One of the Nintendo Switch's biggest issues is about to get fixed—by Nyko, of all companies.
You read that correctly. The company best known for unofficial gamer accessories like rubbery controller condoms and bulky console carrying cases has emerged with a rare burst of engineering genius: the Portable Docking Kit. It's basically the Switch Dock, only a lot smaller—maybe a tad smaller than a deck of cards.
Nyko announced this Nintendo Switch accessory during E3, but I wanted to be sure it was worth recommending, so I stopped by the company's E3 booth and demanded to see it in action. In the process, I regretfully ordered a grown man to dive into a pit full of colored, plastic balls.
Mario Odyssey, the first 3D Mario game to hit Nintendo Switch, will be released on October 27, Nintendo announced today.
Nintendo also unveiled a new Yoshi game simply titled Yoshi due out in 2018, a new four-player co-op Kirby game with the similarly simple title of Kirby also due out in 2018, and a port of the super-popular multiplayer game Rocket League due out "holiday 2017."
In their place is a bold mix of long-range, third-person combat played at a strategic pace far removed from the split-second timing and dexterous button bashing typical of the genre. There are even motion controls that not only work with surprising accuracy, but are more appealing than their tactile counterparts.
Having been burned by motion-controlled flops like the Kinect-powered Fighters Uncaged, or even Nintendo's own notoriously shallow Wii Sports Boxing, I'm surprised that Arms' motion controls work as well as they do. More surprising is that, despite the motion controls and Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, Arms is a game of boundless depth. Even now, after hours spent swinging wildly at a television, I have barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer. Arms isn't a button-masher (or arm-flailer) for the casual crowd, but a complex fighter for those with a steady hand and the patience for betterment.
In short, Arms is utterly brilliant.
Arms reminds me so much of the Nintendo that I used to know.
The company's latest Nintendo Switch game contains no reboot of ancient characters; no tender hand-holding; no auto-steering assists if you're struggling; no "grab the green mushroom for help" option. Arms looks a lot more like the Nintendo that won me over in the late 1980s: wide-eyed, fresh, excited, and eager to beat me into the ground.
As a companion to Mark Walton's full review on Ars UK, I wanted to break down the elements of this new game's difficulty (which apply whether or not you opt for its questionable motion controls) and what it says about a company that has been making video games for 40 years. An entire generation missed Nintendo's tougher era—and it's about to get a spring-loaded Arms sock to the kisser.
Nintendo's first foray into a paid online gaming service received two major shake-ups on Thursday: a delay and a content upgrade.
A Nintendo announcement clarified that Nintendo Switch Online's original paid launch window of "fall 2017" has been bumped to a vague "2018" window. The service will cost as little as Nintendo had hinted to in February: $20 per year, or you can dip your toes in by paying $4 per month. (That's well below the $60/year rate for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold.) UK prices had not been confirmed as of press time.
In good news, that means Nintendo won't charge for online Switch gaming for at least a few more months. (The paid service will eventually be required to access newer games' online multiplayer modes, though Nintendo still hasn't clarified whether older, pre-service games will be affected.) In bad news, the original plan was for the service to launch as a fully working free trial by this summer, including ties to the Nintendo Switch Online smart device app. Now, Nintendo says the only thing to expect by this summer is a "limited" version of that app. Nintendo did not clarify which of the app's advertised features (which include online matchmaking, voice chat with friends, and game-invite management) will make it into the limited version.
Consider this your regularly scheduled reminder that Nintendo doesn't know what the heck it's doing with online multiplayer games.
Today's story comes from Hori, a longtime gaming peripheral maker best known for its "fighting stick" controllers. The company unveiled the world's first Nintendo Switch-compatible headset on Thursday morning, and it's a weird one. Wait, this headset needs a dongle to work? And a phone?