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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Does Technology Make Us More Alone?

Technology -- we all love it and we all use it, but how is it affecting us?
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In this day and age, it is near impossible to do anything without the use of technology. You can pay your bills, manage your bank accounts and even chat with a customer service representative all with the use of your smartphone.

Is the use of technology starting to take away from our person-to-person interaction? Think about how often you grab your smartphone or tablet and text your friends instead of picking up the phone to call them or, better yet, making plans to hang out in person.

Technology is supposed to make us feel more connected by allowing us to stay in touch with our friends by using social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter and of course, texting. But are our smartphones getting in the way of socializing? Does technology make us feel more alone?

There is a term that is commonly used, "FOMO" –– short for "fear of missing out." Yes, this is a real thing. If for some crazy reason you don't check your Twitter or Facebook news feed every 10 minutes are you really missing out?

The fact that we have become so dependent on knowing exactly what is going on in other people's lives is sad. We should be focusing on our own lives and our own interactions and relationships with people.

Technology is making us more alone because instead of interacting with our friends in person, we are dependent on using our phones or tablets. We start to compare ourselves and our lives to others because of how many likes we get on our Instagram photos.

We are forgetting how to use our basic communication skills because we aren't interacting with each other, anymore. We are too busy with our noses in our phones. Young kids are dependent on a tablet to keep them entertained rather than playing with toys. That is not how I want my children to grow up.

As a society, we will start to become very lonely people if we don't start making changes. We are ruining personal relationships because of the addiction to our smartphones and checking our social media sites every five minutes.

It's time for us to own our mistakes and start to change. Next time you reach for your phone, stop yourself. When you are with your friends, ignore your phone and enjoy the company of your loved ones around you.

Technology is a great thing, but it is also going to be the thing that tears us apart as a society if we don't make changes on how dependent we are on it.

Cover Image Credit: NewsOK

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4 Substitutes For Social Media

From an existential crisis at the eye doctor.

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Perhaps the most perplexing question I have ever received has been from my eye doctor. I go for a checkup every summer, and I get asked this same question every time, but for some reason, it always ignites an existential crisis in my soul. "How many hours do you spend on your phone?" Yikes. The first couple times, I tended to underestimate my addiction to my screen, "Maybe two hours," I would reply. This answer was always met with a scornful stare that dug deep into the brain. After a few years of back and forth, we settled on six hours, but part of me believes, in fact, knows, that I am once again underestimating myself. So how many hours do I truly spend on my phone? I am not one hundred percent sure. I know that there is a feature in the settings of my iPhone that can tell me, but there is no way I am ever checking that.

Why am I so scared of finding out the real number? Well, because it will simply confirm what I already know about myself: I spend way too much time on my phone, and I know I am not the only one. Besides the fact that my generation's eyesight will probably be shot by forty, we are locked into a virtual life and missing the one that is flying right before our eyes. We are all constantly trying to live the best lives, but is it for our own benefit or for the benefit of our social image? Graciously, I say that fifty percent of my efforts are heard towards the latter. So in this season of my life or extreme self-evaluation and in an effort to rewire my brain before I'm set in my ways when my brain stops developing, I am offering up substitutes to social media for my own benefit and for the benefit of my generational counterparts.

1. Instagram? Go on a walk instead

https://goodstock.photos/people-walking-by-street/

We love posting pictures of pretty things, but do we actually enjoy the pretty things? I mean, I rarely look at my 107 pictures of the Eiffel Tower. So maybe if we could substitute taking and posting pictures for Instagram, we would see so much more than our limited screen has to offer. There is life in nature and in cities. Breathing life. Not digital life.

2. Twitter? Why not hang out with your friends?

https://pixabay.com/en/fashion-young-people-teens-1219507/

I love a good laugh just as much the next guy, so Twitter is my go to for giggles. But how often do I actually laugh out loud to tweets in my bed? Okay, sometimes, I will admit it. But I have found that sharing tweets with my friends gives me the most joy, so why not, I don't know, share thoughts with my friends? Conversation. If you think your friends are funny online, boy oh boy you'll be surprised to see just how funny they can be in real life.

3. Facebook? Dear God, anything else. How about a book?

https://stocksnap.io/photo/H0VXBZUZP3

Ah, Facebook. I love reading posts that share every part of someone's daily life. You did laundry today? Awesome, Mom! A book, though, a book shares all the essential parts of a story. It's exciting. Riveting. I think we can all agree that we lose brain cells spending time of Facebook, but has anyone ever got dumber from reading? I think not.

4. Snapchat? Stare at your friends. It's awesome, trust me.

https://pixabay.com/en/boy-children-guys-human-watch-1105891/

Okay, this one is a joke. But seriously. There are a million things you can do other than sending pictures of your face back and forth with your friends (or you feet if you're having a fight). Bake a cake. Do some work. Discover your passion. Build real relationships. Half of the people I Snapchat, I don't even to.

TNow I'm not damning social media to Hell. It can be a fun thing, and it is engrained in our generation; it is not going away any time soon. My suggestions seem simplistic and silly, but are we actually prioritizing these things over social media? Probably not. But maybe we can learn to take a step back. Maybe we can learn to live our lives rather than living through our favorite vlogger. Maybe we can be able to face our eye doctors with honesty. Maybe we can gain back some of that wondrous gaze in our eyes that we had before they became blinded by the light of our smartphones.

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