Friday, July 29, 2011
Obamanomics may destroy game industry
The prognosis for the Big N is not good. Games are being delayed or cancelled left and right and many industry analysts are focusing on Nintendo’s many recent “mistakes.” The thing is, Nintendo hasn’t done anything unusual for their business model. The Wii is about five years old now, five years into the N64 and GameCube software sales dropped dramatically, and interest declined as Nintendo prepared the next system.
There are a lot of factors contributing to this problem, the advancement of the smart phone as a gaming platform, the novelty of motion gaming all but worn off (The Play station Move is all but dead) but the real problem that no one wants to talk about is that people aren’t buying games, all but the absolute must haves are collecting dust on store shelves. Why aren’t they buying games? Well many of us hardcore gamers are now in our thirties and forties, we have families to feed and it’s hard to do that in an environment of perpetual 9.2% unemployment and a real inflation rate estimated to be about 10%-4. These problems are not going away, and are not likely going away anytime soon,
And get this, if Obama gets his way and gets a “balanced” approach to raising the debt ceiling, which amounts to increasing the nation’s credit card without paying any of it off, and taxes get raised then there will be even less money to blow on extras. For those who believe he’ll only go after the rich let me remind you his hero Woodrow Wilson promised that only the top income earners would ever have to pay income taxes, and then only 1%. Within a few short years everyone was paying income taxes and the top earners had to pay over 70%. Look at your paycheck, is the government taking money out of it? Now imagine a scenario where they take even more in the name of “balance.”
Look, no one I know doesn’t want a 3DS or the upcoming Playstation Vita. My fiends who have played my 3DS have all found reports of it being “underpowered” to be a gross exaggeration. Since Launch I have gotten 5 games, and with the exception of Zelda all 5 have given me a near-X-Box 360 like experience for almost half the software cost. Why pay $60 for Dead or Alive when the 3DS version looks and plays almost as good for $40 and has the bonus of being 3D without glasses? I think the 3DS has a great launch lineup, I honestly don’t know why people are complaining… actually I do. They can’t afford one, technically neither could I but I am just that hardcore of a gamer. They can’t afford one and so they need to justify their reasons for not buying one. Never mind the original DS only had two decent games at launch, five solid titles, and a good ten more due out by the end of the year that are must haves becomes a “crappy launch lineup,” even though I had a full year of the original DS before I got my third game for it (Castlevania). Never mind all the awesome downloadable content that has come out in the last few months, and never mind Nintendo’s amazing price drop and the ambassador program to reward early adopters.
If people didn’t have to worry about how their going to pay for their next tank of gas than the 3DS would have been a smashing success. I promise you PS Vita is doomed to the same fate, it’s the reason why I feel the hardware manufacturers aught to delay new hardware as long as they possibly can and focus on cheaper and better games instead.
There is one odd exception to this, and that is, of course, Apple who is thriving. I don’t know why though. The Ipad is just a supersized Iphone yet everyone (self included) wants one, even though it is also not the most practical of gaming devices. It’s likely that the multi-media functionality of the device is the core of it’s appeal, but as a gaming unit it fails to deliver deep and meaningful gaming experiences.
-1: Nintendo Loses 25.5 Billion Yen by Richard George www.ign.com http://ds.ign.com/articles/118/1184697p1.html accessed 7-29-11
-2: PS3 Sales Dip by Colin Campbell www.ign.com http://ps3.ign.com/articles/118/1184708p1.html accessed 7-29-11
-3: Capcom Sales Fall 37 Percent
Jim Reily www.ign.com http://games.ign.com/articles/118/1184739p1.html accessed 7-29-11
-4: Inflation Actually Near 10% Using Older Measure, CNBC http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Inflation-Actually-Near-10-cnbc-357695506.html?x=0 accessed 7-29-11