Nintendo's next-gen Switch console is nearly here, so we're finally seeing the retail packaging for Switch games - and what a huge waste of plastic for such a small cartridge.
The game cartridges that Nintendo Switch games comes in at 31mm x 21mm x 3mm, making them small - as the 3DS cartridges are just 35mm x 33mm x 4mm. But, Nintendo has used a gigantic case for the cartridge, coming in at 170mm x 104mm x 10mm. SomeSwitch game packages won't include instruction manuals, registration cards, legal health warning or anything else that would use more physical space in the case. However, Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ will have a 20-page full-color game manual, and we can clearly see where the actual game manuals go in the case.
This isn't an unusual thing for Nintendo, as 3DS cartridges only use 2% of the volume in the package, Sony isn't any different with Vita cartridges taking just 0.8% of its total packaging volume. The retail boxes seem to be for those who want to have a library of games on their shelves like previous-gen games - but we live in a new world, Nintendo.
Microsoft has just teased on Twitter that we should "brace for big news" about Project Scorpio at E3 2017, on June 11 at 2PM PT.
Microsoft will host its E3 2017 briefing on Project Scorpio, where we should hopefully find out all of the juicy details before its launch later this year. There's nothing new to report here, apart from "hey guys - prepare for Project Scorpio news in June". Still, exciting times.
Will we see something new that hasn't been shown off? Watered down 4K 30FPS gaming? Native 4K or just the "True 4K" Microsoft's been touting? Something completely different? What do you want to see from Microsoft?
More details have been leaked on the upcoming Project Scorpio console from Microsoft, with a GPU that is still capable of 6 TFLOPs of performance, providing 4.5x the GPU compute performance of the Xbox One.
Digital Foundry's new report states that Microsoft has removed ESRAM from Project Scorpio, which has been in the center of the Xbox One and Xbox One S consoles, with the site reporting: "ESRAM remains essential to achieving high performance on both Xbox One and Xbox One S. However, Project Scorpio and PC are not provided with ESRAM. Because developers are not allowed to ship a Project Scorpio-only SKU, optimising for ESRAM remains critical to performance on Microsoft platforms".
Furthermore, it looks like Project Scorpio will have a GPU that falls more in line with AMD's current-gen Polaris GPU architecture, rather than Vega. This is something I've said for a while, as I don't see AMD providing Microsoft with a semi-custom APU based on a GPU architecture that's not even available yet. We might see a Polaris-based GPU with Vega features thrown in, but not an entire Vega GPU. Zen CPU cores should be featured, and I'd be surprised if Microsoft didn't tap AMD's revolutionary leap in CPU technology inside of Project Scorpio.
Sony has been doing extremely well with the PS4 so far, with a great software to console attach rate that has beaten the PS2 at the same point in their sales milestone.
So far, Sony has sold 53.4 million PlayStation 4 consoles - a number provided by Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai. During the current Taipei Game Show opening ceremony, Asian general manager of Sony Japan, Hiroyuki Oda, said that have been over 400 million PS4 games sold so far. The number has been confirmed by a Sony Interactive Entertainment Australia spokesperson, who said cumulative sell-through figures for PS4 software has reached 409.1 million.
At these numbers, the attach rate is around 7.51 games for every PS4 sold. This number, according to analyst Daniel Ahmed, is higher than both the PS2 and Nintendo's super-popular Wii consoles - the two all-time best-selling consoles. PS2 sales were at 50 million when the console reached 308 million games sold, while Nintendo reached a 7.1 attach rate at the same milestone.
Nintendo hosted their Switch unveiling event nearly 24 hours ago now, with some truly weird happenings - I loved it, weirdness and all - but investors didn't.
Nintendo's stock prices on Japan's Tokyo Stock Exchange reflected this, with stock dropping nearly 6%. Nintendo showed off its console in full, with the controllers, a bunch of first-party games like Super Mario Odyssey, as well as revealing that Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will launch alongside the Switch on March 3.
I enjoyed the event, and sure - it could've been better, but what Nintendo unveiled was - to me at least, impressive. Pricing the Nintendo Switch at $299 is going to get a massive chunk of sales, and so is launching the new Zelda game alongside Switch on March 3. System seller, anyone?!
Nintendo detailed its Switch console and some of its launch games, and upcoming games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - which will be exclusive to Nintendo Switch, and will run at 1080p when the console is in its dock.
Better yet, you can have 4-player multiplayer at 1080p in TV mode, which will be great for those with massive TVs - and it should be at 60FPS. When you use the Switch in handheld mode, it'll drop to 720p - but at 60FPS still. There will be 5 new characters, and all of the DLC from Mario Kart 8.
There's a new battle mode, new items and features, and more. In a way, this is better than a sequel as normally the sequel drops some features - where the Switch exclusive Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is everything Mario Kart 8 was on the Wii U, but heavily improved.
Nintendo will be unveiling their Switch console in just a few hours time, with the Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 kicking off at 11PM EST.
The company hasn't said how long the presentation will be, but it will be broadcast live from Tokyo Big Sight, the largest convention center in Japan. It will be broadcast in English, so you won't need to worry about translation or subtitles.
This will be the first time we'll receive specifications on the Nintendo Switch console, as the last time we heard about Switch was during the 3-minute reveal video in October last year. I'll be hosting a FB Live stream of the Nintendo Switch reveal, so be sure to tune into our FB page in a few hours time.
CES 2017 - Nintendo might not have much of a presence here at CES 2017, but its partners do - peripheral maker Snakebyte is teasing some of their upcoming Nintendo Switch accessories right now.
There's a foldable headset and starter kit, power adapter and extension cable for the NES Classic on their way, but the Switch accessories caught my eye.
First up, we have Snakebyte's Nintendo Switch carrying bag.
I'll be looking at Google Trends data more closely going into 2017, as I started looking at Google search data not too long ago between AMD Vega and NVIDIA Volta - and thought I'd do the same with the next-gen consoles.
Looking at the Google Trends data for 'Nintendo Switch', 'PS4 Pro', and 'Xbox Scorpio' - which do you think comes out on top? Well, you can see the massive spike in Google searches on October 20 when Nintendo unveiled its next-gen Switch console officially... but Sony continued its path to victory with the PS4 Pro, where Google searches spiked on November 10, the day the PS4 Pro launched.
I thought Xbox Scorpio would follow in the #2 spot behind Nintendo Switch, but I was flat out wrong - speaking of flat, that yellow line at the bottom that is nearly invisible, represents Xbox Scorpio. Microsoft will need to ramp its hype and marketing machines for Xbox Scorpio if it wants to dominate in 2017 - with the latest rumor that it will be priced at $399 (which myself and Derek here at TT do not think will happen) - but the rumors of a delay in 2018... well, that could very well happen if Microsoft can't tweak Scorpio before Q4 2017.
Nintendo is slowly building the hype for its next-gen Switch console, but according to a 'What To Expect In The Games Business' article on GamesIndustry.biz with analysts and people involved in the gaming industry - Nintendo is going to have a massive year in 2017.
Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Patcher talked about Nintendo and their Switch sales in 2017, where he said: "The Switch is sold out through September. The console looks fun, the price appears to be right, and I expect demand to be high. If there is a lot of third-party support (games, not merely labels), I think demand remains high".
I would have to agree, Nintendo is going to be selling Switch consoles like hotcakes. As Patcher points out, if there are a lot of third-party games and support from game publishers, Nintendo's new Switch console could be a huge deal in 2017.