Doublejump Digest: January 14, 2017 (Nintendo Switch Edition!)
We love a good console reveal to start a year!
In the spirit of keeping our readers up-to-date with what’s going on in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories that happened in the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Saturday night, and head into the archive if you’ve missed any!
- We all sat down and shared our favourite games of 2016.
- Cav reviewed Dead Rising 4, calling it “a slightly above-average [zombie-killing] game [that]…could’ve evolved into an exceptional one”.
- Resident Final Fantasy super-fan Rhys finally got his hands on Final Fantasy XV, which “[breathed] much-needed new life into the Final Fantasy series”.
- Jake belatedly reviewed Mafia III, a “solid open-world title with an absolute masterpiece of a story”.
The Nintendo Switch Presentation:
Nintendo took to a special stage in Tokyo yesterday to detail its upcoming console-handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch. The hour-long presentation saw various Nintendo directors and developers discuss specific details such as the system’s launch date, pricing, feature set, and upcoming titles.
The System Itself:
The Switch is scheduled to be released worldwide on March 3, with an Australian recommended retail price of $469.95 for both retail packages. Each one will come with one Nintendo Switch system, two Joy-Cons (left and right), two Joy-Con wrist straps, a Joy-Con Grip, a dock, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. The only difference between the packages will be the colour of the included Joy-Cons: one will come with grey ones while the other will come with one neon blue and one neon red one. Players can also purchase a Nintendo Switch Pro controller, which features a more traditional, Xbox-like button and analog stick placement. Physical games will be stored on flash-based Game Cards and titles can be played on systems from any region (a major win for those who like to import games that aren’t available in their home country). Each system will ship with 32GB of onboard storage that can be expanded by using microSDXC and microSDHC cards.
As per previous reports, the Switch’s tablet portion features a 6.2 inch 720p capacitive touchscreen and is powered by a custom NVIDIA Tegra chip. The system will output at up to 1080p with 5.1 surround sound when connected to a TV through HDMI. The built-in battery is rated to run for “roughly” three hours when playing major games like Zelda and “more than six hours” with more lightweight titles. It will be charged through a standard USB Type-C port. Nintendo plans to sell portable power packs for on-the-go charging.
The Switch’s included Joy-Con controllers — which can be used by attaching them to the tablet, to a Joy-Con Grip, and on their own — include a single analog stick, four face buttons, one bumper, a + or — button, L and R buttons, and a trigger. While both controllers will feature accelerometers and gyro sensors, the right Joy-Con also boasts an infrared motion camera as well as a Home button and the left one features a screenshot (and eventually video) sharing button. The Switch’s versatile control system allow players to use it in multiple “modes”: purely as a handheld, as a tablet with the standard Joy-Cons and Joy-Con Grip, as a tablet with a Pro controller, and as a regular home console when inserted into the included dock. Up to eight systems can be connected together wirelessly to play games locally.
Finally, the company also revealed that its new online system will require a paid subscription, following a free trial period, with subscribers receiving a free NES or SNES title every month. More details are expected to be released over the coming months.
Nintendo noted that there are more than eighty games that are being actively developed for the hybrid console, with the presentation highlighting the following titles:
- 1–2 Switch — a minigame collection that takes advantage of both Joy-Con controllers. This will launch alongside the system.
- ARMS — an arena-based fighting game that uses both Joy-Cons in a similar fashion to how Wiimotes were used in Wii Sports’ boxing mode. This is also a launch title.
- Splatoon 2 — Players can expect to use new weapons in brand new stages while taking advantage of the system’s motion-based controls. Additionally, the new “Super Jump” teleport ability promises to get players back into the action quickly. The game will feature both local and online multiplayer, and is slated for a Winter release.
- Super Mario Odyssey — Mario embarks on “an extraordinary adventure” that takes him from familiar locales, such as New “Donk” City, to fantastical worlds filled pastel colours and a suit-wearing Bowser. Furthermore, the pudgy plumber is accompanied by a living version of his famous red cap, which should lead to some buddy cop comedy-like shenanigans. SMO is scheduled to be released during this Holiday season.
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2 — MonolithSoft’s upcoming sequel boasts even bigger worlds and even bigger creatures to encounter!
- Fire Emblem Warriors — the Warriors formula will make its debut on the Switch with a take on the iconic Fire Emblem series.
- Versions of Dragon Quest X and XI as well as Dragon Quest Heroes I and II will be exclusive to Japan.
- Shin Megami Tensei — ATLUS is bringing its popular RPG series to the Switch with a new Unreal Engine 4-powered title.
- Project Octopath Traveler — Square Enix is returning to the Nintendo stable with an original RPG title that harkens back to the NES and SNES Final Fantasy games.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim — Bethesda’s legendary RPG will be making its way to Nintendo’s latest system later this year.
- A new No More Heroes — Goichi “Suda51” Suda has announced a new Travis Touchdown-starring adventure that is “heavily influenced by pro wrestling”.
- EA SPORTS FIFA — a football game that will be “custom built” for the Nintendo Switch.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — the following (beautiful) trailer capped off the presentation in a most spectacular way. It showed off the game’s beautiful aesthetic as well as the system’s performance prowess in the form of huge draw distances and effects-heavy combat scenes. The best part was the confirmation that the game will be a day one launch title!
Just Dance 2017:
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Puyo Puyo Tetris
Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition
Super Bomberman R
Major (non-Switch) trailer releases:
Mass Effect: Andromeda — Official CES 2017 trailer
Graphics card manufacturer NVIDIA offered us a further glimpse at some of the gameplay systems featured in BioWare’s upcoming RPG.
- Microsoft has officially cancelled PlatinumGames’ Scalebound: Polygon
- Australia’s consumer watchdog has successfully sued Valve for misleading Aussie Steam users: Sydney Morning Herald, ACCC
- Mass Effect: Andromeda is scheduled to be released in Australia on March 23: Official
- NVIDIA unveiled an updated Shield TV system that boasts better gaming performance and 4K compatibility: Official
- NVIDIA also debuted its cloud-based GeForce NOW streaming service that lets anyone with a Mac or Windows system play new releases through a GTX 1060 or GTX 1080-powered PC: Official
- AMD’s Readon “Vega” graphics cards look poised to make 4K/60fps gaming a reality: PC World