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Consoleation: Pre-NPD—April 2013 projection comparison (versus Michael Pachter)

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Image

In advance of this afternoon's release of NPD retail video game sales data for April, I wanted to compare my range projections with those of Michael Pachter from Wedbush Securities.

Consoleation: April 2013 NPD data pre-release speculation

Injustice: Gods Among Us Screenshot

NPD sales data for April is set to arrive tomorrow (May 16th). I don't expect many surprises nor many changes to the status quo when it comes to hardware sales rankings for the month.

Extra Credits: Differences in Scale vs Differences in Kind

Extra Credits looks at employing scale (i.e. more enemies) and tone to break up gameplay and maintain a player's interest level. Extra Credits' example of a game that got this right was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare—who knew that Call of Duty could be the game to actually teach us something?

Consoleation: Nintendo vs. the (third-party) world

Madden NFL 25 Screenshot

Let's get the hyperbole out of the way first. Not having a Madden game in 2013 will not kill the Wii U. It's instinctive to think that a lack of EA presence on the platform could be akin to a kiss of death, similar to what we saw with EA spurning SEGA and the Dreamcast. This is a different animal, I think.

Riptide, Soul Sacrifice and Mars War Logs

Dead Island: Riptide Screenshot

Readers will know that I am a huge fan of the first game, and even though it had some rough edges, it was a pretty brilliant experience. Unfortunately, Riptide isn't able to match up to that first title. The new character who uses hand-to-hand combat is lots of laughs, but the game itself feels like it was slapped together with very little care and isn't nearly as immersive or as atmospheric as the original.

Extra Credits: Intrinsic vs Extrinsic

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic rewards. In this episode, Extra Credits tries to explain what keeps you playing through the tedious parts of games.

Nintendo should not drop the E3 press conference this year

New Super Luigi U Screenshot

On April. 25th as part of its Financial Results Briefing, Nintendo dropped an innocuous bit of information that temporarily set the Internet on fire. In short, Nintendo would be ditching its the expected pre-E3 press conference in favor of two smaller show events. In addition, Nintendo will provide opportunities for gamers and press to play games at the show and Nintendo Directs to get information to consumers. I have to say that I have my doubts as to the wisdom of this move.

Consoleation: Nintendo's big gamble

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U) Screenshot

When Nintendo started rolling out its Direct events during E3 last year, I wondered then if this would be Nintendo's new direction. Then we got a Nintendo Direct event after E3 which announced many of the games that we would have seen at E3 in past years. It seemed to me that E3 was no longer as much of a priority for Nintendo as it once was, and I firmly believe that this latest move reinforces that line of thinking.

Extra Credits: Word Choice

Extra Credits adds to a previous discussion on exposition in games. GLaDOS fans will probably enjoy this episode... Professor Fitz Quadwrangle fans, not so much.

Extra Credits: More Than Exposition

Extra Credits talks about the "exposition dump." What is that, you ask? The "exposition dump" is one of the easiest ways with which a developer can tell a story, explain a game world or explain a game world's rules. Even lauded game designers like Hideo Kojima use this method to tell a story—and why not, if Metal Gear Solid's success is any indication, there are few repercussions for overusing it. Thankfully, there are examples of doing the opposite and being rewarded for it. The Half-Life series, Fallout 3 and Journey are examples of doing it right.

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