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Nintendo Switch Superbowl Commercial

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Austin H.
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Austin H.

Austin enjoys long walks on the beach with his Nintendo Switch while enjoying the reflection of the sunset. Well... the Nintendo Switch has not been released yet, so he just dreams about that at night. Austin is known to talk about himself in third person and refers to himself as Clint Eastwood at times.
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First off what a crazy game right? I mean Falcons were winning 28 to zip then the Patriots made that stunning comeback. The Nintendo Switch trailer was revealed right in the middle of all the carnage and confusion. So, not only did Nintendo release a great commercial, they did it all while history was being made.

I really think this time around Nintendo hit the jackpot with this trailer. Although in the past, there were some unbelievable scenarios. For example the trailer when the group of people stopped their basketball game to play NBA on their 6.5 inch screen. We all know that when a game of basketball goes down, it doesn’t stop until someone breaks something, or the winners start doing the basketball version of the shimmy sham dance.

In all seriousness, this time around Nintendo showed what they should have, friends and couples playing with the console together. Showing good ol’ fun between family and friends is the perfect focus to market the Nintendo Switch. Good job Nintendo for going back to your roots, and not forcing the whole “everyone will literally stop what they’re doing to play this” scenarios. If you haven’t seen the Super Bowl trailer yet, or like me, want to watch it again and again, the link is below:

 

And as always, tell us what you think. Did you like the super bowl trailer? Do you think it sent the message Nintendo wanted to? Will Tom Brady be named King of all surface dwellers?

What Makes the Nintendo Switch Easy to Port To?

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Kyle Roth
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Kyle Roth

Gold is the co-owner and programmer of the small indie game company GoldenCrab Studios. He has been a Nintendo faithful since the NES days and is a hobbyist writer and Let's Player. For reasons unknown, he is always behind on sleep.
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Even before its reveal, many developers described the Switch as being easy to program for. We’ve had a range of comments, some going as far to say it’s the easiest porting experience they’ve had, others saying it “just works” without any unwanted complications, but pretty much all of them give a feeling that developing Switch games is easier than they expected.

It can be difficult to appreciate what easy porting means if you’re not familiar with programming, and even trickier to figure out what exactly is going on that makes it easy to port for. This article will go through the technical side of things explaining why porting is normally difficult (including explaining some basic programming terms) and speculate a bit about what Nintendo might be doing to make programming for their system as painless as possible.

Why is Porting Normally a Nightmare?

At this point in time, a good game engine handles the heavy lifting when porting from one platform to another. A developer writes code using a programming language they can read, and when it’s finished or ready for testing it gets compiled or built into code the computer can read. Compiled code is definitely NOT the same as code the developer reads, but developer code can be compiled as frequently as needed as long you can take the time to do it (which takes longer for AAA projects than for smaller indie projects). A good engine might only work with specific programming languages, but then can take that same code and build it into code for a number of different platforms. Even so, developers need to worry about specific ways each one handles things.

As a simple example, I use Unity to program games on my Mac laptop, working together with a friend who uses a Windows desktop. Part of my code handles input from an Xbox 360 controller. For Windows, the A, B, X, and Y buttons are internally read as buttons numbered 0, 1, 2, and 3 respectively (computers often start counting from zero instead of one). On a Mac, those same buttons are numbered 16, 17, 18, and 19 respectively. Part of my job is making sure the code knows which system it’s running on and looks for the correct button by number in each case. (Don’t even get me started on how differently the left and right triggers work.)

Differences like that are bothersome but fairly simple—your engine will ideally allow you to write code for both versions in the same file and build the correct code depending on the system you’re on (as is my case with Unity). Where it gets really tricky is where system hardware is different.

If you’re trying to make a multi-platform game for Wii U, Playstation 4, and Windows, you know that the Wii U has 2 GB of RAM, the PS4 has 8 GB, and a Windows PC could have less than 1 GB or more than 16 GB. Here you could choose to target the smallest amount of RAM you expect to see, or you could create larger and smaller texture files so the PS4 and PC versions look better than the Wii U version.

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Even once you’re past that, the Wii U has a souped up version of an old CPU architecture while the PS4 uses a more powerful CPU based on newer architecture. Let’s say your game as written runs more smoothly on the PS4 than on the Wii U. Your options to deal with it are to look for intense parts of the code and try to rewrite them, specifically rewrite intense code bits for the Wii U (which might mean it runs fine but functions differently), or accept that the Wii U version has lag issues and release it anyway.

The farther back in the console generations you go, the more complicated it gets. If you don’t have an engine that builds for different systems for you, you’ll need to make those builds yourself. You’ll also have to hope multiple systems support the language you’re using, or you’ll be rewriting it in multiple languages, and then you’ll need to go back and edit multiple versions if a problem is discovered. What approach will you take if one system has an analog stick and another doesn’t? You might need your code to work directly with the system’s hardware, so you’ll have to understand what the specific platform you’re working on has going on under the hood.

Yeah, porting used to be an absolute monstrosity of a nightmare. It’s still a nightmare, but it’s a lot better now than it used to be.

What Might Nintendo Be Doing To Accommodate Developers?

We won’t know for certain what Nintendo is doing until more details on developing for the system have been made public knowledge. However we do know that Unity is on their list of companies working with them, and we have it confirmed that Unreal Engine 4 will be compatible with it. Both engines are capable of creating builds for multiple platforms, and this makes it easy for developers familiar with those engines to approach the system.

From what we’ve seen, switching the Switch to and from TV mode has been consistently seamless. Considering developers have talked about how easy it is to program for, it’s possible they don’t need to do anything extra to account for this. That would mean Nintendo has taken the hard part of switching back and forth on themselves so the developers have it easy, which is an admirable practice!

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It’s impressive that porting seems to be easy even though the Switch has 4 GB of RAM compared to the PS4 and Xbox One’s 8 GB. There is a trick called virtual memory which involves using hard drive space to pretend the system has more RAM than it does, but traditionally this can lead to lag spikes and slowdowns when that memory needs to be accessed. Has Nintendo made use of this or another trick to make the RAM work harder than normal, or are third parties simply working within this limit? Only time will tell.

Similarly, while we don’t know exactly what sort of processor the Switch has, we can pretty safely say it’s both simple enough and powerful enough to adapt to existing projects developers want to bring to the system.

It’s a shame that there are still a lot of unknowns that keep us from really going into detail on why Switch development is easy, but hopefully this article sheds a bit of light on what might be going on. One thing is for sure: the moment we’re able to interview someone working on it or get our hands on Switch development kits of our own, we’ll bring you whatever information we can pass along without breaking NDAs as quickly as we’re able. Stay tuned!

Pankapu will Release on the Switch and Not the WiiU

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Austin H.
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Austin H.

Austin enjoys long walks on the beach with his Nintendo Switch while enjoying the reflection of the sunset. Well... the Nintendo Switch has not been released yet, so he just dreams about that at night. Austin is known to talk about himself in third person and refers to himself as Clint Eastwood at times.
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The developer of Pakapu: The Dreamkeeper, Too Kind Studio, has canceled WiiU production in order to focus on bringing the title to the Nintendo Switch.

Pankapu was originally set to release on multiple platforms including the WiiU, but there has been a change of plans:

As you can see, there was also a teaser photo posted on Twitter which shows a screenshot mock-up of Pankapu on the Nintendo Switch. I guess this game can be added to the list of games who abandoned the WiiU to make the Switch!

For those who don’t know, Pankapu is a platforming title which focuses on a deep narrative. As the player, you guide Pankapu through a dreamlike world called Omnia.

There is really no other news on what kind of price point/release date for Pankapu at this time, but we will keep our readers posted as soon as we find out more!

Snake Pass is Slithering onto the Switch

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Austin H.
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Austin H.

Austin enjoys long walks on the beach with his Nintendo Switch while enjoying the reflection of the sunset. Well... the Nintendo Switch has not been released yet, so he just dreams about that at night. Austin is known to talk about himself in third person and refers to himself as Clint Eastwood at times.
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Snake Pass has just been confirmed it will be slithering onto the Nintendo Switch list of games for 2017. Sssso what do we know about this title?

(*Warning* There may be an abnormal amount of puns and clever word play in this article *Warning*)..

Snake Pass is a newly developed title which focuses on puzzle platforming. Players will have to “think like a snake” in order to get through the puzzles. Here’s what the developers, Sumo Digital, had to say about this announcement:

That’s right! Very soon Nintendo fans across the world will be challenged to ‘think like a snake’ by slithering, coiling and climbing across the once idyllic mountain of Haven Tor. Taking control of Noodle the Snake, accompanied by his hyperactive best buddy Doodle the Hummingbird, players will face snake-bending obstacles and perilous pitfalls in their quest to find and restore the Keystones that give Haven Tor its’ mythical power!

Whether you want to slither on the go in handheld mode, coil up in tabletop mode or climb into a comfy sofa and play in TV mode, Snake Pass on the Nintendo Switch is the perfect way to play, wherever you are!

Snake Pass sssounds, and looks, very unique and intriguing. This title is currently set to release on the PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch in early 2017. According to Eurogamer, Snake Pass will run 30FPS (frames per slither) at 720p when undocked, and 30FPS at 1080p when docked. The price point has yet to be revealed, but there are currently no plans for a physical release.

What are your thoughts? Anyone else dying to get their hands, or slithery bodies, on Snake Pass?

 

Oceanhorn Confirmed to be heading to the Switch

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Anthony Talcott

Student by day, gamer by night. Late to the Nintendo fandom, The Switch will be the first nintendo console I own, heres to late arrivals.
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Earlier today, FDG Entertainment confirmed that the popular adventure game Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas will be coming to the Nintendo Switch.

Oceanhorn a game strikingly similar to the beloved Zelda franchise, seems to be a hidden gem among gamers. I myself have never played it, but everywhere I look there’s nothing but positive reviews. In Oceanhorn you play as an, un-named, brown haired boy who wakes up to find a letter from his father. The only clues to the whereabouts of his father are found in his old notebook. Most of the reviews on sites like steam are positive, calling Oceanhorn a well made Zelda clone. The fact that gamers are willing to compare it to a beloved series like Zelda must mean it can stand on its own. After all, the greatest form of flattery is imitation.

 

Have you played Oceanhorn? What did you think of it? Is it good enough to be considered a Zelda clone? There is no release date set for the Switch version yet, but we will keep everyone posted!

CodeMasters May Bring Dirt 4 to the Switch

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Anthony Talcott

Student by day, gamer by night. Late to the Nintendo fandom, The Switch will be the first nintendo console I own, heres to late arrivals.
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CodeMasters Senior Game designer was recently asked if the Nintendo Switch will see any new racing games particularly their latest game Dirt 4. It looks like there may be something in the works.

This is what Senior Game Designer Darren Hayward had to say about the comment:

Personally, I’ve got my Switch pre-ordered and I’m getting it day one. Obviously at launch Dirt 4 is not coming to Switch. We’d already picked our platforms. We’ve nothing to announce right now, but, I wouldn’t rule it out.

Even though Mr. Hayward has not confirmed nor denied, I think the fact he is personally getting a switch is a great sign. It also helps that he isn’t completely ruling it out. There’s really no telling how far out this title will be if they are indeed working on a title for the Switch. I’ve always thought that the only thing missing from the Tree house lineup was a good ol’ fashioned racing game. F-Zero has been a sci-fi racing game that many fans have been wanting to see again, but there’s just something awesome about a traditional racing game that revves me up, (pun intended) and I can’t wait to see if Dirt 4 will make it to the Switch. 

As always tell us what you think. Are you excited for the chance of seeing a traditional racing game like Dirt 4 on the Switch?Or would you prefer a F-Zero themed title? 

Tank it! Teased for September 2017 Release on Nintendo Switch

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Austin H.
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Austin H.

Austin enjoys long walks on the beach with his Nintendo Switch while enjoying the reflection of the sunset. Well... the Nintendo Switch has not been released yet, so he just dreams about that at night. Austin is known to talk about himself in third person and refers to himself as Clint Eastwood at times.
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Bplus games currently has 3 games in development for the Nintendo Switch, and we finally got some footage of Tank it! as well as a release window.

Bplus has made a huge accomplishment today. This exact day marks 10 years since they have been developing titles for Nintendo. The CEO, Bernd Geiblinger, stated the following along with releasing a video which showcases gameplay for several of the Nintendo Switch titles in the works:

Exactly 10 years ago Bplus became a licensed developer for Nintendo and I am very happy and proud about that.

In case you didn’t know, Bplus is working of Puzzle Box, Tank it!, and Bit Boy! Arcade Deluxe. In regards to release dates, Bplus just confirmed on their Twitter page that Tank it! is currently set for a September 2017 release as long as Nintendo approves.

What are your thoughts on the small clip of gameplay we got for Tank it? It’s definitely looking interesting. I wanted to wish a big congratulations to Bplus games from the whole team here at the Nintendo Switch Network. Keep up the good work!

How Ultra Street Fighter II Can Help the Switch

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Clayton Shipman
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Clayton Shipman

I have been gaming ever since I was able to hold a NES controller. While growing up, I obsessed over games and the gaming industry so much it was scary, and as I continue to do as an adult. After spending a decade managing a video game retail store, I decided to pursue a lifelong passion of mine, video game journalism. I figured that 30 plus years of useless gaming knowledge should be put to use somehow.
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In the summer of 1994, I was deep into Super Metroid. Being 9 years old at the time, I was enthralled within Nintendo’s side-scrolling sci-fi adventure. Nothing could tear me away from it.

Until the fateful day that a neighborhood friend invited me over to his house, stating that he had just bought a new fighting game with his allowance. That game was Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers. Before that day, I had only played past versions of Street Fighter here and there. Nothing ever substantial enough to warrant any type of thoughts about the series. After spending all day fighting against my friend, trading wins and losses back and forth, I forgot all about my space adventures with a certain bounty hunter.

I remember kids in school throughout the next semester spending countless amounts of hours debating which game was better, Mortal Kombat II or Super Street Fighter II. The vast majority somehow always ended up on Capcom’s side. There was just something about that game that drew everyone to it in a good way. Whether it was the great sounding music and sound effects, the almost pixel perfect artwork, or the finely tuned fighting mechanics. Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers was simply fun in the purest form, packed into a small rectangular gray cartridge.

It became a game that everyone wanted. If you didn’t personally own it, you tried to talk your friend that did into letting you borrow it in exchange for your copy of Donkey Kong Country. Groups of friends would hold their own tournaments to decide who was the best fighter between them. Super Street Fighter II had a special ability to make the player feel awesome. Whether you won or lost, you always had that urge to play more. There was simply a good feeling with sitting in front of the TV with a friend while trying to master moves and combos, along with finding the character that you clicked with the most. You never turned down an invitation to play Super Street Fighter II in the early 90s.

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Over 20 years have passed since the release of Super Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo. Capcom is going to try and capture all the same feelings as before, this time on the Nintendo Switch with Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. This new version of Street Fighter II will feature tweaked gameplay balancing, the choice between playing with the original pixel art or a new HD graphical setting, and two new characters, Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. There will be all of your typical game modes, Versus, Arcade, etc. Along with an added Group Battle, where you and a buddy can take on the CPU together. Then to round it all out, fully featured online gameplay, as detailed here by NSN’s own, Anthony Talcott.

Ultra Street Fighter II will truly shine on the Switch when it’s in the Nintendo-named “Share the Joy” mode. When you split apart the Joy-Con controller, giving you the ability to play with someone else locally, whether it be at home on a TV or on the go in portable mode. Fighting games have lost a certain sense of camaraderie over the past generation or so. Instead of actively sitting next to someone on a couch, trading hadoukens and sonic booms back and forth, there’s been a heavy influence of strictly fighting against random people over the Internet. Not to say that playing online against someone is bad, because it’s actually quite the opposite. There’s just a different feeling when playing a fighting game with a good friend while sitting in the same room.

The Nintendo Switch has the structure to bring that camaraderie feeling back in full force and Ultra Street Fighter II can help usher in that movement. From Street Fighter to Bomberman, the Nintendo Switch will shine with its Share the Joy mode.

Skyrim Mods Possibly on Nintendo Switch

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Anthony Talcott

Student by day, gamer by night. Late to the Nintendo fandom, The Switch will be the first nintendo console I own, heres to late arrivals.
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Earlier yesterday a Best Buy in Canada accidentally released information on the Skyrim port of Nintendo Switch. There’s no telling how truthful this leak is, but it is interesting.

In the product description Best Buy announced that it will be the remastered version, and will bring “PC-like mod support to the game”. This is great news for Skyrim fans everywhere since it allow us increase the game time by literally hundreds of hours.  The “Skyrim unofficial patch” will be one of the mods I hope to see make the Switch if this rumor is true. It’s one of the most popular mods available due to being able to fix some major and minor bugs and glitches.

skyrim mods nintendo switch

Personally, I’m really hoping this information comes to fruition. Skyrim is one of those games that should be on every system, and mods make the game ten times better. You can read the original page from Best Buy below. And as always tell us what you think. Is this a hoax, or will The Switch be getting some Bethesda love?

Has-Been Heroes headed to the Nintendo Switch in March

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Clayton Shipman
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Clayton Shipman

I have been gaming ever since I was able to hold a NES controller. While growing up, I obsessed over games and the gaming industry so much it was scary, and as I continue to do as an adult. After spending a decade managing a video game retail store, I decided to pursue a lifelong passion of mine, video game journalism. I figured that 30 plus years of useless gaming knowledge should be put to use somehow.
Clayton Shipman
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Frozenbyte, a Finnish game developer, best known for creating the Trine trilogy, have been hard at work making a brand new IP. Has-Been Heroes is a rogue-like action strategy game, where you will take control of three heroes at the start, a monk and warrior that are past their prime, along with a rogue that happens to be a wannabe hero.

All of this and more happens within a world where big storied adventures are a thing of the past. That is, until the King calls upon the heroes and asks them to take on a special job, escort his twin daughters to the Princess Academy.

You will take control of those three heroes at the beginning, but as you progress through the game you will be able to unlock new and different characters to use. As it stands right now, we know of the monk that will play as a mage character, using spells and magic. The warrior will be your typical brute force tank character. Then rounding out with the rogue, using agility and a bow to her advantage. Although, it would be wise not to get too attached to the characters you build up along the way. Has-Been Heroes is a rogue-like title. Death will be inevitable no matter what you do. Although, through dying, gifts for your next run will be given out. So death will not come across as a total loss. Has-Been Heroes is designed to be played through multiple times, unlocking spells/items/characters that you can use for your next run towards the Princess Academy.

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Each run though the game will have a randomly generated map, so you will not have to deal with the same layout each time. It will be new and fresh every time. The developer is boasting that there will be 200 items and 100 spells to unlock throughout the entire game. It will also be impossible to unlock everything in one run, so there will be a lot of chance for replay ability. As you continue to have more runs through the game, new story elements will be added. Sadly, no other details have been given on that feature.Here’s the teaser trailer for Has-Been Heroes:

The game is presented in a 2D art style that is very pleasing to look at and see in motion from the videos that have been released. As you move through the beautifully created world, the game auto scrolls from right to left. There are three separate lanes from top to bottom, with a hero only allowed to take up one lane at a time. Behind the heroes, the twin princesses stand, being protected from the monsters coming in from the right. As the enemies make their way towards the heroes, the player has to choose when and where to send out the heroes to deal damage. When doing so, the selected hero will rush forward, attacking the enemy that is first in line in the corresponding lane.

After each attack, the game will auto pause and allow the player to make a choice of moving another hero in the empty spot left by the hero that is attacking. Leaving the option to set up another attack on the enemy that was just hit. That element will come into play as each of the enemies will have a stamina bar you have to drain before you can damage their health. So hitting an enemy with the rogue or one of the monk’s spells, and then having the warrior move into that spot and land a devastating blow to the enemy, would be a wise strategy.

From all of the videos and information given about this Frozenbyte action strategy game, it’s shaping up to be a gem that may get passed over by the majority of gamers out there. The developer has a good history of creating unique gameplay and atmosphere in their work. This game will definitely be something that you may want to keep an eye on and not let it slip under your radar. Has-Been Heroes may just end up being Must-Have Heroes if everything goes according to plan.

Has-Been Heroes is developed by Frozenbyte and will be published by GameTrust. It is set for release on the Nintendo Switch in March 2017. You can view a full list of games coming to the Nintendo Switch HERE.