Nintendo Announces New Switch OLED Model

I can’t say I was expecting Nintendo to announce their new Nintendo Switch OLED model so under the radar. After learning it is just a new model of the Switch with some enhancements and not a next gen upgrade, it made a bit more sense to me. Also explains some the negative responses I was seeing on social media.

So what exactly is different about this new Switch model? First and foremost, this is not a next gen hardware upgrade, so no need for existing Switch owners to be concerned about upgrading just yet to play new games. Instead, and the way I see it, this model is geared more towards new Switch owners or existing Switch owners who will primarily play games handheld and want the best possible experience. To do this, Nintendo designed this model with a 7.0″ OLED display, a wide adjustable stand, 64 GB of internal memory, and enhanced speakers. The dock for this model also sports a built in LAN port. Other then those, it’s the same internal hardware.

So, why the negativity on social media? Well, earlier this year, there were leaks regarding a “Switch” with an OLED display. Some fans took this information and started setting expectations this meant that Nintendo is working on a next gen Switch. The expectations got worse when rumors emerged that Nintendo was going to announce it either before E3 or during. Imagine their surprise when nothing was announced and then this announcement comes out of nowhere.

I’d wager that Nintendo is already planning there next gen system, they just aren’t planning on releasing anything new yet. The Switch is still selling very well and they have a bunch of new titles announced for the Switch. Just doesn’t make sense to try and switch everyone to a next gen system yet. Maybe next year.

Do I plan on getting this new OLED model? Nope. Sure, it features some great upgraded; but I primarily play on my Switch in console mode. If I primarily played my Switch on the go, I’d consider upgrading. The few times I had to play handheld, I did wish the display was better. I just don’t play it handheld enough, so the upgrades don’t really benefit me. Unless you have $349.99 to burn and really want a better handheld experience then your current Switch, then it is something to consider. If you are still considering buying your first Switch and plan on playing it handheld for the most part, this is something to consider for $50 more then the original model and $100 more then the Lite model. Just depends on your budget.

Nintendo Direct 2.17.2021 Impressions

I’m running a bit behind, but still want to post something about Nintendo’s first Direct of the year. Not to mention their first big one for some time now (COVID-19 sucks). I was originally going to setup a link for the video and break down the announcements. Fortunate for me, Nintendo did a much better job then what I was likely going to try putting together.

If you happened to have missed Nintendo’s Direct they hosted on February 17th, here is a link to their site that has the video and a very nice break down of all the announcements below it: Nintendo Direct 2.17.2021.

Now, what are my thoughts. Having been a bit devoid of major announcement for a while, I think it was a decent Direct. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m slightly bummed that they had nothing new to announce for The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild 2 and they didn’t even hint at anything Metroid. However, I think they did what they needed to do and had a little of something for everyone. So here are my big highlights:

  • Pyra/Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicls 2 will be the newest fight/s added to the Super Smash Bros Ultimate roster. To be clear, they are technically the same fighter in the roster. Similar to the Dragon Quest Warrior, you can switch between the two characters during a fight fairly seamlessly, and form the looks of it, intentionally to string together some interesting combos. Seems really interesting.
  • Mario Golf Super Rush has been announced for the Switch. I love me some Mario Golf and so excited I’ll be able to play it on the TV again.
  • Splatoon 3 has been officially announced and is giving me a Wastelands/Borderlands vibe. Should be interesting. Might be time I finally pick up one of a Splatoon game.
  • Project Triangle Strategy (working title) is a new tactical RPG being worked by Square Enix. While still very much a work in progress, Square Enix released a playable demo for the game already. I already downloaded it to give it a go. First off, don’t expect the game to go easy on you and don’t expect to understand what is going on. Damn near messed up my first encounter getting used to the mechanics; but even with me fumbling around, I definitely see potential here. Also loving the art style reminding me of very much of Octopath.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is going to release on the Switch soon. While not one of the best Legend of Zelda games in my honest opinion, it does have it’s moments and I think it is very much worth playing for LoZ fans who haven’t yet played it. If you were a huge fan of it and plan on getting again, more power to you. Now, they did mention they did work on improving the motion controls to fit the regular Switch side controllers (hopefully this improves the sword combat response which never worked well for me); but they also mentioned adding full button control support for Switch Lite players, so motion controls aren’t required! Woot!
  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DLC releasing this year. Included in the Expansion Pass DLC will be a purchase bonus that will add new weapons and outfits for Link, there are two bigger releases that will spaced out throughout this year. Across each wave they will be adding some new playable characters (no details yet who), skills for existing characters, stages, weapon types, and challenges. While I’m still working through Age of Calamity, I’m looking forward to seeing what they add as I’m getting close to full completion at this point.
  • Animal Crossing New Horizon Super Mario Themed decorations and outfits are coming soon in an upcoming free update. I’m not one to really decorate my island yet, but I thinking it is time to make an exception. And yes, there are enough items to basically make your own Mario course on your island complete with warp pipes, coins, blocks, and flag pole, all while looking like a Mario character.
  • Plenty of new third party title announcements. To many for me to really dig deep as I don’t have much on them yet. However, I do want to call out the Ninja Gaiden Master Collection. Includes Ninja Gaiden 1-3, need I say more. I’ve already beaten the hell out of all three, but if you missed these and are looking for challenge, highly recommend checking it out.

So yeah, no BotW 2 or Metroid Prime 4 news, but I think an overall solid Direct. Definitely giving me some good vibes about 2021 for Nintendo. Just remember, it is still February, so there is plenty of time for Nintendo to drop some more big news. Heck, for all we know, BotW 2 and Metroid Prime 4 could be launch titles for Nintendo’s new system I keep hearing about. Either way, this is already shaping up to be a nice year for Nintendo.

Xbox Live on Switch?

Okay, I have to admit, the first time I saw someone comment on it, I figured it was just a rumor. Finally got around to looking up what had been mentioned online and looks to be real. Granted, not just Switch, but also iOS and Android. With how much Microsoft has been trying to push cross platform, I can say I’m not entirely surprised about this.

While details of how Xbox Live will work on these platforms compared to PC and Xbox haven’t been released yet from what I can find. No surprise since I’ve gathered Microsoft plans on discussing this further at this years GDC (Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms (Presented by Microsoft)).

Very much looking forward to what exactly Microsoft is planning, let alone how Nintendo plans on incorporating it. Kind of curious if Nintendo might be planning on incorporating Xbox Live with their own online service as a way to enhance it. Case in point, multiplayer chat. Yes, I know, Nintendo has their Nintendo Switch Online app for voice chat. Would be nice to have voice chat with just the Switch though without needing my phone. Plenty to speculate on at this point, so I’ll just have to hold tight until Microsoft releases more information.

Ultimate Smash is Here

It isn’t often that I get games when they release anymore; but had to make an exception for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. I’ve been a Smash Bros fans since the first one released on the Nintendo 64 and have played every release since. Something about getting to have my favorite Nintendo characters duke it out.

Ultimate is no exception to that rule, but definitely sets a new bar as far as scale. Every Smash Bros game has introduced new characters, but each of them have also excluded some characters from previous games. This usually included whichever character I seemed to play the most. With Ultimate, not only did they add new characters, but they brought back every character ever released in previous games. Can’t tell you how bummed I was when Mewtwo was missing from Brawl and Snake was missing from the Wii U version. Now I can finally have Mewtwo fight Snake!

Not only is the character roster impressive, but so is the stage selection. While they don’t have every stage every introduced, they seem to have pulled together every iconic stage I can think of, include some classic stages from the 64 version (Peach’s Castle was on of my favorites). To top that off, every stage can be used for 8-player Smash. While it is impossible for me to keep track of everything going on, this was one of my favorite features introduced in the Wii U version. Was just a bummer that not every stage supported 8-players in that one. So much fun trying to play through the chaos and usually spending most of my time trying to spot my character.

They have also revamped Classic mode so each character has their own unique fight ladder. Each leading to a boss fight that isn’t necessarily with Master Hand. Wasn’t expecting to fight a dragon as the boss for one of the Fire Emblem characters. They also have a new story mode called The World of Light, where you start off with only one fighter. As you progress, you unlock Spirits to help your fighter get stronger; and you will also fight other Smash fighters who you can unlock in the story mode if you beat them. I haven’t played this mode that much yet, but liking it so far. As a final mention, they have included a very impressive music library from all the game series covered in Smash Bros. So much music that they setup a media player feature for you to create custom playlists and listen the music on the go.

The developers definitely put their all into this game and it shows. In my opinion, this is a must buy for any Smash Bros fan. Even if you aren’t a big fan of fighter games or are just a big Nintendo fan, I’d say to give it a try. While it is a fighter, it stands apart from most fighters so much that even if you aren’t great at it, you can still have a blast. Even in the matches I lose, I’m still having fun. Heck, if you have a Switch, just get it.

Little Dragons Café

Found this to be a very pleasant surprise. Yasuhiro Wada (Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons creator) is teaming up with Aksys Games on a new game called Little Dragons Café. I’ve been a big fan of Harvest Moon since Harvest Moon 64, so looking forward to what Yasuhrio Wada has in mind with this one.

Outside of what I’ve seen since yesterday, not much has been released outside of a late summer 2018 release on the Switch and PS4 and some plot details. The game follows a brother and sister who have to take over their mom’s café after she falls into a deep sleep. After their mom falls into a deep sleep, a strange old man appears to inform the siblings they need to raise a dragon in order to save their mom. Not only will they have to manage the café, learn to cook, and grow crops to support the café, they also have to raise a dragon at the same time.

Definitely suspect the growing crops and managing the café will likely show some Harvest Moon influence, I’m really curious how the and raising a dragon and cooking will play out. I figure raising the dragon may be somewhat familiar with how animals are raised in Harvest Moon, but kind of sounds like there will be a unique twist that will involve more then just raising them. As for the cooking, I really hope it will be more than just selecting the ingredients. Hoping for something kind like Cooking Mama or Cook, Serve, Delicious!.

Really hoping we get more screenshots and potential gameplay soon. With a late summer 2018 release, I’d imagine both aren’t far off. Can’t say I’d think of these going together, but looking forward to running a cafe while raising dragons.