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.

‘Glee’ alum Mark Salling indicted on child pornography charges

The actor is facing a lot of jail time.

4:55 pm EDT, May 27, 2016

Following an arrest in December, Glee star Mark Salling (who played Puck on the Fox series) is now facing child pornography charges.

A federal grand jury has charged the 33-year-old actor with two counts of child pornography after a search of his home turned up “thousands” of images and videos involving children, TMZ reports. He will be arraigned in early June.

Salling’s charges potentially come with big sentences: 5 to 20 years in prison for receiving child porn, and another 20 years for possessing it.

After Glee went off air last year, Salling has worked on only one project: The action movie Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets which is slated to hit theaters later this year.

The actor has been in trouble with the law before — he was sued for sexual battery in 2013.

After filing for divorce from Johnny Depp earlier this week, Amber Heard has now filed a restraining order against the actor after alleged domestic abuse.

TMZ reports Heard went into a Los Angeles courtroom this morning to file the restraining order and shared photos of physical abuse by Johnny Depp, including bruises from this past weekend. “Heard claims after he allegedly hit her he offered her money to stay quiet, but instead she filed for divorce first thing Monday morning,” TMZ says. Heard reportedly “has video of one of the beatings.” TMZ’s report includes a graphic photo of the bruises the actress received from Depp.

Update: The restraining order has been granted.

Heard says she’s been physically assaulted “various times during their marriage,” according to TMZ, and believes there’s “an immediate threat of harm.” Hence the restraining order.

The report adds, “We’re told cops told Amber they would find Johnny and arrest him if she gave a statement about the alleged violence, but she refused. Officers told her if she changed her mind she could call them. As far as we know, she has not gone back to the cops.”

Johnny Depp is currently in the middle of promoting Alice Through the Looking Glass, which opens in theaters Friday.

Depp and Heard married last year after three years of dating. A photo of the couple at this year’s Grammy Awards is below.

DCOM marathon schedule: See full list of movies and when they air

The mega marathon begins Friday, May 27 and runs into June!

10:00 am EDT, May 27, 2016

The highly-anticipated Disney Channel Original Movie marathon began Friday, May 27 at 10 a.m. eastern and runs through the holiday weekend. See the complete DCOM marathon schedule here!

When Disney Channel says they’re running a DCOM marathon, they mean it. The network will be airing 51 DCOMs from Friday to Monday ahead of this summer’s release of their 100th DCOM, Adventures in Babysitting (debuting June 24). Who needs Memorial Day festivities when you can sit inside and enjoy Disney Channel classics all weekend?!

After Monday they’ll continue to air a couple more movies every night until they eventually air all 100 DCOMs. That’s right! Every single one of ’em is returning to television between now and late June.

Below is the complete list of DCOMs airing from Friday, May 27 into the middle of June. Since many are airing in the overnight hours, you’ll probably want to set up your DVR. Or in case you want to watch them again. And again.

DCOM Marathon Schedule

Friday, May 27

10:00AM Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama
11:20AM Read It and Weep
12:55PM Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
2:40PM Jump In!
4:15PM Lemonade Mouth
6:15PM Zapped
8:00PM High School Musical 2
9:55PM The Cheetah Girls 2
11:45PM Zenon the Zequel
1:25AM Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
2:55AM Twitches Too
4:25AM Alley Cats Strike!

Saturday, May 28

6:25AM You Wish!
8:05AM The Proud Family Movie
9:50AM Quints
11:25AM Horse Sense
1:10PM Cow Belles
2:50PM Twitches
4:30PM The Even Stevens Movie
6:15PM Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie
8:00PM Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
9:50PM Princess Protection Program
11:30PM The Cheetah Girls: One World
1:05AM Zenon: Z3
2:40AM Halloweentown High
4:20AM The Thirteenth Year

Netflix DCOMs High School Musical

Sunday, May 29

6:00AM Right On Track
7:45AM Full-Court Miracle
9:35AM Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-Off
11:20AM Brink!
1:10PM Double Teamed
2:55PM Rip Girls
4:35PM Motocrossed
6:20PM Cloud 9
8:00PM Teen Beach 2
9:55PM Bad Hair Day
11:40PM How to Build a Better Boy
1:20AM Pixel Perfect
2:55AM The Other Me
4:30AM Genius

Monday, May 30

10:00AM Stuck in the Suburbs
11:30AM Halloweentown
1:05PM Zenon, Girl of the 21st Century
2:55PM Smart House
4:25PM High School Musical
6:15PM Camp Rock
8:00PM Descendants
10:05PM Teen Beach Movie
11:55PM Cadet Kelly
1:50AM The Cheetah Girls
3:35AM Johnny Tsunami

Camp Rock DCOM

After Memorial Day Weekend, Disney Channel will air two more DCOMs each night. Here’s the schedule so far (again, set your DVRs because these air late!)

Wednesday, June 1
12:00AM Return to Halloweentown
1:40AM Can of Worms

Thursday, June 2
12:00AM Going to the Mat
1:40AM Miracle in Lane 2

Friday, June 3
12:00AM The Suite Life Movie
1:40AM Ring of Endless Light

Saturday, June 4
12:00AM Invisible Sister
1:40AM Now You See It…

Sunday, June 5
12:00AM Girl vs. Monster
1:40AM Phantom of Megaplex

Monday, June 6
12:00AM Tru Confessions
1:40AM Tiger Cruise

Tuesday, June 7
12:00AM Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire
1:40AM Under Wraps

Wednesday, June 8
12:00AM Den Brother
1:40AM Go Figure

Thursday, June 9
12:00AM Avalon High
1:40AM Jett Jackson: The Movie

Friday, June 10 and beyond
As of right now Disney Channel hasn’t released the schedule beyond June 10.

Which DCOMs do you plan to watch during the Disney Channel Marathon?

Related: The best DCOMs on Netflix

Related: The best DCOMs from the ’90s

Next week we’ll be launching a fun new game here on Hypable where we’ll seek your help in ranking every single DCOM in the history of DCOMs. It’s probably a good idea to watch as many of these as possible so you can brush up on your knowledge base and rank them accurately!