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Nintendo unveils new releases

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Nintendo has revealed details about several new and upcoming Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games.

The news, carried in a Nintendo Direct presentation, included the reveal that iconic video game character Cloud from FINAL FANTASY VII will be added as a playable DLC fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Other notable announcements included the reveal of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD for the Wii U console, and news that the Pokémon games that started it all – Pokémon Red Version, Pokémon Blue Version and Pokémon Yellow Version – will launch with wireless communication functionality on Nintendo eShop for Nintendo 3DS family systems on February 27th. To view the Nintendo Direct video in its entirety, visit http://www.nintendo.co.zaNintendoDirect or go to Nintendo UK’s YouTube channel for the complete video and additional new trailers.

Some of the highlights revealed in the presentation, according to Nintendo, include:

Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

  • A New Challenger Approaches!: Cloud Strife – the legendary protagonist from the classic RPG game FINAL FANTASY VII – will enter the battlefield as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in the future. Additionally, a special broadcast – the last one for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS – will be released in December. More information is available at http://www.smashbros.com/en-uk/dlc
  • Animal Crossing Series amiibo: Resetti, Blathers, Celeste and Kicks join the ranks in early 2016.

Wii U

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD: Originally released for Wii and Nintendo GameCube systems in 2006, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is a visually-remastered remake of one of the most critically-acclaimed games in The Legend of Zelda series. The new game launches on 4th March in a bundle with a detailed new amiibo figure modelled after the Wolf Link and Midna characters in the game, plus an official soundtrack. The game will also be compatible with five other The Legend of Zelda amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. Collection.
  • The Legend of Zelda for Wii U (name not final): Next year marks the 30th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda series. And with that comes The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, the next entry in the legendary series. During the Nintendo Direct presentation, it was revealed that certain saved data from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD on the Wolf Link amiibo can be carried over to this new game. To help ease the wait somewhat, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks have been released on Wii U Virtual Console shortly after the presentation. Until November 19th, players who buy one of these two games will get 50% off the other if purchased on the same Wii U.
  • Pokkén Tournament: A collaboration between The Pokémon Company and BANDAI Namco Entertainment, Pokkén Tournament is a new fighting game that lets players use their favourite Pokémon characters to battle it out in fighting arenas. Fans who purchase a first-run version of the game at retail will receive a limited-edition Shadow Mewtwo amiibo card that immediately unlocks the character in the game after tapping it to the GamePad. Pokkén Tournament launches in spring 2016.
  • Star Fox Zero: It’s a new beginning for the Star Fox series, with a unique control scheme that uses both the TV screen and the screen on the GamePad, players pilot multiple vehicles through intergalactic levels with Fox and his classic crew in Star Fox Zero. The game launches exclusively for Wii U in April 2016.
  • Splatoon: On 13th November a free software update adds over 40 pieces of new gear including more winter items, while a new stage called Museum d’Alfonsino will become available on 14th November. Further stages and features will be added in future updates through January.
  • Super Mario Maker: In December, a new web portal that can be accessed anytime, anywhere will offer a more detailed search function to find and filter levels on the go, register them to your “Play Later” list and then have them ready to play when you get home!
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: Massive RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X launches exclusively for Wii U on 4th December, and Nintendo Direct viewers were treated to some unforgettable scenes directly from Planet Mira.
  • FAST Racing Neo from Shin’en (Wii U): It’s almost here! The high-octane racing game with up to four-player local multiplayer and up to eight-player online multiplayer, launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U in December.
  • Typoman from Brainseed Factory and Headup Games: Using the GamePad in a unique way, in Typoman players set out on an adventure to explore the incredible power of words, how they can be used to survive the environmental hazards and overcome vicious enemies. The game launches exclusively on Nintendo eShop on Wii U on 19th November.

Nintendo 3DS

  • Pokémon on Virtual Console: The original Pokémon games that started it all – Pokémon Red Version, Pokémon Blue Version and Pokémon Yellow Version – are coming to Nintendo 3DS on February 27th, the same day that the original games first released in Japan in 1996. Using the wireless communication on Nintendo 3DS family systems, players can trade Pokémon with other players.
  • Hyrule Warriors: Legends: Take the epic Hyrule Warriors experience on the go! Hyrule Warriors: Legends offers players the entire Hyrule Warriors game on Nintendo 3DS, but with even more content! This time, Tetra, Toon Link and the King of Hyrule from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker join the Skull Kid from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask on the battlefield. In addition, new character Linkle, a girl who lives in a small village filled with Cuccos and wields two crossbows, joins the large cast of playable characters. Players will be able to command multiple characters on the battlefield for strategic moves and immediately switch between any of them to be in the thick of battle at all times. Hyrule Warriors: Legends launches also as part of a Limited Edition bundle including a Compass watch and the game on 25th March.
  • Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros.: The hilarious Mario & Luigi series meets the charming Paper Mario series in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros., launching on December 4th. Using compatible amiibo, players can create a corresponding character card in the game, which have powerful effects during battle.
  • Fire Emblem Fates: There are multiple adventures waiting to be experienced in Fire Emblem Fates in 2016. By purchasing one of the two main games – Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright or Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest – either at retail or on Nintendo eShop, players choose to embark on a unique quest with a different story and different experiences. After purchasing one game, the downloadable version of the other is available at a reduced price via an in-game purchase. There will even be a third downloadable version, Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation, which will reveal some secrets about the story that will affect the way you think about the other paths. For fans of the series, a special edition will be available that includes all three games, plus an artbook.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes: New free DLC is coming on 3rd December, adding Linebeck’s Uniform and Fierce Deity Mail outfits, each with unique powers, and the new Den of Trials with more than 30 stages to conquer. The upcoming software update also makes it more convenient to get Friendly Tokens by purchasing them from the Street Merchant once the princess’s curse has been lifted. Additionally two adjustments will ensure a more comfortable online experience: by answering a question before matchmaking, you will be matched with other players who gave similar answers, plus players who leave a game in progress through the Pause menu can be added to the blacklist.
  • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon: Players can become one of 20 Pokémon in Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, launching on February 19th. With turn-based battles and ever-changing dungeons, players can encounter every single known Pokémon in the game – all 720 of them!
  • Nintendo Badge Arcade: Freshly available on Nintendo eShop shortly after the presentation, Nintendo Badge Arcade is a free-to-download game that lets players control a variety of badge catcher machines to earn badges from popular titles used to customise their Nintendo 3DS HOME Menus. Players can purchase plays using Nintendo eShop funds or enjoy 5 free practice plays per day in which with a bit of luck free plays can be won.
  • DRAGON QUEST: The line-up of RPGs on Nintendo 3DS continues to grow with classic games DRAGON QUEST VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past and DRAGON QUEST VIII: Journey of the Cursed King. Both remastered titles are coming in 2016.
  • Pokémon Picross: The popular Picross series meets the lovable world of Pokémon when free-to-start game Pokémon Picross launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop in early December.
  • Bravely Second: End Layer from Square Enix, Inc.: The successor to the cherished Bravely Default arrives in Q1 2016, also as part of a Deluxe Collector’s Edition including an Original Soundtrack CD, Agnès Mini Figurine* and a Deluxe Artbook of around 250 pages.
  • FINAL FANTASY EXPLORERS from Square Enix, Inc.: In the first FINAL FANTASY action-RPG on Nintendo 3DS, journey to an island filled with mystical crystals. Up to four players can connect in local or online multiplayer and team up, assigning allies 4 different combat roles. More than 20 jobs can be learned, each with its own set of special skills. At launch on 29th January, it will include all the DLC that was previously released in Japan. The game will also be available as part of a Collector’s Edition that includes an artbook, a 20-track CD sampler, a Nintendo 3DS case and exclusive quests that unlock legendary FINAL FANTASY weapons.
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection from Capcom: Capcom’s iconic Blue Bomber has been a classic part of Nintendo history since the NES days. Mega Man Legacy Collection launches on Nintendo eShop on February 23rd and features faithful reproductions of  the first six NES Mega Man games (Mega Man 1-6), plus new ways to experience these classics with Challenge Mode’s remix stages and Museum Mode’s repository of original production art.
  • SteamWorld Heist from Image & Form: For a limited time, players that purchase side-scrolling, turn-based strategy shooter SteamWorld Heist in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS when it launches in December will receive an exclusive Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu theme.

Arts and Entertainment

IFA: Samsung unveils 8K TV

During its press conference at IFA 2018 this week, Samsung Electronics announced its foray into 8K with the unveiling of the Q900FN QLED 8K TV in an 85” size. Samsung says it features all the benefits of Samsung’s flagship QLED line and several enhancements that bring 8K-quality images to life.

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“At Samsung, we’ve worked well over the years to move the industry forward when it comes to premium picture quality, and the introduction of the Q900FN with 8K AI Upscaling is an integral component as we look to the future of displays,” said Jongsuk Chu, Senior Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We’re thrilled to introduce the Q900FN to consumers and are confident that they will experience nothing short of brilliance in colour, clarity and sound from our new 8K-capable models.”

To achieve 8K-quality images, the Samsung Q900FN features Real 8K Resolution and is capable of 4,000 nit peak brightness, a standard employed by many Hollywood studios. This feature allows the Q900FN to produce four times more pixels than a 4K UHD TV and 16 times more pixels than a full HD TV. Q HDR 8K, powered by HDR10+ technology, optimises the TV’s brightness levels and delivers the visual experience intended by creators. The Q900FN has already received the official HDR10+ logo certification.

Samsung’s proprietary AI-powered 8K Upscaling technology enhances lower resolution content to 8K quality. Whether a viewer is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or even mobile mirroring, the 8K Quantum Processor recognises and upscales the content to appear in 8K quality. In addition, the Q900FN features Direct Full Array Elite for enhanced contrast and precise backlighting control, and as with all of our QLED models, it delivers 100% colour Volume so viewers can experience billions of shades of colour for the purest colour accuracy available to date.

The Q900FN features a slate of new functions that enable consumers to get the most from their TV, while maintaining the highest quality in picture and sound. For example, the TV recognises and analyses a number of connected entertainment devices like audio devices connected via optical cable with the One Remote, then automatically switches the TV’s image source and audio output for an optimised viewing experience. Lifestyle features, such as Ambient Mode, have been enhanced to seamlessly blend the TV in the surrounding space and by showcasing beautiful images, weather, news and more on the screen. The One Invisible Connection, which comes standard at five meters and is also available in 15 meters, incorporates the optical cable and power into one thin cord, giving users more freedom to decide where and how they place the TV. Smart enhancements, such as SmartThings, further simplify the connected living experience, and the Universal Guide provides personalised recommendations to easily find live and OTT content on TV.

Samsung will showcase its latest television and audio announcements in its booth at IFA, located at the City Cube Berlin on Level 2.

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Arts and Entertainment

NAG LAN returns to rAge

The NAG LAN is back at rAge this October, and tickets are on sale both online and at Computicket outlets.

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As SA’s most popular LAN, tickets to the NAG LAN are expected to sell out mega fast, and this year – as promised – the organisers are delivering an even more awesome event and experience!

“For the first time ever, gamers will be able to pre-select their preferred experience in three dedicated LAN areas when purchasing their tickets.  Two of the areas will be fully carpeted, one area will have padded chairs, and two areas will be quieter and more secluded from the noisy expo show floor, ensuring that the NAG LAN experience is more tailored to everyone’s individual tastes and levels of comfort,” says Michael James, Owner and Project Manager at rAge.

In addition to this, gamers will now be able to take forty winks at, next to or underneath their tables and will not be disturbed by security.

More good news is that the changes to the NAG LAN also mean a bigger rAge show floor, making for a more interactive and spacious visitor experience, with more exhibitions and activities on offer this year.

The NAG LAN is Southern Africa’s largest BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer/Console) LAN event. Gamers from all over South Africa will travel to rAge with their gaming rigs, laptops and consoles, where they’ll then game for 52 solid hours!  2018 sees big name sponsors on board to ensure an impressive experience. Nutanix is sponsoring the servers, with Aruba supplying the switches and MWEB Fibre ensuring broadband connectivity.

“Not only is rAge a must-attend event in the calendar for gamers, but it also brings together a host of young talent who may well pursue a future in software development or IT. The sponsorship, and provision of the server architecture for the LAN, provides us with the perfect platform to showcase Nutanix as a next-generation platform for who we believe will be the future IT leaders of our digital economy,” states Paul Ruinaard, country manager Sub-Saharan Africa at Nutanix. “Furthermore, we have architected the NAG LAN platform to run virtualization for a high-volume traffic environment, a step away from the bare-metal architecture they have used in the past. We are looking forward to seeing the benefits this yields for the gamers in a live environment.”

This year’s NAG LAN will prove to be an unforgettable experience for any gamer wanting to spend a weekend filled with meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones, as well as non-stop gaming 24/7.

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