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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: The problem with digital game downloads...
I've often been frustrated with Nintendo's WiiWare and Virtual Console releases.  I never really knew what was coming out, or if it was any good.  Nintendo doesn't offer demos, and typically only a handful of screenshots are released, so it's always been frustrating when you want to learn or talk about these games.

Take Castlevania Rebirth, for example.  I love it to bits, but I didn't know that until I'd spent my money and hoped it didn't suck.  I couldn't find any reviews online, and no one had any media to check out beyond the same ten authorized screenshots.


Turns out I'm not alone in my unhappiness.  Gamasutra talks about DLC and reveals this, and other flaws in Sony's and Nintendo's download markets.

They say that, as I noticed, Nintendo just releases games without fanfare and without prior notice.  New games just appear one day, to a surprised bunch of gamers who might have been hyped to buy if they'd known it was coming. 

Games are also renamed for different regions, and released at different times, so when one country gets the same game six months later, you can't search for any reviews 'cause players on the other side of the ocean have been playing something else all this time.

These things don't make any sense, and it just astounds me that they're running it this way.  It makes me wonder about ulterior motives: are they intentionally sacrificing their sales for some nefarious reason?  Maybe they're trying to appease their retail partners (once again falling into that modern rut of trying to please other businesses instead of customers).

Gamasutra also complains about the glut of similar titles. 

There are at least eight Sudoku games on or coming to DSiWare. There is no reason why there need to be so many essentially identical games -- except that they're easy, they're cheap, and two guys can make one in a couple of months. That's not how this new medium should be used, and it makes the whole platform look bad. It makes it feel like the bin of "101 games" discs at a 99-cent shop.

That's really kind of pathetic, you guys.

Nintendo wasn't the only company to face criticism.  Sony's PSP Minis also took some much-needed critiques.  Did you know you could play these PSP mini games on your PS3?  I didn't - and apparently neither did many other people.  Sony, in an attempt to push sales of the PSPgo, didn't make this point well known, unnecessarily limiting sales of the games to the exceedingly small number of people who bought a PSP.  You're missing the point, retards, are you trying to lose money?  To make matters worse, some random games are not playable on the PS3, so nyah!  Screw you, customers!

Another bizarre inconsistency is that Sony Computer Entertainment Japan has forgone the PSP Minis program entirely, meaning a third of the possible base of owners of PSPs and PlayStation 3s right now cannot go out and buy a Minis game. If your worldwide company cannot unanimously agree to allow a service to exist, something is wrong.

What the hell is that!?  I could run Sony better.  I mean, how could I do worse? 

And the PSP mini games can't do multiplayer, 'cause it's <whiny voice> too hard </whiny voice> to write network code that works on both the PS3 and PSP.  I'm of the opinion that if you can't work this out, you shouldn't be making games. 

Here's my official recommendation for Nintendo to increase sales for WiiWare and VirtualConsole games:
1. Announce them in advance.  Release screenshots, teaser videos.  Have a contest.
2. Release larger screenshots than the pathetic thumbnails often given.
3. Offer a demo. 

They might also release them worldwide at the same time, to maximize the word of mouth critical to real success, and maybe consider not changing the names for every region.

And for Sony, try releasing the PSP minis in your home country.  Fuck me, you guys are schizophrenic or something.
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