Tag: nintendo

Nintendo Switch now supports wireless USB headphones

Turns out Nintendo rolled out another pretty useful feature with Switch OS version 4.0.0 but curiously kept it a secret. Some Reddit users have discovered that the update comes with support for USB devices, even wireless USB headsets like Sony's Gold Wireless headset for PlayStation and PC. You simply have to plug the device's dongle into the Switch dock, and you'll notice a new volume slider for it. The feature supports a variety of other USB headphones, so you're not limited to the PS Gold. However, it only works when the Switch is docked.

One possible workaround to make it work on handheld mode is to plug the receiver into a USB-C adapter -- it's not an elegant solution, but it's a solution nonetheless. In addition to USB support, Switch version 4.0.0 has other sweet features to offer. It also gives you a way to record 30 seconds of play and, best of all, the ability to transfer saved games and user profiles to another system.

Source: Reddit, Neogaf

Nintendo Switch update adds video capture and profile transfers

Nintendo's convertible Switch console has a new software update available, and owners will likely want to grab version 4.0.0 of its OS right away. Finally, Switch owners can transfer their saved games and user profiles to another system and in "select games" it also has video capture. At launch, that list includes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Splatoon 2.

In a world full of Twitch streams and YouTube Let's Plays that should be well received. Just like before, gamers can press the capture button to take a screenshot, but after the update, they can press and hold it to record the last 30 seconds of play in their album, ready for sharing to Facebook or Twitter.

The ability to transfer data is bittersweet, however, since it doesn't appear to support backups. As described in Nintendo's FAQ, you'll need both systems to transfer data from one to another, and the only option available moves all profile data including saves and eShop purchases from one system to the next.

Other new features include profile icons with characters from Super Mario Odyssey (just ahead of its release on October 27th) and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as the option to pre-order and pre-download games in Nintendo's eShop on the Switch (again, just in time for Super Mario Odyssey). The News Feed has a new look, and if you're in a group of local users it can easily update everyone's system software to the latest version.

Source: Nintendo, Nintendo Support

Sony to publish indie games on Nintendo Switch and PC

The console wars are not over, but there are some signs that collaboration may yet win out. While Sony continues to opt out of the "Better Together" Minecraft initiative to bring cross-platform play to all platforms, it looks to be making games for non-Sony devices, including the Nintendo Switch. In a Japanese-language press release, the company just announced a new publishing label named Unties, which comes from the idea of unleashing the talents of game creators.

The idea is to find and distribute great indie games, says the press release, and help them find an audience, no matter the device it plays on. The debut title, Tiny Metal, will be a "full-scale strategy simulation game" from developer Area 35. It will release for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC on November 21st. Upcoming games include 3D action title Last Standard and tank-based battler Merkava Avalanche for PC (thus far). VR demo Deemo-Reborn is headed to PlayStation VR as well.

Ultimately, it doesn't seem like a bad thing to have a company like Sony, known for quirky, masterful games like Flower and Journey, helping usher in new indie games to other platforms besides its own PlayStation 4 console, even if the company had to launch an entirely new publishing label to do so.

Via: Geek.com

Source: Sony

‘Doom’ arrives on Nintendo Switch November 10th

Turns out that you won't have to wait too long to raze some Hell on your Nintendo Switch. That's because Doom will be released this November 10th, only a few short weeks from now. How's it look? Based on the video below, good and it seems to play just as fast, but it's a little soft/hazy compared to the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions. That's to be expected though, because the Switch is running on a standard NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip versus the PS4's and Xbox One's AMD Radeon processors. What's impressive is that the game's fancy lighting tricks appear to be intact. However, the video doesn't indicate if the game footage was captured during handheld mode or in TV mode.

Those other versions also target 60 frames per-second for gameplay, versus the Switch's 30 FPS. But you can't exactly stuff those consoles into a messenger bag and play them on a cross-country flight, so it's a matter of what's important to you.

The Switch port is being handled by developer Panic Button, which is also working on the console's version of Rocket League, among other projects. A recent Wall Street Journal report stated that Nintendo has been actively courting developers who've traditionally eschewed the company's hardware. It's apparently an attempt by Nintendo to distance itself from the "family only" reputation that its earned. Which would explain Bethesda bringing Doom, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus to the platform.

For Nintendo to keep doing that, though, it needs some incentive. The GameCube, Wii and Wii U all had M-rated games, but lackluster sales killed them off in pretty short order. If people want to slay demons or kill Nazis on Switch, they'll have to open their wallet as a sign of encouragement.

Source: Nintendo (YouTube)

The Analog Super Nt Mini is Nintendo’s SNES Classic for grown-ups

Just as the NES Classic Edition broke ground before the SNES Classic, Analogue is also following up on Nintendo's wallet-grab on our childhood memories with another premium, no-compromise mini console that plays the gaming carts of yesteryear, and solves some of our issues with the official miniature SNES. This is all, however, for a premium price. Naturally.

The main selling point of the Super Nt Mini is that it doesn't tap emulation to play retro games. You can use old cartridges to play your games exactly like they were -- for better and worse. Yep, it's accurate and lag-free, but there's also no save state feature, like that found on the official mini console. The Super NT does, however, add aspect ratio preservation for your wide-screen TV, as well as multiple resolution options, scanlines and scaler options to make sure games look as old as you remember them looking. It's also outputting your favourite 16-bit chip loops at 48kHz -- high-fidelity (for a SNES) audio.

This is also the first complete FPGA (field-programmable gate array) Super Nintendo console -- Analogue says it's designed to "preserve video game history, with the respect it deserves." But don't worry, there's still wireless controller options. I mean, we're not savages.

Compared to Nintendo's version, Analogue is positioning its mini-SNES as a premium product. There are black, see-thru and classic-colored consoles to choose from, each priced at $190, while wireless controllers (from 8bitdo) also come in the same color options at $40 a pop. Interestingly, this makes the console much cheaper than its predecessor, the Nt Mini. However, with those wireless controller prices -- there's none in-box -- it still brings the price up to just below $300. In comparison, the SNES Classic retailed for $80.

While we've got the prices, we still don't know an exact launch date. However, given we know everything else, and have plenty of images of it, we'd suspect it's going to arrive sooner rather than later.

An appreciation of 2017’s in-game shopkeepers

In-game shops are more than handy outlets to transform random metal scraps and tired old gear into new and useful items. Shops offer a reprieve from the action of whichever digital world you've entered, allowing you to take a moment, breathe and consider the situation from afar. Do you want to play as a gun-toting tank or a sneaky spy? Is your bow powerful enough for the battles ahead? Do you have enough health potions? Does your character look better in green or purple? Only the shop can provide the answers.

Overseeing all of these calculations -- and guarding stores' impossibly large piles of loot -- are the shopkeepers. The past year has been incredible for video games, as we've discussed at length, and this infusion of creativity extends to the stingy store servants selling wares and wiles along our adventures.

From Cuphead to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 2017 has offered up a buffet of adorable, wacky and nostalgia-ridden shopkeepers for us to enjoy -- so we might as well get to it.

Kilton, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

It's easy to imagine Kilton soaring through the skies of Hyrule in his patchwork hot-air balloon, whipping over fields and grazing mountaintops, surrounded by bundles of monster parts and masks. It's easy to imagine, but we never actually see this -- instead, Hyrule's favorite five-head is always nearby (as long as it's nighttime), ready to sell you a stockpile of exclusive clothing and accessories. You just have to find him first.

Crazy Cap clerks, Super Mario Odyssey

In a game all about hats, the Crazy Cap store does not disappoint. One of its most charming locations is in Tostarena, where friendly, bright skeletons stand by wearing caps on caps on caps while you browse their headwear.

All of the merchants, Splatoon 2

Nintendo does "charming" extremely well, as demonstrated by every one of the sea-creature shopkeepers in Splatoon 2. There's Murch the emo sea urchin, Bisk the sneaker-obsessed spider crab, Flo the bohemian sea slug and her shrimp buddy Craymond, Jelfonzo the stylish jellyfish, and Sheldon the horseshoe crab and weapons expert. And then there's Crusty Sean -- he's a food-truck operator who is, in fact, a giant tempura-crusted shrimp. It's either irreverently adorable or incredibly morbid, but since this is Nintendo, we'll go with the latter.

Porkrind, Cuphead

"Welcome," Porkrind growls as you enter the Emporium. His voice is gruff and he has an eye patch over a twirled villain's mustache. However, any danger in his demeanor is dispelled by his pink upturned nose and floppy ears -- it's hard to be scared by a pig in overalls. Cuphead is a feat of visual delight, and Porkrind fits into this retro world brilliantly, evoking the image of Porky Pig every time he waves goodbye and the screen circles to black.

Tae Takemi, Persona 5

Takemi is a punk-rock doctor on a mission to clear her name -- she's direct, intuitive and entirely badass. Fortunately for players worldwide, Persona 5 is a ridiculously dense game and we get to know Takemi better than shopkeepers in many other games, as she's an important player in the overall story. Besides, who doesn't love an in-game merchant that you can eventually, well, love (even if she is a few years older than the protagonist)?

Also, shoutout to another Persona 5 shopkeeper: Munehisa Iwai, the former Yakuza member with a heart of gold.

Emil, NieR: Automata

The only thing better than a shopkeeper you can love is one you can fight. Emil is an established and important character in the Nier anthology, and this time around his giant, grinning, bald head is attached to an item cart. Or it could be one of his clones (he used to be a boy, mind). Either way, Emil the shop(keeper) isn't just a hub for all of your Android accessories -- you're able to battle him in an epic secret ending.

Baknamy merchant, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

This one is an oldie but a goodie. The 2006 title Final Fantasy XII reappeared this year in high-definition with The Zodiac Age, and it brought the Necrohol of Nabudis' secret merchant along for the ride. This Baknamy shopkeeper is tough to track down, which only makes buying his goods all the more sweet.

Xur, Destiny 2

Xur is the Destiny universe's fickle exotic-gear dealer, showing up on the weekends to stuff your inventory with random, rare goodies. Xur is something that couldn't have existed in a game before internet connectivity -- he's a living shopkeeper, always offering new secret items and popping up only when he sees fit.

What we’re playing: ‘Madden 18’, ‘Cuphead’ and ‘Destiny 2’

Welcome back to Gaming IRL, a monthly segment where several editors talk about what they've been playing in their downtime. This month, like much of the world, we've been playing Destiny 2 and EA Sports' latest and greatest. Also Cuphead. Lots of Cuphead.

Madden 18

Billy Steele

Billy Steele
Senior News Editor

When EA revealed a story mode for Madden 18 back at E3, I was already hooked. The limited portion of the so-called "Longshot" feature I saw in LA only cemented it. I hadn't paid attention to Madden in years, but the addition of a narrative storyline that had a healthy dose of Friday Night Lights and a NCAA Football tease was enough to make me take notice again. Sure, "Longshot" is the football equivalent of "The Journey" in EA's FIFA franchise, but the story mode feels like a great add-on to a title that's typically all about playing games and managing rosters.

"Longshot" begins like any good football story does: Kids playing catch in the yard. You first meet the main character, Devin Wade, pretending to win a big game with his best friend Colt Cruise (How's that for a Texas football name?) and his father, Cutter. The narrative quickly speeds ahead to Devin and Colt leaving before sunrise to drive to an NFL regional scouting combine -- what could be the duo's last chance to make a professional roster. Devin was a 5-star recruit at Texas but quit football entirely after his father died. Now he's trying to make an impossible comeback.

From there, the story is told through a series of flashbacks to Devin's high school and college days. You can only play through those high school games, so don't get your hopes up for a mini version of NCAA Football to fill that void. The small sections of Friday Night Lights-esque action are equal parts fun and thrilling as the pressure is on you to save games on the arm, legs and skill of Devin Wade. Since you don't have to pick plays or worry about other aspects of the game, you can just focus on making the throws and decisions needed to win. It may seem a bit weird for die-hard Madden fans, but the condensed action keeps the story moving at a good clip. It also helps that Devin is basically Cam Newton 2.0.

I enjoyed those sections where Devin dons the Mathis Bullfrogs' green and gold more than any other section of "Longshot." Indeed, you get a brief look at what it's like to go through the draft process, including interviews, football IQ tests and drills -- lots and lots of drills. That stuff was all pretty interesting, but for me, those high school games stand above the rest it. There's also a reality show storyline that makes "Longshot" peak 2017.

Even with all of those things, telling Devin's current story by bouncing back-and-forth with flashbacks is a little clunky. It makes sense, but the pace of the story seems to sputter at times. There's a lot more drama surrounding that TV show than seems necessary, but it does make Devin's prep for the rest of the draft process much more interesting than if he were training on his own. It's just a little over the top at times.

I won't spoil the ending, but "Longshot" gives Madden fans something extra this year and provides a foundation for other story modes in future releases. For me, "Longshot" isn't quite as compelling as FIFA's "The Journey," but it's a solid first effort in a new franchise. It's good enough that I'm looking forward to seeing what EA does next with Madden 19.


Aaron Souppouris

Aaron Souppouris
Features Editor

Cuphead hasn't quite lived up to my expectations, but what I expected, entirely unreasonably, was perfection. Instead, I got a mixture of sublime and frustrating.

At its best, Cuphead is a flawless run-and-gun shoot-em-up, with tight controls and truly unique hand-drawn visuals. The run-and-gun boss battles -- which make up around 80 percent of the game -- get closest to the perfection I desired. Phases are innovative, tricky, but fair. Attacks are very well sign-posted so that, if you die, it's your fault. Restart, get better, and proceed.

The difficulty curve, for the most part, is also solid. The first island is a breeze, teaching you the various mechanics, the second will pose some difficulties, the third gets the closest to the Contra: Hard Corps levels of difficulty that the pre-release hype was talking up, and the final boss challenge, well... I haven't found the time to beat it yet, but I will.

My frustration comes in from the (mandatory) extra levels. In each of the three worlds, there are platforming levels and flying levels. While StudioMDHR (the game's developer) seems to have perfected its boss battles, neither the platforming nor flying levels feel very good. The former are mechanically simplistic, while the airborne sections just don't control anywhere near as well as the ground-based combat.

Despite its flaws, Cuphead is still a must-buy for anyone with an Xbox or PC (I played on the latter). I'm hoping to get through the final boss this week, and then I'll probably be heading back through the game in search of a "perfect" rating.

FIFA 18 (Nintendo Switch)

Edgar Alvarez

Edgar Alvarez
Senior Editor

Forget The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey, the game that drove me to buy a Nintendo Switch is FIFA 18. Since EA Sports teased the title last year, I had been dreaming of playing it during my morning and evening commutes to and from the office. And that's exactly what I've been doing for the past few weeks. To give you a better idea of why I was so excited, all you need to know is that I was ready to move on from the PlayStation Vita and FIFA 13. That's right, the PlayStation Vita.

Thankfully, the Switch came along and now I have a soccer gaming experience that's closer to the one on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Given the lower processing power of Nintendo's console, compared to Sony's or Microsoft's, the graphics on FIFA 18 aren't as detailed and the gameplay isn't as smooth. The people in the crowd look like they're made of paper, for example. But the rest of the game makes up for that.

Career mode, which lets you manage a team, is by far my favorite mode to play on the Switch. Kickoff against a friend locally is also great, especially since you can set up basically anywhere and get a game going in matter of seconds with the Joy-cons. If there's anything I wish FIFA 18 on the Switch had is "The Journey," the franchise's story mode where you can live the life of a footballer in a cinematic narrative.

Other than that, though, it doesn't seem like EA Sports cut many corners with FIFA 18. The game is as fun as it is on the PS4 or Xbox One and, better yet, it beats having to keep playing on the PS Vita — as much as I love Sony's fabled handheld.

Destiny 2 Crucible

Timothy J. Seppala

Timothy J. Seppala
Associate Editor

If Bungie hadn't forced me to play a few rounds of Crucible before progressing further in Destiny 2's story, I probably wouldn't have touched it. And that'd be a hell of a tragedy. Before I wrapped the campaign, I found myself loading the adversarial mode whenever I was stuck in a no-respawn zone of the narrative. Or whenever I had a half hour to kill and didn't feel like dealing with the initial spawn point in the European Dead Zone's bullshit. Or just, whenever I got the itch to play the game for a few minutes.

I'm not much of one for online shooters. But something about Crucible's eight-minute, team-only games just works for me. My favorites are the slow-paced, low-scoring, deliberate matches of Supremacy. Kills don't count, per se, until you pick up the gem that drops when your opponent does. If the opposing team recovers them before you can claim, you don't get a point either. It's a great risk-versus-reward system and it can get incredibly tense -- especially if you're rolling solo without a mic. Speaking of which, if you find yourself in a game where the other team is in a clan and chatting and you aren't? Prepare for a bloodbath.

The way Bungie is addressing concerns over Destiny 2's endgame is worrisome, and I can level with people worried that there won't be much reason to stick around between expansion packs, but right now it isn't a big deal for me. At the rate I'm increasing my Warlock's power level (currently at 242) it's going to be a bit before I'm able to tackle a raid, so as long as the loot on the stick doesn't go away for adversarial play I'll be pretty happy.

"IRL" is a recurring column in which the Engadget staff run down what they're buying, using, playing and streaming.

Nintendo’s mini SNES quickly cracked to run more games

It appears that Nintendo really doesn't mind modders cracking open its little retro consoles and using them for more than they were originally intended. Back when the NES Classic Edition was released, it took Russian tinkerer "Cluster" just a few months to figure out how to side-load additional games onto the system. Nintendo doesn't seem to have made the process any more difficult on new mini SNES, as little more than a week after its release, Cluster has updated his hakchi2 tool to support side-loading extra games onto the latest pint-sized console.

You'll still need to vaguely know your way around a PC (or at least know where to find guides on YouTube), but according to the hakchi2 release notes and an FAQ on Reddit, you can get pretty much any SNES game running one way or another. The emulator baked into the SNES Classic Edition will even run older NES titles too apparently, giving you a huge back catalog to dive into. Bear in mind that a hard drive full of game ROM files is technically illegal, though, assuming you don't have the relevant cartridges collecting dust in a forgotten box somewhere.

The ability to add more games to the little console is even more valuable this time around, since the SNES ships with only 21 games pre-installed, down from 30 on the mini NES. Nintendo is known to be aggressive when it comes to anything that whiffs of copyright infringement, but perhaps the company is turning a blind eye to side-loading because it hasn't given buyers any way to add new titles legitimately. Nintendo even hid a message to modders in the NES Classic Edition's code, and if you needed any more proof that Nintendo is cool with the community, it tucked another one away in the mini SNES.

Via: Nintendo Life

Source: GitHub

‘Stardew Valley’ comes to Nintendo Switch on October 5th

While we've known that indie farm simulator Stardew Valley is coming to the Nintendo Switch since 2016, its exact release date remained a mystery for almost a year. Now, its creator has finally revealed when it'll be available... a few days before it comes out for the hybrid console. You can start planting crops, fish, cook and form relationships with the game's pixel residents starting on October 5th.

It's been available on Steam, the PS4 and Xbox One for quite a while, but this is the first time the game will be available on a portable console. The farming sim will set you back $15 in the US, though it could be priced a bit differently in other regions. In case the farm-'em-up isn't your jam, though, you can also look forward to the indie dungeon crawler Darkest Dungeon. It's also coming to the Switch in the future, but definitely way after October 5th.

Via: GamesRadar

Source: Stardew Valley

It took six months for my Nintendo Switch to run out of space

When Nintendo announced that its next game console was going to come with just 32GB of internal storage, my heart sank. I'd been planning to go all digital for the Nintendo Switch -- making it a portable console that always had my favorite games on tap at a moment's notice. Instead, I found myself pre-ordering the console with a physical copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. The compromise didn't last long. Between the tedium of swapping game cards and my fear of losing them, I wound up going all digital anyway. Within six months, my Nintendo Switch ran out of space.

It's my own fault, really. If I hadn't insisted on playing every major release Nintendo put out since launch, I wouldn't be in this mess. Still, can you blame me? Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was a masterful reissue of one of the Wii U's best games, and Splatoon 2 was a strong follow up to multiplayer shooter that ruled my summer in 2015. On top of that, we had a brand new Nintendo IP in the guise of ARMS, a wacky telescoping boxing game, the delightful absurdity of Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and plenty of great download-only titles like Sonic Mania, Blaster Master Zero and Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment. Nintendo's hybrid portable console has had a good first year.

When this steady stream of games filled my switch to capacity, however, I didn't run out and buy a microSD card as I originally planned. Instead, I've spent the last few months using Nintendo's built in data management tool -- a pop-up menu prompt that helps you clear out space for a new game by automatically culling your unplayed library.

If you try to download a title you don't have enough space for, a broken progress bar will appear on the bottom of the game's icon. Click it, and the Switch will immediately tell you how much space you need to clear to install the game and recommended software to archive. Don't like what the Switch chooses? No problem -- the pop up window will happily take you to the console's data management screen to sort through your unplayed game library yourself.

It's a small feature, but it makes managing the Nintendo Switch's lack of storage space ridiculously easy. When my PlayStation 4 runs out of space, it only notifies me passively -- leaving me to drag myself to the system's storage management menu and stumble through four different categories of data -- but the Switch identifies a problem and immediately offers a solution. It takes the work out of juggling data and opens a path to just playing the game I want to launch. That's nice.

This data management screen doesn't forgive the Nintendo Switch's lack of storage -- 32GB is still far too little for any modern game console -- but it made one of the console's biggest flaws bearable. I'm still going to buy expanded storage for the Switch eventually, but I don't feel like I need to right away. That's a nice quality of life feature, and a small indication that Nintendo is getting better at designing console user interfaces that can rival the competition.