Tag Archives: nintendo

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.

nintendo switch ports

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!

nintendo switch ports

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!

Crash Bandicoot Skylander Possibly Available on 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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If you head on over to Skylanders website, you can check out their Crash Bandicoot’s Imaginators starter pack which has an option for purchasing the pack for the Nintendo Switch.

We have not received confirmation that Crash Bandicoot will indeed be available for the Switch in a bundle, but it is still listed as such on their website. After some further grueling research, I noticed the Standard edition and Dark Edition also seem to be available for the Switch. It would definitely be interesting to see if Crash will indeed be available to play on the Nintendo Switch considering Crash is a Sony character. Personally, I would love to have Crash. The more support for the Switch the better. 

You can view all of the Crash Bandicoot edition below respectively:

crash bandicoot nintendo switch skylanders

As always, tell us what you think. Are you excited for the new Skylanders lineup for the Switch? Which ones are you going to get?

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!

Gamefly Can Not Confirm they Will Carry Switch Games Yet

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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 Gamefly announced that it wasn’t sure if it was going to be renting Switch games out to gamers. I don’t see a reason as to why they wouldn’t, but they won’t confirm or deny their support yet.

Gamefly is the netflix for video games. The company was started back in 2002, and has seen its share of ups and downs. If they don’t show support for Nintendo Switch titles they may not be around much longer. Personally, I have never used Gamefly so I can’t complain too much either way. I’m a PC gamer at heart, and I usually get my games from Steam, G2A, Humble Bundle, etc.. At the end of the day, I much rather own my video games than rent them. Although, I know plenty of people who simply prefer to rent games. 

As always tell us what you think. Have you used Gamefly is the past? Did you like it? Will you try Gamefly if they do start renting Switch games?

Mandatory Update required for Switch MicroSD Cards

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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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According to the Nintendo UK website, the Nintendo Switch will require an update to be able to use micro SDXC memory cards. This doesn’t surprise me since SDXC tends to support very large capacities and most devices aren’t familiar with that level of storage. Also, this will most likely prevent or at least slow down the process of cracking the Nintendo Switch’s firmware. (They did not tell us if the update will come day 1, or if we will have to wait for it. Most likely, it will be day one.)

In all honesty you probably won’t even need an SDXC card, and if you do, the 64GB will fit your every need. However, if like me you’re curious about the differences between the cards, than you’re in luck since I did the  research for you.

Micro SD or Secure Digital only holds a couple of gigs, not great for the Nintendo Switch so let’s stay away from normal SD. Micro SDHC cards or Secure Digital High Capacity, should be the entry point in memory cards for most gamers. They start off at 4GB and go all the up to 32GB which will satisfy the storage requirement of most games. Now we go into the big daddy of memory cards, Micro SDXC Secure Digital Extended Capacity. These start off usually at 32GB and go all the way up to 2 terabytes (yes you read that correctly, 2 terabytes). SDXC will basically future-proof your Nintendo Switch for any games that will come out…for a price.

Now let’s move on to Read & Write speeds. If you ever looked at a SD card you might have noticed a little number under the storage amount. The number always goes from 2,4,6,or 10. This is the Read and Write speed of the card. The higher the number, the faster the card will be able to store and read the information, so always try and go for the card with the highest Read and Write speeds.

nintendo switch micro sd

Like anything, the more complex something is, the more expensive it tends to be. A 200GB SDXC card with a Read and Write speed of 10 will set you back around 70 dollars. Yes 200GB will most definitely store everything you need for the next couple of years, but 70 dollars is a bit hit. I suggest going for the SDXC 64GB with Read and Write speed of 10, which will only cost you 20 dollars on amazon. 64GB is large enough to store almost all of the day 1 releases and cheap enough where you can pick up another if you run out of space. Sometimes amazon has awesome sales on Micro SDXC cards. As we get closer to the Switch’s release make sure you keep an eye out for those upcoming sales. 

Like always tell us what you’re thinking, what kind/size SD card will you get day one?

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!