I think it is getting worse. Having all 4 Fire Emblem character amiibos essentially costs you $50. If they would have instead made a Fire Emblem character pack or something it wouldn't be anywhere near that amount. Then it would basically be onboard DLC at this point. When you make that option seem preferable something is seriously wrong.
@Stephen Even Disney Infinity sells multiple character packs with additional game content as well. The figures cost about the same as the Nintendo ones. There isn't even a chance to access this content without the toys. Oh! And you have to have the "New" 3DS in order to use the Amiibos so actually it will cost and additional $200. Wow!
Yea but what if you just want the full Code Name STEAM experience and nothing else. You're shelling out quite a bit. I've had no interest in any amiibo content yet but the way they're forcing them into every game, it's just a matter of time.
So those that kept track of limited edition systems in the past: Is preordering the only way I'm going to get the Majora's Mask 3DS? I was hoping to just walk into a retailer like Walmart and buy one off the shelves.
Was the last Zelda 3DS system selling out this fast? Could you only preorder it? Could you buy it off the shelves after the launch date? Were only specific retailers carrying it? I know it's a limited edition, but this seems like a very limited supply...
@Hinph This is different though. There was pent-up demand for the new 3DS that wasn't there for the ALBW 3DS XL. It was more that a lot of people wanted the new 3DS, then everyone wanted that one limited edition version when it was announced, especially since they're all releasing on the same day. If this was being released 6 months after the others, I doubt it would've been like this.
I've never been one for special edition handhelds. I like my systems to be sleek and ambiguous. I decided to go with the "New Black" New 3DS XL because it looks like a damn slick machine. I preordered the system and I have my 64gb micro sd card on its way. I did some math and noticed I only have about 6 full length games worth of space left in my 32gb slot: time to upgrade.
@DeputyVanHalen i realistically cannot see myself downloading another full 32gb worth of content. But I guess we will see how long this gen goes for. As it stands, right now I still want to buy monster hunter 4, Majoras mask, bravely default, persona q, the new fire emblem, and xenoblade. Those are the only announced or already released games I need to buy. Who knows how much longer this gen will go on for, or if they'll actually bring final fantasy explorers, dq7, and bravely second to America..
I also have to wonder if they are having supply issues with the New 3DS in general... delayed release outside of Japan, weird "Ambassador" program in Europe, only releasing the New XL in North America...
@Hinph I think it has more to do with excess stock of older 3ds and XL models. They do not want to release a cheaper New model when they're still trying to clear out the older stuff. I bet the smaller new model comes out some time this summer if nintendo manages to sell its older stock.
@Scrawnton I think so too, although I think they screwed up then because sales pretty much dropped off a cliff as soon as word of an upgrade on the way got out. From that point on, the only way they were going to clear those out was to drop the price significantly.
I think it's a combination of Nintendo underestimating consumer demand and scalpers pulling overtime on being assholes who rob other people of joy for a quick buck. It seems that now, if you want something from Nintendo that isn't a toy or a standalone piece of software, you have to preorder it within the first 6 hours it's available. MMN3DSXL sold out on gamestop's website in less than an hour, but I've heard that you can still preorder it in stores. I really don't know what Nintendo would do differently if they wanted to help scalpers out.
I can see both sides of the issue, but I think I'm beginning to side more with Jargon's point of view. I look at it like this:
Valkyria Chronicles, a game largely similar STEAM, was released by Sega and included two playable Skies of Arcadia characters at launch. They were free and you could recruit and use them without having to go through any extra effort or spending any extra money. These Fire Emblem characters could've been the same deal, but they aren't.
Consider this as well. A group of people at Intelligent Systems had to take the time to design, model, animate, voice, polish, test, and balance these four characters. That development time could've been used for adding four new characters that everybody gets to use. Instead, those resources are poured into creating characters that a small portion of the playerbase is ever going to have a chance of using.
Spending money on DLC that is made after the production cycle of a game is over is one thing. Buying an overpriced plastic key to unlock content that is already on the cartridge you paid for is perhaps the worst form of on disc DLC. These characters could have easily been included into the main game. This is different from something like Smash Bros, where the Amiibo are used for something extrinsic and possibly uninteresting to the main playerbase. In Smash Bros the Amiibo also solved the problem of how players would bring their trained fighter to a friend's house. In STEAM, Amiibo aren't solving any problems and they're not giving us something that we wouldn't have gotten otherwise. They're taking something that we probably would've gotten for free, and locking it away behind a paywall.
I think Amiibo's inclusion in games should minimal at best. Unlocking stuff you could have otherwise obtained in Hyrule Warriors, giving you silly Nintendo themed costumes in One Piece. That's fine. Locking off more characters or levels is crossing the line. Even if it's something as seemingly disposable as easter egg characters, it sets a precedence for this kind of thing. Imagine if you had to buy the Pac-Man amiibo to use him in Smash. That could be argued as "not part of the full Smash experience" because he's not a Nintendo character. It's a first step towards something that is harmful to the medium and very consumer unfriendly.