Tag Archives: Nintendo

[Nintendo Direct February 2019] Nintendo’s Usual Strategy Is Finally Working

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Nintendo is dropping a lot of first party games for its Switch console-handheld hybrid this year. That’s pretty much the plan this week’s Nintendo Direct confirmed, which is probably what the plan for the Switch was all along. People like to think of the Switch is a big turnaround for Nintendo, but really it’s the same strategy Nintendo has been following for arguably 20-plus years. It just happens to be working better than ever now. Continue reading

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Cross-Platform Subscriptions Increasingly Look Like The Future

A couple announcements from this past week seem to be bringing us even closer to a future where subscription services dominate video games. You’ve got Microsoft saying it wants to bring Xbox Live to non-Microsoft platforms, and EA saying it wants to bring subscription services more platforms. What is also telling is specifically which platform is being left out here. Continue reading

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Super Smash Bros. At 20: Then And Now

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The first time I heard about the concept of Super Smash Bros. 20 years ago, it immediately made perfect sense: just take all the stuff people like about Nintendo and throw it together in a fighting game. This was despite the fact that I didn’t even really know how the game was played until had the instruction booklet in my hands. Long before then, reading about the available characters and items like the SuperScope or the laser sword in Nintendo Power already had me hyped.

Japan just crossed its 20th anniversary of that initial game this week, with the North American anniversary being April I believe. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a little over a month old, and sales charts are proclaiming it the most successful game in the series just in time for us to look back on it. Continue reading

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The 2018 Games I Want To Talk About The Most

This isn’t a top 10, and it isn’t even a top games of 2018, the main reason being that, to be honest, I didn’t play anything this year I easily recognized as my game of the year. I played some fantastic games in 2018, but instead of ranking them I’d rather just weave them into a post about what I think happened this year in terms of quality and design traits.

In previous end-of-year posts I said I felt big-budget games had gotten interesting again in 2015 and 2016 after, in my experience, they’d been in sort of a slump between 2012 and 2014 as the big publishers and developers were still getting used to the current consoles. From 2012 to 2014 I felt like I had to subsist almost entirely on indie games to find anything really new and interesting (maybe I’m ignoring some multiplayer games but you know how I am with those), but not so much the last few years. Looking back on 2017 and 2018, I think the biggest games got formulaic again, but there has been enough interesting stuff for me to play in-between them that I could ignore the blockbusters, which is mostly what I did this year. Continue reading

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Zelda Ocarina of Time At 20: A Legacy of Open-World Games

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Like I said in my January post about gaming anniversaries for 2018, 1998 was 20 years ago, and it bore witness to an unusual number of landmark releases. Probably the most critically acclaimed one of all turns 20 this week — The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. By many accounts it’s still the best-reviewed video game ever, and a lot of what’s in modern 3D action adventure games owes something to it.

One game from this year I can’t help but compare Ocarina to is actually Red Dead Redemption II. I see a lot in common between them in terms of both the public perception and the actual characteristics of each game. Continue reading

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Will 2019 See A Nintendo Switch-Lite Or A Switch Pro?

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Supply chain rumblings suggest Nintendo’s getting a hardware revision for the Switch ready for late next year. The suggestions for what kind of revision it might be are immediately apparent, but this is also interesting because 2019 is going to be an interesting time for Nintendo’s relationship with its competition. Continue reading

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Me And Pokémon At 20 Years

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Someone might notice I already did a 20th anniversary post about Pokémon in 2016, which was 20 years after the franchise’s original Japanese debut. Well, people seem to be making a bigger deal out of the 20th anniversary of the North American release of Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue. Sites like Polygon and USGamer are doing a whole lot of features about it. It got me thinking about what got me into Pokémon in the first place, why I haven’t touched it in years, and what it would take to bring me back. Continue reading

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Why Do The Classic Mini Console Games Have To Be Locked Up In More Pieces of Plastic?

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Sony has jumped on the classic console bandwagon with the PlayStation Classic that includes 20 games from the original PlayStation for $99. Look man, I just want to play those same games on the PlayStation 4 already sitting under my TV, I’d happily pay the same price. Or better yet let me transfer the ones I already bought to play on my PlayStation 3 and PSP.

Microsoft is absolutely right to jab Sony with that “Play 500+ classic Xbox games on Xbox One today” tweet, even if it they didn’t perfectly word it. The point is you don’t have to put another plastic box under your TV to play a handful of games exclusive to it. That’s the whole problem with console gaming. At the same time though I see why console manufactures are making these nostalgia consoles and why Microsoft probably won’t, I’m just asking for some more options here, which SEGA and SNK have been happy to provide. Continue reading

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Console Gaming Has An Amnesia Problem

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I’m very late to post here about the latest discussion over emulation and the distribution of video game ROMs. If you haven’t heard, a little while ago Nintendo sued a couple well-known distributors of pirated classic games — LoveROMs and LoveRetro, both of which are gone now. Soon after that another big one — EmuParadise, decided to shut itself down after 18 years, out of fear of the same fate. Downloading ROMs from places like that pretty much is piracy, and Nintendo is absolutely within its legal right to do what it’s doing, but you may have seen a lot of people recently either defending the ROM sites or criticizing Nintendo’s approach to fighting piracy.

Let me say this: The shutdown of those ROMs sites is such a big deal because the console video game industry is uniquely bad at preserving its history. I say “uniquely” because gaming console manufacturers ignore their history in a way no other entertainment medium or software industry does. Literature, film, music, even PC gaming and mobile gaming, all do a better job than console gaming at keeping legacy works easily available on modern hardware and services. Continue reading

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The Nintendo Switch And The 3DS User Base

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I think for about the last two or three years I’ve been writing posts about how resilient Nintendo’s 3ds has been. Now we’re midway through 2018 and the thing refuses to die. Nintendo is talking about keeping it going, even in the face of its portable/console hybrid — the Switch.

In an April financial briefing interim President Tatsumi Kimishima said Nintendo actually has plans for the 3DS in 2019 — the system’s seventh year. At the June shareholder meeting, new president Shuntaro Furukawa said the company hasn’t even let go of the possibility of a 3DS successor aside from the Switch. Continue reading

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