. Nintendo just announced a partnership with Sega to produce a Wii U exclusive Sonic game. Look at the partnership between Nintendo and Platinum games to produce Bayonetta and Wonderful 101 which are both exclusive to Wii U. Nintendo has stated in the past that there are definitely more partnerships like these to be announced in the future. It would be nice to see Capcom and Square show up on that list. 

3. THIRD PARTY SUPPORT

Screw EA! Now that we got that out of the way lets talk about the developers that matter. We all know that the main reason the Wii U isn’t getting the 3rd party support it deserves is because of slow sales and a small install base. Provided that things pick up for the Wii U, we should see more and more 3rd parties come on board. Regardless of this, Nintendo should be courting third parties like never before. Myamoto said a few months back that he was doing just that. In person. Now i’m not saying that Nintendo needs every major third party game released on the Wii U. I don’t believe they do. What they need are the titles that matter from the developers that matter. GTA 5 coming to the Wii U would be huge news for Nintendo and its fan base. Nintendo needs to change the perception that their consoles are only for the likes of Mario and Zelda and show the gaming world that the Wii U can be home to a wide range of content from both first and third parties. 

I could go on forever it feels like. I didn’t even touch on things like improvements to the OS, Miiverse upgrades and the Gamecube Virtual console. All these things need to be added too. How about dual gamepad support? 

If people feel the Wii U sucks, its Nintendo’s own fault. They decided to release a console that from a hardware and software standpoint wasn’t ready. Not to mention the piss poor advertising. Its been around 6 months since the Wii U has launched and it’s sad to say that their isn’t much to show for it. Yes i know the console is young but Nintendo has a lot to prove to not just the gaming media, but to gamer’s like you and me. I love Nintendo but maybe it’s time for a new approach from them. If we don’t see Nintendo strike gold come this E3 then i think Iwata should step down. 

As always, let me know what your thoughts on the matter are. Wii U Mad?


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2013 could prove gaming’s best years are ahead

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This next generation could be the best one yet

 2013 could prove to be one of the best years in gaming thus far. With many new titles coming this year for current consoles as well as the expected announcements of both Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen machines, gaming’s best years could very well be just ahead of us. 

Microsoft

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Should XBL be free this time?

Ok. I’m not even going to touch on the often absurd rumored specs of Microsoft’s or Sony’s next-gen consoles. I’m going to take a look at the best case scenario from both a core gamer and casual consumer perspective which would result in affordable next-gen machines. Lets just say the next Xbox isn’t leaps ahead of the Wii U in terms of visual fidelity. So what? Look at the advantages developers will have just having a bit more ram and processing power. Take Halo 4 and Uncharted 3 for example. What could Naughty Dog and 343 have done with those games if they had a bit more to work with in terms of system performance. Imagine Halo 4 with increased resolution, better texture detail, and enhanced AI. When Uncharted 3 released it represented some of the best visuals this generation had ever seen and i believe that still holds true. What if that game ran in native 1080p at 60fps with a higher level of atnti-aliasing and shader support? Next-gen games may not make the same visual leap that the Xbox 360 did over the original Xbox but rest assured that next-gen titles will feature some truly breathtaking visuals.

People seem to be complaining about having to pay for a 6 year old XBL when Steam, Nintendo network, and PSN are all free. Those complaints are very valid. I would bet Microsoft is going to do one of two things with their new machine. First, make Xbox live free (though i’m doubtful) or keep charging and completely revolutionize the experience making 60 dollars a year seem like a steal for such a great service. If it weren’t for XBL we wouldn’t have the slightest idea in the first place as to how  a real console online experience should operate. Microsoft set the bar and they could very well raise it again. What could they add? For starters, day one digital downloads for every retail game should be a given. How about a digital rental service for games? Cloud saving would most likely be a standard next-gen as well. I doubt Microsoft will go for a complete digital only service which would alienate many consumers who either have very slow internet connections or no internet at all but like it or not, digital is the future. 

Lets talk Next-gen innovation. Does Microsoft go in the direction of creating a tablet controller and try to out do Nintendo? Or is their big innovation going to be an enhanced version of Kinect? How about the IllumiRoom? in case you are unfamiliar with the IllumiRoom it’s a new project being designed by one of Microsoft’s research teams to be used with Kinect and most likely the newest Xbox. IllumiRoom will take the image currently displayed on your tv screen and expand it across the entire area around your tv. The effect is similar to having your game projected onto your wall except in this case the active area is still your tv screen but the environment is displayed all around your living room. I’m curious as to what the final design will shape up to be and how it will be used to enhance your gaming experience. 

As far as software goes, Microsoft doesn’t have a deep reserve of first party content. What Microsoft does well is ensure that games being released for their console receives exclusive content first. Take Call of Duty, GTA, and Skyrim as examples. These games released all of their expansions first on XBL making owning these titles on Microsoft’s console more rewarding. Microsoft will most likely continue this trend going forward. If you also take in account the fact that the Xbox has always been the easiest platform to develop for and you can see why developers tend to side with Microsoft as their lead platform. Expect this trend to also continue with the Next-Gen consoles as well unless Sony really does decide to abandon the Cell processor in favor of off the shelf parts. 

Sony

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Goodbye Cell processor!

Current rumors would have you believe that Sony is finally ready to abandon the Cell processor. This would be a good thing. While powerful, the Cell processor isn’t the easiest to develop for. Apparently Sony is going to go with off the shelf pc parts which would put it in line with the 360 in terms of ease of development. Can you imagine a Sony console that’s easy to develop for? The PS4 may end up being more of a beast than the PS3 was and we all know that games built from the ground up on the PS3 tend to look much better than anything on the 360. I don’t expect the PS4 to be a major enhancement over the PS3 though. Just a lot more capable. More ram, more processing power. Hopefully this translates into deeper immersion than ever before. 

Sony has done a fantastic job with the Playstation Network and even the Playstation Plus service packs tons of value. I suspect that going forward that Sony would make PS Plus it’s premier service while still offering a free PSN for users. Although i feel that a completely free online service is the way to go, even Nintendo has hinted at a paid service in the future. With much talk about Sony purchasing Gaikai, Sony could unveil  some sort of digital rental service similar to what OnLive was. Speculation has led many to believe that the Gaikai service would provide users a way to stream the entire PS2 and PS3 catalog freeing Sony from having to include the tech into their new console resulting in lower costs. It will be interesting to see what Sony does with Gaikai. 

When it comes to innovation Sony is often accused of copying Nintendo but to be fair Sony will often take those innovations and improve on them. The Super Nes controller became the Dual shock, the Wiimote became the Move, and Smash Bros became Playstation All-Stars. Wait…What? Forget that last one. Actually forget the last two. The point is that Sony makes quality pieces of hardware. A current rumor also has Sony ditching the Dual Shock design entirely. What could be up their sleeve? Will they go with a tablet controller. It wouldn’t surprise me and if they did i can pretty much guarantee it will out-class Nintendo’s Game Pad in terms of specs. That’s what Sony is good at. I don’t view Sony as much of an innovator as they are a company that can take an idea and beef it up tremendously. I’m interested to see what they bring to the table next-gen.

While not as deep of a roster as Nintendo, Sony’s first party line up is with out a doubt full of heavy hitters. One thing i will give Sony is their ability to spot talented teams and have them produce new IP’s for them. Sony introduced several new franchises this generation and i believe they did a much better job at supporting their franchises on the PS3 then Nintendo did on the Wii. Seeing this trend continue would result in more new IP’s for the PS4 as well as continued support for their current ones. What new studio will Sony discover next? The next Naughty Dog perhaps? Sony has some of the most talented teams in the business so Playstation fans have plenty to look forward on the PS4. 

Nintendo

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Will we see this at E3?

The Wii U has been on the market for two months now and opinions range from the system doing quite well, to the system not doing well. I know one thing is for sure, people who own the console seem to be pretty happy with what they have seen and played so far. One question that is still up in the air is just what can the Wii U really do? When a game is produced from the ground up and fully optimized for the console what kind of gaming experience will come out of it? Can it be duplicated on the Xbox 360 or PS3? We know that the Wii U has much more ram than both of those systems combined. We know that the architecture is much different as well. The Wii U uses a GPPU and games most definitely need to be optimized to take advantage of this set up. So far we’ve seen good ports of games like COD and AC 3 and we’ve seen decent ports such as Batman and Ninja Gaiden. Trine 2 does look better on the Wii U then it does on the PS3 and 360 withe crisper textures and better lighting. What we all want to know is how much will Zelda blow us all away?

Everyone just assumed that Nintendo would botch the Wii U’s online. Lets be honest though, the original Wii’s online was all kinds of “trash” It was the kind of garbage that Oscar the Grouch would make his home in. Wii U is a much different story. Miiverse in itself is a much better social network than anything we have ever seen on a gaming console. This is a feature that is sure to be copied by Nintendo’s competitors. If you love Face Book and Twitter you will feel right at home with Miiverse. It was very smart for Nintendo to allow this service to interact directly with the game your playing as well. You always feel like your connected to people at every moment. The Nintendo E shop is a big step up from the original Wii as well. Overall Nintendo’s online experience is much more in line with what your used to on PS3 and 360. It’s by no means perfect though. The OS is friggin’ ridiculously slow. On average i wait five minutes to load up the Wii U plaza. It usually happens after iv’e watched Hulu or Netflix. Once it loaded so long that i turned on my pc to play Batman and after two friggin’ hours the damn thing was still loading. I ended up having to pull the plug. Needless to say Nintendo needs to improve the OS. Other improvements that would benefit Nintendo’s online is a more streamlined E Shop. Right now everything just seems to be thrown on one page with no real organization. Being able to see your friends list at any time as well as having a on screen notification when friends get online or send me messages would be nice. Hopefully some or all of this will be addressed by E3

Innovation is Nintendo’s specialty. You know this, Microsoft and Sony even know it. So we have been playing around with Nintendo’s new innovative Game Pad for two months now and it’s easy to see its potential. So what does Nintendo have in store for us? How will they surprise us in the future. I’m interested to see how the Metroid franchise uses the Game Pad. I think it could be a cool idea to have the game run in the 3rd person similar to Metroid Blast, and have a more Metroid Prime first person experience on the Game Pad. You could lift the controller to scan areas and switch visors as well as access maps and weapons. You know that sounds cool. Your  probably trying to picture it in your head right now as you read this. How about the successor to Mario Galaxy? How will Nintendo use the Game Pad in a new and unique way for that franchise? Maybe the game switches completely to the controller when ever you enter a pipe much like the Gameboy Advance to Gamecube connectivity feature in Zelda Four Swords. One thing is for sure, Nintendo needs to really show developers that the Game pad can be used for more than just a map and inventory. I’m really excited to see what Gearbox has in store for the Wii U version of Aliens. If used correctly, the Wii U Game Pad can most definitely revolutionize the way we interact with games. 

Speaking of games, Nintendo has by far one of the deepest roster of hit franchises. More so than probably any other developer. I believe those big name franchises were underused on the Wii. Wii U could change this. We know Pikmin 3 is coming. We haven’t seen that franchise since the Gamecube. What about other dormant franchises? We would all love to see Nintendo return  to franchises like Starfox and Wave Race. Miyamoto has been talking a little bit about the F-Zero franchise and it was featured in Nintendoland so that’s always a good sign of things to come. While the tried and true franchises are always welcome i think what most people want is to see Nintendo try it’s hand at something new. It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a brand new Nintendo IP. No. Wii Music does NOT count! There has been talk of Miyamoto working with smaller teams so that he can concentrate on new projects. I think this would be great for Nintendo. Something new and refreshing from the house that Mario built is just what Nintendo needs while maybe not at the expense of overlooking a fan favorite or two. Bring us Mario, but give us something new. Increased third party support should be just as high on Nintendo’s priority list. Third party support for their platforms hasn’t been strong since the days of the good ‘ol SNES so it’s crucial that Nintendo do something about that. Maybe they can take a page out of Sony’s book and start buying a few small development teams here and there. Maybe Nintendo could purchase Platinum games. That would be awesome! I look forward to E3 as i suspect Nintendo will have some huge news to drop in light of an imminent PS4 and 720 announcement. 

PC

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Bow down!

The PC. Are you a part of the “Master Race”? If you can afford it, you should be. PC gaming has a bright future. On one hand you have Valve announcing a PC built around Steam and dedicated to gaming. It has been dubbed the “Steam Box” . The “Steam Box” was meant to compete directly with the PS4 and 720 while offering PC quality gaming. Something that is truly beyond what the current consoles can achieve. For those who already game on PC you probably won’t see the need to purchase a “Steam Box”. I myself bought my PC for graphic design and video editing but the moment i witnessed what Batman Arkham City looked like running with all settings on max, i was sold. Damn right the PC is King! With the ability to constantly upgrade your PC you are always assured that you will have the latest and best when it comes to gaming hardware. You my friend are future proofed. 

You have Nintendo Network which is off to an amazing start. You have PSN which is well established and gives you amazing value when you add in PS Plus. XBL at one point was the industry standard and still to this day delivers outstanding value. Then there is steam. Its free, and you can not and i repeat can NOT find an online service dedicated to gaming that offers a better value. Period. I said PERIOD, stop trying argue against me in your head! How much did you buy Arkham City for on your Xbox? I got the Game of the year edition on Steam for 7.49. Yep. Seven dollars and fourty-nine cents. Sales like that are common place on steam and with over 30 million users its hard to not see why Steam is the best service for online gaming provided you aren’t a die-hard first party Nintendo or Sony fan.

I don’t generally associate PC gaming with hardware innovations but the Oculus Rift could change all of that. What is the Oculus Rift? It’s the most advanced VR headset you have ever heard of. Or not heard of, doesn’t matter cause there is nothing else like it. Which ever direction you turn your head and look you will be immersed in the game. Hear someone creeping up behind you? Turn your body around to see who or what it is? Hear some birds chirping above? Look up to watch them soaring through the sky. Or how bout stepping out on a ledge of a steep cliff and looking down? Thanks to the headset incorporating stereoscopic 3d you will feel as if you were actually starring down a steep cliff. Be warned though, motion sickness may occur. It is uncertain how much the OCulus will cost or when it will even be consumer ready but one thing is for sure, the Oculus may revolutionize the way we are immersed in gaming more so than any console hardware has ever achieved. 

When it comes to games, the PC in 2013 will enjoy many of the consoles best offerings all in glorious PC fashion. Higher resolution, crisper textures, higher frame rate and the list can often go on and on. There are also a ton of games that will never make it to consoles. MMO’s for the most part will stay exlusive to the PC. Have you checked out Age of Wushu? I don’t care for MMO’s but damn this game looks fun! The PC is the perfect choice for any gamer who just wants to play the definitive version of the latest multi platform games. Chances are you will even get them at a cheaper price on day one than you would purchasing the console version. Not to mention the various mods that can be done on PC and not on consoles. Have you seen the “Macho Man” Randy Savage dragon mod for Skyrim? Or how about the mod that gives your character and certain weapons a Legend of Zelda makeover? PC gaming can be the definitive place to play and i promise once you go PC, your PC for life. Maybe. 

Closing

2013 is looking like it could shape up to be the beginning of an even bigger and brighter future for gaming than we could have imagined. With so many choices for gamer’s between Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and PC/Valve i can’t see an instance were the gamer’s loose out. If everything goes right we could also bare witness to the greatest E3 showing in history with two, maybe three new consoles being announced (including Valves “Steam Box) and a plethora of software due to come out this year, 2013 may be one for the gaming history books. Stop with the fan-boyism and enjoy what each of these companies has worked so hard to bring to the industry. You owe it to them and to yourself to do so. As always, i want to know your thoughts on the matter as well as what makes Wii U Mad?

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