Mr.Spo Comments

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  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild's cooking system looks very Monster Hunter

  • Mr.Spo 23/06/2016

    That was my first thought upon seeing the trailer, the animation of Link cooking is very close to the kind of goofy stuff you get in Monster Hunter. Not a complaint at all, if we get a Monster Hunter-esque crafting system in this Zelda, then great! Reply +1
  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild pushes Wii U hardware to the limit

  • Mr.Spo 22/06/2016

    I'd expect Nintendo to tighten up the frame rate before release, it's still 7-8 months (minimum) before the game goes gold, after all. That being said, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess both experience frame rate dips, which are rare in EAD (now EPD) developed titles. I'd hope by the time this launches the dips are less frequent.

    It'll be really interesting to see what improvement--beyond, presumably, resolution and a locked frame rate--we see in the NX version. Right now I'm planning on getting the Wii U version, because the NX needs to be something special to convince me to jump on board at day one.
    Reply +10
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE review

  • Mr.Spo 22/06/2016

    @Bernkastel From what I have seen and heard, Tokyo Mirage Sessions does not do things that make more sense! Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 22/06/2016

    Good review, my copy turned up yesterday, though I'm not sure when I'll actually get to play it. Reply +2
  • We played Zelda: Breath of the Wild four times and here's what we discovered

  • Mr.Spo 21/06/2016

    I've had high hopes for this Zelda game, on a technological level it's the first time the series has taken a major leap forward since Wind Waker, 13 years ago, which has obviously offered them the potential to return to the series roots and offer a truly free-form experience.

    (Given this is perhaps the only Wii U related article we can expect today, can any EG staffer tell me when the Tokyo Mirage Sessions review is going up? Thanks!)
    Reply +4
  • Hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay footage from E3

  • Mr.Spo 15/06/2016

    @J_Joestar To an extent, in that the whole map was available and, if you were good enough, you could progress through the game in any order. This is a return to the series' roots for sure, though, which is great. Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 15/06/2016

    @Samael_Blackwing I quite like Treehouse, but yes, I'd have loved to have the demo available on eShop. Reply +7
  • Mr.Spo 15/06/2016

    @Wayne No, it's not all outdoors. Nintendo are emphasising the over world and the 'Shrines' at E3, with more information on plot, dungeons and towns/villages coming later in the year. Aonuma didn't want to include dungeons, villages or too many NPCs in the demo because it would reveal too much about the story.

    The Shrines are basically mini-dungeons which may be optional. I'm assuming given there are around 100, many of them will be optional.

    Edit: just about beaten to the punch! Worth mentioning all of the game play in the Treehouse feed apparently represents an area that is just 1% of the final game.
    Reply +2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most ambitious Nintendo game in years

  • Mr.Spo 15/06/2016

    @megatronix Shrines are dungeon-like but not "proper dungeons", and there are over 100 dungeons.

    A leak last week suggested there'd be four 'main' dungeons, but Nintendo haven't said yet. It's possible the leak confused the number of dungeons with the number of shrines (4) in the E3 demo.

    The shrines in the E3 build allow you to pick up runes for the Sheikah slate which give you more abilities, so I'm assuming some might be mandatory for progression, and others would be optional.
    Reply 0
  • The new Zelda is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

  • Mr.Spo 14/06/2016

    Looks and sounds lovely. Intrigued to see how it all fits together, but it looks like a real mash up of Studio Ghibli, Team Ico, Monster Hunter, and open world Western games, with Zelda's wonderful dungeons thrown in. Points not mentioned here: Link wearing armour, using different weapons (spears, axes), changes in the weather seeming to activate those robot/magic monsters, and narration suggesting some level of voice acting. I'm hoping for a Monster Hunter style crafting system. A really radical shift in direction on many levels, it seems, and from the look of the rusty Master Sword, a Zelda game set long after the others?

    From the trailer and the concept art, I'd wager the Emily Rogers/GameXplain leak from a few days ago is on the ball. Magic and technology central to the game, as are weather cycles, and four 'main' dungeons with 100 or more 'mini' dungeons. I don't want to have to wait 9 months to play this...
    Reply +3
  • Gorgeous leaked Zelda art suggests rock climbing

  • Mr.Spo 12/06/2016

    As the first comment points out, not unprecedented, but an emphasis on climbing in official artwork is certainly interesting. Presumably they're making navigating the world more challenging and varied.

    EDIT: Skyward Sword certainly placed a much greater emphasis on how you navigated the environment, now I think about it.
    Reply +1
  • The best Final Fantasy game is finally getting a remaster

  • Mr.Spo 06/06/2016

    That's not how you spell "Final Fantasy VI remaster". Reply +5
  • Kirby: Planet Robobot review

  • Mr.Spo 06/06/2016

    @protowizard I've seen some very positive reviews for this, I'm a little surprised it isn't a recommend. That being said, I have three Fire Emblems to play on 3DS and a new Monster Hunter next month, so I've more than enough to keep me occupied there! Reply +1
  • Monster Hunter Generations has Ghosts 'n Goblins and Okami costumes for cats

  • Mr.Spo 20/05/2016

    This isn't the only Capcom reference in Monster Hunter Generations, as you'll also be able to dress Felynes up as Amaterasu from Okami and Marth from Fire Emblem.
    Um... Marth isn't a Capcom reference...
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 20/05/2016

    Very much looking forward to this. With at least half of Bravely Second and three Fire Emblems to go, my 3DS is getting a lot of playtime this year. Reply +1
  • Don't expect The Witcher 4 any time soon - or maybe ever

  • Mr.Spo 20/05/2016

    Even if they don't do another Witcher game, Witcher 3 is enough of an accomplishment for me to keep a very close eye on whatever CD Projekt Red cook up next. I'm looking forward to eventually getting back into Witcher 3 and playing the expansions, too. Reply +12
  • What exactly is going on with the different versions of Fire Emblem Fates?

  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    @desilady No problem! If it's possible, download the Birthright DLC before you start playing Conquest. That *should* allow you (at Chapter 6) to choose the Birthright storyline, even though you've bought the physical copy of Conquest. That means you'll be playing the easier, more accessible (and probably less interesting) path first. At least I *think* that's how it works. Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    @UncleLou The £70 bundle of Conquest plus Birthright DLC plus Revelations DLC is still available.

    Alternatively, buy Birthright at retail, then buy Conquest and Revelations through the eShop for £18 each. You could probably save a few quid not buying a bundle from Nintendo, places like Base and GameCollection have pre-orders for just under £30.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    For those wanting a three in one pack, here's the best option.

    EDIT:Actually, this one is probably the best option! This one includes Birthright as a physical copy, which is the more accessible of the two retail releases, so it'd make sense to dive in there.
    Reply +7
  • Fire Emblem Fates review

  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    @porkface Ah right, thanks. I figure I'll only be able to download Conquest after midnight and Revelations when it launches on the eShop, but if I download them as and when they're available that should mean I have the post Chapter 6 choice without any difficulty. Looking forward to it. Thanks! Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    @porkface That's good advice, and exactly what I've done! Birthright is on route, and I have DLC codes for Conquest and Revelations in my inbox.

    Can I ask which version of the game you were supplied with for the review? Was it a single cartidge with all three, or one version plus DLC? I'm mainly thinking of what happens if you buy Birthright and have Conquest already downloaded onto your 3DS. When you get to the split point in the campaign, do you have to follow through the Birthright path, or can you choose the Conquest path if you'd already purchased it?

    I'd assume the latter option, but it'll be handy for people to know, especially if they buy the Conquest plus DLC bundle and want to do the easier path first.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    @Wavey The last I saw the bundle that includes a retail copy of Birthright, plus Conquest and Revelations as DLC, is unavailable.

    You can still buy a bundle which includes Conquest as a retail copy, plus DLC versions of Birthright and Revelations: http://store.nintendo.co.uk/games-3ds/fire-emblem-fates-conquest-birthright-dlc-revelations-dlc-t-shirt/11281529.html?widget_id=216696
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    No disrespect to Martin's review, but sites such as USGamer did review each version separately, for those who might want more information. I know EG have posted a quick guide to the different versions of Fates, and this is a good, concise write up, but given the substantial differences between Birthright and Conquest, it might help people to read more in-depth articles about each campaign. Reply +6
  • Mr.Spo 19/05/2016

    That's odd, you misspelt "Essential" ;-)

    My copy is on the way, unfortunately missed out on the limited edition but Nintendo have arranged a bundle that includes the physical copy of Birthright as well as DLC codes for Conquest and Revelations. Maybe it's because I've been keeping a close eye on Fates since it was announced, but the way it's released doesn't seem terribly confusing to me. Perhaps for people with only a casual or passing interest (who are yet to be sold on Fire Emblem) the effect of offering so much content is going to be counter-productive.
    Reply +7
  • Street Fighter 5's sold 1.4m copies

  • Mr.Spo 09/05/2016

    No mention of the rest of Capcom's financial results? No mention that like Konami, Capcom foresee a shift to digital and online as their publishing future? In the wider context of Capcom's results, Street Fighter V has to be considered somewhat disappointing commercially. Monster Hunter X is available only in Japan but shifted more than twice as much (3 million). Reply +2
  • Why I hope it's the end for Uncharted

  • Mr.Spo 07/05/2016

    I'm not even sure this works any more - Nintendo has banked on Mario, Donkey Kong and chums as money makers for decades now, yet finds itself in financial trouble. Surely the number of people who do a white weewee at the thought of a new Zelda game must go down every year.
    And yet, Nintendo's established titles and franchises continue to sell strongly, even when they have a much smaller install base to sell into. Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Mario Maker, Splatoon, Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros U have sold between 3.5 and 7.5 million on a system with an install base of less than 13 million. I'd love to see more stuff like Splatoon, which has sold 4.3 million copies in less than 12 months; it's sold faster than Mario Kart 8 did, though presumably its ceiling is more limited than Kart 8 now that Wii U is being put out to pasture. On 3DS, Pokemon still shifts 10 to 15 million copies across remakes and new titles, 20 years after it was a new IP. Hell, the chances are Sun and Moon will be competing with Uncharted 4 to the best selling exclusive software to launch in 2016. Again, Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart, Mario Bros, Animal Crossing, Smash Brothers have all already--or will do before 3DS stops selling--sold more than 10 million copies, by a considerable margin in the case of stuff like Kart. Even lesser known franchises like Tomodachi Life and Luigi's Mansion have sold close to 5 million on 3DS. There are genuine arguments to be made, too, in the case of Kart 7/8, Smash 3DS/U, and Pokemon X/Y, that those long running franchises have hit new heights this generation, too.

    Do I wish we had more new IP like Tomodachi and Splatoon, selling 4 or 5 million copies? Sure, but for most publishers, Nintendo in particular, it's the bread and butter franchises that keep the money rolling in when times are tough, and which in turn allow huge publishers to take risks. The high end games market, with costs so high and margins so thin, very rarely rewards genuine risks. The biggest new franchises of recent years need such a high level of investment to get off the ground that only the top publishers can afford to launch them, and then, with the need to make buckets of money from day one, business models verge towards the abusive and creative risks are minimised. I applaud Naughty Dog for being willing to put Uncharted to the wayside. As much as I love Halo, part of me wishes Microsoft allowed the series to stop with Reach, which I loved. Until there's a resurgence in mid-tier development, or until annualised franchises drop off a cliff, I think asking for riskier blockbusters isn't going to result in anything tangible.
    Reply +9
  • Nintendo details E3 plans, no sign of usual event

  • Mr.Spo 05/05/2016

    @SpaceMonkey77 Well, NX hasn't been "delayed" yet. It never had a solid launch date. Arguably, it still doesn't, given Nintendo have so far only committed to 'March 2017'. The launch date of course also depends upon manufacturing timeframes, too. The only solid details we have are that Nintendo decided the priority wasn't a Christmas launch, but rather ensuring that key software arrives at launch and steadily thereafter. Again, I think that's a sensible choice. Regardless of when NX launches, the first 3-4 million sales will be easy, the uphill battle begins after that.

    Some rumours have pointed to Nintendo's first party studios being far more productive on NX due to their internal restructuring. I'll believe it when I see it, but I'd hope 3DS and Wii U have been proof enough they need to be far more consistent when it comes to their release schedule. I think we can at least assume some Wii U bound projects moved over to NX. They need a big title every quarter with smaller releases coming between them. So much is unknown about NX that I really don't know what to expect any more, so we can only wait and see.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 05/05/2016

    @SpaceMonkey77 That's nonsense on the specs part. Publishers had Wii U development kits before the system was unveiled at E3, hence 'Project Cafe' being leaked and Nintendo needing to announce the system before E3 itself in a press release in early 2011: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/04/nintendo-wii-hd-project-cafe-rumor-roundup-what-will-e3-hold/

    Nintendo didn't keep a lid on hardware specs out of some desire to hide the system from third parties. That doesn't mean Nintendo's approach with Wii U was any good, but you're re-writing history. Specs certainly weren't finalised until 2012, but publishers knew what ballpark Wii U was operating in.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 05/05/2016

    Honestly, the second Nintendo reveal NX, the gaming world--and beyond--will be talking about it. They could announce it with a grubby drawing on a napkin and it would still be big news. We first heard about it two years ago, we heard the code-name a year ago, and the rumour mill has been in perpetual overdrive. That interest won't dissipate purely because it isn't at E3. Whenever it gets announced, it's a major story. It's Nintendo's latest shot at the kind of ridiculous comeback they've had to make time and time again over the last 130 years. It's a new gaming system that's either a mobile hybrid, a streaming micro-console with a handheld controller, or more capable than the PS4 thanks to its Polaris chip it will apparently be using. We know when it's coming and we know it's coming with an open world Zelda game. Hell, after this morning's revelation that the NX may even use 3DS style carts (higher capacity obviously), I'm less sure about what NX is now than I was 12 months ago. I suspect, though, like myself, millions of others will want to know what it is. Whether that's to laugh at it and scream Nintendoomed, immediately place a pre-order, or simply because you're interested in gaming, NX is going to be big news when it finally debuts. Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 05/05/2016

    @SpaceMonkey77 I think Nintendo choosing not to show NX at E3 is not directly comparable to them refusing to discuss Wii U specifications. Not discussing Wii U's specifications was hardly an indication Nintendo had no confidence in the product, either; their philosophy, as with Wii, 3DS and DS, was that the internal specifications of the hardware simply wasn't a major point of importance for them. If your argument is that not discussing specs means Nintendo knew the product was a dud, then what did that mean for 3DS, DS and Wii? Did Nintendo have no faith in those products? If Nintendo didn't believe Wii U would sell well, then why did they publicly announce high sales estimates for the system in their financial guidance? Clearly Nintendo didn't see Wii U's failure coming.

    Secondly, not showing NX likely has far more to do with getting the system ready and Nintendo wanting to unveil the system on their own terms rather than a lack of confidence in the device. Nintendo are very secretive, and largely like to keep their cards close to their chest. If NX really is a big departure from the conventional way of doing things, Nintendo need to nail the unveiling with crystal clear clarity. An event as bombastic as E3 doesn't strike me as the right time. Any time spent on building NX demos for E3 is also time spent away from finishing those software titles in time for launch, and ensuring their previously unreliable software pipeline is squeaky clean is Kimishima's (sensible) top priority.

    Personally my gut feeling was Nintendo needed to announce the concept behind NX before E3, then show the software at E3, with the final launch details coming after E3. I don't yet know whether Nintendo's communication (or any other aspect) of their strategy with NX is going to work, but I don't think this is down to a lack of confidence on their part. And I wouldn't write off a company with Nintendo's financial resources, knack for reinvention and the top quality software they can still bring to the table. E3 is also no longer the catch all event it used to be. If it were, the two biggest publishers in the industry wouldn't be skipping the show floor entirely this year. At the very least though, the whole gaming world is going to get a very good look at what will be one of NX's flagship launch titles, possibly its' most important title at launch.
    Reply +2
  • NX won't be sold at a loss

  • Mr.Spo 02/05/2016

    @FMV-GAMER Before you go off on a rant like that, best to do some basic research first.

    Wii U was sold at a loss due to the yen being very strong against the euro and dollar at the time Wii U launched, which meant once Nintendo transferred their overseas profits to yen, they actually lost money. Hence in most markets, Wii U was sold at a loss.

    Wii U is not built from the same chipset as GameCube, that's a basic misunderstanding. Wii U ' architecture belongs to the same (Power) architectural family as GameCube, but that's about it.
    Reply +15
  • Sony's PSN is making more money than all of Nintendo

  • Mr.Spo 28/04/2016

    @grassyknoll Good points. People also fail to take into account Nintendo's lack of manpower versus the publishers used to launching huge games on a year in year out basis like clockwork, and the jump in development costs that would ensue, which combined with the lower royalties per software unit and the lack of hardware revenue, Nintendo's software sales volume would need to mushroom massively in order for them to succeed as a multi-platform publisher. Given Nintendo's serious missteps transitioning from one console cycle to another, I'm not really sure why people expect them to handle a transition onto software-only with ease. Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 28/04/2016

    @grassyknoll Yeah, I think that's an important clarification. It's a shame the article has gone for that spin, which skewers the conversation towards Nintendo's weakness and all these "Nintendo is doomed posts". It is, ultimately, a fallacious comparison, and one that's not really impressive. Nintendo's results are weak, and 2016 will definitely be their weakest (calendar) year since they entered videogaming.

    Instead it's important to acknowledge these are a seriously impressive set of results for Sony and PlayStation almost regardless of how their competition is doing. PS4 sales for the year were 17.7 million, up more than 20% year over year. If PS4 follows the typical sales curve of home consoles and peaks in the next year or the year after, it'll join an exclusive club of systems that sold more than 20 million units in a single financial year (PS2, DS, Wii). Sony's online revenue figures suggest (even if they include streaming, videos, music) that they've re-orientated their gaming business model around generating money from services, which is an area they really struggled against Microsoft in the last generation. With VR and hardware revisions on the way, Sony look set to run away with the market they and Microsoft have contested for the last 15 years. Xbox One is on track to do far better than the original Xbox, but to put these figures in perspective, Xbox One's install base was recently estimated as 18 million, only marginally higher than Sony's latest 12 month figures for PS4.
    Reply +7
  • Nintendo fans can cheer themselves with an excellent Wii U, 3DS Humble Bundle

  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    @abigsmurf It was but this one is available in Europe. Reply +5
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    Great bundle, £9 for the lot and they're all games I've been unable to get. The reduction on Affordable Space Adventures alone is amazing, if you pay $1 (or 60p) you'll get what's meant to be one of Wii U's best indie titles at a massively reduced price, it's normally £17. Reply +8
  • Nintendo's NX console launches March 2017 globally

  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    Woah, hang about, folks:

    "NX will not make an appearance at the upcoming E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles in June and will be unveiled later this year," reads Nintendo's statement. "Nintendo changes its approach to the show every year. This June, Nintendo will focus its attentions on the upcoming game in The Legend of Zelda series. The Wii U version of the game will be playable for the first time on the E3 show floor, and it will be the only playable game Nintendo presents at the show, in order to provide attendees a complete immersion. Additional information about Nintendo’s E3 plans will be announced in the future."
    Zelda is the only playable Nintendo title at E3 this year, and only the Wii U version will be playable.
    Reply +4
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    For those 3DS/Wii U owners who'd like the humble bundle link Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    @northlondon01 If you're into JRPGs, Tokyo Mirage Sessions got excellent reviews in Japan. If you've played and enjoyed Atlus's role-playing games you might enjoy that. That being said, it is an incredibly bizarre and niche-looking game. Beyond that Wii U's line up is anemic. I've not got Super Mario Maker, Yoshi or Pokken Tournament, so I have options to catch up on, and there's plenty of indie stuff I missed, but I can imagine for a lot of Wii U owners there's going to be little or nothing they'll want to buy. Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 27/04/2016

    NX skipping E3 doesn't seem like a particularly great idea. Nintendo have Zelda and Paper Mario for Wii U. 3DS looks better with Monster Hunter Generations, the Dragon Quest remakes and Pokemon Sun & Moon (plus Fire Emblem and Kirby before E3), but however amazing Zelda is there'll be no escaping an anemic E3 showing. My main concern here is that Nintendo are leaving themselves too much to do with NX. In the next 12 months, we need to get information on what the hardware actually is, how the account and online systems will work, what kind of first party support is coming, what kind of traditional third party support is coming and what kind of indie support is coming. Then we need to get the final name and branding, the price point, the final release date, and marketing going. That's a lot do if this is "a brand new concept" for playing games, and Nintendo's record the last few years communications wise is, well, extremely mixed to say the least.

    There are a few more points coming from this briefing that I'm sure Eurogamer will cover soon, but, here you are: profits dropped 60% year over year, this was mostly attributed to 3DS sales slowing; Miitomo has hit 10 million users; and Nintendo's next smartphone apps are coming in the autumn, and will be feature "more game elements" than Miitomo, and will be much closer to Nintendo's traditional style of game. One is an "accessible" Fire Emblem game that will bring the series' role-playing strategy to smartphones, and the other is an Animal Crossing app that will feature game elements but will also tie in with other Animal Crossing games somehow.

    Finally, IGN are reporting a great-sounding humble bundle is available on 3DS and Wii U from today.
    Reply +3
  • There's a Welsh language cover of PES's Euro 2016 game

  • Mr.Spo 21/04/2016

    @BigOrkWaaagh No, it doesn't. Typical anglo-centric ignorance and arrogance. Reply +11
  • Mr.Spo 21/04/2016

    @BigOrkWaaagh What does that have to do with anything? Does also being able to speak English invalidate Welsh? Reply +10
  • Mr.Spo 21/04/2016

    @Bagpuss Welsh is spoken by 800,000 people. It's far from dead. Reply +13
  • Star Fox Zero review

  • Mr.Spo 20/04/2016

    Given my biggest concerns were the controls, it's disappointing to hear there's a lack of polish and some poor camera work going on. That's not the end result I'd expect of a major Nintendo-published first party title.

    Still, looking forward to it. Wonderful 101 got a similarly mixed reception and I really enjoyed it. Roll on the weekend. Will a review of Star Fox: Guard be going up?
    Reply +4
  • The end of Nintendo's weird GamePad era

  • Mr.Spo 13/04/2016

    Utterly bizarre to read an article about the gamepad and not see any mention of Mario Maker until the comments section. Mario Maker is the launch title Wii U needed. As with others, I really like the Wii U and am glad I bought it.

    I wouldn't rule out some kind of dual-screen mechanic with NX, either. There are rumours circulating that in addition to Zelda, NX is also going to see upgraded ports of Smash Bros, Splatoon and Mario Maker. Mario Maker in particular benefits from gamepad control, and we still don't have much of an idea what NX is.
    Reply +16
  • Miitomo now live in the UK, in-app purchase prices listed

  • Mr.Spo 31/03/2016

    I've downloaded it and linked with My Nintendo, I've already qualified for £8 off Yoshi's Woolly World on Wii U eShop and got Flipnote Studio 3D for free on my 3DS. Miitomo seems like a stripped down version of Tomodachi life, so I expect anyone thinking it's to be used for more than a few minutes a day will be disappointed.

    Looks like the gold level rewards are less generous than in Japan, but they're still much better value for money than Club Nintendo and a pretty decent reward scheme. A shame Nintendo aren't allowing My Nintendo discounts to be applied to physical software on the Nintendo UK store, though.
    Reply +6
  • Nintendo fires marketer after sustained online hate campaign

  • Mr.Spo 31/03/2016

    Firstly for those who want to know more about abuse campaign waged against Rapp and broader issues of localising Japanese games, Kotaku covered it a few months ago. Secondly we don't know what Nintendo's policy on moonlighting is, or what Rapp's second job was, so we don't have the full details here. American employment protections aren't as stringent as those in western Europe, that much is certain.

    What's absolutely clear to me is that both Rapp and Nintendo (more so Nintendo) have a lot to learn from this. If you're using social media, and have a role as a spokesperson or make clear your affiliation with a particular institution, you have to be very, very careful with what you share. Kotaku are reporting that Rapp linked an Amazon wishlist that 'fans' could use to buy her stuff; is that really something Nintendo would be ok with? I use Twitter with two separate accounts linked to different email addresses, one set to private for friends and family, another public for use with my current institution. I wish Rapp well in the future though, her career and personal life have been enormously damaged by this abuse over the last few months and it's not something anyone in gaming should condone.

    For Nintendo, though, they really should have stuck up for Rapp when the abuse started months ago. It's shameful they didn't and haven't mounted a more robust defense of her, or done more to explain localisation changes. Rapp was used as a bogeyman by irate fans who mounted a sustained and disturbing assault on her career, education and character, and they did so because of Nintendo's company policies. However warped these individuals are, Nintendo are not responsible for them, but I think Nintendo absolutely are responsible for defending their employees from this kind of abuse, and it's crystal clear in this case they've failed to do so. And if it's true they have certain social media and moonlighting rules, then make damn well clear to your employees, and (if they can, legally) open up now about what rules Rapp broke. Right now it looks like Nintendo caved to trolls, and even if that's not true, you can be certain those that have spent months insulting and abusing Rapp will be celebrating this news. Doing a better job of explaining what happened wouldn't hurt. Even if Rapp broke the rules at Nintendo, Nintendo seem to have failed to explain those rules properly and Nintendo certainly have failed at protecting their employee from unwarranted abuse that was directly related to Nintendo company policy.
    Reply +32
  • Nintendo NX controller reports gather pace

  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    I was skeptical of the white image, that looked more doctored with the indecipherable stuff displayed on screen. This could be a very elaborate fake, or the real thing. The important part of patents aren't the over-all design in the patent illustrations themselves; only the piece of technology being patented is actually properly represented. That being said, I'd really have to have hands-on with this kind of device before I bought it. Would haptic feedback really make for a good button replacement? How comfortable is that oval shape? What would happen with backwards compatibility and Virtual Console? And, given reports in the Japanese press, which suggested we'd see a portable this year, compatible with a home console unit launching next year, this isn't just the controller. This could be Nintendo's next handheld device we're looking at, which, I think, makes more sense. Maybe there'll be an add-on to make it more comfortable for home play. Until we see something from Nintendo, though, this could just be a more elaborate mock-up building on that dodgier looking white NX unit and the patent that came out a while ago.

    Finally, I'd again throw serious doubt at the idea Nintendo can just launch a slightly more powerful console than PS4/Xbox One and then sit back, watch third parties come on board, and it's job done. There's so much ignored in that line of thinking it's ridiculous. How is it a good idea for Nintendo to attempt to go head to head with two successful rivals who've had a three year head start, one of whom is a runaway success with a VR device coming? Why would the mainstream market buying multi-platform titles suddenly be interested in a Nintendo device, especially when by Christmas 2016, upwards of 70-80 million users will already have a PS/Xbox? You can like it or lump it, but whatever Nintendo do next needs to be different if they're going to survive as a platform holder. They can't turn back the clock, they can't compete in a race where they're clearly out-gunned, and they can't sit it out with 3DS and Wii U much longer.

    Challenging times ahead for Nintendo, that's the only thing I'm really certain of, but I'd wager they know what their hand for the next five years is: a combination of mobile, a strong network, and NX device(s) working in tandem with their loyalty scheme to retain a larger pool of Nintendo users in total, with a core audience somewhere in the region of the 3DS userbase (40-60 million) and higher software sales per unit than 3DS. For software support, I'd expect they'll target multi-platform family-friendly Western support (LEGO, Skylanders), the mid-tier Japanese support that powers 3DS (Atlus, Square Enix, Capcom), widespread indie support, and a more consistent stream of Nintendo software: think the Wii U/3DS libraries combined. You don't need to shift 100-150 million devices to be successful, especially not if mobile is driving "Wii-like" profits as Kimishima wants.
    Reply +23
  • Nintendo plays down claim it will end Wii U production this year

  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    @SuperShinobi Given the existing home console market would (hypothetically) prefer a conventional console, surely Nintendo launching something less conventional is the riskier course?

    Personally I think any course Nintendo take now to remain one of the biggest publishers in the industry is fraught with risks. Whatever NX is come launch day, it's the toughest transition Nintendo have ever faced by some distance.
    Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    @abeeken I think the biggest point for Nintendo will be to increase software sales, and that's what the new loyalty scheme will attempt to encourage. There's the possibility of a digital only device there, with users rewarded for purchasing more (and more expensive) software. Even if the hardware base is in the 40-60 million range, higher software sales, and revenue from mobile, would make up for the lower hardware revenue versus previous generations.

    And as you say, Nintendo look set to do something different rather than iterate. I can't offer any solid assessment of whether the hypothetical strategy I outlined would be successful, but then no-one, as of yet, has really tried to leverage the mobile market to increase sales for gaming hardware. It'd be a risky gambit, but if it worked, I think it would result in firmer foundations for Nintendo as a platform holder than the success of DS and particularly Wii did.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 23/03/2016

    Leaving the possible end of Wii U production to one side for a minute, I'm not sure why people see a PS4-level Nintendo home console as some kind of automatic win for Nintendo. Let's assume Nintendo keep to a reasonable price, and hit similar or better performance than PS4. They launch this Christmas with some strong games, presumably something from Retro Studios or EAD Tokyo, who've been quiet since late 2013, and probably a souped up version of Zelda U. Some of the core Nintendo fans no doubt jump on board, and the system sells a few million units because new systems always do well in their launch week/month. Nintendo's branding is clear, they have multi-platform support, the price point is good, and there's a steady stream of software. That's a best case scenario for that hypothetical machine.

    And even in that best case scenario, which relies on Nintendo nailing a lot of factors they messed up for 3DS and Wii U at launch, and which relies on major Western publishers being willing to give Nintendo a better shot, Nintendo will be up against two rival systems with better software libraries, better third party support, tried and tested online networks, lower price points and much, much bigger install bases. PS4 would be passed 50 million units by the time this hypothetical NX has a shot at hitting 5 million units. Add to that, Sony are already drumming up hype for their VR device this year, which has the advantage of selling into a huge install base that's still expanding rapidly. Even in the best case scenario, a straight-forward home console launching this year would face so much tough competition and so many hurdles I have to ask, who honestly thinks Nintendo would pick that fight? Why go toe to toe with Sony, who are the clear market leader, and already have a new device pitched at the Christmas season? Add to that Nintendo's software development overheads face a substantial increase, and the pressure on such a device is huge. And, ignoring the enthusiasts who stalk these boards (don't be offended, I'm one of them), who is actually going to buy that NX device going forward? If you don't already like Nintendo games, why would you switch over to Nintendo in 2017? Why would the audience for Destiny, FIFA, Assassin's Creed--the true mainstream console audience Nintendo would need to buy that device--be interested in NX?

    If Nintendo attempt that kind of console, it's a failure before it heads out the gate. It'd be swimming against the tide with one hard tied behind its back. I highly doubt what we'll see with NX is a straight forward console or portable designed to go head to head with Sony or Microsoft. Nintendo have said we're not getting a straight forward replacement for Wii U, and they're also obviously orientating new developments around an online network, as Miitomo and their loyalty scheme demonstrates, and as they've been saying in the last 18 months. Their hardware engineering teams are finally integrated, and it makes a lot of sense going forward that Nintendo reduce the pressure on their development teams to support two completely different types of hardware at the same time.

    I'm still not sure what NX is going to be, but I suspect it'll be somewhere on a spectrum of one device that incorporates home and handheld gaming, up to a series of devices that share an operating system etc and share some of the same software. Personally I think a powerful handheld with some kind of micro-console unit is most likely, because Nintendo aren't going to win the straight fight with other hardware manufacturers. A low price point, good advertising, a strong online network/account system, a steady stream of Nintendo software and Unity support will be more important that getting FIFA or Assassin's Creed. Nintendo can target their 50-60 million portable market in the short-term, and I assume their long-term strategy is to convert at least some of their new smartphone consumers into NX hardware owners, which is why there's so much emphasis on developing a networked ecosystem rather than a single boxed platform.
    Reply +22