Holy smokes, what's this, a wild article that hasn't been seen in a long time! I am back in the action again, hopefully for a while right now, and might as well take advantage of this situation to incessantly rant and ramble write about the things that I've been coming up with. Having purchased some new Nintendo hardware as of late, things have definitely caught my eye that have not made my experiences with Nintendo pleasant. Recently I've been going on a Nintendo related spree and buying a Wii U and a New Nintendo 3DS, and I'm kind of unsure what I really feel lately, because there's been some very questionable decisions that they've decided to pull with their business decisions as of late. I'm talking, of course, about the many blunders they have made in the Amiibo, the fact that only North America has been held back from a regular model of the New Nintendo 3DS, their clunky infrastructure, and the limited edition idea that's had everyone in an absolute uproar. Starting with Amiibo, who would have guessed that these little figurines (which I must say are entirely charming...) would be such a hot ticket item? The figures themselves, which are compatible with certain Nintendo titles as in-game content and characters, in a way, have been seeing massive shortages, with stocks of "limited edition" Amiibo selling out within minutes of orders being placed. The fact that some of these items are limited to certain stores makes it even more irksome as it's been creating a sense of artificial demand which leads to people scalping the items at absolutely insane prices, such as a Golden Mario Amiibo selling for a 670% markup on eBay. Looking at that article from Ars Technica, even Amiibos with defects out the factory are selling for absurd prices. Try a Peach Amiibo that sold for $25,000 It's shocking, and it's even more desolate in the North American region because the stock is extremely limited to begin with, which may have to do with the fact that the US ports had been on strike, which caused a severe reduction in the number of units that were able to be moved. Other gamers from the other corners of the globe have been reveling in the fact that the Amiibos are widely available. Nintendo seems to have this idea of "limited edition" firmly planted in their heads, and it's not doing any favors for them. Back towards the end of last year, the New Nintendo 3DS was announced as a successor to the Nintendo 3DS XL, which came out in two models - a smaller sized Nintendo 3DS which had the ability to swap faceplates, and had a nostalgic set of buttons that were colored in the scheme of the old Super Nintendo, and a larger Nintendo 3DS XL. This decision was well received by the gaming community, except when it came over to America, where Nintendo decided to make our decision for us by offering us a charger-less console in the XL size only. Their feedback? It's ridiculous. I get the fact that smaller models may have not sold extremely well, but the fact is that Nintendo is doing nothing but creating a sense of isolationism from its gaming audience, and losing its core gamers that have chosen to stick with them for decades. I do, however, think that the New Nintendo 3DS is a step in the right direction, and should have been the first console in the 3DS line to be released, because it did a lot of things right and corrected a lot of the wrongs that plagued its predecessors. It's a kick in the shins at this point considering that everyone in the world has access to both sizes, except the US, and when limited edition consoles come out for the US it goes even worse. With the idea of limited edition, we'd expect a fair opportunity to be able to be able to pick them up. Right? Nintendo launched a limited edition Majora's Mask New Nintendo 3DS XL, which looks surprisingly dandy when held in person. That console sold out everywhere, in minutes. Considering the fact that at times these stocks of the item were listed at obscene times like 3AM in Pacific Time, that's a bit much. I knew people that had to set all kinds of crazy alerts on their phones notifying them that new stock was available. I personally went out and tried to order the Majora's Mask console at a local game shop, to be told that the person in front of me walked out with the last preorder. Backlash was terrifying to behold as people couldn't get a hold of the console, having to look at eBay as scalpers took the console and sold it in an attempt to earn extra cash. The console sells for an average of $400, double the original price of the standard models. Finding it in stores is next to impossible, if not impossible, and while I get the idea of a limited edition console, the implementation that stores used to sell the item, allowing scalpers to obtain many units, failed abysmally. The execution was awful, and even though Nintendo acknowledged the issue being related to the Western docking port strikes, it's still a low blow. It just seems like everything with Nintendo lately is just clunky lately, including their online infrastructure transfer. Just how clunky is Nintendo's process? Anything and everything with their online feels extremely dated, with friend codes, a shoddy camera that takes pictures in HD 0.3 MP photos, and limited voice chat. In an era where console games are tied to an account, going back to Nintendo with their console-tied data is like going back to Radio Shack to purchase old parts (no offense to those who still use the store, but in my area the place is subject to all kinds of scorn...) The main point here is looking at their Nintendo 3DS system transfer protocol, which involves a series of sixteen relatively confusingly worded steps that, if messed up, would cause data loss. It's frankly bizarre and out of place. I linked a video below. The process in general, once you get past all of the vague portions, is actually quite easy to pull off. It really is not difficult, but it's slightly confusing and could be easily changed. The process itself, depending on which method you use to transfer, could take an obscene amount of time as well, which makes it even sadder that the games are not account based. Looking at something like the Playstation Vita, all I had to do was enter my account name and I had full access to my library and could pick up where I left off, just like that. Not to mention, that with the Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo changed things up in a bizarre way by forcing users to adapt to a micro SD card... which, in addition, is located underneath the back faceplate, which requires a screwdriver to remove. It's tedious, and pointless, considering that every iteration that has used the memory card has had a small side slot that could be opened at will. Given that Nintendo is a very kid-friendly ecosystem, their moves on the New Nintendo 3DS baffled me. So, seriously Nintendo, I ask what are you doing? The decisions you're making are alienating your gamers. Nintendo really needs to modernize and get their head out of the gutter, because while I see a lot of potential with their games and hardware, the number of eyebrow raising decisions from the headquarters in Japan leaves me a bit hesitant to want to invest in Nintendo's future endeavors, even though I probably will because I have a tendency to gravitate towards their stuff anyway. Sunken cost analogy, yep. The stock on things like Amiibo, New Nintendo 3DS console, and the ever elusive Gamecube Adapter are not good. They're not entirely bad either, as they have a fantastic service related industry and some very stellar customer service stuff that they do, but a lot of the issues I have that I report to customer service shouldn't even be needed to be done over the phone in this day and age. I'm not a huge fan of the limited edition vice grip that they're pulling, and I'm certainly not a fan of the idea that something that should be easily accessible, like Amiibo, get sold out instantly. So yes, lend me your thoughts and let me know what you guys think. Are you a fan of the new "direction" that Nintendo seems to be taking?