Things get heated on this week's episode of the Power Button podcast as we discuss Nintendo's recent announcement that it's partnering with mobile publisher DeNA to come to the smartphone and tablet app store near you. Nintendo is also working on its next traditional video game console, codenamed NX, and we spend some time hashing that revelation out and how it relates to the mobile news, too. Round 1! FIGHT! Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.
Sometimes there's a mistake at PlayStation Store headquarters that causes a popular game to have its price slashed from $[something] to $[nothing]. If you manage to get in on the deal before the mistake is fixed, you can score a Sony PlayStation game for no cost. For some strange reason, this kind of error seems to happen to games in the God of War series most of all. Several years ago the PlayStation Store accidentally offered the PlayStation 3 remastered versions of the first two God of War games for free, then later compounded that mistake when the PS Vita versions of those games were released as cross-buy freebies. Today is happened again as the Ultimate Edition of 2012's God of War: Ascension for the PS3 was briefly available free of charge. Game Informer tells you what you missed.
Apparently, this was a glitch in the store that existed during a short window. According to a post on the PlayStation Blog yesterday, the full game and DLC bundle is discounted to $12 ($8 for PlayStation Plus members). The DLC bundle alone is supposed to be free for Plus, though.
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and was able to "purchase" the game during the short window in which it was freely available. It's the third game in the God of War series that I've acquired thanks to a pricing error. Sony fixes these kinds of errors minutes after they hit the Internet at large and word begins to spread, so the chance to take advantage is remarkably small. That brings me to today's million dollar idea: a service that frequently pings the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, Nintendo eShop, Steam, and other digital stores of your choice in search of these kinds of pricing errors. When it finds one, it sends a text message to subscribers alerting them to the deal. It has to be a text message; e-mails, tweets, and other messaging services are too easy to ignore. If there's a chance you can get a free game, you'll want your phone to buzz immediately to grab your attention before the mistake is corrected. If anyone wants to implement this idea, it's available for licensing. I'll only charge you $[something].
Nintendo has found itself in the middle of a fresh controversy following the company's decision to offer pre-release access to the upcoming Wii U shooter Splatoon to Playboy. There's nothing pornographic going on in Playboy's coverage of the game, but that hasn't stopped criticism of the choice to grant editorial access. As Mike Williams of USgamer points out, the Splatoon/Playboy pairing isn't a marketing mistake. Acclaim offering money for defacing gravesites in the name of Shadowman: 2econd Coming is a mistake. Sony attempting to make PlayStation Portable ads go viral is a mistake. Electronic Arts staging a fake protest against Dante's Inferno is a mistake. Check out the full list of disgraces from the world of product promotion.
For its edgy God of War-style action game, Dante's Inferno, Electronic Arts had a genius promotional idea. It hired 20 people to stand outside of E3 2009 and fake a religious protest of the title. The fake Christian protesters held signs saying things like "Hell is not a Video Game" and "Trade in Your PlayStation for a PrayStation". It did strike attendees as odd that this religious group was protesting a game almost no one knew about, outside of those who saw the announcement trailer released a few months before E3, but no harm, no foul right?
Nope. Some actual Christians hated being held up as fake boogeymen to promote Dante's Inferno. One blogger outright called the stunt "anti-Christian". And it's not like it particularly helped the game's promotion at E3, the largest annual promotional event the game industry has. Just show the game and call it a day, folks.
There's a worse example of Dante's Inferno marketing stunts, sadly. This is the same game that sparked a contest at Comic-Con 2009 in which entrants were encouraged to "commit acts of lust with a booth babe" to win a date with a paid model. There's no stoop too low for some unscrupulous marketing firms out there especially if any exposure counts as good exposure in the end. After all, without these horrible campaigns, would we still talk about Dante's Inferno today? Although I enjoyed the game and found it a deeper experience than most others did, it wasn't exactly a topic I expected to raise today. Thanks to this marketing stunt years ago, we're having a discussion about it now. Points for effort on that one, I guess. As for Nintendo and Playboy, no matter you opinion on the Splatoon coverage, we're talking about that game now too. Even marketing stunts that backfire still achieve their overall goal of raising awareness in the end.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Press The Buttons and the fifth anniversary of Power Button, this week's episode of the podcast turns the spotlight on PTB itself as Blake Grundman asks me everything you've ever wanted to know about how this site came to be, how its grown over the years, memorable moments, and we even take some time to answer some questions from the audience. Join us for eighty minutes and feed my ego. Thank you all so much for continuing to read, listen, and be a part of the PTB experience. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton.
Our week of tenth anniversary giveaways comes to an end with the newly released Battlefield Hardline courtesy of Electronic Arts! I have a copy of the game for both the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One to hand out, so hit the social media widget below to get your entries in the running. Go for one or both. Entries can be submitted until 11:59pm EDT on Monday, March 23, 2015. The winners will have to submit a North American mailing address to accept the prize plus you need to be eighteen years or older to enter this one. The game is rated M-for-Mature, after all. As of this writing, all of the other giveaways from this week are still open for entries, so don't let other chances to win pass you by. Thanks for being a part of the celebration this week and stay tuned for much more from Press The Buttons to come!
Day Three of the big PTB tenth anniversary giveaway brings us ten copies of NBA Live 15 courtesy of Electronic Arts that all need good homes. Five copies are for the Sony PlayStation 4 and five are for the Microsoft Xbox One, so be sure to enter the contest using the appropriate social media widgets embedded below. Enter for a chance to win a copy for one or both systems — it's your call! You must have a North American mailing address to claim the prize and this contest is open for entries until 11:59pm EDT on Sunday, March 22, 2015. As of this writing, the contests for Day One and Day Two are still open for entries, so don't miss out! Tomorrow's prize: it's the grand finale contest with two copies of a major new shooter.
The tenth anniversary giveaway continues! Today's prizes come to us from MonkeyPaw Games who have generously given me four of their classic Sony PlayStation games for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita to offer up in celebration. Enter for a chance to win Tomba, Wolf Fang, The Firemen 2, and Galaxy Fight in one big prize package. These are download codes for the North American PlayStation Store, so be sure you can use the prize before you enter the contest. Engage with the social media widget below for a chance to win. Deadline for entries is 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, March 21, 2015. For more on these games and other fine releases from MonkeyPaw, check out Episode 127 of the Power Button podcast. Thanks again to my friends at MonkeyPaw for offering these up! Tomorrow's prize: take it to the net with a sports game for the Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One.
Press The Buttons is ten years old today! To celebrate I've assembled a pool of gaming-related prizes to give away through the end of the week! Today's prize is a "Link for President" t-shirt courtesy of Merchbro.com. Anyone can enter, but only three will win. Available sizes are XS through XL and the winner must provide a North American mailing address to receive the prize. You have until 11:59pm EDT on Friday, March 20, 2015 to get your entries in using the embedded widget below. It's fairly standard; do the social media engagement thing to accumulate entries. I'll choose three winners at random. Not a shirt fan? Don't worry! I'll have more prizes to give away tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. Good luck! Tomorrow's prize: downloadable retro classics from the original Sony PlayStation era for your PlayStation 3 and PS Vita!
Nintendo announced a partnership with Japanese mobile platform DeNA this morning, signaling an intent to bring its popular franchises and talents into the smartphone/tablet space. Here's Mike Futter at Game Informer to explain:
The games that DeNA will be working on are completely new, rather than ports of existing titles. Nintendo's entire slate of intellectual property is open to the mobile company to tap for its creations. Nintendo continues to hope that its mobile presence will drive interest in its dedicated video game console devices, something the company has stated as a goal for entering the smartphone and tablet space.
In addition, DeNA will be developing a membership service for Nintendo that will be accessible on PC, 3DS, and Wii U. The as yet unnamed service is targeted for launch later this year, however it was not specified if this will be a regional rollout or if the duo will attempt worldwide release.
As if that's not enough of a business bombshell, it was also announced that Nintendo's next dedicated gaming console, codenamed NX, is in the works. We'll hear more about that and how it fits into the DeNA deal in 2016. Here's Stephen Totilo at Kotaku to explain what we know about the NX:
Seeking to put off questions that Nintendo's future would be entirely mobile, Iwata says that Nintendo is still very much in the "dedicated video game system market", and that their next piece of gaming hardware is code-named the "NX"."Nintendo has decided to deploy its video game business on smart devices, but it is not because we have lost our passion or vision for the business of dedicated video game systems", he said.
"On the contrary, because now we have decided on how we will make use of smart devices, we have come to hold an even stronger passion and vision for the dedicated video game system business than before."
"Now that we're less devoted to the dedicated video game system business, we're more devoted than ever before!" Talk about your double-talk. Iwata should run for office."As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business", Iwata adds, "let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand new concept under the development codename 'NX'."
Step right up! Press The Buttons celebrates its tenth anniversary on Tuesday, March 17, so to celebrate I'm giving away video games and t-shirts through the end of the week thanks to the kindness of some of the site's PR friends. We'll kick things off tomorrow and entering will be as easy as filling out one of those contest widgets that are all the rave these days. There's some fun stuff planned, so I hope you'll turn up and take a shot at winning. Tell you friends, spread the word, and let's celebrate in style!