Goodbye Surface, Hello Pixelbook: How I Finally Settled on the Best Long-Term Portable

Ah , Windows. The operating system everyone knows, and many love. I grew up in a family who used Windows as their daily drivers. As early as I can remember, maybe 10 years old, I remember my dad had a huge white computer tower. It was there that I’d forge some of my first memories of using a computer. Besides in school, of course. After I’d learned computer basics in elementary school like using Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel (ehh…), I came home and began using the internet. I discovered fun online games like RuneScape and AdventureQuest (though they ran pretty slow on that budget PC for the time). And always a musical one, it was where I made my first foray into music production by trying out programs like VirtualDJ to make my first remixes and mashups of my favorite artists. Ever since then, I’ve always been interested in PC’s, their applications, and how tech can be used to push them forward. I’ve come a long way since then, and so has technology.

That was in the late 2000’s. Skip to 2017, and the landscape for personal computing is totally different today. Now we have smartphones, devices we can now realistically do everything on (though not so conveniently), and tablets thrown into the equation. PC’s and laptops have, in proportion, begun to plateau and now decline in terms of sales, as more buy tablets and attach a keyboard to it, effectively making it their main PC. Still, though, many buy a laptop or PC to have a roomier experience – you get a more comfortable full-size screen and keyboard. And there are still certain applications one can only use best on a PC – niche audio or programming applications, serious video editing, hardcore gaming, etc. But the key word there is that it’s a niche – as much as you may like your use cases for a powerful PC or laptop, the general public doesn’t need it for more than general web-browsing, social media, video-streaming, and word-processing.

Chrome OS was introduced by Google just a few years ago in 2011. And it has surprisingly already taken over Macbooks in terms of laptop sales. At the same time, Android tablet sales have gone down, and so has the motivation to create them by manufacturers. The fact is, lkess people are using tablets now, unless they get an iPad. Even then, they probably also have Macbook and a phone. And maybe even a desktop PC. That’s a lot of devices.

Since the late 2000’s, I have had my own PC’s, and upgraded every few years. Each time has given me a good upgrade in power, allowing me to get more from my desktop programs, for music, video-editing, and just browsing the web. My first PC was a cheap eMachines Intel Celeron-based PC. Even then, it was apparent it was a budget PC. But it was what my family gave me, and it worked for me. Later on, I upgraded to my first laptop, an HP Windows 7 machine. It was a true upgrade. It had a dual-core processor. Later on, about half-way through high school, I was involved in the school’s broadcasting club. I needed more horsepower, as a one-hour long video with multiple camera angles and video effects took nearly an entire week to render. So I got a new laptop. Yet another upgrade, yet still budget. At this point, laptops worked for me and seemed more logical than a desktop. I’m getting a power increase every time I upgrade, and why have a desktop if a laptop is more portable and cohesive, right? My last laptop had an Intel Core i3 and a 17-inch screen. Yep. I think the premium we paid for it was for the screen. I used this until my first year of college, until it wasn’t enough for my uses (and when one of my professors asked me why I got such a big screen.)

So I got something new, this time for college. I got a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. Seeing all of the flashy commercials and rave reviews got me excited for the device. I was excited about the portability, the pixel-dense screen, the pen, and the ability to use it as a tablet. As well as Microsoft promising it would make my student life easier. I shelled out over $1K on the device, as it was the first time I was truly investing in a PC for myself. The difference in speed was great. A video that took a few days to render on my old HP laptop took no more than a few hours on the new Surface Pro i5. I loved the Surface for the same reasons everyone else did: its color-calibrated display, its portability and transportability, and its upgrade in power ver other similar devices. The Surface served me well for 2 years. Last year, needing more power once again, and seeing the improved screen, I got the Surface Pro 4. It was the Surface I knew, but even better. The i7 version I got was even faster for video and music production, and I got good use out of it for a couple more semesters.

Alas, that brings us to today. I sold my Surface. I came to realize I bought the new version mainly for the upgrade in power once again. But at this point, I realized that portable power just wouldn’t cut it for me anymore. So I spent about three entire weeks researching what best to do about my situation, and I came out of the other end – happily. I built a gaming desktop. Being the creator of this website, it is obvious I love gaming. I had always dreamed of having a nice gaming rig, and now that 4K is in its primetime, and I have a nice 4K TV as my display, it made perfect sense to build a gaming PC for 4K, but also to finally have the power to edit video and produce music that even my Surface Pro 4 had begun limiting me to do. I thought about getting the new Surface Pro (5?) but I knew the upgrade would be incremental again, and that is why I decided to finally come back to where I started – in the desktop form factor. Only this time, the reason I built a desktop was to get the best power I could reasonably get, and be able to upgrade later on. Buying a killer laptop not only would have been more expensive (due to its portability, form factor, and engineering), but also because nearly all gaming laptops today cannot be easily upgraded. So when it’s time to upgrade, you need to buy a whole new expensive system (and the upgrade won’t be superb in terms of power, either.) So that is why the desktop PC was the best option for me to invest into for my main computer – maximum power, and the option for easier and more cost-effective upgradability. The PC was definitely a big investment,  but it’s good to know I have all the power I need now, and when it’s time to upgrade again, it will cost much less than buying a whole new system (like I did in the past with my laptops).

So since then, I kept my Surface, but wondered why I needed such a powerful laptop anymore with my killer desktop now. For this reason, I sold the Surface and invested in something I’ve needed for a long time – accurate headphones for doing audio mixing on (I ended up getting an HD600 and O2 + ODAC combo, by the way.) I used my extra cash to shell out on a cheap $200 Lenovo Y580 laptop. I ended up not liking it, as it was way too heavy, and I had gotten used to the Surface’s small, but beautiful and sharp screen. The 2012 Y580 was so much of a downgrade (the screen’s backlight grotesquely changes as you move the screen up and down, and the color balance is washed-out) that I immediately said, “Oh no.” The screen seemed too big too, even though just a few years ago, I thought I couldn’t go smaller than a 17-inch! At this moment, I realized that the size of the screen really doesn’t matter. It matters how close you are to it. This is why we can reasonably look at both a 65-inch TV, and a 5-inch phone screen – we just sit further away from the TV and put the phone screen much closer to our face (it’s also why 1080p or higher is equally as important on a phone as on a TV – we are seeing the same amount of pixels for the distances we’re viewing the screens at.)

I was enticed to my “new” used laptop because it had Nvidia graphics and a bigger screen. But it was heavy as hell (6 lbs in 2017!) and therefore not portable at all. I need to take it to school along with other things I carry in my backpack (a Nintendo Switch, battery pack, headphones, cables, notebooks, pens and pencils, snacks, etc.) so adding this laptop makes it too heavy for me and renders it useless. I simply won’t use my laptop at home, since I have my desktop PC there. So the quest was on to find a new laptop.

I actually didn’t want to go back to the Surface. I didn’t really need all the extra power, I realized. What I really needed was a decent screen, keyboard, and I needed it to be light. The Surface Pro had a downside in that it tried to be a tablet and a laptop, but failed on the tablet side compared to any other tablet (unless you really wanted to play one of the two Windows-exclusive tablet games on Windows Store). In all fairness, in terms of its hardware, though a compromise, it executed the 2-in-1 concept very well. The detachable TypeCover allowed the laptop to be a pure tablet when you wanted it to, and by reattaching the TypeCover, it could be a laptop again. However, this design compromised the Surface Pro being a true laptop in order to make it a better tablet. For example, using it as a “laptop” was a worse experience than any other laptop with a traditonal laptop design. The thin TypeCover and kickstand combo could easily fall off of your lap, compared to a much more stable traditional laptop would on your lap. Additonally, the TypeCover chose thinness over comfort, with keyboard keys that just were a bit harder to type on and thinner than most laptop keyboards.

Microsoft recognized the problem and came out with the Surface Book – it had more power, and a true laptop bottom base that replaced the TypeCover. However, it became too heavy to carry in a typical student’s backpack, and the tablet still wasn’t very useful. In other words, the design was still a compromise. Jump to 2016, and Microsoft unveils its (final?) attempt at fixing the problem – they drop the tablet gimmick entirely, and make a traditonal laptop. Dubbed the Surface Laptop, Microsoft created a normal laptop design, with no compromises other than doing away with the tablet portion entirely. It retains the Surface line’s sense of elegance and beautiful pixel-dense screen, while doing away with pen support and tablet mode support. In earnest, I did enjoy the fact that the Surface Line had the Surface Pen, and all of its possible uses in being a student with it. But the problem is, I just never ended up using these features. And the Windows Store’s lack of compelling apps other than OneNote made the tablet portion useless too. Alas, Windows is still better as a traditional laptop than a tablet, and maybe it should stay this way.

I was thinking of just getting one of these Surface Laptops, then. But I then ran into the same problem that I had before. Why would I invest in this, when I now have a powerful PC? Well, it was light, thin, and fast. I thought, “It might as well be the perfect one to get now, right?” But it cost too much for what I needed it for. At this point, I just wanted a cheap computer that could do what I needed it to on the go (simple things like web-browsing and working on Word documents), but still be light, thin, and fast.

So I considered a Chromebook. I actually considered getting a Chromebook at the same time I got my Lenovo laptop. My priorities for the device were out of whack, then, as I valued graphics over portability. That was until reality hit, and I realized I wouldn’t really be making use of those graphics much, and I wouldn’t be using it at all, since it was too heavy. So I was back to considering the HP Stream laptops and Chromebooks. Before I could ponder too much, in came the Pixelbook.

The Pixelbook, announced at Google’s Made By Google event on October 4, has finally made me truly consider the Chrome OS, not only as my main laptop/tablet, but as the laptop and tablet of the future. Before the Pixelbook’s announcment, I thought of Chromebooks as cheap devices that could mostly just browse the web and use a few proprietary apps. That was true a few years ago, but now with the addition of Android tablet and phone apps, as well as the new 2-in-1 designs of the hardware, I believe the Chromebook can now be the best OS for most people in the future.

Now that I have my desktop PC to run any PC apps or games I want, the only thing I want out of my laptop is the ability to more easily work on documents while at school, browse the web, and be fast, portable, and light. A Surface laptop would solve all of these things, but it took away the ability to use it as a tablet, and I felt I wasn’t sure it was worth its monetary value to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great Macbook competitor and its design is very high-quality, but it’s taking away the tablet portion of the Surface (not an objection to me, as I already said it wasn’t useful with WIndows 10 on it), with the exchange of a better design – the standard laptop design. But now that the Pixelbook can do all of that – having a premium, portable design and performing all of the tasks I now demand from my computer away from home, the Pixelbook has trumped the Surface Laptop, and every other Surface for me, as well.

The Pixelbook’s 2-in-1 design, the Pixelbook Pen that’s even more responsive than the Surface Pen and the Apple Pencil, and the addition of access to the full library of Google Play Store apps designed for phones and tablets, as well as the seamless companionship it makes with Google’s Pixel Phone, makes the Pixelbook the best laptop, and tablet, on the market now. Adding Google Play Store app support means that the Chromebook, a great web-browsing device with an otherwise similar app-availability problem as Windows Store, is now many times better, and a true competitor to the Surface, Macbook, and iPad line. With all of the apps we now use to do everything we want to on our phones, like social media, web-browsing, document editing, gaming, music production, and even video editing now accessible through the Google Play Store and the Chrome web browser, in addition to processing increasingly moving from the local device to the cloud, the Pixelbook is truly primed to be able to do everything you would want it to do, and makes it a true competitor to every other operating system you would shell out $1K for. Its advantage and beauty lies in the fact that we can now fulfill the perfect dream of transitioning between every phone and tablet app we now use to do most of our work on the go, upgraded to one device with a desktop-like experience –  a device that due in good part to its design, can truly be both your laptop, and your tablet.

The Google Pixelbook, with its beautiful screen, its powerful Intel Core processors, its advanced pen, its seamless 2-in-1 design, and its now-vibrant app-store, fulfills the concept of a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet, better that the Surface Pro ever could. By focusing on being a laptop first, and a tablet second, and adding access to an app store much more developed than Windows Store’s, the Pixelbook allows itself to be a fully-featured laptop and tablet without compromise, and thus knocks the Surface Pro out of the park. For more niche usage cases like advanced video-editing, programming, and hardcore gaming, Windows may still be desired. But for most people’s uses, or for those like me who already have a Windows desktop to do more of the grunt-work, the forward-thinking Chrome OS with Android apps, paired with truly useful 2-in-1 designs like the Pixelbook, is now the most useful portable one can have.

For further reading:

4 crazy Chromebook myths, debunked

Time to call it: The Chromebook is the new Android tablet

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Big Nintendo Announcement Coming Soon [Rumor]

Nintendo has had a big year so far. They launched the Nintendo Switch, the first home gaming system you can play anywhere. In a surprise announcement, they announced the New 2DS XL, coming alongside two new 3DS games. They wowed us at E3 with a big shocker: Metroid Prime 4, as well as showed other new games coming to the platform such as Kirby, Yoshi, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, and Super Mario Odyssey. And most recently, they continued their coverage with more at Gamescom 2017. However, if you thought Nintendo was done this year, they’re not.

We all know Nintendo produces news throughout the year, with some of its biggest announcements at E3. But Nintendo likes to surprise us when we least expect it. Though this year’s E3 was great, there was something still amiss.

As Reggie Fils-Aime said in several interviews, Nintendo will bring all of its major franchises to each platform. So what haven’t we seen on Switch yet? We have not yet seen Animal Crossing, F-Zero, Donkey Kong, Star Fox (though we are getting Star Fox 2 on the SNES Classic), Earthbound, and of course, Super Smash Bros. Additionally, we still have not seen Retro Studios’ new IP or anything from Next Level Games. So what’s coming next?

According to SupermetalDave64, a prominent Nintendo YouTuber with industry contacts, Nintendo is preparing a large announcement very soon.

He says the first announcement will not be from Nintendo, but it may be related. The second, he says, will be from Nintendo, and may come in the form of a mid-September Nintendo Direct.

Since the first announcement won’t be from Nintendo, we can only speculate it will be a big third party announcement for the Switch. Currently, it could be anyone’s guess, but if I were to bet on it, it would be a AAA third party game from 2K, Ubisoft, or Activision. Rumors have been pegging Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty WWII, and LA Noire for Switch, so we will find out.

PlayStation has a big press conference on September 19, so it may also be something announced here:

https://gematsu.com/2017/08/2017-playstation-press-conference-japan-set-september-19

As for Nintendo’s own announcement, it is also unknown at this point. However, it is slated to be coming soon after. Nintendo is holding a special panel on September 1 at PAX West to possibly talk about something that will be revealed just before it. It could potentially be about an already announced game such as Super Mario Odyssey or Metroid: Samus Returns. Or it could be about something brand new.

If we were to put any immediate bets on what would be unveiled next month, it would be Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch, or Retro Studios’ new IP. Or maybe even Metroid Prime 4? Virtual Console is also a good bet, with GameCube titles recently appearing on Nintendo’s websites.

What else could it be?

Additional speculation suggests Nintendo could be revealing a new console. Not only has SuperMetalDave hinted at this before, but our own independent developer source from previous interviews has stated that there were three parts to the NX: one portable, one docked, and… something else. And one has not been shown off yet.

We will see soon.

SuperMetalDave64, the rumor’s perpetuator, has been hinting at this for weeks, saying there are two parts to this, and plans to hold a livestream to discuss after each announcement. He also hints that Nintendo will hold a Direct or a special event in mid-September for the final announcement.

SuperMetalDave has gotten things correct before, such as two new Metroid games being announced at E3 2017. So there is reason to put faith into his presumptions.

He’s put together a rather interesting teaser trailer hinting at what is in store.

Stay tuned to Gamer Splash for the latest on this topic.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

Inti Creates Anime Expo 2017 Panel Footage [Exclusive]

Anime Expo 2017 hosted a variety of great content, including a strong gaming presence, as well. Inti Creates hosted a panel titled “Publishing Japanese Games for a Worldwide Audience on Nintendo Switch” and we were in attendance to bring you exclusive footage from the panel on YouTube!

The developers went through their history as a company and explained how they came to develop games for worldwide release and get into the the American indie scene.

In a surprise no one was expecting, they also unveiled both Shovel Knight and Shantae as playable DLC characters for Blaster Master Zero and invited the original franchise devs to play the DLC live for the first time!

Additionally, they held a Q&A session where some interesting details were shared.

Check out the full panel (with exclusive footage of their Inti Creates history video) below:

Check out Blaster Master Zero Shovel Knight DLC gameplay with Nick Wozniak, the Pixelmancer from Yacht Club Games!

Check out Blaster Master Zero Shantae DLC debut live gameplay with Matt Bozon, the creator of Shantae, from WayForward!

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

E3 2017 Highlights and Cool Photos!

Hey there!

I went to E3 for the first time and it was amazing! I have a very fun story to share about it, but I’ll keep it brief. While there, I visited the Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation booths, along with Sega’s!

In regards to news, much of that has been shared online already. However, I will offer my impressions of my experiences and some great pics I took of each booth I visited. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Nintendo:

Like last year with Breath of the Wild, Nintendo put you into the world of Super Mario Odyssey for this year’s E3 booth. You walked into New Donk City as a Nintendo player, and were surrounded with friendly New Donk citizens (Nintendo employees), as well as many fans eager to try all the latest Nintendo games. Nintendo had a great range of titles to play, from Super Mario Odyssey to Splatoon 2 to ARMS to Pokken Tournament DX, as well as third party titles, such as Mario + Rabbids, FIFA 18, and Sonic Forces.

I got to play Splatoon 2 (both Turf War and Salmon Run modes) and Super Mario Odyssey. I played Odyssey several times and had a blast. I even got to try it in portable mode and do both stages! I love how it feels similar to Sunshine and 64 as a sandbox Mario game is my favorite type of Mario game. There was a lot to do in New Donk City and many hidden areas, which I really enjoyed. This was also something I live about Sunshine that was brought back, so it made me happy. The wall jumps and triple jumps were also a welcome return, and Mario and Cappy felt great to control with the JoyCons.

Splatoon 2 Turf War was also very fun, and I enjoyed playing with all the new weapons available. It felt great to play with the new Splatoon 2 Pro Controller on a TV, and I enjoyed winning with my team and getting a Splatoon 2 shirt and pin! I was most eager to play Salmon Run and finally got to on my third day (the systems kept glitching out at the end of day 2, so they told us to come back the next day.) Salmon Run was very fun, and we got a different Splatoon 2 pin for playing! It was played exclusively in portable mode. I enjoy the concept of Salmon Run and it feels like teamwork and communication is even more necessary to succeed in this one. It is longer than an average Splatoon match with employees saying each round would last 15 minutes. It still breezed by, however, and it was very fun and well balanced. It was worth the 2.5 hour wait.

Sonic Forces felt great on the Switch and the graphics weren’t too much worse than it’s counterparts on other systems. Did not notice a huge difference at 30fps. It was great switching from 2D to 3D and I found it surprising how much it felt like 2D Sonic but also was relieved that it felt there was a bit more to do in the 3D environment coming from a Sonic Adventure fan like myself. It is great on the Switch, and you can play it portably, which is the point.

Also played FIFA 18 with my friend, and it was a blast. The graphics were not too great, I could not see any detail on the characters faces. However, the gameplay was sharp and very responsive. It is a great GAME for Switch, even if the graphics aren’t as up to par as the other versions. Again, it’s also portable.

Booth pics:

 

Sega:

I went to the SEGA booth and tried out both Sonic Forces and Sonic Mania. I played on a PlayStation 4 console both times. Both were super fun, and I got to try out new levels and take home posters for both games! I played as Tails on the Saloon level in Sonic Mania and found it great to be able to nearly constantly fly everywhere. Great level design with a lot to explore. In Sonic Forces I played the second level and had a blast switching from 2D to 3D. The game is better than it looks once you play it! Also saw the other half of GameXplain in line!

Booth pics:

 

PlayStation:

The booth was blue as you’d expect. Gran Turismo Sport looked stunning on a 4K HDR TV. I did not get to play anything, though. I didn’t have the chance to take as many pics here, but here is what I have:

Booth pics:

 

 

Xbox:

Xbox had one of the best shows of E3 in my opinion (alongside Nintendo and Ubisoft) where they showed off the new 4K Xbox One X, and a ton of new games coming to the system! I got invited to a VIP after-hours party at the booth for ExpertZone members, and was able to try nearly all the games I wanted to! I played Dragonball FighterZ (super fun and a deep fighting game with beautiful hand-drawn art style), Forza 7 (looks sharp in 4K, but the detail looked about the same to me as Forza 6), Need For Speed Payback (graphics were beautiful, enjoyed how the game felt and played. Played a mission where we had to take down a truck and some cars), and Sonic Forces (tried custom hero level, Park Avenue. Could not beat it! Very difficult platforming.) I also got to hold the Xbox One X!

Here are my booth pics:

 

 

So there you have it! My first E3 was super fun, and I have to thank my friends Daniel and Juan for helping me go with them.  It wouldn’t have happened this year, otherwise!

Can’t wait to cover E3 next year in an even bigger capacity!

Till next time,

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

What to Expect from the Big Three at E3 ’17

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft all have a big E3 ahead of them. Microsoft is announcing their Project Scorpio console, Sony will bring new PlayStation 4 games and updates to already announced games to its press conference, and Nintendo is bringing new Switch and 3DS games into the spotlight.

What to Expect

Microsoft

Microsoft will be showing their new Xbox One console, code-named Project Scorpio, a console they are labeling “the most powerful console ever,” with 4K rendering and AMD FreeSync capabilities. New games expected to be announced are Forza Motorsport 7, Crackdown 3, something from 343 Industries (not Halo 6 or Halo 3 remastered), State of Decay 2, more info on Sea of Thieves, and more first-party surprises.

Third party games will also be heavily featured, with games like Red Dead Redemption 2, FIFA, Call of Duty WWII, and Destiny 2 likely making an appearance, as well as indie games. Expect Microsoft to show off how well games, new and old, run on its new hardware.

Microsoft is first to kick off E3 with a press conference Sunday at 2PM PT:

http://www.xbox.com/en-US/e3?&ocid=PORTALS_SEM_google_xbox%20e3&cid=PORTALS_SEM_google_xbox%20e3

 

Sony

Sony is set to have a big E3, showing off new games, and updates to other previously announced games like God of War, Gran Turismo Sport, Spiderman PS4, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Days Gone confirmed.

The Last of Us Part II, the Final Fantasy 7 remake, Detroit: Become Human, Dreams, and Kingdom Hearts III are also likely to make an appearance. It may additionally introduce brand-new games and IPs, and showcase a good amount of new third-party content such as Star Wars Battlefront II, Call of Duty: WWII, Destiny 2, Resident Evil, and Red Dead Redemption 2.

Sony is also likely to announce new games and experiences for PlayStation VR, as well as more exclusive indie games.

A new PlayStation portable and exclusive Monster Hunter and Bloodborne 2 games are also rumored, but unlikely to be shown at this time.

Sony’s press conference will be on Monday at 5PM PT:

https://www.playstation.com/en-us/e3/

Nintendo

Nintendo is set to have a huge E3 this year, as it is the first year the Nintendo Switch is on the market. They will focus on Super Mario Odyssey, but show off other games previously announced, such as ARMS, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Pokken Tournament DX for Nintendo Switch.

They will also likely announce a new Metroid game, a Smash Bros. 4 port, a new IP from Retro Studios, as well as the new Mario Rabbids Ubisoft collab game here. In addition, Nintendo will likely show a glimpse of new DLC content for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and possibly 1-2 Switch.

Other Switch games that could be announced are Pikmin 4, a new Luigi’s Mansion, Animal Crossing, F-Zero, and Mother 3, as well as the Virtual Console service for Switch. Animal Crossing and F-Zero will not likely be announced at this time, though Mother 3 does see a great chance at showing up this time, as previous Mother games were announced for Wii U at E3 in past years.

Third party heavyweights like Call of Duty WWII, Payday 2, Shin Megami Tensei, Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest, Skyrim, FIFA, NBA, Sonic the Hedgehog, Suda51’s new Travis Touchdown game, Star Wars, Resident Evil, Yooka-Laylee, Redout, RiME, and other independent games are possible to make an appearance here, as well.

Besides Switch, new 3DS games such as Ever Oasis, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon, Hey! Pikmin, Miitopia, Kirby 3DS games, as well as an unannounced port of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, are all up to make an appearance.

As always, Nintendo may also surprise us with another brand new game or two, as well.

Nintendo could also show us its VR concept for Switch, but we doubt it will reveal it this year, to keep the focus on its upcoming games.

After the Nintendo Spotlight at E3 event, Nintendo will host a Nintendo Treehouse live event with live gameplay and commentary of many of the new games, as well as invitational tourneys for Splatoon 2, ARMS, and Pokken Tournament DX.

Watch Nintendo’s event starting Tuesday at 9AM PT:

https://e3.nintendo.com/

 

Are you hyped for E3 this year? Anything else you’d like to see? Leave us a comment below.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

Two New Metroid Games Being Developed by Retro Studios and Climax Studios [Rumor]

Update: SuperMetalDave64 has since stated that there is still a Metroid game coming at E3, but the studio may be another studio Nintendo has worked with before, if not Climax Studios. Climax Studios has denied involvement with the game on Twitter.

Original story follows:

According to popular Nintendo YouTuber, SuperMetalDave64, two new Metroid games are currently deep into development for Nintendo Switch, with at least one being highly likely to be shown at E3.

Dave appeared on SpawnCast Saturday to share this information.

According to him, Retro Studios has been hard at work on a new 3D Metroid Prime game (he refers to it as Metroid Prime 4), as well as a new IP.

This would line up with recent reports from Emily Rogers, stating the studio has been developing a new title for over three years.

Second, Dave also mentions that another studio, Climax Studios, is developing a new Metroid game, and it’s “probably not going to be a 2D Metroid.” He says that while both projects could be shown off at E3 this year, the Climax Studios project is much more likely to be revealed.

Climax Studios has a history of 2D and 3D games. They released Silent Hills: Shattered Memories for the Wii back in 2009, the 2.5D Assassins Creed Chronicles series in 2015/2016, and are working on the space title Riftstar Raiders. They would be a great fit for the Metroid franchise given the types of games they have produced.

This news would also make sense, as others have speculated that the reason Metroid-like games such as Axiom Verge have not come to Nintendo Switch yet, is that a new 2D Metroid game could be coming soon, and Nintendo wants to keep Metroid to itself once it is announced, to ensure no similar game competition and the most excitement around its announcement.

A new pair of Metroid games would certainly be exciting, and this E3 may be the perfect time to announce one.

Watch the full clip discussing it here:

Would you be interested to see Climax Studios’ take on a Metroid game? Are you excited to finally see Metroid return in 3D? Let us know in the comments below.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash

Nintendo Switch – New System Features Detailed, Coming This Year [Unconfirmed]

The Nintendo Switch has been out for nearly two months now. While it has been selling spectacularly, there has been little in the way of system updates. The updates to the system so far have been minor, fixing bugs or improving stability, but there have been no new features added since the day one update.

According to our source, an independent developer close to the company, Nintendo will be adding valuable new system features to the Switch this year. The details are likely to be announced by Nintendo during their E3 presentation or a later Nintendo Direct.

The new features are as follows:

Nintendo Switch notifications – The Nintendo Switch will show notifications from the exposed part of the screen while docked. Notifications may also show up when in portable mode similar to a smartphone screen.

Friend Messenger – With the online service will come messaging between friends. Notifications can be shown on the Switch screen.

Nintendo Switch Themes – Currently, there are two themes to choose on the Nintendo Switch. More will be coming in a future system update, tying in with new games such as Splatoon 2. The new themes will come with music. There will be a theme shop similar to the 3DS.

Streaming Apps – Streaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube are being prepared and will come this fiscal year. Nintendo wants to release the apps all at once, which is why they have not been released yet.

Cloud Saving – Game saves will be stored in your Nintendo Account, provided you are subscribed to Nintendo’s online service, this Fall.

Web browser – The Nintendo Switch will get a full-fledged web browser this year, similar to the Wii U’s offering. The Switch already has a built-in web browser, but its use is limited and not very accessible.

Wii U Pro Controller and GameCube controller Support – In order to support the Super Smash Bros. release this fiscal year, Nintendo will enable compatibility with Wii U Pro Controllers and GameCube controllers, with a new USB adapter for the latter.

If these features come to fruition, they would be a welcome addition to the Switch, already a stellar gaming console.

What do you think of these features? Would you like to see them come to the Switch? Leave us a comment below.

-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash