Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Very Nintendo News Dump

So, there've been a few Nintendo-centric things thrown out in the last couple days, and while they're not noteworthy enough to warrant a full big post, all three things are kind of enough of a deal that they warrant mentioning.  I kind of have a thing just for this type of occasion as we know, so I won't be very coy about it here.  I'm just going to bring up all three points, have my little opinion on them as I do, and just sort of put that out there as a thing.  I say that, because I know my ideas and opinions are very, er, counter to the general ideas and such I see on the places in the internet that I frequent.  What with being slightly critical and whatnot - apparently that's not a popular thing.  Who knew?

Anyways, the first bit of news is that that little thing Nintendo mentioned about being able to use two of the Wii U Gamepads, pictured above, was....well, it's -true-, but not so much immediately so.  In layman's terms, the Wii U games will only support one Gamepad at launch, which I think is different than saying the Wii U -itself- won't support two at launch.  Because I think it -is- expected to support two in itself, just that any of the shiny games you'll want to pick up alongside the console won't.  Which won't lead to any confusion in the household at all, no siree.  Actually, I suppose it won't if Nintendo has the foresight to -not- print that on the launch-shipping boxes so that anyone who would want to buy more than one Gamepad will either A.) Be in-the-know enough to know they can't effectively use it yet or B.) Someone who completely has no idea and decides to buy multiple Gamepads and will, again hopefully, be instructed that such a thing is unnecessary.  But I think something like "Supports Two Gamepads" will make it on the box regardless because who really cares right?

What the problem here is that this smacks of something that people would (and likely have) mocked Sony quite openly for in the past, yet there doesn't seem to be quite so much of that going around.  As usual with what could be said as a 'negative' story for Nintendo, the bulk of the opinion out there seems to be a lot of hand-waving and "bah, who needs it at launch anyways?"  While that mindset isn't wrong at all, even though there could be the argument that "Since they announced it, it needs to be usable in -some- fashion at start (which could still be possible with Nintendoland), I have to wonder where this popular opinion is when the company involved is -not- Nintendo.  This kind of level-headed thing is not exclusive to dealings with just one company, you realize, because we could honestly just take a look at everything like that and everything would be so much nicer.  Radical thinking, I know, but there it is.

Regardless of the fact that it's not going to happen, it's pretty -obvious- as to why it's not.  A lot of these games have been in development alongside the final tweaks of the system itself, meaning that they've worked the games from bottom to top to work with just what they were given - one Gamepad.  I would suggest that sending as much information as is needed to the Gamepad is not a simple process, so suggesting that it's possible for -two- seems to border on madness, and I can only see the games itself suffering for the attempt.  This may be unfounded, but I have heard that using two Gamepads caused a drastic FPS loss when shown off at E3, likely on the floor.  Granted, it's new, it's not anywhere near done and it's not going to be fine-tuned for a while post-launch (The Gamepad and its usage, I mean) but if that's true then it's...well, it's not a very positive suggestion for the future.  Certainly something to worry about regardless of something that I cannot found with proof at this time, since that screen is meant to hold a -lot- of data.

Something else that seems to have been said before...well, thought went into it is the idea that the Wii U will be designed to support free-to-play games, which is kind of a thing that has been happening.  FarmVille is only pictured because I imagine that's what comes to a lot of minds when the term 'free-to-play' is thrown out.  Personally, I think of Phantasy Star Online 2 because of recent conditioning but just that right there, I think, is something that shows the absolute scale of the term.  Of course, neither type of game is instantly what is going to be on the console, if anything, because it was just mentioned as a statement of the Wii U's infrastructure.  Notably, it mentions the 3DS' recent ability to add updates, patches and DLC as a contributing factor, since the whole layout is probably similar on the console being that the 3DS can (now) apparently do the same thing, should any developer decide the 3DS is -just- the place for their new game that they don't want to charge for anything beyond cosmetic items and such.

It's worth mentioning, in my opinion, because it's actually not worth mentioning.  It's such a non-issue that I have to wonder exactly why it was mentioned in the first place and why it was important in any facet.  I mean, maybe I'm a little under-excited because I've been exposed to this sort of thing for, uh....years with my time years ago with Maple Story, and then my time in Playstation Home as well as watching FreeRealms from afar, but I just thought it was sort of a given that that type of thing was going to happen henceforth.  I didn't realize that 'infrastructure' and 'online architecture' had to be put in place specifically to allow free-to-play and/or micro-transaction games.  But it is apparently a thing there, and it was a big enough deal that it had to be mentioned by Joystiq, so there it is.

I don't see how this is going to be used whatsoever.  One of the comments suggests Maple Story and/or Nexon's other properties which is quite possible, but there isn't a whole lot of other ground out there.  I don't see Nintendo rolling out their own version of Home (despite really wanting to so I could see the massive amount of hand-waving) nor do I see many MMOs jumping on the Wii U just because they -can- for the whole free-to-play thing.  The only 'child-friendly' ones out there that I know about are FreeRealms (which is understandably not going anywhere near it, being a Sony property) and Wizard 101 which I literally know nothing else about than the name and that I see commercials for it all the time and doubt it's free-to-play.  Given how Iwata has somewhat of a distaste for the model, I doubt anything wholly Nintendo will come out of it, so this one is a little unnecessary.  Which is totally why it was necessary to mention.

The last piece of information is possibly the biggest, hence why I held it for last.  On the subject of the Legend of Zelda, there are quite obviously many potentials including a game for the upcoming Wii U as well as the 'next' game for it on the 3DS.  Of course what that 'next' game could be is up in the air, considering the last one was a remake of the Nintendo 64's Ocarina of Time.  The logical progression would state that, given there were two Zelda games on the N64, Nintendo and ports/remakes go together like that, and the fact that it would make more than a little bit of money would point to Majora's Mask seeing a 3DS remake.  And that is certainly an option that's up in the air, apparently, however it's being contested with two other ideas.  It basically boils down to whether or not Nintendo wants to remake MM or A Link to the Past first.  That is most certainly a thing, but I can't claim that it's wholly positive.

Now, I'm not going to pretend you're dumb or anything and just state the simple conclusion one could draw from Occam's Razor is that, with the resources used to port Ocarina of Time still kicking around, and Majora's Mask mostly using the same resources as Ocarina of Time, it would be rather simple to make Majora's Mask for 3DS.  That is why I believe this is the course they're going to take since it is simply easy money in various quantities.  Despite what and how we like to romanticize it, Nintendo is a company that wants as much of your money as possible.  That's why the 3DS launched at $250 - because they knew people would buy it at that price despite everything else.  And for as much as people like to say that it kicked off with slow sales, they were certainly -sales- and I have to suggest that had the Vita not been launched at $250, the price would have stayed constant for a while longer.  That they launched it 'at a premium' (using other companies talk) and essentially bragged about it is something that would incriminate most other companies, but again, it's Nintendo and everyone can afford to be level-headed with them, whatever.

What bothers me about the whole situation when I initially skimmed it is that Nintendo is basically saying "Hey, we don't know which game to put minimal effort into and sell for max profits, but one of them is gonna happen soonish" which is something that would get Sony and/or Microsoft verbally reamed all over the internet.  It's rather annoying that Nintendo gets away with it simply because we're all supposed to really like everything Nintendo and first party there.  After reading about the same situation elsewhere, however, I do have to admit that a third option is present:  something new-ish involving LttP, as in something (most likely a sequel) that involves A Link to the Past, but isn't simply a copy and paste 3DS playable version with bells and whistles.  With these three options on the table, I can forgive two of them being remakes for the simple fact that the third is -not-, even if it is the least-likely outcome, with Majora's Mask 3D being the most likely.  Were I a betting man, I would bet on it, but I am simply a person who is bad at predictions, so there's that.

I sort of wish something a little more news-worthy had been out there, but, well, them's the breaks.  The Wii U is still big news since everything at E3 more or less fell flat (including the Wii U stuff at E3) and Nintendo always gets mentions for the tiniest things, so given that I don't have anything else I -can- talk about at the moment (for a reason), that's what I could figure on eeking out a post about.  I'd say I did what I set out to do, of course, and if nothing else, I have something to point out when I'm proven right or wrong about the whole Zelda 3DS thing.  As well as getting to be a little bitter about Nintendo since I simply don't see enough people applying realistic talk to them out there.  Not saying it doesn't get done, simply that I don't see it at the places that I frequent.  Still, these are some things that could amount to something in the future, so I figured it was worth bringing up and discussing now, if just to see how different or similar it all ends up to how I thought it might.

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