Our fifth podcast is now live! This edition includes the rumoured Xbox Scarlett!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on Fortnite! Cross-Platform Play shenanigans and Mega Man 11 absolutely not coming to Europe at retail too! Everyone is Here in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on E3 2018 and Sony does….what to your Epic Games account?!
Thoughts on Battlefield V vs Call of Duty! Pokemon Let’s Go and Mega Man 11 not coming to Europe at retail too!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on some pre-E3 reveals and the comments about…a new portable PlayStation?
With the release of Donkey Kong a week gone, how has the UK eShop chart settled this week? Are the regulars still high?
Numbers in brackets are previous positions based on: 06/04/2018 (Unless they haven’t moved) in the UK eShop
1: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (NEW) – £49.99
2: Stardew Valley – £10.99
3: Rocket League (Up from 4th) – £15.04
4: Timber Man Vs. (NEW) (10% OFF) (Up from 12th) – £1.61 (Usually £1.79)
5: Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – £19.99
6: Football Manager Touch 2018 (Down from 3rd) – £29.99
7: Death Road To Canada (NEW) (20% OFF) – £9.59 (Usually £11.99)
8: Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Down from 7th) – £6.29
9: Sonic Mania – £15.99
10: Robonauts (Down from 6th) – £13.49
11: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – £49.99
12: Raging Justice (NEW) (10% OFF) – £8.99 (Usually £9.99)
13: Celeste – £17.99
14: Bridge Constructor Portal (34% OFF) (Up from not charting!) – £8.90 (Usually £13.49)
15: Kirby Star Allies (Down from 14th) – £49.99
So all in all this has been a quiet week on the UK eShop. First note is that yes, Donkey Kong remains in the top spot as expected.
The usual top 4 of Rocket League, Football Manager, Stardew Valley and Minecraft all hold high positions with Arcade Archives maintain a mid chart position.
Death Road to Canada and Raging Justice both show strong openings no doubt helped by their launch discounts.
Kirby is about to drop from the charts again as Mario Kart holds it’s position as the quintessential Switch title. Bridge Constructor Portal makes a resurgence thanks to a discount.
Most interesting this week is Sonic Mania and Celeste maintaining their chart positions. These games appear to have long legs on the eShop.
That’s all for this week! A good showing both from indies while DK rules! See you next week where things will be very different with the launch of Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition! Happy Gaming!
REPUBLISHED MAY 3 2018 – Nintendo themselves have clarified the stance on the 3DS going forward:
“[The 3DS] has an ample software lineup at a price point that makes the system affordable especially for parents looking to buy for their kids. We expect that demand to continue during this fiscal year as well, so we will continue to sell the product”
“Given that Nintendo Switch is a home gaming system that can be taken on the go, this situation may change if it grows from being a one-per-household system to a one-per-person system. But the price of Nintendo Switch is not something with which most parents would buy a system for every one of their children in a short period of time. Moving forward, we will work to ascertain what kinds of play people want at which price points, and as long as there is such demand, we will continue to sell the Nintendo 3DS system. I see the product coexisting with Nintendo Switch at this point in time.”
So this is an interesting position we find ourselves in. Nintendo 3DS launched in March 2011, meaning very soon, it hits 7 years old. For any console that is exceptionally good, as the average tends to hover around 5 years, with exceptions being the DS, 3DS, PS2 and the entire 7th Generation of consoles. You could probably say 7 years is now the new average.
In reality, at this stage, we should be looking to the future, even with the New 3DS/2DS lines, you can only get so much out of the systems, and as shown with Pokemon, and as explained by the developers, that ceiling has been hit. You can’t push it anymore than you already have, and again, 7 years? That’s a great time to move on.
On one hand, we have the Pokemon fans primarily. They say the newly released New 2DS XL is a sign it’s not dead, and the move of things like Pokemon to Switch are just cash grabs, and that they should just keep making games for 3DS. Why should we have to upgrade, they say.
Okay so first off, you’ve had to do this before. Remember Pokemon Crystal? You needed a GameBoy Colour. Then a GBA, DS and 3DS. Now it’s Switch. This isn’t new and part of the industry. You can’t be held back for so long and you need to move forward, heck most consumers encourage it.
The concept that you wasted your money…well that depends on your individual perception of value. If you bought a system just for Pokemon, you would know an upgrade, like with anything technological, is inevitable. It will happen no matter what. You can’t expect the system to last and be supported forever.
With regards to the argument they just released a New 2DS XL, they also released the Wii Mini a year after the Wii U. Did that mean the Wii was still kicking? Not really, unless you count the licensed games and Just Dance. I will come back to the New 2DS XL though, it ties in to something else.
The other side of the crowd simply wants the 3DS line dead, as soon as Switch is out, citing it takes away development resources and there is no reason the games shouldn’t be on Switch.
First off with this one, do you remember how everyone reacted to the near empty final year of the Wii? Yeah, that’s how support used to be handled at the end of a console life by Nintendo, and people hated it. But here, people want it? Why? It’s a dumb decision and should never be done that way.
Regarding the games still coming to 3DS, yes they could have been made with Switch in mind, ignoring late localizations like Dragon Quest. The majority of first party titles have been smaller studios owned by Nintendo, outsourced remakes like Metroid and Superstar Saga, or again, late localisations. Or third parties, who do whatever they please, and Nintendo would be very unwise to turn around and say hey, stop making games for the 60 million plus 3DS systems out there. They already had a bad rap with developers for their controlling ways with the NES, why go back there and force people onto a new platform?
Secondly, really now? You want them to throw away all investment into well in-development projects and have the extra time, money and man hours put into changing everything for the new architecture of the Switch, its features, and HD development? Sure some 3DS games have been ported up, like Monster Hunter XX and Resident Evil Revelations (Albeit that was ported elsewhere first) and games like Fire Emblem Warriors came out on both systems, but doing that is in of itself splitting the game in two sides. One version will be inherently inferior, but unlike a game across Vita and PS4, there is nothing gained by having the Switch version except TV play and maybe a boost in sales from the limited install base, and an extra feather in the library of a young system. IT would likely sell to the biggest audience anyway (Obviously), and frankly, many companies wouldn’t want to spend the extra time and most importantly money.
This is the thing, systems are allowed a crossover period. It’s normal. Normally the last few already in-development first party games trickle out, and third parties catch up with localizations and support dries up over a year or two, save for the odd third-party game to cash in on the install base and drive software sales from, get this, late adopters.
So coming back to the New 2DS XL, it is the Wii Mini to the 3DS. The PS3 Super Slim. The Xbox 360 Elite. When manufacturing a system gets cheap enough, it’s actually very wise to leverage that huge back catalog accumulated over the years the system had, and sell a revised, cheaper to make, more affordable to the consumers budget system, which is exactly what the New 2DS XL is. For suspiciously half the price of a Nintendo Switch (Wink wink) you get the entire 3DS backlog (And DS backlog too!) on a now very cheap to make system.
As a deal to late adopters, those who pick up systems late in life, it’s a great way to squeeze potential last sales with a low price and huge catalogue of games. Just as the PS3 and Xbox 360 and even the Wii were sold for a few years into their successors lifespans with their cheapest models and games, so will 3DS.
This image tells a thousands stories on its own…
7 years is a very long time, and for Pokemon and other games, they have a new home, a new ceiling to jump towards. This happens with any system, and any system is wise to be revised and made the budget option for families or Little Timmy’s first system. This extends to even the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X now: The premium models, like Switch, to their now cheaper to make, huge catalogue, revised systems in PS4 and Xbox One S. Difference here is yes, it is a completely different ecosystem, but the reasoning is the same.
It’s time to move on, but it’s not wise to just kill the system where it stands. Let it trickle out slowly, as other systems do. Oh, and please, get used to the idea of upgrading your hardware, it’s been 30 years already.
As always if you enjoyed this article, give it a share on social media and leave your thoughts below, and until next time, Happy Gaming!
Today we have the PSN outtages, death of Miitomo, Paragon and Twitch’s push to surpass YouTube, as well as GDC Surveys, Switch Sales, and more!
If you like what you see, give this a share on social media, feel free to suggest topics for next week, and we will see you then on Behind The Game! Happy Gaming!
So who has heard of Cliffy B? A man whose affectionate nickname stands out because of his involvement in titles such as Gears of War, Bulletstorm and Jazz Jackrabbit…okay maybe just the first one. He also worked on a lot of the Unreal series. So yeah, guy has a resume.
His latest project was LawBreakers. A competitor, not-competitor to Overwatch. Using anti-gravity mechanics, you could move in ways that differentiated the gameplay from its other hero based shooter brethren.
Unfortunately LawBreakers has been a bit of a flop. In some respects that’s an understatement and I’m sure the game itself has a lot of heart put into it, as the development team is clearly passionate, as is the publisher, but sales wise, it didn’t do well, and it’s player base is unfathomably low.
Personally the first reason I can think of this happening is obviously Overwatch. If you want to release a hero based shooter, you need to stand toe to toe with the marketing juggernaut that is Activision-Blizzard. You need to be able to outpace and match Overwatch, no matter how different your gameplay is, it’s occupying the same space and aiming for the same players.
Just like Battleborn, another game that was attempted to be sold on name alone. Sure, Gearbox software has a name to them, one of…mixed quality…but it’s still a big name. But that enough wasn’t going to stop Overwatch, which release just before it, from casting a shadow and kicking the game aside. Not even going Free To Start saved it.
LawBreakers fared even less well. It came long after Overwatch had established itself as THE Hero shooter title. Millions of players, millions in revenue, it’s a juggernaut. What hope did LawBreakers have of snatching some of that away, especially without the marketing behemoth that is Blizzard behind it?
The next thing that stood out to me, or rather, didn’t, was how under the radar this game was. Before release I was aware of a beta. I was aware the game existed, but I didn’t know much about it. All I heard, and all a lot of articles really said was that it was kind of like Overwatch, and a game from Cliffy B. What the game was certainly could have been conveyed better, especially what made it different from Overwatch, and it certainly didn’t quite grab the zeitgeist like a viral hit would.
The weird thing is, who can say why this happened? I’d certainly like to believe it is because, yet again, you can’t be a comparatively smaller publisher shouting your lungs out about a game, when there is a man with a megaphone right next to you. You won’t win that battle, not without some unprecedented windfall.
It could have just as easily been a case of not presenting the rights parts of the game.
The next point is what I think really damaged the ship. As I stated a lot of the buzz around the game was “It’s from Cliffy B!” and while that CAN sell a game, it more often than not doesn’t.
Example: Mighty No. 9. From Keiji Inafune. Game wasn’t that good really. Heck even long-standing industry veterans can’t sell a game on name alone. The name of the company behind it, or the franchise in question can certainly reach the masses. Granted the game still needs to be good. But the masses don’t know the individuals. Ask anyone who Shigeru Miyamoto is. They don’t care about that. They don’t know the people.
More so, you can certainly say “Oh, this is the man behind the concept”, but…what about the rest of the people actually making the game? Yes, Keiji Inafune could say Mighty No. 9 was his idea but the rest of the team was responsible for execution. A single name behind a game does not a good product make.
The reason I wrote this article is that publisher Nexon had a huge $32.6 million expenses hole in its financial reports, and naturally investors want answers. Apparently that was to be filled by LawBreakers, and the response the company gave was…interesting?
“…the timing of its launch turned out to be unfortunate, specifically the blockbuster PC online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds came out right about the same time, making the market environment very tough for first-person shooters in general and for LawBreakers”
Now I can understand this being the case on PC. But on consoles? Well Xbox One only just got PUBG and the PS4 hasn’t yet and won’t for a while. So this argument even if true only holds partial water. But on top of that no mention was made to the in-genre competition from Overwatch and Paladins.
But as I mentioned, even prior to launch this game didn’t really spark interest or catch attention. Nexon was banking on sailing a ship into a port already full to bursting with other similar ships. PUBG was just passing by.
This just goes to show that your name can’t sell a game on its own, and nor is throwing yourself into a crowded space without catching the eye of consumers a good idea.
And blaming a game that was passing by? A lot of other games managed to sell well this year despite PUBG being a thing. But damage control is damage control. You can’t tell investors “Our bad” otherwise confidence plummets. When you have a huge black hole in finances the last thing you want is people jumping ship.
As always I hope you enjoyed this article and that you give it a share and comment on social media! Until next time, Happy Gaming!
Firstly they need to kill off Steam Direct and start using actual staff for curation and in turn solve the highlighted problem of visibility for games, and the use of asset flips. Any platform should not be receiving 6000 games in 10 months, let alone in a few years.
Secondly, in addition to curation of games, actual customer service will be a must. They have some customer like refunds, though it has been proven that is a bit lax, and even with that they still lag behind in terms of actual customer service communication, with some queries being fast, and some taking days or weeks. This is an area any platform needs to get right and with the rise of third-party related issues, this has to be addressed.
For Steam in general, it mostly comes down to manpower and recapturing that desire to evolve the PC gaming space, however as the dominant platform in that sector, it’s unlikely at this stage unless something overtakes them.
So this is a big one. Perhaps the most shocking thing in 2017 outside of how good the games were in general, was how far third parties fell almost simultaneously.
Micro-transactions and lootboxes do indeed have a place in the games industry, however, it most certainly is not in full priced games, and absolutely not for progression or gameplay advantages. A pay to win structure doesn’t work in full price games. If the game was free then sure, there is your monetisation, but with already heavy season passes, full price games and additional DLC, it has become a bit ludicrous.
Secondly, PR! Perhaps Bungie has been the biggest culprit of this but that’s not the exception in recent months. Destiny 2 became an apology loop with each update and fixes for basic things, or things that should have been improved from the original game, were purely reactionary to backlash. Further to that point, EA has truly put their foot in it, with the contempt aimed at gamers being duly noted.
Finally, third parties in this coming year need to stick by what they say, and stop treating gamers like fools. Bandai-Namco and their “Show your support and maybe” approach to getting people to advertise their games for the promise of a Switch port is one thing, when done numerous times, but then the obvious tomfoolery from other companies beggars belief. 2017 was very much the year when the community bit back. Let’s hope they reflect on it.
PlayStation is in a tricky spot. On one hand they have almost monopolised the industry, with sales left and right. One thing they need to do is keep the games coming and keep dropping fan favourites but also not lean on remasters too hard. Additionally, they need to avoid a repeat of 2016 and front loading all their first party titles.
Next, VR. 2 million sales is nice but the asking price combined with the price of a PS4 demands killer apps. Those killer apps need to come sooner rather than later, otherwise the market will stagnate. VR has a bright future, once revised and refined, but it needs to sell on concept first, and the concept needs big hitters. The catch is Sony isn’t known for supporting two platforms equally.
Next is doing what fans want. We want cross-platform play. Every other system has it. We want backwards compatibility of higher quality and frequency than we have had for the past few years. These are areas that Sony is being left behind in, and as much as they want it to be all service based in future, I don’t think other industries and infrastructures are ready yet.
Finally, don’t announce games so early anymore. The “Holy Trinity” of E3 2015 has only had one release so far and the other two are vaporware. God of War STILL doesn’t have a release date, and Spider-Man is likely to show up for the third E3 in a row. Further to this, don’t go to so many conferences, at least not within 6 months of each other. Spread them out, otherwise we end up with PSX 2017 being a repeat of Paris Games Week which was a repeat of E3, which was a repeat of the last E3.
Oh, and put a better damn battery in that controller. It’s laughable.
This is tricky. On one hand, hardware wise, Xbox is fine for now. The One X is the enthusiast machine and the One S can live as a UHD Blu-Ray and streaming box. One thing it lacks is games.
It gets a bevy of third-party releases, but first party is terribly lacking. Most releases were pushed to 2018, but even then you can count them on one hand. I fully hope HALO 6 is a 2018 announcement at the very least. This is an area they need to heavily work on.
Second is Japanese games. Sure the brand isn’t big….at all…in Japan, but it will help reach a greater audience that the PS4 and Switch hit. As it stands Xbox is very much a Western device, and that’s its weakness.
Backwards compatibility needs to continue as is, as does pushing cross-play across platforms alongside developers and Nintendo. The PC support via Windows Store is nice and it is clear the future of Xbox is a service over a dedicated box on its own, but the focus cannot shift too far from selling consoles.
Stop shutting studios and show off that fabled (HA) AR/VR gadget you’ve got going on.
So what can Nintendo do after an incredible 2017? A few things.
Firstly, mobile. Keep going as is, with not at all invasive monetisation (Seriously, Fire Emblem Heroes is VERY generous!) and two or three games a year. The view that the revenue is funnelled into game development and the games exist as an entry point to the main games is genius and seems to be working well.
Secondly, Directs. Keep the current format for Nintendo Directs and their frequency. These are amazing ways to communicate with consumers and get news out fast and in great volume. Sprinkle some Nindie Showcases and game specific presentations in the year, and the communication front is set.
On to Nindies: Don’t stop. Maybe rework the eShop for visibility purposes but keep those indies coming. The sales don’t lie and nor does the consumer response: Switch is an indie dream machine and in the wake of PlayStation apathy and Steam being a mess, this can be readily positioned as the new home for indie developers.
Regarding services, outline the Online Service at some point during the year, it’s feature set, and other aspects like the free games and discounts and such. I won’t expect Xbox Live levels of incredible, but enough to justify £20 a year. If you are feeling generous, maybe a Virtual Console service? Though that has in past damaged eShop sales for indies, so maybe stick with the Classic Mini systems instead, with an N64 one this year?
Get more third parties on board and if need to, keep paying them for games. The shining hopes are there with DOOM, Skyrim and soon Wolfenstein, as well as L.A Noire proving a hit. Now is the time to pick up steam. Ports of older games get a new lease of life and modern games can run with some effort. So bolster that library.
First party releases need to maintain speed, and the big game a month approach also should maintain. One or two months without works fine, those typically end up being third-party dominated months like November, so work around that.
Finally, slowly phase out 3DS. As I have mentioned before it is a budget option now, and with smaller titles, localizations and third-party efforts coming in 2018, it’s time to let it simmer and slowly phase out.
Maybe a Switch price cut too, towards the end of the year? That’d be cool!
And those are some gaming resolutions and a to-do list for companies this year. May we hope they all come true. Some will, as some are safe bets, others are merely hopes and wishes. If you liked this article, give it a share on the social medias, and I will see you next time! Happy Gaming!
So first off, you need to understand that 64GB cards would be a significant deal, if only because, as I have noted before, this would surpass the limit for physical media on PS4 and Xbox, as Blu-Rays only go to 50GB. At least we would hear the last of “The cards aren’t big enough”, right?!
So the sources state that some western publishers especially are displeased with this. I have to ask, just who that would be? It’s not EA, or Activision, that’s for sure, because to our knowledge they just gave up. It’s not likely to be Ubisoft, as their games come in usually well sized. So that leaves Bethesda, who has done a good job with deciding what to put on a cart, and 2K. I bet it’s 2K.
So L.A. Noire on Nintendo Switch is a big game. 27.4GB in fact. That *would* fit on a 32GB card, but as noted during the entirety of the Switch Tax debacle and as noted by developers, that’s too expensive to produce, so they opt for 16GB cards normally, like Skyrim and DOOM did. L.A Noire comes on an 8GB card. Yes, even cheaper than 16GB, and the rest of the game is a download. I would like to take this opportunity to point out yet again, this is the same situation on PS4 and Xbox One as well. 2K took the cheap route.
Now one thing I want to know is just what Switch games will be upwards to 64GB? Certainly some will come in above 32GB yes, but most certainly not near 50GB or higher. That’s absurd even on PS4 and Xbox One, and when it does happen it’s because of 4K assets (Where files hit 100GBs!) or the game being 10-20GB over.
But any game from those systems being ported to Switch would have to be downgraded. If they aren’t the games wont run with the higher quality assets, the system can’t handle it. So lower quality, and most importantly smaller in size, assets will be used. This should, all things hopeful anyway, reduce the file size from the 50GBs. So this raises the question, what games would be above 50GBs on the system? Maybe two or three games as a bundle on one card, but not a single title, surely?
But this leads to another point. Most publishers right now, as shown with 2K, Bethesda, and more, find 32GBs too expensive t use, settling for 16GB, or foolishly 8GB. Now in the case of 16GB often they don’t actually need to go higher, such as with Skyrim, but sometimes stretching for 32GB would be fine.
But the publishers are so allergic to the notion of 32GB cards at their current price, that it makes the mind go wild over just why they would be upset over the notion of a bigger, much more expensive card not being ready yet, when they won’t shell out for what IS a cheaper card comparatively, even at the current price! Why are they upset if they won’t use 32GB with places stating “cost” is the reason. This just doesn’t add up.
Of course there is the belief that the introduction of a 64GB card will drive down prices of the others, and this isn’t strictly true. What will drive down the price is the manufacturing process getting cheaper and the Flash NAND chip shortage as noted by Toshiba being in part due to smart phones, ending. If the cost to make them falls, the cost to buy them will too. If you start making a newer, bigger, more expensive card, it doesn’t suddenly make the smaller ones cheaper.
But this all ties in to my last article on the matter of physical media not evolving. Sony and Microsoft are stuck with 50GB Blu-Rays and those can’t hold the games at 4k resolutions they are so desperately chasing. It’s been 11 years since Blu-Ray was used for games, surely by now they should be on to UHD Blu-Ray? Problem is cost. That’s expensive, so they won’t. But it’s funny that in a year or two, the Nintendo Switch will be outpacing what they can store in a disc, in a tiny little cartridge.
As I said before, physical media needs to catch up, and it looks like it has if these 64GB cards are anything to go by. All we need is the shortage to end, and the prices to fall, and Blu-Ray will be outdated for everything except 4K assets. Even then, who knows right?
Thanks for reading, and if you liked this article give it a share on social media, and I will see you next time. Until then, Happy Gaming!