Hello everyone and welcome to this week's Nintendo recap. There was a mixture of happy and sad news within the last seven days starting with the delay of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Collector's Edition. Controversy sparked online after Saudi Arabia crown prince bought a large stake in Nintendo. In other news, Kirby 64 finally came to Switch, Kingdom Hearts - Cloud Version got an update, and rumors for upcoming Zelda ports have continued to fly after an interview with someone who worked on past Zelda ports. There's even more to discuss so let's a-go!
Saudi Arabia crown prince buys 5% stake in Nintendo and sparks controversy
The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) purchased a 5.01% stake in Nintendo for roughly $3 billion under the direction of Saudi Arabia crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Acquisitions and consolidation within the video game industry have been a common trend this year with the biggest announcement being Microsoft Corps.'s announcement that it will purchase Activision Blizzard Inc. for $69 billion. This is not the only video game interest within Saudi Arabia's foundation as it also has a massive 96% stake in SNK.
There is controversy surrounding the Saudi Arabia crown prince following reports of human rights violations and the prince being accused of being responsible for the death of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Many fans have wondered why Nintendo would sell shares to Saudi Arabia when this controversy is there. The answer is that Nintendo is a publicly-traded company and as such doesn't have say over who buys or sells its shares.
According to Bloomberg, Hideki Yasuda, senior analyst at Toyo Securities, stated that, "Saudi Arabia has been beefing up efforts to create its own content industry and this series of investments in Japanese game companies is likely a way for them to learn from Japan."
Tantalus says it isn't working on rumored Zelda port for Switch
There have been several rumors online that Zelda ports for The Wind Waker (WW) and Twilight Princess (TP) could come to Switch, potentially even bundled in a Zelda collection. While there have been no concrete facts to back these claims up, fans love the idea and have begged Nintendo to make it happen for years.
As reported by NintendoEverything, as part of this hype, Fragments of Silicon podcast spoke with Tom Crago, CEO of Tantalus, the company that brought Skyward Sword HD to Switch and previously brought Twilight Princess HD to Wii U in 2016. When asked if Tantalus had been asked to bring TP to Switch, Crago responded, "No, and look, we'd obviously love to do that, but that hasn't been a priority for Nintendo — or at least not in conversations that they've had with us."
Now even though Tantalus says it isn't working on bringing TP to Switch, it doesn't mean that it won't happen. It's possible that another company could have been given that task or that Nintendo could take care of it themselves. Additionally, if Tantalus was working on a Zelda port, there would be NDAs in place that wouldn't allow anyone at the company to talk about it.
However, it's also equally possible that these games won't make it to Switch at all, given how Nintendo doesn't always release classic hits on its latest systems. If Nintendo does plan on releasing these classic games on Switch, this year would be one of the last occasions that it would make sense to do so considering that Breath of the Wild 2 is releasing Spring 2023 — plus, we're getting pretty far into the Switch's lifecycle. Otherwise, we might need to wait for a next-gen console to get these Zelda ports.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Collector's Edition delays
You might recall that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 had originally been given a September release date, but then in April, that release date was moved up to July 2022. Despite this change, it seems as though the Collector's Edition, which includes a Steel Book and artbook, will still be releasing in autumn.
As stated on Nintendo UK, anyone who purchases the Collector's Edition will get the digital version of the game at launch, but the physical goodies will arrive at another date in the fall. As part of this delay, all Collector's Edition shipments will have free delivery. Though this hasn't been shared on Nintendo US' website as of the time of this writing we can assume the same will happen in North America.
Kingdom Hearts Cloud Version on Switch gets an update
In my own experience with Kingdom Hearts - Cloud Version, I got disconnected several times, dealt with quite a bit of lag, and found it frustrating that I couldn't let the screen go idle for too long as this could boot me from the game. Now it appears that Patch 1.0.3 has been released, which doesn't fix these issues, but might make the experience *a little *better.
The patch makes it so players can view server congestion and also allows anyone playing KH3 to choose between "Prioritize Performance" and "Prioritize Graphic Quality" during their gaming session. The idea here is that it's possible for players to see how taxed the server is and change the performance goals to potentially allow the game to play more smoothly.
It would have been better if the older games at least had been localized on Switch instead of requiring cloud versions to play. This would have circumvented issues like these that so many players have been experiencing.
Fall Guys coming to Switch for free-ninety-nine
Fall Guys is a knockout battle royale game that pits silly characters against each other. Dozens of online players run gauntlet after gauntlet trying to be the last one standing. The game has been out for a couple of years now, but developer Mediatonic has announced that it will be turning into a free-to-play game starting June 21st. Additionally, it will finally land on Nintendo Switch and Xbox, get a PS5 version, and debut on the Epic Games Store. This means it will be joining the best online multiplayer games on Switch.
Anyone who loves the silly mini games found in Mario Party titles will enjoy Fall Guys as it brings that same zany energy. With this being an online competitive game, Switch players should note that it should run relatively smoothly and is compatible with either the Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller. Additionally, it supposedly should run at 30FPS in both handheld and docked modes, although this can vary depending on a few factors.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is now on Switch
This Friday, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards landed on the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack allowing anyone with a subscription to enjoy the pink puffball's first 2.5D sidescroller. In this game, Kirby can combine two Copy Abilities together in order to create a new attack. For instance, acquiring Burn and Cutter lets him wield a flaming sword. In addition to a fun solo adventure, Kirby 64 offers three multiplayer games for up to four people to enjoy together.
For anyone who's been keeping track, that means that there's only one N64 game left that was previously announced for the service: Pokémon Snap, which at this time doesn't have a release date. After that releases, it's unclear whether or not we'll be getting additional N64 titles on the Expansion Pack any time soon.
If rumors are true, Nintendo might be busy working on a Game Boy emulator coming to the service and could have its hands full.
What are you playing this weekend?
That's all for this week! Now that a busy workload is behind me, I'm spending my weekend playing A Plague Tale: Innocence, which is available on Nintendo Switch via cloud streaming. I've always loved stealth games and this one does a great job at changing things up in each new area.
Regardless of what you're up to this weekend, I hope you have a relaxing time and can hopefully play a game you enjoy.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear