The Friday Inbox congratulates Nintendo on their Switch Lite adverts, as one reader wonders how Microsoft makes a profit from Game Pass.
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I can’t believe that Final Fantasy VII Remake is not only happening but looks almost exactly like what I imagined it would do all these years. The only thing close to a disappointment is that it’s all set in Midgard, but if the story has to be split up in order to maintain this quality of graphics then I am totally okay with that.
Square Enix get a lot of stick from fans and they do have some very odd priorities but they’ve been getting a lot better in recent years I think and are currently doing their best work in at least a generation. Even though the combat is no longer turn-based everything still seems very authentic and very Japanese, so I’m glad they haven’t tried to turn it into Gears Of War just to justify the cost of development.
As the pre-order bonuses are decent I’m going to pre-order it and I almost never do that anymore. Gamers are quite to complain about things but in this case I think it’s time to praise a company for doing exactly what everyone hoped they would.
I know it’s probably more than usual but was anyone else still disappointed by the lack of news from the Tokyo Game Show. Especially as I imagine there’s probably not going to be anything at all the rest of the week. The only thing I found myself genuinely excited about was the R-Type Final 2 gameplay and somehow I doubt that’s going to be the game to bring Japan back to its former dominance.
It’s baby steps though I guess, and actually Nioh 2 looked really good. Loved the last one and I liked how unashamedly Japanese this new one looked. Not sure about coming out in the spring though, unless they want to make sure there’s never a Nioh 3.
The problem with understanding Death Stranding, which I think I kind of do now, is that once you strip away all the weirdness it seems… kind of boring? I’m sure connecting communities sounds very good in Hideo Kojima’s head but I watched the 48 minute demo and most of it seemed to be just wandering around a field not doing very much.
He’s a delivery man and he delivers. The bit of combat we saw looked okay but the impression given was that this was relatively rare and not what the game is about. Cut scenes are though, from what I can tell and the briefing one was about 10 times longer than it needed to be to get across the same information.
I’m not clear why they need Sam so badly either. Isn’t he just a guy with no superpowers? I didn’t mean to be so negative when I started this email but there’s something about the constant hype for this game that’s rubbing me up the wrong way. Or maybe it’s Kojima constantly parading his collection of B-list celebrity fans. I don’t care about that stuff, show me why the game is good not the cut scenes!
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After watching TV this evening and seeing a few adverts for the Switch Lite, my immediate thought was… when did Nintendo get so good at marketing?
Despite the initial reservations about the fact that the Switch Lite doesn’t ‘switch’ and therefore seems like a confused concept, the television advertising sells it really well and makes crystal clear exactly what it is and how it relates to the original console.
Even though I’m perfectly happy with my Switch and won’t be buying a Lite, I’m still impressed that Nintendo really seem to have upped their game in terms of how they market their products – particularly after the Wii U palaver where no-one outside of their core fanbase seemed to get what the console was or how it worked.
GC: We would agree with you, if not for the nightmare of the presenters in the Ring Fit Adventure trailer.
I just don’t get it GC, with all this Game Pass on the Xbone. I had it myself only last year and when Forza Horizon 4 came out I got it free on my Game Pass. Great for the consumer but how on earth are Microsoft making any money doing this with Game Pass on first party games?
I mean, especially now when you can subscribe for a little as a pound! Who on earth is going to pay the RRP of £50 for the likes of Gears 5? Again, it’s great for the consumer but how on earth are Microsoft gaining anything by this except reaching out to a far bigger audience hence, beating Fortnite, but yet making hardly any profits guys? It’s beyond me GC.
GC: The number of people that would spend £1 on Game Pass is vastly greater than would spend £50 on even the biggest game. It won’t be £1 forever either and once they have people subscribed it makes it easier to convince them to buy DLC and other games (third party Game Pass titles are never on there forever).
I quite like to listen to game music through the medium of YouTube on my laptop. Through my headphones I get a surprisingly good sound quality. So, I usually save the pieces I like the most to my Favourites list. On there is Sonic, Mario, Zelda, Night In The Woods (God, what a tragic mess the problems surrounding the late Alec Holowka turned out to be) among others.
Now, I know that Nintendo come down quite hard on music released on YouTube that they can’t directly profit from. Which is understandable, heavy-handed, but understandable. But most of my Nintendo stuff remains intact. Strangely, though, when it comes to Persona 5, I have lost dozens of favourites twice now.
All my favourite tracks from the game have been expunged – twice! I am now trying to rebuild it again, hopefully this uploader’s stuff won’t get deleted. I wouldn’t have thought Atlus would crack down so heavily. I assume that’s what’s happening: the publisher asking for the content to be taken down?
PS. Fable II also had a non-traditional setting: The Renaissance. So you had basic firearms as well as swords, more interesting fashions and even the architecture felt a little different. Not by much, I grant you. You still have things like Brightwood Tower and Castle Fairfax…
GC: Atlus are one of the worst for copyright takedowns and originally tried to stop anyone from streaming Persona 5. Japanese publishers in general tend to be much stricter about that sort of thing.
The world today
This loot box business is going too far! An Amazon spin-off site called Woot (based in the U.S.) is selling mystery laptops.
For an initial outlay you make a laptop purchase which will come with a minimum level of hardware. If you’re lucky you may get a better processor, more memory or storage and maybe even a better screen.
How did we ever get here?
GC: We… what?
Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here
More to come
RE: Nintendo’s best console. I know in the end it’s all subjective but having owned every Nintendo home console at the time of release I very much believe the Switch is going to end up being Nintendo’s best console. If we just look at Nintendo’s own games the Switch clearly has the best ever version of Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., Splatoon, and Mario Tennis.
Although there’s more room for argument I also think Super Mario Odyssey is the best Mario game and Breath Of The Wild is one of the best Zelda games. Now that’s just over two years into the console’s life, there will be loads more games to come including the first ever home console Pokémon this year. My favourite SNES game was Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, which was one of the very last major releases for the console so who knows what other surprises the Switch will have yet before it’s end.
Past Nintendo’s own games the Switch has the best line-up of indie games of any Nintendo console. For me indie gaming is now just as important as Nintendo’s own, showing a wealth of creativity and innovation that rivals even Nintendo itself. You can argue that the majority of indie games are available on other formats but it’s still the best ever selection on a Nintendo console, with the Switch clearly being the preferred format for indie developers. Plus, there are some top-class console exclusives including Into The Breach and my personal favourite Golf Story.
The SNES seems to be the leading alternative for Nintendo’s best console but let’s look at what that console didn’t have. No back catalogue available (Super Mario All-Stars being the exception) but on Switch you can now play most of the big NES and SNES titles with more yet to be added. No portability – not something that I use daily myself but still a massive boon for Switch. No photos/video – it may seem small but taking photos of Zelda, Mario, and Smash Bros. has been such an added joy on Switch and something an ordinary gamer could never do on SNES. Then there’s the big one: no online.
Everyone already seems to take online play for granted but back in the days of the SNES it was beyond comprehension. Playing against not just one but 11 other people from across the world at Super Mario Kart was absolute fantasy territory. If my 12-year-old self was transported to now to play Splatoon 2 online, a game that couldn’t even have existed back then, his little mind would have been blown.
Even playing Mario Tennis Aces online this year was unbelievably exciting, I had only ever played against my brother on the N64 when he could be bothered, so having this infinite pool of players with totally different styles was a revelation. Heck, even Tetris has been given a new lease of life with online: Tetris 99 is the most addictive game ever created. All the Switch needs now to truly claim its place as the best of the best is F-Zero online. Just imagine.
Endless Space Collection is free on Humble Bundle for the next 48 hours from Thursday evening. You have to subscribe to their newsletter to get the game but once you have got the game you can unsubscribe. They
give you a Steam key. Here’s the link.
Those presenters in the Switch fitness video are legitimately terrifying. It almost felt like a parody but I don’t think it was. The guy in particular… wow.
This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox is based on the fact that this week is the 20th anniversary of the Dreamcast launch in America, so we want to know your memories of Sega’s last home console.
Did you own or play a Dreamcast back in the day and what are your fondest memories of it? Do you think it was a good console and what did you like about it most? What were your favourite games for it and why? Have you played any of them recently and how do you think they stand up now?
Did you use the online features of the Dreamcast and what did you think of them? How upset were you when Sega left the hardware business and do you still play the Dreamcast or its games today?
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The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.
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