Monster Hunter Rise Demo Today, 4K OLED Switch Pro?

Today: Xbox was a hedge against PlayStation 2 outcompeting the PC — Capcom unleashes time-limited Monster Hunter Rise demo — Hitman 3 brings sandbox assassination fun to PlayStation VR

Firmware hints at new Switch model

Hold on tight, rumours are once again saying Nintendo is getting ready to launch a beefier Switch model. Dataminers have dug into the latest firmware, and it looks like they have struck gold.

Nintendo Switch launched in 2017, and refreshed in 2019

This isn't the first time the rumour mill claims the Switch Pro is just around the corner, and Nintendo have kept their cards close to their chest. However, the latest Switch firmware update contains references to something called Aula, which uses the revised chipset introduced with Switch Lite and the 2019 model.

Codename: The dataminer SciresM thinks Aula is the codename for Switch Pro, and speculates that it will be faster since the firmware also contains references to a Realtek chip marketed as a “4K UHD multimedia SoC”.

Not yet: The handheld resolution is unlikely to change, since the Realtek chip would be handling docked output. However, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser said that thanks to the “momentum that we have, our focus will be on the existing form factors.”

How many games are actually called Tetris 2?

a) One
b) Two
c) Three
d) Four

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Music fit for saving a princess

The Western version of Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition for GameCube featured updated intro music for The Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The NES Classics release for Game Boy Advance also features the new music.

The Collector's Edition included four classic adventures

The main menu music also differs between regions, with the Japanese version featuring a remix of the Legend of Zelda theme, while the international release uses the Master Quest menu music.

Join our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today's fact.

The original Xbox was a PC in disguise

The original Xbox was a bit of a rollercoaster for Microsoft, and the big black brick was almost cancelled several times before it finally made it out the door.

The original Xbox prototype unveiled at GDC 2000

Bloomberg recently published an oral history of Xbox, revealing that Microsoft worried that the PlayStation 2 might threaten the PC platform. Since Microsoft's bread-and-butter was Windows and Office, they had to do something to stay in the race if the PC itself came under threat.

To PC or not PC: Two different plans were considered. One was an entirely custom piece of hardware, similar to the Japanese consoles – but the DirectX team argued that this was a bad strategy and that it would be better to market a PC as a console.

All or nothing: The Xbox project had another nickname inside Microsoft: The Coffin Box. Quite a few of the people involved feared it would end their careers, since Microsoft had to wedge itself into a mature market with strong incumbents and convince the development community to back their horse. While Microsoft never quite managed to beat Sony at their own game, at least Sony never managed to threaten the PC market – although Apple and Google eventually did.

Capcom unveils Monster Hunter Rise

Capcom has just revealed Monster Hunter Rise for Switch, announcing that it will be released on March 26th.

The icy Goss Harag was unveiled as a new monster

There is a Monster Hunter Rise demo available from the eShop right now, and the announcement showed off wyvern riding gameplay, a new monster, many classic monsters and new, frosty hunting grounds.

Free demo: The demo will only be available until the end of January, and lets you try out “numerous hunting options,” both solo and co-op, online as well as offline. The demo includes the following modes:

  • Training – Learn the basics of monster hunting, including an introduction to the new Wirebug mechanic and Palamute riding. Solo play only.
  • Wyvern Riding – Enter an arena to experience Wyvern Riding, a new feature that allows hunters to ride and guide monsters for a period of time. Solo play only.
  • Beginner Quest: Great Izuchi – Ideal for first time players or hunters who need a refresher course. Solo play, local multiplayer and online multiplayer.
  • Intermediate Quest: Mizutsune – A fierce challenge for experienced players only. Solo play, local multiplayer and online multiplayer.

IO Interactive brings Agent 47 to VR

Hitman 3 supports PlayStation VR and brings all three Hitman games into glorious first-person virtual reality.

Tap shoulders, take hatchets to your targets and fling bodies off cliffs as the deadliest assassin in the world. Fingers crossed and guns cocked for VR support in the PC version as well!

Take the reins of your own Shai-Hulud

The new Dune movie didn't make it out in 2020, but now you can get a taste of what it's like to be a Fremen by riding a sandworm in VR.

You'll need a browser that supports WebXR to straddle the Maker, but once you're in you'll take the reins of your very own sandworm. Ride around the desert and admire other sandworms you meet on your way and remember: Fear is the mind-killer!

How many games are actually called Tetris 2?

ANSWER: Two!

I don’t know how legal it is to call your game Tetris 2 if you don't have the rights

There are innumerable Tetris games out there, but only two of them are called Tetris 2. The first one was an unofficial version made by the Czech film critic and game developer František Fuka, who sold the rights to Ultrasoft. His version adds levels with challenges like “Fulfill your Quota” and “Survive XX Seconds”.

The official (and more notable) sequel was published by Nintendo for Game Boy, NES and SNES in 1993 and was called Tetris Flash in Japan. It was quite different from the original Tetris, and played more like Dr. Mario: A match-three game. They were both quite distinct from the original Tetris, and the unofficial ZX Spectrum sequel holds a special place in Czech gaming history.

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.