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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.

FTC Gives Manufacturers 30 Days to Remove Warranty Void Stickers

Remember that time where the FTC announced they were cracking down on illegal, predatory warranty conditions? You know, such as those "warranty void if removed" stickers that don't really have any legal base towards their implementation - and eventual refusal of an actual warranty claim? Well, the gong has now sounded, and it will reverberate some 30 times: the amount of days the FTC has given companies to cease and desist on putting those stickers in newly shipped products.

Microsoft Kills Off Kinect for Xbox

Microsoft has discontinued Kinect, the gesture-tracking accessory for Xbox which was all the rage a couple of years ago. The company has stopped manufacturing Kinect, and at its last count, sold over 35 million units of it (including standalone units and bundled with Xbox consoles). Gesture and voice recognition flourished as Kinect formed Microsoft's answer to Nintendo Wii and its WiiMotion controller, that enabled sports games in the living room. Kinect added another dimension to it, by taking input from not just your hands' 3D spatial orientation, but also that of your entire body. The accessory also doubled up as a web-camera for your living room. Microsoft plans Windows Mixed Reality headsets to succeed Kinect, as they combine several of its functions with VR and AR.

NVIDIA Claws Back Console Chips Business: Nintendo Switch Announced

After months of speculation, the lid is off Nintendo's "NX" project, with the company finally announcing today its much-awaited games console, the Nintendo Switch. With an expected release slated for March 2017, the console blurs the line between a games console and a handheld device, by making use of a docking station which will allow it to connect to a television, much like a traditional games console, while instantly entering a so called "portable mode" when it is undocked. As both a console and a portable device, the Nintendo Switch will use cartridges known as Game Cards, displaying games in a "high definition display" embedded on the console while on the go, with two detachable Joy-Con controllers stepping in as input devices.

For PC hardware enthusiasts, that may not be all too interesting. What is arguably more interesting is that this games console will make use of NVIDIA hardware: most notably, a custom Tegra processor is the one pulling out all of the console's processing needs, with the graphics being served by what the company calls "the same architecture as the world's top-performing GeForce gaming graphics cards."

Microsoft Acquires Havok Physics from Intel

Microsoft acquired Havok Physics, the industry's most popular in-game physics API, from Intel. Microsoft intends to add Havok's IP to its existing tools and platforms, including DirectX 12, Visual Studio, and Azure. Havok will continue to remain accessible to all its existing licensees and partners, including Activision, EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Sony. It currently features in more than 600 AAA game titles across major platforms, such as the PC, PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox.

Next Gen Nintendo Console to Do Away with Optical Disc Media

Nintendo's upcoming high-performance game console, codenamed "Nintendo NX," could be the first major console in 15 years to completely do away with optical disc media. Patent applications covering the console, filed in February by Nintendo, with the USPTO, and unearthed by NeoGAF, describe a console that "is not provided with an optical disc drive." Nintendo is expected to reveal the NX some time in 2016.

This points at a new direction in which Nintendo wants to guide the console gaming industry - one in which an Internet connection is mandatory, games are bought from a centralized marketplace online, downloaded to your console's local storage (HDDs/SSDs), and played. DLCs and in-game purchases are as seamless as possible, and game progress, settings, etc., are stored on the cloud. Such a system already existed for close to a decade, with Xbox Live and PSN, but Nintendo NX will be the first platform to completely do away with optical disc media. This method could also curb piracy, since the only way your console can receive games to play is through that online marketplace.

Google Chooses Vulkan as the 3D Graphics API for Android

Google announced that it chose Vulkan, the next-generation, cross-platform 3D graphics API from Khronos, the people behind OpenGL; as the default API for upcoming versions of its Android operating-system. It currently uses OpenGL ES. GL-ES is widely supported across several embedded platforms, with its most recent update, GL ES 3.2, being released as recently as last week. What makes Khronos particularly interesting is that it's heavily based on AMD Mantle, a low-overhead API that proved its chops against DirectX 11 on the PC platform, before being withdrawn by AMD, in favor of DirectX 12.

Google will be helping developers through the transition between OpenGL ES and Vulkan using a suite of documentation, SDKs rich in compatibility test suits, and more. Vulkan's march to the PC could be a lot less straightforward. It's still being seen as rebranded Mantle, and while AMD announced support for all its Graphics CoreNext GPUs, there's no such announcement from NVIDIA. It could see good adoption with Apple's Mac OS, and desktop *nix. Vulkan could see a lot of popularity with game consoles other than Microsoft Xbox. Sony PlayStation 4, and Nintendo's upcoming console, which use AMD GCN GPUs, could take advantage of Vulkan, due to its lower CPU overhead and close-to-metal optimizations, compared to OpenGL.

AMD to Power Next-Generation NES

Nintendo is working on a next-generation gaming console to succeed even the fairly recent Wii U. The company is reacting to the plummeting competitiveness of its current console to the likes of PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Reports suggest that Nintendo would make a course-correction on the direction in which it took its game console business with the Wii, and could come up with a system that's focused on serious gaming, as much as it retains its original "fun" quotient. In that manner, the console could be more NES-like, than Wii-like.

Nintendo could ring up AMD for the chip that will drive its next console. It's not clear if AMD will supply a fully-integrated SoC that combines its own x86 CPU cores with its GCN graphics processor; or simply supply the GPU component for an SoC that combines components from various other manufacturers. The Wii U uses IBM's CPU cores, with AMD's GPU, combined onto a single chip. There's no word on when Nintendo plans to announce the new console, but one can expect a lot more news in 2015-16.

Mad Catz Ships Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Arcade FightStick

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. announced today the Company has begun shipping the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition S, the first fighting game controller released by Mad Catz for the new Wii U console from Nintendo and the similar Tournament Edition S+ FightStick for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system. Licensed by NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc., the Tournament Edition fighting game controller has been designed for competitive play featuring genuine arcade components.

"We're pleased to extend our relationship with NAMCO BANDAI Games and particularly excited to introduce a Tournament Edition fighting game controller to the new Wii U console," said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. "We believe that the new FightStick will enable us to further grow our position as market leaders in this category."

AMD Powers Brilliant HD Game and Video Performance for Nintendo's Wii U

AMD is proud to support Nintendo's newly launched Wii U home console as the supplier of custom AMD Radeon HD GPU technology. As announced at E3 in 2011, the custom-for-Nintendo AMD graphics processor enables Wii U to provide exciting, immersive game play, brilliant HD video and game graphics and new forms of interaction for consumers. Since 2001, AMD technology has been included in more than 118 million Nintendo Wii and GameCube hardware units around the world.1

The AMD GPU will help bring Nintendo's popular franchises into HD for the first time with new innovative game-play experiences, and the new Wii U GamePad controller, which creates a second window into the game world. "Wii U and its GamePad controller offer completely new and unexpected game-play and entertainment experiences," said Genyo Takeda, General Manager, Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd. "We chose AMD to support our HD gaming efforts with its best-in-class graphics capabilities, and we're proud to call them a technology partner."

Get Ready to PARTY When Wii U Launches on Nov. 18

Nintendo has revealed additional details about SiNG PARTY, the new singing-and-dancing game for Wii U that turns living rooms into concert venues. The game will launch alongside the Wii U console on Nov. 18 at a suggested retail price of $59.99, and includes a microphone. Wii U owners can also download the game directly from the Nintendo eShop for $49.99, though they will need to obtain a compatible microphone separately. The game is backward compatible with all licensed Wii microphones, while new microphones will be available at a suggested retail price of $24.99 each.

The game includes a wide variety of music from many different genres and eras, with a primary focus on creating the best party atmosphere for both singing and dancing. Artists like Rihanna, Jackson 5, Lady Gaga, The Wanted, James Brown, The Village People and Selena Gomez & The Scene blend together to create a perfect party playlist for everyone young and old. Additional songs will be available starting in 2013.

New Wii Bundles Keep Families Grooving and Imaginations Soaring This Holiday Season

Nintendo has great news for gift seekers looking to keep their loved ones entertained and energized this holiday season. Starting Nov. 4, consumers in the United States will be able to choose from two new Wii bundles, each containing a Wii console and one of two new games from Nintendo's third-party partners. One bundle includes Ubisoft's Just Dance 4 and a white Wii console with matching Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers, offered while supplies last at a suggested retail price of $129.99. The other bundle includes Activision's Skylanders Giants, a blue Wii console with matching Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers, one Portal of Power, two Skylanders characters and one exclusive Giant Skylander, available while supplies last at a suggested retail price of $149.99.

Turtle Beach Storms E3 With New And Advanced Line-Up Of Gaming Audio Products

Turtle Beach, pioneers and market-leaders of the gaming headset category, is pleased to unveil its new fall lineup at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Turtle Beach has created a 6,000 square foot both that will showcase new products and a dedicated theater showcase featuring an immersive audio experience. In addition, Turtle Beach will also underscore its commitment to competitive gaming by offering attendees a tournament showcase. The tournament area, theater experience and full line of gaming audio products are available via its E3 booth; Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall #2447, from June 5 - 7, 2012.

The Turtle Beach Ear Force theater experience offers E3 attendees a unique and innovative audio presentation to demonstrate the importance of audio in the gaming experience. Through a custom system utilizing a 270-degree screen, three projectors and headset integration the presentation highlights Turtle Beach's advanced audio. As always, hundreds of Turtle Beach headsets will be powering the audio experiences for visitors to numerous E3 booths, including Activision, 2K Games, Warner Brothers, Konami, Project (RED), Snapdragon, Bethesda, Gameloft and many others.

Nintendo’s Wii U Ushers in New Age of Video Games with Second-Screen Experience

Nintendo revealed a massive lineup of first- and third-party video games for its upcoming Wii U home console today, including new games in the Super Mario Bros., Pikmin, Wii Fit, Batman: Arkham City, Scribblenauts, Assassin's Creed and Just Dance franchises. The Wii U console launches this holiday season and introduces the Wii U GamePad, a controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen that redefines how people interact with their games, their entertainment and one another. Video game publishers from around the world, including Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Electronic Arts, SEGA, THQ and NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. are demonstrating how their biggest franchises are being reimagined for Wii U.

Nintendo Shows Off Ergonomic Wii U Pro Controller

For all those put off with the ergonomics of Nintendo's standard Wii U controller, the console giant is planning a new ergonomic gamepad for games that can make do with just common controls (D-pad, axes, four buttons, triggers). Called the Wii U Pro Controller, the gamepad dons a similar shape to that of the Xbox 360 controller, but with both its analog sticks located in the same row of controls. The controller appears to be designed to work both wired and wireless. More details will be released at this year's E3 event, scheduled for this week.
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