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Nintendo Businesses Wii XBox (Games)

Mixed News for Nintendo, Microsoft 155

Posted by Zonk
from the take-the-bad-with-the-good dept.
If you were to just look at downloadable content this week, Wii and 360 owners would have a lot to cheer about. Virtual Console downloads include the (under-appreciated) Legend of the Mystical Ninja and the original Castlevania. Xbox 360 owners can finally sink their teeth into the board-game spectacular that is Settlers of Catan. Classic titles Millipede and Centipede will also be on offer via Xbox Live Arcade. Unfortunately, there are some less cheery things to discuss as well. Virtual Console sales are down, apparently, and some analysts are questioning whether Nintendo's success may be bad for the industry overall. As for the 360 ... the Elite may be bringing back some old problems. 'Red Rings of Death' have already been reported with the just-released consoles, and DRM issues with Live Arcade titles on the 'upgraded' system are making some new owners frustrated.
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Mixed News for Nintendo, Microsoft

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  • ugh, I get goatse flashbacks when I hear that phrase!
  • From TFA:

    Reports have already emerged that the some Xbox 360 Elites are showing the red ring of death. This comes just a day after the model's release in the US. Apparently disc-scratching issues are also emerging, with the video below demonstrating that one unit (in the owner's words) "always sounds like a screaming banshee on crack". At this stage, however, SPOnG's treating the reports as rumour only until we see more evidence.

    Given that there has been no evidence other than "reports," I call bullshit on this one.

    • by ivan256 (17499)
      Would you like a broken 360 shipped to you for 'evidence' when you read an article on a website?

      Maybe this is happening, and maybe it isn't, but 'reports' are all the evidence you get from any media outlet.

      It seems to me that given how many of these consoles that get produced, the question isn't whether or not some of them are failing. The question is "How many are failing?"

      • I work in retail, we had 4 elites that we got in about a week before launch. We sold 3 of them on launch day. 2 of those came back the same day deffective. The one guy exchanged his, and didnt come back, so we assume it worked, but the other guy was SOL and had to get a refund. Not a lot can be drawn from such a small sample size, but still, 50% failure rate for us so far.
        • And this is where it gets completely thrown off. I can assume that this is true, but at the same time my store recieved six, and none have come back defective. I actually got two phone calls from customers just so they could tell me that it looked better on an HDMI hookup than their old component hookups. [Note: duh.] So when I came home and originally read this, it was mariginally surprising, but only to the point that I hadn't heard anything yet. When it comes to microsoft's stuff not working though..
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:07PM (#18930321) Homepage Journal

    some analysts are questioning whether Nintendo's success may be bad for the industry overall.

    What? From TFA in question, ""Nintendo has not only increased the size of the market, but it has also re-segmented it in its own favor, in our view," Mitchell wrote. "Nintendo is dominating software sales on its popular hardware platforms, leaving the publishers with a smaller slice of an only somewhat incrementally larger pie."" What this sentence says to me is that the market grew, so it's good for the industry overall, but that the current players in the market are less innovative than Nintendo and so they have a smaller slice of this generation - which is good for the consumer.

    "He continued, "Moreover, we feel that the likely shorter product cycles of Nintendo's platforms puts the publishers in a permanent catch-up mode. We think the upcoming releases of Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will highlight this phenomena [sic] this holiday season."" Interestingly, Microsoft had the short generation this last time around. Not Nintendo.

    "What Mitchell alludes to is the tendency for Nintendo-published titles to overrun the top end of sales charts on Nintendo platforms, leaving third party publishers out of luck sales-wise." Also known as the tendency for third-party developers to be worse at making fun games than Nintendo is.

    • by Zaphenath (980370) on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:17PM (#18930535)
      Agreed.

      So Nintendo is good at making really fun and well-polished games....and they make a big profit....they increase the amount of people who might call themselves a 'gamer'....this is a bad thing?

      I think the whole argument is flawed because it says to me "Nintendo makes great games, they sell well, are fun, and get new people to play them. This is a bad thing because third party developers can't sell their crappy games, and have to spend more time and resources to compete by making decent games."

      Maybe the fact that Nintendo makes some good stuff shows that a lot of games/developers suck? I don't know, perhaps it is the phenomena of "wrecking the curve".
      • The principle of "coopetition" states that ultimately is not to the best interest of a firm to destroy their competition.

        Competing with Nintendo is formidable as they can start designing for their innovative consoles ahead of time, they take their time and put out products that sadly put 3rd party efforts to shame. Since 3rd parties want to maximize profit the previous model of "Develop for the biggest installed base and port to the others" is not working well with the Wii and DS (Any IP depending with the
      • by MagikSlinger (259969) on Monday April 30, 2007 @07:37PM (#18934897) Homepage Journal

        So Nintendo is good at making really fun and well-polished games....and they make a big profit....they increase the amount of people who might call themselves a 'gamer'....this is a bad thing?

        Nope. I'm one of them. I hate consoles and the vast majority of games on the market. I dislike FPS's and most modern RPGs (as noted by my earlier dismissal of Oblivion). The DS is the first game console I've owned since I was 12 and had an Atari 2600. Nintendo's DS has games I'm interested in that aren't going to interest the usual gamer. E.g., Phoenix Wright, Hotel Dusk, Advanced Wars, Brain Age. Us "niche" market gamers were literally ignored and marginalised by the big publishers. Nintendo seems to notice us and caters to us and the fact we're flocking to Nintendo ... scares you?

        I think the whole argument is flawed because it says to me "Nintendo makes great games, they sell well, are fun, and get new people to play them. This is a bad thing because third party developers can't sell their crappy games, and have to spend more time and resources to compete by making decent games."

        Maybe the fact that Nintendo makes some good stuff shows that a lot of games/developers suck? I don't know, perhaps it is the phenomena of "wrecking the curve".

        This is the heart of the matter. I now cruise EB ever week keeping an eye out for interesting games, as well as visiting the game sites to keep an eye on previews. The majority of games I like were released by Nintendo. There are two exceptions (Trace Memory and Hotel Dusk), but all the 3rd party games I've seen have been ports of older titles that I never cared for anyway or "fast cash in" games on movie licenses. I mean really. On Game Rankings.com, I'm hard pressed to find a DS movie-tie-in game break 80%. The Wii and DS caters to a different crowd. You want my money, cater to me. I'll give you a hint: my favorite games are strong story-based like Infocom, Ultima IV, V and Dreamfall. I don't like thumb-twitcher games. I dislike FPS's. I do like strategy games, like Advanced Wars or Company of Heroes (which isn't on the DS obviously, but it is on my PC). I do like other games as well like the old Time Pilot arcade game. I don't see MS or Sony tripping over themselves to cater to me and my kind so Nintedo gets my dollars. THAT'S what's happening, folks.

    • by zerocommazero (837043) on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:22PM (#18930625)
      "What Mitchell alludes to is the tendency for Nintendo-published titles to overrun the top end of sales charts on Nintendo platforms, leaving third party publishers out of luck sales-wise."

      This is because Nintendo has been the underdog in the last couple of system releases and didn't merit the attention of the more polished hits. Who wants to put the effort in releasing a stellar game for a system with a limited audience? Nintendo had to put more effort into their first party games to keep themselves afloat. If they didn't, they wouldn't be around this long because most of the third party games were just trash and rehashes. Now that the Wii is selling so well, we may finally start to see an influx of quality 3rd party software. And they will sell well as long as the games are exclusive.

      Truth be told, Nintendo dominates the software sales because their games are that good. Did Resident Evil 4 sell badly?

    • Sounds like whining to me. But hey, when your games aren't good enough to compete, hey, it's either start whining or start making better games, and whining's a hell of a lot easier.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ZakuSage (874456)
      If you're looking at consoles, last gen MS did have a very short generation relative to Sony and Nintendo. However, if you look at how Wii has been created, you see that Nintendo is trying to make their consoles more like their handhelds. Since 2001, Nintendo has released 3 GBAs and 2 DSes (money that gamers could have spent on more games), and moreover GBA was virtually completely replaced by DS in 2004, just 3.5 years after it was released in North America.
      • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday April 30, 2007 @03:09PM (#18931441) Homepage
        moreover GBA was virtually completely replaced by DS in 2004, just 3.5 years after it was released in North America.

        Buh? The DS isn't a replacement for the GBA. Nintendo has continually stated it's a "third pillar", and as such, should continue to exist and be supported. After all, last I checked, the GBA wasn't being discontinued any time soon, and games continue to be published for the platform.

        Further, the release of revised handheld models has nothing at all to do with generational churn, so I don't even know why you brought that up.
        • by k_187 (61692)
          I think that Nintendo's statement that the DS was a third pillar was in case the DS flopped like the Virtual Boy did back in the day. The new hotness of development is on the DS. I'll admit I don't keep up with things like I used to, but what's the next big title coming out for the GBA? With the DS able to play GBA carts, I would say that specific development for the GBA is about gone.
          • The DS isn't a replacement for the GBA because the DS doesn't have complete backwards compatibility. The GBA can play all gameboy games, but the DS can only play GBA games. Many people own a very large collection of GBx games, and Nintendo would be stupid to abandon them after building an empire based pretty much solely on the backwards compatibility.
        • The "DS is not a GBA" thing was meant as a safe-guard. In case the DS failed, they could always fall back on the GBA. But now, GBA sales are now practically non-existant, and I think the last game released, that anyone had ever heard of, was Final Fantasy VI. Even Nintendo has started making noise about how the DS is replacing the GBA. Don't get attatched to the GBA, if you can't hear its death rattle... its time to remove those earplugs.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by KevinKnSC (744603)
            But now, GBA sales are now practically non-existant

            Um, are you talking about the same GBA that still outsells [neogaf.com] the PS3?

          • The GBA is dying *now*, but the DS was released in 2004, and the GBA saw fairly solid releases for 2 years after that. Usually, when a console replaces another the older console has maybe 1 solid Christmas season, and that's the end of any decent releases. Has any decent game come out for the Gamecube since Wii came out (besides Zelda, which was for both)? The DS *was not* a successor to the GBA.
        • After all, last I checked, the GBA wasn't being discontinued any time soon, and games continue to be published for the platform.

          As a gaming platform reaches the end of its life, studios stop developing unique franchises for it, instead choosing to release games that rely on a TV or movie license. I look at a list of the ten newest GBA releases on Pocket Heaven, and three are TV-related and three are movie-related. The other four are a rhythm game featuring Britney Spears, an RPG ported from the Super Famicom, and two virtual pet games. More worrying is We're also in the phase where publishers take completed games and throw them awa [gbadev.org]

        • I work for a video game electronics store, one of the big ones. We pretty much have acknowledged that the GBA is done. There is seriously ONE game in our computer system listed as an upcoming release. A movie tie-in called Ratatoullie or something of that sort. We get one GBA SP system stocked maybe every week or two. They sell FAR less than the DS now. You'll see "C-List" titles come out for it down the road, I mean hell Back to Stone and Mazes of Fate were ones even I was looking forward to, but we
    • Point One: I do not like nintendo games. I own a DS but not single nintendo developed game. Worse, all the games listed as being developed by nintendo leave me cold as well. So if other publishers, who make games I do like, can't survive, then I loose out.

      Nintendo becoming the biggest player is only good if you like nintendo games.

      I think people still expect that the DS and Wii are intermediate consoles, the DS was even claimed NOT to be the next gameboy but a in between. This might have been nintendo try

      • Nintendo becoming the biggest player is only good if you like nintendo games.

        That's not true. It's also good if you like the way Nintendo does business, or if you like the way Nintendo makes controllers, or if you like the way Nintendo makes systems. Because if they are on top, everyone will want to emulate or out-do them.

        When one player who has been on the bottom gets on top, it usually leads to change.

        Some change, at this point, could only be positive. The games industry is in a serious state of stagnation.

        IF HD-TV takes off then the Wii might age a lot faster then previous consoles.

        HDTV acceptance doesn't affect the Wii significantly for a number of reasons. The first reason is that the Wii is not an HD player, while still being cheap enough to purchase alongside one. The second reason is that HD might go nowhere, as you say. The third reason is that game consoles typically make shitty video players with the included software; for example the PS2 was an amazingly horrible DVD player (slimline is better but still not very good.) And in the case of the Xbox it's an external peripheral. External peripherals for video game systems have never succeeded. Even if it sets new records in that regard it will be an extremely niche product.

        Sure, you might claim that this market is big enough, but Nintendo itself seems to think it needs third party titles to reach that audience that its own games cannot.

        I don't see the problem here. Third parties ARE making Wii games, and they are more interested in making games for Nintendo in this generation than they have been of late, largely because of the Wii's massive popularity. And they are less interested in developing for Sony than ever before, largely because of the way Sony has totally blown their attempt to capture this generation so far. Whereas Microsoft is still a hit-and-miss sale to developers. They like the tools, they fear doing business with Microsoft, both very logical stances.

        Blizzad created a huge success with WoW BUT it also can be seen as bad for the industry as all that money is NOT going to other publishers and ultimately this leads to fewer games and less choice.

        It can only be seen as bad for the industry if you don't ask Blizzard.

        If the market grows, it's good for the industry. "Good for the industry" doesn't require that it's good for all the players, you know. If it truly led to a monopoly that would be one thing, but we all know that's not happening here.

        Also, no one with a fucking clue can seriously argue that Nintendo has only slightly increased the size of the gaming market. The GBA SP and later the Wii (and the DS lite of course) have done more to legitimize adult gaming than anything all the other console manufacturers put together have done since the dawn of time (as we measure it on game consoles anyway.)

        Does it help if you replace Nintendo/Blizzard with Microsoft and talk about the OS market instead to see the light?

        This is a stupid argument and you are stupider for having suggested it, and I am stupider for having read it. Microsoft has a monopoly position, Nintendo does not, stop using this stupid argument, thank you.

        What the game industry does NOT need is a monopoly. Not by MS, not by Sony and certainly not by Nintendo (especially the US half of it).

        There is too much money for anyone to give up and unless the other players deserve to die, they will figure out that some innovation is what is required in the market.

        Microsoft will probably be there for at least one more generation. There is no reason for Sony to give up at this point. Nintendo will not have a monopoly by the end of this generation, or the next. I am not an atomic playboy.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by daveisfera (832409)
          You also have to consider the "EA effect". If one company does dominate an industry, then you lose competition and innovation. Nintendo is very innovative right now because getting their butt kicked last generation forced them to be, but if they're all alone at the top then don't expect the innovation that you're seeing right now.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Merusdraconis (730732)
            Which reminds me of the other problem I have with the whole 'Nintendo's success is bad for other developers' - EA totally has the resources to make excellent games. They don't because they can get away with it, but sometimes the developers get the resources that they need and put out something pretty good.

            I can't help but think that if EA were required to step up, they would. (And they've said that they reckon they can become at least the #2 developer on Nintendo's platforms.)
      • You seem to be under the impression that natural monopolies are a bad thing. They are not, especially in a market like video games, where there are no barriers to entry. If one company comes to dominate, it is probably because they have hired all the good talent. If that company starts to suck, there are always a bunch of start-ups hoping to be more than a one-hit-wonder.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EnglishTim (9662)
      But it's not quite that simple; Nintendo has an advantage over the third-party developers in that they also designed the hardware. For the first games of their big brands that can be very useful as they get much longer to play with the hardware. For instance, Mario 64 actually drove many of the design decisions behind the N64. That's not to diminish the ability of Nintendo's dev teams; they are excellent and have been much more successful than the other first-party dev teams.

  • by wframe9109 (899486) <bowker.x@gmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:10PM (#18930377)
    The whole "It's hard to make money because people only buy 1st party Nintendo games" schtick is really, really obnoxious. People buy quality titles (for the most part). Nintendo makes quality titles. The few third parties that do make quality titles sell well. It's not like I picked up Zelda because it was made by Nintendo; I picked up Zelda because it has gameplay that I enjoy, great artistic direction (vs. throwing mounds of polygons at you), and has proven a dependably excellent quality series. I also picked up Rayman, despite the fact that it's a third party title, because it looked to have some excellent off-beat humor and gameplay, and it lived up to that expectation.

    • DISCLAIMER: I have *absolutely* no background in business or economics, so don't trust a bit of what I say...

      I'm not sure about newer consoles like the Gamecube and Wii, but as far as I've always known, there are hardly any 3rd party development houses (compared to how many there are for Sony and MS). So the way I understand this is that somebody is trying to look at the differences of profit between 1st party dev house(s) and 3rd party dev houses as absolute numbers, and then trying to say that because
      • by Babbster (107076)

        I'm not sure about newer consoles like the Gamecube and Wii, but as far as I've always known, there are hardly any 3rd party development houses (compared to how many there are for Sony and MS).

        Seriously, you need to think before you post. Even if you combined the output of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, they wouldn't begin to compare to the number of titles released by third parties. I'll name just a few of the "hardly any" third-party development houses currently extant: Capcom, Konami, Square Enix, Se

  • A few thoughts... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gothic_Walrus (692125) on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:11PM (#18930397) Journal
    "Nintendo is dominating software sales on its popular hardware platforms, leaving the publishers with a smaller slice of an only somewhat incrementally larger pie."

    How is this a new trend? Unless I'm mistaken, I believe Nintendo has always dominated the sales charts of their own platforms, and deservedly so - why buy a generic licensed platformer when you can get a Mario title that's been polished to near perfection?

    He continued, "Moreover, we feel that the likely shorter product cycles of Nintendo's platforms puts the publishers in a permanent catch-up mode. We think the upcoming releases of Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will highlight this phenomena [sic] this holiday season."

    Shorter product cycles are a bad thing? Since the Wii is less powerful than the PS3 or the Xbox 360, I'd have to imagine that any experience the publishers get on those platforms would carry over nicely to the Wii's eventual successor. Besides, it looks like - for the time being, at least - Nintendo's "less powerful hardware for lower price" strategy is working far better than Sony's "buy it now for $600 and we'll support it in ten years, we promise" plan of action.

    Moreover, Mr. Todd Mitchell seems to be missing something key here: while this may not be the most favorable trend for third party publishers, Nintendo is going to make buckets of money from all of this. Since he's an investment analyst, you think he'd want to point out the bright side there, that being that Nintendo is going to make you rich and that, perhaps more importantly, Nintendo succeeding in this generation - even if entirely due to their own titles - means there will still be some form of a gaming industry in five years instead of the supposed game industry crash [slashdot.org] that is supposed to happen in the near future.
    • by dankasfuk (885483)
      I doubt investing in Nintendo would make you rich as its privately held...
      • Re:A few thoughts... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Lord Apolon (805331) on Monday April 30, 2007 @03:21PM (#18931641)
        Think again. It trades in the U.S. over-the-counter (ADR receipts) under the symbol NTDOY, and on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as #7974 (latter via wiki).

        As the owner of a lovely ten shares of Nintendo ADRs, I can say that it WILL make you wealthy.. mine are up about 125% (yes, ONE HUNDRED and twenty five percent) since last March. If only I had more than ten.
    • I think the "shorter product cycles" refers to software rather than hardware. Hence the citing of Super Mario Galazy and Metroid Prime Corruption.

      "Permanent Catchup Mode" in this case is only because said companies can't think of anything new. With the 2-3 year developement cycle they had time to hear about the Next Big Thing(TM) and rehash it into their games. With the speedy developement times of the DS and Wii, you can't copy things fast enough.

      That's my cynicism talking.
  • by shawngarringer (906569) on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:12PM (#18930449)
    I think its somewhat one-sided to say Nintendo is bad for the industry. It's bad for today's publishers who continue to pump out the same crap year after year after year because most of the new people who are getting into games (older people, etc) won't enjoy that garbage. It's good for gaming, though, because those more creative video game publishers will be more successful...

    I say let the big companies fail, I'm hope I don't have to see Madden 2015 advertised...
    • Whoops, either I'm hoping or I hope. Pick one... we're at war :)
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TodMinuit (1026042) <todminuit@NOspAM.gmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:13PM (#18930469)

    "Nintendo has not only increased the size of the market, but it has also re-segmented it in its own favor, in our view," Mitchell wrote.

    Um... Isn't that what virtually any business aims to do? You don't think Microsoft and Sony are trying to do the same?

    What Mitchell alludes to is the tendency for Nintendo-published titles to overrun the top end of sales charts on Nintendo platforms, leaving third party publishers out of luck sales-wise.

    Although I haven't been following video games nearly as actively as I used to (read: at all), I thought Nintendo was making great strides to bring third parties on this generation, or at least claiming to.
    • The third-party developer issue is a chicken-and-egg situation. Third parties have left the big N because they have for 2 console generations (N64 and Gamecube) been playing second and third fiddle to Sony and Microsoft. Publishers go to platforms that give them the best chance for success, which means developing for the consoles who have an existing install-base. Now that the Wii is overtaken Sony and Microsoft (at least for now) new development is sure to follow. Publishers go where the money is, just
  • by Rachel Lucid (964267) on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:19PM (#18930559) Homepage Journal
    So getting more women and older users buying their first personal consoles, expanding the market, lowering the entry point for new enthusiasts, and coming up with a series of great first-party titles to buoy these systems rather than depending on third-party support is a BAD thing?!

    Okay, I may buy 'this is bad for all the people doing things the old way', but this is only because the Wii and DS are two radically different paradigms. Once these interfaces take off, we may see the WiiMote and Nunchuk turn into a smaller, sleeker 'WiiWand' with 'Wiiry Stone' attachment, or the DS Lite become the DS Nano (or maybe the DS Slim, or DS Micro, DSleek . . . you get the idea.)

    Nintendo is unlikely to change the interfaces AGAIN so soon, simply because these were so dramatically different from the norm, and I estimate that even if they update the hardware within the next few years, what we'll be seeing are not new systems in the vein of the PS3 where the engine development is the radical difference, but rather changes in form factor.

    Expect crazy leaps of intuition like a WiiDR pad or DS games that are both DS-playable but have DS++ elements for whatever the DS's successor is, by all means, but since the most drastic part of Nintendo's great leap forward has already been accomplished, we shouldn't see another new switch in the actual computational hardware anytime soon.
    • is a BAD thing?!

      If it means an endless stream of Mini/Party game collections disguised as real games, maybe. Not that there's anything wrong with such games, but I needs me some Oblivion & Mass Effect level gaming as well.

      Although I have started looking for a Wii to play Super Paper Mario as I've been in a retro mood lately. And Super Mario Galaxy looks to be shaping as a digital acid trip.

      I think some developers are just whining because they may not be able to make a living cranking out WW2 shoo

      • by trdrstv (986999)

        I think some developers are just whining because they may not be able to make a living cranking out WW2 shooters, racing and banal movie tie in games anymore.

        Better yet, let's make a Kart racing game out of Medal of Honor, then pitch that to Hollywood to make a crappy movie about. It'll make BILLIONS!

      • You mean the endless stream of Mini/Party games consisting of three games? There are more FPS games for the Wii than there are minigames compilations. Besides, I like minigames compilations. They are perfect for Wii parties, playing against people who don't usually play with consoles.
  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MMaestro (585010) on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:20PM (#18930587)
    What Mitchell alludes to is the tendency for Nintendo-published titles to overrun the top end of sales charts on Nintendo platforms, leaving third party publishers out of luck sales-wise.

    In other news, analysts made the shocking discovery that the Nintendo Gamecube had the least amount of support from third party publishers leaving Nintendo-published titles to overrun the top end of sales charts on the Gamecube.

  • by shoptroll (544006) on Monday April 30, 2007 @02:37PM (#18930887)
    I don't understand why there's this psuedo-FUD regarding the VC sales by everyone carrying this article. Sales are not down. What he's pointing out is that VC sales have not been growing proportional to the skyrocketing sales of the Wii console.

    My guess is that the average user isn't going to care a whole ton about the VC. The hardcore gamer might because they are trying to play games they never got to play before or are trying to consolidate their retro catalog legally into one location. I would be willing to be that the initial buyers for the Wii were in-fact hardcore gamers or previous gamers, not necessarily the soccer moms and grandma's who are now starting to actively seek the system for themselves. These newcomers to the system probably have less interest in the VC than in buying the Wii mostly for Wii Sports and a couple other titles. Finally, anyone who's been following the VC lineup knows that signal to noise ratio hasn't been incredibly high. There's a handful of must-haves on that list, but there's a lot of games waiting in the wings for some reason or other (my theory is to help keep gamers going if there's a big drought of Wii games).

    A better description of what's happening is that sales are slowing or plateauing, not "down". I don't think Nintendo and its partners really care anyways. 1.8 million units sold with price tags >= $5 and only bandwidth costs to consider is nothing to scoff at.
    • My guess is that the average user isn't going to care a whole ton about the VC. The hardcore gamer might because they are trying to play games they never got to play before or are trying to consolidate their retro catalog legally into one location. I would be willing to be that the initial buyers for the Wii were in-fact hardcore gamers or previous gamers, not necessarily the soccer moms and grandma's who are now starting to actively seek the system for themselves.

      EXACTLY! I got a Wii at launch, and I a

      • by shoptroll (544006) on Monday April 30, 2007 @03:12PM (#18931507)
        I'd kill to get Carcassonne and Settlers on the Wii. Same with TMNT Arcade, SotN and Worms, among other games. Nintendo really should look into getting PopCap to hop on board as well. I'd be interested to see them pull of a 2-Player Bejeweled game a la 2-player Tetris.

        One of the problems the Wii faces is that this is Nintendo's first major foray into areas that Microsoft came in, established, and is currently doing a "2.0" with. It seems to me that the VC is essentially Nintendo in the wading pool with online distribution, they're just trying it out for now. Same with online connectivity. Just be patient is what I keep telling people.

        I still haven't explored purchasing anything through the VC yet. I have a sizable NES, SNES and N64 collection but they've got me very close. If the prices were like $1-2 less I would seriously drop the money no questions asked.
        • by trdrstv (986999)

          I still haven't explored purchasing anything through the VC yet. I have a sizable NES, SNES and N64 collection but they've got me very close. If the prices were like $1-2 less I would seriously drop the money no questions asked.

          Shop around for the Points cards then. Around the holidays CircuitCity was offering $5 off any Wii accessory $19.95 or more. This was also good for the '2000' Wii Points cards, so I was able to get a few of those. I haven't seen the word "Wii" and "discount" in the same flyer for

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by dunezone (899268)
          The prices are unjustified on the Virtual Console. NES games should be a dollar, if they were a dollar I wouldn't mind dropping 10$ easily in one sitting for ten games. But the current price tag of 5$ is just ridiculous, the game is already finished. Its either emulated or modified to run on the Wii, which more then likely takes little to no time to do. Yet I sit here looking at Super Mario Brothers for the price of 5$, and the majority of us already purchased the game in our life time (if not several times
          • The prices are unjustified on the Virtual Console. NES games should be a dollar, if they were a dollar I wouldn't mind dropping 10$ easily in one sitting for ten games. But the current price tag of 5$ is just ridiculous, the game is already finished. Its either emulated or modified to run on the Wii, which more then likely takes little to no time to do. Yet I sit here looking at Super Mario Brothers for the price of 5$, and the majority of us already purchased the game in our life time (if not several time

          • But the current price tag of 5$ is just ridiculous, the game is already finished. Its either emulated or modified to run on the Wii, which more then likely takes little to no time to do.
            What about paying for the lawyers' time to figure out who gets residuals on the game?
    • Could also be that early adopters were more likely to have home WiFi than later purchasers.
    • but there's a lot of games waiting in the wings for some reason or other (my theory is to help keep gamers going if there's a big drought of Wii games).

      I recall reading on /. an interview with a NofAmerica rep who basically said that. He was explaining the difference between the Japanese and North American VC release list, saying that in Japan they released a bunch of stuff early, but in America had decided to be more "strategic" about when to release the A-list games. I don't think he explicitly said "to
    • Enthusiast press should stick to being game critics and leave the business stuff to... well... business people. Video game business is extremely seasonal. Software sales peak during the Holidays and declines during the first of the year. Everyone knows this.

      Kohler could have made a news story that read: "Software for all next-gen consoles down since end of 2006!" This is why I believe his blog entry on it is an intended joke.
  • The Wii success article is 100% whining.

    Translation: "The old third party "same port across the board" style of developing doesn't work in this generation, we'd have to change the way we do things, but we don't want to or want to know how, so we will just whine about it instead."

    Games are supposed to be about fun, not profit. If the game is fun, it will sell. if the Wii's first party games hurt Third-party devs' profits, it's not the Wii's fault!


    Could it be that third-party devs would have to... go
  • Can I get an Amen Brothers and Sisters?
  • by Millennium (2451) on Monday April 30, 2007 @03:37PM (#18931893) Homepage
    So let me get this straight... Nintendo is dominating software sales on its platform because its fans aren't tolerating the relative crap put out by the third parties, and this is a bad thing?
  • by AbsoluteXyro (1048620) on Monday April 30, 2007 @04:14PM (#18932439)

    I'm late to the party here and I'm terribly sorry if what I'm about to say has already been said... I just need to say this.

    Goddamn, analysts are dumb!

    "Nintendo has not only increased the size of the market, but it has also re-segmented it in its own favor, in our view," Mitchell wrote. "Nintendo is dominating software sales on its popular hardware platforms, leaving the publishers with a smaller slice of an only somewhat incrementally larger pie."

    So, apparently Nintendo is not only adding new people to the market, but they are killing all the old ones

    Also, it is apparently Nintendo's fault that 3rd parties refuse to do something original, rather than slapping Wii controls onto a PS2 port and calling it good. Next I suppose it will be Nintendo's fault that publishers do heap piles and piles of shovelware onto the DS and Wii in the hopes of making a quick buck. Absolutely ridiculous.

  • What they are talking about is the primary reason the Gamecube did so poorly. Nintendo titles sell better than third party titles...for obvious reasons (quality, fun, etc.). Particularly for a system like the Wii that appeals to more causal gamers...they are going to sell less games per system per year (nothing wrong with this, just casual gamers are going to buy less than hardcore gamers by definition). Most of the games that will be bought will be first party Nintendo games leaving sales for third part
  • I've heard about Neo-Geo games for the Wii in Japan, but no mention of this for the rest of the planet. Why?

    It's not like the Neo-Geo games were never made in anything other than Japanese...

    You can also blame Nintendo for not releasing enough games every week. If they release five or six games a week, what's the probability there's gonna be a game you want in that lot?

    And of course sales are down. Just like for CDs and DVDs, people are simply buying the games they used to have/play at first, then buy a lot
  • by grapeape (137008)
    "Moreover, we feel that the likely shorter product cycles of Nintendo's platforms puts the publishers in a permanent catch-up mode. We think the upcoming releases of Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption will highlight this phenomena [sic] this holiday season."

    What planet is this guy from? If anything, Nintendo has been guilty of keeping their old tech going far past its expiration date. Look at the Gameboy Advance and the Gamecube, both are still getting games long after their replacements h
  • "Virtual Console sales are down, apparently"

    You mean everybody isn't running out and downloading Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, spending their money on Symphony of the Night in XBLA instead? Shocking!

    Give me more (A) good games that (B) I don't already have in another medium and I'll spend my money. I already own Ocarina of Time three times, and all three of those versions work with the Stone of Agony. How about adding some overlooked gems like the Ys series (where's Sega Master System support, anywa
  • No shit...lets see, what is the business model?
    Take a wide range of old gaming systems with a vast number of loved games.
    Release those games on a regular schedule.
    Make the release count so low that even releasing A+ games it could take 2 or 3 years before you get through them all.
    Mix some lame ass, obscure and poor games (1 game, and it scores a 3.8 out of 10 as a rating, that was the sole offering a few weeks back)
    Charge a premium for this awesome service.

    All they're doing is showing that if you release me

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