Hey Master Malstrom,
Have you seen those new 3DS XL bundles Japan will be receiving soon?
Namely the Animal Crossing 3DS XL and NSMB 2 3DS XL. The packaging
looks great and I’m sure the Animal Crossing one will do well.
But the games for these new packages come on the included SD card
instead of a regular game card.
Do you think that will have a significant impact on sales?
I’ve read in a number of forums people who think when they buy the Wii
U Deluxe that they’ll just trade in their Nintendo Land copy to
GameStop and pick up another title they prefer. It’s yet to be seen,
but Nintendo might not give them the choice. Nintendo may install
Nintendo Land on the 32GB built-in flash drive.
Try trading *that* in.
So maybe we’ll see people picking up the white one with less flash
drive, but actually buying the physical version of Nintendo Land or
NSMB U instead so they have something to put on their library shelf.
I recall, I think American Wii’s had Wii Sports included in a
cardboard sleeve? -The European one came in it’s own proper jewel
case, which was nice (like the first free stamp on a coupon card!) and
I remember glancing through guides that were popping up for people who
wanted to make their own jewel case for their copy of Wii Sports.
Nintendo seems to at least be giving people the choice of how they
receive the product, but I can’t say I would prefer the bundled
software embedded on the console itself.
Finally, a comment you made interested me, when you said that NOA
probably fought NCL for Nintendo Land to be bundled at all. I find it
odd and a little funny given what a disappointing proposition the 3DS
launched as, with nothing bundled, except that border-line-repellent
Face Raiders game embedded.
Why do you think NCL avoided bundling Wii Sports with the Wii in
Japan? Did they want to see a non-bundled sales sample for the game,
to see if it had any intrinsic stand-alone value?
No, no, no. The Wii U is not ghetto. I mean the GamePad. It is called the U Pad or GamePad, but I think it will be called the GhettoPad soon enough. Why?
Mobile handheld technology is rocketing as fast as during the golden era of the desktop computer revolution. The GamePad, which is not even out today, is already inferior to to the Kindle Fire ($200) and other smartphones and tablets in terms of the screen resolution and stuff like that. When people buy these new iPhones, they give the old ones to their kids. My nephews aren’t even ten and they have iPhones (and iPod Touches). The U-Pad is going to be aging incredibly fast. It is going to shock people how fast the U-Pad will age. Very soon, the U-Pad is going to be seen as the Ghetto-Pad with how primitive it is. I expect Nintendo to release an ‘updated version’ with a nicer screen resolution and better battery life.
Look at Nintendo handhelds. Even before the PC revolution went handheld, they aged incredibly fast. Nintendo is always releasing new models. to compensate. The Wii U is not just a home console, it is a home console and a handheld. The handheld part will suffer from the problems that traditionally plague Nintendo handhelds. It is going to age incredibly fast and likely have a new model released for it.
I don’t think NCL and its satellites are arguing about the bundle. That is a done deal at this point. I do believe there is arguing inside Nintendo about the account system and the future of the Virtual Console. Reggie Fils-Aime and NOA already said there would be an account system and that it would play the games on future platforms. We haven’t heard any confirmation of that from NCL or anything further from NOA. In fact, we’ve gotten no information about the Virtual Console at all (which turned me into a non purchaser of the Wii U. I bought the Wii for the Virtual Console).
The account system is the most important decision Nintendo has had to make since deciding to get involved in video games. It will define the future of the company. If they get it wrong, it won’t be a problem like making a Virtual Boy or a Gamecube. It could fundamentally destroy the company for the long term. Twenty years from now, no one is going to accept the current model (most people don’t accept it today). People will expect their digital purchases to not be bound to hardware as it is with all their electronic products. Nintendo has never faced a transition like this. So far, they are treating download as a transition from cartridges to CDs or CDs to DVDs. It is FAR MORE than that. I think NOA understands the transformation going on but NCL doesn’t. “We’re doing fine in Japan, what does it matter?” I’m sure Iwata arrogantly thinks, “Japan first. Japan first. Japan is first in everything. What you see is going on in America doesn’t matter because America will copy Japan.” Not when it comes to broad electronic trends.