Nintendo: No-one got shot waiting for a Wii

February 12, 2007

Go get them, Perrin!

This remark might just be consiedered a little flippant, but it ceratinly shows that Nintendo can get down and dirty with the best of them.  Perrin Kaplan, VP of Marketing and Corp. Affairs for Nintendo was asked about the different approaches that Nintendo and Sony tok to their respective launches.  This is what she had to say;

 “Well, we didn’t have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system. So there’s one sign of the different approaches between our two companies … I think Sony’s efforts were in trying to get the core gamer to accept and adopt it, which for them in the PS2 era, spread to the mass consumer. I think we were just really prepared. Years of experience doing this ensured that we would have a very good launch.”

Meow!  After Reggie making noises about online play this weekend, Kaplan went to to say that online games are a,

 “priority for Nintendo and you will see it.”

I am loving the online play talk at the moment!  No sign of a code-free system for joinging friends though, which is going to be a real pain.  Especially without a keyboard.  Kaplan also revealed that the release of Wii software has been done to protect are poor brains,

“I think if we had just taken the whole package, here are all the channels, here are all the online games, here are the Miis, the news, the weather, I just think it would have overloaded the mass consumer. So instead we began rolling everything out in a fashion where people can really understand it … We have more things coming, and online is definitely one of them.”

Thanks Nintendo, it’s good to know that you are looking after me.

Source: [gamespy]


Reggie: Wii Online games are coming

February 11, 2007

Reggie - mad as a hatter

This is what we have been waiting to hear.  At D.I.C.E. this week Mercurynews cornered Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America’s very own wiivangelist.  And he had some interesting things to say on PS3, Wii longevity and online games.

Reggie reckons that the PS3 isn’t selling bacause it’s over priced and lacking killer apps.  No surprise there then. He did have a compliment for Microsoft though;

“They have done some things that are brilliant at Microsoft. We want to bring gaming back to the masses. Consumers are voting with their wallets and pocketbooks.”

Reggie points to Zelda when asked the now inevitable question about Wii being a gimmick that will soon lose it’s appeal.  He also pointed out that the same criticism was aimed at the DS, which has gone on to sell 35.6 million units worldwide.  For me though the best comment was that developers have online dev kits, and that we will be seeing the fruits of these soon.  Game on!

Source: [mercurynews]


Epic: “We beat the Wii”

February 9, 2007

Unreal Ego


Bad losers are a pain, but bad winners can be just as bad.  The AIAS Awards were a big success for Epic, who’s CEO Michael Capps had this to say;

“”Getting sales is great, making the game we wanted and having people buy it and enjoy it is fantastic. But having our peers say it’s the best game of the year? That’s insane. We beat the Wii.”

The company won 8 awards in all, including Overall Game of the Year and Console Game of the Year, where it had been up against The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Wii Sports and Eldar Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  Personally I think that Nintendo should be pretty pleased that a game which they are giving away free is even in the hunt for an award.  Cliff Blezinsky, creator of Gears of War, was tired and emotional;

“The thing is, being on the outside of this industry looking in as a kid, and wanting to be part of it, and then being able to be here and get an award from all of these talented people who’ve been in the business for so long, finally to be a part of it, to be recognised like this is absolutely unbelievable. We could not be honoured more.”

Who would have thought that CliffyB would be the voice of reason?!  Capps gets my award for quote of the week for this comment on the new Unreal Tournament;

“We’re going to fucking knock your socks off,”

Riiight.  Well they sure aren’t lacking confidence. 

Source: [gamesindustry.biz]


Atari still suffering

February 9, 2007

AtariAtari have had more than their fair share of financial disasters of late.  Huge losses and a couple of stock market delistings have seen the company struggle.  So it’s nice to see that the company has at least some good news.  And that is that it’s net losses for last quarter were $700,000 (EUR 538,000).  Ok, that’s not immediately obvious as beng good news, but forthe same period last year losses were $4.8 million (EUR 3.6m).  Bloody hell.

Atari put out a couple of high profile games last year including Test Drive Unlimited and Nevewinter Nights 2, which are bound to have helped the situation somewhat.  Test Drive did not sell as well as the company had hoped though.  CEO David Pierce had this to say,

“Atari continues to focus on improving product quality and is committed to growing shareholder value,”

“Specifically, Neverwinter Nights 2, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi and Test Drive Unlimited achieved our targets of quality and market place acceptance on a global basis.”`

I am not sure what “market place acceptance on a global basis” means.  I suspect it means nothing.  Atari badly needs to get some new IP that will make them some money.  It looks like the existing Atari games have been flogged to death, with revenue for the nine months to December 31 only $95.3 million (EUR 73.2m) compared to $162.2 million (EUR 124.6m) the previous year.

Source: [gamesindustry.biz]


EA confirms the end for EA Japan

February 8, 2007

EA Logo

Though this has been a strong rumour for a couple of days, EA has finally admitted that EA Japan is closing.

“EA is consolidating its development teams in Japan. Game creation in Japan will continue under our EA Partners model, working with external Japanese developers. Japan-based development for the NDS – Theme ParkDS, Sim CityDS, DragonZakuraDS – will continue under EA Partners in collaboration with external developers. Each of these titles remains in our release plans. EA’s publishing team in Japan will continue to publish many of our popular franchises in that market.”

It’s a testament to the power of PR spin that the announcement sounds like EA are actually doing something positive here, something which employees of the company would no doubt disagree with.  There’s no suggestion that the closure is connected to EA’s disappointnig sales of PS3 titles.  I just like mentioning it. ;o)

Source: [next generation]


Capcom portal now open

February 6, 2007

Capcom-Unity

Capcom has opened it’s new web portal.  Capcom-unity (clever n’est pas?!).  The site will provide news about upcoming Capcom titles, as well as bloggs from lots of different people who are involved with making Capcom games.  Here coems the marketing blurb, folks,

“Capcom-Unity represents Capcoms increasing presence and involvement with core players and fans, unifying the companys many diverse brands and titles in a single spot on the web.”

Sounds fair enough.  There is information on a few Nintendo faves, such as Pheonix Wright, Resident Evil and Mega Man and a forum to boot.

Source: [capcomunity]


Nintendo cause PS3 woes

February 6, 2007

PS3 Queue

The race to pick up a PS3 is hotting up.  Retailer Virgin will happily take £50 deposit from you-but say that they can’t guarantee you a machine.  Why are they being cautious? Well they blame Nintendo.

It seems that the company is being careful what it promises to deliver after Nintendo failed to produce the number of Wii’s that it had promised to them.  Here’s what some Virgin representatives had to say on the matter,

“”All UK retailers were notified of their initial day one Wii allocations in October 2006, some six to eight weeks before launch.

“Nintendo delivered exactly what we said we would to retailers for day one and in many instances over delivered against the initial numbers retailers were expecting.”

“Nintendo made multiple and regular deliveries to retailers across the UK in the days following launch to try and meet the huge demand for Wii as much as possible.”

Hmm.  With retailers taking advantage of these situations (HMV online requires you to buy a PSP if you want to order a PS3 – for £675 – and they STILL don’t guarantee a machine on launch) it’s time that the hardware manufacturers sorted this out.  Maybe next time.

Source: [gamesindustry.biz]