Mr.Spo Comments

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  • NX is different, and different is Nintendo's best option

  • Mr.Spo 28/07/2016

    @I_Am_CatButler Breaking it down like that is completely fallacious, though. You can't take NES and GameBoy as representative of the total size of Nintendo's audience at one particular point in time, for a start.

    The NES went on sale in Japan in 1983 and the US in 1985, the GameBoy only launched in 1989 and the 118m figure includes ~49m GameBoy Colors that were sold from 1998 onwards, by which point the SNES had replaced the NES and the N64 the SNES. You're comparing portable sales over a minimum of 12 years with home console sales from a roughly eight year period, and those periods mostly don't overlap. It's nowhere near as simple as "Nintendo had an audience of 190m and now it's 75m". The chronology doesn't match up and doesn't make sense. We also can't combine home and portable figures and assume that's Nintendo's core audience, or that they're the same consumers from generation to generation. There will be overlap among owners of portable/home systems, for example, to say nothing of multiple models.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing that Nintendo's core audience is currently small and facing enormous pressures, but the way you've reached that conclusion is completely fallacious. I can't find the data now, but if you include Game & Watch shipments and track Nintendo hardware over 6 year cycles from 1983, they sell roughly 100 million units per cycle until the DS/Wii explosion, and then the massive drop off with Wii U/3DS. What actually happened is that an increasing share of Nintendo's unit sales came from portables from the GameBoy Color onwards. Wii/DS partially reversed this shift, but it's continued with Wii U/3DS. That's why there's an emphasis on portability with NX, because Nintendo's market strengths have lain there since 1998 at least, and perhaps longer than that.

    It's indisputable Nintendo's home console audience has shrank, of course, but your final conclusion is very simplistic and ignores whatever potential money they can make from mobile. Ultimately I don't think Nintendo plan to shift 100 million NX's, but they don't need to if they're cultivating multiple revenue streams. A base of 50 million with a high attach rate over six years, plus online, mobile etc, is enough to maintain a revenue stream that runs in the billions every year and that results in profits in the hundreds of millions. Nintendo care about a sustainable future as a platform holder, and NX and mobile are designed to provide that. Saying it's hardcore or bust reduces the situation to a simplistic logic that I don't think holds up to scrutiny. They need to carve out a base with NX, but equally they need the wider audience mobile can provide, because in the long run, if kids don't grow up with Nintendo, they won't buy more Nintendo when they have more money.

    As for your final point on software production, yes, you're right. And that's exactly why we're getting one system, and not two, because it's no longer feasible to support two distinct systems. Nintendo know that, and NX is a direct response to that. They've already consolidated and combined their software and R&D. Whether the results are good enough to keep them around as a platform holder, only time will tell, but NX is a clear sign they see the danger they face.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 28/07/2016

    @Gemini73 You make a valid point about younger children. Why do you think Nintendo are establishing a presence on mobile? ;-) Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 28/07/2016

    @I_Am_CatButler With the exception of the last two generations, sales of Nintendo hardware have actually held steady since the NES days at around 100 million combined units of home and portable consoles every six years. The obvious exceptions are Wii/DS (250 million in 7 years) and now 3DS/Wii U, which sit at 72 million after 5 years, and will probably top out at 77-80 million units.

    It's also the case that people are overlooking the fact that if Eurogamer are right, NX will be the only place to play a large amount of Nintendo software, the only place to play Zelda, Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing. Sure, there are going to be mobile games, but I'd wager there are still people who will push Nintendo's bigger games to 5-15 million units, with Pokemon, Mario Kart and Animal Crossing at the higher end, and something like Zelda at the lower end.

    In all honesty I do think even if NX is successful, it will mark a step down in hardware sales for Nintendo, perhaps to around 60 million units in six years. I think Nintendo's real gamble is that revenue from mobile, more aggressive IP licensing, and higher software sales/margins on the NX ecosystem will allow them to make more money. Their future platform (as they've said themselves) is their network, and NX will be the way the highest spending, most dedicated fans will access it.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 28/07/2016

    @Brave27heart 7.7 million people have bought Mario Kart 8, and 4.3 million have bought Splatoon! I get where you're coming from, though. I'd love to see Kart and Splatoon available early on, preferably either free or at a heavy discount for Wii U owners, with extra content coming on a regular basis after that. Same for Smash Bros.

    On the pricing point, I expect that is one mistake that won't be repeated. I'd also point out Nintendo resisted price cuts on Wii U because sales were so poor the lost revenue wasn't worth it. I think £200-£230 is likely, though Shield launched at $199. That'd be the real sweet spot for NX, it'd probably work out at £180 here. One sad point is a strong dollar, strong yen, weak euro and weak pound does not make for competitive price exchanges over here.
    Reply +1
  • Mr.Spo 28/07/2016

    Other news sources, like the Wall Street Journal and MCV are also now running rumours on the back of Eurogamer's report. The former are claiming NX will run Nintendo's own smartphone games, which makes a degree of sense, and really would turn the system into an all in one Nintendo box. MCV are claiming that the system will be very affordable, and that a surprisingly low price point could be Nintendo's ace in the hole.

    I have to agree going for agree hybrid system and leveraging their strengths in software development, portable console gaming and family friendly entertainment makes the most sense. It's still an incredibly risky move. The official unveiling can't come soon though.

    Also, GameCube was no technical slouch. Not the most powerful of its generation, but the Metroid Prime games, Rogue Leader and F Zero GX were great technical accomplishments for their time. I'd also suggest there's reason to be optimistic about what Nintendo can achieve on NX, given something as ambitious as Breath of the Wild will be a launch title.
    Reply +35
  • Nintendo nets large loss for latest financial quarter

  • Mr.Spo 27/07/2016

    This is to be expected, undoubtedly we're looking at Nintendo's weakest year as a hardware manufacturer. 3DS is ticking along to round out its life towards the 70 million mark, but it can't cover foreign exchange losses, extremely low Wii U sales and NX development costs in its sixth year on the market.

    Pokemon Sun & Moon, Go, the Animal Crossing mobile title, Zelda and NX will be Nintendo's best bets this FY.
    Reply 0
  • Nintendo NX is a portable console with detachable controllers

  • Mr.Spo 26/07/2016

    @grassyknoll Agreed. Baffling people can't make the connection between Nintendo's diminishing home consoles success, stronger record of portable success, family friendly image and finite resources and join up the dots.

    Personally this type of device is more interesting to me than another home console. Rather than splitting my time and money between several home consoles and a portable, I potentially have an all-in-one Nintendo device to go alongside my other consoles. It's a sounder 'secondary' system than Wii or Wii U, in that sense, and potentially a stronger primary system, if the software library really is a kind of 3DS/Wii U amalgamation.
    Reply +15
  • Mr.Spo 26/07/2016

    Why aren't Nintendo interested in competing head on with Sony and Microsoft? Why is that so difficult to fathom? Two rival systems with massive third party support, a three year head-start, a combined install base north of 70 million (conservative estimate) at the time NX hits the market, established online services, hardware revisions incoming, and a close overlap between their target demographics and third party franchises. Nintendo systems and markets don't overlap with Call of Duty, Assassin's Creed, FIFA, Destiny, Battlefield. Why would the market that buys those games now switch over to a Nintendo system simply to play Zelda and Mario in addition to the Western franchises they already play? I and others have argued as much over the last 12 months or so.

    This is a shift in policy and the best analogy would actually be Nintendo's strategy over the last 25 years. A smaller home console base for their dedicated fans, and a portable base for their expanded audience. Now they're trying to retain and create a smaller portable/mobile base for their dedicated audience, and a wider mobile audience too. Nintendo have proven with 3DS-- a device that got off to a rocky start with poor branding, poor marketing, a ridiculous price point, a lack of software and features--they can still shift 10 million or so portable units a year. This also means Nintendo can bring their top quality development resources to one dedicated gaming system and mobile, rather than splitting their talent across architecturally and commercially different propositions. A library that's a mash up of 3DS/Wii U seems the likely target. More Nintendo software, more often, with third party support primarily coming from Japan, indies and family friendly Western titles. Major portable hits like Animal Crossing and Pokemon potentially bring their market power to NX. I can't be the only one hoping to see Monster Hunter 5 on NX...

    This is far from saying Nintendo have a sure fire hit here. Their development bottlenecks now really need to be confined to the past, the errors with branding, online and pricing that afflicted both Wii U and 3DS can't be repeated. And that doesn't even go into how they're going to make a success of mobile and build a viable market across NX, iOS and Android. I think, especially with Zelda on day one, and Pokemon Go proving the potential of Nintendo franchises on smart devices, Nintendo hold the cards to get off to a strong start, but they need to turn a tempting short term prospect into a viable long-term plan for their future as a platform holder, and that's as challenging a proposition as they've ever faced.
    Reply +46
  • Mr.Spo 26/07/2016

    @jimnastics And yet, every generation since the days of the SNES, Nintendo have shifted as many or more portable consoles every cycle than they have home units.

    I expect this is Nintendo hunkering down around their proven ~50 million portable loyalists in the medium term, rather than betting on being able to expand on the 12 million or so home console loyalists and compete against two home systems that are deeply entrenched. I've asked the question before: why would Nintendo want to go head to head with a resurgent PlayStation?

    I think is far from a 'safe' move, because this is the riskiest transition Nintendo have made, but if they can shift 50 million NX units across 5-6 years, ensure higher software sales than 3DS/Wii U, and generate long-term revenue from mobile, then they'll be in a good position for the future.
    Reply +4
  • NES mini won't connect online, won't get more games

  • Mr.Spo 15/07/2016

    So more likely a short term boost for their bottom line than any change in approach to Virtual Console. Presumably if this sells well we'll see a SNES Mini at some point.

    Hopefully they take an Amazon Prime style model with Virtual Console. The games are available to buy and keep, but if you pay a subscription, you get access to a wider library that changes every now and again.
    Reply +4
  • Nintendo announces palm-sized mini NES console

  • Mr.Spo 14/07/2016

    @Lankysi Given Nintendo have charged around £3.50 (currently £3.49 on Wii U) a NES game on Virtual Console for the past decade, I'd be surprised if that happened.

    To me it looks like "Nintendo Classic Mini" is the brand of a new product range, rather than a one off. That begs the question: What exactly is the future of Virtual Console? Will Nintendo launch more Mini systems, and restrict the type of software to each system? Is this a one off money maker, because NX was pushed into 2017? Are Nintendo going to fundamentally alter their Virtual Console pricing structures and release schedules? Could you gradually gain access to SNES and N64 games through your NES Mini, and play them with replica controllers or classic controllers?

    This is a big change in how they give people access to their back catalogue, though. It'll be interesting to see how exactly this device works, and whether it's part of a more fundamental rethink at Nintendo.
    Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 14/07/2016

    @Ryze USGamer are saying it has HDMI out. Reply +5
  • Mr.Spo 14/07/2016

    Kotaku reporting the NES Mini uses suspend points, so maybe these are the Virtual Console ROMs and you can buy more games to play on it?? It'll be really interesting to see if this is just a short-term profit boost by cashing in on nostalgia, or if it's going to be part of a longer-term strategy with their back catalogue. Reply +7
  • Mr.Spo 14/07/2016

    @Malek86 That's a very good point, unless Nintendo are planning on shaking up Virtual Console towards the end of the year. That's optimism talking, mind... Reply +3
  • Mr.Spo 14/07/2016

    Well, I didn't see that coming. Is this the first of a few "Nintendo Classic Mini" devices?? Reply +18
  • Monster Hunter: Generations review

  • Mr.Spo 12/07/2016

    I've only played Tri and 4 on 3DS, so the content from older Monster Hunter titles will be new to me. Absolutely loved 4 and am really looking forward to this, though I still have most of Conquest and all of Revelations to clear on my 3DS so monster hunting has to wait until next month! Reply +1
  • Don't worry, Nintendo's still making Pikmin 4

  • Mr.Spo 07/07/2016

    @kupocake There also seems to have been (from E3 interviews) a decision made at Intelligent Systems and Nintendo that two Mario RPG series weren't needed, hence Paper Mario becoming an action-adventure game. Miyamoto was also producer on Luigi's Mansion 2, in recent years, which was superb. I'd also point out he didn't head up Pikmin 3, so there's no reason to assume he's heading up the next Pikmin title. Reply 0
  • Mr.Spo 07/07/2016

    When NX finally is publicly revealed, it'll be really interesting to see how much software is in development and when it's coming. Nintendo are claiming that software development has been streamlined and fairly reliable leakers (Emily Rogers for one) are claiming Nintendo's restructuring is going to allow them to release more software, more often. Kimishima stated one reason NX is further away than anticipated is because Nintendo are ensuring a steady software schedule post-launch, but I'll believe all this when we see it. Reply +3
  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild needs to sell 2m copies to profit

  • Mr.Spo 30/06/2016

    @I_Am_CatButler It's true Nintendo re-use game engines within existing franchises, and occassionally across franchises (Mario 64 & Ocarina were built from the same basic engine, the latter heavily modified), it doesn't seem to be standard practice that these game engines and aspects of game engines are readily available across all of Nintendo's development teams. Their development structures have gradually become more integrated over the years, but by far the biggest integrations have taken place in the last couple of years, at the behest of Iwata and now Kimishima.

    Captain Toad definitely re-used the assets and engine of SM3DW, but that was not normal practice at Nintendo. It's unusual for a spin-off to emerge from a full game that way. Certainly the Zelda series has re-used engines, but that engine doesn't seem to have been utilised in other franchises. I expect that's what they mean here.
    Reply +2
  • Mr.Spo 30/06/2016

    Sales of home console Zelda games are remarkably stable, with a low of 3.5 million for Majora's Mask on N64, and a high of 7.6 million for Ocarina (for a single version, N64, TP's combined totals are higher across GC/Wii). Despite massive discrepancies in the install bases of the systems these games launch on, most Zelda titles shift 4-5 million copies, with the outliers on the higher end being the original (~6 million), Ocarina as mentioned, and Twilight Princess (8 million+ across GC/Wii). Even if NX isn't a hit in the long run, Breath of the Wild could get the system off to a strong start. Nintendo should smash the 2 million mark easily. My bet would be 6 million combined if NX isn't a long-term success, 8 million or more if it is. Reply +16
  • 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 +13
  • 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 +8
  • 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.
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  • 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.
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