New SPYRO Gameplay Footage Revealed

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Publisher Activision has released new gameplay footage for the upcoming Spyro Reignited Trilogy, that showcased the iconic Icy Speedway, which is the second Autumn Plains Speedway found in the original Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage.

Of course, players who were able to experience the Icy Speedway back in the days of the original PlayStation knew how excruciatingly tricky this level is. No one knows whether the remastered version of the game will retain the difficulty, or ease this level for beginning players. Nonetheless, we’re liking how things are progressing so far with Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is slated to release on November 13 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Skybound Games To Help Complete Telltale’s THE WALKING DEAD

Weeks after Telltale’s sudden closure, Skybound Games announced at New York Comic Con that The Walking Dead: Final Season will be completed. Skybound Games was founded by the creator of The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, who also shared the announcement on Twitter.

Variety reports that the studio will be working with members of the original team to conclude the story of the fourth and final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. During the New York Comic Con, Kirkman himself revealed that “we can’t lose Andrew Lincoln and Clementine in the same year.”

As of now, no details regarding Skybound’s takeover has been revealed so far. However, it’s nice to know that Clementine’s story will be given a proper ending, amidst the turbulence that Telltale Games is currently facing. Earlier this week, Telltale has reportedly laid off the last remaining members of its staff as the studio is assumed to be cutting overhead costs in preparation to multiple lawsuits filed by former employees.

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FORTNITE iOS Made $300 Million in 200 Days

Sensor Tower revealed that in less than seven months, Fortnite on the iOS was able to rake in a total of $300 million worldwide. The game was released to iOS back on March 15 and has been extremely popular on the device ever since.

Moreover, Sensor Tower’s data revealed that 65 percent of the $300 million came from players residing in the United States, which clearly shows that the US is still Fortnite’s most dominant territory. What’s more impressive was that $20 million of $300 million, was achieved just last week, when the game’s Season 6 commenced, which is a clear indicator that Fortnite on the iOS is showing no signs of slowing down.

It is worth noting that these figures are only from the iOS version of the game and did not take into account the profits generated by the PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Android versions. What do you think of Fortnite’s raging success?

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Retro-Bit Super Retro Trio Plus Review: An HDMI Equipped NES/SNES/Genesis!

Retro-Bit has been one of my favorite 3rd party retro accessory makers since my first experience with their Dreamcast VGA box. Over the years I have gotten to use many of their products both for personal use and professional review. Today I am happy to have the opportunity to review Retro-Bit’s latest retro console offering: the Super Retro Trio Plus! Released earlier this year, the Super Retro Trio Plus is a hardware based clone system capable of playing NES, SNES and Genesis games on an HDTV over HDMI. In a lot of ways I was exceptionally impressed with the Super Retro Trio Plus... others, not so much.

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Aesthetics and Build Quality

The Super Retro Trio Plus uses the same design as its predecessor, the Super Retro Trio. This definitely isn’t a bad thing, as the design is very pleasing and matches well with the aesthetic Retro-Bit has been cultivating for its products. The Super Retro Trio Plus comes in a white and red color scheme and sits in a footprint about the size of an original Super Nintendo Console. Cartridge ports on the system are aligned by size: Genesis, SNES, NES, so you can clearly see what games you have inserted even with all three slots occupied. One thing I had noticed with the cartridge slots is that the Genesis and NES slots did allow for more wiggle on the games than I would like. Overall the system feels very sturdy despite its lighter weight.

The front of the unit has a cover that reveals two controller ports for each supported system. By default the Super Retro Trio Plus will utilize the SNES controller ports for each system. With a simple flip of a switch you can change to using the original controllers for NES and Genesis. There is also a region switch on the front that will let you change the region of the system to allow compatibility for PAL and NTSC-J games. When not in use the front panel can be closed which makes the system look very slick compared to the mass of controller ports. The back of the unit looks like a typical Retro-Bit system. Power is provided by micro USB, included in the box. RCA ports, which allow the Super Retro Trio Plus to be hooked up to a traditional CRT TV. Finally, new to the Super Retro Trio Plus, comes HDMI, which lets the system be hooked up to modern displays at 720P resolution. Unfortunately HDMI only outputs a stretched 16:9 image instead of a 4:3 image employed by the older systems the unit plays.

Video/Sound/Compatibility

As mentioned earlier the Super Retro Trio Plus is a hardware based clone system capable of playing Genesis, SNES and NES games. Being hardware based means the Super Retro Trio Plus doesn’t implement any emulation like the Retron 5 or the Super Retrocade. The problem hardware based clones have had in the past is they don’t always have the best accuracy when it comes to video or audio quality and some games just can’t play on them. How exactly does the Super Retro Trio Plus fare for each of its 3 supported consoles?

NES

I have worked with quite a few NES clones over the last year and my personal favorite in the low cost market was Retro-Bit’s own Res Plus. I was pleased that it provided video quality on par with Nintendo’s own NES Classic and offered sound, while not identical to a real NES, close enough to not be noticable outside of direct comparisons. Compatibility was also fantastic with problematic games like CASTLEVANIA 3 and homebrew game carts working without issue. Peripherals like the NES Zapper also worked when using the system on a CRT TV! The Super Retro Trio Plus is thankfully virtually identical in all aspects of NES gaming! Every game I tested worked without issue and the NES Zapper is now good to go when paired with a CRT! Due to the Super Retro Trio Plus being so identical to the Res Plus, I am going to refer you to my previous review for more in depth info on the NES side of things.

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Genesis

Genesis has always been a tough one for the clone market with regards to its sound chip. Most implementations sound plain wrong or so noisy you need to turn off the sound to keep sanity! Surprisingly the Super Retro Trio Plus presents Genesis audio near identical enough to the real thing that I would be hard pressed to tell the difference between them without diving into a deep wave table analysis! One thing I will note about the Genesis audio, is that depending on your setup you might hear a tiny bit of excess white noise. While I was playing games on my CRT TV and computer screen with surround sound I couldn’t hear any white noise in the audio. On my Samsung TV and soundbar there was noticeable extra noise when nothing was happening in the game.

Thankfully after the successful audio implementation, video quality doesn’t disappoint! Well outside the aforementioned forced 16:9 implementation… Seriously, why is that still a thing? The video output here resembles a Genesis running on RGB with nice colors and clean signal. While I doubt the Super Retro Trio Plus is utilizing RGB for its output, this looks far superior to any upscaled Genesis component output I have ever seen!

Now that I know that my Genesis games will both look and sound great, what is compatibility like? In a word, fantastic! The Super Retro Trio Plus was capable of playing every single one of my 30+ Genesis titles including Super STREET FIGHTER II. As an added bonus the Genesis port also works with the Mega Everdrive opening up the possibility of numerous homebrew games, which worked great, and compatibility with Sega Master System games! For those who don’t know, the Genesis came with the hardware of the Master System built into it. Sure they had graphical glitches, but the fact that Master System games can run on this thing at all is impressive to me! I will give credit to Retro-Bit for providing chips accurate enough to accomplish this and, hopefully in future iterations of their hardware, we might see official Master System support!

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SNES

After the awesome performance of the NES and Genesis side of the Super Retro Trio Plus I had high hopes for the system's ability to play SNES games. In terms of compatibility I was very happy with what the Super Retro Trio Plus could do. Each of the SNES’s numerous expansion chips I tried worked without issue! Notable Games and chips I tested include DSP-1 (SUPER MARIO KART), SA-1 (SUPER MARIO RPG), Super FX (STAR FOX), Super FX 2 (YOSHI’S ISLAND) and CX4 (MEGA MAN X2). I also decided to try out my SNES mouse on the system and can happily say it worked without issue, for all you MARIO PAINT fans out there! The SNES mouse also shows how minimal input lag is on the Super Retro Trio Plus, with each move of the mouse being immediately displayed on my monitor. The Super Gameboy also runs allowing the Super Retro Trio Plus to play the substantial Gameboy library.

Unfortunately, the Super Retro Trio Plus leaves much to be desired from playing SNES games. The first immediate issue: video quality. While colors do look nice, the whole image is noisy and looks awful in contrast with the presentation of NES and Genesis games on the same system! The second issue is sound quality. Every piece of audio coming from SNES games sounds like it has been passed through a high gain filter and it ranges from “that doesn’t sound good” to “please turn it off”. The audio issues only get worse when you play Gameboy games through the Super Gameboy, leaving me to recommend just muting the sound if you want to play them. My last issue is that the system is running slightly faster than a real SNES. While this is a good thing for eliminating lag in some games, it shows a lack of accuracy in direct contrast to the accuracy put into Genesis gameplay.

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Controls

The included controllers that come bundled with the Super Retro Trio Plus are the same ones that came bundled with the Super Retrocade, only with an SNES connector instead of USB. I once again find this controller to be perfectly usable, even with the squishy shoulder buttons, for playing Genesis, SNES and NES games. Genesis games are mapped a little weird to make up for the 4 face button and 2 shoulder button style of the included controller versus the original 3 or 6 face buttons of an original controller. The option is there to use original controllers if you want to keep the experience authentic, but after a couple of minutes I was having no issues playing. The included controller ports have also offered great compatibility with numerous accessories including the NES Zapper, NES Advantage, SNES Mouse and 8bitdo Bluetooth Receiver for NES and SNES.

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Verdict

As far as clone consoles go, the Super Retro Trio Plus is a surprisingly good console with a few letdowns. The product as a whole is brought down in quality with the sound and video issues plaguing SNES gameplay. 16:9 video output is also just not how these games are meant to be played, so no option for a 4:3 output is a surprising oversight, especially when such options exist on competing clone systems. The included controllers are great for playing games on each system with the option to use real controllers for those who choose to. Hopefully as Retro-Bit continues to refine their hardware they can bring SNES up to par with the rest of the system, include a 4:3 aspect ratio and expand on the system's ability to properly play Master System games. While there are high-end clone options, like the Analogue Nt Mini, they come at quite a premium. At the asking price of $79.99, the Super Retro Trio Plus makes a solid case for those wanting an easy way to enjoy their classic NES and Genesis games on an HDTV by providing good compatibility as well as video and audio that comes close to the real console.

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Nintendo Plans To Release A New Version of the Nintendo Switch In 2019

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The Wall Street Journal Japan reported a few days ago, that gaming giant Nintendo, is planning to update the Switch with a new version, sometime in the second half of 2019.

The report was able to obtain this information via several hardware suppliers and anonymous sources that are apparently involved in Switch’s new version. Sources revealed that the new Switch is part of Nintendo’s grand plan to maintain the momentum of the hybrid console, and maintain high profits. The new Switch will sport a higher-quality screen and other hardware improvements, but currently, specific changes are still unknown.

Ever since the Switch was released back in 2017, the hybrid console has been a hot item in the gaming industry, with multiple Switch titles taking top spots in gaming charts. Several third-party developers that are not usually publishing games on Nintendo’s systems have changed course and explored every single possibility to piggyback on the hardware’s success and growing player base.

Given that the Switch would be more than two years old by the second half of 2019, this report is not that far off. Of course, given that Nintendo did not comment on the report of the Journal, it is best to treat this information with a grain of salt. What features would you like to see on a new version of Switch? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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Someone Made A Fully Functioning Nintendo Wii Inside A Mint Tin

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A hardware mode that goes by the name of Shank was somehow able to squeeze a fully functioning Wii console inside an Altoids breath mint. This miniature version of the Wii was discovered by Nintendo Life, and apparently, the creator of the device describes his creation as “the worst thing ever.”

The device, which is dubbed as the KillMii, has an extremely short battery life of ten minutes, runs hot, and has awful controls. However, the amazing thing here is that Shank was able to somehow fit a real Wii inside. The KillMii sports a two-inch screen and includes 3DS buttons and circle pads for the controls. The tin console also supports Wii remotes as it incorporated a custom sensor bar. You can watch how the device works via a YouTube video where the creator attempts to boot a quick session of Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Although the little console has tons of drawbacks, it is still amazing how this model was able to tinker with the Wii and create a portable version of the console. What do you think of Shank’s creation? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Nintendo Patented A Working Game Boy Case For Smartphones

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Smartphone cases that sport a Game Boy design aren’t new, as several third-party manufacturers have been producing these cases for some time now. However, Nintendo just filed a patent for a working Game Boy shell for smartphones.

Although the case itself won’t work as an actual Game Boy, Nintendo’s design allows buttons on the case to be assigned specific commands to work on smartphones. The US patent was registered by Nintendo itself and was found by Siliconera, which comprises of a plastic enclosure shaped like a Game Boy, with working buttons.

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When the case is flipped over a smartphone, a Game Boy screen-sized is displayed, which begs the question if an official Game Boy emulator from Nintendo that is made for this case will arrive in iOS and Android soon.

What are your thoughts on this case? Share your insights in the comments below.

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Telltale Games Laid Off The Last of Its Employees

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A few weeks ago, Telltale Games shocked the video game industry when it unexpectedly announced its closure and laid off the majority of its staff, consisting of 250 employees. Only a skeleton crew made of 25 or so people were left wrapping up projects and obligations to its partners.

Now, the studio revealed that the remaining employees have now been laid off yesterday, even before their work was finished. The news came from Retchel Necronoelicon, one of the employees who remained after the initial wave of employees who were let go. The studio was then served with a class action lawsuit from former employees citing wrongful termination. Although Telltale did not reveal the reason for laying off its skeleton crew, it is assumed that the studio is trying to cut overhead costs in preparation for liabilities resulting from the lawsuits.

This marks the official closure of Telltale studios, as far as we consumers are concerned. Of course, given the lawsuits served, both Telltale and its former employees are still facing a long road ahead.

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TOMB RAIDER LEGENDS: The Board Game Is Slated For A February 2019 Release

Square Enix, together with Crystal Dynamics, and Hobby Japan Co. Ltd is currently developing a roleplaying board game based on the adventures of Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider franchise. Players will be tasked to embark on a journey with Lara across the board in search of a hidden artifact.

Tomb Raider Legends: The Board Game will allow players to explore several ruins and destroy threats that requires a strategic and cunning approach. Square Enix and Hobby Japan Co. Ltd previously worked together in 2012 and in 2016 to release a Final Fantasy trading card game that sold 5.5 million packs worldwide.

The upcoming Tomb Raider tabletop game can be played with up to three or four other players, and will guarantee a fun experience featuring Lara Croft in her search for the missing artifact. The game is now available to pre-order from the Square Enix Store and is priced at $65. As of now, the release window of the game is sometime in February 2019, with more details to be revealed soon.

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EA Reveals FIFA 19 PS4 eSports Tournament

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EA has some good news for FIFA 19 fans as the company released details on a new competition that will be exclusive to PlayStation 4 owners. The tournament will commence on October 6 and will be a qualifier for a new competition called, the Continental Cup 2018 Presented by PlayStation, which will take place during Paris Games Week from October 26th-28th.

Before the Paris event, an EA Sports FIFA 19 events will be hosted by PlayStation worldwide and will contain up to 20 different competitions. PlayStation will also serve as the official sponsor on several EA Sports FIFA 19 events globally for the 2018 to 2019 season.

"This is a pivotal moment in EA competitive gaming's history, and it will enable us to add to the global ecosystem of the FIFA Global Series by reaching more PlayStation players," said Todd Sitrin, SVP, and GM of the EA Competitive Gaming Division, in a press release. "With PlayStation live events occurring around the world and airing on FS1, the PlayStation Network or leading esports digital channels such as Twitch and YouTube, we're extending the global dream of making stars of all our players."

Players interested in joining the competition can sign up for the qualifiers here. You can check out more information on EA’s FIFA 19 Global series here.

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