Our Thoughts on the ‘New’ Nintendo NX Controller

This controller has now been proven fake. You can hence disregard most of the following article because it’s irrelevant.

As of a day ago, rumours have started spreading around online about the controller design for the new Nintendo NX. Apparently, this new controller is basically a giant touch screen with some extra analogue sticks and stuff put on top. Can’t picture it in your head? Well, here’s the image that’s going around, showing the ‘leaked’ controller design in action:

NX Controller

But is it actually real?

Well, that’s a tricky thing to answer. Reliable sources (aka people with ‘inside information’) say no, but then again, details in the images point it to an office for a video game development studio called Massive Entertainment. As seen here:

nx leak source

Above: Finding an image’s location because of a certain tree in the background? That’s impressive.

So it’s a hard one. Do you trust people like Liam Robertson and their sources in Nintendo of Europe, or the image sleuths who seemingly traced this image back to a game development studio in Sweden?

But regardless of its authenticity (or lack of it), the core concept is just terrible. Why? Because touch screens are not good input devices for a lot of video games.

Do they have some uses? Sure, I guess. Super Mario Maker’s level editing works well with one. WarioWare games work well with touch screen controls. The odd Mario & Luigi giant battle works well enough with touch screen controls…

Problem is, a lot of popular game genres don’t. And that’s because a touch screen is never going to be as accurate as a physical button. It can be fairly close, but a button really only has two states; pressed or not pressed. So if someone plays say, Super Mario 3D Galaxy and then hits the A button, there’s no question that Mario will jump immediately. That’s how a well coded game works.

A touch screen doesn’t really offer that level of confidence. You might press on a virtual button, but there’s no guarantee the system will pick up the input. Maybe your finger didn’t quite push hard enough at the right spot, or the inprecise boundaries of the button and the odd size of your hand meant you missed it by about a pixel or two. Or heck, the controller is simply getting low on battery and the touch screen isn’t as responsive as it’d normally be. In that case, you can press a button and have the character not do what you actually wanted. The interface is simply less precise than a physical button based one.

And while that’s okay for a few games (like RPGs, turn based strategy titles, visual novels) that don’t involve much in the way of reflexes, it’s terrible for a game where you reflexes have to be spot on down to the split second. Can you imagine trying to beat this if you only had virtual buttons on a touch screen?

In that stage, you die in (at most) two hits. If your touch screen doesn’t work properly and register your input… well, poor old Donkey Kong and co are going to get (literally) torn to shreds. Same goes with a lot of other platformers and action games. Rayman (especially Origins and Legends), Yoshi’s Island secret levels, the endgame in most Mario platformers… they would be utterly infuriating with a control scheme this inprecise.

Heck, we don’t even have to look very far for complaints about touch controls not working well in complex games. The reviews for the likes of Mega Man X on iOS devices are… not exactly the best. Nor are those for the Mega Man 1-3 ports, like this one of the second game:

Mega Man 2 iPhone Review – IGN

And even on Nintendo systems, examples abound. Remember the Mario & Luigi giant boss battles I mentioned? Well, the fiddly, unprecise touch screen controls are why the fights against both Mount Pajamaja and Earthwake in Dream Team are so damn obnoxious. You get this precise action needed to block the boss’ attack with good timing, then get your head smashed in because it decides it’s not going to register all too well or its tricky to pull off the right counter with touch controls.

Above: The hammer is a killer, if you’re not that guy. Some people actually gave up and sold the game at this point because of the boss here…

Either way, the point is clear; touch controls do not work as well as traditional ones, and they will be virtually unuable for more action based games like platformers, fighting games and any type of shooter. Which given the types of games found on Nintendo’s competitors, would not bode well for third party support on the system. Can Nintendo really afford that after two generations of no support?

So the point is clear; the Nintendo NX likely won’t be using this sort of controller, and even if it did, said controller would be a horrible choice for the system. Let’s hope the picture is revealed to be a fake before the console is announced…

Ubisoft Asked for Beyond Good and Evil 2 Article to be Removed?

Yes really. They asked the people at Destructoid to remove an article about a possible Beyond Good and Evil sequel, heavily hinting that such a game is in development. It can apparently be heard about 5 or 6 minutes in the podcast linked here:

The Destructoid UK Podcast – Episode 37

So yeah, seems like something might happening on the Beyond Good and Evil sequel front, since companies never usually comment on completely unsubstantiated rumours. What’s more, it might be a Nintendo NX game, based on the latest rumours going around…

But what do you think? Is this evidence that Beyond Good and Evil 2 is being made and will actually be a thing or some point? Or is there another reason that a company would ask for an article about a random rumour to be removed from a video game news site?

Source:

NeoGaf Post About Rumour (Archived)

LEGO Star Wars the Force Awakens Announced

Officially at least, since the game’s existence was actually leaked by Amazon’s Italian branch a good few days ago. None the less, here’s the official trailer for the game, released by Disney on the offical Youtube channel for the franchise:

So what can we say about it? Well, not a lot really, the trailer is only the briefest possible glimpse at what’s likely to be in the game. None the less, it seems like everyone from the movie is here, from villain Kylo Ren to circular droid BB-8 to new characters like Rey and Finn. And it also seems to maintain the… somewhat light hearted sense of humour from the other LEGO adaptations too, which could be a breath of fresh air for some people.

But what do you think? Are you excited for the new LEGO adaptation of Star Wars the Force Awakens? Or would you rather see the characters in other games, like Disney Infinity or a non LEGO related adaptation?

New Super Smash Bros Game Coming As NX Launch Title?

Well, this would certainly be exciting if true, though I certainly wouldn’t count on it. Basically, the current rumour going around at the moment (courtesy of a Twitter user and known gaming info leaker called Dr. Serkan Toto (and his anonymous source) is that a new Super Smash Bros game will be coming to the Nintendo NX as a launch title. Here’s the tweet about it:

But is it true? To be honest… that’s hard to say. I mean, it’s an anonymous source, that’s already a sort of red flag in itself, regardless of what user or publication is passing on their message.

What’s more, nothing says this has to be a NEW game. Oh sure, it’s supposedly got something to do with Super Smash Bros. But it’s just as likely (and somewhat hinted at) that it could be an improved version of an older title, like an improved Smash Bros 4 with the DLC stuff included by default. Or heck, if you want a really insane idea, maybe a HD Melee remake or something equally crazy.

Either way, Smash Bros might be coming as an NX launch game. Maybe this might be what the system needs to sell right off the bat!

Possible Nintendo NX Details Leaked Online?

As per usual, take this with a pinch of salt, since it’s from an anonymous source and has that definite ‘too good to be true’ feel to it.  Either way, this interesting document about the Nintendo NX was sent to Twitter user Liam Robertson or Tamaki, and gives away what appears to be new information about the Nintendo NX, its features and its game line up.  Here’s what it says:

You will now see some more information about the Nintendo NX console.

Nintendo NX

  • Exclusive game franchises featuring Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong and more
  • Connect with other Nintendo players around the world via the Nintendo Network
  • Gameplay flows between Nintendo NX console and Nintendo NX handheld device.
  • Earn and share gaming achievements, triumphs and defeats with your gaming friends and the Nintendo gaming community.
  • Surf the Web or make video calls on your TV
  • Supports 4K/60fps video streaming
  • Gameplay graphics at 900p/60fps

What’s in the Box

  • Nintendo NX console
  • Sensor Bar
  • Game Controller
  • HDMI Cable

You can also view the original document in PNG format here:

Nintendo NX Info

But is it true? Well to be honest, we’re not sure. We’d say it’s more likely the document is fake than real, given some of the features and the unlikelyness that Nintendo will include them in their system.

For instance, would they really include a bunch of video streaming features? Or the ability to make video calls on your TV? Or implement a full fledged achievement system similar to the Xbox and Playstation ones? They’re definitely all features people would like, but they’re also not really the kind of thing we can see Nintendo doing for a new system.

But don’t let that count it out as false. Companies change, and Nintendo’s management has changed significantly to the point they’re taking a lot more ideas from their competitors than they used to. On disc DLC, freemium games, product placement, day one patches and updates. It’s not exactly all good stuff, but hey, perhaps if they’re taking those controversial idea, they’re also looking at the possibility of achievements and video streaming too.

On another note, it’s interesting to see the whole ‘hybrid console’ thing seemingly play out here as well. A Nintendo NX handheld device and a Nintendo NX home console? Guess if it’s true, they really are merging the product lines together, and having them act as a more interconnected experience. It’s also interesting to note the presence of Donkey Kong in the Nintendo franchises list, which might potentially imply a Donkey Kong Country Forever game could be a launch title for the system. Could this the return of King K Rool and the Kremlings?

Either way, those are the rumoured details. Do you believe them? Do you think the Nintendo NX really will have all this stuff? Or is it just another hoaxer pretending to be a Nintendo insider and sending people false information to see people’s reactions?

Source:

Nintendo NX Survey Rumour – Liam Robertson’s Twitter Page