Nintendo hates me: Why I am done with Nintendo.(UPDATED)

Proof!

Update: After posting this and tweeting at Nintendo of America a few times about the issue with no reply, I ended up emailing their customer service with no reply as well. So I went today a returned the 3DSxl. I decided I do have a choice when it comes to handheld gaming, and until Nintendo can adopt better digital distribution practices as well as better customer service practices I will no long be a customer. When asked why I was returning the device The customer service ssociate at Walmart asked what was they problem with the device. I said “Nintendo hates me. other than that the device is fine.” She laughed.

I gave up owning a Nintendo home console, and decided I would get my fix with the DS. I loved my DSi and DSiXL. It gave me everything I was missing from my xbox experience, which was mainly Nintendo first party titles and side scrolling platform games.So when the successor to my beloved DS was announced I was first in line to preorder the 3DS. Now I am not a rich person, still a college student with limited funds, so in order to get my 3DS I traded my DSiXL to Gamestop for a $100 towards my 3DS.

I liked the 3DS a lot, I did have to get used to the reduced size from my xl and the 3d hurt my head but these were all minor things. The thing I loved most was the opportunity by buy virtual console games on the new eshop. I bought all the Gameboy titles I used to own. Then Nintendoh! announced a radical price drop that upset many of us who forked over the $250 for the new handheld. But to make up for it Nintendo gave us 20 free games known as the Ambassador Program. Nintendo then launched a steller lineup of games like Mario Kart 7, and my favorite Mario 3D Land. But as usual soon after Nintendo announced the 3DSXL that everyone seen coming from a mile away.

I knew I had to have this new version of the system, me being a grown a$$ man needed the bigger size for my grown man hands. So me again still not being a rich man ( still in college) sold my 3DS to get the 3DSXl. I did everything to prepare for my new system. I did everything Nintendo and the internet told me to do, which was backup all my downloaded games on my SD card in order to transfer to my new system. Makes sense right, after all thats what every other SD car does right? Well not if you are Nintendo.

So there I am with my shiny new system and the new Mario Game with my SD card all ready to get all my games and my portable gaming life back on track and nothing happens. Transfer all the files and nothing happens. So I called Nintendo and they tell me I have to have my original system…..makes sense I guess if this was 2002. Why aren’t all my ambassador games and games purchased on the eshop tied to my eshop account? So the representative asked if I still had the old 3DS still, I explained to him the being poor thing. He asked if I could verify my credit card info to pull up my eshop info and he read off all they games I bought and said there was nothing he could do, but would forward my case and perhaps they could refund the money I spent on games to purchase them again and Nintendo would call me back to let me know what they could do for me, their loyal customer.

I got that call today and the rep on the phone basically said “sucks for you”. I mean my losing my ambassador games sucks but what about the games I actually paid for? They explained that all that was tied to a device….I explained that that should not matter you know I paid for it, I wiped my last 3DS clean so some other sucker could buy games on their screwed up platform, give me my games. The answer was no, its in your user agreement. GOT ME THERE NINTENDO!

I have bought two Ipods, an iphone4s, and two Ipads and every time I simply plugged them in and all my music, pictures, apps and purchases transfered to my new device every single time.  I have had three Xbox 360 consoles and every time all my data including purchased games transfered.The reason why Nintendo? Because we live in the future where data is tied to accounts and not a device. We also live in a time where customer service is the biggest part of brand loyalty Nintendo. I mean its not like I do not have options out there. *Cough Vita Cough* *Cough Apple Cough* The fact that a company that digital distributes content and has not found a better way to support the customers who paid for this content when they buy a new Nintendo product is absurd and careless customer service. Even scarier to think that the Wii U will too offer downloadable  content to customers in the near future. Are all their DLC, and virtual console games going to be tied to that device as well?

Nintendo is apart of my gaming nerd past. It has continuously shaped my taste in games over the years and I have been a fairly loyal customer. I mean buying four hand held consoles from them in five years seems pretty loyal to me (Around $800 dollars worth of loyalty) including software to boot. And if Nintendo has nothing better to offer people like me nothing more than “We have got bad news for you.” Then my wallet no longer opens for them.I know I am not alone, there have to be others out there that traded their 3DS system for the 3DSXl who have lost all their downloaded content as well, and as someone who is about to be n the advertising field I find that horrifying. That is bad branding, bad marketing, and bad customer service.

So until Nintendo can fix this problem with the way they handle content purchased on their system I will no longer purchase products from Nintendo.Until they can educate customers on the ways they handle the content they purchase from Nintendo electronically I will no longer hang out with Mario. I will be taking my brand new 3DSXl wrapping it back up and taking it back to the retailer I purchased it from. I will hand them the device and the receipt and when they ask if there was anything wrong with the item I will say “Why yes, Nintendo hates me, and no longer wants me as a customer.”

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Nintendoh! Miss steps with the 3DS.

3DS

$249.99? oops we meant $169.99, our bad.


So the video game world is all a buzz about Nintendo’s announcement this past week about the shocking price drop of the 3DS from $249.99 to $ 169.99 just four months after its launch.( and 20 free games for early adopters, though if you have an original DS you can still play most of these games. ) The original DS struggled at first too and got its $20 dollar price drop 8 months after its release, then again $20 is no $80. So whats going on over there at Nintendo? Is this a major flaw in the mighty big N armor? A sign a of things to come? Or is it a miss step they hopefully are learning from?

First off $249.99….serious?

What was Nintendo thinking? Trying to replace a healthy DS in this economy for 250 bucks? Before you say hey, you got one on launch day right? Yes I did, Gamestop gave me $100 for a DSxl trade in, a move I have sorely regretted. Perhaps game journalist reactions at E3 made Nintendo think they had lighting in a bottle? But 250 bucks was a gross overestimation of the device and their own demand perhaps. Hey, Even Hitler was arrogant enough to attack Russia…and he failed too. Russia is a cold hearted woman, and so is the American market, If that 250 dollar device your peddling does not happen to make phone calls or have a bitten apple on the back, you better rethink your game plan….speaking of.

Nintendo did not bring their “A” game, or any games for that matter.

Sorely overestimating the power of the launch titles, a half hashed 16 year old Pilot Wings, the third version of a console fighter In Street Fighter, an 8 year old Tech demo that look like it could have been a 99 cent IOS game in Steel Diver, Oh and don’t forget NINTENDOGS! Granted Nintendogs sold well on the other DS platforms, but look who bought them? Mothers picked them up for their children, they more than likely have all three versions, why spend $290 for a new one?  Where was Mario? Zelda? Star Fox, heck even an F-Zero…serious Nintendo F-Zero, get on it! So far after 4 months where are the hits guys? Great you gave us a remake of a game that came out in 98. Nintendo we now how that usually works for you, but perhaps the milk from that milking well has dried up. We are on to you. GIVE US SOMETHING NEW!?

More Botches in that launch than in a psycho sid wrestling match!

Nintendo was ready to throw that 3DS at our heads, take our cash and fly to Fiji. The launch was awful, laced with poor launch titles. I mean you tell us you have this great new 3d handheld and after your going to tell us about all the great 3d titles we are going to play on it right….uh, a Dinosaur fighting game? Uh, are they wearing Mario hats at least, um no? NO DEAL! Nintendo said ” A lack of killer apps or launch titles is what is stalling system sales.” Who’s fault was that? Nintendo was way too fast with getting this one out the door. The system launch did not include the E shop, no Netflix, nothing. In this day and age you can not sell a console based on new features and stall those features( at least not for months), and being in the game this long Nintendo knows by now that good titles are a consoles lifeblood. Maybe they should have launched along side Vita this holiday with Star Fox, a Mario game, Luigi’s Mansion, and zelda titles all at a launch price of 169.99. It would have made the over powering side by side comparisons to the Vita a little easier to over look.

The Elephant in the room named VITA

After This years E3, Sony revealed more on the PS Vita, and Sony has struggled plenty in the handheld market. Some of Sony’s Mistakes with the PSP are some of the same that Nintendo are making right now. Sony seems to have a new focus and commitment with the upcoming Vita. The Vita is a feature full top of the line handheld that offers plenty of innovation, and when Sony announced that their new handheld would debut at $249.99 for the wifi only model, that was a shoot across Nintendo’s bow, and perhaps Nintendo took that shot seriously. When compared to the 3DS the Vita makes the 3DS look very old, outdated, and grossly over priced. Perhaps this is the only argument that makes Nintendo look proactive and not reactive.

The Breakdown.

One thing that can be said as praise in all these stumbles and miss steps is that Nintendo more than likely saved themselves this time. Nintendo was humbled, and looks like they might keep the 3DS from becoming the new Virtual Boy. Nintendo President and other corporate brass even took a 50% pay cut, which is very admirable.

The 3DS is still a nice system, that has plenty of potential only if Nintendo gives it the life it need. Perhaps this is all a sign that the dedicated hand held market is on its way out with IOS and Android gaming becoming more and more common. Maybe Nintendo customers are tired of gimmicks, or  this proves 3D is really a fad, maybe the DS had long legs left in it still? Hopefully this is a lesson learned and Nintendo will apply it to the upcoming launch of the Wii U, which looks like a mine field.

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TCN Podcast ep 2: Don’t Go Down That Road!

We are back! In this episode we are talking movies, specifically the 1989 classic Pet Sematary! Kenn Glenn and Rob Davis breakdown this horror film in all its comedic glory, by breakdown the warning signs, the bad choices made , and we wrap it up with what we would do in each bad situation if we were living the movie! So if you have not watched this movie in a while i might be a good idea to get a refresher first, So sit back strap in and look at cats while you listen to The Closert Nerd Podcast!

Click HERE to Listen!

Music by Rymdreglage. itunes


Note- Sound Cloud and wordpress ‘s embed code for the player does not work, even with plugins we had trouble. So no embedded player.

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The Toy box: The Power Morpher

Every fandom has them, that one piece of merchandise or memorabilia that directly connects the fan to the series, or the series characters, or perhaps to their childhood, or more simple time in their life. Star Wars collectors have the original Kenner figures, and realistic light sabers, Star Trek collectors buy pieces of the set, and Ghostbusters fans have their proton packs. My fandom is what many may consider a little lower on the geek totem pole. What am I talking about? Power Rangers, and what is the center piece for my fandom? The Original Mighty Morphin Power Ranger power morpher.

Originally this was going to be about the morpher itself,  its mystique,and what makes this collectable toy so sought after and how or why it jumped up so high in price through the years, and the truth is just WE (meaning fans) loved this children’s show. It was very important to me, and to others and still is. I am sure you could have picked on up at a yard sale for 5 bucks, and as Power Rangers got older and stuck around so did some of the fans, and in that wanted a piece of the series beginning,or their childhood back. As the internet and ebay took off many who kept their toys most likely saw that some were willing to pay for this “toy”, and like any other capitalist someone said ” I wonder just how much someone will pay for this?” and the legend grew. I remember back in 2004 when I really began to yearn for these pieces of my childhood, I got on ebay and found the morpher and laughed at a $75 buy it now price, years later I would regret laughing. last summer finally got a morpher for a price I am proud of.

But when I asked for a little background from other member of Rangerboard.com (ranger fan board) I found answers that were not so capitalist, but very simular to mine. Stories of growing up attached to this show, stories of fond memories, and that one toy from their favorite show that always alluded them. So instead of a story about how ‘bad” some people are for pricing and toy for $250 and perhaps paying that much, I wanted to write about perhaps why its so special, and what makes collecting this particular toy so fun for some fans.

A little background:

The original power morpher  over the past years has become somewhat of a hot collectable, even though the toy is 18 years old is is not quite rare can go from $100 (if your lucky to find one that much) all the way to $300. The success of  show made sure there were plenty for childs hand. The original toy retailed for around $25 dollars and came with all 5 “power” coins, morpher, and blaster gun used in the show.

a plastic gold mine!

A Plastic Gold Mine!

So what makes this toy so special? so expensive? Well  in some cases of collectable toys its rarity or limited editions, and as we have established these are still rather easy to find ( only thing rare is to find one under $100) The value of these are 100% driven up by the fans and their love and nostalgia for the series, and paying triple digits for an 18 year old toy that just pops open, blinks, and makes an annoying little noise is a combination of insanity, but in their minds  (speaking from the point of view of one of these fans ) worth it in some cases.

But this love, this lust, goes much further than just having a simple childhood toy, this is about having a piece of your childhood hero. Most collectors do not just stop when they have the morpher in their hands, online via Rangerboard and Ebay there is an entire ecosystem dedicated to customizing your morpher however you want.The closest thing you can relate his to is to car collectors, some car collectors want the car to look like it just came off the line, some want to trick them out with all the bells and whistles, and the Power  Ranger fan base is not much different.Some (like myself) want screen or show accurate morphers based off the U.S. version Mighty Morphin Power Rangers or the Japanese show in which its based Zyuranger. You can take off the toy stickers flip the toy upside down ( the toy versions stickers where applied upside sown) and apply new custom stickers that look just like the show from http://www.reprolabels.com. Some strip the original paint to give it a new coat. Some want to completly customize it and paint it the color of their favorite ranger to show of to others something they have never seen before.

Rangerboard's tyler71's customized morpher.

You can buy new faceplates for the morpher, some in metal to give it a more realistic weight. Some buy metal and even real gold coins to place in the morpher, some even customize it to look destroyed (since the original Power Rangers powers were destroyed.) or weathered. Some even build or buy elaborate cases to house their prized collectables, and even that can get deep in customization. Sometimes just like with cars, customizing is half the fun.

Customized Destoyed white ranger morpher

say what you will about adults buying toys, and then spending money and time to customize those toys just to get done and set them on a shelf. If its chasing the toy that never ending up ender the christmas tree, or recapturing that toy that mom threw away, or simply chasing childhood and placing it directly into a toy from a cherished childhood show.

My childhood is setting completely restored on a shelf, ready for me whenever I want to morph back and be a kid again.

 

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E3 2011 day one: What stood out.

Well day one of E3 2011 is over, and the keynotes for two of the big three are in the books, and from what I saw from Microsoft and Sony, I am very excited. Which is strange seeing this is the first time I have been excited about Sony in years, which alone is worth getting…well excited over. Here is a recap of what stood out for me.

Microsoft:

As predicted, Microsofts presentation and upcoming line up revolve around Kinect, and living up to the some of the promises of the system, and showing how Kinect plays with the hardcore games in the Xbox roster. For me the most interesting thing today was the new Kinect fun labs , which will allow all those neat Kinect hackers have at and finally let me have something to do with my Kinect. They showed off the object scan function and the avatar scan funtion which were very impressive. Xbox also showed off the new UI coming this fall which using bing and youtube. Oh I almost forgot….HALO 4 and HALO anniversary remake!

The entire Keynote can be seen here http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Community/E3

Upcoming Kinect(Kinect enabled) titles of intrest.

  • Mass Effect 3
  • Dance Central
  • Fable : The Journey
  • Forza 4
  • Kinect fun lab ( available today)
  • Star Wars Kinect

Sony:

Sony really had to get over the elephant in the room. They handled the PSN outage well, and did not dwell but instead wowed us with what we really wanted to know about, the freakin NGP or PS VITA as it is now called. They revealed that there will be two price points for the handheld $249.99 for a wifi only and $299.99 for the 3g version. Which excites me because the PS vita impressed me earlier and like everyone was worried it was going to ( in Sony fashion) cost more than a high end TV, and after I spent $249.99 3ds that has been to this point underwhelming, the PS Vita looks like a very affordable alternative.Sony has been pushing 3d for a year to a less than receptive audience. So Sony announced a bundle that includes a 24 inch 1080 HD flat screen 3d Tv, Resistance 3 and an HDMI cable….which is still meh on the 3d front. But the PS Vita alone makes up for all that bundle wackiness.

Day two, its up to Nintendo to steal the show with detail of project cafe, and I will have details to fawn or yell over. We wait in the edge of our seats. Until then.

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Call of the Dead: So Nerdy, I will get it.

I have never EVER purchased a Call of Duty game, its never been my thing…until I saw the trailer for this DLC for Call of Duty :Black ops. Buffy, Freddy Kruger, and George Romero. YES! YES! YES! Check out the trailer.

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Successor to the Wii rumors flying: rumor round up and predictions.

Well did we call it in January or what? ” This is THE year a new console would be announced. Well, it looks like Nintendo is gearing up to announce the successor to the popular( among moms)  Wii console. This news comes at no surprise, Nintendo is longer over due to the HD market, and with slumping sales its about time to pull that trigger and get the next generation going. Early this week rumors that Nintendo was about to drop the price of the Wii to $150 were followed by a $160 temporary price drop this week. When you look at Nintendo’s history when a new handheld hits the shelf (3ds), and new console is soon to follow.

maybe not a Wii 2 after all?

Multiple sources are saying the console is in the works and it will be announced at or before E3 2011. Some reports say the console dubbed “project Cafe” is said to be equipped with the same guts as the Xbox 360, others say it will be more powerful than the current generation. But like the Wii the buzz is around the controller. Rumors of HD touch screens, gyroscopes , and cameras have been flying around. The controller rumors sounds like a mix between the Dreamcast and if you turned a 3DS into a controller. Some rumors suggest the controller will be able Nintendo’s new 3ds AR technology into home console games. The system is said to be backwards compatible with the Wii and you will be able to use the systems controller as the sensor bar for the Wii controller.

The timing of the rumors are not a surprise but the nature of them are. The console so far sounds like Nintendo is singing a balcony sonnet to the western gaming audience. Nintendo looks like they are trying to give every “hardcore” gamer what they have been wanting, more so it sound like they have been listening to the fan boys screaming for “hardcore ” Nintendo. Other reports say Nintendo is saying they are wanting to sperate this console away from the Wii as much as possible in the eyes of the audience, and perhaps just as importantly in the eyes of the third party developers who  struggled making money on Nintendo’s popular system.

So as E3 gets closer the question will be exactly what “project cafe” will be. Will Nintendo throw a curveball and focus on the “hardcore” segment? Or will they go for “gimmick” after all? I see Nintendo going with the segment the created, be supporting both the Wii and the new console as two separate consoles, one for the Moms,Children, and families. And for the ones who have been screaming for over five years for HD experiences with Nintendo franchises. Either way this year and E3 just got more interesting.

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