Friday, November 18, 2011

3DS Finally Joining Us In 2011

If you were wondering just how specific the term "Add-On Content" was when the November firmware update for the 3DS was detailed, then everyone's favorite smug guy/President of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime has you covered.  A recent interview has him putting it out there that yes, Add-On Content does indeed mean DLC (that will be paid DLC 99% of the time, assuredly, even though Nintendo is no stranger to giving away things on the eShop) that will be used by the bulk of games in the future including first party titles.  He then, of course, goes on to say that Nintendo wouldn't dare think of releasing an 'unfinished experience' and wouldn't dream of using DLC to finish off games as some claim some developers are guilty of doing.  Like no other company has said as much before.

Of course, when I think of Nintendo and DLC, I instantly think of Pokemon, because if anything Nintendo needs a proper DLC system, it's fucking Pokemon.  Not as a "Buy a pokemon you can't catch" system as some people might have already thought of by now, but simply to replace all this nonsense that we've been subjected to for Legendary pokemon for years now.  I imagine expecting a change because a proper DLC system is in place is a bit silly, unfortunately, since I can't see them really embracing it in a smart way, but I can dream.  I can dream of a world where we don't have to drive to Toys 'R Us for the express purpose of being near one while opening download channels to actually get a code that could just as well be broadcast over the whole fucking internet as some of the promotions have been to then have the privilege of attempting to capture a rare, difficult-to-catch pokemon.

It's not like they don't know -how- to do it right once you've downloaded something, either.  You don't just download a pokemon; you download something that allows you to pick up an item which allows you to initiate an event that ends with you being able to catch the pokemon.  While it sounds convoluted and isn't the prime scenario by any means, it's serviceable enough.  If they'd just take that approach to DLC, removed the arbitrary time limit and didn't charge for it, that would make every Pokemon game 150% better and I would have no qualms about buying them.  As it stands, it's hard to want to buy them because if you don't get them right away and then mire yourself into information on promotions, you'll miss out on content that you should not, by any means, be locked out of.

Of course, other First Party Nintendo games could benefit immensely from proper DLC rather than their vague, half-assed attempts in the past.  Animal Crossing is the next game on my list that I can think of.  Did you know that Animal Crossing on the DS had time-sensitive clothing that could be downloaded/received at a certain point?  No?  NEITHER DID ANYONE ELSE.  Because Nintendo simply does not have a network in place that is good enough for the general public to be able to know these things, and relying on word of mouth over the internet is bad and it shouldn't happen.  With the next Animal Crossing coming out on the 3DS, I would hope that the DLC system is properly thought of, even if you only get a few outfits and unique household decorations.  At least everyone stands a good chance of getting those, rather than being expected to know to get online between two dates and getting lucky.

It is entirely possible, however, that the usage of the DLC system by Nintendo will be negligible at best, bordering on "Why even bother?", and in all honesty that's where I would put my money.  It's unfortunate, really, but I just don't have any faith in these games being made any more convenient to play/collect even when there's proper channels to do it.  Mostly because there have been proper channels to do it before now, theoretically (simply putting pokemon on Nintendo Wi-Fi rather than doing Gamestop/Toys 'R Us exclusive promotions) and they've been promptly ignored.  Still, time will tell how this all works out for us and the more surprises that come of it, the better.

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