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Pac-Man gets the battle royale treatment for Switch Online users
by João Carrasqueira
Nintendo Switch Online subscribers are getting another exclusive game as part of their subscription - a battle royale-style game called Pac-Man 99. This interpretation of the arcade classic sees 99 players pitted against each other by playing the game as usual, with every enemy defeated resulting in an attack on other players.
As Nintendo explains, there are two key aspects in winning a game in Pac-Man 99. First, when Pac-Man eats a Power Pellet, eating the ghosts results in Jammer Pac-Men being sent to other players. Like the ghosts, Jammer Pac-Man will chase the other players on the stage, and if a player gets caught, their movement speed decreases, making them more vulnerable to the antagonist ghosts.
The other key element is sleeping ghosts, lineups of tiny ghosts that can be collected every now and then. These sleeping ghosts will follow one of the four major ones as they hunt down the player, but upon eating a Power Pellet, every ghost becomes edible, resulting in more attack opportunities against other players.
The new launch comes just a week after Nintendo pulled the plug on Super Mario Bros. 35, another battle royale-style game where players played through levels of the original Super Mario Bros., with each defeated enemy being sent to other players' games. That game was a limited-time release in celebration of 35 years of the title and was removed on March 31.
Pac-Man 99 isn't the only classic game reborn for Nintendo Switch Online members, however. Tetris 99 was released about two years ago and is very similar in spirit, though naturally based on Tetris instead. That title is still available at no additional cost, and Pac-Man 99 will join the party later today at 6PM Pacific Time.
By Usama Jawad96
Super Mario Bros. is now the most expensive game ever sold at a whopping $660,000
by Usama Jawad
While March 31, 2021 may have been the day Mario died, the iconic plumber appears to be still very much alive when it comes to auctions. A sealed copy of the original Super Mario Bros. has sold for a whopping $660,000, comfortably beating previous records.
As reported by Heritage Auctions (via The Verge), a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. from 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) has been auctioned for $660,000, making it the most expensive game sold to date. It beat the previous record held by Super Mario Bros. 3 by over $500,000. That title sold for a measly $156,000 back in 2020. Prior to that, a mint copy of the same Super Mario Bros. was sold for $114,000.
Explaining the historical significance of the game, Heritage Auctions went on to say that:
It is important to note that the title is not particularly unplayable in this day and age. In fact, it is available on the Game & Watch, and even if you didn't manage to nab one, you can play it on the Nintendo Switch Online service without forking out half a million bucks. Although, of course, a sealed physical copy of a nearly 40-year-old game has its own value, but whether or not it is worth $660,000 is undoubtedly in the eye of the beholder.
Nvidia Ada Lovelace architecture might power the purported Switch 2021 revision
by Sayan Sen
The purported Switch revision - which is rumored to be launching sometime around Christmas this year - will allegedly be powered by Nvidia's next-gen Ada Lovelace architecture according to reputable Twitter leakster kopite7kimi. Ada Lovelace is rumored to be the successor to the Ampere architecture that powers the current generation PC GPUs from Nvidia. This alleged development isn't too far-fetched considering the fact that the Maxwell GPU architecture inside the Tegra X1 and X1+ SoCs powering the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite is seven years old now and does not support cutting-edge technologies like DLSS which the Switch revision will reportedly feature.
The mention of Ada Lovelace happened for the first time in December last year when it was said that Nvidia was delaying its rumored Multi-chip Module (MCM) design dubbed 'Hooper' in favor of the new 5nm Ada Lovelace architecture. With this next-gen design, it is alleged that Nvidia will be nearly doubling its CUDA core count to 18,432 up from 10,752 in current-gen Ampere. Of course, it is unlikely that a handheld console like the Switch, no matter how powerful the revision may be, comes with something as beefy as that. But a variant of the Ada Lovelace design which is cut-down and custom-built for the revamped 2021 Switch is more than plausible.
Source: kopite7kimi (Twitter)
Nintendo teams up with Niantic to create AR apps for its franchises
by João Carrasqueira
Nintendo has announced a partnership with Niantic, the company known for AR experiences on smartphones, most notably Pokémon GO, which will see the two companies develop multiple AR titles featuring Nintendo's cast of characters. While Pokémon is a Nintendo franchise, it's handled by The Pokémon Company, which is only partly owned by Nintendo, so this is the first time Nintendo is working directly with Niantic.
Just like Pokémon GO, the apps coming from this partnership will be designed to "make walking more fun" and encourage outdoor activities. The first title in the series will be coming later this year, and while you might expect Nintendo to leverage its most popular franchises, it's actually starting with an app based on Pikmin.
The Pikmin series debuted on the GameCube and has only received three mainline entries in the past 20 years - Pikmin and Pikmin 2 released on the GameCube and were ported to the Wii, while Pikmin 3 released for the Wii U in 2013, but got ported to the Nintendo Switch with additional content last year as Pikmin 3 Deluxe. There was also a spin-off title, Hey! Pikmin, for the Nintendo 3DS released in 2017.
Pikmin, the creatures featured in the series of games, are tiny when compared to humans, so the title will play with the idea that they're living secretly around people. Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto said:
Niantic, for its part, is expanding its portfolio of AR titles. The company made its videogame debut with Ingress in 2014 and then released Pokémon GO in 2016 using a lot of the same ideas. The company has also partnered with Warner Bros. to develop Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and now, the partnership with Nintendo brings even more well-known properties under its belt. The Pikmin game will also be the first one developed by Niantic Tokyo Studio, a development team established in 2018.
If you're interested, you can pre-register your interest in the app on this website.
Purported Switch revision will feature a new Nvidia chip with DLSS
by João Carrasqueira
The Nintendo Switch recently turned four years old, and in line with the anniversary, rumors of a revision of the hybrid console have been becoming more concrete and more frequent. A few weeks ago, it was reported that Nintendo is planning to use a new 7-inch rigid OLED display as a replacement for the LCD panel on current models.
Now, a new report from Bloomberg confirms that the revision will also be using a new chipset from Nvidia, who provides the Tegra X1 and X1+ chipsets found inside the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite. According to the report, the new chip will provide increased performance across the board, with a faster CPU, increased memory, and notably, support for Nvidia's Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) technology.
Mentions of 4K support in an upcoming Switch revision have been frequent, and they're often tied to references of DLSS support, but this lends further credence to that possibility. Nvidia first introduced DLSS with its first-generation of ray-tracing desktop graphics cards, the RTX 20 series, so it's certainly interesting to see it on a device as portable as a Nintendo Switch, especially seeing as Nintendo tends to be slow in adopting recent technologies. Of course, neither Nintendo or Nvidia commented on the findings, so there's still a chance that the information is inaccurate or outdated.
The revision is planned to launch in time for the holiday season, and it's been speculated that Nintendo plans to have a strong catalog of games to back up the launch. Right now, though, Nintendo's release schedule isn't all that clear, especially in the second half of the year. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is slated for release in July, No More Heroes III is planned for August, and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are said to come sometime late in the year.
A hotly-anticipated title would be the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was first announced at E3 2019 and hasn't been seen since. No development updates have been shared, however, so it's unclear whether it will release this year in time for the purported revision.