Monday, 29 February 2016

A Fresh NX Leak

Yep another day and another leak about Nintendo's mystery system. Today's leak comes from "Geno" of NeoGaf. Whose previous leaks include "next Pokemon will be 3D (X and Y), will feature a new fairy type", "The PS4 will run DX11 graphics like Unreal Engine 4 (which it did) "and that "Microsoft was developing a 360 projector (Ilumiroom)". So as leakers go he has a good batting average.

What makes today's leak so different as it gives us details on the actual machine. I'll post the original content below but I'll summarize here. It seems its it'll be an handheld with the power of the Xbox One but will also include a dongle that will allow the NX to stream to any HDMI screen. Which seeing as my living room as turned into a war for the TV with devices like the Lynx gaming tablet are only lessening the bloodshed. The idea has always been that the NX would be some form of hybrid and this seems like an easiest way of achieve that aim.

Another interesting detail is that the device has become an project to honour the late Nintendo President Satoru Iwata with NX meetings reportedly ending with the phrase “岩田のために!” which roughly translates “For Iwata!” (FYI google translate agrees) and that this "new" Nintendo mentality is driving them to develop a fantastic system and games for it. Geno quotes an employee "Have not seen this much forward momentum on a project since they launched the original Famicon" which at least sounds exciting.

Here's Geno's full rundown of what he knows.

  1.  It has a wireless HDMI dongle that attaches flush to the back of the device. A user can pull it out and insert it into any display with a normal sized HDMI output and the devices uses an evolved version of the Wii U’s streaming tech to display in HD to the TV screen.
  2. Allegedly the analog controls for movement has small motors in them for full haptic feedback. Meaning if you control a character and hit a wall, the sticks move away from the direction of that wall to simulate running head first into it. This can also be used for jerking when firing a gun, taking damage, moving over rough terrain, ect.
  3. It can literally Bluetooth sync with everything, especially smart phone and tablets to the point where one feature is that it can answer phone calls and display text messages from your phone onto the screens itself so you don’t have to stop and answer your smart device.
  4. The closest in terms of “power” it gets to is the Xbox One, but an app idea is Wii U x50 and Playstation Vita x100. The key is that all the tech is exactly the same hardware layout as the PS4 and Xbox One which then combine it with the OS’s strong emulation functions and compiler means that any game that can run of a Playstation 4 or Xbox One can easily run on the NX with near-zero modification to the original source code, especially if it runs in Android OS or Unreal Engine 4. This is allegedly why Nintendo has given out the dev kits so late, as one 3rd Party dev put it “It’s the easiest device we’ve ever developed for. You just take your code, compile it and it works.”
  5. Look to Pokemon GO to get the idea of the type of social features that will be in NX that will take multiplayer, AR and the StreetPass concept to a whole new level.
  6. The real strengths of the device is its usability and ease of use. Developers have described to me more than once that it visually and functionally looks as if “Samsung and the Nintendo 2DS” had a baby, in that it looks friendly but unlike what most people visualize a Nintendo device to typically look. The operating system, named NintendOS alone is very powerful and has so many modern features of mobile operating systems today that Nintendo is trying to be very careful in showing it off for fear that it would be mistaken as running Android. It also has a very strong networking functions as it ties into multiple devices and services allowing a very competent and pervasive eco-system designed to constantly involve the consumer’s lives.

Abe's Take
Now this dose sound very Nintendo like, releasing a non-god machine but in a unique form. Nintendo needs to win over the third parties and making the process utterly painless (CHEAP) would certainly help in that regard. Being an handheld devices first and a home unit second should help "lessen" the frustration of newer Wii U owners and help sell the device to people who all ready have either an X1 or PS4.

Something that keeps jumping out at me is the haptic analog sticks, I love the Xbox One's haptic triggers (when they are used) and the same haptic feedback as found in expensive steering wheels. Imagine playing a Zelda game and as you move into deeper and deeper snow the analog creates more and more resistance or in CoD they wouldn't need to make the in game gun recoil but the stick it self.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Pokemon Direct Details!

Today is the 26th of February 2016 just one day short of the 20th anniversary of Pokemon Red and Blue/Green's launch, so we was treated to a short Direct.

Lets get this out the way first. It was short: 5 minutes long and not a whole lot of actually shown. However it was pretty great, there was fantastic trailer showing highlights from the last 20 years. It filled me with joy and a sense of "oh boy do i feel old" at the same time. The (what was meant to be) big news was that Pokemon Sun and Moon will be launching "late" 2016 (more on that later) no real details or any footage was shown but the trailer suggests that all the Pokemon games have lead to these new titles, no idea what that means mind. So looks like yesterdays Poke leak was right on the money.

To me the big surprise and certainly had the greatest effect one me was... The 3DS virtual console versions of Pokemon Red, Blue and Yellow will actually support the Pokemon Bank app. Meaning for the first time Gen-1 Pokemon can join their Gen 3+ decedents. This not only explains the extra cost on these versions (vs normal VC GB games) and why GameFreak had done an 180 on "no Pokemon VC due to lack of trading".

Abe's Take
Today's direct was short and sweet but did something I had not planned. I now what the VC releases of Pokemon Red and hopefully Gold down the line to restore those 'mon lost in the "great reset" that was the GBA games.

In more rumour based news. Today's late 2016 release date for Pokemon Sun/Moon falls in line with MetalDave64's super leak. Not only that but all of MetalDave's Videos relating to that leak have disappeared from his YouTube channel. Now we don't know why his videos have disappeared but if he was asked to by someone it dose add weight to his information, why scrub fake rumours? So in summary his source nailed a previously unknown Disney Art Academy, a new Pokemon game in December and has now mysteriously disappeared.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Rumour: Pokemon outed?

So we have that Pokemon Direct tomorrow 3PM UK time, which may or may not be 5 minutes long. So for the those who wish to remain possibly ignorant about tomorrows presentation step away now. 

Psst... they left yet? cool! Right so it appears that someone has managed to dig up some possible reveal from tomorrow's direct by searching for Pokemon on trademark site. Surprisingly not only did two new games actually appear but they included their full titles and even their logo's that no doubt will appear on the cover art. (click to see them better)

So Pokemon Sun and Moon certainly do fit the typical Pokemon bill and also the logo's certainly continue their red vs blue trend of the logo designs. Could these be the title's that was listed in the marketing budget rumour? under code name Pokemon Rainbow?

Abe's Take
The timing of this couldn't be better but sadly trademarks like retail listing's aren't always proof of something actually happening, though the addition of the logo's certainly adds an extra heap of weight to these rumors.  I'm interested how this plays out, not only for the news of a new mainline pokemon game but this titles release date may confirm the validity of those rumours from MetalDave.

Monday, 22 February 2016

New Pokemon Game This Year, More NX?

Everyone has been waiting for the metaphorical other poke shoe to drop. By that we mean the 3rd version to Pokemon X and Y. Long assumed to be Pokemon Z (certainly helps that the new Legendary Pokemon starts with a Z and the new series is called Pokemon XY & Z) but this being the 20th Anniversary of those little monsters could something else be happening?

Today's rumour comes via SuperMetalDave64 again. Today the 'Metallic David' has claims that his unnamed source have showed him the NoA WiiU/3DS 2016 marketing budget. We'll get to the content of that in a minute. First his source gives us some interesting details such as that Nintendo is built in a cell like structure so no one section know the entirety of the big picture and suggest caution to any leak giving out two broad of information and that the NDA's regarding the NX means that each developer studio will only know of its own game.

Next up is that the Nintendo NX Launch games for 2016 besides Zelda NX and marketing focus remain hidden for now. The 3DS $56.25 million marketing budget for 2016 total whilst the Wii U $34.5 million marketing budget for 2016 total. With Zelda Wii U has $10 million with the possibility of the funding being switched to Zelda NX version depending on launch timing in 2016.

The 3DS  rumoured line up is a lot more "robust" than the Wii U, basically its list vs bullet points.
3DS release list 2016:

Spring-Early Summer
Mario and Sonic Rio 2016
Nintendo Selects Wave 1
Hyrule Warriors Legends
Disney Art Academy [this one is actually backed up buy a separate rumour]
Bravely Second
Code Name: “Caviar F” (casual friendly smaller budget game)
Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Code name: “Torte City” (big budget unannounced game for all gamers core/all ages)
Dragon Quest VII
Code name: “Cadillac” (casual friendly smaller budget game late summer)

3DS Hardware Price Cut
Code name: “N-Stars” big budget game for all ages
Nintendo Selects Wave 2
Code name: “DMW2” possibly Disney Magical World 2
Dragon Quest VIII
Pokémon 20th Anniversary game, code-named “Niji” Japanese translation: “Rainbow” 

Before we move on to the Wii U list lets quickly talk about Pokemon. I'd doubtful Rainbow will be its actual title, though Rainbow would be a perfect title for an anniversary Pokemon game with traveling to multiple regions. (Though looking back most of the colours of the Pokemon games are red and blue, think about it.)

Turning over to Wii U the list mainly covers the first 4/6 months. First up is some Minecraft x Nintendo project that will launch in a few months. The source is quick to point out this is probably the Nintendo exclusive DLC for the Wii U edition. Next up is the news that currently Star Fox is on track for an April release. The summer will see the Wii U version of Mario and Sonic at Rio 2016

Apparently the 2nd half of the years is mysteriously light and only features an new wave of "Nintendo Selects" titles, one unannounced title, Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and Zelda U.

Metal Dave's source explains this as the NX will be launching in 2016 at years end and that Zelda Wii U is being ported to the NX as a launch window game (so probably wont be out with the machine)

Abe's Take
All in all some interesting reading, I'm not sure of what to make of it yet but fortunately this rumour bundle is easy enough to verify. All of MetalDave's info comes from the one source and his details span the year. As time passes if events unfold differently to this list it casts greater doubt on his source. Damn E3 needs to hurry up. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Final Fantasy NX rumours

There has been fan demand has been for a Final Fantasy VII remake ever since Sony showed off an PS3 tech demo based on it. Last year fans was delighted when it was confirmed it was finally happening on PS4 and it looked good... Until it was announced as an episodic release and suddenly greatness fell into worry and complaints, Square-Enix has yet to clear up the confusion stating only each episode would have "full game content" and has refused to give a price or details.

Now whats this about the NX? well a YouTuber (yeah this is happening) who has been rather good at nailing the rumours, SuperMetalDave64 is citing a source who isn't a dev but has passed on reliable information in the past. The rumour? Final Fantasy 7 Remake is getting a definitive/collected release on the NX along with Final Fantasy XV, the reason for the definitive status is that apparently the NX "surpasses" the PS4 in raw processing power.

Now this sounds a little off on first blush but it does however line up with other rumours and details.
  1. Square has been getting rather cosey with Nintendo recently with the Dragon Quest series seeing a lot of Nintendo love (Dragon Quest being more popular in Japan than FF). 
  2. Square Enix accidentally confirmed NX versions of Dragon Quest X and XI (before back tracking). 
  3. Cloud's Smash 4 cameo makes a heap of sense if FFVII was on it's way to a Nintendo system. Double if Smash 4 is getting an NX release/
  4. Square has been super cagey as to where FFVII-R was going after its timed exclusivity.
In other NX rumour news its being reported that the NX will support Unity and Unreal 4. Its a little worrying that this has to be reported as news and not expected by default. After all Unity is all ready supported on New 3DS and Wii U (along side X1 and PS4) and Unreal 4 is the engine of choice for third parties on X1 and PS4.

Abe's Take
Grabbing a couple of FF games would certainly help the NX grab attention and counter the Wii U's lack of RPG titles. There is also the wonderful symmetry that Final Fantasy 7 was originally an N64 title before it was poached by Sony (heres a look at the tech demo... warning its harsh) and it'd be fantastic to see Square pick up where it left of on Nintendo console. Also would be nice if some of these third party Smash amiibo characters had another use... looking at you Ryu and Cloud.

Rocky Horror Is getting a Mobile Game

One of the few benefits of mobile gaming (to core Gamers) is that it isn't constrained by things like "genre" or even IP's that are "active" even currently active IP's and now the ultimate glory is heading to mobile gaming... YOU WILL CLICK THE LINKS! DAMMIT

Yep looks like we've fallen in to a TIME WARP as the 1975 SCIENCE FICTION, DOUBLE FEATURE The Rocky Horror Picture Show is coming back as a touched based rhythm game perfectly titled "Touch Me". The title is in development by an independent UK studio called Rocket Lolly Games and they are describing it as a "tactile dance dance revolution" and will "give the experience of being a theater member in the show". This sounds like it will be inline with the cult classic's tone which will make it a "HOT PATOOTIE". We don't really know much such as if the legendary Tim Curry will reprise the role of Frankie but we do know we'll be OVER AT THE FRANKENSTEIN PLACE in 2017.

Abe's Take
Man I was exposed the The Rocky Horror at a young age and certainly had an effect in MAKING ME A MAN so this his huge for me (it also weirded the crap out of my friend).  Phew thankfully that's over its been hard twisting this article in order to hit as many RHPS song titles as possible, its been a hard job than.... crap.... TRANSVESTITE!!!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Weirdness: Red Dwarf Ruined The 3DS (Not Really)

Nintendo is probably one of the strictest yet silliest companies on the planet and this often crops up in odd ways. In this case it seems someone on the localisation team for the 3DS swear filter are fans of a certain British sci-fi comedy ( or not depending how you see it).

Nintendo's Most Wanted (Not really)

Someone on reddit has managed to find the 3DS swear list (which can be viewed here, which is obviously super duper NSFW) and buried in that list of horror and nastiness is one that utter obscenity that shall not grace your 3DS under any circumstances is...

for those to skipped the vid (in which apparently shows Kryten is running on the 3DS firmware) the word is "Smeg". Which is to me rather fantastic as it such an "out there" reference.

Abe's Take
Despite being fun this news is of cause string up a bit of "trouble" within vocal groups of Nintendo fans who are adding this to their "Nintendo is too sensitive" campaign and furthering their annoyance in their perceived censorship war on their fan base. Their argument here is pretty weak as A) Red Dwarf is currently "revived" and B) Smeg is an abbreviation of Smegma an unpleasant medical term.

Anyway its unlikely this list of blocked words will change before their mobile app Miitomo which blows my opening line plans. so excuse me whilst I rework my ice breaker.