What should Nintendo do next?

The Friday Inbox tries to understand the reasoning behind the Sony redundancies, as one reader tries to work out Bluepoint’s next game.

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Baby steps

Amazing to think what a success the Switch has been for Nintendo, considering what a disaster the Wii U was for them. That’s technically this generation but it seems a lifetime away now. But with all the talk of the PlayStation 5 and next gen the obvious question is what is Nintendo going to do about it?

I know they’ve said the Switch is going to last 10 years or whatever, but Nintendo says a lot of things and I don’t think it’s any more reliable than any other company. But then again I don’t know if a ‘Switch 2’ that’s equivalent to, say, the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro is technically possible at a reasonably low price, certainly not now and I can’t imagine for several years.

Some kind of upgrade might be possible though so I wonder what they’ll do is maybe a Switch 1.1, the so-called Switch Pro, round about 2021 and then have a similarly small upgrade every two or three years until a much bigger jump is possible. At the end of the day Nintendo don’t need more power to make great games, they just need to freshen things up a bit, like they have with the Switch Lite, and keep churning out great games. At some point there’s got to be a Switch 2 but I don’t think it’ll be for a long while yet.
Trepsils

 



Central control

I don’t understand this business with Sony moving everything to America. Why would they do it? What do they have to gain? Making life easier for third party publishers is the only answer I can see but, I mean, somehow they’ve managed to survive for the last for four generations so what suddenly changed? Office politics I guess, like GC said, but I thought Sony were smarter than that.

At the end of the day I don’t care how Sony run their business as long as they put out great games and a good console, but surely they’ve seen how well this generation has gone and would just want to keep things rolling in the same fashion. A lot of their best games, like Horizon Zero Dawn and Astro Bot, are not made in America and I’m now worried whether their sequels are going to get a lot of back seat driving from American execs that don’t know what they’re doing.

It would be ironic if at the same time this all happened Microsoft sorted themselves and did the opposite. I still can’t believe in all this setting up of first party studios they haven’t bought a Japanese or European studio. It was obvious in the original Xbox generation they should’ve done that and they still haven’t. I just don’t understand these companies sometimes, it always seems like lions led by donkeys when it comes to games publishers.
Planstall

GC: It is one of the most bizarrely self-destructive things we’ve ever seen a company do. Sony have 24 years of proof that their current system works and can use Microsoft as proof that the alternative is far less effective.

 



Eternal disappointment

It got a bit lost in amongst all the PlayStation 5 stuff but can I say how gutted I am that Doom Eternal has been delayed into next year? I was really looking forward to that and it’s kind of exposed how this is a pretty weak Christmas for the end of a generation. Apart from Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Call Of Duty there are very few major multiformat games and while Nintendo and Sony are keeping their end up it’s next spring that looks like the cluster… fudge.

Like GC said, even if you have time to play all the big games I know I haven’t got the money to actually buy them so a lot of this stuff is going to have to wait until I’ve got money to spare. And Final Fantasy VII Remake and Watch Dogs: Legion out the same week? I mean, I know it’s been said before but what are publishers thinking when they do things like this?

I hope Doom Eternal does well when it comes out because it looks like it deserves. Bethesda also desperately need a win because they have had a pretty rough couple of years lately and most of their other stuff looks like it’s a long way off still.
Lifelike

 

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The big one

I’ve been trying to work out what that remake is Bluepoint are working on and I just can’t figure it out. I don’t see what Sony made game would count as ‘the big one’. Demon’s Souls is a good idea but it’s a very niche game that most people have never heard of and doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you’d have as a launch game or call ‘the big one’.

But what else is there that makes sense? Uncharted looks fine its remasters and has not much to gain from a remake, and the same is true of most PlayStation 3 era games. It could be Ico, but that’s only a little better known than Demon’s Souls for ordinary people and surely they’d do that first if there was any plan for it?

The only thing that makes sense to me is a third person game, and Metal Gear Solid is the obvious one. Especially as it’s already been remade once by a Western company. It could be another classic from that era but if it was a Capcom or Square Enix game they’d just do it themselves. So yeah, my bet is Metal Gear Solid 1. And once they’ve done that they can do Silent Hill next!
Gunship

 



Value for money

The PlayStation 4 was the first time I was able to buy a console on day one and I plan to do the same for the PlayStation 5. The PlayStation 4 was priced competitively due to the mistakes made with the PlayStation 3 but I would not expect them to be able to do the same with the PlayStation 5. But I’ll be happy if I’m proven wrong.

The reasons I’m happy to pay on day one are that my PlayStation 4 has worked perfectly since I bought it, backwards compatibility and when compared to the money people pay for smartphones that generally don’t get used much longer than two years I’m guessing the PlayStation 5 will be a bargain.

Is there any other technology we buy that gets sold at a loss like consoles when they first come out?
Styleshbk

 



Less is more

Is anyone else’s mind blown when they hear about indie developers and they’re made up of just two or three people? That Enchanted Portals game might be a rip-off but it’s not literally pretending to be Cuphead so I say fair play. I don’t know why they’d want to copy something that already exists, given they obviously have a lot of talent, but that’s none of my business.

It makes me wonder what companies are doing when they have hundreds of people working on the same game. I can see 300 for Zelda: Breath Of The Wild being necessary because that game’s massive but surely that’s the very upper limit. And yet Ubisoft have upwards of 1,000 for all their open world games?! What are those extra 700 people doing? Especially when their games are nowhere near as good as the best open worlds, including The Witcher 3 and Red Dead Redemption.

I can’t imagine how you can ever get anything creative done either. A film probably has a similar number of people working for it but directors are always these big name, charismatic characters. Does anyone know who was in charge of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey or Far Cry: New Dawn? They sell and they’re popular so I guess Ubisoft and companies like them don’t care but it seems too much to me.
Grant

 



No more epics

I’ve noticed a lot of what I’d normally call indie games have been creeping up to a standard price of £25 but then again does something like Indivisible even count as indie? There was a lot of talk a few years ago about how mid-budget games had gone extinct but it seems to me that they’re making a comeback. That Concrete Genie by Sony was also £25 and, whether it’s any good or not, I think it’s good that companies are okay with making a game that isn’t meant to be the next big epic.

£25 is still a lot to spend on something you’ve never heard of though, so I don’t know how successful they’re going to be. Might be the sort of thing to do better on Game Pass or the Sony equivalent?
Baker

 

Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here

 



Dad time

It’s been a pretty eventful few weeks at the McFurr household, what with my lovely wife recently giving birth to our first baby boy! But to keep things gaming-centric, I would like to champion the excellent Star Wars: Battlefront II updates, especially the most recent which has finally added the offline Instant Action and four-player online co-op modes.

These are especially important to me as I obviously don’t have the same amount of gaming time available anymore to be able to compete with those who play a lot more than me. The four-player co-op is great as you really feel part of a squad now, unlike in the other modes where squads would rarely stick together. Also fighting the computer makes it feel like you are (nearly always) on the winning team.

As others have said, I’d also like to say how exhilarating and fun Wreckfest is. Watching replays of the amazing crashes is hilarious and never gets old. Do you know if there will be any new circuits added in future updates? I’ve seen some PC videos which feature some really nutty courses, although I suspect some may be fan-made.

All I need to do now is think of a suitable gamertag/PSN ID for the little chap.
TrevorMcFurr (gamertag/PSN ID)
Now playing: Wreckfest and Star Wars: Battlefront II co-op

GC: Congratulations on the birth!

 



Inbox also-rans

I found that story about Hong Kong protesters using Mei as a symbol strangely moving. I’m disgusted with Blizzard’s actions and while I was considering buying Overwatch for Switch I now have no intention. I hope others feel the same way.
Desi

Thanks for fixing the mobile problem with the ads GC, that was beginning to turn me mad!
Cranston

 



This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Alek Kazam, who asks the age-old question of which is best: the Mega Drive or SNES?

With the Mega Drive Mini having just been released and the Classic Mini SNES already out it’s never been easier to play each format’s best games, but which line-up of games do you think is the best? And which console do you prefer in terms of the controllers and general aesthetic?

Which do you think are the best games on each (or just your favourite) system and how do they stand up today and in comparison to similar titles on their rival? Which, if any, console did you have at the time and has your opinion on it changed over time?

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The small print
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