Nintendo has confirmed that the Switch will take about 3 hours to completely recharge while on the dock over USB Type-C.
We've just found out the Nintendo Switch's 6.2-inch "console" tablet features a non-removable 4310mAh rechargable 3.7V Lithium-ion battery, which seems pretty beefy in itself, but for a dedicated games tablet at 1280 x 720 we should have at least 5000mAh, so it's no wonder the battery life is about 3 hours with major games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Now we've gleaned from Nintendo Japan's press site that a completely depleted Switch handheld will take 3 hours to completely recharge via the dock or separately with the included Type-C AC adapter.
Nintendo has affirmed that the Switch's battery can last up to 6.5 hours in Mobile Mode, but this long life is likely prolonged via the system's Sleep Mode, which is enabled to extend the system's battery life while on-the-go. Actual gameplay in Mobile Mode will likely be around the 3 or 4 hour mark, and while gamers can recharge the system as they play, the Switch's depleted recharging time will be as long as the actual system's play time. What's more is that the Switch's 4310mAh, 3.7 V Li-ion battery may take longer to recharge on the dock, which transfers 5V DC across a 2.6A current, which equals 39W, than hooking the Switch directly up to a AC wall socket which will provide between 100W - 240W of converted AC power. That's not to say that the Switch will leverage the full brunt of that power, however, as the device has a 3.7 V battery.
In case you missed yesterday's Valve bombshell, company bigwig and Steamlord Gabe Newell held an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, delivering some interesting answers. One of these very answers was that Valve hopes to make Source 2 available for all devs free of charge.
"We are continuing to use Source 2 as our primary game development environment. Aside from moving Dota 2 to the engine recently, we are are using it as the foundation of some unannounced products. We would like to have everyone working on games here at Valve to eventually be using the same engine," Newell said during the AmA.
"We also intend to continue to make the Source 2 engine work available to the broad developer community as we go, and to make it available free of charge."
Microsoft has just purchased Simplygon, the team behind an API that's employed in tons of console, PC and mobile games by virtually every triple-A publisher and developer in the industry, including EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Bethesda, Sony and Capcom.
Simplygon's 3D data-optimization technology has seen widespread implementation across the industry, and Microsoft's recent acquisition is no doubt part of the company's Windows 10 UWP unified framework, and will be a key part in its new focus. In fact, I see Microsoft leveraging Simplygon to make unique dev tools to scale Xbox games across all Windows 10 platforms--Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One, Xbox One S and Project Scorpio consoles.
Simplygon is also a major boon for Microsoft's new mixed reality gaming push, which will facilitate across Windows 10 PCs, its Hololens AR headset, and its new VR-ready Project Scorpio console. Microsoft has enlisted key OEMs like ASUS, Dell, Acer, Lenovo and HP to make cheap and accessible VR headsets powered by Windows 10. Simplygon is used for games across the entire spectrum of hardware, including AR and VR platforms, so this acquisition will fold neatly into Microsoft's widespread approach to future hardware and games.
Grinding Gear Games today announced that Path of Exile, one of the best MMO ARPGs ever made, is coming to Xbox One. This is big news, folks!
I've long contested that Path of Exile is the true successor to the Diablo series; in many ways, it feels like the real Diablo 3. My feelings have somewhat changed since the excellent Grim Dawn ARPG came out, but Path of Exile is still an amazing game in its own right--and now it's coming to Xbox One.
Path of Exile on Xbox One will be free to play, of course, but it will have its own dedicated server and PC players won't get to mingle with Xbox players--that's a bit disappointing, but hey, it's awesome we're getting a port. The Xbox version will feature all of the PC content including the new 3.0.0 expansion that brings Act Five.
Just yesterday I predicted that Halo 6 is finished, and that it'll release as a big-budget triple-A Project Scorpio launch game in Holiday 2017. Now Xbox head Phil Spencer squashed my predictions, and says the company is going to take a risk by letting new IPs lead its 2017 Xbox lineup.
"Xbox One games shipping this year are different for us. not Halo FPS/Gears led, new experiences with different IP, will be fun year," Phil Spencer recently said on Twitter.
With 2017 and subsequently the launch of its "monster" 4K-ready Project Scorpio console, Microsoft will take a new risky direction that has unproven new IPs serving as the launch lineup for its big new console. Traditionally this is a gamble: any big new console needs an array of "safe bet" games that fully leverage said console to its fullest. Instead of a sure-fire win like Halo 6, Microsoft will apparently go with IPs like Crackdown and Phantom Dust for its Project Scorpio lineup. Now remember that Project Scorpio in itself is a new console, but it's not a new platform: the system will play all existing Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatible games. Project Scorpio is an iterative system that resets the hardware, but not the OS and the games.
If you're a Tekken fan like myself who lives outside of Japan, then you're been wondering one thing above all else: when is it coming out?! The arcade fighter has been out in Japan since March 2015, and we've had to wait quite some time. Well, the answer to that question is coming soon...very soon.
"To all #Tekken fans and beyond: look forward to the release date announcement of Tekken 7 next week. Stay tuned!" Namco Bandai wrote on their official Facebook page.
Tekken 7 will see classic fighters clash with fresh new faces, and it'll be the first Tekken to officially come to PC. Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada confirmed Tekken 7 will run at a crisp and concise 1080p 60FPS on PS4, and that the team has taken great lengths to ensure there's no fight-stick latency in the game.
Nintendo's Switch console may have a secret weapon that allows it to tap the might of NVIDIA's GeForce Now servers and allow dramatically improved performance via cloud accelerated GPU power. This secret weapon is the Supplemental Computing Device (SCD), an external processing box that hooks up to the Switch and boosts its power, not unlike today's eGPU external GPU boxes.
Nintendo has affirmed the Switch is a "home console first and foremost," but the system doesn't deliver performance befit of a home console, even with its onboard custom NVIDIA Tegra SoC. Instead, the Switch's gameplay performance while docked leaves something to be desired a times, with heavy-hitting games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild only hitting 900p 30FPS while docked.
But the SCD could change all of that. The Nintendo Switch could utilize NVIDIA's GeForce Now servers to beam high-end GeForce power to the console's built-in Tegra processor, facilitating boosted graphics and visuals, performance, frame rates and more.
Steam's support service is quite lackluster, and isn't the kind of support you'd expect from a giant online marketplace. In his recent Reddit AmA session, Gabe Newell concedes that Steam support needs to be streamlined and shored up, and affirms that Valve is committed to the task.
"We are continuing to work on improving support," Newell said during the session. Newell goes on to say that Valve has expanded Steam's support by fivefold in an attempt to reduce the frustration automatic process, and has dramatically improved the response times. "Since the last AMA, we've introduced refunds on Steam, we've grown our Support staff by roughly 5x, and we've shipped a new help site and ticketing system that makes it easier to get help. We've also greatly reduced response times on most types of support tickets and we think we've improved the quality of responses."
Despite these improvements--which don't always seem to have an affect--Valve isn't done fixing Steam support. Newell acknowledges the task is much bigger and requires a consistent effort: "We definitely don't think we're done though. We still need to further improve response times and we are continually working to improve the quality of our responses. We're also working on adding more support staff in regions around the world to offer better native language support and improve response times in various regions."
Yesterday Gabe Newell (aka GabeN), co-founder and current boss at Valve, held a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. GabeN revealed some interesting things, particularly that while Valve is indeed working on new games, the studio is quite interested in carrying its IPs and ideas across a wide spectrum of hardware that transcends traditional gaming--such as VR, machine learning, and even brain-computer interfaces. Yes, really.
When asked what the future holds for Valve, GabeN pretty much highlighted things we already know: Valve will expand its focus past the current hardware on the market and look to the horizon to build unique experiences. This of course means we'll probably see less actual first-party games from Valve until said hardware is mastered and ready for the masses. "The big thing right now is broadening the range of options we have in creating experiences. We think investing in hardware will give us those options. The knuckles controller is being designed at the same time as we're designing our own VR games," Newell said during the AmA session.
"Much more narrowly, some of us are thinking about some of the AI work that is being hyped right now. Simplistically we have lots of data and compute capability that looks like the kinds of areas where machine learning should work well. Personally I'm looking at research in brain-computer interfaces."
Gabe Newell was on-hand for his Reddit AMA a few hours ago, where he was asked a slew of questions - with one of them asking what was his personal favorite Valve game/series.
Newell's response: "I think Portal 2 is our best single-player game. I play Dota 2 the most of our multiplayer games". Surely you're thinking 'but what about Half-Life', and I would agree. Newell continued: "The issue with Half-Life for me is that I was involved in a much higher percentage of the decisions about the games, so it's hard for me to look at them as anything other than a series of things I regret".
Our Lord and Savior GabeN continued: "There's no information in my response about what we'll do in the future. It's simply easier for me to be a fan of things that in which I was less directive. If you are involved in a game, everything ends up being a set of trade-offs. Anything in a game is a sacrifice of things not in the game. I just feel those more personally about Half-Life for a bunch of reasons".
Wrapping up that question, Newell concluded: "And Xen".