Hard Questions for Nintendo

by Zachary Miller - May 6, 2012, 7:46 pm PDT
Total comments: 65

Zach asks the questions that Nintendo won't answer.

Before we get into this, let me be perfectly blunt: nobody is going to ask Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, or anyone else any of these questions. You’ve read interviews with Nintendo. The media throws lowballs, and they parrot off the company line in a self-congratulating way. Hell, they do the same even when people throw a fastball! However, these are questions that need to be answered, for the North American market and elsewhere. Reggie and/or Iwata seem like perfectly good candidates to provide some answers for irate consumers. I don’t expect any frank responses, but hey, a girl can dream. Lord knows if I had the opportunity to sit down with either of these men, I’d be giving them these tough questions.

1.    Let’s talk about the 3DS. It’s a wonderful piece of hardware and although its full potential wasn’t realized right off the bat, it got there in the first year. You can’t say that for the original DS or, arguably, the Wii. However, the system has been plagued with hardware problems unseen in other Nintendo products. Surely you’ve heard about the infamous vertical grease lines, broken shoulder buttons, and faulty cameras. On the whole, the 3DS feels rushed. Did the number of hardware problems the 3DS has experienced surprise you? Was the system not fully vetted before going to market?

2.    This issue plagued the Wii in North America and Europe: toward the end of the system’s life, we just aren’t seeing Virtual Console games anymore. Europe went through months without a VC release, and North America was even worse. And there was never any explanation as to what titles were chosen and why, or reasons given for such a severe dry-up in the service. For example, there’s always been a high demand for EarthBound (SNES), but it was never released. Instead, Nintendo of America gave us Ice Climbers, which nobody wanted, or Pokemon Puzzle League (instead of, say, Tetris Attack). Could you explain the process for getting VC games onto the Wii Virtual Console, and why things tapered off so harshly?

3.    It took four or five years for the Wii’s Virtual Console to grind to a halt, but the process seems to be happening much faster for the North American eShop Virtual Console, which is terrifying. The Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Game Gear, combined, must have hundreds of perfectly good games to release on the service, so it’s unclear and worrying how weeks will go by—weeks—without any Virtual Console releases at all, and when the smoke eventually does clear, it’s something like Qix or Lock & Chase. Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of Japan have had no problems in this area—both localities have Wario Land and Kid Icarus: Myths & Monsters. I guess the biggest Virtual Console question I have is this: why has Nintendo of America been so reluctant to support the Virtual Console, both of the Wii and the 3DS?

4.    Please describe, in as much detail as possible, Nintendo of America’s increasingly cozy relationship with GameStop. Xenoblade Chronicles was a GameStop exclusive, as was the Circle Pad Pro. The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower are also slated to be GS exclusives. 3D Classics: Kid Icarus was a timed (thank god) GS exclusive. Why did I have to buy my Circle Pad Pro through Nintendo’s website—and pay shipping to Alaska—because every GameStop, as usual, only received two or three units, which sold out immediately and didn’t have any idea when more were coming? Wouldn’t the Circle Pad Pro have more sales success in the hands of other retailers? Did GameStop come to you with a giant bag of cash for these exclusives, or did Nintendo of America actively seek them out a partnership? As you are doubtlessly aware, many gamers (including myself) view GameStop as the devil, so you can understand our hesitation when we read about Nintendo getting friendly with the industry’s version of The Great Satan.

5.    Historically, Nintendo has been—frankly—unapologetically ass-backwards when it comes to online infrastructure. The Wii is a perfect example. The 3DS is certainly better. It fully embraces online shopping and gaming. Mario Kart 7 and Kid Icarus: Uprising are wonderfully competent online, and the recent eShop upgrade that allows me to pay exactly what I need to pay to buy something is great. I might caution, however, that these improvements merely bring Nintendo up to the bare minimum status quo. I don’t really think Nintendo can be congratulated for implementing something that Microsoft and Sony have been doing for the better part of a decade. How seriously is Nintendo committed to a fully functional, fully featured online experience for the Wii U? Will Wii U and 3DS accounts be linked? On PSN, for example, my Vita and PS3 are both linked to a centralized PSN account, which stores my funds. If I add $20 to my PSN account, I can buy downloadable content on my PS3 AND my Vita—I don’t have to mess with separate transactions for both. The recent news that Nintendo will be releasing full retail games for download is shockingly proactive, but the news that downloads will be tied to a single system—just like the Wii—really tempers that news. That leads me to my next question.

6.    The other much-maligned sticking point with the Wii’s downloadable content is how downloads are tied to the system, not a centralized account. When I bought a new Wii because my launch unit went kaput, the NOA representative told me they could not transfer my downloaded software to the new system. Instead, I actually had to pay to repair the old system—which is what I wanted to avoid in the first place. Will the Wii U have the same limitation? How did Nintendo justify this inane decision during the Wii’s development? Did nobody think it would be a problem or was it simply a limitation of the available technology—to Nintendo (not to Sony or Microsoft)? The recent news from Nintendo Direct, that full retail downloads will be tied to specific systems, means that Nintendo is keeping up this trend. What is the reason for sticking with this?

7.     As you may recall, the Wii was difficult to find at launch due to production shortages and extremely high demand. Do you expect the same demand this time around, and have you taken steps to avoid shortages?

8.    We haven’t seen a really stellar launch game for a Nintendo system since, arguably, Super Mario 64. Twilight Princess doesn’t really count—it was a GameCube game. Can we expect that trend to reverse itself for the Wii U? What will be the “killer app” that gets asses in camping chairs on launch day? How aggressively is Nintendo pursuing quality 3rd-party relationships to help with a strong launch? What lessons did Nintendo learn from the botched 3DS launch?

Well, that was cathartic. What questions would you like Reggie, Iwata, or anyone else to answer?

Talkback

ShyGuyMay 07, 2012

Easy there, Edward R. Murrow.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusMay 07, 2012

I would love to see them try to justify region restrictions on hardware and software. There are no technological, legal, economic or cultural reasons to region lock. The only reason is to create artificial price differentials in effect, ripping customers off. Why the regression with the 3DS?

I don't even think MK7 had brought their online to the status quo. It doesn't have a proper communication system in place. Without communications, you might as well play with bots. Is getting to play online really the minimum standard they are willing to settle for?

I don't know why people have to use a wallet system to buy games. The only positive out of it is that the company gets to keep the spare change. It's an unnecessary obtuse system designed to squeeze an extra dollar.

the asylumMay 07, 2012

MY one and only question for them would be in what hole they've left Starfox and F-Zero in these last 7-9 years

NinSageMay 07, 2012

I don't agree with the opinions expressed in this well-written article.  I humbly submit a request for the presentation of alternative viewpoints.

Uncle_OptimusMay 07, 2012

I wonder if they won't announce individual accounts once they lay out their plans for Nintendo Network. Tying the games to one system would be tolerable IF the games were also downloadable again in the case of a broken system.


You would figure the company has to eventually acknowledge and match what competing platforms are doing for their customers, 2012 sure would be a nice time to start seeing that.

kuribohMay 07, 2012

Well I live in Mexico, if I have only a chance to ask a question to someone in Nintendo, it will be this:

What do you think about the Latinoamerican Market? there's only one company that distributes in latinoamerica and the prices are very elevated. about $60-$70 for a single 3DS game, when you can buy it in EUA at $40. Plus there's a whole market that wants Club Nintendo and direct representation - distribution in Latinoamerica.

VahneMay 07, 2012

It would really make little sense to me if Nintendo continues not to use an account system on 3DS.
How do they intend to allow people to buy eShop titles from a computer and then have the games sent directly to the 3DS for download in sleep mode?
Without an account system on 3DS when the Wii U is getting one, Nintendo Network just becomes something that ONLY the Wii U would get full use out of. Nintendo Network would just be a waste on 3DS if an account system that ties with the Wii U and Club Nintendo doesn't get added and would become an afterthought for 3DS gamers.

TrueNerdMay 07, 2012

Quote from: NinSage

I don't agree with the opinions expressed in this well-written article.  I humbly submit a request for the presentation of alternative viewpoints.

Please elaborate on this. A lot of things presented here are factual.

I wish someone would ask Nintendo all of these questions.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusMay 07, 2012

Hook, Line, and sinker.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMay 07, 2012

Quote from: NinSage

I don't agree with the opinions expressed in this well-written article.  I humbly submit a request for the presentation of alternative viewpoints.

With all due respect, this is one of those articles where no inside information or connections are required.  Anyone could write such an article.  If they have their own blog to put it on, even better!

As for your request for the presentation of alternative view points... that's why the site has talkback!  Anyone (other staff members, random forum members, whomever) can swing in and post a rebuttal, alternative view point or even other questions.

For example, I'd like to ask someone at NCL why we can't have customizable controls for VC games.  And why we don't have multi-player on 3DS VC.  And why we don't have online multi-player for any VC.

And I'd love to ask Reggie for a job. :D

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusMay 07, 2012

The underlying issue all these questions represent is the simple fact there is almost no journalism practiced when it comes to gaming. Soft balling a question is really understating how much of gaming media is really an extension of the marketing department. The relationship is far too cosy to be usefully functional for anything but the most shallow of news.

know_naimMay 07, 2012

Questions 5., 6. sand 7. have been partially answered in Nintendos Financial Results Briefing from a week ago:
http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/120427/04.html
http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/120427/02.html

This forsees a big digital business expansion for both 3DS and Wii U with packaged games as New Super Mario Bros. 2 available on the eShop. The games purchased digitally are tied to one piece of hardware, so I wouldn't expect any kind of account system from Nintendo any time soon. The statement that retailers decide the prices of digital products is puzzling to me because I can't imagine how this should work. 
Regarding the Wii U demand Nintendo forcasted 10.500.000 combined hardware sales for Wii & Wii U. I'd say that there will be no shortages this time, 'cause Ninny has been pretty bad with forcasting sales lately.

I'd like to ask NoE a question regarding the eastern european market. I live in Poland and Nintendo brand recognition is non-existent here, because the official distributor Stadlbauer is just doing an awful job. You can barely get a game at launch, there is no advertising, games are not localized (booklets come in black & white copies...), prices are higher than in western europe and technical support only just started last year. Why is eastern Europe irrelevant to you Nintendo?

Pixelated PixiesMay 07, 2012

Well, we all have our problems with the way Nintendo do things, but for me these (hypothetical) questions were too pointed and sounded just a little too petulant. If you were ever to really sit in front of one of these guys you would probably need more tact and be more savvy. There's nothing wrong with asking assertive questions but if an interviewer were actually interested in getting informative answers they might want to be smarter about how they word their questions.

As someone who has interviewed gaming people, including some people at Nintendo, I can say that most of the reason why you don't see these questions asked is because they're not answered. It's a unfortunate reality of the PR-driven games industry (and just the world in general).

ejamerMay 07, 2012

"Xenoblade Chronicles was a GameStop exclusive, as was the Circle Pad Pro. The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower are also slated to be GS exclusives."


Is this accurate?  I am pretty sure that The Last Story isn't GameStop exclusive and that no formal announcement has been made for Pandora's Tower outside of unsubstantiated rumors (even though I do hope the rumors are true).


Edit: Doesn't invalidate the overall question, as I'd be interested to hear any news about how/why there have been some GameStop exclusivity deals recently. Strategic move on Nintendo's part? Part of the deal for GameStop taking on publishing risks for Xenoblade? Just seemed like a good idea at the time?

LudicrousDa3veMay 07, 2012

I'd like to see these questions asked. I'd also like to bring up, in the VC's case, the GEN version of Super Street Fighter II. Y'know, the one with online multiplayer. It has been possible, just never used. Was this feature meant to be saved as a big selling point on the WiiU's VC, or was it really just a case of not caring to put forth the effort?

Without reading the other responses yet...


Hard Answers for Zach (in my best Reggie voice):


1) As gaming systems get more complex, hardware issues become more plentiful.  Nintendo's hardly the only one to experience this.  Of course it was fully vetted, but that doesn't mean we're perfect.


2) We don't see it as a priority.  Sorry.  It's just not where we're putting our attention right now.  There's not a lot of people clamoring for ports of Frogger that appeared on the Genesis 20 years ago.


3) We believe that the fewer releases per week, the more attention those releases will get.  We don't want to flood the market because too quickly, and we have a different interpretation of that strategy than our friends overseas.


4) Look, for better or worse, GameStop is a hugely successful business, and really the only nationwide video game centric retail outlet.  We know that not everyone agrees with their practices, but we're able to put more risky products on their shelves because we know our demographic shops there.


5) We're committed, but we're cautious. We don't have a ton of experience here, and we think you'll agree that we've grown tremendously in the past 5 years.  There's lots more room for us to grow, but you need to give us the time to do it in a way that we're comfortable with. 


6) We know it's not the ideal scenario, but setting up a centralized network for user accounts is not simple and cheap.  It requires great effort, and we haven't seen any real evidence that this effort would be profitable.  It's our desired end goal, but you've got to be patient with us. 


7) No one could have expected the high demand of the Wii the first year after launch.  If we had to do it again, we would have the same expectations now as we did then.  That said, we could have done more to increase supply, and we're hoping to not have to make those kinds of hard decisions this time around with Wii U.


8: We learned lots of lessons from the botched 3DS launch, and between you and me, we would have LOVED to have Mario 3D Land ready in time for 3DS launch, but it just wasn't feasible.  We think that a rich line up is better than a single killer app, and that's what we're gunning for with Wii U.

hibern81May 07, 2012

I just want to party with Miyamoto!


EDIT: I was writing this before I saw Andy respond. :(

You know what, I'm gonna put on my PR hat and give my best answer given my base of Nintendo knowledge. I don't expect Nintendo reps to ever actually answer most of these questions... :(

Quote:

1. Did the number of hardware problems the 3DS has experienced surprise you? Was the system not fully vetted before going to market?

As usual with any new product, there are bumps in the road. The 3DS is not far off most of ours and our competitor's failure rates. Our customer service is some of the best in the business, so any issues users might have had with our systems are easily fixable.

Quote:

2. Could you explain the process for getting VC games onto the Wii Virtual Console, and why things tapered off so harshly?

We had consistent releases on Wii Virtual Console for about four years, and currently, we have nearly 400 games available for download. I'm sure there are products that you're interested in. Stop being such a bitch and go and look at the 388 games on the system. Shit, that's nearly the same amount of games that are available on the Sega Saturn.  I'm sorry we didn't put up your little Earthbound game. I guess Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy III, which you lot wouldn't shut up about, aren't good enough. I'll kick your ass and take your name.

(Note: I'm just guessing about the VC process) The process requires a publisher that wants to bring their game to the service. Then, they have make the game work on an emulator that is used on the system. It is then required to go through a QA process and Nintendo lot check to make sure it works on the emulator. Additionally, the game must be ESRB rated, which costs several thousand dollars (I think). Then, we sit on the game for about six months before releasing it. (I almost made it through this without snark...)

Quote:

3.  Why has Nintendo of America been so reluctant to support the Virtual Console, both of the Wii and the 3DS?

We will be releasing games on the Wii Virtual Console for the third week in a row this Thursday for the first time since December 2010.

As for the 3DS Virtual Console, we're saving the games for a lull in the schedule, and also to better fit our marketing campaign. See our three-years-late release of Pikmin 2 NPC for an example of this good/questionable concept.

Quote:

4. Wouldn’t the Circle Pad Pro have more sales success in the hands of other retailers? Did GameStop come to you with a giant bag of cash for these exclusives, or did Nintendo of America actively seek them out a partnership?

We were backed into a corner about Xenoblade, and we wanted to experiment with the GameStop exclusive route to see if it is a viable option for the future. Also, we had to butter up GameStop for our move to digital in August, because let's face it: we're gonna bend over backwards for retailers now, but we want them to buy the games on the eShop, not in a mall.

As for the Circle Pad Pro, we didn't want to do a wide release to confuse the market. It's a niche product that is meant for the type of people that go to GameStop (e.g. "hardcore" gamers). It's not our fault Konami made a game that more or less required it.

Quote:

5. How seriously is Nintendo committed to a fully functional, fully featured online experience for the Wii U? Will Wii U and 3DS accounts be linked?

We are very committed. As said in an earlier investor's meeting, you will soon be able to check the eShop from an internet browser. Also, we expect to make announcements about linked system accounts at E3, or at the very least, before Wii U comes out. Honestly, we aren't that dumb; we know this has to be done. (Right? RIGHT?)

Quote:

6. Will the Wii U have the same limitation? How did Nintendo justify this inane decision during the Wii’s development? Did nobody think it would be a problem or was it simply a limitation of the available technology—to Nintendo (not to Sony or Microsoft)? The recent news from Nintendo Direct, that full retail downloads will be tied to specific systems, means that Nintendo is keeping up this trend. What is the reason for sticking with this?

If you read the news story on Nintendo World Report (seriously, those guys rock :P: : ) then you would have seen that they were highlighting the current limitation of the infrastructure. As I just said, we can't be that stupid to think that a universal account is impractical. We will be announcing something soon.

Quote:

7.    As you may recall, the Wii was difficult to find at launch due to production shortages and extremely high demand. Do you expect the same demand this time around, and have you taken steps to avoid shortages?

That's why it's not coming out earlier in the year, brah. Also, do you have any idea how much freaking money we made because of those shortages? I'll answer for you: a ton. We don't want to have shortages, but if it happens, that means people are buying the hell out of our system. We can't complain too much.

Quote:

8. Can we expect that trend to reverse itself for the Wii U? What will be the “killer app” that gets asses in camping chairs on launch day? How aggressively is Nintendo pursuing quality 3rd-party relationships to help with a strong launch? What lessons did Nintendo learn from the botched 3DS launch?

Iwata tempered some expectations during the investor's Q&A the other week. The launch will be strong, but it's still a launch. Launches are, in the modern age, usually on the whole weak. Nintendo will have some marquee titles, including what they hope is the "Wii Sports" of the system, which will be likely be built around some sort of social aspect.

Also, there are a number of developers working on Wii U, some of which haven't been officially unveiled yet. E3 will blow your pants off.

CyrianMay 07, 2012

Quote from: ejamer

"Xenoblade Chronicles was a GameStop exclusive, as was the Circle Pad Pro. The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower are also slated to be GS exclusives."


Is this accurate?  I am pretty sure that The Last Story isn't GameStop exclusive and that no formal announcement has been made for Pandora's Tower outside of unsubstantiated rumors (even though I do hope the rumors are true).


Edit: Doesn't invalidate the overall question, as I'd be interested to hear any news about how/why there have been some GameStop exclusivity deals recently. Strategic move on Nintendo's part? Part of the deal for GameStop taking on publishing risks for Xenoblade? Just seemed like a good idea at the time?

Someone should tell Amazon that they shouldn't be offering pre-orders  for The Last Story then...

NinSageMay 07, 2012

Quote from: UncleBob

As for your request for the presentation of alternative view points... that's why the site has talkback!  Anyone (other staff members, random forum members, whomever) can swing in and post a rebuttal, alternative view point or even other questions.

uh, yea, but I've done that repeatedly and its been taken as aggressive and offensive.  I thought this new approach would be acceptable.

Ian SaneMay 07, 2012

Nintendo, why do you guys screw up routine stuff that everyone else gets right years before you even make your first effort?  That's what annoys me about Nintendo.  Sony or MS does something and Nintendo then does it like years late and they screw it up!  Hello, the competition already sorted the kinks out of this!  Just do what they did!  So Nintendo either pays no attention whatsoever to what the rest of the industry does, which is fuckin' stupid, OR they intentionally refuse to do something the way someone else already did it because that would be "admitting" that someone else besides themselves has good ideas, which is even stupider.

The Gamestop question is too much personal opinion.  I don't think partnering with a major videogame retailer is an issue.  We may not like Gamestop but it clearly is a successful store so why wouldn't Nintendo work with them?  The bigger issue is why such a great game like Xenoblade was this close to never being released here, when Wii owners had months of literally nothing where it could have been dropped in.

The question about the launch stuff is also based on personal tastes.  The Gamecube didn't have a killer app at launch but the Wii sure did!  I think Wii Sports is a joke but I won't deny that it singlehandedly sold Wiis like hotcakes.  Nintendo regards it as a killer app and the industry regards it as a killer app.  I don't like it but I wouldn't ask Nintendo about a game I just happen to personally dislike.

I would ask about the commitment to core gamers with the Wii U, when the whole Xenoblade thing and the sparse Wii lineup and the seemingly unnecessary indifference to the VC suggests otherwise.

The thing is that no one asks questions like this because they want the interview.  Nintendo isn't going to answer the tough questions anyway and if you come at them aggressively they might just decide to never give you an interview again.  If you ever watch a news analysis show, there are always times where the host will say something like "we've offered so-and-so a chance to talk on our show but they won't return our calls."  Well of course they won't because they'll just get hit with hard questions.  They would rather stick to the safe unconfrontational interviews.

ROiDSMay 07, 2012

Other than some inaccuracy of facts in the questions, I approve these questions to be asked.
If I were to add more questions, I would add:

1) Due to the increasing number of games that support the Circle Pad Pro peripheral for the 3DS, will there ever be an upgrade of the 3DS in the near future that will already include two circle pads?

2) It's proven that the 3DS can play downloadable GBA games; so, why aren't we getting GBA VC on the eShop, yet? When do you think will get GBA VC games on the eShop?

3) Whatever happened to the Mother series? Will the games ever come out on the VC? Will there be a remake or a sequel in the near future?

4) I would also ask some simple questions of whether will get a better messaging system than Swapnote, will we get a Youtube/Facebook/etc. app, and if they will ever update the 3DS' web browser.

Quote from: ROiDS]

I still think this is unlikely as it would put early 3DS owners at too large a disadvantage. 

Quote from: ROiDS]

The 3DS has a long lifespan ahead of it.  It's coming, but maybe not until year 2 or 3.

Quote from: ROiDS]

Nintendo's made it pretty clear by now that they're not going to cater to fan demands regarding this franchise.

Quote from: ROiDS]

I seriously doubt we'll ever see a browser update, but I could very much see an improved swapnote app, and youtube/facebook apps at some point.

Bass X0May 07, 2012

Quote:

2.    This issue plagued the Wii in North America and Europe: toward the end of the system’s life, we just aren’t seeing Virtual Console games anymore. Europe went through months without a VC release, and North America was even worse. And there was never any explanation as to what titles were chosen and why, or reasons given for such a severe dry-up in the service. For example, there’s always been a high demand for EarthBound (SNES), but it was never released. Instead, Nintendo of America gave us Ice Climbers, which nobody wanted, or Pokemon Puzzle League (instead of, say, Tetris Attack). Could you explain the process for getting VC games onto the Wii Virtual Console, and why things tapered off so harshly?

 
We weren't seeing VC games anymore on the Wii most likely because they just weren't selling well. Publishers lost interest in releasing games that weren't selling. Sega's current support seems more like a gamble based on the feedback towards the lack of games.  If the current games don't sell well either then Sega will probably not release many more releases.  Its been six years since the Wii was released, releases were expected to dry up.

Earthbound wasn't released due to the legal issues and Nintendo's unwillingness to alter the game so that they could release it. High demand is irrelevant in this case. Ice Climbers would have been released simply because it was an early NES game. There are several of those on the VC - quality and demand didn't much matter much in the early days, they just released as much as they could.

Tetris Attack was not released because it had the Tetris name in the title. The Tetris Company is now quite protective of the Tetris name and have gone on record to saying that they deeply regret ever allowing Nintendo to use the Tetris name for a game that clearly wasn't Tetris. And since Nintendo didn't do alterations to the games, a title change would have been out of the question (although yes, I am aware of a few minor alterations to other games).  They probably figured why bother going through the process of getting the name changed when they could just release Pokémon Puzzle League as a substitute.

Quote:

3.    It took four or five years for the Wii’s Virtual Console to grind to a halt, but the process seems to be happening much faster for the North American eShop Virtual Console, which is terrifying. The Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, and Game Gear, combined, must have hundreds of perfectly good games to release on the service, so it’s unclear and worrying how weeks will go by—weeks—without any Virtual Console releases at all, and when the smoke eventually does clear, it’s something like Qix or Lock & Chase. Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of Japan have had no problems in this area—both localities have Wario Land and Kid Icarus: Myths & Monsters. I guess the biggest Virtual Console question I have is this: why has Nintendo of America been so reluctant to support the Virtual Console, both of the Wii and the 3DS?


There is no hard rule but Nintendo generally supports the 3DS Virtual Console when there are no 3DSWare games to release that week. The weeks when both or neither VC and 3DSWare have had new games are quite rare although they do exist.

Japan gets favorable treatment because its Nintendo's home country while Europe seems to get favorable treatment just because there are fewer 3DSWare games released there.

ROiDSMay 07, 2012

Quote from: Ian

Nintendo, why do you guys screw up routine stuff that everyone else gets right years before you even make your first effort?  That's what annoys me about Nintendo.  Sony or MS does something and Nintendo then does it like years late and they screw it up!  Hello, the competition already sorted the kinks out of this!  Just do what they did!  So Nintendo either pays no attention whatsoever to what the rest of the industry does, which is fuckin' stupid, OR they intentionally refuse to do something the way someone else already did it because that would be "admitting" that someone else besides themselves has good ideas, which is even stupider.

I can see where you're at, but I think the only situation where Nintendo messed up so much was their online infrastructure. As they mentioned before: they suck at online stuff, and lack the experience on this area. The other two are already experienced  and have the knowledge when it comes to online, so they have the advantage when it comes to this.

ROiDSMay 07, 2012

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

I still think this is unlikely as it would put early 3DS owners at too large a disadvantage.

True, but the DSi, with added online shop and a camera, didn't stop Nintendo from releasing it. The same thing happened to the Gameboy to Gameboy Color (added colors) and original GBA to GBA SP (with added backlight). What I'm trying to say is that if Nintendo should ever release an upgrade of the 3DS, it should at least have a second slide pad.

CericMay 07, 2012

I be very surprised that when the Social aspect of the Wii U is announced that the 3DS does not get a companion update to integrate most of those features.  Probably about a month before the Wii U is launched to help work out some of the bugs for the Wii U implementation.

Quote from: ROiDS

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

I still think this is unlikely as it would put early 3DS owners at too large a disadvantage.

True, but the DSi, with added online shop and a camera, didn't stop Nintendo from releasing it. The same thing happened to the Gameboy to Gameboy Color (added colors) and original GBA to GBA SP (with added backlight). What I'm trying to say is that if Nintendo should ever release an upgrade of the 3DS, it should at least have a second slide pad.

None of those things fundamentally affected the Retail games like a second analog would.

Quote from: ROiDS

True, but the DSi, with added online shop and a camera, didn't stop Nintendo from releasing it. The same thing happened to the Gameboy to Gameboy Color (added colors) and original GBA to GBA SP (with added backlight). What I'm trying to say is that if Nintendo should ever release an upgrade of the 3DS, it should at least have a second slide pad.

DSi Camera was a function that was used by a HANDFUL of games, most of which were download only. 
Gameboy Color came out many years after the original Gameboy.
The backlight didn't make any new games incompatible with the original GBA.

A right analog stick is another deal entirely - it's an industry standard feature on console controllers, and would fundamentally change the way developers view the system.  If we think it's unfair of Konami to make a MGS game that essentially requires the user to have the CPP, that kind of them would completely explode after a revision which included a right stick.  Basically, you would absolutely HAVE to get the CPP or a new 3DS for a large chunk of software which was developed after the new model. 

I'm not saying it *won't* happen absolutely, but I am saying that I think it's unlikely, and that's my reason why.

Monster Hunter 4 says you're full of shit, Andy. :P:

But seriously, for financial reasons (as in, Nintendo needs to sell some current 3DSes at their current price or else they will have another awful year), we won't see a revision in the next year. My original Japan prediction of new 3DS alongside Monster Hunter 4 will likely not happen. However, I still think that will happen sooner rather than later because Monster Hunter will make the new version totally worth it.

NA and Europe would likely not receive that update for a while after Japan. It would likely be a similar disparity to the difference between the DSi launch in Japan and the rest of the world.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMay 07, 2012

Quote from: NinSage

uh, yea, but I've done that repeatedly and its been taken as aggressive and offensive.  I thought this new approach would be acceptable.

Try doing it in a way that isn't aggressive and offensive.  Like posting "Oh, when are you going to do this - quarter past nevar?!?"... :D

ResettisCousinMay 07, 2012

Most of these are just vituperative, rhetorical ranting. They aren't actually questions.
"Did you know the 3DS scratched its screens and it shoulder buttons fell apart?"
How do you expect they'd answer that?
"the industry’s version of The Great Satan"
Basically this is a troll article, right?
Zach, your humor is invaluable on the podcasts, which can themselves be a bit dry. But between the "five hotest video game babes" article and this vituperative nerd rage fantasy, perhaps your pieces should be tagged 'humor'.
My hard question for Nintendo would be will we see them 'return to darker themes and release another 'M' rated title anytime soon?'
Also agree with sentiments above that 90% of "game journalisim" is no better than an extension of each game company's marketing.

Quote:

vituperative

I learned a new word today. Thanks, guy!

ShyGuyMay 07, 2012

Hard Questions for Halbred #1: Why are you attracted to fictional cartoon figurines? Isn't real flesh and blood enough for you?

Hard Question for Halbred #2: Just how much better is Paper Mario than Super Mario RPG?

Quote from: ResettisCousin

My hard question for Nintendo would be will we see them 'return to darker themes and release another 'M' rated title anytime soon?'

"return"?

My hard question for Nintendo would be will we see them return to manufacturing playing cards.

ShyGuyMay 07, 2012

Hard Question for Nintendo: How many death warrants has Yamauchi signed?

CericMay 07, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Quote:

vituperative

I learned a new word today. Thanks, guy!

: uttering or given to censure : containing or characterized by verbal abuse
— vi·tu·per·a·tive·ly adverb  (Merriam Webster)

You need to Share Man...

Quote from: ShyGuy

Hard Questions for Halbred #1: Why are you attracted to fictional cartoon figurines? Isn't real flesh and blood enough for you?

I'll answer that one.  When you get married you form a bond with your wife and you make a promise not to cheat on them.  At that point in time some people come to the realization that the only Flesh and Blood girl they can ever actually do anything with is there wife.  That can cause you to move beautiful women into the unattainable and more like pieces of art.  Now viewing women beauty in a more artistic light women who are actual art being attractive isn't really that strange.  Though seriously have you seen some of those women?

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

Quote from: ResettisCousin

My hard question for Nintendo would be will we see them 'return to darker themes and release another 'M' rated title anytime soon?'

"return"?

My hard question for Nintendo would be will we see them return to manufacturing playing cards.

They have.  I'm not going to find the thread, but I was properly corrected that Nintendo in the USA does indeed do the Manufacturing of the Pokemon Trading Card Game now.

Quote from: ShyGuy

Hard Question for Nintendo: How many death warrants has Yamauchi signed?

Exactly 1 more than before.

Hard Question for Nintendo: Why do the Mariners suck so much? You'd think with the record profits you had in recent years you might have brought some talent in there and made them more of a contender.

Pixelated PixiesMay 07, 2012

I've got a hard question for Nintendo.
Given that the New Super Mario Bros series sells so well, why is the meaning of life 42?

ShyGuyMay 07, 2012

Hard Question for Insanolord: A Cleveland Indians fan? Really?

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

Hard Question for Nintendo: Why do the Mariners suck so much? You'd think with the record profits you had in recent years you might have brought some talent in there and made them more of a contender.

They have Ichiro, so Japan is happy.
Also, why spend money when you can just get the royalty tax from big-market teams?

NinSageMay 07, 2012

@UncleBob

Hardy har but that's not exactly representative of the responses I was referring to.

ResettisCousinMay 07, 2012

To Andy wrt. "return?"
N64: published Conker's Bad Fur Day and Perfect Dark
GC: published Eternal Darkness and Geist
All rated ESRB "M"
Granted, not first party. But we know that at least the GC games had regular, if not weekly, input from Miyamoto et al. (thanks for the great interview, RFN). So yes, "return"

pololmejorMay 07, 2012

Not so hard question for Zach... or anybody outhere: What exactly are the infamous vertical grease lines? Google doesn't seem to answer me this one.
Hard question for Nintendo: Why do you guys hate Latin America so much? *Remembering that horrible Mario Galaxy 2 event.* Even Sony has gaming events here at Mexico once in a while.
Another Not so hard question for everybody: Why do you guys hate GameStop so much? I went to a GameStop for the first time like 2 months ago and I loved it! Clean, not expensive, workers know what they're talking about.... At least in comparison to Mexican GAMERS shops that totally suck!

CericMay 07, 2012

Quote from: pololmejor

Not so hard question for Zach... or anybody outhere: What exactly are the infamous vertical grease lines? Google doesn't seem to answer me this one.
Hard question for Nintendo: Why do you guys hate Latin America so much? *Remembering that horrible Mario Galaxy 2 event.* Even Sony has gaming events here at Mexico once in a while.
Another Not so hard question for everybody: Why do you guys hate GameStop so much? I went to a GameStop for the first time like 2 months ago and I loved it! Clean, not expensive, workers know what they're talking about.... At least in comparison to Mexican GAMERS shops that totally suck!

The Bezel around the bottom screen raise up and on a lot of unit touch the top screen.  With the nature wiggling that the 3DS goes through it will cause lines to form with eventually turn into permanent scratches if you don't have a screen protector.

On the second one there is a lot of threads on that topic.  It varies, but most of it boils down to Customer Service, used game policy, and the amount of non-pre-order units they stock.  Different people have had positive experience in general with them.  It can be hit or miss.  I have to say it was better when they had competition, but they seem to have started to mellow.

Quote from: ShyGuy

Easy there, Edward R. Murrow.

This post is so much win. *applauds*

Actually, I consider myself a pretty solid Nintendo fanboy, but these questions don't really bother me. I think Nintendo could answer a lot of these questions very reasonably and rationally if they ever wanted to be frank... but of course, that would be PR suicide. A lot of people just aren't ready to handle the sort of truth us diehard fans already know. &P

TJ SpykeMay 07, 2012

Quote from: Cyrian

Quote from: ejamer

"Xenoblade Chronicles was a GameStop exclusive, as was the Circle Pad Pro. The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower are also slated to be GS exclusives."


Is this accurate?  I am pretty sure that The Last Story isn't GameStop exclusive and that no formal announcement has been made for Pandora's Tower outside of unsubstantiated rumors (even though I do hope the rumors are true).


Edit: Doesn't invalidate the overall question, as I'd be interested to hear any news about how/why there have been some GameStop exclusivity deals recently. Strategic move on Nintendo's part? Part of the deal for GameStop taking on publishing risks for Xenoblade? Just seemed like a good idea at the time?

Someone should tell Amazon that they shouldn't be offering pre-orders  for The Last Story then...

This is not the first time Amazon has taken pre-orders for a game that is not confirmed for a US release. In the past they would just cancel the pre-order if the game didn't come out eventually.

Quote from: ShyGuy

Hard Question for Insanolord: A Cleveland Indians fan? Really?

Yes, I am a fan of the American League Central leading Indians. Until they figure out they suck sometime next month, you're really in no position to say anything bad about them.

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Monster Hunter 4 says you're full of shit, Andy. :P:

I think we need a little "right analog stick" wager for 3DS Mark II.

I am firmly convinced it won't happen.  If Nintendo had pushed the CPP to every retailer for $10, and bundled it with MGS and RE:R, then I would be convinced.

Mop it upMay 07, 2012

Quote:

When I bought a new Wii because my launch unit went kaput, the NOA representative told me they could not transfer my downloaded software to the new system.

They did this for me, were you not nice enough or something?

As I understand it, it's not their policy, but some representatives have made exceptions.

TJ SpykeMay 07, 2012

When I lost my old Wii thanks to someone I thought I could trust, I told the Nintendo rep the system was stolen (in a way it kind of was), they had me send them a copy of the police report and I was able to re-download all of my Virtual Console and WiiWare games for free. Apparently the person who had my Wii had bought "Aha! I Found It!" Hidden Object Game because that was available to re-download too and I never bought it. LOL

That's what I call a solid "win".

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusMay 07, 2012

Quote from: NWR_Neal

As someone who has interviewed gaming people, including some people at Nintendo, I can say that most of the reason why you don't see these questions asked is because they're not answered. It's a unfortunate reality of the PR-driven games industry (and just the world in general).

It doesn't mean the questions shouldn't be asked anyway and that is where it starts. Maybe in America you have collectively given up on asking the "Hard questions", it doesn't mean the rest of the world has. We are in the middle of the process in tossing out an MP for declaring a "Donation" as anonymous with a potential change of government on one of the many cards. It is the complacency that you have exhibited that allow them not to answer. Other countries might ask, but they can always run to the safe harbour you maintain. If they don't answer, you dig, find sources willing to speak, even anonymously. Call BS when you see it. If shame and PR disasters is the only thing they will listen to, use it.

The relation right now is it is all carrot and no stick. Get a stick.

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

Quote from: NWR_Neal

Monster Hunter 4 says you're full of shit, Andy. :P: : :

I think we need a little "right analog stick" wager for 3DS Mark II.

I am firmly convinced it won't happen.  If Nintendo had pushed the CPP to every retailer for $10, and bundled it with MGS and RE:R, then I would be convinced.

Nintendo, at least in America, sent the thing out to die. I get the impression they don't want it to be a major thing, and they only did it to get Capcom to give them Monster Hunter. Unless Capcom badgers them about it, I don't see Nintendo putting it in the revision.

CericMay 08, 2012

Quote from: oohhboy

Quote from: NWR_Neal

As someone who has interviewed gaming people, including some people at Nintendo, I can say that most of the reason why you don't see these questions asked is because they're not answered. It's a unfortunate reality of the PR-driven games industry (and just the world in general).

It doesn't mean the questions shouldn't be asked anyway and that is where it starts. Maybe in America you have collectively given up on asking the "Hard questions", it doesn't mean the rest of the world has. We are in the middle of the process in tossing out an MP for declaring a "Donation" as anonymous with a potential change of government on one of the many cards. It is the complacency that you have exhibited that allow them not to answer. Other countries might ask, but they can always run to the safe harbour you maintain. If they don't answer, you dig, find sources willing to speak, even anonymously. Call BS when you see it. If shame and PR disasters is the only thing they will listen to, use it.

The relation right now is it is all carrot and no stick. Get a stick.

Here in America we have tyranical

Well, I'm glad this article has gotten such a strong response. I don't think the factual statements are that off, but I certainly included plenty of personal vendetta in here. Keep in mind this is basically my Dream Interrogation script, but if I were actually in a room with Reggie, I'd probably be begging him to be my Best Friend, then ask these same questions in less aggressive ways.

Ultimately, as many people have pointed out, questions like this DO need to be asked, and it's a crime that nobody has the goddamn balls to do it, or at least do, and when given a stock evasive answer, respond with "that's not an answer." Then lock the door before Reggie or Iwata can leave.

The other unfortunate truth is that "game journalism" really is a branch of the industry's marketing and PR. Both sides have learned to accept that. Neal and Andy and I were having a long converation about this on Twitter, and I wonder what would rattle that relationship apart. Why can't game journalists be game JOURNALISTS, and the industry muster up some responsibility? It's all hype now. It's all controlled content. It's politics.

I wish it were different, I really do. I guess my goal would be for 1) somebody to ask hard questions like this (of everybody); and 2) for the interviewee to be frank and honest in answering. And then, world peace.

If somebody decided to get in there and ask hard-hitting questions, the PR people would be less-inclined to help them out, and their sites would suffer for it. For it to have any chance of being successful it would have to be a concerted effort on the part of just about everyone in the business.

It really sucks that IGN is the way it is in terms of journalistic integrity, or lack thereof, because someone like them is big enough to actually do this without getting pushed around for it.

OblivionMay 08, 2012

I can fill in to ask these questions for NWR. I'm expendable. ;)

ROiDSMay 08, 2012

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

DSi Camera was a function that was used by a HANDFUL of games, most of which were download only. 
Gameboy Color came out many years after the original Gameboy.
The backlight didn't make any new games incompatible with the original GBA.

A right analog stick is another deal entirely - it's an industry standard feature on console controllers, and would fundamentally change the way developers view the system.  If we think it's unfair of Konami to make a MGS game that essentially requires the user to have the CPP, that kind of them would completely explode after a revision which included a right stick.  Basically, you would absolutely HAVE to get the CPP or a new 3DS for a large chunk of software which was developed after the new model. 

I'm not saying it *won't* happen absolutely, but I am saying that I think it's unlikely, and that's my reason why.

It's possible, but not unlikely because that sort of thing happened before. It's true that the Gameboy Color released later, but you still can't deny that the original Gameboy cannot play Gameboy Color games. The PS1 is also the same when the Dual-Shock came out and some new games needed it; yet, the system sold well. Like I said before, if the 3DS' upgrade indeed does comes out --not now-- it should at least have the second slide pad already built in. And whose company is insane enough to not make the second slide pad an option? They're shooting themselves on the foot by only selling the game on the people who have the, definitely possible, new 3DS with the second slide pad and those who have the CPP.

TJ SpykeMay 08, 2012

The Game Boy Color was a new system, so I don't even know why that would be brought up. It's like complaining that the GameCube can't play Wii games.

Why would the Circle Pad Pro be included in a 3DS revision? No game requires it, and only a handful of games even support it. I don't see it being included unless games start coming out that require it to even be played.

ROiDSMay 08, 2012

Quote from: Halbred

Well, I'm glad this article has gotten such a strong response. I don't think the factual statements are that off, but I certainly included plenty of personal vendetta in here. Keep in mind this is basically my Dream Interrogation script, but if I were actually in a room with Reggie, I'd probably be begging him to be my Best Friend, then ask these same questions in less aggressive ways.

Ultimately, as many people have pointed out, questions like this DO need to be asked, and it's a crime that nobody has the goddamn balls to do it, or at least do, and when given a stock evasive answer, respond with "that's not an answer." Then lock the door before Reggie or Iwata can leave.

The other unfortunate truth is that "game journalism" really is a branch of the industry's marketing and PR. Both sides have learned to accept that. Neal and Andy and I were having a long converation about this on Twitter, and I wonder what would rattle that relationship apart. Why can't game journalists be game JOURNALISTS, and the industry muster up some responsibility? It's all hype now. It's all controlled content. It's politics.

I wish it were different, I really do. I guess my goal would be for 1) somebody to ask hard questions like this (of everybody); and 2) for the interviewee to be frank and honest in answering. And then, world peace.

+10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000(x10000000000000000000)

HyawattaMay 08, 2012

There is a difference between being tied to your system and being tied to your account.

With the Wii U, we will have user accounts on the Nintendo Network. Will we then be able to play a game like Super Mario Bros., which is available on both the Wii and the 3DS Virtual Consoles, on both the Wii U and the 3DS after making only a single purchase? Currently, we must use a system transfer in order to play digital games on a different system. Will the system transfer process be changed so that it can be handled by the accounts system instead solely through SD cards?

Quote from: NWR_DrewMG

I think we need a little "right analog stick" wager for 3DS Mark II.

I am firmly convinced it won't happen.  If Nintendo had pushed the CPP to every retailer for $10, and bundled it with MGS and RE:R, then I would be convinced.

Bam, I win.

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