Nintendo Chooses Stability Over Resolution

Nintendo Chooses Stability Over Resolution

Splatoon 2 is another showcase of how Nintendo puts functional gameplay before graphical fidelity
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Digital Foundry, Eurogamer’s source of technical analysis for games and hardware, recently uploaded a video covering “Splatoon 2,” Nintendo’s upcoming third-person shooter release for the Switch. With the release of the game growing ever closer (it is slated for a July 21st release in North America, so it may be released right before this article) a handful of reviews and reviews-in-progress have been uploaded to Youtube, among other places. So far between Digital Foundry’s technical breakdown and reports from several video review sources it has become apparent that Nintendo has once again dedicated themselves to a steady 60 FPS (frames per second) performance model.

For those who don’t already know, Frames Per Second or FPS is the measure of a moving image’s frame rate, or the frequency at which each individual image (frame) of a film or video game (etc.) is displayed. A high, steady FPS means that whatever moving picture is being displayed will do so in a smooth, easily watchable manner. When FPS dips it can create rough, jerky motions, and contributes to major input lag between a controller’s commands and the action taking place on the screen. “Splatoon 2” runs, according to several outlets, without a single drop in FPS throughout the entire experience. Gameplay is a smooth 60 FPS, and the lobby area between games runs at 30 FPS.

Running a solid 60 FPS is impressive, but also comes at a slight graphical cost. The resolution of the game, which is HD and averages around 1080p, is what is known as an adaptive resolution. This means that the resolution, the clarity of the images being displayed on screen, is constantly adjusting itself in order to retain frame rate stability. While the resolution dips are almost imperceptible at times, they are definitely happening during high intensity sequences that tax the Nintendo Switch’s hardware.

This sacrifice was made in the name of smooth gameplay that is both functional and tight to control. It is a very Nintendo decision to put the functional stability of a game before its graphical quality. Though some may view this as Nintendo being weak in terms of hardware when compared to the other two major console manufacturers, it is important to remember that if the mechanics of a game, especially something as fast-paced as a multiplayer shooter, show any sort of instability it can bring the entire experience down. Graphics are, in essence, aesthetic pleasantries that are meant to evoke whatever style and atmosphere the game contains. Whether hyper realistic or heavily stylized, if the gameplay itself is not solid and functional then the graphics just become something pretty to look at.

On top of all that it must be remembered that the adaptive resolution never dips outside of High Definition quality, and when mixed with the game’s colorful, stylized art-direction it is absolutely gorgeous to both watch and play (the Live Fire Demo was extremely addicting). The Switch as a hybrid console-handheld, and its string of releases for the system, shows Nintendo’s design philosophy of quality and creativity to serve fun, memorable experiences, rather than a focus on image and fidelity.

And, I for one, would rather my gameplay feel enjoyable and responsive, than suffer through random drops in FPS to serve some sort of hyper fidelity.

Cover Image Credit: nintendowire

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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New Technology Has Forever Changed The Way We Live Life And It's Mostly A Good Thing

The convenience and knowledge that our technology provides literally at our fingertips is unparalleled in history.

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It's no question that social media has impacted our culture tremendously and shifted the way we live our lives. We are living through one of the greatest technological revolutions in history and communication hasn't been changed this drastically since the invention of the printing press. We spend every day connected through texting, email, Facetime, social media and the internet. Technology provides enough convenience that we could hypothetically never leave our homes. Entertainment is available for streaming, food can be ordered to our doors using simple apps and everything from clothing to furniture can be shipped to our houses in under a week.

Is this constant tuning in and continuous connection good, is it bad, or is it simply a massive shift we need to adjust to? I'm not sure that there is one answer.

In our culture, smartphones are almost a necessity in order to optimize success. Jobs require constant emailing, classes are shifting to online, social media is one of the most major marketing tools you can employ and people expect you to always respond ASAP.

Before smartphones relationships were conducted in person, through letters, and over an occasional phone call. Now, with the invention of the text message the expectations of relationships have changed. People expect their significant other to always be there, ready to text back at almost any hour of the day. Friends who don't reply to text messages are labeled as self-absorbed and rude. Not receiving something as simple as a like on Instagram has major connotations for the way someone feels about you.

A lot of this connectedness is good. Positive social interaction leads to a happier life and feeling closely connected to your friends, family, and partners can be a really good thing. You don't really have to ever be alone and if you need something, someone is always there. The internet is an incredible database that anyone with wifi or cellular connection can access.

Educational materials can be found online and the information is not only kept in books that may be inaccessible to some people due to the sophistication of language or lack of copies. YouTube has millions of videos breaking down the most complex topics in the simplest ways. Technology allows us to listen to music all the time and have the ability to watch more movies than ever before. Our apps keep us updated on news, as long as we have the sense to fact check and avoid believing click bate.

As with everything, technology also has its pitfalls. The ability to be anonymous online makes users of technology bold, enabling them to say things they would never say to someone face. Constantly communicating over a screen can hinder our abilities to communicate in person. Being a bully online is easy, and suicide rates have gone up thirty-three percent since 1999, a time block that aligns suspiciously with the rise of new technology. People's perfectly curated social media pages inaccurately represent the complexity of their lives and seem picture perfect to struggling viewers.

Negative thoughts about one's own life can be worsened when constantly exposed to visuals that seem to suggest everyone else has it all figured out. The internet can feel deceptively safe, like a void where you can say anything with no consequences and still feel like people are listening to you. People my age tend to use their fake Instagrams, "finstas" as diaries. They spill their feelings to their followers and post photos and videos that could have negative effects on their future.

It's also questionable whether it's good to always be connected, to never have time alone, unplugged, away from the cyber world. Some people even want to call our obsession with smartphones an addiction. While I see and acknowledge the negative effects of our revolutionary technological world, I also can't dismiss the benefits. The convenience and knowledge that our technology provides literally at our fingertips is unparalleled in history.

It is changing, but change isn't always bad.

I think that we haven't had the chance to adjust to how fast we've created so many new things. In order to minimize the negatives aspects of technology, our society is going to have to undergo a massive change that reframes the way we view life, what we teach students, how we act from day to day and how we interact with one another.

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