Video games and marriage

When I got married I thought that my video game habits would change. The did change, but not in the way that I expected.

I love to play video games and I have an extensive collection. When I show off my collection to people who haven’t met my wife, I usually get a comment like “I can’t believe your wife lets you keep those video games out in the open.” Or “You better cherish that time with video games because after marriage, they’re going to be sold.”

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Jon Carnage sxsw greasy

As the title suggests, SXSW 2016 Gaming starts today! Back in 2012 SXSW decided to start a gaming portion of the multifaceted event. I was there for it, and man it was a rough week!

GDC has always been around the same time as SXSW making it a difficult juggle for businesses such as mine at the time, Tap.Me, to hit GDC and SXSW for coveted meetings with potential partners. It’s still a pain in the butt in 2016! Many people I know are leaving GDC to head to SXSW Gaming today, because the gaming portion of SXSW continues to grow and become more important.

One large thing that separates SXSW Gaming from most game events is after the dismal turnout for their inaugural year in 2012, the event has been open to the public since. It is one of the only truly free portions of SXSW. I recall paying about $1200 to go to the 2012 SXSW gaming event because it required an Interactive ticket. What a rip off :(, but I am happy to see it is available for everyone now.

Since my recent move to Texas, 3 weeks ago, I decided to skip my streak of GDC events and stay in Texas for SXSW. This would have been my 9th GDC in a row! Crazy.

I will be covering SXSW Gaming starting today. Please let me know if there is anything you’d like to see in depth.

Here is an animated gif of my week at SXSW thus far. Features @joncarnage , Flor (band), Break Science (band), Lucky Chops (band and pink hair dude is the sax player), Mr. Robot (TV), Keys and Krates (band), Samsung Gear VR and 360 camera, lines and lines and lines, weird people, fun people, 3 drinks (for Jason Epicpower), that kid from Billy Madison as an adult (Eddie), and swass.

btw: all these pics were taken with my new Samsung Galaxy S7. Getting a full day of battery even during SXSW!

Jared Epicpower's week at SXSW Interactive and Music

Jared Epicpower’s week at SXSW Interactive and Music

Oculus ready

If you’re planning on upgrading to get Oculus ready, this might be the deal you’ve been waiting for.

Starting 8am PST on February 16, Oculus will offer users the ability to pre-order an Oculus ready PC AND an Oculus Rift Consumer model. Prices start at $1500 which when you account for the $599 Oculus Rift makes the PC $900. You can order from Amazon, Best Buy or Microsoft.

Specs start with the ASUS G11CD-WS51 which comes with an Intel i5 6400 clocked at 2.7GhZ, NVIDIA GTX 970 and 8GB of DDR4 2133mhz ram. That one will set you back $1500, but for 900 bucks its a pretty decent PC that comes with warranties and tech support.
PC specs top out at the ASUS G20CB-WS71 that comes with a beefy Intel i7-6700 clocked at 4.0ghz,  NVIDA GTX 980 and 16 GB of DDR4 2133MHz ram. That bundle will set you back $2200 smackaroos.

Each PC comes with varying hard drives and a copy of Windows 10 home. Regardless of your needs, there’s a PC that can fit your budget.

Oculus Ready PCs

List of available PCs that are Oculus Ready

If you’ve already ordered an Oculus Rift consumer edition and still haven’t upgraded your PC, you’ll be offered a discount on all of the Oculus Ready PCS located on their website.
While it’s always better to build a PC yourself, you get a really good deal on something that’s guaranteed to be compatible with the Rift when it ships.

The Rift also comes with two great games; EVE: Valkryrie which is a space dog fighting game that has you fighting other players. Also included is Lucky’s Tale which is a colorful platforming adventure much like Super Mario Galaxy.

No one knows for sure how many are actually going to be stocked this time, but Oculus does state the bundles will be in limited quantities. You should expect to see your order fulfilled by the end of April.

A change.org petition wants Danny DeVito to voice the English Version of the new Nintendo game Detective Pikachu

For those of you having trouble picturing DeVito as Detective Pikachu, I present to you a side by side comparison of the two for evaluation. As you can see, the resemblance is uncanny.

Danny DeVito Pikachu

Danny DeVito voicing Detective Pikachu would surely propel video games as an art form

Detective Pikachu was just announced a couple of days ago and fans are already hoping that they’ll be able to convince Nintendo to book the zany Danny DeVito to lend his voice to the yellow detective. The petition currently has over sixteen thousand signatures out of the required twenty five thousand needed. Of course after the petition meets its goals, Nintendo is under no obligation to follow through on the fans demands.
As to whether the Always Sunny in Philadelphia star would be a good fit for the detective, one just needs to look at the live action trailer Nintendo put out for Detective Pikachu this past Monday:


Detective Pikachu was announced on January 26 for Japan and will be released as an eShop title for about 15 dollars US. No word on if it will actually reach the United States, but if it does get an English release it would be really fun to have The Penguin voice the lovable yellow Pokemon star. Pikachu has always had a high pitched, kid style voice, but a raspy Danny DeVito, who is no stranger to voicing various characters would bring an interesting spin and possibly open the character up to a wider audience.

To my knowledge, Nintendo doesn’t really employ US celebrities to voice their characters. Other franchises like Halo 5 and Call of Duty have employed high ranking celebrities like Nathon Fillon and Kevin Spacey to voice characters in their games, but Nintendo still has yet to jump on the wagon. Perhaps adding DeVito to their roster would signal a change in direction especially since the yet to be announced Nintendo NX is rumored to pander to what’s hot with the young kids these days. And young kids want Danny DeVito to voice Detective Pikachu!

This summer we’ll get a brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game to reinvigorate the nostalgia of the arcade games of old.

Developed by Platinum Games, Mutants in Manhattan looks to bring back the 4 player arcade style from the arcade. Using the power of next gen consoles, the game looks like an animated comic book. All of your favorite characters are in the game as well. From Leonardo to Shredder, the TMNT universe is vast so I’m sure there will be a extensive amount of content.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder

Shredder looks crazy!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Bebop

Bepop will mess you up!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Slice

The attack animations look right out of a comic book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Platinum Games is the Japanese studio responsible for Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising and Vanquish.
There isn’t much else to say about this game since the trailer is just a tease, but a 4 player local co-op will make this game a must buy for this Turtles Fan. Expect more details as the release date draws near this summer.

Turtle Power! Check out the trailer below

 

 

Every time Nintendo has stock issues with a popular item, people seem to think that Nintendo is doing it on purpose to drive hype for a product that would otherwise not sell if stock was plentiful. I have been in a number of arguments on this subject and have finally decided to write an article on it.

So why would a notable company like Nintendo do that? Well they don’t. Nintendo is a victim of its own popularity and gamers are victim of it as well. Anything that has a hint of being popular and with supply issues is picked up quickly by scalpers who turn to eBay instantaneously to resell for 2-3 times their original value.

 

Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii is probably the best example that people use to argue that Nintendo uses scarcity to drive popularity. The Nintendo Wii is objectively the worst console of its generation yet managed to sell 20 million more consoles than its competitors. For two years, the Nintendo was in low quantities yet high demand. You couldn’t walk into a Best Buy to pick one up unless you knew someone who worked there and had them set one aside. If you just had to have one, you needed to go to eBay and pay anywhere from 300 – 400 dollars for a console that retailed for 200.

I know first-hand that these sold for an obscene amount because I sat in line at Target overnight with my parents and a neighborhood kid for one. We ended up getting four total and sold three at 450 a piece which in turn paid for the Wii that I kept. I didn’t have any trouble selling one either, the consoles were sold in November and I made sure that they were in buyer’s hands before Christmas.

Over the next two years I enjoyed the hell out of my Wii and my friends who didn’t have one would come over to my apartment to play it. After a while, I had grown tired of my Wii and decided to sell it with all of my games. I ended up selling it for 600 dollars and bought myself a digital SLR with the funds.

I have since bought another Wii and actually have a 25th anniversary red Wii that I picked up for 30 dollars. Wiis are very common and many people who bought them just to play Wii sports have them sitting on their TV stand collecting dust.

 

Amiibos

Remember Amiibos? For the past year some Amiibos have been in stock and on the pegs for months while others sell out day one and never see the shelves again. People were buying Ness, MegaMan and Marth specifically to resell or trade at a later time taking the figure out of the hands of people who wanted to walk into a store casually and pick them up.

The situation was so dire that Nintendo finally addressed the issueand reprinted a lot of the rarest Amiibos to the point where they fill bins at Toys R Us. Need a Villager? No problem. Shulk? Got ya covered. Fox? Plenty for everyone.

Even during supply issues, Amiibos were a hit. Selling well over a million units, Nintendo has now cemented the Amiibo in their games and alongside similar items such as Skylanders, Disney Infinity, and Lego Dimensions. Yet people still believe that if Amiibo had plentiful stock at launch, the Amiibos wouldn’t have been successful.

But the major flaw in the argument is that Nintendo never let on that all  Amiibos would be super rare. They did mention that it was possible that a specific character might not see a reprint, but you would still be able to buy a card with the character’s info on it. This business model has changed and now there are more Amiibos on the shelves than Wii U games. The only true “rare” Amiibo is the golden Mario which was a Wal-Mart exclusive and available in limited quantities.

People also fail to realize that the majority of Amiibos available for sale are for the Super Smash Brothers game which has already been known to have rabid fans who make other games rare as well.

Devil’s Third                             

Devil’s Third is a first party “M” rated game from Nintendo. The game has gotten poor reviews and will probably be in the bargain bin in the UK by the middle of January.

What’s that? You’re in the US and haven’t heard that Devil’s Third is coming out? Well it did come out. December 11th 2015 to be exact. Still interested in getting it? Well too bad, there aren’t anymore. The game came to the United States with so little fanfare that you can’t even buy it on the eShop. When Destructoid went to get their review copy, they found that it was pretty hard to find. With a little digging, they discovered Gamestop had 420 copies in stock. For their entire store line. For reference, there are 4,434 Gamestops in the US. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that this game is extremely rare and Nintendo does not want anybody to have this game.

Yet this game is fetching over a hundred dollars on eBay a week after it was discovered to be in extremely limited quantities. People have been tripping over themselves to get their hands on this game even though all reviews suggest that you shouldn’t waste your money. Surely Nintendo is behind this and did it on purpose to get people talking about this game.

WRONG

You can’t hype a game or a product if people can’t go out and buy it. Even if this was done on purpose, the chances of your friends having this game so you can see if you want to play it are so slim that you were actually better off never hearing of this game.  I’m sure if this game was properly advertised in the US (it wasn’t) you would be super pissed that you can’t get go to the store and go buy your own copy. Nintendo would be absolutely nuts to spend money on advertising that the game was coming out and then only ship 1000 copies. The backlash over people unable to get it would drown out the game itself and Nintendo would be struggling to play catch up while gamers give up and play other franchises on other consoles. What happens when you lose customers to competitor who gives them what they want? They don’t come back.

In the examples that I have provided, one could suggest that Nintendo doesn’t use scarcity to drive demand, demand for their products drives scarcity. With the exception of Devi’s Third, my examples are best sellers that couldn’t have possibly been scarce on purpose. You can’t sell 99 million units and call it scarce.

While Nintendo doesn’t bank on scarcity to drive hype, they do release Limited Editions of products that get gobbled up by collectors and when it finally sells out, there’s no chance that Nintendo plans any restock. And while there are rare 3DS and Wii U variants, that doesn’t prevent people from going to Best Buy and getting one of their very own. Limited Editions are for collectors, not regular gamers who like to play games.

So stop shitting on Nintendo; they’re like every other company in the industry and love money. They’re willing to do a lot of things to get their products in the homes of as many people as possible and limiting their stock on purpose does nothing but prevent that from happening.

 

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