TRIPLEPOINTS OF INTEREST: SEPTEMBER 16

This week, a leaked ESA pitch deck provided a glimpse into the potential future of E3, and both Apple’s Apple Arcade service and Nintendo’s Switch Lite console launched to positive reviews.

Leaked ESA pitch deck suggests a significant rebrand of E3 in 2020
In a recent article, GameDaily.biz shared a pitch deck from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) that details proposed plans for the 2020 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The deck paints E3 2020 as a “fan, media, and influencer festival” that will introduce more celebrities and influencers, an industry-only day, paid media sponsorships, an additional 10,000 badges for the expo, and more. In a statement to Polygon, the ESA confirmed that the leaked pitch deck is authentic, and is the result of a company-wide brainstorm session to generate possible ideas for the 2020 expo. If the ESA adopts the changes suggested in the deck and shifts away from its trade show label to become more consumer-focused, TechRadar and Windows Central claim that the expo will become the United State’s equivalent of Gamescom. PC Gamer was not convinced that the proposed changes will result in success, though, explaining, “This all seems like a very desperate bid to rescue E3 from irrelevancy, and one that could be doomed to fail.”

Apple Arcade impresses the masses upon launch
Apple’s newest mobile game subscription service, Apple Arcade, launched this week for iPhone users with iOS 13 (iPad, Mac, and Apple TV compatibility available later this month). After a one-month free trial, interested users can pay $4.99 per month for a library of up to 100 exclusive, ad-free, family-friendly mobile games that are void of in-app purchases. Acting as a standalone tab on the App Store, Apple Arcade has no limit to how many games a user can download at a time – although users must be cognizant of their phone’s storage. Games can be played offline, synced between different Apple devices, and shared between a family of up to six. The Verge said, “if you’re at all interested in high-quality mobile games and you own an iOS device, Apple Arcade is a no-brainer.”

Apple Arcade will offer titles from a variety of indie developers as well as well-known studios, including Ubisoft, Square Enix, Konami, Capcom, LEGO, and more. While the extensive lineup has impressed outlets such as WIRED, it has also led The Verge and TechRadar to create a friendly list of top games to try for those who may be unsure, intimidated, or overwhelmed by the library of titles. TechRadar stated, “Apple Arcade is an argument for enjoyable, rich, lower-spec games that prioritize ease of pick-up-and-play in an all-inclusive package – it’s Apple’s no-stress-walled-garden philosophy brought to games.”

However, as explained by Fortune, Apple Arcade will not be a go-to service for all audiences. The outlet said, “With its low monthly rate and large catalog, Apple makes a good value proposition, but core gamers like to own their games. When you cancel your Apple Arcade membership, you’re no longer able to access the titles you’ve downloaded. Also—so far, at least—no Apple Arcade title holds the same widespread appeal as console games like Grand Theft Auto, The Last of Us, Super Mario Bros. or Halo.” 

Reviews of the Nintendo Switch Lite claim the newest handheld console is a welcome alternative to its predecessor
Nintendo’s latest console, the Switch Lite, launched for multiple countries across the globe this week. Before becoming available to the public, press from gaming and entertainment outlets shared their initial thoughts and impressions of the handheld. The current consensus from press is the Switch Lite is not a replacement – or “Switch 2” – but rather an alternative console that is optimized for casual and on-the-go play.

The top feature of the Switch Lite, says The Verge, The Washington Post, and TechRadar, is its comfortability. In its review of the console, The Washington Post went as far as saying that it is “the most comfortable mobile gaming device ever made” due to its soft matte texture and lighter weight. The Switch Lite is easy to grip and hold for long periods of gaming, which can last anywhere from three to seven hours before having to charge. Like the Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite maintains a 720p screen resolution (although smaller in dimension) and 32 gigabytes of storage. The Verge states, “As an all-in-one unit, it’s solid, making it much better for kids or people who travel a lot.”

Unlike its predecessor, however, the Switch Lite lacks detachable controllers, a kickstand, HD rumble, and an IR motion camera. Additionally, the Switch Lite does not have external HDMI support, meaning there is no way to capture gameplay footage for streaming purposes. Also due to its smaller screen, text-heavy games such as Fire Emblem: Three Houses can put a strain on players’ eyes. In its review, Kotaku explained, “My plan is to keep the Switch proper, with its more delicate build and extra power, firmly seated in my Switch dock for television-based play. The more rugged and sturdy Switch Lite will become my travel companion, tucked into its little blue pouch and safely wrapped in a protective shell cover that I will never have to remove to disconnect a Joy-Con.”

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