The Weekly Dish – WiiYooWiiYoo

The Weekly Dish – WiiYooWiiYoo



In the post-E3 doldrums, there have been many editorials written, but not a whole lot of talk out of game companies themselves. After yelling all last week, most companies don't have much more to say. Other than Nintendo, that is, which is attempting to recover from criticisms of its E3 conference by assuring us that everything was just hunky dory with the Wii U on the show floor.

Nintendo Bites Back at Wii U Haters

It's hard to imagine Nintendo "biting back," and of course everything the company has been saying has been phrased in the politest terms. Still, company President Satoru Iwata seems a bit put off by all the negative attention surrounding the Wii U in the gaming press.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Iwata admitted that the Wii U's GamePad tablet controller is difficult to explain on stage, but that it makes immediate sense to people who actually experience it. Iwata also took a shot at Microsoft's SmartGlass technology and Sony's Vita Cross-Play system, saying that Nintendo's competitors are already copying the Wii U's concept, but noting that the Wii U allows asymmetric gameplay for everybody who owns a Wii U.

The Weekly Dish -  WiiYooWiiYoo

Post-E3 interviews with Nintendo luminaries have clarified a few things about the Wii U. Friend codes aren't entirely gone, but will supposedly be far easier to use on the Wii U, and will be system-wide like they are on the 3DS. The Wii U won't require game publishers to add Achievements into their games, but developers are free to do so on a game-by-game basis, I'm guessing similarly to how 3DS games like Kid Icarus have their own internal Achievement-like system.

In particularly good news for Wii owners, the company has confirmed that all saved games and purchased content will be transferable to the Wii U. Finally, acknowledging that the Wii had difficulty courting third-party game developers, Nintendo has put out that it is looking to work with third-party developers who have unique ideas for the Wii U system in an "unprecedented" way, reducing the financial risk of developing for the console.

In the meantime, Nintendo is still smarting from its unusually unprofitable previous fiscal year. The word is that staff and executive summer bonuses are being slashed this year—by 20% for staff and an undisclosed amount for executives. The 3DS at least is doing well, but Nintendo certainly hopes for a strong Wii U launch to help keep the balance books in the black for 2012-2013. Now, if only we knew exactly when the Wii U is coming out...

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Post-E3 interviews with Nintendo luminaries have clarified a few things about the Wii U. Friend codes aren't entirely gone, but will supposedly be far easier to use on the Wii U, and will be system-wide like they are on the 3DS. The Wii U won't require game publishers to add Achievements into their games, but developers are free to do so on a game-by-game basis, I'm guessing similarly to how 3DS games like Kid Icarus have their own internal Achievement-like system.

In particularly good news for Wii owners, the company has confirmed that all saved games and purchased content will be transferable to the Wii U. Finally, acknowledging that the Wii had difficulty courting third-party game developers, Nintendo has put out that it is looking to work with third-party developers who have unique ideas for the Wii U system in an "unprecedented" way, reducing the financial risk of developing for the console.

In the meantime, Nintendo is still smarting from its unusually unprofitable previous fiscal year. The word is that staff and executive summer bonuses are being slashed this year—by 20% for staff and an undisclosed amount for executives. The 3DS at least is doing well, but Nintendo certainly hopes for a strong Wii U launch to help keep the balance books in the black for 2012-2013. Now, if only we knew exactly when the Wii U is coming out...

The Weekly Dish -  WiiYooWiiYoo

Facebook Gaming Bubble Bursts?

I hate to say, "I told you so." No, wait, actually I love to say "I told you so" in this column. I've long insisted that the explosive growth of exploitative free-to-play "social" games on Facebook isn't sustainable, and now that bubble is beginning to burst. Social gaming giant Zynga is seeing a rapid decline in the number of daily active users in its games, and the company's strategy of constant new releases is resulting in a shrinking overall user base cannibalizing itself rather than growing.

It doesn't help that Zynga's current fortunes are tied to Facebook, which is having its own financial and public relations problems at the moment. Both companies have recently gone public on the stock market, and neither IPO (initial public offering) went particularly well. While Zynga is trying to expand into mobile gaming, where many of its former players have relocated, can the company compete against the higher-quality offerings found on the Apple and Android stores? Is anybody interested in playing games like Farmville if they're not sitting at home, bored on Facebook? I know I'm not, but then again, I don't have a Facebook account in the first place.

Diablo III Stomps the Competition

PC gaming certainly isn't dead, at least not where Blizzard is concerned. Diablo III easily topped May's retail sales charts, which don't even track the digital download sales of the game. The last time a PC-only game was the best-selling boxed retail game of the month was when Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty hit in July 2010—though that honestly says more about how the PC market has gone digital than it does about how well PC games have been selling in general.

Max Payne 3 followed Diablo III on the sales charts in what was once again a lackluster gaming month. Analysts note that once again, fewer game releases contributed to lower sales this year over last year. That's likely to be the story up until the holiday season, although early 2013 has a fair number of major games scheduled, and may be this generation's last hurrah. Other notable recent releases in this month's top ten include Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Prototype 2, Sniper Elite V2, and Dragon's Dogma. Note that Dragon's Dogma only sold about 100k copies, so there's a large difference between the sales numbers at the top and bottom of the list.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: June 15, 2012

*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*

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