What the NES Classic means for Nintendo and Retro Gamers


December 26th, 2016

The big news story this holiday season was the NES Classic, one of the “hot gift items” fir 2016.  It has been nearly impossible to find on shelves, and scalpers are making a bunch of money reselling these systems on eBay.  I have personally yet to find one, but plan on picking one up once the stock issues are eliminated.

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However, the interesting story behind the huge success of the NES Classic is that we could see a change in the way Nintendo handles their classic IPs.  For close to a decade now the only way to play these classics legally was to either own the original release or purchase it via a Nintendo console or handheld on their Virtual Console, and usually both options were a significant expense.  Original carts can be anywhere from 5 to 100 US dollars, and Virtual Console games range from 5 to 10 dollars.  Now, there is an option to get a bundle of 30 games, all solid titles, for an average cost of 2 dollars each.  The value of this system is astounding, and the consumers have spoken:  they want this format.

I believe in 2017 and 2018, we will see two more releases.  I would first expect to see a second NES Classic, perhaps modeled off the US NES 2 Top Loader.  The second unit will likely feature 30 more titles, perhaps this time with a few more third party titles than the original.  Nintendo still has a large collection of first party NES games that could be sold on a second unit, including a few titles that never saw a US release.  Super Mario Bros 2 Lost Levels and Earthbound Zero are a couple obvious choices.  Capcom could supply us with another Mega Man title, and the RPG front could be augmented with Square-Enixs Dragon Warrior, and perhaps the sequel as well.

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The second release I would expect Nintendo to release would be an SNES Classic.  Many gamers have fond memories of the 16 bit Nintendo console, and considering Sega has already released a mini Genesis with built in games, I would expect Nintendo to bring a well made SNES with 30 built in games, perhaps at an increased price of 69.99.  First party games would definitely include the two Mario World games, Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero, Super Metroid, Zelda LttP, and Starfox.  Third Party options include Mega Man X, Final Fantasy 2 and 3, Street Fighter (or perhaps Mortal Kombat), Castlevania 4, and Contra 4.  With the way the NES Classic is selling, Nintendo could easily develop this type of console for the 2017 holiday season and replicate the amazing success they had this past season.

With the 3DS seeing a major resurgence in sales this holiday season and the amazing sales of the NES Classic, Nintendo has a chance to get their name back in households using cheaper devices, and they should use this to their advantage to convince consumers to purchase their new Switch.  While their flagship consoles from the modern era have been disappointing since the Wii U, they could easily work their way back into the forefront of gaming simply by selling cheaper products like these.

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RoundUp 110 – In The Spirit Of Christmas


December 23rd, 2016

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (29:45)
Guinness Gaming Records – (1:21:07)
Electric Dragon: Dark City – (1:23:19)
Brett Weiss Interview – (1:28:15)
Top Ten Game Consoles – (2:56:10)
Gaming Trivia – (5:07:27)
SoCal Mike: Christmas Rap – (5:07:54)
All Aboard The Ali Express – (5:09:47)
Live News And Listener Views – (5:20:46)
URLs And EMails – (7:04:47)

See the shownotes page and read the Live News chat log.

Vote in our Top Ten Poll and suggest a future Top Ten topic here.

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Retro YouTube: Little Miss Gamer


December 1st, 2016

Readers of the blog may remember my writeup on Captain S, a Youtube show that ran in the late 2000’s styled in a family friendly sitcom format.  It was the webshow that put a spotlight on PBC Productions.  This next show was their second large gaming show, running 23 episodes.  Named Little Miss Gamer, it was another show that was highly unique among its peers at the time.  Featuring a female lead, it was light on comedy, featuring no swearing just like Captain S (unlike most shows at the time), and had great appeal to someone not wanting to just watch another “angry review show.”

One fantastic skill that the host has is the ability to take you back to the time you were playing these games she features.  The female lead went by either Little Miss Gamer or “Z”, and had an obvious love of the NES and SNES gaming era.  She shows great passion in each video she produced, and her personality is so positive it’s impossible not to let her upbeat attitude affect you as you watch.  Each episode also has a Viewer Mail segment, giving more interaction than your typical YouTube show at the time and also gives the feeling of Z building a rapport with her viewers.

 

Some shows have some small skits done in them, and others feature some of Z’s puppetry work, which is quite well done for the YouTube era it was in.  Also, it felt very fitting for the show to use puppetry in an era that is filled with cheap CG effects, giving it a retro feel.  Production standards are also pretty high for the era, just like Captain S.  PBC Productions put a lot of effort into their camera and sound work, and it shows in each episode as the production values slowly get better and better.

 

Sadly, the show only lasted from October 2007 to 2010, and had a quiet end as PBC ramped down and their crew moved on to different things.  However, that period had  fantastic episodes released with games ranging from the Atari 2600 to the PS2 and X-Box eras, and it shows that while she has moved on to the newer consoles, she has fond memories of the older games.

The full playlist for the entire shows run can be found here, and below is an embedded video of the first episode.  Be sure to check this classic out!

 

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RoundUp 109 – Sounds Like A Tax Form


November 30th, 2016

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (48:19)
Guinness Gaming Records – (1:37:24)
Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene – (1:41:22)
Jon Hare Panel – (1:46:09)
Top Ten Game Manuals – (3:35:56)
Gaming Trivia – (5:33:01)
Pinball Summer – (5:34:54)
All Aboard The Ali Express – (5:39:34)
Live News And Listener Views – (5:49:39)
URLs And EMails – (7:32:23)

See the shownotes page and read the Live News chat log.

Vote in our Top Ten Poll and suggest a future Top Ten topic here.

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Podcatch via the RSS Feeds.

Stream the show 24/7 or listen to RGR Radio.

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RoundUp 108 – Boxed But Not Complete


November 1st, 2016

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (23:41)
Guinness Gaming Records – (66:57)
Zelda Dungeon Theme (Doomstep Remix) – (1:10:08)
Brad Baker Interview – (1:13:24)
Top Ten Game Related Music – (1:52:49)
Gaming Trivia – (3:11:22)
R Cade And The Video Victims: Scramble – (3:13:14)
All Aboard The Ali Express – (3:16:18)
Live News And Listener Views – (3:26:09)
URLs And EMails – (5:22:59)

See the shownotes page and read the Live News chat log.

Vote in our Top Ten Poll and suggest a future Top Ten topic here.

Check out the tunes we discuss here.

Join our Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter.

Donate to the show.

Podcatch via the RSS Feeds.

Stream the show 24/7 or listen to RGR Radio.

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