Column: Nintendo’s unenviable choice

9:00 pm EDT, April 26, 2012

For the first time since the publisher went public, Nintendo reported a financial loss for the fiscal year of $530 million. While the company projects a return to profit next year due to a reduction in production costs for the 3DS and the release of the Wii U, some analysts are advising them to ditch the first-party stranglehold they have on their most popular franchises.

“Nintendo has to deal with the change and let Mario games be played on non-Nintendo devices,” Japanese analyst Nanako Imazu told Games Industry after the losses were revealed.

It is well known that tablets and smartphones pose significant competition to Nintendo, maybe even more so, at least at the moment, than Sony’s struggling PlayStation Vita.

President Satoru Iwata has said before the company has no plans to have its franchises appear on outside hardware, including smartphones.

This presents an interesting dilemma for gaming’s arguably most beloved company. Would it be better to open up software such as Mario to non-Nintendo systems in order to increase the volume sold or stay the course and keep your main selling points close to the chest?

On one hand, opening up Nintendo’s most famous franchises will dramatically increase sales numbers for software, something the company could benefit from. Despite selling roughly 95 million Wii consoles to date, Nintendo’s most touted exclusive of last year, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, only managed to sell roughly 3.4 million copies of the game as of the beginning of this year. While this remains an impressive number of units sold, it’s nothing compared to the amount that could be moved if it were on multiple platforms.

Even classic Nintendo properties would benefit from a port to outside hardware. When a fake Pokemon Yellow was released to the App Store in February, people jumped at the chance to pick it up, making it the number one selling application despite the low ratings of the scam. There are countless thinly-veiled Mario rip-offs on the App Store already, also. It’s obvious people want to play Nintendo software, why not make it more accessible?

However, any benefits Nintendo would gain by putting software on other platforms would probably come back to hurt their own hardware sales. There’s a reason why the DS and Wii are two of the best selling systems of all time. The Wii was an underpowered system even at launch, but what helped sell it, in addition to the unique control system, was the promise of new Mario games and other key Nintendo titles.

The 3DS struggled mightily at launch because of the lack of software that fans wanted to play. While the price cut certainly helped sell the new handheld, what really put it over the edge was the release of Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, the former selling over five million copies.

Personally, while I’m happy with my Vita as a handheld, I’ve even considered picking up a 3DS solely to play Mario titles, including the recently announced New Super Mario Bros. 2.

Nintendo is especially reliant on first-party titles as its systems are rarely as well supported by third parties as Sony or Microsoft.

If Nintendo does not have the rumored Mario or Pikmin titles ready for the Wii U’s release date later this year, sales numbers will surely suffer for the system early on. If this happens, they may be forced to cut the price similar to the 3DS and take a loss on another system.

While fans may want to play Pokemon or Metroid elsewhere, the fact that they can’t is actually to Nintendo’s advantage. Exclusive software is the reason fans buy into Nintendo hardware, and giving away their biggest advantage to competitors, while possibly beneficial in the short term, will only come back to hurt them in the end.

Quiz: Which ‘Mean Girls’ character are you?

9:02 am EDT, September 29, 2016

Ever wondered if you’re more of a Cady or a Regina? Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate Mean Girls Day (October 3rd), Episode, the world’s largest mobile network for interactive stories and creators of Mean Girls: Senior Year, has made a quiz to determine which Mean Girls character you are.

Once you’ve found your Mean Girls spirit animal, continue the fun by downloading both seasons of the Mean Girls story on Episode for iOS and Android. Rejoin all of your favorite characters as you navigate everything from new crushes to sorority pledging. You choose how the story plays out.

Read full article

Ever wondered if you’re more of a Cady or a Regina? Today is your lucky day!

To celebrate Mean Girls Day (October 3rd), Episode, the world’s largest mobile network for interactive stories and creators of Mean Girls: Senior Year, has made a quiz to determine which Mean Girls character you are.

Once you’ve found your Mean Girls spirit animal, continue the fun by downloading both seasons of the Mean Girls story on Episode for iOS and Android. Rejoin all of your favorite characters as you navigate everything from new crushes to sorority pledging. You choose how the story plays out.

You go, Glen Coco!

Let’s play! Which ‘Mean Girls’ character are you?

Play Mean Girls in the Episode app today!

Note: This quiz was sponsored by the advertiser.

It’s no longer a “Perfect Illusion!” Mother Monster will headline the Super Bowl LI halftime show early next year.

Update (Sept 29): Lady Gaga is officially confirmed to perform Sunday, February 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas for the Super Bowl LI halftime show! The announcement arrives a few weeks ahead the release of Gaga’s latest album, Joanne.

Watch the announcement video released by the NFL.

Read full article

It’s no longer a “Perfect Illusion!” Mother Monster will headline the Super Bowl LI halftime show early next year.

Update (Sept 29): Lady Gaga is officially confirmed to perform Sunday, February 5, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas for the Super Bowl LI halftime show! The announcement arrives a few weeks ahead the release of Gaga’s latest album, Joanne.

Watch the announcement video released by the NFL.

Read on to see why we think Lady Gaga is the perfect person for the job!

Original (Sept 13): “One of the main reasons for why the NFL is said to be hot on the singer was her performance of the National Anthem at the 2016 Super Bowl,” according to the report. Watch Lady Gaga’s rendition again below:

A couple months ago we learned the NFL was pursuing Adele, but she later revealed she turned the offer down due to stage fright.

Lady Gaga would be wise to take on the Super Bowl 2017 halftime show. She just released a new single, “Perfect Illusion,” which is a part of her next studio album. A Super Bowl performance would surely help boost album sales and, presumably, ticket sales for whatever tour she embarks on in support of said album.

Gaga will appear in the next season of American Horror Story which kicks off this week. She’s said that her upcoming studio album will be released “really soon,” but the exact date is still unknown to the public.

The 2016 Super Bowl halftime show featured Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, and Coldplay.

Do you think Gaga should take on the 2017 Super Bowl?

She seems like the perfect candidate for the job.

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Read full article

Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events will star Neil Patrick Harris in the role of Count Olaf, and on a recent episode of Live! with Kelly, the actor shared many interesting details about the new show.

Anyone who’s looking forward to the book to film adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s wonderful series will no doubt be thrilled to hear what Harris had to say while updating Kelly Ripa on what he’s been up to.

Perhaps most notably, NPH revealed how A Series of Unfortunate Events is being cut up into episodes. So far, the first four books are two episodes each:

Netflix’s ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ episode count

neil-patrick-harris-series-unfortunate-events-netflix

“They truncated all of the books into a two hour movie,” Harris said of the Unfortunate Events movie starring Jim Carrey, noting that it just wasn’t a great adaptation. “And there’s thirteen books in the series. So [Netflix’s take] is more spread out. Each book is going to be two episodes. We did the first four books, the first eight episodes of the show.”

As for the tone of the show? Great news: “It’s super dark,” he said. “It’s a much darker on the take on the material than has been seen before.”

When Kelly asked Harris if her kids could watch it, the actor dropped some interesting information about Neflix’s plans:

“I hope so!” he replied. “It’s not Rated-R dark. It’s the most expensive show that they’ve ever done. It’s the first one they call a four quadrant show, so they’re try to get four different quadrants to like it. So in addition to being for adults and for 20-somethings and teenagers, they want it to be for kids as well.”

Dark, appealing to all ages, and two episodes per book? We are so down.

Netflix has yet to share a premiere date for A Series of Unfortunate Events, but we’ll keep you posted.