In San Francisco, a Battle Between Nintendo and Apple

In San Francisco, a Battle Between Nintendo and Apple (photo)

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At 9 a.m. this morning, Satoru Iwata, the president and CEO of Nintendo, stepped onto the stage in the South Hall of San Francisco’s Moscone Center to deliver the keynote speech for the annual Game Developer’s Conference. Separated by a street and an hour, Steve Jobs sat on a couch on another Moscone Center stage at 10 to announce the iPad 2. Together, they represented a larger battle in the games industry pertaining to the value of software. The ramifications are significant and today there was a clear winner.

The second half of Mr. Iwata’s talk, never mentioning Apple directly, criticized hardware manufacturers who have no direct investment in video game software. They worry about music or phones. Where will developers be, he warned, when these companies no longer need games.

With a wide smile, he echoed the disdain shared by many big name publishers for the extremely cheap (or free software) available on mobile devices. Nintendo, he let it be known, has a quality standard. The DS and Wii do not allow their platform to be flooded with thousand of sub-par products.

Is that true?

Immediately before this, Mr. Iwata had loaded a graph on the massive screen behind him that showed Nintendo’s hardware hosting nearly two times as many games as the hardware from competitors Sony and Microsoft.

And look on Metacritic. It’s no secret Wii and DS third-party developers have released trashcans full of stinkers.

Jobs, reclined with the iPad 2 in hand, seemed less interested in attacking Nintendo dead on – the location probably said enough. The iPad 2 will continue to encourage low-priced software. For example, an iPad version of Garage Band will be available for $4.99. The device itself will also be much faster and slimmer than the original iPad.

Access to the store — both for developers and consumers — will be easy as ever.

For us, Jobs won the round. The GDC hosts thousands of amateur developers who want to find a profitable route into the industry. While Apple’s market is (very) crowded, we continue to see surprise success stories on a monthly basis. Good content is rewarded.

Nintendo’s answer for indie development, the DSi Store, is almost unknown by the public at large and largely ignored by DS owners. It won’t even be completely available for the 3DS at launch.

Nintendo may have the ability to fund the massive budgets for $40 retail titles. Three person development studios, however, cannot. At a festival seemingly dedicated to the underdog, its hard to stomach a message from the fat cats.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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