December 19 to 25 Nintendo News Roundup

Switch

Nintendo has recently announced that three “Fan Events” will be taking place in Germany, where people will have a chance to try out the Switch.

These will be held at the following cities on these dates:

  • January 13th, 9 AM: Frankfurt
  • January 17th, 5 PM: Munich
  • January 24th, 5 PM: Berlin

Nintendo is giving away 12×2 tickets for each of these events via My Nintendo. My Nintendo users with a permanent residence in Germany can take part in the ticket raffle, which can be done over here. Since Nintendo is holding a separate raffle for each of the three events, you can take part in all three of them if you wish to increase your chances.

More details about these events will be announced later, but for now it’s not known if they will be open to the public or if they will be invite-only. Also, the Frankfurt event will take place only 4 hours after the Switch presentation in Tokyo is scheduled to start, so it’ll be probably worth keeping an eye on for early impressions of the Switch.

When it comes to the Switch itself, it’s now confirmed that the console is able to support both Vulkan and OpenGL 4.5. The Khronos Group has certified the console as having a Vulkan 1.0 conformant implementation. Moreover, it shows the OS as “Nintendo OS” and it passes the Vulkan 1.0.1.0 CTS. Switch is listed as hitting OpenGL 4.5 and OpenGL ES 3.2 conformance as well. Essentially, this means that developers should have an easier time creating games for the system, since it supports those two graphics generation APIs.

Besides that, a developer has also come across some interesting discoveries in files of Unreal Engine 4 version 4.14, which released about a month ago, lending credence to some of the recent speculation about the console.

A particular file in UE4’s master branch shows names for Switch, SwitchConsole and SwitchHandheld, and as the developer points out, “the SwitchConsole settings are a notch lower than the UE4 defaults used on PC, PS4 and XB1”. It’s thought that the settings “serve as a good starting point to get a PS4/XB1 UE4 game to run acceptably on the Switch”.

The ScreenPercentage setting is set at 66%, basically matching the current rumours about Switch displaying at 1080p while docked and 720p when played as a portable, since 66% of 1920 x 1080 would be 1280 x 720. However, instead of only reducing the resolution to 720p in handheld mode, the engine also reduces graphical settings. Unreal Engine 4 is set to “FXAA” in console mode, but changes to “faster FXAA” in handheld mode. It’s also worth noting that Switch uses the full Unreal Engine 4 deferred renderer path rather than the “mobile” renderer.

Here’s a look at the mentioned setting changes:

[Switch DeviceProfile] +CVars=sg.ViewDistanceQuality=2
+CVars=sg.AntiAliasingQuality=2
+CVars=sg.ShadowQuality=2
+CVars=sg.PostProcessQuality=2
+CVars=sg.TextureQuality=2
+CVars=sg.EffectsQuality=2
+CVars=r.ScreenPercentage=100 [SwitchConsole DeviceProfile] DeviceType=Switch
BaseProfileName=Switch [SwitchHandheld DeviceProfile] DeviceType=Switch
BaseProfileName=Switch
+CVars=sg.ViewDistanceQuality=1
+CVars=sg.AntiAliasingQuality=1
+CVars=sg.ShadowQuality=1
+CVars=sg.PostProcessQuality=1
+CVars=sg.TextureQuality=1
+CVars=sg.EffectsQuality=1
+CVars=r.ScreenPercentage=66

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo is continuing to deliver regular Zelda: Breath of the Wild screenshots leading up to launch. Below, you can find a new screenshot, some concept artwork for Link’s cold weather tunic, and a small piece of art celebrating Christmas.

Besides that, it was also announced during the week that Piggyback is working with Nintendo on a guide for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This guide will be available in “Deluxe”, “Collector”, and “Regular” editions, like the ones you can see in the tweet below.

The Legend of Zelda 30th Anniversary

Still in the spirit of The Legend of Zelda’s 30th anniversary, Nintendo recently posted a brief video showing off some of the original game map for the first game, and some drawings from Takashi Tezuka and Shigeru Miyamoto. You can take a look at them below.

On another note, Shmuplations has translated an interesting interview with Shigeru Miyamoto from a 1992 issue of Japanese magazine Famicon Tsuushin about The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In it, Miyamoto discusses various aspects of the game’s development, including some ideas the team didn’t get to implement back then. I encourage you to give it a read over here.

Pokémon Sun & Moon

A new guide for Pokémon Sun & Moon is now being prepared, called the “Alola Region Pokédex & Postgame Adventure Guide”, and is scheduled for a February release.

Here’s the synopsis:

“If getting all the Pokemon from the Alola region is your goal, or if you simply want the latest info on all these amazing Pokemon, then Pokemon Sun & Pokemon Moon: The Official Alola Region Collector’s Edition Pokedex & Postgame Adventure Guide will be your go-to for the info you need!

And if you think you’ve done everything there is to do in the Alola region, then think again! Many adventures are waiting for you after you’ve completed the main story in Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, and this guide will take you through them—including the appearance of the mysterious Ultra Beasts!”

The new guide will include data for the Alola region Pokémon, encompassing information on moves, abilities, location, stats, and evolutions for each one. You can also expect lists of TMs, items, Berries, and Z-Crystals, and where to find them in-game. An exclusive creator interview will also be included in the guide.

Two versions of the guide will be available, a standard version and a collector’s edition. The collector’s edition will get you an extra hardcover, as well as “8 high-quality double-sided lithographs of concept artwork in a protective sleeve”.

These concept artwork pieces are likely some of the ones previously included in the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon Alola Art Book (see them here), which was a pre-order incentive in Japan, and the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon: Official Strategy Guide Collector’s Vault (see them here), which released a few weeks ago.

Finally, Spanish site MeriStation recently posted an interview with Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori, where they talked about Pokémon Sun & Moon and the series in general. The developers discussed alolan formes and their possible return, the future of the franchise, and wether or not we will see the series on the Switch, among other things. You can read an english translation of the interview over here.

Pokémon GO

A new Pokémon GO update has now been released for iOS and Android, bringing the game up to version 1.21.0 / 0.51.1.

This is a minor update to address a bothersome bug. Niantic’s official patch notes state the following:

– The bug that caused incorrect vibration notifications has been fixed.
– Day and night modes have changed to more accurately reflect the Trainer’s current time of day.
– Minor text fixes.

On another note, Pokémon GO is now available for Apple Watch.

When playing on Apple Watch, you’ll receive a notification when a Pokemon is nearby. You can also earn steps for buddy Pokémon and incubating eggs, and Apple Watch lets you collect items and obtain information about a PokeStop or hatched egg. However, catching Pokémon can only be done on a mobile device.

You can find the full announcement and explanation of features from Niantic below, followed by a video of the new app in action.

“Pokémon GO is now available on the Apple Watch! You will now be able to explore and experience the world around you directly from your wrist, whether you’re searching for wild Pokémon or trying to hatch the Pokémon originally discovered in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver video games.

Apple Watch is particularly well suited to Pokémon GO as it seamlessly combines gameplay and imagination with getting exercise and exploring the real world. You can easily interact with Pokémon GO on Apple Watch, using quick taps to discover nearby Pokémon and collect items from PokéStops. Once you encounter a Pokémon, you can catch it from your iPhone. You can log your play sessions through the Apple Watch app as a Workout that will count toward your personal Activity rings, while also counting distance toward hatching Pokémon Eggs.

To recap the core features of Pokémon GO on Apple Watch, you’ll be able to

Log each play session as a workout, with gameplay counting toward personal Activity rings

Receive notifications about nearby Pokémon

Count distance toward hatching Pokémon Eggs and receiving Candy with your Buddy Pokémon

Receive notifications about PokéStops nearby and collect items from them

Receive notifications when Eggs hatch and medals are awarded

This holiday season, experience Pokémon GO and the world around you in a whole new way on Apple Watch. It’s the perfect companion for bundled-up winter walks in the Northern Hemisphere and for fun summer activities in the Southern Hemisphere. And hey, what great timing—you can get a head start on that New Year’s fitness resolution by having some fun now!”

Besides all that, Niantic has also announced a new event for Pokémon GO to celebrate the holidays.

Between December 25 and January 3, players will have a greater chance of finding Eggs that hatch Togepi, Pichu, and other recently found Pokémon from the Johto region. Special Pikachu wearing festive hats will also be staying around longer, as will be more easily encountered during the holiday event.

Moreover, beginning on December 30 through January 8, players will be more likely to encounter starter Pokémon and their evolutions. This specifically applies to the Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle lines. Lure Modules will also last for 60 minutes instead of 30 minutes.

You can find the full details from Niantic below.

“As the year draws to a close, we want to give you a great way to celebrate the end of the year with Pokémon GO. For the next couple of weeks, you’ll have even more reason to explore the world with your friends and family while you enjoy our year-end event.

Don’t miss out on an increased chance to hatch a Togepi (and other Pokémon)! Starting the morning of December 25, 2016, and through the afternoon of January 3, 2017 (PST), PokéStops will award one single-use Incubator each day after your first Photo Disc spin. As you visit PokéStops during this time period, there will be a greater chance of finding Eggs that hatch Togepi, Pichu, and several other recently found Pokémon, originally discovered in the Johto region. Special Pikachu wearing festive hats will also be staying around a bit longer! You are more likely to find these limited-edition Pikachu during the time period of this celebration.

In addition, from the afternoon of December 30, 2016, through the afternoon of January 8, 2017 (PST), the first partner Pokémon and their Evolutions, originally discovered in the Kanto region, are more likely to be encountered. This means a greater chance to catch Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur, as well as Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard, plus Squirtle, Wartortle, and Blastoise! As a way to increase your chance to encounter one of these Pokémon, Lure Modules will also last for 60 minutes instead of 30 minutes.

Get up and go!”

Finally, Niantic has shared some new stats related to Pokémon GO usage. As of December 7, Pokémon GO players have walked over 8.7 billion kilometers collectively, which represents more than 200,000 trips around the Earth. Over 88 billion Pokemon were caught during that period, which amounts to about 533 million Pokemon a day according to Niantic. You can watch the video about this below.

Pokémon Generations

The final episode of Pokémon Generations, episode 18, is now available on the official Pokémon YouTube channel. You can watch it below.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World

Nintendo has shared a new trailer for Poochy & yoshi’s Woolly World, alongside some new information about the game’s features.

By scanning the Yarn Poochy amiibo, players can now summon Poochy to help them clear levels. When you scan the amiibo in Poochy Dash stages, you will instead unlock fast-paced Time Attack challenges, which reward you with new Poochy patterns if you beat them.

Mellow Mode is back from the Wii U version, but even easier due to the addition of the Poochy Pups, who will seek out secrets and hidden collectables for Yoshi, and can also be used to attack enemies.

Amiibo can be used to unlock new patterns for Yoshi, and new additions to the compatible amiibo lineup for the 3DS version include the Splatoon and Animal Crossing amiibo.

The game also includes 30 stop-motion animations by the Japanese animation studio Dwarf.

An update is also coming to the Wii U version of Yoshi’s Woolly World on February 3rd, adding compatibility with the Yarn Poochy amiibo.

Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World will be released on February 3rd in Europe and North America.

You can find the new trailer and screenshots below.

Super Mario Maker

Nintendo has added yet another event and mystery mushroom costume to Super Mario Maker.

By playing the Dr. Kawashima’s Athletic Training course, players can now unlock a mystery mushroom costume for Mario based on Dr. Kawashima from the Brain Age series.

You can find some gameplay footage of the course below, thanks to GameXplain.

Super Mario Run

Super Mario Run has now received a minor update to fix some small bugs, bringing the game up to version 1.0.1.

The most important issue that was fixed seems to be related to loading the game and trying to link it to your Facebook account, which would cause a crash.

The patch notes are as follows:

– Issue with Friend List linking has been fixed.
– Other minor issues have been fixed.

Nintendo has also added a new mode to the game, which is essentially a risk-free version of Toad Rally. You can race against specific friends and see how they’re doing at courses, without needing Rally Tickets to play or losing/gaining Toads. You can only play Friendly Run a set number of times a day, and if you haven’t cleared the first world, you can only play once a day. Clearing World 1 will allow you to play three times per day, and clearing World 2 will let you play five times instead.

You can the full details from Nintendo below.

Looking to improve your performance in Toad Rally?
Eager to know how THAT person on your Friend List has been able to stay out in first place all week?
If this sounds familiar, you should try out Friendly Run, where you can casually compete against your friends!
No need for Rally Tickets in this mode!

How to Play Friendly Run
■Step 1: Add a friend!
If you haven’t yet added a friend, this is the perfect opportunity!
You can add friends by going to your Friend List and then tapping Link, Invite, or Add.

Once the other person accepts your invitation, the process is complete!

■Step 2: Choose your opponent from your Friend List!
Once a friend is added to your Friend List, you can challenge them to a Friendly Run!
Decide who to challenge from your list of friends and then tap the Run button to start!

About Play Limits
The number of times you can play in a day is determined by the progress you have made in World Tour.

■Number of Daily Plays Available
-Haven’t cleared World 1: One time
-World 1 cleared: Three times
-World 2 cleared: Five times

Playing Friendly Run will not increase the number of enemies defeated, coins, and Toads.
You can play Friendly Run once you have completed the Kingdom Builder tutorial.

A small update was also issued just in time for the holidays, which added a few festive items to decorate your Mushroom Kingdom with. These include the Poinsetta, Sparkly Christmas Tree, and Sparkly Snow Globe, which can now be purchased in the Kingdom Builder mode.

Nintendo has also shared that the game has now surpassed 50 million downloads worldwide, reaching a new milestone.

Furthermore, the company put out a new video about the Mario franchise to promote Super Mario Run, explaining the evolution of the series and character relationships, among other things. You can take a look at it below.

On the business side of things, Sensor Tower reported that Super Mario Run grossed over $5 million worldwide in its first 24 hours. Some countries didn’t contribute to the total as much, such as Japan, but as Sensor Tower points out that “a variety of factors are undoubtedly at play, including regional income and spending habits”. Super Mario Run also beat out Pokemon GO’s first day gross revenue by roughly 67% and Clash Royale by more than 400%. Players spent about 16 minutes in the game on its first day, lower in comparison to the 22 minutes for Pokémon GO and 28 minutes for Clash Royale.

Splatoon

Dark Horse Comics has announced The Art of Splatoon, a new book filled with artwork from Nintendo’s Wii U game.

The book will come filled with 2D and 3D illustrations of various characters, maps, concept art, weapon and gear design, storyboards, sketches, hand-drawn comics, and more. Behind the scenes notes will also be included in it.

The Art of Splatoon launches in North America on June 23, and Europe should be getting it around June 13.

Unrelated to that, a special illustration was also posted on the Japanese Splatoon Twitter account to celebrate the holidays. You can take a look at it below.

Tank Troopers

Nintendo’s eShop-only tank combat game “Tank Troopers” is now out in Japan.

To promote the new game, Nintendo has released several trailers introducing the game’s characters.

You can watch them in the video playlist below.

Besides that, out friend NintenDaan has also captured some gameplay footage which you can take a look at below to better understand what the game is about.

Miitomo

Miitomo has once again been updated with various new and returning items for Miitomo Drop and Miitomo Shop.

You can find the item lineup below.

Let’s celebrate! Festive Holiday Fun #2

– Santa gal hat
– Santa gal dress
– Santa gal boots
– Winter night dress

Let’s celebrate! Festive Holiday Fun #3

– Toy soldier hat
– Toy soldier uniform
– Party hat
– Holiday party gown

Wintertime bliss! Sparkling Snow Kingdom #1

– Ice horse suit
– Ice prince jacket (set)
– Ice prince pants (set)
– Ice prince shoes (set)

Miitomo Shop Items

– Giant polka-dot bow
– Dream prince hoodie
– Lovey-dovey stadium jacket
– Striped-dotted skirt
– Loose socks
– Rubber checkered shoes
– Single tone backpack

The show must go on! Miitomo Concert (returning)

– Acoustic guitar
– Violin
– Saxaphone
– Synthesizer
– Melody tee
– Orchestra jacket
– Orchestra shorts
– Rhythmic tights
– Mic hood
– Mic-drop costume
– Piano keys tee
– Bell one piece

Nintendo Minute

The latest episode of Nintendo Minute is now out and features Kit and Krysta finishing up their discussion on the end of the year Nintendo awards, which include Best Digital Game, Favorite Character, and their overall Game of the Year. Check it out below.

Tatsumi Kimishima on Nintendo’s Mobile Games

Kyoto Shimbun recently talked with Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima about Nintendo’s mobile plans. Starting in 2017, he said, they hope to bring out two or three mobile games each year.

Kimishima also stated that Super Mario Run met their expectations when it comes to the number of downloads, however he believes that number could grow to 100 million.

When asked about the problem of spending large sums of money on in-app purchases and microtransactions in other games, he said that parents won’t have to worry. Also, regarding smartphone titles as one of Nintendo’s three pillars, Kimishima said mobile games would help support the console column, while expanding their player base. That was the goal of the smartphone titles, and people discussing Switch and saying Nintendo is doing something interesting is favorable for them.

Finally, Kimishima mentioned that Nintendo is listening to user input in order to improve Super Mario Run, and that the ratio of paying players is very high.

Meanwhile, Sankei has published its own report after talking with Nintendo’s president.

Sankei mentions a different quote from him in which he says that Nintendo is always considering pushing out three mobile games, and maybe even more than that, per year.

When it comes to payment types, he indicates that it will depend on the region and popularity of the franchise, and that Nintendo may even take the reactions from customers into account.

Kimishima also shared a few words about Nintendo’s partnership with Universal Studios. According to him, Nintendo wants to increase the publicity and exposure of its characters, which will tie into more popularity for the games themselves in the future.

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