Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Low budget redesigns.

This week announced two gaming systems to have an unexpected redesign, the first one is a new PSP model called PSP E-1000, it lacks Wi-fi, costs 99 Euros and it's only out in Europe. I’ve never seen more than one person playing the same PSP game so the impact on this loss is not going to be huge, but the lack of internet and probably the inability to recieve DLC may hurt gamers. This isn't a problem for games that are only suited for single player, which are most of the games in the PSP library.

*If the PSP E-1000 was going to be out in Japan*
The impact in Japan will be much more notable since the best selling game is Monster Hunter and as usual, Japan has been huge on using the local multiplayer features from titles like Pokémon, Dragon Quest IX, New Super Mario Bros Wii and the local arcades like Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is supposed to be a great Japanese game (Famitsu 40/40) but a flawed Western Game ( 7/10), flawed enough that it didn't get enough sales outside Japan due to the unfortunate nature of the PSP being less popular than the DS at that time.

The PSP was above average in Japan, competing against both the Wii and 3DS. On the plus side of things the best PSP games are roughly £15 and less here in the UK compared to the current (3)DS games at ~£30.
Would I get a PSP E-1000? It depends on my taste and the PSP library, I would like to use the full features from the PSP , such as Wi-fi for local multiplayer, DLC and the internet. So it's a no for now, but for users that do not have any interest in the wireless features, then it's more likely the E-1000 could prove suitable.

The second game system to have an unexpected redesign is the Nintendo Wii.
I was a bit surprised to hear that this system is getting a redesign, and unlike the PSP, the notable cut is the lack of backwards compatability/Gamecube Support, including:
GC Controllers,
GC Memory Cards and
GC Games.
This also means no 5 player support on the Tubrografx games!

To make things more shocking, the redesign forces the system to be laid horizontally and the original Wii models will be discontinued. I dislike this idea because you could release a bundle with GC support for the hardcore gamer audience just like the 250GB Xbox 360 Slim bundles.

This is huge indication that the Gamecube support is going to be gone for good. Just like how the DS/Game Boy Micro ditched the Gameboy Classic support. This low budget version cuts only affects a few Wii games like Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Sonic Unleashed, Mario Kart Wii and a few others, so it doesn't sound as bad as you think, unlike the PSP sacrificing Wifi = no multiplayer and DLC extras on a PSP game

The Wii has been largely successful with local/party games like Wii Sports (Resort), Rayman Rabbids, Mario & Sonic series, Just Dance series, Mario Kart Wii and the redesign cuts will not affect these games.

The new redesign is mostly aimed for the casual audience to showcase the most important features, and remove the rarely used features like Gamecube support. It might be a dirty tactic, but possibly an effective way for new (most likely casual) customers to try out and buy the redesigned Wii this Christmas 2011, before the Wii U is out 2012.

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