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Pachter Says He ‘Would Never Ever Question Nintendo’s Software Strategy’

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Famed video game industry analyst Michael Pachter has finally had some good words to say about Nintendo on the latest edition of his show, Pach-Attack. In the latest episode of the show Pachter discusses the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker as well as the Nintendo eShop. Here’s what Pachter had to say.

PDantas: “Mr.Pachter, do you think Nintendo is expanding their eShop services for countries outside the US anytime soon? I’m in Brazil and I fear I won’t be able to download the new Wind Waker HD when it comes out.”

MP : “Yeah I think so, I think Nintendo is very late to the party with the eShop. But so far what I’ve seen it actually works quite well, you know, I think in typical Nintendo fashion they did it right, they just did it late. So I think it’s their intention that any place you can download their games, they’re happy to sell them to you.”

Marc42: “What do you think of Nintendo re-releasing Wind Waker? No mention of Mario, Metroid etc. Creative troubles?”

MP: “Urm, I think Nintendo is an enigma wrapped up in a question mark. I have no idea what motivates Nintendo to release the games they release. I think you can safely assume that if Nintendo thinks they can make money re-releasing a game, they’re going to re-release the game. I certainly wouldn’t diss them at all for bringing back Wind Waker, and I would not rule out that because today there is no mention of any other game they’re not going to do that. I think that pretty much anything that is Mario or Zelda is under Miyamoto’s control and I think that Miyamoto is given complete freedom to pick and choose what he wants to work on, what he wants his studios to work on. I think that he decided that Wind Waker would just look great in HD. The demos we saw it looks pretty great in HD. It’s a big big franchise and I think they will sell a lot of units. The only constraint to selling units of Wind Waker is the amount of Wii Us out there. So far not very many, but in time there is going to be 10, 15, 25 million and I when there are they are going to get a very high attach rate. That audience is super loyal to the Zelda franchise, of course they’re also loyal to Mario but you’re going to get a new Mario title, probably more of these retro titles later on in the Wii U’s life cycle, but again I’m at a complete loss to explain what motivates Nintendo to do anything, they have their own method, it has worked for them for a long time. I would never ever question their software strategy, I think they do a great job on software, I consistently question their hardware strategy but not software, I think they know what they’re doing.”

Thanks, Dusklurker

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116 comments

    1. I have to agree with him this time, I think of Nintendo made the power of the Wii u more powerful and take a little more of a loss and stop peoples bitching and make more developers happy, I’m not complaining about the power or graphics but I am mad that I am missing a lot of AAA titles, it seems like the only dedicated 3rd party is ubisoft, the only thing they did wrong was Rayman but that was understandable. If you think about it from a business perspective

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      1. I don’t buy power because Game cube was the most powerful system in that generation and did not get no better support than Wii U. Wii U is more powerful than you think. PS4 is just more powerful than Wii U. But Wii u is closer in performance with PS4 than Wii and Ps3. 3 years from now when the three consoles are fully developed, you will have a tough time trying to notice the difference. All three are low end PCs able to handle PC like texture. That is all that matters to Nintendo’s Wii U. Make it strong enough to handle that and place a unique GPU that 30% of it still can’t be decoded.

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      2. Gamecube was not the most powerful, the original Xbox’s CPU clockspeed was almost twice as fast as the Gecko processor in the gamecube and it had more RAM too. And I’m not sure the Wii U will do any better in years to come when it comes to third party support. If developers start making games for PS4 that utilise it’s frankly impressive hardware (8GB DDR5 RAM, 8-core CPU etc…) then Wii U simply won’t be able to handle them, at least not to the same standard, plus it already has a small install base. Couple those together and that does not spell triumph for the Wii U.

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      3. Obviously, I am simply assuming that the PS4’s install base will be larger when it finally launches anyway. That might be an unfair assumption but something about the PS4 tells me it will do alright, though I do think the glory days of dedicated games consoles are over now anyway.

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      4. I’m not complaining about it, but developers are, to even have the thought of having levelers call it last gen should gave Nintendo a hint that they should of gave it more power, or I think they should release a Wii u 1.5 in a couple of years so it can handle the graphics of the ps4.

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      5. Power has nothing to do with a console being next gen. I think you’re confusing publishers with developers, there is a difference.

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      6. Macarony, if you don’t have anything better to say just shut up, the discussion was good.

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      7. His point is that every sale the Wii U gets now is a head start of the other systems not yet released and that we have no idea how good the PS4 will sell.

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      8. Really its not DDR5 Ram in the PS4, its GDDR5 which is less than DDR5 when its comes CPU and OS related tasks. GDDR5 is only good on the graphics card. You are way overstating the power of the PS4, there alot more going on under the hood than some forced specs to be shown as marketing points.

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      9. You are indeed correct, I did mean to say GDDR5, my mistake. However, for what they need it for GDDR is by far the better option. GDDR typically has higher clock speed than DDR and has different voltage requirements. Each subsequent version of GDDR seems to require less voltage so it’s probably safe to assume that GDDR5 will consume a lot less power. So yeah I’d say the PS4 is pretty impressive hardware-wise. Even digi foundry were impressed by it. I’m not saying it’s the most amazing piece of hardware ever and it will blow everything else away but for a home games console it’s pretty well stacked and unfortunately, it’s certainly better kitted out than the Wii U

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      10. I must not be impressed as Digital Foundry, cause I know doing GDDR5 for CPU tasks isn’t a great idea. Its the same reason most computers have both DDR3 for the CPU and GDDR5 for the graphics. But if I had to cut something it would be GDDR5 in favor of the more stable system ram. The problem is this is a cost cutting measure and looks great on a spec sheet.

        I know its more powerful on the graphics front end, but there are allot of things going on under the surface and different priorities going on with how the systems handle. For instance the Wii U has a separate processor for the OS (but not RAM).

        Again, its a little hard to compare the exact power of either, as the Wii U is very custom and Sony has only release bullet point specs for Marketing Purposes. But I am already seeing its not Night and Day, just the focus of the technology is a little different.

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      11. The Wii U has a separate processor for the OS? I knew it had a dedicated 1GB of RAM reserved for OS tasks but was only aware that it had one, triple-core CPU. Where did you hear that from may I ask?

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      12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megahertz_Myth

        The gamecube out performed the xbox.
        The 8 cores you are referring to is a ‘jaguar’ processor. This is a processor designed for tablets, netbooks and lap tops. Low end stuff as far as PC’s are concerned. The Wii U’s processor could be on par with the ps4 processor for all we know lol. Just the same as the 360’s processor was more or less on par with the ps3’s even though it had 7 cells. The RAM is the biggest factor we know of right now that is superior because of it’s speed and amount. There also isn’t that large of a gap between the video cards as you might assume.
        I’m sorry to burst your bubble but the ps4 specs aren’t very impressive at all.
        The install base of the Wii U is the same at the ps3 and xbox 360 four months after launch. Actually marginally better.

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      13. I’m well aware that clock speeds are not the only thing you can measure a CPU’s performance in thank you. Seeing as how both the Gecko and Xbox’s CPU were single core, I would assume the clock speed played a significant part. I’m not familiar with the architecture, pipeline capabilities, buses, or instruction sets of either (although being microsoft, I’d assume the Xbox’s CPU was an i386 or x86 set). You say the gamecube outperformed it, do you have any evidence of that? Any benchmark tests or anything?

        I’ll take your word on the Jaguar processor, however, the Wii U’s CPU is only 1.25 GHz with three cores, which I dare say could well be outperformed (on paper anyway) by some tablets. I think the PS4’s CPU would probably be the victor, although I do take your point that we don’t really know anything about it at the moment.

        As for the install bases, I’m not sure it’s a fair comparison, Microsoft and Sony already have the better third party support right now, Nintendo didn’t have good third part support last gen let alone now with the Wii U. I think third parties will continue to support MS and Sony’s machines more so than Nintendo’s…much to my disappointment I might add.

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      14. The Wii U’s is actually 1.24ghz and change, The PS4’s is only 1.6ghz. Once again your trying to compare apples to apples, and this just isn’t the case. Yeah, on paper loads of stuff is out of whack because unless people know what it means it’s all moot, so most people refer back to the ghz of a processor as far as CPU’s go anway. But yeah, we don’t really know how well either will really perform. I’m sure the PS4 will perform better then the Wii U but ya never really know till each system ends up getting pushed to it’s limits lol. Also, if a game only utilizes 2 cores (most games don’t use more then 2 cores at the moment, at least on PC’s) then it becomes less of a gap between both systems. Plus don’t forget about the eDRAM. This stuff is like crack for processors, and one of the main reasons that the 360 was able to keep up with the PS3 and even surpass it in certain games.

        I still think my comparison of consoles sold within the same amount of time from launch is very valid. It is what it is. MS and Sony do have more LARGE third party support right now and the PS3 has a good following of indie devs, but Nintendo is making it very easy for them to start supporting the Wii U, and the more interest in the Wii U the better bacause then more consoles will sell and there will likely be more of the large third party support. The Wii U is already ahead of the Wii as far as third party support.

        I have my doubts that people will flock over the new MS and Sony consoles and it will be slow launches for them as well. Why? Because they have both been selling so well recently and people are more on a budget then they were at the launch of the last generation with still recovering from the world recession. Just my two cents.

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      15. this gen won’t be about power, is gonna be who can creat the best gameplay. i could see third party making games for nintendo when they notice is much simple to work with their online service. their wii had a bad policy which they hated third paty ignore the wii and choose xbox live and psn.

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      16. I don’t think the PS4 hardware is that impressive. People make a big deal out of the 8GB DDR5, but there’s a reason why it’s not used as main ram over DDR3 on Desktop PCs and it’s mainly used as Graphic Cards memory. That main reason is high bandwitch, but extremely high Latency as well. I take it they foresaw 4GB wouldn’t be enough because of said latency and bumped it to 8GB instead.

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      17. 1. GameCube was not the most powerful.

        2. GameCubes downfall was its storage medium, not its power.

        3. Wii U is way, WAY less powerful than PS4. The RAM alone in PS4 staggering: 1GB of older DDR3 RAM in the Wii U, compared to 8GB of faster DDR5 RAM in the PS4. Also, the processor in the Wii U is much slower and less powerful than the PS4. The pre-beta of the new Killzone already looks far, far better than any released or announced game on Wii U, and the Killzone game is PRE-BETA. It runs at native 1080p, which only a select few Wii U games do, and it runs at a constant 60 frames per second, has far greater draw distances, many, MANY more particle effects, shaders, and anti-aliasing than Wii U could even begin to handle, etc.

        Now, graphics aren’t everything. But to say that the difference in graphics between the two consoles will be hardly noticeable is simply foolish. The difference will be fairly drastic; maybe not the same as the original Wii vs PS3, but damn close. And when people are faced with the option of buying a console that has games that look very similar to XBOX 360 games but has a second screen for a pricetag of $299, and buying a console with much more advanced graphics, much bigger and robust online model, far greater 3rd party game & AAA title support for a pricetag of around $399, most serious gamers will go with the latter.

        Graphics may not be everything, but console power allows for much more than prettier pictures. A second screen may allow for some new novelty-type gameplay options, but developers can do a lot more with nearly unlimited resources (for the time being) to create bigger worlds, more interactive environments, better AI, more dynamic environments that are less static and un-changing, etc.

        Example: second screen may allow you to tap to make blocks for Mario to jump on, but much more console power allows for games like Watch_Dogs and it’s “living world” to be created. While I know Wii U will likely be supporting that game, I’m merely using it as an example of something that couldn’t be done on, say, the original Wii. The reason it can be done now is? More power. To put it another way: If you added a second screen to the original Wii, it still wouldn’t allow for Watch_Dogs to be possible. There’s only so much you can do with a second screen if you lack more raw power to create more diverse, bigger, broader games.

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      18. The N64 was the most powerful of it’s gen. Even though the XBOX had more “raw’ horsepower, the CPU of the GameCube actually ran faster and more efficient because of it’s architechture. Both consoles had minimal 3rd party support compared the to NES and SNES days or compared to the weaker PS1 and PS2 which had ALL the 3rd party support.

        Even the Wii cold have had version of each so-called “AAA” game on the 360 and PS3. Companies felt it was beneath them to do so. Well some of those companies have gone under since then and others are on the verge of going under now. Maybe if they had put their games on the Wii which was the best-selling console of the 7th gen and 5th best-selling console of all time, perhaps they would have a little more capital in their stock portfolios. They made their choice, and now they are paying for it.

        The Wii U is as powerful as it needs to be. No one know more about making games than Nintendo. Period. No one know more about how to maximize hardware better than Nintendo. So it is logic to say that Nintendo understands that there is a point of diminishing returns in terms of horsepower and graphics and the focus needs to be on innovation and artistry. Nintendo may not need the same amount of horsepower that Microsoft and Sony need for their consoles because they know how to make games backwards and forwards where as Sony and Microsoft developers don’t that the wealth of knowledge and experience Nintendo developers have and need that extra horsepower to HIDE that fact.

        I’m convinced that aside 1st Party Sony studios like Naughty Dog or 1st party Microsoft studios like 343, you probably won’t see any games in the lifespan of the 720 and PS4 that has better graphics than anything Retro Studios or Nintendo can do on the Wii U simply because their talent will out do horsepower.

        If I give first-year gaming student a gaming-rig level PC with Adobe Creative Suite and a Cintiq 22″ HD and ask them to design a character, they probably are going to have issues. If I take an artist like Joe Madureira or Jim Lee and give them a notepad and a no.2 pencil and ask them to design a character, they will make a masterpiece. That’s the whole point.

        There is no record of the ‘MOST’ powerful consoles ( and I made the distinction on purpose because people always try to bring up the SNES which was a powerful console but was far less powerful than the NEO-GEO which had a CPU that destroyed the SNES CPU) winning anything. Ironically enough, the only times that it ever came close to happening it was by, Nintendo. Based on history, and based on the numbers of the Wii U overall in the short time it has been on the market, this 8th gen might not even be close. Once Nintendo does a better job of showing the public what the Wii U is and have the games to back it up, it’s not just a wrap/ It’s a Reynold’s Wrap.

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      19. Instead of just posting a one sentence comment, why don’t you actually explain why he is a Nintendrone and damage controlling?

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      20. It’s called an “ad-hominem” Since the person is either too stupid or too lazy to bring up a valid rebuttal, they attack the credibility of the person so that what they are saying is not credible either.

        “Damage control”, “Nintendrone”, “Sonydrone”, “Xbots”, “fanboy” etc. Just words to try and cover up laziness or intellectual inferiority. Think nothing more of it. I don’t. :)

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      21. I agree, however what a lot of people don’t realize is that Monte do is first and foremost a videogame company unlike Microsoft and Sony which both dabble in computers tablets and other jazz of the sort. When Nintendo has an idea in mind they create hardware that will do nothing but benefit their version of the idea, not anyone else’s. Microsoft and Sony see videogames through the tinted computer spec glasses where if these specs aren’t cutting edge enough for trending developers they don’t buy it, but in the long run it puts them at the risk of a greater loss for less reward if the 3rd party develoers don’t hold up to quality games. In short if Nintendos hardware is weak they make games that divert your attention away from that by producing quality games. Sony and Microsoft will always have a hardware advantge but without brilliant in house developers it may be all of nothing if the industry starts to belly up.

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      22. That’s already starting to happen. Companies are falling apart everywhere. Nintendo has been in the business long enough to know that power does not win. They’ve won 4 of the 7 generations. The lost with the most powerful console and they won with the least powerful console.

        Actually Sony should know better at this point too. They’ve been in this for over 20 years.

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      23. Wow.. you have made several awesome true points! Rarely have heard it said better. You and Dusk have truly owned in Truth! I agree totally. Its so funny that ps1-2 had all that 3rd party support being the weakest system, and now their publishers use “Tech Spechs” as an excuse to hate on Nintendo and undercut their 3rd party support. This all should be illegal it sounds too dirty… Im sure there is alot of dirty buisness going on from Nintendo’s competition. It will all blow up in their faces for being such assholes, and theyll come running back to capitalize on Nintendo’s success… You cant beat them so theyll have to join in… They dont want to get embaressed again like with the WII raping them last gen lol.

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      24. “The Wii raping them last gen”

        I laughed a bit.

        Great discussion over here on this post overall.

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      25. Wii couldn’t have had the AAA games from 360 and PS3. They’d have looked and played terrible. Horrible visuals, terrible frame rates, etc.

        Developers didn’t want to water their games down that way, especially when nobody would buy them because Wii was a more “casual gamer” console. Hell, even my brother, who hasn’t played video games since the NES/GameBoy days, bought a Wii for fishing games.

        The result of watering down games? Look at Call of Duty on Wii; it looks terrible, it plays terrible, and hardly anyone bought it. Why waste production time and money on an inferior product, knowing real fans of the franchise will buy it on other consoles, and most Wii owners wouldn’t even be interested in it anyway?

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      26. He sees how well monster hunter 3 is selling in the European block. It’s actually an amazing jump and clearly software is the major issue here. Sometime soon the AAA titles are going to make Nintendo more money then ever. Their structure is built on integrity not money grabs. Yeah of course there’s shovel ware but that on all systems, it’s just u hear about nintendos more because its just more popular.

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  1. I wouldnt question Nintendo’s software strategy either, thats why they have so many memorable characters and icons, unlike PS or x360.

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    1. You seem to be forgetting. Master chief, Marcus Pheonix, Nathan Drake, Jak and Daxter, and a few more. Xbox and PS may not as much as Nintendo, but They stil lhave some awesome icons.

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      1. Master Chief I agree on.
        However, no one cares about Marcus, Nathan is a nice guy but is not an Icon, and Sony killed off Jak&Daxter LONG ago. :/

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      2. Joseph, honey. People only know who Master Chief is and even then Halo has gone down hill, baby. Sorry to disappoint, but Nintendo has way more memorable characters. Like me for instance. The most memorable Pokemon character. 💋

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      3. Master Chief has no persona. No personality and nothing tying you to him what so ever. It could be his successor Master Chief 2 and you wouldn’t care less. Sure, Marcus Fenix is so memorable that you can’t even spell his name properly. Nathan Drake is less known the Alan Wake or Max Payne (probably cause the games isn’t called Nathan Drake it’s Uncharted). Jak and Daxter are good though, still not nearly as known as Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong. The only character that I can think of that is better known then Mario is Mickey Mouse. Even that is probably quite close.

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    1. How do you know 3D Mario is coming this Fall? All they said was that it would be playable at E3 in June. We got Pikmin 3 at E3 2012, and 10 months later, we still don’t have a release date!

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      1. Go back and watch the January Nintendo Direct. He said 3D Mario, Mario Kart U, would be playable at E3 and coming out this Fall along with Windwaker Reborn.

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  2. WTF? Exactly the opposite of the last statement is true…I would question their software producing and marketing strategie….A LOT….

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    1. He isn’t questioning the software because they have some of the largest and best selling franchises in gaming history. This is their strategy. He can’t question it because it’s set in stone, it’s history lol.

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  3. Marc42: “What do you think of Nintendo re-releasing Wind Waker? No mention of Mario, Metroid etc. Creative troubles?”

    In the same Nintendo Direct that announced Wind Waker HD, it was announced that Mario 3D would make an appearance at E3 2013. That’s a pretty substantial mention of Mario.

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    1. So what ? So they shouldn’t have released Mario galaxy 1 or 2 ? .

      A – People love and want to play Mario games , why deny them of that.
      B- Mario Galaxy is one of the best games EVER made with highest metascore.

      Who gives a fuck what Nintendo Make. Smash bros , Skyward sword , Twilight princess , Mario galaxy 1 and 2 , Metroid prime 3 , etc etc were some of the best games this/last gen.

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  4. Even duh stupid ass Michael Pachter praises Nintendo’s glorious software. Only goes to show Nintedo brings duh best games to it’s system. Mmmhmmm! 💋

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  5. Can’t argue with that. Although their hardware decisions are a bit iffy, their software is some of the best games around. How many other developers have Nintendo’s track record with releasing great games with some of them being heralded as the best games ever made generation after generation? Answer: none.

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      1. Most if not all… If you mean publisher then Nintendo sometimes lags behind, but as developers they are right on par.

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  6. I hate pachter lol. Please , nobody take this guy seriously not even one tiny little bit.

    He has the attitude that he (a pin prick nobody) can speak down at people like Nintendo and Miyamoto (Best game developers in the world. fact) .

    It’s like a Tramp in a sleeping bag trying to give advice to Samuel jackson or something…

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  7. I don’t get people…

    Well, when the WiiU is doing bad at the market they will bash on the console and say it will sell between 30- 50 millions lifetime! but, as soon as the console start to show that with the right software strategy it can sell a lot, they change their minds and say it can have between 15-25 milion unities sold in only a year.

    People should stop bashing on Nintendo, they do great games with a good hardware quality that almost anyone can afford. that’s what matters. they are not into these modern price models or DRM methods that lower our experiences with games, they sure do things on ”typical Nintendo fashion” and that’s because they care about their fans/costumers.

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    1. ^this, if nintendo really wanted to release a super beefy console for gen 8, they couldve, but thats not their game. Their game is innovation. But i predict that if nintendo does get all the third party by the end of gen 8, they could make a powerful console for gen 9. Super Wii U!

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  8. Nintendo’s probably waiting for the PS4 launch date to drop Wind Waker U,
    3D Mario, Bayonetta 2, and (pleeeease) 1st person Metroid. I’d say that’s
    pretty strategic!
    Buy the PS4 and KNACK for 499.99 + 59.99 = ^$560 ;,(
    Or buy fun & innovative games + a system for over $100 less.
    And if they do any Wii U bundles, the battle’s already over!

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    1. First of all, you should buy both if you had the money. Secondly, why do you think Knack will be the only worthwhile PS4 launch title?

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      1. Its the only title I remember from the conference. I doubt it’ll be the best PS4 title – just giving a ‘for instance’. You could insert any 59.99 title there if you like.

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    1. Aeolus January 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm
      You will be seeing the next consoles this year, and they will crush Nintendo into the dust.
      Wii U will be lucky to see even 50, no 40 million sales at the end of its life. Watch.

      MP: Miyamoto is given complete freedom to pick and choose what he wants to work on, what he wants his studios to work on. I think that he decided that Wind Waker would just look great in HD. The demos we saw it looks pretty great in HD. It’s a big big franchise and I think they will sell a lot of units.

      They’re different, though cut from the same Troll cloth.

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  9. Don’t get fooled by his spoken words my friends, as they have only been uttered because of our forces infiltrating his base…

    Don’t forget, he has been targeting High Command’s strategy ever sine before the Wii U was released…

    And now he says something “nice”?…

    Our Ninjas did well…

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  10. He’s been one of many supposed “Professionals” questioning Nintendo’s hardware stance for ages.
    It’s never done the others any good to call past systems failures due to less powerful tech, and it won’t be any different in Pachter’s case.
    Point blank, he doesn’t understand that power isn’t the most important factor in being a game company.
    Nor is graphics.

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  11. Hey this is kind off of off topiic bbut I was wonndering if
    blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have tto manually code wikth
    HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how soo I wanted to get guidance from someone woth experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    Like

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