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A Reservation About Future Reservations
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on June 20, 2005   |   Episode 61 (Show Archive)  

   

You can tell it's a Nintendo system by the name on the side and the fact that we know absolutely nothing about the specs!
If you've bought a game from GameStop.com lately chances are you've been hounded to reserve any one of the big upcoming games or systems. Thanks to aggressive sales tactics and store managers worried about how many reservations they take, what used to be an employee simply suggesting a title has become an all-out assault for your money. But lately it's gone from being annoying to bordering on dishonest.

You see, not only is GameStop.com reserving the big titles of 2005 ... but they are also suggesting that gamers put some money down on titles that might not come out until 2006, at the earliest. GameStop.com is not content with you reserving the upcoming Legend of Zelda game, the Twilight Princess, they suggest you put your cash down on the Legend of Zelda: Revolution.

The Legend of Zelda: Revolution?? Does that come after the Legend of Zelda: Reloaded? Was this game even announced?


So you didn't like the cel-shading, eh? Well what about cute little kitty cats, you don't have anything against the kitties do you??
Actually, it was ... kind of. At Nintendo's pre-E3 media briefing they listed off a few games that would make an appearance on their next generation platform. Along with Mario and Metroid, Big N let the world know that there would be a Zelda game for the system. This should come as no surprise, though, since there has been a Zelda game on every platform Nintendo has released (sans the Virtual Boy).

Even though Nintendo has not set a firm launch date for their next console, they have suggested that it would launch towards the end of 2006, only months after the PS3 and a year after the Xbox 360. Yet if you go by what GameStop.com is suggesting the game will come out March 1, 2006 ... mere months after the Twilight Princess finally hits the market.

No matter when the next generation Nintendo console is released few believe Zelda will be a launch title. With overdue sequels from Mario and Super Smash Brothers there would seem to be no room for a new Zelda adventure, especially when you include the fact that the Twilight Princess would not even be a year old. Heck, for all we know the Revolution Zelda may not come out until very late in the system's life cycle.


Microsoft is putting all their efforts behind a little indie product called Halo 3, maybe you've heard of it!
Of course, the GameStop.com employee would likely argue that this is no different from putting money down on Halo 3 or any other hotly anticipated game announced at E3. But Halo 3 was actually announced and given a date (even if it was a little vague). When they recommend somebody put money on Halo 3 they know there's a real good chance the game will come out within twelve months of the transaction, but when it comes to Zelda it could be anywhere from a year to several years.

Unfortunately they don't just guess at the release date, they also assume it's going to run you $60 new. That's right, even though there has been absolutely no price announcements from ANY of the three major console makers about next generation pricing, GameStop.com is predicting it will be even more expensive than what we are currently paying. I'm not here to suggest that the game will be cheaper than $60 when it

So here's the cast of Smash Bros., but where's Kid Icarus? C'mon Nintendo, give us Kid Icarus!
launches, but considering we don't even know if they've started the game, putting a price on it just makes them look seedy.

It's not exclusive to the Legend of Zelda, either. GameStop.com is allowing you to put money down on a number of other Revolution titles announced at E3. However, a game like Super Smash Bros. Revolution was announced as a launch title, and considering they showed off a trailer for Metroid Prime 3 at the show, it would be hard to argue against being able to put

Speaking of overdue sequels, maybe it's time for Nintendo to bring us Kung Fu: Revolution!
money on it. But the same just cannot be said about Zelda which got a passing mention, but little more than that.

So what's the problem? Sure the game probably won't be released next year, but it was still "announced" and people might be interested in making sure they have money on it, right? The misinformation leads me to suspect that GameStop.com knows that most people will put money on it now, and then just use that money for something else when they get tired of waiting. And really, by the time the next generation Zelda does show up GameStop.com might not even be in business anymore. No matter how you look at it, these extremely early reservations just seem like a dishonest way of netting some immediate cash.

There is nothing illegal about what GameStop.com is attempting to do, but their sneaky attempt to lie about the release date (and possibly even the price) is unethical and something gamers should not be forced to put up with. It almost makes me wonder if I will be able to put my money down on the PlayStation 4 when I go and pick up my PS3 on launch day. I can only hope.
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