It is official, the number selling platform currently in Japan has officially hit 1 million units sold. Outpacing every previous Nintendo system in the Country, including the Wii and 3ds. The Nintendo Switch despite shortages is on track to be the best selling system in Nintendo’s past.
ARMS has topped the charts on the Nintendo eShop on it’s first week. Being the surprise new hit fighting game from Nintendo, even quickly becoming a Nintendo household name. Below is the top 20 on the eShop. My review of ARMS is up on the site, and I love it, can’t stop playing it as of lately.
2. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition
3. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
4. Mighty Gunvolt Burst
5. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
7. NBA Playgrounds
8. Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove
10. Zelda: Breath of the Wild
11. Ultra Street Fighter II
12. Has-Been Heroes
13. Puyo Puyo Tetris
14. Cave Story+
15. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
16. Disgaea 5 Complete
18. The Jackbox Party 3
19. The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+
Player Unknown Battleground is the massively successful early access game on Steam. It’s now broken the 4 million units sold threshold, becoming a massive success. The game will likely to continue to get more and more popular. With the upcoming Xbox One release, the title can become a household name for sure. Congrats the team behind the game, looking forward to seeing how the game updates throughout the years.
3 months… 4 million copies of @PUBATTLEGROUNDS sold… Thank you all again for your continuing support <3
— PLAYERUNKNOWN (@PLAYERUNKNOWN) June 22, 2017
AntOnline a well known and recieved Ebay seller, is selling a PS4 Slim bundle with Uncharted 4 for $210. This a great deal, and his stock of PS4 Slims are going fast, he has a stock of about 10 k so you better hurry and try to get one fast. The link is listed below.
ARMS is the big new fighting game IP from Nintendo for their new platform the Switch. It is a massive hit in Japan selling 100,652 beating out every game on the market in Japan. Funny enough Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Breath of the Wild are number 2 and 3 on that list. ARMS has outperformed Tekken 7 despite the larger install base on the PS4 in Japan. Tekken 7 has sold 76,603, while ARMS sold over 100k in 2 days. Nintendo Switch has been a huge hit in Japan and in the world, and now their new IP ARMS is beating out well established fighting game series in Japan.
Nioh and Nier: Automata have both been discounted on Amazon. Nioh has seen a discount to $39.99 for a new copy, $35.63 for used, along with the Nioh Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide at the price of $28.74. Nier: Automata has a discount of $49.99 for a new copy and $44.99 for a used copy. Now is a great time to pick up these PS4 hits if you missed out on them.
Microsoft has packed everything they can into a new Xbox designed for ultimate performance on the latest 4K HDR Smart TVs with no input lag for gaming on 4K HDR modes (see websites like rtings.com for lists of compatible TVs and the latest deals). Xbox Scorpio was originally announced as a power-house machine that will dramatically push the Xbox console specs and gaming performance as well as further progress the ubiquity of Microsoft’s approach to Xbox Anywhere, Xbox Early Access, Xbox 360 / Xbox One backwards-compatibility, and other new digital ways to play games at high level.
Performance is where Xbox Scorpio focuses, but is not the only place the system lands. It also finds time to provide the luxury features to make the new Xbox more durable.
- Liquid Cooling with Silent Super-Speed Fan designed together for Vacuum Cooling.
- Digital Voltage Regulator. Minimal Power Consumption and Built-In Power Protection.
- 1TB 2.5″ HDD, UHD Blu-Ray + Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Drive, 12GB GDDR5X (326GBps).
- 8 “custom-x86 cores” @ 2.3GHZ Each, 40 Radeon “compute units” @ 1172MHZ
The Xbox Scorpio’s goal is to provide a uniform experience in upgraded performance for all Xbox games including existing Xbox One and Xbox 360 games, without the need for a patch. This is made possible by providing a generational leap in hardware between each unit. By blurring the line between a revision and a totally next-gen hardware, Microsoft has made a machine powerful enough to simply render the entire Xbox dashboard environment at a 4K HDR resolution and sample games up from 900P, 1080P, 1440P, and etc. into one standard resolution in which performance can be maximized using existing code without the need for patches and updates. We await the unit’s release to evaluate the success of these claims, but analysts are pleased to see the specs of the Xbox Scorpio thus far in relation to these claims including experts such as Digital Foundry.
The Real Question: Native 4K?
There’s been a lot of buzz-words going around with the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro and announcement of the Xbox Scorpio pertaining to 4K Gaming on a console and while it’s exciting that these affordably priced machines (compared to mid-to-high-tier 4K PC Gaming rigs) are offering 4K visuals we have to set our expectations realistically. As it stands PC Gaming is still adapting 4K as a standard and currently running games in that resolution requires a lot of power. Forza Motorsport 7 is said to be running native 4K at 60 frames per second on the Xbox Scorpio in private, behind-closed-doors showings between Microsoft Studios and Digital Foundry – but will this translate to other games?
What the PlayStation 4 Pro was intended to produce for games is more similar to what the Xbox Scorpio explains itself as for existing games as well. That is, a uniform resolution boost – like running your old PC games on a better PC and Monitor a few years down the line. This is a way console gaming has learned from PC Gaming over the years. Xbox Scorpio may be able to even better perfect this concept, given the higher amount of processing power packed into every unit.
But the real question is, will the Xbox Scorpio really be able to pull off native 4K Gaming? It remains to be seen, but it’s the most powerful home console currently in plans and Microsoft has seemingly done everything possible to pack the punch the player needs – perhaps a risky move for a giant corporation to take, but one gamers will appreciate if it pays off big and wins the affection of the high-spending but niche and hardcore demographic.
Xbox One Vs Xbox Scorpio – Performance Breakdown
Xbox Scorpio performs around 4.5 times faster than Xbox One when rendering data for graphics and virtual game world environment simulations (notorious for requiring significant amounts of equations to be solved rapidly in succession). This is also significantly more powerful than Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro and begins to make a value proposition challenge to the realm of PC Gaming again – something we haven’t seen in a long time from consoles. It remains to be seen if Sony will later respond with another hardware update, and we know that NVIDIA is planning to launch a new line of graphics cards this year – so Xbox Scorpio certainly has no shortage of competition.
Xbox One should be expected to be replaced by Xbox One S as the Scorpio model hits the market. This will shift the pricing of the Xbox One S to be more in line with the holiday bundle deals seen for Xbox One during last winter. $249 – $299 for the Xbox One S with or without a game / special color and skin (depending on the current promotions going on at the time of each model’s release) is a safe expectation to have for the base hardware which will still be able to play all of the games that Xbox Scorpio leads development for – just not at the same performance level.
$499 would be an acceptable launch price for the first units of the Xbox Scorpio with a free game included, maybe a special color / skin, and once the unit has had time for mass production a bare bones model with no special color / skin and no game should be made available to gamers for $449 so that they may get into the luxury experience and begin buying tons of Microsoft’s software offerings in the Xbox Store. This particular suggestion may be in line with what Microsoft has planned, or it may not, but at this point I’m just voicing my own opinion on the price point for Xbox Scorpio – so take it as a grain of salt and be on the look out for official confirmation when Microsoft decides to tell us their plans.
Xbox Exclusives – The Final Puzzle Piece
If Microsoft expects the Xbox Scorpio to take off in the way that the gaming industry needs, 4K Gaming out of the box in high-spec at a low-price will mean nothing without heavy-hitting software to showcase its strength. There is a high likelihood that Microsoft Studios has been preparing for the Xbox Scorpio launch for quite some time, and has put aside enough surprise projects to shock the market with the launch of the HDR Xbox. Gamers expect E3 2017 to reveal the final puzzle piece to Xbox Scorpio’s offerings.
The Xbox Spring Sale is about to kick off. It’ll last from April 11th to April 17th. Featuring sales on big games such as Overwatch, Halo Wars 2, Battlefield 1, and more. “New Season. New Deals. Shop Spring Sale April 11 – 17, 2017 and save up to 67% on select Xbox Store games. Save up to 10% more for being Gold. From April 6 – April 17, 2017 Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners can also upgrade to Gold for $1 for the first month of membership”
Persona 5, the big RPG from Atlus has shipped over 1.5 million copies worldwide. Persona 4 Golden was the game that truly helped bring Persona into the limelight, despite being on smaller hardware, it managed to be one of the best selling games on the system. Persona 5 is available on PS3 for $49.99 and PS4 for $59.99, stay tuned for our review at RGN.
PC’s #1 Gaming Critic John “TotalBiscuit” Bain recently met with Valve as part of a consulting team invited for face time by Valve (developer of Half Life series, Portal series, and creator of Steam, SteamVR, and more). Some of the topics being revealed by PC Gamers over the recent years and online personalities, such as Jim Sterling and TotalBiscuit, let us know that Steam has a lot of great games being somewhat hidden at times by ‘not-so-great’ games. Valve finally broke silence in the aforementioned meetings and recognized that it does acknowledge the problem, breaks it down into 3 categories, and calls out the essential attack of ‘Fake Games’ that attempt to make a profit from very little actual game development.
Steam Direct is a new system that will look to overhaul Steam Curators, Steam Greenlight, the Steam Queue and the customization of the Steam Store Page in general. In addition to this program, there will be a new set of discovery options as well called Steam Explorers.
Steam Support (Overhauled Recently):
- Two External 3rd Party Companies Answering Steam Support Tickets.
- A Subdivision Within Valve Handles Steam Support Tickets External 3rd Party Companies Can’t Handle.
- Automated Steam Refund System Has Already Been Implemented.
Steam Explorers (In Development):
- Games That Failed To Reach A Certain Level Of Exposure In Their First Weeks.
- Plans to Allow People To Find Hidden Gems.
- Player Data and response to suggested games will be transparently provided and used in graphs and future discovery queue recommendations through Steam.
- Refunds for Steam Explorers program currently does not count against regular Steam Refunds system.
- Multiplayer Lobby Planning, Forums.
Steam Curators (Overhaul Coming):
- Help Players Find Better Games.
- More Ways To Filter Games, Search Using Tags.
- Tailored To The Curator’s Internal Genre Labeling.
- Curator Can Customize Page In Various Ways.
- Showcasing of games within “Collections” of curated games currently on Steam Sale, Top Lists, Genre Lists, and more. Create custom sales recommendations lists, and provide social / information overhauls.
- Users can soon immediately play video from a Curator’s game recommendation or a visual preview if the review is written. All before deciding to leave Steam or not.
- Valve believes more Curators will make Steam’s ‘Fake Games’ problem or ‘Bad Games’ problem go away.
- Curators will now be able to see their influence through lots of information that will soon be available from the Steam Client itself. This will allow Curators to master their craft and carve paths of games for players to try.
Steam Reviews Systems:
The developers and publishers of games on Steam will now be able to give Reviewers direct access to their games without issuing Steam Keys which have become the target of scamming rings online and gray market websites allowing the sale of games online. Steam Curators and the Steam Client itself will now be able to facilitate a secure, safe way for Curators, Reviewers, YouTube’rs, Twitch Streamers, and generally influential fans of a series, genre, or platform in general.
All of these tools in general in addition to the new Steam Curators tools, Steam Explorers program, are part of Valve’s plan to end an overload of bad games on Steam and attack the notion that review key scammers can’t be stopped. The access of games is just one small piece to the entire working puzzle, but will be an important one as it gives incentive for the gamers who make these systems alive and actually work. There are even other curation examples listed such as good versus bad dubs / voice acting, localization support, and more.
Jokes like the Bad Rats infamously horrible game that goes on sale for under a dollar typically every year, and gets gifted to new Steam players as a cruel and unusual punishment – is just a deadly reminder that we have a long way to go before Valve can truly say they’ve cleaned up Steam. As usual though, they are opting to give gamers the tools to customize all of the various Steam pages and providing many ways to discover new games.
With the power handed over to gamers, Valve again remains impartial in their public judgement of bad games unless absolutely necessary. The system upgrades planned intend to allow the gamers to craft the way for good games and clear a path for great ones without Valve themselves ever stepping in.
Nintendo finds themselves in a unique position with their system, the Nintendo Switch. This could be the savior system for Nintendo, or a final nail in the coffin, at least for them in the console hardware market. You see their situation isn’t as dire as some are lead to believe.
The Nintendo 3ds as of December 31st, 2016 has solid 65.30 million units, despite a very slow start due to it’s $250 price tag, that was cut in half a year to $170, which I will admit clearly also helped sales. But the 3ds despite a very rocky first 6 months, was helped due to two main things, the price cut, and the release of Mario Kart 7. Mario Kart 7 has gone on to sell 13.41 million copies, and despite being the first big game released for the system, is the second highest selling game on the platform. Now when we compare this to the Wii U, which as of December 31st, 2016 had only sold 13.56 Million units, which as we all know is quite terrible. But oddly enough their was anomaly when Mario Kart 8 was released on the system, going on to sell 7.34 million units, being the highest selling game on the platform, actually pushing units, and over a 60% attach rate to the Wii U. Clearly this wasn’t some savior for the Wii U, but clearly it managed to get fans out there to purchase the system potentially mainly for this game, likely a few others which we will mention later.
Now Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which is a port/redone version of Mario Kart 8, comes on April 28th, being as far as we know the next big game to come to the Switch. Now I am not saying that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will create a foothold for the Switch in terms of pushing sales, but based off previous market research, it even managed to push sales on the Wii U for a short time. I know some people will consider it, merely just a port, but I think the sales of this game may surprise some that say that, especially due to the nature of the console, and the fact only Wii U owners have played Mario Kart 8, plenty of new comers, possibly those who owned Mario Kart 7 but never had a Wii U, will pick this up.
Another title that is popular than many may think is Monster Hunter. This will be an interesting, especially after it’s previous entries on the 3ds all sold around at least 3 million units, obviously pushing the series more into the mainstream. Now the games don’t sell well at all in North America and Europe, but in Japan the series lives and breaths due to the Japanese love of portable gaming. So when this game comes out expect high sales in Japan, and possibly a boost in units, based off of what happened when Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate released.
Super Smash Bros for the Switch is also a big title being tossed around. I am sure that this will generate sales selling 4.99 million units on the Wii U. But this did not move systems as Mario Kart 8 did. Making me believe those who bought the Wii U for Mario Kart 8 did so in mind of also getting Super Smash Bros, which is entirely possible.
Super Mario Odyssey clearly will be a big one, Nintendo seeming to make it their flagship game this holiday. This could potentially be the big sales boost the Switch will get but, it may happen before that, if a Pokemon game comes out this year. Their has been rumors surrounding this, but I am here to discuss facts and just the possibility of what could happen whenever the next iteration of the series does release. Pokemon X and Y is seen as one of the big pillars of the 3ds, being the highest selling game on the system, pushing more than 15.14 million units. But also as of recent, Pokemon Sun and Moon are the fastest selling games ever on the 3ds, being out for only half a year now and selling more than 12.94 million units already, with the potential of even passing Pokemon X and Y. Pokemon Sun and Moon were also the best selling games of 2016 according to VGchartz. So the potential is there, with Pokemon being the game to surely get people to own a Switch.
Clearly the Nintendo Switch is off to a great start selling 1.5 million of it’s 2 million units. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a 89% attach rate on the system, which is too be expected, as it’s the game clearly with the most draw on the platform. I do know their could be other games such as Splatoon 2 that generate sales, but I’m just not sure that’s what I’d call a system seller for any specific region, I’m sure it’ll sell but mostly to those who already own a Switch, or will buy one in the future.
By the end of the year I will come back to this and see if anything I said came true due to market research I’ve done based on the past. But clearly the other elephant in the room is 3rd party support being a big factor, I can’t comment on that as we don’t know everything that is coming out yet as the Switch has about nearly 30 games on it as of now. I hope what I have shared helps show you the potential this has based on the past, by the end of the year, I think we’ll know what this system is and it’s future.
- PC Sales of Resident Evil 7 (Story-Focused, Weak DRM) – 400,000
- PC Sales of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (Story-Focused, Weak DRM) – 240,000
- PC Sales of Diablo III (Always-Online DRM for PC and MAC Versions) – Over 5 Million
- PC Sales of Grand Theft Auto V (Always-Online DRM for PC Version) – Over 7 Million
Luckily Resident Evil 7 will still be relaunching on PC with HTC Vive support for its VR Gaming segments currently exclusive to the PlayStation 4 VR. Re-releases and updated content, texture resolution, and feature packages helped bring Grand Theft Auto V to profound heights of success. Always-Online DRM helped the PC Version of the game actually move units.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a game in the COD series which, unlike others before it, did not significantly excite PC Gamers to play multiplayer online. Every year though, regardless if the multiplayer portion of COD is popular that year – the title is pirated in droves for a quick, free single player experience – costing Activision and unlucky developers untold millions in research and development budget spends that will never be made back as sales fail to meet goal.
In the case of COD and shooters like it which offer a story mode, just having an online portion isn’t enough to stop gamers from pirating the game. There are already lots of online multiplayer shooters on PC considered more innovative, including various booming Early Access sub-genres of Survival Shooters.
Now let’s compare PC Sales to Console Sales of PS4 / Xbox ONE Generation Games, home game consoles which are difficult or impossible to pirate games on at the time of these launches.
See how the Pie is divided more evenly on Diablo III and GTA V versus AC: Syndicate and Resident Evil 7:
Even UPlay, a form of loyalty program and DRM from Ubisoft on PC hasn’t made too much of a significant dent in the problem. Since most releases simply cannot get away with the ‘Always Online DRM’ found in the PC versions of titles like Diablo III and Grand Theft Auto V.
Rockstar Games may opt to bring back their so-called “entitlement verification system” for Red Dead Redemption 2’s PC Edition. This background service enables Rockstar Games servers to double check game files, attempt to reduce cheaters / hackers / exploits in their game world, and ultimately detect & disrupt pirated copies of the game.
The alternative… is never getting RDR 2 on PC at all. And now we begin to see the consequences of piracy on the industry.
Some DRM systems are still out there and are similar to the likes of Xbox ONE’s original design concept. In terms of the problem with drastically reduced sales due to piracy, requiring a user to always be online is the key. Multiplayer components and requirements pair up a user with a code and aggressive systems from publishers like Rockstar Games have gone as far as to distract and waste pirated users time with broken versions of their games spread throughout the Video Game Torrent community.
The future of PC Gaming could rely on a combination of traditional marketplaces with or without DRM like Steam and GOG but also on increasingly pro-consumer, fair yet powerful DRM systems built-in to products like Xbox Anywhere, Xbox Games Pass, PlayStation NOW, in order to allow AAA publishers to mitigate risking millions in the budget for a PC Version that’s just going to get pirated.