Thursday, January 12, 2017

Crazy Caffeinated Predictions - Nintendo Switch for $199.99 and launch games!


Coffee Beans
We are less than an hour away from learning all about the Nintendo Switch and its planned release! What Nintendo first party games will be available day one? What third party games will be available? But, most importantly I believe, what will its price be?

I have been making posts around different places (Twitter and reddit mainly), about what I hope the Switch's price will be, and why I think it's important.

How much do I think the Nintendo Switch will be at launch? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look at that and some more of my crazy, caffeinated, predictions!

Caffeinated Thoughts (I finished a Venti Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice about an hour before I started this):
Some of the below is a direct copy/paste of a comment I made on reddit a few days ago, with some edits.

Nintendo is not releasing the Switch in a vacuum. Nintendo already dominates the portable video game market with dedicated hardware via the 3DS (though odd note: The 3DS is absent from all stores at the moment in my area, and can't be ordered directly from major websites.). Sony and Microsoft are winning the home console race, specifically Sony.

How does Nintendo plan to appeal to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners, and even their own 3DS owners, at $300? I don't think they will.

Nintendo will probably get a good percentage of Zelda fans buying the Switch day one that skipped the Wii U, but that number is below 10 million.
Nintendo will have about two million Switch units ready for its worldwide launch. One latest rumor is they are now aiming for 2.5 million to be available, if that rumor turns out to be correct.

How does Nintendo make the Switch appealing, and continue to keep the Switch flying off shelves? I believe price is extremely important. I think they need to make it $100 less than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and advertise and market it like crazy. I'm not talking crazy like the Wii U launch ads in the U.S., those were crazy horrible.

What helped the Wii win its console generation? Price. It was $150 less than the best Xbox 360 bundle, and $250 below the cheapest PS3 bundle at launch. It was the lowest priced home console.

The Wii was the lowest priced console, included Wii Sports bundled in at that price, and Nintendo couldn't keep the Wii on store shelves for 2+ years?

Sony had major issues with pricing at launch, and Microsoft had hardware issues (RROD).

Nintendo does not want the Switch to be a Wii U in terms of sales, and probably not even a GameCube (though, it was better than the Wii U). Nintendo probably wants the Switch to be a Wii in terms of sales, at least I would think.

Is Nintendo releasing something less powerful than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but pricing it at the Xbox One level of $299.99? I don't think they will.

Tablets are as cheap as a few bags of dirt these days. I paid $33 for an Amazon Kindle for one of our sons for Christmas. It plays games. It does YouTube. It does apps. Amazon is dominating the sub-$100 tablet market. Apple is dominating the higher end tablet market.

People that own those tablets can do Pokemon Go already, and iPad/iPhone owners now have Super Mario Run with that being released on Android later.

If Nintendo thinks that Mario will save them, or even Zelda, I think they need to simply look at the Wii U. The Wii U had some awesome Mario games (Super Mario 3D World is fantastic, and I recommend it highly, just finished a level in it before typing this), but those games didn't do a thing to help keep the Wii U from failing.

The Wii U had Hyrule Warriors, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess (and are we still assuming BotW?). It didn't help the system's performance.

If Nintendo fails the Switch at launch, it's a hard road to recovery, like what happened with the Wii U.

I think the Switch needs to be under $200 for major success and for it not to end up like Wii U, but maybe Nintendo will try $250 for launch to get all the hardcore fans' extra cash early, then drop it to $200 for the holidays? Maybe the Switch will be more powerful than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One combined with Duck Tape, and Nintendo will say they are going for the higher end market to justify a higher price? Maybe, but I don't think so.

Where am I getting the sub-$200 price idea from? First, a rumor from 2015. You can read it here:
https://kevincallahangames.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/exciting-times-coming-next-year/

Second, Nintendo's partnership with Nvidia and Nvidia's own Shield Tablets that have released on the market since 2013.
When was the last Nvidia Shield tablet released? November 2015.
What was it priced? $200.

The Nvidia Shield K1 has an 8", 1080p screen. The Nintendo Switch? 6, 720p screen.
The Nvidia Shield K1 did not include a controller, but I am assuming the Nintendo Switch will include the Joy-Cons, and of course the docking station, in a base bundle.

Sony dominated the PS2 era, and they controlled pricing. Nintendo better not forget that. It didn't matter the GameCube was $100 less at launch, because Sony dropped the PlayStation 2 down to $199.99 about six months after the GameCube released, and that basically sealed the deal for Sony winning that generation.
Will Nintendo really gamble and release the Switch at the same price as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? I don't see how that is a recipe for success, even if they have exclusive games and big exclusive third party titles.
I think they need to "hit the ground running" with the Switch, and not stop.

Resident Evil 4, and all those Capcom deals on the GameCube. Didn't matter.

Price is important. What did one Sony representative say happened when Microsoft announced the price of the Xbox One? Something like Sony representatives were running up and down the aisles celebrating, because the PS4 would be $100 cheaper?

Who is dominating, and has been? Sony. Do we even know Microsoft's Xbox One sales numbers? (Honest question, I looked and didn't find them.) Sony's $100 price difference and sales of the PS4 basically forced Microsoft to abandon the Kinect, to get the price down quickly.

I don't think $250 for the Switch + costs of a game is a smart move, but I am glad to be proven wrong. If the Switch is priced at $249.99, it makes it $300+, just like the PS4 and Xbox One, when you buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One had console bundles that were discounted down to $250 during the holidays.

Games?
I do think The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch day title for the Switch, just like Twilight Princess was on the Wii. I also think Nintendo may delay the Wii U version, to make the Switch a more attractive buy to the hardcore Zelda fans that want it day one.
Some people were saying they heard Breath of the Wild might not be ready for March, and when I heard that, I tweeted out that if Zelda wasn't ready, maybe the system wasn't ready. I think Breath of the Wild is a must for the Switch's launch.

The rumor I posted above from 2015 said Diddy Kong Racing 2 was in the works for Nintendo's console that was to be released in 2016 (so, I assume it is the Switch), and I think having another racing title at launch like Diddy Kong Racing would be awesome, but I'm almost thinking that maybe Nintendo is going to morph what was Diddy Kong Racing 2, into Mario Kart for the Switch.

They could be putting all the Donkey Kong/Diddy Kong levels in the game, and put Diddy Kong in it as well. I could be wrong, but I'm excited to see if there was any validity behind the Diddy Kong Racing rumor.

Nintendo has been working with Japanese developers a lot more closely the last few years. They made a great deal with PlatinumGames in getting Bayonetta 2 (and the original) released on the Wii U, as well as The Wonderful 101. PlatinumGames also helped Nintendo in the development of Star Fox for the Wii U.

I'm thinking that there will be a PlatinumGames title for the Switch's launch, and I think it will be Vanquish 2, probably with the original Vanquish included just like they did with the Bayonetta series on the Wii U.

Quick Crazy Caffeinated Nintendo Switch Predictions:
Price - $199.99, in some fashion. Base bundle at the very least, with no game.
Games:
1) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, launch day release.
2) Vanquish 2, with the original included, launch day release.
3) Diddy Kong Racing 2, launch day release, or massive Mario Kart 8 update with Diddy Kong and tons of new levels.
4) Craziest of the crazy predictions. Nintendo will announce the Nintendo 3DS is no longer being produced, and the Nintendo Switch will be their only video game console in production so they can concentrate on one system.
5) Eternal Darkness is announced for the Switch.
6) Metroid is teased, but no official release date. Just a teaser trailer.
7) Endless Ocean is getting the HD treatment, with both the Wii titles being ported to the Switch.

Questions:
Am I crazy for hoping and thinking it will be under $200? We will find out in about 25 minutes!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Coffee Shop! Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze Wii U sale!


Coffee Shop
Good morning! I hope this post finds you well, perhaps even enjoying a cup of coffee. It's a new week, and almost a new month! Where have I (Coffee) disappeared to the last few months? Well, that might be a story for another day...

Today, I wanted to let fellow Wii U owners know that Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (DKCTF) is on sale! Barely a month after it released, the game is already discounted 20% off its MSRP at two retailers.

You can pick up a copy of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze for the Wii U from Best Buy (HERE) and Amazon.com (HERE) this week for just $39.99. Both sites include "Free Shipping" with the sale price, but with Best Buy you also have the option of checking your local store(s) to see if you can pick it up today if you want.

You can click the links above, or below, to be redirected to the appropriate pages to buy it:
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is on sale at Best Buy for $39.99.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is on sale on Amazon.com for $39.99.

I did a plethora of Nintendo Channel data stories on Donkey Kong Country Returns (see: hereherehereherehere, & here), and even one on the Wii's Virtual Console Donkey Kong Country SNES titles over the years. If you own a Wii, but not a Wii U, I would highly recommend picking up Donkey Kong Country Returns and giving it a try, especially if you enjoyed any of the older SNES titles in the series.

Question
If you have played Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (I haven't), would you recommend it to Wii U owners that might not be familiar with the "Donkey Kong Country" line of games?

Also, if you have played and beaten DKCTF, how many hours did it take you?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Are games art? The Interactive Canvas is making the case! Kickstarter campaign


Are games art? Roger Ebert, the late film critic, made big waves in the video game community when he said that games weren't art and never would be. He then expounded on that quote later with an article and said, "Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form."

He wrote that in 2010, and like I have disagreed with many critics before him, I disagree with his opinion on this topic as well. That's why when my good friends from DigitallyDownloaded launched a new Kickstarter campaign pertaining to this very topic, it became my first Kickstarter campaign to ever back!

Their Kickstarter campaign is titled, Interactive Canvas; Gaming Artists, and you can find it HERE (the last three links should get you to the page!).

What is the Interactive Canvas all about? In short, "The Interactive Canvas is a book that champions the idea that games have artistic merit, and interviews the people that make them". Watch this video to get a better idea of what will be included in the book:


If you're now curious, but haven't already clicked over, here are just some of the artists that will be involved with the book:

  • American McGee, Spicy Horse; American McGee's Alice, Alice Returns
  • Jonathan Blow; Braid, The Witness
  • Konrad Tomaszkiewicz, CD Projekt Red; The Witcher series
  • Hidetaka Suehiro (aka SWERY65), ACCESS Games; Deadly Premonition
  • Ed Key; Proteus
  • Michael Samyn and Auriea Harvey, Tale Of Tales; The Path, Luxuria Superbia
  • Dan Pinchbeck, The Chinese Room; Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs
  • Guillaume Provost, Compulsion Games; Contrast
  • Thomas Johansson, Henrik Fåhraeus, and Johan Andersson, Paradox Development Studio; Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis IV
  • Nic Watt, Nnooo; escapeVektor
  • Tamara Schembri and Peter Budziszewski, ToyBox Studios; Flowmo
  • Neil Rennison, Tin Man Games; Gamebook Adventures, Fighting Fantasy gamebooks on iOS and Android
  • Mike Bithell; Thomas Was Alone

And, if you missed the references, the Interactive Canvas is referred to not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times as a "coffee table-style" book, or publication. With the amount of content they are planning for the Interactive Canvas, it seems like a perfect book to flip through while you are enjoying your morning cups of coffee!

Again, you can watch the video above to hear the idea behind it, and visit its Kickstarter page directly to get involved and back the project. Also, if you have any questions about the project, you can contact Matt from DigitallyDownloaded directly, by emailing him at: matts(@)digitallydownloaded.net.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

November & December Brewed! Coffees Consumed, Games Played...


Coffee Beans
So, I performed another vanishing act, like a great magician, during the months of November and December (and much of January!) on the site. While I wasn't posting, I was keeping busy in the video game world and drinking lots of coffee though!

What coffees did I consume and games have I been playing? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look!

Coffees Consumed
The quick list: Beaumont Coffee Classic Roast, Community Coffee Medium Roast, Café Du Monde, Beaumont Coffee Gingerbread, Beaumont Coffee Salted Caramel, Beaumont Coffee Pumpkin Spice, and Beaumont Coffee Toasted Coconut.

If you're wondering what's up with all the different Beaumont Coffee roasts and flavors, it is Mrs. Coffee's fault! I personally don't like flavored coffees (on a rare occasion maybe, like spotting a Sasquatch!), but Mrs. Coffee does. So, when the holiday flavors hit the store shelves, she decided to try some out, as you can tell from the list!

I don't mind the Beaumont Coffee Salted Caramel that much, and I'm not remember bad thoughts about the Toasted Coconut, but the Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread just aren't for me. Will I still drink them? Yes. But, I would never buy them for myself. The flavors in them are a bit too artificial for me, and seem to cover up any actual coffee flavor.

Still, I don't mind trying new flavors out, and was even glad to see Mrs. Coffee bring in some new coffee flavors during the holidays.

Games Played
The quick list breakdown by system:
Wii U - Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Wii Sports Club, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, LEGO City Undercover, Toki Tori 2+, F-Zero, Mega Man X, Super Mario Bros. 2, Donkey Kong, Wii Fit U, Nintendo Land, Kung Fu Rabbit, and Super Mario 3D World.

PC - Full Bore.

2DS - Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Mario & Luigi Dream Team.

Super Mario 3D World has been absolutely awesome to play through with Mrs. Coffee. While we started playing it in December, we have played it A LOT more this month. If you have ever enjoyed any Mario platforming games in the past, I highly recommend you giving Super Mario 3D World a try. We haven't finished everything in it just yet, but we are making excellent progress on our Mushroom Kingdom adventure. We have finished up the "main" portion of the game (saw the credits roll), and are working on finding and unlocking everything now.

This is actually an image of Mrs. Coffee (Princess) and me (Mario) completing a level,
and saving/posting it to Miiverse. Notice the time in the top right corner? Ignore the timer at your own risk!

Bean 1 received a Nintendo 2DS for Christmas, and he received both Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon and Mario & Luigi Dream Team for it. I have helped him play both games, but Mario & Luigi Dream Team has gotten more play-time so far. And, I really like the game! While I have only played a Final Fantasy game for maybe 20 minutes, I have watched Mrs. Coffee play some in the past. The way the battles are in Mario & Luigi Dream Team reminded me of the battle system in some of the Final Fantasy games I have seen (probably a lot more simple though?).

Caffeinated Thoughts
While I have been absent from posting, like I mentioned above, I have been busy working on a side project that has turned out to be a bit more time consuming than I ever imagined it would have been, when I first started it. Hopefully once I get the next step of my side project done, I will resume normal posting (whatever that is around here!).

Since this is the first post-Christmas post, there were gaming and coffee related items on Christmas morning other than Bean 1's 2DS and games. Super Mario 3D World was the "family gift" for Christmas, and we actually went the digital route with it and downloaded it. I also received some coffee blends for Christmas, which I have been enjoying and they should be getting listed in the January Brewed post next month. Another Wii U title I grabbed during the holidays that was opened on Christmas morning was Scribblenauts Unlimited, but it wasn't played until after the first of the year.

Questions
Being that this is the first post since Christmas, did any of you get a new system or new games for Christmas that you have been enjoying? Or, perhaps you got something coffee related and have been enjoying coffee more?

As always, if you have any questions about the games I played or the coffees I consumed that I posted about above, feel free to leave a question below or by contacting me directly!

CONNECT WITH COFFEE

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Which console to buy?! Wii U, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One? 2013 Holiday Console Buying Guide


Coffee Beans
It's not a secret that I enjoy games on Nintendo systems, and the Wii was my most played system of the last generation consoles (PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii). The Wii U has been my most played system over the last year though, and I have really enjoyed my time with the games on the system.

Every "next generation" home console system is now out in the U.S., though the newest two (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) might be kind of hard to find right now. While the Wii U released last year and I bought it day one, I have not purchased either the PlayStation 4 or the Xbox One. Why?

Well, in short, because I'm pretty cheap. I have never purchased more than one console each generation, when they first release. I have always started with buying the lowest priced console in any new or "next" generation, and then usually pick up additional systems as their prices drop.

If you own a Wii, PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360 and are debating on buying a Wii U, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One this holiday season, which one would I recommend? Brew yourself some coffee, and take a look below at CoffeeWithGames' 2013 Holiday Console Buying Guide!

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