Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Nintendo Shouldn't Give Up On Hardware

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If you believe the video game press, pundits, and analysts Nintendo's poor sales of WiiU systems is leading the video game company that the world Donkey Kong, Mario and multitude of Pokemon towards an apocalypse.  Financial analysts observing the state of affairs at Nintendo are calling the big N to do what Sega did over a decade ago after the failure of the Dreamcast, pull out of manufacturing consoles an publishing game software for other systems exclusively.

While Nintendo may have detractors among hard core gamers, outside of hard core gamers the casual gamers would much worse off in a future without Nintendo making game consoles.  Who would cater to the family and casual gaming markets? Sony maybe, Microsoft unlikely.  For video games that don't require shooting everything moves (on the screen) Nintendo is the biggest name out there.

Third place may seem like an apocalyptic place for Nintendo to be but no unfamiliar territory.  During the early to mid 2000's Nintendo's game cube trailed way behind  the Playstation 2 and the original Xbox.  Nintendo made it through that generation with a stable of original first party franchises that their devoted fan base kept on buying.  

Even a decade before the GameCube Nintendo engineered to turn around the erosion of market share after the emergence of the Sega Genesis.  After expanding their own roster of first party games and reaching agreements with third party publishers Nintendo was able to overtake Sega in market share and finished the 16 bit era on top of the video game industry.  

To turn around the big N a few things can be and need to be done firstly, kill off the Wii Mini.  Nintendo has a large install base with the original Wii, when many of those units reach the end of life and those units stop functioning the owners have two options replace with a Wii mini or upgrade to a WiiU.  Building in backwards compatibility was the best thing Nintendo did building the WiiU.  Giving customers the option of a 99 dollar replacement lets current Wii users downgrade rather than upgrade which hurts Nintendo's business.

Secondly Nintendo needs new game franchises to keep current and attract new gamers to the WiiU.  Sure Nintendo has long running not to mention very popular franchises that keep many gamers loyal the big N.  Super Mario Brothers has been around just about 30 years, Kirby over 20 years and Pokemon is going to hit the big 20 soon.  Nintendo needed something new and fresh a couple of generations ago.  While Nintendo strongly maintains a reputation of being the big seller of video games for kids and families.  If Nintendo brings forward IP one thing they need to make sure to bring out something for the big kid in all of us so that Nintendo can he'd the image that has been dogging them for the past decade being the system that one grows out of before moving to a Playstation or Xbox. 

Despite what the naysayers want, Nintendo has a huge potential to make a huge comeback to dominate the home video game market with the WiiU, thy know how to do it, they just have to do it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The real solution auto dialled telemarketing calls

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During supper, or while you are taking a bath or shower, putting the baby to sleep or some other worst possible moment the phone rings, the caller ID shows some number you don't recognize or unknown number might show up if you take a chance and pick up the phone only to get a computer generated message from "cardholder services" to let you know that you qualify to "lower" your credit card interest rates, or "your captain" calls to tell you about a "free" cruise you have won.  There are just a couple of dozens of questionable pitches that are auto dialled to millions of people.

Many of the annoyed recipients of these calls usually just don't answer when an unknown phone number shows up on caller ID, some answer and just slam down the phone when they realize they are getting yet another computer dialled recorded telemarketing call.  

The problem with slamming the phone down on these callers is that the faster someone hangs up the faster the computer making these calls can make the next call to the next person to annoy. A better way to sock it to the operators of these shady operations is to leave the phone off the hook when getting one of these calls, firstly this slows down the rate of how many people they can call.  Staying on the line for 30 seconds rather than hanging up after three seconds decreases the rate of calls made by 90 percent.  Secondly staying on the line 61 seconds if their systems play their messages that long will double the cost to call you. The long distance calls that they make are billed by the minute even on cheap VOIP services.  Once the call reaches one minute and one second the telemarketing company pays for a two minute call.  Just by staying on the line it will take them longer to reach the big gullible fish to take the bait, and cost them more to cast their line in the water.