Cuphead is Coming to Nintendo Switch in April

Microsoft’s first-party side-scroller Cuphead is coming to Nintendo Switch next month, Nintendo announced in today’s Nindies Showcase.

The game, developed by Studio MDHR, was originally released in 2017 as an Xbox One console exclusive. While it released simultaneously on PC as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, that was the full extent of its reach until now.

Microsoft has also stated that they are working with Studio MDHR to implement Xbox Live functionality into the Nintendo Switch version of Cuphead. Now you’ll finally be able to earn achievements on the go. Cuphead is the first non-Xbox game to receive Xbox Live achivement support, but more are likely on the way with Microsoft planning to bring the service to both Switch and mobile.

Cuphead will launch on Nintendo Switch on April 18. The game will be priced at $20, and it’s already available for pre-purchase on the eShop.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Announced for Switch

The eighth generation of Pokemon is finally upon us with Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, announced in this morning’s Pokemon direct.

Not much was revealed about the games, but they’re mainline Pokemon RPGs, not spin-off titles like last year’s Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. The games are set in the Galar region, which appears to be based on Britain. The starter Pokemon were shown off as well. Upon beginning their journey, trainers will be able to choose from the grass-type Pokemon Grookey, the fire-type Pokemon Scorbunny, or the water-type Pokemon Sobble.

Gameplay looks to be similar to traditional Pokemon games with tall grass, random encounters, and turn-based battles, but no extensive details were given. After the trailer (which you can check out below) debuted, The Pokemon Company teased it was working on additional Pokemon projects other than Sword and Shield, but they didn’t say anything more than that.

Pokemon Sword and Shield are slated to launch in late 2019 for Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime Retiring, to be Replaced by Bowser

“My name is Reggie. I’m about kicking ass, I’m about taking names, and we’re about making games.”

Reggie Fils-Aime first came into our lives fifteen years ago, and after uttering that iconic quote on Nintendo’s stage at E3 2004, became an instant favorite among gamers. Now, fifteen years later, Reggie has an important message for us all: He’s retiring.

Fils-Aime has been one of the more recognizable faces at Nintendo, appearing frequently at events and during Nintendo Direct presentations. He helped provide character and charisma to the company at a time when it felt like it was losing its way.

He’ll be stepping down on April 15 and will be succeeded by Nintendo of America’s senior VP of sales and marketing Doug Bowser. “Doug is a passionate and powerful leader, and a guy who in his youth probably spent too much time in front of a Donkey Kong arcade machine. Inside Nintendo, people already know him as a driving force, and you’ll come to see that too,” said Fils-Aime.

Doug Bowser joined Nintendo of America in 2015 and has led the sales and marketing efforts for the Nintendo Switch. Bowser was an executive at EA prior to joining Nintendo of America.

“I really appreciate everything Reggie has done for Nintendo,” said president of Nintendo Shuntaro Furukawa. “Inside and outside our company, Reggie is known as an exceptional leader. We are grateful that he is leaving the business in good shape with strong momentum. While we will miss him and we wish him the very best in his retirement, we are also pleased to have such an able successor ready to step into that role. Doug Bowser and the rest of the team will ensure a seamless transition and continued momentum for Nintendo.”

Google to Reveal Gaming Project at GDC 2019

A new giant may soon be entering the gaming industry.

Google is planning to reveal details about its unannounced gaming project at the Game Developers Conference next month in San Francisco. Invitations were sent to members of the media this morning, inviting them to “gather around” for a keynote in which “all will be revealed”. The cryptic invite also features a GIF of a hallway with an explosion of light that fades into a date: March 19th.

Image Credit: Google

Not much else is known for sure about what Google is planning to unveil next month, but rumors of Google breaking into the gaming industry with either a streaming service or brand new hardware have been floating around for the better part of a year now. A report from The Information last year states that Google’s “Yeti” project is a streaming service that would work on either Chromecast or a Google console. A report from Kotaku followed, stating that Google was working on a streaming service paired with some sort of hardware, alongside efforts to attract developers to the platform, either through “aggressive recruiting or even major acquisitions”.

In October of last year, Google unveiled Project Stream, a service that allows streaming of new AAA titles through the company’s own Chrome browser. They partnered with Ubisoft to test the service with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and our experience with the service was better than we expected. If Project Stream is what Google is showing off at GDC, then it would be in competition with Microsoft’s Project xCloud, set to launch this year.

GDC 2019 will run from March 18-22, and Google’s Keynote will be on March 19th at 10AM PT/ 1PM ET.

What do you think Google will show at GDC? Are streaming services going to be the next big thing this upcoming generation? Be sure to let us know down below, and follow us on Twitter for quick and easy updates.

Saying Goodbye to the Wii Shop Channel

Goodbye Wii Shop Channel. You will be missed.

Earlier today, January 30, 2019, the Wii Shop Channel shut down for good. The Wii Shop Channel has been on life support for a while, with the ability to add Wii points, the Shop’s form of currency, being disabled last March, but today, Nintendo finally pulled the plug on the dying service. Purchases can no longer be made with existing Wii points, games can no longer be downloaded, and the channel can no longer be accessed.

Launching shortly after the Wii in 2006, the Wii Shop Channel was a pioneer in the digital distribution market. With the advent of online storefronts like the Wii Shop Channel, PlayStation Store, and Xbox Live Marketplace, people no longer had to leave their homes to buy video games. Not only that, but older, harder to find games that would run for upwards of a hundred dollars or more were now widely available for a low price, no original hardware needed. If you wanted to play Castlevania Dracula X, you could! It truly was the best of times.

The Wii Shop Channel also set a fantastic example for game preservation. Nowadays, if you’re looking to legally play Paper Mario, you’ll have to hook up your Wii U that’s been gathering dust since the Switch launched. And while that works now, the Wii U eShop will shut down eventually, and then I’ll have to write a “Saying Goodbye to the Wii U eShop” article, you won’t be able to play Paper Mario, and nobody will be happy.

Nintendo seems to have forgotten they used to the example when it came to classic game availability. The Wii Shop Channel not only had NES, SNES, N64, and other Nintendo console lineups readily available, but also NeoGeo, Genesis, and even TurboGrafx games. Compare that to the Switch, which only has about 30 NES games only available through a subscription.

Original content was also a centerpiece of the Wii Shop Channel. WiiWare allowed for smaller-budget experimental titles to exist alongside mainstream AAA games. Konami’s Rebirth series, Dr. Mario Online Rx, Pokemon Rumble, My Pokemon Ranch, all of these were only possibly because of WiiWare. Sadly, these WiiWare games were only available on the Wii Shop Channel, so now they’re no longer available.

The Wii Shop Channel, along with its contemporary counterparts, set a standard in digital distribution that led to the meteoric rise of digital video game sales. Its influence can be seen throughout the industry today. Unfortunately, its focus on making older games widely available hasn’t lived on in its successors or with any of its competitors, but Microsoft’s recent push for backwards compatibility is starting to bring that topic back into relevancy. Also, WiiWare helped pioneer the independent development scene, and today indie games are in the spotlight year-round.The Wii Shop Channel was an amazing service, and we’re sad to see it go.

At least we’ll always have the music.

Metroid Prime 4 Development Starting From Scratch

After a reveal at E3 2017, Nintendo’s been pretty quiet when it came to Metroid Prime 4. Now we know why.

This morning, Nintendo uploaded a video to their YouTube channel entitled “Development update on Metroid Prime 4 for Nintendo Switch“. The video itself isn’t too long, but the message it conveys is huge: Metroid Prime 4’s development is being completely restarted.

Shinya Takahashi, Senior Managing Executive Officer at Nintendo, gave the news in a clear and succinct fashion. “We must let you know that the current development progress has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series.” said Takahashi. “We had to make a difficult decision as a development team.”

The current producer of Metroid Prime 4, Kensuke Tanabe, is now going to be working hand-in-hand with Retro Studios, the team behind the original Prime trilogy. Together they will “restart development from the beginning.”

In collaborating with Retro, Nintendo hopes to make the game live up to fans’s expectations. It’s unusual for Nintendo to pull back the curtain and be clear and honest with their fans like this, but at least now we have some news on the state of Metroid Prime 4, even if it means we’ll have to wait a little while longer for it.

Have you been waiting for Metroid Prime 4? Do you think turning to Retro for help is the right choice? Be sure to let us know down below, and follow us on Twitter for the latest gaming news.

Ex-Blizzard Devs Working on New Marvel Game

Second Dinner, a new studio founded by former Hearthstone developers, has announced that it’s working on a new Marvel game.

The studio recently received $30 million in funding from Chinese company NetEase, allowing the team to expand beyond its five initial members and open an office in Irvine, California. NetEase operates local versions of Blizzard games in China.

Details are scarce, but job listings share a little insight into what the team’s vision for the game is. “We think there’s a huge opportunity to make deep, satisfying games that are optimized for mobile, and we’re currently working on a game that we’re really excited about.”

“We’ve been working on, I think, a sick Marvel game for about six months,” CCO Ben Brode said in an announcement video. “We’re doing a prototype and starting playtesting. I think it’s super fun.”

The future is looking bright for Marvel Games. Crystal Dynamics, developers of the Tomb Raider reboot series, is hard at work on an Avengers game. Eidos Montreal, the team behind Deus Ex, is reportedly working on a Guardians of the Galaxy game while also helping out with the Avengers Project. Also, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is being developed by Team Ninja exclusively for Nintendo Switch. There’s a lot of Marvel on the horizon, and if the recent Spider-Man game is anything to go by, there won’t be a shortage of quality superhero games anytime soon.