Oh man, that iPhone is NEVER going to fit in my pocket!
Like many technology junkies, the recent announcement of the Apple iPad left me feeling a little cold. Based on a video and press release, the iPad sounds like nothing more than a giant iPhone. Perhaps there's a market for such a device, but when it comes to the way I use my portable game systems and laptop computers, I fail to understand why all of the Apply loyalists are jumping up and down with glee. Still, as crazy as I think Apple's product is, at least they aren't being hypocritical. For that we need to turn to the industry leader, Nintendo.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata is never one to ignore a chance to look completely catty when talking about the competition. He's poo-pooed HD gaming, online multiplayer and the need for video/music
The Church of Mario is only slightly less creepy than the Churck of Scientology!
playback. The company, as a whole, has made sure to stick with cartridges long after everybody had abandoned the expensive media and shove their head in the sand when it comes to anything the competition is working on. This is the company that chose friend codes, SD graphics and a cheap price point, so it should come as no surprise that Nintendo has something to say about the iPad.
Normally I'm immune to Satoru Iwata's insane talk about his competition, but when it comes to his recent comments about the iPad I feel like somebody needs to point out the blatant hypocrisy. It's as if Iwata's entire personality is built on the idea that nobody will remember any of the loony things that come out of his mouth. He can simply say whatever he pleases and people will immediately forget the moment the new Zelda game comes out. Maybe there's truth to that, but here at Defunct Games we aren't going to let him get away with it that quickly. I think it's time to bring on Associated Press reports ...
Quote 1: "A Bigger iPod Touch"
Why would they put Richard D. James on the cover of Girl Gamer?
"Nintendo's President shrugged off the just unveiled iPad tablet computer from Apple as delivering "no surprises" [...] "It was a bigger iPod Touch," Satoru Iwata said of the much anticipated device shown Wednesday by Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs."
Now hold on a moment ... where have I heard that before? There's nothing special about a bigger version of an existing product. What does that sound familiar? Oh, that's right, it's
Best of all, the Nintendo DSi XL has the burned in copy of the original DSi!
because that was my exact reaction to the Nintendo DSi XL!
Here we have a company that is just about to release the fourth version of the Nintendo DS. This brand new DS will have a brand new price point and will be larger than the standard issue Nintendo DS. That's it. It won't play new games, it's not going to add more functionality and it won't be any cheaper. Sound familiar? It should, because that is exactly what Apple is trying to do with the iPad. Not quite a laptop and definitely not a phone, the iPad does everything the iPod Touch does. I simply don't believe that Iwata is so stupid that he doesn't see the irony of his comments. I'm not a fashion expert or anything, but I can tell you one thing, hypocrisy doesn't look good on Satoru Iwata.
Quote 2: Avatar Makes You Look Stupid
Iwata is a big fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender? Oh wait ...
"Iwata also doesn't expect 3D video gaming to catch on, although he welcomed 3D movies at theaters like James Cameron's hit "Avatar." "I have doubts whether people will be wearing glasses to play games at home. How is that going to look to other people?"
If this was coming from another company (maybe Apple) I might have been able to go with this logic. After all, I'm not particularly keen to strap on stupid looking (and expensive) glasses just to see things in faux-3D. But this isn't coming from Apple, it's coming from Nintendo, the company who is currently selling a game system that makes you flail your arms all over the place in ridiculous ways ... BY DESIGN!
Anybody who has played Wario Wares, Wii Sports or even Major Minor's Majestic March on the Wii already knows how stupid you can look playing Nintendo's newest video games. Half of the appeal of the system is making fun of your friends as they jump around, wave their hands about and generally do the hokey-pokey. That's
what the system is all about, it's the reason they called the system the "Wii" in the first place. Yet here we are, four years later, and Iwata is afraid of people looking like fools when they play games?
And it's not just the Wii that made us look like fools. Have you ever tried running on the Nintendo Power Pad? There's no better way to show your friends that you run like a girl. And it's not like the Super Scope made you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. We're talking about first-party accessories that seem specifically designed to make you look like a loser. And yet they have the balls to complain about wearing 3D glasses? I don't recall Nintendo having a problem with 3D glasses when Rad Racer and 3D World Runner came out on the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System.
Quote 3: Nintendo Worries For Your Health!
Nintendo would never release a faux-handheld game system that, if played for too long, could seriously leave lasting scars on your eyeballs. They just wouldn't do it!
"Kyoto-based Nintendo, the maker of Pokemon and Super Mario games, would also have to look into the possible health effects of longtime 3D game playing, which is likely to last longer than a two-hour film, Iwata said."
To be fair to Iwata, this is not a direct quote, but rather the quote from the actual story. Still, I have to believe that this paragraph does a good job of capturing Iwata's sentiments about 3D TV technology. If that's the case, then Nintendo's President may have an even shorter attention span than the average Nintendo customer.
Could it be that he's forgetting about the Nintendo Virtual Boy? This was the system that required you to stick your face into a pair of goggles and watch faux-3D lines race at your eyes at breakneck speeds. This was the system that suggested that you should stop playing every 15 minutes, because failure to do that could genuinely hurt your vision. It's laughable for Nintendo to be the company lecturing us about the evils of 3D gaming, since they are the ones that did it first. Where was Iwata when the Virtual Boy was being released? Where was he when people were accidentally throwing their controls at the TV and other people? Where was he when the Power Pad got moved around and made me trip, giving me a terrible case of rug burn? Where were you Iwata? Probably being a hypocrite ... that seems to be what you're good at.
Quote 4: STFU Sony!
Not just STFU ... but also put the PSP down and look where you're going!
"Apple's entrance into the portable gaming space has been a net positive for Sony. When people want a deeper, richer console, they start playing on a PSP."
Okay, I'll admit it, this quote wasn't from Satoru Iwata. Instead this comes to us from Sony's John Koller, Director Hardware Marketing, who recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal. Apparently Iwata isn't the only video game spokesperson to say stupid things in light of the big iPad announcement. Here's Sony throwing a little gasoline on the fire, perhaps hoping to get some free publicity for their PSP line of products.
Look, I love my PSP and can defend the handheld against just about any attacks, but Sony has no place to criticize other companies when it comes to making portable devices. We're talking about a company that just sustained the failure of the PSPgo, a handheld that seems to have only hurt the PSP's reputation. We don't need to refight this battle, we all know that the PSPgo costs $70 more and fails to give you a place to put the hundreds of PSP games already on store shelves. It's a rip-off, and the public has reacted accordingly. So, instead of mocking the Apple iPad, perhaps Sony should be figuring out a way to make sure people will think of the PSP as a serious contender, and not just the also-ran. Quick talking about why the PSP is better and let's start showing the world why it's better ... that's the one thing everybody has been waiting for. Until then, shut your damn mouth.