Gaming

8 new facts about the Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo’s cool new console was announced back in October, but most of the juicy info was kept under wraps; that ends now.

The brains behind the Switch took the stage earlier today to make lots of important announcements for the tablet-like console that can be docked and connected to a television, or taken with you wherever you go with its detachable controllers.

Unless you watched the whole event and took down notes, it’s tough to keep track of everything. We’ll make things easier for you with some of the more interesting points:

It won’t be region-locked

Something all gamers frown upon is region-locking; this means you can only play games from the same region where your console was bought (e.g., Japanese games on a Japanese console, US games on a US console). That won’t apply to the Switch, so you can buy games from anywhere in the world without worrying about it not working on your unit.

Online play will be free, for now

Until fall of 2017 (end of September), playing online with the Switch will be free, and then you’ll have to pay for a monthly subscription to continue the service. The good news is you’ll get a free classic NES or SNES game each month. Which ones exactly, we’re not sure yet.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title

Zelda fans, rejoice! The latest installment in the long-time series will launch along with the console. It’s been the go-to game during promotional demos for the Switch, and it looks fantastic so far.

Super Mario Odyssey is its first Mario game

No Nintendo console is complete without a Mario game. The open-world Super Mario Odyssey is its first, and it’s a lot like Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64. Expect it to hit stores in time for the holiday season at the end of 2017.

The tablet part will last a decent amount of time

Everyone’s worry about the detachable part of the console is its battery life. According to Nintendo, the tablet should last more than six hours on a single charge. But that’s for light gaming; titles like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will run for only three hours before needing a recharge through the USB Type-C port — same as what your smartphone probably uses.

The tablet’s specs are good enough

Like any modern-day slate, the display’s pixel resolution is vital for sharp visuals. For the Switch’s case, its tablet has a resolution of 1280 x 720 on its 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen. Not so great, but needed to maintain a lengthy battery life. It also has 32GB of built-in storage that may be expanded using a microSD card.

Joy-Con controllers will be expensive

Although you get a pair of Joy-Con controllers in the package, buying extra sets will cost you a pretty penny. A new pair will cost $80, and buying only one of the two will set you back $50. Their charging grip costs only $30, and the Pro version of the controller retails for $70.

In exchange for the high prices, the controllers offer lots of features, such as motion detection, object detection, and advanced vibration feedback, plus two sets of colors to choose from: neon red and neon blue, or plain gray.

The Switch will retail for $300 and ship soon

For all the goodies you get in the box, $300 is a pretty good deal, especially when you compare it to the other current-generation consoles, the Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’ll be available in the US by March 3 — that’s less than two months to go! Japan, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries may get it on the same day.

[irp posts=”7107″ name=”Here’s the first trailer of Nintendo’s Switch console”]

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Nintendo developing a larger Switch with Samsung OLED screens

Coming this year

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Recently, the Nintendo Switch celebrated four years since its release back in 2017. Since then, the console has withstood various assaults from rivaling brands and outed a thriving ecosystem of games. Now that the console is a massive hit, we have to ask: When is the next Nintendo console coming out? Apparently, it might not take long. According to a new report, Nintendo is working on a larger Switch with a Samsung OLED display.

Reported by Bloomberg, the company is planning to unveil the upcoming 7-inch console sometime this year. Samsung will reportedly start producing the larger, 720p displays this June. Assemblers will then start processing the consoles in July. Additionally, when plugged into a TV, the display can supposedly put out images at 4K resolution.

If true, the upgraded console will definitely step up against the current console lineup. The regular Switch houses a 6.2-inch screen and the Switch Lite carries a 5.5-inch screen. Further, the regular Switch only puts out 720p resolution, whether it’s plugged into a TV or standing alone as a portable.

According to the source, Nintendo’s OLED plans will inch it closer to current smartphone technology. Smartphones already use OLED screens as a standard. In contrast, the Nintendo Switch is still stuck in LCD technology.

Unfortunately, though the rumored screen is impressive, the source has not revealed what type of processing power is in the console. For months, rumors have swirled around a supposed Switch Pro, a beefier beast with a more powerful processor. Sadly, no one knows if it exists yet.

If Nintendo does put out a more powerful console, the company can finally butt heads with the new generation of gaming launched last year.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo launches Mario-themed Switch version

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I’ve lost hope in getting a next-gen console for the foreseeable future

On shortages, scalpers, and struggles from all over the place

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If you already have any of the next-generation consoles, you may read this if you wish. But for most of us, myself included, we all shared a collective struggle to snag one of the two highly-anticipated consoles late last year. Unfortunately, such struggle continued even into the new year, even when Sony and Microsoft were pretty optimistic about it to start.

Don’t get me wrong: the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are part of the future of console gaming. We’re talking technologies and hardware that supposedly rivals that of any gaming PC build for more than half the price. Even with a limited game library, game developers are adopting the next-gen consoles moving forward.

However, at launch, almost all units sold out in an instant — and the reasons are quite obvious. Months prior to launch, these companies stated numerous reasons for shortages on launch day. People like me were hopeful that restocking inventory would come soon enough, and would be enough for everyone all over the world.

But why are we still struggling to find a next-gen console?

Believe it or not, this struggle to simply purchase a next-generation console isn’t entirely on the industry itself. Sure, they’re running low on production staff, worldwide deliveries are a little messy right now — but that’s not 100 percent on them anyway. In case most people forgot, there’s still a COVID-19 pandemic happening in most parts of the world.

The pandemic put the video game industry on hold for a bit, as production for the next-gen consoles took a heavy hit. Because of remote working conditions and factories shutting down, Sony and Microsoft went out and said that launch day units will be scarce. I thought that they would just simply delay the launch, but nope — they still wanted to launch in November, on the exact day.

And yet, the next-gen consoles ended up being well-received by everyone — especially the ones that were either sent a unit, or successfully bought one. Both consoles sold out on launch day, mostly due to online pre-orders on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and other retailers. Even here in the Philippines, eight retailers held online pre-orders and immediately sold out within the 5-minute window.

It’s pretty clear to me that there is a high demand for the next-gen consoles wherever you decide to buy one. However, the companies simply cannot provide regular stock as soon as possible due to a lot of factors — hardware shortage, mostly. Yet, Sony and Microsoft do their best to try and release more stock whenever possible so everyone gets an opportunity to buy one.

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What do you mean, everyone gets an opportunity?

I remember when Datablitz PH held its first online pre-order for the PlayStation 5 back in November, two weeks before the official release. On the day of the pre-order, I received the email with the link to the pre-order form and instructions on how the process goes. However, I was busy around that time, so I asked my sister to check the link for me.

Then, she texted me saying that every pre-order slot was full, even for the Digital Version. Slots went out so fast, it’s like the 5-minute window was way too long. At the moment, I had no complaints because I expected this to happen. This wasn’t the case for the rest of the internet as they took  their complaints to social media on the online pre-order system.

Another pre-order wave started, so more opportunities, right?

A second wave of pre-orders came in just last January, and I didn’t even bother with it anymore. Instead, I decided to lurk around Datablitz’s Facebook page and see the comments on their restocks and, well nothing changed. The claims were the same as the first time: bots from other buyers, while others are able to log in at an earlier time. There were even some conspiring that retailers had internal agreements with other people about it, which I don’t think is the case.

In essence, not everyone gets a “fair” opportunity at grabbing a next-gen console. It sucks that this has been a regular occurrence with premium items like this, and yet no concrete actions have been taken. But, I was thinking that maybe we’re looking at the wrong culprits here.

It isn’t the pre-order system’s fault entirely, and it’s mostly because this was an initiative by Sony and Microsoft given the pandemic situation. We’re trying to contain the virus here, and staying indoors for the most part is the best way moving forward. Still, I think they could have improved the process with every new run.

Wait, how come they have an abundance of stock of the next-gen console?

Instead, allow me to direct your attention to the scalpers themselves; you know, people selling you things for an insanely higher price. You’ve seen these people on a Facebook Marketplace or on Shopee, promoting that they have a next-gen console ready for you. Some of them even go out of their way to offer you a complete bundle to save you the hassle!

It’s not just these people that are participating in the grand sweepstakes for a next-gen console. In addition, there are also these (let’s just call them) unauthorized resellers who also somehow have stock of these consoles. While some of them do sell the console at either a fair or much lower price, there are those that don’t tell you that you have to pay extra fees for them.

PlayStation 5

In essence, these people manage to give you what you want: a next-gen console. The catch, however, is that you have to satisfy these two conditions to get it: be a sure buyer, and be ready to spend tons of money getting it. 

But, I thought that next-gen consoles were in shortage?

That’s the first thing that came to my mind when I kept seeing some of these “sellers” on social media. The fact that they have nearly tens to hundreds of units every other week just makes it hard to believe. Even when both Sony and Microsoft declared a shortage for the next couple of months, the grind continues for these “businesses.”

I say that they’re a business because these sellers claim to be such entities. They’re somehow able to capture a need present in their market, and provide the product or service to address it. As with most businesses, they determine the price such products or services are offered through extensive research and planning. For scalpers and unauthorized sellers, however, price setting is the easy part.

These entities will seek to supply everyone with as many units as possible, and they’ll find ways to procure them in bulk. You know how people were complaining that bots are taking their stock for online pre-orders? Well, some online retailers and news agencies are aware of such technologies being abused that way.

In my own experience asking one of these unauthorized sellers, they told me that they’re supposedly closely linked to the manufacturers. Also in some cases, they are not giving me a full rundown of any additional fees nor any proof of such. Yet, they expect me to simply abide by the payments since I got it for cheaper. In essence, they achieve the same thing as scalpers do by paying more than official retailers.

So, what now? Should we just wait for regular stock?

Admittedly, I’m already thinking that regular stocks of the next-gen console won’t be here for another 7-8 months or so. It’s not just because of the already announced shortages in hardware. Rather, it’s the fact that there is a higher chance that scalpers will get a hold of them first.

I feel like these companies were pretty clear on how they want the next-gen consoles to be received. In my opinion, they truly want to give everyone access to the future of gaming; that maybe you don’t need to spend insane amounts of money for crisp, clean gameplay. You know, something that you can do on a gaming PC but on a much cheaper yet strategic price tag.

PlayStation 5

Yet, these scalpers and unauthorized resellers simply want to make a profit off a need like this. Cry about it all we want, but these people exist and some people partake in their businesses. They’ve practically turned the next-gen console into a true luxury, something that the industry and some governments are trying to go against. 

I’ve lost hope in trying to get the next-gen console for this year, or possibly while the shortages are still in effect. At this point, I’d rather spend that money somewhere else, or invest it in the stock market. We could wait for regular stock all we want, but if scalpers keep getting these from us, there’s just no hope.

SEE ALSO: A somber look at the PlayStation 5 crisis

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K-pop star turned murderer is new character in Dead by Daylight

Co-developed by BTS collaborator

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Since its meteoric rise into the global pop culture scene, the K-pop industry has infiltrated every facet of our world including smartphones and social media. One industry that K-pop stars and K-pop stans haven’t penetrated yet is the video game world. That’s changing soon, though. Well, somehow. Popular horror multiplayer game Dead by Daylight is adding a K-pop star as its newest killer.

In the asymmetrical horror game, four survivors go up against a powerful killer. Over the year, the game’s developer Behaviour Interactive acquired different horror characters in the years since it launched including Michael Myers and Pyramid Head. Despite already being years into its life cycle, the game still adds in new characters at a regular clip.

Today, the game has announced its latest killer, The Trickster. Much like most characters, The Trickster comes with his own lore.

Ji-woon, a former K-pop star and member of boy band NO SPIN, became jealous of his other group members and killed them all. In the game, Ji-woon (or Trickster) can use ranged daggers and a host of abilities. Along with Ji-woon, the game will also introduce a new survivor, Yun-Jin Lee, the K-pop producer who recruited Ji-woon into the boy band. Yun-Jin’s powers include the ability to sprint right after hitting the killer with a palette.

Behaviour Studios developed the two characters with the help of U-KISS’ Kevin Woo and producer DJ Swivel.

Currently, both characters are not in the game yet. They are still under testing in the game’s Player Test Build. Dead by Daylight is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It also has mobile ports to Android to iOS.

SEE ALSO: Hundreds of K-Pop songs by KakaoM removed from Spotify

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