When Nintendo first introduced the
WiiU at E3 2011, one of the things that seemed to surprise a lot of people was that the console would only support one new controller. While many industry insiders were surprised at the fact, I was surprised by their surprise. For me, it seemed obvious that only one controller would be allowed, since the addition of support for a second controller would mean increased hardware cost, probably pushing the console outside of the $300 sweet spot.
This year at
E3 2012 we were treated to an update - two controllers per console. I knew what this meant - increased costs and, therefore, increased price. But then it hit - prices. $249 for the basic and $349 for the deluxe package could only mean one of two things: they found an efficiency to lower costs or they were going to sell the console at a loss in the hopes to get them out there. But Nintendo had just posted their first ever quarterly loss - only Sony has ever taken a loss on hardware after a massive loss. There was no way Nintendo would go the same way after seeing what has happened to Sony, right?
Wrong. Announced during this quarter's financial call, Nintendo will be taking a loss on sales of the WiiU in hopes of higher software sales. While it may seem crazy to follow in the failing footsteps of Sony, Nintendo does have a couple of things going for it. Nintendo has a unique, diverse and loyal group of customers. They also have a higher than average profit margin on software titles, considering so many titles are developed in-house, so there is no external costs. Add to that the availability of titles for digital download, meaning no packaging or production costs, also means higher profits, something Sony didn't really have going at the PS3's launch.
There is also a great
collection of games available, as diverse as their customer base, including a large selection of titles for hardcore gamers, something lacking from the original Wii's launch. Will all of this translate into profitability for Nintendo upon the launch of the WiiU? Honestly, I have no idea, only time can tell on this one. As a Nintendo fan myself, with a collection including almost every console the company has ever sold, I certainly hope so, but we all wanted the DreamCast to succeed and it never stood a chance. At the end of the day, if Nintendo is going to take a loss on the console, they need to focus on software titles and not on the hardware itself, except to sell games. If they can position the console as the best way to play the best games, and encourage digital downloads to cut GameStop out of the equation, then they can make this happen.
Are you going to pick up a WiiU at launch, wait a little while for more titles to be added or pass on this generation of Nintendo console? Let us know in the comments.
We said back when Adam Sessler and Kevin Pereira left G4 that the network would soon be facing a complete shutdown. Well, while others may have reported rumors of a potential demise of the gaming-centric TV station
last month, as G4 struggles to compete with Spike, we knew this was a long time coming. It has been announced today that G4 is canceling X-Play, Attack of the Show and any other gaming programming. The network, currently run by NBCUniversal, has been telling its employees in various meetings throughout the day.
Losing two of their head talent in a matter of months wasn't a very good start for the station and everyone had a feeling that it just wouldn't be the same once they left, and they were right. Ratings have been down and there has been less and less gaming and tech news being given on the respective shows. As far as when the shows will actually be canned for good, we have learned that both AOTS and X-Play will be getting two-month long farewells, airing new, original episodes until the end of the year, at which point the shows will be terminated. It is expected that celebrities and G4 talent from the past will appear on-air during the send-off period.
Once that happens, the company will shift the focus to a GQ-esque channel lineup, focusing on a lifestyle network that appeals to the casual and modern male demographic. So there marks the ten-year run of two very nerd culture-focused shows that definitely brought to the mainstream life the things that most of you who read this publication or listen to our show have loved since you were kids. I'm just putting this out there, though: if Morgan Webb, Candance Bailey or Sara Underwood need a new place to work, we here at
F5 Live would love to have you onboard. I'm just saying.
Rockstar Games let us in on a little bit of
Grand Theft Auto news this week. Well, it was actually the first official artwork, but it still counts, right? The developer said that this was to hold us over until Monday, October 29th, when the company would have a "huge reveal" regarding the upcoming, highly-anticipated GTA V. I'm happy to see some more news about it because it was three years ago that we were hoping to see , and here we are almost in 2013.
GTA V show up in 2010
Assuming the world doesn't end in less than sixty days, it's a pretty exciting thing to look forward to and it's about time we received a bit more about the title, considering Rockstar's been abnormally quiet about the game over the past year.
Grand Theft Auto V will be on the cover of the December issue of Game Informer, and the magazine will also have a complete rundown of information straight from Rockstar's mouth. Because of this momentous occasion, Rockstar gave us the artwork, called "Pest Control," which given the image, leads us to believe a lot more mayhem and mischief is in store for our characters in the next iteration of GTA. Rockstar also said that there is a "lot of info coming next month," but has not eluded to the official street date for GTA V. We also don't know the release date of the magazine yet but Game Informer's Andy McNamara was able to speak on this and said,
And since people are asking, we should have the release date of the magazine available to you... worse case, Monday.
So there you have it. An image to tide us over, followed by a
GTA-filled Game Informer and a huge reveal. I can't wait. Check out the slideshow we have after the break to see all of the screenshots we have of the game so far. Some of them are actually rendered in-game to give us a glimpse on what the game may look like. Of course, your mileage may vary.
open sourced webOS, we all knew it had more to do with the charitable donation benefit of giving a $1.2 billion project to the web. That didn't stop us from wondering what might happen with the project after launching. The addition of Gram, a webOS professional team dedicated to bringing a more robust webOS to OEMs, it was clear HP didn't want it to just die.
This week the first hardware partner of Open webOS was revealed, and it is not what anyone would expect. In fact, it is a partner that is surprising and a form-factor that is even more unexpected. LG has teamed up with HP and Gram to produce the first ever webOS-powered smart television. Open webOS is replacing LG's own NetCast operating system, as well as the previously announced Google TV partnership. NetCast was unveiled at
CES 2009, along with the original Palm Pre and webOS as a whole. While webOS has had various forms, as well as 3 master versions, NetCast hasn't really changed since launch.
Bringing webOS to a television is a bit of a challenge. Despite demand from the community, there has never been a Netflix app, official Pandora app, Yahoo!, CinemaNow or even a proper YouTube app since the original Pre. Though there is a Pandora app, even that isn't official, meaning there's a lot of work to be done. These apps are said to be in development in preparation for their debut on the LG television, and one can only hope we can see them in action on the existing webOS devices now that they exist.
The one remaining massive obstacle to overcome is the boot time. If you have ever interacted with a webOS phone, or any smartphone for that matter, you know it takes a while to boot up. It is one of the reasons the phones stay in hibernation most of the time instead of powering off all together. LG and Gram is going to have to work together to figure out how to fix this problem or the television is going to be a massive failure. They could always take the phone route and leave the processor running all the time so that the TV powers up quickly, but that would take a little more power.
We expect to see LG and HP figure out this hitch and we look forward to seeing Open webOS premiering on the big screen this January at CES 2013.