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murkurie

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Developers: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo, ThePok?mon Company
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Release Date: JP: September 18, 2010, NA: March 6, 2011, EU: March 4, 2011

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Pok?mon Black Version and White Version (?????????????????? Poketto Monsut? Burakku Howaito, "Pocket Monsters: Black & White") are role-playing games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. They are the first installments in the fifth generation of the Pok?mon series of role-playing games. First released in Japan on September 18, 2010, they were later released in Europe on March 4, 2011, in North America on March 6, 2011 and Australia on March 10, 2011.

Similar to previous installments of the series, the two games follow the journey of a young Pok?mon trainer through the region of Unova, as they train Pok?mon used to compete against other trainers, while thwarting the schemes of the criminal organization Team Plasma. Black and White introduce over 150 brand-new Pok?mon to the franchise, as well as many new features, including a seasonal cycle, fully animated Pok?mon sprites and triple battles. Both titles are independent of each other, but feature largely the same plot, and while both can be played separately, trading Pok?mon between both of the games is necessary in order to complete the games' Pok?dex.

Upon their release, Black and White received positive reviews; critics praised the advancements in gameplay, as well as several of the new Pok?mon introduced. Reviews, however, were divided on some of the character designs, and some critics felt that the games did not innovate as much as expected. Nevertheless, the games were commercial successes; prior to the games' Japanese release, Black and White sold one million consumer pre-orders and sold five million copies as of January 2011, making it one of the best selling DS games to date. Sequels to Pok?mon Black and White, named Pok?mon Black Version 2 and White Version 2 are set for a release in Japan for the Nintendo DS in June 2012, with third quarter releases in North America and Europe. [Source]

 

Plot:

 

 

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Black and White are set in the Unova region, a continental mass located far away from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh. Unlike the previous regions which were based on locations in Japan, Unova is modeled after New York City, an idea developed by game director Junichi Masuda when he visited the city for the launch of Diamond and Pearl. One particular example of this is Castelia City, which served as the region's central metropolis and had such inspirations as its "Brooklyn Bridge-style suspension bridge" and its "huge skyscrapers". Masuda also wanted to convey a "feeling of communities" in Castelia's streets. Unova is host to large urban areas, a harbor, an airport, an amusement park, several bridges, and several mountain ranges. In addition to a diversity of new landscapes, the Unova region is also home to a diversity of people who vary in skin tone and occupation. The region's Japanese name "Isshu" (????) is derived from the Japanese words tashu (??, meaning "many kinds") and isshu (??, meaning "one kind"); the many kinds of people and Pok?mon seen up close look like only one kind of life from afar.

Like previous Pok?mon games, Black and White's gameplay is linear; the main events occur in a fixed order. The protagonist of Pok?mon Black and White is a teenager who sets out on a journey through Unova to become the Pok?mon master. At the beginning of the games, the player chooses either Snivy, Tepig, or Oshawott as their first Pok?mon as a gift from Professor Juniper. The protagonist's friends, Cheren and Bianca, are also rivals and are Pok?mon Trainers who occasionally battle the player. The player's primary goal is to obtain the eight Gym Badges of Unova and ultimately challenge the Elite Four of the Pok?mon League, and its Champion, to win the game.

In addition to the standard gameplay, the player will also have to defeat the games' main antagonist Team Plasma, a group whose uniform is modeled after the Knights Templar, but who claims that Pok?mon are oppressed by mankind and seeks for a means to liberate them. Team Plasma is led by N, a young man who was brought up alongside Pok?mon and sees them as friends rather than tools for sport. Throughout the game, the player has some encounters with N, who claims that by capturing one of the legendary Dragon Pok?mon of Unova and defeating the Pok?mon Champion Alder, he will be recognized as Unova's hero and will be able to convince the humans to part with their Pok?mon. Depending on the game version, N will capture the Deep Black Pok?mon Zekrom in Black while he will capture the Vast White Pok?mon Reshiram in White. After the player defeats the Elite Four and enters the Champion's chamber, he or she finds that N has defeated Alder and has become the newest Pok?mon Champion. Soon after, he summons a large castle that surrounds the Pok?mon League, challenging the player to find him to take part in one final battle. When the player finally reaches him, Reshiram in Black or Zekrom in White appears before the player, and the player must capture the legendary Pok?mon before challenging N. After his defeat, N laments the possibility that his ideals are mistaken, as Ghetsis intrudes and angrily reveals that his true intentions were to use N to ensure that only he would be the only human left with control over Pok?mon and use them to rule the world. In his rage, Ghetsis challenges the player to battle. After Ghetsis's defeat, he is arrested, allowing Alder to resume his position as the Pok?mon Champion of the Unova region. N then thanks the player for helping realize his mistake about the nature of the relationship between people and their Pok?mon before leaving the castle on his captured Dragon Pok?mon to a far off land.

After Team Plasma's defeat, Looker arrives in Unova and tasks the player with finding the remaining Sages of Team Plasma, so they can be brought to justice. The player can also challenge the Elite Four once again, and challenge Alder, ultimately becoming the Unova region's new Pok?mon Champion. The player also gains access to the eastern portion of Unova, which contains Pok?mon from the previous games in the series, as well as access to an area unique to each game version: the ultra-metropolitan Black City, home to powerful Pok?mon trainers, and the White Forest, home to humans and Pok?mon living in harmony. Cynthia, a former Champion of the Sinnoh region, is also found in this area of the game and can be challenged. A non-player character named after Shigeki Morimoto, a Game Freak programmer, creature designer, and the director of the HeartGold and SoulSilver games, can also be found in the game and the player can battle him. [Source]

 

Gameplay:

 

 

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Pok?mon Black and White are role-playing video games with adventure elements, presented in a third-person, overhead perspective. There are three basic screens: an overworld, in which the player navigates the main character; a battle screen; and the menu, in which the player configures their party, items, or gameplay settings. The player begins the game with a single Pok?mon, and is able to capture more using Pok? Balls.

When the player encounters a wild Pok?mon or is challenged by a trainer to a battle, the screen switches to a turn-based battle screen where the Pok?mon fight. During battle, the player may fight, use an item, switch the active Pok?mon, or flee (however the player is not permitted to flee a battle against another trainer). All Pok?mon have hit points (HP); when a Pok?mon's HP is reduced to zero, it faints and cannot battle until it is revived. If an opposing Pok?mon faints, then all of the player's Pok?mon who participated in defeating it receive experience points. After accumulating enough experience points, it may level up. A Pok?mon's level affects its battle statistics, and some Pok?mon will evolve upon reaching a certain level threshold.

New features
The graphics were further improved from previous games, and include more cutscenes. When talking to people, the dialog box has been changed to speech balloons, which appear over other characters' heads, allowing more than one character to speak at once. In addition to this aesthetic change, Japanese players will be given an option to switch to having kanji appear on screen, rather than just hiragana and katakana.[7] During battles, the sprites of the Pok?mon are fully animated and the camera changes position to highlight specific parts of the battle.

In addition to the day and night cycle first introduced in the Gold and Silver games, Black and White introduces a seasonal cycle, with the seasons advancing every month, cycling every four, rather than being linked to the actual calendar. Outside areas appear differently depending on the season, such as changing of leaves in autumn or snow on the ground in winter. Certain areas are only accessible during certain seasons, and different Pok?mon can be found in the wild in winter where others are encountered in the other seasons. In addition to these features, the Pok?mon Deerling and Sawsbuck were designed to change their physical appearance along with the seasons of the game.

There are two new battle mechanics in Black and White: Triple Battles and Rotation Battles. In Triple Battles, both teams must send out three Pok?mon at once. The Pok?mon that can be targeted by any specific attack is dependent on the position of the Pok?mon in the line up; Pok?mon on the left or right sides can only target the Pok?mon directly opposite of them and the two Pok?mon in the center position on both sides, while Pok?mon in the center can target all Pok?mon in the field. Positions can be changed, but this uses up the player's turn. In Rotation Battles, both sides send out three Pok?mon at once, again, but instead of a three-on-three match as seen in Triple Battles, it is a one-on-one match where the Pok?mon in the front can be switched with either of the two other Pok?mon sent out without using up a turn. Depending on the game version, one of these two new battle types will be found in greater quantity than the other, with Black having more Rotation Battles than Triple Battles, and vice versa in White. Related introductions are the Combination Moves; the starter Pok?mon from any game can be taught one of the three moves that can be used in combination with each other to produce more powerful attacks. Another battle mechanic is found in the wild, where differently colored and styled tall grass enable Double Battles against wild Pok?mon.

A new Pok?mon capture mechanic was also introduced in these games, referred to as "phenomena" in supplementary materials. Occasionally, the player can find rustling patches of grass and rippling water. If the player enters the tile that featured the phenomenon (or uses the fishing rod on the tile), they can encounter either a rare Pok?mon, a Pok?mon more common in the other game version, or the highest evolutionary form of a Pok?mon that can normally be found in the area. This method is the only way to capture Pok?mon such as Audino, Emolga, and Alomomola. In addition to these, dust clouds in caves and the shadows of flying Pok?mon on certain bridges can also be entered to either find a rare item or encounter Drilbur, Excadrill, Ducklett, or Swanna, none of which can be found in the wild otherwise.

In addition to the standard battling and Gym challenges, the player can compete in Pok?mon Musicals, a side-game similar to the Pok?mon Contests of previous games; the Battle Subway, similar to the Battle Towers and Battle Frontiers of previous games; and on the Royal Unova, a cruise ship that the player can ride daily and fight various trainers aboard to win otherwise rare items.

Connectivity to other devices
The C-Gear (C?? Sh? Gia) is a new mechanic that replaces the Pok?tch on the Nintendo DS's second screen. It allows the player to control the various wireless capabilities of Black and White. These include connecting to other players through infrared communication (battling, trading, friend codes, and the "Feeling Check" function), wireless communications with friends in the Xtranciever video chat or access to the Entralink to transfer content from the Pok?mon Dream World, connecting to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection to sync with the Pok?mon Global Link servers, and the new Pass By mode which allows the game to communicate with other games through infrared (IR) when not being played.

The Feeling Check (?????????? F?ringu Chekku) function tests the compatibility between two players, awarding them with one of two items depending on the level of compatibility. The Pass By feature is another side game in which the player answers various survey questions, and depending on how many other games are interacted with, the players receive an item. Another new feature is Random Matchup, where the player can battle a random other player. When playing against other players online or in IR battles, a new mechanic called the Wonder Launcher allows for items to be used in battle to heal or improve the status of the players' Pok?mon.

To transfer Pok?mon from the older games, Pok?mon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, and SoulSilver versions to the new games, Black and White, two features have been placed in Black and White. For normal transfer, the Pok? Transfer feature is available after completion of the main storyline. Unlike the Pal Park feature that was in the previous games, the Pok? Transfer is a mini-game in which after six Pok?mon are transferred, the player uses the touch screen to launch Pok? Balls at the transferred Pok?mon which are moving about on the top screen to catch them within a time limit. Another feature called the Relocator is used to transfer the Pok?mon given away in promotions for the Pok?mon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions film so the player can activate the special events to obtain the rare Pok?mon Zorua and Zoroark. Unlike the Pok? Transfer, this function is available before the main game is completed.

Unique to Black and White is the Pok?mon Dream World, a game mechanic that is dependent on the official Pok?mon Global Link website. In this, the player can befriend Pok?mon not normally obtainable in gameplay with unique abilities, which are later captured in an area known as the Entralink. This is done after syncing the game back with the Dream World, in a mechanic similar to the Pok?walker used in HeartGold and SoulSilver. The player can also maintain a house in the Dream World that other players can visit as well as grow berries. In addition to allowing players access to Pok?mon acquired in the Dream World, the Entralink also enables players to interact with each other and perform side games which award points that can be traded for "powers" that improve normal gameplay, such as increasing experience, improving capture rate, or lowering prices of items in Pok? Marts. [Source]

 

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Screenshots:

 

 

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pokemon-black-version-20110201051316137.pokemon-black-version-20110201051318277.pokemon-black-version-20110201051319011.

 

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Wanderermy

They should create a 3D version and go multiplaform.

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murkurie

They should create a 3D version and go multiplaform.

If by multiplatform you mean 3DS and DS/DSi then sure. Otherwise Nintendo would never let there own game go on other system. As likely as Mario or Zelda on a PS3 or 360

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Wanderermy

If by multiplatform you mean 3DS and DS/DSi then sure. Otherwise Nintendo would never let there own game go on other system. As likely as Mario or Zelda on a PS3 or 360

I mean 360/PS3/Wii. True that they would never make it. But I have never seen a 3D version (graphic like FF/Tales Series) ... and why they have not create one for the Wii.

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murkurie

Pokemon Colosseum had 3d graphics, technically Soul Silver is 3D according to Nintendo. thought you meant 3DS 3d

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idk_

Looking forward to how they move the series ahead. The current ones are good but they're still very grindy.

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Explore

Hopefully it will also be on the 3DS.

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Steve B.

Looking forward to how they move the series ahead. The current ones are good but they're still very grindy.

I haven't actually had to grind levels once in this playthrough of SoulSilver.

Sounds good, who's to bet Black will outsell White? I'm calling it.

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Minifig

I for one, don't want 3D. Unless it's like a portable Gamecube.

If we're talking 3D like Glasses and all that, .. forget it.

I love the psudo3d in the current HeartGold/SS.

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thealexweb

Pokemon Colosseum had 3d graphics, technically Soul Silver is 3D according to Nintendo. thought you meant 3DS 3d

Pokemon Colosseum and XD were awesome.

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Yusuf M.

Interesting. I stopped playing after Gold version on the GBC. I gave HeartGold and SoulSilver a try on the DS (brothers bought it) and it's pretty good. I'm considering buying a DS myself for HeartGold. I might even try the other Pokémon games for the DS.

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Andrew

Nice, I wondered why they didn't announce it last week with the first 2 new pokemon.

Glad they finally did!

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Steve B.

Pokemon Colosseum and XD were awesome.

Oh how wrong you are, they're not even real Pokemon games...

Anaron, it's worth getting the others, but just go for Platinum, the artwork within the game is better and it's generally got more features, including the Battle Frontier.

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thealexweb

Oh how wrong you are, they're not even real Pokemon games...

Anaron, it's worth getting the others, but just go for Platinum, the artwork within the game is better and it's generally got more features, including the Battle Frontier.

There were a good change from the same old games, the graphics were good especially from the gamecube.

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Calum

I really loved the Pokémon games when I was younger and I know I would still love them, but I'd find it really hard to play them nowadays because I'm out of the loop as to the names of Pokémon and just everything about Pokémon nowadays. I remember the first 150 and some from the Gold and Silver games, so I guess I'd feel lost if I picked up one of the newer games :/

Watching the TV show around the same time as playing the games really did help. Do they still have a TV show which includes all of the latest Pokémon, lining up with the Pokémon contained in the games?

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Andrew

Yeah, the tv show & games are released in generations, which is set chronologically & with time inbetween. They introduce new breeds of Pokémon with each generation.

Generation 1: Red, green (blue) & yellow.

Generation 2: Gold, silver & crystal

Generation 3: Ruby, sapphire & emerald

Generation 4: Diamond, pearl & platinum

White & black obviously the start of a new generation (5).

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Minifig

I think you're right Munky.

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Angel Blue01

I really loved the Pok?mon games when I was younger and I know I would still love them, but I'd find it really hard to play them nowadays because I'm out of the loop as to the names of Pok?mon and just everything about Pok?mon nowadays. I remember the first 150 and some from the Gold and Silver games, so I guess I'd feel lost if I picked up one of the newer games :/

Watching the TV show around the same time as playing the games really did help. Do they still have a TV show which includes all of the latest Pok?mon, lining up with the Pok?mon contained in the games?

That's pretty much my experience as well.

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Minifig

I really loved the Pok?mon games when I was younger and I know I would still love them, but I'd find it really hard to play them nowadays because I'm out of the loop as to the names of Pok?mon and just everything about Pok?mon nowadays. I remember the first 150 and some from the Gold and Silver games, so I guess I'd feel lost if I picked up one of the newer games :/

I hadn't picked up a game since yellow or red, and I bought HeartGold amigo, and it's like riding a bike, you never forget.. HeartGold / SoulSilver is AMAZING.

And it contains all the previous pokemon in the games before it.

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Damo R.

last one I played was Red so its come a long way since then!

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Andrew

That's pretty much my experience as well.

The core gameplay hasn't changed. It's still the same catch + battle + evolve.

They introduced things like breeding pokemon & how you can play with friends, but afaik you don't actually need to do any of that to finish the game. I never did when I played Yellow.

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+Audioboxer

I just hope it receives a good facelift for once. Yeah yeah don't break what doesn't need fixing, but Pokemon has been stale as hell for me for about the last 3000 iterations.

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Andrew

Nah I think the whole fan base is really beginning to feel like that, even in the reviews this time around they have been far less forgiving.

It's only made worse when they go back & release these games. It's a different matter when you actually remake a game & release it on new hardware. There's not much to differ between Blue/Red and FireRed etc.

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Sky Black

I was disapointed that they stopped transfering pokemon (between generation 1/2 and 3+) however god me a free GBA from my bro and decided to try out Emerald/Fire Red...don't own a DS but I keep getting tempted to aquire Platinum and Heart Gold for old times sake...only downside is if I get the DSi-XL i'll not have the gba cart interface. Getting a DS Lite (If I'm getting a DS of any kind its gotta be black...im obsessed) seems redundant as i'll miss out on some of the updated ds features and connectivity. Pokemon Black/White...well obviously black...are tempting me more so now >.< especialy as they'll be DS based not DS-3D.

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Solid Knight

Wait they are making a separate version for Black and White people?

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      Microsoft knows this transition to cloud gaming isn’t going to be instant, so of course the new consoles still have a reason to exist, but the sales numbers for that hardware are hardly going to matter. It’s no longer a “console war”, but a more generic gaming war, and eventually maybe just a service war. And after Microsoft announced its acquisition of Bethesda earlier this week, plus bundling EA Play into Game Pass, it’s clear that it’s willing to put down the money and effort to lead the next generation of gaming. Truth be told, Game Pass is completely unmatched in terms of scope and value.

      But I can’t help feeling like I’ve seen a lot of this before in another medium. At the dawn of the 2010s, Netflix was the video streaming service. You’d hardly ever hear about any other service of the kind, and almost any show or movie you could want to watch was on there. And all of that came at the low cost of $9 per month, so there was almost no reason not to use the service.

      But eventually, other media companies caught on, and today, the video streaming landscape is a mess. CBS All-Access, Disney+, Peacock, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more are fighting it out, and while most of these haven’t posed a major threat in terms of subscriber numbers, they’ve slowly chipped away at Netflix’s library, pushing the company to create more original content – resulting in more costs and potentially smaller returns.



      We’re at the dawn of a new era of gaming, and just like Netflix did 10 years ago, Microsoft is undeniably leading the transition to this new method of bringing games to users. But eventually, other companies will catch on, and Microsoft knows that. I feel like that brings about a ton of questions on how the gaming market will develop, and whether Microsoft will be able to leverage its head-start to stay ahead in the future.

      Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, has said that it doesn’t necessarily see Sony and Nintendo as rivals, and instead points to companies like Google, which has its own Stadia service, and Amazon, which just announced its Luna cloud gaming service yesterday. But we're still early in the cloud gaming days, and both Stadia and Luna are from offering the value Microsoft offers with Game Pass Ultimate. Neither of those companies had the experience with building games, or the relationship with existing developers to kickstart a new gaming platform with major experiences on board. A lot of that done has to be done from scratch for these companies, and it will take a while for them to even have the chance to become as attractive as Game Pass Ultimate now is.

      But then, what about the companies that do already have these relationships – Sony and Nintendo? An argument that can be made for Google and Amazon entering the race against Microsoft is that those companies have the cloud capacity to back that kind of gaming service, but I don’t think that means they have to create one such service to be successful. Amazon has a major cloud infrastructure, and it does offer Prime Video, but Amazon Web Services are also the backbone of services like Netflix. Amazon is still making money from the streaming market by offering its infrastructure to other services.

      So what’s to stop these companies from doing that again with gaming, with Sony and Nintendo coming in to create their own distribution platforms, building on their existing properties and their relationships with existing developers and publishers? I think there’s room for the market to evolve in this way.

      When other companies come into the fight, regardless of who they are, Microsoft will have to face a more serious fight, and I wonder if the company can be a leader in that market. Companies will start fighting harder for exclusive titles, and just like Microsoft acquired Bethesda, other big acquisitions could happen to rival it. At some point, the game streaming market will likely go through the same problems we’re seeing today with video streaming, and I’m not sure it will necessarily be better for consumers. You don’t see many shows running on different video subscription services at the same time, and it’s possible that more games will become exclusive to specific services in the future, potentially forcing customers to buy into more services to get access to the games they like.

      One last question I have, especially being a Nintendo fan, is what will happen to dedicated gaming hardware. Nintendo is known for two things – making a profit on hardware sales and designing games around specific hardware features. Most games can be played with traditional controllers, but a lot of the experiences Nintendo promotes involve some kind of gimmick exclusive to its hardware. ARMS for the Nintendo Switch used motion controls as its primary control method, and the minigames in something like 1-2-Switch are based on many different Joy-Con features, including motion, the IR camera, and HD rumble. While it’s not impossible to imagine the company developing games with more traditional controls in mind, I feel like that would take away a lot of what makes Nintendo unique. Maybe controllers and accessories can deliver these experiences on different devices, rather than having to be tied to a console, or, who knows, maybe Nintendo will try to live on as a console manufacturer in this new landscape.

      Nintendo's ARMS has you throwing punches in real life So, let me pass these questions on to you: how will the gaming market evolve once companies start rivaling Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass? Which companies do you see becoming players in this new landscape, and which ones do you think will drop out? Which ones offer their own services, and which ones will only make games? Will dedicated gaming hardware become unnecessary, particularly in the case of companies like Nintendo, which usually designs many of its games around specific hardware features? Will console exclusives be replaced with service exclusives and make the game streaming market as troublesome as the video streaming market? What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know!