NX Reveal: The Nintendo Switch

NX Reveal: The Nintendo Switch

Nintendo's latest console reveal brings the hype.
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After rumours rumbling around the gaming industry for quite some time, Nintendo has finally presented its latest home console to the public. In a “First Look” video released on October 20th, eager fans across the world were treated to a sleek trailer teasing the NX, now unveiled as the Nintendo Switch. Some of the new functions, games and hardware were shown off, impressing industry analysts, fans and rival gaming giants alike. Though there is still a great deal of information about the Switch that Nintendo has yet to share, what we do know has sparked excitement and curiosity across the breadth of the industry.



One of the most immediately arresting facets of the Nintendo Switch’s design is the hybridisation of home console and handheld. The main technology of the Switch, powered by a custom Nvidia Tegra chip able to support graphical engines such as Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, is housed in a single-screened handheld tablet. This tablet with two detachable controller modules called Joy-Cons docks into a system base that handles power and controls audio/visual output to the television set. While docked you can play either by detaching the Joy-Cons and slotting them into the Joy-Con Grip, turning them into a more recognisable controller or by using a Switch Pro Controller meant to work like a more traditional gamepad. The Joy-Con controllers lack a modern d-pad, opting instead to follow the c-camera button layout from older Nintendo consoles. The Pro Controller, however, does use a d-pad, offering options for multiple control preferences. These Joy-Cons have several other possible uses and configurations shown in the original video, but a full list of these will have to wait for Nintendo's confirmation.



Another aspect of the Nintendo Switch that the video focuses on is just how portable the system really is. With the Joy-Cons slotted into either side of the main tablet the Switch becomes a handheld gaming device -- almost like a high-powered, single-screen 3DS system. The Switch is shown played alone, split-screen and wirelessly together at a park, in a van, on a plane and at an outdoor party. The message seems to be that the system is a versatile, enjoyable gaming experience wherever you go and however you configure your aptly named system. It also features a kickstand at the back and a headphone jack on the top of the tablet body, allowing extended play propped on tables, trays, etc. Coinciding with this more portable nature the Switch has gone over to gaming carts, the small cartridges similar to 3DS and PS Vita games, to store its media. The cartridges appear to be thicker and taller than Nintendo’s current handheld carts, and we have no word on what the storage size for these may be. While we have no idea if the screen offers touch support like the 3DS and Wii U, it is plain to see the influences that came from these previous Nintendo consoles.


Finally, as with any new video game console announcement, the games are among the most important considerations of the fans. A high-powered console with lacklustre games and barely any support is just fancy, useless tech. With the lack of third party support for the Wii U and its less-than-stellar hardware the only thing that kept it afloat for its troubled life cycle was Nintendo’s ever-talented in-house development team. This time around, however, it seems like Nintendo has made sure to tackle the problem of support head on. Though the video mainly shows first party IPs such as the upcoming “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” a possible new “Mario” game, “Splatoon,” and “Mario Kart,” all of which are heavy hitters, a large chunk of the gameplay shown off was for “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” an industry juggernaut that is receiving a remastered version on October 28th for multiple platforms. With this popular title and a confirmed almost 50 other publishing and development studios dedicated to production for the Switch, it appears that Nintendo has conquered its problem with third party support.



With the Switch, it looks like Nintendo is finally finding balance in their approach to the modern gaming industry. Taking cues from the technological power of the other consoles while still retaining their penchant for strange, creative designs has moved them past the gimmicky feel of the Wii and Wii U back into the position of a possible trailblazer for gaming tech. Though there is still a lot left unknown about this new console and its focus on playing how you like where you like, and though its strengths are still wholly untested by general consumers, there seems to be a lot to be excited for in Nintendo’s latest mad experiment.


Cover Image Credit: NVIDIA

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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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