Tag Archives: nintendo direct

Everything Announced During Today’s Nintendo Direct

Super Nintendo games are finally coming to Switch Online. And I’m sure there were other announcements during today’s 40-minute Nintendo Direct, too. Like Xenoblade Chronicles and Tokyo Mirage Sessions coming to Switch. Or Fatal Fury’s Terry Bogard coming to Smash. Actually, there was a lot. Here it all is.

Super Nintendo games are finally coming to Switch, tomorrow.

Nintendo showed off a lot of the upcoming games, with 20 dropping tomorrow including obvious ones like Super Mario World and less-obvious ones like Stunt Race FX. SNES controllers can be purchased for $30 each, for Switch Online members only.

Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury is coming to Smash Ultimate, and even more DLC characters are on the way.

Are you okay? The Neo Geo hero will be the next guest star of Nintendo’s all-star game in November 2019. That means there’s just one more Challenge Pack left to be announced-but Nintendo said that even more DLC characters are also coming. Also, Banjo and Kazooie will be available today.

A Wii U gem is coming to Switch.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore (January 17) is heading to Switch. The Switch version will include new story elements, a new song, new characters. Not many Wii U games to go before the whole library is on Switch…

Swery’s Deadly Premonition is getting a sequel.

Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing In Disguise is coming in 2020, and the original game will launch as Deadly Premonition Origins today.

Assassin’s Creed: Rebel Collection will be available December 6.

It’ll contain ports of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Rogue.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is coming in 2020.

Overwatch is coming to Switch.

The Direct cold-opened with an Overwatch trailer, which promised “new ways to play” like gyro controls. October 15, 2019.

Divinity: Original Sin 2: Definitive Edition is available on Switch today.

It’ll support cross-saves between Steam and Switch.

Game Freak’s Town Is Now Called Little Town Hero.

The main character’s name is “Axe,” but he doesn’t have one, or any other weapons, besides “Ideas.” This game from the developer of Pokémon looks like a pretty straightforward JRPG with some clever battle ideas. Music composed by Undertale creator Toby Fox. Coming October 16. You can pre-purchase and pre-load it today.

Bethesda is re-releasing Doom 64.

If your particular flavor of Doom was the Nintendo 64 version, you’ll be happy to hear that it’ll be out for Switch on November 22.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast will be available for Switch on September 24.

Super Kirby Clash is a free-to-play Kirby for four players with over 100 different quests. You’ll fight enemies as a team of four, either locally or online. Available today.

Luigi’s Mansion 3‘s “Scream Park” mode will pit 2 to 8 players against each other in arena-style ghost battles.

Pokémon Sword and Shield got a few features detailed, like a “Pokémon Camp” where you can play with your Pokémon, a much more robust character-customization system, and (I swear this is true) a Curry Rice mode where you can customize curry dishes and eat them with your Pokémon and save them in your Currydex and I’m sorry I think I have to play this now?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons got a similar update, with details on the game’s crafting mode, where you can collect raw materials around the island, craft tools, use those tools to get more craftables, and so on and so forth.

Trials Of Mana, the remake of Seiken Densetsu 3, will be available April 24, 2020.

Return of the Obra Dinn, one of my favorite games in recent memory, is coming to the Switch this fall.

Rogue Company is a new team-based shooter from Hi-Rez Studios coming to Switch in 2020.

Tetris 99 is getting a new mode called “Invictus,” for the absolute best of the best players. There’s also a two-player versus CPU mode that’ll be paid DLC. All available tomorrow. A packaged version of the game is coming September 6.

Another Daemon X Machina demo will launch today. You’ll play the beginning of the game and your progress will carry over. It’ll include a four-player local co-op mode, and the full game will have online play when it launches September 13.

Source: Kotaku.com

Overwatch Comes To Switch Next Month

One of tonight’s Nintendo Direct announcements has leaked early: Blizzard’s popular hero shooter Overwatch is coming to the Switch. It’ll be out next month.

Word on this one comes from a couple of retail leaks, and we’ve confirmed its veracity with two of our own sources. Last month, Amazon accidentally spilled the beans on an official Overwatch Switch case, and today, a European retail leak points to the port’s release date as October 18. (We’re likely looking at October 15 in North America.)

Overwatch launched in May of 2016 for PS4, PC, and Xbox One, and has since been regularly updated with new characters, events, and patches. We expect the official Switch announcement tonight during Nintendo’s Direct stream at 6pm ET. We also expect lots more Overwatch news at this year’s BlizzCon in November.

Source: Kotaku.com

Ignored By Nintendo, Brazilian Fans Film Their Own Nintendo Direct

If you want something done, you gotta do it yourself.

As USGamer reports, a group of Brazilian Nintendo fans, fed up with the way the company has withdrawn from the market (which has left them paying big import prices for games and hardware), decided to team up and record their own Nintendo Direct.

Led by the hard work of Rodrigo Coelho (who actually lives in Tokyo), the Direct showcases the work of Brazilian studios (or “developers with Brazilian backgrounds”), and puts them all in a very Nintendo Direct-style video, only with Coelho doing the presenting.

The hope is that by showing how much local fans care about Nintendo games, and how good so many Brazilian games are, they can convince the company to return to the market, from which they’ve been absent since 2015.

You can read more about Coelho’s hard work over in USGamer’s story.

Source: Kotaku.com

Everything Nintendo Announced At E3 2019

Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Screenshot: Nintendo
E3 2019It’s time for the biggest gaming show of the year. We’ve got articles, videos, podcasts and maybe even a GIF or two.  

As is tradition, Nintendo finished out the four-day marathon of E3 livestreams with its Direct presentation Tuesday morning. The big news? A full sequel to Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We also got updates on Luigi’s Mansion, Animal Crossing, and a bunch of smaller announcements, plus two exciting new Smash characters.

Games From Nintendo

The sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in development.

We didn’t get more than a teaser trailer, but it showed Link and Zelda exploring a dungeon together, so let your mind wander as far as what that might mean.

Banjo-Kazooie and Dragon Quest’s Hero are the next two Smash Ultimate DLC fighters.

While the bear and bird, formerly a Nintendo property but now Microsoft’s, might have seemed like a pipe dream, Nintendo’s big reveal at the end of its show was that Banjo and Kazooie are indeed coming to Smash this fall. Before that, this summer, will be The Hero, a single character that can represent the heroes from several different Dragon Quest games.

Animal Crossing: New Horizon for Switch has been delayed to March 20, 2020.

That’s a lot of twenties. And a bit more waiting than we first thought we’d have to do for Animal Crossing on Switch, which was initially promised for 2019. “Early 2020” was already jam-packed and now it’s jammer-packed. Nintendo said it would reveal more information about Animal Crossing on its Treehouse Live livestreams, which run today through Thursday.

The Switch remake of Link’s Awakening will have a sort of custom-dungeon mode, and drops on September 20.

A new feature for this remake of the classic Game Boy game: You’ll earn different “chambers” throughout the game and you can then place them to create a sort-of customized dungeon. Beat your creation and you’ll win rewards. It’s all hosted by Dampe the gravedigger.

Cadence of Hyrule will be available this week.

The crossover of Crypt of the NecroDancer and Legend of Zelda, in which you fight through Hyrule to the beat of guitar-shreddin’ Zelda soundtrack remixes, will be out on June 13.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 has couch co-op and an online mode.

A second player will be able to join in the fun when Luigi’s Mansion hits Switch in 2019. They can play as “Gooigi,” which the Oxford dictionary defines as “a Luigi made of goo.” Gooigi can walk on spikes and through obstacles, but will melt in water. You’ll also play as both Luigi and Gooigi in single-player, swapping between them to solve puzzles. The “ScareScraper” online coop mode lets you seek out Toads and take out ghosts with 8 players.

Daemon X Machina will be available on September 13, 2019.

What do you get when you cross a daemon and a machina? We’ll find out!

No More Heroes 3 is in development, and will arrive in 2020.

As teased at the end of Travis Strikes Again.

The Pokéball Plus controller can be used with Pokémon Sword And Shield.

It can’t be used as a controller in the game, but it will let you take your Pokémon out into the world. “If you spend some quality time with a favorite Pokémon of yours, then something good might happen,” said Nintendo’s Shinya Takahashi.

Third-Party Games

A previously untranslated Mana game is coming to Switch—twice.

1995’s Seiken Densetsu 3, the followup to the legendary action RPG Secret of Mana, has never left Japan until now. Today, it’s finally going to be available in America as part of Collection of Mana, a Switch retro collection that includes the first three games in the Mana series: Final Fantasy Adventure for the Game Boy, Secret of Mana for the SNES, and the third game, now titled Trials of Mana for its English-language debut.

But wait! Don’t want to play the game in its original beautiful pixel-art 2D form? Weird, but ok: A 3D remake of Trials of Mana, in the vein of last year’s Secret of Mana remake, is heading to Switch in “early 2020.”

Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition will hit Switch on September 27.

It’s been “fall” for a while now, but now we have a date.

Witcher 3 is coming to Switch.

It’s called the “Complete Edition” and will arrive this year.

Resident Evils 5 and 6 are coming to Switch.

Switch draws ever closer to housing the complete Resident Evil collection. They’ll both be out this fall.

Contra: Rogue Corps is coming to Switch on September 24.

Whoa, a new Contra! It’ll have local and online multiplayer for four players. Also, the Contra anniversary collection is available today.

Panzer Dragoon for Switch.
Screenshot: Nintendo

The remake of Panzer Dragoon is coming to Switch this winter.

If you don’t know what that is, I have a feature you can read.

The Netflix Dark Crystal series is getting a tie-in tactics RPG.

Called The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics, it’s got Claymation-style graphics. Coming this year.

Empire Of Sin is a new game from Romero Games.

Looks like a sort of film noir 1930s zoot-suit crime drama sorta thing. “Speakeasies” and “dames” and such. In development from Romero Games, the studio founded by John Romero (Doom) and Brenda Romero (Wizardry 8, Jagged Alliance 2), and Paradox Interactive, it’ll be out Spring 2020.

More Games!

A sizzle reel showed off even more games getting ported to Switch: The Spyro the Dragon trilogy (September 3), Ni no Kuni (September 20), Minecraft Dungeons (Spring 2020), The Sinking City (fall 2019), Alien: Isolation (2019), New Super Lucky’s Tale (Fall 2019).

Other games that had already been announced but that had release date updates during the Direct: Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo Olympics (November 2019), Dead By Daylight (September 24), Dauntless (late 2019).

Source: Kotaku.com

Pokémon Direct, Overwatch League and E3 Kick Off This Week

This week we’re getting Pokémon details directly from Nintendo, as well as jumping back into the Overwatch League, rising from the ashes in X-Men, and kicking off E3 week on Saturday. Here’s your heads up about what’s making waves big and small this week in the world of games and beyond. Watch the video above, or find out what’s coming in the post below.

The second installment of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Torment of Hades DLC starts the week off on Tuesday, June 4th. The newest episode, titled The Fate of Atlantis, gives us more of that sweet sweet Greek mythology. Dig further into your hero of choice’s power as you venture into the underworld and unravel the mystery of the First Civilization. I’m happy to see ACO double down on this weird mythological storyline, though there’s still no word on whether or not there’s a robotic owl named Bubo yet.

3DS faithfuls, rejoice! Tuesday is the release of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth. Persona Q2 sees our beloved Phantom Thieves lost in a strange city after meeting two new characters who emerge from a movie screen. Bump some of that catchy acid jazz and meet new and old friends as you fight your way through different cinematic worlds. Kotaku’s Natalie Degraffinried reviewed the game, and it’s live on our site right now.

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners can finally jump into The Elder Scrolls: Elsweyr this Tuesday. Continuing the “Season of the Dragon” adventure that started with the Wrathstone DLC, Bethesda says Elsweyr features its own stand-alone story that has you fighting alongside the Khajiit as they struggle to defend their homeland from invading dragons. This update also introduces the Necromancer class, a 12-player trial, and a whole new zone to explore.

June’s PlayStation Plus games drop on Tuesday, too. This month, they’re Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and Sonic Mania. If you’re a PS+ member, don’t forget to download those when they go live. I personally can’t recommend Sonic Mania enough.

Set your alarms for Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT for a Nintendo Direct all about the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for the Switch. Nintendo says it’ll be roughly 15 minutes and packed with new info. You can check it out on their YouTube and Twitch channels. And, of course, we’ll have coverage of it on Kotaku, too. Nintendo’s getting a head start a week before E3, but they’re still planning another Direct for the following Tuesday. I’ll be giving you a heads up on all of the E3 festivities next week.

Slay the Spire finally makes its way over to the Switch on Thursday. From developer Mega Crit, this rogue-like deck-building game gives you hundreds of different cards and ancient relics to help you craft your ultimate deck. The Switch version supports Joy-Con and touchscreen controls in portable mode, too. We’ve got coverage on the site from earlier this year, including tips on how to play Slay the Spire.

Hell Let Loose also jumps into early access this week on PC from developer Black Matter. Hell Let Loose is a realistic World War II first-person shooter that supports 100-player battles on open maps with a mix of infantry, vehicle and artillery combat. Manage resources and lead players to strategic points on a huge map to break through enemy defenses and capture key locations in order to win but, more importantly, survive. I’ll try streaming this at some point this week, so be sure to follow us on Twitch to join me in the chat.

Overwatch League also jumps into the first week of Stage 3 on Thursday and will continue all the way through Sunday June 9th. Things kick off with the San Francisco Shock taking on the Atlanta Reign at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Florida Mayhem face off against Seoul Dynasty at 8:45 p.m. ET, and things close out at 10:30 p.m. with the Guangzhou Charge taking on the Chengdu Hunters. Coming off of their first loss ever, Vancouver’s slated to play two matches this week. Can they bounce back and play with the same energy as before? Catch this week’s matches on Twitch or the ESPN app.

On Friday, Octopath Traveller comes to PC. Explore the world of Orsterra with eight travelers and dig into each of their unique stories, presented with a dope mix of pixel art and 3D perspectives. We covered the game at length last year when it hit the Switch, so check out Jason’s review on our site and Tim’s video coverage on our YouTube channel.

Dark Phoenix rounds out the work week on Friday. The movie is the twelfth movie based on Marvel’s X-Men comics, which includes the Wolverine and Deadpool films. Dark Phoenix is a direct sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse and the seventh and final film in the main X-Men series. This new adaptation of John Byrne’s The Dark Phoenix Saga is basically a re-do of X-Men: The Last Stand. Remember that? We’ll find out if this version closes out the series in a blaze of glory or flickers out quietly.

E3 might not officially start until Tuesday, June 11th, but that doesn’t mean the hype train won’t already be barreling its way through a bit early. EA starts bright and early with a countdown to EA Play at 12:15 p.m. ET / 9:15 a.m. PT. We’ll likely get another look at Respawn’s Star Wars game: Jedi Fallen Order and hopefully some news on what’s next for Apex Legends.

Nintendo continues things on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT with their Battle Of the Best. Teams from all over the world will face off in Super Mario Maker 2, Splatoon 2, and of course, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate World Championship.

And finally, on Sunday June 9th at 10:00 a.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. PT, Microsoft will have their Xbox E3 Briefing, which should be full of some announcements for first-party and third-party games. Will they swing for the fences since there won’t be a PlayStation conference this year? Or will they all hold hands on stage and sing songs about the streaming future? We’re likely to see more of Halo: Infinite and Gears 5, but what else do they have up their sleeve?

We’ll of course be covering all of the upcoming E3 news on the site, so stay tuned.

Tell us what else is on your radars this week below!

Source: Kotaku.com

Three Big Questions After The February 2019 Nintendo Direct

Nintendo crammed a lot of news into yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, but with that came some questions, ones that might not have concrete answers right now but are still worth some discussion.

Do we now know about all of Nintendo’s big 2019 Switch games?

It’s only February, but consider what we now know is announced for the Nintendo Switch in 2019, coupled with Nintendo’s propensity to publish about one or two notable games for one of their platforms each month.

  • March – Yoshi’s Crafted World
  • April – No major releases (but there will be the download-only Box Boy + Box Girl and Smash Bros. spring update)
  • May – None announced
  • June – Super Mario Maker 2
  • July – Fire Emblem: The Three Houses, Dragon Quest Builders 2
  • August – Astral Chain
  • Summer: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Daemon X Machina

Also announced for this year, likely for the big fall release season:

  • Animal Crossing
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Pokémon
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Remake
  • Update – 1:23pm: And Dragon Quest XI, since Nintendo is publishing the Switch port

Throw in some sort of new release or two related to the company’s cardboard-and-video-games Labo line.

There isn’t much room for another surprise game from Nintendo, is there? Maybe a Metroid Prime Trilogy collection? One of those inevitable Kirby games? Or some more smaller download-only games?

All this assumes that Nintendo wouldn’t put out much more than one game a month for Switch, which brings us to…

Is the 3DS actually sunsetting soon?

Since the days of the NES and Game Boy, throughout the parallel lifespans of Nintendo’s handheld and console lines, Nintendo has split its publishing efforts across two (sometimes three) devices. One promise of the Switch was that a Nintendo machine that could work as a home unit and a portable could see a doubled output from Nintendo. As chock-full as Nintendo’s Switch line-up looks, if Nintendo were to, say, finally streamline down to publishing games for a single piece of hardware, they might start putting out more games per month. Could we be on the verge of that? Consider where the 3DS is now.

The pending demise of the 3DS has been predicted many times before, but Nintendo defied such speculation in 2017 by releasing a new model of the machine, the 2DS XL, even after it started selling the portable Nintendo Switch. By continuing hardware support for the line, Nintendo also continued software support, primarily with some remakes, newly localized games for the west, and ports, which trickled all the way into 2019 with January’s Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, February’s Yokai Watch 3, and March’s Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn. Nintendo’s 2018-2019 fiscal year ends at the end of March. After that, the number of announced Nintendo-published games for 3DS is zero.

My insightful colleague Chris Kohler sees two scenarios here: they need to announce a new year’s worth of games or “admit it’s dead and, probably, introduce the smaller, handheld Switch.” The latter seems more likely to me, so, because it’s Nintendo, they’ll probably do the former. We’ll find out soon.

Will Nintendo Switch Online might be the home of more new, original games?

One of yesterday’s bigger surprises was the announcement and immediate release of Tetris 99, a battle-royale-style Tetris game published by Nintendo and developed by the publisher’s longtime development partner Arika (maker of such disparate titles as the meditative underwater exploration series Endless Ocean as well as Dr. Mario and Dr. Luigi games). The game is free to subscribers of Nintendo’s online service, which up until now has only offered players online play and a smattering of classic Nintendo Entertainment System games.

The obvious next move for Nintendo Switch Online was for Nintendo to start selling Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64 games. Instead, we got an original online-only game. That would be an unusual but interesting way for Nintendo to expand the service. What’s next? A Pushmo MMO? Who knows, but let’s float that one just so we can all imagine them seizing the opportunity to call it Pushmmo.

Source: Kotaku.com

Everything That Happened In Today’s Nintendo Direct

The long-awaited first Nintendo Direct of 2019 hit today, and as expected, it was packed full of news sure to please Switch owners looking for more Fire Emblem, Mario, and even Zelda. Here’s everything we learned.

Super Mario Maker 2 is coming to Switch—with slopes!—in June 2019.

Freaking finally. We can now create our own Mario courses on the Switch, and Mario can finally slide on his denim-covered ass down diagonal slopes. Nintendo didn’t show off any especially wild new features for the Switch version of this Wii U game, but we did see Cat Mario, too. “Many new elements” were promised.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is getting remade for Switch.

An adorable-looking, 3D, top-down remake of the 1993 black and white Game Boy game is heading to Switch this year. We didn’t get many details about it, but the trailer confirmed that you can still stomp on old-school style Goombas in the side-scrolling bits. There was also a gorgeous 2D animated intro.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is slightly delayed, to July 26.

Nintendo detailed a lot of the game’s lore, including what the deal is with the titular Houses. Looks like the characters are all students, and they level up and grow through a combination of fighting and book-learnin’ at school. There will be a special edition, of course.

Astral Chain, a new game from Platinum Games, will be out on August 30.

It’s an action game in which you play future cops and fight giant monsters. Seems like it’ll have co-op. Masakazu Katsura, the manga artist known for Video Girl Ai, is on character designs, and Platinum’s Hideki Kamiya and Takahisa Taura are on the development staff.

The BoxBoy series is coming to Switch, with 2-player co-op.

Time to get really mad at your friend as you play through 270 different stages in BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! on April 26. There will also be stages in which you play as Qudy, who is twice the height of BoxBoy.

Dragon Quest XI will hit Switch this fall.

The Switch version of Square Enix’s latest RPG will be titled Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes Of An Elusive Age: Definitive Edition, include both English and Japanese audio, and will also have new storylines for various characters. It’ll even feature the 16-bit style graphical mode from the 3DS version that didn’t leave Japan. Nintendo promised more new information on the Switch version in the future.

Lots of stuff is dropping to the eShop today.

First, there’s Tetris 99. It’s an exclusive for Switch Online. If you’re a member you can play this battle-royale Tetris game, in which 99 players start but only one remains, for free starting today.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker for Switch will get a free update today that adds 2-player co-op to each of the game’s courses. There will also be 18 new challenges and five new courses via paid DLC, starting today. You can order the package, called “Special Episode,” now and get the first course, with the rest delivered on March 14. A digital bundle will hit eShop today containing the whole game and DLC access.

Daemon X Machina, the mecha combat game shown at E3, will get a “prototype missions” demo today, with the full game coming this summer. The game is still in development, so developers are looking for feedback. Play the demo and you might get a survey looking for your thoughts.

Yoshi’s Crafted World, coming March 29, will have a demo today. It will include adorable “costumes” that are just Yoshi wearing a cardboard box.

Final Fantasy IX will also come to the eShop today, with Final Fantasy VII close behind on March 26. No word on the other Final Fantasies that are being ported to Switch.

Other new game or content announcements, including…

Disney Tsum Tsum Festival is coming from Bandai Namco. Many different four-player mini-games, playable locally and online. You can also play what looks like a straight-up port of the mobile version of the game.

Oninaki is the new action RPG from the developers of I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear. The character must jump back and forth between “the living world and beyond” to find “lost souls” to rescue, who give you new powers. It’s coming this summer.

Rune Factory 4 Special has been remastered for the Switch, coming later this year. Rune Factory 5 is also in development.

Starlink: Battle For Atlas is getting more Star Fox-related content in its Spring update. You’ll be able to play as Falco, Peppy, and Slippy and take on the members of Star Wolf in the new battles in April.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will get a Version 3.0 update this spring. No details on what it’ll include. The DLC character Joker from Persona is coming in April.

And a whole bunch of other release dates and announcements for Switch, including:

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (Summer), Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night (Summer), Dragon Quest Builders 2 (July 12), Dead By Daylight (Fall), Deltarune (February 28), GRID Autosport (Summer), Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (Spring), Mortal Kombat 11 (April 23), Unravel two (March 22), Assassin’s Creed III Remastered (May 21), and Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon Every Buddy (March 20).

Oh, and the developers of Bayonetta 3 are reportedly “hard at work.” Glad to hear it.

Source: Kotaku.com

New Nintendo Direct!

New Nintendo Direct! Hitting tomorrow (February 13) at 5pm ET. Nintendo says it’ll be 35 minutes chock full of Switch news, and I dunno about you guys, but I would certainly like to hear more about Fire Emblem. And other stuff. Perhaps we’ll see that Assassin’s Creed III port?

Source: Kotaku.com

Microsoft’s Inside Xbox Show Isn’t Working

Head of Xbox Game Studios, Matt Booty, (left) speaking with Xbox brand ambassador Larry Hryb, i.e. Major Nelson (right).
Screenshot: Kotaku (Inside Xbox)

Yesterday afternoon, Microsoft aired its latest episode of Inside Xbox, a monthly livestream in which the company updates players on new stuff in the world of Xbox. Like most episodes of Inside Xbox, it was long, precisely staged, and light on interesting news. If new Nintendo Directs have become exciting, mini-E3 press conferences, new episodes of Inside Xbox feel more like the ads that run before a movie.

In theory, it’s nice for Xbox fans to get regular updates from the people behind the platform, and Inside Xbox is by no means Microsoft’s only way of sharing Xbox news firsthand. The company has twitter feeds and a news site, podcasts, developer video series and other regular short-form showcases for getting out its message.

The Inside Xbox series, however, has been presented by Microsoft since last year as a premiere, almost-monthly showcase. The video episodes have the length to suggest it, clocking in at well over an hour. The content, however, has been oddly lacking, with small news bits diluted by lots of host chatter and an unusual amount of time spent on granular topics it’s hard to imagine Xbox fans tuned in for.

Take last night’s three minutes spent on the announcement that the name of Microsoft’s internal studios is changing from Microsoft Studios to Xbox Game Studios, a shift in part to make it extra clear going forward that Microsoft’s studios make games for Xbox.

A traveling Halo museum is a neat idea but not quite the news fans are waiting for.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Inside Xbox)

Or take the 10 minutes spent announcing a touring Halo fan experience that will let attendees play laser tag and geek out at life-size replicas of their favorite Halo stuff, among other activities. It was reminiscent of Inside Xbox episode 3 last May when the big news was a Halo light gun game coming to Dave and Busters. Last night’s Halo segment culminated with this exchange between one of the show’s hosts and Kiki Wolfkill, the head of transmedia at Halo studio 343 Industries.

Inside Xbox host Kate Yeager: “I’d be remiss as a Halo fan if I didn’t ask, even if you can’t say anything, even if you say no, I want to know if there’s anything you can tell us about the new Showtime Halo project.”

343 Industries’ Kiki Wolfkill: “Yeah. Nothing new to officially share. I mean, we are knee deep in it. It’s really exciting for us. These things take so much time and we’re really in the knitty-gritty and it’s so much fun.”

Presumably the point was to let people know that there still may be Halo series on Showtime after its initial director departed in December, but these are hardly thrilling updates, especially when you consider a new Halo TV show was first announced back in 2013.

Some news trickled in. We learned D’Vorah will be in Mortal Kombat 11, and Jotaro and DIO from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure will be coming to Jump Force. Plus Shadow of the Tomb Raider, not even a year old yet, will be arriving on Game Pass on February 7 followed by a bunch of other games.

This studio makes games for Xbox.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Inside Xbox)

There was also an announcement of an announcement. At the end of his segment on Sea of Thieves, executive producer at Rare, Joe Neate, revealed that on March 20 the studio will announce details of a big future update coming to the game. The disclosure of that news about upcoming news, and that friends of Sea of Thieves players would be able to try the game for free for a week, took approximately 12 minutes.

The extent of the whole show, including cinematic trailers for Crackdown 3 and Metro Exodus, would easily have fit within a brief 15-20 minute video instead of the roughly 80 minute marathon Inside Xbox episodes tend to be.

After the show the Xbox Twitter account asked fans what their favorite part was. “The moment when you guys announced new exclusives. oh wait..” wrote one person. Others were less cynical. “For me it was all the Game Pass news plus the Metro story preview was pretty awesome,” wrote someone else.

I watched the episode through Twitch where the chat was less than kind for the most part, and the audience dropped from 10,000 to under 5,000 by the end of the show. YouTube numbers were similar.

The most recent episode marked the nearly one year anniversary of the show’s return since its Xbox 360-themed predecessor ended in 2012. Microsoft said at the time it hoped to make the show a monthly event, but since last fall episodes have been sporadic. The formula is usually the same: nuggets of light news scattered between interviews between Xbox personalities and video game developers where everyone seems to already know what the answers are but acts like they’re just shooting the shit in a friend’s basement.

A new red Xbox controller was one of the show’s more exciting reveals.
Screenshot: Kotaku (Inside Xbox)

In theory, incorporating interviews with developers is a great way to try and get the people who makes games in front of the people who play them. It’s just that in practice any potentially interesting answers tend to be stifled by the format, which more closely resembles the excited chit chat of a red carpet event than two human beings having a relaxed and interesting conversation about a new game.

There have been a few exceptions, most notably when Hello Games’ Sean Murray went on the show last May to announce No Man’s Sky: Next, a massive update adding multiplayer and other long-sought-after features to the game. His exchange was fascinating in part because he was passionate and didn’t sound scripted, like when he said “[Next] is like the potential that everyone’s always seen in No Man’s Sky,” acknowledging the two years of work that had been required to make it the game everyone had expected at launch. It also benefited from him having new information about what was essentially the game’s 2.0 launch.

During the segment involving the name change to Microsoft’s game development studios, Xbox executive Matt Booty was asked by longtime Xbox hypeman Larry Hryb when players would get a glimpse of what the company’s new studios have been working on. If only, Booty had said “now.” Instead, he said: “We’ll be excited to share some news about what we’re up to coming up in the next few months and at E3.” It’s nice to know that Microsoft has more Xbox news coming, but for Inside Xbox to really work, and to make it worth everyone’s viewing time, the show needs to make more of Xbox’s biggest news worth announcing right there on Inside Xbox. Maybe next time?

Source: Kotaku.com