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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday November 12, @05:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the go-fetch-me-a-switch dept.

Nintendo takes a gamble with record-setting Switch production plans

The Nintendo Switch has been an unqualified success so far, with Nintendo recently promising increased holiday season production to meet demand and expectations of over 16 million total sales by the end of March 2018. Reporting now suggests the company is expecting that sales pace to increase markedly in the coming year, though, and another associated production increase would come with both a fair amount of potential and risk for the company.

The production news comes from The Wall Street Journal, which cites "people with direct knowledge of the matter" in reporting that Nintendo plans to make 25 to 30 million Switch units in the coming fiscal year (which starts in April 2018). That's a major increase from the 13 million produced for the current fiscal year, which itself was a sizable increase from the company's initial plans to make just 8 million units for the console's first full year on shelves. WSJ's sources say those production numbers could go up even higher if coming holiday season sales are strong.

Nintendo exec: Failed Wii U is responsible for Switch's success

The success of the company's latest gaming console, the Nintendo Switch, is the result of lessons taken from the failed Wii U, according to Reggie Fils-Aimé, the president of Nintendo America.

[...] The console also didn't have a consistent flow of new games supporting the system. "We've addressed that with the Nintendo Switch -- having a steady pace of new launches is critical," he said. The Switch includes games like "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," "Super Mario Odyssey" and "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe."

Another issue with the Wii U was that it didn't have "strong support" from Nintendo's third-party partners, Fils-Aimé said. "Whether it's the big companies like Electronic Arts, or whether it's the smaller independent developer, we need those companies to create content to support us. We have that now with Nintendo Switch," he said.

Previously: Will Third-Party Developers Support Nintendo's Switch?
Nintendo Switch Available on March 3rd for $299
Nintendo Switch Stolen by Distributor's Employees Ahead of Launch, Details Leaked
The Ghost in Nintendo's Switch - Game Unlocks on the Date of Satoru Iwata's Death


Original Submission

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Will Third-Party Developers Support Nintendo's Switch? 15 comments

As we get closer and closer to Nintendo's January 12 announcement of additional Nintendo Switch details—and an expected March launch for the hybrid portable/home console—we're starting to get more information on what kind of support the system might get from third-party developers.

The most interesting tidbit comes from Laura Kate Dale, who's come through with a number of reliable Nintendo Switch leaks in the recent past. Dale's recent tweets suggest Ubisoft's long-anticipated Beyond Good & Evil 2 will reportedly be "exclusive to Switch for 12 months," and the game will come to Xbox One, PS4, and PC only after that time. That information should be confirmed at Nintendo's January reveal, according to Dale.

[...] Unfortunately for Nintendo, not every developer is as interested in bringing big-name titles to the Switch. In an interview with Oceanic gaming site Stevivor, Bioware's Michael Gamble said he had no plans to bring the upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda to the Switch at this point. However, Gamble did leave some wiggle room: "if the Switch launches and everyone's just yammering for Mass Effect, who knows. We never want to close doors like that."

The level of high-quality support that the Switch receives from third-party developers could be a make-or-break question for the console. Will the upcoming Nintendo Switch be a Wii U-style abandoned island, with no one but Nintendo to make compatible games? Will it be a Wii-style repository of third-party shovelware that lacks competent ports of the big-budget games made for competing consoles? Or will it be a return to the SNES era, the last time a Nintendo home console was unquestionably one of the primary destinations for major games from most third-party publishers.


Original Submission

Nintendo Switch Available on March 3rd for $299 18 comments

Coverage of the Nintendo Switch console "launch" is available at Ars Technica, Tom's Hardware, Anandtech.

Nintendo Switch uses a USB Type-C cable for charging, and has a battery life ranging from 2.5 to 6.5 hours, comparable to (but less than) the latest version of the Nintendo 3DS XL. It can be played in Console, Handheld, and Tabletop modes. The handheld has a 6.2" 720p screen but the docked console supports 1080p60 gaming.

The Switch has 32 GB of internal storage, some of which is used for the operating system. It has a "game card slot" for games released on some form of proprietary physical flash media, but also comes with a standard microSD slot for expandable storage.

Nintendo will offer a free trial of a paid online gameplay service for the Switch (similar to Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus) until sometime in Autumn.

The system will be released on March 3, 2017 for $299.

Here are some of the games.

Previously: "Nintendo Switch" Coming in March 2017
Will Third-Party Developers Support Nintendo's Switch?


Original Submission

Nintendo Switch Stolen by Distributor's Employees Ahead of Launch, Details Leaked 7 comments

Nintendo says that some Nintendo Switch consoles were stolen in an isolated incident that led to the termination of a distributor's employees and possibly criminal charges:

On Wednesday, a video surfaced of a Nintendo Switch in use, which gave us a good look at the device's software and how its menus work. Nintendo claims that the device in question had been stolen from a distributor.

The maker of the video had claimed that the Switch was a preorder that had shipped early, but walked those statements back. In a statement made to IGN, Nintendo said that the device and others had been stolen by the employee of a US distributor, and the one in the video had been resold.

Earlier this week, individuals claimed to prematurely purchase a small number of Nintendo Switch systems from an unspecified retailer. Nintendo has determined these units were stolen in an isolated incident by employees of a U.S. distributor, with one system being illegally resold. The individuals involved have been identified, terminated from their place of employment and are under investigation by local law enforcement authorities on criminal charges.

Previously: "Nintendo Switch" Coming in March 2017
Will Third-Party Developers Support Nintendo's Switch?
Nintendo Switch Available on March 3rd for $299


Original Submission

The Ghost in Nintendo's Switch - Game Unlocks on the Date of Satoru Iwata's Death 9 comments

Kotaku runs a story about the game that "spontaneously" unlocks on the date of the death of Satoru Iwata:

When a Switch owner named Setery told a gaming forum about how NES Golf randomly appeared on her Switch's screen, commenters accused her console of being haunted. Switch hackers' subsequent race to unearth NES Golf now indicates that there's a hidden game on the console and, actually, it appears to be a heartwarming tribute to the deceased Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata.

[...] Prior to heading Nintendo, Iwata was a programmer... The story goes that, after several developers turned down the task of developing the NES's Golf, Iwata found a way to fit the game's 18-hole course onto a cartridge's modest memory.

On July 11th, 2015, Iwata succumbed to cancer at age 55. As Nintendo CEO, Iwata was known for his "Iwata Asks" column on Nintendo's website and his appearances at major Nintendo events. Thanks to Nintendo Directs, he also became associated with a very specific gesture.

[...] Fast forward to early summer, 2017, when hackers discovered a hidden NES emulator on the Switch referred to as "Flog," Ars Technica reports. "We thought they had included it during manufacturing by mistake," Plutoo, one of the Switch hackers... Last weekend, bored, Plutoo decided to look into it. ... He says he discovered two intriguing details: "The code looked for the date July 11th, and the code right before seemed to enable the 'Joycon sixaxis' motion sensors."

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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Ethanol-fueled on Sunday November 12, @06:00PM (7 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Sunday November 12, @06:00PM (#595948) Homepage Journal

    " Switch includes games like "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," "Super Mario Odyssey" and "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe."

    How about something original for a fucking change?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, @06:18PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, @06:18PM (#595954)

      Yes but, coincidentally these are the only games that I would want on that console. This isn't like the movies, if the sequels sell why do they need something else?

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, @06:24PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, @06:24PM (#595957)

        What about golden eye?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, @07:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, @07:02PM (#595970)

      Breath of the Wild actually plays a lot different from other Zelda games. But because it has the name "Zelda" you figure it's the same as the rest?

      I haven't played Odyssey to comment, although I've found most mario games actually do original stuff each time with respect to powerups, level design, etc.

      Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a GotY version of Mario Kart 8 that was on a console nearly nobody owned. It's new enough. :p

      Truth be told, I can see where you're coming from. I said the same things about Halo on the Xbox. I say the same about Call of Duty ALL the time. I say the same thing about Assassins Creed. I say the same thing about Gears of War. I say the same thing about every explansion of World of Warcraft. I say the same things about Marvel Vs Capcom. I say the same things about Street Fighter for that matter. And the list goes on and on.

      In the end, if you don't like a particular series, don't bother playing them.

      With respect to the Switch, there are a lot of games on there already, and a ton more due to hit next year or so since most developers were caught with their pants down about the popularity of the machine. Square Enix for instance has essentially come out and declared it will be putting in the resources to develop on the Switch. So we know you'll get some high level rpgs on the system at the very least. For the next while though you'll have to pick and choose from 1st party titles, low level indie titles that are digital only, and remakes of games that are already out. As I said, devs were caught with their pants down and are now scrambling to release games on it. But that's going to take a little while to really flourish.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Mykl on Monday November 13, @02:23AM

      by Mykl (1112) on Monday November 13, @02:23AM (#596039)

      According to the Nintendo website, there's already a fair bit available - about 235 released items [nintendo.com]. Of course this includes DLC and multiple versions of some titles (e.g. 'premium edition'), so the actual number of titles is probably closer to 100 or so.

      In terms of originality, I thought Snipperclips looked pretty great, particularly for a launch title.

      There's an Indie section [nintendo.com] if you want to look further for original stuff.

      Disclosure: I will be buying a switch for Mario and Zelda. Everything else is just a bonus

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @08:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @08:51AM (#596106)

      How about something original for a fucking change?

      Like Wii Sports and all the other "out of the couch" games? That's where they are coming from, so going back to normal Nintendo games is kinda a change. Those "something original" games were fun for about two days - they sold a lot of console, but many of them ended up getting sold again once those games stopped being fun.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @09:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @09:56PM (#596496)

      Original, like 90% of the me-too first-person shooters? There's no difference between Call of Duty, Halo, etc. etc. Just different software skins.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by crafoo on Monday November 13, @01:10AM (1 child)

    by crafoo (6639) on Monday November 13, @01:10AM (#596028)

    Well if we are lucky EA won't be around too much longer. From what I hear, the latest round of games includes quite a few aspects of gambling - randomized rewards for real money. Season Passes, DLC, real-money payments for "cheat codes", obnoxious DRM, network checks, never-to-be-fixed bugs that break the game if you go offline mode, day 1 patches that take the game from nearly unplayable to just the normally buggy but useable.

    The only good thing I can say about Nintendo is that they at least release a mostly useable product. Poor support from the 3rd parties isn't really a bad thing. Most of it is trash. The rest you can play on PC.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday November 13, @04:14PM

      by Freeman (732) on Monday November 13, @04:14PM (#596248) Journal

      It depends on how obscenely rich they become off the current loot box / gambling cycle. I mean Ultima Online is still around and they just have a "normal" subscription based service. At one time, I thought that was crazy to pay a monthly fee to play a game. At least they're up front about the whole, we need to make x amount of money off you each month. Which is used to support servers and / or tweak / update the game. They have incentive to make a "good game" to attract more players. Where as the freemium model is draw them in with free, then fleece them for all they're worth. Then there's the much worse, let's cash in on our name / purchase our game (Certain unnamed Franchises), and Fleece them for all they're worth. The monetary incentive should be based on making a great game. Not making a game that is addicting and nudges your player base into purchasing obscene amounts of in-game currency / loot boxes / etc. Skins arguably are "ok" to do that with, but I would say Only for a freemium model. Otherwise, you should be giving those skins to your customer base, if they bought your game or at least make them reasonably priced.

      --
      "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @06:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @06:01AM (#596082)

    Penny Arcade said it best ages ago. There'll be lots of new retreads of old Nintendo titles.

    Frankly, I'm way more excited for the news that KORG Gadget will be ported to the Switch. Games are entirely secondary on that ecosystem, to me.

  • (Score: 2) by rob_on_earth on Monday November 13, @08:02AM (4 children)

    by rob_on_earth (5485) on Monday November 13, @08:02AM (#596092) Homepage

    My family has a Wii U after having had so much fun with the original Wii. But the kids were 7 & 9 and had 0 interest in the social aspects of the Wii U universe (or whatever marketing name it was given). That meant every time you started the console you had to log in to get your game saves. It sites idle now even though it has some really great games.

    Then we got an Xbox One(really wish I had been included in making that decision). Now it makes the kids login to just use a second player! But they put up with it because they are a bit older and it plays minecraft.

    For both of them, its a games machine, I want to play games. I do want to link my account to FaceBook and any other dodgy social system.

    Am I the only one that wants this?

    Oh and the wife is threatening to get a Switch for Xmas, between them ...

    • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Monday November 13, @08:34AM (2 children)

      by jimshatt (978) on Monday November 13, @08:34AM (#596100) Journal

      I do want to link my account to FaceBook and any other dodgy social system.

      You do?

      I don't think Wii U's profile system is in the way much. You can link your profile to a Nintendo Network ID, but it's mostly optional (I think Super Mario Maker allows you to upload and use other ppl's levels). And you don't have to type a password, so once it's set up, you can just click and have your own save games ready for you.
      Maybe it's different for the games you have.

      The Wii U is our first and only console, and will probably stay this way for the foreseeable future. PC games and the Wii U cover our gaming needs.

      • (Score: 2) by rob_on_earth on Monday November 13, @02:31PM (1 child)

        by rob_on_earth (5485) on Monday November 13, @02:31PM (#596197) Homepage

        drat! why could it not have auto corrected :)

        The problem with the Wii U games is that they do not offer to save n number of saved games meaning different users have to have their own account hense the having to login each time. In the past all games used to offer a minimum of 4 slots any one could play and anyone could save into any slot. Sure they could overwrite an existing save but I prefer that. PC game used to offer unlimited slots.

        But Nintendo and Microsoft (and I presume Sony) want you to login so you can play that game on another console. Not my use case.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Freeman on Monday November 13, @04:22PM

          by Freeman (732) on Monday November 13, @04:22PM (#596253) Journal

          Admittedly -> PS3, but most games had multiple saves available. I haven't had a chance to play with PS4. Last console we got was a Wii, we played that thing quite a bit. Still fire it up on occasion, but I've mostly transitioned to Steam / GoG. Mostly due to GoG being awesome, Steam having sales, and now especially 'cause of Humble Bundle. Though, I've seen the occasional console game bundle on Humble Bundle.

          --
          "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @06:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 13, @06:31PM (#596362)

      [the Wii U sits] idle now even though it has some really great games.

      I agree, if you have a Wii U there are some great games for it. The main problem is that most of the good Wii U games are also available on other consoles, and those other consoles each have way more good games than Wii U does.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by linkdude64 on Monday November 13, @04:56PM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Monday November 13, @04:56PM (#596296)

    Not stepping on the unsuccessful efforts of the Wii U's development teams to appear that much taller in the eyes of investors and business rivals at large, but instead saying that their contributions were valuable, is a great thing to see. EA, Activision, M$, any of the rest, would have pulled out the rug from underneath their development partners at the drop of a hat. RIP all victims of the AAA gaming conglomerates.

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