Nintendo Embodies The Rebel Teen In All Of Us

Everyone has a little rebel in them, right?

Back when I was growing up, I was always told to be unique. Being yourself and standing out in a crowded space has always been a defining aspect of my life. This fundamental difference between yourself and others helps you define what you are.

In a way, this is best seen in modern youth. The “Disenfranchised” and rebellious, the ones who don’t like the way things are and want to do something different and better than what came before.

Nintendo hasn’t always been about bucking the trend, but they have adapted to embody that way of thinking.

One of the many rebellious Nintendo moves.
Wii Fit is one of many breakouts from tradition and expectation.

Not Always So Out Of Line…

Nintendo hasn’t always been so out of line with expectations. In fact for the longest time the company was seen as overly conservative. A system and library for kids, playing it safe, while the “Big Boys” went mature.

It wasn’t until the Nintendo DS and Wii that we saw them break off into a new direction, one forged by desire to be different, seeing the writing on the wall: If you conform, eventually you will fade. This led to unprecedented success and while it alienated those who only wanted “The Norm”, it grew gaming to new heights.

As Reggie Fils-Aime once said, gaming wasn’t growing while everyone was chasing the same market over and over. Staying the same leads to stagnation, which leads to boredom and eventually the market would likely have folded. This was simply unsustainable. Without new ideas, new ways of playing, gaming would have continued down the stereotyped path, with everyone roughly in line trying the same things. Remember the over-saturation of shooters?

The new gaming world is adapting, and even then, Nintendo refuses to follow the path.
The Modern Gaming World has evolved, and change was inevitable.

But What Of The Modern World?

Previously it has been discussed at length about how Nintendo Switch and even Nintendo LABO push gaming into new frontiers.

But even then, this is how Nintendo has chosen to go through with evolution. Switch is the current pinnacle of gaming convenience in an always moving world. Where the young and old alike can’t be confined to one space anymore. Where the notion of everything being solely in one place is outdated: The under your TV box is archaic.

LABO exists as a testament to how gaming is more than just entertainment: It can be educational, inspiring and a lot more. These are moves other companies are often afraid to take. Even Sony with VR was very tentative and that is still an isolated, TV room experience, though Oculus and even Nintendo somewhat look to expand what is possible.

Microsoft and other companies are looking to game streaming as a future, where everything is with you always (Internet provided) and this enables so much more to be done in the industry. Perhaps it isn’t ready yet, but it will be eventually, and it won’t be the only way of playing games, you can guarantee that.

Sometimes following the trend isn't for you.
Nintendo broke ground with their attitude to monetisation in Dragalia Lost

Rebel Against Current Trends

Nintendo recently made waves with the reveal that they encourage their mobile development partners to be limiting with monetisation.

CyGames and their parent company expressed frustration at the idea of limiting revenue. They exclaimed had Nintendo not been involved, they would have made more.

This lines up with the established intent of mobile games by Nintendo. Unlike other companies who see a gold mine, it exists as advertising. Using mobile titles, in everyone’s hands, can invest people in IP, and move them to Switch and other systems.

The same is true of microtransactions and live services. Shigeru Miyamoto stated that developers need to be wary of how many live services there are, and how value is lost by them overcharging.

When seeking a partner for this, it’s important to find someone who understands the value of your software. Then customers will feel the value in your apps and software and develop a habit of paying money for them.

Source

Simply put, it’s the effect shown by games such as Destiny and Anthem: Overcharging for an underwhelming experience. If these models are to take off, they need to be fewer in number, higher in quality, and fairer in price.

In the end, everyone is a little rebellious. Seeing something succeed and show the way forward isn’t entrenched in tradition, greed, or follow the leader, calls to people who want more from gaming.

Nintendo has become the masters of defying expectations and making new ways to play. In the modern world of being different to survive, it’s success has come from playing to what the world wants.

Behind The Game Podcast – Ys VIII, Xbox Scarlett and more!

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?!

Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on Octopath Traveler Sales and Ys VIII and more Nintendo Labo?!

Check it out below, and Happy Gaming! Remember to check up with us on Twitter and Discord!

Behind The Game Podcast – E3 2018, Fortnite, Cross Play and More!

Our fourth podcast is now live! This edition includes the reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!

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?!

Check it out below, and Happy Gaming! Remember to check up with us on Twitter and Discord!

 

Behind The Game Podcast – Battlefield V, Pokemon, Mega Man and more!

Our third podcast is now live! This edition includes the controversy around Battlefield!

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?

 

Check it out below, and Happy Gaming! Remember to check up with us on Twitter and Discord!

Our first full podcast is live now where we discuss all things gaming from recent events.

This podcast includes the Dark Souls delay on Nintendo Switch, our initial impressions of Nintendo Labo, and God of War being patched!

Plus, hear our predictions on E3 2018. Does the 3DS refuse to die? What does Microsoft have for us at E3 2018?

Check it out below, and Happy Gaming!

 

Behind The Game Podcast – Nintendo Online, E3 2018 Predictions, Labo and More!

Nintendo 3DS: It’s Time To Move On…Slowly.

The 3DS Family is now almost 7 years old, and I see two camps. Those who don’t want to upgrade to a Nintendo Switch for things that were on 3DS previously, and those who want it to die immediately.

 

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.”

 

Original Story – December 2017

 

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.

Thing is, I see two warring sides to this.

 

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.

 

What about the other side of the argument?

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.

Is this normal?

 

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!

Mid-Tier Games: Why We Love Them and Want More!

Mid-Tier Games are some of the highlights of the industry. But where did they go and why are they now returning?

 

Sonic Mania is a perfect example of a mid-tier release from a major company

A perfect example of a “Mid-tier” game!

The immediate thing any gamer needs to understand is the distinction between a Mid-Tier or “AA” game, and something that is commonly called a “AAA” game. The difference is actually night and day!

A “AAA” game is quite simply a game with huge potential reach in terms of customers. monetization and one massive budget backing it all up are other features.

A “Mid-Tier” game is a sizeable project, but marketed within reason. No game will be blown out of budget. A game knows the audience and the publisher will be happy reaching them. It doesn’t need to sell tens of millions after all.

Not every game needs to be Call of Duty in terms of sheer size or market value. Indeed every company will have a few massive well-known titles but a good developer leaves room for the smaller games.

 

So what are these smaller games?

Crash Bandicoot returned in 2017 with what can be best described as a AA release

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is the perfect example of a big company stepping back into Mid-Tier gaming!

Smaller games come in all shapes and sizes. Companies are fond of putting out experimental ideas and seeing how well they sell. Franchises can even start as a smaller release and explode into the mainstream!

Splatoon was originally a smaller release. Simply a unique idea that ended up exploding in popularity to become on of Nintendo’s top franchises. Sticking with Nintendo, a franchise like Yoshi or Kirby also falls under this category. Notable and recognised characters that won’t sell in high quantity, but will make a return on investment.

PlayStation is also very good at pushing Mid-Tier releases. Gravity Rush, Fat Princess and LittleBigPlanet, all sit alongside the big releases. So why are these games all so important?

 

Why are smaller games so important?

Bayonetta 2 is a game that also fills the smaller game niche.

Bayonetta 2 is yet another example of a game that fills this niche

Try and imagine a system like the PS4. It gets all the huge AAA yearly releases. It holds the top of the tier first-party titles. But imagine the system without Persona 5, without Nioh, without Ratchet and Clank. Do you start to see what is missing?

Smaller games provide one key thing: Variety! If your system has nothing but huge games that need to sell millions for the publisher to consider it a “success”, then you will be presenting a surprisingly narrow selection of games.

Smaller games can afford to offer different experiences. They don’t need to cater to as many people as possible after all. Can you envision a Kirby title with the budget and scope of Call of Duty? That would never sell enough to be worthwhile. Yet being a mid-tier game allows Kirby to be unique, to be different and offer something worthwhile to a library.

So why are these games making a resurgence?

 

This is an easy answer. Cast your mind back to a decade ago, the height of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Everything wanted to be Call of Duty, the next blockbuster hit. The industry chases trends, currently Battle Royale games apparently, and the trend was to go big.

Even first party developers fell to this. When was the last Jak and Daxter? Sly Cooper? F-Zero? The mid-tier game fell to the side in pursuit of mega hit after hit. Every kind of game has a place in the market, but what felt strange was the almost overnight shift.

It’s hard to look back on the PS3 and PS4 and not wish it was like the PS2. Yes they got smaller games, even from first parties. Doesn’t it feel like they haven’t been pushed like they used to? Gravity Rush 2 is losing online connectivity, though that was recently delayed. I didn’t even know Fat Princess was a thing that existed. Tearaway isn’t mentioned anymore.

New games like Concrete Genie show up for sure. But it’s not in the volume it used to be. The variety suffers.

Metroid Samus Returns is a recent example of a smaller title and revival of a franchise

Metroid: Samus Returns was not only the revival of a fan favourite, but a commitment to smaller titles

The same happened for Nintendo. Only recently have we seen renewed interest in smaller games. A few popped up on Wii U and 3DS but Switch singled a shift. Snipperclips, ARMS, Bayonetta (Again). The Wii U had Wonderful 101, Captain Toad and 3DS has BoxBoy and Dillon.

The games supplement the library of huge titles and this is what makes a system truly attractive. Variety. It’s where Microsoft has fallen short. Swamped with the huge releases but smaller releases are hard to come by especially on a first party front.

 

So where are we going next?

 

Well this is also easy to predict. Third party developers will forever be inclined to pursue the big hits. They locked themselves into a cycle of monetization and marketing. Some are branching out to smaller games like Activision with Crash and Spyro or EA funding smaller titles from indies. By and large however that will remain a smaller part of their strategies.

Where this really comes into play is with the platform holders. They can throw out as many small titles as they want alongside the Marios and Uncharteds of the world. They have the resources and hardware sales to accommodate it.

It’s from first party software that you see the most variety. This word keeps popping up but to truly have something for everyone you need to be varied. Know that a game will sell only so much and plan accordingly.

Sometimes appealing to more people over multiple lower selling titles is better than aiming for the top every time.

 

 

Thanks for reading, and if you agree or disagree, feel to shout on social media. This is an interesting discussion spurred by trying to work out where I find my enjoyment for a system as a whole, naturally it’s that word again: Variety.

Happy Gaming!

Nintendo Switch eShop – UK Sales Charts (29/04/2018)

Is Football Manager still at the top? Did South Park make an impact as a new release? What indie games shot up in sales or otherwise? Let’s see…

Numbers in brackets 


1: Football Manager Touch 2018 – £29.99
2: Stardew Valley (Up from 3rd) – £10.99
3: Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition (Up from 4th) – £19.99
4: Oxenfree (Down from 2nd) – £15.99
5: Rocket League (Up from 6th) – £15.04
6: Robonauts (80% OFF) (Up from 10th) – £2.69 (u+Usually £13.49)
7: Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Up from 8th) – £6.29
8: Sonic Mania (Up from 12th) – £15.99
9: Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Down from 5th) – £22.49
10: Streets of Red (Down from 9th) – £6.29
11: Don’t Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition (Down from 7th) – £17.99
12: Celeste (Up from 13th) – £17.99
13: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Up from 14th) – £49.99
14: South Park: The Fractured But Whole (NEW) – £49.99
15: Adventure Pals (Down from 11th) – £10.79

 

 

So what can we gleam from this look into the UK eShop? Well…

Football Manager Touch 2018 has firmly cemented itself as a top seller, making up what will likely be the top 4 for a good while now alongside Rocket League, Stardew Valley and Minecraft. At least until FIFA (Maybe) comes out on the Switch this September.

Arcade Archives remains around the middle of the charts, further showing nostalgia sells, as does Sonic Mania right behind perhaps in preparation for the DLC this July.

Streets of Red maintains it’s place despite no longer being on sale, while Robonauts hugely benefits. Of course Shovel Knight and Don’t Starve continue to drop down, while Celeste and Adventure Pals maintain the lower ends of the charts, with Celeste being a recent return.

Most notable then, is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe maintains it’s position as the sole charting digital first party title, and the only new entry this week is a respectable 14th place for South Park, a full price release of a game from October on other platforms. Maybe this one will pick up steam?

 

And that’s it for this week, so what did we learn? Football Manager is a hit, Mario Kart sells, indies are living the dream and South Park at least charted. Expect Donkey Kong to top next week though as a notable new release.

Nintendo Switch eShop – UK Sales Charts (22/04/2018)

This week in the UK eShop sales charts we get to see just what is going on with Football Manager, if it can hold its top spot after rocketing up the charts, and what other indie and third-party releases are sticking around yet again!

 

Numbers in brackets are previous positions based on: 15/04/2018 (Unless they haven’t moved)


1: Football Manager Touch 2018 (NEW) (Up from 3rd) – £29.99
2: Oxenfree (Up from 8th) – £15.99 
3: Stardew Valley (Up from 4th) – £10.99
4: Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition (Down from 2nd) – £19.99
5: Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove (Up from 7th) – £22.49
6: Rocket League (Down from 1st) – £15.04
7: Don’t Starve: Nintendo Switch Edition (NEW) (Up from 13th) – £17.99
8: Arcade Archives: Vs. Super Mario Bros. (Down from 5th) – £6.29
9: Streets of Red (NEW) (20% OFF) – £5.03 (Usually £6.29)
10: Robonauts (80% OFF) (Up from not charting) – £2.69 (Usually £13.49)
11: Adventure Pals (NEW) – £10.79
12: Sonic Mania (Up from 14th) – £15.99
13: Celeste (Up from not charting) – £17.99
14: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Down from 11th) – £49.99
15: Kirby Star Allies (Down from 12th) – £49.99

 

So take aways for this week? A few things really. First, sales of Oxenfree and Shovel Knight have propelled up the charts to actually dismantle the usual three suspects of Rocket League, Minecraft and Stardew Valley.

Football Manager is very likely to remain a chart topper along with the usual three for some time now, especially at £30. Arcade Archives VS Super Mario Bros also continued to linger in the middle of the charts.

Don’t Starve seems to be selling really well, still climbing up to a respectable 7th. Streets of Red and Adventure Pals are the other new indie entries this week, one with a launch discount, locking themselves notable sales over other entries.

Celeste has also returned, as has Robonauts with a huge discount. UK gamers love cheap and cheerful after all.

More of note is the continued presence of Mario Kart as the evergreen digital first party release, as Kirby is about to fall from the charts entirely. Not surprising, but Mario Kart will also likely drop in the coming weeks with the release of Donkey Kong.

 

So that’s it for this week on the Switch eShop in the UK! Join us next Sunday when we see if Football Manager can remain on top. It probably can, it’s football. I said this last week too.