February 14, 2017NewsComments Off on Breath of the Wild is Getting DLC
This morning, The Legend of Zelda producer, Eiji Aonuma, announced The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be getting DLC in the form of an expansion pass this year.
For the first time in a mainline Zelda title, users will be able to continue their quest in Hyrule with additional content coming in the summer and winter in two separate DLC packs. In the video, Aonuma outlined what the expansion pass will have in store for players.
Expansion Pass Bonus – March 3rd, 2017
3 new Treasure Chests
Found in Great Plateau
Contains Useful items
Exclusive in-game clothing
DLC Pack 1 – Summer 2017
Adds new Cave of Trials challenge
New Hard Mode
Additional map feature
DLC Pack 2 – Winter 2017
New original story
The expansion pass will be available for purchase when the game releases on March 3rd for $19.99 in the US.
Though the language of what we are actually getting is somewhat vague, it is exciting to know that a game we plan on spending dozens, if not hundreds of hours playing, will have longevity well past its release date. Personally, I’m hoping for the original story to be a playable Zelda campaign.
Three. More. Weeks. Not that we’re counting or anything.
If you couldn’t tell, all of us over here at Switchcore are beyond ready for the Switch. I mean, hell, our site is named after the thing and has been dominated by Switch related content (more to come, by the way).
But enough with the awkward prefaces. Though most of the people I talk to on a daily basis and interact with in my personal life are excited for the Switch, there are, of course, some people out there who couldn’t be less interested. Whether it be the complaints about battery life or seemingly low system specifications, they just couldn’t give a damn. Which leads me to the title of this post. The Nintendo Switch isn’t for everyone. And you know what? That’s okay.Read More »
February 1, 2017EditorialComments Off on From Bits to Glory: A Retrospective on 2D Mario Games
Super Mario. It’s a name that many people can easily recognize the second they hear it. A lot of people got their start with Mario with Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. This was at a time where video games were definitely not as big as they were today, as the infamous Video Game Crash of 1983-1984 just happened prior to the game’s release. The market still reeked of buggy, unfinished products, such as the Atari 2600 versions of E.T. and Pac-Man. There wasn’t a single company who wanted anything to do with home video games anymore in the Americas. Until, in 1985, just a few short years after the crash, a company rose and advertised their new “toy”, the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The name “Nintendo” was barely heard of in North America. If anything, they would mostly be known for their smash hit arcade title, Donkey Kong, which released in 1981, and was ported to consoles such as the Atari 2600, and Mattel’s Colecovision. This was about to change.
In October of 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in a single test market, New York City, and the console was bundled with a light gun, an electronic robot pal, called the Robotic Operating Buddy, or “R.O.B”, all of R.O.B’s necessary accessories, two wired controllers, and two cartridges with games loaded on them. Duck Hunt and Gyromite, which were basically tech demos packaged with the system to showcase the previously mentioned light gun and R.O.B’s functionalities. A home computer that was bundled with a light gun, robot toy, 2 controllers, and 2 games, all for the efficient price of $249.99. This was extremely competitive with home computers on the market at the time, such as the Commodore 64, which was almost $550 when it launched in 1982, and didn’t even come with any gamepads, or light guns, or even a screen.
Fast forward to September of 1986, as this was when the NES was released nationwide in North America. A much cheaper bundle was released, known as the Control Deck. It didn’t have a light gun bundled anymore, nor did it include everybody’s favorite Robotic Operating Buddy. That would also mean it didn’t include Duck Hunt, or Gyromite. After analyzing the results of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s soft-launch in NYC, Nintendo came to the conclusion that for their cheaper bundle, they only needed to bundle two things with the system. Two controllers, and a copy of their all-new game, Super Mario Bros.
Mario became just as well known as Mickey Mouse. This is where so many people got their start with not just Mario, but video games in general. A lot of them might have been turned off by the crap that was showcased on previous consoles, but by bundling Super Mario Bros. with every Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo showed that there was quality content on their system. Of course word got around. People wanted more, so Nintendo gave more. Of course, most people know the story of the fabled Super Mario Bros. 2, but if you don’t, here is a short summary of the story.
They released Super Mario Bros. 2, on the Famicom Disk System, an add-on to the Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System, called the Nintendo Family Computer, or “Famicom” for short.
The game was sent for testing to Nintendo of America, Nintendo’s American branch. The game was deemed “too hard” for American players, and was sent back to Nintendo of Japan. They didn’t know what to do. They knew that people wanted more Mario. So, they took a game they had already released in Japan, and re-skinned the game, making all the assets related to Mario. They sent it back for play-testing at NOA, and it was approved, and the game was released soon after as Super Mario Bros. 2.
The game that they released in North America and Europe as Super Mario Bros. 2 wasn’t the Famicom Disk System title the Japanese got. Nintendo created a game called Doki Doki Panic after completing the original Super Mario Bros., in collaboration with a Japanese TV studio named “Fuji TV” for their yearly “Dream Factory Festival”. A lot of the developers that created Doki Doki Panic worked on the original Super Mario Bros., and because of that, Doki Doki Panic really felt like a Mario game, gameplay-wise.
Now, obviously, once word got around that there was ANOTHER Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan, people got confused.
“Which one is the real one, and why didn’t they released the Japanese one here,” people wondered. Well, people got their wishes granted, as in 1993, in Nintendo’s title Super Mario All-Stars, a compilation of Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3, with Super Mario Bros. 3 being released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. All-Stars was released on Nintendo’s newest system, not the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System!
“Including the never before seen ‘Lost Levels’!” is how the commercials would advertise the game, as the game really was never before seen. In any region but Japan, that is. Yes, Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. 2 under the moniker of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in North America and Europe. When Nintendo released The Lost Levels everywhere else, they also released the re-skinned Doki Doki Panic in Japan. What did they call it, you ask? It was called Super Mario USA. What a name. But, let’s backtrack a little, because I just forgot a game. Nintendo released a Super Mario Bros. 4 in 1990, alongside the launch of the Super Nintendo. Only it wasn’t called Super Mario Bros. 4 in North America and Europe, it was called Super Mario World!
Super Mario World took everything about Super Mario Bros. 1 and 3, and just made it 10x better. It brought in Yoshi, your dino pal who you can ride on and eat enemies with, only to betray by throwing him in a pit for a boost when you jump. Again, the game came bundled with every Super Nintendo, just like Mario 1 came bundled with every Control Deck NES, because Nintendo wanted to show the capabilities and quality of the SNES from the get-go. Nowadays, a lot of people I know call it their favorite 2D Mario game, and some even call it their favorite Mario game. Some even call it their favorite video game. It truly did a number on consumers, as the game made the SNES just as high in demand by children at Christmas time as the NES was.
After Mario World, we didn’t really get anything. Nintendo moved into the 3D era of Mario. Super Mario 64 released with their new system, some 6 years after the Super Nintendo was released. We didn’t get anything that was a 2D Mario game for a while. We got re-releases of previous Mario games, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario USA, and Super Mario World, all on the Gameboy Advance. But, we finally got something in the year 2006.
New Super Mario Bros. came out for the Nintendo DS system in 2006. At the time of writing this, 2006 was 11 years ago, so we wouldn’t call it very “New” anymore. But, that’s besides the point, because this game sold nearly 1,000,000 units in Japan alone. IN THE FIRST FOUR DAYS. Clearly, this was something people didn’t know they wanted. Except, some people did know they wanted it? I don’t know, but this wasn’t the first Mario game on a Nintendo handheld.
You thought I’d forget about the Super Mario Land series? Of course not, I loved Mario Land! 2. I liked Mario Land 2. I wasn’t a fan of the first one, but I’m not bringing opinion into this article more than I already have. The Mario Land series was Nintendo’s attempt at bringing the Super Mario Bros. experience from your TV to your pocket, and it worked! Super Mario Land was good, but Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins was a, how the cool kids say nowadays, “hoot and a half”. I don’t really have much to say about them, other that…well, they were there. I’m not all that familiar with them. I should really go play them. After Mario Land 3, the game just evolved into Wario Land, so it isn’t really a Mario game anymore.
Back to the New Super Mario Bros. series, Nintendo kept making new ones. They made New Super Mario Bros. Wii, for the Wii, in 2009. It introduced simultaneous 4-player action into the formula. No longer did you have to wait for your brother to die in the game for your turn, even though you knew he was never going to die. It also brought back Yoshi, who you were still betraying by jumping off of while above a hole. The game sold many copies, clocking in at around 28 million of them sold to this day.
After this, the series got stale. They released New Super Mario Bros. 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U, for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U respectively, but were basically just more of the same. The games were short, and didn’t really feature anything “new” in them. Which begs the question, what is next for the 2D Mario games?
The future of the 2D Mario games probably lays in the hands of the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s newest console. Or…is it a handheld? It’s both. Whatever the new game is, whether it’s Super Mario Land 4, New Super Mario Bros. Switch, an entirely new Mario game, or maybe even Super Mario Bros. 5. Mario got his start scrolling from one side of the screen to the other. It’s what got a lot of people into playing his games. Nintendo definitely knows to never forget their past. So, the future of these games are unknown for now. But, I have a hunch that something will come very soon.
January 19, 2017PodcastComments Off on Switchcore Podcast 001 – The Switch Presentation Reaction Show
In this pilot episode of the Switchcore Podcast, Scott, Drew and Jeremy get together to discuss their impressions of the January 12th Switch Presentation. Among the discussions are pricing, date, accessories, games and so much more. Please rate and review the show to let us know what you think.
January 13, 2017NewsComments Off on Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Confirmed for Switch Launch
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release March 3rd, 2017 for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo confirmed via the live Nintendo Switch presentation that the new Zelda game would be a day one title for Nintendo’s next home/handheld console.
Nintendo has been marketing the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild heavily for over a year. I mean, hell, Nintendo’s 2016 E3 presence was 100% dedicated to the next installment in the franchise.
During the presentation, Nintendo introduced a brand new trailer, revealing story elements and tugging at those pesky heart strings. Be prepared for all the feels.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be sold in 3 total version:
January 9, 2017EditorialComments Off on Final Switch Predictions Before the Big Reveal
Edited: 01/11/17 to reflect Jeremy’s expectations of price
With just a few short days before the full unveiling of the Nintendo Switch (admittedly, it will feel like an eternity), there are still plenty of unanswered questions regarding the Switch. Though there have been plenty of leaks regarding just about every facet of the device, nothing has been officially confirmed by Nintendo since the October 20th video of the “First Look at Nintendo Switch.”
With all that being said, here is a list of Switch predictions, expectations and desires that Switchcore’s contributors and editors would like to see during the January 12th-13th blowout.
Nintendo has been making great consoles for the past 30+ years, and I don’t see that trend stopping with the Switch. Though I do not expect the Switch to compete at a level of sheer horsepower with devices like the PS4 Pro, I do expect it to be a significant upgrade over what the Wii U has to offer in terms of power. That’s a given. Nintendo has always been a company that has been very good at squeezing a lot out of a little. Let’s face it; they basically get lemons and make profound story driven, visually polished, gameplay altering lemonade. It’s nothing short of amazing.
As for predictions?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will make the Switch launch, globally. The rumors floating around about a delay in the EU, in my opinion, have been greatly exaggerated. Though I have historically defended that Nintendo has never actually stated BotW would be a Switch launch title, it has been heavily insinuated. What better way to kick off the release of a brand new device than with one of the most beloved game franchises of all time?
At this point, I expect Nintendo to have a full-blown, system-wide achievement/trophy system. My thoughts on this have been outlined in a recent article, but I find it important to differentiate between desires and expectations, and I definitely expect this to be there. I know the majority of the folks over at r/NintendoSwitch disagree with me on the value achievements add to a device or service, but Nintendo has a way of taking ideas, expanding on them, and making them completely unique to the Nintendo way of doing things. I expect this to be no different.
Nintendo fans and Switch-watchers undoubtedly know Obe1. Yes, that Obe1. The hype train of a man whose personality and love of Nintendo has seen his YouTube channel grow to north of 37,000 subscribers. Why do I bring him up? Well, he has been “leaking” Switch information for a little over a week now with more “leaks” coming in the days leading into the big Switch blowout. One of those leaks is in regards to the possibility of Nintendo Switch VR. We covered a Nintendo Switch patent a few weeks back, which discussed details such as Virtual Reality. I expect Obe1 to have hit the nail on the head with this leak. I predict, once again, that Nintendo Switch VR (or whatever they decide to call it) will be outlined during the Switch event on the 12th/13th, but will not make launch. Maybe VR could be the killer app that gets Nintendo through holiday 2017?
Admittedly, I have not spent a ton of time dabbling with Virtual Console games on any platform. However, that won’t stop me from getting fanboyishly excited about the possibility of Gamecube Virtual Console support on Nintendo Switch. Eurogamer ran an article in December stating that Gamecube VC support is in. I have been clamoring for the past 18+ months of the inclusion of Gamecube Virtual Console on the Switch. Please, Nintendo, do this. Also, consider releasing the Switch with the largest catalog of VC titles available for a new system at launch. The idea of playing Gamecube games and the rest of Nintendo’s back catalog of amazing games at home on the TV, as well as on the go, is nothing short of euphoric.
How could I forget about price!? Nintendo has historically been very price conscious, attempting to strike the perfect balance between profitability and what the market dictates. Over the past decade or so, Nintendo has opted out of the arms race for sheer power, theoretically keeping the costs of their devices down. The Wii U was an outlier in that regard and cost Nintendo dearly. Many seem to think that a $250 price point is the sweet spot, and I will not argue. The question really becomes “Will it come with a game,” and “Will there be multiple SKUs?” My guess is the Switch will feature a pack-in title, though I’m not entirely sure which game they intend to feature. If Mario does make launch, this would arguably be the best game for the job. I firmly believe, in accordance to make the Switch’s launch as simple and complication-free as possible, Nintendo will release just one SKU.
Personally, I think we are going to get an hour-long info-packed presentation. There is a ton of information to be divulged such as hardware, the operating system and software. I fully expect more surprises than we can predict.
I think most hardware feature rumors will be true. I do think we will see motion controls, haptic feedback, multi-touch and support for headsets with mics for voice input. Personally, I also think we will see some form of customization for the hardware, such as interchangeable backplates or custom joycons.
Virtual reality has been rumored, and while I would love Nintendo to tackle it, I don’t think it is likely that we see it at this week’s event. If we do see virtual reality, it would make sense to show it off at E3 and launch it this holiday season.
The battery life will probably be controversial, lasting around three hours while running Breath of the Wild. I don’t expect much in the way of specs to be revealed, but I don’t expect the Switch to be a Pascal powerhouse in terms of base specs. I assume we are going to get something with less than 1 TFLOPS of raw power when docked. However, I think the Switch will surprise people with what it is capable of due to custom APIs and other software enhancements that the PS4 and Xbox One do not have.
In terms of price, I expect the base Switch unit to be $250 and a $300 bundle that includes a pack-in of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Considering this event is (reportedly) only going to be an hour long, I don’t think we will get an in-depth look at the operating system. Most of what we will learn might come from the Treehouse as they navigate between games or give a little more depth. That being said, I think it’s safe to say that the Switch won’t be running Android or have any sort of Android app store. Apps will be native to the Nintendo Switch. I do think we will see a browser and common media apps like Netflix and Hulu.
I don’t expect to see any in-depth looks at software during the first event. All in-depth looks will be at the Treehouse Live event the next day. I assume we are going to get a surprising list of launch games, upcoming games, virtual console games, and Nindie titles in the form of short video clips. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title and I don’t think Mario is going to be a launch title despite rumors. Splatoon and Mario Kart will probably be launch games at $40. Gamecube Virtual Console with Super Smash Brothers Melee and Super Mario Sunshine will be available at launch with a $15 price tag. I do think Mother 3 will be revealed for $9.99 on the Virtual Console. Unfortunately, I do expect Nintendo to charge $1 per game to carry virtual titles over from the Wii U to the Switch. We will definitely see Ubisoft’s new games. The Rabbids game will be real, and I expect it to be strange, however not terrible. If Beyond Good and Evil 2 is shown at all, then it will only be a cinematic reveal that and won’t be released in 2017. I fully expect Skyrim: Remastered to be a launch title.
I fully expect Breath of the Wild to be revealed as a launch title along the likes of Splatoon and Mario Kart and even possibly a new 3D Mario game. However, I also expect us to get quite a bit more 3rd party support than people are expecting, even if it’s just game teases, I do expect people to be satisfied with the amount of 3rd party support. I also expect another hard hitting title to be shown by Nintendo for release in late 2017 or early 2018. We’re likely due for a lot of surprises when it comes to software. I expect a fully fleshed out virtual console with support up to even the Wii U. I do expect a Mother 3 release within the first 6 months.
User interface I expect to have voice chat, party, a good social and friend system (finally) evolving on Miiverse, integration with MyNintendo and a clean, customizable UI with theme integration.
As for hardware, I expect the Nintendo Switch to come in at least near an Xbox One level of power when docked, and slightly less when undocked. I think Nintendo and Nvidia are great fits for technology together and that they will surprise us with how much potential the system has despite some of the negative rumors and speculation that have been floating around recently. I do expect the Switch to have a touch screen and the device to have gyro/motion controls. I expect the switch to have a large capacity for external storage, while keeping the internal storage around 32-64 gigabytes. I do not think they will have any “special edition” Nintendo Switch bundles until at least 6+ months after launch (No Breath of the Wild themed hardware, though I’m not saying 3rd parties won’t have skins, Nintendo just won’t ship anything designed that way). For pricing, I’m going to say I predict it to launch for $200 flat, and $250 bundled with a game. I don’t see the games costing more than $50. Launch date, I’m going to say mid March, the week of the 13th for all regions. I’m a little worried that many people are going to have a hard time obtaining a Switch because of low quantity, though I think they will definitely handle this a lot better than the NES Classic Edition. Overall I think we’re in for a big surprise on the 12th. My gut tells me Nintendo has learned from past presentations and that this is the one that’s going to show us Nintendo understands the console business better than anyone.
For the Switch, I’ve got some high hopes. It’s been a long while since I’ve had friends that felt excited about a Nintendo console, and it would feel great to have those friends feel good about coming over for some rounds in the latest Mario Kart or whatever other Nintendo title we loved together in the past. The games we play on our Playstations, XBoxes and PCs just don’t feel the same to me as they have through Nintendo’s charm, and I’m pretty excited to have the opportunity to bring that back into the living room once again for the first time in over 15 years.
I don’t worry too much about the hardware, as I don’t believe it’s strong hardware alone that makes a console. Sure, the hardware doesn’t hurt, but for a gamer like myself it isn’t a necessity or a focus. I would rather have a sub-par system with a crap ton of great games (Nintendo 3DS for example) than a super machine that only wows me on occasion with a game worth playing more than once. It’s a hard balance to find, but I think Nintendo is moving in the right direction this time around. Here’s what I think/hope/want to see:
$250 price by itself
A few surprise features for the system we haven’t seen in patents
A few surprise first party new IPs
Launch date of March 17th in the US
Presentation to near an hour and a half
Good skits involving Reggie, Bill, and the Treehouse crew; the Japanese teams
Remasters of Wii U games to broaden the audience and create more content with longer support
Many more fresh, new games that have not been on anyone’s leak list (1st and 3rd party)
A super surprise announcement after we think it’s all said and done.
Skyward Sword remaster
A Link to the Past remake (in the vein of A Link Between World’s engine)
F-Zero in any capacity. I’ll even take a visual novel about love between Samurai Goroh and Jody Summer
Star Fox 0 remaster with more traditional controls
Heavy Square-Enix support
Specs don’t matter to me all that much. People like to hate on Nintendo for having lower specs than PS4/XBONE, but everybody loves to say “Never count Nintendo out.”
I’m really excited to see what kind of features are on this thing. Virtual Console subscription service? New replacement for Miiverse (hopefully a better replacement)? Streaming, dare i say, without a capture card?
The games really have me excited too. Any system that can play Skyrim on the go, in a smaller form factor than a laptop is my favorite system. Over all, I’m hyped for the Switch event, and I already got my money ready for the second pre-orders come up.
December 16, 2016NewsComments Off on New Switch Patent Reveals a Host of Goodies
Nintendo may have let the cat out of the bag a little early with a plethora of images in a new Switch patent published early yesterday morning. With less than thirty days remaining until the big January 12th Switch blowout, patent images found by a NeoGAF user potentially shed some light on Switch features that have, up until now, been merely speculated upon.
Among the images and descriptions provided, we saw details as small as the audio jack on the Switch supporting headsets with microphones, as well as details as large as Switch potentially supporting VR in the future. Other details outlined in the tell-all Switch patent are:
Confirmation of touch screen
Switch runs in two “operation modes,” dependent on whether it is docked or undocked
Confirmation of a record (share) button
Images showing the Switch sliding into an HMD (head-mounted display) inferring VR
Multiple types of Joycons may be in the works
A plethora of sensors to detect motion, NFC (Amiibo support) and “infrared image-capturing” all housed within Joycons.
Switch may or may not output to television without use of dock
Though there is a lot of information in this 147-page patent to dissect, the above listed items are probably the most noteworthy.
In some cases, this patent has opened up a can of worms of items we had not yet considered. Though the Switch and VR have been speculated upon, I find it difficult to believe Nintendo would implement this with their upcoming console. If the Switch is indeed using a 720p display, the visual experience in VR may leave much to be desired. That being said, I’d love to be proven wrong.
Keep in mind, patents do not necessarily make their way into the final product. We do believe, however, much of what we see here will likely be on display on January 12th. A special thank you goes out to everyone over at the Switchcore Discord server for assisting in the gathering and careful dissection of these materials.
Yooka-Laylee, the highly anticipated spiritual sequel to the Banjo-Kazooie series, has been confirmed for release on April 11th, 2017. However, not all the news was happily received by some fans as Playtonic Games revealed that due to “unforeseen technical issues” Yooka-Laylee will not be released on the Wii U. Instead, Playtonic will be “working closely with Nintendo” to release Yooka-Laylee on the upcoming Nintendo Switch.
When later asked, in a GamesIndustry interview, if the Nintendo Switch had any influence on them cancelling the Wii U version, Playtonic responded,“No, Switch had nothing to do with the decision. As we have shared, it’s simply down to unforeseen technical difficulties… We can assure you this was a hard decision for everyone. Our team has so much combined Nintendo heritage and we’re huge Nintendo fans as individuals. That’s why we’re working hard to make things right for our backers and with Nintendo and Playtonic’s fanbase over the coming weeks and months.”
To those who backed the Wii U version on Kickstarter, Playtonic is giving the opportunity to move their backing to any of the upcoming versions releasing on April 11th, 2017 (free of charge) or upgrade to the Nintendo Switch version as more information is release in 2017. Stay tuned to their blog for more information on how to make the switch.
While to many it may seem like Playtonic is making cop-out excuses, we have already seen that the Nintendo Switch is a much more capable device than the Wii U. Personally, I’m excited to see how the game performs on the Switch and if there are any exclusives features (besides the ability to play on the go) that we can look forward to.
Yooka-Laylee launches on April 11th, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac and Linux, while details on the date for the Nintendo Switch release have not been confirmed.