December 14

Is Microsoft/Nintendo Relationship Possible?!

Following recent rumours, could it really be possible that Nintendo and Microsoft are about to enter a partnership?!

Following a tweet from the Microsoft Studios account last week, everyone has been going crazy about the idea of a developing partnership. In response to a fan asking whether we would ever see Rare Replay on the Wii U — most games on the collection originally were on Nintendo consoles — Microsoft suggested that fans take it up with Rare, almost indicating that they would be open to the idea. Minecraft, another Microsoft owned IP, launches on the Wii U this week. In response to these rumours Microsoft has now said that they “have no information of any games coming to the Wii U other than Minecraft at this time.” The final part to that statement — “at this time”  — does only add fire to the flame of a potential partnership. With Nintendo effectively on the ‘last chance saloon’ with their own console, a move to bring their games to other consoles in the future remains a possibility. Given the history with Sony, it wouldn’t surprise me if Nintendo did sign up to an exclusive partnership with Microsoft. Can you imagine how much this would change the dynamic of the console industry?!

While Nintendo’s home console may be a cause for concern, the Japanese company remains fully committed to their handheld. In a recent interview with The Washington Post, Nintendo’s marketing executive Scott Moffitt does not appear worried about the rise of mobile gaming.

“Clearly gaming on smart devices and gaming on Nintendo 3DS can happily coexist, to the benefit of all gamers. The fact is, playing games on two very different hardware platforms means options for two very different kinds of game play. The inclusion of multiple control buttons on Nintendo 3DS allows a much deeper and more sophisticated type of play.”

Moffitt also takes it as an opportunity to remind people that the 54 million units sold (as at 30 September 2015) is greater than PS4 and Xbox One sales combined — according to VGChartz, PS4 is about 32 million and Xbox One is almost 18 million. I don’t think he is wrong, handheld gaming does still offer better opportunities than mobile gaming. Unfortunately I expect the handheld gaming figures to continue to diminish as mobile popularity increases.

Halo 5: Guardians is one of the biggest releases of the year, but has had major competition over the past few weeks. In order to help entice gamers to keep playing their game, 343 Industries has announced a new loyalty program that rewards players for returning on a daily basis. The rewards on offer come in the form of up to two free Req packs per day, which can be earned by playing multiplayer modes Arena and Warzone. It isn’t quite as simple as just logging in though, you will have to win a match in order to receive your reward. It may not seem like much, but I think it is a nice touch of 343 to offer something to players. As I mentioned earlier, it entices you to keep playing Halo 5 in order to improve your Spartan.

Another week and another GTA Online update. The update, called Executives and Other Criminals, adds new gameplay modes, additional co-op jobs and challenges, new and customisable apartments, and luxury-themed items like a massive Super Yacht! You will also be able to establish your own crime ring and even hire (and fire) your very own bodyguards! The new update launches tomorrow (15th December), but will not feature on the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions. I’d love to get myself one of those super yachts but feel that I will need a few more GTA$ before I can afford it!

That’s all for today.

Matt