Nintendo announced their next-gen Switch console in the last 24 hours, their new exciting console that's powered by a custom Tegra processor made by NVIDIA. But how much is the new Nintendo Switch console?
Australian game retailer EB Games has a placeholder price of AUD $999 for Nintendo Switch, which works out to $762 - very expensive, and more expensive than the Xbox One S, or PS4 Pro. It's a placeholder price, with rumors of a $350 ish price on Switch circling around right now. I would expect Switch to cost $499 in Australia and $349 in the US, but seeing the $1000 price on Switch in Australia had me in cold sweats. EB Games has placeholder prices on Switch, and the next-gen games - these prices will drop, but I'm sure Australian gamers are crying into their hands at that $999 list price right now.
EB Games is also listing Nintendo Switch games at AUD$119.95, or around USD$91.
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Video games are one of the most popular forms of entertainment today, they have become a real competitive sport, and the gaming industry is generating billions of dollars. The "boom" of video games started decades ago. Pong and other early arcade games have shown that there is interest in the market for this type of entertainment, which prompted the engineers to develop home gaming devices.
Although it wasn't the first, the Atari VCS/2600 is one of the consoles which popularized home video game consoles and helped cement the video game movement into mainstream culture. It was released on this day, October 14, 1977 as one of the first second-generation consoles in North America, but it took two years for Atari 2600 to become popular in the market.
By 1979, the VCS was the best-selling Christmas gift (and console), due to its exclusive content, and 1 million units were sold that year. Atari Inc. then licensed the smash arcade hit Space Invaders, which greatly increased the unit's popularity when it was released in January 1980, doubling sales to over 2 million units.
The Atari 2600 was also, at the time, the best-selling American-made console, selling 30 million units. However, when it comes to sold units, the Atari 2600 doesn't come close to the best selling consoles of all time.
Sony is preparing for the launch of its beefier PlayStation 4 Pro console, but that doesn't mean the Xbox One is old and dead now, especially when we have great-looking games like Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4 on the Xbox One.
Well, Forza developer Playground Games and their Creative Director Ralph Fulton, sat down with DailyStar for a chat, where he said: "How much more can you push out of it [The Xbox One]? I would probably just say don't give up on Xbox One, just yet. Developers are always finding new ways to extract more from hardware. ".
He continued: "We're only a couple of years from the Xbox One launch so we're still learning stuff. We're still finding new ways and better ways to do things. It's kinda a point of pride for good developers to always be pushing standards and quality on hardware".
We were the first source in the world to announce that NVIDIA's unannounced Pascal-based Tegra would power Nintendo's next-gen NX console, and it seems more and more outlets are confirming this news - including the latest leak on NX.
According to Direct Feed Gaming, Nintendo NX will be 3-4x more powerful than the Wii U (in raw Gigaflops numbers), adding that game developers won't have too much trouble porting over their Xbox One and PS4 games to NX. Nintendo's new NX console will support Unreal Engine 4 and other mainstream gamer engines, making game ports much easier.
Nintendo will most likely skip on 4K and HDR support for NX, and that the "hybrid" side of the console might be interesting, but all of the other crazy rumors are supposedly just that, rumors.
Ubisoft has provided a tease of Nintendo's next-gen NX console, with company CEO Yves Guillemot saying that "Nintendo will be back in the race with the NX" during Ubisoft's recent annual meeting.
Guillemot has been praising the NX, with plenty of enthusiasm for Nintendo's new console lately, and just last week the Ubisoft boss called Nintendo NX a fantastic machine. Ubisoft EMEA executive director Alain Corre said earlier this year: "And they are addressing the family market in a very different way, their own way, which we appreciate. We have done a lot of products and successes with Nintendo in the past, and we believe that the NX will recapture a lot the lapsed Wii players. So we will see when they release it, but we are confident".
Ubisoft has multiple NX games in development, with "Just Dance" and "some other projects" confirmed to be in development for NX.
We all know how superior the PC is to console hardware, with even future consoles from Microsoft and Sony not being able to begin a thumb war against PC hardware, let alone beat them - and now Microsoft has admitted it, too.
Microsoft's Senior Director of Product Management & Planning, Albert Penello, recently spoke with The Guardian about PC gaming's renaissance, and the huge leap in technology happening on PC. Penello said: "In the last five years, there's been a real renaissance in PC gaming, and that's happening with NVIDIA and AMD investing in really high-end performance - to the point where PCs have eclipsed consoles much more significantly than ever before. In fact consoles used to lead PCs and it would take a while for them to catch up".
Well yeah - duh, Microsoft. You're putting APUs into consoles that are slower than mid-range PCs from 5-6 years ago, and even Xbox Scorpio with all of its 'power', can't compete against a new mid-range card. This is all without the next-gen GPUs launching in 2017 that promise a good leap in performance over the current-gen cards, which already stomp all over the consoles.
Microsoft has been touting the 4K gaming abilities of its new Project Scorpio Xbox console, but when Microsoft's Albert Penello spoke with The Guardian recently, he talked about Microsoft's full 4K gaming on the Xbox Scorpio, and how developers will have to deal with new challenges.
It looks like we won't be seeing 4K 60FPS on the Xbox Scorpio anytime soon, and nowhere near the launch in 2017, as it will be up to developers to decide where to use the additional horsepower provided by Xbox Scorpio, in their games. Penello said: "But we've said very clearly that it's up to the developers how they want to take advantage of that power. Some developers focus on effects, some on frame rate some on resolution - it's up to them what they want to do".
Penello continued, saying that developers will be able to meet, and master 4K gaming on the Xbox Scorpio after a while. He added: "If you look at game engines like Frostbite and Unreal, developers have got really good at scaling - they're excellent at figuring out how to build textures at very high resolutions, then being able to optimise that artwork for various platforms. With that in consideration, it will be easier to take advantage of the performance difference of Scorpio because these guys are already building games that far surpass what consoles can do today".
Read Also: Project Scorpio renders games in native 4K
It looks like Microsoft is already preparing for the wave of gamers complaining about the performance of 4K games on Xbox Scorpio, with Penello adding: "The developers have to go through a transition, just like customers. We are spending as much time and energy on our dev tools as we are on anything customer-facing. Making it easier for developers to take advantage of the power, making it easier for developers who are working on an Xbox One game to get a great Scorpio game and vice versa - we're developing those tools now".
Sony might win the console arm wrestle for the rest of the year and into 2016, but Microsoft announced its new Project Scorpio console a year early which has some console gamers waiting, and that's something Microsoft intended.
Microsoft's Senior Director of Product Management, Albert Pinello talked with TechRadar recently, where he talked about the announcements of both the recently released Xbox One S and Xbox Scorpio earlier this year at E3. He said: "We wanted to let people know in advance so that we didn't run into the opposite problem which is next year we announce Scorpio and we have people that bought Xbox One S and went 'Why didn't you tell me this was coming a year later? I would have waited".
It makes sense, with Microsoft announcing Xbox Scorpio early, gamers will know when it's coming - and that it's a powerful console, and will save for it.
Nintendo has been eyeing down a March 2017 release for its next-gen codename NX console, which we broke the news on that it would be a Pascal-based Tegra design all the way back in May. The latest on Nintendo NX is from Emily Rogers, who had an update on NX that said:
- Toshiba, Megachips, and Macronix are all involved with the Nintendo NX.
- Toshiba is the world's second-largest NAND chip maker after Samsung. They also manufactured the flash memory chips for the Nintendo 3DS.
- NX hardware is finalized. Don't expect any drastic changes.
- NX is now entering a very early stage of production.
- Zero percent chance of NX being delayed from its March launch.
Right now, this is what we're expecting:
- Custom NVIDIA GPU chip
- Region Free (No region lock)
- Six inch (6.2 inch?) multi-touchscreen (Heard nothing about a stylus)
- The touchscreen has 720p resolution.
- 32GB of built-in internal storage
- SD card support
- Supports USB 2.0 and 3.0
- The dock has two 2.0 USB ports and one 3.0 USB port.
- The portable device is around 14 - 15 mm in thickness.
- The right analogue stick (or circle pad?) will be below the face buttons.
- Camera and microphone are not built into/inside the NX portable device.
- Cooling is still a little noisy
- Detachable controllers (motion controls and next-gen vibration technology) <- Everything Laura Kate Dale said in her article was correct.
- Share / Social button that Laura Kate Dale posted is true.
- There are *at least* two shoulder buttons.
- Battery Life - Ehhh not great. I haven't heard an exact number of hours, but it doesn't sound great.
- Below PS4 and XB1 in raw power.
- Supports Unreal Engine 4 and Unity Engine.
Upgradeable consoles would be a huge change to the current console slate, but according to President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Andrew House, isn't going to happen on his watch - at least not yet.
House recently talked with DigitalSpy about the upcoming PS4 Pro and Sony's goals with the PlayStation VR headset - which launches next month, where House was asked if he could see a future where the PlayStation would be upgradeable, like a PC. House replied: "It's very tough for me to envisage that at this point".
If we rewind to just last week, I wrote an article where House himself said that one of the driving reasons behind the beefier PS4 Pro consoles was that so gamers didn't jump to the PC for 4K gaming goodness. House said: "I saw some data that really influenced me. It suggested that there's a dip mid-console lifecycle where the players who want the very best graphical experience will start to migrate to PC, because that's obviously where it's to be had".
Sony thinks that gamers will migrate to the PC for better graphics, yet it doesn't want to make an upgradeable console - but it is completely fine with releasing two mid-cycle PS4 refresh consoles, without jumping to the PS5. Sure, Sony... keep playing the game like this, but when Xbox Scorpio drops next year, then what?