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”]

Gaming

TNC Predator, Afreeca Freecs Fatal win Predator League APAC 2019

For Dota 2 and PUBG

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After three long days of battle in Bangkok, Thailand from February 15 to 17, two champions have emerged from the two featured games of the Predator League in Asia Pacific 2019.

For Dota 2, it’s TNC Predator from the Philippines; and for PUBG, the champ is none other than Afreeca Freecs Fatal from South Korea.

Their winnings come from a prize pool worth US$ 250,000. Each champion receives US$ 75,000 for their efforts, while the runners-up split the remaining pot.

The grand event concluded after over 3,500 competing teams from 16 countries were eventually reduced to only 26 groups in Bangkok for the finals.

This was the Predator League’s second event in the APAC region. In 2018, it was held in Indonesia. Next year’s event will take place in the Philippines.

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Gaming

Nintendo reveals upcoming games for the Switch

Featuring some old favorites!

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Throughout the year, the world’s biggest tech companies host the most lavish events to promote new launches and announcements. Most of the time, these massive events have redefined their respective industries. Alternatively, some companies rely on subtler means for their launches. Regardless, the industry-defining effects remain the same.

Nintendo typifies this strategy to perfection, boasting their chops through online-only Nintendo Direct events. Today, in the first Nintendo Direct of the year, the company unveiled its slew of strong contenders going into 2019. Here’s a taste of Nintendo’s upcoming heavy-hitters:

Super Mario Maker 2

In 2015, Nintendo released its most revolutionary retooling of the Mario formula — Super Mario Maker. Exclusive to the 3DS and the Wii U, the highly customizable Mario game was a beloved hit. This June, Nintendo finally releases a follow-up featuring new tools, elements, and a lot more playability on the Switch.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

By no means a new game, Link’s Awakening brings the Game Boy classic to the Switch. This time, Nintendo has remastered the game in a top-down, 3D engine. Further, the remastered game features similar side-scrolling segments from the old game.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

The current Marvel fever has also infected the gaming world. The Black Order brings a four-player co-op brawler experience to the Switch. Featuring a wide array of characters from the universe, the game features an original story, pitting your favorite heroes against Thanos and the Black Order.

Tetris 99

Out today, Tetris 99 is the most shocking iteration of the time-honored series. Why? It’s a battle royale. The free online block-building game pits you against 98 other players in a race to become the last man standing.

Besides these four, Nintendo will also launch a flurry of updates and ports. In the coming months, the company will release substantial updates to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. It will also launch Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy IX, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

SEE ALSO: Pokémon: Let’s Go gets its own Nintendo Switch bundles

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Apps

EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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