Greetings NAGuxees, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. In the news this week we have the Nintendo Switch’s battery put to the test, a new and highly unlikely speedrun contest takes over the internet, ZeniMax decides half a billion dollars isn’t enough and sets out to destroy Oculus, the Switch has some pretty serious early hardware issues causing concern, a legendary developer reveals his new studio and South Africans can finally order the Xbox One S. All that, some videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Nintendo Switch battery life tested
The Switch’s big selling point is that it works as both handheld and home console, and thus the question on everyone’s mind is – how long will it last on battery?
It’s a pretty big and powerful piece of equipment after all, and even in 2017 battery technology is as crappy as it’s ever been. That’s why your iPhone lasts a day and your 3310 lasted a week – technology has gotten better, batteries haven’t.
Nintendo claims over six hours, depending on usage. More specifically, they said you’ll be able to play Breath of the Wild for roughly three hours on a single charge. Those aren’t particularly impressive figures, which does lend somewhat to their legitimacy.
Gamespot decided to put these claims to the test. Playing on default brightness, the console managed three hours and three minutes before dying. On airplane mode and full brightness, it cranked out two and 50 minutes of play.
That’s pretty much in line with what Nintendo is claiming, which makes it good to pick up and play, but perhaps not a replacement for a dedicated handheld such as the 3DS. As for charging time, the Switch managed a 50% charge in one hour in the dock.
Getting banned from Club Penguin is now a speedrun
Club Penguin is Disney’s big online social world, and for years has been overrun with nostalgic addicts causing mischief. Sort of like My Little Pony, it’s been appropriated by grown men for their own devices.
Part of the fun has always been getting banned in new and creative ways – as getting banned is something that happens pretty easily on Club Penguin, as you may imagine being a Disney initiative.
The internet was sent into an uproar earlier this month however when it was revealed that Club Penguin would be permanently shutting down come March 29. This has sent the “banned from Club Penguin” meme into overdrive, so much so that now speedrunning your ban is a thing.
It basically involves registering for a new account and getting into the game as fast as possible to say a dirty word. Sounds simple, but speedrunning is all about shaving off precious seconds. There’s a pretty exhaustive list of rules of what is and isn’t allowed – copy-pasting is cool, but autofill is a no-no. The most recent record was done by making the e-mail address and password the same, to take full advantage of that copy-pasting goodness. What a time to be alive.
ZeniMax files for permanent injunction as Oculus Rift saga continues
ZeniMax managed a huge lawsuit win over Oculus earlier this month as they got a $500 million settlement. This after the company claimed that John Carmack was working on VR tech while still employed at ZeniMax, which he then took over to Oculus. Carmack has vehemently denied these claims all along, but the courts disagreed.
This wasn’t enough for Zenimax however, who have pointed out that Facebook’s own COO states that the half a billion settlement was “not material to Facebook’s financials”. Baller.
Due to this judgment “doing nothing to deter continued infringement of intellectual property”, Zenimax have filed for a permanent injunction that would see Oculus “permanently enjoined, on a worldwide basis, from using, marketing, selling, distributing, modifying, servicing, copying, or offering for sale or license any products, in whole or in part, that utilize in any form or for any purpose any of the Copyrighted Materials.”
This includes a lot of things key to Oculus, such as their PC and mobile software and SDKs, as well as integration with Unreal and Unity game engines. Ouch. Oculus could still technically continue to sell the Rift, but not being able to use it with two of the biggest and most widely used game engines would render it a pretty poor purchase for most.
Should the injunction go through, it would essentially force Facebook into making some kind of settlement – presumably something that WOULD be “material to their financials”.
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con connection issues in pre-release hardware
In case you’re not down with the lingo, the Nintendo Switch “Joy-Cons” are those funky little controllers that clip onto the side.
Multiple journos with access to early Switch hardware are reporting issues with one of the Joy-Cons desynchronising while playing. This isn’t just while gaming, but even browsing the system menus – and it’s affecting both Joy-Cons.
These issues are obviously anecdotal, but the fact that it’s happening with multiple different systems, it’s probably a real issue. Nintendo are reportedly looking into it, and hopefully this is something that can be corrected with a Day One update. Although judging by the video below, the issue may be bigger than that.
Bioshock creator Ken Levine unveils new studio
Ken Levine is a big deal in gaming, and it seems since previous studio Irrational Games was shut down in 2014, he’s been working on something.
Staffed by other former devs from Irrational, Ken’s new studio called Ghost Story has only officially revealed itself this week in spite of being running for a couple of years now. The reason for the reveal is that they’re hiring for a couple of new key positions, including senior designer and senior level builder.
As for their debut title, the project is reportedly a “new immersive sci-fi game with RPG elements”, and is still “in the early stages of production”. As much as it sounds like Bioshock, Ghost Story is adamant this is not a new Bioshock game.
Seems they’re sticking to what they know, however, so keep an eye on this one if Bioshock is your thing.
Xbox One S goes on pre-order in SA
It’s pretty hard to keep up with the consoles at the moment. Used to be your only choice would be between Sony and Microsoft, but now each console maker is pooping out different versions at an alarming pace.
The sleeker, more sexy Xbox One S is the stepping stone to Project Scorpio, the beefier, bigger older brother to the original Xbone, but it makes sense if one is looking to jump into the Microsoft pool to go for the S, assuming they’re not keen to wait an undefined amount of time for Scorpio.
While it has been out in the States for a couple of months now, Microsoft have finally opened up pre-orders in South Africa. The recommended retail is R4999 for the 500GB version and R5999 for the 1TB. Pre-ordering will also get you an extra wireless controller and a copy of FIFA 17. Not too shabby.
If you were looking to go Team Microsoft, the S provides enough improvements over the original to make it a worthwhile investment.
Cooks-stuff-from-games guy is back again, this time with stuffed grape leaves from Elder Scrolls. What the hell are grape leaves, and how do you stuff them? I too was baffled.
Now for some pretty – a 4K Horizon Zero Dawn Time-Lapse. Watch this on highest quality unless you’re a mosnter who wants to watch the world burn.
This dude is camping outside Nintendo in NYC for a MONTH to get the first console. How does this even work?
Breath of the Wild is apparently good – really good. This video details how it’s a departure from the safe confines of the franchise and does completely new things.
Best of NAG
Then Wes Fick talks AMD vs Intel in this insightful column.
Dane Remendes gets out of bed long enough to review the Mediabox Media Streamer, and tells us what the hell that is exactly.
Finally, as always, rest those beautiful blues (or dewy browns, or misty greys, or monstrous yellows) with the NAG Online podcast.