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Messages - marty

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General Gaming / Re: What is your most recent gaming purchase?
« on: November 26, 2013, 11:43:15 AM »
Got Anodyne a few weeks ago. 

The obvious comparison is LoZ but the game is pretty light on challenge and progress.  Exploring is cool but sometimes I have no idea where I am supposed to go next.  Some of the areas feel very, very disconnected to the rest of the game which kind of undoes a lot of the reasons for having a large, mostly interconnected world.  The small amount of upgrades means that your character doesn't really improve all that much, ability wise.  The enemies get a little tougher but, since your weapon power is the same as it ever was, it's just a matter of being able to spam enough hits on a boss/enemy before your life meter depletes.  The music sets a good mood and the 16 bit color palate/fx works well enough with the block-y visuals.

It's not very intense so I don't find myself playing it for long stretches--1/2 hour here or there but it's functional--sort of a relax and unwind game.  Not Zelda, but not a bad buy for $2.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Official Sales Thread
« on: October 31, 2013, 05:31:41 PM »
I wonder if there's any chance of the new Jikkyou Powerful Pro game getting localised ala MLB Power Pros? I'd love to play the new one. Looks sharp.
Yeah, Power Pro's was definitely one of my most played Wii games for a few years.  It's a shame it stopped coming out in the US since it was pretty easy to pick up and get into yet had tons of depth for long term play. 

TalkBack / Re: Nintendo Unveils New Entry Level Handheld, the 2DS
« on: August 28, 2013, 01:46:16 PM »
Ditching 3d seems like a good move as does the low price and launching alongside the next main Pokemon game.

I don't mind the non-clamshell design since I don't find it all that comfortable to walk around with much of anything in my pockets--my handhelds always traveled in a backpack or messenger bag, anyway.  Buttons/screen damage is a concern, though.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Official Sales Thread
« on: August 14, 2013, 05:46:41 PM »
[3DS] Nekketsu Kouha Kunio-Kun SP: Rantou Kyousoukyoku
[/size]oh man, I got excited that this was out and then watched a gameplay video on youtube... no longer excited.

..but supply and demand does play a large part of why Gamestop can set such a high price-point and most likely get away with it.  Yes, it's true that Gamestop was the exclusive retailer carrying it besides Nintendo, but that doesn't change the fact that there was limited quantities available at time of purchase, there was demand for the product spurred by the good reviews/press it got, and then lead to $400 used copies floating around on the internet.

Assumedly, Gamestop saw an opportunity, either "found" extra copies or had additional pressed, and marked them as used because they can.  They can fix prices any way they'd like on used copies, and once Gamestop purchases copies from the manufacturer, I imagine they're well within their rights to sell them as either "new' or "used", whichever nets them the most benefit.
It's simply unhelpful to assess a portion of such a small, short term case with the language and tools used to describe long-term behavior.  It's like watching a scoreless inning of baseball and saying that both pitchers have a MLB lifetime ERA of 0.  Even that were true, it's not helpful because the stat doesn't explain the context of why it's true.  Both pitchers could have just come up from the minors or any number of possibilities that would explain why an extremely rare behavior of statistics would agree with a poorly formed assumption.

Yes, if one ignores reason, market history, and the principals economic theory is founded on, he can declare that the used $90 disk just put up for sale found its price through "supply and demand."  Just realize that he's not saying anything of any substance or accuracy when he does.  Taking into account the exclusivity, lack of competition in the used market, Nintendo's complacency and general lack of motivation to sell the game (the odd release seems to suggest that they're not trying to maximize their own profitability--at least not through sales numbers) and the overall picture is not one of a healthy market where price is settled on by supply and demand--it's appears corrupted by market manipulation through artificial scarcity and price fixing.
In turn, as much as this is ruffling everyone's feathers, more supply will reduce the resale value of these games, so they are inadvertently helping those who might consider trying to find the game down the line.
At the end of the day, the anger should be directed towards Nintendo, not Gamestop, for encouraging this type of behavior.  Gamestop's behavior is a symptom of Nintendo not producing enough of the product to meet demand, and then themselves not jumping on the opportunity to release pent-up demand.
well, no disagreement there.

Just going to note here that GameStop's Net Income for FY12 was a $270M loss. But they did have a massive goodwill impairment, and their EBITDA is more like $800M. Either way, it's hard to say the company "made" $2B on anything.
The $2B is an estimate I've seen repeatedly over the last few years and I can't vouch for how accurate it is, but I can see how the low cost of used games vs their resale price provides a very attractive return.  I know GS has their problems but their revenue for FY12 was over $8.5B--how much of that was from used game sales I can't say for sure (a familiar estimate was 75%).  "made" might not be most accurate word. Estimated net worth of GS used game sales might be a better term, if similarly vague.  Overall profitability aside, I still can't see any way around acknowledging that GS is the big-dog in the used game market, especially when it comes to offline retail.
Videogames typically have fixed prices because publishers artificially set them that way. The price was never meant to move. You seem to have a grasp of basic economic theory, but the truth is that things rarely work out that way. The supply that a seller is willing to provide falls as the price drops, sure. But the actual amount of available units was never that high to begin with. And to defend GS, one theory is that they're publishing more copies themselves because they can sell them for $90 a pop. That's your supply curve. Further, there's way more things that determine demand than just the price, including artificial scarcity. (Which is the future, BTW)
There's a LOT of things going on in the videogame biz that prevent fair markets from existing while still allowing for certain economic principals to be applicable at some level.  My basic point is that people should stop using "economics" and "supply and demand" as catch-all terms when discussing sales of 1 game in a larger video-game market-- especially when the game was released in a way that prevented competition which would allow/force the sales to follow basic market supply and demand curves AND it isn't even remotely representative of how videogames are sold in the US.

Podcast Discussion / Re: Episode 346: In These Days of Graphics
« on: August 13, 2013, 10:15:15 PM »
good epi.  Cloudberry Kingdom is something that was on my radar but I wasn't too keen on--I'll probably end up checking it out at some point now.

@ oblivion,
first, I think you're out of your depth.  Maybe take a few economics courses and learn what supply and demand are and what economics is.  writing "wrong" and following it up with argumentative bs is just rude.  take it down a notch if you think I'm wrong and prepare a real argument.  I hate to judge too harshly but I don't think you know what you're talking about.

Is this anger the same anger you guys felt when I told you guys to take a few debate classes? Jesus dude, **** you. Nothing of what I said warranted that kind of response besides the one I'm giving you now.
anger? nope.  I wrote a level-headed response to you pointing out exactly why it's wrong for you, or anyone, to cite "economics" or "supply and demand" as some sort of valid appraisal of the GS/XC situation.  I also pointed out that it's simply rude to write "wrong" and then try and bs you way through an argument.  I did this without ad hominem, insult, or rudeness. 

I don't know what you're trying to prove by being rude now.  Why not just concede that "economics" and "supply and demand" are not good responses for the reasons I stated--or any number of other, valid reasons, and move on?  Or actually debate that "economics" and "supply and demand" are valid response with actual facts and knowledge?  Or show some humility and civility?  If all you have to offer is snark and rudeness, you're not worth engaging.  You call, obviously.  Good luck!

Gamestop doesn't have a monopoly on the used market and since you could buy the game online from Nintendo directly they didn't truly have a monopoly on the new version of Xenoblade either.
I never said they had a monopoly on the used market, they just control a large portion of it.
I never said they had a monopoly on the new market for XC, just that they had a monopoly of the offline retail market

@ oblivion,
first, I think you're out of your depth.  Maybe take a few economics courses and learn what supply and demand are and what economics is.  writing "wrong" and following it up with argumentative bs is just rude.  take it down a notch if you think I'm wrong and prepare a real argument.  I hate to judge too harshly but I don't think you know what you're talking about.

second, the fact that GS seems to have artificially manipulated scarcity by withholding supply means that the market could never have achieved equilibrium. The principals of supply and demand ("economics") never came into play.

third, GS clearly has great control over all new sales and overall supply.  That fact alone means they have great influence on the used market even before considering they are they are the leading used game retailer.  GS made 2 billion dollars last year in used game sales, from the figures I've read.  Is any other brick and mortar store doing that kind of business?  Not that I've read.  Feel free to post whatever used videogame sales figures from any specific online used game retailer if you want contend that GS isn't the major player in the used game market.

fourth, supply and demand is an economic model.  if there was a demand for something at a price with a higher profit margin, supply will increase.  That's what supply and demand means.  The fact that when demand for XC was highest, the price was $50.  Saying there is more of a demand now, when the price is higher, than when the game was selling new, when the price was lower, is wrong and does not fit the supply and demand model AT ALL.  Supply falls as the price drops.  Demand increases as the price drops.  Supply increases as the price increases.  Demand falls as the price increases.  Supply and demand meet at a price.  Is that what's happening? NO, so stop saying supply and demand.  It doesn't apply.

Even if XC were following anything resembling free-market behavior, I doubt you'd find anyone that knew about economics to cite it as a good example of normal economic behavior considering that it's release at all is not representative of how videogames are sold or how the videogame market, at large, operates.

GS had a complete monopoly on new retail shop sales as well a majority control of the used market.  The game was never released in a competitive market so free market economics don't apply.  Those claiming "economics" really should a)stop b)learn more about economics.

It is fair to say that we have the right to not buy a game if it leaves a sour taste in our mouths, but lets remember events like this when the Nintendo consumer is painted as a group that does not support third party releases. Lets look back to practices like these when we the consumer are expected to pay the premium cost for less but chose not to and then are told "Nintendo fans only buy Nintendo games!"
History has a funny way of repeating itself and I'm sure a year from now somewhere the example will be made of a game like this having poor sales figures compared to the PS3 and 360 which people will draw the conclusion that the audience of Wii U players do not want these types of games.
I think there are greater truths the the "wisdom" that Nintendo fans don't buy 3rd party games.  A lot of "Nintendo fans" are actually multi-console owners capable of deciding what games they want to buy.  If 3rd parties want to make an inferior version (or at least a game that is advertised lacking specific features), it signals that more work/effort was put into one version than another (which might not be 100% correct, but it'd be hard to convince someone that the version missing elements is superior).  This is also going to effect Nintendo console only gamers who would rather not buy any version rather than the inferior one.  If you give people a choice between best, worst, and nothing, don't be surprised when they don't chose the worst--even if they couldn't choose the best.
3rd parties have themselves to blame.  Nintendo has been getting the worst version for 20 years.  It'd be one thing if that weren't the case but it is.  You can't blame customers for wanting something better than what they're being offered.  They're the one's paying--or withholding payment if they're not getting what they want.

I got Hotline Miami a while back on a gog sale.
Kind of cool but definitely not for everyone; it's bloody and violent in a way that's a bit unnerving.  The 80's vibe works in a way that doesn't at all feel like a joke and really like the dev was going for something that would hold up well with something like John Carpenter movies (Prince of Darkness, They Live, and especially Assault on Precinct 13).  On the downside, finishing the game has pretty much turned me off from playing it again.

TalkBack / Re: Miyamoto Wanted the Wii to Be HD
« on: July 20, 2013, 06:41:15 PM »
Oh jeez, and I thought it was weird when Miyamoto started taking credit for Virtual Boy...

Nintendo really needs to get with it when it comes to VC/e-Shop.
games should be tied to an account a la steam/gog and playable on any capable hardware (3ds/Wii/WiiU/future systems).  I haven't bought anything downloadable from Ninty in years and won't until they can at least match the convenience of steam (which I pretty much only use if humble bundle or gog doesn't have what I want... or if the steam sale is like 1$ and I don't care).

Nintendo Gaming / NHL'14: Another EA Snub; But Who Cares?
« on: July 11, 2013, 04:49:26 PM »

I hadn't paid much attention to it but it looks like NHL'14 is not showing up on the WiiU.
Not really a big deal to be made about the bypass but there seems to be a bit of buzz around the "throwback" mode where the controls are simplified and there are some earmarks of NHL'94 floating around.  Here's a kind of telling quote:
What we wanted to do was make our game easy to pick up and play again," without stupefying it or babying gamers. Ramjagsingh said. "So when this mode came together, all this strategy and stuff got tossed out the window, and people started playing it just for the fun factor. It's really a throwback to that old-school gaming experience.
He also states that NHL'94 isn't really as good as everyone remembers it.  While I personally disagree with that statement, EA aught to consider the fact that they, at one time, did make games that would stick with players for 20 years.  It's also a pretty arrogant and dumb thing to say, even just from a PR standpoint, let alone the generally unchallenged claim that it is THE definitive NHL game.  EA put an 'NHL'94 rom on the '06 disc, too.  I know even got mentioned by the RFN crew (though I can't remember who talked about still playing).  EA didn't do a 20 year anniversary for NHL Hockey, so someone must realize that '94 was a particularly good year.  Saying stupid things like that just smacks of bitterness--and really, think anyone is going to give a **** about NHL 2014 in 20 years?

Anyways, shoehorned in fan service that is cordoned off from the main modes doesn't really make me all that  interested in the game.  Maybe when EA realizes that pick-up and play without babying the player and fun shouldn't be "throwback" qualities of their titles, they'll actually make something worth picking up.

@ agent-x-
@ racht
I don't mean to address points out of order but when agent-x- is talking about eventual profitability, he really should take into account all costs/investments/alternatives (opportunity costs) over an extend time frame--economic profit.  Eventually isn't a timeframe you can measure accounting profit in, which only looks at revenue and explicit costs.

Think of the choice Nintendo gave Retro:  Make a DKCR game OR make a Metroid game.  The explicit costs (office leases, computers, staff, marketing) for both games would probably be roughly the same.  It's also unlikely that Retro could make a Metroid game that would sell better than a DKCR game.  Releasing a DKCR game means that they're losing all the benefits of releasing a Metroid game (Metroid might not sell the same number of copies, but it could move more WiiU's than another 2d platformer).

Also consider that Nintendo outright lost 1/2 billion dollars in FY2011 and was operating at a loss in FY2012.  From an accounting profitability standpoint, Nintendo would have been better off, scaling back or shutting down for those 2 years than making/releasing hardware and software.  That doesn't mean that that would be a long term, economically profitable move for them to make, despite it being more profitable in the short-term.

OR: The standard Econ-101 example is that quitting a job that pays 30k a year to go to college where tuition 10k a year doesn't cost you 40k over 4 years, it costs you 160k.   Like I said: without knowing exactly what Nintendo is doing and how they are spending money on, it's nearly impossible to know exactly how profitable Nintendo is, will be, or would be.
Their stock sure took a tumble the last few years after being one of the biggest companies in Japan.  Nintendo cites weak dollar/strong yen for some losses... but I just don't believe it considering how badly sales tanked on the Wii the last few years as well as the fumbled 3ds/Wiiu launches.  It's not like they would have lost even more money if they sold more games.  I'm sure the terrible sales weren't helped by international economics, though.  Nintendo pretty much lives and dies by game sale revenue.  Yes, they can survive and still sell less games and less hardware, but they've said that the margin on hardware is considerably smaller than that of their software.  Nintendo also says that they make hardware just to make sure they always have a way to sell their games.

@ agent-x-
Are you aware that Nintendo hasn't made themselves any money in the last 2 (financial) years?  They saw a steep decline in revenue in fy 2010 as well.  If Nintendo were raking it in, I think you could say that Nintendo is doing what's best for them despite what "core" gamers are complaining about on the web--but that's not at all the case. 

I'd also like to add that the word profit has a specific meaning and takes into account ALL costs, explicit and implicit.  It's hard to claim something will be profitable (or is profitable) without seeing the books and all projected costs and earnings as well as alternatives.

Nintendo Gaming / Re: Wonderful 101 matters in America
« on: July 02, 2013, 02:35:57 PM »
Considering the trail of flops that platinum/clover have produced, I wouldn't expect anyone, especially Nintendo, to get their hopes up that this game will produce any kind of respectable sales.

The game did not sell well because it was "flawed", it was due to the difficulty.
This is a really dumb way to look at both sales and software design. 

The game flopped ergo something was wrong with the game.  What was wrong?  Well the difficulty turned a lot of people away--that seems like a pretty big flaw when your job is to sell games.

I liked F Zero GX.
Having said that, the game wasn't perfect--which is something that could be said about almost all games.  The physics were weird on jumps and collisions--almost as if the cars had no mass/inertia.  The story mode kind of sucked.  The brutal difficulty could be offset by snaking--which kind of ruins the fun of racing since no cpu racer could actually compete with it.

I know it's already been mentioned but I think Nintendo could learn a lot from the Burnout series on how to make a really cool F-Zero GX sequel without having to attempt to reinvent the wheel.  Nintendo saying crap like the need to do something "new" to justify a sequel seems arrogant.  The game was instantly brutal to new players and provided no sustained challenge to anyone that could snake worth a damn--the game is FLAWED and that's WHY it didn't sell.  I'd like to see Nintendo address the glaring mistakes they've made and fix them before deciding that they can't continue a series unless it's "new".

This is almost word for word what I wrote about CliffyB's tantrum about used games.  Good on Ninty for not being dumb.

I loved Crash n the Boys: Street Challenge as a kid.  (Also: it wasn't Japan only--I bought it new at a Toys R Us in the USA)

as soon as you create something 'original,' you own the copyright.  You can file your copyrighted creation with the government, but it's not necessary (and it doesn't grant you any extra protection).  Writers/Comic book artists/programmers used to mail themselves copies of their work so the USPS would put an legal date on an unopened letter or package containing the work because it was cheaper than filing anything with the US copyright office.  Sealing envelopes with a notary's seal on it was another common, cheap method of legally obtaining an official date on materials.  Email things to yourself provides about the same amount of protection.
While it's true that you automatically gain copyright, just mailing something to yourself (though it's touted as a popular cost-effective method) doesn't provide any legal proof of date in the US.
Funny.  I guess I knew people mailing themselves packages containing their own works for no reason (the same comic book writers/artist also filed their copyrighted material, too).

Actually marty, there are advanatges to filing a copyright with the USPTO:
none of those  = extra protection for your copyrighted works.
none of those = necessary to hold copyright.

there are advantages to having filed copyright with the gov if someone does (what you believe to be) infringe on your copyright but it's not necessary--i.e. you don't lose your copyrights by not filing with the gov.

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