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Nintendo Direct 9.13.17 – Speculation, Predictions & Wishful Thinking

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Intro:

A new Nintendo Direct is coming tomorrow and it’s reportedly focusing on the Switch’s next couple of months (Holiday Season) and the 3DS.  To have a little fun with this I decided to put together a little bit of what I think Nintendo is going to be announcing, and a lot of what I think they should be announcing.  I know there’s a lot of reasons why some of this stuff won’t happen, but I don’t think any of it’s too far fetched.

The Switch launch was a huge success, and unlike most successful system launches it was not during a holiday season.  Now 6 months later, it is my opinion that Nintendo needs to essentially re-launch and re-introduce the system to everyone for the holiday season.   Show us all what has gone so well, and what Switch owners have coming in the future, that’s what I hope to see from this Nintendo Direct

Sales/Success:

Nintendo should start off by hammering in the fact that the system has been a huge sales’ success so far and that the systems are flying off the shelf worldwide.  This past July the Switch outsold the PS4 and XBox One, it has also sold over 5 million units worldwide (1.5 million in Japan alone where thousands of people line up weekly to try and get one) and over 10million in software sales.

Games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and The Legend of Zelda: BOTW have all sold over a million copies (Splatoon 2 did it in 1 week!).  But even Third Parties such as Capcom and NISA have been very happy with the success of the sales on the Switch.  Nintendo should throw out all of this information in a concise way to just reiterate the fact that the Switch is doing good and developers are happy.   There is no need to worry about purchasing a Switch, this is not another Wii U.

Third Party Support

Transitioning from applauding the success of the Switch Hardware and Software sales, this would be a great time to announce some new third party support for the Switch and some details to recently announced games.   Some of the recently announced games we know of are: Resident Evil Revelations 1 & 2 and L.A. Noire, but wouldn’t it be great if we found a few more surprises from third parties?

These major third parties are just testing the waters, and most have had development tools for less than a year, so to expect brand new full fledged releases would be a little unrealistic at this point in my opinion.  I expect to see some more ports/remasters to get Switch owners through the next year before the major players really commit a big AAA project to the Switch.   They’ll want to try out their reliable sellers and gauge it on that, that’s why I’m expecting some more ports, and I’m all for playing some of these great games with portable functionality…this makes the Switch version more appealing to me than others.

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We know Capcom and Ubisoft have some unannounced games up their sleeves, and something like Mega Man Legacy Collection, or the Disney Afternoon Collection seems like a very easy port and cash grab to try out on the Nintendo fanbase.  Read the rest of this entry

Blaster Master Zero

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My Favorites of 2016

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I didn’t play everything this year, I didn’t play every game of every genre on every platform.  I don’t even play PC games.  I know I missed out on some of the highest praised games of the year.  But out of the games that I did play, I had some favorite ones and found some memorable ones.  Some of the games might be leftovers from 2015 that I didn’t play until 2016. Hell, I even included some retro games in My Favorites of 2016.

This is what I played, and this is what I enjoyed. But to get a feel for my taste in gaming, I thought you might be interested in seeing what it is that I liked.  If you enjoy or have interest in the same kind of games, then you might want to keep checking back here on thegamerpad.com or on my twitch channel (twitch.tv/thegamerpad) because I might be covering the exact kind of games that you want to see covered.

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PSVR Launch Impressions

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Playstation VR launched last month and I picked up my pre-order along with a handful of games. I was ready to jump head first into the alleged next big thing for gaming.  I pre-ordered the PSVR back in February (maybe March?) before I ever had any experience with VR.  Eventually in the summer I got to play Battlezone on PSVR at a Best Buy Demo.   From that brief experience I was pretty amazed at how immersive VR felt.  It was like I was no longer in a Best Buy, and I had entered a different world.  The Sony rep didn’t completely adjust the device for my eyes, so it was a little blurry.  It was similar to looking at a side view of the 3D effects on the 3DS.  I didn’t think it mattered to have the Rep adjust it 100%, it was still 85% – 90% fine.   But later after playing I felt vertigo a couple times over the next 30 minutes.  I figured this was because I didn’t accurately adjust the device.  It still was such an amazing experience I was now convinced it was worth keeping my pre-order and exploring it some more when it came out.

launchlineupWhen launch day came, I had fully bought in on the hype and wanted to try out just about everything.  I picked up the Launch Bundle that included 2 Move Controllers, the Camera and PS Worlds. I got every game that I thought seemed interesting, all the physical copies shown above and I bought Job Simulator and Rez Infinite digitally.  I figured these would be great to showcase the PSVR.

My first game I played was PS World, specifically London Heist.  This was by far the most fun I had on the first night, but it was also a very short experience.  In London Heist you are always in a sitting position, and there isn’t much movement.  Sitting at a table, sitting at a desk while shooting, sitting in a chair, and sitting as a passenger in a van while you shoot enemies.  Using the Move Controllers as my hand, and interacting with objects was so immersive, I felt like I was actually lighting a cigar in front of my face and shooting Uzi’s in a car chase.

 

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Nintendo Switch Initial Excitement

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The Nintendo NX is no more, Nintendo has dropped the code name and finally revealed their newest console, AND portable.  It’s called the Nintendo Switch.  It’s a hybrid handheld console and I’m very excited for it. The more I think about it, the better it sounds actually.  But I will be fair, I am a huge Nintendo fan and I have bought 4 of their consoles (including the Wii U) and 3 of their handhelds at launch (not including special editions). The ones I didn’t buy at launch, I got later, and still have it…even the Virtual Boy.  Last but not least, my game collection is probably 70%+ Nintendo.  So yes, I do play favorites to Nintendo, but if you are also a Nintendo fan or even rooting for Nintendo to succeed, then get excited.  If the momentum gets big enough for the Switch, Nintendo might bounce back strong.  The more I think about the system the more potential I can imagine from it.  I just hope Nintendo can capitalize.  Here are some things I’m throwing around in my head.

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Local Multiplayer Possibilities

This could be huge, this could re-invent things like couch co-op, LAN parties, and your traditional ideas of local multiplayer. Even with only one piece of hardware it looks like players could gather around the screen and play a co-op game like Diablo, and Donkey Kong or even multiplayer games of Madden and Mario Kart.  The more this spreads, or the more people that own the Switch, the wider the multiplayer possibilities get.  Battlefield, Splatoon, and other resource heavy titles will start to become a possibility.  With some of my friends, it might actually be easier to play a game together  in person than online.  A good amount of my friends and family have a PS4, if those games we play at home were also portable, we would be playing a lot more together.  Even transporting it to a friend’s house is simple.

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Combining It’s Markets
The biggest roadblock is that this system has to sell, a lot.  If the social aspects and local multiplayer opportunities are really going to flourish, it’s going to need to have a large install base.  The Playstation 4 sold amazingly, in 3 years, it’s already around 44 million, one of the fastest selling consoles of all time.  In 3 years the XBox One has reached 22 million while the Wii U only broke 11 million in 4 years time.  And the 3DS, which is very important here, will most likely hit 60 Million sold in 2017.  The Switch means Nintendo is combining it’s portable market and it’s console market, there is definitely some overlap in there, but it’s actually not too crazy to think that it could put up PS4 numbers.  If it REALLY catches on and reaches a fad-like status, Nintendo could have a Wii/DS combo on it’s hands (Wii sold 101million, DS sold 153million).
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Concerns About Star Fox Zero

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I played a demo of Star Fox Zero at Nintendo World Store during E3 week and from the opening level of Corneria that I played, things seemed pretty good.  The motion controls took a little getting used to at first, but they felt fine by the time I was about halfway through the level.  I’m also a pretty big fan of Platinum Games, so when I found out they were developing it I was pretty excited and hyped for it’s release.

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Then it got delayed out of Holiday 2015 and into 2016.  My first thoughts were about the Wii U and how it wasn’t going to have the “big” title for November.  Sure there was Animal Crossing amiibo Festival and Mario Tennis Ultra Smash but those are not near the level of a big November exclusive I expect (Smash Bros, Mario 3D World, etc).  After that initial reaction, I then started to get more concerned about the game.  Nintendo has earned my trust with delays, they’ve delayed plenty of games that turned out to be excellent in the end.  I figured Star Fox Zero was no different, the footage of Star Fox at E3 2014 and E3 2015 were a huge difference, the game hadn’t been in development for a long time so an extra 6 months will go a long way.

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But then it dawned on me, maybe this isn’t something Platinum Games can handle.  Read the rest of this entry

Nintendo NX – Plan A

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NX Plans:  With NX information coming next year, we’re all kind of curious to what approach Nintendo will make with their next console/device.  I’ve decided to have fun with this and speculate different plans/options Nintendo could have when releasing the NX.  None of this is actually based on information from Nintendo, this is not a leak, this is speculation and strategy ideas.  Over the next week I will be posting at least 4 different strategy plans laying out objectives and how it is expected to succeed.

Plan A
Plan B
Plan C


Plan A’s Objective:
To release a low cost system that re-introduces the Nintendo brand and franchises to gamers, families and new audiences.  A new console that is a re-branding of the Wii U, does not require a GamePad and has a faster improved operating system. The NX will also support a portable option through another hardware device (“NX GO”).  The 3DS has sold 55million worldwide and the Wii U has sold 10million world wide currently.  The portable’s market has shrunk from the previous generation (DS sold 153 million) and Nintendo’s market share in the console has decreased from 37% to 19% (still decreasing).  Combining the cross-functionality of the portable and console will allow the strengths of both to combine and hopefully exceed the current 3DS + Wii U sales totals.  Pushing digital purchases and opening up the back catalog of Nintendo franchises will allow more profitable sales from software.  The goal is to get Nintendo and it’s franchises back in the minds of consumers before the NEXT generation (PS5 & XB2?) launches.  The Wii U will be phased out, but still receive support when the NX is released, this is to instill confidence in consumers that Nintendo doesn’t abandon their products.  The NX will be priced closely to the the Wii U’s phasing out MSRP.


System Specs:
Slightly more powerful than Wii U.  Does not have to meet the power/standards of the Playstation 4 and XBox One.  Requires more processing power than a Wii U in order to better handle an operating system with an active interface. Extra RAM will be required to support streaming and recording functionality.  Graphical abilities are practically the same as the Wii U.


Format:
Physical discs, same format as the Wii U. Digital purchases also available from the eShop

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Nintendo Direct (11/12/15) – Info & Opinion

 

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Last week Nintendo held it’s first Nintendo Direct in almost 6 months.  I tried to make predictions and expectations, some of them came true but the majority didn’t.  Speculating is half of the fun of these things though!  Anyways here is a re-cap of everything that was announced, new updates, new titles, new release dates, etc.  Plus some opinion thrown in there too!

 

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD w/Wolf Link amiibo – There were rumors already going around about the existence of a Twilight Princess HD remake. A lot of us thought it was going to be digital only, as a collector I’m glad to see it’s getting a physical release. I’m sure the bundled in amiibo is to help justify pushing the price up to $59.99 but it looks pretty cool so I’m not complaining!

Zelda Wii U Clip – Nothing much shown here, just re-confirmation that the next Zelda is still planned for the Wii U in 2016, maybe people will stop speculating that it’s going to be NX only now.

Tri Force Heroes Update – A new update releaseing on December 2nd was announced. This update will add the “Den of Trials” which is a new area with 30+ stages.   You and your team must defeat every enemy in the stage to advance, there will be checkpoints placed through the stages though.  Read the rest of this entry

Nintendo Direct Predictions – November 2015

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Within the next 24 hours Nintendo will release it’s first Nintendo Direct since E3 and the first one since Satoru Iwata passed away.  This is the longest gap between Nintendo Directs since they started.  I figured this was a good time to try and speculate on what is going to be discussed and announced.

New Super Smash Bros DLC/Character – The ballots recently closed for voting on a new character for Super Smash Bros on Wii U & 3DS, so I’m guessing Nintendo will be announcing the results.  My guess is that Shovel Knight will be the new announced character, Yacht Club Games campaigned for it, their is an amiibo coming out soon and Nintendo “accidentally” listed Smash Bros support for the Shovel Knight amiibo.  Based on other rumors and opinions if Shovel Knight isn’t the winner then I’m guessing it’s King K. Rool or a character from previous Smash Bros games.

Other DLC – Nintendo would’ve loved to have had Star Fox Zero out for the holidays but it got pushed back, they can’t rush out a new retail game to fill-in for Star Fox but maybe they could surprise us with new Mario Kart DLC.  Maybe even Mario Kart DLC with a Star Fox character (or two), a Star Fox theme course, a Landmaster Kart and Arwing Kart (or Glider).  This sounds too cool and makes too much sense, as it would help hype me up for a new Star Fox just like those F-Zero courses have me itching for a new F-Zero. Read the rest of this entry

Upcoming 2013 Releases – Part Two

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I previously listed the upcoming 2013 releases I had my eye on, but my list only included games from August & September.  The following is my list of games from October through the end of the year that I am planning on purchasing or at least watching closely (then probably purchasing).  I didn’t include Playstation 4 games (those will be included in my PS4 Preview).  And this unfortunately was posted after the release of Wind Waker & Pokemon X/Y, but still thought it was worth including.  Any games that I forgot to mention or you recommend I should check out?  Comment below or contact me @TheGamerPad on Twitter.

 

windwakerbannerThe Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker – 10/4 – I wasn’t too excited about this game, and really wasn’t in a rush to shell out $50 for it either.  The straw that broke my back was Nintendo’s Official Limited Edition Gannondorf Figure pack-in GameStop exclusively carried.  I dragged my feet on pre-ordering it, and it sold out, which made my chances of getting the game sink.  When GameStop restocked it a week before release, I grabbed one and suddenly I’m excited to replay Wind Waker in HD.  Funny how the pack-in got me more excited about the game than the game itself.

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pokemonbannerPokemon X/Y – 10/12 – I’ve only played one Pokemon before, and that was Pokemon Ruby.  Even then, I played it in one marathon session for around 6hours in my first time playing the game.  I was hooked, until I put it down, I never played it or any Pokemon ever again.  It was definitely a fun game and reminded me of other games I love, I’m not even sure why I never picked the game back up.  Every other Pokemon since then has looked like the same thing, but this new one looks like the series has taken the next step the series needed.  I’m imagining, and hoping, Pokemon X/Y advances the franchises as much as New Leaf recently did for Animal Crossing.   Might not buy this at release, but I have my eye on it. Read the rest of this entry