Why the NX Reveal Has Taken So Long and More – Developer Interview Part 4


Hey all!

As we finally approach the Nintendo NX’s long-awaited reveal this month, we are proud to share the final part of our developer interview series focused on the NX. This is perhaps the most telling interview we’ve published yet, and it rounds up the final info we have from our source, an indie Nintendo dev with an NX dev kit (more on his background in part 1 of the series) before the big reveal.

We confirm and deny rumors, discuss what the NX will be, talk about Nintendo’s development cycle, and why Nintendo has taken so long to reveal the NX.

We also talk about the little-known Nintendo Kinect and talk more about Nintendo’s tech, and speculate on Mario games the NX will have.


Our Final Stab at the Rumor Mill

First off, I ask my source about the “Nintendo Duo” name rumor.

I thought it would seem likely, since there was a recent developer conference, which my source confirmed in our last article.


Yep, I saw it ^^

I guess every ‘leak’ with pixellated or removed stuff is a fake.

I for one would think “Nintendo Duo” would be a nice name.
But like someone said… “If it is true, then they missed out on calling it:  “Nintenduo”.

Gamer Splash:

I like the name too. But it is kinda hard to say. NintenDo Duo.

So it appears that this name is not the real name.

NX = Nintendo Cross?


NX would be Nintendo 10 then? Or does it just stand for Nintendo Cross? I would think Nintendo Cross. That makes the most sense.

Like…. cross-platform 😉

Gamer Splash:

Of course. Yeah.


Um… You never thought about that aspect? Then… Um…Oops? ^^

So it looks like our source is stating that like previous rumors, the NX will be a cross-platform system.

What Does Cross-Platform Mean?

I inquire if this could mean cross platform, as in Nintendo games being on PlayStation.

Hm, cross platform. I hope that doesn’t mean like Nintendo games on PS4. But NX games working on Wii U and vice versa makes some sense to me.


Hiroshi Yamauchi and Satoru Iwata would rotate in their graves😄

Super Mario Sonyshine.

Gamer Splash:

I don’t see Wii U doing it, though, because they’re stopping manufacturing for the Wii U.


I know, we all prefer playing Animal Crossing on PC with HTC Vive ^^

Wii U is sooo 2012… Why are you even talking bout it? Man… Nobody even knows [for sure] if the next Zelda will be on it ^^

Gamer Splash:

So all I can see is it being multiple devices. But all NX platform.


What? You mean like… a home console… and a handheld? What a weird idea? Why should Nintendo ever do something like that?😄

Gamer Splash:

That’s what they’ve always done.

It’s obvious our source is being sarcastic here. He is hinting at something.


Whoa… that is what we call… making hype.


And Miyamoto said several times that they are currently working on an OS that works on any system no matter if handheld or console… so developers can create one game very easily ported to both.

But hey, it is the internet…. if it is over 6 months old… people forget about it ^^

I read a few interviews with him saying that… but because it was silly dev blah blah, nobody noticed it as important.

There are also a few technical announcements where Nintendo said that they wanted to use it…. but people just forgot about it.

This is interesting to me. We have heard Iwata talk about this at length during the 2013 and 2014 investor’s meetings. But initially, I don’t recall Miyamoto stating this.

Gamer Splash:

Publicly? Not just for the developer community?


No, I never read all the dev logs and dev forums within the Nintendo community… Sometimes it is funny because devs can also be sooo stupid haha, but for the most part it’s just boooring😄

Sure enough, I went and checked, and here’s what I found:

Miyamoto Ponders Nintendo Making Games That Run On Handheld And Console

Miyamoto clearly states here, in agreement with Iwata, that they would like to make a platform where you can play the same games on both platforms; handheld and console. He also said he would think about cross-buy.

It appears more likely than ever that the NX will adopt this strategy, and become like iOS or Android. The same software will work across all form factors, and when you buy it for one, you buy it for all. It’s based on your account (Iwata also stated this. Read part 1 of our interview for this.)

Developers First

My source went on:

I found it interesting that the Nintendo of Europe guy just said, that it could be that NX will not be available for every developer that early… because they would not be able to handle all the support things with unfinished dev tools and so on…. in my experience it takes about 1.5 years AFTER release before the tools and everything are working properly ^^ So maybe the majority of devs will be closed out for some time…

Maybe he also said that because most just want to get a Nintendo dev license just to read all the technical things…. Need to say that some info goes into details – and some are just lies (or very outdated?)😄

No idea why ^^

I ask him how games can be finished and released within the first year, if the dev tools aren’t finished until 1.5 years into the console’s life cycle.

He tells me:

Okay, I need to explain: A system and dev tools and libraries are created and will get updated ALL THE TIME… Guidelines are changing like crazy every few weeks within the first about 1.5 years when a new system arrives ^^

For example, on Wii we tried to follow every update… we finally had to stop after we used to implement the HOME Menu and eManual about 4 different ways within a few months😄

And first, the eManual had to be implemented in the rom… then it had to be a different file… then it was just something online…. and the HOME Menu… first implemented in-game… then implemented as an external library within the game… then excluded from the game by accessing it through the system😄

The same fun with 3DS haha.

Also… most dev tools and so are in Japanese… because translation needs a few months and software changes are too tight in the timeline…

For release titles… Nintendo often helps a lot! And on final check [of the game], they oversee many bugs… many of their own guidelines just to have the titles out in time ^^

I comment on how that must be hard to work with and that they seem to change things frequently.

It appears Nintendo will step in if needed to help get a developer’s games out on time.

He goes on:

On 3DS it was funny too for me….

Me: “I want to include AntiAliasing… and 3D… and use the Nintendo own tools [NintendoWare]”

They: “Um AntiAliasing… heard of that… but it was excluded with the last version and is no longer supported … but one of the support guys just presented how it was made with the old library and he says it is still there but with no more documentation.”

Woo-hoo…. so it ended up with ME and one SUPPORT GUY trying together to program AntiAliasing using the NintendoWare’s current version😄

It was hard work – but finally we succeeded ^^

Nintendo check… step in…. there are thousands of guidelines… and the testers (and there are different testers for different things) often just TEST…without thinking or understanding WHY that guideline is there…. for example… with every check in US and Europe and the updates again, I had huge discussions about stereoscopic 3D… there are strict guidelines from Nintendo and with [my 3DS game] I sh*t on them because I wanted a more immersive experience on 3DS… using my own research I had with stereoscopic 3D training and a doctor and so on. Finally they had to step in… discussing it with experts… and I had to subscribe that I have full responsibility for eventual complaints regarding 3D effects.

It ended up that people totally loved the 3D and 3D options ^^

Did I mention that game development is hard work? ^^

The NX Reveal – Why Have We Waited So Long?

Finally, regarding the NX reveal, I ask him:

Regarding the new platform, what do you think is making Nintendo take so long to reveal the NX? Do you think it’s just not ready to show yet? Or just a marketing strategy to show it later?

I would think a marketing strategy, but it doesn’t seem wise to reveal it so close to the system’s launch in March.

Interestingly, he says the reason is it just wasn’t ready to reveal yet:

Nintendo would have shown the NX if they were ready…. currently they are in a hurry with localizing all the titles to show… all the system specific things…

Everything needs to be named and there are a lot of titles that have to be finished… You need to know that Nintendo is now finishing games to be able to release them next year… and once a game is nearly finished, they can capture material and set it up for every country and every language…

NX is a new generation… not like PS4 Pro and Xbox One Scorpio…

And a new generation means LOT OF WORK … and they worked on NX games for so many years… (because many of them had been planned to be Wii U games) so there’s a holy sh*t amount of work to do now.

 Gamer Splash:

Ah, I see. That makes a lot of sense. But does it worry you that it is less than 6 months before launch without an announcement yet?


I do not worry…

I just remember Reggie saying: “We are NOT working on a new Game Boy”

1 month later: “This is the new Game Boy Advance SP – it will be released next month!”😄

I think… it is better to show some finished games… and a perfect system… instead of just rushing things… especially when it is better to let people try out all things.

Our source elaborates:

It is all cutting edge so the hardware is just finished RIGHT NOW… so Nintendo will prepare everything to let people touch it to understand it 🙂

Like I always try to tell people: Touching is good! (the old Slogan for Nintendo DS)

While people just want a PS4 Pro from Nintendo… Nintendo is doing what they always do… Innovating…bringing new ideas… new feelings… new ways about how to bring games to people and how to earn money with games ^^

Very excited about it and it just takes time ^^

On the announcement not taking place yet:

Um… I do not see NX as not announced yet… they announced it already… they just didn’t show anything finished ^^

That’s a good point. But he gets my reasoning.

People just want to be upset… I do not feel that way… today people just love to be upset about something… make a great hype… or destroy a developer or two… like No Man’s Sky … and I see it like people destroyed the NX in all the forums … with that anti-Nintendo hype, Nintendo just had to move away from the E3 2016 reveal as it was planned and told to devs.

I tell him people are just getting worried because Nintendo hasn’t shown anything yet. But I understand if it’s not ready yet.

He says:

They had to think about the best way to communicate the system as something great… and I guess it is just better to release [sooner] it so all people can touch it [and experience it themselves].

Indeed, this is similar rhetoric that Miyamoto himself used for the Wii U.

In an interview with TIME in 2013, Miyamoto states:

First and foremost, I think, with Nintendo products what’s often most important is that people touch and play and interact with our products — once they do, they begin to truly understand what makes them great. I think the same can be said of Wii U.

So What Is The NX Again?

I speculate that this means the concept for NX may not be as simple as the Wii was either. And it may need to be experienced to be fully understood.

However, Nintendo has made it clear that it will avoid the Wii U’s downfalls by having a better communication strategy for the system, coming out with games more steadily, and also by being very “in sync with the times”. We’re also hearing from our source, as well as others, that the NX will have cutting-edge hardware, something the Wii U lacked.

And in a separate interview with TIME, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima stated:

As far as NX goes, I’ve said it’s different and obviously a new experience. If you look back to the beginning of our conversation today, we talked about the transition from Wii hardware to the Wii U hardware and how difficult it is to explain to the consumer base what is different and new about the new hardware. It’s difficult to convince them to switch from their current platform to the next platform.”

I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It’s something unique and different. It’s something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base.

So it appears that while the NX may be similar to Wii U in some ways, it will definitely not be the next version of it.

Later on, our source says he sees it as the evolution of the Wii U, but if so, it must be more of having second-screen functionality, though a departure from the GamePad’s concept.

We then remind him of the system’s release date.

And NX is confirmed to be releasing in March.


Yes… one thing you don’t understand is… WHAT IS NX … people are ONLY SPEAKING ABOUT ‘NX’ … the next gen system Nintendo will release…. but just forgetting that Nintendo might have MORE.

Handheld, Console, Hybrid?

Gamer Splash:

Well a lot of us speculate it will be more than one system. Like a handheld and home console. So that could be the “more.”

Or maybe even more form factors. Like a smartphone type screen.

I like the idea of one platform for multiple devices. Like Android or iOS.


So let’s take that thought and think… what if… a handheld will come sooner than NX? Or thinking that the handheld will come in March and a console will come in Autumn?

Gamer Splash:

I doubt it. Because it would kill the holiday 3DS sales. Right?

And Nintendo is planning to keep the 3DS running with new games through 2017.

People speculate the home console would be first. Because the Wii U has to be replaced. And 3DS is still doing fine.


Um no… Nintendo DS games have successfully been released without a problem after the Nintendo 3DS was there ^^

I tell him, that’s a good point. Nintendo would want to support the 3DS with more games after the NX releases, as they’ve always done that. The 3DS was backward compatible, though. And the NX may not be.

I remind him of the Wii U’s sinking ship, though, and how the Wii U would be the one in need of more immediate replacement with a home console, not a new portable, replacing the 3DS.

Our source says:

Um yes… Wii U has to be replaced through a home console. That is limited thinking😄

Hmm… Is he saying the NX is not a traditional “home” console, then?


I see… if they moved Animal Crossing to next year then something might come this Holiday. But maybe… it is just a lie… or they just talked about Android versions ^^ … but we will all see… within the next weeks ^^

I guess October is the last month to announce some surprises for Xmas… isn’t it?

Gamer Splash:

Yeah. I would think so. I find it hard to see how a handheld could replace the Wii U. But if it’s better, then by all means.


Xmas for 3DS … I wonder why Super Mario Maker 3DS is not there…… 😉

Because you are thinking of removing something..replacing something ^^ because you always have NX as a home system in mind ^^

Gamer Splash:

There is the Eurogamer hybrid idea. But that is only one device. But that’s very plausible to me.

Our source then throws us another bone here.


What if… a new handheld… could take the role as a Wii U GamePad too? … 2-player modes with GamePad and new handheld on a traditional Wii U?

So… there are a lot of possibilities… don’t forget that Nintendo always connects everything of their hardware together ^^

Remember… they wanted to release the dongle for 3DS to be able to use it as GamePad… but refused it because of the low resolution of the 3DS screen 😉

Our source’s statements here strongly suggest that the NX will have a streaming dongle for the handheld, as previously rumored before.

It also looks like he is suggesting that the handheld will be able to take the role the GamePad did on Wii U, but now it will be a fully portable, or possibly supplemental experience. He goes as far as to say that not only would it work on NX as on Wii U, but that it would be compatible with the Wii U, as well.

 Gamer Splash:

Right, right that’s true! I feel like with NX they will reach full connectivity.


Another thought… what if a new handheld… would not connect to Wii U BUT to the Wii U GamePad instead?

We know that the Nintendo 3DS renders a game twice for 3D … so 1 image could also easily be rendered and sent to a TV or Wii U GamePad… from a handheld… without any stationary console ^^

Here, he says that not only could a new handheld be compatible with a Wii U system, but a Wii U GamePad, as well.

It seems feasible, if Nintendo was willing to implement it. Iwata said that the NX would adopt the architecture of Wii U, and the GamePad makes a great screen to play full games on, so it’s very feasible that the NX handheld could work with the GamePad in the same way. My objection would only be if Nintendo chooses to support the Wii U any longer. But it’s surely possible.

Our source continues:

I feel… that people are just not ready to think more in an evolutionary way of Wii U … because everyone just wants a PS4-Nintendo system… people are just mind-caged today…

And THAT’s the real challenge for Nintendo, I think… to break those barriers ._.

Gamer Splash:

I agree. I’m all for Nintendo continuing that. I just hope they can sell the idea to consumers and developers.

But with development being easier, better communication/marketing, as well as more games for it, maybe they can do it this time.

The Wii U Was Hard To Develop For?! And NX Is Easier? WRONG. It’s All About The Sales.


I think people – non-developers – are totally understanding it wrong; what it means when someone says ‘it is easier to develop for’😄 What should that mean… 

What does it mean for you? When someone says ‘it is easier to develop for NX’ I could not make any sense to players right now… but everyone says ‘Yeah that’s cool, finally it’s easier’ LOL Why do people say that?

I need to say: Wii U was the console with the EASIEST POSSIBLE way to compile a code for it 😊

You remember… some indie games are out there made in HTML5 or Javascript!!!! ^^ NX cannot do that ^^

So from that standpoint, Wii U was much easier to develop for ^^

Just sayin… from dev side ^^

Gamer Splash:

Hm, I see. But it did not sell well. And major studios didn’t want to develop for it

I guess just because the install base wasn’t big enough, then.

So maybe it is just a marketing issue and Nintendo not providing enough first party games for Wii U that caused sales to be low.


Um yes…Wii U problems… beginning with the name😄

Gamer Splash:

Haha, true. So developers saying it is complicated to develop for or the Wii U isn’t powerful enough like the PS4. They’re lying? Like Activision or the makers of Project Cars.


Who said that it is complicated to develop for Wii U? ^^

I need to say… all the ‘it is sooo much easier to develop for NX’ quotes are just fakes, you know ^^ …

No dev I know ever said or thought that til yet.


Yes, if someone said that, it just was not to say “low sales numbers”.

Gamer Splash:

Haha, I can imagine. I’ve seen many developers who didn’t bring games to Wii U say that in interviews. Or that it wasn’t technically possible to bring the games to Wii U with good results. Like Project Cars.


…While other 1 man/woman developers releasing HTML/Javascript games for Wii U with ease while never having developed a game before, hehe. But Activision finds it too complicated, xD.

Gamer Splash:

But they still make Skylanders games for it.


There, you see it is all just about sales numbers.

Gamer Splash:

Right. I would agree with that. Activision were excited about the Wii U’s GamePad features in the beginning. But then stopped after Ghosts came out. I think it was more about the sales than the performance.

Same with Ubisoft. Although Ubisoft is still bringing casual games like Let’s Dance 2017 to Wii and Wii U and NX, as well.

Hope For The NX

Finally, I tell my source that I hope NX is shown soon and shakes things up for the industry.

His reply:

Yes 😊

But I’m very unsure how they want to present it all so people can understand… Hm and for the business thing… I for one would wait just before the release^^’

Others will steal/copy some ideas… of course… so Nintendo should wait with it so they don’t do it before Nintendo has the chance to prove it.

This resonates with a reason Miyamoto gave for not showing the NX at E3:


Normally we would’ve shown the NX at E3, but we didn’t. We’re worried about imitators if we release info too early.

I follow up:

How is it possible to steal or copy the ideas so quickly? Miyamoto did say this a few months ago.

But it took Sony a few years to copy the Wii with the PlayStation Move. And the same with Microsoft with the Kinect.


It is because NX is a concept… an idea… not only something hardware… Nintendo wants to try to save the videogame industry… they also might lose some money at first. But we will see…

The Nintendo Kinect

Yes, it took a while for Microsoft to take the Kinect idea from Nintendo.

Kinect was invented by Nintendo… also patented and had logos and everything (still on the internet) but Nintendo found it was too uncomfortable for players at home and not exactly enough for great playing… so they kicked the idea, sent or sold it to Microsoft and released motion controls in Wii style instead – as we do know it ^^

Hm just searching for that Kinect Nintendo Logo… I know it must be there on the Internet ^^ It was something with I guess 2 hands and Japanese signs ^^

Gamer Splash:

I see. Haha Nintendo developed the idea? Wow, really interesting. I would say the Wii motion controls were a great idea. And definitely more reliable than the Kinect. Even though the Kinect is cool with its full body features.


I think Microsoft did a great job… the developer base is huge and Microsoft is open enough to let 3rd parties develop and enhance their tools ^^ but it is really a huge problem for kids to use it in their rooms… IMPOSSIBLE …

Okay, they then released it where you do not need to have 3m distance, but even that needed too much space.

Wii Remotes and the Evolution of Nintendo Tech

 I show him this patent:

Nintendo Patent Application(s) – Handheld device with infrared camera/distance sensor

 Gamer Splash:

Looks kinda like Kinect. But filed recently. Could be for NX possibly.


Companies make a hundred patents a month ^^

A friend of mine is working for Bosch and they have some patents every day =O

Sooo much paper work… but he is in the development group ^^ luckily

 Gamer Splash:

Wow. Okay. Maybe not a big deal then.


The images on that forum remind me on New 3DS. It uses the same system to recognize the eyes’ positions.

I note that the New 3DS has IR.


It uses the IR lamp on the top to light the eyes … the black part of it gets totally WHITE… it looks like the points when a Wii Remote watches the sensor bar ^^ … Just turns the eyes into IR lights ^^

So the New 3DS can capture the 120 frames for the head tracking ^^

Wii Remote captured 300 frames per second… just to have that accurate cursor on screen ^^

But they gave up that system… in Skyward Sword it was replaced through Accelerometer/Gyroscope Cursor ._.

Gamer Splash:

Yeah. The Wii Motion Plus. It’s much more accurate.


Yeah, Wii Remote has great power too… and sound processor ^^ also has the ability to send back audio and process recording… But in the last version they removed the microphone jack… no idea why… in the version before (with ZL and ZR left/right of the D Pad) it still had it

Gamer Splash:

And you don’t need to point at the sensor bar.

Ooh. I’ve never seen a Wii Remote with a jack.


You don’t need the sensor bar, but it is horrible… not accurate… it is not like pointing… no 300 frames/second pointing ._. Gyros are just soooo slooow still

There are some very old Wii advertisement images where they use that Wii Remote😄

 Gamer Splash:

Well they made it work well for Skyward Sword and I enjoyed it.


It is like the Mario Kart Wii U ad where they use the DevKit GamePad and everyone thinks it is something for NX😄

Gamer Splash:

Haha, oh right. I remember in a developer video in the Nintendo Direct, they used a retail GamePad, though. For the Mario Kart 8 time trial footage.


Of course… Devs are prohibited to show dev hardware ^^ … maybe Nintendo at that time wasn’t sure about the final design of the GamePad… they made it bigger 2 times… okay after they turned it into that kind of controller… before it was square shaped without buttons.

Gamer Splash:

Yeah. For the ad right?


Hm? No in design… exists in reality. But about the ad… I know you know the image with the blurry GamePad… that’s just a Dev GamePad ^^

You can google for old Wii U dev kits then you see it ^^ was much smaller, thinner border and so ^^

Gamer Splash:

Okay I see. So you mean the dev kits.


They then made it bigger… and for the final version, bigger again.

Gamer Splash:

Okay. Yeah. I remember how it looked at E3 2011.

Really thin and with circle pads for sticks.


As I played it before the release at E3, the GamePad had soft buttons!!! The feeling just was sooo awesome … So next gen ^^ …

But I guess it was just too expensive… I was disappointed, as I had my hands on the released GamePad and it had that regular buttons… nothing soft.

There was also a huge change to the released GamePad 😢

Oh and L/R had been changed to digital 😕

Gamer Splash:

Okay. Yeah. Super Mario Sunshine wouldn’t work well on the Wii U’s digital triggers, sadly.


Yes – true ._.


Gamer Splash:

I hope they make it for NX. Or a sequel. Provided NX has analog triggers, I suppose.


Yesssss.. Super Mario Sunshine NX as launch title ❤❤❤

Want it ^^

Gamer Splash:

I would love that!

A Mario game is rumored to launch with NX now.


Yes… wow… how surprising would it be… *cough* … And people are always so stupid like “WHAT GREAT NEWS!”😄

Gamer Splash:

I wouldn’t doubt it. New Nintendo consoles always launch with Mario.


Oh Really?😄

How many Mario Games did we get on Wii U? 2? 3? ^^

Gamer Splash:

2, not counting Captain Toad:

Super Mario 3D World New Super Mario Bros. U

Hopefully more for NX. But I prefer quality over quantity, of course.


So… what does Nintendo have in the works?

Maybe Super Mario Sunshine 2?

Of course Super Mario Galaxy 3, Super Mario 3D World 2, and some New Super Mario Bros. 2D title… Or let’s call it Super Mario Maker NX ^^

I think it is nice to have 2D and 3D Marios… because different people prefer different game styles ^^

And a real 3D Mario plays totally different to a 2D one ^^

Gamer Splash:

Yes, I agree. Miyamoto said they were working on a new 3D Mario and it may be ready to show at next E3.


Hm… Paper Mario Color Splash … also a Mario game? Did you see the Super Mario Bros. 3 level in it? ^^

Gamer Splash:

Of course I did! It looks great!

So that’s it, folks!

What do you think? Are you as excited as ever about the Nintendo Cross (err… the NX)? Leave us a comment below!

I Canceled My iPhone and Ordered a Pixel


Hey all!

You may remember my recent article, stating all the reasons why I’d had enough of Android, and Why I’m Switching To iPhone.

But since then, things have changed. Big time.

You may think, “but they just put out an article about how they’re switching, and now they’re switching back?!”

Well, yes.

“Why?????” you may ask?

Let’s Dive Into It

To begin, most of quandaries with Android were of the issue with the lack of hardware/software integration, leading every Android device to be slightly (or majorly) off from what the Android experience was intended to be. Even Motorola’s later “Moto” devices. In short, each device from a different manufacturer would work with Android, but it would never be Google’s vision, so Android would just never function just as intended, and the hardware would suffer from that, as well, leading to a need for more powerful hardware to offset the inefficiencies created by the lack of optimization.

If you read back to the article, I state, “Unless you buy a … Google Nexus phone (the reference model … for Android), you can be sure the OS you’re running on won’t be fully optimized for your device.”

So I did acknowledge that Google did somewhat accomplish hardware/software integration with the Nexus line of phones. The Nexus phones would always have great cameras and the fastest processors available at the time, and most importantly, run a vanilla version of Android, so you would know the OS was running it as intended.

However, the problem has always been that the Nexus phones (up until last year) have always been hard to get, and aimed at software developers rather than consumers. Additionally, since Google bargained with other manufacturers such as LG, HTC, and Motorola to create the phones, it was never 100% Google’s design, and had some of the other manufacturer’s ideas forced upon it. Also, I was never fond of the design, as I always thought Motorola’s phone offered some useful features and overall design that were just a step ahead the Nexus line.

But today that changes.

Fast forward to October 4, 2016. Google has a new event with a new focus, #madebygoogle.

Google holds an amazing event with great products, including the Pixel phone. But what’s even better than the content shown there? Google’s new focus on all-encompassing design, interactivity between products, and best of all (for phones), hardware-software integration!

While, as stated, Google is “not new to hardware,” it is definitely new to this game. And it’s going to kill it.

The Pixel phone is the first phone fully designed, from top to bottom, inside and out, by Google, and for Android. And for the first time, Google is making their own phone to compete directly with the iPhone. And it is marvelous.

Google is finally taking a stance with Android, and saying, “enough is enough”. Google’s new Pixel phone, like Apple’s iPhone, is the first phone completely designed and optimized for Android, and likewise, Google has optimized and improved Android specifically for the Pixel. Not only has it equipped the phone with a best-in-class camera (even topping out the iPhone 7), a headphone jack, and the speediest processor, but it has engineered all of Android to work specifically for its hardware, and vice-versa.

In regards to its optimization, it’s not just another phone running Android. Google has actually optimized every aspect of the phone to work best with its vision of Android. Besides incorporating the speediest processor yet available in an Android phone, the Snapdragon 821, it has also optimized the touch response of the phone, leading to much less latency between touching the screen and getting a response. Additionally, it has improved the overall speed of the phone and the camera, finally bringing it on par with feeling as good as an iPhone.

Aside from this, users also get the benefit of actually being able to upgrade the phone’s software as soon as an update is available, directly from Google. This has been a feature of previous Nexus phones for a while, but now it’s even better, because updates will download and install in the background, and automatically and quickly be applied the next time you reboot your phone. This is even better than Apple’s iPhone update experience, which will still leave you updating the traditional way, getting in the way of the tasks you’re doing, and taking a lot longer.

On specs, this phone also beats out the iPhone 7, which is nice to have. While the phone appears to lack stereo speakers, it does have a headphone jack built-in. And the camera is even better than the iPhone 7’s, something incredible to say. Did I mention it also comes with unlimited Google Photos storage at original resolution?! Additionally, the phone has a higher-res screen than the iPhone’s, so you can watch content at higher-resolutions. And that screen is better too. Unlike the iPhone’s more-colorful-than-before-but-still-not-so-colorful screen, the Pixel’s screen offers AMOLED, with many times the contrast and colors of the iPhone’s screen. The screen is great on its own, but highly necessary for the phone’s last great innovation: Daydream VR.

The last major thing this phone has going for it is Google’s new VR platform, Daydream VR. The Pixel phone will be the first Daydream Ready phone, the first phone to support the new platform created by Google. In short, Daydream VR is Google’s own VR platform for phones, like Samsung’s Gear VR, except better. Not only will the Daydream platform support Google’s own Pixel phone, but it will support many phones in the future from different manufacturers, allowing the cheapest and highest-quality access to virtual reality to the masses for the first time. Playstation VR is a good starting point (especially for gamers), but Daydream VR will finally be the lowest barrier-to-entry for VR ever seen for consumers, finally allowing VR to come to the masses in meaningful ways. So long as they buy the right phone, and the very affordable $69 Daydream View headset, or one like it.

Daydream VR offers an amazing ecosystem of content, such as YouTube’s full library, which shines in VR with 360 degree videos in which you can look around wearing the headset to see the video all around you. You are transported to that world. Additionally, it is working with many other content providers, including Netflix, Hulu, The New York Times, and many others, to allow you to experience a broad range of content in full, high quality, immersion. That’s not to mention the games coming to the platform too (like games from the makers of EVE and from the mind of J.K. Rowling), as well as the educational and practical apps that are being made available for it, like Star Chart and Relax VR. And you can also, for example, view your Google Photos library in VR. And that’s pretty cool.

This was, to be honest, the swinging point for me. Apple does not have VR on its devices, and appears to have no intention of incorporating it either. If you think about it, Apple has been very stubborn about incorporating new technologies, while companies like Google have been embracing them, and actually making them useful for people in their everyday lives. While it’s expected that Apple will incorporate, better, OLED screens for its next iPhone, and a wall-to-wall screen, if it ever incorporates VR, at the earliest, it will be a year from now.

Oh and one more thing. Google has a better assistant, too. Google Assistant is the new and improved version of Google Now. In short, Google Assistant is even smarter now, and integrates all across the entire OS now, including its Allo and Duo messaging and video apps. You can have a conversation with it anytime, and it can help you out nearly any way you want now. Compared with Siri, Google Assistant is much, much, better, and integrates itself across the OS and its services better than Siri ever could on iPhone.

And guess what? Google Assistant is only available on the Pixel. As very justly stated here, Google is finally offering its own real, unique features for its first fully-designed phone, and other Android manufacturers should be very, very, nervous. Apple should be too.

With the arrival of the Pixel phone, Google is finally matching Apple at the hardware game, achieving the true mastery of hardware-software integration. And it looks like Google is coming out ahead.

Google is finally like Apple in recognizing the importance and benefit of true hardware-software integration. And with the Pixel, it is finally coming out ahead.

Due to all of these reasons, I decided to cancel my iPhone 7 Plus order, and instead order the Pixel XL.

Sure, I won’t be getting a myriad of accessories already available for it, or stereo speakers. I won’t be getting Super Mario Run first, or some of the software apps only available on iPhone.

But what I will get is the best of Android, the best of Google, and Google’s new Daydream VR, including its headset, for free. I’ll also be getting a headphone jack, a much quicker charging experience, a better screen, and a better camera.

More importantly, I’m finally getting the OS I’ve always known and loved, as it was intended. And some delightful extras, as well. With Pixel, I’ll be getting the phone of the future, not the phone of the past.

With Pixel, I’m back with Android, and I am very happy for it.

To see Pixel and Daydream VR for yourself, watch Google’s full conference:


For fun gaming content, follow Gamer Splash on our social media channels below!

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For Nintendo NX news, check out our articles:

Everything We Know About the Nintendo NX So Far

Why Nintendo NX Will Support Unreal Engine and ARM Architecture

Animal Crossing and Miitomo Successor Launch Titles for NX + More – Developer Interview

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

Opinion: Late November Is The Next Best Time to Reveal The NX


Hey all!

While I at Gamer Splash still stand by my claims on the previous article stating that the Nintendo NX would be revealed this month, I have reason to believe that the reveal of the console could be in the second half of November, as well.

If not October, November seems very plausible. The PS4 Pro, Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon, as well as the NES Mini will already be out by then, and there aren’t any other releases at that point for Nintendo to talk about until Super Mario Maker 3DS (December 2).

The only point of contention for this would be how close it is to release of the system, but as you can see, we’ve already crossed that point, and Nintendo will reveal it when it wants.

If it’s not October, late November would be the next best time.

I still stand by my claims of October being the best time after the Wii U’s last official game is out, however, the Wii U still has two more high profile releases after that:

Skylanders Imaginators (October 16), and Just Dance 2017 (October 31).

If Nintendo truly wants to wait until the Wii U is dead to talk about the NX, then November will be the best time.

However, if Nintendo wants to have the slightest bit of a transition from the old platform to the new one, then it would still be best to announce this month.

If Color Splash comes out and they don’t announce the NX within the next two weeks, then I will begin putting my bets on the second half of November.

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

The NX Reveal Is This Month – Developer Interview Part 3


Click here to check out part 4 of the interview

Hey all!

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the NX, but we’re back some (near final) news!

You may have heard the fresh rumors hot off the plate of the ever-alive NX rumor mill – the rumor that developers now have a date for the NX reveal.

Let’s debunk this.

Speaking to our source, I have uncovered what the case actually is.

It turns out that there is a reveal for something very soon, but it is apparently not something very interesting for the public.

Here is what our unnamed source had to say:

Gamer Splash:
I’ve been told that developers know the reveal date now
Is that true?
There is something that is secret and will be revealed… but I guess not to the public. It is nothing interesting for the public, only for devs and publishers. And they have a date for a reveal. But nothing about a specific date about an NX reveal…
But maybe some sources do know more – it is not that everyone always has the same information. For example, we [devs] knew months before the WiiWare reveal… but even other people in the same Nintendo office didn’t know about it, haha.
Communication seems to be difficult.
So this is pretty interesting. What our source tells us is that something is being revealed, but not specifically. However, he didn’t deny it would be for the NX, but knowing Nintendo at this stage, what else could it be for?
He went on to say that whatever it was would interest developers and publishers but not the general public. Our source mentions the WiiWare reveal, so, while just an example, this points to me that it is something vital to distributors and publishers, perhaps it is information less interesting, such as how pricing and distribution will work on the NX. If so, I would agree that this info is not very interesting to the public, but, at least for the people reading this article, any info regarding the NX would be interesting, right?
This gets me thinking. I then think, “Hm, well if it’s very soon, then that must mean this week, right?”
I then remember this rumor:
Basically, there is a new engine claiming that it will release some info to developers on October 4 – today.
I ask my source if this could have anything to do with it or not.
His response:

Haha. I know a friend … he wanted to know about NX and submitted that automatic form for official Nintendo developers (WTF) and then he wrote them a mail about NX and he got a response back… the standard response from Nintendo is this automatically mailed line:

‘At this time we are unable to disclose development in regards to support for the Nintendo platform code-named “NX”.’

But the second line [of Neogaf post] is just written by that guy. I guess you, as an English expert, also know that no one would write “At this time we are unable to…” instead of writing “in 9 days we will be able to…”

It is an automatic response from Nintendo… and there is no time given. It would be strange😄

So just a fakey again 😉

So another rumor debunked.

What About That Reveal Rumor?

Lastly, we discuss the rumor that the reveal could be October 21.
Gamer Splash:
Rumors of an October 21 reveal now. Since that is exactly 5 years after the first Nintendo Direct, and Nintendo always reveals big things in October (except for last year)
Ah I see… so just another guess… Like always.
 Gamer Splash:
Yeah. Is that reveal date for developers before that, though? I couldn’t imagine it being so early.
Um… it is confidential information… and it is not interesting to the public… but it is very soon. I just thought maybe one is speaking about that… but as always, nothing has leaked 😛
As with all Nintendo or NX things… nothing is leaking ^^
Gamer Splash:
Thanks. I’m trying to be patient for Nintendo. I am still thinking the week after Color Splash releases would be best. So next week, or week after seems best to me.
I’m curious about the title [of the NX]… And I want to know that they will release that sh** as soon as possible…. today or so😄
I want to finally sell my games.
So there you have it, folks!
My source does not seem to know when Nintendo will reveal the NX to the public yet, but there is definitely something planned for Nintendo developers and publishers very soon.

No doubt if Nintendo is revealing more to developers and publishers now, that the public announcement will follow very soon.

Reveal Date

My analysis of the reveal date is like many others. I looked at Nintendo’s upcoming releases, the frequency of their news postings, and the timings of the Nintendo Directs, and have concluded:
Nintendo’s best time to reveal the NX would be next week, the week after Paper Mario: Color Splash releases (mid-week). It could also be the week after that, as Nintendo really has nothing else [home console related] to talk about after that, and it will be the final first-party release for the Wii U – what better time to talk about it than that!
In regards to the October 21 reveal, I think it is very likely. It would be Nintendo’s last chance to reveal it before Halloween, and more importantly, before all of the other console and game releases in November (PS4 Pro), Nintendo’s own NES Mini, and not to mention Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon releasing. It would not be best to compete with all of that.
Nintendo has one last shot at revealing the NX before it gets too late. These next couple of weeks are going to be it. And they’re going to be exciting.
What do you think? Will the NX be revealed this month? Leave us a comment below!

Why I’m Switching To iPhone


Hey all!

As you may know, I’ve always had a bit of a love affair with Windows and Android. However, for one of these two partners, it’s time to break up.

I love Windows, as it’s what I grew up with, it has the biggest app library ever made, and gives users vastly more options. Additionally, the most innovative PC’s, the Surface line, also struck a chord with me for their amazing design, as well as their great hardware-software integration. Apple lost the PC race, and in terms of software library at least, it still hasn’t regained it. I still can’t see myself switching to Mac OS any time soon, if ever.

On the other hand, I’ve always loved Android. I was never a fan of Apple and how they locked down their hardware, and was under the illusion that because Android phones had higher specs, they would always be better.

While I continue to love Windows, I’ve had a bit of a falling out with Android as of late, and  I’m finally going to say what I never thought I’d say before:

I’m switching to iPhone.

My Love Affair with Android

I’ve always loved Android, because I disagreed with some of Apple’s early policies on their tightly controlled and hardly customizable OS, the lack of a back button (near the home button), and the difficulty of using it to transfer media from your Windows PC.

While I admit Apple did have some great OS features Android lacked, Android began adding in many of these in later updates, including the latest update.

Additionally, I coveted Android’s Windows-like experience, where you could purchase bigger screen sizes and more powerful components to go along with your phone.
But, as I later realized, Android, like Windows PC’s, have their drawbacks. My first Android phone was a cheap Red Samsung Android phone. The screen was 3.5″, and there was hardly any internal storage, but I was upgrading from a flip phone. This was heaven. Eventually, I got fed up with the lack of storage space, the small screen, and subpar camera and performance of the phone. It was time for an upgrade.

Then came along the Moto X. The Moto X was, under new owner ownership of Google, Motorola’s great attempt at changing the way Android could look. It combined a near-stock Android experience with great, useful additions that anyone would love, and good hardware (not top of the line, but good enough for most). The result was a fantastic Android phone that was more affordable than the Galaxy S’ of the day, and arguably better.

Eventually, Lenovo bought Motorola, and changed the Moto X. We got the last great Moto X phone, the Moto X (3rd gen, my current phone). After two years of having my original Moto X, it was a fantastic upgrade. Bigger 5.7″ screen, stereo speakers, faster processor, better camera, better battery, etc. I’m still enjoying these features, especially the stereo speakers (as I’m kind of an audiophile), and camera (the best video quality Gamer Splash has gotten so far). It came with Android Lollipop installed, stock. It worked great and the phone was as snappy as can be. However, I’m also a software aficionado, and love upgrading to get the latest software features. I upgraded to the latest Android, Marshmallow, and was in for a surprise.

My Falling Out with Android

Sure, I appreciated the new features and battery modes. What I wasn’t prepared for were the drawbacks. After upgrading, my once snappy phone instantly became more sluggish. It was instantly recognizable, as the animations on the home screen seemed more sluggish and apps like Snapchat and Instagram took longer to open than before. It was still a big improvement over my original Moto X, but the latest update made the whole phone slower. Apparently, the new version of Android used more system resources, or the new version wasn’t optimized for the phone as much as it could have been. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the battery problems.

Ever since the first Moto X, Motorola has always advertised an “all day” battery for the handset. This was true to some extent, but in my experience, it never lasted all day. The original Moto X, like the Moto X (3rd Gen), had the same issues after upgrading to the latest version of Android (Kit Kat for that one). Kit Kat and Marshmallow offered improvements to system efficiency, more OS features like a built-in flashlight, and an improved battery saver. However, after updating my handset to the latest version, the system tended to become more sluggish and run out of battery quicker. Not faster, as was promised. Frequently, now my battery will be dead before the end of the day. Especially if I’m doing something important like using GPS and looking at other apps while out and about. In other words, using my phone.

Read how my day with my phone ended up in my previous blog post:

My Trip to GameStop Expo! [And News + Reviews]

Now I don’t mean to say Google was lying when they advertised these new features. I’m sure on the reference phones Google tested, Android did perform better in all these areas. However, as for Motorola’s optimization, on old hardware, the results don’t fare so well.

Sure, the new features of Android were great to have, but these came at the cost of decreased performance and battery life. At first, I thought, “Oh, I prefer the new features”. But at this point, I’ve realized that in reality and practice, it’s more important to have better performance and battery life than extra features, and I didn’t end up using the new features so much anyways.

This is the Windows drawback I was talking about earlier. While I prefer Windows and Android for their openness of the OS (and because I’m used to them), they come with notable drawbacks, as well:

The Open Platform Drawback

The first drawback:

The licensed platform. Android, like Windows, is able to be used on any machine, provided the hardware has the proper interface to use the OS. This means you can build a powerful beast of a system, and have it run without bounds, but what this also means is that you can build a very weak system, and have the OS run very sluggishly. On a cheap build, an Android phone or Windows PC will indeed run, but not very well at that. Games  may just be playable, but have low framerates and bad graphics. Apps like Snapchat will run, but may take 30 seconds to open. And you can bet they will crash and lag too. The Windows PC would have the same issues. The benefit of the open platform is that a company can build an expensive PC for the aficionado, and a cheap PC for the more economically-compromised. And you can build your own. However, this results in an experience for each user that varies vastly from person to person, with the worst being a terrible, unusable experience. And it’s not so fair to the person who buys a cheap computer or phone.


Optimization and efficiency. While Android and Windows are great operating systems with robust sets of features like their competitors, they simply can’t be optimized. Microsoft and Google make the operating systems, and allow them to scale between devices that have more or less power. This allows you to buy an Android or Windows device from any manufacturer you want. But no matter what device you buy, the experience won’t be optimized for it. Inevitably, the OS’ end up using more system resources from each system in order to run properly, and if you buy a cheap device, you’re stuck with poor performance and a bad user experience. Unless you buy a Microsoft Surface PC or a Google Nexus phone (the reference models for Windows and Android), you can be sure the OS you’re running on won’t be fully optimized for your device. Sure, throw enough powerful hardware at it, and it will do just fine. But don’t, and you’re stuck with a bad user experience.


There is the difference with regard to form factors. It’s no secret that some phone designs are better than others. And what may be good for you, may bad bad for someone else. Yet Android and Windows are still meant to be used on similar devices. Similar looking and similar performing. But the further a device strays from the expected specifications, the worse the OS will accommodate it. Furthermore, the OS can only be fully optimized for one device, and if you buy a device from any manufacturer other than Google or Microsoft, you can be sure that something may not fit quite right. No wonder Samsung modifies Android to work better for its handset (but at the cost of performance – leading them to put in bigger specs and batteries; we all know how that’s been going recently).

Now granted, the experience won’t vary too much between phones in this regard, because most phones are similar in form factor. But again, a cheap Android phone with a 3-inch screen, or an expensive phone with a mirrored-edge display pushes Android to limits it wasn’t absolutely designed for, sometimes taking a toll on performance, which leads to the need for bigger batteries and faster processors, whereas on a unified hardware-software system, this wouldn’t necessarily be a problem.

On iPhone, None of These Problems Exist

Why? Because of something called hardware-software integration. Put simply, Apple can avoid all these problems with sluggish performance, subpar battery life, and buggy/poor user experience by creating and molding its operating system specifically for its own hardware. Unlike Android and Windows, which can be used on nearly any degree of hardware from different manufacturers, only Apple makes the hardware for the iPhone. They then proceed to design the operating system specifically for the device’s exact specifications and form factor, resulting in a fully optimized experience.

This results in the user experience being faster, less buggy, and more fluid, because the system software is created specifically for the hardware. It’s built for the hardware not only in its specs, but to accommodate its physical design, as well.

Not only does this allow Apple to make the iPhone as fast as the hardware will let it, but also to design things in the user interface that will correspond 1:1 with the specific iPhone hardware (the taptic engine and home button with Touch ID are good examples of this).

Additionally, it allows Apple to eliminate anything that is unnecessary from the experience. Whereas Android must include all of the features in the OS in a one-size-fits-all approach to function on all devices, Apple can choose to only include features that the hardware will accommodate, resulting in the most fast and efficient operating system, perfectly tailored for the device it is running on. Due to this, you can be sure your iPhone will make the most out of the battery, the camera, and the processor it is equipped with.

The software is optimized for the hardware, and vice versa.

The Marriage of Hardware and Software

With a marriage of software and hardware, comes the user experience intended by the creator.

As with films and music, the experience will always be better if you watch the movie or listen to the album in its original format. If you listen to Coldplay on a portable speaker, it will sound good, but not as good as if you were in the studio the band recorded in. If you watch Star Wars on your iPod, it will still be a great movie, but it won’t be as good of an experience as if you were sitting in LucasArts’ studio on premiere day.

Getting an Android is like seeing Star Wars at a decent theater with possibly better popcorn, or listening to Coldplay on your own earbuds. It’s good and has some extra convenience or features, but the core experience isn’t as the director or band intended.

Getting an iPhone is like sitting next to George Lucas at the theater where the film was made, or like sitting next to Coldplay in the studio where they made the album. You will be getting the optimal experience, exactly as the director or band intended.

Sure, with the previous options, you can choose what theater has good popcorn, the speaker that has the most bass, or the phone that has the biggest camera. But with these choices, you lose part of the rest of the experience, because a film, an album, or an OS cannot be optimized for every medium or device. Thus, the experience will lack in other areas, such as lighting, sound quality, or phone performance. You get the extra convenience or features you want, but you never have an experience perfectly optimized for the medium at hand.

With the iPhone, I may not be getting Moto Mods or a Galaxy S Pen, but I will be getting a software experience perfectly tailored to the hardware I buy. Apps will open instantly and run without a hitch. The battery will last longer than the same battery on an Android phone. And the processor and memory will do more than on an Android device. All due to the OS and apps being specifically optimized for the hardware at hand (no pun intended).

Because of this, I can be sure that if I buy an iPhone, I am buying the most tailored experience for a phone. If I buy the latest iPhone, I can be sure that I am receiving the user experience that Apple has intended, without compromise.

It’s no wonder Nintendo are now choosing to launch their software on iOS first, along with so many other brands. And it’s no wonder there are just 4 Moto Mods announced so far, while the iPhone has hundreds of attachable accessories tailor-made for it by different manufacturers. Companies don’t like making one-size-fits-all products. And in many cases, it’s impossible. Companies and individuals would rather make something custom-tailored, because, well it works better. It’s more natural. It’s like one-size-fits-all clothing. It fits okay, but it’s always better if you buy one in your size, or better yet, one made specifically for you.

The same applies to iPhones. As explained by Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo can better optimize Super Mario Run for iPhone, because every recent iPhone’s hardware and OS is the same. It’s coming to iPhone first, and later for Android, because it’s a lot easier to make it work on all iPhones (largely identical), rather than all Android phones (in which everyone’s is different). Additionally, the Android phones have issues with fragmentation – a problem where most of the user-base is split by the version of their software, making consumers unable to get the latest version of Android unless they have a phone made in the last year or two. This is another headache for developers, as they have to optimize apps for all different, and now obsolete versions of Android. The latest iOS goes further back, and everyone’s running similar hardware, so it’s not so much of an issue on iPhones.

And that brings me to another point. Since I don’t have the latest version of Android, I still can’t use, or even see, the latest emojis. Years later, I still can’t do it. You’d think a simple update to Google Keyboard would fix it, but no, absolutely not. You have to wait until the whole OS gets updated (in Moto X’s case, sometimes up to a year later). And unless you’ve got a recent device, you shouldn’t count on it.

So with the iPhone, I won’t be getting a device with extra features, but taking away from the experience elsewhere. I’ll be confident that the features I do get will be as good as they can be, without compromise. And I can be sure I’ll get my emojis. Emojis are not too surprisingly, another “Apple First” thing.

And that brings me to my last point.

Why Switch Now?

I’ve been (relatively) satisfied with Android phones for a few years. The main reasons I hadn’t switched to iPhone were because of the features iPhone didn’t have. One benefit of different manufacturers making their own Android phones is that they can choose to add cool hardware features like stereo speakers, AMOLED displays, and bigger screens. And the Android OS worked better with Windows. Until recent years, iPhones had 4-inch screens, a single speaker, a standard RGB display, and were not so easy to pair with Windows. I know I would have missed some of these features if I switched to iPhone earlier.

However, it’s now turned a near 180 degrees. My favorite phone, the Moto series, has changed its plans. The new Moto Z packs a more powerful processor and Moto Mods, but it loses something more important to me – stereo speakers. And as the possible successor to the Moto X, it isn’t so affordable anymore. The price, previously $400, has jumped to over double that, competing directly with the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7 of today. And all for what?

The new Moto Z is beautiful, and the Moto Mods are really cool, but there’s what, like, 4 mods announced for it so far? Even when (if?) more are made, how many companies are going to support it? While the Moto Z has a few new expensive accessories, Apple’s iPhone has garnered hundreds of attachable accessories on its iPhone line. Motorola is trying to attack the iPhone with its Moto Mods this year, and while its ads are cleverly written, in reality, they forget the myriad of accessories Apple’s iPhones already have. They just attach to the lightning port instead of the back of the phone (sometimes better for that too).

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have, on the other hand, finally added in all the features I enjoyed on an Android phone. The iPhone has slowly been checking off the list of features it missed from Android. The iPhone 7 finally has stereo speakers, an OIS image sensor (not to mention the best phone camera now, with tons of accessories already on the market), quad LED flash, and a bigger screen with wide color gamut. Some of the best things it didn’t have, it now has. And as Android manufacturers continue to try out new technologies, Apple will continue to incorporate the best of these technologies with each new iPhone, as well as introducing their own innovative features, as well.

For me, my favorite line of phones has taken a step back, removing the stereo speakers and increasing the price, while the phone I thought I’d never get has taken tremendous leaps forward, finally becoming the phone I’ve always wanted. And it’s going to continue to do that each and every year.

As a matter of fact, both phones remove the headphone jack. And if I’m going to buy a phone with that, I’ll at least take the better phone.

I’m Moving on From Android

No more home screen lag. No more apps responding poorly. No more battery problems “fixed” by a one-size-fits-all battery saver. No more updates making my phone slower. No more not seeing my friends’ emoticons. And no more being second priority.

No more subpar Star Wars with good popcorn. No more Coldplay on some old earbuds.

I’m switching to iPhone. And it’s for the best.


Don’t get me wrong. I still think Android is very important. No company with a monopoly turns out well, so it is good that the iPhone has competition to help push it forward, as well. Both platforms are still great, and there is still other innovation on different Android hardware that you won’t find on an iPhone, simply due to the nature of there being so many different companies who make hardware for the OS. If you’re fine sacrificing a bit for some of those extra bells and whistles, that’s great. I was for several years – but I’m not anymore. If you, like me, want the best and most custom-tailored user experience for the hardware you buy, iPhone is where it’s at.


Did you like this blog? Do you agree? Have something amazing to say about Android to stop me from switching? If so, let me know in the comments.

For fun gaming content, follow Gamer Splash on our social media channels below!

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For Nintendo NX news, check out our articles:

Everything We Know About the Nintendo NX So Far

Why Nintendo NX Will Support Unreal Engine and ARM Architecture

Animal Crossing and Miitomo Successor Launch Titles for NX + More – Developer Interview

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash


My Trip to GameStop Expo! [And News + Reviews]


Hey all!

I embarked on an epic journey today. Where, you may ask?

The wondrous place called the GameStop Expo! Yes, the place we all wished we could go as a kid, just like Disneyland… or E3!

Haha, not quite so much. As a matter of fact, I just probably heard of it last year? Oh well.

I got buzzed last week after hearing about it, because it looked like a big deal. And it was.

But after hearing Nintendo would be in attendance, and the recent rumors from Kevin Pereira, I began speculating that the  Nintendo NX may be revealed this week, and then shown there consequently. Yes, I know, Nintendo would likely not have the NX playable on the show floor without prior announcement. But it was a possibility, and I live near the expo, so why not? It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I mean how would I feel if I didn’t go, and it was there? I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Here’s an overview video:


So I got there, and I was struck by how weird it seemed, compared to conventions I’ve previously been to or near, such as WonderCon and E3.
It’s probably because it wasn’t WonderCon or E3.
Yeah, that sounds about right.😀

Anyways, when I got there, I saw some middle-aged guys in business suits from Activision walking out of the con (execs, maybe?). They seemed friendly.

Then, first thing I saw was the large Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Zombies Attraction.

Alas, it wasn’t open, though, so I decided to go on ahead.

Then, I get nearer to the convention center building, and I’m confused. I literally see everyone walking away from the convention center. In mobs.

I don’t know what caused this, but then it clicked within me: these are probably all GameStop Managers, and they were leaving a manager’s meeting, or going to the next one. They were all older people, so of course they were, right?

Anyways, so here’s the fun part:

I get inside the convention center.

I am a bit reluctant to enter, as I don’t have a badge, and there are no signs stating the instructions, as there are at bigger conventions. I walk inside, however, and see the check-in line. Completely empty, by the way.

I enter, and I have to scan my own barcode from the email. And then it appears they’ve ran out of badges (or the badges were just for VIP’s), so I just get a wristband to enter.

The funner part:

I finally enter the convention!

There’s an entrance to get to the show floor. I enter it. End of story (not really).

So knowing me, where do I go first?


I wander the whole convention center and look around everywhere, taking pictures and videos of all the notable booths, like Xbox, Playstation, and all the various publishers.

I was excited to see all the big companies and publishers there. However, it seemed they all were just showing off a handful of games without much else, so that was a bit disappointing. However, what was available looked awesome!

But knowing me, where did I really go first?

The Nintendo booth, of course!


As I enter the booth, I am a bit disappointed to see that the Nintendo NX isn’t there. Although I wasn’t realistically expecting that, haha. But what was there was very good! They were showcasing Paper Mario: Color Splash for Wii U, and a bunch of 3DS games. The 3DS games included Mario Party: Star Rush, Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past, Yokai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls (combined demo), and Disney’s Magical World 2. And yes, I played every single one. Even Disney’s Magical World 2. As a Disney princess with a balloon.



So I’ll start with Disney’s Magical World 2. It actually wasn’t that bad! It was not really shovelware, as some call it. There really seems like there’s a lot to do. I asked the attendant, what the point of the game is. Like it seems like there’s so many things to do. She’s like, “well that’s exactly it. There’s so much to do and explore in this game, and that’s what’s so cool about it”. I’m paraphrasing, of course. I don’t remember the exact words people say!

While I felt a bit out of place playing as a young girl with a balloon in Disney’s Magical World in front of everyone at the booth, I wanted to find out what this game was all about, and I did… kinda.

I started in the middle of the castle area. The attendant told me I could do some quests if I went to the castle. I did that, but couldn’t find anything, so I just talked to every NPC I could find. I then went to a shop that sold fruits and other items, and it looked EXACTLY like the merchandise stores do in Disneyland. Same look, warm feeling, everything. In fact, that may be my biggest takeaway from the game.

Did I mention, this game has tons of items? I scrawled my entire inventory, and it was decked out. There were so many different things, it was kind of overwhelming. And it didn’t appear I could use any of it offhand. I looked at the tutorials, and there were like a million. Okay, maybe not that many. But it took me a good deal of time to look through all of them. I thought they were playable, and was surprised, but turns out they were just quick, single-image tutorials. So cool, that made more sense.

I wanted to go fight some ghosts, but didn’t find that. So I walked around a courtyard and found a cool portal! It took me to a beach. It appeared it was Lilo and Stitch’s beach (there was some reference there). I was the only one playing the game so far, but then a dad and his young son started playing (phew, I’m not alone in this). So I walked around the beach some more. I found a surfboard, and it said I could ride it! So I did, and rode in the ocean. I kept going to the right into the sea, but it looked like it never ended, and nothing else was happening on screen, so I got a bit worried and went back. Also, that father told his son it was time to leave. So it was my perfect chance for escape!

To Paper Mario:

I actually loved the game. Though it was hard to hear with all of the other noise of the expo, I genuinely had a lot of fun playing it. It was a special demo just for us. The demo pits you at the beginning of a level. You have to find 5 Green Toads, part of the Toad 7 Squad. The two were at the end of the map, and asked me to find their friends. Simple, right? Nope, not so much. I learned how to use my color hammer. The controls were pretty simple. So I had to backtrack, trying to hit every single thing sapped of color. Every time I did so, it exerted a ton of coins and a battle card or two, so it was exciting.

At this point, enemies came out of the woodwork as well (mostly shy guys and some friends). So I engaged in my first battles. It took me a minute to get used to the new battle system, but it was intuitive. The GamePad screen became just like a smartphone screen. You have to use your finger to scroll through your available battle cards, and then drag the ones you want to a top section of the screen. Once you choose two, you confirm them, and then proceed to a screen where you can use your hammer’s colors to power them up. My hammer was getting plenty of paint, so I powered them all up with no issues. The enemies were all wiped out pretty quickly. There were some spiny enemies too, so I had to use the hammer to get those guys.

Anyways, back to the Toads. So I had to backtrack to find them all, and they would be hiding in funny places. The first was closest to the end. I had to whack a nearby tree with my hammer, and the poor fella… fella down. Then there was this Toad House. I went inside and found one there. There was also a wardrobe, which sucked me into it, and had me play a minigame. The goal of that was to find the most amount of color-sapped palm trees on the beach and restore them. There were 60 seconds and only appeared to be four of them. I thought I did something wrong, since I finished so early, but apparently not. I got rewarded 30 or 40 coins at the end!

Then, I had to find the remaining three Toads. There was another in a green pipe. And another hiding behind the house (you had to go behind the house in a different camera view/area). I don’t remember where the other one was (sorry, long day!)

Once all the toads were back, you could talk to them all, and they would give you witty responses (for example, the one I rescued from a pipe said something like, “If this adventuring thing doesn’t work out, you’d sure make a darn good plumber!”

It was all the witty humor like this that made me laugh a lot. This time around, even in this short demo, the Toads said a lot of things you’d never expect them to say in a Paper Mario game (really clever, edgy stuff), and it was at the same time surprising, and hilarious to me.

At the end, you talk to the Toad squad’s leader, and the toads bundle up to form a bridge for you (aw, how thoughtful of them!) I smashed my hammer down on the “bridge” several times, and saw them say a resounding “Ouch!” each time. Ooops.

I cross the bridge and the star! But not so fast. A boss koopaling comes out to get me, and I battle him. Just like before, I have to use my battle cards against him. I’m primed on it from before, and I have a lot of cards at this point, so I just select the strongest cards to my deck. They wipe him out pretty quickly. For a finishing blow, I used the cat card (the one from the Treehouse Live E3 Demo). It was as glorious in person as it was in the stream.

After you defeat the baddie, you can grab the star. Once you do that, you go into this end-level scene where you’re on a platform and there are shining lights around you, and coins rain down. You have the star still shining above you, and you run around and get the coins. Fun! Then the demo ends. “Thanks for playing!”

Overall, I think I’ll really enjoy the game. The graphics have never looked better than in HD, and I really appreciate how everything looks like it’s made out of paper now (even the coins!) Additionally, the music in the demo seemed to be performed live, so we can look forward to great music in this title.

While it’s not the same as the previous Paper Mario’s, like Super Paper Mario and Sticker Star, this game has its own personality. While the Toad’s colors aren’t as expressive as in TTYD, each Toad’s dialogue is surprisingly expressive, and they all have their own fun and unique personality. In addition, their colors actually make sense. In this demo, for example, the Toads were all green, because they were all part of the special Toad squad. So of course it made sense. I can expect many different colored squads in the game, and I’m sure there will be some surprising characters in the end. Whatever you think the series may have “lost” in this game, it has definitely not lost its sense of humor. In fact, from what I’ve seen, this may be the most humorous Paper Mario yet!

Since we’re on the topic of Mario, let’s next jump to Mario Party: Star Rush.

I had forgotten about this game, so it was exciting to see it here. I played a demo. Though there were 3 or 4 people playing alongside me, the game was against CPU’s. I chose difficulty levels for them. Out of normal, hard, and even harder, I chose hard for two, and hardest for the other. My time was rougher than expected. I chose the quickest course (15-20 minutes), which was the cake map.

Right off the bat, this is a different game, because the map design is totally different from every Mario Party before it. All players can now move at the same time. I found there are just delays when everyone has to roll their dice. This game is more time-pressuring than previous ones, because now the other players can move all the time, even if you do not. So others can get ahead. Additionally, you can move to whatever spaces you want to now, with the spaces being nearly every  square foot of the board, with the only restriction being how many spaces you rolled on your dice. Once a minigame starts, the player who reached it first can start right away, while the ones who were physically further away from the game’s location on the board will have to mash “A” to catch up to the start of the game.

I wasn’t very good at the mini games, as I was figuring everything out. We played a few, and the game repeated. There are “?” spaces throughout, so I got on plenty of those, to try out their special abilities. This went on until the final boss. In this game, the player has to actually travel towards the final boss on the map in order to trigger it. I managed to reach it first on the map, and actually trigger the game! It was the fun King Bob-omb boss game, where you have to throw bob-ombs into the cannons, and they get shot at the big bob-omb. I did pretty well in this one, and I think I may have won! However, something last minute caused the hardest CPU to win.

So we had the final results ceremony, and of course, I won nothing. I wasn’t very good at it, and when the CPU level said “hard”, it actually meant hard. Oh well. This game’s mechanics were so new to me, I was just more interested in learning how they worked, rather than winning. It was fun regardless.

Overall, I really enjoyed the new Mario Party. While the change in gameplay is a bit odd, I think it will be very fun to play with friends over multiplayer, and I think it is a bold move from Nintendo to freshen up the franchise after so many iterations. The graphics are nice, and the level and minigame design are really good, as well. Overall, I think this game will be better with friends, but it seems like it’ll be a fun way to pass time, regardless. I’ll probably be getting it.

On Dragon Quest VII:

I won’t be reviewing this one too thoroughly. I started in the middle of the game from a save file. I think the graphics are great. The 3D effect is very strong, which I like. I think many other games don’t employ the 3D effect as much as they should, but this game stands out for implementing awesome 3D visuals. One of the few 3DS games where 3D really makes a huge difference. And it looks fine without 3D. But 3D enhances the image so much, it just looks so… flat after you turn it off. You adjust, but man is that 3D good.

Past the 3D, the game seems really solid. There were many enemies, and they were all easy to kill. I went up to this mountain, and then inside a cave, and found this tablet. I wanted to get back down, but kept going up instead, and eventually all four of my members died. I returned back from whence I came: the initial save point.

Overall, the game looked like a very solid RPG game. Great graphics, probably good sound (couldn’t hear it well), and the story seemed solid too, from what I read. However, it looked very long, so best be prepared for that if you jump in. I hadn’t tested out the battle mode too thoroughly, but the gameplay seems well put together too. This isn’t really my kind of game, but for RPG fans, it looks like a very solid game with a great story and visuals.

Finally, my last game!

Yokai Watch 2:

So I’ll admit, this time my whole focus was not on the game. The game was really cute, and I had a conversation with the attendee about it. I asked her the difference between the two versions of the game, and she said it’s a combined demo. I clarified that I meant only the final versions. She didn’t say much on the subject. However, I enjoyed the demo. I was guided through it, needing to find Grandma, which led to a couple small scenes. Then I was free to wander the town. I tried to catch a couple bugs, and it was pretty fun. I was struck by how pretty and clean the visuals were. It has a great art style. And the soundtrack is very modern to accommodate it. The game gives you a great feeling! I wandered around for a while, trying to catch the Yo-Kai, which I was unsuccessful at. Eventually, the demo came to a close.

I also asked the attendee some dumb questions. I asked if the game is kinda like Pokemon, since I’ve heard that, and she said, “Hmm… Not really. The game is really popular in Japan, though, with kids.” Hmm… Interesting. I then asked if the Yo-Kai were like Pokemon. “Get out!” She said. JK. She just said something like, “well not exactly. They’re really cute though!” I said I agreed! (Secretly, I thought the attendee was cute too, but I didn’t tell her that).

Overall, I enjoyed my play session of the game. It was the only demo that had a time limit. I definitely think many people will enjoy this game. It has the same kind of breezy exploration feeling that Pokemon does, which I really like, and the visuals and music are bright and beautiful too, to keep you engaged. The gameplay mechanics are very different from Pokemon. The attendee told me there were over 100 different kinds of Yo-Kai. The game seems like a fun break from Pokemon, and it’s something I’m more likely to try out now that I’ve played it.


News (?)


My talk with the attendee spanned a bit more than Yo-Kai Watch.

I told her I was hoping to see the NX there. She told the other attendee, and they laughed.

They said, “Yeah, someone else asked about that earlier! Yeah, some rumors, right? Yeah, no we’re not showing any of the publicly yet. You need to just stay tuned to Nintendo.com for the official announcement.” I wanted to say, “Well the last time Nintendo announced something on it was in March”. But I didn’t.

I then said, “Well I heard something about it being shown like in the past couple of days?”

She says: “Oh, you mean the GameStop Manager’s Meeting?” Me: “Yeah!” Her: “Yeah no that was something different, just for managers. We did show Breath of the Wild there, but that was just for the execs. The rest was classified.” I said, “Oh wow, yeah I was hoping I could play that here too!” She said, “Yeah, sorry! Yeah, that was just for the execs.” She told me, “Maybe you’ll see the NX and Zelda within the next couple of shows. But yeah, we wouldn’t reveal it at a public expo like this.” I said, “Okay, cool!”

I asked her if she got down time to try out the other stuff at the expo, and she said they got 15 minute breaks, but they’ve already seen all the stuff they’re showing at the expo, from previous events. I say, “Oh, okay, I see.”

I then proceed to ask her if she does marketing for Nintendo, and she said she does retail marketing on a contract basis for Nintendo. I say okay, cool. I then say how I’ve always wanted to work for Nintendo, and she says they’re a great company. I tell her I’m majoring in Communications in college, so I don’t know what field I should work in. Maybe PR, or the Treehouse? She said, “Oh yeah, the Treehouse would be a dream!” I’m like, “Yeah it would be! I think they hire a lot of journalism majors too.” She’s like “Mhmm.”

After that, she stops talking to me and lets me finish my game. Maybe she didn’t want to give out any more info. Or maybe I was just talking to her too much. I don’t know. She was looking away if I looked at her, even though I was going to ask her some pressing questions about the game. But she didn’t know that. I could have asked about the NX or something.

Anyways, my play session ended, and it was my last experience from the Nintendo booth. So I thanked her, and she said “Thanks for playing!” Then I left.

The general feeling I got was that, at least among Nintendo retail marketing employees, Nintendo thinks the fans who are baiting on every rumor are funny. Only Nintendo knows when and how they will announce the NX and Zelda, and it will be a surprise.

I’m going to take them at their word at this point. No more rumors. I will wait for Nintendo themselves to announce any new details. And it will be a surprise.

So that’s that.

But Wait, There’s More!

Oh wait, there was one more thing after that!

There was a fun Mario photo op! We got to turn ourselves into a Mario GIF!

So of course I did that. It was fun! And I got a physical printout too!

I think it came out okay. But hey, I’m Mario!


Also, I got another cool look at the new NES Classic Edition!


Nearby the Nintendo booth, was a Pokemon History Booth! It looked really cool from outside, and I just had to check it out.

Here’s how it looked from the inside (taken with 3DS camera):


It was really cool to see all the Pokemon memorabilia, and to see the covers for Sun and Moon before their release! Also, they gave me a free Pokemon lanyard at the end!

Here’s me with Pikachu:

After this, I just peruse the rest of the expo. I wander over to the Playstation booth, where they’re giving out free giveaways! I got a shirt for The Last Guardian, and a limited edition Hot Wheels Gran Turismo car. Not too shabby!


I consider playing VR, but considering the lines, and my limited time, I don’t. I then find myself at Activision’s booth, where I get a free Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare blow-up stick. Yay!

I check out some accessory maker’s booths, like PDP, Nyko, Hori, KontrolFreek, and Blue Microphones (that one had a raffle going on). They all had cool stuff. But I didn’t purchase anything.

I then check out some of the shops in the collectible area. Some cool retro shirts, including Atari and Pokemon, all with the Japanese characters on it. Nice touch. Nothing appealed to me enough to justify the purchase though (actually, I regret not getting the Pokemon one a bit now).

My final stop was the Sega booth.


They had a new Atlus game, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice, and Sonic Mania up on display. Of course I had to try Sonic Mania! I played the first level, the Green Hill Zone and was surprised by how retro Sonic it was. It looked exactly like the originals. Maybe even too much. It kept the retro look, without looking like they updated the graphics to look really crisp in HD. However, I suppose that’s what they were going for: to actually look as close to the original as possible. However, the gameplay and music were great, and just how you remember in the original. Except with some cool new twists. I got stuck halfway through the level and had to die a couple times before completing it. There was a boss at the end, that I had to hit in two ball points. If the ball turned red, when it hit you, it would hurt you. I literally had one ring left, and I had to keep catching that back every time I got hit. LOL. But then I finally made it, and beat the boss!

I also played the second demo level, Studiopolis. This one was harder than the Green Hill Zone. It was really confusing, and you had to keep moving forward, and up and down and back. However, the level design was A+. It was kind of a city, industrial-like area as seen at night. There were many elevators and bouncy balls. Once I got to near the end, there were Eggman elevators. I got stuck in this olevel a lot too, but eventually I went up, up, and up, and made it to the end! There was a wheel I hit at the end that decided if I’d fight Eggman at the end. To my relief (dismay?), I did not!

Overall, I really enjoyed the new Sonic Mania! I was excited it was there, as I didn’t have a chance to play it at its premiere: the Sonic 25th Anniversary Party in San Diego. Though the graphics were different than I expected, it was really fun, and I can’t wait to play more!



Final Travels

Once I was finished at the Sega booth, the convention was finally closing. I started making my way out. On my way back, I encountered the Razer booth, where they were throwing accessories at rabid fans. I stayed to see what the hubbub was, but left after the commotion had ended. I also stopped by Blue Microphones’ booth, where they were calling out names for their raffle. More excitement there, as well! And alas, I made my way out of the convention. And back to class.

Overall, I had a super fun day! Even though I got there later in the day, and only stayed a few short hours, I enjoyed my time there. Besides having fun, it was a great learning experience for me. First off, from what I expected, I had learned what was actually there, and what wasn’t. Additionally, I learned how companies such as Nintendo, Sega, Capcom, and EA liked to market at events like this. And additionally, I learned how important the accessory and collectible manufacturers considered their presence there (I was lured over quite a few times by booth staff asking me to check out their wares).

I also learned that the NX was not there, and Kevin may have been trolling (but maybe he wasn’t, but who knows?). But more importantly, I learned that I can go to a convention by myself, and still have fun with what was there, no matter what I was expecting.

Second to most important, I learned how to get home without a phone. I took the bus there, and by the time the expo was over, my phone died. So I winged it, asked for a few directions, and voila, made it to my 7PM class 20 minutes late!

Most importantly, though, I learned more about myself in general. I learned I’m still a big videogame fan, but I choose to select good opportunities over playing the latest games (because these games will be available later, but the people and experiences here, will be unique.) I learned I can talk to anyone if I want to, while still being respectful. And I learned that my future is brightly ahead of me.

There are some aspects of my experience I did not share here, of course, but most of the good details are here. I had some good networking as well, for example, which was easier than I thought it would be.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience here. I’m a gamer, I love gaming conventions, and I can’t wait to share in the spirit again.


Did you like this blog? Did you read all the way through? Congrats! If so, let me know and I’ll do more like this in the future.


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For more on the Nintendo NX, check out our articles:

Everything We Know About the Nintendo NX So Far

Why Nintendo NX Will Support Unreal Engine and ARM Architecture

Animal Crossing and Miitomo Successor Launch Titles for NX + More – Developer Interview

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

Tank It! [NX Game] Steam Greenlight Page Online

Tank it! Steam Greenlight Page Online Now
Vienna, Austria – September 13, 2016 – Independent game developer, Bplus, announces the launch of the Steam Greenlight page for Tank it! the war simulation game with the message: #WarKills
Watch the first trailer and screenshots of an early version of Tank it! – the game is still in development.
Tank it! storms to Steam in Fall 2016, and Nintendo NX in 2017.