The idea that any gaming company “wins” E3 is rather silly and certainly doesn’t matter. However, we can generally tell which game developer had the most interesting and important presentation. Or to be more direct, who had the most games coming out THIS year (2019). I’m not opposed to previewing games in development, but some developers show the same game for years. I’m looking at you Square Enix (FF7). In the last few years Nintendo had decided to abandon the usually corny or awkward on stage presentation. Instead they opted for the “Nintendo Direct” model.
In addition to Nintendo Directs, they included the Nintendo Treehouse where they actually show the gameplay of games that will be released soon. Initially, many though this was a sign that Nintendo was in trouble in some way. Instead it turned out to be in their favor. While I’m a Nintendo fanboy, I think Nintendo has had the best showing for the last few E3. This year of course was easier than previous E3. Sony was a no show and Microsoft announced a new console with a bunch of specs. Unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo isn’t focused on making a new console so they can focus on games.
While many of the third party games for the Nintendo Switch are just ports, if you buy a Nintendo console you don’t do so for third party games. Nintendo has been able to carefully schedule the release of their games so there’s something every year. So what did they have to offer:
Animal Crossing has been a huge success for Nintendo. Announced last year, Animal Crossing: New Horizon will take place on a tropical island. The video shows players crafting and building a surrounding environment. The bad news for fans. It’s not coming out this year, but March 20th, 2020.
ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING
While we wait for the next 3D Zelda, the adorably styled remake Link’s awakening will be released this September. Players are now able to create dungeons from pre-made sets. In addition to this game is the Cadence of Hyrule, a rhythm adventure game from Crypt of the Necrodancer, which will be released June 13.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD SEQUEL
The MOST important announcement was the sequel of the Breath of the Wild is being worked on. There isn’t too much details on the upcoming game but many are speculating that you might be able to play as Zelda herself. It also seems that we might get a new zombie villain. Regardless, if this game is any where close to the first one then it will be great. Considering Nintendo’s track record it will be.
Earlier today Nintendo revealed some details of the highly anticipated Pokemon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch. First it looks like random encounters are gone. Instead Pokemon will roam around like Pokemon Let’s Go. It is possible to also trigger battles by running into a exclamation pop up while in tall grass. I’m find either way but I think seeing the Pokemon in the wild is better.
In recent Pokemon games new games mechanics have been added like Mega Evolution and Z-Moves. Enter Dynamax. To be honest this is the most creative feature. Basically, your Pokemon gets more powerful as they become giant. They can only stay this way for three turns and it can only be once per battle. Dynamaxing doesn’t interest me in the slightest. Hopefully, you won’t be forced to use it too much.
Milo is one of the Gym Leaders of the Galar region. He has a kind heart and is well liked by the Trainers of his Gym. His credo is to always enjoy battles, and he specializes in endurance matches using Grass-type Pokémon.
Free roaming has arrive to Pokemon in the form of the “Wild Area.” The natural space between towns in Galar, you will discover new Pokemon walking around. They will vary based on area and weather similar to Pokemon Go. You can join other players on Max Battle Raids. When you locate a red beam, up to four players can battle against a Dynamaxed Pokemon. Only one of the four players can Dynamax their Pokemon. The Dynamaxed Pokemon can be caught and some Pokemon can only be caught this way.
We were introduced to some new adorable Pokemon and some of the characters that will be in the new game. The starters were introduced already, fans were given a look at seven new Pokemon including the two legendaries, Zacian and Zamazenta.
Category: Flowering Pokemon
Weight: 4.9 lbs
Ability: Cotton Down/Regenerator
Category: Cotton Bloom Pokemon
Weight: 5.5 lbs
Ability: Cotton Down/Regenerator
Pokemon Sword and Shield will be released on November 15th. Sources: IGN, Polygon
On June 5th, Nintendo will broadcast a new Nintendo Direct presentation. The direct will provide details on newest Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Shield. Slated to air 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT on Nintendo’s YouTube and Twitch channels. With E3 2019 on the horizon the direct will allow Nintendo to give the games more time. This will not replace anything that Nintendo has prepared for E3 itself.
The Nintendo Direct will focus on “on software, and will offer a look at games scheduled to launch in 2019.” Games expected for release this year on the Switch are, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Astral Chain, Animal Crossing, Daemon X Machina, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. Also a Pokemon Press Conference occurred today that I haven’t seen yet, but it may focus on Pokemon Go.
This is the easiest day of the challenge so far. Nintendo is by far my favorite game developer. Nintendo is THE most storied game developer. I will make an argument that it is the most influential gaming develop ever. Nintendo was founded all the way back in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Originally a hanafuda playing card company, Nintendo became a video game company in the 1970’s. What makes Nintendo so great is that they always focus on quality and fun as the most important aspects of gaming.
Many gamers have complained that Nintendo continues to produces games with simple stories and cartoon graphics, instead of more realistic and serious content. Nintendo wanted to build a reputation for having family friendly games. This wasn’t always well received by gamers. Violent games like Mortal Kombat were censored, removing blood and altering finishing moves. However, many of the games Nintendo produced were well made. This dedication to quality has to be the hallmark of Nintendo.
Nintendo also has been an innovator in the gaming industry. The many buttons featured on the face of a typical controller can be traced back to Nintendo in some way. The NES controller largely set the industry standard. The Nintendo 64 for example was the first home console to introduce four controller ports, so families could play together split-screen. They also brought the analog to home controllers and introduced 3D gameplay to gaming with Mario 64. Nintendo also dominated the handheld gaming market, with the Gameboy, Gameboy Color and now the Switch.
Many have credited Nintendo with saving the video game industry itself in the 80’s with the NES. The most important aspect of Nintendo is of course the games. Mario. Legend of Zelda. Pokemon. Metroid. Donkey Kong. These are some of most influential and profitable video game ip’s ever. Collectively, Nintendo has sold over 700 million consoles and over a billion games. Most of the games I play are Nintendo games and their consistent quality is unmatched. Nintendo is a pioneer in the industry, whether it’s mobile gaming (Gameboy), multiplayer (64), VR gaming (Virtual Boy), motion gaming (Wii) or home to mobile (Switch). They take risks and keep gamers guessing.
Like many fans of the Pokemon series I was waiting to see what the next generation of Pokemon games would look like. When the Switch was revealed to be both a home console and a handheld one, it was easy to predict that the next Pokemon game would be on the Switch. Unlike, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee, this game will be the “real” Pokemon RPG’s.
Each Pokemon region is inspired by a real place, this time it’s seems to be Great Britain. The brand new region is called Galar. The three new starter Pokemon were revealed: the Grass-type chimp Grookey, the Fire-type rabbit Scorbunny, and the Water-type lizard Sobble. As always random encounters are back, as are Gym’s (Pokemon Sun and Moon changed that format). The trailer didn’t confirm whether character customization, but I’m hoping.
So far their doesn’t seem to be anything new to the series yet, but details on possible new elements could emerge later. With the introduction of every new generation, we tend to get a lot of new Pokemon. Anyway, I can’t wait. Pokemon Sword & Shield will be released later this year.
In the latest Nintendo direct, it was announced that the Nintendo Switch will be getting a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening. The original was released in 1993 for the Game Boy. The fourth in the Zelda series, and the first on a handheld console, it was intended to be a port of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but became an original project. What also separates the game from other Zelda games is that it didn’t feature, Princess Zelda, the Triforce or take place in Hyrule.
The player is tasked with collecting eight musical instruments to wake up a whale deity called the Wind Fish. Like most Zelda games it was a critical and commercial success. In combination with the a re-released version the game has sold over six million copies and is considered to be one of the greatest games ever. Having played most Zelda games, this is one of the few that escaped me. Not having or wanting handheld game consoles until the Game Boy Color (1998) I didn’t get to play this one. It will be fun to play a remake that I didn’t play before.
Nintendo announced that they have “restarted development” of Metroid Prime 4 slated for the Nintendo Switch. Retro’s Studios is a subsidiary of Nintendo American, they developed the highly successful Metroid Prime Trilogy and Donkey Kong Country series. Nintendo’s senior managing executive officer Shinya Takahashi announced the change in a video:
Nintendo claimed that ” The current development status of the game is very challenged and we have made a very difficult decision as a development team.” Metroid Prime was announced back in June 2017, but not many details were released. Takahashi has stated that “It will be a long road until the next time we will be able to update you on the development progress and development time will be extensive.”
Massive software sales from hits like, Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Marvels Spiderman, God of War and Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Video game revenues reached a new high in the U.S. with $43.4 billion according to ESA and the NPD Group. Hardware sales increased significantly from 2017 to 2018. Hardware was up 15 percent, grossing $7.5 billion.
The Nintendo Switch surpassed the PS4 as the “best-selling console, both in units sold and dollars.” Super Smash Bros. Ultimate became the “best selling game in December.” Sony announced that the PS4 has sold over 91 million units since 2013. Meanwhile, Nintendo had a strong holiday season, seeing the Switch sell 22 million worldwide, with over 8.7 million sold in the U.S. making it ” the fastest-selling console of the current generation.”
The gaming industry has become the “top money-driving entertainment industry in the U.S., as well as globally.” Digital revenue reached $109.8 Billion in 2018. Most of the numbers are attributed to Epic’s Fornite, that made ” $2.4 billion last year.”
Nintendo has always been an innovating company and the Switch continued this innovation. Today, Nintendo introduced a new way to play the Switch, combining “cardboard accessories,” with the Switch, players are able to play games with these “DIY creations.” Nintendo Labo, incorporates “augmented-reality game that turns cardboard models into fully functioning toys.” When you buy a Nintendo Labo you are given “25 sheets of thick, brown, branded cardboard, and a little cartridge.”
Following the on screen instruction on the Switch you can build several creations like, a 13 key piano, fishing pole or motorbike. You can customize these creations with markers, stickers or paint. By building the piano you can play as the “IR Motion Camera in the Right Joy-Con detects which keys are pressed and translates them into unique notes that are heard through the console.” Being cardboard Nintendo expects them to break and plans on replacing cardboard kits, however, you can “stick the cardboard Toy-Cons back together with glue or tape.”
Nintendo Labo will launch on April 20 this year and will have two kits called, the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit respectively. The “Variety Kit” will cost $69.99 and feature ” two Toy-Con RC Cars, a Toy-Con Fishing Rod, a Toy-Con House, a Toy-Con Motorbike and a Toy-Con Piano.” The “Robot Kit” will cost a little more at $79.99 and feature “you can build an interactive robot suit with a visor, backpack and straps for your hands and feet, which you can then wear to assume control of a giant in-game robot.” You can also purchase a $9.99 “customization Set that includes fun stencils, stickers and colored tape.” The cardboard toy-con are not from me but the technology is actually pretty cool and hope it’s another success from Nintendo.
A lot of criticism was sent Nintendo’s way for the failure of Wii U. The Switch has turn all that around, on Thursday, Nintendo announced that the “Nintendo Switch has become the fastest-selling home video game system ever in the United States. The system has sold more than 4.8 million units in the United States in the 10 months since it launched on March 3. Nintendo‘s Wii system was the previous record holder, selling more than 4 million units in its first 10 months.”
I’ll admit that I’m pleasantly surprised that the Switch has done this well. What doesn’t surprise me is the high attachment rate of their first party titles, Nintendo stated “that more than 60% of Nintendo Switch owners in the United States have Super Mario Odyssey, and more than 55% own The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nintendo noted that the games are two of the highest-rated games in history. The company also revealed that more than 50% of Nintendo Switch owners have Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and more than 20% have Splatoon 2.
Nintendo has often had issues with third party support, this did change with the Nintendo DS, 3DS and Wii. However, during the short Wii U era third party support was scarce. Nintendo said that “more than 300 titles by third-party developers have launched for the Switch, and it has “received strong support from indie developers.” The Nintendo Switch, as of December 10 has sold over 10 million units worldwide. With a new Metroid Prime and Pokemon RPG on the horizon things are looking good for Nintendo’s future.