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Switchcore Podcast 010 – Nintendo E3 2017 Predictions Special

The crew gets together to talk about E3 2017. Specifically, predictions. This year, Nintendo has promised us a big year. We already know about some of the entities that will be present, like Super Mario Odyssey, but what about unannounced titles?

Will we see Metroid? Where’s Virtual Console. Is a new Pokemon game in the works? Scott, Jeremy, Drew and Charlie give their predictions on these plus many more in this special episode.

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Switchcore Podcast 009 – I Just Woke Up and BOOM!

Jeremy, Drew and Charlie are back to talk about the latest news of the week and to discuss the Arms Nintendo direct, highlighting the new characters and features the game will enjoy.  Make sure to tune in Wednesday, May 24th for our big Nintendo pre-E3 predictions show.

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Switchcore Podcast 007 – Bye Felicia

Scott and Jeremy are Charlie and Drew-less for this seventh installment of the Switchcore Podcast.

The dynamic duo have been playing a ton of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and provide their impressions. Also discussed is a ton of news including Darksiders III, a New 2DS XL, Zelda and Fire Emblem DLC and much more.

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Switchcore Podcast 006 – And We Are Back… Again

Scott, Jeremy, Drew and Charlie are back after an 8 week hiatus to talk about the latest going on in video games.  Along with the announcement of Destiny 2 and Battlefront 2, the quartet of hosts have a long-winded, spoiler-filled discussion of Breath of the Wild.

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Switchcore Podcast 005 – That’s A Casserole!

Charlie, Drew, Jeremy and Scott are back one week before the launch of the Switch to discuss the big news stories including three new Switch launch titles and the lack of Virtual Console support at launch.

Scott and Jeremy also answer questions about their hands on impressions of the Nintendo Switch from the Chicago Switch and Play event.

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Will the Switch Smartphone App Allow Tethering for Online Multiplayer?

The Switch launches in less than a week.  With mere days before Nintendo’s hybrid console is out in the wild, we are still asking ourselves many questions.

Upon looking at the Nintendo Switch specifications over at Nintendo of America’s home page, I noticed something kind of interesting.  If you look closely, Nintendo states that networking on the Switch “can be connected to the internet via a wireless (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) and Bluetooth 4.1.”

It’s also worth noting the Switch can be connected using a wired LAN adapter, just like the Wii U could.

The stuff about the Bluetooth connectivity is interesting, though.  Nintendo has not given us a full breakdown of the Switch’s online services yet.  What we do know is that there will be a free trial period for online matchmaking while Nintendo prepares to launch their full paid service at some point in the fall.

There has also been talks about Nintendo’s smart device app being implemented for voice connectivity.  Whether or not voice will be limited to the smart phone app remains to be seen.

This bit about the Bluetooth does trigger a few questions though.  Is Nintendo going to allow players to connect their Switch consoles to their smartphones for mobile, online connectivity via Bluetooth through their mobile app?  If so, will this allow Nintendo to potentially bypass restrictions some wireless subscribers have on their accounts?

Back in January, Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime spoke to Nintendo Everything about Nintendo’s online efforts with the Switch. He stated:

“The bigger vision is that we are going to provide an overall online service, subscription-based, that not only will capture the multiplayer opportunity, but also the voice chat capability that we’re going to provide through a global app. We think that that’s just as important as access to Virtual Console content.

“The reason for that is, it continues to reinforce our commitment to online, and do so in a way that will enable the consumer to enjoy their Nintendo Switch and to still be able to play those connected experiences—like Splatoon, like Kart, like fill in the blank—while they’re on the go. Instead of having some sort of bulky gamer headset, you’ll be able to do it right off your smartphone, put in your earbuds that you use for your standard mobile device. We think that’s a pretty sweet solution. That’s part of the overall opportunity that we see in a subscription service.”

If the app does pan out to allow the ability for players to connect to their smartphones for online connectivity, this could be a very elegant solution for those who would otherwise have difficulty setting up a mobile hotspot on their devices.  It appears that a lot of decisions Nintendo has made with the Switch have been carefully calculated for the ease of use.  This could allow gamers to easily stay connected, even when they’re away from home.

We have reached out to Nintendo for comment and will update this post once we hear back.

No Switch Pre-order? No Problem!

Don’t have a Switch pre-order and want to get the Switch on day one?  We can help!  There are plenty of options open for those of you who don’t have Switch pre-orders right now!

From one of our sources, we know that Best Buys will be getting day one allocations of Switch units that exceed their pre-order units by 30 or more, based on the size of the store and the amount of pre-orders they received.  So if you’re looking to get a Switch at Best Buy on launch day, you’re in pretty good luck assuming there’s not 30+ people ahead of you waiting.

Best Buy Stores will also be giving out a free Zelda poster (while supplies last) for those that show up to midnight releases!  To see if your store is doing a midnight release, simply go here.  If your store is in the drop-down list, you are good to go for the midnight release!  Otherwise, you’ll have to wait till your store opens in the morning.

 Toys”R”Us, while not accepting pre-orders, will have stock of Nintendo Switch’s on launch day.  While they will probably not be doing midnight releases, you can always call your local Toys”R”Us to check with them.  You have a good chance of walking in on launch day and picking one up.  We would recommend going in at your stores opening, just to be safe.

 While GameStop was a highly used pre-order destination, there is a large chance of them having excess Switch units on launch day.  If you are a Pro member, you can also take advantage of their 50% extra trade in credit towards Nintendo Switch games and accessories.  You can check Gamestop’s site to see if  your local store is doing a midnight release!  As always, we’d recommend going in as early as possible to try to secure yourself a unit.

Walmart was very under-utilized when it came to pre-orders.  Usually when people think to pre-order or pick up a game system, they don’t automatically think Walmart.  This, however, is good news for those who don’t have pre-orders and wish to pick up a system on day one.  I have many friends who have picked up special edition copies of video games and video game consoles the night of release, all because everyone else was busy waiting in line at stores like GameStop. Depending on your destination, Walmart could have plenty of stock left over for you. If they are a 24 hour Supercenter, you have an even better chance of picking one up at midnight on launch day.  You may want to contact your local Walmart and ask if they will have extra Nintendo Switch stock on launch day.

Now, if you don’t have time to wait in line at midnight or are very busy on launch day, there is still hope for you to get a system very soon after launch.  Online retailers will be continuously restocking Nintendo Switch’s, but chances are that those will go quite quickly so soon after launch.  However, there are ways to get alerted when systems go back in stock!  One of these being nowinstock.net.  NowInStock is a free web service that will alert you when popular items go back in stock online.  All you have to do is go on their website and sign up for alerts!  You can get these updates through email and text, while the fastest option currently would be through their Google group.  Just follow the instructions here and you will be alerted as soon as the Nintendo Switch gets restocked.  Just make sure you are up to date on your email and text messages.

These items we have outlined above are only a few options.  Other stores like Target and non-chain local electronic and nearby video game stores are likely to have Nintendo Switch units in stock on launch day, if not, soon after. So don’t lose hope.  If all else fails and you can’t seem to get a Nintendo Switch, just be patient.  Don’t be shy to ask your friends and family to help as well.  The only reason I was able to get a Wii U even close to launch was because my friend happened to stop by a local Target store right when they happened to be stocking the system.  He knew I wanted one and picked it up, but if he hadn’t known I was interested, he probably wouldn’t have been looking in the first place!  Here’s wishing all of you day-one Switchers good luck, and be sure to join our Discord for more help and/or discussion about the Nintendo Switch and other video game consoles!

You Can Play the Switch Anywhere, Even on Coffee Tables

We moved to Georgia when I was four years old and in the initial move, we lost some things. A ceramic cat my mom had put in our old living room had shattered into a thousand pieces.  The flight from Islip to Atlanta had misplaced our dog and she ended up on a different flight in a different state and it took a few days to get her back to us.  The condo we had temporarily rented had been filled with cockroaches, and when my mom turned the light on to our new home, the horror of watching the floor transform from black to white as the bugs scattered into the walls practically made my mom lose her mind.  I can remember her picking me up into her arms and running back into our rental car as she sobbed in the front seat while I patted at her arm and told her, “It’s okay mommy, we can sleep in the car.”

It was 1994 and cellphones were a far off luxury we didn’t have.  My dad was driving from Long Island, New York with our cats in a U-Haul, and we wouldn’t see him for two whole days.  Our necessities were all packed in suitcases my mom had yet to unload to our new home. All of our memories were inside the truck my dad was driving.  Photo albums, Christmas decorations that my parents bought before their wedding on Christmas Eve and practically all of my Barbies were unceremoniously tossed into a cardboard box labeled, “Susie’s Playroom.”

Before moving, my parents ran a VCR repair company in their spare time.  My mom worked in a dental office and my dad worked at a tech company. That was why we had moved; The promise of a job where he could at the very least double his wages lured us into the humid and far off South.

Electronics in my home were about as plentiful as the Polly Pockets I had in my playroom, which was located just outside my dad’s workshop.  The workshop in our old house was in the basement.  Just beyond my colorful Disney VHS tapes and sea of pink plastic toys was a treasure trove of circuit boards.  Just as my toy box had been overflowing with dolls, plastic figurines, and dress-up clothes, his own toy box held wires, precision screwdrivers and whatever odds and ends he needed to tinker around.  My dad would take everything apart.  I can recall one instance in particular when I grew out of a pair of old light-up shoes.  My dad took them to see what made them tick, what made the light came on, and took them apart to satiate his curiosity.  He was like that with just about everything.  My house, from the moment I could remember, held  a few staple items in it I can recall without fail; My mother’s Kitchen Aid mixer, my dad’s computer, and a mysterious gray box of mysterious origin.

I’m uncertain as to where my dad got the NES, but it was always part of our household.  I can’t remember playing it in my old home but I can remember hearing the distinct World 1-1 song playing somewhere. Most of the time spent in the condo had been in my room.  It wasn’t a pleasant place to be and my mom did her best to assure me that it was alright, but often told me to stay in my room to avoid the less than pleasant aspects of our new home. The whole condo had practically been a game of “the floor is lava” for me to play.

A few months later we moved out of, as I used to parrot my mom much to her dismay: The Condo from Hell, and into the suburbs about half an hour away (though it felt like a world away). It was a big two story house with a swimming pool in the backyard and a room I could use as my bedroom, a separate one for my playroom, an office for my dad, a living room, dining room and what intrigued me the most, the den.

The den had been among my favorite rooms in our house in New York. It was where the big television sat in an entertainment center that I could watch “The Little Mermaid” or “Beauty and the Beast” on repeat.  The new den was far bigger than our old one with a real working brick fireplace for Santa to comfortably slide down.  We put a couch against the windows atop a decorative green rug, which also housed a large wooden coffee table with bulbous and round legs.  It was a squat and low table that I’ll always remember. The den was one of the few rooms in our house with a hardwood surface and became a room I spent a great deal of time in.

My dad had hooked up the NES in the den and that is my first true memory of it.

I was born in 1989, and before that my dad used to play the original Super Mario Brothers with my cousins who were a couple years older than me.  My dad told me one time he saw the princess with his own two eyes after rescuing her and I thought that was impossible after my less than dexterous fingers slammed on the jump button only to go headfirst into a Hammer Bro’s hammer. There were a few cartridges that we owned. Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, and for whatever reason, Popeye. The NES Popeye game is not one I’ll ever suggest playing, by the way.

One of my favorite games.

Beanbag chairs were bought because the cable from the controllers couldn’t reach the couch from behind the coffee table. My dad and I would spend hours cycling through games trying to get through levels the best we could to top each other’s scores. I always went second because I liked playing, “The green guy Luigi, because he’s green.” My dad who was the son of an Italian immigrant would purposely mispronounce his name, “Lou-whee-gi” especially if my mom was nearby because she’d chastise him, “That’s not his name, don’t call him that!”

My dad had an unfair advantage in challenging me to games. He was always better than me and would last far longer in game.  His turns would sometimes take hours since we had to wait for the other player to die before we could play again. I can remember many occasions when the system was turned off by “accident” so my dad would have to fight to regain his place.

We’d happily play games together side by side in beanbags until the support hurt his back and he’d scoot the system back across the wooden floor to give the controllers more reach and sit on the coffee table. I copied my dad in just about everything he did so I planted my butt right next to his atop the table and watched him play.

The look of abject horror on my mom’s face was priceless. “James!” Everybody called my dad “Jim” but when my mom and I needed to get across that we were being serious, we called him ‘James’ instead of his nickname or dad.  She said something along the lines of us having beanbag chairs for a reason and to not sit on the table because I’d make it a habit, or worse, think that it’s an acceptable thing to do as an adult.

Pictured above, the author incriminating her father from a picture drawn in 1998.

Any time my mom was out of the house, my dad and I would sit on the coffee table and play games. When we heard the garage door lift we’d slide off the table into the beanbag chairs and sit there innocently like we hadn’t moved. The rivets in our jeans betrayed us and we scuffed up the table, much to my mom’s dismay.

In the mid 90s, game consoles were cheaper to buy and not as hard of a sell as the systems that initially followed the NES, but we never got any of them. I can’t remember playing any games on the SNES, but I can remember seeing Smash in action on an N64 at a friend’s house as we mercilessly beat each other with Link and Mario.  I can remember distinctly playing a sushi game in Pokémon Stadium. My mom worked in a children’s dental office throughout my childhood, and on summer breaks or teacher workdays, would bring me with her.  I’d spend hours either watching movies in the waiting room or greedily hogging the PS1 to do my best in Rayman or Crash Bandicoot.  The slew of games that were tossed in our young faces was overwhelming and while I wanted to get my hands on all of them, I was more than content to play on my NES at home and try my best to beat the games before I moved on.

We got a van with a television and VCR in it since we did a great deal of driving. On one occasion, my dad and I had a road trip from Georgia back to New York, unfortunately for a funeral, but my dad actually hooked the NES up for me to play in the back seat.  We’d sit together in the back seats and play Mario when my dad was tired of driving and needed a quick pit stop.

In 1998 the Game Boy Color was released and it was also when my dad started to get sick.  The next few years were spent in and out of hospitals.  My mom would pick me up from school and we’d sit in traffic to spend the afternoons and evenings with him before I’d have some time to myself to play games and go to bed.  I won’t go into the details of my father’s illness, but three years later in 2001 he was gone.  The last few months of his life he had spent out of home, in the hospital waiting for a heart transplant.  We did everything to make his, as he called it, “home away from home” as comfortable and like our home as possible.  We decorated his room and he kept his chunky laptop from work with him, and on one occasion, “snuck” our cat in to see him.  We rented videos he wanted to see and left his favorite VHS tapes with him so he could pop in a movie whenever he wanted.  We of course brought him the NES so he could play games when we were gone.  Sometimes we’d play together and we did our best to get to Princess Toadstool.

After my dad passed we collected his personal effects from his hospital room and I had difficulty hooking the system back up.  By the time I was able to finally plug it in, it died.

I got my hands on a number of systems afterwards.  The Dreamcast and PlayStation were easy choices since the Gamecube and Playstation 2 both came out, and I caught up on games that I hadn’t been able to play before.  I always felt like I was a step behind everyone else when it came to playing games but I never minded taking things slow and going my own pace.

2002 was when I finally caught up with everyone. I got a Gamecube and my mom bought a PS2 bundle with Kingdom Hearts.  I was finally on page with everyone else.  I won’t be saccharine and say that I wish I could have still played my NES games while I was beating up Sephiroth with a gigantic key or executing elaborate rooftop heists with a cane in a slick raccoon’s hands, but I was so enraptured with what was occurring then that I focused on where games could be.  Part of being someone who loves to play games is to constantly move forward.

Mario had taught me to never stop going, even if I was afraid or even if I could fail.  I’m glad to see that Nintendo is taking a lesson that I had learned and had taught countless other children from the 90s, and are moving forward with their new console.

This is the very first console release I’ve ever been excited for.

The first time I’ve ever felt hyped for a console with brand new games that I’ll be able to get at launch.  I wish I could tell my dad that he had been way ahead of his time with bringing our NES with him.  I wish I could play a co-op game with him with controllers that detach from a screen you can bring with you anywhere.

I know it’s been said from here to Hell and back, but this is the system I’ve always wanted but could never articulate having.  The Switch is the system that I could imagine in a television show or a video game something so far out of reality because it’s so cool it can’t actually be real. The closer the release date gets, the harder it is to articulate the excitement I feel on getting my hands on it.

Moving forward with all of you as we all speculated what the Switch has been is nothing short of breathtaking.  I’d like to think that if my dad was here, he’d probably be in the Switchcore Discord talking to all of you excitedly awaiting the Switch so he could take it apart and put it back together, but I think a few of you guys may be planning on doing that already.  A good portion of the people on the Nintendo Switch Discord aren’t even as old as the NES or couldn’t use the Internet when I was lying on my bedroom floor with a PS2 controller in my hands.  Everyone waiting for the Switch comes from different walks of life.

Everyone from artists and programmers from the South, to store managers in the Midwest, students in both high school and college and everywhere else in between and far beyond that are all excited for the Switch.  We all spoke to one another when it was under its code name, the NX, and excitedly trolled through the Internet in search of answers.  What was it?  When would it come out?  Would we ever get to play the new Zelda?

A community of people were all brought together for one reason: A love of games.

A love for games is nothing short of moving in the eyes of not partially sentimental woman like myself.  Maybe I’m a wide eyed optimist, but I honestly feel like this is a revolution in gaming.  I don’t think that Nintendo was overconfident in choosing to put Imagine Dragons’ “Believer” in their recent Super Bowl ad for the Switch.  It’s also fitting due to the band’s relationship with Nintendo and the Zelda franchise.

Pictured the brilliant Koji Kondo and longtime Zelda fans Imagine Dragons circa 2014.

I’m sure that the band believes,“It’s Time”.  Now is the perfect time for a revitalization in gaming.  Gaming in general has transformed so drastically since the 1990s and almost just as much throughout the past couple of years.  People enjoy sharing games with one another through let’s plays and online matches with their friends from across countries and states.  Kids play games just about everywhere, either on their parents’ cellphones or their own tablets.  Gamers and gaming aren’t synonymous with strictly exaggerated depictions of gamers with a fine dust of chips on their fingers hunched in front of a monitor bathed in the glow of unnatural light.  If you’re someone that can pick up a phone and play a match-three game or even a heavy strategy games on your custom built rig at home, you’re a gamer.  Most of us began playing games through Nintendo, whether you were a 90s kid that excitedly received an NES system, your parents were fortunate enough to get their hands on a SNES for you to experience the first taste of the Console Wars, or screamed with sheer delight while peeling back paper on Christmas morning to receive a Nintendo 64.  Maybe you saw the commercials for the Wii and the affordable price.  Maybe active games lured your parents into buying one or you found the appeal of games on the go with the Nintendo DS so you could play with digital dogs.  Nintendo’s helped shape not only childhoods and memories, but are always the first push into innovation in the industry.

Sure, sometimes that innovation doesn’t always go as they plan or the risks they take are just too out there or too ahead of their time, but just as Mario lost a life from a stray hammer being tossed on his head and the player has to learn to get quicker dodging, Nintendo finds a way to get better at traversing the market.  Nintendo had been king and all but singlehandedly revitalized gaming in the 1980s, and I believe they can be king again. The hype for the Switch is so real it makes me shiver with antici—

The amount of passion and excitement displayed in not only hardcore gamers, but the market in general, reminds me of the philosophy of Nintendo’s late former president, Satoru Iwata.  Games should be fun for everyone, and I can honestly see anyone playing it from my eight year old niece as her small hands encase the Joy-Con and she plays “Splattytoon,” to my mom playing 1-2 Switch with my aunt after a few glasses of wine.  Even people that don’t traditionally play games may not be sold quite yet on the system or fully understand its capabilities, soon will.  I’m elated to see a post-Switch release world where I see twenty somethings in bubble tea shops playing Snipperclips, businessmen on trips that would normally interrupt dungeon crawling sit near a charging station as they valiantly fight on Zelda’s behalf, and kids experiencing a Mario game that’s both mobile, so they can take it with them anywhere and their parent’s get their phones back, and one they can play on the big screen at home.  Though, if I’m being honest with myself, most of those kids may still be playing Minecraft. But hey, maybe soon enough, they’ll even be playing that on the Switch.  –pation.

I can’t wait to rescue Princess Peach!

As for me, I can’t wait to take the Switch over to my mom’s house when I visit at Christmastime after Mario’s release.  That way I can play the game as it’s meant to be played and comfortably sit on top of her nice new coffee table and rescue the princess.  What can I say?  Old habits die hard.