NVIDIA Talks Ampere & RTX, Paper Mario Details

TODAY: LEGO Dimensions features a piece of the puzzle in Portal's story — Nvidia is releasing a new GPU, but gamers are not the primary market — Looks like Valve has sold over a million units of Half-Life: Alyx

Paper Mario Is Back

New Paper Mario for Switch in July

Paper Mario turns 20 this year, and now Paper Mario: The Origami King – the sixth game in the series – is finally coming to Switch on July 17th.

Mario needs to defeat the evil Origami King according to the official site: “The kingdom has been ravaged by an origami menace! Join Mario and his new partner, Olivia, as they team up with unlikely allies like Bowser and the Toads to battle evil Folded Soldiers.”

Big tease: The Paper Mario series is a light-hearted RPG series with a paper craft aesthetic. The series also has a history of references to other Nintendo properties, and the Paper Mario: The Origami King announcement trailer features Samus Aran's helmet! There is also an unlisted video showing what appears to be the combat system or a mini game.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which console was Paper Mario released on other than Nintendo 64 ?

  • The iQue Player
  • The Panasonic Q
  • The Phillips CD-i
  • The 3DO

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.

Daily Fact

Rat Man? More like LEGO Man!

Traveller’s Tales’ LEGO Dimensions from 2015 is a crazy action-adventure crossover mixing together a variety of fictional universes, and one of them is Valve’s Portal.

If you’ve done your part for science, you’ll remember Doug “Rat Man” Rattmann’s hideouts that were strewn throughout the facility’s maintenance tunnels and hidden rooms. You never actually met Rat Man, though.

You can see him in the comics – and in LEGO Dimensions! Doug Rattman himself is running away as you pass through LEGO interpretations of Portal test chambers, an Easter egg that took players a year to discover. It remains the elusive scientist’s only appearance in a game.

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

Game Spotlight

Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee Review

Version tested: Nintendo Switch

Oddworld Inhabitants have brought 2001 Xbox launch game Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee to Switch, but has it stood the test of time? If you're a big Oddworld fan and have a hearty helping of nostalgia for the quirky 3D platformer, then great! If not, well – the last two decades haven't been kind to poor Munch.

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Munch is a pretty unlucky Gabbit. He's the last of his kind, and it's up to him and Mukodon hero Abe to stop the Vykker's Conglomerate before they bring more species to the brink of extinction. Munch and Abe have to work together, but unfortunately neither character is much fun: Clunky controls and an awkward camera conspire to drain the fun out of the experience. No matter what your nostalgia might tell you, this is no Super Mario 64.

You spend most of your time collecting green blobs called SpooceShrubs, possessing enemies to clear out threats and commanding an army of aliens to do your bidding. Unfortunately the level design is sparse and lifeless – a far cry from Abe's Oddyssee and Abe's Exoddus great use of 2D space.

The most positive thing we can say about Munch’s Oddysee is that it runs smooth as butter on Switch, keeping a constant 60FPS at 1080p – but it comes at a price: £17.99 for the Switch version, compared to just £3.99 for the Steam version. That's pretty steep for a game that's old enough to drink.

In any case, Munch's Oddyssee is nowhere near the quality of contemporaries like Jak & Daxter or Super Mario Sunshine, so unless you have a very soft spot for the Oddworld universe there's just not much reason to play it. It might be the ultimate Munch's Oddyssee experience, but that's just not good enough.

3/10

NVIDIA GTC 2020

NVIDIA CEO talks Ampere and RTX

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang delivered the company's GTC 2020 from his own home, talking about the new Ampere GPU and RTX.

The Ampere architecture will first be deployed in datacenters before eventually replacing the current Turing and Pascal gaming GPUs. The first chip based on the new architecture is called A100 and is designed for scientific computing tasks.

RTX’s future: Huang talked about the future of ray-tracing and Nvidia's RTX technology, and how it will shape real-time computer graphics in the future. His examples include Minecraft RTX and Nvidia's own Marbles tech demo.

Keynote online: You can watch all 9 parts of the GTC 2020 Keynote on the official NVIDIA YouTube channel.

VR Bits

Marvel’s Iron Man VR gets release date

Sony has delayed Marvel’s Iron Man VR a few times now, but now the release date appears to be iron-cast: July 3rd. Iron Man VR appears to be the final major PSVR exclusive before the PlayStation 5 launch later this year.

Developer Camouflaj said that they needed more time to “deliver on our vision and meet the high expectations of our amazing community”. Check out the trailer to develop your very own great expectations.

Half-Life: Alyx has sold over a million

SteamSpy, which estimates sales numbers of games on Steam, suggests that more than a million Steam users own a copy of Half-Life: Alyx. The game has been out for less than two months and sales will probably stay strong as Valve increases supply of Valve Index, which includes a copy of Half-Life: Alyx.

Road To VR predicts there are roughly 2.7 million VR users on Steam, meaning nearly one in three VR headset owners have a copy of Half-Life: Alyx. Looks like VR has a bright future after all!

Echo VR finally supports crossplay

Echo VR has struggled with fragmentation: Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift users could not play together, leading to longer queue times to fill a game lobby. Developer Ready At Dawn Studios has just enabled crossplay in the latest open beta version of Echo VR.

The latest update also increases player count in public Echo Arena matches from 3v3 to 4v4: “By adding in another player to each team, we believe there will be more opportunities for players to execute different plays, increase the amount of time they all have with the disc, and more.”

Crusader Kings 3 Dated

Crusader Kings III in early September

Paradox Interactive has opened pre-orders for their grand strategy role-playing game Crusader Kings III, scheduled for release in early September.

The new game builds on the character-oriented strategy established by predecessor Crusader Kings II, which has been supported with expansions since 2012. Major new features include 3D character portraits affected by age and traits, and the opportunity to found religions.

Early Aftermath: Surviving the Aftermath is entering Early Access on Steam on October 22nd. Until now, the game has only been available via Epic Game Store and Xbox Game Preview. The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down development as the team has transitioned to working from home, but their goal is a full launch in early 2021.

Want more time: Iceflake Studios’ Lasse Liljedahl said the studio is “onto something truly special, but we should spend more time going deeper” and fleshing out features and mechanics before calling the game done.

What Else Happened Today?

  • Grand Theft Auto 5 free on Epic Games Store until May 21st, hastily deleted tweet revealed the Epic Game Store mystery game early
  • Urban Trial Tricky pedals onto Switch this summer, so get ready for freestyle stunt bike mayhem with the “most savage tricks and combos”
  • PGA TOUR 2K21 tees off on August 21st according to the new trailer. The golf extravaganza will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch
  • State of Play will present “extended look at Ghost of Tsushima" in a live stream later today. Sucker Punch's latest will be revealed at 1:00pm PT / 4:00pm ET
  • WB Games Montreal will showcase their projects on Twitter, so follow them to learn more about the new Batman game and other DC projects

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which console was Paper Mario released on other than Nintendo 64 ?

Answer: The iQue Player!

Did you know gaming consoles were banned in China? The ban has been lifted, but there was hardly a Chinese console market before 2015.

Nintendo managed to use a loophole to launch a console for the Chinese market along with businessman Wei Yen. The console was named iQue Player and was intended as a way to combat the burgeoning black market for videogames, a Nintendo 64-esque machine with limited online features.

Unfortunately, it wasn't very successful. In fact, it was a real fiasco: Only 14 games were launched for the system, including Paper Mario. Unlikely as it may seem, that makes Paper Mario one of the foundational games of Chinese console history!

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

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