Nintendo Switch

Opinion: Why Should You Get a Switch If You Own a Wii U?

Posted by | Opinion, Switch, Wii U | One Comment

The dust has begun to settle from the big Nintendo Switch Presentation. We now know the big main talking points. The price ($299), the date (March 3), and the launch titles (not much). There wasn’t anything very shocking, and the conference did a good job focusing on new games. But right now I’m not seeing a very good incentive to purchase a Nintendo Switch at launch, especially if you already own a Wii U.

At launch the Nintendo Switch will have five titles: 1-2 Switch, Skylanders, Just Dance, Zelda, and Bomberman. Skylanders released last year. 1-2 Switch and Just Dance are motion-control mini-games. Bomberman is a top-down party game. Only Zelda represents what we would call a core game – a true system seller.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild looks absolutely incredible. Nintendo has already shown quite a bit, and claimed it’s the most complete Zelda game they’ve ever produced. It’s been in development for several years, and been pushed back from being a Wii U exclusive into a Nintendo Switch launch title.

Now it represents an awkward transition between the Wii U and Switch, just as Twilight Princess did in the Gamecube/Wii transition. As impressive as it looks, it was developed for the Wii U, and doesn’t necessarily properly show off the Nintendo Switch’s capabilities (though to be fair, no version differences if any have been revealed).

The problem is, if you can already purchase Zelda on Wii U, why should you get a Switch? Ultimately Nintendo will sell more copies of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but they would’ve sold far more Switch consoles if Zelda had been exclusive to the Switch. Sure people would complain about buying a $300 device just to play Zelda, but they still would have done it. These are Nintendo fans, arguably the most feverish fan in all of geekdom.

Launch titles aren’t everything. If we were to judge a console purely on the games that launched on the same day, history would treat most of them unkindly. Many smaller developers don’t even have proper dev kits yet. And to Nintendo’s credit, they did introduce and tease many exciting titles coming later in the year and beyond. Most notably, a grand new 3D Mario title called Super Mario Odyssey, which launches this holiday.

By the time Mario launches, the Nintendo Switch will have a Zelda, a Mario Kart, Splatoon 2, and a few older but popular titles you may have heard of, like Skyrim and Minecraft. Assuming no delays, we may even see a few of the teased JRPGs, such as Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The Switch will have a healthy, robust library of games that proves Nintendo still knows how to make incredibly solid, family-friendly gaming experiences.

But jaded Nintendo fans that lived through the Wii and Wii U eras are justifiably skeptical. The Wii was marketed and treated more like a motion control kid’s toy than a gaming console. The problem is that the Wii made a lot of money. It sold over 100 million units over a relatively brief lifespan, so Nintendo doubled down.

But their follow-up, the Wii U, was never able to take off, despite some really incredible games. Nintendo had all but lost 3rd party support, relying on a few loyal Japanese 2nd party developers and their own stellar lineup of classic franchises. The Wii U was a complete flop, and Nintendo needs to re-earn that trust with its gaming audience.

nintendo switch

I’ve had a Nintendo console in my home since 1991. Like many folks of my generation, I have been playing Nintendo games since grade school. I remember when the word “Nintendo” was synonymous with “video games” or “gaming.” That is no longer the case for Western audiences. Everyone knows about Nintendo and their properties, but they’re increasingly alienating the core gaming demographic that grew up with them. Instead they continue to chase the gimmicky console and the motion control crowd.

It’s okay that Nintendo doesn’t want to fully compete with Microsoft and Sony when it comes to pure console power and 3rd party support. It’s less okay that a large chunk of the Nintendo Switch Presentation was showing off a silly motion control punching game called ARMS that everyone will play for two seconds and forget about. Mainstream audiences already went through the Wii and see the motion control concept as a faded toy fad. Core gamers and Nintendo geeks are the ones purchasing the console at launch, and all they really have to play is the new Zelda. And they don’t even need a Switch to play it.

capcom winter sale

Capcom Winter Sale for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

Posted by | News, Wii U | No Comments

One of Nintendo’s best third-party publishers is having a sale throughout the holidays. The Capcom Winter Sale features big franchises like Monster Hunter, Phoenix Wright, and Resident Evil for half off or more on Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. Note that the sale only applies to digital versions purchased via the Nintendo eShop.

Nintendo 3DS:

  • Mega Man Legacy Collection $7.49 (50% off)
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate $9.99 (50% off)
  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate $19.99 (50% off)
  • Monster Hunter Generations $19.99 (50% off)
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies $11.99 (70% off)
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice $19.99 (33% off)
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy $14.99 (50% off)
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D $4.99 (75% off)
  • Resident Evil Revelations $4.99 (75% off)
  • Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition $4.99 (75% off)

Wii U:

  • DuckTales: Remastered $5.99 (60% off)
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara $5.99 (60% off)
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate $13.59 (65% off)
  • Resident Evil Revelations $9.99 (75% off)

The Mega Man Legacy Collection includes the first six 8-bit Mega Man games for the NES. The Phoenix Wright Trilogy includes the first three titles originally released for Nintendo DS, remastered for 3DS.

The best deal here is Monster Hunter Generations, which just released earlier this year in the US. Monster Hunter Generations received very positive reviews, and has an 87/100 on Metacritic. It was the best-selling game in the month of July, and helped boost 3DS sales this year. The $19.99 sale is its lowest price point yet.

I can personally vouch for DuckTales: Remastered. It’s a charming, beautiful recreation of one of the original NES’ best games, and very kid-friendly.

The sale ends on January 4.

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Recent Studies Say Violent Video Games Are Actually Beneficial

Posted by | News, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox One | No Comments

Video games, especially violent shooters are often disparaged by everyone from politicians to parents. But in recent years the pendulum of public opinion has begun to swing the other way thanks to numerous scientific studies. Not only do violent games not create burgeoning serial killers, they can be healthy tools that improve motor and social skills. Read More