Nintendo hosted a direct last week where the company made a variety of announcements and revealed new trailers. They left me impressed with the 4o minute presentation. Not only did we get some release dates for anticipated games, but there were also some surprises. This Fall, there will be a Super Mario Odyssey Switch bundle and a few new 2DS XL varieties. The biggest surprise was when Bethesda announced that DOOM and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus will be coming to Switch, with DOOM launching this year.
One of the biggest criticisms the Wii-U had was the fact that there wasn’t much 3rd-Party support. This seems not to be a problem with Switch. Since launch, there has been an influx of 3rd party games announced for the platform. These announcements today just show that developers believe in Nintendo’s vision. In addition to these games, Nintendo also showed off a handful of 3DS and Switch games launching over the next year.
Here’s a list of some of the games talked about during the direct.
- Dragon Quest Builders
- Pokémon Ultra Sun/ Pokémon Ultra Moon
- Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga: Bowser’s Minions
- Kirby: Battle Royale
- Mario Party: The Top 100
- Sonic Forces
- Resident Evil Revelations 1 &2
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Lost Sphear
- Octopath Traveller
- Kirby: Star Allies
- Fire Emblem Heroes
- Morphies Law
- Wolfenstein: The New Colossus
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The list above is a mixture of first and third party games. Each game is diverse and looks like they’ll provide hours of fun for 3DS and Switch owners. As someone who purchased a Nintendo Switch at launch, this direct left me ecstatic. I can’t wait to play all of these new games. I’m even tempted to purchase the Switch version of DOOM because it’s one of my favorite Xbox One games.
After finishing the direct, I became annoyed. The Xbox brand is my favorite in the whole video game industry. Since I purchased an original Xbox in 2003, the brand has become my primary focus. While I own a PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, all third party games are played on my Xbox One S. I genuinely wish for the company to succeed. While Phil Spencer and the team have been doing so many great things for the brand, I can’t help but feel disappointed. Xbox have dropped the ball plenty of times, and it’s becoming more common.
Sure, we’ve had announcements like backward compatibility, cross-play, Xbox One X enhanced games, Game Pass, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds coming to Xbox, but that’s not enough. For each excellent announcement there were heartbreaks. Crackdown 3 was delayed, Fable Legends and Scalebound were cancelled. Microsoft have been criticised for not having exclusives, and in a sense, that’s true. While there are first-party games, they are few and far between.
What Microsoft needs to do is announce games closer to release. This is something we’ve seen from Nintendo recently. Since the launch of Switch, players have seen games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Arms, Splatoon 2, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and Super Bomberman R launch. Within the next four months, Pokken Tournament DX, Fire Emblem Heroes, Super Mario Odyssey, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, a group of exclusives will be coming to the console. This means that since its March launch, there has been an exclusive almost every month. This is something that Microsoft and Sony have failed to do since the launch of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively.
While there are still issues I have with Nintendo, it’s clear that the company is trying to do right in the eyes of the consumers. Microsoft had a rough start with the Xbox One, but there is always time to emerge as the victor. They need to take a page from Nintendo’s book. There’s always a lot of chatter on Twitter after every Nintendo direct. Even now, a lot of people are talking about the great job Nintendo did.
— Chris White (@neolego) September 13, 2017
Remember at E3 when Bethesda said they supported Ninty and we all sneered at them for bringing over a 7-year-old game?
We were so innocent.
— (((Eli Pales))) (@paleselan) September 13, 2017
DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM ON THE SWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH
— RGT 85 (@ShawnLong85) September 13, 2017
While there are a lot of Xbox supporters out there, there is a less enthusiastic attitude on the Internet. I understand why. I will always like Xbox and prioritize those products over anything else, but the disappointment is understandable. It’s tough to sit back and watch as other companies unload a massive barrage of games that will be playable in the near future. While we have State of Decay 2, Sea of Thieves, and Crackdown 3 launching in 2018, this year has been bland. I’m excited for the long awaited Cuphead and the cute Super Lucky’s Tale, but I’m not crazy about Forza Motorsport 7. I’m sure it will be great and look fantastic on the Xbox One X, but that series feels like Madden to me. Each installment in the Motorsport franchise feels the same, with the exception of a few new features each year.
Microsoft has to step up and do something to wow its user base. New consoles, new features, and updates for existing games are fantastic, but we need something new. There needs to be a surprise. Microsoft should start learning from Nintendo and do sporadic events, focusing on upcoming releases. While Phil Spencer has helped Microsoft become more consumer friendly, he needs to reintroduce the brand in a new light.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Phil Spencer talked about announcing games too early. “We’ve signed some things we haven’t announced. I’m not gonna go stand on-stage – I’ve lived through announcing things too early and then had to live up to the hype while you’re trying to go build the game, and I’m learning. I’m not a big fan of that. So I want to give teams the time.”
“But when I think about our first-party, I want to announce things when I know they’re going to launch, when I’ve got real sightlines into what they’re going to be able to deliver for our customers. That’s when you’re going to hear about games from us.”Sure, there are excellent exclusives like Ryse: Son of Rome, Sunset Overdrive, Halo 5: Guardians, ReCore, Gears of War 4, Forza Horizon 3 and Zoo Tycoon on the console, but there need to be more quality games. Since cross-play and cross-buy were introduced, a lot of the internet has said that there are no “true exclusives” on the console. While that is technically correct and I don’t mind (the more people who can play a game, the better) it would be good if Microsoft backed cross-buy up with more first-party games coming to the console.
I know that Microsoft has a plan going forward, but we need to find out more. Instead of dashboard updates and new features, be like Nintendo and show us brand new games. Get the fan-base and those curious about Xbox a reason to want the console. Show us the games that we can play in the new future. Nintendo has turned a new leaf, and now people are singing the praises of the “House that Mario built.” Microsoft can get back into the game; they just need to look at what Nintendo is doing and take some pointers. After all, competition only drives the industry forward.