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UPDATED: IWATA HAD MORE TO SAY ON THE SUBJECT. SEE THE QUOTE AFTER THE JUMP.

The best way to react to this situation is to use this.

You read that title correctly. For the first time in this millennium, Nintendo will not be holding a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, according to a translated statement from Satoru Iwata. This is quite the unexpected news from Nintendo. Here's what the translation says.

"Unlike previous years, we will not have a large-scale [E3] presentation directed to everyone in the world. Instead, we are planning several smaller events focusing on software for America. Among these hands-on events will be one for American distributors and another for western media.”

This news shouldn't be interpreted as "Nintendo will not be at E3." It is highly likely the company will still show off software on the show floor throughout the conference. A prerecorded, or even live, Nintendo Direct may even be in the works. However, there is no way around stating how Iwata has confirmed there is no major press conference from them this year.

I hope Nintendo can bring the hype needed for both of its consoles without a conference this year.

Just... Holy (excuse my language) shit. My body wasn't ready for this at all. Neither was my heart.

It was fairly obvious at this point, but it looks like Nintendo is finally giving up on their first duel-screened handheld. Though they've promised they "will continue to sell Nintendo DS Hardware," Nintendo's newly released fiscal report indicates that they've all but given up hope on turning a significant profit in the future with the DS; they've neglected to mention any sales projection for the Nintendo DS. It seems that DS sales will be too insignificant for Nintendo to even list a projection for them.

Over the course of its life, there have been over 150 million DS hardware sales. Even with four iterations of the platform, that is still a very impressive figure, so if it is at all possible, here's to an equally successful 3DS!

Despite the experts, analysts, and pundits all predicting a decent loss for Nintendo's final numbers in the last fiscal year, Nintendo was able to pull out ahead with a Net Profit of $71 million despite an overall operating loss of $366 million. For those that aren't educated on the difference between those two numbers, a lot of it has to do with how they are allocating their taxes. In essence, the Operating Losses could potentially be tied to eating some of the fiscal losses for the previous year, with a small allocation to potential costs in the next fiscal period.

Of course, that's all speculation. Still, you can have an operating loss yet still turn profit overall, but how you can come to these numbers is slightly above my pay grade (I haven't had an accounting class in 8 years). That being said, Nintendo is claiming the Wii U had a negative impact on income, while the Yen depreciating in March actually ended up being what caused Nintendo to be able to end the year strong with a profit gain. Cutting it rather close, Big N. More inside.


As I sit here playing Fate/EXTRA and the new Soul Sacrifice demo on my Vita, it occurs to me that the PS Vita has very few games, but we all know that, I just didn't know it was this bad. Since beating Persona 4 Golden, Gravity Rush, Uncharted: GA, Touch my Katamari, I still struggle to beat ACIII: Liberation because of how average it is.

I am finally realizing just how few games there are for the small handheld, even a year after its release. I purchased the Vita mainly for those previously mentioned 5 games (They're all good games) but in the end my Vita has become nothing more to me than a PSP with a bigger screen as I notice I have 14~ PSP games on the memory card. It's not good and I'm a tad disappointed. But enough about that. 

I've only bought (or was given) four systems in my entire life and it was all for one single game. The first was a Game Boy Color, obviously for Pokemon Red (Which is insanely pricey now), my second was the N64 for Ocarina of Time, the third was a Wii for (you guessed it) Twilight Princess, and the fourth (Once again) was a 3DS for Ocarina of Time 3D. I've never been upset with my choice to purchase a system for a single game because the game is usually high in replay value. So what I want to know if you've ever purchased a game system for just a single game and if you did, were you satisfied with your decision?

Last August, Nintendo began to more fully embrace digital distribution as a way to sell more games than ever before - a drastic change from their earlier years of distancing themselves from the online community.

President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, has said that digital downloads are rapidly becoming a major contributor to the company's games sales and he expects it to continue to grow in popularity.

"We have 15 Nintendo-published titles available, both physically and digitally [on the 3DS]," he says. "So far in 2013, of those 15 available in this format, 11 percent of sales have come through full digital downloads of those games."

The sales get even more remarkable with some individual games. Fire Emblem Awakening has already sold more than 240,000 units in the United States, with around a third of these sales in digital form. More inside!

The recently announced Legend of Zelda title isn’t Nintendo’s only “link to the past”.  On the seventeenth of April a plethora of new 3DS games were revealed to the public, yet almost all of them were recreations of existing concepts.

Why haven’t there been any compelling new ideas for games recently?  How come, despite increasingly advanced technology and gaming innovations Nintendo constantly reverts back to existing franchises? 

To put it simply, it’s because they work.  These are the games that are going to bring fans crawling back searching for more.  Existing franchises with an established fan base are the safest way to create fun and interesting games without the risk of losing money.

More after the jump!

Many a Nintendo fan has run around over the years, especially during the Wii era, proudly saying graphics aren't everything. Most don't deny that stylized realism in graphical fidelity is indeed nice to look at depending on the game, but many games we have seen over the last handful of years seemed to expect to sell simply because of how the game "looked". This is despite the fact that while choosing a specific graphical style may indeed equal more sales, how pretty that style looks doesn't necessarily mean the game is going to sell.

Some call this the Call of Duty effect - where every game is trying to be the biggest game out there, but that title already exists, and it's foolish to think your title is going to be "that" title. Yes, Call of Duty is generally well made, but it's budget is also extremely modest. Yes, it costs less to make Call of Duty: Black Ops II than it did Tomb Raider, and let me ask you: Which game sold infinitely better? If high budgets meant high sales, we would see that. Expect it doesn't, Conversely, High Review Scores on Metacritic also don't equal high sales (Psychonauts, anyone?). Heck, Epic Mickey got rather "meh" scores, but it sold pretty well... well enough to get a rather piss poor sequel. More inside.

Twitter is a wonderful social media tool, especially to talk directly to fans of things you do. However, like anything on the internet, you have to be careful what you say. Many times words can get misconstrued, especially when limited to 140 characters. 

There is no misconstruing words this time around. Nintendo of Korea stepped over the boundaries. More inside.

Marcus Beer is one of my favorite talking heads in the industry, because he just tells it like it is. He doesn't hold back, and in many respects reminds me of an angrier version of Adam Sessler (who has notably opened up a lot more since getting out of the television industry). That being said, he makes some interesting points. For starters, BioShock Infinite's controls on the PC indeed appears to have some issues.  Now, the combat in general could certainly use some advancing.

It's notable he isn't complaining about the violence like so many have, but rather, that the combat itself needs more variety. Setting all that aside, he goes into some of the talk behind EA, Adam Orth, and other such folks saying things publicly that they really shouldn't be. Thoughts inside.

Ni no Kuni came out for PlayStation 3 on January 22nd of this year to incredibly high critical praise. We at Gamnesia were busy launching this fine little establishment and were sadly unable to cover the release, but Ni no Kuni is a joint venture between Level-5 and Studio Ghibli to create one of the most exciting RPGs on modern game consoles. Combining the beauty and charm of a Miyazaki film with excellent gameplay partially inspired by Pokémon, Ni no Kuni is one of the brightest stars of 2013.

Before this excellent PlayStation upgrade, however, Ni no Kuni was an equally impressive game on Nintendo DS, though this version never saw the light of day outside of Japan. Making its home on a portable console before the PlayStation 3, it only makes sense that it might make its way back to PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS in some way or another. And luckily for us, Namco-Bandi — the game's international publisher — isn't opposed to releasing the award-winning PlayStation 3 rebuild on portable consoles.

The source for this story has no official statement from Namco-Bandai regarding a release on 3DS, so don't take this news too literally, but the company apparently "might consider the project more seriously if enough fan interest was shown." Stay tuned while we investigate this story more closely, but for now, would you like to see Ni no Kuni come to Nintendo 3DS, or would you prefer is stick with Sony?

Look, I don't know many people publicly who actually like Metacritic. It's not that it doesn't serve a purpose, but the amount of weight put into a score on Metacritic, which doesn't necessarily even reflect sales numbers, is astounding. If you want to wrap up some bonuses in the way of sales figures? Great, but to wrap up some of people's base pay on whether or not the general consensus opinion on an extremely skewed scale of aggregation is at a certain mark just seems... prehistoric. It doesn't make sense. However, that's the world we live in. Metacritic is what it is, but we really need to stop acting like it's some be all end all based on tenths of a point. We have a 10 point scale here at Gamnesia, and if we're requires to throw in .5's to get on metacritic... you can forget.

Twenty years ago, when video games were still bleeps, boops, and little dots on a screen, they didn't get much attention from media behemoths like the film or television industry. Many saw them as nothing more than a fad of children's toys that would, as most seem to do, end. Fast forward to today, and video games are a thriving industry full of high-quality titles for just about every player imaginable, and none could be more happy than he who created so many household names like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, Miyamoto-san.

“The fact that we’ve reached an age where video games are being received the way they are just makes me very grateful. There was a time when people always asked, when is the video game boom going to end? We’ve reached a stage where there’s no longer a question of when the boom’s going to end... It is simply: there are video games.” — Shigeru Miyamoto

How right he is—I remember several adults thinking video games were nothing but a cultural fad even well into the Game Boy Advance era. Judging by the look of the modern industry, if games are a "fad," they're a pretty damned important one. But rather than boisterously shouting "niener niener" at those skeptics, let's instead take this moment to celebrate the mainstream acceptance and artistic praise that today's games can deservedly enjoy.

I struggled writing the title for this piece due to one major factor: I personally really like Mr. Iwata. I haven’t met the man, but from what we have seen publicly he is just very likable. He’s a CEO that cut his own pay when sales dipped. He’s very honest in an industry where many talk out their ass. He does developer interviews in Iwata Asks and spurred the Nintendo Directs – both of which I thoroughly enjoy and have been nice additions for the fans.

However, in many ways Iwata has a bit too much of Miyamoto in him. He’s a fine idea man with some nice concepts, but too often he finds himself apologizing for mistakes he has made. Grant it, he is pretty good at rectifying his own mistakes over time, but the fact he has continually made them is certainly a problem.


I've been waiting days to cover this story because I wanted to better frame my approach. See, 3.4 million copies of a game are some pretty lofty numbers. Sure, maybe that's a poor number for say, a console Zelda release, but it's still a profitable number. Tomb Raider's original popularity may never be matched, but since the 90's the franchise has been pretty pathetic in sales numbers, failing to even top 1 million.

In comes a highly touted and well reviewed reboot of the whole franchise. It moved 3.4 million physical copies across all platforms, the most the series has moved since the 90's. In addition, if you add digital sales, you're likely looking at a number north of 4 million total sales. That ranks it as the 3rd best selling game in the series and probably when it's all said and done, potentially the 2nd best. That, to me, seems like a very successful reboot. The fans are raving, the critics are raving, people bought the product, and things seem fine.

Until we find out that Square lost money on the project. So much so they themselves called it a failure. So, what's wrong?

In a recent interview with GameSpot, legendary Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that when developing a game, his work first goes into the core gameplay, and then he decides what IP best suits the experience.

"Whenever I start working on something I always start with creating new gameplay. After that gameplay becomes more concrete, we look at which character is best suited to the gameplay. So I guess from my standpoint, the ideal situation would be that we’re creating an experience that’s so new and so unique that we can present it to consumers with a new character or IP in a way that would be easiest for them to really understand the concept and enjoy the gameplay. But it may also be that in some of those cases it makes more sense for it to involve some of the characters that are more familiar to our fans."
Shigeru Miyamoto

Now funnily enough, I can imagine that there are a lot of times when he breaks these rules. Surely when developing a New Super Mario Bros. game, the associated franchise is the first thought in development, rather than building a sidescroller. Similarly, I’m sure Skyward Sword began production as a Zelda game before they decided to slap Link onto a faceless dungeon-filled adventure game. But of course, for brand new types of games like the famously rebranded Kirby’s Epic Yarn, this kind of approach is completely unsurprising. It does make you wonder, though, just how many potentially great new IPs Nintendo’s thrown away over the years.