Previous month:
June 2021
Next month:
August 2021

July 2021

Game & Watch Strikes Back

Game & WatchNintendo has revived its old Game & Watch line for the anniversaries of Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, but the $50 handhelds you can buy today are not representative of what the product line used to be.  The original Game & Watch units used primitive LCD graphics instead of full color screens, so it's understandable why Nintendo isn't reproducing the exact old hardware.  Now you can sample the Game & Watch experience with Itizso's lovingly created digital reproductions of three different Donkey Kong handhelds, models DK-52, JR-55, and DJ-101 — that's Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong II, and Donkey Kong Jr. to you and me.  Play the games, look at the time, read the instructions, check out the box, and wish that the faux-amiibo included for decoration were real products that I could display in my game room.  It's a window to a different time and, let me tell ya, these games get much better from here.

(via @DrTomTilley)

Mini-Review: Fixture S1

Fixture S1I play my Nintendo Switch mostly in bed these days as I wind down with a little Super Mario or Mega Man before falling asleep.  The only real drawback to playing Switch in handheld mode are those tiny Joy-con buttons that, while functional, aren't exactly comfortable for an adult's hands.  I'd much rather play with my Pro Controller with its comfortably sized controls, but that's not really feasible when laying down and holding the Switch itself.  Thankfully, there's a mounting clip for Switch out there that I've been enjoying for the past few weeks that snaps on to the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and holds a Joy-conless Switch in place much like the popular smartphone mounting clips used for mobile gaming and streaming services such as PlayStation's Remote Play and Microsoft's Game Pass.  It's the Fixture S1 and it's changed how I play Switch in handheld mode.

The clip is easy enough to install as it fits around the Pro Controller and snaps into place.  Remove the Joy-cons from the Switch and then slide the remaining device into the S1's grooves.  Adjust the viewing angle until it's comfortable to hold the controller and see the screen.  There; installed!  I've had to remove the Switch from the mount to recharge it back in its dock, and it slides in and out of the mount without hesitation or causing any damage.  The Fixture S1 is another in a long line of plastic video gaming accessories, but it's a must-own for handheld Switch players who tire of the Joy-cons and their small buttons.  Consider it recommended.

A Fixture S1 and carrying case were provided for review.

Power Button - Episode 332: Birthday For Barrel And Banana

Power ButtonWe're celebrating the fortieth anniversary of Nintendo's original Donkey Kong arcade game this week on the podcast with a salute to some of the gorilla's best games spanning from the very beginning through his 16-bit rebirth into the modern era.  Join us for memories and a to-do list of games you need to play; yes, the Country series is in there, but we also go into the weeds with lesser known games such as King of Swing and Barrel Blast.  You'll be busy long after the discussion ends. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 

New Nintendo Switch Model Boasts OLED Screen, LAN Port

Nintendo Switch OLEDNintendo has finally lifted the veil on an updated model of its popular Switch console after months of rumors.  This new Switch offers a brighter OLED screen, a wired LAN port on the system dock, a wider kickstand, enhanced audio, and 64 GB of internal storage.  Basically, it's a mid-cycle quality of life upgrade.  Don't expect anything new that would change the game (no pun intended); the new Switch still tops out at 1080p resolution when docked, so no 4K powerhouse here.  It'll cost $349.99 when it releases on October 8, 2021.  Here's Nintendo's announcement video featuring plenty of happy people playing Switch alone, together, and together when alone.  Here's some of the press release.

“The new Nintendo Switch (OLED model) is a great option for players who want to experience the new vibrant screen when playing in handheld and tabletop mode,” said Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser. “With the addition of this new model to the Nintendo Switch family of systems, people have an additional choice of a system that best fits the gaming experience they desire – whether it’s Nintendo Switch (OLED model), Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite.”

Personally, I'm kind of glad the new Switch isn't drastically different.  If I were buying a Switch now for the first time, I'd choose this one, but as a satisfied current Switch owner, I don't see this new model doing anything new that I absolutely must have.  As for that rumored 4K model, I'm sure we'll see that when the time is right.  Releasing a 4K model may not make financial sense for Nintendo at this time, but not releasing it this year sure makes financial sense for me!  I'm happy to get some extra time with my Switch before a major upgrade is required and my launch model is put out to pasture at a farm upstate.