Opinion: Nintendo ‘Future-Proofing’ The 3DS With Media Capabilities?

[In a Friday opinion piece, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks at Satoru Iwata’s musings on possible video recording for Nintendo’s 3DS to look at the stealth non-gaming elements of the 3DS and how they might truly ‘future-proof’ the handheld.]

While it has had to endure its fair share of navel gazing and questions from the media over the 3DS — including from me — Nintendo is starting to show once again why it’s always foolish to bet against the company.

There’s no doubt the 3DS will be a hot seller when it hits shelves. Most new game technologies from major players in the industry usually are. The question that has always loomed over the 3DS’s head, though, was is it enough to lure people who are spending more and more time with their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Read more at Gamasutra

Nintendo’s 3DS may eventually become a 3D camcorder too

Nintendo will break new ground with the 3DS portable gaming system later this year, offering the first consumer electronics device to let people enjoy stereoscopic 3D effects without wearing glasses. But it looks like the company might have much bigger ambitions for the gadget.

In the latest Iwata Asks Q&A with the company’s global CEO, Satoru Iwata reveals that he would like to include video recording capabilities into future updates of the 3DS, letting people shoot home movies in 3D and watch them back on their device or (presumably) on a 3D TV via SD card.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Opinion: Why So Much Mass Media Hysteria Over 3DS Vision Warnings?

[In this opinion piece, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks at the reports about the ‘dangers’ of the Nintendo 3DS for the young that surfaced over the holidays, and why lack of context and media sensationalism is rife in reporting this particular story.]

I’ve been a member of the so-called mass media for over 20 years. I logged over nine of those with CNN; have worked for Forbes; and spent more than half a dozen years in Atlanta radio, reporting on subjects including the 1996 Olympics and the ramifications of disastrous plane crashes.

I am, in short, a proud member of the Fourth Estate. But sometimes, the idiocy and sensationalism of certain members of my chosen profession drives me up a wall.

Read more at Gamasutra

Gamasutra’s Best Of 2010: Top 5 Unexpected Gaming Events

[In a light-hearted post-Christmas countdown, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris examines the unexpected moments of 2010 in gaming, from Justice Kagan on Mortal Kombat to Panasonic’s Jungle.]

Talk about a topsy-turvy year. The video game industry has weathered its share of good and bad in 2010, but what made things really interesting were the completely unexpected moments – things we could never have predicted, no matter how many clues we were given.

From THQ’s decision to launch an experimental pricing strategythat could lob $20 off the price of games if it’s successful, to the return of a circus-like E3 environment (topped by Activision’s Lollapalooza-like concert), there were plenty of shocking moments in 2010.

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Analysis: The State Of The Nation At Nintendo

[Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris examines the surge in Nintendo’s U.S. sales around Black Friday, and asks whether this holiday season turnaround is enough to influence the company’s slowing growth curve.]

Over the course of the past year, gamers and the gaming press have written Nintendo off as a company in steep decline; hailed it as the savior of the handheld industry; written it off again (a couple of times, in fact); and called it greedy.

With Tuesday’s release of the 2010 Black Friday sales figures, the winds have shifted once again and Nintendo is now being called a powerhouse. The latest moniker is, of course, a temporary one – but it begs the question: exactly what is going on with Nintendo these days?

Read more at GamaSutra

Video Game Sales Surge: Is the Turnaround Here?

After a year of disappointing sales figures and investor malaise, the video game industry is feeling some seasonal cheer.

The kick off to the holidays has been a boom time for game makers this year – with stellar sales for both hardware and software.

The question for investors, though, is whether this seasonal bump is the start of a turnaround for gaming companies – or just a short-term surge that will fade away by the end of December.

Read more at CNBC.com


Nintendo returns to CES

It’s been 16 years since Nintendo showed up at CES – but with competition growing and a revolutionary product launch looming, Mario and Co. are packing their bags and heading to Vegas this January.

The company will be one of the flagship exhibitors in the 2011 CES Gaming Showcase when the consumer electronics tradeshow returns to Las Vegas Jan 6-9. All totaled, more than 35 video game companies will be part of that display.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

The Money Making Game #1: Nintendo’s $300 Handheld

We certainly have no problem getting caught up in the fun of playing games, but the people who create them have their pocketbooks to worry about, too. In this column, finance expert and GameSpy contributor Chris Morris guides you through the tricky corridors the gaming industry’s financial side, touching on big-time business decisions and how they matter to the common gamer.

When Nintendo announced the price of the 3DS, jaws dropped. 25,000 Yen converts, as you undoubtedly know by now, to just under $300 — a figure the gaming world howled was too high. Many gamers initially assumed the system would carry the same price tag when it hit the states, and the outrage increased. Analysts and industry observers predicted (after currency conversion and other factors) that the U.S. launch price would likely be closer to $250, but this did little to mollify people.

What many people tend to ignore or forget, though, is that Nintendo made some enormous pricing mistakes with the Wii — leaving millions of dollars on the table. And with the 3DS, the company’s taking steps to ensure it doesn’t repeat those gaffes. $250 (or even $300, if the company decides to surprise everyone and roll the dice) is, admittedly, an extraordinarily high price for a handheld gaming device… particularly one that has a single function. And this pricing strategy could backfire and give Apple a window to increase its market share. But from a pure business standpoint, it’s a sure way for Nintendo to regain the confidence of its investors.

Read more at GameSpy

Can Panasonic Survive the Video Game ‘Jungle’?

Seventeen years ago, Panasonic tried to break into the video game industry, lasting only three years before it was forced out. Now it’s ready to try again.

The company has unveiled the Jungle, a new handheld gaming system that will target players of online games. It’s a niche other companies have left wide open, but analysts—to put it kindly—are extremely skeptical about the company’s odds of success.

Read more at CNBC.com

Opinion: Panasonic Can’t See The Jungle For The Trees

[In his latest opinion piece, Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris tackles the just-announced Panasonic Jungle, asking some tough questions about the surprise MMO-focused handheld system launch.]

There’s a line between brave and foolish – and earlier this week, Panasonic vaulted over it like an Olympic long jumper.

The Jungle, the electronics company’s upcoming handheld gaming system, was unveiled Tuesday – and immediately met with a combination of skepticism, confusion and indifference.

Read more at Gamasutra