The Nintendo Switch has already been torn down, revealing some interesting things: a custom NVIDIA Tegra X1 chip that perfectly matches the second-gen Shield TV's 20nm Tegra X1 transistor count, and the possible confirmation that the handheld-console hybrid will use efficient DDR4 mobile RAM.
We already know the Nintendo Switch should use 4GB of unified shared RAM system memory, but until now we weren't exactly sure how fast or what grade of memory would be in the Switch. Now we might know. According to recent Switch teardowns spotted on Chinese site Tabao, two Samsung-made SDRAM modules were spotted on the system's PCB.
The pictures are very fuzzy, but the consensus is that the SDRAM modules are K4F2E304HBMGCH modules, which are described as "LPDDR4 DRAM Chip Mobile LPDDR4 DRAM 16G-Bit 512Mx32 1.8V 200-Pin FBGA." These particular Samsung LPDDR4 modules have a 16gigabit density, which is 2GB, and there are two of them totaling for 4GB of unified LPDDR4 memory. Samsung's website confirms these modules can have maximum frequencies of up to 2666MHz, however I think its likely the Switch's 4GB of unified LPDDR4 memory will be clocked at 1600MHz, and scroll down to find out why.
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the most ancipated games of 2017, an exclusive to Sony's two consoles: the PS4 and faster PS4 Pro. On the beefier PS4 Pro, Horizon Zero Dawn runs at a locked 30FPS with no slowdowns.
The performance report is coming from some lucky gamers who got their hands-on a copy of Horizon Zero Dawn before its launch, with one gamer saying it is "technologically outstanding" on the PS4 Pro. The performance is "locked 30 even on Pro" and that he "didn't notice any slowdowns".
Can you believe we're only weeks away from the launch of the Nintendo Switch, and now we're seeing a purported teardown of Nintendo's next-gen console. There's lots of things to look at, but we'll list of what we can see - including the massive 4310mAh battery.
NVIDIA's custom Tegra-based chip can be spotted, next to 2 x DIMMs, a USB Type-C slot on the circuit board, and the huge 6.2-inch touchscreen can be seen on the other side.
The NVIDIA chip is interesting, as it has a code label of "UDNX02-A2" - and as Ars Technica points out: "the Switch is set to contain a Tegra chip, and we had been led to believe that this would be much like the X1 found in NVIDIA's Shield devices. But this "A2" designation, unlike the "A1" printed on existing X1 chips, could mean we're getting a significant change to the design".
Mass Effect: Andromeda has been detailed in a new gameplay video, teasing a bunch of weapons in the form of melee, rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles. There's also the Helios side of things: plasma-based weapons that can be charged up and hit enemies with heatseeking technology.
The game looks absolutely delicious, with it being a beautiful sci-fi game that continues in the Mass Effect universe. We get a great look at the UI, which looks slick to use - and the skill system can be customized for specific fights. There are skill trees that fall into three sections: combat, tech, and biotics. We know what combat and tech will be used for, but with biotics we can expect to see dark energy being used to shield yourself, or it can be used to pick up enemies and throw them around.
Mass Effect Andromeda will be launching on March 21 for the PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
Remember those Nintendo Switch consoles that were supposedly shipped out early? It turns out that these consoles were actually stolen from retail stores and Nintendo is slapping down the hammer.
"Earlier this week, individuals claimed to prematurely purchase a small number of Nintendo Switch systems from an unspecified retailer. Nintendo has determined these units were stolen in an isolated incident by employees of a U.S. distributor, with one system being illegally resold," Nintendo told IGN in a statement.
Nintendo is treating this quite seriously and has identified the thieves, wiped out their jobs, and are pursuing criminal charges. "The individuals involved have been identified, terminated from their place of employment and are under investigation by local law enforcement authorities on criminal charges."
Platinum Games' latest dystopian action RPG Nier: Automata won't arrive on Xbox One, but it will launch on PC. Why wouldn't the studio--and Square Enix--want to maximize their potential sales by including the game on all platforms? It's simple: Xbox just isn't popular in Japan.
"The main reason for this is that the Japanese market for Xbox One is not strong, so the decision was made to focus on PlayStation 4 rather than to split our efforts across two platforms," game producer Yosuke Saito told Express UK in a recent interview.
Saito goes on to say that being able to focus development on a single platform meant more time to optimize everything to a pristine polish. Wait...one platform? Nier: Automata is coming to PC too, right? Interestingly enough Square Enix hasn't talked about the PC port's release date for quite a while, and PC isn't even listed on Nier Automata's JP site nor on Platinum Games' Nier site.
Now that more video games are getting their own films and TV shows, Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive has opened up licensing opportunities to adapt key IPs into feature-length and/or episodic entertainment.
Take-Two Interactive is all about taking advantage of the market and leveraging its IPs in new ways to make money. The games giant is now pushing into the $40 billion a year mobile gaming industry, and now it's opened up the options for movies and TV shows based on its hit franchises--but the catch is Take-Two won't be putting any of its own money into the possible projects.
"We've licensed a couple of titles for motion picture production and we don't have much more to say about that yet,"Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a recent interview with MCV. "We're open-minded. We certainly aren't going to use our own balance sheet to invest in motion pictures and TV. If other people want to license them and we can retain creative control, we are open-minded. The track record of the conversion of video game IP to motion pictures is spotty at best."
Nintendo has finally reversed one of its most clandestine business tactics, signifying the company is absolutely changing for the better. Digital game licenses are now bound to Nintendo Accounts instead of platforms, meaning users can re-download previously purchased Virtual Console content and DLC to the Nintendo Switch.
This news comes from Twitter user Bjorn the Switchy, who saw the following interesting addendum on a recent Nintendo Switch setup video:
"Your Nintendo Account contains your Nintendo eShop purchase history and current balance. By re-linking your Nintendo Account after initializing the console, it will be possible to re-download any software or DLC purchased using that account. (Software that has been discontinued may not be available to re-download in some cases.)"
Square Enix has dropped two new Final Fantasy VII: Remake screenshots that confirm the game's first boss battle as Guard Scorpion and show off the battle HUD.
Final Fantasy VII: Remake's battle HUD is rather...minimalist. The battle UI contrasts to that shown during the PlayStation Experience trailer, and Materia has now replaced the Summon bar in the action menu. The new screens also clearly list an ATB gauge but before you get too excited remember Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed that FF7 Remake won't be turn-based--the combat will be like Final Fantasy XV.
So what's with the ATB gauge then? The PSX footage shows a gauge that fills up as Cloud strikes enemies, and when it turns red, he initiates a finishing move. The ATB gauge in this game could be a combo counter of sorts that can trigger powerful mini cut-scene attacks in battle. The new screens show that you can press triangle when Cloud's ATB bar is full to likely trigger a combo finisher. This is separate from the limit break attacks, and limits have their own bar still.
It's no secret that Sony has given up on the PlayStation Vita. This void allowed Nintendo to swoop in with their unique handheld-console hybrid Switch system and tap the best of both markets. But Nintendo's victory might be short-lived: Sony apparently is working on a Vita successor.
The Japanese Patent Office just published a patent for Sony's new handheld gaming device which may be the company's next-generation PlayStation Vita. It appears the patent was originally filed in Aug. 2015 and published on Feb. 16, 2017.
Sony's new Vita-like handheld patent resembles the Nintendo Switch--it's actually close to Razer's Project Fiona--and essentially looks like a tablet with two halves of a DualShock controller on the ends.