Hey, everyone! This week brought what I suppose could be considered a large amount of news to the gaming community. However, despite there being three major events this week—a Nintendo announcement, a Sony State of Play, and WitcherCon—the lack of bombshells left some gamers with sour tastes in their mouths. Let’s dig into the news, one major event at a time.
Nintendo Drops… Not the Switch Pro
First, this week Nintendo finally announced their hotly anticipated hardware upgrade for the Switch, which turns out… to have a slightly nicer screen.
The Nintendo Switch (OLED Model)—and yes, that is the catchiest name they could think of—has led to some outrage from longtime fans and influencers who had been predicting a more drastic update to the console, rumored to be called a “Switch Pro.” When that obviously didn’t happen, gamers do what gamers do best, and got angry.
For the past 6 months –
Insiders: The new switch pro will do 4k, have a faster cpu/gpu, more ram. Trust me guys.
Reality: Ethernet port pic.twitter.com/CuEco0ZIiV
— QuarantinedCoof (@QuarantinedCoof) July 6, 2021
I’m certainly not saying that a beefier Switch wouldn’t be cool, because it probably would, but gamers getting mad because the thing they made up in their heads didn’t happen is getting a little old. It remains to be seen how the OLED model will perform on the market—will consumers spend hundreds of dollars on an upgrade that really only provides minimal quality of life improvements?
Sony’s State of Play Tries to Bolster Its Indie Cred
This was apparently just a banner week for first-party studios enraging their fans. Sony did a brief thirty-minute State of Play on Thursday the 8th, and they explicitly stated prior to the event that we would not be seeing any updates on God of War, Horizon: Forbidden West, or news about the next generation of PSVR. Instead, the event was largely a showcase of smaller titles coming to the PS5, which is sort of surprising, since Sony has recently trailed behind both Nintendo and Microsoft in its support for third party indies, preferring to buy studios and release exclusives.
The crowning jewel of the event was still AAA, however: a nine-minute showcase of Arkane’s upcoming exclusive, Deathloop:
Heart-pounding combat, gravity-defying abilities, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse…it's all here.
— Bethesda (@bethesda) July 8, 2021
Speculation about the limited nature of Deathloop‘s exclusivity abounds, with Microsoft’s acquisition of parent company Bethesda. But for right now the game hits PlayStation and only PlayStation on September 14.
WitcherCon Brings us Many Geralt-Related Gifts
The last big event of the week was WitcherCon, a brand new franchise-specific event put on in collaboration between CD Projekt Red and Netflix, since both have profited greatly off the original literary material. In addition to a release date for season two of the show, fans of the games got a couple of treats to tide them over. First, an updated version of The Witcher 3 for PS5 and Xbox Series s/X will drop sometime this year. Shocking no one, they’re capitalizing on the television show’s popularity:
— IGN (@IGN) July 9, 2021
More good news is that this upgrade will be free for everyone who currently owns the game. Not making people pay for a game twice is always popular, but this might be motivated by the recent negative reaction to Sucker Punch and Kojima Productions putting access to their Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding upgrades, respectively, behind paywalls.
But WitcherCon didn’t stop giving there. In addition, they announced a new mobile game, The Witcher: Monster Slayer, which takes the concept of Pokemon Go and applies it to much less cute monsters:
This new game comes out very quickly, on July 21st, but it remains to be seen if anything can chip away at the monolith of mobile gaming that Pokemon Go has become.
Emma is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Composition who studies how play impacts learning. Her words have also appeared in Critical Distance and Unwinnable. When not writing, she enjoys passing the controller between friends for runs of Silent Hill. She can be found @kostopolus on Twitter.