Since Nintendo's new Switch hybrid system is an all-in-one combination of the 3DS' handheld mobility with a Wii U's centralized console-and-tablet hardware, 3DS owners have been worried that their beloved handheld's days are numbered. While Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima says the systems will continue to live on, he also delivers some clues that this competing hardware relationship will come to an end at some point--possibly sooner than we think.
"We believe the 3DS can coexist with Nintendo Switch for the time being," Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said during the company's recent Corporate Management Policy Briefing. Just let that sink in a bit...especially that last part, that whole "for the time being" part. It's true that Nintendo will keep making 3DS exclusives throughout the year, but how long will this last? How long until Nintendo decides the 3DS is actively competing against its hot new Switch--the system that represents the total culmination of everything the company has done up until this point, the focal point of hardware, software, and a new non-draconian business model.
Nintendo has also merged its handheld and console teams into one cohesive unit, which strongly hints that the 3DS could be retired in favor of the Switch. "Regarding our software development environment, we have taken the software development teams for home console systems and for handheld systems, which used to be two different departments, and integrated them into one, and this has been very beneficial as they are now developing software as a team in the same environment," Nintendo exec Shigeru MIyamoto said in the briefing.
Nintendo has made a strong effort to ensure its new Switch handheld-console hybrid supports modern games engines and APIs like Unreal Engine, Unity and Vulkan, giving developers tons of powerful and flexible options. Nintendo exec Shigeru Miyamoto affirms that porting cross-platform games onto the Switch can be done 'easily,' and adapting a PC game to the Switch would only take a year.
"Third-party developers who are making software for PC can now easily adapt that software to work on our platform. In the current development environment, Iʼd say that it would take less than a year for them to port a PC game to Nintendo Switch," Miyamoto said during Nintendo's Corporate Management Policy Briefing.
Miyamoto goes on to proudly state that the company's devs have "mastered" the flexible toolsets like Unreal Engine, and that Japanese devs are now on par to Western games developers: "This ease of software development has also been felt by Nintendoʼs internal developers. Also, even though game software developers in the U.S. and E.U. are often said to have superior skills to their Japanese counterparts when it comes to software development techniques, Nintendo's software developers have mastered state-of-the-art technologies such as Unreal engine, and their skills can now be compared with those of Western developers. Our developers are more excited than ever to create software."
Square Enix recently published its third quarter earnings report, and things are looking good for the Final Fantasy publisher. Total nine-month net sales are up by 24% year-over-year thanks to strong game sales, but the most interesting tidbit is the rather massive earnings spike the publisher expects to see at the end of the fiscal year. In fact, corporate expects net sales to rocket in just three months time, pushing its net sales to just over $2.2 billion.
In a nine-month period from April to December 2016, Square Enix generated a total of 190 billion yen in net sales, or about $1.68 billion USD. Three of Square Enix's four yearly quarters have passed, leaving the last three-month quarter (Q4 2017) which ends on March 2017. The publisher's forecast for the entire net sales of Fiscal Year 2017 is 250 to 270 billion yen, which is at least approximately 60 billion yen over their current nine-month earnings. The timing is key here: Square Enix will have a three month period from Jan. 1 to Mar. 31 to generate that 60 billion yen, or about $533.4 million dollars.
What could be responsible for this massive spike? Square Enix obviously has tons of confidence in their current and future lineup, so I decided to take a gander at Square Enix's confirmed 2017 software lineup calendar for games that release during the Q4 timeline. I found six games: KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, RIDE 2, I Am Setsuna (Nintendo Switch), NieR: Automata (PS4), Kingdom Hearts 1.5 & 2.5 HD ReMIX (PS4), and the newly released Mobius Final Fantasy. Two of these (NieR and Kingdom Hearts) are heavy-hitters. Other releases like Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, Dragon Quest Heroes II, and Final Fantasy XII Zodiac Age will release past the cut-off point. So might we be able to expect a surprise release?
Final Fantasy XV took quite some time to develop and represented a big investment on Square Enix's part. We don't know exactly how much the publisher spent to make the game, nor do we have official details on the game's regional sales figures--there's been speculation that it didn't meet its sales projections in Japan despite strong interest in the West. What we do know for sure, however, is that the game isn't being sold at a loss.
Hajime Tabata, who oversaw Final Fantasy XV's development, recently told DualShockers' Giuseppe Nelva that the experimental action RPG recouped Square Enix's full investment cost in its first day. In lieu of official figures, Square Enix confirmed Final Fantasy XV shipped 6 million digital and physical units across the globe to become the fastest-selling game in the entire franchise.
Square Enix has also just announced its Q3 2017 earnings so we can get a better picture on how its major flagship games like Final Fantasy XV performed during the quarter. The prepared slides show Square Enix games sold a lot better in North America and Europe than in Japan; combined digital and disc sales from April to December hit 20 million in the West and only 3.61 million in Japan and weaker still in Asia.
Bethesda have released their new High Resolution Texture Pack for Fallout 4, which weighs in at a damn hefty 54.7GB - but there are some people, myself included, who can't download it.
Fallout 4's own DLC tab doesn't appear for me, but those with mods installed have no issues. If you're having a problem finding, or being able to download the 54GB high-res texture package, here's a trick that should help you.
Right click 'Fallout 4' in your game library, and click 'View Downloadable Content'.
You should see the High Resolution Texture Pack in the menu, with the checkbox - untick it, close the DLC tab. Reopen the DLC tab, and tick it again - and you should begin downloading the Fallout 4 High Resolution Texture Pack.
Bethesda has confirmed that the upcoming High Resolution Texture Pack for Fallout 4 will be a massive 58GB, and is now available to download on Steam.
The developer explains the new patch as: "Experience the wasteland like you've never seen it before with the Fallout 4 High-Resolution Texture Pack! From the blasted buildings of Lexington to the shores of Boston Harbor and beyond, every location is enhanced with ultra-deluxe detail".
We reported on the High Resolution Texture Pack a week ago now, as the developer had listed an AMD Radeon RX 490 8GB as a recommended GPU - something that was quickly fixed.
Cloud Imperium Games will have regional servers for Star Citizen available earlier than previously expected, with Chris Roberts saying that regional servers will be moved up into Alpha 2.6.1 patch.
The new regional servers will let Star Citizen players choose a server that is in their geographic location, with servers for the US, Europe, and Australia. Roberts explained: "Once these are running, we'll be able to run more tests to assess whether more locations will be needed".
Star Citizen's upcoming Alpha 2.6.1 patch will bring a few things, with Roberts saying that it's "progressing nicely". He added: "There's still some UI work to complete and stability issues to iron out, but, as you can see in our updated production schedule report, we're almost ready to get this latest patch into the players' hands".
For Honor enjoyed a closed beta a few days ago, and now Ubisoft are ramping up towards the open beta, before the full game is released on February 14. Now, we have a new trailer to enjoy: check it out below.
The new 'In the Battle' video from Ubisoft throws you into the middle of a three-way battle between the factions in For Honor. The motion captured 360-degree battle looks amazing, with sheer madness happening on screen. Ubisoft has started pre-loading the For Honor open beta has begun, with the open beta taking place between February 9-12.
For Honor will feature 12 playable fully customizable fighters, a single-player campaign, and five multiplayer modes. The game launches on Xbox One, PS4, and PC on February 14.
Square Enix is experimenting to see how high-end PC hardware can push Final Fantasy XV's internal game engine in a series of closed-doors technical demos. This could very well be the foundation for Final Fantasy XV's PC port, which would be a technical feat tailor-made for high-end rigs.
According to reports from DualShockers' Giuseppe Nelva, Square Enix is actively experimenting with powerful NVIDIA GTX 10-series video cards within Final Fantasy XV's beefy Luminous engine. To conduct these tests, Square Enix's Business Division 2 paired dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs together in SLI in the test bed system to see how far the hardware could push Final Fantasy XV's engine's performance and visual fidelity.
Nelva was shown the internal tests during a visit to Square Enix's Tokyo offices and actually saw the test in action: "I will admit that for a moment I couldn't believe my eyes. Vegetation, draw distance, density, detail... Everything on the screen appeared extremely vivid and lifelike, and considering that I'm used to what games look like nowadays, for a moment it was difficult to believe that all that visual glitz was actually running in-engine. It certainly looked like Final Fantasy XV, but pushed to limits of graphical fidelity that I didn't even imagine while playing the game. And yet, there it was, running right in front of my eyes."
Nintendo has released even more info on its new Switch handheld-console hybrid, and now we know the full battery capacity of all the components, including the detachable JoyCon controllers.
According to freshly updated specs from Nintendo, JoyCon controllers each have a 525mAh rechargeable lithium-ion cell battery. The detachable JoyCon controllers have about 20 hours of battery life apiece, and take about 3.5 hours to fully recharge to maximum capacity. The devices are only recharged via Nintendo's unique rail system, so they can only receive power when attached to the Switch console itself or when attached to a JoyCon Charging Grip. Remember that the console's bundled JoyCon Grip will not charge the JoyCons, and the Charging Grip is sold separately. Plus you'll have to pay Nintendo to repair/replace the JoyCons' internal batteries too.
Given the JoyCons feature advanced tech such as HD Rumble haptic feedback, IR motion sensing and acceleromter and gyroscopic tracking, an interesting question arises: will games like ARMS or 1-2 Switch, which use more of the JoyCons features, drain the internal batteries at a faster rate? A quick bit of match sees 525mAh divided by 20 hours to give about 26.26 mAh / hour power drain, and I'd be interested to see if specific games drain the battery faster.