Four Gaming Travesties In Half A Week

One: Nintendo [delays the new Zelda title]( until well into next generation land, guaranteeing the Gamecube won’t have a high profile title at Christmas time. I look forward to again seeing “ONE CONSOLE PER PERSON (EXCEPT GAMECUBE)” signs this holiday season.

Two: Nintendo also, after slashing $20 off the price of the DS, says the Gameboy Micro is going to be priced at $100. For $30 more, you get a DS, with lots more functionality. For $20 less, you get a GBA with a bigger screen. Who is this supposed to appeal to?

Three: Microsoft, not to be outdone by Nintendo, announces pricing for the Xbox 360, and manages to make [nearly every fanboy they had turn against them]( It’s not that there’s [two pricing levels](, it’s that the baseline machine doesn’t have a hard drive, which means developers now have an lower hardware baseline to shoot for than they did for the original Xbox. Also: $50 for wireless controllers, $100 for the add-on hard drive, $100 for a wireless network adapter, and $60 per game make this one expensive console.

Four: Konami decides to [make Beatmania USA purple]( I am not kidding when I say this: this is the ugliest Bemani game I’ve ever seen. Worse than all the 5-key mixes, worse than 3rd Style CS, possibly even worse than DDR Extreme USA. Why did I get my hopes up about this? More importantly, why did Konami tease us with pictures of the 9th Style interface?

I’m going to go cry into my copy of Taiko No Tatsujin PSP now. The pure unadulterated cuteness will surely get me out of this funk.

Endured Found

Nintendo World Launch

Today was the much ballyhooed Nintendo World launch, christening Nintendo’s new retails store in what used to be the Pokemon Center. For those not in NYC who are dying to see what it looks like, I took a boatload of cameraphone shots, and you can view them at:

My thoughts? Utter, bitter disappointment.

– There’s nothing game-wise that’s unique to the store. The only merchandise you can’t find elsewhere is some Nintendo-branded clothing.
– The prices are exactly the same as any other retail outlet.
– The historical items are sort of neat but a very small section of the store.
– There’s tons of empty space; the space that is used is cramped, leading to bad people flow.
– There are portions of the store that are just devoted to playing promotional movies, rather than pushing product. I am not joking when I say the Apple Store in Soho has more product on the shelves than this store does.
– Most of all, the store lacks personality. Whether you love or hate Pokemon, when you went into the Pokemon Center, the store had energy laying somewhere between cute and obsessive. It was always fun to go in there and giggle, if nothing else. The Nintendo store is without any sort of feeling, just existing and nothing more. It does not feel like there’s anything related to fun or gaming occurring here. Toys R Us in Times Square is more fun, and the Toys R Us gaming section *blows*.

On the up shot, it was nice to see Herbie and John, so it wasn’t a wasted day. But steer clear of the Nintendo Store – there’s no spectacle, no enthusiasm, no feeling.


Words Taken Out Of My Mouth

I was going to write this long post about how ridiculous it is that Nintendo and Konami have teamed up to created Dance Dance Revolution With Mario, and how Nintendo needs to really get away from watering down their characters.

But Geeks On Stun nailed all the points I was going to make. Even the bit where I was going to call Donkey Konga a “half-assed version” of Taiko No Tatsujin.