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I Pre-Ordered The Nintendo Switch–Did You?

Hey gang, Brian here. We are just over two weeks away from the launch of the Nintendo Switch. And the closer we get to launch the more I keep hearing people argue about whether or not it’s worth pre-ordering, or if people should wait until there are more games out for the system, or the price drops, or some bundles arrive.

I pre-ordered mine the day the went up. Why? Because there was never a doubt for me that I would be getting the new Nintendo console. I bought the WiiU, the Wii, the New 3DS Xl, the 3DS, the DS (a few times), and a slew of GameBoy models over the years. I got the NES for Christmas the year it came out, and the original GameBoy as well. In fact,the only time I wasn’t an avid Nintendo player was during the N64 and early GameCube eras (when I was mainly gaming on the Genesis, Dreamcast and Playstation).

I am a fan of Nintendo, and one of the things I love about them the most is how they don’t follow what Sony and Microsoft do. The Switch is nothing like the PS4 or Xbox One, and I love that. To me, it’s more an evolution of what they were trying to do with the Wii, and as a PS Vita owner, it seems like a better and more versatile version of the PS Vita.

So, it was a no-brainer for em to order the Switch. I’ll play Zelda at launch, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to pick up some classic games (or even more recent Wii or WiiU games I missed) through the eShop. The Switch isn’t my only console, so it doesn’t need to have everything for me.

Now don’t get me wrong–Nintendo has done plenty to screw up this launch, as they usually do. The launch lineup is weak, the accessories are way too expensive, the streaming features aren’t available at launch, and we still have little idea what the online service is actually going to look like. Nintendo has a way of shooting themselves in the foot and making things more complicated than they need to be. The launch of the Switch appears to be no different.

But that won’t stop me from enjoying the heck out of the Switch when I get it on March 3rd.

I hope the Switch is a huge success for Nintendo. A healthy Nintendo is good for the games industry. What I’d love to see more than anything is for them to phase out the 3DS and truly move forward with one platform. There are tons of 3DS games that never really used the second screen anyway and could become eShop games for the Switch. And of course, the DS and GameBoy libraries should be available for the Switch as well. The Switch could bring it all together.

It probably won’t, because this is Nintendo. But I will still love them, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Switch.

So–did you pre-order the Switch?

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PS4 Pro Reveal–Good for Gamers, Bad for Sony

playstation-4-pro-vertical-product-shot-01-us-07sep16The big PlayStation Meeting event yesterday was pretty much a disaster for Sony, and one that didn’t need to happen. If you missed the press event (and you did not miss much), you can read the details over on the PlayStation blog.

My takeaway from the PS4 Pro reveal was that if you don’t own a 4K TV, there is literally no reason for you to even care about the new version of the console. That, and the fact that Sony is leaving it up to developers to take advantage of the PS4 Pro’s additional capabilities to me means that there will be a whole lof of devs that don’t even bother (see Kinect, Move, the WiiU tablet, etc.).

Sony did a lousy job of messaging the PS4 Pro, and actually gave Microsoft the opportunity to cut the legs out from under them immediately following the PlayStation event:


So, if you’re interested in 4K gaming, you can grab the Xbox One S for $100 cheaper than the PS4 Pro will be when it launches November 10th. If you’re interested in 4K gaming and are planning on getting the PSVR, then your best option is the Pro.

I feel like this is a completely unnecessary error on Sony’s part. There is absolutely no reason for them to be launching the PS4 Pro right now. They are winning the console war. They have their VR headset coming out in October, and it will be compatible with existing PS4s. The only good reason to reveal the Pro would have been if it had the PSVR capability built in and you didn’t need the external box that comes with PSVR. But that’s not the case. Sony is saying PSVR will be “better” with PS Pro, but with the exception of improved visuals, what exactly does that mean? Any way you cut it, the PS4 Pro seems unnecessary, especially from the company that is already winning the console war. The slim reveal would have been just fine. The PS4 is already great. I love mine and do most of my gaming on it.

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So why is this actually good for gamers, then? Because the PS4 Pro is not going to fracture the PlayStation user base like it could have, any more than the Xbox One S did to that user base. Both of these consoles are mainly graphical improvements over the originals, similar to one PC gamer having a slightly better graphics card than another. At the end of the day, unless you are a 4K TV owner and care about such things, there is not much reason to care. And, if you’ve been waiting on getting a PS4, you now have more options. If I was just jumping in, I would be keeping my eye out for a price drop or some sweet bundles on the original models, as stores get rid of their existing stock to make way for the slim.

Now the Scorpio? That’s a whole different story, and that’s much closer to an Xbox 1.5 from what we’ve seen so far. That will have the potential to split Microsoft’s user base, and they should be watching everything that happens in wake of this PS4 fiasco. The difference for Microsoft is that they are behind, so they need to shake things up.

Sony did not. We’ll see if this comes back to bite them.

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Check Out Our Dueling Dark Souls Let’s Plays!

This is a very exciting month for me. For those of you that follow the blog and our Co-Op Critics podcast, you know we spotlight one game a month for the show. This month’s game is Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, and I could not be happier.

I am a HUGE Souls games fan. I’ve put over 400 hours into the first three games, and I’m currently making my way through Bloodborne (in a Let’s Play series you can check out here). I’m also an evangelist for the games, so when Nick agreed to take the Souls plunge and play Dark Souls II, I was ecstatic. I’d played through once on the PS3, but with the Scholar of the First Sin edition, there are some changes that make the game challenging even for returning players.
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Win a FREE copy of Elder Scrolls Online for Xbox One or PS4

We’re giving away a copy of The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited to one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter is follow us on Twitter, tweet about the contest, and Subscribe to our YouTube channel (click the subscribe button in the sidebar). You can come back and tweet about the contest once a day to continue earning more entries! Follow the instructions in the contest widget below to enter.

The winner will be announced at the on June 2nd. To be considered, you must be currently subscribed to our YouTube channel and following us on Twitter. Winner will choose between a copy of Elder Scrolls Online for Xbox One or PS4.

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Vita TV is an Interesting Addition to the Micro Console Space

This past week, Sony made a couple of very interesting Vita announcements. First off, after dropping the price of the Vita to $199 in August, Sony announced that a redesign of the handheld will be arriving in Japan in October (with other regions assumed to follow). The new Vita is lighter and will allegedly have a slightly improved battery life.

The bigger new though was the announcement of the PS Vita TV, a mini console that not only aims to take on Apple TV, but could also throw a monkey wrench into Amazon’s rumored console plans.

The PS Vita TV will retail for $100, plugs into your TV and works with the DualShock 3 controller (which most of us PS3 owners already have). It can play downloaded PSOne and PSP games, as well as downloaded physical Vita games. The console also runs apps like Hulu and Netflix, and will have some cross-functionality features for PS4 owners.

Right now, the PS Vita TV has only been announced for Japan, but there’s obviously a very good chance it will be coming to the US as well.

Last month I wrote about the potential of Amazon’s rumored Android console, and I think it’s still a good bet we’ll see that this year. BUT, Sony could really disrupt this space with the PS Vita TV in the US. Instead of a so-so library of Android games, this $100 console would provide a proven library of PS classics, as well as a taste of new games from the Vita library. And if the Vita TV plays well with the PS4, there will always be that temptation to upgrade for those that start with the Vita TV.

So, while the main focus of the gaming industry continues to be on the major console releases this holiday season, I find this budget console race to be getting more and more fascinating. We as gamers will continue to benefit from there being more choices at multiple price points out there.

Who will be next to jump into the ring?