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Daniel Hughes, St.Helens

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  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 2 days ago

    @Thusian Splatoon received great reviews, some Game of the Year awards and sold over 4 million copies on a system with barely 13 million users. I wouldn't call that 'tepid'.

    Posted in Switch: No Country For Old Men, Old IPs

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 6 days ago

    I agree largely with this, the promise of a unified Nintendo library, good indie support and hopefully, a strong Virtual Console make Switch perfect for me, in addition to the odd Western title and the primarily Japanese support. However, price for me IS a deal-breaker, particularly because Nintendo games have jumped in price here in the UK. Zelda costs £40 on Wii U, but £60 on Switch. Add that to the £280 price-tag, and the expensive peripherals, and the fact I have Kart on Wii U and can get Zelda on Wii U, and jumping in at launch has lost all appeal.

    I will be buying by Christmas, and I really hope by then the system is cheaper. At its current price, I cannot see Switch succeeding. With an aggressive price cut and another major blockbuster alongside Mario this Christmas (Pokemon!), I think Switch can power on to be a moderately successful system. Nintendo better be working on Pokemon Stars, though, because without that and a price cut I don't see Switch working out. Oh, and they better be throwing heaps of cash at Capcom to secure Monster Hunter. With that, they rule Japan, and with Japanese support, Switch will tick along ok.Edited 2 times. Last edited 6 days ago by Unknown

    Posted in Opinion: Switch Isn't for Everyone, But It's Definitely For Me

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 7 days ago

    The presentation was poor, the list of games that has emerged since (and is growing) is more promising. For me, this is closer to 3DS 2011 than Wii U 2012. Nintendo are charging premiums for their brands (especially Splatoon, Zelda, Mario Kart) thinking that they can cash in on the popularity of those brands, ignoring that a big part of Nintendo's popularity since day one has been affordability for family orientated gaming. Add to that the baffling decision to not bundle 1-2 Switch in the box, and Nintendo have put obstacles in front of themselves that they'll have to work hard to clear. If the 2 million shipment is true, then that's 2 million units globally for the entire month of March. If past console launches are anything to go by, the small launch line-up won't matter, because the most hotly anticipated Nintendo title for a decade is hitting Switch on the same day.

    I absolutely agree that Nintendo have sabotaged themselves here, but they have time to recover from this stumble. The Treehouse stream is yet to come, the machine still has two months to go before launch, and three months after launch E3 comes around. It says everything about how poor Nintendo's presentation was that a Sega executive can come on stage and announce "We're thinking about making games for this device in the future" when in reality, Sega have three games hitting Switch this year, one of them (Sonic Mania) this year. How different would things be if Nintendo had someone from Square Enix on stage saying: "We've got six games coming to Switch, including the latest entry in our beloved Dragon Quest series, and a new IP from the developers of Bravely Default!" Those half dozen Squeenix titles are there in the Switch line up, and it looks like five of them are coming this year, with I am Setsuna coming around launch. That's a much stronger impression than "Maybe games???" from Sega, who in actuality, are developing and releasing Switch games starting in March!

    On top of that, Nintendo said nothing about indie support (a number of titles confirmed) or Virtual Console (GameCube support, Mother 3 rumoured). And the biggest rumour, which has come from the most reliable support, is that Pokemon Stars is coming at the end of the year. It doesn't make sense to cut the legs out from under Sun/Moon and announce Stars 2 months after the first versions launch, but it will make sense to announce it at E3, when early adopters and potential Switch buyers will be thinking, "Ok, what's next?"

    I think, in all honesty, price is now the biggest hurdle. Nintendo have Zelda at launch, Mario Kart the month after, Splatoon in Summer, a mixture of third party support from indies, Japanese publishers and some Western support, and, potentially, the one-two of Mario Odyssey and Pokemon Stars at Christmas. Switch in 2017 becomes a very, very different kettle of fish if Pokemon Stars is real. Then consider we only have confirmation of 8 Nintendo published titles on the first system to benefit from their combined development sources, one of which is being developed by Tecmo (Fire Emblem Warriors).

    Finally, there's one more reason I think Switch will be very different to Wii U: Switch is the successor to 3DS and Wii U, and while Nintendo allowed Wii U to fail, they did not allow 3DS to fail. When 3DS faltered, Nintendo cut the price by 1/3, commissioned new first party games (like Fire Emblem: Awakening), secured Monster Hunter 3U and 4 from Capcom, and brought forward their two big blockbusters: 3D Land and Kart 7. Nintendo have bet the farm on Switch combining their portable and home audiences, and I fully expect if Switch struggles in the April/May/June quarter, a price cut will come in July alongside Splatoon 2. Switch can--if Nintendo choose--look like a completely proposition within 3 or 4 months of launch, if they need to hack away at the price and once E3 is out the way. That post-launch quarter could be very, very tough, however.

    For me, price is the biggest issue, but it's also one that will take Nintendo the least amount of time to rectify. 3DS at launch was an under-featured, under-supported, over-priced console with a relatively meaningless headline feature. By Christmas 2011 it was £50 cheaper and had some incredible games available. Switch has very similar problems, but it does have the benefit of being a more versatile system. If Pokemon Stars is real, I think Switch in 2017 is a very, very different ballgame.

    Posted in Reaction: This Was Pretty Much the Switch's Worst Case Scenario

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 9 days ago

    Well, if there are still precious few Xbox One exclusives after E3 2017, then I'd be concerned.

    Personally I'll admit I was disappointed by the cancellation of Scalebound, and have been considering trading in my Xbox One plus games towards a Switch. That's not just down to a lack of enthusiasm around Xbox exclusives, that's more a reflection of limited money and time for videogames, an enormous Steam backlog, and a preference for portable consoles and Nintendo exclusives making Switch a decent bet, depending on details yet to come.

    I'll happily jump back in to Xbox in the future, because I've been a fan since the original machine, but it is a real shame that Microsoft's exclusive software line-up has become increasingly reliant on Forza, Gears and Halo. Great franchises, but you need some variety in there too. Here's hoping Sea of Thieves marks a return to form for Rare, and that Microsoft knock it out the park at E3 this year.

    Posted in Revisiting Xbox E3 2014: Remembering All The Games That Died

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 10 days ago

    Hardware and software pricing, battery life and Japan may well make or break Switch. Nintendo already have Pokemon, Mario, Animal Crossing, Smash Bros, and Dragon Quest on board. If they can get Monster Hunter, and they've got the pricing/battery life right, then Switch becomes the natural replacement for 3DS in Japan. Don't forget that while 3DS hasn't been a huge success in the West, 3DS has outsold PS2 in Japan. Indeed, 3DS's install base is twice that of every other current system combined in Japan. If Switch can capture that market, or a market of similar size in Japan, then the combination of dedicated software support from Nintendo, Japanese third party support, indie support, whatever Western support Nintendo can get, and Virtual Console (hopefully much improved) should see Switch become a moderate to solid success globally.

    Posted in Nintendo Switch's Hybrid Nature: Some of the Strengths, All of the Weaknesses?

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 13 days ago

    On top of that, the Switch core reportedly has to plug into its dock in order to charge its battery, which means you can't play while charging — despite plugged-in play having been a basic handheld gaming survival technique since the Lynx's debut in 1989

    This would be a big shame, hopefully there'll be an option to plug-in and play.

    Your point about bespoke portable experiences is interesting, because the only company that have consistently been able to nail that (for me at least) has been Nintendo. Western companies in particular never seem to have grasped the differences between portable and home play, often simply offering cut down games as portable fare. You play Fire Emblem or Pokemon or Zelda or Animal Crossing on a handheld, and you've no doubt you're getting a full, quality game.

    Pokemon is particularly interesting, because Pokemon Stars is rumoured for Switch, which suggests Nintendo see the system as a dual replacement. If Switch is flexible enough, what's to stop Nintendo--and other developers--from creating games that, like Breath of the Wild, are best played at home, as well as games geared more towards portable play, like Pokemon? Hopefully, nothing! For me, given Nintendo's struggles with home consoles and the shrink of the portable space, Switch really has to offer that mixture of portable and home experiences in order to find a sizable market. Switch sounds very versatile, and that hardware versatility just needs imaginative developers to embrace it.

    And I think if Switch does succeed, we'll see a Switch Lite down the way. Same basic machine, same software library (mostly), same OS, but cut down the screen size and versatility, remove the dock from the package and include HDMI output, and you've got an even more portable (low price) offering. Nintendo did say the future of Nintendo hardware is going to be more like the iOS offerings...

    Posted in The Handheld's Last Stand

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 14 days ago

    Absolutely agreed that in the long-run, Nintendo need a consistent stream of software to sell Switch and to power it along. That's why they've gone for a hybrid system, to push the software support they have for their portable line into home console gaming. That doesn't just mean that most of Nintendo's development power will be behind Switch alone (some set aside for mobile), it also means that the primarily Japanese support (of all levels) that has powered Nintendo's portable success over three decades, and particularly in the DS/3DS era, will also be banking on Switch succeeding.

    Nintendo need to create the market for those developers and publishers first, though, because outside of Japan, Dragon Quest, Monster Hunter, Yokai Watch etc don't sell systems. Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Mario Kart, Smash Brothers do. Nintendo need to get their big titles out at a quicker, more consistent rate than they managed with Wii U (or 3DS, initially), so that there's an audience ready to buy third party titles. Without those Nintendo blockbusters, Switch will not find an audience, and the lack of audience will drive away third parties. It's a more delicate balancing act for Nintendo than Sony/Microsoft, because Nintendo regularly take 50% of the software market for their own systems, which is something third parties don't need to compete with on other systems.

    Finally I do agree Nintendo don't need Zelda at launch, because several substantial rumours suggest Mario is going to be there!

    Posted in Opinion: The Switch's Success Doesn't Hinge on Zelda Being Available at Launch

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo 15 days ago

    Super Mario Run is at 90 million downloads on iOS, with 3% of people paying. That puts Nintendo's proportion of paying customers above other major mobile publishers such as Zynga (1.7%) and King (2%). Source. That's generated $30 million of revenue in two weeks, double the $15 million estimate cited in this article. And, it should be pointed out that the $60 million expectation came from an analyst, and was not Nintendo's own expectations, which this article conflates. Super Mario Run has likely already paid for itself, and made a tidy profit too. Additionally I expect Nintendo's primary motive with Super Mario Run is to generate brand awareness, with the game effectively working as a marketing tool. Has no-one else noticed the Super Mario Maker 3DS ads that target Super Mario Run players?

    I don't doubt that Nintendo will want to make more money from Super Mario Run, but short term profit through mobile was never their primary motive. Their long-term goal is increasing brand awareness and pushing customers onto their hardware. It has to be said with Nintendo's unconventional (for mobile) approach Super Mario Run's conversation rate will lower from 3% as it launches on Android (which has lower paying customer rates than iOS), but the audience for Run will increase significantly. Plus, with F2P players able to drop as much money as they want on mobile titles, the amount of revenue Nintendo can drive from Super Mario Run was always going to be quite limited by mobile standards.

    Personally I really hope Run succeeds with this business model. There's nothing wrong with a slice of the mobile market featuring paid games that go up to $10 in price. The issue is, as Iwata cautioned at GDC in 2011, that developers and publishers devalued mobile games by rushing to the bottom. Mobile games aren't perceived as valuable or worth money by the majority of people that play them, and that's a problem, because it means hundreds of millions of people don't recognise the effort that goes into crafting these games. If more developers felt confident they could create a bespoke $5-$10 game on mobile and have it sell without immediately sinking to the bottom, mobile gaming would be a better place.

    I think it's too soon on Super Mario Run to hit panic buttons. This is just the start of a longer play from Nintendo.Edited 2 weeks ago by Unknown

    Posted in What Nintendo Learned From Super Mario Run, and What Comes Next

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo A month ago

    @LBD_Nytetrayn All of Shovel's Knight's stretch goals are free dlc for anyone who bought the game.

    Posted in Shovel Knight Gets a Standalone Prequel with Spectre of Torment

  • Avatar for Mr.Spo Mr.Spo A month ago

    I love the look of the new Zelda. I'm more interested in Mass Effect Andromeda now, too. And more Shovel Knight is always a good thing.

    Posted in Video Round-Up: Game Awards 2016