Apr 21, 2009
Apr 20, 2009
I woke up this morning and sat down to peruse through the news before hopping into the shower and I saw this. For people too lazy to click and open a fucking tab, this is the long and short of it (courtesy of reuters):
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd (7974.OS) shares are oversold, Barron's said on Sunday, and reported that strong growth for the Japanese maker of electronic game systems should resume this year.
The weekly investing magazine noted Nintendo shares have been hit since the company reduced its expectations for the fiscal year that ended last month, based on the company's more conservative outlook for Wii sales, news that Sony's (6758.T) PlayStation outsold Wii in Japan last month and amid broader concern about Japan's weak economic outlook.
Yet Barron's said some analysts believe the company beat profit expectations for the year completed, delivering $5.6 billion operating profit, and predict that earnings will rise sharply in fiscal 2010. Video-game sales, which analysts see as recession-proof, are seen rising in the second half of this year.
Barron's also said investors were ignoring Nintendo's strong balance sheet, its capacity for boosting its dividend and shares that are priced reasonably relative to the company's projected growth.
(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone, editing by Maureen Bavdek)
My favorite part of what a lot of the investors is doing is jumping ship on the belief that Nintendo is oversold, not just as product base but as a company as a whole. I'll be first to maintain the possibility that the saturation of the market with the DS, DS Lite, DSi as well as the Wii and any other amount of accessories and add-ons have reached the peak, and this may be Nintendo's roll down the hill, but I doubt it. Nintendo has come through worse before and remained relatively unscathed. I would even go as far as saying that the company that gave us Mario and the original 8-bit graphical innovation of the eighties is just getting started. Let's have a look at a few different factors. Nintendo has always defied industry trends, not just occassionally, but absolutely consistently. The Nintendo 64 for instance remained a cartridge based system, despite companies like Sony and Sega forsaking the cartridge format to move on to systems like the Playstation and the Dreamcast, respectively. Furthermore, the sheer existence of the N64 and later the expanded memory slot, while not widely enabled, allowed titles like Perfect Dark to flourish on the system and any gamer, Nintendo-loyal or otherwise, can name a favorite Nintendo game that they stayed awake well past midnight to play, and that's the titles that have always carried the company. The Gamecube defied traditional means once again with a disc that was at least fifty percent smaller than standard discs at the time and supported a system that many gamers of the day considered "kiddy", however, with titles like Eternal Darkness, Super Smash Brothers: Melee as well as Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes (which many, myself included, consider to be a definitive version of Metal Gear Solid), these beliefs are quickly disspelled. Finally, we come to the Nintendo Wii. This device has, for all intents and purposes, appealed to the masses. This has caused a great deal of dissent on the part of the hardcore Nintendo gamers, such as those who supported the company through the at times, debacle, that was the Nintendo Gamecube (myself included). But Nintendo claims they haven't ignored us; with titles like Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Legend of Zelda and the Twilight Princess, Madworld (a Sega title, I will note) and a slew of Wiiware titles. But these are merely a small percentage of the extremely large library that has ballooned since Nintendo allowed a more open development process for the system, which in some cases has assaulted the sensibilities of some in the gaming populace and only served to drive some away. Like I stated sometime ago, it seems like the Nintendo Wii is a fad product, something just worth having to say people have, and with a capitalist-consumer centralized psyche, it becomes visible why this would be the case, giving investors all the reason in the world to believe the trend that Nintendo and it's products would in fact forever have a case of, "printing money syndrome" and those that see any minor weakness in the shortrun are more than happy to get out and jump on the next bandwagon heading towards a quick buck. But if anyone knows anything about Nintendo and their business plan, they are usually in it for the long haul and don't stop believing in their products (as they are still supporting systems like the Gameboy Micro on Nintendo.com). Maybe video games are not recession proof as a whole, maybe they are, but like any product they have their rise and fall and economically speaking, the time to get out of investing in a company is when their games stop being fun.
Apr 15, 2009
I'm first going to say, that I'm thrilled - I'm thrilled that this man is retiring. David Reeves is essentially public enemy number one for the gamers in Europe. You can see more of his exploits via google or more predominantly Kotaku. But, point being if there is one Sony employee I'm glad to see go, it's this guy.
For anyone who has any interest in the exploits of id software, one of the greatest game companies to ever grace the Earth should check out the interview with Todd Hollenshead over at Gamespot UK. Depending on your interest, it covers a great deal, including id's take on the Wii, which I still believe is severely underappreciated, but not without good reason.
In other news, The PC Game Alliance, which is composed of various companies working to promote the PC as a gaming platform, has lost Blizzard Activision, while in a surprising twist SecuROM has joined. This is essentially backwards of the highest order and I can't wait to see how this develops.
Cover art for Beatles Rock Band - Yes, it's pretty.
Gamespy has a new website up - it's a travesty. I mean, hell, if they didn't want me going there, they've done an awesome job.
Finally, brief mentions of Six Days in Fallujah and Lost Planet 2 - both games I'll be watching over the coming months.
Keep on playing.
This is gonna cost me.
Apr 14, 2009
I suppose the last few weeks have been quite a blur as the world slowly reshaped itself in a way that I had originally did not see coming. But, in the end, I'm certain that everything has worked out for the best - one way or another and I'm glad to be back after a far too long hiatus.
Seeing as I have been without a real challenge lately, I have discovered this courtesy of Kotaku and with a few thoughts on the list, I think that they have gotten it spot on:
25. Ice Climber (NES)
24. Viewtiful Joe (GameCube, PS2)
23. MDK 2
22. Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (NES)
21. Metal Slug series
19. Gauntlet 1
17. Bionic Commando series
16. Guitar Hero series (On Expert)
15. Shinobi (PS2)
14. F-Zero GX (GameCube)
13. Mushihimesama Futari
12. Doom (On Nightmare Difficulty)
11. Call of Duty 4 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
10. Contra series
8. Devil May Cry 3 (PS2)
7. God of War series (PS2)
6. R-Type series
5. Ikaruga (GameCube, Xbox Live Arcade)
4. Mega Man 9 (Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, PlayStation Network)
2. Gouls N' Ghosts series
1. Ninja Gaiden series
The one thing I can't seem to agree with is Portal. I just didn't find any of the challeges that hard and even the expanded puzzle chambers were, while extremely fun, not exactly what I had been hoping for in the terms of expanded. This doesn't even for a second dismiss the fact that I'm waiting with baited breath for the next iteration of Portal.
With all due respect to iterations, the next Rock Band capturing the spirit of The Beatles and following their career will be released with a special edition detailed in a Limited Edition Premium Bundle with:
Dubbed the Limited Edition Premium Bundle, it includes The Beatles: Rock Band game; a Höfner Bass controller, Beatlesque and Ludwig-branded Rock Band drums with classic pearl finish, a metal kick pedal and a vintage replica drumhead; plus a microphone with stand and, according to an email from retailer GameStop, "additional special content."
The Beatles: Rock Band is available September 9 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii and priced at US$250. Is this worth that though?
Personally, I think it is worth it. Hypothetically though if you haven't already purchased one of the many other groupings of plastic instruments that I'm sure are littering apartments, living rooms and entertainment centers around the globe. Seeing as I don't own any of the previous editions but have a crapload of the content already waiting dormant on my 360, I feel almost obligated to own this, seeing as I wasn't even born until after The Beatles stopped touring, despite being desperate in my desire to have been. So, for me, this is going to be a definite preorder and pay off because ideally, I would love to see Rock Band, Rock Band 2 and Rock Band: Beatles nestled closely together in my bookcase next to the last Harmonix triumph I purchased, Guitar Hero 2.
Speaking of things I would love to see on my bookcase, the complete box art for Final Fantasy VII Advent Children has been revealed and is shaping up to be something incredible. Having owned the original on dvd when it was released to a very underwhelmed population with the exception of a few fanboys. But, despite being released on a format created by Sony, I honestly don't mind buying the complete edition on Blu-ray - if not for the sake of seeing how gorgeous the final product will look in delicion 1080 resolution.
Additionally, I would love to see this game sitting on my shelf, however, it wouldn't really be sitting because simply said, I would be playing the hell out of it. I miss the days of the true adventure game and it breaks my heart that those days seemed to have long passed all the gamers by and I feel a little bit sorry for the generations of impeding Madden-monkeys along with the foul-mouthed kids to be on Halo, Call of Duty and Gears of War. But, the design document on the site shows what the original dream was and while it is a bit of a spoiler if you haven't played this game, I recommend that you sit down and put as many hours as you can into it and somehow, I get the feeling you won't regret it.
In other news, Microsoft has stepped up to the plate to take responsibility for the E74 System Error and while I want to say bravo to Microsoft for manning up and taking care of this, I just want to ask, why is it happening in the first place? Microsoft's official statement below:
While the majority of Xbox 360 owners continue to have a great experience with their console, we are aware that a very small percentage of our customers have reported receiving an error that displays "E74" on their screen. After investigating the issue, we have determined that the E74 error message can indicate the general hardware failure that is associated with three flashing red lights error on the console. As a result, we have decided to cover repairs related to the E74 error message under our three-year warranty program for certain general hardware failures that was announced in July 2007.
Two more quick notes. First, fucking bravo to Gamestop for dropping the ball again, it seems weekends ruined for their own employees just isn't enough anymore. And finally, as of 04.14.2009 the new 3.1 Blizzard update is released for World of Warcraft - seeing as I just hit 70, the sheer amount of content is now well beyond staggering.
As always, keep playing, and play hard. --Andrew
Why do I wander?