This was an emergency, completely last minute Objection. Usually the Objection series focuses on discussions around more serious gaming topics - this time I just wanted to vent a little. The topic? Australia's 3DS launch line-up. My partner in rant-related crime? Vooks, who brings you the Nintendo Store update every week.
Let's get to it.
MARK: So. The 3DS launch titles have been announced. Thoughts?
VOOKS: As expected... apart from the huge gaping hole that is the lack of Pilotwings Resort and Steel Diver! Alright so maybe I'm over dramatizing it, there is still upwards of 15+ games to play on day one.
However this sets an unhealthy precident for Nintendo - how can they not release Pilotwings at launch? It's silly for two reasons - Pilotwings Resort is the 'Wii Sports' of the 3DS lineup, a game anyone can play. Nintendogs isn't going to sell to (most of) the male crowd. The second reason is that it's worrying that we're getting game delays from day one - very worrying.
We know Nintendo is trying to give third parties time to shine, but some of the third party line up can't shine. You can't polish a turd as they say.
MARK: I think the strange thing is that Nintendo stated on the press release that only Super Street Fighter IV and the Nintendogs SKUs would definitely make launch.
I just got off the phone to confirm, but all the third party stuff that is guaranteed for the US market, we have no real idea at the moment when some of those titles will be released here. I think there’s a bit of an issue – if you’re going to region lock a console, you should be making sure that games are coming into the country! Otherwise savvy consumers will get grouchy.
VOOKS: Is it strange - or is it actually worrying that they don't know? It's Nintendo... and they're launching a new console. If anyone should know it should be them!
I don't think we should worry about the third party situation too much, retailers have a good selection for launch day. However, that being said, I do think we'll see some fall through the cracks. Will we have every game that the US or UK get on day one? Probably not, but it's just so surprising to see that the games we're missing out on are Nintendo titles.
This whole situation is very worrying, if Nintendo are delaying (or can't get) their own games out on time from day one, it won't give buyers any sort of confidence that choosing to buy locally is the right choice. We got lucky on the Nintendo 3DS price, but delays from day one and the inability to import (at least from the US and Japan) - it's worrying.
MARK: I think you’re right – third party support is strong. I suppose the real story is the lack of Nintendo games. There’s no Mario game, no Pilotwings, no Zelda, no Mario Kart. In short – no real reason for traditional Nintendo fans to pick up the console day one.
Traditionally, Nintendo games have been the big driver for Nintendo consoles, but it seems that this time round, Nintendo are convinced that the tech will sell itself – which it will, to begin with, but I wonder if we’ll see a big drop off once the early adopters get their 3DS fix.
Because not only is Pilotwings missing launch, according to the press release it's missing the launch window entirely – which means we won’t see another Nintendo game on the 3DS until after June. That’s a helluva long wait from March.
VOOKS: I think you're wrong on that point Mark, there's no way Nintendo will wait until June to release those games. No one will stand for a three month delay on launch games - those games have to be coming soon after. Nintendo wouldn't do that to us... right?
You are right though on the other point, Nintendo usually lets Mario or some other big named character sell the console. This time with the hardware being as different as it is they WILL let the whole '3D wow' aspect sell it for a while. The amount of included games and trinkets in the system out of the box too will help that.
Hopefully they avoid the mistakes of the Wii, where they left it too long and everyone got sick of the 'Wii Sports machine'. That started the whole long running joke about the Wii collecting dust. Games came - just way too late and a lot of people got sick of waiting. The same thing is happening with Kinect as well.
I read this on NeoGAF and though it was apt: this whole Steel Diver and Pilotwings Resort at launch situation is a good microcosm of how Nintendo treats its various external regions. America gets both, Europe gets one, Australia gets zero.