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

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  • Thank God. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @12:07PM (#15358035) Journal
    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. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by UbuntuDupe (970646)
      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 covere
    • Re:Thank God. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by porcupine8 (816071) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @12:25PM (#15358187) Journal
      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.

      • 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...
      • 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.
        • 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.
    • $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.
    • 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
    • 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

      • 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. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SetupWeasel (54062) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @02:44PM (#15359653) Homepage
          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.
          • Doh! I assumed it was an inhouse game. I never really checked.
          • 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.
          • I can't say I really liked seeing all the product placement... Yet at the same time, it wasn't really in-game advertising, as there were no explicit logos or trademarked names on anything -- merely recognizable shapes/designs/colors. The idea was to play on existing familiarities, not reinforce product branding.

            This was present in Pikmin 1 also, but at an even more subtle level. You never really collected the various products, they'd just be sitting in the scenes, covered in moss or otherwise representin
          • Well Wave Race: Blue Storm [wikipedia.org] was published by Nintendo and I belive that had ads for Dr. Pepper and a couple other things.

            But I agree, Pikmin 2 is product placement done right.
            • Well, the way I see it is that sports games kinda need to have that type of stuff in it. Its what happens if you watch the same thing on TV.

              Although, it made me sick, the last pro baseball game I went to, the 7th inning stretch was sponsored by a company. Then of course you have just about every stadium named after a company as well. Im not saying its right, but it fits in the world that they are trying to recreate.
    • 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).
    • I sure as heck hope they start distributing free server software so that people don't have to rely upon just Nintendo for hosting.
    • 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.

    • 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 p
    • 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
  • 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...
  • nintendo FTW! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa&SPAM,yahoo,com> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @12:14PM (#15358096) Journal
    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.
    • 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.

  • by creimer (824291) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @12:14PM (#15358102) Homepage
    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.
    • by PhoenixFlare (319467) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @12:53PM (#15358510) Journal
      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 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 0xABADC0DA (867955)
      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. Ninten
    • by rjung2k (576317) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @02:43PM (#15359640) Homepage
      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!
    • Probably because you're getting your gaming news from Slashdot, which is horribly biased towards Nintendo products. (Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that, but you just have to acknowledge that it's there.)

      In any case, the Xbox 360 isn't priced unreasonably by any standard. The PS3 might be, but I'll reserve judgement until it's out-- after all Sony could still pull off something spectacular. Doubtful, but who knows?
    • "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..."

      Nintendo is a game company, Sony and Microsoft are gadget companies. You know how people complain that Microsoft bought their way into the game market? Sony did the same thing in 95. Now all eyes are on Nintendo to put things right again.
  • Episodic Content (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @12:35PM (#15358310) Homepage
    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).

    • 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.

    • 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
      • Don't say "ala Xbox 360" like it was Microsoft's idea. Bethestha is offering the same "content", for the same price, on their website for PC users. The only thing Microsoft did was provide the Live system that makes it possible. (But it also makes possible, for instance, me playing 8-player Marble Blast Gold with people all over the world.)
    • Re:Episodic Content (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lave (958216)
      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 sto

  • 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.
  • ...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.
    • MS would do "gotta buy them all!... just $1 for the 5 and then $5 for each one thereafter, untill you have all 151!"
    • 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.
      • 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...
    • 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... (Score:2, Informative)

      by ureshii_akuma (745410)
      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 t
  • 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.

    • 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.
    • by tukkayoot (528280) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:41PM (#15359045) Homepage
      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.

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

          Absolutely true, and I think Nintendo was wise to take their current tact with the Wii. The hardware got powerful enough with the X-Box/GameCube, if not the Dreamcast/PS2 to allow developers a broad range of visual expression and style for their games. Although more definition and detail can certainly be an even nicer treat for the eyes and is necessary to produce more "realistic" looking games, more detail is certainly not necessary to

      • The "gamer" demographic is not growing significantly in size

        It amazes me that in this day and age of harping about older gamers anyone should still believe this. Gaming's growing faster now than it ever has in the past. The only reason game budgets are getting this large is that the market will support them.
    • 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
    • It's hard to judge something before it exists. Before I played Chronicles of Riddick the game, I would have said it's impossible to make a truly great videogame from a movie property, for instance.

      Why won't we wait until we have more than .hack//net.com/whatever as examples before we make our final decision?
  • by wilbz (842093) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:09PM (#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.
    • 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

    • 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

      • Get over the damn name.

        It's goofy, there are lots of pee and dick jokes possible, it's a weird bit of marketing and after a while it starts to sound right. It doesn't look like there's gonna be another course change before the thing is released.
    • The DS is another line of handhelds, nintendo has always claimed that the DS is not the next gen gameboy and that the next gen gameboy is due soon.
    • Firstly, the PS2 was VERY difficult to develop for by comparison to the XBOX or the Gamecube, it had all the titles because everybody beleived all the hype about how the GraphicSynth would "change everything" and the "PS2 is a supercomputer," in much the same way people are talking about the cell now. Secondly, not only does the Wii have built in flash memory (512mb) and SD card slots (maximum supported capacity as yet unknown, many devices have software limitations of 1 or 2 GB, but again these are drive
      • The hackability of the box depends on the WiiOS and it's security features. As "nice" as Nintendo is as a company, they've always been very protective of their intellectual property. You can be sure that WiiOS (okay, I really, really like that word) will have heavy security and DRM to prevent that sort of thing. That doesn't mean you won't be able to do it, it just means it won't be as easy as you might think.

        Of course, the absolute best security would be to allow you to run a different OS from a USB h

        • While I think that it is certainly likely that Nintendo is likely to go to lengths to prevent it, (Even though, paradoxically, it would be quite beneficial for them in many ways, since Nintendo is going to sell the Wii at a profit, as opposed to the Xbox) I think it is almost inevitable that the the Wii will be hacked, it's low price point will make it an especially attractive target. And, hell, if it requires *that* much work, I may just buy two of 'em, one for hacking and one to remain pristine. IMO,
  • 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
  • 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...
    • 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 - Si
  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:55PM (#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.
    • Is that you as consumer also have to pay for that crap if you get the product.
      I remember that Pepsi and McDonalds each invested over 1 billion dollar / year in advertising, who pays for that?

      But the most boring part is that it pollute our environment (I don't know how to put it, I don't mean with chemicals and stuff, but with logotypes) everywhere. In towns, magazines, TV programs, web pages, and you don't get paid for watching that shit either.

      If everyone decided to not buy any heavily advertised product w
    • In game advertising is garbage. It's nothing but yet another scheme to squeeze out every last penny from our pockets.

      They're not squeezing it from your pockets, they're squeezing it from your attention span.
  • 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
    • I think we will see the per-game fee, which depending on how much virtual console you intent to play isn't bad (as long as they don't do something stupid like make the games expire after 90 days).

      That said, I really like your Gametap idea. I think that would be an excellent way to offer the virtual console service.

      Both would be ideal. Only interested in one or two games? Just buy 'em. Want to play 'em all? That will be $7.50 a month.

      That would be fantastic.

  • 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.
  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @02:48PM (#15359686) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • Battle.net is Blizzard's free online service for Diablo, Starcraft, and the Warcraft series (I hear you can even play war2 on there now). The online play, which only a fraction of your users (granted, a rabid fraction which will play for *years*) ever use, is just a loss leader. Bandwidth costs are pretty minimal, since you only really do matchmaking and CD-key authentication. The actual game server is one (or more) of the client machines. If you assume that a) your corporation is going to continue stay
    • Most of Nintendo's highly successful WiFi connection is peer to peer. That said, have you looked at bandwidth prices lately? Fourty dollars up-front at mass bandwidth prices means five years of constant heavy use just isn't a problem.
  • by The-Bus (138060) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @03:02PM (#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.
    • 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.
    • by Gothic_Walrus (692125) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @07:45PM (#15361940) Journal
      Personally, I'm inclined to think that you're almost entirely wrong on this one.

      First off, I think you're trying to be comprehensive here, but you forgot more than a few titles. Hey You Pikachu, Puzzle League and its GBC equivalent, Puzzle Challenge, and the trading card game spring to mind. If we're not counting those, that's fine, but then the pinball games, Snap, Dash, and (if I'm not mistaken) Ranger and Troizei shouldn't be on the list either. You can't seem to make up your mind what counts for the list, apparently.

      The bigger issue, though, is whether or not the game is "episodic." By all definitions of the term I've seen...no, it's not. The games are self-contained, and you don't need to keep paying to advance the plot. You may not be able to catch all of the Pokémon, maybe, but that's not "episodic content."

      Also, the games have a hell of a lot more content than you'd get in an episode. Each grouping of RPGs (think Red/Blue/Yellow) has its own plot and brings new mechanics into the mix. They are full-fledged games.

      True, the games might have been popular for the Pokémon characters, but there was always, ALWAYS more to them than that. Even in the games where the characters were just used to sell the title, improvements were made. Pokémon Puzzle League, for instance, was a very nice update of Tetris Attack and added modes that the SNES version didn't have.

      I'd also argue the in-game advertising. The games never, ever blatantly tell the player "Go buy a stuffed Pikachu!" or advertise any of the other spinoff products, whereas in-game ads are typically for real products that don't fit into the world. Have you seen ads for Serta matresses or Mountain Dew in the game's gyms? Didn't think so. The game spawned the merchandising, and that's entirely different...especially since the game came first.

      Really, I don't see how you COULD call Pokémon episodic or accuse it of having in-game advertising. By every discussion and definition of the terms I've seen...it just doesn't, plain and simple.

      • The bigger issue, though, is whether or not the game is "episodic." By all definitions of the term I've seen...no, it's not. The games are self-contained, and you don't need to keep paying to advance the plot. You may not be able to catch all of the Pokémon, maybe, but that's not "episodic content."

        In many of those instances - red, blue and yellow, fire red and leaf green, the gemstone group, the metal color group - they're the same game with 5% alternate content, and you need the full set to access a
        • Therefore, indeed you do need to keep playing in order to advance the game, whose core is so heavily drilled that it's their motto - gotta catch 'em all.

          I think this is going to go down to personal definitions, but I wouldn't consider that "advancing the game." You can get through the entire storyline and complete every other challenge the game has to offer without obtaining all of the Pokémon...and what happens when you do? You get an in-game certificate? I don't know about you, but that's not wh

    • "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."

      Erm... that's merchandising, not 'in-game advertising'. Unless those games are actually telling you to run out and buy trading cards, the difference is pretty big.
  • advertising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AyeFly (242460) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @03:32PM (#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.
    • Depends on the game. If the fake ads are well done, they can add to the game - Beyond Good and Evil had some interesting fake ads. I think Syndicate had something like this, too. They're set in another universe, so it makes sense to use fake ads.

      Games taking place in this world, though - sports games, for example - are a bit weird if they include invented products. That's why most Nintendo sports games include ads for Nintendo (see Wave Race), which I prefer to ads for other companies because it doesn't ma

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