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Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. review: A great homage to Nintendo's classics
by João Carrasqueira
On September 3, Nintendo announced its celebrations of the 35th anniversary of the launch of Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The Mario franchise is arguably one of, if not the most recognizable name in the industry, so naturally, Nintendo likes to flaunt it.
As part of the celebrations, we got Super Mario All-Stars added to the Nintendo Switch Online's library of SNES games; Super Mario 3D All-Stars released as a collection of the three first 3D Mario games; Super Mario Bros. 35, a battle royale-style adaptation of the original game; and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, a real-life Mario Kart game that lets users create their own courses at home and play on them alone or with friends who also have the game.
The most recent launch as part of the anniversary is the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., and this one celebrates more than the 35th anniversary of Mario. It also celebrates Nintendo's first success in gaming, the Game & Watch. Each of these products stands on its own as a piece of Nintendo history, and you can see that with how the packaging is designed to showcase Super Mario Bros. at first, but also the original Game & Watch: Ball game once you slide the box out of the plastic wrap.
Game & Watch origins
It may not hold as much of a place in many people's memories, but the Game & Watch was how Nintendo started seeing success in the gaming industry, all the way back in 1980 - meaning this is the device's 40th anniversary, too. The original Game & Watch devices were designed with calculator-type screens, and they were simple endurance games, having the player perform certain actions for as long as possible before messing up their streak. The content on the screen couldn't change beyond what fits in a single frame, so this was the only kind of game that could be crafted, and it also meant that each Game & Watch device had a single game, with many iterations being released over the years.
Game & Watch: Ball (2009 re-issue) | Image credit: masatsu (Flickr) The device was conceptualized and designed by Gunpei Yokoi, who was riding a train when he noticed a man fiddling with a calculator to kill some time on the ride. The name Game & Watch is about as self-explanatory as it gets. It was a game, but when you paused it, it constantly displayed the time, so it could be used as a pocket watch. You couldn't turn the console off entirely, so the watch was always there, and an alarm was also added in later models.
The Game & Watch was also the birthplace of some features that would eventually become staples of Nintendo products. The cross-shaped D-pad was first used in the Game & Watch adaptation of Donkey Kong in 1982, before it was used in the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES) controller in 1983. Donkey Kong was also part of the Multi Screen series of the Game & Watch, with the clamshell design and dual screens being an obvious inspiration for the Nintendo DS in 2004. Even the idea of detachable controllers we see with the Nintendo Switch bears some resemblance to the Micro Vs. series of the Game & Watch.
All in all, the Game & Watch products sold 43.4 million units worldwide, and they became Nintendo's first big success in the gaming industry. Sadly, I don't personally own one, or I didn't until the Super Mario Bros. edition.
Design and display
A lot of the identity of the original Game & Watch lineup lives on in this new Super Mario Bros. version. The look seems to mostly derive from the Gold and Wide Screen series of the Game & Watch, but it can also be interpreted as a reference to the Famicom controller, which was itself red and gold. The gold-colored plate on the front is metal, which makes the device feel much more premium.
Having never owned a Game & Watch before, I was surprised at how compact this thing is. It's quite small, and also very thin, which I think adds to the premium feel. It also makes it super easy to carry around if you just want something to help you kill some time throughout the day. However, it can be a bit uncomfortable to play for longer periods, especially if you have big hands.
There are, however, some things here that weren't in the original Game & Watch devices. For one thing, there's a power button, so you can actually turn the device off, or put it in sleep mode, at least. The battery is also rechargeable here, and it charges via USB Type-C. It's great to see that Nintendo didn't cheap out and use micro-USB or something. It's a retro device but modern enough to not be annoying. A USB Type-A to Type-C cable is included, but you need to provide a power adapter yourself. In terms of omissions, the original Game & Watch devices had a kickstand, which you don't get here.
Of course, another big change from the classic Game & Watch models is the display. This version plays a couple of games from the NES, so a color backlit display is used instead of the calculator-style LCDs of the past. I was shocked at how good the display really is. It gets very bright and as far as displaying NES games goes, it looks phenomenal. The pixels are also so small here that it helps these games feel less dated than they actually are, and they feel right at home on this tiny device.
Sound is also as fine as it needs to be for NES games. The single tiny speaker on the left side gets surprisingly loud, and the quality is more than good enough for the sounds you'll hear from these games.
Games and controls
As you'd probably expect, the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. allows you to play Super Mario Bros. from the NES, but it also includes Super Mario bros.: The Lost Levels, here referred to by its original Japanese name, Super Mario Bros. 2. The Western Super Mario Bros. 2 was actually a completely different game based on another title, Doki Doki Panic, but the one included here is very similar to the first Super Mario Bros., albeit with some cranked up difficulty. There's also a recreation of the original Game & Watch game Ball, now starring Mario as the main character instead of Mr. Game & Watch.
The games are recreated nearly perfectly on this device, including the copious amounts of sprite flickering you'd get in NES games and some bugs from the original versions. There are, however, some bonuses and changes here and there. For example, you can press the B button on the title screen for both Super Mario Bros. games to start from a specific world, as long as you've made your way to that world before. You can also hold A when starting a game to start with infinite lives. Additionally, after beating the original Super Mario Bros., you unlock Hard mode on the title screen, whereas the original game only allowed you to play it if you kept the system on after beating the base game. For Ball, in addition to playing as Mario, you can also play as Luigi by holding the A button on the title screen for five seconds. Sadly, there's no option to play as Mr. Game & Watch.
All the games control really well here, with no input delays, and the controls somehow feel tighter than I remember them being for these games. I've never had a situation where I blamed the controls for a death or something like that.
The buttons themselves feel good too. The D-pad is made of hard plastic, and it has a nice tactility to it without feeling too harsh when it actuates. The A and B buttons are made of a rubber-like material, and that may sound terrible, but it actually works well. While the buttons are very soft, they still have nice actuation, and again, I've never been able to blame the controls for losing in a game. They end up feeling comfortable, and the rubber gives them more grip than hard plastic would.
Of course, it wouldn't be a Game & Watch without a watch, and Nintendo also designed one themed around Mario. The clock screen features an animated screen with Mario running through the bottom, and various characters from Mario games appearing from time to time. The time of day on the screen changes throughout the day, and there are 35 easter eggs that happen at different times of the day, such as the blocks that display the time changing to coins at 5:55 (AM and PM). You can also just see a simple clock by pausing any of the games.
From the watch screen, you can press the A button for five seconds to listen to the Mario Drawing Song, which was originally available in 2010 as a promotion for a Mario-themed contest in the Nintendo DSi application Flipnote Studio. The song is only available in English, but you can choose subtitles for different languages. Nintendo issued a warning prior to the release, though, as many non-English languages are mixed up and selecting one language will display the lyrics in another.
This issue can't be fixed, and that's because there's no way to update or change the software on this system. The USB Type-C port has no data throughput, meaning there's no way to push anything onto it. That also means that, if you were hoping to turn this device into some sort of tiny emulation machine, you won't be able to, at least not without physically opening up the device and some very advanced tinkering.
Another neat little bonus for Nintendo fans is the artwork that's displayed after the device has been idle for some time. After three minutes of inactivity, the Game & Watch goes to sleep, but before it does, you get to see some art of Mario and other characters, which varies depending on the time of day and what you were doing before the device was idle. The artwork depicts Mario and Luigi's outfits in the same colors as in the games featured in this package instead of their official colors, which gives them an interesting touch. These colors weren't even used for official artwork when the games released, so it's definitely an interesting decision by Nintendo.
The Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. is probably one of the coolest collectible items Nintendo has made. It's a wonderful blend of products that defined the early days of Nintendo's history in the gaming market, combining the premium-feeling design of the Game & Watch with the most iconic game of the 1980s. The color display is beautiful and a perfect fit for these titles, and the controls feel really good overall.
I also love all the little extra bonuses thrown onto the package, like the clock, the special artwork, and the Game & Watch: Ball game. Plus, some of the options added to the games make it much easier to actually finish them, ditching the old-school approach of having to beat games in one go.
The small and thin design can get a little uncomfortable for long play sessions, but it stays true to Game & Watch brand, and this is more of a collector's item than an ideal way to play these games in my view. I still think it's a great way to play them, and if you're a parent trying to introduce kids to the early days of Nintendo, then this will likely be a perfect fit for their small hands.
It can be hard to justify or evaluate the price of a collectible. Like I said, it's not the absolute best way to play these games, and the fact that it only has these three games means it's definitely not meant to be compared with actual consoles. But the way it brings together elements of Nintendo's history, plus the bonuses thrown in here, do make this a fantastic device for die-hard Nintendo fans like myself. If you happen to be one, too, then I think the $50 price tag is definitely justified.
Nintendo bumps sales forecast as Switch beats lifetime NES sales
by João Carrasqueira
Today, Nintendo released its earnings report covering the first half of the 2021 fiscal year, which includes the six months ending on September 30, 2020. Following up its results for the first quarter, the company posted a 209.3% increase in operating profit year-on-year, reaching 291.42 billion yen ($2.8 billion). The company also revised its profit forecast for the rest of the year, now expecting 450 billion yen ($4.32 billion) instead of 300 billion yen ($2.88 billion).
This was fueled in no small part by sales of the Nintendo Switch console, which show no signs of slowing down. Sales in the second quarter actually beat the first quarter, with 6.86 million units sold across the regular Switch model and the Switch Lite. The hybrid model sold 5.31 million of those units, with the remaining 1.55 million being attributed to the Switch Lite, while sales numbers for the two models were more balanced in the previous quarter (3.05 million versus 2.62 million for each model).
Source: Nintendo With this, the Nintendo Switch family has sold 12.53 million units in the first half of the fiscal year, and its lifetime sales reached 68.3 million. That puts the Nintendo Switch ahead of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which sold 61.91 million units in its lifetime, marking yet another milestone for the hybrid. The next target among Nintendo's consoles is the now-discontinued Nintendo 3DS, which currently sits at 75.94 million units, pushing around 70,000 units sold in this quarter.
That shouldn't be too hard, though, because Nintendo has revised its sales forecast for the Nintendo Switch in light of the strong sales performance in the first half of the fiscal year. Initially projected to sell 19 million units for the entire fiscal year, Nintendo now expects to sell 24 million in that timeframe. If that's accurate, the Nintendo Switch will be sitting around 80 million units sold by March 31, 2021.
On the software side, the launch of Super Mario 3D All-Stars didn't go unnoticed, with sales reaching 5.21 million units - an impressive feat considering the game launched on September 18, 12 days before the end of the financial period. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold 14.27 million in this semester, roughly 3.64 million of which were in the second quarter, making its lifetime sales hit 26.04 million units; while Mario Kart 8 Deluxe continues to be popular with 2.24 million units sold in the second quarter, maintaining its spot as the best-selling Nintendo Switch game yet with 28.99 million units sold. In total, 14 of Nintendo's first-party games have sold at least one million units in the first semester, with many older titles still performing strongly.
With the holiday season fast approaching, it's very likely that sales numbers are set to increase in the next couple of months. Nintendo should release its nine-month earnings results - covering the three months ending on December 31 - in early 2021.
Neowin's 2020 holiday gift guide for Nintendo fans
by João Carrasqueira
While 2020 may have felt like a whole decade for many of us, we're just now getting into the holiday season, and that means that it will soon be time to buy gifts. While celebrations are likely to be a bit different this year, you're probably still looking to get something nice for your loved ones or even yourself, and with the outside world being so dangerous these days, it may just be the best time to get some gaming on.
This is Neowin's 2020 holiday gift guide for fans of Nintendo games, and just like last year, it's mostly focused on the Nintendo Switch. By popular request from last year, we've also added UK links for all the products in addition to the United States.
Disclaimer: Prices for products on Amazon are for products bought in new condition directly from Amazon, which is our recommendation. Prices from third-party sellers may be presented when Amazon has no stock. Additionally, for games, prices are for the physical version when available.
2020 didn't bring us anything new in terms of new hardware for the Nintendo Switch family, but that doesn't necessarily make the system less appealing. We still have the options from last year, with the refreshed Nintendo Switch model offering much better battery life than the original version. Or, if you don't need to connect to a TV and want to save some money, you can get the Switch Lite, which is more comfortable and portable, more suited for the on-the-go gamer.
We did get a couple of special editions though, like the Animal Crossing: New Horizons themed version, which features pastel colored Joy-Con and dock, along with some art related to the game. In Europe only, there's the Fortnite edition, featuring yellow and blue Joy-Con as well as some traced images on the Joy-Con and console.
This year, Nintendo is once again selling a bundle including a Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but it's a better deal this time. This year's bundle has the new Switch model with improved battery life, and Nintendo is also throwing in a three-month subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, while keeping the $299 price tag.
Nintendo Switch + Mario Kart 8 Deluxe + NSO 3-month subscription - Best Buy ($299) (check stock) Nintendo Switch - Amazon US ($299) (check stock)| Amazon UK (£279.99) Nintendo Switch Lite - Amazon US ($199) | Amazon UK (£199) The Nintendo Switch, especially the standard model, is a bit of a hot ticket item these days, so you might have to keep checking back on the links above, as most models tend to sell out quickly. The links above also let you switch between different colors easily, so you may be able to find a specific color while another may be unavailable.
Nintendo did release new hardware this year, the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. This is a fantastic throwback to the company's first big successes in gaming, including the iconic Super Mario Bros. from the Nintendo Entertainment System. It also pays homage to the Game & Watch series of consoles that started back in 1980, and it all comes together in a beautiful package. It can be a fun way to experience these old-school games, but it's also a great collector's item, and Nintendo fans are sure to enjoy it.
Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. - Amazon US: Check stock | Amazon UK: £49.99 Nintendo Switch games
Of course, the whole point of owning a gaming console is to have games for it, and there's no shortage of great games on the Switch. Below are what we believe to be must-have titles, though it's ultimately up to personal preference. We'll try to focus on new titles that released or got major updates this year, but some of them are also great buys even if they're not the most recent. For this year's Black Friday in the U.S., some of NIntendo's major titles will be discounted starting November 22. We'll be sure to keep the prices updated over time.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Amazon US: $49.99 ($10 off)| Amazon UK: £39) - The latest entry in the Animal Crossing franchise has become wildly popular in 2020, becoming the second-best selling game on the console in just a few months. It's a relaxing game where you can manage your own island by decorating it with items, which you can craft with resources you gather around the island. The game often gets updated with seasonal content, so it will probably stay fresh for a while.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Amazon US: $59.99 | Amazon UK: £39.99) - The Super Mario franchise turns 35 years old in 2020, and Nintendo celebrated the occasion by releasing the first 3D games in the series - Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy - in a single package for the Nintendo Switch. These are three stellar games, and they've had their resolution increased to look that much better on modern TVs. Plus, the collection is only available until the end of March 2021, so now might be a good time to get it.
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics/51 Worldwide Games (Amazon US: $39.99 (ships December 20)| Amazon UK: £27.99) - If you're more into traditional board games than video games, Nintendo brought back the Clubhouse Games franchise this year, and it includes a ton of games to choose from. Most of these games are meant to be enjoyed with other people, which may be a great way to spend time with your family this holiday. Some games work with a single Switch, others may require multiple consoles, and some even work online so you can play with people far away.
Image credit: Nintendo (YouTube)Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Amazon US: $59.88 | Amazon UK: £49.99) - Three years of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild rocked the world, Nintendo and Koei Tecmo are telling the story of the calamity that took place 100 years prior to the events of that game. Combining the plot and characters of Breath of the Wild with the 1-versus-100 combat of the Warriors franchise should offer a refreshing way to experience the great battle against Calamity Ganon, and the perfect way to wait for the sequel to Breath of the Wild.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Amazon US: $44.99 ($15 off) | Amazon UK: £47) - Of course, if you still haven't played the game that started it all, it's still as amazing of a game as it was three years ago. Breath of the Wild is the first open-world game in the Zelda franchise, and it's also the most expansive world we've seen in a Zelda game. It's incredibly easy to spend hours roaming around this world, and very hard to dislike this game. If you need even more, you can get the $19.99 Expansion Pass (£17.99 in the UK).
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Amazon US: $49.94 ($10.05 off)| Amazon UK: £47.00) - Even at two years old, Super Smash Bros. is one of those titles that you can still play for hours. Living up to its name, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has the most amount of content ever in the franchise, featuring every character that's ever appeared in the franchise and more is still on the way. If you want to expand your game, the first Fighters Pass added five fighters for $23.49 (£22.49 in the UK), and a second Fighters Pass adds six new fighters, which are still being released in the next few months. It costs $29.88 in the U.S. and £26.99 in the UK, and it adds characters like Steve from Minecraft.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Amazon US: $44.99 ($15 off) | Amazon UK: £39.99) - This is already one of the best-selling Nintendo Switch games, but there's a good reason for that. Mario Kart is another franchise that makes for a great game to play with friends, either online or locally. It's a bit more accessible than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, so it's easy to enjoy even if you're playing with people who don't play games that often.
Bioshock: The Collection (Walmart (US): $29.83 | Amazon UK: £34.99) - Earlier this year, 2K Games had a big blowout of support for the Switch, and Bioshock: The Collection is a stellar addition to the library. Featuring the entirety of the Bioshock franchise, made up of three fantastic first-person shooter titles, the collection on the Switch is a great deal. However, even if you buy the physical version, the games require a significant download, so you will probably need to buy a microSD card as well.
Ring Fit Adventure (Amazon US: $79.99 | Amazon UK: £64.99) - It's not everyday that a videogame combines physical exercise with a single-player adventure and RPG elements, but Ring Fit Adventure does it wonderfully. This game will make you sweat a lot, and it'll motivate you to keep going, which is great if you want to stay active and don't have that much time to exercise outside your house.
Pokémon Sword and Shield (Amazon US: $39.99 ($20 off) | Amazon UK: £39.99 each) - Almost any Pokémon title is fairly easy to recommend for Nintendo fans, and Sword and Shield brought a lot new to the table, with the more expansive Wild Area allowing for free camera controls, the Dynamax and Gigantamax transformations, and more. If you'd like even more content, the Expansion Pass was released this year, adding the Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra areas, new Pokémon, and new mechanics to make competitive battling more accessible. The Expansion Pass costs $29.88 in the U.S. and £26.99 in the UK, but it's only available digitally. Or you can get a new edition of the game including the Expansion Pass, which costs $88.59 in the U.S. or £64.99 in the UK.
If you already own all of these or if you're looking for something different, there are a ton of great games on the Switch. Here are some of the most popular titles:
Borderlands Legendary Collection - Amazon US: $29.83 | GAME (UK): £39.99 Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker - Amazon US: $32.84 ($7.15 off) | Amazon UK: £27 DOOM - Amazon US: Check stock | Amazon UK: Check stock Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition - Best Buy (US): $59.99 | Amazon UK: £39.99 (£5 off) Immortals Fenyx Rising (releases December 3) - Amazon US: $49.94 ($10.05 off)| Amazon UK: £49.99 Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory - Amazon US: $49.94 ($10.05 off) | Amazon UK: £49.99 Kirby Star Allies - Amazon US: $49.94 ($10.05 off, in stock December 8)| Amazon UK: £49.99 Luigi's Mansion 3 - Amazon US: $39.99 ($20 off) | GAME (UK): £44.99 Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit - Best Buy (US): $99.99 | Amazon UK: £99.99 Mario Tennis Aces - Amazon US: $29.99 ($30 off) | Amazon UK: £39.99 Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order - Amazon US: $59.99 | Amazon UK: Check stock Minecraft - Amazon US: $23.92 ($6.07 off)| Amazon UK: £19 Minecraft Dungeons Hero Edition - Amazon US: $19.99 ($10 off) | Amazon UK: £19.99 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered - Amazon US: $39.99 | Amazon UK: £29.99 (£3.80 off) New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe - Best Buy (US): $34.99 ($25 off)| Amazon UK: £39.99 Octopath Traveler - Amazon US: $49.84 ($10.15 off, in stock December 20)| Amazon UK: Check stock Ori and the Blind Forest (releases December 8) - Amazon US: $39.99 | Amazon UK: £39.99 Ori and the Will of the Wisps (releases November 8) - Amazon US: $39.99 | Amazon UK: £39.99 Paper Mario: The Origami King - Best Buy (US): $59.99 | Amazon UK: £39.90 Pikmin 3 Deluxe - Amazon US: $59.99 | Amazon UK: £39.99 Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX - Best Buy (US): $54.43 ($5.56 off) | Amazon UK: £36.99 Sniper Elite 4 - Amazon US: $39.99 | Amazon UK: £29.99 Splatoon 2 - Best Buy (US): $39.99 ($20 off) | Amazon UK: £39 Super Mario Maker 2 - Amazon US: $39.99 ($20 off) | GAME (UK): £44.99 Super Mario Odyssey - Amazon US: $44.99 ($15 off) | Amazon UK: £39.99 Super Mario Party - Amazon US: $44.99 ($15 off) | Amazon UK: £39.99 The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - Amazon US: $39.99 ($20 off)| Amazon UK: £39.99 The Outer Worlds - Amazon US: $37.82 | Amazon UK: £38.72 The Witcher 3 - Amazon US: $49.99 ($10 off)| Game (UK): £39.99 Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition - Amazon US: $49.99 ($10 off)| Amazon UK: £35.99 Nintendo Switch Accessories
One thing you're most likely going to need if you own a Switch is a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which is required if you want to play games online. If you don't know what games your gift recipient likes or has, a Nintendo eShop gift card can be useful so they can buy whatever they want.
Nintendo eShop Gift Card - Amazon US: from $5 | Amazon UK: from £15 Nintendo Switch Online 12-month Individual Membership - Amazon US: $19.99 | Amazon UK: £17.99 Nintendo Switch Online 12-month Family Membership - Target (US): $19.99 ($15 off) | Amazon UK: £31.49 If you're shopping for someone who already has a Switch, or you want to bundle in some extra goodies, accessories may be the way to go. If the Switch is going to be used by a lot of people, a set of extra Joy-Con will be nice, or you can get a more traditional controller if you're about more traditional-style gaming. Here are some of our suggestions:
Joy-Con Set - US: from $69 | UK: from £59 Joy-Con Charging Grip - US: $24.88 | UK: £24
If your Switch is often used by a lot of people, an extra set of Joy-Con will help make sure everyone can play. There are a few color options available, so you can choose your favorites. Keeping that extra set of Joy-Con charged won't be easy with a single switch, so a charging grip can be pretty useful, too. It lets you play and charge the Joy-Con at the same time. Nintendo Switch Pro Controller- US: $59 | UK: £53 Satisfye ZenGrip Pro - from $20.99/£17
For more traditional-style gaming, Nintendo offers the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which has bigger buttons, better grips, and almost all the same features as the Joy-Con, including six-axis motion controls, HD rumble, and amiibo scanning. The Switch's form factor makes it very versatile but being so flat and thin isn't always ideal for comfort in handheld mode. The Satisfye ZenGrip pro helps the Switch feel more comfortable in your hand, and you can get it bundled with all sorts of goodies like a carrying case. There's also a version for the Switch Lite from $19.99/£16. 8BitDo Wireless Adapter - US: $19.99 | UK: £13.84 Genki Covert Dock - $74.99 ($69.99 with coupon)
If you already have a controller you like lying around, such as the Xbox Wireless Controller, you may want to use it with the Switch. The 8BitDo Wireless Adapter lets you do just that, and it actually works pretty well, allowing you to save some money. You can also use it with other devices, like a PC. The Switch comes with a dock that lets you connect it to a TV, but it's quite bulky if you want to take it to a friend's house or on a long trip. The Covert Dock is a fantastic way to take the full Switch experience with you, and you can read our full thoughts on it here. It's only available on Amazon US or Genki's website, but it ships worldwide. Beware, though, this won't make a Switch Lite connect to a TV. Carrying case - US: $12.99 | UK: £14.99 SanDisk microSD card - US: from $6.19 | UK: from £4.91
If you're carrying your Switch around a lot, you might want to keep it protected, and cases are the best way to do it. There are options from a ton of companies, and the links we included here are just examples made or licensed by Nintendo. You can also find some for the Switch Lite, such as this HORI one for $13.99 in the U.S. or this Nintendo one for £12.99 in the UK. No matter which model of the Switch you get, it only comes with 32GB of internal storage, which is going to run out very quickly if you install games from the eShop. SanDisk is one of the most renowned microSD card makers, and we thoroughly recommend its products. Outside of sales, the 128GB or 200GB cards usually offer the best price-to-capacity ratio, but it's definitely worth checking for sales to get a better deal. We hope these options help bring some joy to your 2020. Happy holidays!
No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2 get surprise release on Switch
by João Carrasqueira
Nintendo revealed No More Heroes III, the third-entry in the hack-and-slash series developed by Grasshopper, for the Nintendo Switch at last year's E3, with a proper trailer being released during The Game Awards. Initially slated for a release in 2020, the title has unfortunately been delayed to next year due to the pandemic, but the company is trying to hold fans over until the release by making the first two entries available on the Nintendo Switch.
No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle were originally released on the Wii, in 2007 and 2010, respectively. The titles feature Travis Touchdown, a man driven to become an assassin as a way to make money. The first two games focus mostly on Travis' career as an assassin, making his way up the ranks of the United Assassins Association by mowing down other assassins. The Switch versions are simple remasters, with some upgraded textures and improved text fonts.
In addition to revealing the re-release of the first two titles, Nintendo also showed off a short new trailer for No More Heroes III, the first one featuring gameplay. The trailer features the anti-hero facing off against alien enemies, which are the primary threat in the game this time around. The goal is simple - to destroy all the aliens.
No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle are both available today on the Nintendo eShop, each costing $17.99/£16.19 at launch, with the regular price being $19.99/£17.99. The third entry is slated for a vague 2021 release.
Control Ultimate Edition and Hitman 3 are coming to the Switch through the cloud
by João Carrasqueira
Today, Nintendo released the last of its Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase presentations, and with it came a few announcements. One of the most notable is the fact that both Control Ultimate Edition and Hitman 3 are coming to the company's hybrid, the Nintendo Switch.
These are two current-generation titles with promises of upgrades to the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, so it may be surprising that they're making their way to the Switch. Well, it's because they won't be running on the Switch itself. Instead, these are cloud versions of the game, meaning you'll be streaming them to your console using the internet. This format had been experimented with before on the Nintendo Switch, with Resident Evil VII: Biohazard releasing this way, but only in Japan. This time, the release is worldwide.
Control Ultimate Edition features the base version of Control, originally released last year, as well as all the additional content released for the game since then. The Ultimate Edition was released earlier this year for PC and other consoles. In Control, players take the role of the head of the Federal Bureau of Control, as a "corruptive presence" has invaded the organization. You can watch the Nintendo Switch trailer below.
Control Ultimate Edition is available today on the Switch. To play the game, you can download the streaming app for free from the Nintendo eShop, which gives you access to up to 10 minutes of gameplay. After that, you can purchase an Access Pass from the Nintendo eShop, which costs $39.99/€39.99/£34.99.
Hitman 3 is a game slated for release on other platforms on January 20, and the cloud version for the Switch is said to be available "soon". It's interesting to see Nintendo embrace cloud gaming as part of its Switch strategy, and it raises the question of whether the company plans to continue leveraging the technology to gain access to more hardware-intensive games as we head into the next generation of consoles.