Everything announced at Feb. 9’s Nintendo Direct

Splatoon 3, Kirby, Switch Sports, Mario Strikers, and more



After Pokémon Legends: Arceus’s red-hot launch last month, Nintendo wants to keep the hype going. To outline its future this year, the company hosted a Nintendo Direct recently, announcing new titles and updating previously announced ones. Here’s a rundown of what’s coming for the Switch.

Splatoon 3

Continuing one of Nintendo’s more recent tentpole franchises, Splatoon 3 comes to the Switch sometime during the summer this year. Though the Nintendo Direct did not include a definite launch date, Nintendo shared more teasers including a new Salmon Run Next Wave mode.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

The upcoming title continues the story laid out by its predecessors. The open-world RPG takes players across a vast world filled with titanic monsters. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 launches in fall.

Nintendo Switch Sports

Sports is back! When the Switch launched, the console was conspicuously missing its own version of the Wii’s most popular titles, Wii Sports. Now, the title will make its return to the Switch, bringing badminton, bowling, football, tennis, and volleyball to the console. Nintendo Switch Sports launches on April 29.

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Speaking of sports, Mario continues his career as an athletic superstar. On June 10, Mario Strikers: Battle League brings Mario and friends to the world of football. Once again, expect quirky superpowers and powerful pickups for this sports game.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

Much like the previous titles announced, Nintendo taps into its thriving well of franchises. However, this title switches it up a bit. Rather than the usual formula, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a hack-and-slash game coming on June 24.

Disney Speedstorm

One of the rare original announced this Direct, Disney Speedstorm is a Mario Kart-like racer but with Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Mulan, and Sully. The racing games arrives sometime during the summer.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

Despite being one of the more anticipated titles coming this year, Kirby and the Forgotten Land doesn’t get a lot of the limelight this time around. However, the Nintendo Direct did showcase the game’s Mouthful Mode, a power similar to Super Mario Odyssey’s Cappy. Kirby is coming on March 25.

Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition

Going past the new titles, let’s get into remasters and ports. A classic in the PlayStation pantheon, Chrono Cross is getting a visual remaster and some improvements over its first outing more than two decades ago. Besides the remaster, the game also comes with Radical Dreamers, a more obscure text-adventure game set in the Chrono universe originally released in 1996. Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition comes to the Switch on April 7.

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp

Here comes another reboot. This time, it’s from the Game Boy Advance. Resurrecting a well-known series for the console, Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp brings the first two games of the franchise, along with graphical and gameplay updates.

No Man’s Sky

Ports incoming! Nintendo is bringing one of the most controversial titles in the last ten years. Though the game, originally launched for the PlayStation 4 and PC, started off with a torrent of negative press, No Man’s Sky eventually became a darling of indie games with massive updates that brought it from zero to hero. No Man’s Sky is coming to the Switch this summer.

Portal: Companion Collection

The Switch is getting another giant from another console. Portal: Companion Collection is bringing both Portal games to the console. Coming later this year, the collection will support both the enthralling single-player mode and the wacky multi-player mode (local, online, and split-screen).


Here’s a blast from the past. Both EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings have arrived in the Nintendo Switch Online library. The two games were originally released to the SNES and the Famicom, respectively.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo Switch OLED Unboxing and Review


NVIDIA develops an AI for NPCs

Talk to NPCs naturally



The expansive world of RPGs has a persistent problem: wooden dialogue. Because games in the genre often take so long to develop, dialogue often gets the hardest cuts in quality. AI, in all its emerging features, plans to ease up production issues by automatic NPC dialogue for developers. Unveiled during Computex 2023, NVIDIA has unveiled its latest engine to ease up this process.

Called the Avatar Cloud Engine, the new technology works much like today’s advanced chatbots but in a gaming context. Players can talk to NPCs naturally as if with a human being. The NPC will generate corresponding dialogue to respond to the user.

NVIDIA demonstrated the new technology through a scene reminiscent of a Cyberpunk 2077 cutscene. Set in a futuristic ramen shop, the main character asks the shop owner, Jin, about the state of the restaurant. Jin responds, “I am worried about the crime around here. It’s gotten bad lately. My ramen shop got caught in the crossfire.” After which, the shop owner directs the player to a local crime boss as the root of the violence.

For an AI-created response, the dialogue does seem impressive. However, one can easily tell that it is artificial. Despite how realistic the voice sounds like, it still seems as if it was spoken by a robot.

Regardless, it’s apparent that we’re headed towards an interesting future. Of course, it will take some time before the new technology makes its way to modern games.

SEE ALSO: MediaTek confirms partnership with NVIDIA

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MSI partners with Mercedes-AMG for new gaming notebook

It’s the Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG



The popularity of Netflix’s Drive to Survive has propelled the world of Formula 1 and motorsports to new heights. Now, it’s all too possible to rep your favorite racing team through new merchandise and tie-ups. If you’re also a gamer, the circuit where speed matters is lending its prowess to an industry where speed also matters. MSI is tying up with Mercedes-AMG for a new “luxury gaming experience.”


Unveiled today, the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is a marvel of speed. Much like its automotive namesake, the notebook blazes past the competition with a 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13900H processor — 14 cores clocked at 5.4GHz.

The MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG comes with up to the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU, up to two slots of 64GB RAM, and two slots of M.2 SSD internal storage. The 16-inch UHD+ screen boasts 60Hz refresh rate and a 16:10 ratio. Finally, it comes with a sizable 99.9Whr battery.

For glitz and glamor, the notebook comes with a per-key RGB SteelSeries keyboard. The device’s chassis exudes the premium touch of Mercedes-AMG. Shining in Selenite Gray, the design comes with subtle red accents to signify the device’s commitment to performance.

With limited availability, the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG comes bundled with goodies for the Mercedes fan. Besides the stylized notebook, the package can ship with a premium color box, postcards, a mouse, a mousepad, a cable tie, a pouch, and a USB drive.

SEE ALSO: MSI Summit E16 Flip review: Creator on the go

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Genshin Impact’s card game is getting a tournament

Over US$ 270,000 at stake



Genius Invokation TCG

Genshin Impact will launch the first international Genius Invokation TCG Tournament Series, called “Astra Carnival: The Prince Cup”.

Set to commence in the latter half of 2023, players from multiple nations and regions across the globe are welcome to join the fun and competitive journey which involves six regional championships, several invitational tournaments, and over US$ 270,000 in prizes.

Last December, Genshin Impact introduced Genius Invokation TCG, a card game which combines its element-based combat system with strategy development, with players competing with NPCs are against each other with their collection of cards.

The most recent version 3.7 update also added over 60 new cards and two game modes to the gameplay.

Now, advanced players can join the Prince Cup which consists of six regional tournaments between June to September and three cross-regional invitationals in June, August, and December.

Here’s the finals date for each tournament schedule:

  • The Prince Cup Korea: June 11
  • The Prince Cup Europe: June 16
  • The Prince Cup North America: June 17
  • The Prince Cup Invitational S1: June 18
  • The Prince Cup Japan: July 16
  • The Prince Cup Invitational S2: August 13
  • The Prince Cup Latin America: September 3
  • The Prince Cup SEA/HK/MO/TW: September 17
  • The Prince Cup Invitational S3: December

In each regional, top candidates from the “Cat’s Tail Gathering” community tournaments and wildcard competitions will compete for the regional championship.

Players who advance to the quarterfinals will compete on-site. There will be a live broadcast on the official AstraCarnival Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok channels.

Top regional candidates and top community tournament candidates may also get invited to the invitationals for exhibition games in front of an international audience.

More info here.

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