TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – MAY 29

In this week’s TPoI, PS3 production has officially ceased, Apple reveals App Store earnings to date, and a Twitch streamer allows users to experience the stock market.

Sony Halts PS3 Production in Japan

Back in March, Sony briefly mentioned the possibility of PS3’s production being discontinued. MCV disclosed that the official Japanese PlayStation website stated that shipments for the standard 500GB model have “ended’. A representative from Sony Japan spoke to Kotaku in March, revealing that PS3 shipments in Japan will eventually cease and that the PS3’s production has already terminated. Launched back in November 2006, Polygon thinks the PS3 had a decent run for 10 years, but believes it may have faced difficulty keeping up with its competitor the Xbox 360. Despite the end of the PS3 era, iTechPost anticipates Sony will focus its time and effort in marketing the PS4 and its upcoming titles.

App Store Developer Earnings Exceed $70 Billion

Apple announced that their developer community has earned over $70 billion since the App Store launched in 2008. MacRumors disclosed that App Store downloads have grown over 70 percent in the past year, with the top categories being Gaming, Lifestyle, and Health. One of the biggest drivers of the store’s success was games such as Pokemon GO and Super Mario Run, according to Gamasutra. Forbes is impressed with how well the store is doing, and reports that developers can even respond directly to customer feedback or offer tech support if needed. The App Store numbers are admirable, but TechRadar is curious to see how it stacks up to Google’s Play Store.

Twitch Channel Uses Real Money for Users to Play with Stock Market

Amazon engineer Mike Roberts created the Twitch channel “Stock Stream” and invested $50,000 into the channel to start to allow viewers to invest in whatever they pleased. BusinessInsider reports that Roberts had seen the idea floating around the web for years without much progress, and finally decided to put it in action. TheNextWeb explains that players participate in 5-minute voting rounds, using chat commands to buy or sell a stock. All trades are done on the Robinhood trading app which is used to buy shares. However, if the account falls below $25,000, it will come to a close due to FINRA/SEC regulations. SlashGear finds the concept intriguing and is curious to see how it will pan out. PCGamer finds it to be the strangest Twitch Play ever due to the fact that Roberts is willing to take a huge risk with his own finances.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – MAY 8

In this week’s TPoI, EA addresses mixed reactions of Mass Effect: Andromeda, Nintendo Switch’s eShop is upgraded, and Project Scorpio shows off its official headset.

 

EA’s Response to Mass Effect: Andromeda Reviews

Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson disclosed that despite the varied critiques on Mass Effect: Andromeda which launched back in March, he trusts that developer BioWare will make the right modifications to please disappointed fans. Gamespot reports that during an earnings call Wilson recognized players’ dislike for the game stating, “It represents a fanbase that’s very passionate, that’s looking for very particular things, and many players found exactly what they’re looking for, and some players did not.” VentureBeat felt that the game narrative lacked depth, and wished the facial features had more expression. GameRant states that BioWare is currently working on a patch to resolve these issues and will continue to regularly release new content to increase interest in the game. According to Kotaku, Wilson is confident that the game will continue to be a success with these improvements.

 

Nintendo Switch eShop Gets New Feature

Two months after launch, Nintendo’s eShop now allows users to store credit card information. Gamespot confirms that the option appears to be working for accounts in the US, Japan, and Australia. Slashgear noticed that no official statement was made regarding this, and wonders if this is a stepping stone for upcoming updates. BGR feels that this feature should have been available from the get-go, and wants to know more details on the console’s future paid online service. Additionally, Shacknews wonders if Nintendo plans to add Virtual Console games to the Switch, and is hoping that they will reveal details at E3.

 

Xbox’s Project Scorpio Reveals Official Headset

Although Project Scorpio is still in the works, IGN revealed that the newest licensed Xbox product is LucidSound’s LS35X wireless gaming headset. Slashgear notes that what sets this piece apart from others is its ability to to use wireless technology without extra attachments or configuration settings. Trustedreviews found its stats to be decent and doesn’t find the headpiece to have any outstanding flaws, and believes it would be a good investment for consumers. The headset is expected to release during the holidays of this year. Digital Trends is looking forward to its debut at E3 in June, but wonders if this new concept will end up hurting Microsoft in the long run.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF MAY 1

In this week’s TPoI, No Matter Studios modifies game title to avoid legal battle, Blizzard reveals revenue data for Overwatch, and E3 announces a new series of panels for this year’s convention.

No Matter Studios Avoids Dispute With Bethesda & Zenimax

Indie developer No Matter Studios was recently forced to change its upcoming game title Prey for the Gods to Praey for the Gods after Bethesda and parent company Zenimax filed a trademark complaint for using the word “Prey”, as it’s the same spelling they’ve used for their latest title. IGN reveals that No Matter Studios seriously considered fighting it but decided against it as they’ve already spent a tremendous amount of time and effort raising funds via Kickstarter. According to Heavy, Bethesda’s legal team also clashed with Minecraft developer Mojang in 2011, which was eventually settled out of court. Hardcore Gamer predicts that readers are more likely to lean towards No Matter Studios than Bethesda and Zenimax, and is hopeful that this won’t end up hurting development in the long run.

Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch Earns $1 Billion to Date

Debuting in May of last year, Activision Blizzard announced that multiplayer and FPS Overwatch has already made more than $1 billion according to to their fiscal Q1 2017 financial statement. VentureBeat disclosed that this is the company’s fastest-growing franchise ever. GameRant surmises that part of its success stems from keeping fans engaged with ongoing limited-timed events, modes and skins. May 24 is Overwatch’s launch anniversary, and VG24/7 reports that Blizzard President Michael Morhaime may have a celebratory event or surprise in store for fans that day.

E3 Introduces New Panel and Series, “E3 Coliseum”

For the first time ever, E3 will be officially open to the public and that’s not all. GameSpot revealed that Journalist and Video Game awards host Geoff Keighley announced E3 Coliseum, a two-day series of talks and panels from gaming companies occurring on June 13-14. This new series is intended to take attendees behind the scenes of the gaming experience and VG24/7 disclosed that Bethesda Softworks, Microsoft, Gearbox Publishing, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Ubisoft are just a few of the publishers that will make an appearance at the panels. CinemaBlend hopes Gearbox Publishing has Borderlands 3 in the works, and predicts this year’s E3 to have one of the highest turnouts. For those unable to attend, Polygon reports that a live stream will be available to view on Twitch and other platforms.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 24

In this week’s TPoI, Atlus updates and apologizes for their Persona 5 streaming ban, Nintendo announces new hardware coming this summer, and Sony releases PS4 sales numbers.

Atlus Apologizes for Streaming Restriction Ban

Atlus’ streaming guidelines around the launch of Persona 5 were heavily contested by streamers, fans and press, and this week the company has announced changes to the policy. In addition to the policy change, which allows streamers to capture and present up to the in-game date of 11/19 (when the main story gears up for the final act), the company issued a formal apology regarding the way they initially presented the guidelines. In response to the policy change, Engadget ponders whether or not the original strategy was “simply a bid to forcibly drive more sales” while The Verge poses that streaming guidelines for the game aren’t necessary, since the community has policed itself and proven themselves loyal to Atlus. GameSpot doesn’t seem to mind the streaming restriction or care for the apology, stating the game is so good everything else is hogwash.

Nintendo Announces the New 2DS XL

In a late night announcement this Thursday, Nintendo revealed a brand-new piece of hardware set to launch this summer – the New Nintendo 2DS XL. The new piece of hardware will join the now-discontinued NES Classic Edition and the Nintendo Switch also released this year. Ars Technica has taken to calling the new device, “a handheld for gamers who can’t afford a Switch.” Forbes contributor, Paul Tassi, sees the announcement a bit differently, expressing frustration over understanding Nintendo’s strategy in the hardware space. Tassi writes, “Nintendo’s commitment to producing overlapping hardware remains incredibly confusing,” noting he sees too much overlap in the product market. The Verge took a less critical position, but made mention that the common theme between all the devices Nintendo has launched this year is the constrained supply of units available to consumers.

PS4 Shipments Reach 60 Million Units Worldwide

Sony’s latest sales numbers for the PlayStation 4 are now reported at 60 million units shipped worldwide. Polygon however reports that this figure represents PS4 shipments to retailers, not necessarily sales through customers. Alongside the report of the new sales numbers, Sony states they plan on shipping 18 million PS4’s for the upcoming fiscal year. Hardcore Gamer reports that this estimation is down from the 20 million they sold this year, which tracks for a four-year old console. On the heels of the sales numbers, The Wall Street Journal quoted an analyst that suspects Sony will release its next-gen PlayStation by the second half of 2018.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 17

In this week’s TPoI, we bring you the latest updates on Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service, Twitch’s new subscription service, and the possibility of a Mini SNES Classic Edition from Nintendo.

Xbox Game Pass Coming Later This Spring

Microsoft is preparing to launch Xbox Game Pass, a subscription gaming service similar to Netflix that gives users access to over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles for $9.99 a month. Gamespot notes that the service’s alpha test is coming to an end on April 28, signaling an impending launch, and CinemaBlend predicts that it could come as soon as E3. Michael Pachter is confident that Microsoft won’t be able to replicate Netflix’s success, due to the lack of newly released titles being offered on the Game Pass.

Twitch Expands Subscription Service Options

Twitch has announced new $24.99 and $9.99 level subscriptions options, allowing fans to support their favorite streamers in bigger ways. TechCrunch reports that higher payment level subscribers will count more toward a channel’s overall subscriber number than non-paying viewers. EsportsPro believes this could significantly increase partnered streamers’ revenues, with a potential for streaming to turn into a full-time job for more users of the platform. Per Eurogamer, Twitch plans to release the beta version “very soon.”

Nintendo to Release a Mini SNES Classic Edition?

With the global discontinuation of the NES Classic Edition, there is speculation that Nintendo has plans to launch a Mini SNES Classic Edition, according to a report from Eurogamer. Nintendo has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor, but Fortune surmises that this may have been why production of the NES Classic was stopped. If the SNES is to be released, GameSpot expects it to launch sometime around December, a perfect gift for the holidays. Polygon suggests that Nintendo implements a pre-order program to prevent the type of shortage issues that were present at the NES Classic launch, with Forbes going so far as to advise Nintendo to triple the amount of SNES available.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 10

Here’s the scoop in this week’s TPoI: Nintendo soars in the US with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sales on the Switch, Microsoft introduces a new refund program for Xbox One and PC games, and Germany instructs Twitch streamers and YouTubers to purchase a broadcasting license. With spring in the air, we give you full permission to indulge in chocolate covered sweets!

Nintendo Surpasses Own Record With Switch and Breath of the Wild Sales

New data released by Nintendo and NPD reveals that the Switch is now the fastest-selling console in Nintendo history, with Breath of the Wild attributing to its success. IGN reports that in North America, Nintendo sold 906,000 Switch units while Breath of the Wild sold 925,000 copies. WCCFTech explains that this means the title has an attach rate of 100%, possibly due to consumers unable to obtain a console along with the game. TheVerge adds that Nintendo is working hard to ensure that everyone who hasn’t purchased a Switch will be able to do so in the near future. While the numbers are impressive, Business Insider is curious to see how the upcoming launch of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2 will affect Switch sales. CNN believes the Switch needs more data before concluding that it’s a hit. Polygon disclosed that Nintendo will unveil worldwide Switch sales on April 27, so a final verdict won’t be made until then!

Microsoft Store Revamped in Response to User Feedback

 Nothing’s worse than spending money on an app or game online and not knowing what to do with it once you’re done playing. Due to overwhelming response from gamers, Gamespot revealed that Microsoft sent a message to those enrolled in the Xbox Insider program, stating “In support of offering gamers the freedom of choice, we’re making changes to the Microsoft Store purchase experience by offering customers a simple way to instantly return digital products like games and apps through account.microsoft.com.” According to ArsTechnica, only Alpha members currently have access, but the feature should be available to the public soon. Metro reports that Microsoft will monitor activity and block users that attempt to abuse the program. BGR finds it to be almost identical to Steam’s refund system, but commends Microsoft’s decision and encourages other companies to take the same steps. Waypoint foresees that this may entice users to choose Xbox titles over PlayStation, but expects Sony to release their own refund system to keep up with its competition.

Broadcasting License Required for Twitch Streamers and YouTubers in Germany

German broadcast authority Landesmedienanstalt has deemed live-streaming as “radio broadcast”, enforcing YouTubers and Twitch streamers to provide a broadcasting license from now on. VG24/7 reports that YouTuber PietSmiet was informed he’ll need to apply for a license by April 30 if he were to continue making videos. Depending on the number of viewers, a license may cost between 1,000 to 10,000 euros, and SegmentNext believes streamers may have to turn to alternative websites or launch a Kickstarter to receive donations from fans. PCGamesN warns that those who fail to comply to the ruling will have their channel classified as a pirate station and subject to fines. Thankfully, Gamezone states that Germany is aware that this ruling is outdated and may be overruled in the future, but streamers are not exempt until further notice.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF APRIL 3

For this week’s TPoI, we dive into YouTube’s latest partner program update, PETA’s dispute with Nintendo, Atlus’ debatable decision to enact a strict streaming ban, and the launch of Twitch’s very own gaming store.

YouTube Enacts Stricter Creator Monetisation

In an effort to catch suspicious channels, YouTube has changed its partner program by enacting stricter guidelines for channel monetization. The Verge reports that going forward, YouTube won’t allow monetization until a creator has reached 10,000 lifetime views on their channel. MCV speculates that the true reasoning behind the move is to lessen the chances of brands finding themselves aligned with hate speech or racist content, an issue that YouTube has been battling. Aspiring creators will undoubtedly have a harder time earning money with this new policy in place, but ArsTechnica advises that using GoogleAdSense is an option to obtain ad revenue without relying on the total view count. Furthermore, Fortune revealed that YouTube plans to add a new review process for the partner program that will monitor a video publisher’s activity to ensure the creator is adhering to the rules and regulations.

PETA Shames Nintendo For 1-2 Switch Milking Game

Milk, one of 28 mini games on Nintendo’s multiplayer party game 1-2 Switch has been deemed unrealistic according to PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk. The milking simulator portrays no cows on-screen and the farmers appear to be happy-go-lucky during the entire process. Polygon reports that Newkirk personally wrote a letter to Nintendo to address her concerns stating, “We have more than 35 years of experience investigating dairy farms where cows are exploited for their milk, and it is NEVER that pleasant for these animals. Can we have some realism here, please?” Uproxx adds that Newkirk suggests either Nintendo depicts the cruel reality of animal abuse or consider simulating a game where no animals suffer. Nintendo has yet to respond but we anticipate a thought-out and respectful rebuttal.

Atlus Threatens Gaming Community With Harsh Consequences

The long awaited Japanese RPG series Persona finally launched its fifth entry to the series Persona 5 outside of Japan on April 4. The day after its release, a report from Kotaku revealed that developer Atlus threatened to issue channel strikes and content ID claims on any streamer or YouTuber that showed footage beyond 7/7, a date in the calendar of the game. The purpose of the ban is to prevent spoilers for those who haven’t obtained or played the game, but Forbes argues that users could easily search for a playthrough of the game considering it’s been released in Japan for a whole year. Atlus’ concerns are valid, but ArsTechnica adds that in this day and age, gaming companies should view gameplay videos as a way to boost exposure not hinder it. In recent news, Polygon reports that several streamers and YouTubers are showing content past the 7/7 mark and are well aware of the potential repercussions to follow.

Shop and Stream: The Future of Twitch

Amazon-owned Twitch has released a purchasing system for streamers and audience viewers. The Escapist disclosed that users will now be allowed to buy a game while watching a stream, with over 50 different titles released so far. Games can be downloaded and played through the Twitch launcher or on a publisher’s service, such as Uplay. Not only that, streamers will get a cut of the sales as well, with partnered streamers earning up to 5% of the sales that originate from their channel, according to The Verge. This is a smart move on Twitch’s part, as it offers revenue for both the company and streamers. Although Engadget believes this is a smart move, it worries that content creators may abuse the system and only stream games purely for financial gain. PCWorld agrees, but also argues that it’s a great way to showcase a game and see a streamer’s honest reaction and feedback.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF FEB. 27

With the madness of GDC dying down, we here at TriplePoint thought we could sigh in relief. Little did we know…This week’s TPoI features PSVR’s success, Twitch announcing that it will sell games directly, and of course, the launch of the Nintendo Switch! What a week!

How Impressive Are Sony’s ‘Surprise’ PlayStation VR Sales, Really?

In the four short months that PlayStation VR has been available, it has already sold over 915,000 units – beating even Sony’s own projections. The New York Times reports that even the head of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House, had doubts regarding the PSVR and advised a slow approach towards production. Despite this, the PSVR managed to outsell both the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive which moved a total of 663,000 units combined. TechCrunch provides insight into PSVR’s strong market performance, pointing out that the PSVR is cheaper than its competitors and an accessory to the already successful PlayStation 4 with over 50 million units sold. In addition, Forbes highlights that the PSVR’s purchase rate is less than 2% when considered alongside the total number of PS4s sold. Beneath all these numbers, however, is the fact that PSVR’s success is a boon to the VR industry and will help it develop faster. In an interview with UploadVR, HTC Vive China expressed this exact sentiment while congratulating their competitor on its success.

Twitch partnering with game devs, studios to sell games on site

Love to donate to your favorite streamer on Twitch? Now you might be able to get a game with that money! According to Polygon, Twitch is edging into the online marketplace for video games, but with a twist. Instead of a simple click-and-buy market, Twitch will allow its users to purchase video games right from their favorite streamer’s page. To sweeten the deal, Twitch will contribute 5% of the sale to the streamer and give the purchaser a digital Twitch Crate, which will contain a randomized item such as a chat badge or game-specific emoji that you can use on the platform. The Verge reports that Twitch’s move into the marketplace will help streamline the purchase process as many gamers watch streams before making the decision to buy or pass up a game. By allowing its users to purchase from the site and contributing a portion of the sale to the streamer, Twitch hopes to be one step closer to being the ultimate hub for gaming on the web.

Nintendo Switch Sells Out All Over The World

Finally! It’s the day that everyone has been waiting for – Nintendo Switch launch day! All the anticipation ends today as every major retailer has stocked their shelves with the new portable gaming system from Nintendo. Or does it? Chances are, if you don’t already have a Nintendo Switch in your hands, you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer. Forbes is reporting that the Nintendo Switch is sold out around the world and to expect a trickle of inventory as Switches will continue to fly off the shelves in the upcoming months. According to USA Today, some gamers lined up for more than 12 hours in order to get their hands on the highly coveted device. It’s no surprise as the Nintendo Switch launches with Breath of the Wild, which received a perfect 10 rating from GameSpot. So if you don’t have the Switch yet, keep your fingers crossed and your eyes peeled for restocks from retailers, and if you did manage to get your hands on one, happy gaming!

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF FEB. 20

This week’s TPoI features the first reactions to Nintendo Switch, big shakeups over at Disney and Maker, Nvidia’s transformation into a gaming platform, and the response to the death of Twitch streamer Brian Vigneault.

Nintendo Switch: Here’s What the Critics Are Saying

This week, intial reactions and reviews started to surface from lucky journalists that were able to review Switch, prior to its official launch next week. Overall press reaction has been positive despite these early versions of Switch lacking the crucial “Day One” update that will go live on launch. The update will allow network connectivity, social media integration, and some minor bug fixes. Business Insider reports that the Nintendo Switch is a fast and efficient system that smoothly combines portable and console gaming with the caveat that some games, when played on a TV, have “issues with consistent framerate.” Similarly, Polygon also reports that the fit and feel of the Switch as a finished product is fantastic, but there are some issues with the Joy-Con controllers losing connectivity while the handheld is docked. The trouble surrounding the Joy-Con controller doesn’t end there as Ars Technica also writes that the controllers are, “a little hard to get a solid grasp on.” With the launch less than a week away, the Switch is shaping up to be a great product for those who like to game at home and on the go.

Disney cuts about 80 jobs in digital media unit that includes Maker Studios

LA Times reported that the Walt Disney Company has laid off about 80 employees in its digital media unit, which includes Maker Studios, the digital media company representing YouTube successes such as “Epic Rap Battles of History” and PewDiePie. Earlier this month, Maker severed ties with PewDiePie in response to a story from The Wall Street Journal that alleged anti-Semitic references the creator was including in videos. The PewDiePie scandal, and the recent cutbacks at Maker, have reportedly caused the company to further cull their roster of YouTube creators. Polygon reported that Maker will now only sponsor 300 content creators; the company currently supports more than 60,000. According to Develop, Maker will now look for two qualities in affiliated creators – 1) that the creators have their own established audience and large following, and 2) that the creator material is family friendly and in alignment with Disney’s corporate culture.

In The Wake of Marathon Streamer’s Death, Twitch Community Discusses Healthy Streaming Practices

In what was both a tragic and eye-opening week for Twitch users, Brian “PoShYbRiD” Vigneault passed away last Sunday after attempting a 24 hour charity stream for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Vigneault has done multiple charity streams in the past, raising over $10,000 to date for various organizations by playing, World of Tanks. According to IGN, World of Tanks issued a statement of condolence and to pay their respects to Vigneault’s family. Polygon has reached out to Twitch for comment, but as of yet the company has not made an official statement. In addition, Kotaku reports that Vigneault’s death should help raise awareness towards the unseen pressure on streamers to grow their fan base at the cost of their own health. The outlet also called for Twitch to “choose to take a firmer stance against unhealthy streaming practices.” According to IGN and Kotaku, Twitch has yet to make official comment. His fans have set up a GoFundMe page and turned his Twitch channel into a memorial.

NVIDIA GeForce Has Moved From Graphics Card To Gaming Platform

NVIDIA has set the gaming world astir with hints at a potential announcement of the long awaited GTX 1080 Ti at GDC next week in San Francisco. The company is coming out with all guns blazing, choosing to unveil the previously delayed graphics card on the same day that competitor AMD streams its Capsaicin event to announce its next-generation Vega graphics cards. Although details regarding the announcement and the card itself are still uncertain, Digital Trends implies that both NVIDIA and AMD are racing to make virtual reality the mainstream form of gaming. In addition, according to Forbes, NVIDIA is aggressively competing with mobile, console, and handheld gaming platforms through its GeForce line, which is responsible for the company’s high level of growth and success. Look for the drama between NVIDIA and AMD to unfold in a few days at GDC.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF FEB. 13


In TPoI this week, we see a sneak peek at the Nintendo Switch, mobile esports comes on the scene, and Microsoft releases news that we can expect to see an update at E3 regarding Project Scorpio.

Here’s 3 minutes of the Nintendo Switch menus, thanks to an early shipment
Although details regarding the Nintendo Switch have been kept under wraps by Nintendo, Switch fans eagerly awaiting the console’s launch were treated to an early look at the product this week thanks to one lucky gamer who uploaded videos of their new Switch and its system menus after receiving an early shipment from an undisclosed retailer. Polygon reports that the user interface and system menus have been carefully guarded by Nintendo – though it’s no longer a secret as the video garnered over half a million views in just two hours. According to Business Insider, the short video shows a notable improvement in the Switch’s processor speed and responsiveness from previous handheld consoles. With this level of hype surrounding the Switch, the console may very well outperform some analysts’ projections of 40 million units sold through 2020. In the meantime Switch fans… keep waiting.

UK esports champions Fnatic are getting into mobile gaming
With the popularity of games such as Call of Duty, League of Legends, and Defense of the Ancients 2, esports has reached a golden age of success and viewership. However, teams such as Fnatic have refused to limit themselves to console and PC games and are beginning to branch out towards popular mobile games such as Vainglory. Fnatic’s growth into the mobile gaming industry reveals the ever increasing popularity and potential of mobile games as the demographic that owns a smartphone is much larger than those who own a gaming console or computer. WIRED reports that Fnatic and others in the esports space see mobile gaming as the next play in esports due to its accessibility and intuitive gameplay. So if you like mobile games and esports, you might be able to tryout for your favorite team in the near future!

Xbox Project Scorpio will finally get some face time at Microsoft’s E3 Event
As E3 draws closer, the gaming world is officially abuzz as companies put the finishing touches on their games and products for the summer event. Earlier this week, Microsoft tweeted an announcement from their official Xbox account regarding Project Scorpio – their next-gen console. The exact specifications of Project Scorpio are still unknown, but what we do know is that it will have the most powerful GPU installed in a console to date, allowing it to run games in true 4K resolution along with VR capabilities. TechCrunch reported that we’re not likely to learn anything else about the project until June, since the company has been very “mysterious” surrounding the product up until now.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF FEB. 6

In this week’s TPoI; press reaction to Nintendo announcing 2-3 mobile games per year, E3 opens up to the “public”, and Valve confirms VR game development (no proof of Half-Life 3… yet).

Nintendo Aims to Make 2-3 Mobile Games A Year From Now On
In this week’s Q&A session for investors, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima announced that the company plans to make 2-3 mobile games a year moving forward. IGN reports that the company will still primarily focus on the Switch and 3DS, but that it seems Nintendo sees mobile gaming as a serious prospect with potential for long-term gains. GamesIndustry sees the plans as potentially precarious, due to the parallel business risks to manage simultaneously, while iDigitalTimes is a bit more optimistic noting it believes Nintendo will learn what it needs to continue creating classics for a new generation. No doubt that the success and fanfare surrounding Pokémon GO and Super Mario Run played a role in the decision, and it will continue to pursue a strategy of expanding its core IP into mainstream audiences to drive sales of its primary business units.

 

E3 Opens To The Public For the First Time Ever
This week the ESA announced that 15,000 tickets will be made available for anyone wishing to attend E3 this June, for a price of $250 (or $150 for lucky early birds). Tickets provide access to the show floor, panel discussions, and other related events Tuesday-Thursday of the week. Gamespot noted availability to the public may be in efforts to keep the conference relevant, as major players like Activision and EA have pulled out in recent years. For their part, the ESA has noted the success of the public-facing E3 Live, held outside the convention center last year that drew impressive numbers as the catalyst to give access to the full convention to fans. Our take here at TriplePoint is that there were already 15k “loose”, non-trade attendees already making their way into the show in recent years. With some tightening of the admission process we could see non-trade attendees – like GameStop employees for example – having to pay their way into the show moving forward.
 

Valve is working on three ‘full’ VR games
This week Valve founder Gabe Newell confirmed that the company currently has three full VR games in development. He noted that, with the HTC Vive on the market, Valve is now in a position to develop hardware and software simultaneously, nodding to Nintendo’s success with the same framework. Engadget added that with low headset sales and the difficulty in persuading developers to make VR software, Valve and their games could turn the popularity and ubiquity of VR around.

TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST – WEEK OF JAN. 30


This Valentine’s month brings us nothing but love… for Nintendo! (okay, and maybe a bit of controversy)

This week’s TPoI include: Nintendo’s potential VR plans, a Switch Super Bowl commercial, a big fat lawsuit for Oculus, and Nintendo’s Fire Emblem is a gacha!

Nintendo’s Fire Emblem introduces controversial Japanese concept of “gacha”
Nintendo’s first free mobile game, Fire Emblem, is making waves this week as players are lured into purchasing special in-game items in a gambling-like fashion, employing a tactic the company has previously avoided – “gacha”. Bloomberg notes that after Super Mario Run launched on iOS priced at a premium $10 and without in-app monetization, the gacha mechanics in Fire Emblem are problematic, saying, “the Japanese powerhouse is taking a different approach that is potentially more lucrative — and much more controversial.” More information can be found on Inverse.

Nintendo plans to add VR to Switch
Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima reportedly discussed potential virtual reality plans for Switch in a conversation relayed by Kantan Games, a Tokyo-based consultancy firm. The company has previously shied away from sharing any VR plans, citing concerns around common VR issues and side effects like nausea or headaches. However, patents emerged in December regarding the design of a VR accessory to be used with Switch. Little is known about the service, but GamesIndustry reported that it will be a monthly and/or yearly service priced between $17.70 and $26.50 and including with a free NES or SNES game every month.

Nintendo Switch-ing it up with first Super Bowl ad
Nintendo’s first-ever Super Bowl ad will feature the Switch, and at $5 million per 30 seconds of airtime, the company is showing how serious they are about the new console. Excitement about the Switch and its fourth quarter slot has been voiced by outlets like The Verge, Polygon, and Engadget. Nintendo’s YouTube channel provides an extended commercial that has broad appeal -speaking to hardcore gamers, families, and everyone in between, mimicking TPCi’s approach last year in revealing a longer commercial before the actual Super Bowl ad aired. The two minute ad features many Switch game previews, as well as hints at the availability of household names like Super Mario, Street Fighter, and Mario Kart. The extended cut can be found here.

ZeniMax lawsuit seeks injunction to temporarily halt sale of Oculus headsets
The years-long lawsuit of Maryland-based game developer ZeniMax and VR leader Oculus has come to a close – with ZeniMax being awarded $500 million on February 2nd, for Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey’s violation of an NDA. After the “win”, ZeniMax reportedly told Polygon that the company was deciding whether or not to file an injunction – which would temporarily stop the sale of Oculus Rift headsets.

TriplePoints of Interest – Week of Jan. 23

In the first TriplePoints of Interest of 2017, the big stories this week center around an Overwatch milestone, Switch prediction, and a new tabletop-focused version of PAX.

It’s 2017. Welcome to the future!

Overwatch Hits 25 million Player Milestone
Overwatch, Blizzard’s competitive team-based shooter that debuted in May 2016, now has more than 25 million players – up an additional 5 million from the 20 million milestone which the company celebrated in October. Thanks to the game’s constant updates, achievements, and new content, Polygon noted that the game has already become a classic.

Analyst Prediction: Nintendo Switch Will Sell 40 Million Units Through 2020
Research firm DFC Intelligence has predicted that the Nintendo Switch will sell 40 million units through 2020. If this forecast is to be true, Nintendo Switch sales in the first four years of the product’s life would account for 40% of Wii U’s lifetime sales (which is a somewhat conservative estimate according to Forbes). Forbes contributor Paul Tassi, is skeptical regarding DFC’s estimated sales, stating that its too early to know whether or not the Switch will be as successful as the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS, noting that the product is positioned as a secondary console and is competing against other Nintendo products as well.
PAX Unplugged Announced, Focused on Tabletop Games
AX Unplugged, a new annual event focusing on tabletop games, was announced today at PAX South. The convention is set to debut November 17-19 of this year in Philadelphia. Organizers say the convention will highlight “board, card, and other tabletop games” and the event as a whole will include game reveals, tournaments, panels and special events. IGN says tabletop games will still appear at other PAX events, but Unplugged will focus on stepping away from digital gaming.