With Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and countless gamer-friendly devices, Nintendo has become the old school gamer’s favorite. The game company hasn’t lost sight of what makes its industry special, and it continuously finds ways to deliver products that can appeal to both the hardcore segment and casual gamers. Plus, the sheer fact that it’s been able to survive (and thrive) all of these years is testament to unique value proposition.
Looking around the gaming space right now, there is an awful lot of controversy surrounding Microsoft’s recently announced decision to offer its Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect for $99. In order to get that price, customers must sign up for two years of Xbox Live Gold and pay $15 per month.
According to critics, such pricing can lead to the unraveling of the console market as we know it. Going forward, they say, customers will be forced into online services just to get better pricing on a device. What’s worse, it could see console makers push their prices up, similar to the way carriers do when customers opt to buy a smartphone contract-free, they say.
There’s no question Nintendo has made a huge impact on the gaming industry. Over the last couple of decades, Nintendo has been a change agent in the gaming space, prompting companies to look to the future when developing games or hardware.
Remember Super Mario 64? It was the first time that we saw Mario in all of his 3D glory and the first time, for sure, that we realized how fun 3D platforming could be. The Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super NES forced other companies to invent new ideas just to keep up. Even the Nintendo Wii, which was first to deliver fun motion-gaming, has set off a craze that might never be stopped.
At the E3 Gaming Expo later this year, Nintendo fans are going to get what they’ve been waiting about a year to know: the Wii U’s launch date and price. Even better, they’ll be able to see a host of games slated to come to the device to see if they’ll be worth playing.
But perhaps Nintendo shouldn’t give that gift to consumers this year, and instead, should give itself the gift of discontinuing the Wii U.
Have you heard the news? Apple’s new iPad is launching on March 16, and the company and a few game developers think it might be the next big thing in video games. They claim that the device’s Retina Display and quad-core graphics, courtesy of the A5X processor, will be enough to make every console gamer jealous.
Yep, you heard that right. Apple has decided that the time has come to finally take on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with its iPad, and it hopes those competitors are scared, scared, scared.
Sony’s PlayStation Vita will be launching soon. The portable will come with dual thumbsticks, a nice, big display, and a design that puts Nintendo’s 3DS to shame. And at a starting price of $249.99, it’s in the sweet spot for serious gamers who want a solid portable.
But just because the PlayStation Vita seems attractive, it doesn’t mean that it’ll be a winner. In fact, I’m a firm believer that the Vita will be Sony’s last portable, and the device that could very well put an end to the company’s entire mobile-gaming division.
As I’ve said numerous times on these pages before, I’m deeply concerned by motion gaming. I think it’s holding the gaming business back and helps to make the space seem “gimmicky” -- something I thought we were trying to move away from.
My issues with motion gaming have prompted me to turn my back on the Wii. In fact, I haven’t even seen my Wii in well over a year, since it’s been sitting in my closet with the rest of the obsolete and boring consoles I’ve bought over the years.
I’m often asked by friends if they should buy an Apple TV. They usually head to the Apple Store to buy a new iPad or iPhone, and while there, they come across Apple’s little set-top box. For just $99, it seems like a bargain. And so, they ask me if they should plunk down the cash to buy one.
The first question I ask when I field the question is, “do you own an Xbox 360?”
As a Time Warner Cable customer, I was one of the last cable subscribers out there to get access to HBO Go. For months now, many of you have probably been using the streaming service, and to see a column about it now might surprise you. But don’t hold it against me -- I was a victim of the oddly contentious relationship between Time Warner Cable and its former corporate overlord, Time Warner.