TSM Episode 60: The Caspius-Approved Kickstarter

China SO ANGRY right now. First the Dalai Lama, and now they've come second in the Olympics. It's just not their century! Baw!
Look at this nice man: just another thing for China to be FURIOUS about! Baw!

Produced 2012.08.12

Caspius, SiliconNooB, and Imitanis sit down to work out the answer to one of the world’s oldest problems: what would it take for Caspius to approve a Kickstarter?


  1. Actually, most of the stuff I’ve written about The Last Guardian has been overwhelmingly skeptical ever since it was announced. Before the troubles started. The first of which was actually posted to this site! Nowadays I’ve been apathetic. It’s been too long. I’ll see what reviews say when it comes out. …in 6 years.

    I agree with you guys about the Vita. I’ve played it a number of times and it’s awesome hardware. But it took me years for the PSP to have enough games to push me over the edge. I imagine it’ll be a while for the Vita as well. Caspius makes a good point about guaranteed Nintendo software. Although I still haven’t spent a single cent on the 3DS. There are games I like on it, but nothing is a must-have for me yet.

  2. Finished! No more live-commenting my listen. I think 3 people is the optimal number of people for a podcast. Maybe 4 if they’re all sober.

  3. I won Civ V from one of the pokemon contests. You didn’t remember me? :(

    “I really love the 3D whatever the fuck it is” is the quote of the year. Take a bow, Julian!

    So you don’t subscribe to the xkcd theory of passwords? http://xkcd.com/936/

    I have to agree that the Vita is a great technical device that lacks anything worth playing. Sadly, Touch my Katamari seemed to be underwhelming, and I might play Gravity Rush, but that means the only other game out right now I’d play is Disgaea 3 and I already have that. And the next games I’d buy are Persona 4 Golden, which I also already have, or Zero Escape (the 999 sequel), but I’d get that for the 3DS. And if I got the PS All Star game, I’d get it for PS3.

  4. I want the 3DS software library on the PSVita.

    Why can’t we have the best of both worlds?

  5. I still don’t see sunny skies for the Vita. My first impression was that it had some more promise than the PSP, but only some. And I’ve seen nothing to make me feel otherwise.

    My initial thoughts are just that Sony isn’t very good at managing their hardware (considering the various PSPs, PS3, and now Vita) because lately the software hasn’t been lining up for them the way it used to.

    Something related to what I’m saying:

    It’s old (it’s also a bit long), perhaps people have seen it, but I wonder what people think about it.

  6. I was just in Key West last month. I swear to God there was crap on the beach. Beach Party in Fort Lauderdale instead.

  7. @Mel: Looking at Nintendo’s own third-party woes for the 3DS (lots of little shovelware, but still a relatively low number of AAA titles), I wonder if it is down to the simple fact that cheap iOS games are easier (and cheaper) to make, and have better profit margins than traditional handheld games. And, you don’t have to worry about the install base because the iPhone and iPad are ubiquitous. There’s very little significant competition, so if your funding prohibits porting or cross-platform development, it’s an easy choice: iOS all the way.

    Setting aside the intent of making TRULY EXCELLENT gaming experiences, if I were the CEO of a company charged with making handheld games, and profit was the bottom line, I’d be producing quick-and-easy iOS titles with 6mo. project turnovers rather than hoping for blockbusters with large-scale handheld development in a divided market where I will need many sales of a $40 game just to break even: and this in a world where other handheld games are going for 99¢.

    Of course, if devs want to make jaw-dropping game experiences that gamers will remember forever, they’re going to need to put the time in. The problem (at least, for us as gamers) is that profit drives businesses, and so they are going to incline towards what is most profitable. Unfortunately for us, that doesn’t seem to be large-scale handheld development anymore.

  8. @Matt: SERIOUSLY!?

    Venue change! Fort Lauderdale is way too touristy. I think we should go to St. Martin or one of those little island nations!

  9. Yeah, Nintendo’s not coming out of the emergence of iOS/Android app games so well either, I suppose. But just looking from the way the DS and PSP played out, I don’t know how much the smart phone gaming sector really changed how each platform performed in relation to each other (that is, the 3DS in relation to the Vita), just that it hurt both platforms roughly equally because of an ebbing of developer support for the reasons you mentioned.

  10. @Mel: I didn’t mean to imply that it *directly* hurt one more than the other. I think it is simply a changed market.

    However, I would argue that the Vita suffers more because its first-party titles simply are not as strong as those of Nintendo. And when first-party software is all you can rely on (given that third-party devs are going to incline towards cheaper, non-traditional development), having the weaker first-party development is a clear disadvantage.

    So, the current market hurts Sony more than Nintendo, and I certainly think part of the Vita’s sales woes are down to that. (Nintendo’s, too. Just not as much, which explains the trouble Sony is having relative to Nintendo.)

  11. Seriously. I have pictures to prove it. Not to knock the very pleasant city of Key West, but you can experience anything you want there in Ft. Laud, as more or less touristy as you please, in the midst of a large county between the ocean and the Everglades, near to an international airport, so you don’t have to drive an extra 4 hours to get there. Either would be preferable of course to Miami, which is totally Hell.

  12. ^What Caspius said. Gravity Rush is a fantastic little title, but IMO it is more about niche appeal. Vita has an Uncharted game, but at this point it is just another Uncharted game. Neither of these things is really much of a killer app along the lines of Mario 3D land or Mario Kart 7.

    If Activision and Ubisoft put a good effort into their CoD and AC titles that they are releasing at the end of the year, then that might make for some Vita selling software. On the other hand, the CoD game looks like a B-effort endeavour, and while the AC game looks like the real deal, Ubisoft nevertheless have historically delivered lesser efforts to handheld additions in the franchise.

  13. @Lusi: I agree (!)

    Also, something I think is important, is that few other handheld console makers ever got the importance of games designed for portable gaming. With the previously mentioned smart phone/tablet markets, that is changing (yeah, those aren’t handheld consoles per se), but in the dedicated console world I still get the feeling Sony and the Vita are just offering smaller scale home console efforts and spin offs. To be sure, that isn’t all the Vita offers. I don’t even know if it’s the majority of games or not, since I don’t really play handheld games. But historically this was an issue with Nintendo’s competitors (among other things, certainly) in the handheld market. Has the Vita bucked this trend?

  14. @Mel: Actually… you make a good point. Sony and Nintendo seem still to want to produce hand-held ‘console’ titles (though both have made it possible for iOS style games–though there are few notable titles for PSV or 3DS).


  15. Maybe it’s an alternate reality…Maybe I’ve been right all along…

    Maybe it’s Maybelline.

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