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!
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.
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.
Even though I can save a few pounds buying a game physically from Amazon, or other independent retailers, in recent months I have found myself simply opting for digital releases.
I suppose part is just being on-board with the inevitable digital only future of gaming, and having an internet speed to sustain it. Plus, the only games sold in my town are from supermarkets, which is generally limited to the major annual releases like FIFA on PS4 and Xbox.
Speaking of those systems, honestly I want to move to full digital anyway. Discs are simply an inconvenience, as they install to your storage space anyway, leaving the only difference being the speed at which they do so, and limiting how freely you access your game – a disc must be inserted to play the game if it came from a physical copy.
In those cases, I would go digital not just out of convenience of having everything there at my fingertips, but to dodge an inconvenience.
On PC, well you don’t get much choice there. Digital only.
On Switch is where this dilemma has arisen. Limited storage aside, I find myself toying with digital more than I anticipated. Convenience is again the main factor. Don’t need to fiddle with boxes and game cards, just tap and go. Fast, simple and easy. Plus pre-loading gets your games at midnight with no fuss.
Of course this is true for any system – convenience.
The bulk of my move to digital is in fact due to other circumstances away from the consoles themselves. Delivery times are getting longer and in the past year there have been many instances of games having incorrect tracking for delivery, going missing, being late, and other errors from online retailers.
Of course why go online? I could go to a store, but the nearest one is 12 miles away.
Let’s start with Amazon. They give you discounts on pre-orders for games, and that’s great. I attempted to order Kirby Star Allies but was informed delivery would be past the release date…a bit odd.
Of course I expect this from Amazon now, as the past few games from them have been late. Pokemon Ultra Moon had incorrect tracking that stated it was delivered, but didn’t show up until 4 days after launch. Sonic Forces didn’t dispatch until launch day due to an issue with payment that I wasn’t notified of…until launch day.
The Nintendo UK Store isn’t absolved of this either. Usually very good about games on time, though Metroid: Samus Returns arrived late, as did Paper Mario Colour Splash in 2016. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 almost came late, and via a different tracker, but arrived on the correct day.
The big mark on them though, is the launch of Nintendo Switch. Here in the UK order tracking was incorrect, with orders not arriving until the day after launch…with no indication, from a different carrier.
This has been a recurring trend around me lately, with orders missing, errors in transit, or straight up delays, and after a while consumer confidence will be knocked. Many have had great results with retailers getting games on time, but for me it has been too many too frequently, and so just like the PS4, I would rather dodge an inconvenience.
So my history with YouTube is a storied one. I started back in 2009, May to be exact. Playing games, going for completion, all that good stuff. I was 13, and I hate thinking about it! But we all start somewhere.
Over the 9 years I took a two-year gap for my education before a re-launch with my friends, where we all played games together and the company made it easier for me to talk, and be more confident.
This continued, we got a capture card, now replaced with a superior model, and it maintained until 2016 when I finally got off my butt and got a decent PC for better quality both audio wise and for visuals.
Back in 2013 YouTube changed the rules for the partnership program, allowing almost anyone to become monetized. Now YouTube was never about the money, personally I do it because gaming is my passion, and as the years went on I felt more and more confident in my media abilities.
When this change happened, I set a goal: Only allow myself into the program when I reached a goal I felt was acceptable.
By September 2014, I was part of an excellent MCN, and had the support of a community and staff behind it when needed. I only did this when I felt right, not when YouTube told me.
But growth felt like it stalled. My drive died over the 3 years I was at university…like everything else in my life at the time, and I felt quality, quantity and more fell behind. I began thinking of format changes, right around the time I knew I was moving back home, coincidentally right alongside the announcement that YouTube would change its policies slightly to create a 10,000 lifetime view requirement for channels to be monetized, back in April 2017.
Then of course 9 months later the goalposts moved again. Now it’s 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time in 12 months, in addition to the lifetime views. As such, we lost access to monetization and any features associated with being partnered – What those are, I am not sure and nor is my former-MCN, because honestly expecting YouTube to communicate is laughable.
But that announcement was what finally spurred me on with those changes to format, moving to a live format, mostly on Twitch, and making a wider transmedia brand. Seeing the goalposts constantly move not even a year apart with little warning, poor communication and more, led me to make the moves I don’t regret one bit.
Making content is easier and better looking. I can engage with the audience more. Everything worked out better. If I ever become eligible for Twitch Affiliate status or more, chances are I wont take it, just like with the partner program, until I hit MY goals, not one set by a platform, that will likely change arbitrarily within 9 months.
Do I disagree with why YouTube made these moves? No. YouTube is a near constant black hole for Google and something had to be done when media began blasting it for monetised content that really shouldn’t be monetised. What I don’t agree with is the poor communication on what will and won’t be available to those affected, nor the guarantee the goalposts won’t constantly move.
Now, on to Capcom, since we are talking about financial black holes.
Capcom and the EU market have what I would call a bad relationship. Back in the NES and SNES days, let’s take Mega Man for instance, Nintendo or some other random publisher had to publish the games here for them, which lead to Mega Man 6 never being released here until the 3DS happened.
But the Mega Man Collections on PS2 were never published here either. Mega Man Star Force 3 never made it here. Battle Network was published by Ubisoft in the region.
Jump forward to now and you would think the issues of the past were gone, but no. Both Mega Man Legacy Collections have physical releases on PS4, Xbox One and Switch…but not here. Couldn’t tell you why, I’m sure only Capcom knows.
This is next to the laughable cheap skate attitude around the Switch port of the Legacy Collection Double Pack, which has a 500MB at most game on the card, with a download code for the 6GB game. Why? Capcom.
Of course we don’t even get that release here. Digital only.
Resident Evil Revelations got the same treatment on Switch. Here in the EU there are physical releases of both games on other systems, but not Switch, and Capcom cited “monetary reasons”. Basically they don’t see the market for it.
I have to say thank God for digital, otherwise it’d be the 90s and 2000s again for us.
But this goes beyond Capcom now. Nintendo is publishing the physical EU release of Dark Souls, for some reason. Is the EU really that hard for publishers? Are most 3rd party Switch games going to be handled by external publishers now if we want them here at retail?
Capcom has slipped back to treating the EU like it did in the 90s. Limited physical releases and even then only on certain systems, or mandatory downloads for Switch games you get physically. Of course Capcom isn’t the only one guilty of this, and in the case of Revelations there was a logistical reason for it, but for Mega Man, someone should let them know 8GB cards exist.
The way other publishers are going about things, especially on Switch, the EU regions feel more and more like a last-minute effort market. Maybe it’s the multiple expensive ratings boards like PEGI and USK. Maybe it’s the currencies, or the logistics across borders. Who knows.
All I know is the EU market is becoming the afterthought again, and if that is the case, the digital future can’t come soon enough. Even then we get games months late.
I cannot fathom what is happening over there now, beyond having enough sales to justify doing whatever they want: The backwards compatibility on PS4 for PS2 games (Which yes does exist), is absolute horrendous.
So I hope it goes without saying, but the PS2 set the standard with native PSone support, and the games ran fine. This was part of the hardware, all was well, this was then followed by the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 (Somewhat), DS, 3DS, you get the idea. The standard was set by PS2.
Jump forward to PS3, it had PS2 hardware to run PS2 games in it, but that was later removed to save money, a wise choice under the circumstances. However, the ability to pop your PSone CD in and play away remained, and again, it ran fine.
What the PS3 did eventually allow, was the ability to download PS1 and some PS2 games as “Classics” and play them, only emulated.
PS2 Classics on PS3 as emulated titles is a mistake. Let’s take Sonic Heroes for instance, which is available as a PS3 download and emulated on PS3. Frame rate problems (More so than the original!) and some errors that I can’t really explain, like boss text not fading away properly. It’s not the best.
But to compound the issue let’s look at PSone Classics, namely the Spyro Trilogy, and we begin with THIS little gem, courtesy of the PlayStation Blog from 2011 (Yes, I remember).
The journey from PSone disc to PSone emulation can be a long one – here’s the short version.
We make sure we’ve got a good copy of the original disk (or discs if there are localised versions), then the game is cleared for publish by our legal department.
Why are some games available on the US Store but not available on the EU Stores?
The million dollar question…
This usually comes down to either publishing rights or bugs that occur within the emulated PAL version that did not occur within the NTSC emulated version. There are several PAL titles that don’t play well with the emulator because of a PAL-only copy protection system that was used in several key releases, and sometimes other bugs occur at random.
So what do I mean? Well with the Spyro Trilogy we got the American localizations (The system doesn’t hide this fact!). What sucks is this “It needs to be bug free and play well with the emulator” is absolute horse manure.
The three Spyro games on PS3, at least in the UK, have near constant slow down, frame drops, and musical errors. Yet if I pop my PS CD in there and play it from a disk…it’s fine. Flawless. What happened? Is the emulator that bad? Why not just make the games run natively?
Of course even native ports aren’t safe. The HD re-release of Ratchet and Clank 3 as part of the Ratchet and Clank HD Trilogy is a mess, with audio screw ups, either mis-timed or bad loops, and even scripted cutscenes playing out wrong (Just look up the Momma Tyhrannoid fight from 3 for that spectacle!). So when bringing over past games either as emulations of remasters, the track record isn’t great.
Now we get to the big one: The PlayStation 4, the most powerful base system of the time. It outpaces the Nvidia Shield, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One quite comfortably. You’ll see why I mentioned those shortly.
For reference, the Xbox and Gamecube surpassed the PS2 in performance, PS2 games were nowhere near as demanding or advanced in fidelity or polygon counts.
So this begs the question, why does the PS4, again a powerful system, have issues emulating the PS2, when the weaker Xbox One and Nvidia Shield can emulate the more advanced-than-PS2 systems in Xbox and Gamecube, with no issues?
In these two videos you can see frame drops, skipping images, jumping images, it’s all over the place and a total mess.
Sure we get up-scaled to 1080p and trophy support…but if the trade off is a terrible performing PS2 game on a PS4, then what is the point?
I have yet to try Jak 3 and personally I don’t want to, but the original Jak and Daxter was no better, with some moments becoming brief slide shows and one boss fight running routinely below 30fps it felt like.
Now the coup de grace: Both the PS3 releases as part of the HD Trilogy, and these PS2 Classics for Jak, have separate trophy lists, however, I can easily check both from my PS4, mobile app, website…the list goes on. It’s evident the two sets of games, despite being the same games, have separate lists.
This is something I can easily check, yet for some reason, despite trophies being a part of my account and Sony being very capable of checking if I already own the games, you don’t get a discount on these facades of PS2 “Classics”. Full price, which is upwards of £30.
To compound this further, the PS3 re-releases I actually bought digitally, and thus is part of my account’s purchase history! Still no discount. Unlike Microsoft, who let you pop a disk in and download it onto Xbox One when available (Something the PS4 could do with your original PS1 and 2 disks!) to see if you bought physical copies, or simply checking your account and giving you the games if you already downloaded them….you need to pay again.
Hell, let’s get really archaic with the Wii. That didn’t even have an account system, your purchases for the Virtual Console were locked to your hardware, but via system transfer, your Wii U can see what games you already had on Wii Virtual Console, and gives you a very sizeable discount on the Wii U versions when available!
Yes. Even the damn Wii got this right. It was cumbersome, but they found a way to do it. But here, all the data is right there, multiple times over as it happens, in my account and…nothing. Full price please, have some butchered releases.
I don’t like that.
To end, I’ll quote my favourite man who should himself hire some PR guys: Jim Ryan! Remember what he said about backwards compatibility?
“That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”
You know what Jim? I have to somewhat agree. Except instead of criticising the graphics, I’ll modify your statement a little.
The PS1 and PS2 games, they ran worse than they did initially, even though it’s far more capable hardware, like why would anybody play this?
That’s the question I find myself asking. Why? There is absolutely no reason for it to be this way. Everything about Sony’s approach to backwards compatibility is wrong, which is a shame as they spurred it into an industry standard.
Plus, Jim Ryan, at the rate you all churn out these maligned releases, for the sheer gaps between releases, for all the effort that clearly goes into these, if this is the resultant quality….keep them.
Thanks for reading! What do you think about PS4 BC in this day and age? Is it acceptable? Let me know in comments or on social media, and until next time, Happy Gaming!