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

Razer holds first ever SEA Games bootcamp for esports teams

Held in partnership with one of the best eSports teams in the world

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Image from fb.com/razer

Preparations for the upcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games are underway, especially with eSports now added to the competition. Razer, the official eSports partner for the SEA Games has an idea on how to make preparations more interesting. The global gaming lifestyle brand wants to bring esports teams from all participating countries to train them by learning from the best players in the world.

Razer officially rolls out the Razer SEA Games eSports Bootcamp, a two-day training camp for eSports teams participating in the Dota 2 tournament for the SEA Games. The bootcamp will feature a series of mentorship sessions and practice games for all the competing teams from Singapore (Team X) , Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia (PG.Barracx), and the Philippines (Sibol). With the inclusion of eSports in this year’s SEA Games, Razer’s Global Sports Director David Tse hopes to “bring eSports to the next level.”


To guide these teams to success, Razer taps upon a global eSports powerhouse in the Evil Geniuses. EG’s Dota 2 coach, Sam “Bulba” Sosale will mentor the five participating teams to compete at the highest level for the upcoming tournament.

“Evil Geniuses is excited to help some of the best players in Southeast Asia prepare for it,” Sosale said. As of writing, members of the EG’s Dota 2 team are competing in the Upper Bracket semifinal round of The International 9 in Shanghai.

The Razer SEA Games eSports Bootcamp will run from September 2 to 3, 2019 in Singapore. As a treat, Evil Geniuses is hosting their first ever meet-and-greet in Southeast Asia on September 1. Fans will have a chance to get up close with members from EG’s Dota 2 team: Arteezy, SumaiL and s4, along with Bulba. Fans will also get a chance to win signed jerseys from their favorite players.

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Gaming

NVIDIA GeForce Now will bring PC games to Android devices

Taking on Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud

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Cloud gaming is a recent trend in the industry which aims to revolutionize gaming in the future. In the past few years, industry giants have launched their own cloud gaming platforms: Google announced Stadia, while Microsoft announced xCloud. Soon, they will be joined by NVIDIA with its own GeForce Now which will be available to Android devices soon.

GeForce Now is NVIDIA’s cloud gaming platform that has been in beta for PC, Mac, and NVIDIA Shield TVs. With this recent announcement, GeForce Now will finally come to Android devices. More people will be able to play AAA PC games from their Android devices, regardless of specs. NVIDIA’s platform also has the advantage of streaming PC gaming titles from Steam, UPlay, and other digital stores. In comparison, titles available to Google Stadia and Microsoft xCloud is more limited.


NVIDIA is improving the GeForce Now — as such, the platform will remain in beta phase for the foreseeable future. It is free for everyone to try. Those willing will need a compatible Bluetooth gamepad, since some games are unplayable through touch controls alone.

There is no exact date when the GeForce Now will be available to the public. There are also no details yet as to how much the platform will cost as of the moment.

NVIDIA’s GeForce Now is part of the industry’s push towards cloud gaming. Cloud gaming works by streaming a whole game through the internet so people can play their favorite games anytime, anywhere. However, it remains to be seen if people will welcome the technology with open arms — after all, it requires a fast and stable internet connection.

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Gaming

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered has a release date!

So soon yet, not soon enough!

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After our heartstrings were played with by the Final Fantasy VIII Remastered teaser, fans have swarmed with tons of memes predicting and wondering how specific scenes would appear with stunning new visuals. Well, our memes and dreams are about to either come true or get shut down because Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is getting released on September 3, 2019!

Final Fantasy VIII and why fans love it

Final Fantasy VIII was a game that plotted itself in a fantasy world while digging into an emotional story-line of war and love. The game focuses on a group of young mercenaries led by Squall Leonhart. They’re adventure begins with a striking conflict: Ultimecia. Ultimecia is a sorceress from the future who possesses Edea and wants to compress time. In this quest, Squall encounters friends who inevitably join his quest to keep the world in its balance.


Final Fantasy VIII was the first of its series to reinvent the active time battle wheel without ignoring its roots. The game allowed more customization which ultimately allowed players to work around weaponry, armor, and summons that drastically affected characters’ combat style. These seemingly small tweaks in gameplay gave players breathing room to pick how they wanted to play the game making it all the more immersive.

While its predecessor, Final Fantasy VII, had 3-dimensional models, it didn’t significantly refine designs as much as Final Fantasy VIII. Every element in the game expressed more detail with as much accessible technology as Square could get their hands on. From the planet that showed a level of meticulous detail we hadn’t seen in the series before, to the hilarious “you’re the best looking guy here” memes, Final Fantasy VIII was weirdly ahead with visuals at the time.

What’s new with Final Fantasy VIII Remastered?

First, and obviously, enhanced visuals. The announcement trailer that was revealed in E3 this year made it loud and clear that each element of the game — characters, enemies, objects, and summons — were all refined and enhanced.

Second, battle assists. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered allows you to activate a booster to max out health points (HP) and active time battle (ATB) bars that trigger limit breaks at any point players need. Regardless, you will lose HP when you get hit with a critical attack that renders more damage than your HP, or by lethal damage.

Third, turning off encounters. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered has setting you can use to allow you to turn off random encounters. This is incredibly useful when you’re out of potions, phoenix downs, and need to run to the nearest shop. This doesn’t apply for event battles that need to be done to further the game’s plot.

Fourth, battle speed boosts. The game lets you accelerate time by a factor of three. If you want to breeze through easy battles or rush through level grinding, this feature is useful. This feature isn’t applicable for certain scenes and movies.

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