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Nintendo's Iwata Skeptical of In-Game Ads, Episodes

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the episodic-content-yes-ads-no dept.

152

Next Generation reports that Nintendo President Iwata has expressed skepticism about the benefits of in-game advertising and episodic content. From the article: "He added, 'Asking customers to pay something monthly, or something periodically, we can never expect that kind of revenue to become the significant, main resources for Nintendo.' Despite Nintendo's adherence to disruptive-thinking, the company is clearly wedded to the concept of up-front single payments for product as its main revenue source."

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152 comments

Thank God. (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358035)

You know, I might be the only one to feel this way, but I am glad that Nintendo isn't planning on monthly payments to leech money out of its victim ... er ... consumer.

In the eyes of Sony, you are addicts willing to pay anything for a console. In the eyes of other console makers/game producers, you are merely sacks of money and they want the moneys from inside you. One year of playing an online game at $12/month comes out to $144. The amount of money they get from advertisers is also very large considering putting it in a game.

I think that today, communications and technology are cheap. I pay for my broadband internet service provider, why do I have to pay again for another service of essentially the same thing? I would prefer paying $400 with no monthly fee for World of Warcraft instead of $40 with a $13 monthly fee. Why? Because in the two and a half years that it has been out, you've accumulated a price of $40 + $13*30 = $420 and we all know it won't end there. Monthly payments are a means to milk your users. I would rather them charge me lots of money and promise the service until the company is bankrupt. I like that Iwata wants to develop that as a successful business model and I hate that everyone is moving the other way.

I also don't care for product placement in my games. We're so concerned about society not viewing games as art when really they should be! They are the next new media to for artists and it's things like capitalising off of the end user and sacrificing content for product placement that really destroy any efforts to make this happen. Let's make a game that evokes emotions and deep responses from the user ... then let's exploit them, charge them a monthly fee to do so and make their character collect cans of Jolt(TM) to "power-up." Good luck.

Re:Thank God. (2, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358132)

You know, I might be the only one to feel this way, but I am glad that Nintendo isn't planning on monthly payments to leech money out of its victim ... er ... consumer.

I definitely agree with your sentiments. When a company sells a product under cost, hoping to "get it back" through some gimmick down the line, I get very suspicious. It's the kind of strategy that could lead to them suing customers to "get back revenue" the customer stole, by, e.g., disabling ads or something. When their costs are covered up front, it's much less likely that they'll try something evil. (It's for the same reason that you should have been suspicious of cyber-rebate.com's overpriced items that it would, they promise, refund.) That's why I respect Nintendo's strategy of making money on the console itself, which it generally does for a while until third party support is reliably bringing in enough.

Thank God-exchange rate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358141)

"You know, I might be the only one to feel this way, but I am glad that Nintendo isn't planning on monthly payments to leech money out of its victim ... er ... consumer. "

You're only a victim if you decide to play, er pay.

" In the eyes of other console makers/game producers, you are merely sacks of money and they want the moneys from inside you. "

What the heck are you? A pinata?

"I think that today, communications and technology are cheap. I pay for my broadband internet service provider, why do I have to pay again for another service of essentially the same thing?"

There's no comparison. One's an ongoing game. The other is the link between you and that game.

"Monthly payments are a means to milk your users."

Stop playing and the "milk" stops flowing. It's not like you're not getting anything for your money.

Re:Thank God. (4, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358187)

I would prefer paying $400 with no monthly fee for World of Warcraft instead of $40 with a $13 monthly fee. Why? Because in the two and a half years that it has been out, you've accumulated a price of $40 + $13*30 = $420 and we all know it won't end there.

Yes, but if you were selling software, which would be a safer bet? That your target audience would have $400 lying around, or that they would have $40 lying around plus an extra $13/month? Most people are far more likely to be able to put up the smaller monthly amounts.

You could put the $400 on a credit card and pay it off little by little. But assuming a 10% interest rate (VERY generous here, most are over 15%) and assuming you pay $40 the first month and $13 after that just like on the subscription plan, it would take you 32 months to pay it off, with $56 interest. Considering that not every person who plays a game is going to play it that long, and many people don't know when they start a game whether they'll be playing it that far in the future, it makes more sense for many people to have the monthly plan where they can cancel it if they need or want to rather than to buy it upfront and have to pay the full amount whether or not they still play it two years from now - and whether or not they can still afford it two years from now.

Xbox Live (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358345)

that's why I like Xbox Live's pay scheme... you pay upfront for a year... it's a service but they pay plan is like that of a purchased item. and if you don't want it tied to your bank account just buy the pre-iad service card...

of course they also offer the monthy route...

Actually... (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358401)

I believe Second Life, a fee-based MMORPG, allowed lifetime membership accounts. You could pay $225 for access forever. Or at least they did when I started in Summer '03. And some people took this.

Re:Actually... (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358924)

I think that offering a one-time fee in addition is probably a good idea. I'm just saying that not *that* many people can (or want to) commit that chunk of money up front to a game, so I can see why subscription services are there. Personally, I can't imagine paying a monthly fee for a game either... But then, I rarely pay more than $25 for a game anyhow. *shrug* Assuming that these online games cost the producers much more than a normal game to continue to support, giving subscription options makes sense.

Re:Thank God. (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358417)

$400 up front would never work. I'd be happy paying a monthly fee for a game if the game was free because at least then it'd be a low barrier to entry to try the game. I would have tried all the MMOs by now if the game itself was free.

Re:Thank God. (1)

falcon8080 (975701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358599)

I would prefer paying $400 with no monthly fee for World of Warcraft instead of $40 with a $13 monthly fee. Why? Because in the two and a half years that it has been out, you've accumulated a price of $40 + $13*30 = $420 and we all know it won't end there. If i remember correctly there is an option to pay a whole 12 months worth of subscription to WoW for a reduced monthly price. Most people balk at spending that amount of cash upfront, myself included, even though I/We end up paying more in the long run. I believe that episocid content is a really bad idea, but for MMO's a monthly fee makes sense, as in essence the game world goes on and on, plus it gives you an unprecidented social interaction that you cannot get with a single player game (At least not yet).

Re:Thank God. (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358618)

Thank God

Those are the first two words that came to my mind when I read the headline. THANK. GOD.

I guess somebody at Nintendo heard my pleas. I'm starting to love this company more and more by the day.

I guess I can't say the same thing about SONY. Between rootkits, lies, overpriced consoles, ripoffs of genuinely innovative technology, and just their brash arrogance in thinking that they can do whatever they hell they want and people will still purchase their crap because they're "SONY", I just start to get more irritated with them every time I see a SONY headline. I think they're in for a very rude awakening come the PS3 release.

Re:Thank God. (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359577)

Nintendo did put product placements in their games though, even early ones from near the Gamecube release.

Super Monkey Ball. Dole logo was pasted all over it. Although they didn't really push it in your face or sacrifice the game in any way for it. You would just see the big logo in a few places.

I'm OK with seeing a brand here and there. I usually ignore it anyway. I don't like it incorporated into story of the game. I paid for a game, not a commercial to sit through.

Re:Thank God. (4, Insightful)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359653)

Super Monkey Ball.

That is Sega. If you want to make your case then pick an actual Nintendo game... like Pikmin 2. You collected small treasures like Duracell batteries and tins of Carwax. Honestly, I think of Pikmin 2 as product placement done right. It lends a familiarity that generic items couldn't adding, however slightly, to the experience.

Re:Thank God. (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359927)

Doh! I assumed it was an inhouse game. I never really checked.

Re:Thank God. (1)

BinaryOpty (736955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360139)

I agree that Pikmin 2's product placement was perfect. It made sense in the context of the world and wasn't trying to sell you anything, it was just there as objects in the world--our world.

Re:Thank God. (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359751)

I guess I can't say the same thing about SONY. Between rootkits, lies, overpriced consoles, ripoffs of genuinely innovative technology, and just their brash arrogance in thinking that they can do whatever they hell they want and people will still purchase their crap because they're "SONY", I just start to get more irritated with them every time I see a SONY headline. I think they're in for a very rude awakening come the PS3 release.

I love comments like these cause their so easy to twist around,

I guess I can't say the same thing about MICROSOFT. Between DRM Schemes, lies, overpriced consoles, ripoffs of genuinely innovative technology, and just their brash arrogance in thinking that they can do whatever they hell they want and people will still purchase their crap because they're "MICROSOFT", I just start to get more irritated with them every time I see a MICROSOFT headline. I think they're in for a very rude awakening come the Xbox 360 release.

wasn't that fun children?

everyone is expecting Nintendo to be the leader come next generation once the Wii is released, people will sell their 360's skip the PS3 and go right for the Wii cause it's innovative. Guess what? It ain't going to happen.

I've been a huge fan of Nintendo since the NES days, I've bought every system (except for a Vitrual Boy) they have released played every game made by nintendo that was released in the USA but I realize they are in for the long haul, they have a better chance at second place then they did with the Gamecube but there isn't any way they could finish first. Everything is about graphics now, not innovation. Blood and gore is what mainstream want's not fun and quirky games of the past. Interesting story's take a back seat to bump mapping, anti-aliasing and all that other crap, the higher you can get that stuff to be the better your game is according to the mainstream gamer.

I really do wish Nintendo would just dominate next gen, just obliterate Microsoft & Sony when it comes to sales but it just won't happen because their controller is to different for third party's to get. so it will get about as much support as the gamecube did, that is untill that one special game comes out just like with the DS that shows off what you really can do with your games, then there will be a string of copy cat games before they just go back tot he way they were while nintendo continues to release the kickass games.

I do agree with the first comment though, Thank god Nintendo realizes that Episodic content is doomed to failure ($20 per instalation, you get a LONG game that has 9 installments you are paying $180 for a full game, only have to wait 18 months for), In game advertising can work depending on the game and the ad though (I just can't picture Mario collecting Nike shoes to "enhance his jumping ability", just like getting some adidas clothes in Final fantasy but it CAN work in FPS' and games like GTA & any sports game).

The only thing I want to know is how much those downloads are going to be for old games.

Re:Thank God. (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359990)

I guess I can't say the same thing about MICROSOFT. Between DRM Schemes, lies, overpriced consoles, ripoffs of genuinely innovative technology, and just their brash arrogance in thinking that they can do whatever they hell they want and people will still purchase their crap because they're "MICROSOFT", I just start to get more irritated with them every time I see a MICROSOFT headline. I think they're in for a very rude awakening come the Xbox 360 release.

Well, I'll be... I couldn't agree more.

Other than the fact that SONY has, or has tried to, one up the level of "evil" in every single one of those categories, I can't say that I disagree with you. (And I capitalize SONY because that's how the SONY logo is, not to try and be a dick, FYI).

I also respectfully disagree with your analysis of the coming years in gaming (in saying that Microsoft and/or SONY will dominate). I happen to agree with Nintendo's strategy, and I think that we're going to find that the bulk of consumers don't want to try to save up paychecks for months in order to be able to afford the latest and greatest in gaming consoles.

It really bugs me to see all this hype around hi-def graphics. Most of the people doing the hyping don't even have hi-def TV's, and just because a game is displayed at a higher resolution doesn't make it any more realistic. When I watch my Twins play baseball on FSN each night, I don't sit there and think that the game looks any less realistic because it isn't in high definition. If a baseball game could look as real as a real baseball game, it doesn't matter whether or not it's in high-definition. It's still going to look good regardless.

Re:Thank God. (1)

Traiklin (901982) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360763)

(And I capitalize SONY because that's how the SONY logo is, not to try and be a dick, FYI)

ah ok, thank you for clearing that up, everytime I see someone mention sony it's always in the capital letters and going by the netiquett rules that means that you are either emphasizing something or shouting.

and I agree with you 100%, I hope I am dead wrong about Sony or Microsoft dominating next gen, I don't see Sony dominating next gen though not when you can get a very very good gaming PC for the same price (and if you are on a budget for christmas something that expensive is usually a family gift).

I honestly still don't get what the huge deal is over high definition either, I've seen HDTV running at the cable company when I pay the bill and it looks just like my TV at home, aside from the TV having the boxes on the left and right instead of at the top. I've seen the PLasma & LCD TV's displaying things at Walmart and Best buy, sure they aren't hooked up properly (only done through the RGB instead of actual digital signal) it makes me go Wow when I see how crisp the picture is but then I start thinking about what the TV would be used for, Video games (which is slowing down for me on a console) and general TV. I hardly watch any movies that would require me to have an HDTV and since they still cost way to much for a decent size, so you look at it and to get a "proper" TV for the PS3 you are looking at a minimum of $400 so a whole PS3 package is going to cost $1000 to get the "full true experiance".

as you said, that's just way to much for something so little. That's the reason I hope nintendo just dominates next gen, I plan on picking up a Wii before anything else simply because it looks really interesting and something my family can all play without problems (my mom and nephues play games but my mom hasn't played many cause you have to react way to fast and there's to many buttons, but the Wii solves that) and if it's true that it will launch for $200 then I will be picking it up around launch.

Re:Thank God. (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358703)

I'm with you. Although I think my opinion goes a little further; there is no way in hell that I would EVER pay for a game monthly; indeed, doing so encourages them to keep doing it. I hate paying for anything monthly when I know that it will continue forever so far I never have; I hope I never will (although in the end I hope i'll end up with more money than sense and will be able to do crazy things like this).

Re:Thank God. (1)

ndogg (158021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358846)

I sure as heck hope they start distributing free server software so that people don't have to rely upon just Nintendo for hosting.

Re:Thank God. (1)

hex0016 (758203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359130)

Monthly payments are a means to milk your users.

That may be true, but they're also a means to pay for server upkeep after you've already sold through your software at retail.

Re:Thank God. (1)

onedobb (868860) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359282)

I do understand what you are talking about. On the other hand I would be really pissed if I paid lets say $200 for a game that didn't intrest me. It irritates me to lose $50 on a game that I don't like. Honestly it irritates me to loose $20 on a game. Would you willingly spend $200 on a game you've never played?

Re:Thank God. (1)

Swimmin' Pants (911939) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359565)

I couldn't agree with you more. It seems to me like micropayments are just a scheme to slowly suck the life [wikipedia.org] out of customers without them realizing it.

I'm a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls series, but I haven't downloaded a single one of the official plug-ins for Oblivion. It's not that I don't want them, and it's not that I can't afford them, but rather, I don't want to encourage Bethesda to get involved with episodic content. Granted, Oblivion is DEFINITELY a complete game, but I'd be devastated if Elder Scrolls V cost $50 for the gameworld, and then required you to pay a dollar to unlock each individual quest (This is an exaggeration, but the point is valid).

While episodic content and minor, regular payments may not seem bad now, if more devs end up considering it a worthwhile business plan, I guarantee you that some companies will alter games, withhold content that was going to be in the original release, lock off entire gamemodes, and so on, just to increase the frequency of those small payments.

If I pay for a game, I want the whole game.

As for advertising ingame, if I'm flying around in outerspace, I don't want to fly past billboards for X3. Furthermore, if my spaceship gets shot down, I don't want to receive a communication from the hostiles saying "Uh-oh, better get MAACO!"

While advertisements make sense in games taking place in a MODERN SETTING, it's just absolutely ridiculous and completely harmful to the immersion of fantasy or sci-fi games.

I applaud Iwata's stance on the subject, and look forward to a great console generation with the Wii :)

Re:Thank G.d. (1)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360976)

You see, I don't really care about the episodic content. I bought Oblivion - PC Collector's edition with the map, and the septim and all, but I'm not afraid to say I pirated the "extra" content. I paid for a full game, and it's engine, if bethsoft want to make money while releasing new stuff, it's totally cool by me!
But I'll definitely never PAY for it. They'll still make money in the end anyway, since I thought I'd shelled out my hard-earned cash for a "complete" game.

Re:Thank God. (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359718)

Monthly fees make FAR more sense than one-time large fees.

1) It's more affordable for people who have small amounts of disposable income each month.
2) It's not a waste if you play for half a year then quit.
3) The company has an incentive to actually give people new content and good support - if you don't, you lose subscribers.

As for ads, I posted this in another topic about them:

It depends on the game. Sports and racing games gain a lot of realism by showing the same types of ads you'd see in real life. I prefer to play one of these games with real ads than with fake/no ads. Other types of games, as well, can benefit - running around a large city? Billboards make sense. Running around an office? Soda machines in the breakroom make sense.

It's all about context. Sometimes, ads can be good and add to immersion.


Re:Thank God. (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359870)

Well you may have a big wordy fancy schmancy post there, but you forget something.

World of Warcraft is an ongoing game with content which is added over time, and new things to do. If you want to keep a staff of programmers and artists and other development people around you have to have an ongoing stream of income, ergo the monthly payment model.

You could opt for the only buy expansions deal like Guild Wars, but then you also hamstring how much content you have in the game.

I think there are places for both in the marketplace. Nintendo favors the up front one price model because once that game is out the door that's it. There's no ongoing expenses. If people bought a game and were expecting new content to be added every few months then they would have to charge for it one way or another.

Re:Thank God. (1)

Kuvter (882697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360467)

I would prefer paying $400 with no monthly fee for World of Warcraft instead of $40 with a $13 monthly fee. Why? Because in the two and a half years that it has been out, you've accumulated a price of $40 + $13*30 = $420 and we all know it won't end there.

Well this may be true you're potentially not buying other games if you're still playing the first one you bought 2 1/2 years go. What if you bought WoW and got sick of it after 4 months. Now you'ved shelled out $100 a month. One thing they could do however is get rid of that $50 up front fee and just let you pay the $13/month fee. If you like the game they'll make the money of you you eventually and that will more than make up for the production costs the $50 was supposed to cover.

I like what Iwata is saying though. Blizzard has been successfull with this with Starcraft, Diablo 2, and Warcraft 3. Guildwars through NCsoft has also been successful with this as well, but they all however had expansion pacts come out for their games. Sure it's not a monthly fee, but still thats $50 more every time an expansion comes out.

I'm not sure of how Nintendo is going to fraw the cost of keeping up with patches and new content, but I hope they're successful.

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Nintendo's marketing department (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358070)

It's made of Win and More Win.

I was the biggest critic of the system when I first heard it's name was going to be a synonym for penis. But Nintendo just seems to be capitalizing on every single issue that MS and Sony have had problems with.

Better price, more commitment to customer service. Heck, if they only decide to make a regular controller in addition to the vibro-stick...

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358082)

You mean this? [joystiq.com] It's hardly news, but the first pictures were released at E3.

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (1)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358083)

No need. Wii supports GameCube controllers. Whether that's only for backward compatibility with GC games or if Wii games will utilize it as well is yet to be seen. The fact remains, though, that the Wii will support a traditional controller as well as the remote.

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359021)

That really was the last barrier keeping me on the fence. As much as I hate to love a system with such a goddamned goofy name, they've really got all the advantages now.

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15360604)

don't you think it is funny that your name is "the voice of all reason" and yet you admit that you hate something soley for its name?

Let us hope that you are not the voice of all reason...

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358137)

It's made of Win and More Win.

Ahem. That's Wiin and More Wiin.

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (1)

AndyG314 (760442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358611)

Among the wii's features are 4 gamecube controller ports... Don't fully know what they are for yet but...

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359148)

To play gamecube games.

Re:Nintendo's marketing department (1)

Jerim (872022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359212)

The Wii will have ports for Gamecube controllers. Either use the ones from your existing Gamecube, or go pick up some cheap used ones for about $15.

The Gamecube controller makes a good traditional style controller. It may not be the absolute best model ever made, but it is more than adequate.

nintendo FTW! (3, Insightful)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358096)

ok nintendo really looks like it gets it. Lets see, innovatinv gameplay, fun games, cheap console, free online service, no episodic content, no in game ads.

sounds too good to be true. But it is.

Re:nintendo FTW! (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360809)

sounds too good to be true. But it is

I agree. I keep waiting for the big deal-breaking thing that will break my heart but confirm my cynacism. So far though, Nintendo really seems closer in tune with the average gamer as opposed to the high end hard-core gamers. Since a lot of us have families now, that's even more comforting.

This is totally crazy... (4, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358102)

Why is Nintendo the only sane console company this year? Seems like Microsoft and Sony are fighting to get the top spot for shooting themselves in the foot with high console prices, while letting "has been" Nintendo walk away with the prize if the Wii is a runaway success at a lower price.

Re:This is totally crazy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358252)

Microsoft and Sony represent companies with a flawed buisness model; they believe that they should be pushing the graphical envelope because they can obtain better graphics. The results of this flawed approach is that development costs continue their exponential growth on Sony and Microsoft's systems, and they need extra revinue to produce the same game (ie. in game ads and what not).

The more intersting thing about Sony's approach is they have become so arogant that they no longer are willing to accept Lower Quality graphics on their system; meaning that SNK (and possibly other developers) are now producing games for the Wii (Metal Slug 6 is exclusive to Wii because of this).

Re:This is totally crazy... (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358295)

SNK has confirmed they are planning MS6, but only said the the Wii is a possibility and the 360/PS3 is out of the picture now. But a Metal Slug Anthology will be available for the Wii, supposedly.

MOD (AC) PARENT UP (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358631)

Parent gives an important insight far too lacking today, not just in console hardware. As a general rule, an exponential increase in stimulus is perceived by humans as a linear increase. As it pertains to graphics, the difference between the NES and SNES, and then between SNES and N64/PS was huge. However, now we're at the point where better graphics wouldn't make much of a difference *as perceived by the user* unless the image could look almost indistinguishable from the real thing. So at this point, the additional cost really does not justify the better graphics. On the other hand, we are still on the low end in terms of sensor technology, so including controllers that integrate more body movement, and more accurately, add proportionally more value to the system.

Re:This is totally crazy... (3, Interesting)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358510)

Why is Nintendo the only sane console company this year?

Because people are finally waking up to the fact that uberGraphics don't mean everything.

Seems like Microsoft and Sony are fighting to get the top spot for shooting themselves in the foot with high console prices, while letting "has been" Nintendo walk away with the prize if the Wii is a runaway success at a lower price.

Yeah, from what i've seen, they've been making a decent profit on their console (and dominating the handheld market) whilst Sony and Microsoft bleed money and immature game journalists/teenagers whine about how they're too "kiddie".

And now comes the part where they get revenge, if all goes well :)

Hunta, Interrupted (2, Interesting)

0xABADC0DA (867955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359016)

Microsoft and SONY probably thought they had an implicit kind of understanding that often happens these days when there are only a few companies in a market. They probably thought everybody wins if they each overcharge or make a too-expensive product. People are still going to buy, so if they all have high prices they all benefit.

It's like on Jeopardy when the person in 3rd place bets $0 instead of all their money then wins because nobody expected them to do that and it was a question nobody knew. Nintendo basically bet nothing, just updating their system to current tech instead of expensive future tech, and is going to win big time because the other guessed wrong. Even without their new controller they would win this round.

He's a gamer geek CEO (4, Insightful)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359640)

Why is Nintendo the only sane console company this year?

According to Wikipedia, Mr. Iwata [wikipedia.org] is a former programmer, game developer, and graphic artist -- in short, someone who most likely actually plays games instead of merely selling them.

Seems like he'd be in a good position to know what gamers really want. "If I were playing this, would I want to cough up $15/month for this? Hell no!"

More power to the gamer geeks!

The obligatory... STEAM SUCKS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358109)

I'm glad for Nintendo. This trend in PC games almost makes me want to buy my first console... ever. I mean I've played them, but never really wanted to own one.

Re:The obligatory... STEAM SUCKS (1)

notrub225 (962379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358246)

yeah, i have NEVER bought a console when it was new (i just bought a GBA a year and a half ago) but I find myself preordering a DS Lite and wanting to buy a Wii on launch day! Nintendo is really going to expand the gamer market this generation, i can feel it.

Episodic Content (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358310)

I think episodic content is an interesting idea and I'm for it, but only on one condition.

It should start episodic, and it should be cheap. First episode is $10. Second is $10. Third is $10....

And of course they have to be worth that much (a decent amount of content). $10 is enough that I'm willing to risk it, unlike the $60 you have to pay for a normal game. None of this "our game is $60, and then each episode is $15 after that" stuff. Don't use episodic content as an excuse for not completing a full expansion pack.

I don't think we'll see this done right ever. But the idea is there. That's how I'd be willing to buy episodic content (in fact I would be more likely to buy because of the lower risk I'm willing to tolerate when a game costs $60).

Re:Episodic Content (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358592)

I paid 18 euros for Sin: Episodes (the second Sin game, released on Steam): And for that I also get the original Sin.

Not too shabby imo.

Re:Episodic Content (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358747)

hell, you think thats bad, you should try paying $1.50 for an incredibly small "horse" charcter which adds such a small amount to the game its real value is about $0.00000001 a la Xbox 360

Re:Episodic Content (2, Interesting)

Lave (958216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359178)

It should start episodic, and it should be cheap. First episode is $10. Second is $10. Third is $10....

I totally agree with you, If you doing something, do it totally.

1) Advertising in your game? = Make the game free

2) Episodic content? = Do from the start with the same price throughout.

3) Pay up front? = You get the whole game.

Do anything of these, and if your game looks good, I'm on board. But MIX any of the above together and you lose me and my money.

I'm not spending £50 on a game full stop. And then if you expect me to drop another couple of quid to get horse armour then you are sadly mistaken. I know people will say "But you don't have to buy it if you don't want to." And they are right, but I do want it, but I don't want them drip feeding my wallet. as I play the game I will wonder about the parts I'm missing, whether it's unbalancing my game or spoiling it. And that puts me off buying the game in the first place.

I want to come home after a day at work and now I have the full game sitting on my shelf for whenever I want to play it.

So far it seems nintendo are sticking with 3) and 3) alone - and as long as they do - I will stick with them.

I love Iwata (1)

Brothernone (928252) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358331)

I love nintendo, i'm going to e-mail them and i'm going to call and let them know. So far this year the only good news has come from Nintnedo. I'm excited for the new console, i'm excited they understand without people playing your games, there is no console. I hope everyone in the world just became a nintendo fanboy, because Sony and M$ are going to get rawked this year.

Re:I love Iwata (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358528)

Vulgar but pro-Nintendo remark follows...





This make me loves Nintendo so much I want to bathe in their wii...

Re:I love Iwata (1)

duerra (684053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358776)

I love nintendo, i'm going to e-mail them and i'm going to call and let them know.

Great idea. I just finished doing exactly that.

Advertising... (1)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358556)

...like Pokemon? A fairly blatant kid-targetted merchandising campaign spread over several media, as far as I could see. Gotta catch 'em all ;)

Not that I'm saying the game wasn't good, you understand, just that maybe advertising isn't as clear cut as the gap between shows. Just look at MS and Viva Pinata for a more recent attempt at the same thing.

Re:Advertising... (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358925)

MS would do "gotta buy them all!... just $1 for the 5 and then $5 for each one thereafter, untill you have all 151!"

Re:Advertising... (1)

Masami Eiri (617825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358962)

Wha? Pokemon started as a game... they weren't advertising the show or card game with the video games... The in-game ads being talked about are stuff more like having a load-screen ad or billboards with real-life ads on them.

Re:Advertising... (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359142)

It was definately developed with mass-marketing in mind, however. Note, however, that the designer of the first Pokemon games wasn't necessarily thinking this when he thought of the idea, but you could better believe Nintendo was...

Re:Advertising... (2, Insightful)

Tetrad_of_doom (750972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359135)

The Pokemon series is more about merchandising than it is about in game advertising.

If Pikachu (sp?) had to drink Red Bull constantly or lose it's power, then that would be in game advertising.

I like to compare Pokemon to Star Wars. George Lucas didn't make the bulk of his fortune off the movies, he made it off the merchandise.

I'm not saying it is right or wrong, good or evil. It is just a different topic.

Re:Advertising... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359248)

Yes but you don't run into ads in Pokemon, the game can be taken by itself without losing anything. Ingame ads would be if you got Coca-Cola (TM) in order to heal your Pokemon or have a Nokia brand cellphone. When they change the game to accomodate advertising. What they've done with Pokemon is selling a lot of merchandise and making a TV show and even movies. You could consider the series an ad for the game though it didn't seem very ad-centric from the few bits I saw. The Wizard, Super Mario Bros Super Show, they just try to sell you the game, the games themselves aren't changed.

Re:Advertising... (2, Informative)

ureshii_akuma (745410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359351)

The interesting thing about Pokemon is that, while the current marketing behemoth it has become is unquestionable, it started off (at least in Japan, possibly even in the US) with virtually no advertising - it became popular through word of mouth. So it is not quite analogous to Viva Pinata. With Pokemon, Nintendo started off by trying to make a good game, succeeding, and then setting the marketing machine to work. Viva seems to be trying its best to get the marketing machine going first, and hope this translates into people buying the game ...

Nintendo. Google? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358629)

Is it just me or does Nintendo kind of act like the Google of the console industry?

Also, is there any sane person alive that DOESN'T see episodic releases as anything but a money grab and a "me too" attempt at grabbing juicy juicy monthly revenue?

Good job Nintendo, for recognizing what you do best, and focusing on that.

Re:Nintendo. Google? IBM. (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358731)

A better comparision is IBM. Used to be completely dominant, looked to be crashing for a while, eventually came back as a company than only be described as wise, something very unusual for a company, and experienced great success once again as a player in a larger industry, instead of depending on domination.

Or at least in the case of Nintendo, potentially wise; we'll have to see how this turns out. But if it turns out well, I'd say it's an appropriate word.

Re:Nintendo. Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358993)

I sincerely hope not. Nintendo releases finished, functional products and doesn't mysteriously make them stop working if they suspect you aren't using them properly (Adsense).

If Nintendo acted like Google, furthermore, they'd charge you a few bucks for poor-quality replicas of old games [google.com] .

Re:Nintendo. Google? (3, Insightful)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359045)

I think the only reason developers are looking to episodic content as "the wave of the future" is because the games are getting absurdly expensive to create, thanks to the need to employ dozens upon dozens of artists to populate their worlds with content that live up to the standard that games are being held to today. Having to model all of those high poly count characters, monsters, buildings and weapons, and texture them all with high resolution, highly detailed bump maps, parallax maps, normal maps, etc. is very labor intensive.

The "gamer" demographic is not growing significantly in size and the games are getting more expensive to make. The apparent solution, in the eyes of Sony and Microsoft, and all of the developers who aim to produce cutting edge visuals with their games, is give people a relatively short game for $50-60, then squeeze them for a few extra dollars here and there by having them download new episodes, weapons, horse armor, levels, or whatever.

This is the price we're going to have to get used to paying for detailed graphics, because until we see some substantial breakthroughs in the way advanced graphics are produced, then I don't think things are going to change. The publishers have to maintain profitability somehow.

I've been hearing for the past 10 years from gamers that "gameplay is more important than graphics", but it's the graphics that have been driving the industry, for the most part. Nintendo is finally holding gamers to their word by saying "Okay, you wanted gameplay over graphics? Here you go." The fact that the Wii doesn't have all of the shaders, the memory, or the raw CPU/GPU power of its competitors means that developers don't have to invest all those resources in creating the most visually stunning games (unless they do it by employing a bold style that like Okami for the PS2) because there is no prayer of anything on the Wii looking as realistic as the most realistic games on the PS3.

The pressure to one-up the competition with graphics is gone on the Wii, leaving a focus on the quality (and quantity) of gameplay.

Re:Nintendo. Google? (1)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359863)

because there is no prayer of anything on the Wii looking as realistic as the most realistic games on the PS3.

That may be true, but just remember the law of deminishing returns.

I'll take a PS2 game as my example. God of War. How much better would it have to look before you thought God of War totally sucked visually?

Since the Gamecube is more powerful than the PS2 (reasonably), and the Wii is somewhat more powerful than the Gamecube, I don't expect to see a shortage of excellent looking games on the Gamecube.

As realistic as the PS3/Xbox? Probably not. So far below them that it will matter? I don't expect that either.

Not everything is going to look like a cell shaded cartoon or a bubbly game full of plastic toys. Not that I mind that particular style or anything, but ...

What's so bad about episodic? (1)

Snowmit (704081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359061)

Also, is there any sane person alive that DOESN'T see episodic releases as anything but a money grab and a "me too" attempt at grabbing juicy juicy monthly revenue?

I think I'm sane. And I think that episodic gaming is a great idea.

I just downloaded and enjoyed SiN Episode 1. I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not, but I figured that $18 wasn't that much (2 Movie tickets) and so worth the risk. Now, I happened to like Episode 1 so I'll probably buy Episode 2. But if I hadn't liked Episode 1, I'd be done giving them my money. I would not have picked up a $70 SiN game off the shelves.

The problem with the pay $70 at the cash register model is that it means that developers feel like they need to add (tack on) new features and I have to wait years between games. And if I'm going to invest that much money in a game I need to KNOW that I'll like it. Episodic gaming reduces the barrier to entry for me to try new, untested games. It allows developers to build new content and gameplay and adventures into engines that are already FINE.

Every played a game and thought "that was great, I wish there were more stories and levels set in the same gameworld." Episodic gaming is for people like that.

It also opens up the possibility of indie gaming using big budget technology which is super exciting. See: Bioware's Premium Modules for Neverwinter Nights. Really great stories and content built on an already good (if old) engine. For $5-$10 I can download and get a few more hours of high quality content added to my game.

Don't get me wrong, I like all kinds of gaming. I like fan mods and full blockbuster releases and casual downloads and retro arcade collections and everything else. Episodic gaming brings a TV show style content release model to games and I think that that's a great additional choice.

The Old Ways Are Now Revolutionary (5, Interesting)

wilbz (842093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358691)

Despite Nintendo's adherence to disruptive-thinking, the company is clearly wedded to the concept of up-front single payments for product as its main revenue source.


The issue now is that single payments as the only real revenue stream IS dirsuptive thinking. More and more companies are looking at the 'pay now, then keep paying' school of design. This has been going on for quite some time (expansion packs for PC Games), but the addition of hard drives and on-line capabilities to the major console systems has made this a more feasible concept. We saw the first iteration of it with the last generation, but many of the next gen consoles (especially Sony) appear to be designed around 'upgradable content'. What used to be an anathema to console design is rappidly becoming a 'feature'. Add in the recent success of Blizzard, and now everyone is looking for the next big addiction inducing game that they can reap a constant stream of cash from.

I initially was extremely dissapointed by the lack of an HD in the Wii, but now it looks like a major selling point to me. I don't need to worry about patches, or incomplete games with additional "episodes" to complete the product. I'm also not worried about a lack of variety, as it's in Nintendo's best interest to produce a vast array of games to ensure that they keep selling product, and keep making money.

PS2's largest appeal was the library of games available. The console was neither the most powerful, nor necessarily the most affordable, but people wanted to get it because of the vast selection of games they could choose from. Sony appears to have tossed all that out the window by making a console that is (reportedly) significantly more difficult to program for, thus creating a much greater barrier to entry for new titles. Nintendo, on the other hand, appears to be saying "Here is a relatively easy console to develop for with a brand new opportunity for interface, develop what you will". They did something similar with the DS, and look at it's market share in comparison to the PSP.

The thing that has impressed me the most about Nintendo is that they've figured out the "right" changes to make. When they came out with the DS as their next gen gameboy, the vast consensus was WTF? But they still managed to change the way we play handheld games, and the gaming community is better for it. They're doing the exact same thing with the Wii, everyone let out a collective WTF, but it seems like more and more people feel that Nintendo just gets it. Count me in.

Re:The Old Ways Are Now Revolutionary (1)

Lave (958216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359316)

I initially was extremely dissapointed by the lack of an HD in the Wii, but now it looks like a major selling point to me. I don't need to worry about patches, or incomplete games with additional "episodes" to complete the product.

Wow, you've just sold me a Wii*.

Having the full game is very important to me. The people who actually buy games (rather than aquire them) do so because of some in built desire to collect. You see it in Record buffs, and movie buffs. It's a strong desire (in geeky men at least), and it effects me too; I'm proud of my gamecube collection, knowing that I can dip in at anytime. It's something to treasure (hence why backwards compatibility is so important).

If you start shipping games that get constant extra content to buy with micro-transactions then I know that unless I buy everything my collection isn't complete - and to be truely honest - that kills the desire to collect these games. When I'm browsing the shops and see a game on sale (at a reasonable price), I will pick it up on a wim - I know the total cost of ownership. But if micro-payments become the norm - like how sony and microsoft hope - then I will look at the same game and wonder how much it will cost to get everything I want from the game, and most likely end up walking by.

(* or at least put the final nail in the coffin of my wallet.)

Re:The Old Ways Are Now Revolutionary (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360969)

Sony appears to have tossed all that out the window by making a console that is (reportedly) significantly more difficult to program for, thus creating a much greater barrier to entry for new titles.

At the minimum this will probably be good for Microsoft, as the 360 development environment is reportedly pretty nice to work on. I expect with the PS3's high price, difficult programming mountain and similar capabilities of the 360 hardware, it will be regulated to lots of ports of Xbox360 games. In other words, there's not much to differentiate the PS3.

Relating back to the article, Nintendo has not yet released price nor availability information but I'm already waiting to get a Wii! (Still holding hope they change the name, though)

Viva Iwata <3 (1)

lneely42 (935712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358693)

Reading some comments here, I have to agree. It's really funny that Nintendo capitalizes on the things Sony and Microsoft think as "revenue loss."

I think it's just a matter of Nintendo caring more about the quality of their products than how much money they can make. I mean, obviously, they're in for making money, but their approach is what I view as correct -- gaining customers through their QUALITY, not for their name (which was, for a long time, THE standard for gaming).

Now, I can only hope that some neat RPGs are released on the Wii. :) I recall reading something about all of the old NES and SNES games being re-released (someone might confirm this for me?), and that is also very attractive :).

Anyway. Three cheers, Nintendo! -LN

Re:Viva Iwata 3 (1)

Jerim (872022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359669)

Not only the NES and SNES libraries, but the Turbgrafx-16 and Genesis libraries. I am hoping that if it is a hit, they will keep adding additional systems.

I would love to have access to some of the systems that were just too costly at the time. Relive my childhood with all the toys I couldn't afford.

Re:Viva Iwata 3 (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359715)

N64 too :)

Episodic play not for Nintendo? (1)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358959)

Asking customers to pay something monthly, or something periodically, we can never expect that kind of revenue to become the significant, main resources for Nintendo.

I really wish I could find it online, but Nintendo once ran a commercial in Japan in which Mario in an astronaut suit told me that from now on games will come from space, so I better get a subscription [wikipedia.org] . Different president, I know, but still...

Re:Episodic play not for Nintendo? (1)

dorbabil (969458) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359114)

Actually, the Sattalaview system was comparable to what the new games on the virtual console will probably be like. They fell into a few categories: 1 - Reusing existing game modes to create episodic content (There were three or four extremely short Fire Emblem campaigns, and BS Zelda had new dungeons and special events added each week or month or something). 2 - Reusing existing game modes to create new multiplayer experiences (Mario 3 and Excitebike both had pretty compelling multiplayer modes). 3 - Simple, but addicting, brand new titles. "Suck and Blow" (I forget the japanese title, I think it's something Sutte Hauken, but it's been awhile) was a great puzzle game where you were one of those glass dunking birds, and you had to navigate mazes collecting shards while sucking up and spitting out objects and dyes (which bestowed different effects to various objects). The big difference here is that you paid a single price for the hardware, and a recurring monthly cost to access the service. After that, everything was free (to the best of my knowledge). My guess is that the VC will be free to access and require no new hardware, but content will cost money.

Nintendo IS episodic content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359146)

"'Asking customers to pay something monthly, or something periodically, we can never expect that kind of revenue to become the significant,"

Like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros, Pokemon...No Nintendo definitely doesn't expect its customers to pay for the same thing again and again.

Re:Nintendo IS episodic content (1)

The_Real_Quaid (892126) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359204)

"Like Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Smash Bros, Pokemon...No Nintendo definitely doesn't expect its customers to pay for the same thing again and again."

Yeah, and Halo 3, Doom 3, Quake 4, Grand Theft Auto 4, Final Fantasy 13, Metal Gear Solid 4... those are all original content.

Stupid Nintendo! Make something original!

Re:Nintendo IS episodic content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359489)

Except the companies that made those games aren't claiming to be superior in not doing it. Nintendo is the console for self-important hypocrites.

Re:Nintendo IS episodic content (1)

Hawkxor (693408) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360049)

I'm not really that concerned about whether or not the game company is "stuck up".. I only care about the quality of the games, dunno about you

Re:Nintendo IS episodic content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15360876)

I was referring to the users. They are the ones that buy into Nintendo's garbage like this.

To rephrase using your style: I'm not a douchebag, dunno about you.

Re:Nintendo IS episodic content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359750)

There was a gap of about a decade between the new Doom/Quake and the previous versions (Quake 4 is a sequel to Quake 2, but Quake 3 was still 5 years earlier if you insist on counting it). Doom 3 was completely different to Doom 1/2, it was a 3D survival horror not a 2.5D shooter. Quake 4 went from a one-man-army shooter to squad based.

GTA 4 isn't even out yet, we have no idea what it'll be. Considering GTA 2 was futuristic and that GTA 3 completely changed the way the franchise played and was organised it could be anything. The GTA 3 "trilogy" plus "Liberty City Stories" was pretty cheeky.

Final Fantasy, hell yeah, they milk that one to the ground.

MGS4 also isn't out yet, but I've not played the series so I won't comment.

Anyway, I think my point was that dissing id software for reusing one game every 10 years isn't fair, particularly since they mix up the formula and vastly improve the technology. They'll only be on Doom 7 by the time I'm retired. I'll probably get Final Fantasy 50 for my 65th birthday, it'll be the first one I have time to complete :)

Re:Nintendo IS episodic content (1)

The_Real_Quaid (892126) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360326)

Actually, I wasn't dissing id at all. THey are my favorite PC developer still.

I was just pointing out that that it is stupid to single out Nintendo for making sequels, when (mostly) everybody does it.

Good for Nintendo (3, Funny)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359211)

In game advertising is garbage. It's nothing but yet another scheme to squeeze out every last penny from our pockets.

Companies have realized that the time is right for introducing this sort of scheme because consumers are generally the biggest suckers out there and are willing to accept anything. It's like they can't throw away their money quickly enough.

We all know that crappy ads thrust in your face every 15 seconds makes a game more immersive. I suppose some people could rationalize getting hit in the head by a baseball bat because it would make a game more immersive. Just wait until developers have to adjust content to satisfy the advertisers. "This headshot brought to you by Tampax tampons!"

People time and again forget that these people have few scruples and don't give a damn about immersion or gameplay quality. They care about one thing, revenue. When a company puts greed above all else the end result is invariably a low quality product.

I'm very pleased to see someone thinks differently. Certainly Nintendo is looking for success, but it's clear that they place great value in what they create. There's a reason why Nintendo has a very loyal fanbase.

Hopefully that doesn't exclude the Virtual Console (3, Insightful)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359288)

I think it would be silly to expect people to pay per-game for old NES properties that are worth at most a buck each (when you take into account the lack of tangible media and the destruction of scarcity that the Virtual Console would cause). A subscription fee like Gametap uses would make a lot more sense.

Rob

It's worse than that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15360304)

You can easily pirate the ROMs and use Nestopia or FCEU or any other NES emulator you want (there are tons of NES emulators, but those two are the best, IMHO). Just like you can with SNES ROMs and zSNES (another awesome emulator).

Or if you want to be legal, ConsoleClassix [consoleclassix.com] is basically an online video game rental service, where you "rent" the ROM for a while. To be more exact, you get unlimited rentals for a monthly fee, although they let anyone sample their service by playing the NES games for free.

Personally, I just pirate 'em at this point, though :)

Too bad: Nintendo MMORPG (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359308)

That's too bad, a Nintendo MMORPG would be sweet, expecially on the wii. I'm not normally into MMORPGs (I've played a bit of FF online and WoW) and not really into nintendo games (I've had my share of mario in the early 90s) but at least it would be different. For some reason the thought of playing a goomba interests me.

Re:Too bad: Nintendo MMORPG (1)

Mullinator (939148) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360287)

Actually they have said in the past that they are hoping and planning to have MMORPG's on the Wii. In other words, expect any Nintendo made MMORPG's to not have a monthly payment structure.

Re:Too bad: Nintendo MMORPG (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360750)

I seriously doubt they could pull off a full-featured MMORPG without any sort of monthly payment structure. The reason their online service is free now (for the DS and eventuall Wii) as it only sets up relatively-simple multipler matches or data gathering for an single instance (AC towns). However, running a "world" that never rests with 1000s upon 1000s of players requires a lot more maintenance, hardware, and cost.

Well, OK, Runescape did it... sorta. They MIGHT be able to do it. I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

MMORPG doesn't imply monthly fees. (0, Offtopic)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360962)

Just look at Guild Wars. [gamespy.com]

Revenue, or at least paying for bandwidth? (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359686)

I am curious. If Nintendo offers a reasonably priced console, standard priced games and free online playing, then who is going to be paying for the online services? I mean after all, there is bandwidth and infrastructure to be paid for at the content provider end. They don't need to be making a profit on the network play, but not making a loss is also important.

Nintendo? You? Really? (2, Insightful)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359782)

I have a couple of words for Nintendo:

Pokémon Red
Pokémon Blue
Pokémon Green
Pokémon Yellow
Pokémon Gold
Pokémon Silver
Pokémon Crystal
Pokémon Ruby
Pokémon Sapphire
Pokémon Emerald
Pokémon FireRed
Pokémon LeafGreen
Pokémon Colosseum
Pokémon XD
Pokémon Ranger
Pokémon Pinball
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby and Sapphire
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
Pokémon Trozei
Pokémon Stadium
Pokémon Stadium 2
Pokémon Snap
Pokémon Dash

Mind you, this isn't over the entire history of the company. This is the last ten years. In the US, it's a Pokémon game, on average, every four months. And side from the occasional pinball or racing game, the games were popular not for new game mechanics but for new Pokémon (or as I call it, "new episodic content").

And no in-game advertising? The entire game is advertising... for itself! The pile of money made from the sales of Pokémon cards, carrying cases, movies, books, toys is enough to suffocate anyone.

Now... I'm actually a big Nintendo fan. A HUGE one. I even liked Pokémon to an extent (Pokémon Stadium 2 has great party games). But I have to call out someone on their BS, even if it's a Nintendo exec.

Re:Nintendo? You? Really? (1)

cttforsale (803028) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360115)

I take episodic content to mean something like, buying each chapter of a novel separately. I take in game advertising to mean a reference to buying available in the real world that is not related to the game, like an ad for tampons.

Re:Nintendo? You? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15360625)

Pokemon is quite a different situation than episodic content. Nintendo's goal with Pokemon was not about getting one person to buy all copies of a game (in fact you couldn't collect them all with only one system) but was designed to encourage people to interact with other people who owned the game. Essentially, you can not finish the game unless you have a friend who also completes the game; thus forcing co-operation.

Re:Nintendo? You? Really? (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360908)

Now... I'm actually a big Nintendo fan. A HUGE one. I even liked Pokémon to an extent (Pokémon Stadium 2 has great party games). But I have to call out someone on their BS, even if it's a Nintendo exec.

Right. This is the difference between being a fan and a fanboy.

come on guys (1)

rabbot (740825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359913)

Why are people bringing up franchises and sequels? That is NOT what is meant by episodic content. Nintendo is basically saying they aren't going to release an unfinished product, just so they can make you pay more in the future for the rest of the game.

I applaud Nintendo for taking this stance. At least one of the big 3 has some respect for their customers.

advertising (2, Interesting)

AyeFly (242460) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360062)

I havent read the comments, but I much prefer real life advertisements to fake ones. If they want to simulate the real world, they should have advertisements. Nothing though, ticks me off more than fake products.

Pikmin 2? (1)

dk4 (522573) | more than 8 years ago | (#15360318)

Pikmin 2 had in-game advertisement, and that's straight out of Nintendo...

Re:Pikmin 2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15360677)

Really, Pikmin's one of the occaisons where you don't really notice though. GOOD in-game ads have never bothered me--if it makes sense, it's fine.

Seeing a billboard advertising Coca Cola in the Middle Earth will mean someone's getting a nasty email.

Yea (1)

MeridianBlade (975764) | more than 8 years ago | (#15361014)

I can deal with ads
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