Archive for the ‘Switch’ Category

Are these the first pictures of the “Switch Mini”?

June 19th, 2019

In 2019, we've seen rumor after rumor after rumor after rumor that Nintendo is planning to release a new, smaller version of the Switch in the near future, possibly without the original system's signature detachable controllers. While Nintendo hasn't announced anything officially, some new listings from Chinese accessory manufacturer Honson have reignited the rumor mill surrounding a redesigned Switch system being potentially in the pipeline.

Honson's Nintendo Switch Mini landing page showcases 11 different products, including a variety of bags, carrying cases, hard shells, and a screen protector. One page promises a "professional design to perfect fit Nintendo Switch mini." Similar product images were posted to the company's Facebook page a week ago.

All of these products are listed as "out of stock" on Honson's own website (the company told NintenDIY that they'll be available starting next week). But some Honson products "for Nintendo Switch mini case" are already available for bulk order through Alibaba right now, complete with customized packaging and logo options for large bulk orders.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, redesign, Switch | Comments (0)

Game with hidden Ruby interpreter pulled from Nintendo Switch eShop

May 1st, 2019

A video demonstrating A Dark Room's hidden Ruby interpreter, which still works in previously downloaded copies of the game.

Last week, developer Amir Rajan revealed an interesting Easter egg hidden in the Switch version of A Dark Room, an inventive text-based adventure that was ported to the console early last month. If you plug a USB keyboard into the system and hit the "~" key while the game is running, you get a functional Ruby interpreter suitable for coding simple programs directly on the console.

This weekend, though, Nintendo decided to remove the game from the Switch eShop, leading Rajan to tell Eurogamer that he "deeply regret[s] how this has blown up."

In a Mastodon thread revealing the Easter egg, Rajan said the hidden in-game coding environment was "an attempt to capture the magic of coding in its purest form." In a world of complicated, Internet-connected, IDE-based game engines, he writes that he wanted to "show the next generation that magic does exist in this world. That you can create something from nothing."

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Posted in a dark room, Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, Switch | Comments (0)

Report: Cheaper Switch coming by June

April 24th, 2019
Report: Cheaper Switch coming by June

Enlarge (credit: Mark Walton)

A new, cheaper version of the Switch will be released by the end of June, according to one "person familiar with the matter" cited in a recent Bloomberg report. That's the most specific time frame yet for the still-rumored release of a redesigned version of Nintendo's system and coincides well with the E3 expo, a major gaming convention in June.

A Nikkei report earlier this month suggested the new unit would be available in the fall. That report followed a Wall Street Journal report from last month which said the cheaper redesign might arrive "as early as this summer, complete with reduced features and, possibly, no ability to dock to a TV."

Bloomberg also echoes Nikkei in suggesting that a "more powerful version" of the system, rumored by the WSJ, is not currently in the works. But a more "modest upgrade" to the standard Switch hardware could be coming before the end of the year, according to Bloomberg's sources.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, redesign, rumor, Switch | Comments (0)

Report: Cheaper “Switch Lite” will be dockable, come in the fall

April 18th, 2019
A miniature version of the standard Switch dock.

Enlarge / A miniature version of the standard Switch dock.

A new report from Japanese news service Nikkei (Google translation) suggests a rumored "less expensive" version of the Switch will be available this fall. The report also suggests that the new design will not be strictly portable, as some have suggested, and will still be able to dock to a TV set for larger-screen play.

Nikkei's report adds a bit more context to rumors most recently reported by the Wall Street Journal in March regarding Nintendo's plans for two new Switch models in the near future. The second model, according to the WSJ report, would be a more expensive, "enhanced" version of the system with improved hardware power and other special features.

Public translations of Nikkei's report suggest that an "overhauled next-generation model" could actually replace the current Switch and bring enhancements "including usability, improved image rendering, and changes to the operating system, among other things." But Nikkei's development sources suggest that the next step in hardware power may still be in the early planning stages at Nintendo, with no one assigned to lead "conceptual development" as of yet.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, redesign, Switch | Comments (0)

Report: Nintendo planning two new Switch models

March 25th, 2019
Report: Nintendo planning two new Switch models

Enlarge

Nintendo has plans to release two new models of the Nintendo Switch "as early as this summer," according to a Wall Street Journal report citing "parts suppliers and software developers for Nintendo."

One model would be a higher-end system with enhanced hardware akin to the Xbox One X or PS4 Pro, though not as powerful as either, according to the report. The other would be a "cheaper option" intended to replace the aging Nintendo 3DS, whose sales have finally started to collapse.

This cheaper Switch would reportedly cut costs by losing features such as controller vibration. That's a move which would render portions of games such as 1-2-Switch and Super Mario Party unplayable, but Nintendo "judged the new Switch models won't need the vibration feature because there wouldn't be many games released using the full benefit of it," according to a quoted supplier.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, plans, Switch | Comments (0)

Nintendo: 3DS sales falling “faster than anticipated”

February 8th, 2019
Just a few of the many 3DS hardware options still being supported by Nintendo.

Enlarge / Just a few of the many 3DS hardware options still being supported by Nintendo.

Since just before the Switch launched and as recently as October, Nintendo has continued to insist the 3DS can exist alongside the Switch as a lower-cost, lower-powered portable gaming alternative. Over the last two years, there have even been some signs of life for the aging portable's continued market health.

But 2018 might be seen as the year the market finally starting slipping away from the aging 3DS. Hardware sales for the 2018 calendar year were just 2.85 million, down over 57 percent from the year before. That's a marked change from the 2016 to 2017 period, where 3DS sales worldwide fell just nine percent year-over-year (despite the intervening launch of the ultra-hot Switch in 2017).

Nintendo's new president Shuntaro Furukawa admitted in a recent Q&A that "the Nintendo 3DS market has contracted faster than we anticipated." But in practically the same breath, he once again committed to supporting the system alongside the Switch going forward.

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Posted in 3DS, Gaming & Culture, market, Nintendo, sales, Switch | Comments (0)

Putting Switch’s 32 million shipments in context

January 31st, 2019

With two full holiday seasons of public sales data now under its belt, the Nintendo Switch continues to help right a company balance sheet that was nearly decimated by the Wii U. Last night, Nintendo reported 9.41 million Switch shipments in the holiday 2018 quarter, contributing to 32.27 million consoles shipped worldwide since the system's March 2017 launch.

Those numbers sure sound big, but they can be hard to judge in the abstract. So, as we have done in the past, we decided to provide some quick comparisons that put the Switch's continued success into the proper context. Use these numbers to calibrate your impression of how well Nintendo's new system is really doing and to adjust your projections of how it may do going forward (as Nintendo has).

(Lifetime sales measure slightly different calendar periods due to staggered release dates through the year, but all include two holiday seasons. Monthly periods rounded up for partial launch months).

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Posted in context, Gaming & Culture, Mario, Mario Kart, Nintendo, smash bros., Switch, Zelda | Comments (0)

Nintendo throws out Metroid Prime 4 work, restarts with Retro Studios

January 25th, 2019
This continues to be the only image Nintendo has released of its apparently troubled <em>Metroid Prime 4</em> project.

Enlarge / This continues to be the only image Nintendo has released of its apparently troubled Metroid Prime 4 project.

Nintendo has announced that it is "essentially... restarting development from the beginning" on the highly anticipated Metroid Prime 4, saying the game as it currently exists "has not reached the standards we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series."

The surprise announcement comes from Nintendo General Manager for Development Shinya Takahashi. He said in a YouTube video posted this morning that current Metroid Prime 4 producer Kensuke Tanabe will begin "collaborating" on the game with Retro Studios, the studio responsible for the original Metroid Prime trilogy. Tanabe has previously worked as producer on multiple Retro-developed Metroid Prime titles.

"The current development status of the game is very challenged and we have made a very difficult decision as a development team," Takahashi said in the subtitled video. "We have decided to reexamine the development structure and change it."

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Posted in delay, exclusive, Gaming & Culture, metroid prime 4, Nintendo, Retro Studios, Switch | Comments (0)

Hackers find Super NES games mentioned in Switch’s emulated NES files

January 14th, 2019
This cat's reaction of a real SNES mimics our reaction to the existence of SNES game references in the Switch's NES emulation files.

This cat's reaction of a real SNES mimics our reaction to the existence of SNES game references in the Switch's NES emulation files.

Dataminers have discovered references to numerous Super NES games in the files for the Switch's "Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online" subscription emulation service, suggesting that the company could be planning to expand the system's emulated offerings in the future.

Switch hacker KapuccinoHeck—who has previously shared mods and hidden data for Splatoon 2 and other Switch games—used Twitter to link to the text of a file full of internal string variables purportedly stored in the NES Online's file system. Fellow modder OatmealDome confirmed that file's authenticity via Twitter. Though Ars has not been able to independently verify the file's existence in the Switch's NES Online app, the information comes from hackers who have provided reliable datamining information from Switch games in the past.

In addition to information about the current NES Online software selection, the shared file also includes references to the following Super NES games, many of which include extensive descriptions of those games in Japanese and/or English:

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Posted in Datamining, emulator, Features, Gaming & Culture, Nintendo, online, SNES, super nes, Switch | Comments (0)

Hands-on: Switch’s NES controllers offer unmatched old-school authenticity

December 13th, 2018
Now you're playing with power.

Enlarge / Now you're playing with power.

Playing old-school games on the Switch thus far has been a choice between various control compromises. You can use two Joy-Cons held in two hands, but the tiny buttons and lack of a true d-pad make this setup less than ideal. Holding a single Joy-Con sideways eliminates the d-pad completely and forces you to curve your grip around a hand-crampingly small control surface. A Switch Pro Controller or various third-party solutions can solve these problems, but they come with relatively high prices and some added features you don't need for classic games.

Enter Nintendo, which is offering subscribers to its new Online service the ability to buy two wireless, Switch-compatible replica NES controllers for $60 (on top of the $20 a year subscription). After spending a few hours testing the little guys (just before pre-orders start shipping out) we found them to be competent, authentic throwbacks with some important limitations.

Truly authentic

Anyone with fond memories of gripping an NES controller in their youth will be happy to hear that Nintendo got the authenticity darn-near perfect with these replicas. Everything from the sizing to the tactile feel to the springiness of the buttons and the d-pad is practically indistinguishable from a brand-new NES controller you might have bought three decades ago. This isn't that surprising, since the wired NES Classic Edition controllers had the same level of fidelity, but it's still nice to see.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, NES, Nintendo, Switch | Comments (0)