Xbox Live Is Coming To Switch
While nothing has been made official yet, it has been strongly indicated that Microsoft will soon be announcing cross-platform access to Xbox Live on multiple devices. One of these would be the Switch. As initially reported by Windows Central, Microsoft is hosting a session at GDC 2019 this year, aptly titled “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms.” While not on the website anymore, the takeaway, as indicated by Windows Central, was as follows:
“Xbox Live is one of the largest, most engaged gaming communities on the planet with decades of experience providing managed game services to developers that save you time and unlock all of the social and engagement features that players love.
Now Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger. Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK.
Get a first look at the SDK to enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.”
It would seem that Microsoft is now going all-in on the cross-platform arena at this point. Between cross-play on games like Rocket League and Fortnite, as well as Minecraft, Microsoft is clearly at least welcoming Nintendo to the table. By bringing Xbox Live, Microsoft’s über popular online service of over a decade, to Switch, Microsoft is fully allowing Nintendo fans access to its online services. This is a huge step forward and marks something fascinating about competition in the gaming industry.
Voice Chat Coming to Switch Games
For too long, Nintendo consoles have been devoid of any kind of in-game voice chat. They’ve tried in the past with various peripheral devices, such as Wii Speak, though nothing had really caught on, nor had voice chat become a function of the console. However, as Variety reports, voice chat will now be released widespread on Nintendo Switch. Indeed voice and text chat company Vivox, will be releasing a software development kit that will enable third-party developers to make voice chat a component of their software.
Thus far, the technology has already come to Fortnite on Switch. Now, it is currently in development for SMITE and Paladins.
The president of Vivox, Dave Verratti, actually spoke out on the subject, saying that Vivox has “already seen a great deal of success with Nintendo and the use of our voice services in Fortnite.” He added that multiplayer games “can and should excel on Nintendo Switch, and we’re excited to see the results of the Vivox SDK on Nintendo Switch.”
It is good to see that Nintendo has warmed up to in-game voice chat on Switch. Only time will tell which games will eventually see the technology implemented.
Super Mario Movie Release Window Slated
Traditionally, video game movies have never seen a ton of critical, nor necessarily commercial, success. The original movie Mario was in, 1993’s Super Mario Bros., was hardly an Oscar contender and wasn’t too fulfilling for Nintendo fans. However, Nintendo is pushing forward with a non-live-action movie for their mascot, which has now been given a release window of 2022.
As the Wall Street Journal reported back in November of 2017, a Mario movie had been in the works. Until now, not much had been heard on the subject. However, we now know, as per Nintendo’s Shuntaro Furukawa, that the movie is “moving along for an anticipated theatrical release around 2022.” This is according to Nintendo’s financial results briefing.
This is a fairly large step forward in the gaming industry. While not as if video game films have not been done before, Nintendo’s partnering with Illumination Entertainment, behind Despicable Me, suggests that the animated Super Mario film may have at least some merit. The thing that makes this a larger step forward than anything else is that this information is coupled with information regarding “Super Nintendo World,” an area to be opened at Universal Studios Japan around the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
If all goes well, this shows success for the gaming industry beyond the gaming industry and will hopefully let others know that the public is ready for more of video games outside of gaming.
‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Is Nintendo’s Fastest-Selling Game Ever Made
Over the past couple months, we have reported on the smashing success that was Nintendo’s fifth entry in its popular fighting game franchise that was released back in September. Now, news has broken that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the fastest-selling game Nintendo has ever published.
According to Business Insider, sales data released by Nintendo suggests that it is, indeed, the fastest-selling game on a Nintendo console. Compared to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey, selling 15.08 and 13.76 million units, respectively, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has sold 12.08 million units in its two-month lifespan.
Given that the Wii U, as Business Insider points out, sold just 13.56 million units as a console, this information becomes all the more impressive. Nintendo’s rather young entry will continue to see new fighters released for the game, including Piranha Plant from the Super Mario franchise, as well as Joker from Persona.
This Week’s Releases
No major releases have really come out in the past week, other than Wargroove for Nintendo Switch. However, as always, the eShop sees a steady stream of releases come its way. For example, Farm Together, a farming simulator, was released on February 1st for the Nintendo Switch, running at $19.99 USD.
Additionally, Etrian Odyssey Nexus came out this week for $39.99 USD on Nintendo 3DS. Etrian Odyssey Nexus is a promising RPG by Atlus that is a very much a dungeon-crawling experience. It seems to be very inspired by the classic RPG formula, ultimately.
Finally, among releases from the past week was Sky Gamblers – Afterburner. Priced at $19.99 USD on Nintendo Switch and developed by Atypical Games, Sky Gamblers is an aviation game that is accompanied by both single-player and multiplayer components. It appears faithful to the aviation genre and may satisfy the hunger that burdens Switch fans craving an aviation experience on Nintendo Switch.
As always, you can find these titles and more on the Nintendo Game Store.