All About DARKNESSxEAGLE
This issue with Tom McShea's reviewing has been with me for about two years now, starting from when I read his review of Muramasa: The Demon Blade. He gave it a 7.5 (much like with a certain other game) his main issues with the game being:
- Combat lacks depth
- Not much to do outside of combat
Nintendo aren't as shallow (ok, maybe they are, but you get the point) to do something as pointless as that. The first thing it would do is give another argument to the Playstation crowd about copying the PSVita. The next is that it would just cause more complaints about the feel of the console. For whatever reason, there are many complaints abuot the way the 3ds feels, some even go as far as to say it's too heavy. The only two of these I can... allow (until I find a better term) to exist is that of the L and R buttons as this new thin-ness may be awkward for some people and the location of the D-Pad is annoying for playing SSFIV. But anyway, back on topic, I struggle to find a suitable position on the 3ds for a second thumpad that wouldn't cause some awkward hand position (like on the PSP, 'cept you can get used to it).
Nintendo, although having lost some of it over the past years, have a relatively high level of common sense which will intervene with such an act of adding a second thumb-pad. This (for anyone who is yet to think about it) is because the purposes of a second thumb-pad can all be substituted. There are multiple ways of doing so depending on the genre and intended feel of a game. Take Resident Evil as an example: It is a survival-horror so having to stand still in order to aim and shoot (only requiring 1 thumb-pad) makes combat feel slightly more rushed, or frantic. Another example of a shooter is Metroid Prime Hunters, which used the best method of the touch screen for aiming, switching weapons, a radar and morphing, once again, not requiring a second thumb-pad. As for other games that need smoe form of camera movement if placing it in a set position is tedious, simply using a system similar to MP:H or RE can work but so can the camera mechanic in Super Mario 64 DS which was more than good enough.
Perhaps this rumor does hold some truth though. I thought to myself that the only use for a second thumb-pad would be for left-handed gamers, but making another version of the console for both left and right handed gamers with only that difference would be idiotic so I ignored the idea. And then I heard another rumor that owners of the original 3ds would receive an additional piece of hardware to add on to their console for $10 that would act as a second thumb-pad. This is a much more realistic idea that would support the left-handed gaming crowd especially considering the complaints I have already heard about Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Of course, everything I have just talked (or rather, ranted) about will probably end up being absolute rubbish and Nintendo will show me that there is no reason to think so highly of them by releasing another version of the console with a second thumb-pad.
There are three main competitors in the video game industry at this point in time and they all have their own massive fan groups. Nintendo is still thriving off of it's grip that it had over the industry for years as well as it's more recent grasp over the 'casual' gamer. They use their past glory to appeal to the more 'hardcore' audience while focusing their marketing and game production on their new-found target market. Sony, on the other hand, took an attempt similar to what the Wii did only to fail at capturing the casual audience with their Playstation Move, now they have moved their focus back to the long-time gamers and focusing on the power of their consoles with little consideration for the retail price, however, this doesn't mean they're completely ignoring it's influence on sales. Meanwhile, Microsoft has also found a place with the casual audience and is focusing most of their ability on the Kinect, regardless of what their previously main target believe. They are capable of doing more with the XBox 360 than Nintendo was with the Wii thanks to their more powerful console despite having no controller for use with the Kinect. So from this, an evident triangle of competition has thickened: Playstation is trying to beat Microsoft in terms of power, while Microsoft try to win over the more fickle casual audience from Nintendo and at the same time Nintendo is trying to reclaim it's lost audience from Sony while holding onto their casual audience.
Of course, all of this has been accompanied by successes such as the smooth acquisition of a new gaming audience, mishaps such as the hacking incident that Sony suffered from and failures such as the current situation concerning Nintendo's earnings. But where is this competition headed? To put it simply, there are three main possibilities that I can pull off the top of my head.
1) Things will proceed as they are now, the leading company constantly changing depending on situations, timing and marketing, which seems to be the key to capturing the casual audience.
2) Another collapse in the video game industry will be brought about by rushing releases in order to beat the other competitors such as that which occurred in 1983 causing Atari, who had been making home consoles and games at the time, to drop out of the console market. This was also caused by the number of consoles released at the time. This is an interesting theory which I will cover more later with information and predictions which I believe people will take an interest in.
3) The competitive triangle will change directions when the fickle casual audience lose interest in video games, this will most likely result in Microsoft and Sony competing with each other while Nintendo competes less directly with the two of them.
The second theory, considering current events, seems the most likely. I'm not referring to the 3ds price drop issue, but the slowly approaching Wii U. As many have already noted, the Wii U is being released rather early, most likely to make up for the lack of power that the Wii had. However, at the same time it's release is to compete with the power of the other to home consoles, therefore reinforcing the idea of the triangle with Nintendo trying to maintain both sides of the audience while Sony and Microsoft only focus on one. To put it simply, the Wii U's capabilities are likely to appeal to the hardcore audience while the casual audience will go with the tablet/controller gimmick. This release however, is likely to be the catalyst for one of the big three's downfall. Still wondering what I'm getting at? Allow me to continue: Upon the initial release of a console, purchases of the predecessor become more likely; when the Wii U is released, more people will purchase the Wii, like how people are now buying DS Lites and DSi(XL)s so soon after the release of the 3ds. Consequently, when the Wii U is released, for the first 6-12 months there will technically be 4 main consoles on the market: The Wii U, the PS3, the Xbox 360 and the original Wii. This is not the problem though. The Wii U's early release will most likely add a fair amount to Nintendo's earnings (as long as the initial line-up isn't as bleak as the 3ds' and it doesn't cost too much on release) but they will miss out on any developments between then and Microsoft and Sony's next console release.
As I said before, initially, new consoles leave behind their predecessor on the market for a short while longer so when the next Playstation is released, it will leave the PS3 on the market and the same goes for the next Xbox. that means there will be 5 consoles on the market at one point in time. In most cases, this wouldn't be, and hasn't been, a problem, however now that the competition is so fierce these two releases are either going to be rushed or released at a very close date in order to overshadow one-another meaning the time interval of which the market features 5 consoles instead of 3 or 4 will be as long as possible, leaving plenty of time for competitive game launches repeatedly being rushed or pushed back meaning a quick output of money. But the number of people that will buy the consoles on launch will be lower than it would had the Wii U waited for those two before release. This means less people will be buying these games that have been invested in by the two companies resulting in a lower income than what was put out. This is likely to result in the same situation we have now with Iwata's 50% cut and the 3ds price cut. This will at least get the companies back to a stable point where they can slowly return to a steady release of games. However, they will both be losing large amounts of their earnings because of the price cuts. It's at this point where one of the three companies, most likely Nintendo who secured themselves with the Wii U, will try to take advantage of the situation with something big over the holiday season, most likely Christmas.
For those of you who don't already know, Atari released a game based off of the popular movie E.T. near around Christmas in order to boost their sales more than the other companies on the market. They payed for a massive amount of development for the game which initially backfired with the lack of sales. It then became worse due to the fact that the game had been rushed so it could be released in time for the holiday season; this resulted in abysmal gameplay. Because of this many of the games were returned because people found it to be un-enjoyable. There were very few that any money had been made off of. This was the biggest cause for their downfall, or so many have deduced anyway. If the company that takes this step is not Nintendo, then it will probably result in a loss that will prove fatal to the company, leaving Nintendo with only one other competitor which will most likely get back on it's feet after it's main competition is removed from the picture. If Nintendo makes the move it will result in one of the two companies (unless things go particularly badly and both die out) dying out due to lack of sales, then, as with last time, the remaining company will regain it's stature but probably more slowly than if it were not Nintendo making this move.
Although it sounds unlikely, it has happened in the past under similar conditions so passing it off as banter would be wrong. A point that would ridicule this theory is about how the games on these consoles and the progression of the economy in different areas would greatly influence the event of the collapse itself but this is generally theorised as if we maintain our current economical climate (in Britain (and possibly the rest of Europe) and America alike, I'm unsure about the rest of the world though). Another prospect that should be mentioned is the fact that this relies heavily upon the success of the Wii U, which as we've already seen, could easily go downhill. However, when closed, the current pattern in the changes within the video game industry strongly suggest an occurrence like this resulting in an instability among the competitors who will hopefully not try anything that's too much of a gamble if they wish to avoid an incident like this.
Also, I do personally believe the gaming industry would benefit from losing Playstation or Xbox as they heavily influence the competition from each other and Nintendo. But that is just an opinion which most likely arose from the constant arguments between each of the companies' devoted fans, who play a large part in sustaining the three companies' positions on the market.
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