Nintendo released statistics earlier this month, revealing that the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite have sold a combined 15 million units since the console’s first release in March 2017.
Internal data from Nintendo shows that sales have increased 20% through September 2019, and that it was the best selling gaming system for 10 months in row according to the NPD Group.
Some 14 Switch games have surpassed the one million sold mark, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate selling more than six million units each.
Titles from third-party developers and publishers are also marking these milestones, including Ubisoft’s Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Mojang AB’s Minecraft, and Epic Game’s Fortnite.
In the United States, the Nintendo Switch retails for $299.99 USD, while the Nintendo Switch Lite, a more compact version, goes for $199.99 USD (that’s $399.99 CAD and $259.99 CAD in Canada, respectively).
We’ve all experienced it in video games at one point in time, you let go of a control stick, yet your character still keeps moving on screen instead of standing still. With the Nintendo Switch, this issue affecting the control sticks for the Joy Con controllers is becoming all too common.
An example of the Joy Con control stick drift while playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In the past, this issue was attributed to the control stick being held outside of its default position when the console was powered up, but could also be caused by dirt, physical damage or faulty manufacturing. However, with the Joy Con controllers, the cause is not 100% certain at this time.
Online, it’s not hard to find gamers reporting their frustrations and solutions to the malfunctioning control sticks. Some are suggesting cleaning the sticks using contact cleaner, or going to the extreme, by replacing the actual sticks with spare parts ordered from the Internet. (Some of these methods may invalidate your warranty, so proceed with care). Purchasing replacement Joy Cons are expensive, with most retailing for approximately $100 CAD (or $80 USD).
Kotaku even posted an article, detailing how a number of their own staffers are suffering through faulty Joy Cons, and tried reaching out to Nintendo for a statement on this issue. None was provided at the time of their publication.
I’ve owned my Switch for less than a year, and I started experiencing the drifting with the left Joy Con control stick two to three months ago. I would reset the calibration for the troublesome controller to the default settings, which would stave off the drifting for a few days before returning. Now, even toying with the calibration has no effect. I use my Switch almost every day as I work out (I play while riding my stationary bike) or when I can’t get TV time with the PlayStation 4.
Nintendo offers support online to correct the issue, which (in my experience) is only temporary as the problem re-appears shortly after. As a last resort, there is an online repair process where defective Joy Con controllers are sent to Nintendo for replacement for a small fee (approximately $4 according to some sources). However, this method is only available for those who reside in Canada or the United States.
The long rumored redesign to the Nintendo Switch was announced this morning with the Japanese gaming company unveiling the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Designed for portable play, the Switch Lite lacks many of the features of the original console. This includes having the controllers fixed to the console body, a 5.5″ (8.8 cm) touch screen, and lacks compatibility with the Nintendo Switch dock for connection to a television (an HDMI cable is not included). Also removed is the kickstand for table-top play. The Switch Light weighs in at .61 lbs (276 grams). Battery life is expected to range between 3 to 7 hours (roughly 30 minutes more than the original Switch), depending on the title being played.
Unique to the Switch Lite is the directional pad (D Pad) on the left side of the console; an input that doesn’t exist on the current Switch model.
The Switch Lite also comes in three colours: yellow, gray and turquoise. A limited edition design with Zacian and Zamazenta from the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games was also shown.
Titles that play in handheld mode will function on the Switch Lite. Certain titles that do not support handheld mode are still playable if used with separate Joy-Con controllers (though these controllers cannot be charged through the Switch Light).
System functionality isn’t affected as it works with the Nintendo eShop and can play wirelessly with other Nintendo Switch consoles — either locally or over the Internet.
The Nintendo Switch Lite has a suggested price of $199.99 USD and launches on September 20th, 2019. The Zacian and Zamazenta Edition Nintendo Switch Lite releases November 8th, 2019.
In the short clip, Princess Zelda and Link are exploring and underground crypt, while a mysterious green energy manifests itself around a desiccated corpse deep within the ruins. Cut to the end, where once again, Hyrule Castle is targeted by the forces of evil.
The follow up to the The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in progress, but nothing was said how far long and when it would be released. This new title will be available on the Nintendo Switch.
The video focuses on the opening stages of the game, set in the dystopian metropolis of Midgar, where members of the group AVALANCHE target the city’s mako reactors with explosives. Members of the group, Cloud, Barret, Jessie, Biggs and Wedge are seen in the aftermath of their handiwork, while a distraught Aerith pleads for help from Cloud.
Final Fantasy VII Remake will be available only on the PlayStation 4.
Square Enix dropped a teaser video for the much anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is a total overhaul of the popular Final Fantasy VII that was released 20 years ago on the original PlayStation.
The brief video uses footage from the beginning of the game in the dismal city of Midgar and opens with Aerith and Cloud before introducing members of AVALANCHE: Barrett, Jessie, Biggs and Wedge. Of course, some familiar enemies make an appearance, including the feared Guard Scorpion with its feared tail laser.
There is no release date for Final Fantasy VII Remake as the title is still under development for the PlayStation 4.
More information is expected in June 2019, potentially during E3.
Over the last few years, a number of titles in The Legend of Zelda series have undergone updates and re-released on newer systems: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, for example. Now, the Game Boy classic, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening comes to the Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Unveiled during today’s Nintendo Direct event, the Japanese gaming company is overhauling the graphics from this top-down game, giving it more depth and colour (more so than the DX version for the Game Boy Color).
Shipwrecked on the mysterious Koholint Island, Link must recover the missing musical instruments, help the residents of this paradise and awaken the legendary Wind Fish in his quest to return home.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is expected to launch this year; a specific date was not provided.
Three days have passed since I received my deluxe edition copy of Kingdom Hearts III for the PlayStation 4 and from what I’ve played so far, I’ve enjoyed. Since the game was announced in 2013, it’s been a long time coming for the fans of the Disney/Square Enix adventure RPG series. So, does Kingdom Hearts III live up to its hype?
The Deluxe Edition comprises of the game disc itself in the standard retail packaging, with a black steelbox case imprinted with the symbols of Mickey Mouse, hearts, and keys. The inside of the box is clear plastic, like the standard package. There’s also a small hard-cover book with different artwork of characters, items, weapons and worlds. It’s not glamorous, but cool to flip through. Finally, there’s small enamel pin of Sora wearing a crown secured to the outer packaging. Overall, not bad for $111.99 CAD (the game itself retails at $79.99 CAD).
For those who’ve never played a Kingdom Hearts game, the story can be daunting (even for someone who’s played all or most of), considering this is the third “main” title in the series, intertwined with half-dozen spin-off titles as well as remixes and remasters of the first two main titles. Without any spoilers, the first hour or so of the game helps recap the events previous to bring the player up to speed on what’s happened, who’s who and so forth.
As anyone who’s kept tabs on the development of Kingdom Hearts III knows that it this is a work of art. Over the years, clips from the game were shown at E3, D23 and whenever Square Enix felt like teasing fans, it generated a lot of buzz over how the Disney worlds are recreated in stunning detail, as well down to the outfits and weapons. With the power of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, Square Enix was able to take advantage of the hardware and the Unreal Engine to make Kingdom Hearts III so visually appealing. In an interesting twist, they kept the designs the same when dealing with cut scenes from previous games in the series instead of recreating them in this new space. I will say this, Kingdom Hearts III is cut-scene heavy, so keep that in mind as you will go 10+ minutes at a time without any battles or exploration.
The game-play is improved and Square Enix has crammed as much new functionality into the game as they can. Attraction Flow brings various rides and attractions from Disney Parks around the world to use to as well-timed and coordinated battle tactics — using Splash Ride, for instance, lets you move around and jump to create a trail, once Finish is selected, the ride follows the trail created to take out enemies in its path. It’s a neat way to take out large groups of Heartless in one fun swoop. With Mad Tea Cups, Sora, Donald and Goofy, jump into oversized cups and saucers which spin around and damage nearby Heartless or Nobodies. It’s not as nauseating as the actual ride, though. Shotlock is new allowing Sora to target multiple enemies or one enemy multiple times — it’s tricky to use as each use depletes the gauge; once expired it needs time to refill. In conjunction with Shotlock is Airstepping which allows Sora to jump to objects or bosses in the distance (also helpful in escaping said bosses). Airstepping still works if the gauge is empty, which is handy in tight situations.
Music is a huge part of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, and yes, there are familiar themes and leitmotifs — especially “Destati”, “Hand in Hand”, and more. But on top of these classics, there’s also new music, even songs from previous worlds were remixed to give them more oomph for this game. Of course, the biggest hit is the Utada Hikaru and Skrillex composition, Face My Fears, as the opening song for the game. It fits so well into the game overall, given how everyone has to overcome their fears to find those that matter to them. The voice acting is decent, considering the return of Haley Joel Osment as Sora, Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck and Bill Farmer as Goofy, though in some scenes the voices sound slightly awkward. And in Olympus and contrary to his character, Phil does not speak at all (not sure if Danny DeVito was available for the role).
My adventure so far with Sora, Donald and Goofy is off to a great start and I look forward to the enjoying more of the magic Kingdom Hearts III has to offer.