Friday, November 15, 2013

SPC Soapbox - 11/15/13 The PS4 Launch, Wii ScrU-ed & November 22nd

It's been since July since we've last introduced the SPC Soapbox. It's time to bring it back, step on top of it, and unleash our opinions to the masses. This evening's edition features some interesting topics (well, they're interesting to us at least!). We'll talk about our apathy for the PlayStation 4's launch, our disbelief over Nintendo's (mis)handling of the Wii U, and how awesome November 22 is going to be for North Americans like us.

The PlayStation 4 launch? Meh. Are we alone here?

If you were like me, you were watching snake oil salesman and over-hyper of everything, Geoff Keighly and the Spike TV crew ticking down the hours until the PlayStation 4's much anticipated launch in North America. There was word of Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima having a big announcement. This announcement turned out to be a classic Solid Snake skin for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. Totally worth hyping to no end! We squealed like little girls at the announcement. Could anything top that?!

In all seriousness, we're just not feeling the hype for the PlayStation 4 just yet. We've been burned so many times by being early adopters of systems. Yes, it's cool to have new tech, and the PS4 is awesome tech, for sure, but the current games available do nothing for us. Apparently, they don't do anything for a lot of reviewers, too.

In our opinion, being an early adopter to a new system nowadays is a lot like being a beta tester. You have to deal with all of the bugs, glitches, technical problems that are associated with the launch of new hardware. You also get the pleasure of having a large drought of games to enjoy. No, we think this generation we will wait a year or two when the library of the PS4 will have already expanded and we'll have a plethora of games to choose from. Are you like us and waiting to pull the trigger on next gen?

Wii U is scrU-ed.

The Wii U only sold around 50,000 according to NeoGAF's creamsugar, who gets information from the NPD group. That was with the price drop in effect. This shows that there is total apathy for Nintendo's system that is startling and shocking. The worst part of it all is that Wii U owners aren't even buying software. Forget about third-party games, they are hardly buying Nintendo's games! What are they using their Wii U's for, if anything? Nintendo did not alter their projection of selling somewhere around 8 million or so Wii U's by the end of the fiscal year in March. At its current state, the Wii U will be lucky to sell 2 million. We were wondering if it would reach Nintendo 64 levels, but now we're wondering if the Wii U will even reach GameCube levels. It is that bad and pathetic.

The main point here? It's all Nintendo's fault. We feel like we care about the Wii U more than the company does. We assumed that Nintendo was getting ready for a second launch of the system with the new price cut and engaging games that finally made the system legitimately worth owning. However, October came and went, early November is gone, and there was nothing. This was the perfect opportunity to get the Wii U name out there, and Nintendo did not do a thing. It's as if it thinks it's poisoning itself by doing some advertising. Instead, while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gets huge events dedicated to them, Nintendo delivers mall events at Pottery Barn Teens.

There's STILL confusion about the Wii U is, and there's STILL millions of people who have never even heard of it-- They don't know the Wii U even exists, or worse yet-- no one cares! Nintendo's marketing efforts (and we feel dirty even using the word "effort" towards Nintendo right now) do nothing to push the system into a positive light or to extinguish the brand confusion. You would think that a company that saw brand confusion with the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS would not make the same mistake twice. However, they absolutely nailed it.

Nintendo was so unprepared for this generation, and it is absolutely mind-boggling at the incompetence shown. In 2005 many developers were saying that HD development was difficult, but like an ostrich with its head in the sand, Nintendo did not take heed. Now we're getting excuses and "please understands" from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata regarding delays of games that should have been released already. The company should have had the foresight with all of the commentary about how hard HD development was to invest earlier. Then again, we're not businessmen, so we might be totally ignorant to Nintendo's grand scheme to have a historically horrible selling console on the market and the biggest fall in the industry between generations. If that is the case, then mission accomplished, Nintendo.

November 22nd is going to be a great day.

A week from today, at least in North America, gamers are receiving an embarrassment of riches. The most anticipated, being it's a new console, is the Xbox One. Personally, we find the Xbox One's launch lineup to be more appealing than what Sony offered. There's Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome (which may be The Bouncer of this generation for all we know), and Killer Instinct. It's a varied lineup with something for everyone. We have no interest in the system, but still.

Then there's the software side of things with the November 22 release of not one, but two possible Game of the Year candidates with the Wii U's Super Mario 3D World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. The latter of which has already received massive acclaim from critics and others who have played the game. As for Super Mario 3D World, for the first time in a 3D Mario there will be multiplayer, and we are excited to enjoy that together with family and friends. After seeing recent footage and that video during the last Nintendo Direct, we feel ashamed for ever doubting Nintendo EAD.

Let's not forget about the PlayStation Vita, though. For some reason or another, Sony decided to release a new IP for the system in the form of Media Molecule's Tearaway on the same day as the new Xbox, a new 3D Mario, and a new 2D Zelda. Let's just say that we don't want to see the sales numbers come December.

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