It’s that time of year again when a miniature retro Nintendo console should be hitting the shelves and people have been expecting to hear of a Nintendo 64 Mini but nothing has been announced.
Instead Sony revealed the exciting news that there will be a miniature version of the original PlayStation with its original 1994 design.
Not many more things can be described to me as nostalgic than the booting up sounds of the PlayStation which send shivers down my spine every time I hear them.
The console which is due to hit shelves December 3 will feature 20 built-in games including the iconic Square Enix title Final Fantasy VII and Namco’s Tekken 3.
There are currently three other confirmed titles which are Ridge Racer Type 4, Jumping Flash! And Wild Arms.
The console is set to be priced at £89.99 and will feature two traditional PlayStation controllers without joy-sticks and will be inputed into TV sets via a HDMI cable like the retro Nintendo consoles.
The PlayStation Classic will still feature its disc eject button, but as the games are pre-installed, its function when pressed will change one game to another.
When it comes to the PlayStation there are an endless amount of titles that spring to mind which could feature on the console.
Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos, PaRappa The Rapper, Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey, Dino Crisis, Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are just a few big names that could feature from an endlessly great catalogue!
It has been a long time coming since the console’s release back in March 2017, but the Nintendo Switch‘s online service will finally go online on September 18. Online and Nintendo aren’t two words that get associated together very often and if so, not usually in a positive respect. Nintendo has never really ventured out into online game-play much, especially not with a service that will be on the Switch, but they’re going to give it a try and this is what you need to know.
The online play service that Nintendo will provided will enable players to play games online with friends and others around the world. There are many Nintendo titles that have online access such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and the upcoming Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Along with those titles you will be able to play Minecraft with your friends through the service.
When playing with friends, you are able to communicate with them through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app which launched last year with the console. There you can use the voice chat to talk to them but it would be good for there to be a suitable headset to fit into the controller, but with the interesting tech of the Switch, it might not be that straightforward. The app has been in use since its first iteration, but was mainly used to show leaderboards and results from Splatfest events.
An important feature to the online service is that if you ever lose your Switch or play on a new one, you can cloud save your game files and re-download them so none of your gaming experience and play is lost. If you’re at a friend’s house and want to show them something in your game, all you need to do is log on to your account and your game file will be there waiting for you. If you’re connected to the internet when playing on your Switch, the games will save data and be backed up automatically.
One of the popular aspects of having the Nintendo Switch Online service will be that you will be able to download all Nintendo Entertainment System titles such as Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda. As long as you remained subscribed to the online service you will be able to play all the games whenever you like with 20 retro titles being playable upon launch. This is similar to how Sony and Microsoft let you download certain titles every month with their online network gaming services, but Nintendo always love to go back to their routes and are shelling out a lot more titles than their rivals. This makes an interesting change to the Wii U and previous consoles where retro games could be purchased through the virtual store but are now playable for a much cheaper price.
You will be able to play these retro titles online as well and compete with friends such as getting the highest scores in Donkey Kong or Dr. Mario. You can also interfere with your friends retro games when online where you can add a cursor to their game giving them hints or simply congratulating them. Whilst the retro titles are great they do come with a downside as users will have to login to their accounts once a week in order to keep playing the games. This is unfair for those who are travelling or like some of us who forget or are too busy to keep playing the Switch. It’s classic Nintendo to have a new idea which comes with issues. Once games are downloaded on XBOX and Playstation consoles, they are free to play offline which is something Nintendo will need to look into.
You don’t just have the option for NES games with your Switch, you also have the option to purchase two NES Controllers which are joy-cons and slot into the side of the Switch along with being detached for game-play. They look exactly like the original models only they are hands-free and the top of the controller features the Switch locking that joy-cons have. If you going to play old NES titles you might as well do it with some style! These controllers will available for purchase on launch day.
Nintendo has confirmed that any free-to-play games such as Fortnite will not need a Nintendo Online Service subscription for players to be able to play the game online.
The Nintendo Online prices are considerably cheaper than their competitors but obviously Nintendo’s online world isn’t as vast as theirs.
For those of you who play Splatoon 2 and added bonus for buying the 12-month membership is that your Inklings will receive exclusive Nintendo Online clothing. If you’re unsure about purchasing the service there will be a 7 day free trial through the Nintendo eShop on the Switch console which is also where you can buy the service along with on the Nintendo store.
It has been rumoured for a long time but finally Pokémon is coming to the Nintendo Switch in the form of two titles: ‘Let’s Go Pikachu‘ and ‘Let’s Go Eevee‘ which represent the starter Pokémon from Pokémon Yellow. The games which are set to be released November 16th and are being made by Gamefreak, will see players return to Kanto from the first generation of games. However, the games you once knew have been given major updates and a fresh coating of paint.
The new titles which take place in the first generation of the games have a new 3D look and gameplay which looks more like Pokémon GO than the traditional Pokémon style. The majority of the trailer shows players catching Pokémon rather than battling them (although the trailer shows trainer battle glimpses) like you would when playing Pokémon GO. One way of catching the creatures is to detach the joy-con controller from the Switch console and use one of them free hand and incorporate the motion controls to throw a pokéball which makes the experience all the more realistic. Even more so is the addition of the ‘Pokéball Plus’ which is like Pokémon GO’s ‘Plus’ watch but with many more upgrades such as it working as a controller and letting you carry Pikachu or Eevee with you wherever you go like the pokéwalker you got with Heart Gold and Soul Silver.
That’s not the only similarity to the aforementioned games, because once again Pokémon will travel with you outside of the pokéball with certain Pokémon appearing much larger now that they’re in 3D such as Nidoking, Nidoqueen, Electrode and Gengar whom were shown in the trailer. Riding Pokémon appear to be continuing in the games which were introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon where you can use certain Pokémon to travel through terrains and this is shown with Onix, Lapras and Charizard for rock surfaces, water and air travel. Starting with Pikachu or Eevee feels like a major throwback to Yellow and because of another feature to the game I imagine that you will be able to catch the starter Pokémon as well.
The feature I am referencing is the Pokémon GO catching style to which I would assume you can catch Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander in the game as there is a Bulbasaur featured in the trailer. The interesting part to this would be where will these Pokémon be placed because in a shot of Mt. Moon the Pokémon you see inside are the ones you’d expect to find. In Yellow the starters were given to you in different towns…but obviously the gameplay looks to be different. The Pokémon that were seen in Mt. Moon were ones that you could actually see which finally confirmed that roaming Pokémon are in the game (like GO) and the sprites used like really well designed and colourful.
In the image above there are two trainers and this is because grabbing the other joy-con enables a second person to enter the game and that helps with catching Pokémon where there are two pokéballs used. This adds an extra chance of catching Pokémon by the looks of things and two people can battle together against trainers in the game as well…which sets an unfair advantage for Youngster Joey and his top percentage Rattata. This raises the question of how battling and levelling up will work in the game if you don’t catch Pokémon by battling which is sad because that’s one of my favourite aspects of the game but only time will tell. Having two people on the same screen together reminds me of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl where you and a friend could link up and harvest fossils and gems underground (where is our gen 4 remake Nintendo?). From other images the game appears to play out similar to the first games featuring notable landmarks and faces such as Professor Oak, Team Rocket and the all-powerful Mewtwo.
Pokémon GO is definitely a big part in influencing this game (it’s sort of in the name) and it is practically a part of it as well because you can send Pokémon that you have caught on your mobile over to the ‘poké park’ on the Switch games. It is not said whether these will be used in the regular game, but it wouldn’t surprise me after a certain point in the game if you could…maybe a new Safari Zone? This kind of makes me wish I had done more events on Pokémon Go to build a better roster. I assume there will be a way to care for your companions in the park like feeding them berries or brushing them like in Pokémon X and Y. Those titles introduced character customisation and outfits and funnily enough the trailer shows that you can get custom outfits for Pikachu and Eevee which I assume may be limited to just them or certain characters.
The final thing to add is that the trailer finished off by saying we will meet a very special Pokémon in the game or perhaps receive in an event as it looked like it was being opened as a gift received from GO. This could potentially be Mew, a new evolution for Pikachu or Eevee or maybe a generation 8 Pokémon as it is said a new line of games will be out next year.
The announcement has certainly created a lot of excitement with Pokémon trending all over social media and I assume a lot more will be revealed at E3 in a couple of weeks. It looks like this will be one of the most adventurous Pokémon titles with you playing the game on the go and connecting your smart phones to the Switch. Will Pokémon be on different games like Vulpix and Growlithe? How many Pokémon can you hold at one time or will there be a GO carry system? Will there be other generation Pokémon? How many Eeveelutions will there be? Will there be monthly events? Can we trade via the Switch? How are levels and moves based? Will gyms be like raids in GO? Does this dress make Pikachu look fat? Stay tuned for more information here on Wardculture!
You may have missed it yesterday, but Nintendo had a busy day with some big announcements for the company in terms of sales and future prospects for their red cap wearing hero.
First off, just after 10 months of being on the shelves the Nintendo Switch has surpassed the Wii U in sales with a total of 14.86 million consoles being sold. Its predecessor only managed to sell a total of 13.56 million in its five years of shelf life before being discontinued at the beginning of 2017. In the last sales quarter alone the Switch produced sales of 7.23 million devices and in terms of video games, this is how they shape up in sales:
Mario Odyssey: 9.07 million copies sold
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: 7.33 million
The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: 6.70 million
Splatoon 2: 4.91 million
The next big news Nintendo announced yesterday was that they’re going to be making a Super Mario Bros movie which will feature popular characters from the game. The film is going to be made with Illumination (Despicable Me) and isn’t the first time Mario has hit the big screen. In 1993 Bob Hoskins played a live action version of Mario along with John Leguizimo as Luigi and Dennis Hopper as Bowser. The film was not a huge success and may be a reason why we haven’t seen a Nintendo film since. There is no set date for its cinema release but it will most likely be in a minimum of two years.
It’s been a speculation for a while since before its release but, Nintendo confirmed yesterday the month the Nintendo Switch’s online service will be released. It’s going to be in September and a years subscription will be around £20 with options for one-month and three-month subscriptions respectively. The online service will allow players to play with anyone from anywhere in the world and will enable players to have downloadable titles every month like their Xbox and Playstation competitors. This will include classic titles such as Super Mario Bros 3 and Dr. Mario. This looks like the Virtual Console could be happening and then opens up other doors for what is next for the Switch, will we have streaming and video services soon?
Finally, the last piece of exciting Nintendo news is that there will be a Mario Kart game coming to smartphones which will be the next in Nintendo’s steady production of mobile titles. The game is rumoured to be released by March 2019 and will be titled ‘Mario Kart Tour’ with Nintendo stating on Twitter: “The checkered flag has been raised and the finish line is near.” There is no doubt that this will be very popular upon release like the big N’s other mobile titles: Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes. It’ll be interesting to see how the mechanics work for this title and whether Nintendo throw out any peripherals but to have one of the most popular racing titles wherever you are in the world. It looks like another successful year for Nintendo.
So a couple months ago Atari teased that they would be releasing their first console in 24 years since the Jaguar in 1993. This tease has actually turned out to be true and the company is currently working on their new console, the interestingly dubbed ‘Ataribox’ and images of the console were released to give us a look at what the company are hoping to make.
The console has a dark wood/black and red/black finish and gives the impression of an 80’s styled hardware with a modern crisp touch to it, reminiscent of their older models like the 2600. So far no release dates, game confirmations, specs or pricing has been confirmed or mentioned but it is stated that the console will have the best of retro and ‘modern’ content from the brand. Whilst Atari own the brand it is expected that a lot of their classic titles will end up on this console. It does not appear to be a simple ‘plug and play’ machine which has been created by third parties (most notably the Flashback console).
Recently on Steam, Xbox One and PS4 two Atari game packages were released called the ‘Flashback Classics vol. 1/2‘ and this is just some of many in terms of Atari re-releases over the years which have previously been on Steam and older Playstation consoles. There are so many ways of obtaining their back catalogue which features titles such as Pac-Man, Asteroids, Joust, Yars Revenge, Adventure, Centipede, Breakout and Space Invaders that is it really necessary for this console to even exist? Such a thought has drifted around for years as it seemed like another Atari console would never happen and the same could be said for a lot of other companies (one with a blue hedgehog).
This console will favour nicely to retro fans and it will be interesting to see if the console is a disc drive system seeing as the NES & SNES Classic Mini have proven to be popular and are such simple systems with no add-on features. Another interesting fact will be their idea of ‘modern’ games being thrown into the mix…surely this won’t have the most amazing specs and will sit in between console specs over the last few years. Will it merely just license recent Atari titles to its console like Roller Coaster Tycoon? Well it is nice to have everything in one place and the console itself does look aesthetically pleasing to say the least. On the other hand the name will strike a fuse with gamers seeing as the addition on ‘box’ contrasts with ‘Xbox’ but, I feel its to exemplify how a lot of Atari content will be in this machine…maybe it’s a prototype name like ‘NX’.
The console will have HDMI, SD Card and USB inputs which gives me the impression that it will support modern gaming and have updated (to a degree) specifications. The console will also be crowdfunded and I imagine to shovel enough out the company will set themselves a high target. Atari are not just jumping right back into the console game as they are listening to fans and taking a step by step approach to make sure everyone’s feelings on the project are heard.
Stay tuned for further updates on this interesting new retro project!
It appears that many of us were left disappointed at the unfoldings from this year’s supposed ‘biggest gaming event’. E3 has its ups and downs every year as people favour companies to others and some perform better. As a combination those of the ‘big six’ certainly hit the marker more than others. The big six I speak of are Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Bethesda and EA. Last year appeared to be quite a big event with tons of great games announced…so why aren’t we pleased this year?
I will try and give my look on some issues which find us to be clashing over these conferences. Now for one I wasn’t disappointed by everything at the event. In my opinion the company that won E3 for me was Nintendo. You could say I’m quite the Nintendo fanboy and enjoyed what we got last year which happened to be mostly three games (Pokémon: GO, Pokémon: Sun & Moon and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild). However, I favoured Sony’s as we got to see a ton of new games announced. This year Nintendo showed us new games from some of their much loved franchises which were Yoshi, Kirby, Mario and Metroid. These game announcements benefit both of their gaming systems (Switch & 3DS) and a partnership with Ubisoft showed their (Ubisoft’s) conference to be a major improvement on the previous year…less gags and more gameplay.
With my two comparisons of Sony and Nintendo, this year Sony merely showed titles we knew about and didn’t reveal any game release dates for this year. It was nice to see extended gameplay, especially for games such as God of War and Spider-Man, but besides that there wasn’t too much of what we already hadn’t heard of or seen. Should E3 be about showing gameplay from games coming up or about revealing new games? There is a lot of nostalgia pulling at the heart strings and fans are always looking to revisit old titles but at the same time want something new and exciting from the gaming world.
Xbox gave us some expected material for they have less franchises than Sony’s Playstation and we got to see more footage from Rare’s Sea of Thieves with the new additions Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2 along with some unique titles such as Ori & The Will of the Wisps. There were big games like Anthem, Metro: Exodus and Assassins Creed: Origins showcased at the event, but these are cross-over titles and so could have been shown by other companies. Indie title Cuphead from Studio MDHR was finally given a release date (September 28th) and Super Lucky’s Tale which was previously a VR character and reminisces Conker’s Bad Fur Day also caught my attention. There seems to be a big deal that even if the game isn’t by the company, them getting the game trailer out first appears to be vital for Microsoft….maybe Sony doesn’t have much more room? Hype is intended when you hear ‘world exclusive’ said before the pictures come onto the screen, but without hearing ‘Xbox exclusive’ it doesn’t sound as exciting.
Obviously I’m forgetting the big elephant in the room or actually their smallest elephant yet which is the ‘Xbox One X’ (brilliant name). Yes it looks nice and if you’re a film fan you’re getting true 4K which the PS4 Pro cannot output and you also get 6 terraflops of memory storage, but when you’ve not convinced me with new games, how am I going to be interested in this machine? If you like Xbox I am sure this will be appealing and what caught my attention was the original Xbox console’s catalogue going backwards compatible on the Xbox One. Whilst we all want new…old sounds pretty good as well and will definitely push retro sales…and prices. That is where Sony miss out majorly. We like both new and old and yes all of these new games look nice but man we want some cross-play or some PS3 playability without paying out more for subscriptions.
There’s benefits to both consoles but what we didn’t see from Sony where they have the 1-UP on Microsoft is new footage from their VR tech. The Playstation VR is a really nice VR headset and has had some nice games and features so far in almost its first year. It would have been nice to receive some new content but I guess we can always receive that at any point of the year. The same goes for any game announcement. Does it always have to be at E3…can it not advance on a previous announcement?
One part of video games we love and can loathe is sequels to games as we like to further a series but do we get the same amount of new games or new game-types announced? Bethesda gave us Wolfenstein 2 and Evil Within 2, Ubisoft gave us Beyond Good & Evil 2 and EA some more sports titles like Fifa 18. Whether there is the case of longevity between games in a series to be taken into account like BG&E2 or the expected timeline follow up in the Bethesda names – is it all too ‘samey’ or ‘expected’? Just because a game in this series hasn’t been out for years, it doesn’t mean it’ll be good or perhaps we’ll get ourselves too excited and the hype will ruin our expectations. That can be an issue in deciding what to bring out next, especially from a retro perspective but a game like the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy couldn’t have come at a better time or been a better remaster.
Perhaps we are lacking new games, but companies like Nintendo can keep using the same series’ again and again…is that because they got it right the first time? Is it the age difference between them and modern consoles or the game types? The longevity between Metroid games has proven to get folks excited even if it is another Prime game. We do get a lot of the same old genres like shooters and stealth titles – you can give them a new coat of paint and name/lead character but the playability will be similar. People might like that though and kudos to them.
If you’re someone who loves games and doesn’t believe in the consoles wars which is a thought process we should all have you may have less to worry about at such conferences except for the fact you might not see enough gameplay. Nintendo show off lots of gameplay (they have done so for Mario Odyssey) and you get to see all of the different worlds and abilities. Sony however showed small segments from the games but didn’t reveal too much more and then companies like Ubisoft may have just shown a majority of trailers. Obviously for their big games like Far Cry 5 and Assassins Creed: Origins we got gameplay but how much is too much? Some people might not want to see any past a simple launch trailer as they don’t want the game to be spoiled upon launch day. Others might want lots of content to learn more about the game before it is released. It’s a difficult area and no doubt these companies will think about how much and of what they want to show the audience.
It has been rumoured that Xbox and Sony didn’t show us everything they had due to a big factor which is the timeline of showing the game to its release. Phil Spencer, the big dog at Xbox said that the company has signed new games but would not want to show something that might not even be out for three years. Xbox recently cancelled the production on title ‘Scalebound’ and so to create hype now for something that isn’t finished would be a risky move.
We will still have other gaming events throughout the year such as Gamescom where we can still expect to see more content. There’s new ways with the internet and streaming to advertise games (the Nintendo Treehouse as one example) and those are always a nice watch. It spreads out game announcements and we’re treated throughout the year instead of taking in everything at once and proceeding to argue about who was better. With how fast the gaming world is moving with advancements in picture quality, cross-play and virtual reality I’m left with wondering whether we’re even impressed these days and expect too much from companies. If a console can output good graphics, do we deserve them? Are game prices too high? Are we seeing the same game repeated too much? Should companies focus on less games? Endless questions and possibilities my dear Watson.
Let’s just turn everything on its head for a second. Does E3 really do any good for the gaming world?
Are we not giving too much attention to one moment of the year and giving too much pressure onto game designers and companies? As video games are in no way a similar environment to what they were 20-25 years ago, are we looking at video games in the right way? They are a means of profit and E3 has definitely been a key player in carrying on profits in the gaming sphere for the next few months. A lot of material seems rushed and time and effort is wasted due to commercialism. There will always be deadlines but E3 is a bit like a toy at Christmas and everyone wants their big thing to be in everyone’s homes. What has saved video games recently has been indie titles because their breakaway from big name companies has brought some notable titles which may be influenced from better days but also made retro the norm again. Games such as Super Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac: ReBirth, Braid, Rogue Legacy, Fez, Owlboy, Limbo and many more have turned the focus away from big names and most will find themselves on most platforms after a couple years. There are still some credible games out there!
E3 is still a special place in the gaming world. How companies choose to stage their conferences is up to them and we do get a nice mix: EA in London and Los Angeles, Nintendo in their private conference and the others doing big rooms (and less jokes and bad presenting from Ubisoft this year made it one of the best). Sony adds a nice visual touch and Microsoft keeps it straightforward and tries a realistic approach and all are welcomed by audiences. We argue who has the better console and even though a lot of games from this year’s E3 will not be out this year we still have a lot to look forward to. No doubt we will see The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding shown later on in the year by Sony…
I wrote a piece back in April after I had first heard the rumour of there being the ‘SNES Classic Mini’ console which would follow on from the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) console from last year. Well the console is legitimate and will be released September 29th in the UK.
The consoles will feature 21 games including a title that was never released on a physical format in Britain: Starfox 2 which is very exciting. A lot of the other games you can buy on the Wii U eShop but some big names include Earthbound and Secret of Mana. All of your expected faces are there including Mario, Donkey Kong, Link, Yoshi, Kirby and Samus which were all pretty much expected. Even myself gave a list in my other story where 14 of the games I proposed ended up being correct.
The NES Mini had 30 games and also retailed at £49.99 whereas the SNES Mini has only 21 games and will cost between £69.99-£79.99 due to high retail demand. No doubt this will be hackable again but the comaprison is sad because surely some games like Pilotwings, Chrono Trigger and Super Tennis could have made it onto the console? Or even the sequel Donkey Kong and Mega Man X games? I could list other games like Turtles in Time but there’s obvious copyright restraints that stop certain titles reaching the console. Sure it is 16bit but does that mean the console has to cost more? Once again there is a limited supply and it’s a worry Nintendo will not supply enough machines even though the demand will surely be even higher this time. Some of the original cartridges for these games cost £50 minimum and people really want to play these titles.
One of the issues with the previous machine was the controllers and I hope they’ve made the length longer but I’m not crossing my fingers for anything amazing. The inputs before were different as well so you couldn’t just plug in an old NES controller…oh no you would have to spend more on add ons…I hope I can use my SNES or third-party equivalents. It is rumoured that the console will be fitted with two controllers which means for games like Super Mario Kart and Kirby’s Dream Course you will be able to get playing straight away with a friend who doesn’t have the console and means you will not have to fork out another £40 for a controller.
The SNES had some great games and I’m looking forward to playing them again in a whole new way. I’m disappointed by many factors I have outlined but it is nice to see retro gaming get the love it deserves in the modern day. Let’s just hope for more consoles and less scalpers which ruin everything good about gaming.
At the end of the day there is still the possibility of purchasing the original consoles or purchasing a retron combo replica, but for those on a budget or want to try these games out for the first time this is a great way to do so.
I wouldn’t have even minded some more fighting games…