Saturday, December 9, 2006

Nintendo doubles the pleasure, doubles the fun, doubles the controversy

Nintendo is enjoying its recent launch. The company of Mario and Zelda sold 476,000 Wii consoles in November, more than twice as many as Sony sold of its PS3, according to Reuters. To be fair, Sony only shipped a thousand PS3s to retailers. Microsoft can claim that it was the console leader in November, moving a whopping 511,000 consoles off shelves, but both the Wii and the PS3 launched in the middle of the month. If sales continue as they have, Nintendo will outsell both Sony and Microsoft in December, a crucial sales month due to, well, the holidays and all. Santa Claus is going to bring good little boys and girls a nice new video game console, unless their parents are poor; then Santa doesn't much care for you or your hovel.

While Nintendo continues to expect bountiful sales as its newest console launches in Europe, there have been some problems arising. As you may recall, Wii-motes have been flying out of people's hands due to vast amounts of exuberance mixed in with incompetence, leading to a recent CBS news report where Nintendo President Satoru Iwata noted that a few people were "getting a lot more excited than we'd expected," causing Nintendo to figure out a way to "to better communicate to people how to deal with Wii as a new form of entertainment." There were similar problems with wooden bats when baseball first became a sport; one story suggests 39 windows were broken in 1948 during a game between the the Bridgeport Yellow Stockings and the Allentown Black Mucous Cough Team.

However, the flying controllers may not be an issue if Interlink Electronics gets its way, according to a CBC News Report. The company is suing Nintendo for violating patents it was granted on February of last year, which includes "associated technical drawings for a 'Trigger Operated electronic Device,' which depict a device similar to a television remote control with a trigger under the front end." Interlink is seeking lost royalties and profits as well as other damages plus interest, and is requesting that the court "issue an immediate and permanent restraining order against Nintendo to halt the alleged infringement." Should the company succeed, it would obviously destroy Nintendo and the happiness of millions. However, if history is any indicator (lawsuits are usually decided based on facts, the law, and historical anecdotes), Nintendo should prevail, much the same way it did when Dakota Fanning claimed that the company illegally used her likeness for their character Cackletta (see below).

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