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LITHCast 54!

Finally! It’s here, and there is a lot to talk about! LITHCast 54!

Take a listen:

Direct Download (mp3)

-We might not be here for a birthday contest, but we'll think of something
-Pokemon Black/White:
-E3 Talk
-Nintendo needs to improve WFC:
-Nintendo FY End Finances:
-Mario Galaxy 2 Soundtrack:
-We WILL be at E3 2010, and are very excited!
-VGMUsic hits 30k files:
-Follow me on Twitter:

Three Things I Expect From Each Console Company at E3


Demo for 3DS
Details on the new Zelda game
Lame Wii Add-On

Natal release date
Hardware refresh
Paid subscriptions to something

Improved online service
3D BluRay support, Google TV support
More hopes and dreams

Pikmin 3 - Lessons Learned


Pikmin, those Skittle colored creatures, are likely making a comeback for the Wii. I welcome the return; Pikmin was my favorite single player Gamecube game. However, if the trend between Pikmin 1 and 2 continues, Pikmin 3 will not have as good of a storyline as the first did.

Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Pikmin, Mario, and The Legend of Zelda, agreed with Nintendo Power that Pikmin is “not too short, not too long.” I feel that this description of the first Pikmin is accurate, yet Pikmin 2 seemed to forget this foundational idea and stretched out the game. The lack of a day limit caused me to feel too relaxed with the game, as I didn't have to economize my time. This removal also took the hurried atmosphere away from the game.


The first Pikmin also had an atmosphere of isolation that the second lacked. Obviously, the introduction of a partner is partly responsible, but the daily letters and even the environments of the levels helped with the feeling of isolation of Pikmin. To elaborate, the levels in Pikmin altogether seemed darker and contained more fog. Only the caves brought a similar atmosphere into Pikmin 2, yet you always knew that you could return to the surface and build another army to bring down later. This isolation (and the previous hurried atmosphere) kept me playing; I wanted to see Olimar rescued.

Olimar, in Pikmin, was an “everyman”. In Pikmin 2, he is transformed into a preternatural scientist with Louie as the comedic foil. This allows players to distance themselves from these characters, unless someone feels themselves as experimental a cook Louie seems to be, or as methodical about their explanations as Olimar is changed into.

Yet, I must say that the gameplay did improve from Pikmin to Pikmin 2. The introduction of electricity and more extensive use of poison does add to the atmosphere. The changed system of items to collect makes the game more interesting as well as more challenging, yet they removed most of that challenge with the removal of a time limit. Also, I like the items themselves, and the fact that they virtually guarantee the hypothesis that the Planet of the Pikmin is Earth.


View From the Financial Bridge: Nintendo's FY 2010 Results

By Deborah Grosshandler

Recent headlines invoke fear: investors of the gaming industry are spooked by poor April sales. The United States game revenues dropped 26% in April alone, and one company reported a $889 million loss.

As I reviewed Nintendo’s Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended March 31, 2010, thing became clear – Nintendo is a long-term player in the gaming industry.

Yes- net sales are down year-to-date 22%. Yes, net operating income is down 35.8% year-to-date. But let us pull back the veil and look behind these headline figures. What do we see?

We see an established company experienced in navigating the choppy waters of the gaming industry. Nintendo has seen this environment before and has prepared itself. Their most prominent defensive policy is that they internally generate capital to fund future growth.

Nintendo’s policy of internally generated capital is implemented through their dividend pay-out policy. The amount of dividends that Nintendo returns to their stockholders is based on their current profit level. They pay-out 33% of their operating income in the form of dividends and keep the remaining 67% for future expansion. This profit retention enables Nintendo to maintain a strong and liquid financial position to prosper in the competitive gaming industry. These retained earnings are used for new technology and product development.

This internal generation of funds is reflected in Nintendo’s cash flow index. Their capital adequacy ratios have moved to reflect this policy.

Nintendo’s Capital Adequacy Ratio:



The capital adequacy ratio is calculated by dividing total shareholder’s equity by total assets. For the last four years, Nintendo’s shareholder’s equity, which includes retained earnings, has increased.

Nintendo’s Retained Earnings (mil. Yen):


Yearly addition



Source: Nintendo Co., Ltd. Consolidated Balance Sheets

Their cash account on the consolidated balance sheet between 2009 and 2010 has increased 130,794 million yen. In the current tight, illiquid financial market, where lending pools are drying up: cash is king. Nintendo is making cash and keeping it, as reflected in their balance sheet and retained earnings statement.

Nintendo is not dependent on the vagaries of the financial arena for expansion capital. Nintendo’s management team has securely positioned Nintendo for the current stormy weather.

Another defensive policy measure is that Nintendo has maintained a strong sales foundation in their home country. Their geographical sales reflect this:


Consolid. Total
2010 Consolid. Net Sales (Million Yen)



Net Op. Income



Source: Nintendo Co. Ltd.-Segment Information by Business Categories

Nintendo’s Japanese net sales are approximately 1.89 times that of the Americas- the next largest geographical business segment. Their net operating income for Japan is 7.4 times that of the America’s net operating income.

We see from these consolidated statements that 85% of consolidated net sales and 82% of the operating income is from Japan.

The majority of sales and profits are generated in their home markets. This provides more financial control of their revenue generating machinery. Their revenues are less exposed to foreign exchange fluctuations, foreign country political risk, and transportation costs.

Nintendo’s dividend reinvestment and strong home market sales are just two strong financial policies that provide a synergistic force for long-term financial stability even in these precarious times.

New Comment System!

Just a quick note. Our old comment system went premium, and wasn’t that great anyway.

So, we’ve switched over to Disqus, which will not only provide the usual comment functionality, but also will allow you to sign in using an OpenID provider. That means, if you have a Facebook, Twitter, or other OpenID account, you can sign in with those without creating a new account.


Pokemon Black & White: Wait What?


Nintendo announced recently that they're again making a new mobile-platform Pokemon game for us all to enjoy next year; the problem is that I'm not so sure if I even want another Pokemon game in the foreseeable future. Nintendo has taken the lazy route with Pokemon games recently, and in this article I will explain my thoughts behind this.

One problem Nintendo seems to have with the Pokemon series is expanding upon it. Their old routine of creating a new continent with some new Pokemon, some old Pokemon, is just worn out. They should really focus on doing something new with the series -- take it in a new direction that actually interests their fans instead of taking them on the same journey with a different path. Give your trainer a personality, have him live a normal life with his own friends and explore with them on Pokemon adventures. Maybe some wicked tournaments secretly run by Team Rocket or something. Seriously, I've played the same game like 5 times by now.

The Pokemon series hasn't been all that graphically oriented, but putting some 3D graphics into your portable game system's game isn't too much of a stretch. If you can port N64 games to your handheld, you can put in a bit more effort to your own games. Is it too much to ask that I get a little bit of eye-candy improvement when I purchase the same game, released 3 years later?
Oh and on the topic of 3D, how about you make it a flagship title for the 3DS? Pokemon in 3D would be kinda epic.

More Pokemon. Why? There are already so many Pokemon out there, why in the world do you need to make more of them? Legendaries that control space and time? It's just getting ridiculous, instead of making pre-evolutions and adding all of these new ones, maybe build-off of the ones you already have! Just thinkin' out loud here, but maybe something like second variations of Pokemon that do different things based off of their evolutions. For example, a Bulbasaur that is mostly trained at night, and holding a dark item will grow into a Venusaur that is both Plant and Dark types, with stronger Atk and Sp. Atk and some cool new moves. Maybe an appearance overhaul that makes it look badass.

I always have some hopes for Nintendo, because even if they seem like they're making a mistake they are just going to be doing you a favor in the end; however, this cycle of repetition for the Pokemon games is just too tedious.