In what the Washington Post calls a “rare” move, Nintendo has acknowledged the performance issues with its new blockbuster Pokémon Scarlet and Violet titles (Pokemon games are released in pairs to encourage trading of monsters between versions).
We take the feedback from players seriously, and will continue to work on improvements to the games.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) December 1, 2022
While the storyline and mechanics of the $60 Nintendo Switch game have received generally positive reviews, it’s also been hammered for serious glitches and graphical problems, with some players even demanding refunds.
— Kraken Mare (@KrakenMare77) November 18, 2022
The Post reports that while patches are a standard part of any new game release, noting broader concerns is unusual for Nintendo. “Nintendo typically does not directly address player feedback and tends to focus patches more on outright glitches than broad game performance issues.”
Why it matters: While we wouldn’t quite call this an apology, even as an acknowledgement it’s noteworthy. Nintendo in general and Pokémon specifically are beloved, an amount of goodwill that’s amassed over decades. Releasing a broken game to take advantage of the holiday shopping season harms that trust and makes it less likely that players will preorder games in the future. A patch and a statement of “we hear you” aren’t likely to totally mend the rift, but it’s a start. Hopefully, it will also usher in a new era where Nintendo communicating its responsiveness to user feedback isn’t considered unusual.
Metaverse is on “five-to-ten year horizon,” Zuckerberg says
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg is still bullish on his vision for a virtual world — but it may be a bit further out than we thought.
“The way we communicate gets richer and more immersive,” Zuckberg said at the New York Times DealBook Summit in New York City, as reported by CoinDesk.
He revealed that 80% of the company’s time is still focused on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, with the remaining 20% going to the emerging metaverse.
The comments come weeks after Meta laid off 11,000 workers and extended a hiring freeze, though the New York Times reported that engineers working on the metaverse were “not cut as steeply” as other departments.
Still, Zuckerberg is well aware that not everyone shares his vision.
“Skepticism doesn’t bother me too much,” he said. “We’ve had doubters the whole time.”
Why it matters: This massive gamble for Facebook has the potential to transform the way we communicate forever — or fall flat on its face with an embarrassing thud. Keep one eye on developments, but be aware this version is now a long-term proposition, even as other worlds are developing more quickly and robustly.
U.S. job growth still hot — maybe too hot?
The November jobs report revealed unexpectedly strong job growth. Instead of the 200,000 jobs economists expected would be added, the number jumped to 263,000, CNBC reported. The strongest job growth was in hospitality and leisure, followed by healthcare.
In bad news for a government trying to get inflation under control, hourly wages increased by 0.6%, twice what economists anticipated. For the year, they’re up 5.1%.
Why it matters: Normally job and wage growth are good things. But with inflation concerns still top-of-mind, the market and economists worry this will lead to more government action. “To have 263,000 jobs added even after policy rates have been raised by some  basis points is no joke,” Seema Shah, chief global strategist at Principal Asset Management, told CNBC. “The labor market is hot, hot, hot, heaping pressure on the Fed to continue raising policy rates.”
This economy refuses to fit into easy categories of “recession,” meaning we all have to stay nimble.
Pepsi wants you to add milk
Pepsi’s newest campaign wants you to celebrate the holidays by doctoring up your soda with milk and cream. They call it “Pilk.”
Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s chief marketing officer, claims it’s “long been a secret hack among Pepsi fans” in a statement shared with USA Today. It also builds off the “dirty soda” trend on TikTok.
Pepsi is also offering up recipes, which involve heavy cream, 2% milk, flavored coffee creamer and a cookie pairing.
To push the, um, interesting combinations, Pepsi has tapped Lindsay Lohan, who is having a comeback moment with the release of a new holiday movie.
— Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) December 1, 2022
Why it matters: Look, we’re skeptical — this at first seems like a gross-out stunt designed to grab headlines. And they’re clearly succeeding at this, since we — and many, many others — are writing about it. But if you check out the #PilkAndCookies hashtag (use of which will enter you into a sweepstakes), you’ll find many pleasantly surprised people — both regular Joes and bigger influencers, including morning talk show hosts trying the combination on their shows.
It’s overall a smart campaign: It uses ingredients most people are likely to have on hand, it sounds nasty but apparently is pretty good, and grabs attention by using a well-known star.
Still not gonna try it, though.