Switch’s online service becomes fatally flawed

I love my Switch, but Nintendo’s online service has quickly gone from “acceptable” to “lousy” with the announcement that crucial games will prevent cloud saving.

I’ve come to terms with paid multiplayer to some extent. Withholding multiplayer behind a paywall is arguably worth the effect it has: reducing annoying casual/kid players you meet online and increasing server quality, in theory. It can pressure gamers into coming back and playing more often because they know that they’re subscribed to the service, too, which means a more active player base. But the other features are lackluster to begin with. Old NES games with hacked in multiplayer components, online save storage, and unspecified discounts. If they included SNES games in that list it would be a different story. No virtual console? No universal purchase library? No voice chat (except through your smartphone)? These are not easy to overlook.

But now, with the bizarre decision to disable online save storage for Dark Souls and Pokemon Let’s Go, Nintendo has officially dropped the ball. Their explanation makes no sense, claiming that it can theoretically be abused. Regarding the non-exclusive titles being affected, look at this quote from the Game Informer article:

It is worth noting that all of these games support cloud saves on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

While Pokémon Let’s Go can be explained away as The Pokémon Company’s often overbearing paranoia and a desire to drive business to the cloud-based Pokémon Bank subscription service, the other included examples do not make much sense.

A couple of assholes are going to exploit your online save functionality (if you don’t structure it in a way that prevents this) so now everybody has to suffer? Online saves are 100% about increasing the value of your Switch purchase by making it a little less painful to replace one if it breaks, and having your whole library’s progress backed up is essential, especially for something as in-depth and time consuming as Pokemon or Dark Souls.

Those NES ROMs had better be amazing.

The Next-Gen Half-Step Streaming War Begins (New podcasts!)

Despite putting up my E3 2018 podcast just two days ago, I decided that I wanted to do another one to talk about the Steam Link App, my next-gen industry analysis article, and the hilarious ways that VR is trying to create a killer app. As you’ll hear when you listen to it, I go further into the reason why I predicted that the next generation of consoles were going to use streaming game services as their big selling point. However, I could never have predicted that this morning — right as I was preparing to upload the episode and publish this article — news broke that PlayStation Now is gearing up for a major rehaul.

Listen to the E3 podcast now (Episode 004)

Listen to the streaming/VR podcast now (Episode 005)

Read on for more discussion and proof that my prediction was dead-on correct…

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Why Xbox is moving towards streaming

Last week I sat down with my brother and tried to calculate — through sheer analysis — what Microsoft would do at this E3.

I didn’t post any of it online, so I can’t claim any victory points for it, but after a few hours of discussing the state of the industry, along with Xbox’s past, present, and possible futures, I concluded that Microsoft was going to announce a new generation of Xbox consoles and push streaming as their next big move. Today Phil Spencer confirmed that Xbox is going to push a streaming service, and new hardware. Turns out my prediction was 100% correct.

Here’s how I reached my conclusion.

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Square Enix has been improving Octopath Traveler

Based on the survey feedback after the demo release, Square Enix (and/or Acquire?) has been making adjustments to a lot of things. Interface, visibility, and my own favorite change, the ability to walk or run by simply tilting the joystick, with a “sprint” option available that increases your chances of getting into fights!

This game is really looking great still, and I very much respect Square Enix for being humble enough to put out a demo, listen to feedback, and allow the fans of this genre to push them in the right direction. Yes, you could argue that it shows lack of vision or leadership, but think about it: if you don’t have vision and leadership, why pretend that you do? This is why some series get a creator who ruins tons of stuff in the hopes of becoming a great director. They obviously had good ideas from the start, but listening to fans won’t hurt.

Officially Released! THE KOJIMA CODE

After much anticipation, The Kojima Code is now becoming available for purchase! Get it in glorious Hardcover, Paperback, and digital formats from the biggest online retailers in the world, and Print-On-Demand in locations worldwide. Make sure to check out the options so you can get the format you want at the best value!

Buy it now:

Barnes & Nobles (link)
Amazon (link)
Chapters (link)
Smashwords (link)
Kobo (link)
And more places should have it!
Ask your local bookstore for
Print-On-Demand availability

Want to know a little about the book first? Check out the description:

Download the expanded PDF promotional explainer (link) if you’d like to copy and share snippets

Questions: 

Q. Why can’t I find [version] at [retailer]?
The book is brand new, so not every retailer has gotten around to listing every version yet! Either shop around or wait for your preferred retailer to get the version you want. Apparently it’s normal for retailers to take up to a week or two to get each copy listed correctly.

Q. How much of the book deals with Metal Gear Solid 2?
This book is divided into two halves, and the entire second half deals with Metal Gear Solid 2! You’ve never seen analysis this in-depth!

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