A Tale of Two Switch

There is a report coming from Takashi Mochizuku of the Wall Street Journal that posits that we could expect two new Switch models this year at E3. I’ve seen many rumors like this since the Switch came out, and I’ve often written them off. As we approach 2.5 years with the Switch, the likelihood of this happening continues to increase. I personally think its too soon for Nintendo to do this. After all, the 3DS took 4 years for an upgrade to come out. But then again, the DS to the DS Lite only had a gap of 2 years.

The WSJ states that the cheaper version of the Switch will remove the vibration and detachable joy-cons, and focus more on the portable only experience. While the Pro version will focus on “enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers.” I personally don’t see a huge power boost for the Switch as an option, as that would bifurcate the market. However, I could see replacement of the old Tegra chip with something that is more efficient, giving portable users longer battery life for the Lite version, and perhaps a slightly larger screen with the same battery life for the XL version? Who knows. I’m doubtful, but anything is possible.

What do you think? Are we on the road to a new Switch? Or is the WSJ grasping at straws?

Thanks @SuperNintendad for the heads up

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Microsoft’s PlayFab Party and Switch

A Resetera user was at GDC and at the Microsoft booth they saw a Nintendo Switch. When asked the people in charge of the demo said that they were working on an SDK that would work on Xbox, Windows, Android, iOS, and Switch. They followed up with the fact that MS pitched this idea to Nintendo and described them as extremely enthusiastic and very supportive.

What does it do? It was originally designed as a voice to text accessibility feature, but ended up expanding to include leaderboards, matchmaking, party, and server/lobby support. Microsoft intends to sell the SDK to developers to help them with jump the hurdles of cross platform play.

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A First Look at Labo VR Kit

Nintendo released a video to show what exactly the games would look like in the Toy-Con VR Kit. Check out the video below.

Labo VR Kit

Overall, I think it looks cool, not cool enough for me to buy. However, if I had unlimited space in my house for cardboard knick-knacks for my cats to chew on after my kid got bored of them, then I’d probably pick this up. What do you think?

Here is the full press release.

Ever wish you could paint like an elephant or feel like a superhero by stopping an alien invasion? Nintendo Labo: VR Kit launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch system on April 12 with dozens of simple and fun virtual reality* experiences for kids and families to enjoy together. Get a sneak peek at what’s included in the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit in this new video released by Nintendo: https://labo.nintendo.com/#video.
 Combining the innovative physical and digital gameplay of Nintendo Labo with basic VR technology, Nintendo Labo: VR Kit introduces virtual reality in a unique and approachable way. The Toy-Con Wind Pedal produces a blast of air to create the feeling of flying, while the Toy-Con Blaster slides and clicks before it launches a volley of lasers (or fruit). Players can make different DIY cardboard creations like a Toy-Con Elephant or a Toy-Con Camera; play a variety of VR games and experiences with these creations; and discover how it all works – or even design their own bite-sized VR experiences with the included programming tools.
 “Nintendo Labo is inherently designed to encourage imagination and creativity in people of all ages by blending real-world and virtual experiences,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This new kit takes that concept a step further by layering in virtual reality to bring the Toy-Con creations to life and encourage family-friendly, pass-and-play experiences.”
 All the games and experiences in Nintendo Labo: VR Kit are designed to be shareable, fun and social. By alternating turns, everyone in the room can watch and enjoy players’ reactions and join in the fun. Some games even allow players who aren’t looking into the Toy-Con VR Goggles to interact with the on-screen experience. For example, if one player is exploring the in-game ocean and taking photos with the Toy-Con Camera, another person in the room can wear the Toy-Con Snorkel and step in front of the Camera to make a bug-eyed fish swim quickly toward the player’s face – the reaction is priceless!
 The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit offers a variety of games and experiences that work with the different Toy-Con creations, including:

  • Ocean Camera (Toy-Con Camera): Dive into the deep blue virtual sea and complete objectives like taking photos of sea life. The ocean is full of surprises.
  • House Camera (Toy-Con Camera): Interact with the strange creature living in the house – which some people may recognize from the Nintendo Labo: Variety Kit! – and complete missions by taking photos in its mysterious home.
  • Marble Run (Toy-Con Elephant): Try to complete physics puzzles by using various objects to guide marbles through rings. You can even create puzzles of your own to challenge friends and family.
  • Doodle (Toy-Con Elephant): Create colorful 3D artwork by moving the trunk of the Toy-Con Elephant through the air, using various in-game tools and styles to bring your creations to life. Once finished, show off your masterpieces on the TV by docking your Nintendo Switch. An additional multiplayer game lets you take turns drawing and guessing each other’s drawings.
  • Bird (Toy-Con Bird): Soar through the sky on a bird’s back, collecting items and helping baby birds hatch along the way. Players flap the wings of the Toy-Con Bird to fly and simply tilt it to turn.
  • Bird Dash (Toy-Con Bird, Toy-Con Wind Pedal): Compete in timed challenges by racing through checkpoints as you fly through the sky. The Toy-Con Wind Pedal is used in conjunction with the Toy-Con Bird to deliver an extra boost of speed, while also sending a surprisingly strong puff of air toward the player that enhances the sense of flying.
  • Blaster (Toy-Con Blaster): Battle an alien invasion and giant bosses in an on-rails experience that requires sharp reflexes and a keen eye.
  • Kablasta (Toy-Con Blaster): Challenge a friend to competitive hippo feeding. Yes, hippo feeding! Fling different types of fruit toward the hippos to lure them to your side of the pool and score the most points.
  • Hop Dodge (Toy-Con Wind Pedal): As a frog, jump as high as you can on an ever-growing stack of balls while avoiding obstacles and heading soccer balls. The wind resistance from the Wind Pedal will make you feel as though you’re actually experiencing a breeze.
  • VR Plaza (all Toy-Con creations): Enjoy 64 bite-sized games and experiences in VR Plaza, including platformers and puzzlers. Many of these experiences can be enjoyed using only the Toy-Con VR Goggles and Nintendo Switch system.

Two programing tools are included with the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit software. Toy-Con Garage is the tool that is returning from previous kits and optimized for this kit’s Toy-Con creations. Toy-Con Garage VR is a new tool that allows players to create their own VR games and experiences. In fact, Toy-Con Garage VR is the tool that the development team used to create everything in VR Plaza. Players can even import VR Plaza games into Toy-Con Garage VR mode to discover how they work, customize the experiences or use them as inspiration to create a completely new game.
 Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will launch in retail stores on April 12 with two primary configurations, one that includes all Toy-Con creations and one that includes a smaller selection of projects to get started:

  • Nintendo Labo: VR Kit: Available at a suggested retail price of $79.99, the complete Nintendo Labo: VR Kit includes the Nintendo Switch software and materials to build all six Toy-Con projects – the Toy-Con VR Goggles, Toy-Con Blaster, Toy-Con Camera, Toy-Con Bird, Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Elephant – as well as a Screen Holder and other accessories. It’s a good option for kids and families who want to dive into the full experience.
  • Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Starter Set + Blaster: Available at a suggested retail price of only $39.99, the Starter Set includes the Nintendo Switch software, plus all the components to build the Toy-Con VR Goggles and Toy-Con Blaster, as well as the Screen Holder and other accessories. The Starter Set is a great entry point into the world of Nintendo Labo VR.

Players that own the Starter Set can purchase the following optional expansion sets at https://store.nintendo.com/ to expand their experience:

  • Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 1**: Available for $19.99, Expansion Set 1 includes the components needed to build the Toy-Con Elephant and Toy-Con Camera.
  • Nintendo Labo: VR Kit – Expansion Set 2**: Available for $19.99, Expansion Set 2 includes the components needed to build the Toy-Con Wind Pedal and Toy-Con Bird.

For more information about Nintendo Labo: VR Kit, please visit https://labo.nintendo.com/kits/vr-kit/.
 *The VR mode should only be used by children ages 7 and older. Parents should restrict the display of VR mode for children 6 and under by accessing the in-game settings using the goggles icon. Users can easily turn off the VR feature and use the included Screen Holder instead of the VR Goggles to enjoy any of the included games and experiences in 2D.

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Funcom announces Mutant Year Zero coming to Nintendo Switch this summer with DLC expansion and retail release

Mutant Year Zero on its way to Switch!

During today’s Epic keynote at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, publisher Funcom and the developers at The Bearded Ladies announced from the stage that Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is finally making its way to Nintendo Switch and that the date to mark in your calendar is June 25th, 2019. It was also announced that the Nintendo Switch version will come with an expansion DLC that will also be available for purchase on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Lastly, it was announced that a retail Deluxe Edition will also release on June 25th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch which will include both the base game and the expansion DLC. 

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New Indie Games Bring Even More Quality and Variety to Nintendo Switch in 2019

The Nintendo Switch system has quickly become the go-to platform for indie developers. As more and more top indie developers bring their creations to Nintendo’s console, they continue to deliver high-quality experiences that can be played at home or taken on the go. A new Nindies Showcase video today demonstrated the breadth of the Nintendo Switch indie library and the enthusiasm developers have for the platform. This includes the revelation of the rhythmic action-adventure game Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda from Brace Yourself Games. That’s in addition to announcements from indie houses like Devolver Digital, bringing system-exclusive content like Katana ZERO and My Friend Pedro, and new game reveals like RAD from award-winning studio DOUBLE FINE PRODUCTIONS.

To view the Nindies Showcase video in its entirety, visit https://live.nintendo.com.

“Top indie developers look to Nintendo Switch to showcase their games to a broad audience,” said Steve Singer, Nintendo of America’s Vice President of Publisher and Developer Relations. “The diversity of indie content we discussed today demonstrates how Nintendo Switch players can find quality indie games of nearly any type.”

The games discussed during today’s video include:

  • Cadence of Hyrule – Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of Zelda: In the latest rhythmic action-adventure from Brace Yourself Games, you can enjoy the gameplay of Crypt of the NecroDancer in the setting of The Legend of Zelda series. As Link or Princess Zelda, players explore randomly generated overworld and dungeons on a quest to save Hyrule, and every beat of the 25 remixed Legend of Zelda tunes is a chance to move, attack, defend and more. From modern-looking Lynels to the Hyrulean Soldiers of old, players must master the instinctive movements of each pixel-art enemy and strategically outstep them in rhythmic combat using an arsenal of iconic items from The Legend of Zelda, as well as the spells and weapons from Crypt of the NecroDancer. The game is scheduled to launch this spring.
  • Cuphead: Studio MDHR brings its run-and-gun action game to Nintendo Switch. Inspired by cartoons of the 1930s, the visuals and audio are painstakingly created with the same techniques of the era, such as traditional hand-drawn cel animation, watercolor backgrounds and original jazz recordings. The game launches on Nintendo Switch on April 18. with XBL support
  • Stranger Things 3: The GamePlay through and delve deeper into the events of Stranger Things 3 in a retro-style adventure game from BonusXP. Explore Hawkins, solve puzzles and team up with a friend in local co-op to battle the emerging evils of The Upside Down as one of twelve playable characters from the hit original series. The game launches on Nintendo Switch on July 4, the same day the third season debuts on Netflix.
  • Red Lantern: Timberline Studios, Inc., challenges players to survive the Alaskan tundra with a team of five sled dogs. The Musher becomes lost while training for the grueling Iditarod race and must fend off bears, resist frostbite and take care of the dogs while navigating the wilderness and trying to return home. The game is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.
  • RAD: DOUBLE FINE PRODUCTIONS and BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA INC. present a 3D action rogue-like set in a post-post-apocalyptic world. As a teenage protagonist, players must journey into the Fallow, an ever-changing, procedurally generated wasteland that holds the secrets of the past and answers for the future. Here, radioactive toxins will randomly mutate your character, giving you powerful new abilities that challenge you to constantly adapt your play style. Using these abilities and your trusty bat, you have been tasked with saving humanity’s future by healing the world. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Katana ZERO: Devolver Digital and askiisoft have created a stylish neo-noir action-platformer featuring breakneck action and instant-death combat. Players take on the role of an assassin, the Dragon, to slash, dash and manipulate time to unravel their past in a beautifully brutal acrobatic display. Players can overcome the opposition however the situation requires, as each level is uniquely designed for countless methods of completion. Deflect gunfire back at foes, dodge oncoming attacks and manipulate enemies and environments with traps and explosives. Leave no survivors. The game launches on Nintendo Switch on April 18, and is available for pre-purchase starting today.
  • Nuclear Throne: Vlambeer’s post-apocalyptic roguelike-like top-down shooter challenges players to fight their way through the wastelands with powerful weaponry, collecting radiation to mutate some new limbs and abilities. The game offers 12 playable characters, seven playable main worlds, 30 ways to mutate characters and more than 120 weapons. The game launches on Nintendo Switch – today!
  • Super Crate BoxVlambeer’s Super Crate Box is coming to bring back the glory of the golden arcade age, when all that really mattered was getting on that high score list. The Nintendo Switch version will include exclusive two-player co-operative and competitive multiplayer for even more arcade mayhem. Prepare for an arcade delight with tight controls, refreshing game mechanics, cracking retro art and a terribly hip chiptune soundtrack when Super Crate Box launches in April.
  • Vlambeer Arcade with ULTRABUGS: Vlambeer Arcade is a collection of bite-sized games with a growing catalog that starts with ULTRABUGS, a fast-paced, high-score-centric game in which players pilot a ship to fight endless space bugs. The only problem is that those bugs then split up into more space bugs when they’re defeated. By beating boss monsters, players will unlock enemy DNA that they can use to customize their ship. Vlambeer Arcade with ULTRABUGS is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.
  • My Friend Pedro: Devolver Digital and Deadtoast deliver what is undoubtedly the first game about friendship, imagination and one man’s struggle to obliterate anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana. Players unleash a torrent of destruction with an incredible level of control over both their weapons and body. They can twist and turn through the air while aiming both hands at priority threats or lining up a perfect ricochet to drop an unsuspecting gangster from behind. The game launches as a system-exclusive on Nintendo Switch in June.
  • Creature in the Well: Flight School Studio challenges players to this top-down, pinball-inspired hack-and-slash dungeon crawler. Players venture deep into a desert mountain haunted by a desperate Creature to restore power to an ancient facility by charging energy orbs and having them bounce around and ricochet to reactivate dormant machinery. They will uncover and upgrade powerful gear to help them save the city of Mirage from a deadly sandstorm. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Blaster Master Zero 2: INTI CREATES CO. LTD. sets its sequel months after the events of Blaster Master Zero. Jason and Eve must venture into the depths of space to stop the mutant infection that’s slowly corrupting Eve’s body. Thankfully, stopping mutant outbreaks is Jason’s specialty. The game launches on Nintendo Switch – today!
First Look Blaster Master Zero II
  • Pine: Kongregate and Twirlbound offer a stirring open-world adventure with beautiful biomes to explore, puzzles to solve and secrets to discover. Players take on the role of Hue, a brave young adult who belongs to the last remaining tribe of humans on the island of Albamare. The island’s factions trade and fight with each other over food and territory, while Hue learns about ways to influence the ecology in search for a new home for the humans. The game launches on Nintendo Switch in August.
  • Bloodroots: Paper Cult delivers ultraviolence in a twisted Western revenge tale with a deranged cast of characters. Betrayed and left for dead, Mr. Wolf is hell-bent on finding his attacker and exacting revenge. Players can choreograph spectacular, bloody combos by making use of everything around them, from hatchets and ladders to … carrots? The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Overland: Finji delivers a new game from Adam Saltsman, the creator of Canabalt. In this turn-based survival game, players take care of a group of travelers on a post-apocalyptic road trip across the United States. Fight off scary creatures, rescue stranded survivors and scavenge for supplies like fuel, first aid kits and weapons. There are consequences for every action. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this fall.
  • Darkwood: Acid Wizard Studio and Crunching Koalas set their survivor horror game in East-Central Europe, in a forest possessed by unknown evil forces that corrupt all the inhabitants of the woods: people, animals and even the plants. Players can get new powers by extracting a strange essence from mutated fauna and flora and injecting it into their bloodstream. The game builds an atmospheric, psychological feeling of tension without the usual horror tricks of jump scares and creaking doors. The game launches on Nintendo Switch in May.
  • Neo Cab: Fellow Traveller and Chance Agency offer an emotional survival game about staying human in a world disrupted by automation. Lina, the last human driver on the neon-drenched streets of Los Ojos, California, interacts with a diverse cast of characters with individual story arcs. Players must balance their income, sustain a positive rating and manage their emotions, as fulfilling Lina’s job as a rideshare driver is the only way they might reunite with her best friend Savy, who’s mysteriously gone missing. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.
  • Swimsanity!: Decoy Games takes a deep dive with this multiplayer underwater shooter with action-packed co-op and versus game modes, all supported by online and local play. The game comes with an ocean of content, with more than 150 challenges across eight game modes. Players can toggle between classic dual-stick controls and motion aiming, whether they’re playing locally or online*. The game launches on Nintendo Switch this summer.

To celebrate indie games (and their creators!), Nintendo is offering discounts of up to 30 percent on select indie games currently available in Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch. The sale runs from 10 a.m. PT on March 20 until 8:59 a.m. PT on March 27, and includes standout games like Firewatch from Campo Santo Productions and Yoku’s Island Express from Villa Gorilla and Team 17.

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Konami Anniversary Collection

So of course we’ve all known for quite some time that the Virtual Console is dead. But is it really? I don’t think so. We’ve had collection after collection of cool old retro games coming from publishers and I for one prefer this to the Virtual Console anyway.

Why am I talking about this? You already know, I don’t know why you’re asking that questions. I suppose I’ll answer it anyway. We’ve got a new collection on the way, its from Konami, and its actually three collections!

We start with the Arcade Classics which will be released on April 18th this year. For $20. It includes 8 games. Haunted Castle, Typhoon, Nemesis, Vulcan Venture, Life Force, thunder Cross, Scramble and Twin Bee. I always like to play these old games, but what I seem to love most about these collections is when the developer puts in extra stuff like concept art, and music.

Konami is including a “Bonus Book” that has interviews, behind the scenes as well as concept art and design documents. I can’t wait to check that stuff out.

The other two collections are the Castlevania collection, including Castlevania 1 – 4 This one releases in Early Summer, alongside the Contra collection which includes Contra, Super contra, Super C, and Contra III. Both collections also launch with 4 other unannounced games and the aforementioned “Bonus Book”. No price is listed, but I’m guessing $20 for each.

So which of these collections are you most excited for? Which games do you hope for in those blank spots? Let me know in the comments below.

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Castle Crashers returns?

So a few days ago we saw a small tease from The Behemoth, indicating a very likely chance that Castle Crashers was coming to the switch. Here is the image below.

If you’ve never played Castle Crashers its a side scrolling brawler with up to 4 players that was really hot on the Xbox 360. When I first saw this I assumed it was just a port. But for some reasons this next image makes me think that we’re getting a full on sequel.

Well we’ve waited all weekend and here we are on Tuesday, with confirmation that they are bringing Castle Crashers to Switch and PS4.  All kind of improved visuals, all DLC and I for one am going to buy the hell out of it.  

What about you?  Are you excited for Castle Crashers on Nintendo Switch and PS4?  Let me know in the comments!

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