Sega Compares Original Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz Character Model With Upcoming HD Version

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Sega Compares Original Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz Character Model With Upcoming HD Version

Monkey Ball's Japanese Twitter released a comparison shot of Monkey Ball's lead primate, AiAi, from the original Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz on Wii on the left and the upcoming HD version on the right. Cel-shading has helped the Wii version age gracefully, but the model on the right is undeniably sharper.

Sega also released a short developer interview with the remake's producer and director, Masao Shirosaki, on Monkey Ball's inception. You can watch the interview here:

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD launches October 29 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. A PC version is coming at a later date. For more on the game, check out its annoucement trailer, as well as its most recent gameplay trailer

New FCC Filing Suggests That SNES Games Are Coming To Switch Soon

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New FCC Filing Suggests That SNES Games Are Coming To Switch Soon

Ever since Nintendo first announced that the Switch's online service would involve NES games, fans have requested and pleaded with Nintendo for further consoles from Nintendo's history to be added to the service. For a lot of players, this specifically means the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, where a lot of the world's most well-loved games, but Nintendo hasn't really shown any official indication that they're willing to add SNES games despite some metadata left in Switch update. That could soon be changing.

On gaming forum ResetEra, user Link83 noticed a new FCC ID filing by Nintendo for a wireless controller. The silhouette is the unmistakable shape of the SNES controller, and the filing information indicates that this would specifically be for Switch. The controller seems to be similar in function to the NES virtual console controllers that Nintendo sells to Switch Online subscribers, but obviously modeled after the successor system.

At a recent investor Q&A, Nintendo indicated that the company is looking to expand their Switch online offerings, which might be an addition of SNES games. Maybe they will also eventually add N64 and Gamecube games, but considering how long it took to even get NES and then theoretically SNES games, that would probably be an extremely long wait.

Here's What New Switch Model's Box Art Looks Like

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Here's What New Switch Model's Box Art Looks Like

If you're looking to buy a Switch now or in the future, make sure you keep an eye out for a new box art, since it means a major difference in the quality of the product you get.

Along with the Switch Lite, Nintendo announced last month the regular Switch would be getting a model update, the most important feature of which is a significant improvement on battery life (from 2.5-6.5 hours depending on the game to 4.5 to 9 hours). There's no price difference between the two models, by the way – this is console refresh, so there's no reason to buy the older model at this point.

So if you're shopping around for a Switch right now, make note of the new box art above. That's the one you want to get. It's much more red than the original box art, below. If you're being extra-careful, make sure the model number on the box says "HAC-001(-01)."

Id's Former Studio Head Tim Willits Now At Saber Interactive

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Id's Former Studio Head Tim Willits Now At Saber Interactive

Tim Willits, id's former studio director, left the company after 24 years last month. At the time of that announcement, he wasn't saying what his next move would be. Now we know where he's landed: Saber Interactive, the studio perhaps best known for its work on World War Z, NBA Playgrounds 2, and, perhaps closer to home, Quake Champions.

Saber Interactive has developed a wide array of titles since it was founded in 2001. In addition to some of the games previously mentioned, the studio has worked to remaster Ghostbusters: The Video Game onto contemporary hardware and is also bringing CD Projeckt Red's epic RPG The Witcher 3: Complete Edition to the Nintendo Switch in an upcoming port. Saber is based in New Jersey, and it has additional offices in Spain, Russia, Belarus, and Sweden.

Willits has been an entertaining and engaging industry figure for decades (and former Goldy Gopher!), as he proved in our Rage 2 rapid-fire interview. It'll be interesting to see what he cooks up next in this new position.

Frostpunk Descends Upon The PS4 & Xbox One This October

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Frostpunk Descends Upon The PS4 & Xbox One This October

Polish developer 11 Bit Studios has announced that its harsh survival strategy game Frostpunk is coming to consoles starting on October 11. The digital version goes on sale that day (suggested price of $29.99), with the physical copy available later on October 22 for the same price. The game charges you with the growth of your settlement in abject conditions, and there are no easy decisions, just survival.

Console ports often are abominations, but 11 Bit has worked hard in bringing the title to the PS4 and Xbox One, complete with reworked controls to suit the gamepad (click here for our full article on what you'll find on the consoles).

To get a further look at the PC edition, check out the game's episode of New Gameplay Today.

Bomb Threat Against Bandai Namco U.S. Office Being Investigated

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Bomb Threat Against Bandai Namco U.S. Office Being Investigated

A bomb threat against Japanese publisher Bandai Namco is currently being investigated, according to IGN. The threat has not been detailed, except that the company's U.S. offices in Santa Clara have acknowledged that they have received something categorized by IGN as a bomb threat.

Bandai Namco sent IGN a comment confirming an investigation, but could not say whether the threat was considered a valid danger or a poor hoax.

"We can’t provide any comment regarding the validity of the threat as there is an ongoing investigation in progress," Bandai Namco commented. "We can say that all our employees are safe and that we will be doing everything in our power to safeguard the well being of our employees."

Cross-Save Comes To Destiny 2 Next Week

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Cross-Save Comes To Destiny 2 Next Week

Just before E3, Bungie announced that they would be taking Destiny 2 to the next logical level and letting you play the game anywhere you happen to own it with those same guardians. If you switched to PC, or want to, or want to join friends on Xbox One, you can transfer your characters at a then-unspecified date. Now it seems Bungie is ready to launch their cross-save initiative next week.

The news comes from a fairly pithy tweet from the Destiny 2 account, alongside an associated frequently asked questions post.

The questions and answers do clear up a lot of questions for people who haven't been keeping on every aspect of the cross-save changeover. Silver will be kept to the platform you got it on, as will platform-specific weapons, but for the most part all the important aspects of your guardians will be transferred over the cloud with a Bungie account.

Ubisoft CEO Says Splinter Cell Will Be Revisited In Different Forms

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Ubisoft CEO Says Splinter Cell Will Be Revisited In Different Forms

It's been quite a few years since Sam Fisher, the protagonist of the Splinter Cell series, has headlined a brand new game in two-decade old series. While fans have been begging Ubisoft to do more with the goggle-wearing superspy, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has said that the pressure on a new game is too great. Now Guillemot is changing his tune a bit and appears to be hinting at a new game, but ducking the pressure entirely by going a different, unspecified direction with it.

While in China, Guillemot spoke with outlet GamerSky and confirmed that a new Splinter Cell project is in the works. Don't expect it to be a traditional Splinter Cell game, though.

"There will be some new types of experiments," Guillemot answered when asked specifically about Splinter Cell, "but on more different devices. We are working a little bit on the brand today to come back at one point. We can’t say when, because, as you know, it takes time. But each time we have to find the right experience to come back big."

Streamer Ninja Upset About Twitch Using His Former Channel For Explicit Content

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Streamer Ninja Upset About Twitch Using His Former Channel For Explicit Content

Earlier this month, Tyler "Ninja" Blevins announced that he would be switching to Microsoft's Mixer platform for his future streaming career. The exclusivity agreement was a big boon for Mixer, which has long-struggled with challenging Twitch's Amazon-backed dominance, and theoretically took Twitch's most popular streamer away from them. Since then, Twitch has been using Ninja's username and channel to promote other streamers, which took an ugly turn when one streamer Twitch promoted began airing pornography on their channel. 

Putting aside that using Blevins' 14.7 million-follower channel for advertising other streams seems somewhat petty, Twitch ended up recommending an account airing full-screen pornography with a streaming thumbnail on the page. Twitch then had to apologize to Blevins over the incident.

"The lewd content that appeared on the Ninja offline channel page grossly violates our terms of service," Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said on Twitter. "We've permanently suspended the account in question. We have also suspended [recommending other channels on the channel] while we investigate how this content came to be promoted."

Planned Graphics Improvements For Minecraft Cancelled

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Planned Graphics Improvements For Minecraft Cancelled

At E3 two years ago, developers at Mojang got on stage to announce a host of different Minecraft initiatives, such as an ambitious attempt to get every version of Minecraft into the same ecosystem. Snuck in between several of these announcements was the public reveal of what Mojang called the Minecraft Super Duper Graphics Pack, an optional graphics pack that reskinned the game with higher-resolution textures, better lighting, shadows, and 4K support to come in Fall 2017. Two years later, they have announced that the project has ceased development.

Mojang announced cessation of the Super Duper Graphics pack on their website today, stating that the performance hit was a bit too much for every platform.

"We realise this is disappointing to some of you – there was a lot of enthusiasm for Super Duper from inside and outside the studio – but unfortunately, we aren’t happy with how the pack performed across devices," the developers wrote in a blog post. "For this reason, we're stopping development on the pack, and looking into other ways for you to experience Minecraft with a new look."