Weekend Short-Takes: 1/10/15

PlayStation Now PS1, PS2 Games Part of "Longer Term Vision," Sony Says



Plans for Sony's subscription based game streaming service will include legacy PS1 and PS2 titles in the near future. 


The evolution and improvement of PlayStation Now proceeds as planned and looks to far exceed anything that Xbox has, which is to say, nothing. I have no idea where Xbox's game rental service is, and this news actually reinforces one of the quieter advantages that Sony has enjoyed in their enormous sales lead. I (Simon) have no interest in trading in my Xbox 360 for an Xbox One at the moment because if I do, there will be no way for me to access my now extensive 360 digital games library (thanks Games for Gold!). Meanwhile, you could get the best games of all time from all previous generations on PlayStation 4, which will serve as the ultimate repository for all previous Sony entertainment. 


Intel pledges $300 million to promote diversity



Intel has pledged $300 million to promote diversity both within the company and the technology sector as a whole. It aims to create greater ease of access to the industry for both women and minority groups while also aiming to increase representation of both groups within the general workforce and leadership positions. 


First things first: this is fantastic news. Anytime a company makes a big pledge like this is great, as it adds an extra standard that they can be held to, and increased accountability is always a good thing. Now, as terrible as a lot of the things said during the Gamergate shitstorm were, they at least seem to have led to the positive outcome of a serious discussion of women's representation in the tech industry, and in gaming especially. The only possible reasonable complaint that I can see being leveled towards Intel for this is that it does not give any definite goals besides aiming for "better representation of women and minority groups in its general workforce and leadership positions by 2020." Now, that’s a soft complaint, and there are real reasons for being vague (why open yourself up to attack for not reaching lofty goals or, more hopefully, limit yourself to a certain level of success when you can do more), so I hope Intel follows through and doesn't use the vagueness as an excuses. 

Interview with an Amiibo Scalper 



This week, I wish to include an article from Nintendo Nuggets regarding a Nintendo scalper who was buying up massive amounts of amiibos and selling them at overinflated prices. Unfortunately, given the fact that the article was removed out of sheer criticism from both Tumblr and Reddit, I have been forced to replace them with an archived copy of the article (https://archive.today/xBKVZ#selection-689.28-689.43) and the original reddit page from which the article was linked from. 


Like other major toy crazes in recent years, toy scalping has become somewhat of a major problem for consumers. In case you don't understand how this works, or have skipped out on economics class, let me put it to you like this:

  1. Nintendo announces new amiibos. 
  2. Scalpers then analyze which amiibos will be sold in limited quantities given previous knowledge. Given the fact that Nintendo isn't known to make enough copies of a specific figure, they will plan on buying up bulk copies of whatever figures are lesser known, yet are also extremely desired. 
  3. When the figures come out, they buy them in bulk, maybe up to fifty figures. Some would usually spend $1,000 alone just for collector's value. 
  4. Once said limited figures are sold out, demand will go up, allowing the scalpers to proceed with selling them at exorbitant prices. 

In other words, buy low, sell high, profit. Common sense really. 

Now Nintendo has acknowledged this problem and are figuring out a solution for this as we speak. In a recent Reddit AMA, a known regional sales rep for the company admitted "... Nintendo is very aware of the scalping situation, and obviously not happy about it. It's an unfortunate side effect of our sort of naiveté dealing in toys, but it's something I know is being discussed." 

Given this information, we can only hope Nintendo will release more figures in the near future. However, based on what the rep said about re-releasing figures in the future, a la Disney vault style, it's quite clear they still have a lot of work to do. 

Returning to the main article at hand, the person of interest, aka YouTuber Mariotehplumber, claims he is buying them out of pure hatred and spite, mostly on account of what he believes Nintendo is currently doing: forcing Rosalina into just about every single Mario game to date in recent history. "The fact Nintendo promotes her so much and people praise her is just disgusting," he says in the interview. "... I know for a fact her amiibo will be among one of the most popular which is why I took the time to wait and pre-order over 100 of her. I do not want her fans to be happy (as) I hate Rosalina as a character and I will enjoy selling her for big bucks." 

Having spent almost $35,000 alone on these figures, he plans to use the money from reselling the figures in order to pay for any future Nintendo merchandise that may come out, though he might also use the money to buy even more amiibos to resell, specifically those of Lucina, Paluntena, Robin, and Zero Suit Samus (he also gives each character a rather offensive/sexist nickname, so any readers who are offended by this type of material should probably look away). 

And for those who wish to see what the fuss is about, I have provided you with a link to a video from where he brags about his loot: 

Warning: intense profanity.

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