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Jun
26
2017

Nintendo confirm SNES-flavoured sequel to Nintendo Classic Mini line

Nintendo made waves last year when, near the holiday season, it released the NES Classic Mini – a miniaturised facsimile of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, with 30 classic games built-in. Though the console was only available for a few months – with most selling out – before being discontinued by Nintendo as a "limited edition product", even before its discontinuation, rumours were swirling about a potential sequel based on the NES's successor console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – often shortened to "Super NES" or just "SNES".

Well fans, the wait is over. Nintendo has confirmed the rumours, announcing that a SNES-flavoured sequel IS indeed in production and will be hitting European and American Nintendo fans very soon!

Official banner showing off the European Super Nintendo Entertainment System, courtesy Nintendo UK.

Like the NES Classic Mini, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a miniaturised replica of the Super NES console, seemingly with the localised styling for its region. For us Europeans, that means the sleek and svelte curved chassis embellished on its top-right corner with the four-colour Super NES emblem; Americans will receive the blocky, squarish design with purple buttons that was released in that region. It's not yet clear if the controllers – of which two will be included in every pack – will follow suit. Also included in the package will be a HDMI cable, allowing the classic games to be enjoyed in Full HD for the first time; and a USB cable for power. Annoyingly, the European package will NOT include an AC Adaptor in the box, meaning that if you don't have a powered USB port on your TV, you will need to pay extra for an adaptor to plug it into the mains.

The less sleek, but still attractive US Edition of the SNES Classic Mini, alongside its controllers (courtesy Nintendo of America)

But what about the games? While the SNES Classic Mini will feature a smaller software library to its predecessor – containing just 21 games compared to the NES Mini's 30, the titles on offer still give a diverse range of single- and multi-player games comprising many of the original console's favourite titles. All but one of these titles will be available straight off the bat, and all of the titles will be based on their original 60Hz American releases – even in the European edition. For example, Contra III: The Alien Wars, which was remade in Europe as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels, will go back to the original US version for both region's consoles. Star Fox (originally released as Starwing in Europe) and Final Fantasy III (which is actually Final Fantasy VI in the original Japanese numbering scheme, as the actual 3-5 were not released in US originally) also keep their US names.

Games available from the start:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby's Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • SECRET of MANA
  • Star Fox
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls'n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!

While all the games listed above are available out of the box, Nintendo has also tucked in one final tasty treat. By playing one level of Star Fox, a twenty-first, exclusive game will be unlocked: Star Fox 2! This sequel to the original Star Fox, also originally intended for the SNES, was cancelled just prior to its original launch in all regions, and although it has since been leaked and made available illegally online as a ROM, the game has never been officially released by Nintendo – until now!

The SNES Classic Edition will hit both Europe and America on September 29, 2017 with a suggested retail price of $79.99 in America; while Nintendo UK has it listed at £69.99 at time of writing. Other European prices are still to be confirmed.

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    Previous Articles


    Aug
    30
    2014

    Nintendo reveal upcoming NEW 3DS and 3DS XL models with Amiibo, more buttons, better battery life and more!

    When Nintendo came out with the Circle Pad Pro accessory for the original Nintendo 3DS – which added a second Circle Pad and extra buttons to the 3DS which allowed for even more control; and which Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate made good use of – many asked why a second Circle Pad could not have been a standard feature of the 3DS. When the 3DS XL was released and also lacked the second pad, the complaints became even more vocal.

    New3DSColours

    Colour choices at launch for the New 3DS and New 3DS XL

    Today in Japan, Nintendo have not only finally heeded the call, but have gone even further. The company announced all new models of their popular hand-held game consoles, the Nintendo 3DS and the 3DS XL (called the 3DS LL in Japan), which along with extra controls, make a number of other additions and improvements over the previous models.

    3DSXLsizecomparison3DSsizecomparison

    If you actually care that the new models are a few mm bigger in most directions, you probably have an Apple device and/or no shame (click pictures to enlarge)

    The real big news of the announcement, however, comes in the form of a small toy.

    New 3DS XL / Amiibo Stylised Logo

    If you’re wondering why this pic shows just the Amiibo logo instead of an actual Amiibo, blame Nintendo.

    With the new consoles including an NFC Reader, the new 3DS and 3DS XL will come with built-in support for Amiibo, Nintendo’s upcoming range of NFC-enabled figurines. Previously thought to be exclusive to the Wii U, the new addition enables future 3DS games to also offer the ability to allow select Nintendo characters to be stored and shared across compatible games or to use the toys for special in-game functions; and use of the feature in the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. is already confirmed – what it consists of is yet to be announced, but if one is to make a guess, imagine something like the sticker mode in Brawl, but with an actual physical toy to enhance and make your own character with.

    New3DSButtonColours

    Those colourful SNES-like buttons.

    As to the controls, the new 3DS and 3DS XL will add a splash of colour to the A/B/X/Y button. The new 3DS gets the more significant facelift with fully-coloured buttons, while the XL simply gets coloured button labels. The colours are the same as those originally used on the Japanese SNES controller, in a nice homage to Nintendo history.

    New3DSC-Stick

    …But that’s not what you care about, is it? The bigger news is both devices finally feature a second Circle Pad – well, kind of. Dubbed the “C-Stick” by Nintendo in another homage (this time to the yellow analogue stick of Nintendo’s own GameCube controller), the new stick is much smaller than the main Circle Pad – in fact, it’s roughly the same size as one of the four A/B/X/Y buttons. This isn’t accidental – according to Nintendo’s own Satoru Iwata, while the new control will function like a stick, it’s also designed to be used as though it were a button itself. Iwata also claims the new C-Stick “is easy to use”; with Nintendo releasing a picture showing that the size and positioning of the button should make it easy to control with the same thumb used to press the lettered buttons – it remains to be seen if this turns out to be the case. The new C-stick will be used in Dragon Quest X: Online, Final Fantasy Explorers, and Monster Hunter 4G to control the in-game camera function, and in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS to unleash Smash Attacks.

    The back of the 3DS now has ZL and ZR buttons next to the L and R, but the game card slot is no longer found here.

    The back of the New 3DS XL. Notice anything different?

    The new 3DS models will also include ZL and ZR buttons on the back beside the existing L/R buttons, thus making the Circle Pad Pro accessory entirely redundant. Because there is no longer space for the game card, the game card slot is now found on new 3DS and XL’s bottom-left side, which seems poorly thought out – surely it’ll be right underneath your left palm thus making it easy to accidentally push the card in and eject it? The space at the top previously occupied by the game card slot now houses the charging port, which has been moved from its original off-centre position.

    3DSXLbatterycomparison   3DSbatterycomparison

    Battery life comparisons (given in minimum to maximum expected time between charges) for the New 3DS XL (top) and New 3DS (bottom) compared to their predecessors (click to enlarge)

    Nintendo claim that the new 3DS and XL models also make small improvements on the battery life, with their rated maximum life up half an hour on the XL to 7 hours; and up a whole hour on the regular 3DS to 6 hours. Part of the reason for these gains are due to a new adaptive brightness feature, where the screen will automatically brighten or darken depending on the currently displayed picture, which is also aimed to improve colour quality. Another big reason for the small improvement is a new, more efficient processor – which also grants the new models a small speed boost to make downloads and loading times quicker – though exact specs are not yet known. Speaking of downloads, you’ll also now be able to use Micro SD cards with both new 3DS models, with a new slot located under the bottom covering.

    The new Nintendo 3DS models also have an improved 3D function. With the original 3DS and XL, if you viewed the 3D effect from the side and didn’t stay in the “sweet spot,” the graphics became all blurred. However, the New 3DS has improved 3D, enabling players to continue to see the 3D effect even if viewed from an angle. Using the device’s cameras and gyroscopes, the new 3DS and 3DS XL actually track your face to work out the angle the screen is being viewed from – and will adjust the 3D effect to what’s best for your view. Clever!

    New3DSPrices

    Though the international launches of the new 3DS and 3DS XL models is still to be announced, both will be out October 11 in Japan. The New Nintendo 3DS is priced at 16,000 yen (approx. £92.75 at time of posting) and the New Nintendo 3DS XL is priced at 18,800 yen (approx. £109 at time of posting) – given the usual mark-ups, however, I’m personally predicting prices of £129 and £159 when they hit the UK. Sorry, that’s business.

    [Via Sanitarium.FM]

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2014
    Acknowledgements: Images courtesy Nintendo and the Publ more...
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    Jan
    17
    2013

    Video leaks BlackBerry Z10 details before RIM official announcement

    Previously, Technically Motivated briefly covered BlackBerry 10, Research in Motion's attempt to modernise it's once-popular BlackBerry range of phones and other devices and the proprietary BlackBerry OS system running on them; and to make BlackBerry relevant to the modern generation once again. We also know that BlackBerry plan to launch two models of phone at first to run this system: first, a fully touchscreen model recently officially named the Z10; and then, a month or two later, a keyboard-equipped model akin to its popular Bold line, tentatively known as the T-Series.

    RIM have been keeping very mum over the new system and phones, choosing not to reveal any major details until the official launch announcement of BlackBerry 10, still two weeks away. However, with regular leaks from RIM's manufacturing partners; and tech reviewers getting prototype models, there has slowly been a number of details being released about both.

    A new video making the rounds, however, might be the best look we’ve had yet. German newspaper Telekom Presse, after a hands-on with a prototype model of the Z10, recently released two YouTube videos detailing both the software and hardware of the upcoming BlackBerry phone quite extensively.

    The first seven-and-a-half minute video, which has been given English subtitles to be easy to understand by those who don't speak German, describes almost everything the phone has and does; and assuming RIM doesn’t make any substantial changes to the model that hits markets, you may well be looking at the final product here, albeit without the official explanations and highlighting that RIM will be doing when it’s announced.

    With that said, what are your views on this potential new phone? Do you think RIM has a chance with this new model and system; or are they too far down to be saved? Let us know in the comments!

    Jan
    08
    2013

    Pokemon X and Y Coming in October

    Originally Posted at Sanitarium.FM

    Pokemon X and Y

    Worldwide simultaneous release for the first ever 3D Pokemon games, coming to the 3DS in October.

    Nintendo has just announced Pokemon X and Y, two brand-new entries in the main Pokemon series coming to 3DS worldwide in October.

    These are the first ever 3D entries in the main Pokemon series, built around the features of the 3DS hardware. A short video of the game was shown in a Nintendo Direct broadcast today, showing off three new starter Pokemon, colourful 3D environments and some old favourite monsters rendered in 3D.

    The three new starter Pokemon are grass-type chipmunk-with-a-hat Chespin, fire-type foxy Fennekin and water-type frog-thing Froakie. This is massively exciting for anyone into Pokemon – we’ve been waiting fifteen years for a real 3D Pokemon adventure.

    Iwata also announced that Pokemon X and Y will be coming to gamers worldwide at the same time – October 2013 – dispensing with the long localisation times that have traditionally gone hand-in-hand with the series.

    Nov
    06
    2012

    Apple claim “record-breaking” new iPad launch sales; won’t say which device sold more

    In a rather bullish release yesterday (5th November), Apple announced that in the week of the iPad Mini's launch, both it and the iPad 4 amassed a total of three million sales in just three days, doubling the 1.5 million sales of the iPad 3 in its first weekend in March.

    CEO Tim Cook called the sales "record-breaking", adding: “We set a new launch weekend record and practically sold out of iPad minis."

    However, close analysis of the figures reveals some hidden details. At the time of the iPad 3's launch, Apple only targeted 12 countries in the launch window; the new devices target 34. Given a near-200% increase in market size from launch, a significant increase in sales is only expected.

    In addition, while the iPad 3's launch was a single device, the iPad Mini's launch introduces two products at the same time. Interestingly, Apple's announcement offers no breakdown of sales for the individual devices, rather treating both as almost a single entity. Many analysts are taking this as a sign that the iPad Mini is, as many had predicted, a slow burner which is not yet drawing much interest; though it is hard to say for sure, as in absence of a breakdown it is impossible to state for certain whether the predicted "1 to 1.5 million" sales of the Mini were in fact achieved – and given the reports of a lack of queues for the new device (unusual for an Apple product launch) and constant rumours of high return rates, there's always the possibility that this is simply an attempt to hide potential embarrassment to the company.

    In all cases, it was the WiFi-only version of the tablet that went on sale. Cellular versions of both products will hit the stores in a few weeks. Given that early Apple customers tend to be those who care more for a device's specifications than its price, in the absence of a breakdown the likely assumption is Apple may be keeping its hold in the top end of the market where the iPad 4 sits, but failing to make a dent in the cheaper 7 inch tablet market where they want to make an impact. What do you think?

    Jun
    22
    2012

    Microsoft announces TWO own-brand Windows 8 ‘Microsoft Surface’ tablets

    Microsoft have made it clear during development of the next version of their popular Windows operating system, Windows 8, that the company is looking to expand beyond the traditional PC market and offer "one system for any device", including Tablet computers and phones. To this extent, Windows 8 is being developed in two distinct flavours and a number of sub-flavours – as well as the traditional Windows builds PC users will be long familiar with, Microsoft are also developing Windows 8 RT (short for Runtime), which is a version of Windows geared specifically towards ARM-powered devices (a first for the company) and designed to give a more mobile-centric feel, with focus on an App Store and iPad-like functionality.

    Naturally, many people expected Microsoft would announce they had been working on their OWN tablet device to sell at the time of Windows 8's launch in order to give this new system a fit-for-purpose home – and on a mystery press conference by Microsoft, held in Los Angeles, these suspicions were confirmed correct. However, the company surprised everyone by revealing that there will actually be TWO tablets, one for each Windows experience.

    CEO Steve Ballmer revealed the two variants of Microsoft tablets, dubbing them 'Microsoft Surface' tablets. Surface for Windows RT will be the entry-level version, released on or around Windows 8's launch. Powered by an ARM-based chip produced by NVIDIA, this will run the RT version of Windows 8 and is intended as more of an iPad competitor. It comes with a 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display and a 31.5 W-h battery and there is a choice of 32 GB or 64 GB of storage on board. As for expansion, you'll get one each of HDMI, microSD and USB connectivity – although interestingly, it supports only USB 2.0.

    The real eye candy is expected to be released around 90 days after Windows 8's launch according to Microsoft's own press release, and is known as Windows 8 Pro. Unlike the RT, Windows 8 Pro is Intel-based and intended to be a full-blown desktop Windows experience like you'd get on a traditional computer, but within the smaller and sleeker form factor of a tablet. The Windows 8 Pro tablet packs a 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD display with Gorilla Glass, USB 3.0, a 42 W-h battery, and a choice of either 64 GB or 128 GB of storage; with an Ivy Bridge Core i5 processor powering it.

    Both tablets will come with an extra dubbed the "Touch Cover". Intended to be used as a cover for the tablet's screens when not in use and as a work surface when in use, the Touch Covers feature a wireless keyboard and trackpad, which when connected to the tablet via a magnetic clip allow the tablet to be used in a style more akin to the traditional laptop. Only 3mm thick, the Touch Covers contain "unique pressure-sensitive technology" which allow them to "sense keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard"; and will be available in a variety of colours. The tablets also come with an integrated kickstand to help you stand them up vertically on surfaces; and dual wi-fi antennae for wireless connectivity.

    With the announcement of these two new tablets Microsoft expects to give iPad and the Android tablets a run for their money. The fact that these tablets run Windows is a huge advantage, if leveraged properly by Microsoft, over rival competition because of the ability to create a harmonious ecosystem with our traditional computers – and they certainly do appear an exciting prospect for both users and developers. However, it is really up to the future to decide whether the Microsoft tablets will live on or die out.

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2012
    Acknowledgements: Image Courtesy Engadget; fair use.
    Some Rights Reserved
    May
    20
    2012

    Aomei invite public to test upcoming Partition Assistant v5.0 product – and get a free licence when it launches!

    Last year, exactly a month after Christmas 2010, Technically Motivated got word of a freebie for a then rather obscure partitioning product, Aomei Partition Assistant Professional Edition 3.0. Then, some months ago, we covered its successor, Partition Assistant 4.0, which hit headlines when Aomei claimed it was designed to be "perfectly compatible with Windows 8 first time", despite Windows 8 being pre-beta at this point in time. Aomei's Partition Assistant line has regularly attracted attention for being a frequent giveaway from the company and highly promoted; the software itself being a very competent Partitioning Software with strong resemblance to comparable products from EASEUS; but which performs its job just as adequately – however, its feature-set has lagged behind its competitors and the interfaces are sometimes poorly translated, making its value questionable in comparison.

    Fast forward another few months and the tables are turning. Aomei are soon to release a new, 5.0 version of AOMEI® Partition Assistant (PA5 from here on, for the sake of brevity); and boy, is it hitting back hard! As well as moving, resizing and generally allowing users to manage unused and Windows partitions however they like, PA5 now also handles Linux ext2/3 partitions and can create new ones of these too, finally overcoming one of its key weaknesses in the Partitioning market. More than this, the new software can Migrate an entire operating system from one SSD or HDD to another or even from SSD to HDD, something even Paragon requires specialist software for. The whole list of changes from 4.0 to 5.0, according to Aomei themselves, looks like this:

    PA5 doesn't officially release until Monday, May 28; but to show the company is committed to its customers; and to ensure no unforeseen bugs have slipped in before its release, the company is pre-releasing a test version, titled Aomei Partition Assistant 5.0 Preview, a week early for any member of the public to try out. The idea behind this release is to let people get an idea of what the product will be like before it goes on sale; to discover any unknown bugs; and to hear from potential customers just what they think about the program and if any changes should be made.

    To make the deal even sweeter, anyone who joins in testing the preview and supplies their email on the download page, will be entitled to a FREE full license of the finished version of PA5 Pro, to use on one computer for as long as they like – saving $36 (roughly £22.75) in the process!

    Joining in is easy. Between May 21 and May 28, 2012, just go to http://www.disk-partition.com/specials/papreview.html, look for this banner, and click the big green "Test now" button. Note that the button will not function outside of the testing period:

    Join us to test Partition Assistant V5.0 PREVIEW Now. You will get one Partition Assistant Pro V5.0 License Free  (Test invitation will be started on May 21, and ended on May 28, 2012) - Test Now

    Don't forget to also click the "Submit your email address" link to get your free license!

    Mar
    09
    2012

    Aomei release Partition Manager for Windows 8. (Yeah, you read that right.)

    Windows 8 – the next version of Windows after the current Windows 7, which will be the first to target computers, smartphones and tablets in the same system – is still yet to receive an official launch, though Microsoft did launch a Windows 8 Consumer Preview recently, to allow everyone to download a test version of Windows – so that the general public can try out the new system before it launches and see whether they like it, as well as to allow them to prepare themselves for the many changes it will bring.

    Despite this, many software developers are already working on new versions of their applications that are specifically tailored to work on, or take advantage of extra functionality Windows 8 will bring. However, most of these applications were either Microsoft-developed and to be expected anyway (e.g. Office), or only needed small tweaks to function; and most of these are just small, simple programs. So when Aomei emailed Technically Motivated today boasting that their Partition Assistant 4.0 is "perfectly compatible with Windows 8 at first time", I was naturally curious. Read the rest of this entry »

    Mar
    08
    2012

    Rumourbusters: iPad 3 Reveal

    As expected, Apple announced its latest iPad – merely referred to as the “the new iPad” or the “third-generation iPad”, thus giving no clues as to its final name as yet – at an invitation-only event in San Francisco to a crowd of happy journalists, live-bloggers and business types; and a good bit new about the latest iPad was revealed. But how much of it did the public already call – and were all the calls right?

    For weeks before Wednesday’s unveiling of the new iPad, the rumour mill had been speeding at Bugatti Veyron pace. We at Technically Motivated therefore felt it would be useful to act as our own version of the Mythbusters, and determine how many of these rumours are confirmed or busted.

    So, without further ado, in alphabetical order:

    4G/LTE wireless connectivity: Confirmed. As well as the usual Wi-Fi only models that every iPad generation has had, there will also be an option Read the rest of this entry »

    Feb
    28
    2012

    New Features and Updates now live on Technically Motivated

    Technically Motivated was down for an extended period from Friday to Sunday to perform major site maintenance. During this time, as well as fixing the issues myself and many readers had come to notice throughout the site, I also worked on and tested many new features and enhancements for the blog, which I’m pleased to announce are now live. Read the rest of this entry »