Posts Tagged ‘nintendo’
Last week, we spoke about Nintendo’s insensitivity regarding Tomodachi Life. Basically, they made a life-simulator game where your Mii could go on dates and get married and all that, but if you were gay, you’d have to pretend you were straight.
The game company’s response wasn’t exactly the softly-softly approach: “Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of ‘Tomodachi Life.’ The relationship options in the game represent a whimsical and playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We are a games company first and foremost and our main objective is to create games and consoles for players to enjoy.”
A number of outlets pointed out that Nintendo were acting like berks, and now, with a bit of bad press and some reflection, the company have decided to apologise. They said ‘sorry’, but added that they can’t really do anything about it because it is too late to change the English edition of the video game.
Tye Marini, the man who originally launched the social media campaign to try and get Nintendo to rectify the problem, said that he’s happy with Nintendo’s response.
“I don’t believe they are a homophobic company at all,” Marini said. “I think that the exclusion of same-sex relationships was just an unfortunate oversight.”
Hopefully, the debate will have made a few games developers look at who they have as a central character. There’s very few non-straight characters in central roles in gaming, and we’re pretty sure everyone’s grown up enough to play as someone with a different sexual persuasion to them.
Nintendo’s upcoming life simulation game – ‘Tomadachi Life’ – prohibits Nintendo 3DS users from being gay. Now, seeing as it’s a life simulation game, you’d think that it would’ve been incredibly easy to just include it as an option, what with gay people existing in the real world. We didn’t imagine them all, did we?
So maybe it is a case of Nintendo not being aware of the problem and this is just a load of clivtavists just shouting about stuff online?
Not the case. Nintendo are aware of the issue and said that they’re not at all bothered and won’t be doing a thing to change it for the English version.
They said: “Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of ‘Tomodachi Life.’ The relationship options in the game represent a whimsical and playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We are a games company first and foremost and our main objective is to create games and consoles for players to enjoy.”
Of course, with any problem like this, a load of straight people can’t see what the fuss is about. It seems straight people, like Nintendo, can’t be bothered with things like ‘empathy’ and ‘listening to people when they tell you they’re being shat on’.
Tye Marini, the man behind the social media campaign trying to sort this out, said that ‘Tomodachi Life’ lets players create and control their own avatars (Mii characters) and then let them go shopping and spend time at theme parks and even go on dates. And so, Marini thought it might be a wheeze to marry his real-life fiance’s Mii, but the game said ‘nope!’.
“My only options are to marry some female Mii, to change the gender of either my Mii or my fiance’s Mii or to completely avoid marriage altogether and miss out on the exclusive content that comes with it,” said Marini.
He added: “It’s more of an issue for this game because the characters are supposed to be a representation of your real life. You import your personalized characters into the game. You name them. You give them a personality. You give them a voice. They just can’t fall in love if they’re gay.”
Naturally, you can think that the game sounds rubbish (and it does), but there’s an underlying current here – video games have not represented gay people at all well. Or anyone who isn’t white and heterosexual. If you can put so much coding effort in, so that individual hairs move on an avatar’s head, surely it’s easy to include gay people in these things?
Nintendo said: “The ability for same-sex relationships to occur in the game was not part of the original game that launched in Japan, and that game is made up of the same code that was used to localize it for other regions outside of Japan.”
Maybe someone will say: ‘if the gays don’t like it, don’t buy it! Play another game!’ If things were that easy, people would quietly agree that a Subway could sell Halal meat and just toddle off somewhere else to buy non-Halal food – and we all know that’s not how it works in the UK.
This is bad press for Nintendo who have been on Deathwatch for a while now, thanks to chronically bad sales of the Wii U, and now this.
Nintendo finished last year $464m in the red with the Wii U selling 2.72 million units, compared to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One flogging upwards of 7 million and 5 million units, respectively, despite being on the market for less time.
One thing they’ll be doing, is getting rid of the online features for some of the Wii and DS. This will happen on May 20th 2014.
There’ll still be online stores, but from summer, you won’t be able to play online, there’ll be no leaderboards or matchmaking. It’ll all be shut down.
Nintendo said in a statement: ”As of May 20th, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service will be discontinued and it will no longer be possible to use online features of Nintendo DS/DSi and Wii software such as online play, matchmaking and leaderboards. The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will not be affected however, and will continue to be accessible after May 20th.”
So if you’re still using a Wii and like playing Mario Kart online, or like the Pokemon series on your DS, you’ll have to start enjoying them offline.
Wii U’s will probably be selling for £2.60 by the time May comes around, so you shouldn’t worry too much. If not, you’ll still be able to use your last-gen consoles for going on the Internet Channel, Nintendo DS Browser, Nintendo DSi Browser, Nintendo DSi Shop, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play, Wii Shop Channel, and YouTube.
Nintendo have been losing money and seen their stocks falling, so it looked for all the world like they were going to sell Mario off to other platforms so stay relevant.
However, it seems that they’ve got a plan. Whether it is a good one or not, we’ll just have to wait and see. Nintendo are going to focus on making themselves vital to those who want to get healthy at home.
At a meeting for investors and the media, CEO Satoru Iwata pointed toward Nintendo’s future, saying that the company plan to create a third platform to accompany the Wii U and 3DS.
“What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s [quality of life] in enjoyable ways,” said Iwata.
Basically, while other platforms focus on video games which are designed to distract, Nintendo will go all out into their world of Wii Fit, Brain Age and the like.
“As those who are already suffering from illness can seek medical care, our new business domain would… enable people to monitor their health,” Iwata said. “However, what is generally good for health requires some kind of effort to be made by the individual, and… it is sometimes difficult to stay focused and engaged, and it is not uncommon to give up after a few days.”
“This is where our strength as an entertainment company to keep our consumers engaged and entertained comes into play,” he added.
Looks like Nintendo hope to sell devices to people who wouldn’t normally buy a console and more at the keep-fit DVD and self-help market. It’s a lucrative sector as well, so if Nintendo pull this off, they could be getting spikes of sales during the post-Christmas comedown every year.
Company president, Satoru Iwata, pledged to get Nintendo back in the black this year, but instead, found himself apologising to shareholders. He won’t be resigning though, instead saying: ”There will be no major management shake-up in the short term.”
One peculiar thing is that Nintendo’s most lucrative aspects have always been the Mario franchise and Zelda, both of which can only be played on Nintendo consoles. While the rest of gaming effectively shares games, Nintendo are looking desperately old-fashioned by keeping hold of their two star turns.
Before Sega stopped making consoles, they held onto to Sonic the Hedgehog games exclusively. However, when the Xbox and PlayStation franchises took over, they admitted defeat and Sonic is now playable on all systems. Could we see Mario and Zelda jumping platforms?
Nintendo, in this business year, is now looking at an operating loss of 35 billion yen. Quite the contrast from the forecast of 100 billion yen profit. Shares continue to fall also. Will Mario and Zelda soon be available on your iPad or PS4?
Nintendo are doing too well are they? Basically, hardly anyone’s bought a Wii U and everyone is dribbling over the PS4 and Xbox One now, so obviously, they’re struggling to keep the pace. The figures back this Mario malaise, with the company only shifting 3.61 million Wii U consoles.
Compare that to sales of the original Wii, whiched shifted more than 100 million, trashing the PS3 and Xbox 360.
And now, Naughty Dog co-founder and former THQ president Jason Rubin reckons that Nintendo doesn’t have a place at the table next to Microsoft and Sony in the console market. Big talk. He says: “Nintendo’s irrelevant as a hardware manufacturer in the console business.”
He added that Nintendo are indeed a “worldwide treasure” and praised designer Shigeru Miyamoto for his contribution to the gaming industry, but he is irked that big-hitters like Mario and Zelda are exclusive to Nintendo, saying: ”It is a crime that we do not play those games on the systems that we have.”
Nintendo have been slashing the price of the Wii U in a bid to reignite some interest. However, many megamarkets have stopped stocking it altogether, such is the scant demand.
Are we going to see Nintendo offering Mario and Zelda up to other platforms, like Sega did with Sonic the Hedgehog? If they don’t, we might be looking at another Deathwatch.
Asda kept dropping the price too, and now, at a loss, the supermarket has finally decided that they’ll no longer stock anything to do with the Wii U in their 550+ stores.
In a statement, Asda said: ”Asda continues to offer customers a selection of Wii U games and accessories through Asda Direct, but these ranges are currently not on offer in Asda shops.”
So what do Nintendo think? They replied: “Nintendo UK does not comment on specific business practices with individual retailers.”
“However, as we have seen with Nintendo 3DS, software sells hardware, and with titles such as Wonderful 101, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World already announced for this year – as well as the recently released Pikmin 3 and New Super Luigi U having reached number 2 and number 6 in this week’s chart respectively – we are looking forward to the year ahead on Wii U.”
Is the Wii U the worst console in gaming history?
The Nintendo Wii U is looking like the slowest selling console in history, with no-one wanting anything to do with it. So beleaguered is Nintendo’s newest gizmo that Asda has slashed the price of it by £100 again.
The Wii U Premium/Nintendoland bundle has been reduced to £199, while the basic model is £149.99.
Asda last cut the price of the console back in May, but it doesn’t seem to be making much difference, even though Nintendo’s own figures reckon that 3.45 million Wii U consoles have been sold between November 30th and December 31st 2012. It seems, since the new year, sales have plummeted and it has been reported that Nintendo have shifted a paltry 390,000 in the first three months of 2013.
A stark contrast to the predicted 9 million in sales by Nintendo.
With EA already ditching Wii U and other third party publishers looking to do the same, this is a dreadful time for the Mario makers. With the Xbox One and Sony PS4 due to launch later this year, it could be curtains for the console.
Nintendo’s Wii U has far from set the world alight. They’ve been trying to flog them for cheap, and no-one is really taking the bait. To make this beleaguered console look even more doomed, EA have backed away, saying they won’t be developing games for it any more.
Nintendo know they’re in trouble with the Wii U as it is consistently being outsold by older consoles. One thing they’ve said, regarding the lack of success, is that there aren’t enough titles to buy for it, and EA pulling out isn’t going to help.
“Wii U was not able to maintain the initial sales momentum after the beginning of 2013 due to a delay in the development of subsequent software titles,” it said. ”Operating loss increased primarily due to the sales of ‘Nintendo 3DS’ and ‘Wii U’ being weaker than expected,”
EA, meanwhile, are still excited about other consoles. “We have never been better positioned for the launch of new technology, either mobile or console,” said EA.
With retailers telling Nintendo that their Wii U price-drops aren’t enough, and that they’re looking at ‘another GameCube’, Mario fans will be in need of some distraction.
And so, to a mall in Calgary, that has made a display from food cans that stars a huge 3D Mario
Apparently, this display was made using 11,000 tuna cans, or thereabouts and was built for the 8th Annual Canstruction Event.
All the canned grub gets shipped off to the charity, Calgary Food Bank. Surely an Italian foodstuff would’ve been more appropriate?
Struggling Nintendo have finally acknowledged that the Wii U is floundering and have vowed to implement a new strategy in a bid to generate some interest in their newest device.
One of the big problems of the Wii U is a lack of games available to play on it, with virtually no titles available from last Christmas to now. 3 months in gaming is a lifetime, especially when there are so many other distractions online and there’s games to be played on tablets and smartphones.
Nintendo is working to launch a raft of new games this week and retailers have been trying to flog the next-gen console at discount prices to get things moving. However, things aren’t progressing quickly enough and retailers have reportedly been reducing their Wii U orders, which is why the company is planning to win back some hearts and minds.
Speaking to games retail industry site MCV, Nintendo said: “We’ll be speaking to our retailers directly over the next few weeks to take them through our plans for building Wii U momentum over the course of 2013.”
“We have a strong and broad line-up of software launching this year and we look forward to updating – and exciting – our partners over the coming weeks.”
However, the problem is that customers aren’t ready for a next-gen gaming. The leap in quality from each console thus far, has been huge. Looking at the PS3, Xbox and Wii, there’s still life left in those devices and the new crop don’t seem to offer much more, like in previous years.
Nintendo will inevitably have to offer Mario and Zelda to other platforms to stay in business, but are we looking at the death of the console as we know it?
At the moment, no-one wants to buy a Nintendo product. The Wii U has only sold 64,000 in February, and the Wii Mini got unveiled much to everyone’s thorough indifference.
Considering that the Wii U is a newly launched console, this is worrying for Nintendo who haven’t been able to keep up with the video game market for some time now.
To put this into perspective, the Xbox 360 sold more than over 300,000 units last month in the US, despite the fact it is nearly ten years old. The PS3 is still outselling the Wii U, even though Sony have announced the next-gen PS4.
Handheld gaming is one of the few success stories for Nintendo, but it is only a matter of time before they die out as smartphones and tablets continue to grow in popularity?
So could Nintendo go the same way as Sega?
The only discernible reason one would buy a Nintendo product is to play the games that aren’t available on other systems, like Mario, Zelda and the like. Could we see Mario Kart being released on all consoles in the not-too-distant future?
Nintendo haven’t released a decent console since the N64, and even that didn’t capture the imagination like the SNES. And so, in a bid to stay in the market after everyone collectively shrugged at the Wii and Wii U, they’ve decided to go budget.
For £80, you will be able to get your hands on a Wii Mini from March 22nd. For your buck, you’ll get a scaled-down console with a Wii Remote Plus and nunchuck.
What is a Wii Mini though and is it worth £80? Well, for starters, the exact same device costs around £60 overseas, so it seems a bit of a swizz from the off. Is it worth a punt if you’re a gaming n00b? This new console doesn’t connect to the internet (so no iPlayer or downloadable content from the Wii Store) and there’s no games bundle.
For another £40, you’ll be able to buy a proper Wii, which allows you connect to the internet and comes with a load of games. With the amount of packages you can buy you can have a fully functioning Wii and a bundle of other stuff, thereby making the Wii Mini look pretty useless.
There’s usually something of a commotion when a new console is released, but Nintendo have found that the Wii U has failed to capture the imagination of gamers, cutting their forecast for earnings and looking down the barrel of a second year of annual losses.
Nintendo forecast an annual loss of $220 million in the year to March, which is a kick in the pips considering they initially projected that they’d make that much profit on their new console.
“It was a somewhat negative surprise,” said Yasuo Sakuma, portfolio manager at Bayview Asset Management.
There’s been a shift in gaming habits to deal with, with more people wanting to play games on tablets and, of course, there’s the small matter that the Wii U isn’t significantly different enough from the regular Wii. Could this mean that Nintendo will have to start selling Mario to other console makers?
Either way, Nintendo’s shares have fallen 2.1% today, which is marginally better than the ten-year low achieved at the start of the year. If Nintendo’s new tablet-style joypad isn’t going to generate interest, then Sony needs to think hard for the release of anything similar in time for Christmas 2013 for the PS4.
Here’s a thing. If you’ve bought a Nintendo Wii U and live somewhere in Europe, then you may or may not have discovered that your new console has a watershed.
European Wii U consoles now restrict access to PEGI 18-rated games until after 11pm.
Basically, the Wii U online store won’t let you buy adult games unless you’re awake between 11pm and 3am. If you work nights, tough. Of course, this watershed won’t stop you playing games whenever you feel like it, because that would be commercial suicide for Nintendo.
An email from Nintendo says: “Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European countries.”
Other console developers have not said they’ll be joining in with this and, to be honest, it seems incredibly unlikely that they will want to.