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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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