So What Is The Point of It All?!

There often comes a time when silence is just as much the enemy of progress as direct opposition. In the consumer electronics industry, there has virtually always been a steady push for progressive movement. The times of being satisfied with what is currently “state of the art” are already obsolete. It’s about keeping it moving!

So, as you may or may not be aware, Nintendo is a video game company that has always prided themselves on creating unique and exceptional experiences for their customers. Whether it was finding new ways to ensure patrons were able to have satisfying and fun experiences on their arcade machines, or giving people the closest thing to arcade experiences in the home, or innovating the ways in which we interact with our games, Nintendo has always striven to do the next new thing to make video games fun for every player.

a_1That very desire has driven the company to their current position, on the verge of releasing their seventh mainline dedicated home console device, the Nintendo Switch. October 2016 finally saw the reveal trailer hit the mainstream, and it certainly served its purpose immensely, giving a highly sufficient understanding of what the console would be bringing to the market. January 12, 2017 saw the full Nintendo Switch Presentation, which delivered a deluge of information, from hardware-specific details that we did not yet know, to brand-new game titles that will soon be available for us to get our hands on. Much of what the company needed to share in order for people to make an informed decision on whether to purchase the console, and when was delivered, plus some!

So that leads us to the question at hand: What is the point of it all? What is the point of much of the current discussion going around the gaming community? Youtubers making videos with the leading question, “Is the Nintendo Switch ‘worth it’?” or just generally trying to “anticipate” the “biggest problems” with the console! Gaming “journalists” freely jumping at the chance to play devil’s advocate! Gaming industry financial analysts watching the Japanese stock market more than the pre-orders selling out at retail and online! On a couple occasions now, I have somewhat addressed some things close to this, but this particular post is dedicated to this entire topic, so enjoy…

So, as it goes, for the last several years, Nintendo Switch Preview Eventthe President of Nintendo of America, Reggie Fils-Aime, has stated on many occasions when asked about competing against Sony and Microsoft, that Nintendo is not “trying to compete” with those two companies. However, even though many of the outlets that report on every single interview that Reggie gives, and have printed that same quote on many occasions, they still do podcasts or write articles that constantly espouse the comparisons, and cite their dismay that Nintendo can’t possibly “compete” against Sony and Microsoft with this particular hardware because…reasons! Spinning that constant narrative serves a purpose (and I’ll get to that soon)!

Some time back (likely during the Wii/DS era) the chic thing to talk about was “more power” in consoles; at least that was the case for many of the new-type gamers that didn’t grow up playing games on the Atari 2600, and in the arcades. The ones that feel it is necessary to justify their desire to play games as they get older. One funny thing about certain personalities is their inherent desire to become defensive, prematurely. Long before they are offended, they find a reason to be defensive about it. So, back to the power argument. On the surface it seems that that argument is legitimate, until you really look at the impact of an arms race just for the sake of it. The video game industry is an entity that has been around more than 40 years, first in arcades then in the home and beyond. As with most any industry, video games have seen ebbs and flows in their viability, and even showing signs of volatility at times. Historians and lay observers, alike, have varying reasons for the volatile periods, but one such reason that many fail to acknowledge is the arms race that is often orchestrated and pushed by interests that do not see beyond the financial numbers.

“Not surprisingly, the success of our industry, and the profit-margin for hit games, has again drawn big attention from larger entertainment companies. But, we may not be compatible.”
~Satoru Iwata
Keynote, Game Developers Conference
March, 2005

The above quote from Iwata-san speaks volumes when you understand what happens in this scenario. Here is what happens. We as gamers ultimately want the same thing, no matter which company holds your most allegiance, we all want to enjoy great game experiences. Bottom line! So, we are clear, however, the scenario that Iwata-san mentions (which he says is happening “again”–so it’s happened before, mind you) offers different voices; voices that ultimately do not represent those of the consumers/fans. Here is what I mean, publicly traded companies have their retail customers to satisfy, but they also have another primary level of “customers” to satisfy called share holders, and ultimately, they b_1are the more powerful, vocal minority. So, as gamers are clamoring for new iterations of their most beloved franchise to come around again, shareholders are looking for their next BIG payday. Sometimes those interests can coincide, but they usually do not. Who wins there, the powerful, vocal minority, of course. So, back to the “power argument”. As these vocal interests push the video game companies to do what will make the most money for them, you find developers saying we need these hardware devices to be more powerful because we want to be able to realize our vision. You have console manufacturers saying we need to make our device the most powerful, so that it can not only be the most attractive to consumers, but will also be the most future-proof. We also have the segment of the gamers who believe they have to have the most powerful device on the market, because it will ultimately yield the best experiences.

Hole-punch time!

As the game developers have clamored for more power, they have gotten it almost exponentially from Sony and Microsoft. Optimization is the clearest measure of whether these developers are utilizing that power. However, full optimization of a console and all it has to offer, especially power, takes considerable time, and that means several years. Those years certainly have not passed on the current cycle for Sony or Microsoft, yet there seems to be a consensus effort to move on already. If games have not yet been optimized (not even close), then the current push for more power is not necessary, after all.

Console manufacturers have pushed the idea that power increase is the major key to advancing to a new generation. However, pushing for more power simply bottlenecks progress into one set parameter, thus oversimplifying what progress is/should be. So, as Sony and Microsoft are trying to out-power each other, who is left to truly advance what it means to play video games? Nintendo is, of course!

Now, for these gamers, many of whom have bought into the argument given by the above-mentioned developers, believe that power is the meaning of moving gaming to the next level, and that’s not entirely true. The argument has been posed by several people who believe that Nintendo is “doing it again with an ‘under-powered’ console” in the Nintendo Switch. The problem with that sentiment is the question, “under-powered according to whom?” Do you mean “under-powered” compared to the PS4 (Pro) or XBox One (“Scorpio”)? Those systems are not being optimized as is, so is the amount of “power” in them even necessary currently? The developers bringing games to those systems are having far too much difficulty taking meaningful advantage of either of those systems for me to take their word as gospel, at this point. I am not saying there aren’t any good games there, but the amount of “power” they feel is lacking but necessary in the Nintendo Switch (which, by the way, because of different architecture, cannot be viewed through the same lens as the other two console for comparison to determine viability) is truly a fallacy, in my view. How do they knowgslm319v-f1p6vj9_u9lhmddmtflprzs they can’t do something that they have not tried, honestly? So, for gamers to react simply based on the bias of a few ill-informed developers, is a disservice to them as gamers. But beyond getting their ideas from developers, there are yet other gamers who look to seize upon the opportunity to express their displeasure with Nintendo’s newest console solely based on their own dislike of the company. No matter what they do, it’s always wrong. The thing is, if the Nintendo Switch just does not appeal to you, there is a simpler solution to that issue than the one that many are choosing to employ…just don’t buy it! There is no reason for you as an independent-thinking individual to spend your (I assume) hard-earned money on a console that just does not appeal to you. If you are, in actuality, not really a fan of Nintendo games, it is completely not necessary for you to purchase a Nintendo Switch, at launch, or any other time. Thing is, it’s also equally unnecessary to rail against the console for what you perceive to be slights, when you were not even getting the system in the first place.

Just as there are games that are made that are not for everyone, there are game systems that fall into that category, as well. That’s why it strikes me as odd and disingenuous when some people feel it’s necessary to justify their counter-productive behavior toward Nintendo hardware (Nintendo Switch and earlier), yet profess to be fans of Nintendo, at the same time. “Nintendo needs to do this to get me back,” or “Nintendo just abandoned me; I grew up, but Nintendo never did.” And the most egregious of offenses by this type of gamer is the one that somehow feels that Nintendo “needs” all of these 3rd Party Developers to support the Nintendo Switch (in this instance). The thing is, Nintendo has a good number of 3rd Party Developer partners supporting the console, already, and others keeping a close eye on it. What many of the critics mean, though, is they want to see more Western 3rd Party Dev support, which is, quite honestly, a bit over-rated.Would it be nice to have a healthy amount of variety with those games, sure, but Western 3rd Party Developers have a lot of bad habits that don’t always translate well on Nintendo platforms. In other words, porting older games to a new system is not the best strategy if you are serious about the sales numbers. Also, treating the games you do bring to Nintendo systems as if you don’t truly care about them, by stripping content, and features…but still charging full-prices, doesn’t quite work well, either.

“Core gamers have a huge appetite for challenge. Casual gamers want less difficulty. At Nintendo, we believe it is our responsibility to make games for all skill levels, and most definitely that includes people who are not playing our games now.”
~Satoru Iwata
Keynote, Game Developers Conference
March, 2005

So, as Nintendo has done many times over the years, they have pivoted their focus slightly with their target demographic on several key franchises for the Nintendo Switch. In generations past, titles such as Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda have taken on different roles in regards to attracting player, old and new. It is plain to see that the desire by the dev teams behind The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have not only readdressed the conventions of the series, but have also focused the game play on mechanics that will lend themselves to more “core gamers”. Sure, there are some confirmed games that will offer easier entry levels for less experience gamers who may just be finding their way into gaming, but even with those, as always, Nintendo will still offer deeper, richer experiences for the gamers looking for that.

Bottom line, the Nintendo Switch is going to be an amazing new console for the people who are looking for that type of experience, and specs will not dictate that, neither will graphics. Power certainly won’t be the answer! It will all come down to the gaming experiences that player have that will determine the console’s viability in the marketplace! One of the silliest things that I see constantly in the community is the hollow competition between gamers, in which they believe they have to defeat other gamers on different consoles to have the “best” one. Like what you like, and will absolutely do the same!

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

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Lots and Lots of Fire Emblem On the Way

The history of the Fire Emblem franchise is a little newer in the West than it truly exists for Nintendo. That, however, is a trend that is quickly changing for the better, as the series has seen steady, if not exponential, growth via their latest iterations. Nintendo held a Fire Emblem series-focused Nintendo Direct late Wednesday afternoon. During the Direct, we found out about several new Fire Emblem games coming out on varying platforms over the next year or so.

For the next few months and years, we will be seeing a steady release of Fire Emblem content. Take a look at the Nintendo Direct below:

fire-emblem-echoes-box-artAs you can see, the first thing that was announced during the Direct was Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. This new game is inspired by the second ever released Fire Emblem game from Japan, entitled Fire Emblem Gaiden, which was released originally in 1992. Shadows of Valentia is set to be a Nintendo 3DS family of systems release on May 19. Alongside the game will be the release of two new amiibo, Alm and Celica, who are the two protagonists of the new game.

The next game that was announced was the new Fire Emblem for the Nintendo Switch. No name has been determined yet, so it’s still under a working title, at the moment. This new game for Nintendo Switch is planned for release some time in 2018.

The one console iteration that we were fire-emblem-warriorssomewhat familiar with from the Nintendo Switch Presentation last week, entitled Fire Emblem Warriors, got a little more footage and is also being developed for both the New Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL. It is scheduled for release in Fall 2017 on both systems.

Then the last thing that was announced was the new Fire Emblem smartphone game that we briefly learned of before, but now we were able to see quite a bit more. The name of this new game is Fire Emblem Heroes, and it is being billed as a strategic RPG, so be sure to prepare properly. Fire Emblem Heroes will be available on both iOS and Android devices. Interestingly, there was a bit of confusion as the trailer for the game only listed a release date for Android devices on February 2, and “soon” on iOS devices. However, follow-up tweets from both Nintendo of Japan and North America showed the release for both platforms on the 2nd.

Nintendo is looking for fans to get involved early with the game, even prior to release by participating in a marketing promotion centered around choosing their favorite characters across all of the games in the series. The winning characters will be featured in Fire Emblem Heroes as special versions.

So, as the new year gets started, Nintendo is already into full swing promoting and marketing their products, hardware and software, and again, this is a truly exciting time to be a Nintendo fan. There are a lot of new experiences coming from the company, and they look to be arriving at an accelerated pace. The beauty of the matter is, we fans have definitely been waiting for them. I’m excited to see what comes next.

Did you watch the Nintendo Direct live? Which game are you most looking forward to playing?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

A New Fire Emblem Nintendo Direct Set for Today

In case you missed it, in all of the recent Nintendo news coming out of the Nintendo Switch Presentation/events, the company has scheduled a new Nintendo Direct for today. The Direct will be focusing on the Fire Emblem series.

As we have been aware for some time, the company is positioning to release a Fire Emblem smartphone game. We were also made aware of a new Fire Emblem Warriors game coming to the Nintendo Switch at some point soon.

From the announcement, the company shares that the Direct will focus on “Fire Emblem titles”, so this should really be exciting. I am not sure, yet, how long the Direct will be, but seeing that we had a full hour-long event less than a week ago, I imagine it won’t be terribly long. I do however, expect it to be a good amount of great information.

Will you be tuning in for the Nintendo Direct? What do you expect to see from the company regarding the Fire Emblem series? When do you think we will see the smartphone game release?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

Let’s Talk About These Games…Launch and Beyond!

The Nintendo Switch Presentation has finally come and gone, and Nintendo’s newest home console that can be taken on-the-go appears to be massively popular and an amazing piece of hardware. For a little more detail on the hardware, feel free to check my previous post. For some time now, Nintendo has reiterated that the most important factor in the success of any hardware’s viability is its software offerings, both at launch and ongoing. For that reason, Nintendo has put several actions into place to ensure the Nintendo Switch has a robust software library throughout the entire first year, regardless of the additional support from various developers outside the company.

One of the most advantageous things about Nintendo as a hardware maker is the fact that they are also a software developer/publisher, as well. With several internal studios, and long-standing partnerships, Nintendo is positioned to deliver a massive amount of gaming experiences for the new console. Already sharing during the Nintendo Switch Presentation that there are more than 80 titles in the works for the console currently, there will surely be an abundance of different games coming to the system in a very short period of time.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Prepare for the biggest Legend of Zelda adventure yet, with an open-air style that breaks new boundaries while honoring the origins of the acclaimed series. Explore a world of unprecedented size and discover more than 100 puzzle-filled Shrines of Trials, plus a wide variety of weapons, outfits and gear. Players won’t want to stop playing, and they won’t have to since Nintendo Switch allows them to continue the adventure anywhere, anytime.

1-2-Switch: This is the first Nintendo video game in which players compete in fun activities while staring into each other’s eyes instead of at the TV screen. From Wild West gunslinging to copying each other’s dance moves, the games in 1-2-Switch make creative use of a broad variety of Nintendo Switch features to liven up parties with anyone, anywhere, at any time. 1-2-Switch will be available alongside the Nintendo Switch system on its launch day in March.

ARMS: Featuring a unique multiplayer fighting sport that lets players trade blows using extendable arms, this game includes elements of both boxing and shooting games, plus a new cast of characters. After customizing a character with a variety of arms, the player holds one Joy-Con in each hand and throws left and right punches at the opponent. Characters can jump and dash, and players can bend their punches by twisting their hands as they swing. As players learn the game and improve their skills, they will discover a deeper level of advanced tactics. Players can compete against the computer, against a friend on a split screen using a second set of Joy-Con (sold separately), against worldwide rivals online, or with two Nintendo Switch systems over a local wireless connection. ARMS will be available this Spring.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: With Nintendo Switch, fans can enjoy the definitive version of Mario Kart 8 anywhere, anytime, even with up to eight friends in local wireless multiplayer. All your favorite tracks and characters return from the Wii U version, plus all DLC tracks and characters, and new characters join the roster, too: Inkling Girl and Inkling Boy from Splatoon, as well as King Boo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr.! Plus, Battle mode has been revamped and includes Balloon Battle and Bob-omb Blast, with new courses such as Urchin Underpass and Battle Stadium, and returning ones like GCN Luigi’s Mansion and SNES Battle Course 1. Players can now carry two items at a time, including new items returning from previous Mario Kart games such as Boo (the item-stealing ghost) and the Feather, which gives players a high jump in Battle mode. Players can even choose to use a new Smart Steering feature, which makes driving and staying on the track easy for novice players and kids, even at 200cc. Play in TV mode in up to 1080p. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches in April.

Splatoon 2: Traditional 4-on-4 turf battles return in this full sequel to the original breakout hit game, along with new stages, new fashions and new weapons such as the two-handed Splat Dualies. Players can compete on the TV or on the go. Whether they use the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (sold separately) or Joy-Con, players can aim their ink using gyro controls. Splatoon 2 supports both local and online multiplayer matches. The game will also support voice chat using the new Nintendo Switch smart device app (a free, limited version of the app will be available this summer), and will add new stages, fashions and weapons after launch, as the original game did. Splatoon 2 is scheduled to launch this summer.

Super Mario Odyssey: This is the first sandbox game that allows Mario to fully explore his world since Super Mario 64 on Nintendo 64 and Super Mario Sunshine on Nintendo GameCube. Mario jumps out of the Mushroom Kingdom and embarks on a journey through mysterious new places and new experiences, such as sailing between worlds aboard an airship and the ability to throw Mario’s cap. Super Mario Odyssey is scheduled to launch during the 2017 holiday season.

Snipperclips – Cut it out, together!: In this creative new kind of Action-Puzzle game, players communicate, cooperate and use their imaginations to solve basic and advanced puzzles by cutting paper characters into new shapes. People can play solo or with a friend in the main game, then bring in a bigger group to solve up to four-player dynamic puzzles or compete in other activities. Snipperclips – Cut it out, together! will release in March exclusively in Nintendo eShop.

A few other games nintendo-switch-launch-lineupwere shown off, during
the presentation, as well. Games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Super Bomberman R, Puyo Puyo Tetris, and Sonic Mania to name a few. Aside from these games, several others were confirmed shortly after the conclusion of the presentation, they were just not featured during the event. Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime also confirmed during a follow-up interview that even more games will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

After the Nintendo Switch Presentation on Thursday evening, the Nintendo Treehouse Live event showed some in-depth footage and gameplay of many of the above titles, making the case for the Nintendo Switch launch lineup. The best part of the matter is also the fact that there are still more games yet to be announced that will be coming soon to the console.

So now, let’s get into some of the chatter that has been generated since the reveal and confirmation of the some of the games that are coming to the Nintendo Switch in its first several weeks and months. As we currently know, the launch day offerings on the new console are the greatly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Bomberman R, 1 2 Switch, Just Dance 2017, and Skylanders: Imaginators. One thing that seems to go through cycles in the gaming community’s consciousness is the fact that one detriment to the unquestionable fact that Nintendo has some the most powerful IP in the industry. The company can release a new iteration of one of their games, and it will enjoy an historic release without question (see Fire Emblem, Mario Kart, Pokémon, etc.). For that reason, a launch game like BotW is truly considered a “system-seller”, and doesn’t need a lot of other games muddying the waters, so to speak.To then have very interesting games following shortly thereafter, allows the launch games room to breathe, and also give the earliest of adopters the chance to continue to expand their fledgling libraries. I think one of the things that gets over-exaggerated in the gaming-sphere is the idea of “system-sellers”. Watching a particular video earlier detailing impressions of the Nintendo Switch after hands-on time with the system, the thought was expressed that a certain game was not going to be a system-seller. The critique was not that the game was not fun, or would not be enjoyable, just that it would not be a system-seller! Since when does every game have to fit into that category? That would be the equivalent of a film critic simply stating that a particular movie would not win an Oscar as Feature of the Year. That statement bears zero relevance as to whether the movie is a good movie, let alone whether a game is good or not.

Ultimately, Nintendo is in the business of putting smiles on the faces of everyone they contact. That is literally the company’s mission! They do that by creating different experiences through their various iconic Intellectual Property. The main pillar of business for the company, for the past few decades, is video games, of course. Putting smiles on the faces of new and old gamers, alike, is exactly what the company intends to do with the Nintendo Switch. Their aim is not to impress people by boasting about the technical specifications of the system. Despite the fact that the Nintendo Switch is indeed an incredible feat of engineering, which will allow players to experience the best of gaming either at home or on-the-go, the company’s message is focused squarely on the amount of fun that gamers will have. That is why several hands-on events took place immediately after the Nintendo Switch Presentation, as well as going forward in the coming weeks leading up to the release of the console on March 3.

Which games are you most anticipating for the Nintendo Switch? Do you “worry” about the number of announced games at launch for the system? Will you be getting the Nintendo Switch at launch?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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Nintendo Presents the Nintendo Switch to the World

Thursday evening, January 12, Nintendo streamed their Nintendo Switch Presentation, which finally took the cover off the next dedicated home console, and that presentation was overflowing with information. Finally able to move away from rumors and conjecture, we can now see exactly what the console is able to do, as well as quite a few games that will be coming to the system. I do plan to go more in-depth on my thoughts and impressions regarding the overall unveiling, which includes the Nintendo Switch Presentation and the Treehouse Live event, but for now, we will simply take a look at what was actually shown during the presentation.

Right away the company answered two of the most burning questions regarding the console, and that was price and launch date. The Nintendo Switch will be launching on March 3, 2017 globally and the price (for North America) will be $299.99.

The system will include the main console, Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R) controllers, a Joy-Con grip (to which two Joy-Con are attached and used as one controller), a set of Joy-Con wrist straps, a Nintendo Switch dock (which holds the main console and connects it to a TV), an HDMI cable and an AC adapter. Two stylish versions of the system will be released: a version with a set of gray Joy-Con, and a version with one neon blue and one neon red Joy-Con. Both versions will be the same price.

As we learned back in October when Nintendo revealed the console through a 3:30 trailer, the heart of the console is the tablet that can actually be taken on-the-go. Now, we have confirmation that the tablet is indeed a 6.2-inch screen, with 720p resolution, displaying beautiful images for amazing game play.

Nintendo Switch is a breakthrough home video game system. It not only connects to a TV at home, but it also instantly transforms into an on-the-go handheld using its 6.2-inch screen. For the first time, players can enjoy a full home-console experience anytime, anywhere. The screen includes capacitive multi-touch capabilities for compatible games. Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge. While away from home, Nintendo Switch can be charged by plugging the AC adapter into the console’s USB Type-C connector.

What seemed to be inconsequential accessories to the Nintendo Switch gaming experience to some, however, turned out to be the hidden pieces to the puzzle that many people expected to find out from Nintendo. The removable controllers on either side of the console when in portable mode, the Joy-Con, are the keys to several hidden features and surprises.

The versatile Joy-Con offer multiple surprising new ways for players to have fun. Two Joy-Con can be used independently in each hand, or together as one game controller when attached to the Joy-Con grip. They can also attach to the main console for use in handheld mode, or be shared with friends to enjoy two-player action in supported games. Each Joy-Con has a full set of buttons and can act as a standalone controller, and each includes an accelerometer and gyro-sensor, making independent left and right motion control possible.

Nintendo Switch also contains a number of built-in features that make it more interactive. The left Joy-Con has a Capture Button that players can press to take instant screenshots of gameplay to share with friends on social media. The right Joy-Con includes an NFC touchpoint for interaction with amiibo figures, as well as an IR Motion Camera that can detect the distance, shape and motion of nearby objects in specially designed games. For example, it can tell how far away a player’s hand is, and even if the hand is forming a rock, paper or scissors shape. Both Joy-Con include advanced HD Rumble, which can provide compatible games with subtle vibrations that are much more realistic than before. The effect is so detailed that a player could, for example, feel the sensation of individual ice cubes colliding inside a glass when shaking a Joy-Con. With HD Rumble players can experience a level of realism not possible through sights and sounds alone.

It is incredible finally getting to see the next step in Nintendo evolution, as the Nintendo Switch marks a new phase in the company’s life cycle. With so many different initiatives and projects being implemented by the company, making sure the Nintendo Switch gets off to a glorious start. Among those changes, Nintendo has also been working to improve their online experience with the Nintendo Switch, as well.

Nintendo Switch makes it easy for players to stay connected. Up to eight systems can be connected for local wireless play. The player can place the system upright anywhere by using the built-in stand, then easily share Joy-Con for multiplayer fun away from the TV. The system will support online Wi-Fi multiplayer gaming. Nintendo also unveiled a new online subscription service that will begin with a free trial at launch. The service includes a smart-device application available in Summer 2017 that will let users invite friends to play online, set play appointments and chat with one another as they play compatible games. The fully featured paid service will be available in the fall.

Nintendo has taken a unique approach to Parental Controls with their new system, as well. It appears they are fully embracing the use of mobile app integration. Along with the Parental Controls, their online features will be similarly using a mobile app, too.

Take a look at the breakdown of the company’s new online services available with the Nintendo Switch.

nintendo-switch-online-services

A good majority of my impressions were made by the software that was shown off. It will be amazing to dive even further into the new games that will soon be available. I look forward to getting into the games that were shown (and not shown), so be on the lookout for that post soon. For now, I will leave this post on this note: Nintendo has finally given us the details we have wanted to know ever since late President of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, shared the fact that Nintendo was indeed hard at work creating their next dedicated gaming system, code-named “NX”. Now, the Nintendo Switch is about a month and a half away from launch, and the excitement is real! Some of the most amazing gaming experiences are only weeks away from mass existence, and the time cannot pass quickly enough, before it’s time to play.

How excited are you to experience the Nintendo Switch? Will you be pre-ordering the system? What did you like best about the Nintendo Switch Presentation?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


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Nintendo Switch Day Has Finally Arrived!

00000440_820_461The day that many Nintendo fans have been waiting for for months (even years) has finally come. Today is Nintendo Switch Day–the day that Nintendo finally unveils their newest dedicated home console and much more. Last October, the company shared the reveal trailer with the world and it was received remarkably well. Later we learned about today’s event, and we can breathe a long-waited sigh of relief to know that we made it here.

Over the last few months, weeks, and days, the rumor/leaks generator has been overheating…spewing all kinds of information about the Nintendo Switch, whether true, false, or imagined, the stuff kept coming. It’s easy to see how some people grew weary of the information overload, especially since none of it was able to be confirmed by Nintendo, themselves. Now, though, we will get to see what the company has in-store for their fan base/customers and there is so much to be excited about in anticipation.

I have a few things that I do hope to see,nintendo-switch-treehouse-live “expect” to see, but mostly cannot wait to see. In addition to the live Nintendo Switch Presentation later tonight, January 12, at 11pm EST, there will be the Treehouse Live event tomorrow, showing so much in-depth game play from the games that we will see for the first time tonight.

gliding-in-botwSince I began this site, I have purposely avoided too many of the rumors, and speculation that always seems to take on a life of their own. With the mad flurry of such information in this recent climate, I not only avoided spreading the rumors, but I also wanted to refrain from even participating in the sharing of my predictions, or even wishlists. I will however begin doing some things to bring more content soon, as we are finally going to see the most comprehensive details about the Nintendo Switch, and most things will be able to carry more legitimacy again. Great times are certainly on the way.

So, what new are features of the Nintendo Switch are you looking to see announced tonight? Which games do you expect to see? Which is your most anticipated for release? How many surprises do you think Nintendo will give us? Will you be watching live?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep on gaming!!

Can Your Teraflops Play My Teraflops, Tho?!

As the year 2016 wound down and the anticipation of the New Year 2017 built up, the excitement of what will be new in gaming was palpable. The Nintendo Switch is soon to have its live presentation within days, then will be available for fans to enjoy just a couple months later. It will be amazing for Nintendo fans beginning in just half a week.

NX Secrets for a ReasonWith the coming of the newest system from Nintendo, the environment has seen the ushering in of more and more rumor mill occupants and worse yet so many spec-heads who focus more on new system specs than new games. As the Nintendo Switch was revealed and we were finally able to cease calling it the ‘NX’, the excitement was nearly unimaginable, especially seeing how the community seemed to be nearing exhaustion on anything ‘NX’, specifically, and Nintendo, in general. The reveal video, though, saw a complete uptick in excitement for what Nintendo would be bringing to the market in March 2017.

For game fans, the launch of a new console is an exciting time, especially when it’s from your favorite company. So the current environment is electric for me. There are countless new games and experiences ready to be had with Nintendo’s new console. The possibilities are endless, for sure!

One unfortunate side effect that comes along with the launch of new and unknown contemporary hardware is the race to figure out what is “under the hood”. There is this burning desire for some to pick apart and decipher what the console’s specifications are. In my earlier days of gaming the most concern we had for specifications were 8-bit, 16-bit, and an eye-popping 64-bits. Somewhere after that, though, gamers bought into the “arms race”, and many publishers began to talk more about hardware specs than the much more difficult to measure “fun factor”. How much fun is this game? Forget that, how many shaders? What’s the processor speed? Our new engine, this; how scalable, that? So, now, instead of selling gamers on how fun their new gaming system is, they’ve trained the gamers to worry more about how many teraflops are on-board, and how the game is going to “take advantage” of them. It’s difficult to reconcile that paradigm for me, though. I can’t quite accept that mindset, because I don’t play games to watch them play themselves, or to minimally participate in the activity. Pretty pictures are fine, but if I’m not able to do much more than watch cinematics, then press a single button to get to the next one for the majority of a game’s play-through, I am not very interested in that. Some people find that okay, and I’m not here to judge because I know, “to each their own”, but I also know that is not for me.

With the coming Nintendo Switch, there nx_hardwareare quite a few outlets, “analysts” and on-lookers who are claiming to not only have the final specs of the Nintendo Switch, but they are also breaking down what those numbers mean in comparison to the other consoles on the market. Obviously, there are quite a few flaws in that approach as first, no specs have been confirmed as final by the company who created the system from scratch; second, the way in which systems use hardware in their processes is not universal; and third, have we not seen a single game developer optimize this new hardware (obviously), let alone the other consoles of comparison.

So, why the rush to be disappointed months in advance? I will tell you my theory on that now! In many cases it’s called disingenuous indignation. People are feigning upset, but in actuality are not upset, at all! In fact, many of them are only acting, just as many of them only pretended to be excited initially when the console was announced/revealed. Think of this, since Nintendo shared the reveal trailer and a few interviews afterward, then later said they would not be sharing anymore information until January 12, what have they shared that was different information than earlier? Nothing at all! Reggie Fils-Aime has been seen, Shigeru Miyamoto has spoken here and there, and even Tatsumi Kimishima has given a few interviews and an Investor Briefing, but again Nintendo has remained steadfast in what they said initially. So as nothing else has changed, why the change of heart? I say, there wasn’t one at all. The company didn’t do anything to suddenly disappoint these people, it’s simply negativity buy-in. It is much easier to buy into a preconceived negative image than to embrace what could (and likely will) be another great console from Nintendo.

img_0410Bottom line though, why does it even matter what the company is putting into the console, when we already know that the games will be, by and large, the most enjoyable experiences over these next several years? We will soon be able to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on both the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch, and that game has been nominated as the most anticipated game of 2015, 2016 and now 2017! People want to play the game, and anyone who is honest with themselves will say it doesn’t matter what kind of system the game is on; if it is playable, enjoyable and well worth the wait, it will be welcomed! So why does it matter how many teraflops my system has versus your system? Can your teraflops play mine? If the answer is no and I’m over here having fun, then it is of no consequence to you! If my teraflops are being used fully and yours are not, then I’m obviously getting much more value of my teraflops than you with yours! Now if all things are equal and my experiences are incredible and so are yours, then what is there to argue about, anyway?

How will you be gaming when the Nintendo Switch comes out? Do you anticipate picking up one early? Will you get one, at all? Do you believe console prowess is as important as many profess it to be?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!