#117: Nintendo won’t go ‘lite’ on Switch Price

TODAY: Gaming archaeologists uncover new Sonic The Hedgehog 2 prototype — Ocarina of Time was supposed to have an expansion pack — WB Games is even better at killing Superman than Kryptonite

Top Story

Nintendo not going ‘lite’ on Switch price any time soon

The Switch Lite might be the new kid on the block, but that doesn’t mean Nintendo will be lowering the price on the original Switch console. No need: The Switch Lite has increased overall sales, without affecting sales of the original console.

“We want to maintain the value of our products and sell them at their current price points for as long as possible, so we have no plans to reduce prices at this time,” said Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa. In short, Nintendo is happy to profit as much as they can and keep hardware price as high as they can without affecting demand. Turns out, customers are happy to pay a premium for a quality product!

Longer battery life, higher profit, same price point

Switch Lite sold almost 2 million units in its first 11 days on sale, and the Switch product family is just about to break 42 million sales. Nintendo expects to make 18 million additional sales by the end of this fiscal year, putting the Switch ahead of the Super Nintendo’s lifetime sales.

With the help of eagerly anticipated Pokémon Sword & Shield and a potentially spectacular Christmas season ahead, Nintendo will probably meet their goals.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Who is the only Superman actor to reprise the role in a videogame?

  • Tom Welling
  • Henry Cavill
  • Brandon Routh
  • Dean Cain

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Fans discover new Sonic The Hedgehog 2 prototypes

Let sleeping dogs lie, but feel free to exhume speedy blue hedgehogs! Fans are still coming across leaked builds from the development of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 for Genesis, and they’ve found two builds that seem to hint at the rumoured but elusive Dust Hill Zone. You can keep your forgotten cities and dinosaur skeletons, archaeologists – we’re busy digging up lost levels and unreleased chiptunes!

Hideo Kojima delivers UK’s second biggest PS4 launch

Death Stranding is the second-biggest UK PlayStation 4 exclusive so far this year, which sounds like a lot of qualifications but probably means it sold pretty well for a game about being a delivery guy carrying a baby. While Days Gone had a better launch, there’s still time for Kojima Productions to rack up Metal Gear Solid-grade sales numbers.

Daily Fact

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time had its disc-based encore cancelled

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has widely been considered one of the greatest videogame adventures ever since it launched for Nintendo 64 back in 1998.

You probably know the sequel, Majora’s Mask – but did you know that Nintendo had planned an expansion? The original plan was to release it for the Nintendo 64 Disc Drive, but fate intervened and the expansion never saw the light of day.

The Nintendo 64 Disc Drive was a commercial failure, and Nintendo probably swallowed their pride and realized that no Ocarina of Time expansion could save the ill-fated peripheral. Nintendo did talk about what the expansion would have featured, though: Redesigned dungeons, and graphical enhancements such as Link leaving footprints in the sand and sword marks on trees, bushes and signposts – as well as leaving grass cut down forever!

Oh well, I guess we shouldn’t be unhappy with what we got instead: One direct sequel, and a still-running series of amazing adventures that keep shaping childhood memories to this very day.

Daily News

Insider claims Warner Bros. cancelled several open-world Superman projects

Warner Bros. has been looking for a good open-world Superman pitch for a long time now – ever since 2013, according to tweets from an alleged insider.

The first project was supposedly similar to Marvel’s Spider-Man, with an open-world Metropolis full of civilians to save and villains to smack around. Superman was supposed to lose his powers because Kryptonite, which sounds like a terrible idea and that’s probably what Warner Bros. thought too, since the game was cancelled.

Not a bird. Not a plane. And not Superman either!

Then WB Games Montreal stepped up to the plate with Superman: Unborn in 2014, but it wasn’t exactly a homerun either. It was supposed to be set in Kantor, the shrunken Kryptonian city that Superman keeps in a bottle. It was supposed to be a less-open world and also limit Superman’s power. Are we seeing a pattern here? In any case, the game was cancelled.

Many of the problems apparently stemmed from Warner Bros. insistence that the projects be built on the Batman: Arkham Asylum technology, which wasn’t a terrific fit and made Superman’s signature ability, namely flying, very hard to pull off. There is apparently a new Superman title in the works at WB Montreal, but considering the survival rate of Superman games, we wouldn’t hold our super-breath.

New UK Anti-cyber-bullying report

Bullying. Bullying never changes. It certainly remains a problem on the internet, and the Change Starts With Us report is an attempt from the National Children’s Bureau, The Anti-Bullying Alliance and telecom giant O2 to understand the problem.

The report looks at social media platforms and online gaming communities, and includes qualitative data reported by over a thousand “young people” aged between 13 to 22 years old. The report attempts to classify different kinds of cyber-bullying, how they are spreading and methods for confronting them.

Around 76% of respondents believe change should start with social media and gaming platforms themselves, many of which lack facilities for monitoring and reporting bad behaviour. 48% believed schools should do more, while 25% felt that adults are “not good role models” for online or real-world behaviour.

The biggest problem with online platforms is that there are unclear guidelines and a lack of established social norms. Recommendations include ensuring that users under 16 years of age having the strictest possible privacy settings by default, as well as designing services with child safety features instead of gradually adding them as platforms grow.

The 26-page report is available online.

Early Look

Can Zombie Army 4 raise the series from the dead?

(Rebellion – PC/PS4/Xbox One)

The Zombie Army games are the weird, twisted shadow of the Sniper Elite series – which is already pretty weird. Each Sniper Elite game has had an undead companion piece, until Rebellion tried something different after Sniper Elite 4 and released the occult-themed Strange Brigade.

Regardless of whether that was a good idea, Rebellion has unveiled Zombie Army 4: Dead War, and I had the opportunity to play one level at EGX. It was single-player only, but it gave a decent taste of what’s to come: Namely blowing up Nazi zombies in a variety of fun and interesting ways.

Worse than Hitler

After picking a character, I was thrown right into the war on the undead – which started at a surprisingly sedate pace, without any flesh-gnawing monstrosities in sight. Instead, I was surrounded by friendly and chatty NPCs running item shops! There was even a shooting range, allowing me to try out some guns before heading into the fray. I opted for a sniper rifle for long-range zombie management and a machine gun to handle unexpected close encounters.

I tried out a variety of explosives as well, including electric, fire, ice and frag grenades as well as mines. Everything was unexpectedly nice and tranquil – until a train crashed into the quiet marketplace and the zombies started pouring out.

This ain’t your grandfather’s Nazi Zombie Army

If you’ve played any previous Zombie Army games, you know the drill: Kill zombies, either alone or in co-op with up to four players. Like in Sniper Elite, there’s a slow-motion X-ray camera that shows your best shots in excruciating yet hilarious detail, and there are some features borrowed from Strange Brigade too.

Most notably, there are traps that seem to play a pretty important role – at least I had a lot of help from some nifty electrified floors. There are also special character abilities, such as special weapons, powerful melee attacks and more.

In short, Zombie Army 4 is already a lot of fun, and while the level I played was a typical linear start-to-finish romp, the final game will apparently feature some more open-ended maps. Since Valve’s not showing any signs of gracing us with a new Left 4 Dead, Zombie Army 4 will probably still be the best way to scratch that zombie co-op survival itch when it launches next year.

News Bits

Pillars of Eternity II sales disappoint

Obsidian Entertainment has just seen considerable success with The Outer Worlds, but their throwback RPG series Pillars of Eternity hasn’t lived up to expectations. Lead designer Josh Sawyer says Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire was well-received, but just didn’t sell that much and they don’t know what to change. Maybe new owners Microsoft has some suggestions?

Pokémon Sword & Shield data mining reveals dropped moves

If you’ve got a tried and true set of moves that you always use to help your Pokémon to victory, then beware – you might have to find some new ones soon! Data miners have found out that Pokémon Sword & Shield gets rid of a lot of old Poké-moves from earlier games. If you import Pokémon from earlier games, you are simply told that they are no longer usable and should be deleted. Harsh. Here’s a list of Pokémon Sword & Shield moves so you can plan your strategy ahead of release on November 15th.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Who is the only Superman actor to reprise the role in a videogame?

Answer: Brandon Routh!

Many actors have portrayed The Man of Steel over the years, but very few have returned to reprise their role for a videogame. That’s probably because there have been very few Superman games since voice acting became a common feature.

However, the videogame adaptation of 2006’s Superman Returns starred Brandon Routh just like the movie and a few other cast members also reprised their roles, although the game didn’t turn out particularly memorable. Much like the movie, in other words!

Self-confessed gamer Henry Cavill would probably have loved to voice a game, but the only game based on his films was a mobile title. Brandon Routh actually returned to a game based on the DC universe, though not as Superman: He voiced Shazam in last year’s Lego DC Super-Villains!

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