Nintendo’s 3DS isn’t dead, but it is trapped in the Switch’s shadow

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced a brand-new console, a hybrid portable device that serves as both a portable entertainment machine and a game system for the living room. At a glance, it looked great — but some criticized the Nintendo Switch for having “nothing to play” except the new Legend of Zelda game, of course. Nintendo’s E3 show served as …

‘Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle’ shouldn’t work, but it does

Ubisoft’s Rabbids are almost the antithesis of Nintendo’s mascots. Sure, both sets of characters are family friendly and mostly mute, but Rabbids are uglier and lean on slightly more crass, juvenile humor. When I first heard Nintendo and Ubisoft were mixing the two together, I expected the worst — and yet somehow, the mountain-sized toilet that scrolled past the background …

‘Super Mario Odyssey’ may look bizarre, but it feels just right

There’s perhaps no better example of Nintendo’s creativity in game design than the Super Mario Bros. franchise. At a glance, the company’s mascot seems like an unchanging, static figure. In reality, every game he stars in tweaks the Mario formula ever so slightly — adding new power-ups in Super Mario Bros. 3, rethinking level design in Super Mario World or …

Nintendo is releasing amiibo for a ‘Legend of Zelda’ add-on

Nintendo doesn’t just want you to download add-on content for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: It wants you to snap up more figurines too. The gaming giant has unveiled four amiibo designed with the DLC (most notably The Champion’s Ballad) in mind. Each represents a champion from one of Hyrule’s races: Mipha (from the zora), Daruk (goron), …

‘Arms’ is the successor to ‘Punch Out’ the Nintendo Switch needs

The original Punch Out may be heralded as a classic 8-bit NES game, but it’s one I didn’t play until I was in college. I’d heard it mentioned as I grew up but always dismissed it out of hand. Sports games, particularly those with celebrity endorsements, meant nothing to me as a child. When I eventually picked up a battered …

A 3D printer gave my Nintendo Switch a real D-pad

Nintendo has a long history of building innovative game controllers — the company put shoulder buttons on the SNES gamepad, added force feedback to the N64’s bizarre controller and made a fad out of motion controls with the Wii. Its most enduring innovation, however, has always been the humble D-Pad: a simple plastic cross that lets players input eight different …

USB-powered Sega Nomad gives you near-endless game time

Sega’s Genesis Nomad was always something of a compromise (it was running 16-bit console games on mid-1990s handheld tech), but the battery life was a particularly sore point: it took six AA batteries just to get 3 hours of play time. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use modern hardware to play without constant (and sometimes expensive) battery swaps? …

Nintendo might not be done boosting Switch production

It’s no secret that Nintendo is facing a ton of demand for the Switch, to the point where it reportedly doubled production to keep up. Even that figure might be a tad conservative, however. The Financial Times‘ supply chain sources claim that Nintendo has hiked its Switch production to 18 million for its current fiscal year (which ends in March …

Nintendo’s ‘Arms’ has all the depth the ‘Wii Sports’ games lacked

For many, the Switch represents the Nintendo’s return to form. It’s the console that sheds both the name and the gimmicky motion controls that defined the Wii era of gaming. With traditional games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe leading the way, motion controls seem to be all but a thing of …

Old-school tank shooter ‘Battlezone’ comes to Oculus and Vive

If you grew up in the age of arcades, you probably played Atari‘s seminal first-person tank game, Battlezone. In the arcade version, you’d play the game with your face stuck into a set of faux goggles that helped you feel like you were in the sweaty confines of an actual tank. It felt like stepping into a virtual world. When …

How ‘Puyo Puyo Tetris’ tricked me into liking puzzle games

When Larry Kasanoff said he was turning the world’s most iconic puzzle game into a trilogy of science fiction movies, I was speechless. After a disaster like Pixels, how could anybody look at Tetris and think there was a narrative to tell? The game may be a classic, but the narrative potential of organizing falling bricks into horizontal lines seemed …

New ‘Sonic Forces’ footage feels a lot like ‘Generations’

For the last few months, SEGA has been playing coy with Sonic Forces— first only little else beside the game’s name and the usual promises of greatness. Then, earlier this month, a new trailer teased new levels for “Classic Sonic,” the 1990s version of the character that co-starred in 2011’s Sonic Generations. Today, Sega Europe uploaded a new gameplay video …

Nintendo announces Joy-con battery grips for Switch controllers

The Nintendo Switch’s detachable Joy-con controllers already have decent battery life, but if you’re looking to game for even longer sessions, Nintendo has you covered. Today the company announced the Joy-Con AA battery pack, a pair of detachable grips for the wireless controllers that let users extend their longevity with off the shelf batteries. Oh, and you’ll be able to …

The classic Tamagotchi toy is back

You’ve already seen Nintendo revive the NES and Nokia reintroduce the 3310, so why not resurrect more ’90s tech? Bandai certainly doesn’t see a problem with it. The company has relaunched the classic Tamagotchi toy in near-original form to mark its 20th anniversary (November 1996 in Japan, May 1997 elsewhere). After years of constant iterations, you’re back to simple black-and-white …

Real-life ‘Pong’ table is available as a crowdfunding project

Remember that real-world Pong table that was supposed to become a product you could buy if everything went smoothly? Well, it’s here… almost. The creators have launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to launch a production-grade, coffee table-sized version of the design. If you’re willing to pledge at least $1,100 ($990 if you were referred by an existing backer), you can …

Explore Japanese gaming culture in 360 degrees with MatPat

Matthew Patrick is best known as the guy on YouTube who uses math, science and rabid curiosity to build intense, unexpected narratives from the stray plot threads of movies and video games. As the Game Theorists’ MatPat, he asks if Mario is secretly a sociopath and questions if Sega’s blue hedgehog really is the fastest mascot in gaming — and …

‘Skylanders’ learns what Amiibo knew all along: Drop the portal

The paradigm for toys-to-life games is well-established: one part kid-friendly video game, one part expensive, collectible figurines — and a tethered NFC “portal” that ties them together. When Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure introduced this model in 2011, it sparked a new genre in gaming — bringing about the rise and fall of Disney Infinity, the nostalgic brand licensing of LEGO Dimensions …