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By Nate VanLindt On 10 May, 2017 At 12:35 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Opinion, ROG News | With 1 Comment

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If you’ve made it past the title of this article, you’ve probably already formed an opinion on this issue.  However, let’s set the record straight.  I love Nintendo’s games.  They make fantastic first party software and many of their games are quite fun.  They also make some durable hardware and their handhelds have excellent battery life.  I’m not a fanboy for any system, I’m just a gamer who likes to play a variety of games.  Unfortunately, Nintendo is making it harder and harder to do just that.  I simply want to buy a system, buy a game, play the game.  It should be a simple recipe, but things have somehow gone wrong.

First up is the hardware.  Forget about all the older systems as we already know how great those are.  Let’s only look at the newer systems.  The WiiU has a painfully paltry 32 GB of storage space without buying a hard drive for your system.  Essentially there is no storage for modern games, especially with the trend towards digital distribution that Nintendo is trying to push.  The same goes for the Switch: a brand new console that has 32 GB of storage space (expandable with MicroSD).   Add the fact that Nintendo’s systems rely on gimmicks like the WiiU tablet and the Switch’s portability instead of raw power for higher-end software like the Xbox and the PS4 and you have an underwhelming experience.

On the portable front, Nintendo is also shooting themselves in the foot.  Since the original Game Boy Advance, they’ve made multiple hardware revisions to every single system they’ve released without offering any rebates to the consumer.  Being an early adopter with Nintendo is a punishing experience.  The 3DS is on its third revision since its release currently (the New 3DS XL) and the announcement just came that  they’re putting out a 2DS XL system and are likely to retire the 3DS line altogether.  As an early adopter to the 3DS line, I lost money replacing the 3DS with the 3DS XL when it came out due to the vastly superior screen and system design.  I did the same on the New 3DS XL which could play some games that the previous iterations couldn’t in addition to a more stable 3D experience and better battery life and screen quality.  In looking at the 2DS XL reviews, it also appears that the build quality has cheapened on the new units with thinner, flimsier top screens and a messy and easily fingerprinted matte color scheme to save fifty dollars on the price.

At this point you may be wondering why anyone even bothers, with 5 versions of the hardware out there.  Nintendo really needs to take the time to determine a solid design and stick with it.  Every version of hardware I have to buy means less games that I buy for that system.  And software makes more money than hardware.  Simple, right?   Don’t even get me started on the NES Classic, one of the most high demand Nintendo products in recent memory, which was under-manufactured, poorly distributed, and then shut down before demand was ever filled.  It was essentially a console that was one big ad to remind people that Nintendo was still around and it was purposely made scarce to fuel demand for Nintendo products.

Now we come to software.  Nintendo, like all game companies, is putting out software that’s unfinished, requiring internet connections and updates for optimization.  In addition, they’ve begun catching up on the DLC market that other consoles and computers have been exploiting for over a decade.  But Nintendo has terrible internet connectivity in their devices, a poorly optimized digital storefront, and worst of all, their digital content is extremely expensive.  If they run sales on DLC, the sales are 10-20% off, not the deep discounts everyone else does.  And now they are leaving out large chunks of their games and charging full price for the remainder of the games too.

Look at the forthcoming Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.  It’s a $40 game which you can buy the season pass for, providing all five DLC packs for the low discount price of $45, five dollars more than the game itself!   And that $45 is a 30% savings off of the retail price of the downloadable content!  On top of that, the game has a pair of Amiibos that can only be bought in a set for $24.99 which unlock additional content.  In the end, to get the complete game with all content works out to $110 plus tax!  This is becoming a standardized marketing tactic and a large number of consumers are falling for it.  I’ve purchased every North American Fire Emblem game since the original release on the Game Boy Advance  and due to this style of predatory sales, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia will be the first Fire Emblem I will not buy.  I feel confident in saying that it won’t be the last one I skip either.

This isn’t an isolated incident either.  Many of Nintendo’s larger first party titles have expensive Amiibos that had very little to actual gameplay.  The much-lauded Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (WiiU, Switch) which only came out a month ago suffers from Amiibo diarrhea.  Eighteen (yes, you read that right) Amiibos add content to this $60 title, five of which were released just for the game totalling an MSRP of $84 plus tax excluding the other 13 figures.   It also already has an Expansion Pass available at a whopping $20.  It’s a large pack, to be fair, but it brings the grand total for the official Breath of the Wild content and main game to a ridiculous $164.   And don’t forget that if you don’t rush to get these short-printed Amiibos, the price goes up quickly on the secondary market and you may end up paying as much as $60 on eBay for an ‘out-of-print’ figure that was just released.  Not all consumers will buy all the extras, but the point is that they shouldn’t have to in the first place.  A game should be overall self-contained when it is released and this is certainly going overboard.

Finally, Nintendo also has a unique view on digital rights management which only allows the transfer of your digital content to another console a total of eight times.  With my upgrades to various iterations of Nintendo systems, I’m personally up to five transfers on some items and that’s without ever having broken a system or had one stolen.  A few more upgrades and I won’t even own the content I paid for anymore, whether I’ve had a chance to play it or not.  No other company does this.  Not Sony, not Microsoft, not Steam.  For everyone else, once you buy it, it’s yours as long as it’s on your system or still available on the server.  What makes Nintendo so different about this?  As far as I can tell, simple greed.  There’s absolutely no excuse for this system of DRM.

I’m tired of paying for inferior processing power on my hardware, multiple hardware upgrades, add-ons that don’t add-on and content that should by all rights be free downloadable additions or already in the game.  As consumers, why are we tolerating this ridiculous amount of nickel and dime-ing for a sub-standard payoff?  I find that for the amount of money I have to spend on Nintendo’s products, I’m simply not getting enough enjoyment out of them anymore.  As gamers, we need to speak with our wallets if we ever want this to stop and Nintendo is the place to start that conversation.   We need to ask ourselves if we are buying for the love of gaming anymore or just simply buying because we can’t stop ourselves.  And we need to be aware that the money we spend, even if it’s just a couple of bucks on a random DLC that interests us, equates to millions of dollars worldwide for companies that don’t put out a better product with that money.  I’ve loved your products for a long time, Nintendo, but I just don’t think I can support your company any longer.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 1 May, 2017 At 07:47 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Nintendo has revealed new details for the first DLC release for the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild.

This expansion will contain new content such as Trial of the Sword, the hard mode, new equipment and armors, and a new travel option. The hard mode is also not what was expected and is different than in past games.

  • Trial of the Sword: By accessing this location, players can challenge the new Trial of the Sword (previously known as “Cave of Trials Challenge”), where enemies appear one after another. Link starts without any armor or weapons, and if he defeats all of the enemies in the room he can proceed to the next area. Trial of the Sword will include around 45 total rooms for players to complete. When Link clears all of the trials, the true power of the Master Sword will awaken and always be in its glowing powered-up state.
  • Hard Mode: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already considered one of the most thrilling games in The Legend of Zelda series, and fans looking for a challenge are in for a treat with the new Hard Mode. In Hard Mode, the “ranks” of enemies in the game are increased (i.e. Red Bokoblins change to Blue), and players might even encounter higher-ranking enemies they wouldn’t find through normal play. Enemies will also slowly recover health in battle, forcing you to defeat them more quickly. They will also more easily spot Link as he approaches them, making these enemies tougher to sneak up on. In addition, floating planks held aloft by balloons will be scattered around Hyrule. By successfully reaching these planks, players can battle enemies and collect treasure.
  • Hero’s Path Mode: Exploring Hyrule is exciting, but with such a large world it’s sometimes hard for players to remember where they’ve been. To help with tracking progress, the new Hero’s Path Mode will document every step players take, and mark their path in green on the map. The route taken will be tracked for the player’s last 200 hours of play time, with an included slider to track footsteps on a timeline. This even works retroactively, so players that have already put many hours into the game will be able to see where they have traveled. This feature will help in identifying the locations they haven’t visited in this vast world, and may help players find those Shrines they haven’t encountered yet.
  • Travel Medallion: There will be a new treasure chest somewhere in the game world which contains the Travel Medallion. With the Travel Medallion, players can create a temporary new travel point on the map where they are currently standing. Link can then transport himself to that point at any time. Only one travel point can be registered on the map at a time.
  • Korok Mask: By finding the new Korok Mask, players will have a much easier time finding Korok locations in the game. When equipped, the mask will shake, indicating that a Korok is hidden somewhere nearby.
  • New Equipment: Eight new pieces of equipment inspired by previous characters and games in the series will be added to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after downloading the first DLC pack. Once discovered by the player, they will yield equipment themed after fan-favorite games and characters such as Midna, Tingle, Phantom and Majora’s Mask.

 

Nintendo is adding a lot more content than expected, but then again they don’t half it when it comes to DLC.   Nintendo is really trying to give their fans their money’s worth, considering the price of the expansion pack.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Apr, 2017 At 12:12 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Nintendo has released their financial results for the 2016 fiscal year.

– The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild recorded sales of 2.76 million units
– The total units sold including the Wii U version is 3.84 million units
– “1-2-Switch has been generating buzz.”
– Switch hardware: 2.74 million
– Switch software: 5.46 million
– Pokemon Sun/Moon sales: 15.44 million
– Super Mario Maker for 3DS sales: 2.34 million
– Kirby: Planet Robobot – 1.36 million
– Pokemon GO drove 3DS sales outside of Japan
– 3DS sales during this period was 7.27 million units (7% increase on a year-on-year basis)
– 3DS software sales volume reached 55.08 million units (14% increase on a year-on-year basis)
– Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Wii U: 1.08 million units
– Wii U software sales volume during this period was 14.8 million units (46% decrease on a year-on-year basis)
– Wii U hardware decreased to a sales volume of 760 thousand units (77% decrease on a year-on-year basis)
– Super Mario Run “elicited a fantastic response from consumers worldwide”
– Fire Emblem Heroes “is being enjoyed by both long-time fans of the Fire Emblem series and consumers who have never played the series on dedicated video game systems.”
– amiibo: 9.1 million units for figure-type and 9.3 million units for card-type
– Fewer offerings of downloadable content, so digital sales were also down to a large extent on the same period last year
– Operating profit: 489.0 billion yen against net sales of 29.3 billion yen (of which 359.0 billion yen, or
73.4% of the total sales, were overseas sales)
– 50.3 billion yen share of profit of entities accounted for using the equity method related to The Pokémon Company and other investments, resulting in an ordinary profit of 20.2 billion yen
– Due to the sale of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball, Nintendo recorded gain on sales of investment securities totaling 64.5 billion yen as extraordinary income, meaning that the net profit attributable to owners of
parent was 102.5 billion yen
– Targeting 10 million hardware units for Switch for the next year
– Targeting 35 million software units for Switch for the next year

Nintendo has stated they will maintain excitement about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch, which  they note are off to a phenomenal start, as well as with the release Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in April and ARMS in June worldwide. They commented that the release of Splatoon 2 in July, will help exemplify the concept of Nintendo Switch, enabling consumers to play anywhere, anytime, and with anyone, and will bring competition between consumers to new levels of excitement. They aim to stimulate the platform and expand sales going into the holiday season this year.

Nintendo 3DS hardware sales worldwide have surpassed 66 million units and it has developed into a platform that Nintendo feels they can rely on for sales. They noted that they have multiple titles in development, include Pikmin and multiple Kirby games. 3DS is able to reach a wide audience of all ages and groups and among both men and women, and that is something Nintendo likes.

Nintendo also commented on their smart device business.

In the smart-device business, we released three game applications during this period, each with different playstyles and profit models. We were able to present opportunities for consumers who had never played Nintendo games before and those who live in regions we had previously been unable to reach to experience Nintendo’s intellectual property (Nintendo IP) and the different worlds featured in Nintendo games. Going forward we will endeavor to expand our smart-device business by making use of the experience we have gained so far to provide new game applications, while also focusing on continued operations for our released applications so that consumers can enjoy playing them for a long time.

Nintendo projects a net sales of 750.0 billion yen, an operating profit of 65.0 billion yen, an ordinary profit of 60.0 billion yen and a net profit attributable to owners of parent of 45.0 billion yen.

Not bad at all.

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 Apr, 2017 At 11:42 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Ratalaika Games has announced their first game for Nintendo Switch, with a port of League of Evil for the system.

They sent out the following tweet

 

There is some bad news though, as the Wii U version of the game has been cancelled completely. With the Wii U fading out and the Switch hitting its stride, it just makes sense.

Will you check this out?

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 Apr, 2017 At 02:35 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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It had been reported earlier by some sites that Axiom Verge would be coming to Switch and would have a physical release. Dan Adelman, who handles the PR for the game, has since stated this is not true.

In fact, Adelman has strongly implied Nintendo rejected the game and it could have been a launch title otherwise.

This is extremely strange. The game has been received well and seen success wherever it was available. This even includes the Wii U where it shot up the sales charts quickly. Why is Nintendo not allowing it on the Switch, especially if it would have been ready for launch day?  This is very unusual.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Apr, 2017 At 01:16 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarTwo classic Rayman games for the GBA will be coming to the Wii U virtual console. Rayman Advance and Rayman 3 for the GBA will come to the eshop when it updates tomorrow.

 

Classic Rayman action!

In Rayman’s world, nature and people live together in peace. But one day, the evil Mister Dark steals the Great Protoon that provides energy and balance in the world. Betilla tried to stop him, but she wasn’t strong enough. Now strange new creatures appear and capture every Electoon they can find! They definitely need a hero… Rayman to the rescue!

 

Wreak havoc with Rayman

When Globox, Rayman’s best friend, inadvertently swallows a dreadful black Lum, it isn’t the end of the world — but it could be! To prevent a full-scale invasion of malicious, ill-mannered hordes there is only one solution: Rayman must get someone to treat his burdensome pal.

. Will you be buying either of these games?

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 7 Apr, 2017 At 01:51 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Wii U isn’t done yet.

THQ Nordic announced today that Darksiders Warmastered edition is not cancelled on Wii U contrary to the rumors. The game is still coming and now a May 23rd release date. THQ Nordic was a big supporter of the Wii U, after Darksiders II sold well on the eShop, and brought more games to the system. As such, it is good to see that they will support it to the very end.

There aren’t plans for a Switch version that we have been made aware of, but THQ Nordic did say they have 2 big projects in the works for the Switch, so something Darksiders related might still happen.

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Mar, 2017 At 07:37 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Brady Duke has done something wonderful.  The 7 year old loved playing Wii, but when he heard a police officer in his hometown was killed when responding to a shooting, he took it upon himself to do something.

He donated his Wii to the police department, both as a thank you to their service and to  help them deal with the loss of their fallen brother. He even loaded it with his favourite games before sending it with a note thanking them for their service to the community in keeping them safe.

The police accepted then accepted the gift, and stated it did indeed help them after Detective Jason Weiland was killed. This is a story showing both the goodness of humanity, and that there are parents who raise their children well. Brady is a good kid and did a wonderful thing. I hope Nintendo takes note of it.

 

 

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 22 Mar, 2017 At 03:03 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Pokémon Company has announced The 2017 Pokken Tournament Championship Series

Take a shot at becoming the Pokkén Tournament World Champion when the Pokkén Tournament Championship Series returns in 2017! In addition to the title, a combined $25,000 in prizes are on the line at the qualifying competitions in June and the World Championships event in Anaheim, California, this August.

This year, 16 players will qualify for the World Championships, and there will be only one age division for all competitors. Four players will receive invitations from each of the two qualifying events, plus four more players will be chosen from Japan, and the four top players from a Last Chance Qualifier occurring right before the main Worlds event will be the final contenders.

Good luck battling to become the next Pokkén Tournament World Champion!

The Pokémon Company continuing to support the game’s competitive scene is a great sign for the game’s future. Not only does it help the competitive scene grow but it also means it is likely we will see a Switch version of the game, as that is the system Nintendo is focusing on now. Perhaps we will even see the content that didn’t come tot he Wii U version, in a Switch version

 

 

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Mar, 2017 At 11:30 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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We knew it was coming thanks to Nintendo of Europe showing it in an image, but now it has been made official. Bloodstained: ROTN will be coming to the Switch, while the Wii U version has been cancelled.

A kickstarter update was put out where Iga stated that “the situation has drastically changed after the release of Nintendo Switch.” While it had made sense to include Wii U during the campaign that is no longer the case due to Nintendo shifting their focus to the Switch,

It continues

 “This change made it difficult to receive the necessary support from the hardware maker, which has led us to drop the Wii U development and shift the development to Nintendo Switch,”

If you supported Bloodstained on Kickstarter , there is an option change their backer survey platform from Wii U to Switch or any other version, or other versions to Switch. I already changed my platform of choice on the backer survey, from PS4 to Switch. The option is there already.

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