RUMOR - Nintendo and Microsoft working on 'big things' together, plus more talk of Scalebound revival chances

Liam Robertson has become very well-known over the years for being someone who can get inside info on games. He hunts down details on cancelled projects, and keeps his ear to the ground for up-and-coming info. His most recent feature can be seen above, where he covers some recent hot topics for Nintendo fans. He also hits upon some new tidbits. Check out a summary of the video below.

- Project HAMMER and Scalebound are unlikely to come back
- Project HAMMER was a mess of a project that caused a lot of damage
- Platinum has unannounced projects and pitches
- the decision to cancel Scalebound was a mutual one between PlatinumGames and Microsoft
- one of the biggest reasons it was cancelled was the tech could not run the vision for the game
- Scalebound was a very personal project for the team
- picking it up again when many folk who worked on it have left seems against PG's studio culture
- there's a rumor that Platinum has shelved a major project recently because they couldn't staff it
- there's no reason for Microsoft to sell Scalebound as it would do damage to Microsoft
- Robertson heard Nintendo and Microsoft are working on big things together
- he doesn't think PlatinumGames has the money to buy Scalebound

Sakurai on Smash Bros. Ultimate - Deciding Spirits, creating New Donk City Hall, choosing a Splatoon stage, and much more

Nintendo Dream recently sat down with Masahiro Sakurai to discuss all things Smash Bros. Ultimate. We now have some tidbits from that interview, courtesy of PushDustin. Check out the details below!

- when making Smash Bros. Ultimate, Sakurai had a chance to get a good look at the history of the series
- he feels that the quality of the stages and characters has dramatically improved over the series' lifetime
- when deciding how the boss fights would work, Sakurai looked at the original work and thought how that fight would evolve
- these fights also had to adapt it to the limitations of Smash
- Marx was actually scarier before, as Sakurai told the staff that he wanted Marx to be represented as a 'bizarre being'
- when deciding on the ATs and fighters for the game, Sakurai considers representation in Smash from all of the various series'
- if the series will get more installments, it'll get a number of fighters/ATs
- Sakurai also tries to pull characters from more niche series
- it was a bit difficult to select a stage from Splatoon for Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Moray Towers was selected because its ramps, and it would offer a new kind of stage that hadn't been seen in Smash before
- Sakurai heard Jump Up Super Star without the vocals quite often during development of Ultimate
- this is why thought to include both the vocal and non-vocal tracks
- while making New Donk City Hall, Sakurai often checked development progress on Odyssey to make sure things lined up
- when deciding Spirits, the Spirit Team would consider the legal use of the character, and if artwork could be found
- in some cases, Spirits were dropped from consideration if the art could not be found
- a number of contenders for Spirits from the Kid Icarus series were dropped as the team had too many
- since Sakurai worked on Uprising, he felt he could clearly envision how those Spirit battles would take place
- at the start of World of Light, there are no Spirit battles with Kirby because he survives
- in the later half of World of Light there are Spirit battles with Kirby, as Sakurai feels he would have been analyzed by this point
- there was some discussion on what to call 'Snacks' (items that level up Spirits)
- the team considered calling Snacks 'Energy,' but decided they'd rather go with a fun name
- when deciding the World of Light map, the team wanted include a lot of routes and variation
- this led to Spirits being organized around the map
- the stage used would sometimes impact where spirit battles took place
- routes around difficult Spirits were also made

January 2019 NPD - Top software sales, Switch the #1 hardware

The official sales data from NPD is in for Jan. 2019. As we heard yesterday, Switch did indeed take the #1 console spot for the month, but that's not the only success story Nintendo had. Check out a full breakdown of the sales data below.

- Total: $893 million (Down 19% from $1,101 million in January 2018)
- Hardware: $199 million (down 28% from $278 million)
- PC and console software: $427 million (down 18% compared to $520 million)
- Accessories: $267 million (down 12% from $303 million)
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe was 30 percent higher than that of New Super Mario Bros. U
- Switch was the best-selling hardware platform of January 2019 in both dollar and unit sales
- Switch was the only console platform to show year-on-year sales growth
- Switch Pro Controller was January's best-selling accessory with dollar sales increasing 40 percent compared to a year ago

Top 20 software (Jan. 2019)

1. Kingdom Hearts III
2. Resident Evil 2 2019
3. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII^
5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
6. Red Dead Redemption II
7. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
8. NBA 2K19
9. Mario Kart 8*
10. Grand Theft Auto V
11. Madden NFL 19^
12. Tales Of Vesperia
13. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
14. Battlefield V^
15. Super Mario Party*
16. Minecraft#
17. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
18. Marvel's Spider-Man
19. FIFA 19^
20. Super Mario Odyssey*

* Digital sales not included
^ PC digital sales not included
# Minecraft sales include all physical & digital on PlayStation and Xbox platforms

Top 10 Switch titles (January 2019)

1. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
3. Mario Kart 8
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
5. Super Mario Party
6. Super Mario Odyssey
7. Pokemon: Lets Go Pikachu
8. Pokemon: Lets Go Eevee
9. Splatoon 2
10. Tales of Vesperia

Niantic talks Pokemon GO's future, long-term plans, and 'interesting set of stuff' coming this year

Pokemon GO has come a very long way since it originally launched back in July 2016. Niantic has worked hard to add in requested features, as well as elements fans didn't even know were in the works. After all this time, what's next for the mobile hit? In an interview with Polygon, Niantic product manager Matt Slemon lays out some plans.

“In a lot of ways, we think we’ve hit the point where our original launch trailer promise has been delivered. It’s not entirely delivered — we’re expecting to have iterations, as we mentioned, with the PvP launch to the battle system feature, to allow people to have ways to compete more effectively, or find opponents easier. We expect small iterations to our existing features over time, as well.

But I think as we move forward, we’re going to start to see more features that are less traditional Pokémon features [that are] just sort of one-to-one moved over with the Pokémon Go spin. I think you’re going to see more features that are more about really showing what it means to be an AR real-world game, not just a Pokémon game. I think there will be an interesting set of stuff that we have for fans this year, and we’re excited to get that out there.

We try to stay as agile as we can. We generally have longer-term plans, but the further out something is, the more it is subject to change. The goal is that we want to stay responsive: We don’t want to get locked in a situation where we’re committed to delivering something that’s no longer the right thing to deliver. Or an opportunity has appeared, either a cool piece of tech or a good suggestion internally has surfaced, and we want to be able to do it, but the timeline is inflexible.

We do look out to around five years, and we sort of have a long-term vision for what we’d like the game to look like in five years, but we are very open still to finding better ideas along the way and pivoting the roadmap as necessary.”

RUMOR - NPD hardware sales for Jan. 2019, Switch takes #1, sees best Jan. hardware sales of this generation

Although the Jan. 2019 NPD numbers were supposed to come in today, they ended up getting delayed at the last minute. We don't know when the data will be publicly shared yet, but the insiders have once again come forward with details on hardware sales. According to those sources, here's how Jan. 2019 played out.

- 284k

- 195k

- 101k

If these numbers are true, that would mean the Switch has seen the best hardware sales for a January during this current generation. The previous record was set by the PS4 back in 2014, which sold 274k for that month.

Game Freak director's Pokemon GO tweet has fans running wild with Pokemon Switch theories

You're looking at a Tweet from Junichi Masuda, director of Game Freak. Looks like a simple Pokemon GO screenshot, right? Well fans have seen the above image as a gateway to all kinds of speculation about the next Pokemon games coming to Switch. Ready to go down the rabbit hole?

Fans have taken all the numbers in the above image and poured over what they could possibly mean. Here's what they've come up with

- CP 199 refers to Slowking (PokeDex number 199)
- 4.16kg refers to Vespiquen (Pokedex number 416)
- this hints at the Pokemon Switch games being called Pokemon King and Pokemon Queen
- the length of the Weedle is 0.33m, which might be referring to Nidoran (PokeDex No. 33)
- Nidoran’s final evolution is Nidoking
- the 226 candies refers to a Feb. 26th, 2019 reveal for the games

Of course, there are even wilder tinfoil-hat theories about these numbers, but what do you think? Is this a tease of things to come, or just a simple Pokemon GO screen?

RUMOR - Nintendo working with PlatinumGames to revive Scalebound for Switch

At one time, Scalebound was supposed to be a major AAA title that was heading to the Xbox One. Microsoft had partnered with PlatinumGames to make the game a reality, and for awhile there, things seemed to be working out just fine. Then, unfortunately, the game ended up being cancelled. There were apparently a number of issues and problems that lead to cancellation. The official announcement of cancellation came about in Jan. 2017, but now rumor has it that the game is being resurrected.

Insider info points to Nintendo and PlatinumGames teaming up to bring Scalebound back from the dead for release on Switch. We did recently hear that Nintendo was working to bring back a title that was dead, but no one expected that project would be one of Microsoft's games! Obviously none of this is confirmed until Nintendo or PlatinumGames themselves share the info, but it certainly is an enticing rumor!

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

Game Informer editor says Nintendo is reviving an 'officially cancelled' game, also talks about the potential for Kingdom Hearts titles on Switch

Game Informer senior editor Imran Khan has been hot-and-heavy lately with rumored Nintendo info. He recently talked about Mother 3 not making its way to the states/Europe, and now he's followed up that info with a double dose of rumored discussion. First up, he drops hints at Nintendo reviving a cancelled game.

“Let me hint at something, I guess. This is a thing that I’m going to write up at some point as soon as I get some more sources on it. But there’s a game that’s thought to be dead that Nintendo’s reviving, and it’s not one that people would expect. It was very much a title that was dead and buried – very officially cancelled.”

With the game being officially cancelled, it sounds like this project might involved a third party. Khan makes it clear that this was "very officially cancelled," and Nintendo doesn't really talk in those terms often.

Next up, Khan moves onto the Kingdom Hearts franchise. Will we ever see Sora and the gang come to Switch? Here's what Khan has to say.

- Kingdom Hearts III is looking unlikely
- the HD re-releases might be more feasible
- Nintendo and Square Enix were talking about what they could do with Kingdom Hearts III
- it was deemed unfeasible to get Kingdom Hearts III on the Switch
- the game is “very demanding” and “not necessarily you can put out without paring it down a lot”
- Khan's unsure if the remasters are “actively being worked on”
- he believes “that’s probably where they settled on it”

Thanks to Sligeach_eire for the heads up!

GoNintendo Podcast Webisode 705

Thanks to @KrazyKernal for the awesome artwork!

This was such a jam-packed so much. There's so much stuff to talk about! We even do three special features to kick off the show before we even get to all the Nintendo Direct news! Strap in for this one, gang!

Download Episode 705!

Sakurai explains Smash Bros. Ultimate's Japanese name, the decision to bring back every fighter, and ease of development

The most recent issue of Nintendo Dream magazine had a sizable interview with Smash Bros. Ultimate creator, Masahiro Sakurai. Check out all the tidbits from that interview below.

- the game is called Super Smash Bros. Special in Japan to convey that the game is a special game
- Sakurai says “ultimate” is a word easily read in Japan
- the name Super Smash Bros. Deluxe was considered, but decided against
- Sakurai wanted to use “Special” as it's often heard on television, so people are familiar with it
- the decision to include every single Smash Bros. fighter in history was made at the very beginning of development
- it was important for that idea to be part of the proposal, as huge projects like this require a lot of money and a lot of people
- Sakurai summed up development of Ultimate by sharing the phrase, “no need to explain at the very beginning”
- when Smash Wii U/3DS development started, Sakurai had to explain everything to members on the development team
- he even had to prepare documents for them to convey his vision and plans
- Sakurai didn't have to do this with Ultimate, as much of the team worked on Smash Wii U/3DS
- Sakurai says this was a huge relief for him