New Games And Game News

Hello from a frigid west central Texas today. Besides enduring a rare Blizzaga, I’ve got cool news and bone-chilling news. What’s cool? New video games! What’s chilling? The sad revelation that my favorite game store is closing.


So Friday, I went to my local GameStop. I was there to pick-up my pre-ordered release of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury. Yes! The new Switch game was for my son’s birthday. I threw in a new Bowser Amiibo for good measure.

While there, I learned that my fave of the 3 local GameStops was closing permanently. Whaaa!? No! What’s worse, it’s actually only 1 of 2 left. The other of the 3 stores closed in the local mall last Summer, a Covid-19 casualty.

So now there will be only one local GameStop left. I fear it won’t last. Worse again, it’s the one that’s farther from where I live. It’s also smaller than the one closing.

Okay, so that’s kind of depressing. Let’s end on a higher note.

Once I told my wife about our GameStop’s predicament, and the closing sale they were having, she went there herself to do some shopping. Among our economic stimuli purchases, she finally picked up for us…a new Zelda game! For real. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

I’ve been playing the game this weekend. It’s a little gem! Simple, casual, concentrated Zelda puzzle, action-adventure goodness.

This Zelda is a remake from the original GameBoy game. The lush art and graphics are exquisite. The gameplay and control are tight. It exudes the quality one comes to expect of a flagship Nintendo title.

Alright, so that’s a little gaming blog update. I still have many other games backlogged or on pause (Ni No Kuni!). But the new Zelda remake is so easy to pick up and play.

As for the store closing, well, I am happy for the manager there. He’s getting a good personal opportunity out of it. I’m glad for him. He will be missed though. He’s a great salesman and gamer and gets 5-stars from me for customer service. No kidding. I wish him the best.

Take care, y’all.


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Nintendo Switch Like Apple iPhone

When you find something great that truly works well, you want that thing. The iPhone fixed cell phones…and did so much more. Now we all rely on smartphones! But could a game console be like the iPhone?


At Nintendo Life this week, Damien McFerran wrote in response to a Bloomberg article about Nintendo’s future prospects in the traditional game console life-cycle. That cycle tends to swing up and down. And, worst of all, it generally resets the installed user-base. For example, fans of the popular and best-selling Wii console dwindled after the launch of its disappointing successor, the Wii U.

I understand the financial angle about the Switch’s promise, and I’m excited by Nintendo’s current fortune with their awesome hybrid console. But the most interesting point to me is this new idea: the Switch could be Nintendo’s iPhone!

iPhone

What does that mean? Practically everyone knows what an iPhone is. It is Apple’s smartphone and, according to about half of all US consumers, it is THE phone to get. And the big point is that the iPhone, despite Apple making several variations of it every single year for over a decade, is still the iPhone. For example, I’ve owned the iPhone 4, 6, and 7. They were all…iPhone.

The iPhone is like an appliance you buy once and use for years until it breaks. Otherwise, you don’t want it to change because it works so well the way it is. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

Console

Gaming consoles have had a different approach. After several years in the market, console makers unleash all-new and improved consoles with new names, different form factors, upgraded parts, etc. Yes, they still do the same thing – play video games – but they restart from the ground up or reinvent what it means to play a video game. If you’re a gamer, you must reinvest in the new systems or be left behind. Your “old” system, though it still works, will not play the new games.

But what if Nintendo changed all that? What if the Switch is here to stay? The iPhone has been known as “The iPhone” for the past 13 years. What if gamers will be playing on a Switch 13 years from now? That’s never happened before!

Sure, the Switch would be upgraded over time just like an iPhone, but it would always remain essentially a Switch. It would become a known item, the thing you go to if you want to play video games.

For example, if you wanted a music player, you got an iPod. It was iconic! It was the go-to thing for playing music. And if you want a smartphone, you get an iPhone… Likewise, if you want to play games, you should get a Switch; it’s a fantastic gaming machine!


Nintendo’s Switch isn’t broken; don’t fix it.

Upgrade it. Instead of sun-setting the stellar Switch and trying to come up with a totally new console, just keep the Switch moving forward forever. It will have the mindshare as the reliable gaming rig – everyone will know the Switch is the thing to get for video games.

Thanks to the iPhone, Apple is known for inventing Mobile Computing as we know it. And one can argue that Nintendo invented Mobile Gaming. Now I’m not talking about the kind of mobile games for casual play on a smartphone or tablet. I refer to console caliber gaming with tactile buttons; Nintendo has owned this space since at least the GameBoy in the early 1990’s. And as a hybrid, the Switch works great as both a home console and a handheld mobile gaming machine.

Nintendo’s Switch may be the most obvious yet most ingenious innovation to video gaming ever.

Given that Nintendo now has all their gaming eggs in one hybrid basket instead of being split across two segments (home and mobile), and since the Switch is outperforming expectations, it is a solid and winning strategy that should not be fixed.

The Nintendo Switch (verb)

The Switch may have switched up the traditional game console paradigm.

Nintendo’s Switch can ensure this with longevity, which equates to reliability, more mindshare, and greater market share. Sony and Microsoft both do great in the home console space, but nobody plays as well in the handheld game space as Nintendo. “The Nintendo Switch” may refer to not just the game console but to the shift in the gaming console cycle itself.

And the more I think about this, the more I’m starting to see the Switch differently. I have long viewed it as Nintendo’s latest home console that doubles as its handheld machine. But now I’m starting to think the Switch is a handheld machine first and foremost, playing to Nintendo’s strengths, and doubles as a home console.

Could it be that Nintendo’s strategy all along was to invent a 3DS replacement that would also fill the void, left by the Wii U, in their home console space? Whatever their plans were or are, they’re working! The Switch is a runaway success.

It should be. Doing double-duty as a hybrid, the Switch should be at least twice as good as any previous game system sold by Nintendo. Going forward, I hope Nintendo does not try to fix what’s winning and working. Because it means I can keep playing!


The Whole Hybrid

Nintendo should mimic the success story of the iPhone. Apple makes the “whole widget,” combining both hardware and software to invent amazing devices, with their supporting ecosystems, such as iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Likewise, Nintendo makes innovative gaming hardware and is known for some of the most iconic intellectual property outside of Disney with the likes of Mario and his library of gaming software.

The Switch, with Mario, Zelda, and more, provides some of the greatest video gaming you can have, both at home and on the go. There’s no stopping it.


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

Nintendo Just Flipped The Switch

This here’s a bit of a reaction to Nintendo’s announcement that revealed a new version of the Switch called Nintendo Switch Lite. Yes, that’s right, new hardware! A new handheld gaming console, just like the Switch, only less!?


I guess it’s good-bye 3DS

My family plays Nintendo, but maybe it’s time to switch to a Switch.

So the Switch Lite is like a Switch (heavy?) only it’s lighter in weight and lighter on your wallet. I don’t own a Switch (yet), so I don’t know if it’s too much to lug around. But a more affordable “Lite” version, for sure, sounds good to my ears. All both of them at the same time.

But if money were no object, would the Switch Lite be worth it? Of course that depends on your wants or needs. If my 5 sons want a Switch, I can now opt for getting each their own Switch Lite. Yeah, that would cost too many dollars. But it’s still compelling to me.

Let’s say I buy myself a Switch, the heavy pro version or whatever, and some great games – like the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield, and throw in Mario and Zelda. Because they’re Mario and Zelda! If my kids want to play Pokémon, but I’m playing Mario, they have to maybe wait their turn? What if we head out the door and I take my Switch with me to keep playing Mario?

What I’m getting at is, unlike owning a Wii U and a bunch of 3DS/2DS consoles that have totally separate game libraries, in the future things can be far simpler. I can have the Big Daddy Switch for my wife and I to share – the Parents’ Switch, the kids can have their own Little Kids’ Switches, and we can all share the same game library! This means we can share the fun of Nintendo more.


Switching to Switch sooner than later

I figured I would end up buying a Switch in a few years when the pre-owned price drops and the game library is even bigger. But thanks to Nintendo tempting me with Switch Lite, Pokémon, and the newest Zelda and Animal Crossing games, my wallet might fly away sooner.

Wired asked if a Switch that does not switch is really a Switch. Good question. It does not Switch, but it plays Switch games, and it’s cheaper. Nintendo gaming at affordable prices is the end-game.


Do you play Switch? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!