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Top 5 Things the Nintendo NX Needs to be a Success

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Nintendo Mascots

With a new Nintendo console confirmed to be under development, there are high hopes that it will deliver in ways that the Wii U didn’t and couldn’t. A lot is riding on the tentatively named Nintendo NX…

The Wii U had its fair share of great games, my favorite being Super Smash Bros., but there were a number of major issues that rendered it a non-contender in a console war that included the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A new system wars involving the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is now in full force, and Nintendo can’t afford to repeat the same mistakes with the NX.

That said, here are five things (in no specific order) the Nintendo NX console should have in order to be more of a challenge to the Xbox One and PS4 than the Wii U was to the Xbox 360 and PS3:

Best Nintendo Graphics, Zelda

1. Sufficient Graphical and Computing Power

The Wii U was not a weak console per se, but it was still weaker than the Xbox 360 and PS3 when it launched at the tail end of the last console war… you know, when Microsoft and Sony were just about ready to retire their aging, much-more successful consoles.

The Wii U’s relatively weak system specs discouraged third-party developers from making games for it and gamers from buying it, with both groups believing that the more powerful Xbox One and PS4 delivered a better gaming experience courtesy of the larger, more detailed and more immersive gaming worlds they were able to provide.

To appease finicky gamers, Nintendo can’t afford to make the NX notably less powerful than the Xbox One or PS4. It doesn’t have to be above and beyond those two systems spec-wise, but it shouldn’t be blatantly underpowered either.

Nintendo Wii U

2. Stronger Dedication to a Unique Selling Point

Nintendo has something big in store for gamers with the NX console, something that will probably be as innovative and impactful as the first Wii’s motion controller. While we currently don’t know what that something is, let’s just hope the company does a better job at making it a unique selling point than it did with the Wii U’s touchscreen gamepad.

Rather than make it the console’s key success factor, Nintendo mostly pushed the Wii U’s controller into the background, giving up on it early due to the plethora of criticisms it received for being too “gimmicky” and, thus, rendering the console nothing more than an underpowered gaming machine with great first-party titles but nothing else. Nintendo Land is probably the only game that fully utilized the power of the touchscreen gamepad, and it was a lunch title!

If Nintendo is to introduce another unique controller or some other industry-defining feature with the NX, let’s hope they back it up with an array of games built specifically with that controller. Such dedication will give the new console a competitive edge.

Gaming, chatting on headset

3. Greater Emphasis on Online Features

To this day, the Xbox Live arguably still offers gamers the best online experience, and while Sony has come a long way in making the PlayStation Network a solid competitor, Nintendo still lags behind the competition by a long mile. The Wii U’s games have mediocre online functionality at best and that’s a major issue that must be addressed with the NX.

It’s unacceptable that a game as good as Mario Kart 8 doesn’t grant you the ability to talk with your friends in-game while racing, instead only allowing you to do so in the pre- and post-match lobbies. Xbox Live and PSN have those capabilities and then some…

As a children-oriented company — more so than Microsoft and Sony, at least — stubborn old Nintendo has always been reluctant to introduce voice chat due to the problems it could potentially present for its younger players. While that is completely understandable, allowing voice chat between players who are on each other’s’ friends lists seems fair and, frankly, isn’t too much to ask for.

The Wii U could have greatly benefited from Nintendo loosening its shackles when it came to online play, especially when considering it as a few notable games — Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon — that could have easily become some of the most iconic and memorable online games of the last console generation had there been unrestricted communication between players. This is a mistake they cannot afford to repeat with the Nintendo NX.

Far Cry 4 Rhino attack

4. More Mature Image, Encourage Third-Party Support

Every Nintendo console since the Nintendo 64 has been stigmatized for being too childish — that is, featuring a lineup predominately aimed at children. That image has cost Nintendo to lose favor with both mature gamers and first-person developers, and is one they probably can’t afford to saddle the NX with.

Frankly, I find nothing overly childish about most of the games the company makes, but their rated E labeling undoubtedly makes them less appealing to average gamers. Rated M games are all the rage these day, even with kids, so it wouldn’t hurt Nintendo to venture more into that territory with the Nintendo NX.

Support from Third-party publishers and developers will be paramount, and the company must do everything in its power to make the platform as inviting to them as possible. Just imagine what impact Nintendo’s first-party games in combination in combination with AAA titles from the likes of Activision, EA, Ubisoft and Take-Two will have on the NX…

I am sure Nintendo fans want to be able to play Call of Duty, Battlefield, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto

Shenmue 3 game

5. Improved, More Comprehensive Virtual Console

As company with a more storied history than any other in the video game industry, Nintendo has a back catalog of games that easily puts to shame those of Sony and Microsoft, and we are surprised they don’t exploit that key advantage.

Ask yourself this: How many Xbox 360 or PS3 games would you still want to play a few years down the line as opposed to Wii U games? Your answer to that question is probably “very few, if any” and that’s because the majority of the best games on those two consoles have either had sequels or are going to have sequels that render them obsolete, can be purchased on the PC, or have had remakes/remastered versions.

With a huge library of first- and third-party games dating all the way back to the ’80s, Nintendo stands unrivaled in terms of games with strong replay value. A game like Smash Bros. Wii U, for instance, has unprecedented replay value and might be the last Smash Bros. game ever made.

It’s shocking then that their Virtual Console has, until recently, been pretty lackluster at aggregating these games for gamers to enjoy. If — along with a plethora of brand-new games — the Nintendo NX launches with an improved Virtual Console complete with 50 to 100 ports of old Nintendo games, a lot of gamers, let alone Nintendo fans, will be very happy campers. This selection of games could even include those never released in North America (e.g. Mother 3) and possibly old Sega Genesis, Saturn and Dreamcast titles if Nintendo and Sega worked together again.

As lifelong Nintendo fans, we want nothing more than to see the Nintendo NX be a success. Now that you have read our top 5 things that need to be done, what are yours?

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PlayStation 4

Switch Was The Best-Selling console in 2018, Nintendo Had The Highest Game Revenue

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Nintendo Switch with Zelda Breath of the Wild

The year 2018 came to  a close on a decent note, but Nintendo stood out as the clear overall winner.

According to market research company NPD, consumers spent $3.4 billion on games, hardware, accessories, and game cards in December 2018. Although that represented a decline in software and hardware spending, continued strong sales of game cards and accessories helped lift the overall industry by 2%.

2018 overall was a banner year for video games. Sales amounted to $16.7 billion, an increase of 13% compared 2017 and the highest ever since 2011’s $17.4 billion.

Hardware

The Nintendo Switch was the winner in December, having generated the highest dollar sales during the month. In fact, the console’s revenues  was the highest for any single platform since the Wii back in December 2009. In unit sales, December 2018 was its highest December haul since 2010.

Thanks to the strong December, the Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console in all of 2018, both in unit and dollar sales. It recorded the highest total since the PS4 in 2015.

It was a great year for video game hardware in general. Sales increased by 8% to $5.1 billion and all consoles contributed, including the mini consoles from Nintendo and Sony.

Combining all platforms, hardware and unit sales were the highest since 2009.

Software

Video game software generated $7.1 billion in 2018 across all systems, a 7% year-over-year increase. The NPD notes that this is the highest annual haul since the $7.5 billion generated in 2012.

The best-selling game was Red Dead Redemption 2, with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and  NBA 2K19 following behind at number two and three, respectively.

It was Nintendo, however, that generated the most money from software sales, something it hadn’t done since 2009. As the best-selling game during December and the fifth overall in 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate played a big part in that success.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was so successful, in fact, that it set a new release month dollar sales record for an exclusive game, a title previously held by 2010’s Halo: Reach.

Mario Kart 8 also sold well for Nintendo, becoming the second best-selling racing game ever, just behind Mario Kart Wii.

The critically-acclaimed Spider-Man ended the year at number six, the highest ranking for a superhero game since Spider-Man: The Movie 2 took the fifth spot in 2004.

Top 10 best-selling games across all platforms in 2018:

  1. Red Dead Redemption
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  3. NBA 2K19
  4. Madden NFL 19
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  6. Spider-Man
  7. Far Cry 5
  8. God of War
  9. Monster Hunter: World
  10. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

What were you fondest gaming memories of 2018? What was your game of he year? Let us know in the comments below.

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Switch

Fortnite Was The Most-Played Nintendo Switch Game Of 2018

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Fortnite characters

Fortnite is dominant on every platform its own.

Nintendo has revealed that Fortnite was the most-played Switch games of 2018.

The free-to-play title from Epic Games topped a list of the 21 most-played titles, with Nintendo’s own IPs rounding out the remainder of the top five.

This is especially impressive considering Fortnite launched six months into the year. By October, almost half of Switch users worldwide had it installed.

Here’s the full list of most-played Switch games for 2018. Are you surprised by the results?

  1. Fortnite
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. Splatoon 2
  5. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  6. FIFA 19
  7. Minecraft
  8. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu
  9. Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee
  10. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  11. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
  12. Rocket League
  13. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  14. Pokemon Quest
  15. Stardew Valley
  16. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
  17. Octopath Traveler
  18. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  19. Paladins
  20. Super Mario Party
  21. Mario Tennis Aces
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PC

This Is Mortal Kombat 11’s Official Cover, What Do You Think?

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Mortal Kombat 11 official Cover art with Scorpion

It’s familiar, but different; simpler, but engaging.

Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon has revealed the official cover art for Mortal Kombat 11, and its of little surprise that it only features Scorpion.

Compared to Mortal Kombat 10, the overall design is brighter and simpler, featuring a yellow, hot background that surprisingly works well with Scorpion’s yellow outfit.

Scorpion’s pose is imposing, and its interesting that NetherRealm chose go with the more modern version of the character rather than the classic one that appeared in the reveal trailer.

Mortal Kombat 11 releases on April 23, 2019 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

What do you think about the cover art? Better yet, what’s you favorite Mortal Kombat cover art of all time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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PC

Epic Games Store New Return Policy Allows Unlimited Refunds, But…

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Epic Games Store logo

Gamers get more leniency and a simplified verification process.

Epic has updated the Epic Games Store’s return policy to make it more competitive with other digital storefronts.

With the old policy, you were allowed just two refunds per year, but now everyone has unlimited refunds within 14 days of purchase and with under two hours played.

The Epic Games Store doesn’t have a “self-service” solution, at least not yet, so you will have to go through Customer Support to request a refund.

A change was also made to the verification process for receiving a refund. Customers no longer have to provide their IP address, last four digits of the card used, account creation date, and other information if the return meets the set criteria, though a contact form will still need to be used.

Epic plans to add more regional pricing options to the store. There are currently 30 different regions available, encompassing a total of 130 countries.

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Classic Games

Classic NES Games Zelda 2, Blaster Master Come To Switch Online

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 Zelda 2 The Adventure of Link intro screen

Nintendo has added two additional NES games to Switch Online.

Switch Online subscribers can now download and play Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link and Blaster Master, two classics that will surely make some old school gamers feel nostalgic. They join previous NES releases Super Mario Bros. 3, Ninja Gaiden, Excitebike, and many others.

In Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, our hero Link returns to Hyrule to search for the Triforce and to awaken Zelda from an endless sleep. You embark on a quest to find the Triforce of Courage and save Hyrule from ruin, learning magic spells, talking to people in towns to get clues, collecting items to increase your power and exploring six palaces invested with
Ganon’s underlings.

Originally released in 1988, Blaster Master is a run and gun platformer that has you blast through an endless maze of tunnels, seeking secret passages for an escape. You’re tasked with destroying the Plutonium Boss and his mutant cronies before these they destroy the earth.

You can try out Nintendo’s Switch Online seven days free. If you decide to stick with it after the trial period, you’ll have the choice of three pricing tiers for membership: $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 per year.

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Switch

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Was The Best-Selling Video Game On Amazon In 2018

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cast ensemble

A late release didn’t stop Nintendo’s platform fighting game from reaching the top.

Despite releasing on December 7, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate was number one on Amazon’s list of 100 best-selling video game items in 2018.

The simple list charts the most popular video games and game-related products sold on Amazon in the US, including traditional games, though it’s rare to see those at the top spot.

You’re not too late to the party. Grab your copy of the game here.

In fact, Nintendo dominated the top ten, with the basic Switch bundle claiming the sixth spot, and the Switch Pro Controller coming in at eighth.

At number four, Amfilm’s Nintendo Switch Tempered Glass Screen Protector proved more popular than all other games sold on Amazon in 2018, save of course for Smash.

Keep in mind that Amazon’s list only takes into account single SKUs, so the total number of copies sold for multi-platform games like Red Dead Redemption 2 or Black Ops 4 may be higher overall than Smash.

Speaking of platforms, the digital gift cards for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live also fared well, but it’s only once you step out of the top 10 do you see 2018’s other blockbuster releases like the PS4’s Red Dead Redemption 2 (# 14), Spider-Man (# 19), Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (# 27), and God of War (# 28).

You can marvel at the full list on Amazon.

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