Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch Release Date Announced at E3 2017

We got our first look at Super Mario Odyssey since the Nintendo Switch launch event in January 2017, at E3 2017. The Nintendo stream at E3 showed a mix of cinematic and gameplay footage. This focused heavily on Mario’s hat, which he uses to progress in the game. He can throw his hat at some enemies and make them friendly, which seems like a pretty interesting mechanic.

This is because his hat helps him control massive dinosaurs, taxis, and even a whole bunch of goombas at once. Nintendo announced that Super Mario Odyssey is releasing on October 27, 2017, which was a fine way to finish its E3 2017 presentation.

Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch Release Date Announced at E3 2017The footage also showed various worlds in Super Mario Odyssey. There are some levels in the Mushroom Kingdom, while others in proper human cities — as evidenced by the taxi that Mario controls with his hat. While Nintendo had announced that Mario’s hat will play a crucial role, this trailer made it abundantly clear the Super Mario Odyssey’s gameplay revolves entirely around how well you can make use of the hat.

This is a 3D game which has a bit of an isometric feel to it thanks to the camera being diagonally above Mario. You traverse across colourful levels and even control enemies such as the one and only Bullet Bill. The trailer looked a lot of fun, and we definitely have high expectations from this game. October 27 is the perfect time to release this game as it falls in line with the US holiday season.

We suspect that Nintendo may have a Super Mario Odyssey bundle lined up for the Switch as well, in order to boost the console’s sales during the holidays. After all, this is the kind of game that will push people to buy the Nintendo Switch.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Nintendo Switch Slated for Holiday 2017 Release

Nintendo at E3 2017 started proceedings with Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The open-world Japanese role-playing game is slated for a Holiday 2017 release. This comes days after it was suggested that the game would be delayed to February 2018.

Developer Monolith Soft showed off the game’s character designs which seemed quite similar to what we’ve seen in past games in the series. The cel shaded art-stye seems endearing and the open-world on display appeared substantial. Combat on the other hand did not seem as polished with some slowdowns.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Nintendo Switch Slated for Holiday 2017 ReleaseXenoblade Chronicles 2 follows a band of heroes setting out for the land of Elysium. Its protagonists are swordsmen named Rex and Pyra who feature heavily in the trailer.

When it first released on the Nintendo Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles was applauded for being the rare lengthy Japanese role-playing game on the platform. After the New Nintendo 3DS hit the shelves in 2014, a port called Xenoblade Chronicles 3D was made available. Expect more of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 during the year. Unless of course, Nintendo choose to show more of it during the Nintendo Treehouse Livestream that follows its E3 2017 presentation.

A New Pokemon Game for the Nintendo Switch Is Coming in 2018

Developer GameFreak has begun development on a core RPG Pokemon title for the Nintendo Switch. This is the first proper Pokemon title under development for the Nintendo Switch. Until now all we got was Pokken Tournament DX (releasing September 22), a fighting game targeted towards competitive players.

This Pokemon game won’t be ready at least till 2018, Nintendo announced at E3 2017. It’s a smart move on Nintendo’s part to keep this game for next year. That is because Pokemon Sun and Moon was released for the Nintendo 3DS only in 2016 and the company has a stellar lineup of games for 2017. These include games such as Arms, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, all releasing this year.

A New Pokemon Game for the Nintendo Switch Is Coming in 2018In case you’re wondering which Pokemon game is going to be developed for the Nintendo Switch, it’s likely to be Pokemon Stars. The final name of the game may vary as the codename for the game under development is Pokemon Stars.

Based on previous rumours we can speculate that the new Pokemon game will feature the same art style, map, routes, and cities as Pokemon Sun and Moon. Pokemon Stars could be the third game in the series that has Pokemon Sun and Moon, which is what allows for a release on a new platform just over a year after the other games were released. An enhanced version of 2016’s games, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon for the 3DS was revealed for a November launch this year.

Rocket League for Nintendo Switch Announced With Exclusive Features: Nintendo at E3 2017

Rocket League is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Developer Psyonix announced this at Nintendo’s E3 2017 event with a Holiday 2017 release date. The game fuses together racing and sports as you chase a football in a rocket-propelled car. It became a runaway success when it initially released in 2015 on Windows PC and PS4. Psyonix detailed what’s new and different this time around.

Rocket League Nintendo Switch exclusives

Specific battle-cars and customisation items such as Mario and Luigi hat toppers would be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

Rocket League for Nintendo Switch Announced With Exclusive Features: Nintendo at E3 2017Rocket League Nintendo Switch content and features

Psyonix confirmed that all of the content, features, and updates the game has got on other platforms like the PS4, Xbox One, and PC will be available on the Nintendo Switch as well.

Rocket League Nintendo Switch mode support

Rocket League will support all of the Nintendo Switch’s play modes including:

  • TV Mode (docked)
  • Tabletop Mode
  • Handheld Mode
  • Local Multiplayer
  • Online Multiplayer (upto eight players)

Rocket League Nintendo Switch cross-platform play explained

Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch will support online multiplayer between Steam and Xbox One versions of the game. Much like Minecraft, PS4 owners will not be able to partake in the fun just yet.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC Details and Release Date Revealed: E3 2017

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has become one of the most successful games Nintendo has ever made. Making a Zelda game a launch title for the Nintendo Switch now looks to be a masterstroke as it was welcoming towards newbies and experienced players alike. Prior to the game’s release Nintendo stated that the game would get a season pass. Details at the time on what exact this would entail were sparse. That is of course until now.

The first of these is called The Legend of Zelda: The Master Trials. From the gameplay trailer we saw at E3 2017, this features a series of challenges where you tackle monsters of all sizes and continue your adventures in the kingdom of Hyrule. The footage shows Link taking on various monsters with a bunch of new armor types and even a new mask called Korok Mask. There’s even a Master Mode, where you take on tough challenges such as taking on what appears to be a golem.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC Details and Release Date Revealed: E3 2017The second DLC is called The Legend of Zelda: The Champions’ Ballad. The trailer footage starts with a sepia-tone montage and some sorrowful music telling the story of champions of the Zelda universe. These champions include Mipha, Daruk, Revali, and Urbosa. All four are available as amiibo for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Both these DLC packs are available under a single expansion pass for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This pass will cost $19.99 (roughly Rs. 1,300). The Master Trials DLC Pack 1 will be available on June 30, 2017, while The Champions’ Ballad – DLC Pack 2 will be available during 2017’s holiday season. Both DLC packs will be available for Nintendo Switch and Wii U.

Nintendo at E3 2017: Super Mario Odyssey, Rocket League, and The Legend of Zelda DLC

Nintendo’s E3 2017 event was the shortest of the lot, in part because it was a pre-recorded stream. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t enough to be excited about, including a popular third-party title, updates for Nintendo games on the way, and announcements for new games in development. If you don’t have time to watch the half-hour video, here’s a round-up of the biggest news.

Super Mario Odyssey is coming October 27
Though its existence has been known since the start of the year, a new trailer for the exploration-based Super Mario Odyssey shed light on what players can expect from the game: set outside the Mushroom Kingdom, Mario travels to a whole bunch of locations, including lush green tropical forests, deserts with palm trees, mountains, and of course its New York-inspired New Donk City.

While Mario will sport his immediately recognisable red-and-blue jumper for the most part, he’ll don new costumes – such as an all-white three-piece suit among others – during his time in Odyssey. One of the big surprises was the presence of a dinosaur, so there’s no limit to what you can expect from the game.

Super Mario Odyssey will release October 27 for the Nintendo Switch.

Rocket League will have Mario hats and local multiplayer
Since its launch, sport-driving hybrid Rocket League has exploded with the gaming community, being one of the most popular multiplayer titles across Steam and PlayStation at any given time. Now, it’s coming to the Nintendo Switch, where the game will release with exclusive Nintendo-themed items, such as Mario and Luigi hats.

It’ll also support cross-platform play, with players on PC and Xbox One. Much more importantly, Rocket League will have local multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch, which will be unique to that console. It’s great to see Nintendo pushing developers to create LAN multiplayer in their titles, something that has mostly vanished in lieu of online multiplayer.

Rocket League will release during the holiday period for the Switch, so expect it November-December.

Link’s adventures continue with first DLC for The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a launch title for the Switch, and the initial lack of games for the new Nintendo console meant most owners have more or less finished the game. If you’re one of those, you’ll be happy to know that Nintendo has its first DLC on the way. It’s called The Master Trials, and it will send Link on lots of new adventures.

Aside from new quests, The Master Trials will include The Trial of the Sword, Hero’s Path Mode, and Master Mode, as well as new armour and items. There are four new amiibos on the way too, featuring different in-game champions.

You can get the first DLC for The Legend of Zelda by getting the expansion pass for the game, which costs $19.99 (about Rs. 1,300). Master Trails will be available June 30 on Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo at E3 2017: Super Mario Odyssey, Rocket League, and The Legend of Zelda DLCXenoblade Chronicles 2 will release later this year
An open-world Japanese role-playing game sequel first announced earlier this year, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 kicked off the Nintendo E3 2017 event with a new trailer. The two protagonists are teenagers – a boy and a girl – who will encounter different enemies during their long journey. As expected, the trailer had multiple references to a “blade” – it’s called Xenoblade – but didn’t provide an exact release date.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is sticking to the holiday 2017 release date for the Switch.

Fire Emblem Warriors is out in autumn 2017
Nintendo provided another look at its hack-and-slash addition to the Fire Emblem canon, which will put you in control of multiple characters, including original duo Lian and Zion. Characters will show up from other Fire Emblem games too – Awakening’s Chrom, Shadow Dragon’s prince of Altea Marth, and three from Fates: Ryoma, Xander, and Corrin.

Fire Emblem Warriors will release sometime in the autumn, for the Switch and the New 3DS.

A new Pokemon game, and Metroid Prime 4 are in development
Extremely short on details, but important to players and shareholders, Nintendo announced that a new “Pokemon RPG”, and Metroid Prime 4 are now in development. The first is being made by developer Game Freak, which have crafted every Pokemon game since Pokemon Red and Blue in 1996. Pokemon Company’s Tsunekazu Ishihara said it’s in the early stages, and not to expect release for another year.

The sci-fi exploration-based Metroid Prime 4 got an announcement trailer, on the other hand, which disappointedly featured only the game’s logo. That means the game is early in development, so don’t hold out a release before the end of 2018.

Two working titles called Kirby, and Yoshi
Nintendo showed off a new side-scrolling game called Kirby at its E3 2017 presser, which finds the little pink ball going on adventures with melee weapons, changing its shape, and even being joined by his friends, with up to three other characters. Knowing the Switch, it’s very likely the game will have on-device and/or local multiplayer.

The other working is called Yoshi, which seems to be inspired by Yoshi’s Woolly World. Carrying eggs and collecting coins, it seems to perfectly fit Nintendo’s family-friendly aesthetic and style. The Yoshi game too seems to allow for local multiplayer, with the trailer showing two different-coloured Yoshi characters helping each other complete the courses.

There are no release dates for both titles, except to say they will release sometime in 2018.

Minecraft Nintendo Switch Cross-Platform Play Uses Xbox Live Sign In; Could Explain No PS4 Support

According to Mojang CEO Jonas Martensson, to use Minecraft for cross-platform play Xbox Live is required even on the Nintendo Switch. In an interview with Pressfire.no translated on popular gaming forum NeoGAF, he stated that Nintendo has agreed to this and have been “pretty pragmatic and understanding.”

“We’re tying everything together with Xbox Live. So you log in with Xbox Live…,” he trailed off, further being pressed by the website if this would include the Nintendo Switch to which he said:

“Yes. That’s pretty unique as well! But everyone that’s in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we’re trying to do is create a good experience for the players. We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system.”

Later in the interview he goes on to say that Nintendo has been “very open when it comes to working together” and the process of incorporating Minecraft cross-platform play on the Nintendo Switch has been “very smooth.”

Over the week, Sony has been on the receiving end of criticism for not supporting Minecraft’s cross-platform play functionality. This would have ensured all consoles, mobile devices, VR, and PC can all play together online. If this does require an Xbox Live account to sign in, it would add to Microsoft’s tally of daily active users, essentially driving its business forward.

Minecraft Nintendo Switch Cross-Platform Play Uses Xbox Live Sign In; Could Explain No PS4 SupportUnderstandably, Sony wouldn’t be interested in exposing its consumers to Microsoft’s ecosystem, which could explain Sony’s Jim Ryan using a rather flawed defence that essentially harks back to Nintendo’s overprotectiveness in the 1980s and 1990s. Martensson stops short of saying this when asked, rather replying with the more diplomatically acceptable “you’d have to ask them [Sony].”

This isn’t the first time Sony has been unwilling to bring cross-platform play to the PS4 with football meets cars multiplayer title Rocket League not getting the nod for Xbox One versus PS4 play.

“We’ve been doing that with PS3 and PC, PS4 and PC most recently with Street Fighter 5 and Rocket League and other games. That’s nothing new for us, in terms of working with developers and publishers to allow cross-platform play between PC and PS4,” said Sony Worldwide Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida to Eurogamer at the time.

“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward,” Yoshida continued. “Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish… We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.”

Eventually Rocket League was made playable for PS4 players to play with those on the PC and not against Xbox One owners. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft is open to a similar arrangement for Minecraft.

Microsoft's AI Mocks Humans by Notching Up Perfect Score in Ms. Pac-Man

If there was ever a doubt that artificial intelligence could one day overtake humans, then what follows should be sign enough that the day isn’t too far away. Microsoft’s AI has managed to hit the one million mark in cult-classic game Ms. Pac-Man, something humans never managed to achieved in the 35 years of the game’s existence.

Maluuba, a deep learning startup that was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, created an AI system that learned the ways of the game to reach the coveted score of 1 million points by level 201. So, not only does Microsoft’s AI manage to achieve the highest possible score in both human and AI history, it managed to do so before hitting the all-too well known level 256 glitch. In a video posted by Microsoft Research, you can see the AI reach the game’s maximum point value of 999,990 on Atari 2600, after which the game seems to start over.

It will also interest you to know that the highest recorded score in Ms. Pac-Man – by a human, of course – is 266,330 points, as recorded by HighScore.com. This makes Microsoft’s AI look truly remarkable and gives us a glimpse at how machine learning has evolved over time.

Microsoft's AI Mocks Humans by Notching Up Perfect Score in Ms. Pac-ManMaluuba was able to set the new Ms. Pac-Man record using machine learning and breaking up the game into small problems with “a separate reinforcement learning agent for each problem,” which the team calls Hybrid Reward Architecture. Here, individual agents are rewarded based on their assigned task. Through this ‘divide and conquer’ method, the top agent gets a feedback from the little agents to understand which is the best route for Ms. Pac-Man to take to avoid being eaten by ghosts, the video explains.

Recently, Google’s AI AlphaGo once again defeated a human, Ki Jie, at the ancient game Chinese game, Go.

Games like Ms. Pac-Man and Go, though quite old, are revered for their complex gameplay, which is why companies in the field of AI test out their machine learning algorithms on them.Maluuba sees an expansive, practical real-world applications though the Hybrid Reward Architecture used in the game, like helping a company predict which potential customers to target, or advancements in natural language processing.

Steam Summer Sale 2017 Dates Confirmed

The Steam Summer Sale 2017 begins on June 22. This has been confirmed by PayPal. The company revealed the Steam Summer Sale 2017 start date in a tweet.

“It’s official. The #SteamSummerSale starts 22/06 at 6pm BST and PayPal customers get an extra £5 off *terms apply,” PayPal tweeted.

While no mention on what games will be discounted, we won’t be surprised to see recent titles like Prey, Bayonetta, and Tekken 7 receive price drops in addition to For Honor, Nier Automata, and Ghost Recon Wildlands. Hopefully this year’s sale does not disappoint.

Steam Summer Sale 2017 India time

The Steam Summer Sale starts at 10:30pm IST on June 22 for Indian gamers.

As for when the Steam Summer Sale 2017 ends, a leak via Valve’s developer forums claims that it ends on July 5, which is inline with past sale dates.

Steam Summer Sale 2017 Dates ConfirmedValve is yet to officially comment and we doubt it will. Hopefully this year’s sale will be less dramatic than last year’s Winter Sale that saw the service being offline for awhile.

This year has seen Valve make a host of changes to how it manages customer support, curation, and games on Steam. While its unlikely that the Steam Sale will be subject to sweeping reform, it’s interesting to see how it treats this year’s Steam Summer Sale amidst changes galore. One of these major changes was removing Steam Greenlight and replacing it with Steam Direct.

First announced in February, Valve had not, at the time zeroed in on how much Steam Direct would cost for developers to use the platform. After much consideration, Steam Direct will cost $100 (around Rs. 6,428).

“We’ve decided we’re going to aim for the lowest barrier to developers as possible, with a $100 recoupable publishing fee per game, while at the same time work on features designed to help the Store algorithm become better at helping you sift through games,” a post from Valve reads. It goes on to say that an element of human curation would be infused into Steam’s processes in terms of content discovery.

Nintendo Switch Update Makes It Easier to Find Lost Joy-Con Controllers

Nintendo’s Switch console got a substantial software update that literally helps it keep its act together.

The portable console has detachable controllers – Joy-Cons – two adjectives that are essentially code for “easy to lose.” With the new Switch update, users will now be able to use the main console to make the controllers vibrate, letting you know where you left them after that last heated bout of MarioKart. Finding them could save you $80, after all.

The update also makes some additional adjustments to the console, including a smarter storage system that will sense when the console is out of room and will suggest which things you can delete to make the space for whatever you’re downloading.

Nintendo Switch Update Makes It Easier to Find Lost Joy-Con ControllersOn the social side of things, players will also be able to download their friends’ lists from Nintendo’sprevious systems the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. More serious gamers will also be happy to hear they can now use the Switch’s Pro Controller, which looks more like a traditional game controller, while charging.

Of course, this doesn’t fix everything about the Switch. There are plenty of people, for example, who would like to see its battery life extended – or to see more games come to it. Neither of those is something a system software patch can fix.

But, as patches go, this is a pretty good one and can at least spare you a panicked moment or two.