#143: Could Nintendo Be Interested In Cloud Streaming?

TODAY: The Smogon community bans Dynamax from their competitions — Monolith Soft is recruiting for a new Zelda project — Think you know what the new Xbox is called? Think again!

Top Story

Former Nintendo of America president believes streaming will be a ‘game-changer’

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé expressed his belief that streaming will be a ‘game-changer’ for the games industry. “As the technology evolves to be cloud, and as download speeds increase, what it means is you’re going to be able to play any game on any device at any time,” said Fils-Aimé.

Cloud gaming is the most promising emerging sector in the games industry, or at the very least the one most companies are trying to establish themselves in. That future is still a few years away, though: “It will happen over the next decade and be something that’s really meaningful for players.”

Sony’s PlayStation Now has been available for a while now, based on early birds Gaikai and OnLive and you can already sign up to preview Microsoft’s Project xCloud – but Google is the only player that has gone all-in with Stadia. While Stadia launched to tepid response from both critics and players, its primary problem is – as Fils-Aimé pointed out – that broadband infrastructure is still not quite up to the task.

Will cloud gaming reshape the industry?

Nintendo is the only one of the big-three console platform holders who have yet to announce a cloud gaming strategy, which is striking since one of its own former executives believe it is the next big thing. As 5G starts rolling out across the world, promising low-latency 10-50 gigabit mobile internet, it certainly looks like cloud gaming is poised to change the way games are sold and played.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of these is NOT a character from the Crash Bandicoot series?

  • Dingodile
  • Aku Aku
  • Squirrel King
  • Farmer Earnest

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be!

News Bits

Smogon Pokémon community bans Dynamax from competitive battles

Smogon, one of the most popular Pokémon community websites, has decided to ban Dynamax from competitive battles after the community overwhelmingly voted to do so: 87% of the voters were in favour of the ban.

Dynamax was introduced in Pokémon Sword & Shield, and allows super-sizing one Pokémon once per battle, providing a number of power-ups: Immunity from being switched out by movs like Dragon Trail or Whirlwind, immunity to fliching, immunity to moves affected by weight, immunity to ability modifers – all this in addition to an up to 100% increase in maximum health.

Smogon’s ruleset is by no means official, and only governs the Smogon community’s battles. While that might not seem like a very big deal, it is certainly notable that the latest game’s headline mechanic has been so poorly received by the competitive community.

Crash Bandicoot cartoon in the works?

Following a Facebook post where animator Bill Kopp shared a photo of himself next to a framed Crash Bandicoot’s N. Sane Trilogy poster, fans are speculating that he’s involved in an animated show based on everyone’s favorite marsupial.

Jeff DeGrandis, animation producer and director, is also tagged in the post and the caption says “HUH!? Now, just what the hell… do you think is going on here?? I have NO idea” which stirred up a ruckus on the ResetEra forums.

Daily Fact

The Alpha Pokemon

Pikachu, Charmander and Squirtle are all well-known and much-loved first-generation Pokémon – but none of them were the very first Pokémon! That honour goes to Rhydon, who was the very first pocket monster created by the original development team.

He may not be the most popular monster in the series, but he was arguably the seed from which every other Pokémon grew! Next time you find one of these lurking in the grass, pay the OG some respect.
Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Daily News

Zelda studio still recruiting

As reported (and translated) by VGC, Monolith Soft – who co-developed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – is advertising for a number of jobs. Monolith’s recruitment page lists positions like map modeler, character modeler, scenario planner and concept art designer – all for a new Zelda game.

Nintendo already revealed that a Breath of the Wild sequel is in development at E3, so it is very likely that’s the project Monolith are hiring for. There’s not much information about the new game yet, except that it will feature – surprise, surprise – Zelda and Link, as well as what appears to be the remnants of Calamity Ganon and a mysterious, as yet unidentified figure.

We probably still have a few years to wait

If Monolith is still bulking out the development team, then it’s fair to assume we’ll be waiting a while longer for the game. The teaser seems to imply that both Zelda and Link are playable, possibly in co-op, but producer Eiji Aonuma would neither confirm or deny the speculation in an interview with Kotaku. We will just have to wait and see!

The new Xbox is just called ‘Xbox’

Microsoft finally showed the Xbox Series X at The Game Awards, but it seems like we – and everyone else – missed an important detail: The console isn’t named Xbox Series X. It’s named Xbox. The Series X part is the model name, suggesting that there’s still one more model yet to be unveiled.

A Microsoft representative told Business Insider that “the name we’re carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox…And at The Game Awards you saw that name come to life through the Xbox Series X”.

Adding to the confusion, the representative also said that “similar to what fans have seen with previous generations, the name ‘Xbox Series X’ allows room for additional consoles in the future”.

Is Microsoft continuing the present naming scheme?

That doesn’t exactly clear things up, and also flies in the face of Phil Spencer’s earlier statements that the name of the new console is related to its capabilities.

In any case, we know that Microsoft will release two models of the next Xbox: One lower-end version without an optical disc drive, and a higher-end version with an optical disc drive, much like the current Xbox One X and S.

Maybe the other console is simply named Xbox Series S? We’ll have to wait to know for sure, since Microsoft has “nothing further to share” at this time.

News Bits

New Three Kingdoms chapter pack

Excited for Christmas? Well, get ready to be excited for the new year as well! Creative Assembly is launching another chapter pack for Total War: Three Kingdoms called Mandate of Heaven on January 16th. The chapter will feature six new playable factions, including the Han Empire.

There are nine new characters, forty new units including faction-specific elites and siege weapons. The five existing factions will also be adorned with origin stories and new starting positions. Finally, Mandate of Heaven will feature free new content for all players. If that seems like a lot to take in, be sure to check out the trailer and the FAQ as well!

Skellboy coming to Switch in January

Skellboy was delayed at the very last minute, missing the December 3rd release date and now a new release date has been announced: January 30th. The action-RPG mixes 3D environments with 2D sprites similar to the Paper Mario series, and it’s well worth checking out the trailer to see the unique style in action.

Skellboy lets players customize their hero however they want by swapping out body parts that determine abilities. Skellboy is available for preorder on the Nintendo eShop with a 10% discount.

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of these is NOT a character from the Crash Bandicoot series?

Answer: Squirrel King!

The Crash games have stayed popular for several console generations, and across a number of publisher switches. Originally published by Sony, the rights were sold to Universal before Activision picked them up. The cast has grown considerably over the series’ lifetime, and while there have been plenty of wacky characters, there haven’t been any squirrels. Yet.

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