"Game On" is The Fly's weekly recap of the stories powering up or beating down video game stocks.
NEW RELEASES: This week's biggest game release is Nintendo's (NTDOY) "Mario Golf: Super Rush," a golf sim in the "Mario" franchise set for release on June 25 exclusively for the Switch. Meanwhile, Bandai Namco's action role-playing game "Scarlet Nexus" rolls out for PC, PlayStation 4 (SONY), PS5, Xbox One (MSFT), and Xbox Series X/S on June 25. Additionally, Wizards of the Coast's action RPG "Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance" releases on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on June 22, with the game available on day one of release on Xbox Game Pass.
NINTENDO SWITCH: Nintendo of America president Doug Bowser told The Verge in an interview last week that the Switch family of consoles occupies a "unique position" in the console market due to its hybrid nature, and that ability to differentiate itself from console offerings from Microsoft and Sony has shown to be enduring. "We've seen video games really grow in terms of the number of people playing, and the amount of time that they're playing overall," Bowser told The Verge. "For us at Nintendo, our focus first and foremost has been keeping our employees safe, and ensuring that we're providing safe environments for them to work within. And while there have been some challenges, what I can say is I think the teams have adapted very well, and it's allowed us to be effective in the various environments where we may be working overall. I think the lineup that you've seen so far this calendar year bodes well." Bowser added that, as various places open up and stay-at-home restrictions are lifted, the Switch will maintain an advantage over other consoles, since its portable and can be brought on trips and vacations. "Nintendo Switch is one of those devices that they can take with them as they embark on various travels. The positioning we still think is incredibly relevant," Bowser added.
XBOX ONE CLOUD: Last Wednesday, Microsoft announced in a blog post that it intends to bring many of its upcoming next-gen Xbox Series X/S console games, including "Microsoft Flight Simulator" and "Forza Horizon 5," to Xbox One consoles through Xbox Cloud Gaming. "You'll see many games this holiday, including Forza Horizon 5, which will boast DirectX Raytracing on both Xbox Series X and S, and Battlefield 2042, which will run at 60fps while supporting 128 players on Xbox Series X S," the company said. "Some games launching next year from our first party studios and partners, such as Starfield, Redfall, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 require the speed, performance, and technology of Xbox Series X S. We're excited to see developers realize their visions in ways that only next-gen hardware will allow them to do. For the millions of people who play on Xbox One consoles today, we are looking forward to sharing more about how we will bring many of these next-gen games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, to your console through Xbox Cloud Gaming, just like we do with mobile devices, tablets, and browsers."
TAKE-TWO/BENCHMARK: Earlier this week, Benchmark analyst Mike Hickey said he would be opportunistic on the recent pullback in shares of Take-Two (TTWO) following E3, and reiterated a Buy rating and $250 price target. Take-Two has a "massive pipeline" of upcoming games and live services and he thinks the company has set conservative FY22 targets, Hickey told investors in a research note. He sees continued momentum in "GTA," given recent record players and engagement, giving Take-Two a strong setup for the next-gen release, which he is modeling in FY24, added the analyst.
OTHER STORIES TO WATCH:
Nintendo led all E3 showcases in peak viewership, according to Stream Hatchet.
Microsoft has hired Kim Swift, who has previously worked on the "Portal" franchise, to join its Xbox Game Studios Publishing team to help studios build games for the cloud.
Jeremy Hinton, Xbox's Asia region boss, told IGN that Japan is currently the fastest growing market for Microsoft's gaming consoles.
Epic Games said it has over 500M accounts with 2.7B friend connections across "Fortnite," "Rocket League," and the Epic Games Store. Investors in Epic include Tencent (TCEHY), KKR (KKR), Disney (DIS), and Sony.