It’s the End of the Production Line for the Wii U in Japan

Reports on the demise of the Wii U have been reported for months, but we now have a confirmation, somewhat, by Nintendo of Japan.

Going on to the Nintendo of Japan store and searching for a Wii U will display only two units for sale, a Splatoon version and a standard. The red text indicates states that production has ended, with the caveat being “with in Japan.”

There have been no official announcements out of Nintendo whether production has halted globally, but given the Switch is months away and the Wii U hasn’t been doing well, one can assume that the Wii U era has come to an end.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Nintendo Switch vs. Wii U

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is by far the most anticipated launch title for the Nintendo Switch. It’s the only reason why I would personally consider purchasing a Switch at launch, but let’s not forget, this title is going to be available on other platforms as well.

Well, one other platform. The platform that Nintendo is going to eventually take out behind the shed and put out of its misery sooner rather than later.

Back at E3 2016, series producer Eiji Aonuma, promised that the Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Wii U and the Switch will essentially be the same experience. IGN was able to get confirmation on both games’ specs and it appears that Aonuma is pretty much spot on.

  • Both launch on the same day, March 3.
  • Both have a frame rate of 30fps.
  • Both versions of the game offer the same content.
  • On a TV, the Nintendo Switch version of the game renders in 900p while the Wii U version renders in 720p.
  • The Nintendo Switch version has higher-quality environmental sounds. As a result, the sound of steps, water, grass, etc. are more realistic and enhance the game’s Open-Air feel.
  • The physical copy of the Wii U version will require 3GB of available memory on the Wii U system or an external drive.
  • Some icons, such as onscreen buttons, differ between the two versions.
  • A Special Edition and Master Edition of the Wii U version are not available.

A bit of a bummer that the Switch version of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can’t get to 1080p, but what can you do?

[Source: IGN]

The Wii U Era is Over [UPDATED: Not So, Says Nintendo]

This is sad news from Eurogamer, but according to multiple sources, production of the Wii U console will come to an end this Friday.

The Wii U launched in November 2012 with brisk initial sales, but failed to truly take off. Last official numbers from Nintendo show 13.36 million Wii U consoles were shipped. To put things in perspective, the GameCube sold 21 million, the N64 sold 32 million, and Wii sold a staggering 101 million units.

The Wii U is dead. Long live the Switch.

[UPDATED]

Nintendo is denying these reports, according to Kotaku and IT Media.

“There is no change to our continuing [Wii U] production… Even though the Nintendo Switch is slated to go on sale, [Wii U] production is scheduled to continue.”

This is not the first time Nintendo has denied a report that eventually turned out to be true. According to Kotaku, Nintendo denied a 2012 report from the Nikkei that stated the 3DS was getting a larger screen. Months later, the 3DS XL launched.

Game Protagonists Are Old Farts Now and That’s Okay

Getting older is not as bad as people make it out to be. Take it from me, as someone who has been on this merry-go-round called earth over thirty-six times. Complaining about it is so cliché anyway.

Sure, my muscles ache a bit more than they used to, and my peaches hang down a little lower, and my beard has a touch of grey here and there, but you learn to deal.  Perhaps the worst part was the thinning of my long beautiful mane of hair, but I just started shaving all that shit off. Now I’m a sexy bald man, like the late great Telly Savalas.

I’m also wiser now.  I know stuff just because I have been alive longer than other people. Want proof? Read my 100 Blog Post Fapstravaganza AMA and be enlightened.

Know what else is great about getting older? I now have more in common with the protagonists in the video games I play. Believe it or not, many of the main characters of games are getting older, and the reason for this is because apparently the people who are creating the games are getting older.

This was brought to my attention awhile back in a promo from Sony for Unchartered 4, where Nathan Drake is no longer a spring chicken destroying future UNESCO World Heritage Sites, but rather a 30-something who destroys future UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In the video, which I embedded below, there is some interesting commentary from the game’s makers on how they grew up designing Nathan Drake and in turn, Nathan has grown up with them.

However, games protagonists have been skewing older for some time now. I first noticed this awhile back when playing Max Payne 3. When I think of Max Payne, I used to picture a young man with a perpetual “who farted face” with questionable style choices.

Boy was I surprised when I first started up Max Payne 3 to see a man that looks surprisingly similar to me, with a shaved head and beard. It’s eerie, like looking into a mirror.

However, I would never be caught dead in a Hawaiian print shirt. It’s obvious that Max Payne still suffers from questionable style choices.

Then, towards the end of the last generation of consoles, the amazing and in my opinion, groundbreaking The Last of Us was released, featuring a protagonist that’s touched with a bit of grey, just like yours truly.

Joel is a little worse for the wear, and has a greying beard, which I can relate to. But, look at that thick head of hair he has. FUCK YOU JOEL! Why do you still have so much hair? What is your secret? I HOPE ALL THAT BEAUTIFUL HAIR FALLS OUT AND YOU BECOME A BALDIE LIKE ME!

Getting back on track — I especially liked Joel, because he’s a father figure, and as a dad myself, I empathized with his struggle in this game and can understand the reasons for the actions he takes. That’s a powerful thing for me and it’s one of the reasons why I enjoyed and remember this game so fondly.

On a side note, The Last of Us was developed by Naughty Dog, the same folks behind the Unchartered series, so they are apparently attempting to corner the market on games featuring older, aching, grey haired male main characters.

Grand Theft Auto 5 also has its fair share of more experienced leads. Matter of fact, two out of three of the main characters can be considered old farts. Trevor Phillips, reminds me of that crazy uncle that every family has and tolerates during extremely awkward conversations around the dinner table during the holidays.

Michael De Santa (nee Townley) is a well-to-do man, who’s married to an attractive woman that may be porking her tennis instructor and a father to two pain in the ass kids.  It’s obvious that he’s undergoing some sort of midlife crisis, and going back into a life of crime is both a necessity in order to pay off debts, an outlet for his internalized rage, and a longing for his younger days full of excitement.

According to some armchair hack psychotherapist on Wikipedia individuals experiencing a mid-life crisis may feel:

  • A deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished
  • Fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues
  • Longing to achieve a feeling of youthfulness
  • Need to spend more time alone or with certain peers
  • Heightened sense of their sexuality or lack thereof
  • Ennui, confusion, resentment or anger due to their discontent with their marital, work, health, economic, or social status
  • Ambitious to right the missteps they feel they have taken early in life

Now, tell me that doesn’t essentially sum up Michael De Santa’s story arc.

Speaking of people having a midlife crisis, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Bruce Wayne/Batman can be diagnosed with this condition.

It seems that for the past few Batman movies and games, the story has centered around how Wayne/Batman is getting old and his decrepit body can longer hold up to the stresses of being a winged vigilante detective face puncher.

One of the main frustrations of getting older is noticing that your body is not able to perform in the same ways as it had in the past.  It takes a little longer to get loosened up, after workouts you stay sore a little longer, and when you get banged up, it takes a little longer to heal. This is my experience as someone that is in relatively good shape.

Also, let us not forget that in Arkham Knight, Batman was rolling around in his fancy new Batmobile. This is important, because everyone knows buying a fancy car is the first thing a man does when he’s suffering from a midlife crisis.

It’s getting obvious that this is not a coincidence that game characters are getting older. Another recent example is Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

If memory serves, Big Boss was the main character in Metal Gear Solid 3: Sneak Eater, where he’s a relatively young man. The Phantom Pain takes place in 1984, approximately twenty years after the events of Snake Eater takes place, so of course Big Boss is older, wiser, greyer, and worse for the wear.

He still has a thick head of hair, so I hate him. No way he still has all that hair after years of stress. I say it’s hair plugs or a really good toupée. Look at the technology that he has it his disposable. They are probably light years ahead of everyone in toupée technology.

And yes, I do realize that Big Boss is an integral character in many Metal Gear games, but on this case, I’m referring to playable old Big Boss.

When I first started writing this blog, my plan was to stop at Big Boss, but recent develops have required me to make one more addition. Thanks to Sony, we are in store for a new God of War game, where an older, grumpier, and bearded Kratos battles Norse gods.

This time, Kratos will be accompanied by his young son, and if the E3 gameplay trailer is any indication, Kratos is the type of dad who yells at his son during Little League baseball games. I imagine he’s like that dick dad from the original Bad News Bears.

So as you can see, this trend of older lead characters in games is going to continue and I think that’s brilliant. Sorry young whippersnappers, but the people who make games are getting older along with the people who play games and we like playing as old people and it’s only going to get worse.  Soon, Batman will be in his Batmobile doing 25 mph in the fast lane with his left turn signal on, Kratos will sit on his porch yelling at Norse monsters to get off of his lawn, and Nathan and Elena Drake will settle in a nice condo in Boca Raton, Florida. I can’t wait.

 

The Silly World of Gaming Related Stock Photography

As someone who has been gaming for nearly 30 years, I’ve seen the medium go from children’s pastime to mainstream entertainment.  However, there is one thing that has not changed much, and it’s that many advertising agencies don’t understand gaming for shit.

This is coming from someone who has actually worked in and collaborates with ad agencies to this day, so I do have real world knowledge of this.  I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt that the vast majority of them simply do not understand the core concepts of video games.

Even fancy ones with giant face chairs and shit.

Even the fancy agencies with giant face chairs are clueless when it comes to games.

Now, there are exceptions.  There are (probably) plenty of agencies out there that specialize or have experience in video game marketing and advertising. These are the companies contracted by game makers directly. Many publishers develop their advertising internally, because who knows the product better than the ones who are creating it, right? RIGHT?!?

We’re not here to talk about those types of ads.  These are good ads from competent companies, for the most part.  We’re here to poke fun at the ads and stock photos of agencies that have no fucking clue what they’re talking about, because making fun of ignorant people is fun.

"This copy is good, but let's add some more stereotypical dialogue like EXTREME and RADICAL!"

“This copy is good, but let’s add some more stereotypical dialogue like EXTREME and RADICAL!”

Let’s take a relatively recent ad for the delicious and colon exploding savory confections known as Hot Pockets.


This commercial goes off the rails mainly because this is not how gaming works in the real world. Gaming will probably never work like this. However, in the minds of ad executives who probably never picked up a game pad in their lives, this is EXACTLY how games work.

That’s a recurring problem with many ads that have video games. The act of gaming is either extremely out dated or severely detached on how it actually works.

This isn’t just a problem with video games mind you. Agency folks have told me point blank that they tweak many things in order to make a point or capture the essence of an activity due to time constraints in the ad or to make something look more interesting.  However, there are many instances when the agencies and creative folk simply don’t give a fuck.

Take this image, for example:

XBox-720-Concept-Controller
I first came across this image approximately 3 years ago while working at a large global consumer goods company.

I was walking to my desk, which just so happened to be near the design “gurus” when I noticed this image was posted on a very large poster with other Xbox branded items.  There were mock-ups of the Xbox Live dashboard, sample banner ads touting my company’s products, images of people enjoying our product, images of people gaming, various charts and graphs, and that fucking monstrosity above.

I went to one of the designers and asked what the poster was about. The designer, who was bearded, wearing a flannel shirt, and donning very expensive designer eyeglasses said that they were pitching Microsoft on a marketing partnership and that was part of their presentation.

Horrified, I told the “lumber sexual” designer that he couldn’t use that image of the controller. I explained to him that this controller does not exist, will never exist, is clearly a joke, and if they show that to Microsoft, they will get laughed out of the fucking room.

The designer, who was clearly trying to channel a myopic Paul Bunyan, annoyingly peered at me above the rims of his designer eyeglasses, sighed and stated that he wouldn’t know, because he never played a video game in his life (highly doubtful) and he thought that the image was fine, but he will chat with his boss about it.

Lumbersexual

I was a fan of not playing video games before it was cool.

I don’t know if they ever changed the image, but I do know that my former company never formed a marketing partnership with Microsoft, at least, not at that time.

What’s even sadder is that this image was seared into my mind’s eye after all these years. When I decided to write this post I starting Googling images of controllers and after a short while, found it. It came from a PS4 fan site and is a knock on Microsoft. That would have gone over great with the folks at Microsoft.

Clearly, this was a dumb move on my former company’s part, but the truth is that even proper stock photography and video houses have tons of crappy gaming related images and video that they are selling to ad agencies and internal marketing departments of corporations who simply don’t know any better.

Here are just a few examples.

Generic Console

Stupid Hardware

These first two images are examples of stupid hardware.  Consider the first image and how ridiculously generic it is.  I realize that you cannot use the actual hardware with the Playstation of Xbox logos , but you can cover that shit up. These two images are just plain lazy.

Generic FamilyWhat a beautiful family. Look how close they are, huddled up together.  They must really love each other.  Too bad 3 out of 4 them appear to have never held an actual controller before.

This time with grandmaHey, let’s invite grandpa and grandma too.  By the way, why are the kids facing away from the TV, which is also not on? Is that how video games work? WHO CARES!

Close GamersI don’t know about you, but when I’m gaming with my buddies, this is exactly how we look. Practically on top of each other and we may or may not be wearing any pants.

For the ladiesGirls play games too you know.  Also, thanks to the Wii, people think that motion controls are now an integral part of every game ever made. The PS2 had motion control right?

Swaying in the WindWhy are they sitting on a table? Why are they swaying back and forth? Why are they yelling?

Now, you may be thinking that I combed through stock photo site after stock photo site looking for the worst of the worst and you would be wrong. First of all, I’m incredibly lazy, so I would never do that, these images were easy to find and secondly, they are all from reputable stock photography companies. You may have also noticed that these images are not cheap either.

It’s not just photography though. Stock video is just as bad if not worse.

Bask in the green glow of video games and technology. It’s so alien and possibly dangerous. Also, what is up with the girl in the back?


Overly expressive gesticulation. Also, do people still pass the controller back and forth like a joint?


Look at grandma and grandpa, play the Xbox Three Six Wii. This is a great example of using hardware incorrectly or in a way that does not makes sense to an actual gamer. Also, there is a very good chance that this video can be used for Cialis, Viagra, or any other pill that makes your dick hard when the time is juuuuust right.



This is wrong on many levels. It appears that at any moment they are going to swap partners and start eating each others genitals.


This girl is having a whirlwind of emotions. She may need to go on mood altering medication.


Lastly, you can cut the sexual tension here with a knife. These kids are clearly going to have unprotected sex any second here. Gaming is a gateway to sexual deviancy and children being born out of wedlock, everyone knows that.

Also, Shaggy McBeardy over there clearly has never picked up a controller before and this is turning his girlfriend on.

The people who created these stock images and videos are ignorant on so many levels its laughable. The concept of video games at this point is nothing novel, and yet people in the advertising world are still relatively clueless about how gaming actually works.

That brings me to a question for you. Has there ever been an ad that portrayed gaming so poorly, whether it was for a game related product or something completely unrelated that rubbed you the wrong way? Would this keep you from purchasing said product?  Let me know in the comments.

One for the road.

One for the road.

Amazon Thinks I Have a Gaming Addiction

I do a lot of horrible gaming related things for your personal amusement. I mostly play horrible celebrity branded mobile phone games, but this time around, I decided to read a book about gaming addiction. This was not what I would call a pleasant experience.

Thank goodness that this is only a “book” in the most general sense, in that there are words in it, and those words are printed on a page, however there are not a lot actual pages to read. I’d say that this more like a pamphlet—a horribly written piece of garbage pamphlet, which will make you dumber if you actually take the time to read it. Also, this is actually an eBook, but now we’re just getting into semantics.

I happened upon this book a couple of weeks ago, when my company decided to send me away again for business. Luckily, the flight this time around was relatively short, so no need to purchase in-flight Internet access or rent Direct TV to keep me occupied. I can just do a little bit of reading and pound miniature bottles of vodka, just like Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack did, when air travel was GLAMOROUS. The only difference being that if I light up a cigarette or slap the “air waitress” on the ass for a job-well-done, the air marshal will crack my skull open with the butt of his Glock.

1950-Frank-Sinatra

So with the limited time available to me before my flight, I found a free Wi-Fi hotspot by the gate and went onto Amazon on my iPad to see what I can download cheaply. Since I read a fair amount of gaming and tech related stuff, one of Amazon’s recommendations was Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days, by James Henry. Amazon apparently thinks that I have a problem. Luckily enough, the book was free and with time running out, I went ahead with the download. LET’S GET READING!

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The book starts off with an introduction from the author, the one and only James Henry. My comments added in ALL CAPs.

“Do you find yourself always playing games even when you have important things to do like hand in a project at work or even spend time with your kids? (I PLAY GAMES TO SPECIFICALLY AVOID THESE THINGS) Has your need to play games taken over your life such that you never even find time to do important things like eating and sleeping? (I FORGO GOING TO THE BATHROOM JUST TO PLAY GAMES, DOES THIS COUNT?) Have you wasted a lot of money buying all kinds of games just to get the thrill and adrenaline rush from playing such games? (YES, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS I WASTED ON HOOKERS AND BLOW) If you relate to any or all of these scenarios, then you definitely have a problem that needs to be addressed. The good thing is that all hope is not lost and with the strategies outlined in this book, you will overcome your gaming addiction and live a normal life. (PRAISE JEEZUS!)”

4b1a88be20a5f9b7b89141973c23b915

Like any self-help book, the author has to cover his ass, so there is the requisite legalese.

“The information provided herein is stated to be truthful and consistent, in that any liability, in terms of inattention or otherwise, by any usage or abuse of any policies, processes, or directions contained within is the solitary and utter responsibility of the recipient reader. Under no circumstances will any legal responsibility or blame be held against the publisher for any reparation, damages, or monetary loss due to the information herein, either directly or indirectly. (SO THE HOOKERS AND BLOW COSTS ARE ALL ON ME?)”

The author goes onto explain the different types of games available for those who are reading the book on behalf of a loved one. Nothing ground breaking here. He defines single player games, multiplayer games, eSports, and mobile games. All these game types have something in common however, and that they are all HIGHLY ADDICTIVE!

This is all well and good, but you may be saying to yourself, “Surely, I don’t have a gaming problem.” But you would be wrong. DEAD WRONG!

The author goes onto to state that if you have done one or more of the following listed below, then you are officially a GAMEAHOLIC (TM by Spieler Dad, like just now).

*Being interrupted from your normal life pattern such as having to play at night and shifting to sleeping during the day. (VAMPIRA-GAMING, TM SPIELER DAD)

*If, to a certain extent, you risk or actually lose your job or drop out of school to play a digital game or online competition.

*If you require a bigger fix such as having to play for longer periods to enjoy same level of gaming. (OR DECIDE TO PLAY GAMES WITH NIPPLE CLIPS ON)

*If you experience withdrawal problems such as feeling anxious or irritable when you stop or disconnect from your playmates. (I PERSONALLY SCREAM AT THE DOG)

*Constant cravings i.e. a strong desire to play or go online even when far from gaming facilities. (THANK GOD NO ONE HAS INVENTED A WAY TO PLAY A GAME AWAY FROM THE HOME!?! THEY WOULD MAKE MILLIONS!)

So how does one avoid becoming addicted? The answer to that is that they don’t. Games are designed to be addicted.

“There are various causes of gaming addictions but one of the key reasons is that they are fundamentally designed to be addictive. The designers or creators of games are interested in making profit (BASTARDS!) thus they need to make addictive games to continue enjoying profits. Games are often made to be challenging so that you keep on trying without giving up and once you overcome a particular level, you have another level waiting for you. This is why you will keep on playing and since you cannot beat the game, you will be on a continuous journey of trying to beat the game, which is impossible.” (I CHOKED ON MY OWN SALIVA LAUGHING SO HARD ON THIS)

So, you have decided that you are addicted to gaming. What do you do now? Luckily the author gives you some options on how to do so.

Option 1 is to go Cold Turkey. For this to work, he recommends that you do the following:

“For this strategy to work, you have to do these steps almost immediately! Right now, delete all your video games from the computer, Smartphone or console. Do away with every sign of it. Do it now, even if it means throwing away those DVDs or disconnecting the Internet. Destruction of all video software and selling of gaming electronics helps a lot to gain immediate recovery. Later, if you feel like downloading or buying new game, you find it harder as you’d have to start from scratch.”

The second option is to slowly wean yourself off gaming. He recommends getting rid of everything except one console and begin limiting the time you spend on gaming. I say go ahead and pick up a Wii U. You’ll give up gaming in a matter of days. ZING!

Wii-U_pack_black_EUB-Kopie

The author’s last topic of discussion is a touchy one, as he goes into how games can impact children. However, all the tips he provides are very safe and common sense. He doesn’t provide anything groundbreaking.

His first bit of advice to parents is to restrict their children’s playtime to one hour or less in a day and to keep track on the total amount of time their children spend gaming. Again, this is common sense really, but there are stupid people out there who managed to procreate, so I’ll give him this one.

He also suggests that parents should be present for their children. Not sure what he means by this. Perhaps he’s suggesting to not leave them out in the wild where they can be raised by a pack of wolves?

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He ends his advice by suggesting that parents should closely monitor their children’s behavior. He goes onto to state that, “…A number of games have been attributed to causing negative attitude on kids, or other aggressive reactions towards ordinary issues. “ The author however doesn’t cite where he got this information. Did he just make that up?

One can assume that he’s referring to the multitude of studies that state that violent games “may” make children more aggressive. Also, he neglects to state that a parent shouldn’t allow a young child to play violent and mature games in the first place. One would think that should be his first point.

To conclude his guide, Mr. Henry wishes me luck on my journey to conquer gaming addiction. I have decided to deny that I even have a problem in the first place. Also, I can quit gaming anytime, thank you very much, SO DON’T JUDGE ME!

The author requests that I go onto Amazon and rate his book, which I can assure I will do no such thing. Going on Amazon and writing a scathing review on this so-called book would be pointless, like tits on a bull.

Yet, something just didn’t seem right about this book. The writing was too shoddy, the book too short, and the advice overly elementary. Also, who is this James Henry person?

Turns out that James Henry is the pen name for James Gurbutt. According to his profile online, he works in publishing, and enjoys windsurfing and long lunches (WHO DOESN’T?!?)

windsurfing

A search online brings up the following image below where he appears be enjoying himself.

happy

I think he’s the one in the middle.

In the end, James seems to be a good chap, so I’ll leave him alone, even though I feel he is not qualified to give advice on gaming addiction. However, I cannot recommend reading Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days.

When all is said and done, I give Gaming Addiction Cure: How to Overcome Gaming Addiction in 30 Days 1 out of 5 Creepy Dudes in Vests.

creepy

If, for whatever reason, you want to read this book for yourself, you can download it from Amazon here.