Nintendo Feed

Local Cat Enjoys Super Mario Play Tower

Cat MarioThe old saying goes: you can pick your cats, and you can pick your toys, but you can't pick your cat's toys.  Buy a cat a fancy new toy and she'll prefer to play with the cardboard box that it came in instead.  Set out a tower for a cat to climb, and they'll stare at it and then walk away unimpressed.  My wife had an old, scratched-up cat tree that has put in many years of service that, after all this time, the cats in our clowder have grown bored of playing in and sleeping on.  We had it set up in the living room where it was ignored with prejudice.  How do we make it more appealing?  My wife gave it a Super Mario makeover, covering the ratty carpet with new fabrics invoking the familiar Mushroom Kingdom bricks, pipes, and piranha plants.  Now we can't keep the cats off of it!  Check out this brief video of Moxxi playfully batting around a Starman.


Power Button - Episode 329: Ten Years Of Playing With 3D Power

Power ButtonHere on the Power Button podcast we pride ourselves on being topical and current, so this week's episode is a discussion celebrating the Nintendo 3DS's tenth anniversary which happened back in March.  Better late than never! 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. 


Power Button - Episode 328: A Love Letter To The Delisted

Power ButtonSony made some waves in the gaming community recently when it was announced that they were closing the PSN stores for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita.  There was such a loud uproar of resistance to this news that Sony doublebacked on the plan and will leave the PS3 and Vita stores open while the PSP is still closing down.  This led us to start talking about our favorite video games that have been delisted from online stores, never to be seen again.  This week's podcast is all about those lost games that we still love and may or may not have had a chance to buy such as The Simpsons arcade game, Castlevania The Adventure ReBirth, ModNation Racers, Noby Noby Boy, and many more.  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. 


2021 Hallmark Gaming Ornaments Revealed

Caped MarioOver the past few years Hallmark has produced a variety of its popular Keepsake ornaments for a range of video game franchises, and while we started out with just a handful of Super Mario ornaments, this year the product line as revealed early by Keepsake fan site Digital Dream Book has expanded to include a little something for everyone from Caped Mario's famous Super Mario World appearance to a pair of 8-bit pixelized Link and Princess Zelda ornaments to commemorate the thirty-fifth anniversary of The Legend of Zelda with Sonic the Hedgehog and his pals showing up for the Sega crowd.  There's even ornaments from Mario Kart, Pokémon, Mortal Kombat, Fortnite, Kingdom Hearts, and Minecraft.  Oh yes, and I can't forget to mention the little Super NES replica following on from last year's Nintendo Entertainment System ornament that will light up and play sounds.  You can see all of these and more in the Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments Dream Book when it's officially released later this month.  It's going to be an expensive holiday season.  I love collecting these ornaments, getting my start as a young teenager with the Star Trek line and continuing on through the years.  Here's the complete lineup with pricing and release dates.

  • Caped Mario (Super Mario World) - $17.99, 7/10/21
  • Donkey Kong (Mario Kart) - $18.99, 7/10/21
  • Link (The Legend of Zelda) - $8.99, 10/2/21
  • Princess Zelda (The Legend of Zelda) - $8.99, 10/2/21
  • Super NES console - $19.99, 7/10/21
  • Charizard (Pokémon) - $17.99, 10/2/21
  • Sonic and Tails (Sonic the Hedgehog) - $19.99, 10/2/21
  • Knuckles (Sonic the Hedgehog) - - $17.99, 10/2/21, Limited Availability
  • King Mickey (Kingdom Hearts) - $17.99, 10/2/21
  • Sub-Zero (Mortal Kombat) - $17.99, 7/10/21
  • Crackshot (Fortnite) - $17.99, 10/2/21
  • Enderman (Minecraft) - $18.99, 10/2/21

 

Donkey Kong, Super NES, and Charizard 2021 Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments

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Power Button - Episode 327: Twenty Years Of Playing With Advance Power

Power ButtonNintendo's Game Boy Advance turns twenty years old in month, so it's the perfect time to reminisce about one of the strongest handheld libraries that only use a single screen.  On this week's episode we're sharing GBA stories, covering the usual suspect games like Super Mario Advance, and recommending some obscurities such as Drill Dozer, marveling at unusual accessories including motion sensors, rumble paks, TV tuners, media players, and the e-Reader.  Join us for an hour of conversation about the popular handheld.  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 Pro Rumors Solidify

Nintendo SwitchIt feels like we've been talking about an upgraded Nintendo Switch Pro model for almost as many years as we've talked about the existing Switch, so when rumors about a more powerful version of the console start to circulate, I usually disregard them.  When Bloomberg is the source though, I tend to pay a bit more attention.  Today's report is that Nintendo is working on a new Switch model destined for release later this year that will display 4K visuals when docked to the television and sport a larger screen (but not 4K) when played in handheld mode. 

The new Switch iteration will support Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling, or DLSS, a novel rendering technology that uses artificial intelligence to deliver higher-fidelity graphics more efficiently. That will allow the console, which is also set for an OLED display upgrade, to reproduce game visuals at 4K quality when plugged into a TV, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan is not public.

The U.S. company’s new chipset will also bring a better CPU and increased memory. DLSS support will require new code to be added to games, so it’ll primarily be used to improve graphics on upcoming titles, said the people, including multiple game developers. Bloomberg News previously reported that the new Switch is likely to include a 7-inch OLED screen from Samsung Display Co. and couple the console’s release with a bounty of new games.

Nvidia and Nintendo representatives declined to comment.

I have absolutely no doubt that Nintendo is working on a Switch upgrade and the only real question is when to release it.  The company feels that the existing Switch is halfway through its life-cycle which is about the time that, in the past, we've seen updated hardware such as the New Nintendo 3DS overtaking the basic 3DS.  That said, I can't believe that the only new thing a Switch Pro would have to offer is 4K.  Nintendo hasn't chased graphical parity with the competition in years now because it's not the secret of their success.  I have to believe that a new Switch model would bring something else to the table in terms of user experience or gameplay yet remains backward compatible with the existing Switch.  If all it does is add 4K, I can't see myself buying one because I'm still getting the most out of my 1080p television (which, yes, is due for an upgrade, but I have issues tossing out working hardware so long as its working) and I mostly play my Switch as a handheld.  On the other hand, if a new Switch does something exclusive that would require me to get one to play the next Super Mario or Legend of Zelda game, then of course I would have to buy it. 


Power Button - Episode 326: Nintendo/Pokémon Direct Q1 2021 Recap

Power ButtonNintendo has started to come out of announcement hibernation with a recent Nintendo Direct presentation loaded with new games and remakes of favorite titles plus a separate Pokémon Direct presentation with news of its own to cover.  On this week's podcast, we break down the biggest news from the shows and discuss what it all means. 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. 


Next End Of Life Milestone Approaching For Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DSI think by now most everyone in the gaming community has made peace with the knowledge that the Nintendo 3DS's best days are behind it as the Nintendo Switch (and especially Switch Lite) has taken over its market in the handheld gaming space.  Now Nintendo is driving the next nail in its coffin with the announcement coming ten years to the day of the launch of the original 3DS that after March 31, the company will no longer offer repair service on the original Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL models due to a lack of replacement parts.  Service for the New 3DS and 2DS models will continue.  Nintendo already announced the end of overall 3DS production overall last year.  Kotaku translates the news

It's a shame to see the 3DS go, as it was a perfectly pocket-sized portable device with a strong library of classic games both new and old.  It can play something from every generation of Nintendo handheld system under the right circumstances.  Virtual Console releases cover the Game Boy and Game Boy Color, members of the Ambassador's Club can play select Game Boy Advance games, and it's backward compatible with the original Nintendo DS.  That's impressive!  Note to self: finish buying any remaining Virtual Console games I want before that service is retired, too.


Super Mario 64 But You Are The Scary Piano

Mad PianoHobbyist ROM hackers and modders have made minor changes to classic video games since the dawn of computer gaming.  Well, maybe not the dawn.  Perhaps the week after the dawn.  When I was first dabbling with console emulation back in the 1990s I saw a glut of crudely changed games clearly altered for shock value such as nude and/or racism-inspired hacks of Super Mario Bros. where all someone did was change a few pixels here and there.  Today that scene has evolved, and while I'm sure there are still young teens making trash for their own amusement, most hacks and mods today focus on quality of life improvements, creating new levels, reviving canceled features left dormant in the game data, and even changing the player character into someone completely different.  For instance, here's a mod for 1996's Super Mario 64 that removes Mario from the equation and replaces him with the terrifying, sharp-toothed piano from the Big Boo's Haunt level.  Once confined to a dingy room, the mad piano is free to explore the world.  Ramming into familiar foes with mighty chompers, the piano seems absolutely unstoppable.  It's somehow able to grab Bowser and swing him around even without arms and can even don wings to fly free.  Go, piano, go!  You've earned it.

(via Platypus Comix)


Watch The Nelsonic Mario Watch

Nelsonic Mario watchToday when you talk about handheld gaming, most players think of a Nintendo Switch or a mobile device connected to a remote play or cloud gaming service.  Twenty years ago, handheld gaming meant carting around a Game Boy Color.  Thirty years ago?  Well, there was the original Game Boy, of course, but for a cheaper and more portable experience there were the Nelsonic gaming watches featuring famous licensed franchises from Nintendo including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey KongI wrote about my cherished Mario watch back in 2006, but Brian Crecente at Pad and Pixel dug into the history of the gaming watch concept and details how Mario wound up on our wrists once upon a time.

“Of course, the game-changer was the Pac Man game watch,” he said. “Again, I think the reason Bernie saw this first was because we were the demographic of the kids putting hundreds of quarters into the arcade versions. To play this game on your wrist was just too unbelievable. We had two suppliers in Hong Kong making the game for us. Both had color screens that looked identical to the arcade version and made that thoroughly annoying munching sound. One version actually supplied four colored mini joysticks to insert into the port in the watch face and play the game as if it were in the arcade.”

I had no idea Nelsonic was producing these watches into the Super NES era with a Star Fox model.  Today these watches are more of a unique collectible and conversation piece than an practical way to tell time or play a video game.  I wore my watch to my office job once on a lark and spent most the day explaining what the hell was strapped to my wrist.  Now it resides in my gaming collectibles display case with other Mario memorabilia.