#169: Nintendo aren’t looking to Switch on over to next system yet…

TODAY: Christophe Gans to bring Japanese horror back to cinemas — Get your hiking boots ready for a very busy February in Pokémon Go — Several eSports events cancelled due to the coronavirus panic

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Nintendo is sticking to the Switch

Nintendo isn’t worrying too much about the impending launch of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, but they’re not just resting on their laurels either.

They remain focused on Switch, which they expect to enjoy a much longer life cycle than recent Nintendo consoles. “…there are many different ways to think about future console development,” company president Shuntaro Furukawa told investors.

Switch Lite has sold over 5 million units already

“On the other hand, software is also very important. So in the short term, while the Nintendo Switch install base continues to expand, we must place a lot of focus on that.” When all is said and done, the games market is all about the games – and that’s what Nintendo is focusing on.

“By placing our main focus on the Nintendo Switch, we feel we can have a very different (longer) hardware life cycle than previous Nintendo consoles,” he added. Analysts are confident Switch can dethrone the Wii as Nintendo’s best-selling console. Switch has already shifted 52 million units as of December last year, so it is more than halfway to the Wii’s 102.63 million sales.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of the following was NOT made by PlatinumGames?

  • Bayonetta
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
  • Devil May Cry
  • Nier: Automata

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

EA wants to take The Sims online again

The Sims is 20 years old this month and while the classic series has changed a lot since the first game launched in 2000, it has yet to go online after the relative failure of The Sims Online, which shut down in 2008.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson was recently asked if The Sims might go back online, to which Wilson responded that the ability to ‘compare and contrast’ will “start to become a part of The Sims experience in the years to come.”

Christophe Gans working on new Fatal Frame and Silent Hill adaptations

Fatal Frame and Silent Hill fans are still waiting for new entries in the series, and now film director Christophe Gans has revealed that he is working on new movies based on both. He’s staying true to Fatal Frame’s haunted house setting, and wants to keep Silent Hill anchored in small-town Americana.

Daily Fact

Pikmin was a tech demo called Super Mario 128 testing AIs for Gamecube

Nintendo’s quirky real-time strategy and puzzle series Pikmin debuted for the GameCube in late 2001, but started out as nothing more than a tech demo.

It was designed to showcase the Gamecube handling multiple AIs at once, and was called Super Mario 128. Fortunately, the developers discovered that their flocking AI was fun to play around with and thus Pikmin was born.

If you put the Pikmin GameCube disc in a PC CD-ROM drive, you can actually run it – albeit in a somewhat glitchy state. Many of the problems can be solved by opening the game’s debug menu and enabling ‘Game-Mode’.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Daily News

Busy February for Pokémon Go events

Looks like February will be a very busy month for Pokémon Go with no less than seven major highlights, including a Valentine’s Day Celebration.

  • Save Shadow Raikou from Giovanni

If you’ve completed the latest Team Go Rocket Special Research, you can try out February’s Team GO Rocket Special Research, in which you challenge Team GO Rocket, its leadership and Giovanni to rescue the Legendary Shadow Pokémon Raikou. Only available in February.

  • Research Breakthrough encounter: Woobat with bonus Woobat Candies

February 1st, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m. to March 1st, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8). The bat Pokémon Woobat makes its debut in Pokemon GO with this Research Breakthrough encounter.

  • Tornadus zooms into five-star raids

February 4th, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m. February 25th, 2020 @ 1:00 p.m. PST (GMT -8). Cyclone Pokémon Tornadus from the Unova region is being introduced to Pokémon Go and will appear in five-star raids.

  • Sinnoh region celebration event

February 7th, 2020 @ 8:00 a.m. to February 10th, 2020 @ 10:00 p.m. local time. A special Sinnoh region celebration event in appreciation of all the Pokémon that Trainers have befriended. All 7km Eggs earned will hatch Sinnoh region Pokémon such as Budew, Combee, Bronzor, Gible, Riolu, Hippopotas, and Mantyke. There’s also a chance to encounter a Shiny Riolu or a Shiny Hippopotas.

  • Pokémon GO Valentine’s Day Celebration 2020

February 14th, 2020 @ 8:00 a.m. to February 17th, 2020 @ 10:00 p.m. local time. Get ready for a deluge of pink Pokemon appearing the wild, in raids, hatching from eggs and during field research. Audino and Alomomola will also make their Pokémon Go debut.
A special raid day will take place February 15th, 2020 @ 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time featuring a Lickitung who knows Body Slam in four-star raids. You might encounter a Shiny Lickitung.

  • Celebrate your love for friends with a special friendship weekend event

February 21st, 2020 @ 8:00 a.m. to February 24th, 2020 @ 10:00 p.m. local time. Celebrate love with exclusive bonuses like friendship bars increasing faster, more Trade Candy, half cost for Trade Stardust, daily Gift openings increasing to 40 and more space for Gifts in inventory.

  • Pokémon Spotlight Hour and Mystery Bonus Hour

The team at Pokémon Go are holding two extra events with Pokémon Spotlight Hour taking place February 4th, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time, and Mystery Bonus Hour on February 6th, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. local time. What’s going to happen? It’s still a secret, but something will apparently happen in the wild.

Nintendo isn’t sweating the launches of Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5

Microsoft and Sony are getting ready to unleash their next-generation home consoles later this year, but Nintendo seems quite happy to stick with the Switch for now.

“…I think there will certainly be a change in the environment as new products of our competitors appear,” Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa told investors recently. They’re confident the ‘target audiences are different enough’ that there’s no need to worry about Microsoft and Sony.

Switch has sold over 52m units since 2017

“…we do not believe that the business trends of other companies will have a significant impact on our business,” he said. Switch has kept up its strong performance, and Nintendo has surprised analysts by launching the handheld Switch Lite without cannibalizing the sales of their flagship console.

Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will start their battle for living room dominance next Holiday season just as the Switch reaches “the middle of its life cycle” after three years on the market.

“Rather than just the next year, I think about things in terms of what to do the following year and the year after that.” Nintendo is playing the long game.

Message from Today's Sponsor

Iconoclasts Xbox Launch Contest – Win the New Xbox Series X!

The 23rd January marked the Two Year Anniversary of Iconoclasts! Since launching, Iconoclasts has garnered much praise, including an 85%+ score on Metacritic, and we now look forward to introducing the game to new players on the Xbox One.

To celebrate the release of Iconoclasts on Xbox One we are giving away the new Xbox Series X plus three launch titles to one lucky gamer. To enter all you have to do is to complete at least one of the actions on Gleam. The more entry points you earn the higher your chance of winning.

– Bifrost Entertainment

Esports Bits

Major changes to the Dota 2 Pro Circuit

The Dota 2 Pro Circuit (DPC) has announced big changes to its current competitive format, including the removal of Minor tournaments, fewer Majors and brand-new regional leagues. Getting rid of Minors and decreasing the number of Majors to three (down from five) will allow a stronger emphasis on regional leagues.

Valve will work with tournament organisers to implement a two-tiered regional league system, which qualify the top-ranking teams for Majors. The changes are intended to stimulate more variety in the Major line-ups by enabling new teams to climb the ladder, as well as providing stability for established teams. For fans, this just means there will be a greater spread of high-level matches throughout the year.

CSGO players depart Chinese team before playing a single game

Former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major winners Mihail “Dosia” Stolyarov and Rustem “mou” Telepov have announced their departure from Chinese team OneThree due to the coronavirus panic.

Mou stated that a lack of practice with the rest of the team was part of the reason the duo quit. That means both Bosia and Mou are back on the market – but they will most likely join a new team soon. OneThree’s new roster is: Ke “captainMo” Liu, Hui “DD” Wu, Liu “lan” Qi, Zhe “Ayeon” Yang, QiFang “Karsa” Su.

Overwatch League matches in China cancelled due to coronavirus

Blizzard has announced (https://twitter.com/overwatchleague/status/1222685865354285056?s=20) that the planned February and March Overwatch League matches in China have been cancelled. No reason was given other than Blizzard’s desire to “protect the health and safety of our players, fans, and staff”, much like Riot’s quiet cancellations in the League of Legends Pro League.

Coronavirus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation four days ago, and close to ten thousand cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China. The virus continues to spread rapidly and eighteen more countries have recently confirmed cases, so expect more events to be rescheduled or cancelled.

News Bits

PlatinumGames wants to Kickstart Wonderful 101 onto Switch

Want to play PlatinumGames’ Wii U title The Wonderful 101 on Switch? Now’s your chance to put your money where your mouth is! A Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign is expected to launch today.

Apparently, no publishers wanted to help PlatinumGames revive the half-forgotten gem and so PlatinumGames is hoping their fans will prove generous.

Valve to experiment on gamers to improve their game design methods

There’s nothing quite like a satisfying gameplay loop. But what makes a good game loop fun? Well, Valve intends to find out and has hired an “experimental psychologist with superior research skills” to use gamers as guinea pigs and poke their brains – for science!

The plan is to apply the results to game design, and potentially “all aspects of Valve’s operations.” Could Valve be planning to actually make games again?

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of the following was NOT made by Platinum Games?

Answer: Devil May Cry!

Although PlatinumGames have made their names making games building on Devil May Cry’s legacy, the studio has yet to work on the series.

Hideki Kamiya, who directed the original Devil May Cry, was a co-founder of PlatinumGames alongside other former Capcom employees and brought along his penchant for stylish action and flamboyant characters.

PlatinumGames are also famous for creating difficult games that don’t necessarily suit the mainstream. While they’ve become household names thanks to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Nier: Automata, they also lost a major project when Microsoft cancelled Scalebound in 2017.

Fortunately, their strong relationship to Nintendo has stayed intact, and their most recent title was the million-selling Switch exclusive Astral Chain.

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