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E3 2021 Announced As An Online Only Event

It's "Game On." for E3, as The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially unveils plans for a reimagined, all-virtual E3 2021 that will engage video game fans everywhere. With early commitments from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, Koch Media, and more to come, E3 2021 will take place June 12 through June 15.

Developers will be showcasing their latest news and games directly to fans around the world. The ESA will be working with media partners globally to help amplify and make this content available to everyone for free. While maintaining E3's longstanding position as a central destination for industry networking — where new partnerships and connections between video game publishers, developers and media are made — the digital format for E3 2021 means more people than ever can participate. The ESA looks forward to coming back together to celebrate E3 2022 in person, in the meantime see you online this June!

Nintendo Game Boy Modded to Mine Bitcoin

Nintendo's Game Boy handheld console was launched in 1989, making it 32 years old. Being widely regarded as the icon of handheld gaming, it was sold in millions and has been copied countless times. However, with some spare time and a crazy mind, the console has been modified to mine Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Yes, you are reading that right. An 8-bit console is mining the biggest and the most valuable cryptocurrency. An electronics enthusiast named "stacksmashing" has set himself a difficult task - to prove that the console can mine some Bitcoin, at any possible rate. And he has managed to prove it is possible, although with some modifications.

Given that the console lacks any connectivity options to the outside world due to its age, the modder had to use SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) to connect the Game Boy with the Raspberry Pi, which had the task of connecting the Game Boy to the internet to mine some Bitcoin. Using the custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902 processor running at 4.19 MHz, the console is naturally not very powerful. Thus, it can not do any meaningful mining and to compare it to modern mining ASICs is just silly. However, it is interesting to see proof of concept and get to see some engineering fun. For more information, please check out the YouTube video here.

Next-Generation Nintendo Switch SoC to be Powered by NVIDIA's Ada Lovelace GPU Architecture

Nintendo's Switch console is one of the most successful consoles ever made by the Japanese company. It has sold in millions of units and has received great feedback from the gaming community. However, as the hardware inside the console becomes outdated, the company is thinking about launching a new revision of the console, with the latest hardware and technologies. Today, we got ahold of information about the graphics side of things in Nintendo's upcoming console. Powered by NVIDIA Tegra SoC, it will incorporate unknown Arm-based CPU cores. The latest rumors suggest that the CPU will be accommodated with NVIDIA's Ada Lovelace GPU architecture. According to @kopite7kimi, a known hardware leaker, who simply replied to VideoCardz's tweet with "Ada", we are going to see the appearance of Ada Lovelace GPU architecture in the new SoC. Additionally, the new Switch SoC will have hardware accelerated NVIDIA Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and 4K output.

Nintendo Partners with Niantic To Develop New AR Games

Today, we are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Nintendo to jointly develop mobile titles built on Niantic's real-world AR technology, bringing Nintendo's beloved characters to life in new ways. We're honored that Nintendo has chosen Niantic to be its publisher of real-world AR applications. To kick off the partnership, Niantic and Nintendo are developing an app based on the Pikmin franchise. The app will include gameplay activities to encourage walking and make walking more delightful. Slated to launch later this year, this will be the first title created by our Tokyo Studio since it was established in April 2018. We'll share more details about the apps in the coming months. We're excited to continue building on this partnership as we pursue our mission of encouraging people to explore the world together.

Next-Gen Nintendo Switch Rumored to Feature 7" 720p OLED Screen & Docked 4K DLSS 2.0 TV Support

Nintendo is reportedly preparing to unveil an updated Nintendo Switch console later this year featuring a larger Samsung OLED display. The upcoming model is rumored to feature a 7-inch 720p rigid OLED screen from Samsung Display Co with an initial monthly production target of just under one million units. The screen would be significantly larger than the 6.2-inch screen currently found on the Switch, if Nintendo is to keep the same form-factor the bezels will be significantly thinner. The new model is also likely to feature an upgraded NVIDIA Tegra chip with support for 4K DLSS 2.0 when docked, this will introduce further difficulty for developers who have struggled with the difference between resolutions.

Nintendo Switch Yuzu Emulator Receives Significant Performance Improvements in First 2021 Update

Yuzu is an experimental Nintendo Switch emulator from the creators of the Citra 3DS emulator. The emulator has come a long way since the early days with more games becoming supported and general performance improvements. The first major update of 2021 brings a rewrite of the buffer cache along with general bug fixes and stability improvements. The new buffer cache was tested with the Ryzen 5 3400G and resulted in an average performance improvement of 89% for tested games with the average FPS rising to 30. These improvements should greatly benefit those with lower-end hardware and are likely to increase in the future as the emulator is further developed.

Nintendo Switch On Track To Become One Of The Best Selling Game Consoles Of All Time

The Nintendo Switch was announced by Nintendo in October 2016 before releasing worldwide in March 2017. The hybrid console has been well-received and is now on track to become one of if not the best selling console of all time. Nintendo recently revealed during a financial report that the console had sold 79.87 million units after 46 months on the market. This compares favorably with the PS4 at ~67 million, the PS2 at ~69.5 million, and the Wii at ~75 million units at 46 months after their releases. When compared to Nintendo's other consoles only the DS manages to outsell the Switch at ~83 million units sold 46 months after release. The Nintendo Switch has eclipsed the Wii U in sale numbers which only reached ~13.3 million.

Control Ultimate Edition Cloud Version Launches for the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has launched limited game streaming trials with the Nintendo Switch in Japan however these have tended to be prohibitively expensive and were never offered outside of Japan. That is all changing with the launch of Control Ultimate Edition from Remedy Entertainment which is only available as a cloud version. The game is streamed from Ubitus servers to the Nintendo Switch at 30 FPS with the choice of a graphical or performance mode.

The graphical mode features limited raytracing enabled by the server GPUs which would not be possible with the local hardware. used by Ubitus, Control Ultimate Edition - Cloud Version is now available via the Nintendo eShop for players in North America, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and parts of Europe. The game is offered as a free download to test connection requirements but to play you will require a 39.99 USD Access Pass.

Nintendo Rumored to Release Updated Switch Model in 2021

Nintendo is reportedly planning to release an upgraded Switch model in early 2021 according to a new report from Taiwanese news outlet Economic Daily News. The new SKU will feature internal flash memory from Macronix and is rumored to receive an upgraded screen, along with enhancements to interactivity features such as haptics, sensors, and the JoyCon controllers. It is currently unknown if this upgrade will replace the base Nintendo Switch as we saw with the battery upgrade in 2019 or if it will be the long-rumored Nintendo Switch Pro. The possibility of an upgraded model is plausible given that the Nintendo Switch was launched back in 2017 but it is unlikely to compete with next-generation consoles, as with any rumor be sure to take it with a grain of salt until Nintendo officially announces anything.

ResearchAndMarkets Unveils Gaming Accessories Industry Analysis 2020-2025

The "Gaming Accessories Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020-2025)" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering. The global gaming accessories market is expected to reach a CAGR of 9.5% during the forecast period of 2020-2025. Increasing adoption of smartphones, rapidly evolving technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) are fueling the growth of the market across the globe.

Major gaming console manufacturers like Nintendo and Microsoft have realized the potentiality of AR and are leading the charge. AR can free gamers from their world' and usher them into the real world to play. For instance, Human Pac-Man is a game that allows the users to wear goggles and chase each other in real life, just resembling the characters in Pac-Man. Such developments are aiding the development of gaming accessories to provide enhanced gaming experience to gamers.

ASUS Unveils New Gaming Peripherals and ROG Phone 3

ASUS Co-CEO S.Y. Hsu today unveiled the ROG Phone 3 and an array of gaming accessories and peripherals during the Game Changer virtual launch event. As the latest generation of the world's most powerful gaming smartphone series, the ROG Phone 3 redefines mobile gaming with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G Mobile Platform, an ultra-responsive 144 Hz / 1 ms AMOLED 6.59-inch display, and the GameCool 3 cooling system for peak performance during extended gameplay sessions. Mobile gaming on ROG Phone 3 is enhanced by a number of expansion accessories, such as Kunai 3 Gamepad and ROG Clip for console-like controls, and TwinView Dock 3 for dual-screen gameplay.

At this event, ROG also announces the new ROG Falchion wireless gaming keyboard, ROG Cetra RGB gaming headphones, and ROG Strix XG16 portable gaming monitor. The ROG Falchion wireless mechanical keyboard offers a space-saving layout that is 65 percent of the size of a standard keyboard, a user-friendly multi-use interactive touch panel, and wireless Aura Sync lighting. ROG Cetra RGB in-ear gaming headphones feature active noise cancellation (ANC) technology and customizable RGB lighting. To round out this all-new peripheral lineup, the ROG Strix XG16 is a 15.6-inch portable gaming display with a built-in battery and user-friendly kickstand design that supports an up to 144Hz refresh rate and 1080p HD resolution.

ASUS ROG Announces Strix Electro Punk Edition Gaming Peripherals

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) today announced the release of new Electro Punk peripherals with a striking black-and-pink color scheme. First introduced in April, the Electro Punk colors can now be found on the ROG Strix Go 2.4 gaming headset, ROG Strix Scope TKL gaming keyboard, ROG Strix Impact II gaming mouse and other gaming and lifestyle accessories.

ROG Strix Go 2.4 Electro Punk is a USB-C 2.4 GHz wireless headset that enables stable, lag-free audio on smart devices, PC, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox or Nintendo Switch (in Handheld mode). The Electro Punk edition features pink piping in and around the headband, ear pads, and ROG logo to give it that a special touch, while the rest stays bold black to prevent stains. Strix Go 2.4 has a detachable boom mic powered by AI Noise-Canceling technology that intelligently eliminates unwanted background noise for clear voice communication for work or play.

Nintendo Switch Sales More Than Double In 2020

The Nintendo Switch has proven to be a very popular hybrid gaming console with sales surpassing the SNES, N64, GameCube & Wii U. The console is currently sold out at many retailers across the world thanks in part to a monumental surge in demand for the console arising from lockdowns due to the coronavirus. VideoGamesChronicle reports that Nintendo Switch sales have more than doubled in the first half of 2020 compared to the first six months of last year in the UK.

This will bring the Nintendo Switch closer to overtaking the Nintendo Entertainment System in lifetime hardware sales. Traditional game consoles such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One also saw significant hardware sales increases of around 50% and 25% respectively. Game sales were also up 48% across the board for the first four months of 2020.

Apex Legends Coming to Steam and Nintendo Switch with Cross-Play

During Electronic Arts Play 2020 event, Respawn, the maker of popular battle royale Apex legends, has announced that Apex Legends is getting cross-play support. Not only that, but Respawn is now launching Apex Legends on Steam and Nintendo Switch platforms so the cross-play can be bigger than ever. Now, players that use either PC (Steam or EA Origin), Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, can be brought together and play against each other. However, Respawn didn't just announce the cross-play support. Along with it, they have announced a new seasonal event called the "Lost Treasures Collection". In this event, players get a new game mode called "Armed and Dangerous Evolved". This game mode allows for new player abilities and resurrection of knocked out players. You can find more about it in the video below.
Apex Legends Lost Treasures Collection Event Apex Legends Lost Treasures Collection Event

Nintendo Takes Legal Action Against Unofficial Super Mario 64 PC Port

An unofficial port of Super Mario 64 for PC was released on various online forums last week, this port was made possible through reverse engineering of the game's source code obtained by fans over the past few years. This PC port differed from existing options such as N64 emulation as it allows the game to run at far greater resolutions than its native resolution of 240p with resolutions such as 4K, 4K ultra-wide or even 8K now possible at uncapped frame rates. The DirectX 12 powered port came with other features such as controller support and the ability to add modern visual effects including ray tracing through third-party tools such as Reshade.

As expected Nintendo is not pleased with the port and has taken steps to get it removed from various sites, Nintendo has reportedly contracted US law firm Wildwood Law Group LLC who refer to the unofficial Super Mario 64 PC port as an "unauthorized derivative work based on Nintendo's copyrighted work." In addition to the download link takedowns, several YouTube videos featuring gameplay of the port have also been removed. Nintendo will want to get this port removed from the internet as soon as possible, especially given their plans to release new and remastered Mario games for the Nintendo Switch this year.

Nintendo Switch Sales Surge Surpassing SNES, N64, GameCube & Wii U

Sales of Nintendo's hybrid console the Nintendo Switch have surged with combined sales of 55.77 million units worldwide. The Nintendo Switch family of systems which includes the Nintendo Switch & Nintendo Switch Lite sold 21.03 million units last year which reflects a 24.0% increase in sales from the previous year, this was likely due in part to the launch of the Switch Lite and the recent demand from the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Software sales saw an even more impressive jump of 42.3% over the previous year with 168.72 million units sold this year which brings lifetime software sales for the Nintendo Switch to 356.24 million units. Animal Crossing: New Horizons along with other best-selling games all saw strong success. These numbers put the Nintendo Switch ahead of the failed Wii U, GameCube, Nintendo 64, and SNES. The switch is also quickly approaching the NES and will probably take its spot to become the second best-selling home console Nintendo has ever produced right after the original Wii.

Nintendo Wii Source Code and Schematics Leak, Could Spawn a Clone Industry

Software source-code and hardware schematics of the feverishly popular Nintendo Wii console leaked to the web. These include detailed Verilog design files, firmware, PCB- and chip designs, and practically everything else needed for a small company with qualified embedded systems engineers, to recreate a fully-functional Wii clone. Nintendo consoles have, in the past, sparked many clone revolutions, the most famous of which has been the NES clone and bootleg cartridge cottage industry that spread video gaming to markets that Nintendo had no presence in. The leak apparently originated when servers of BroadOn, a company Nintendo contracted during the development of Wii, were hacked.

NVIDIA is Secretly Working on a 5 nm Chip

According to the report of DigiTimes, which talked about TSMC's 5 nm silicon manufacturing node, they have reported that NVIDIA is also going to be a customer for it and they could use it in the near future. And that is very interesting information, knowing that these chips will not go in the next generation of GPUs. Why is that? Because we know that NVIDIA will utilize both TSMC and Samsung for their 7 nm manufacturing nodes for its next-generation Ampere GPUs that will end up in designs like GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 graphics cards. These designs are not what NVIDIA needs 5 nm for.

Being that NVIDIA already has a product in its pipeline that will satisfy the demand for the high-performance graphics market, maybe they are planning something that will end up being a surprise to everyone. No one knows what it is, however, the speculation (which you should take with a huge grain of salt) would be that NVIDIA is updating its Tegra SoC with the latest node. That Tegra SoC could be used in a range of mobile devices, like the Nintendo Switch, so could NVIDIA be preparing a new chip for Nintendo Switch 2?
NVIDIA Xavier SoC

Hands on with the Big O 2020 Edition Dual-System from Origin PC

Corsair had acquired the performance system builder Origin PC in 2019, and we are seeing the first apparent synergic effects of this at CES 2020 with the all-new Big O system. The one-off from last year was a hand-built concept that made serious waves online by incorporating a PC, XBOX One X, PS4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch in the same chassis. It was not really intended to be a retail product, however, but this new 2020 version will actually come to the market in two main flavors: with an Xbox One S or a PS4 Pro pre-installed in a Corsair Crystal Series 280X dual-chamber case.

Origin will still offer all the usual configurations on the gaming PC side, with the base configuration starting at $2,499 MSRP for the XBOX One S version paired with a 1 TB HDD, as well as an Intel Core i5-9600K, 16 GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 GPU, a 240 GB SSD, and a 450 W power supply. The interesting element is certainly the console within, as it will be liquid cooled alongside some additional elements to keep the rest of the key components cool as well. You may also opt for upgraded storage options for the console, and further customize it by having an Elgato capture card built-in, so that you could stream your console gaming straight through the PC for example. Also, thanks to the completely separated power setup, your console would not shut down if your PC happens to go into standby for example. In terms of warranty, Origin PC will offer direct warranty for the consoles as well just like its traditional PCs. The Big O is up for pre-order with a special price starting at $2327 on the Origin website now.

Pinbrawler "Creature In The Well" Out Today on Steam, Xbox One, and Switch

Flight School Studio have released today their unique pinball hack and slash Creature in the Well on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Steam for $14.99 USD. The title is also available for free to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Windows 10 PC and Xbox One.

As the last remaining BOT-C unit, venture deep into a desert mountain to restore power to an ancient facility, haunted by a desperate Creature. Uncover and upgrade powerful gear in order to free the city of Mirage from a deadly sandstorm.

Overwatch Legendary Edition Arrives on Nintendo Switch on October 15th

The world could always use more heroes-and starting October 15, Nintendo Switch players will be able to join more than 40 million players from around the globe in the fight for the future with the arrival of Overwatch Legendary Edition.

Overwatch Legendary Edition puts the definitive version of Blizzard Entertainment's acclaimed team shooter in Nintendo Switch owners' hands, complete with the latest content and gameplay updates. Players will select from a roster of 31 vibrant heroes as they face off in a variety of casual and competitive multiplayer modes and battle over map objectives in 28 different locations around the earth (and on the moon).

Console Makers, Publishers Agree to Disclose Loot Box Odds for "Ethical Surprise Mechanics"

We've been covering the loot box controversy for a while on TechPowerUp now. Independently of which side of the fence you're on - that loot boxes are akin to gambling and thus unethical in some of their implementations, or just cold to the entire issue - it's likely good news for everyone that these so-called "surprise mechanics", as they've been called, will now see their odds being disclosed by console makers and publishers.

Attack On Titan 2: Final Battle Available Now

Today, KOEI TECMO America officially launched Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle, the colossal action game based on the worldwide anime phenomenon 'Attack on Titan'. Players are invited to equip their Omni-Directional Mobility gear and join the fight against the devastating Titans on the PlayStation 4 Computer Entertainment System, Nintendo Switch, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, and digitally on Windows PC via Steam.

Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle offers gripping new gameplay modes to players, allowing them to experience the captivating narrative of the anime's Season 3 storyline and develop their own regiment to reclaim land from the Titans. In Character Episode mode, gamers follow the Season 3 storyline across three different timelines: the Scout Regiment, 104th Cadet Corps, and the Warriors - witnessing pivotal plot points through the eyes of key characters. In Territory Recovery mode; aspiring commanders can create their own dream team, using any of the over 40 playable characters on the roster to venture outside of the walls and fight to claim land back for humanity.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition is Coming to Nintendo Switch This Year

Winner of over 800 awards, including 250 Game of the Year awards, The Witcher 3: Wild Huntis an RPG set in a fantastic open world full of adventure, danger, and mystery. As professional monster slayer Geralt of Rivia, gamers must set out to find the Child of Prophecy - a powerful entity that may send the world spiraling toward destruction. Along the way, the witcher will find himself facing not only mighty foes, but also difficult choices, the consequences of which will ripple throughout the game's epic narrative.

Set to launch this year both digitally and in retail, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Editionfor Nintendo Switch comes with the base game, as well as every piece of additional content ever released. This includes both story expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, as well as all 16 free DLCs. In total, the Complete Edition offers over 150 hours of gameplay, for the first time playable truly on the go. The game is being ported to Nintendo Switch by Saber Interactive in close cooperation with CD PROJEKT RED.

Google Keynote at GDC 2019 Hints Towards Dedicated Gaming Entry

Google sent out a fairly cryptic invite to the game developers and associated press this week in the form of a GIF (converted into relevant images below). It teases a keynote on March 19, 2019 and more information was made available shortly confirming this would be in the form of a keynote to be held at 10 am PST during GDC this year. The media giant promises to "reveal all", and also has developer-focused sessions throughout the course of the event. An early report from The Information suggests the keynote will have Google talk about their new game-streaming service, code-named Yeti. This is in line with our own expectations, after having participated in the fairly successful Project Stream beta test that concluded recently.

Kotaku went further to suggest that Yeti is a streaming service in conjunction with a hardware platform- a simple streaming box, if you will, to take on the dedicated game consoles of 2019 and beyond. Indeed, Google has been wanting to get into this highly lucrative market, with intentions to take over Twitch before Amazon pulled one over them. There remain many challenges in general to a game-streaming world, not least of which were detailed in our own editorial linked above. But, with the next generation consoles getting ready for development and Microsoft willing to explore a game-streaming future themselves, perhaps Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and others should pay very close attention to said Google keynote in less than a month's time.
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