#133: Microsoft Looking to Surprise Sony

TODAY: Wanna feel old? PlayStation celebrates 25th birthday today — Microsoft has apparently not finalized Project Scarlett dev kits yet — Eagle-eyed fans secure a first look at Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City map

Top Story

Reggie Fils-Aimé talks about Nintendo’s diagnosis of Pre-Wii games industry

Former Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aimé has talked to GameDaily.biz about how Nintendo understood the games market and industry during the GameCube’s lifetime, and how they sought to disrupt the market with the Wii.

He said that: “[W]ith the Wii, it’s tough for people to remember, but back in the early 2000s, only about one out of every three people played video games. Also back then, the industry was stagnant and in key markets like Europe and Japan, software sales were actually in decline”.

“The company saw the stagnation of the industry as a result of too much complexity, too many sequels. [They saw] the same general game, but now it’s version five or six, the lack of innovation and the lack of fun.”

Only one in three played games in the 2000s

A lot has changed since Nintendo took a long, hard look at the business and decided to shake things up, including Nintendo’s own perspective on the industry: While the Switch is obviously innovative, it is hardly as radical as the Wii, and depends heavily on long-running Nintendo franchises like Zelda, Mario Kart and Smash Bros and most of their truly novel series like Super Mario Maker started Wii and Wii U.

The Wii was the first console since the 80s that managed to break out of the gamer stereotype and become a true family product, a feat both Sony and Microsoft has tried to emulate since. Yet Nintendo clearly understands how the market develops: While the Switch is no new Wii, it is arguably the most distinct of the current-gen consoles, and seems to strike a nice balance between family-friendly fun and living up to core-gamer expectations.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of these is NOT a name for one of the ill-fated CDi Zelda games?

  • Zelda’s Adventure
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Quest
  • Link: Faces of Evil
  • Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon

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

News Bits

Switch version of Civilization 6 is currently broken due to an update

If you play Civilization 6 on Switch, you should avoid the game’s latest update, since it appears to be causing issues: The game will crash when you win a game, preventing you from enjoying just one more turn with your empire.

A reddit user managed to extract a workaround from 2K games while the development team works on a fix. The issue only seems to affect the Switch version of Civilization 6, so update away if you prefer to build empires on a different platform.

PlayStation turns 25 years old

The PlayStation is 25 years old today! Sony’s original PlayStation was launched in Japan on December 3rd, 1994 and Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment has posted a celebratory message on the PlayStation blog: “[O]ver the past 25 years, PlayStation has stood at the forefront of gaming, and I’m honored to have been a part of the team since the early days.”

He also has some fun trivia to share. Did you know that “the original PlayStation sold 100,000 units in Japan on its first day and went on to become the first-ever home console to surpass 100 million units sold globally”? Here’s to another 25 years of PlayStation!

Daily Fact

What is in a name? The DirectX Box

It might seem hard to believe, but the original Xbox was supposed to be named DirectX Box, after Microsoft’s multimedia API, which is now in its 12th major version. Now try to imagine the DirectX Box 360 and the DirectX Box One!

DirectX was originally developed to unify the fragmented graphics, audio and input support in Windows, and the original Xbox prototype was essentially a PC housed inside a hulking metallic X.

The original Xbox was (along with its bear-friendly controllers) famously ginormous, but imagine having your entertainment center dominated by a colossal cross-shaped chromatic horror with a green gem in the middle. A reminder that we don’t live in the very worst timeline after all!

Come and join the rest of the community and discuss today’s fact on Twitter and Facebook.

Daily News

Project Scarlett dev kits still not final

A bunch of PlayStation 5 dev kit photos recently leaked onto the internet, prompting Tom Warren, a senior editor at The Verge, to explain why we haven’t seen any sign of the next Xbox or its dev kit: “[H]ardly anyone has them, and they’re nowhere near final. That’s why you’re hearing a lot of nonsense about them not being powerful etc. Microsoft wants to surprise Sony this time”.

Both PlayStation 5 and Project Scarlett are expected to release in a year’s time, during ‘Holiday 2020’. A recent rumour suggests that PlayStation 5 will be released on November 20th alongside Gran Turismo 7, with full backwards compatibility. Meanwhile, we don’t know a lot about what Microsoft has in store.

“…Microsoft wants to surprise Sony this time”

Some see this as a sign that Microsoft is scaling down their ambitions in the games market, but according to Warren there is no need to worry: “[D]evs constantly make games for hardware they don’t know the capability of. Not all hardware specs matter.”

There is also speculation that Microsoft hasn’t finalized the hardware yet, and that the Project Scarlett dev kit is essentially a PC with similar components to what the next Xbox will feature. In any case, it doesn’t seem like we’ll hear much more from Microsoft until next year.

Kinda Funny’s Imran Khan suggests Spider-Man 2 is coming soon

It’s safe to say that Insomniac exceeded even the highest expectations with Marvel’s Spider-Man, netting an average rating of 87 on Metacritic and making a strong case for a Marvel Interactive Universe.

Sony recently acquired Insomniac, and it’s safe to assume that the studio is hard to work on their next web-slinging classic. Imran Khan, former senior editor of Game Informer, seems to think it might be out sooner than we think.

During an appearance on the Kinda Funny Gamescast, Khan speculated that Insomniac started work on the sequel just after shipping Marvel’s Spider-Man and that we can expect a sequel in 2021, three years after the first game. “I know too much about [Marvel’s Spider-Man 2], so I can’t speculate too much,” said Khan. “I think a Spider-Man 2 will come sooner than we think.”

Imran Khan believes Spider-Man 2 may launch in 2021 on the PlayStation 5

Since he used to be a senior writer with a major games press outlet, it’s reasonable to assume that Khan has a bit of insider knowledge he can’t share without burning his sources. The PlayStation 4 exclusive sold over 13 million units, so Sony is probably pretty eager to get another one out the door. Maybe even as a launch title for PlayStation 5?

News Bits

Untitled Goose Game honking and flapping onto PlayStation 4 next?

Untitled Goose Game and its horrible goose ran amok on Epic Game Store and Nintendo Switch in September, and it looks like PlayStation 4 will be the feathered horror’s next victim. Developer House House has confirmed that they have a PlayStation 4 port in the works, but didn’t give any solid timeframe for its release.

Well, the full trophy list was just published on Exophase, so it seems safe to assume that feathers will fly and things will be stolen very soon indeed. There’s still no indication on a release date, but don’t worry – the goose will make its presence known. Oh yes it will.

A look at Cyberpunk 2077’s world map

Cyberpunk 2077 won’t be out until April next year, but that doesn’t stop us from having a sneak-peek at the game’s map right now! The World of Cyberpunk 2077 Deluxe Edition was listed on Amazon, and in true cyberpunk spirit, forumites at ResetEra enhanced the map printed on the book’s cover.

CD Projekt Red has already said that Night City will be a little smaller than The Witcher 3, but more vertically dense. The map doesn’t really reveal much, except that it will definitely need to be dense in order to provide as much content as Geralt’s last adventure.

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Yesterday's Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of these characters is NOT a boss from the Metal Gear Solid Series?

Here’s the correct answer from yesterday’s quiz – big thanks to everyone who sent in answers on Facebook and Twitter!

Answer: Liquid Raven

The Metal Gear Solid saga is famous for its outlandish boss characters, which started out pretty nuts with the colorful terrorists of Black Moses and getting progressively more wacky with each game in the series.

Very few games have had as much of a cultural impact, and it’s a bit sad that the series seems to have died when Kojima left Konami. Maybe we’ll live to see HD remasters or at the very least re-releases soon?

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