NX Will be Powered by Tegra
The funny thing about the NX development cycle is that Nintendo has waited so long to reveal any details about their forthcoming system that a magnitude of rumours has sprung up around it to the extent that it has actually helped them in maintaining secrecy. This week Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has come out with details gleaned from multiple sources with firsthand NX dev kit experience, and it would seem that most of the pertinent details about the NX have been hiding in plain sight all along.
The NX will be Nintendo’s attempt to consolidate both their handheld and home console audiences onto one hybrid platform in an effort to combat the erosion of both of these markets for Nintendo. The core of the NX will be a portable unit which is capable of performing as a fully functional handheld console for when its user is on the go, but it is also capable of functioning as a pseudo home console when inserted into a docking station which will output content to the TV. The system’s controls have been designed to detach from the handheld unit so that when it is plugged into the TV they can function as a stand alone gamepad. This control method has the potential to feel really chintzy if Nintendo cheaps out on build quality, but one hopes that the system will at least be compatible with Nintendo’s classic controllers [bonus points to Nintendo if they include one in the box]. The system will use 32 gigabyte cartridges, similar in size to the ones used with the 3DS. It is somewhat unlikely that the system will offer backwards compatibility due to changes in both media and architecture.
Powering the NX will be an Nvidia Tegra X1 mobile chipset, the very same processor used in Nvidia’s Shield Android TV console. The performance of the Android TV is appreciably better than the Wii U, while still being largely comparable. It is important to remember however that the Android TV has the benefit of running off of mains power in a [presumably] larger form factor than NX, so it likely has the ability to push the X1 chipset a little harder than the NX, as NX requires that games be developed with the baseline assumption that they will be running off of a lithium battery. Of course the NX will be fed with mains power when slotted into the docking station, yet it seems unlikely that this will boost the performance of software significantly, and realistically it will probably just serve to increase the system’s resolution. Hilariously, diehard Nintendo fanboys have already begun trying to make the case for Tegra X1 performance being comparable to the capabilities of the PS4.
Back in reality, the design of the NX can only be seen as proof that Nintendo has long since buried any hope they may have had for a reconciliation with third party developers, as they appear to have made little effort to compete with Microsoft and Sony’s three year old offerings. Instead, the system’s home console attributes appear designed to wean Nintendo’s ten million or so Wii U holdouts over to their more successful portable platform so that they no longer need to service these two different markets. Reactions to this new information have been starkly polarised, from eager anticipation to crushing disappointment – which has likely resulted from the expectations that individuals harboured for the NX. If a chap was looking to the NX to provide him with a home console experience on par with the PS4 then the NX seems an obvious failure, yet if someone was merely looking for the NX to replace their 3DS then they would likely be pretty happy with a portable capable of outperforming the Wii U. For Nintendo fans who are exclusively into portable gaming this must sound like a rare treat.
EB Pulls Fan Service Games from Store Shelves
Does anybody else remember when Jam Sterling said that feminists were not going to take our games away? This author sure remembers, mostly because the utter failure of that hollow assurance gets rammed home every other week as offensive material is routinely purged in the vain effort to assuage the wrath of social justice neo-puritanism. When Australian Target stores purged their stock of Grand Theft Auto V after being subjected to an organised feminist pressure campaign it was moderately shocking, yet it was also somewhat understandable and forgivable on account of the fact that video games only constitute a very small part of their business, and the normalfag perception of their brand-image is very important to Target. Infinitely more shocking is news this week that Australian Electronics Boutique stores have purged their inventory of sexy fan service video games! Australians have long been used to having games banned and censored through the notorious OFLC government ratings body, but it becomes downright chilling when the largest dedicated gaming retail chain in the country starts taking it upon themselves to pull perfectly legal games from their catalogue based on some arbitrary social justice criteria.
The games effected are Gal*Gun: Double Peace and Senran Kagura Estival Versus. Gal*Gun: Double Peace was released on the 22nd of this month and was completely scrubbed from all EB stores and the online catalogue several days later, though EB are apparently still honouring pre-orders. Senran kagura Estival Versus was released in March of this year, and strangely Reddit users have reported being contacted by EB with instructions to surrender their copy to the nearest EB store for a full refund. Apparently EB is conducting a fullscale recall of the game, although the notion of this is so outlandish that it should probably be taken with a grain of salt.
The publishers of Gal*Gun: Double Peace, PQube Games, went on to confirm that the reason that both games were pulled was on account of Someone at EB reading an article on Kotaku which ruminated on the conundrum of why this sick filth had not yet been banned. Kotaku hates games and gamers – who could have seen that coming?
“I can confirm that EB Games Australia has taken both Gal*Gun Double Peace and Senran Kagura Estival Versus off shelves in their stores. We just got confirmation of it last night. Apparently pre-orders will be honoured but other than that EB Games will not sell those titles anymore.
When we inquired further, we were told that apparently this was brought about by someone at EB Games reading a story on GalGun and getting upset by the content they saw. They specifically referred to the term “orgasm bomb”, so I’m guessing they got an eyeful of some glorious doki-doki action.
It is our understanding that this is not an Australia ban, but rather EB Games deciding to take this off their shelves on their own.”
Feminism is cancer.
Amber Scott Leaves Beamdog
When Amber Scott stated “I’m happy to be an SJW and I hope to write many Social Justice Games in the future that reach as many different types of people as possible“, she presumably did not mean that she would be with Beamdog when she did so, or if she did then she must have quickly found her expectations confounded. Amber Scott may ruin many games going forward, but future Baldur’s Gate expansions will not be among them. That is to say that Amber Scott is betwixt gainful employment. Readers may recall that Amber Scott was primarily responsible for completely tanking the highly anticipated expansion, Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Drangonspear. As lead writer she packed it full of immersion-breaking real world leftist politics, and even completely changed the personalities of beloved longstanding Baldur’s Gate characters because she did not approve of the traits given to them by their original creators.
All too often in video gaming we see one developer after another fail to realise that they do not wholly own a longstanding property just because they may happen to own the legal rights to it. Any enduringly successful property is built up in part by fans of that property, and said fans will take an extremely dim view of any developer who does not treat a cherished franchise with due respect. Vandals like Amber Scott and her enablers at Beamdog are not soon forgotten, as someone who so callously shits on something that is important to so many people is simply not to be trusted. In her arrogance Amber Scott thought she knew better than all the fans who care about Baldur’s Gate, and by radically changing established characters she is essentially telling fans that their recollections of cherished characters are wrong because there is a new canon in town – her canon.
Of course this heavy-handed approach will never win out in the end, and before too long the studio head, Trent Oster, was begging for forum members to go onto Steam and Good Old Games in order to give his game a good review to counteract the bad ones. It truly was pathetic. The game was a disgrace; it was review bombed heavily at the time, and weeks later people scarcely even remembered it was a thing. Gamers moved on and left Siege of Dragonspear behind. The measure of the game’s failure can be seen by the fact that all of the hurried promises that Beamdog made when doing damage control during the game’s launch weak appear to be dead in the water. They promised to rewrite a particularly obnoxious character. That did not happen. The game is still a technical mess, and the collector’s edition of the game still has not been released. There is no sense in working on a moribund game that nobody is playing. Developers can impotently rail against the ‘entitled’ fans all they want, yet it is the fans who will always determine the success of a game. Beamdog were able to purchase the Baldur’s Gate license, but it was always the fans that controlled its future. And so as Amber Scott exits the company, she leaves behind a wretched mess of a game that seems to have been developed more out of spite than passion, along with a demoralised development team. One can only hope that she finds work again soon, preferably at Bioware.