Tuesday, 20 September 2016

NX: Pokemon Confirmed, an Cheeky Indie, and Announcement Rumour

Well things have been a little quiet on the NX front for a while, a little too quiet actually. There haven't been any claims that it runs on tears, harnesses the heart of a dying star, or any of the usual chatter.

Today we have an company confirming NX support (no its not an indie) and the closest to an official source on what form the NX will be, an cheeky Nindie, and an exciting rumour.

First the 'real' news.
Today news has broken via an Wall Street Journal interview with Pokemon Company president Tasunekazu Ishihara who when asked about the NX had this to say.

"The NX is trying to change the concept of what it means to be a home console device or a hand-held device. We will make games for the NX."

This is rather huge news because A) this is first time someone from Nintendo (well close enough) has suggested the NX was any kind of hybrid device, as typically it has been referred to as a home (Reggie) or dedicated game console (Iwata). B) Pokemon company refuses to make core Pokemon games for home systems (though it has released the Stadium, Colosseum and Snap spin offs on home systems).

Now the rumour.
There has been various bits of chatter over the last few weeks that the NX announcement was coming by the end of the month. With some sources stating that we would see an announcement Direct this month and then an full on reveal event in October. The most recent rumour stated there was announcement "next week" and that was last week (just).

Now today's rumour, again from multiple sources is saying that many European retailers are being summoned to Nintendo Europe in Germany for "something about Nintendo", the sources say its unlikely the rest of us will know whats happening until Nintendo announces it themselves due to the strict nature of the NDA's involved.

This nicely lines up with a story last week that Nintendo's developer portal (the place devs get software for Nintendo development) had been updated to include HAC 1.0, seeing as neither the 3DS or the Wii U are listed as HAC its believed this is the NX. The update to the portal is said to be gearing up to a developer reveal.

The cheeky Nindie
This is frankly a weird one. Award winning writer and game dev Stephan Dinehart IV (yeah I had to Wiki him too) has today tweeted the following

Is confirming an NDA breaking an NDA? Unless Nintendo ninja assassinate him for it we could be in for something interesting from Dinehart, who has won awards for "best writing", "outstanding innovation", "best student design philosophy", and won the "independent games festival".

Abe's Take

Wait you want more? fine. That's a lot of NX news today we have one statement from an official source, One respectable (and pubic) confirmation and multiple rumours all converging "soon" could we be actually about to get some real information? If the French March 4th Breath of the Wild Amiibo launch is true than we are little more than 5 months (164 days) away from the NX launch.

Platinum Announces Bayonetta Amiibo

Now I know what you're asking "Wait wasn't a Bayonetta Amiibo announced already?" well yes disembodied internet voice they did confirm Bayonetta would be getting an Smash Bro's Amiibo series version.

So whats going on today? Well its nearly the 2nd anniversary of the Japanese launch of Bayonetta 2 and Yusuke Hashimoto, the game's director has a Big Announcement.

"We’re coming up on Bayonetta 2’s second anniversary, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than with a new figure?

And what better figure than an amiibo?

I’m afraid that this little taste is all I can give you right now, since we’re still working hard to get her just right. But I assure you that we’re going to capture everything you know and love about Bayonetta – every detail down to the exact sizes of her glasses and eyes – and bring you an amiibo that’ll meet your every expectation.

Back when we were making Bayonetta 2, there wasn’t any talk of bringing the game to life in three dimensions like this. In fact, this is the first time a character from a game I’ve directed has been made into a figure. I’m shocked by how well Bayonetta’s essence has been shrunk down to fit in the palm of your hand! What an amazing era…

I’m really looking forward to the full unveiling of the Bayonetta amiibo, and I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Between the announcement of her amiibo and her Super Smash Bros. debut, 2016 has been quite a year for our favorite witch. It’s a dream come true to see her fighting alongside such storied and beloved characters as Mario and Fox McCloud in Smash Bros.
I’d love to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of Bayonetta’s fans for all the love and support you’ve shown her up to now! I hope she stays in your heart for years to come."

Yes I'm sure the size of her 'Glasses' is a priority *wink*. Sorry where was I? Oh yes that's it. So what is exactly going on here? Nintendo has been the one making all the Smash Amiibo even the third party characters have been Nintendo made*. So either Platinum is heavily involved in the creation process of the smash series or they are making their own.

Judging from today's "announcement" and tying it into Bayonetta 2's anniversary  makes me believe this is actually an 2nd Bayonetta figure which raises the question what functionality will the figure have? personally I'm hoping that follow Shovel Knights example and add co-op to the campaign.

*Shovel Knight was the first Amiibo made by an third party and the upcoming Monster Hunter Stories Capcom has created an entire range of Amiibo for the title.

Abe's Take
It's great to see Bayonetta doing well, The witch dose seem to enjoy here time with Nintendo with the sequel beings exclusive, staring in Smash Bros (Via public vote) and now her own (apparently separate to Smash) Amiibo. I mean they could of just made a statue or regular figure but they went with Amiibo. Lets see what the future holds.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Review: Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight is a 4v1 survival horror game, and graced our computer screens on June 14th. 4v1 sounds pretty unfair, that is until you realise that the 4 have literally no way to defend themselves and the 1 has some form of murder device. The best part? You can choose to be hunter or prey, and you have a fair bit to choose from in what you play as.

The object of the game is for four survivors to get five generators up and running to power two escape gates, as well as avoiding a murderous man or woman who wanders the map trying to put them on a meathook, summoning the Entity to attempt to take you away if you aren't rescued in time.

Moana Trailer Review

So, with the newest trailer just released, I think it's time to analyse and generally comment on the upcoming Disney film – Moana.

If you've not seen the trailer yet, find it below and watch away. Or skip ahead to the review beneath.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Sorry Sony Brothers and Sisters, No Mods for You.

So the last 24 hours haven't been as kind to Sony as they should of been, after all they announced not only a slim PS4 but also an suped up PS4 Pro. It wouldn't be wrong to expect cries of delight but the narrative hasn't been as positive as it should be (outside the core PS fan-base). Fan's are question why the Pro is weaker than Scropio (4.2 TF v 6.2TF), questions about shared PS4/Pro game library, and why doesn't the Pro support ultra Blu-ray when the Xbox One S supports it. 

Now Bethesda has stepped forward with some more news. PlayStation Fallout fans have been waiting desperately for mod support for Fallout 4. Today Bethesda finally gave an answer and sadly its not good. Fallout 4 and Skyrim Special Edition have had their mod support official canceled. The reason for this final solution? Well its all apparently down to Sony's attitude towards mods. Here's what Bethesda has to say about it.

"After months of discussion with Sony, we regret to say that while we have long been ready to offer mod support on PlayStation 4, Sony has informed us they will not approve user mods the way they should work: where users can do anything they want for either Fallout 4 or Skyrim Special Edition.
"Like you, we are disappointed by Sony’s decision given the considerable time and effort we have put into this project, and the amount of time our fans have waited for mod support to arrive. We consider this an important initiative and we hope to find other ways user mods can be available for our PlayStation audience. However, until Sony will allow us to offer proper mod support for PS4, that content for Fallout 4 and Skyrim on PlayStation 4 will not be available.
"We will provide an update if and when this situation changes."

This shouldn't be such a surprise as it is. Bethesda has had real trouble getting mods to work with the limitations that Sony had placed on them. Not just the 900MB storage limit but issues with audio codecs which Sony evidently refused to budge on. The PS4 uses an proprietary audio codec which without either giving A) modders access to or B) Bethesda a means of conversion meant PS4 mods couldn't feature any audio not found in the base game/DLC. I'm sure we'll get more information as fans bombard Bethesda with questions/praise/insults.

Its not hard to believe Bethesda's comments on this, They have always had issues with the PlayStation versions of their titles. Lets not forget MS paid for 1 month exclusivity on Skyrim only for the PS launch of the DLC to be so marred in technical problems it wouldn't launch properly for nearly a year.

Between Fallout, Skyrim and Ark (admittedly that's different) it was looking like consoles was finally getting real mod support. Hopefully our PS Brothers and Sisters can make Sony see the error of their ways, nothing like a bit of consumer pressure to right the ship.

Abe's Take
This will certainly hurt sales of Skyrim on PS4 since the most hyped feature of the upcoming relaunch and it depending on how Sony responds could affect PS4 Pro's relationship with Bethesda. It's possible if Sony responds "well" to Bethesda's announcement, they might adjust the PS4 Pro to support mods but if they respond aggressively returning with an allegation of their own it could push Bethesda into Microsoft's camp, We all ready know Fallout VR is heading to Scorpio, could that now become exclusive for reasons beyond power? 

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Yet More NX Rumours - Layout, Size, and Region Freedom?

Yep the NX rumours are coming thick and fast in the run up to the upcoming (rumoured) reveal event later in September. 

The chaps over at "Lets Play Video Games" the folks who brought is the previous rumour about the NX fancy rumble and motion controllers has brought yet more to the rumour table.

Layout Rumour
LPVG is now saying the NX features an "share" button much like the one found on the PS4's pad. They say that the actual share functionality allows for both screenshots and videos. These can then be uploaded to Miiverse, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube (interestingly Twitch isn't mentioned). Their source also states that Nintendo has (seemingly) abandoned its solid D-pad that's graced all their systems in favour for an PS4 style "split" design. I assume this is to better enable the D-Pad to pull double duty as face buttons when the pad is detached for alleged spiltscreen MP. (though the 2nd picture below raises an eyebrow or three).

Here is their sources own words (and MS paint doodles) on the design.

"As others already said, it’s a hybrid console with detachable controllers that have a split D-Pad, A, B, X, Y, and a camera / share button. However, something I believe none of them have mentioned is the size of the current dev kit.
It’s slightly thicker than the Nintendo 3DS XL when folded, so 25 mm, with a width of around 281 mm and a height of 92 mm with the controllers attached. Separated, the controllers have the same depth and height, and they both have a width of 38 mm, making the console itself have a width of 205 mm.
I’ve made a picture detailing where the TV port, headphone port, SD Card port, power button and cartridge port can be found.
NX Layout 1
One final thing I thought I should discuss is how the controllers connect. They’re both held by the console via a hole in each side of the system where the controllers can connect to. It sort of looks like this.
NX Layout 2
To take it out, there’s a button on the back of each controller that lowers the center spike that keeps it in place, making it eject from the system."

Region Rumour
Both LPVG and Emily Rodgers (infamous sniffer) are both stating that the NX Prototypes and the NX Dev Kits are currently region free with no sign from the Big N that this will change for the retail units. It makes a lot of sense to have the NX region free as it allows Nintendo to use a single stock for the world market, no need to produce more units for Japan when you have EU units gathering dust. With all of the NX's rivals (consoles/tablets) being region free it seems wise to bow to this particular piece of pier pressure.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Another Day, Another NX rumour... or Two

oh boy these rumours just keep on coming now Eurogamer has apparently blown the lid on the NX. Today's rumour has a little extra weight to it. Plus bonus rumour!

UPDATE: It seems my source on Miss Rodgers wasn't complete, she confirms the previous MVC report (this infomation is added to the rest of her section of the original story below.

Controller Rumour
This latest rumour first reported by "Let's Play Games" via an unnamed source first backs up Eurogamer's rumour of detachable controllers but goes on to say that these controllers will feature "Wiimote like" motion controls and "advanced" force feedback. The later being described as being similar to that found in the HTC Vive's hand controllers. Which means the device is able to offer multiple types of vibration unlike other console controllers which only modulates the one type (excluding the X1's feed back triggers... like 90% of devs have). Here is what the source has to say about it

“very similar to the Vive controller, in that it alters intensity, pulsing patterns and duration of vibration to mimic the sensation of a range of different movement types. It’s not just one vibration for all situations, there’s a notable difference between the hard abrupt feedback of a sword clash or the softer, longer thud of something like hitting a tennis ball.”

This rumour has some official and unofficial backing. The official backing comes from Ubisoft with Just Dance hitting the NX, Ubisoft stated that Just Dance will come to "any and all motion controlled systems". Whilst the unofficial backing comes from known Nintendo rumour monger Emily Rodgers, Miss Rodgers not only confirms the above is true but goes on to spill some more details about the prototype device.

  • The NX had a multi-touch 6.2 inch 720p screen.
  • The docking station had 2 USB ports.
  • Detachable motion controllers with advanced force feedback.
Miss Rodgers is quick to point out that this was the prototype NX and not even the pre-production model, so details have likely changed a little. Miss Rodgers also claims the MCV rumour stating that the NX was getting an Gamefreak made Pokemon game in the first 6 months "Had some truth to it

This report dose make us at GKUK smille because it increases the chance of the NX getting a Splatoon game that plays like the Wii U title and reminds us of titles like that used the motion plus like Red Steel 2/Wii Sports Resort and titles that understood the Wiimotes limits like Monster Hunter Tri and Twlight Princess (whilst not as super responsive as normal controls having a disjointed pad was relaxing)

Reveal Rumour
Tom Phillips Deputy Editor of Eurogamer says he believes that the NX's reveal will be in September. His sources (who are behind their NX report) say that the reveal was always planned for September and that "hasn't changed" he does say however that information isn't flowing as easily as before Eurogamer reported on the NX.

Phillip's source believes their will be a Nintendo Direct reveal for fans whilst the press will get a more hands on event at the same time

Abe's Take
Not the NX
As a Vision 8 (see above) owner which boasts an 8 inch screen plus 2 controller parts it feels a little unweildly to be taking out the house (perfect for home Xbox streaming though) 6.9 feels about right for the retail version of the NX which is meant to be played at home and out 'n' about. However 720p seems awfully low since its going to have plenty of 1080p rivals in both the Tablet and Console markets, Case in point the now "legacy" PSVita had an 900p screen.