At $299 Nintendo's new Switch console is less than a PS4 or Xbox One, but the system has a galaxy of peripherals, accessories, and controllers that can rack the cost real high real fast.
Buying a Nintendo Switch Pro controller and Zelda: Breath of the Wild cost me $137 at my local Walmart: the Pro controller is $69.99 and Breath of the Wild cost your standard $59.99. That's nearly half of the Switch's total $299 retail price--so in essence I purchased a single game and a single controller for almost 50% of the console's price tag.
So why is the Nintendo Switch Pro controller so much, and why would you buy it when the Switch comes with two JoyCon controllers? The Pro controller sports the JoyCon's motion tracking, gyroscopes, accelerometer and HD Rumble tech in a much more user-friendly package. The controller is comfortable and well-made, and if you plan on getting the Switch to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild then you might want to invest in the device. But the biggest reason to pick it up is simple: gamers are having connection issues with the JoyCons.
NVIDIA Editor's Day 2017 - I'm a massive fan of NVIDIA's awesome ShadowPlay feature, and it seems like millions of gamers are like me as well.
During their recent Editor's Day at GDC 2017, NVIDIA revealed ShadowPlay has over 200 million videos uploaded per year - with the company noticing a 2x year-over-year growth in the number of videos recorded and shared through ShadowPlay. That wasn't the end of ShadowPlay's bragging rights, as the company also announced ShadowPlay Highlights - something we've gone into more detail on here.
GDC 2017 - AMD had quite the show at their second annual Capsaicin & Cream event during GDC 2017 this year, unveiling the new name of their next-gen Radeon RX Vega graphics cards - teasing 16K 120FPS VR, and so much more.
One of the more interesting announcements was the partnership between AMD and LiquidSky, the game streaming service - which will connect gamers to a host server, with the games being rendered in the cloud - similar to how GeForce Now works. You'll need a good internet connection obviously, but there are other issues in between.
The rendering of the game is done in the cloud by LiquidSky, which means there will be latency in between - unescapable latency, at least for now. AMD used a not-so-great Surface Book to run Battlefield 1 in the cloud, with the hope of the future to provide millions of gamers Vega-powered gaming from the cloud, to your desk (or TV) in the near future.
GDC 2017 - Square Enix's latest tech demo shows Final Fantasy XV running on a high-end PC armed with NVIDIA's supercharged GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card.
Remember when we said Square Enix was experimenting with Final Fantasy XV on PC using dual GTX 1080s in SLI? Now at GDC 2017 we see the fruits of the team's labor, and Final Fantasy XV may be a substantial step closer to a PC release.
The tech demo shows the evolution of Final Fantasy XV's proprietary Luminous Engine, which was used to deliver amazing next-gen performance, visuals, lighting and atmospheric effects even on outdated consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One. But the devs prove that PC is where the RPG will truly shine to a near-blinding luster. The demo taps NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti to deliver amazing power boosts in every regard: dramatically better lighting and animations, real-time shadows, dynamic destructible environments, and even the ability to drive a souped up Regalia anywhere you want.
If you're planning on getting the Shadow of Mordor sequel on PC but don't have a powerful rig, don't worry: the PC spec requirements aren't too bad.
On the heels of Shadow of Mordor's success, Warner Bros. Games recently announced a sequel called Middle-earth Shadow of War that's coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC in August. Considering the last game was fairly well optimized across the PC build spectrum, we should expect the same for the sequel, as the flexible required PC specs seem to indicate.
In order to play Shadow of War on PC you'll need at least an Intel i5-2550K CPU, a GeForce GTX 670 or AMD Radeon HD 7950 GPU, and 8GB of RAM. The game's install size will clock in at about 60GB, but given the huge scope this should be expected.
GDC 2017 - Gearbox's Randy Pitchford has confirmed that Borderlands 3 will leverage the power of Unreal Engine 4 to bring high fidelity advanced effects, dynamic shadows, lighting and much more to the next-gen Borderlands sequel.
Gearbox is doing some very, very interesting things with Unreal Engine 4. The studio has been developing Borderlands 3 for a while now, and at GDC 2017 Randy Pitchford showed off the game's first ever technical demonstration to highlight some of the more advanced effects the devs are using to make the game. "We're going to show you some technology that we're building within UE4 that will power the next Borderlands game," Pitchford said before the demo.
As you'd expect, the Borderlands 3 tech demo is extremely technical. Pitchford talks about a lot of things including procedural mapping rendering techniques that improve the visual quality of objects, as well as dynamic lighting and shadow, the unique outline methods used in the franchise, and much, much more. We see things like sunrays and atmospheric lighting effects and shadows with sun-lit scenes, including lighting occlusion, sub-surface scattering, and "ray of god" effects.
Nintendo has created a Witcher 3-level masterpiece swan song with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and shortly after the review embargo broke, multiple perfect scores propelled the game to Metacritic's best games of all time list.
At the time of writing, Breath of the Wild is sitting comfortably as Metacritic's fourth best game of all time. The top spot goes to Ocarina of Time on N64, but I do think Breath of the Wild could even unseat the legendary classic to cement itself as a must-have system-seller that Nintendo needs for its new Switch system.
Metacritic plays a vital role to any game developer's success, and high scores on the review aggregate site can determine whether or not devs get bonus pay. If Breath of the Wild does one thing, it proves that the old adage "they don't make 'em like they used to" might be outdated: Nintendo is back in action and better than ever.
Now that Nintendo Switch's day-one update is rolled out we can finally see the exact way to add friends onto the system...but you're not going to like it. Yes, it uses friend codes.
Press Start has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch uses the outmoded--and often confusing--Friend Code system to add different players to your friends list. It was originally believed that the FC system would be scrapped in favor of being able to add users via their Nintendo Account User IDs, however this wouldn't work because anyone can change their User IDs at any time. So hence the necessity of the Friend Code system.
All the ways you can add friends on the Switch
- Search for Local Users
- Search for Users You've Played With
- Search with Friend Code (12 digit)
- Sent Friend Requests
The Nintendo Switch launches tomorrow(!) for $299. Check below for a massive catalog of Nintendo Switch coverage.
GDC 2017 - Microsoft has announced that its "monster" 4K-ready Project Scorpio console will support both AR and VR headsets in 2018, facilitating a more unified Mixed Reality approach.
We've known for a while that Project Scorpio would support "high-fidelity VR experiences," but now Redmond has confirmed what we suspected at the start: those Windows 10 headsets being made by companies like Dell, Lenovo, Acer, and ASUS will bring VR and AR experiences to the total Windows Mixed Reality platform--which will soon include Xbox One consoles and Project Scorpio.
"We're also excited to share that Windows Mixed Reality experiences will light up on other devices over time, beyond desktop and Microsoft Hololens. Our plan is to bring mixed reality content to the Xbox One family of devices, including Project Scorpio, in 2018," Microsoft announced in a recent update post.
Nintendo's new Switch Pro controller can actually be used to natively play PC games--but only via Bluetooth.
A PC will actually recognize a Switch Pro controller when hooked up via USB Type-C, however you can't actually play any games over the protocol. But if you pair the Switch Pro controller to your PC via Bluetooth, you can play games on PC or Mac. It even works on Android devices. But there is one caveat: the Switch Pro is DirectInput not XInput, meaning it may not work in some games that were made for XInput controller mapping, such as The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.
One principal drawback is that the Switch Pro loses its Bluetooth connection when connected to a PC via USB Type-C So this means you can't actually charge the battery while you're playing PC games over Bluetooth. However since the Switch Pro controller has 40 hours of battery life, this shouldn't be a big deal.