So, Nintendo's big American press conference was today, and it more or less confirmed what most realists thought, but irked a few idealists who apparently imagined Nintendo as this last bastion for extremely cheap ass jackasses. Surprisingly, the most "controversial" comment came from Reggie Fills-Aime himself, claiming that unlike MS & Sony, the Wii is designed to be profitable right out of the box. Historically, companies have sold their systems at a rather significant loss, making it up in game sales. But honestly, the system is already the cheapest on the market by a long shot with it's confirmed $250 price tag and it's the only system coming with a pack-in of a title (and Wii Sports looks like one hell of a pack-in with no less than 5 games included). Anybody who's complaining about it is just a moron.
Now, onto the stuff that actually matters, the launch specifics, broken down into three categories:
-Launch price: Granted, $250 is a little more than most were expecting, but it's a extremely reasonable price for what's at least supposed to be a revolutionary new way to experience games.
-$50 games: This makes the system all the more attractive, of course at this point only Nintendo has confirmed that their games will stay at $50, much like MS has done with their 360 titles, but I can't imagine how you'd justify paying $60 for a Wii title.
-One Price: YAY!, finally somebody understands that it's fucking moronic to have one souped up model and one severely crippled one and claim it's an "option" for the buyer.
-At least 30 virtual console games at launch: By comparison, Xbox live arcade only has 29 after being out for nearly a year, this is an excellent start to really make it a superior offering.
-Nov. 19th Launch-Christ, they should at least launch before the PS3, not a mere 2 days later. This means they'll be fighting with Sony for big press coverage, and that battle they will most likely lose.
-Pricing for extras: $5 for a NES, $8 for an SNES & $10 for a N64 title? To be honest, I really can't think of more than a handful of each for each system that are still worth that much. But much more concern is the pricing for the controllers. Extra Wiimotes & Nunchucks are sold separately? And for $60 when you combine the two? That seems a little ludicrous to me. not too mention charging money for a browser that if you have a computer you can download for free.
-Photo/Video System: Is this what the somewhat unexpectedly high price comes from? Nobody's going to use this for anything. It's a stupid, useless idea that should've never come to fruition, especially if it would've dropped the console price.
-No DVD playback: Not a huge feature in the scheme of things, but it's a selling point that now MS & Sony can offer that Nintendo can't, and they did initially claim that it would feature DVD playback.
-Controllers run on batteries: You have got to be fucking kidding me. Supposedly the batteries run for about 30 hours of gameplay. I play at least 30 hours worth of gaming a week, so do most serious gamers. To not make the controllers themselves rechargeable (you know, like on the 360) is pretty goddamn ridiculous.
-No online play at launch: What the fuck is wrong with you Nintendo? This is a major selling point of your competitors, you should at east have something to counter it. Once again, Nintendo has really dropped the ball on this aspect, and if they do fail yet again, this will most likely be the key reason.
Nintendo has honestly set themselves for a much rougher uphill battle then it initially appeared a scant few months ago. We'll have to see if it pays off. I still plan on getting one launch day, but after today you could see a little wavering in the previously unanimous enthusiasm for the system.
Several big movies opening this weekend, although not that many really look appealing. I already saw Gridiron Gang at a sneak preview, and although the Rock showed some decent acting chops, it was still your ridiculously run-of-the-mill sports film.
just looks like the most generic "wacky" animated film ever. I don't even think little kids will be able to sit through it without being incredibly bored.
Black Dahlia features an intriguing true mystery about an unsolved murder, but odds are Brian De Palma's increasingly mediocre directing skills will muddle most of the potential.
And finally there's some little film called The Last Kiss, early reviews are about 50/50, but I think it'll be enjoyable and honestly the only film I'm seriously interested in seeing this weekend.
That's really it for today, I'll most certainly be back later this coming weekend, though.