XBox 360 Universe

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  • scissors
    October 23rd, 2016GamespotUncategorized



    Hey, Charters! I'm VGChartz Senior Editor Spencer Manigat, and you're reading Part 2 of VGChartz's very first VGChat discussion. If you missed Part 1, be sure to read that one first as Part 2 picks up from where that one left off.




    William D'Angelo: I believe Nintendo has revealed some other info on it, though. I'm catching up on other news first. Ah, yes. They've announced partners. I see Activision and EA.*

    *Side note: Will joined the conversation a bit after Brandon, Evan, and I had started, thus missing us speak on the information released after the initial trailer. As he just started catching up on other news here, a few of those related topics brought up in Part 1 will briefly resurface again here.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah. I don't really put much stock in those, though. 

    William D'Angelo: Yeah. Could just be one game.

    Spencer Manigat: Exactly. I want tangibility. Its first 12 months will be crucial.

    William D'Angelo: With it being portable, do you think that Pokémon Go is possible? Well, it's possible... the question is just whether Nintendo will do it or not.

    Spencer Manigat: It would need a data plan for that.

    William D'Angelo: Oh yeah. I didn't think of that. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think it needs one regardless, though. Iwata has talked about it before in the past. 

    William D'Angelo: I agree. It does need it. Unless it can connect to your phone and use that data instead. 

    Spencer Manigat: What Iwata proposed was more interesting. He talked about integrating it into the cost of the hardware/software. And cited the Kindle Fire as an example. So the data would be "free."

    William D'Angelo: Oh, okay. If it was USD$30 a month like most phone plans, that would be a hard sell.

    Spencer Manigat: I'd argue that it'd be an impossible sell. (Laughs)

    William D'Angelo: Yeah. Kind of like with all the TV services like Netflix and Hulu. So many companies are trying to copy them, but most people aren't going to pay USD$10 a month for even more similar services. 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, I agree. Then again, there's PS+ and Live Gold.

    William D'Angelo: They are USD$50/60 per year. Fairly cheap in comparison to a phone plan.

    Spencer Manigat: Wait, I'm an idiot. I was thinking of the yearly price as though it was the monthly price. But yeah, it would definitely have to be free to some degree. 

    William D'Angelo: Or similar to PS+ and Gold in price.

    PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold are subscription services that allow players access to certain features for their PlayStation or Xbox systems, most important of which is access to online multiplayer. Could the Switch implement the same kind of service? Should it? Let us know.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, exactly. But I don't even think they could do that. No one would buy it. I don't think that superfluous data is a compelling enough value proposition on its own, but I think it's a necessity for a modern portable device like this.

    Maybe they could sell it if it was tied to online play? Like you have to buy the USD$60 a year data plan if you want to be able to play online. I hope not, though. Online should be free.

    William D'Angelo: You already have to pay to play online on the Xbox and PlayStation. That earns Microsoft and Sony a ton of money.

    Spencer Manigat: I know, but I've liked that Nintendo has stood their ground on that, and I hope that doesn't change. I honestly don't think it will.

    William D'Angelo: Only way it definitely will is if the Switch fails as bad as the Wii U did. 

    Spencer Manigat: I honestly don't think that it possibly can. I think it can fail, but not like the Wii U did. I'm 100% sure it will get Pokémon, which means I'm 100% sure that's impossible. I think a failure for this is around 30m lifetime. 

    William D'Angelo: With Pokémon and all the other major Nintendo IP, it should be able to sell 30m minimum.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah.

    William D'AngeloPokémon is a key reason the 3DS didn't flop.

    Spencer Manigat: Man, they need to get the price right though.

    William D'Angelo: USD$299, max.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah... And honestly, I think it needs to hit even lower than that, like USD$249.

    William D'Angelo: Same price as the Wii at launch? 

    Spencer Manigat: I think they need to “take the L” if they have to, yeah. 

    William D'Angelo: Nintendo never takes the loss. I guess they did with the 3DS when they dropped the price by USD$70, but that's the only example I can think of.

    Spencer Manigat: PS4 slim is USD$300, and that's not a value proposition they should be competing with. I'm pretty sure that the Wii U was sold at a loss, actually. A slight loss, but a loss nonetheless. I'll double check later.

    DOUBLE CHECK: Nintendo's Wii U system was indeed sold at a loss during its launch. Nintendo has expressed numerous times since that the pricing of the Wii U was a mistake and too expensive. At the same time however, current Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima has said that the company would not sell the Nintendo Switch at a loss this time, citing a strong yen as the source of some of the Wii U's pricing woes. Time will tell what this means for its price.

    William D'Angelo: Really? Even with how underpowered it was? It is basically the same price as the PS4 and Xbox One... 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah. I think they said they had to sell one game to break even.

    William D'Angelo: That is surprising. I'm guessing that is due to the GamePad. 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah. The tablet was expensive tech. 

    William D'Angelo: That worries me about the Switch's price. 

    Spencer Manigat: I don't think it's the same thing. 

    William D'Angelo: It is a tablet with at a minimum all the guts of the Wii U in it.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, but I think that's a good thing, price-wise.

    William D'Angelo: Actually, I just had a thought. iPhones are what? USD$600+?

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah.

    William D'Angelo: But most people don't pay that up front. They pay it off over 2 years.

    Spencer Manigat: Ah, yes. I thought the same thing earlier this year. Subsidizing the NX.

    William D'Angelo: What if Nintendo did something like that? USD$20 a month for 2 years, plus get some extra stuff like with the free games that Microsoft and Sony give out.

    Spencer Manigat: I don't know if they will with this, but they have mentioned that they were re-thinking their pricing structure in the past. They specifically mention hardware and software prices, too. That's why they're doing My Nintendo on the software side. It's spawned from that talk.

    William D'Angelo: Yeah.

    Spencer Manigat: So it's possible. It definitely wouldn't come from out of nowhere. Iwata specifically mentioned the USD$300 "standard" pricing model for consoles as something that needs to change. 

    William D'Angelo: There are a lot of unknowns. At least we know it is a hybrid. But the power of it and the price are still unknown. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think we'll learn most of that stuff by the end of the month. On power though, I think it's pretty safe to assume now that it's between the Wii U and Xbox One. 

    William D'Angelo: Probably with the power, yeah. A portable Xbox One/PS4 would be way too much.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree. I wonder though... I wonder if the dock will increase the power somewhat, or if it's just there to stream games to your TV, and probably boost storage space.

    William D'Angelo: I'm guessing it is how you plug it into the TV (and that's it).

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, that's likely it.

    William D'Angelo: It is going to need 250GB of space. I've got a 500GB Xbox One, and I have to keep deleting games. I know that Nintendo games aren't going to be 50GB+, but still.

    Spencer Manigat: The (Emily Rogers*) rumors say 32GB, which is atrocious.

    *Video game blogger and Twitter user Emily Rogers had become controversial amongst Nintendo fans leading up to the reveal of the Nintendo Switch. Leaking various bits of information over the past year on various aspects of Nintendo, she has often been criticized for being too vague, and even wrong on certain occasions. Her extremely detailed leaks about what the Switch would end up being like seem to have vindicated her however, as they have so far been accurate. You can check out her leak on the Nintendo Switch's hardware here.

    William D'Angelo: 32GB?! That is nuts.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree. My concern is more for when it's portable. Especially since I like being digital only. It's far more of a concern to someone like me. 

    But something doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't make sense for them to push digital so hard via My Nintendo if they didn't plan for this.

    William D'Angelo: I'm 100% digital at this point. I haven't bought a physical copy of a game since Titanfall

    Spencer Manigat: I haven't since around the same time. It's been years, so the cartridges do personally not impress me at all.

    William D'Angelo: Same, although most people still buy games at retailers at this point, other than PC gamers.

    Spencer Manigat: I really hope we're just not seeing something. I can't go back to physical media.

    William D'Angelo: Same. We have to wait and see until Nintendo reveals more info on it. 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah. Anyway, I have a mental checklist of beats they need to hit in the coming year to be successful. I also think that next year in general will be a very big year for them regardless, just because of everything else they're doing.

    Like I'm 100% sure we're going to see the first Nintendo movie announced next year, as well as the first real look at the theme park.

    William D'Angelo: First Nintendo movie? That already happened... the "Super Mario Bros." movie! 

    Spencer Manigat: (Laughs) The first "new" one.

    William D'Angelo: By the way, is it just me or does Breath of the Wild not look any better on the Switch?

    Spencer Manigat: I have no frame of reference... (Laughs)

    I skipped out on watching E3 this year to avoid spoiling my game experiences, so this is actually the first I saw of it since, I think, the Video Game Awards... (Laughs)

    William D'Angelo: I could be wrong about Breath of the Wild. I haven't seen a lot of it.

    Spencer Manigat: It looks phenomenal, though! But I have to go back into hiding now, when it comes to that.

    William D'Angelo: Breath of the Wild is the only reason my girlfriend bought the Wii U. She has been waiting a long time.

    Spencer Manigat: I don't blame her. I typically buy handhelds for Pokémon and home consoles for Zelda when it comes to Nintendo. 

    William D'Angelo: Yeah. To me there haven’t been enough games on Nintendo consoles that warrant a purchase from me.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, I couldn't do that. (Laughs) But that's something they'll need for the Switch. By the way, I'm so glad I don't have to call it "NX" anymore.

    William D'Angelo: I got used to calling it the NX. Switch is way better than Wii U, though.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree. The branding in general is ace here.




    William D'Angelo: I just read that the Switch is powered by a custom NVidia Tegra processor. 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah. That was part of the leaks, too. What do you think that says about third party support? 

    William D'Angelo: Microsoft and Sony use AMD, so it's hard to say. Most third party games do get a PC release. Being custom probably means that it’s not that cheap, though.

    "Nintendo Switch is powered by the performance of the custom Tegra processor. The high-efficiency scalable processor includes an NVIDIA GPU based on the same architecture as the world’s top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards."

    Spencer Manigat: Hm... Right...

    William D'Angelo: I see the list of confirmed partners. Nothing too shocking on it.

    Spencer Manigat: Other than Bethesda, I agree. But I think that stuff will be confirmed more concretely later.

    William D'AngeloSkyrim isn't that big of a deal since it is so old at this point. If I remember correctly, the Wii U had Batman: Arkham Asylum at launch, so even the Wii U received some third party support initially.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree, but I think it's symbolic more than anything. Bethesda had very specific grievances with Nintendo for a long time, so a game of theirs being shown like this at all is a very good sign. 

    I still think that it should have been Fallout 4 that was shown off though, if they were going to show a game like that from them.

    William D'Angelo: Agreed. Fallout 4 would have been bigger. Obviously Red Dead Redemption 2 would have been huge, too.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, I agree. 

    William D'Angelo: Rockstar has all but ignored Nintendo. 

    Spencer Manigat: Take-Two hasn't though, at least not during launches, so I'm being optimistic. 

    And Rockstar did port Bully: Scholarship Edition to the Wii, so them supporting Nintendo isn't completely unprecedented, even with low-powered hardware. It's all about the audience with that stuff.

    William D'Angelo: Yeah. If third party games have decent sales in 2017, it will get more ports. 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah... I mean honestly I think the sales need to be way more than just decent. They need to be really good. Exclusive marketing is going to be important too. Like having an exclusive marketing deal with EA for FIFA or something. Nintendo has to make third party games synonymous with the Switch.

    Evan Norris: I don't know... Look at 3DS. Lots of first party content, a bunch of indies, and lot of "AA" Japanese support. And it sold quite well. I think a low price and consistent first party releases would compensate for a lack of "AAA" titles.

    William D'AngeloPokémon is arguably the main reason the 3DS has sold as well as it has.

    Pokémon X and Y and Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are the respective first and third best selling games on the 3DS currently, with a combined sales number of nearly 26 million units worldwide. Pokémon has historically been a killer app franchise for Nintendo handhelds. The newly announced Pokemon Sun and Moon seems set to continue that trend.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah Evan... I'm not so confident. Not in the West. Not when it's probably going to be more expensive than the 3DS was and is.

    William D'Angelo: Pricewise, I believe USD$299 is the max they can sell it at, which is USD$50 more than the 3DS at launch. 

    Evan NorrisMario Kart, Super Mario, Animal Crossing, and games like Tomodachi Life helped too, though. The price tag is going to be everything. 

    Spencer Manigat: I agree that those games helped, but I think this thing needs to be a hit. That won't happen without multiplats.

    William D'Angelo: Those sort of games didn't really help the Wii U sell, though. Nintendo made a big push with Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros., and Splatoon, and that only slightly helped the Wii U.

    Evan Norris: Nintendo doesn't need to sell 100 million units. If they make a profit, they stay in business and keep on keepin' on.

    William D'Angelo: Agreed. They don't have to sell as well as Sony or Microsoft in order to make a profit. If it gets a mainline Pokémon game in Holiday 2017, it will sell fine. I know that isn't that likely with Sun and Moon this year, though. 

    Spencer Manigat: They clearly want to, though. They clearly want this thing to be a massive hit. I don't think they'll be satisfied at all with just making middling profits on this thing, and I don't think they built the Switch to merely do that. They talked about Wii-like profits specifically.

    William D'Angelo: I don't see that happening.

    Evan Norris: That seems like a pipe dream. The Wii was a "lightning in a bottle" moment.

    William D'Angelo: Maybe they hope the success of Pokémon Go will help it. But at this point the number of people playing it is down a lot.

    Spencer Manigat: I don't think that the Wii was a fluke, at all. I think it was a dropped ball. And the DS sold 50% more in that same generation. That generation's successes for them were no accident. They knew what they were doing. They just couldn't maintain it. 

    Evan Norris: Oh, I'm not saying it was an accident. I'm just saying everything went right all at the same time.

    Spencer Manigat: Oh, right. I think this concept can do the same thing, though. It's a really good, highly marketable idea.

    Evan Norris: I hope so! That would make me very happy.

    The Wii was introduced in November of 2006. Sporting a brand new way to play games in the form of motion controls, the system took the world by storm when it released, cementing its place as the indisputable winner of that generation of home consoles. While starting off strong, Nintendo was unable to sustain interest in the platform long term, and the Wii brand has since suffered heavily as a result.

    Spencer Manigat: But like I said, it's less so like the Wii. I think it has a lot of potential conceptually. It's the implementation that will kill it. But if this is a success, it won't be (fleeting) like the Wii. This is for the long term. They just have a lot of specific beats they need to hit for that to happen. 

    William D'Angelo: Nintendo needs to market it well and make it easy for everyone to understand what it is.

    Spencer Manigat: I think they've done that much so far. 

    Evan Norris: Yeah, the commercial did a good job at conveying the idea behind Switch. 

    William D'Angelo: A much better job than with the Wii U reveal.

    Spencer Manigat: Like I said, the marketing that worries me is with third parties and with what exclusives they promote and how aggressively they promote them. If they don't have exclusive third-party marketing deals, they won't have third-party support (for long).

    They need to make games like Madden and NBA 2K synonymous with the Switch the same way they already are with Sony and Microsoft. And that will only be done with ads.

    Evan Norris: I'm still not sold on the usefulness of third parties though. Microsoft and Sony have spent 15 years courting them. The people who want FIFA and Call of Duty already have a place to play them. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think that the brand loyalty for much of that audience is fleeting, though. And the “generation” isn't over yet, either. Just look at how many jumped from Microsoft over to Sony this generation. 

    And look how many haven't even upgraded yet. This generation has about 65 million consoles between XBO and PS4 (so far). Last generation had like 165m between the 360 and PS3. So there are still some that are undecided. A lot, even. So there is still some who are undecided.

    William D'Angelo: By the time the Switch comes out, the combined sales of the PS4 and X1 should be around 80m.

    Evan Norris: I guess my feeling is make a cheap console with the games people want - Mario, Zelda, Pokémon, Animal Crossing - and then the third parties will come to you. I think once you submit to third parties, forever will it dominate your destiny (to quote Jedi master Yoda).

    Spencer Manigat: I mean, they clearly aren't submitting if the low power and cartridges are anything to go by. (Laughs) 

    But I think they do have to court them, and aggressively. Third parties clearly have already dominated Nintendo's destiny, since they've done so poorly without them since they left.

    Evan Norris: But what about Wii? And DS? And to a lesser extent 3DS?

    William D'Angelo: Nintendo was able to get casual gamers with the Wii and DS. Most have moved to smartphones.

    Nintendo appears to be targeting their marketing for the Switch toward an audience of people in their 20s and even low 30s. This, of course, falls in direct contrast to the Wii and Wii U era of Nintendo marketing to everyone, famously including all ranges of demographics from kids, to parents, to even grandparents.

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, plus I don't think the Switch is trying to get that audience back at all. To me, they're obviously trying to get casual gamers, but not like "mom and grandma" casual.

    Call of Duty and Madden casual. At this point, anyone who says that Nintendo isn't trying to compete with Sony and Microsoft, at least when it comes to audience, is out of their minds. I think that's why every actor in that trailer looked like a millennial. 

    Evan Norris: A millennial and/or a hipster.

    Spencer Manigat: Are they not the same? (Laughs) 

    Evan Norris: (Laughs)

    What if it got downgraded ports? Because I think the last thing Nintendo needs is to enter the arms race. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think that will be fine. There's a value proposition to it being weaker now, where before there was none. They aren't entering an arms race at all, though. At least not with the Switch. I think they're competing for that same audience, but not from a specs perspective.

    Evan Norris: Oh, so like Skyrim on the go? 

    Spencer Manigat: Exactly. I think they're trying to beat them with convenience, utility, and flexibility, rather than power. 

    Evan Norris: That's the selling point, even if it's not as pretty as the PS4 version. I see what you're saying.

    William D'Angelo: It needs good battery life. With such a large screen I don't see how that is possible. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think it's going to have pretty crappy battery life. (Laughs) Terrible. 

    Evan Norris: I'm so sick of bad battery life. Vita, WiiU, 3DS - I'm always hovering around an outlet. 

    Spencer Manigat: If it has even three hours, I think that would be magnificent for it... Which is obviously still terrible. (Laughs) 

    Evan Norris: The idea of hopping on a bus or train and playing Breath of the Wild is pretty awesome, though…

    Spencer Manigat: But I think it's being marketed like a "laptablet" typically is. So maybe they'll circumvent the battery issue by assuming that people will have it into a charger at all times. 

    I don't know... I think the battery life will be terrible. (Laughs) No silver lining to that. 

    William D'Angelo: What is the average battery life of tablets?

    Spencer Manigat: No idea.

    Evan Norris: And it does seem like an entrée into the tablet market. That bit in the commercial with the hipsters in the back of the van? I can definitely see a mom or dad buying a Switch for family vacations or road trips. Two kids could play together in the back seat. 

    Spencer Manigat: Exactly, Evan. Now you're seeing it. 

    Evan Norris: Spencer, you are wise.

    Yes, Evan. Yes I am.

    Spencer Manigat: Thanks. (Laughs)

    William D'Angelo: Kids can already game on their smartphones and 3DS. But yes, playing bigger games on the go will be nice. It just depends how big that market is. 

    Spencer Manigat: Kids aren't in the trailer, though. 

    Evan Norris: Maybe when the next iPad arrives, kids will ask for a Switch for Christmas instead next year. 

    William D'AngeloPredictions are all over the place, as expected.

    Evan Norris: Again, the price will be everything.

    Spencer Manigat: I don't want to confuse what I'm saying. I don't think Nintendo is trying to make a tablet. I think they're trying to make something which functions to consoles the same way tablets/laptops function to computers. I agree about the price.

    I do think that the Switch can take market share away from tablets though, because unlike with phones or computers, which are necessities, tablets are purely luxuries, just like consoles are. They are superfluous.

    Evan Norris: What do you think it will be? USD$299? I'm hoping for USD$249.

    William D'Angelo: I'd get the Switch before I get a tablet. But for me a laptop is more important on the go

    Spencer Manigat: I think it will be USD$299. I think it should be USD$249.

    William D'Angelo: I said this before, but USD$299 is the max. More than that and it will not sell well. 

    Spencer Manigat: I agree, Will.

    Evan Norris: Yay! We're all on the same page!

    William D'Angelo: For USD$299, you can get a PS4 or X1, so more than that is just suicide.

    Spencer Manigat: I was planning on getting an iPad soon. If this thing has the Kindle app, I won't. (Laughs)

    This thing having a competent market place would be a boon for it, but I'm going off the handle now with baseless speculation… Oh, whatever! Put Whatsapp on it and Facebook IM!

    William D'Angelo: Skype would be smart as well.

    Spencer Manigat: Very true. All of that stuff. Which, again, is why it needs data. 

    William D'Angelo: All the most popular apps would be a good idea.

    Spencer Manigat: Especially because it (likely) has a touch screen. 

    We've been going on for a while now, though. I could go on talking about the Switch forever, but it's probably best if we wrap this up.

    William D'Angelo: We should also add in our early sales predictions, since this is a sales site...

    Spencer Manigat: I don't really want to give solid sales predictions, since I feel like we don't know enough about it yet, but I wouldn't mind giving preliminary ones. (Laughs) 

    William D'Angelo: Yeah. Preliminary is what I meant.

    Spencer Manigat: Not knowing the price and third party support makes it hard to make an educated prediction…

    I feel like, at the lowest, it would sell about 30 million units lifetime, but I think it has very high potential to sell Wii numbers if it does the things I've said right.

    William D'Angelo: Everything needs to go right to sell 100m units.

    Spencer Manigat: True. (Laughs)

    William D'Angelo: If it is USD$300, and has a mainline Pokémon game, I see 30m-40m easily. If it gets third party support as good as the PS4 and Xbox One, then I believe it could sell 50m+.

    Right now, Sony has such a strong foothold (and even Microsoft has turned things around somewhat) that I don't see it selling 100m+. Worst case scenario I see is sales in the 10m-20m range. That is if the price is USD$400 or more with poor third party support post-launch and there are no mainline Pokémon games. 

    Evan Norris: Based on my hope that the system is priced competitively (around USD$249) and it gets first-party games early and often, I think the Switch can draw in the Nintendo faithful and Nintendo agnostic and sell roughly 55 million units. There's my early prediction.

    Spencer Manigat: Okay, awesome! It feels like we've covered all ends of the spectrum with those.



    And that's it, guys! Thank you so much for reading this thing all the way to the end. I think I speak for all of us when I say that it means the world to us that even a single one of you would care enough about what we have to say to read through something like this. I hope to do more discussions like this in the future, but that will only happen if you make your voices heard! Did you enjoy this? Do we have room for improvement? Most importantly: would you like to see more? Let us know!

    Thanks again for hanging with us, and goodbye.

    Playing video games since the age of 5, Spencer Manigat has been fascinated with the possibilities of this interactive medium for nearly as long as he could speak. Recently, his growing obsession with learning about tactile mechanics, interactive narratives, and all things on the academic side of gaming has lit a new passion in him to discuss, debate, and critique various topics in this brilliant medium of video games that we all find ourselves participating in. Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker are a few of his favorite games. You can contact Spencer at or follow him on Twitter @spencewashere.

    Full Article -

  • scissors
    October 23rd, 2016GamespotUncategorized


    Hey, Charters! I'm VGChartz Senior Editor Spencer Manigat and you're reading Part 1 of VGChartz's very first VGChat discussion. I just wanted to give you guys a heads up on what we're doing here with this before we begin. Basically, I wanted to give you Charters a series of informal discussions, similar to a podcast, to read when a particularly interesting piece of gaming news dropped.

    We don't really have the means right now to do a formal podcast or anything like that, but when thinking about it harder, I thought back to the brilliant Iwata Asks interviews that the late president of Nintendo used to host. Many Nintendo fans, including myself, loved reading these, and I thought that this would be the perfect format for this idea, considering our limitations. Combining that idea with what the guys over at Gamexplain do with their discussions led me to what you're about to read now: VGChat!

    Without going into much detail, that idea sat on the shelf for a few months until Nintendo's reveal organically sparked a great discussion amongst a few of our writers here: Evan Norris, William D'Angelo, Brandon j. Wysocki, and myself. We all agreed that this was too good not to publish. While editing and reformatting these takes a lot of work, I personally believe that the end result is absolutely worth the effort. If VGChat! is something that you'd like to see more of, please let us all know in the comments!

    But enough of all of that. Without further ado, here it is!





    Evan Norris: Nintendo Switch!


    Evan Norris signed up for VGChartz as a member in September 2012. In December 2014 he joined the moderator team and, in April 2015, the writing team. Evan has been a fan of video games since he watched his older brother play Kung Fu and The Legend of Zelda on NES. He has a voracious appetite for games and enjoys writing about them at every opportunity.

    Spencer Manigat: That was honestly a phenomenal trailer. Like wow.


    Playing video games since the age of 5, Spencer Manigat has been fascinated with the possibilities of this interactive medium for nearly as long as he could speak. You can contact Spencer at or follow him on Twitter @spencewashere. 

    Brandon J. Wysocki: Whoa!


    Brandon J. Wysocki is a neurotic, verbose, semi-self-aware writer, father, husband, gamer, and geek who contributes his drivel in the form of opinion articles and reviews for VCGhartz. You can check out some of his fiction at, but please be gentle, he can be a little sensitive.

    Spencer Manigat: Thank God it has a regular controller with a regular D-pad. This thing looks so good though, aesthetically. 

    Evan Norris: I don't know how many beautiful stylish people are walking around with a Nintendo system, but I definitely will!

    Spencer Manigat: This is without a doubt the most stylish thing they've produced since the Wii. This actually looks like a premium product. This is the type of Industrial design that I expect from Sony.

    I genuinely couldn't be more impressed. I did not have high expectations for this at all. And it's all seamless. Taking the Switch from out of the dock automatically switches the game to the tablet. Also, did they just confirm a new Splatoon game?

    Brandon J. Wysocki: I agree, Spencer! Looks fantastic. Seemingly a day one purchase for me!

    Spencer Manigat: And side note, but I still think they may strongly push digital with this. It seems like the only reason they're using cartridges is because it's portable, rather than because it's superior, if that makes sense.

    I want to know how much storage space the dock has. But that's all I will say on that... (Laughs nervously)

    Brandon J. Wysocki: Back to Nintendo, that is everything I had hoped. Arguably, it's what the Wii U should have been. The Wii U GamePad was too limited with its 30ft range.

    This looks great, and while it's too early to tell, with good third party support, there's a chance this could make Nintendo my most played platform. That hasn't been the case since the early GameCube days. Yeah, Spencer, I'm eager to see and learn more. 

    Spencer Manigat: I wouldn't get too excited about third party support yet. Skyrim is 5 years old. Is that a new Mario Kart game, though? It looks like Mario Kart 8, but they are holding two items.

    Brandon J. Wysocki: I think it was definitely a new Mario game, which I'm amped for. Not sure if Splatoon and Mario Kart were new or just compatible.

    Even without 3rd party support, I'll almost certainly buy it. Nintendo's unique first party offerings essentially demand that I buy their consoles.

    Spencer Manigat: I think that Splatoon and Mario Kart are at least different. The Splatoon kids have new hairstyles, and Mario Kart is allowing you to have two items again, which was not an option in the original game. I'm sad to see dual screens go, though.

    Nintendo has now revealed the long list of publishers, developers, and middleware partners that are currently working on the Switch. Some partners of note are Bethesda, From Software, and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. Check out the full list here.

    Evan NorrisInteresting Partners. From Software! Epic Games!

    Spencer Manigat: From?! I can die of happiness.

    Brandon J. Wysocki: Solid list of partners.

    Spencer Manigat: For now, at least.

    Brandon J. Wysocki: True, Spencer. But honestly, this looks like a great idea for a console. It's something I always wanted.

    Evan Norris: I want to play it now!

    Brandon J. Wysocki: Me too - I want to play it so hard!

    Evan Norris: (Laughs)

    Spencer Manigat: Me too. (Laughs) I need to see that UI, though.

    Evan Norris: Yes, good call. And I want to know about Virtual Console.

    Spencer Manigat: Exactly.

    Brandon J. Wysocki: Yeah, I'm trying to stay rational, and not get all caught up in the excitement, but it's thus far proving to be everything I had hoped it would be.

    I have the same questions and concerns. Did any of you see the new trailers for Breath of the Wild?

    Evan Norris: Oh yeah. Majestic.

    William D'Angelo: The Switch. I know I'm being cynical, but I'm not impressed at all. To be portable, it will be very underpowered compared to Xbox One and PS4. The new Switch Pro Controller has the same layout as an Xbox controller. 

    It can't have good battery life can it? I'm just very skeptical. Regular Nintendo titles won't be enough to sell it to more than 10-20m people, unless it gets mainline Pokémon games.


    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. You can contact William at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Spencer Manigat: I don't think power will be an issue at all. I think battery life will and I think third party support will, but I don't even think that third-party support will be an issue because of the power. I think it will be an issue because of the audience. 

    William D'Angelo: My best guess is that it is somewhere between Wii U and Xbox one (in terms of power).

    Spencer Manigat: I'm sure that's the case. 

    William D'Angelo: The “core Nintendo” audience doesn't care for most third party games like the sports games and shooters. 

    Spencer Manigat: I don't think that the Switch is a "core Nintendo" system. Not specifically, anyway.

    William D'Angelo: Is it a sequel to Wii U or 3DS or both? The issue with Wii U was the confusing marketing. Nintendo needs to be clear about what the Switch is… So far, they are on the right track though - at least for hardcore gamers like us. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think the target demo is casual gamers. Madden, FIFA, and Call of Duty-type casuals. PS2 and DS-type casuals. That's why I think multiplats are so important.

    William D'Angelo: I'm skeptical, but I don't want Nintendo going third party. Just having Microsoft and Sony can't be good.

    My girlfriend who has been a Nintendo fan girl her whole life has given up on them after the Wii U. She is not impressed with the Switch.

    Spencer Manigat: I'm bullish honestly. The thing is, this leaves a lot of room for other hardware SKUs down the line. That's how I see it, anyway. I don't think the Switch is the only NX.

    William D'Angelo: Nintendo can't make it too complicated though.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree.

    William D'Angelo: Two SKUs at a time, max. Like with PS4 and PS4 Pro or Xbox and Scorpio.

    Spencer Manigat: No, I mean very different from each other. I can see three, where the Switch is in the "middle." But I don't see those coming out for years, if at all.

    On January 30, 2014, the late President of Nintendo, Mr. Satoru Iwata, spoke of plans to redefine what it means to be a dedicated video game platform by creating a unified platform of video game systems. In this platform, different systems would no longer be independant from one another, but act as brothers in a family of systems.

    William D'Angelo: Will they have different games though?

    Spencer Manigat: No. That's the gimmick. At least, I think so. I think Switch is meant to be the Trojan horse for this idea. 

    William D'Angelo: They would need to (play the same games). After 3DS and Wii U, we found out that Nintendo can no longer handle developing for two different platforms at once without third party support. 

    I see the Switch being a console, and a new portable SKU in 2018. Though the Switch is portable, I feel like it attracts a different consumer.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree. And I think you'll see a pure console too. Think of it this way - if Switch is a "laptop/tablet," I think there will be a "PC" and a "phone," to make an exemplary comparison. A powerful home console (PC) and a cheap handheld (phone) - all playing the same games.

    William D'Angelo: I get what you mean. Nintendo in my mind needed a standard home console to compete with Xbox and PlayStation, power-wise.

    Spencer Manigat: I'm just speculating though, but a lot about the Switch makes no sense (to me) given what Nintendo has said in the past about a unified platform of games with a family of systems if a "hybrid" system is all they plan to do.




    Spencer Manigat: Anyway, I think Switch is a good move. What they needed was a product that makes them look premium again, and this does it. I think the rest will come if this succeeds.

    William D'Angelo: Switch to me is very similar to Wii U. Just more portable.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree, but I think it does important things differently. The biggest thing is that I think it justifies being weak. I don't think the Wii U did that. By that, I mean that it's weak for a functional reason - portability. 

    William D'Angelo: We shall see how well it sells in the first year. It needs more heavy hitters in the first year. 

    Spencer Manigat: I agree. It especially needs Western exclusives and exclusive marketing with multiplats.

    William D'Angelo: Yes. Like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto VI.

    Spencer Manigat: Switch is dead if it can't appeal over here.

    William D'Angelo: Yup.

    Spencer Manigat: By the way, I don't think Red Dead Redemption 2 is happening (on the Switch). The trailer made no mention of the system, which is troubling.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 had its debut teaser trailer set to be released one hour after the Switch was set to be revealed. Although Rockstar had already confirmed the PS4 and XBO as platforms for the game, many were hopeful that the timing of the trailer's release was indicative of Nintendo Switch platform support as well. Nintendo's poor third party support has been the butt of many jokes, and unfortunately this trailer did not act as a sign of good things to come in that regard.

    William D'Angelo: Yeah. Rockstar has ignored Nintendo this generation.

    Spencer Manigat: But I think the Switch has a time buffer to prove itself to third parties, though. I think there are third parties who will wait to see how it does for about a year.

    If it can convince them in that time that there is money to be made there, they will come, which is why those exclusives are so important.

    William D'Angelo: More than likely.

    Spencer Manigat: That's why I think that the rumored Beyond Good & Evil exclusivity deal is so important. 

    William D'Angelo: That series isn't that popular though. Nintendo also needs to work on advertising third party games.

    Spencer Manigat: It's not, but if this is a reboot like it is rumored to be, that won't matter. Iron Man wasn't that popular either until the movies.

    If the game is good and, more importantly, if they intend to push it hard, it will be huge for them. They can't treat this thing the way they treated Bayonetta. They need to treat it the way Disney treats Star Wars or Marvel.

    William D'Angelo: Agreed. They need to show third party developers that they will help them.

    Spencer Manigat: Exactly, and that there's an audience for their games. Because that evolves their demographic.

    William D'Angelo: Agreed about Disney reference.

    Spencer Manigat: And to be clear, Beyond Good & Evil isn't nearly enough. They need more, but that's our first concrete-ish example of them maybe putting in an effort in that department. Really, what they need is something like that from in-house that isn't just Zelda or Metroid

    William D'Angelo: Yeah. They need a lot.

    Spencer Manigat: Which is why I'm praying that Retro Studios is working on something for that audience. Nintendo already makes good Nintendo games. Now they need to expand on what that means.

    William D'Angelo: Mhm... For me, besides third party titles, it needs a mainline Pokémon and a good 3D Mario game like Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy.

    The newest Beyond Good & Evil game has been heavily rumored to be an exclusive game for the Nintendo Switch. The game was recently reconfirmed on the franchise's official Facebook page after years of seemingly being in development limbo.

    Spencer Manigat: The new industrial design is a good sign. It's the first Nintendo product I've seen outside of the original DS that didn't look like a toy. That's important. It looks like a premium product.

    William D'Angelo: The Wii was sleek looking...

    Spencer Manigat: That's true... I wasn't being fair. (Laughs) 

    William D'Angelo: But that is really it. (Laughs) 

    Spencer Manigat: I think that the new Mario game is a mixture of what both of us want. I like linear Mario games like the 2D games or Super Mario 3D World, while you like immersive Mario games like Sunshine

    This looks like a mix. The hub looks like Sunshine, but the levels look like the ones in Super Mario 3D World, but with a free 3D camera. 

    William D'Angelo: Did they show off a Mario game? 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah, in the trailer. For a few seconds. 

    William D'Angelo: I must have missed it. 

    Spencer Manigat: It's beautiful, dude. 

    William D'Angelo: To me Super Mario 64 is the best Mario title, followed by Super Mario Galaxy.

    Spencer Manigat: I have very complex feelings about Mario since Super Mario 64... (Laughs) I feel like it's never reached its apex since going 3D because it started focusing on exploration, which I don't think belongs in Mario.

    William D'Angelo: I see... (Laughs) I loved the openness of Super Mario 64.

    Spencer Manigat: But then Nintendo dialled back a bit too much with Super Mario 3D World and took away the excellent sense of place and identity that Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy had. 

    William D'Angelo: Super Mario 64 was also my first Mario game. I had a Genesis before that. I know I'm biased when it comes to Mario. (Laughs) 

    Spencer Manigat: Yeah... Galaxy is my favorite 3D Mario precisely because it's the most linear.

    Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario 3D Land are isometric platformers to me, so I don't categorize them alongside the 3D games, even though I think that their level designs are immaculate... To me, exploration is for Zelda. (Laughs)

    William D'Angelo: That was my issue with Galaxy. Too linear.

    Spencer Manigat: It's funny - Super Mario 64 became less linear and more about exploration, while The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time became more linear and less about exploration, so I have strong feelings about both!

    I don't even think they're bad. Maybe my issue is that they aren't bad actually, if that makes sense. That means that they were super important at the time, so they kind of set a new standard for games and, more importantly, for their franchises... Basically, my feelings on them are similar to the feelings I talked about in my The 'Super' in Metroid article.

    Alongside new hardware, Nintendo also revealed a colorful new Mario game in the Nintendo Switch teaser trailer. In it, Mario can be seen triple-jumping in a festive "Day of the Dead"-themed hub world before moving about in a more traditional Mario level a few seconds later. The lower, behind the back camera has led some to believe that this game marks a return to the Super Mario 64/Super Mario Sunshine-style of gameplay.

    William D'Angelo: Gotcha. Those were my first experiences with those series. I've never gotten into Metroid

    Spencer Manigat: I do hope Nintendo hits it out of the park with the Switch though.

    William D'Angelo: I'm (still) skeptical, but I'm going to keep an open mind. I thought the Wii was going to flop and I was very wrong. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think that, if done right, the Switch will be a very different kind of success than the Wii was. Far more sustainable. I don't think we have enough info yet to call if it will succeed or not, but the Switch is conceptually sound. Implementation is what will make or break it.

    William D'Angelo: Agreed. It all depends how the general public views it and third party support. Re-watching the trailer for the Switch, I missed the fact two people can link up together when they are portable. 

    Spencer Manigat: I always compare Nintendo to both Apple and Disney. The Switch definitely gives me Apple vibes from a hardware perspective, especially if its screen is multi-touch like what is rumored.

    It needs good firmware too though, which is why I'm so antsy about the UI. iOS is what made the iPhone, and I think whatever OS DeNA has been working on for it will be a key factor in Switch's success or failure.

    William D'Angelo: Nintendo has NEVER been good with UI. The Wii U is extremely slow. Not that the Xbox One and PS4 UI is that great. 

    Spencer Manigat: I think the Wii U's UI blows away the other two, though. Even though it's slow. Just because of how simple it is.

    William D'Angelo: But still needs improvements.

    Spencer Manigat: I agree. Massive ones, but that's what DeNA is for. But I feel like it's like comparing a flip phone to a touch screen phone in that regard. There are things flip can never do because they're restricted to only buttons.

    That's the same issue with consoles right now when it comes to UI, and that's a big area of opportunity with this thing. Even if it does sound boring on paper. (Laughs)

    William D'Angelo: Flip?

    Spencer Manigat: I was drawing a comparison to flip phones.

    William D'Angelo: Oh, right. 

    Spencer Manigat: I feel like using a console's UI with a traditional controller is akin to using a phone's UI with a flip phone. It's antiquated. No matter how good the flip is, the controller input is so limited. 

    William D'Angelo: It depends on the console. 360 is the only one I was able to get around easily.

    Spencer Manigat: If Nintendo can get their UI on par with Apple/Android though, it won't even come close.

    William D'Angelo: If they do, they are good to go with UI.



    And that's it for Part 1, guys! Thank you so much for reading this thing all the way up to this point. I think I speak for all of us when I say that it means the world to us that even a single one of you would care enough about what we have to say to read through something like this. I hope to do more discussions like this in the future, but that will only happen if you make your voices heard! Did you enjoy this? Do we have room to improve? Most importantly: Would you like to see more? Let us know!

    To read the rest of the discussion, head on over to Part 2.

    Playing video games since the age of 5, Spencer Manigat has been fascinated with the possibilities of this interactive medium for nearly as long as he could speak. Recently, his growing obsession with learning about tactile mechanics, interactive narratives, and all things on the academic side of gaming has lit a new passion in him to discuss, debate, and critique various topics in this brilliant medium of video games that we all find ourselves participating in. Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker are a few of his favorite games. You can contact Spencer at or follow him on Twitter @spencewashere.

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    October 22nd, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    The football sports game from EA Sports and EA Canada - FIFA 17 - sold 6,906,952 units first week at retail on consoles, according to our estimates. First week sales can be viewed on the VGChartz Global Weekly Chart for the week ending October 1.

    Breaking down the sales by platform, the game sold best on the PlayStation 4 with 4,772,691 units sold (69%), compared to 1,527,704 units sold on the Xbox One (22%).  The game also sold 378,018 units on PlayStation 3 (5%), 175,557 units on the Xbox 360 (3%) and 52,982 units on Windows PC (1%).


    Breaking down the sales by region, the game sold best in Europe with 5,481,947 units sold (79%), compared 464,358 units sold in the US (7%). The game also sold 68,281 units in Japan (1%). Looking more closely at Europe, the game sold an estimated 1,112,520 units in the UK, 1,032,187 units in Germany, and 913648 units in France.

    Here is how FIFA 17' first week sales compare to other recent games in the franchise:

    1. FIFA 17 - 6.91M
    2. FIFA 15 - 5.05M
    3. FIFA 16 - 4.74M
    4. FIFA 13 - 4.69M
    5. FIFA 14 - 4.30M

    FIFA 17 released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC in North America on September 27 and worldwide on September 29.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article -

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    October 22nd, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    The open world racing game from Microsoft Studios and Playground games - Forza Horizon 3 - sold 382,089 units first week at retail on the Xbox One, according to our estimates. First week sales can be viewed on the VGChartz Global Weekly Chart for the week ending October 1.


    Breaking down the sales by region, the game sold best in Europe with 199,185 units sold (52%), compared 138,981 units sold in the US (36%). Looking more closely at Europe, the game sold an estimated 72,558 units in the UK, 30,140 units in Germany, and 34,671 units in France.

    Here is how Forza Horizon 3' first week sales compare to other recent games in the franchise:

    1. Forza Motorsport 4 (X360) - 515,859
    2. Forza Motorsport 3 (X360) - 481,324
    3. Forza Horizon 3 (XOne) - 382,089
    4. Forza Motorsport 5 (XOne) - 325,760
    5. Forza Motorsport 2 (X360) - 319,212
    6. Forza Horizon (X360) - 316,820
    7. Forza Horizon 2 (XOne, X360) - 315,749
    8. Forza Motorsport 6 (XOne) - 221,042

    Forza Horizon 3 released for the Xbox One and Windows PC worldwide on September 27.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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    October 22nd, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    The turn-based tactics game from 2K Games and Firaxis Games - XCOM 2 - sold 57,048 units first week at retail on consoles, according to our estimates. First week sales can be viewed on the VGChartz Global Weekly Chart for the week ending October 1.

    Breaking down the sales by platform, the game sold best on the PlayStation 4 with 40,570 units sold (71%), compared to 16,478 units sold on the Xbox One (29%). 


    Breaking down the sales by region, the game sold best in Europe with 25,854 units sold (45%), compared 21,302 units sold in the US (37%). Looking more closely at Europe, the game sold an estimated 6,439 units in the UK, 4,134 units in Germany, and 3,711 units in France.

    The PC version of the game sold 59,857 at retail in its first week at retail in February and has sold 202,159 units to date.

    XCOM 2 released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 27 in North America and September 30 in Europe.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

    Full Article -

  • scissors
    October 22nd, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    There's a moment in Final Fantasy VI that, to me, truly defines the game, and it's probably not any of the ones you're thinking of. The opera scene, Celes' suicide attempt, and the opening scene with the magitek armors walking across a snow covered field are all among the most memorable moments in the entire series, but the one I'm thinking of is the scene where Cyan sees the ghosts of his murdered wife and child stepping into the ghost train.

    It's a very small part of the game, but to me it perfectly encapsulates just what Final Fantasy VI is about. In a scene that only lasts a few short moments, the game tells the player everything about the kind of person Cyan is, how he acts, thinks, and reacts. The whole game is filled with little moments like this - ones that convey more about the game's world and characters in a matter of minutes than most games manage for their entire duration.  

    As the Final Fantasy series continued to grow during its early years, the games themselves gradually became more complex as well. Final Fantasy IV and V had featured the series' most intricate story and gameplay elements thus far. However, although Final Fantasy V had been the series' greatest commercial success, critically it was not as well received as its immediate predecessor.

    As a result, when development on the next main installment in the series began, it was once again decided that the team would scrap the direction used in the previous game and do something completely different. Despite that Final Fantasy VI is the culmination of all the work and time that had gone into making the previous five installments. The lessons that had been learned in the past would all come together to create something unprecedented for the franchise.


    Reaching for New Heights: Final Fantasy VI


    As had been the case with every new Final Fantasy game up to this point, the development team once again grew in size, and saw some important changes as well. For the first time since the series had begun Hironobu Sakaguchi was not the game's director. This was due to his increasing involvement with numerous other projects. As a result he would now work as the game's producer while supervising the project's story aspects. The directing duties were split between Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito; Kitase was responsible for Final Fantasy VI's story events and scenarios, while Ito was in charge of the battle elements.

    Yoshitaka Amano returned as the main concept artist and character designer, while Nobuo Uematsu once again composed the title's soundtrack. Other familiar names included Tetsuya Nomura and Hideo Minaba as graphic designers, as well as Ken Narita as one of the game's main programmers. In addition, although Sakaguchi created the basic premise for the story, everyone on the team could provide ideas for smaller storyline details, such as the various character specific events.

    The basic premise behind the creation of Final Fantasy VI was that every one of the playable characters would be the protagonist. Every character was to be equally important to the game's story, and the game would feature individual episodes surrounding each of the characters. As such, many members of the team often worked on only a few characters' storylines, while Yoshinori Kitase was responsible for bringing these various different ideas and scenarios together to form the game's core plot.

    Kitase also created the key scenes, such as the opera scene and Kefka's appearances, while other people worked on less important moments. However, while the original intention was for all of the characters to have equal significance on the story, that balance didn't carry all the way to the end of the game's development. Final Fantasy VI features by far the largest character roster out of all the mainline Final Fantasy games at 14. Perhaps as a result of this some of them get notably more screen time and chances to grow than others, leading to a handful of characters being left somewhat underdeveloped by the end of the game.


    Despite these shortcomings, the Final Fantasy VI's focus on character development and back-story created some of the most beloved characters and memorable moments in the franchise's long history. To say that characters like Terra, Celes, Locke, Edgar, Kefka, and many others have become iconic among series fans would be to put it lightly. 

    FF VI saw the now traditional debut of various new gameplay and other elements that would become recurring parts of the series going forward. Among the most notable are the names Biggs and Wedge, which would go on to appear in almost all subsequent games in some form. FF VI was also the first game in the series that allowed the player to freely change the active party at will. In earlier games the party had always been dictated by the story.

    This was also the game that introduced the idea of limit breaks to the series in the form of Desparation Attacks, a set of stronger, character specific abilities that became available when a character was at critical health during battle. However, due to them being based on random chance and only occurring once an attack command has been issued on a character at low health, Desperation Attacks are rarely encountered in a normal playthrough. Later games, starting with VII, would improve and expand on the concept, making them more easily accessible as part of the battle system, but this is nonetheless where they got their start.

    Final Fantasy VI tells the story of the conflict between the Gestahlian Empire (which is striving to conquer the world) and a resistance movement known as the Returners. For various reasons each of the main characters ends up getting involved in the struggle between the two sides; a struggle which eventually escalates to threaten the existence of the entire world. The game's setting is a notable departure from the medieval fantasy world found in previous titles, being more steampunk inspired with a much greater developed level of technology (it's roughly on par with the Second Industrial Revolution era on Earth, circa the late 19th – early 20th century).

    Final Fantasy VI was released in Japan on the Super Famicom on April 2, 1994, and later that same year on the SNES in North America as Final Fantasy III. It proved to be an immediate success upon release, continuing the series' growth with sales of almost 3.5 million copies across the two regions. Later re-releases have added a decent amount of sales to that figure, making the game an undeniable success for Square.


    However, Final Fantasy VI also went through a rather extensive localization process where quite a few elements were changed from their original versions. Several sprites were altered slightly due to Nintendo of America's guidelines at the time to make them appear less risque, such as in the above sprite of the Esper Siren. In addition, the English script features numerous differences from the Japanese version, owing to the fact that Ted Woolsey had just 30 days to complete the translation, and very limited space to do so.

    The improved technological capabilities at Square allowed the team to take advantage of even more of the SNES's hardware power. Visually the game was massively improved over its two predecessors. The character and enemy sprites were much more detailed and expressive, featuring many more frames of animation than before. The backgrounds contained significantly more detail than they did in previous titles and Final Fantasy VI also made extensive use of the SNES's mode 7 graphics, which had only been used sparingly in the previous two entries.


    Final Fantasy VI also marked the first time that Uematsu was truly able to expand and experiment with his compositions thanks to newly available technology. This resulted in much longer and more intricate tracks, including songs like Dancing Mad, the entire opera section, and many more. He later commented that this felt like an ending point to him - that regardless of what would come afterwards, he could quit composing music for video games without any regrets because he had created this particular soundtrack.

    In terms of gameplay, Final Fantasy VI is much closer to IV than V, since it discards the job system found in the previous game entirely and returns back to the system found in IV where every character has a set predetermined class from the beginning that cannot be changed. However, the game did improve upon the system in numerous different ways so as to still make it as engaging as possible to the player.


    The ATB system is similar to the one found in V, while each character has its own unique abilities as in IV. The system is something of a mix of the two previous games, retaining many of their best aspects while improving on ones that didn't quite work out in the past. One of the more notable changes is the way the summons (named Espers this time) work in FF VI. Each summon can be equipped to a specific character, which then allows the character to learn spells from the Esper. Naturally, equipping an Esper also gives access to summon magic, which each character can use once during battle.


    The Best Part


    This is a difficult question to answer. There are so many stellar elements in Final Fantasy VI that choosing one is very difficult. The music is a highlight as is usually the case with Final Fantasy, the story is nuanced, memorable, and tackles some surprisingly dark themes, but if I have to choose just one I'll go with the characters. It really shows that the whole game began with the idea of focusing as much effort into the characters as possible. There are hardly any weak characters in Final Fantasy VI, and even they tend to get their own special moments during the story.

    Scenes like Gau meeting his father who abandoned him as a child, Cyan's nightmare and guilt over the death of his family, Celes' suicide attempt, and many others have made these characters some of the best ever written for a video game. And then there's Kefka, who is one of the most enjoyably evil video game characters of all time. His utter disregard for other humans, his lust for power, and his broken mind and personality are all reasons why he's now considered one of the greatest video game villains of all time.


    The Worst Part

    As much as I think that it was, overall, quite well done, especially considering the limitations that were in place, the original English translation is definitely the game's weakest aspect. It is serviceable and most parts do still hold up to scrutiny, but at the same time it had to deal with numerous issues caused by the limited storage available on the SNES cartridge. As such, many lines of dialogue had to be condensed or heavily edited to fit into the available space, and this led to some notable changes in how some characters act in certain scenes.

    For example, Setzer's attitude towards the empire when the party first meets him is quite neutral in the SNES version - there he's reluctant to join the struggle against a powerful nation. In the original however he openly states that the empire has been bad for business and is much quicker to join the Resistance. These kinds of changes mean that a lot of the original purpose behind those scenes was lost in translation, and in some cases even changes how characters are perceived by the player. 


    Does Final Fantasy VI Still Hold Up?


    Yes, obviously. There is very little about the game that isn't still on par or better than most of the genre's most celebrated modern titles. The game's story and characters are among the franchise's finest, its score is one of the single greatest soundtracks ever composed for a video game, and the few aspects that aren't quite on the same level of quality are still better than almost anything on offer in most of the earlier Final Fantasy games.

    One of the very best aspects of Final Fantasy VI are the countless small moments and scenes that give insight into the backgrounds of the various characters you encounter during your adventure. Almost every single main character gets a chance to shine at least once during the game's story; back stories are well fleshed out through excellently written scenes that make the world feel much more alive. Those little stories also make the narrative much more relatable and the player becomes more invested in each character's struggles as a result.

    As mentioned earlier, the original translation can be a bit clunky at times, and the visuals, while very good for the time, do show their age now. Still, every complaint I would have about the game is easily overlooked because everything else in it is excellent. Many of the original's problems have also been fixed in later versions of the game, so they become even less of an issue than before.


    Also, while Final Fantasy VI is still very clearly a part of an older generation of RPGs, it's not nearly as unforgiving and grind-heavy as its predecessors. There are difficult bosses and sections, but they rarely feel unfair, like some of the parts of earlier games. It just feels much more balanced in terms of challenge, and there weren't really moments where I ever felt I had to stop and just grind levels in order to progress the story. 

    There are many different versions of Final Fantasy VI, so if you haven't played it yet doing so is quite easy. The GBA version is generally regarded as the best one, but that might be a bit difficult to find at this point. The PlayStation version is available on PSN, but is hampered by its ridiculously long load times. The mobile and PC re-release would be a good option, but the remade sprite graphics hurt the game's presentation to some extent. Still, regardless of the version, the game is well worth playing.

    Final Fantasy VI is in many ways the zenith of the 2D Final Fantasy games. It took the road that Final Fantasy IV paved with its focus on character development and walked even further on it, while also improving upon its gameplay with elements taken from Final Fantasy V. This is, in my opinion, the peak of the early years of the franchise.

    Basically, if you haven't played this game yet, you should do so as soon as possible. It's easy to find, it's fairly cheap, and to this day stands as one of the absolute best games of its genre. I can easily recommend it to just about anyone, especially if you're a fan of console RPGs. 


    Fun Fact

    One of the many things that was changed during the English localization was Terra's name. Originally she was called Tina, but her name was changed mainly due to cultural differences. Tina is a fairly exotic name in Japan, but is more commonplace in the west, and so was switched with the more unusual Terra. Other changes included turning the spell Holy into Pearl, the Esper Jihad into Crusader, and changing bars into cafes.

    Additional Sources:

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    October 22nd, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Not many games have tried to take on World War I in recent years. Outside of the realm of low-key PC titles like Verdun you have to settle with something like Valiant Hearts if you want to explore the Great War in your video games. Even World War II has gone from being ubiquitous to quite rare thanks to the advent and staying power of modern warfare shooters. EA Dice has thankfully decided that a change of pace and setting is in order, and in turn has delivered one of the most respectful, entertaining, and refreshing FPS titles of recent years.

    First up the campaign, which tends to be an afterthought for most modern FPS games. From the offset EA Dice makes sure you know this campaign is going to be different, with a mission set in no man's land that you are not expected to survive. In this opening mission you must attempt to hold off wave after wave of German soldiers before eventually being overwhelmed and killed. Upon dying you’re given the name of the soldier you played as, along with their age, before jumping into another solider and carrying on the good fight. This subtle way of showing you that every soldier was both young and considered highly disposable is harrowing when you think about it, and underpins the more serious tone of Battlefield 1.

    The rest of the campaign consists of five distinct locales, each played with a different character. Sometimes you’ll play as an Italian who recounts his stories of the war in the Alps, at other times you'll visit the Middle East, where you play as a female soldier under the famous Lawrence of Arabia. I particularly enjoyed my time playing as an Australian who was unhappy to be serving under 'pommies' but who knuckled down and did his job to the best of his ability anyway. The variety of locales is staggering, and for the first time that I'm aware of in a video game really captures the sense that this was indeed a 'world' war. 


    With all that being said, the campaign does have one flaw: its persistence in making hero characters seemingly invincible. Whilst the tone of the world around you feels properly nuanced, the ludicrously absurd predicaments some of your heroes find themselves in are downright laughable. A single man is for some reason able to take on an entire army single-handedly while all his comrades invariably fall to enemy shells, for example. It’s a shame that EA Dice didn’t scale back the 'heroism' for some missions.

    Despite these moments of implausibility the campaign generally helps to paint a truly bleak and vivid picture of how it would have felt to have participated in World War I. This is due in large part to Battlefield 1’s and stunning presentational qualities and intense sound design.

    Explosions, shells, and all manner of equipment echoes in your head well past the point that you’re done playing game; Battlefield 1 imprints on your mind and is likely to stick with you for quite a while. Every shot from these now archaic weapons feels just right, while the world around you is properly fleshed out and looks like you imagine the early 1900s to really have been like, barbarism and foolhardiness of the war itself and all. It cannot be understated how fantastic the sound design is in this game. In online matches you’ll hear the cracking of a sniper shot some time before you see it hit the floor before you, while every explosion rocks the world, making battles feel incredibly real and intense. 

    This fantastic sound design is of course backed up by stellar graphics. Impressive amounts of attention to detail - such as the amount of mud on your weapons after a bombardment, or the highly varied architecture and landscapes - create the sense that this is actually a very new era of warfare for video games. Little things like the foliage or smoke, or the way the ground is dented by shell bombardments, make the battlefield feel alive.

    All of these highlights have of course made their way into a multiplayer suite filled with new game modes and a level of destructibility not seen since Bad Company 2

    Take Operations, for example. This is a fantastic new mode which adapts the objective-based gameplay from the campaign (as well as the locations) to multiplayer gameplay, forcing dozens of players to push forwards or defend strongholds. At first this doesn’t sound all too different from a standard conquest or rush game mode, but Operations changes things up by giving the losing team a new ultra vehicle to even things out should they start falling too far behind. This means that at times a massive zeppelin will appear which is able to take out most things in the sky, or a massive train tank will lord it over the battlefield with relative ease. It’s fun to be on the team with these behemoths, but just as fun to be on the opposing team gunning to take them down. 

    Then there’s the standard Battlefield multiplayer affair, albeit this time with different maps and weapons to account for a different, older era of warfare. The brand new assortment of weapons from World War I makes Battlefield's multiplayer feel more methodical and slower paced. You can still charge across stages, sprayin’ and prayin' until you drop if you're so inclined, but since most weapons are now bolt rifles you're encouraged to properly line up your shots so that you don’t waste any of your precious attempts at killing other players. This change of weaponry and equipment has other ramifications too; a single shot from a lone gunner will sometimes be enough to down you, for example, meaning it’s best to adopt a more strategic approach to battles. 

    The level of destruction also has significant consequences for multiplayer. You can never feel 100% safe camping in a particular location. There were many times where I would be hiding in a house attempting to capture an objective, only to have the walls around me torn up, revealing my position to enemies all around. This is sure to capture the imagination of many who play, and add plenty of replayability for years to come. 

    My one niggle with multiplayer? The fact that it disregards the tone of the campaign in favour of fun, fun, fun. The maps feature the same dreary but wonderfully recreated environments found in the campaign, but with people shouting in chat and players being able to pull off crazy stunts like jumping off of zeppelins. In short the gameplay found in multiplayer doesn’t always match up well with the tone adopted elsewhere in Battlefield 1.

    Still, Battlefield 1 is definitely one of the best shooters I’ve played in a long time. What many worried would be a simple reskin is so much more than that; this is a very different, slower paced and more serious Battlefield that is genuinely refreshing to play through. This is one of the best Battlefields to have ever graced our consoles and computers, and I for one will be playing it for a long time to come. 


    A graduate in Computing which was centered around Gaming, Dan is a games developer and writer. His first game, Twixel, was released for iOS, Android, PC and Mac in 2015, with the Steam release coming November 18th, 2016. A lover of all things games, Dan has been writing for for over 2 years, attending conferences and interviewing developers to get the best content for VGChartz readers. His favourite games include Asura's Wrath, S.T.A.L.K.E.R and the Halo Series. Dan can be followed on Twitter at: @Caesoose

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  • scissors
    October 21st, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Several analysts have agreed that the highest Nintendo can price the Switch to be a success is $299. That will put it in line to compete with the price of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

    "Price pretty much depends on specs, and success depends on both price and specs. If the specs are close to PS4, I think they can price around the same ($249), and at most $299. If specs are weaker, price could be lower," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told GamesIndustry.

    "Assuming they are close to PS4, they are making porting of games easy for developers (and inexpensive), and I think they will get a lot of third party support. If the specs are weaker, porting will be costly and less likely to occur. So my 'prediction' is that if specs and pricing are similar to PS4, the Switch will get a lot of third party support and will be immensely successful. If specs are weaker or if pricing is too high, sales will suffer because of lack of third-party support or because of uncompetitive pricing."

    Dr. Serkan Toto agrees with Pachter that the threshold for success is a $299 price tag: "They must find a way to release the Switch at US$299 to stand a chance, that's the threshold," said Toto. "It's not impossible by offering the device in multiple versions, i.e. without the home dock. 'Hardcore' video game fans can, at US$299, already get fantastic devices from Sony and Microsoft. The portable gaming use case, at scale, has been taken over by smart devices."

    SuperData's van Dreunen added that a price under $300 and bundled with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Mario Kart will help sell units. "I'm hoping they'll keep it under $300, ideally bundled with a Zelda or Mario Kart," he said. "Anything over that will severely limit its market potential," said Dreunen.

    Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games research at IHS, added, "The reveal suggests it is competing more significantly with traditional home consoles, but with the edge of mobility. Pricing will need to be competitive in this context and anything over $300 may not be a convincing proposition.

    "The new console shares a number of design, positioning and component similarities with Nvidia's Shield tablet. As such it is likely that Switch will be capable of displaying 4K video content and judging by the pricing of the original Shield tablet is likely to sit in the $250-$300 range."

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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  • scissors
    October 21st, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Nintendo is going to wait until 2017 before talking more about the games that will be coming to the Nintendo Switch, as well as the hardware specifications, Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki


    The company has confirmed the Switch will not be backwards compatible with physical Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games.

    The Nintendo Switch launches in March 2017.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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  • scissors
    October 21st, 2016GamespotUncategorized

    Sony has confirmed with GameSpot that the hard drive inside the PlayStation 4 Pro, like with the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, can be replaced with another hard drive. 

    The PlayStation 4 Pro also uses a SATA III interface and can support solid-state drives. That doubles the speed of the original PlayStation 4, which uses a SATA II interface, from 3Gb/s to 6Gb/s.

    The PlayStation 4 Pro launches on November 10 for $399.

    A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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