Weekend Short-Takes: 9/14/12

Wii U launching Nov. 18 at $299

Simon:

Aha, so here is Nintendo’s final answer. I wonder just how much of a loss they are taking on each unit, since the $299 price point seems to be far lower than earlier production estimates. It’s reasonably competitive, since you could get a 4GB Xbox with Kinect and the bundle we mentioned a few weeks back for roughly the same price. Nintendo did consumers (and itself) a solid by putting the launch right before Black Friday/Cyber Monday, as well as in pretty decent position for the holiday season, so retailers’ incentive to market it themselves is maximized. Also, that silly Miiverse thing is actually looking valid with the addition of the “TVii” service, which brings the usual slew of online streaming services, and achieves some parity with the PS3 and 360.

John:

The next generation is finally upon us, and this time around Nintendo will start. Overall, I have been interested in the Wii Pad integrated gameplay to carry on playing a game without the console, though it’s a bit bulky compared to the similarly sized iPad. Still, if anything, this is Nintendo’s big gamble, with the utter failure on the Nintendo 3DS. This time around there are trying the double sided assault, with on one side aiming for a more “hardcore gamer” audience, bringing in titles like Black Ops 2, Assassin’s Creed III, and Bayonetta 2 (an exclusive of all things), and on the other side bring back old series from the Gamecube era such as Pikman 3, and the Wonderful 101, which to me seems to be inspired by Viewtiful Joe. This will be interesting to see how well it will succeed. Thing about going first is that the next contenders have something to 1-up.

Photo Credit: ecetia.com

Medal of Honor Warfighter adding Bin Laden hunt DLC

Simon:

Given the other major PR blunders that have dogged EA and Medal of Honor, from being able to play as al-Qaeda to selling actual guns in a completely nonsensical bit of cross promotion, I wonder if this will go the exact same way that those two decisions went: away, and fast. It would have been exceptionally unfeeling and brazen if they got this news out on 9/11, but they missed it by one day. Honestly, it seems that all of these decisions that cause uproar are just for the publicity boost, although this one might have more traction because of the intrigue and curiosity behind the mission.

John:

(shakes head) Oh, EA. I know gaming companies are always trying to be cutting edge and tiptoeing the line, but unfortunately, you keep stepping on landmines. I rather keep myself out of a politically sensitive topic like this, but as an American, it’s time to stop tooting our horn and move on with the rest of the world.

Also, anyone who mentions “America, F*ck Yeah!” will promptly receive a shotgun blast to the face. Thank you for your consideration.

Photo Credit: gamespot.com

Agawi cloud game streaming headed to Windows 8, focused on 'mid-core and hardcore' games

Simon:

Hot off the heels of the OnLive bankruptcy and our Com-cast discussion wherein we discussed Microsoft as a potentially perfect buyer for the remnants comes this news. Apparently Microsoft’s found their own way with cloud streaming, relying on this service I have not heard of before this news article. However, the idea is solid, and it might even do something that I’m curious to see: how to dynamically scale controls and fit controls to different platforms with the same game.

John:

I hope this will be the start of what I consider to be “Games for Windows-Live 2.0”
This time, though, it will hopefully be more widely successful. Like Simon said, it will be interesting to see how they will be able to manage and accommodate cross-platform controls and level playability, especially multiplayer games. Or am I getting ahead of myself?

Photo Credit: techcrunch.com

PlayStation Plus cloud storage boost landing 'soon' with system update v4.25

Simon:

See, we can be fair and balanced. So Sony is also looking to increase its current cloud services, and as we saw earlier, it’s going to leapfrog Xbox’s current 512 MB capacity, bringing the measly 150 MB offered to a much healthier 1 GB. That said, this is just one part of a greater set of feature changes I’m looking forward to seeing in the next Playstation update, and comparing it with the next Xbox Dashboard update.

John:

Hopefully, we will be to see a jump in perhaps people getting more and more into the Playstation market, especially with that 1GB storage being oh so tempting. Yet, with the Wii U coming out this fall, and the next set of consoles coming out within perhaps a year and a half, this might be a case of “too little, too late” for Sony?

Photo Credit: playstation.com

Wreck-It Ralph Really Looks Like It Might Be Toy Story for Video Games

Simon:

I see this movie as another way for video games to entire the mainstream consciousness more, and are certainly a part of our culture now. As we mentioned, the path for video games to movies has not been stellar, with the notable exception of the Resident Evil series, which is currently enjoying some success. One obvious way is for Disney to make it, which has the effect of brute forcing it nicely into a national audience.

John:

Yes, I know this is a movie, not a video game, but I think this movie is just as important for video gamers as the next generation of consoles. Video games have become more and more accepted as another way of expressing artistic and storytelling work, and exhibits and showcases like “The Art of Video Games” recently held at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (which I had the chance to enjoy) support that case. This movie to me will be able, as far as I look at it now, to have the same impact on video games as a cultural and artistic medium as Toy Story did for the use of CGI in storytelling. Maybe now Roger Ebert will submit that video games are art after all. 

John Tarr's picture

I am really excited for Wreck It Ralph. Both trailers have blown me away. Such a great concept for a movie, and the huge crossover of different major IPs must have been a huge pain in the ass for the lawyers to sort out, but such a great touch. Reminds me of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Wreck it Ralph Trailer #2

 

Wreck it Ralph Trailer #1

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