Switch Production Boost, Cyberpunk Ray Tracing at 1080p

TODAY: Rare wanted to tell the Banjo-Kazooie story without a line of text — More rumours and evidence of a second next-gen Xbox model — Nintendo promises that the Switch shortages will be over soon

Top Story

Cyberpunk 2077 features ray-tracing

Nvidia has confirmed that the latest Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay footage was running at a resolution of 1920×1080 at 60FPS with ray-tracing.

The preview build also featured DLSS 2.0 anti-aliasing supported by the tensor cores in the latest Nvidia GPUs. Ray-tracing was used for ambient occlusion and diffused illumination, which simulates light bouncing off surfaces.

Home stretch: The press has seen around 5 hours worth of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay, and their impressions are very positive. That certainly makes it easier to stomach the recent delay from September until mid-November.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which items do you need to unlock the Secret Cow Level in Diablo 2 ?

  • A perfect skull, a rare item, and the Horadric Cube
  • The Staff of Kings, The Viper Amulet, and the Horadric Cube
  • A Tome of Town Portal, Wirt’s Leg, and the Horadric Cube
  • There is no Secret Cow Level

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

Banjo-Kazooie was almost narrated by pictograms and animations, not words

The iconic Nintendo 64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie was originally supposed to feature what Rare called bubblespeak. Speech bubbles would contain still or moving pictures rather than words, and the goal was to make the game both funnier and easier to localize.

Before Rare started developing Banjo-Kazooie, they were working on something called Project Dream that got cancelled for being too ambitious. They tried to salvage parts of it by replacing the main character – a boy named Eddison – with first a bunny and then a bear. They liked the bear so much that he got his own game, which became Banjo-Kazooie.

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

Xbox Series X Leaks

Unannounced Xbox model codenamed Lockhart more or less confirmed

There have been rumours and mounting evidence that there are two versions of the next-generation Xbox.

The Xbox Series X motherboard has an anaconda stamped on it, reflecting its codename. The other version is codenamed Lockhart, and the next-gen Xbox developer kits have separate profilers for Anaconda and Lockhart.

Sony is also launching two different PlayStation 5 models, but the only difference between them is the presence of a Blu-Ray drive.

Xbox Series S: Microsoft has yet to announce the other and presumably weaker console. It seems likely that Microsoft will stick to the X and S naming scheme introduced to differentiate the Xbox One models.

Budget contract: Microsoft has already revealed their plans to sell next-gen consoles on a contract, much like mobile phone providers do. You get the hardware for free, and pay a monthly subscription to use it. Perhaps there will be budget and premium subscriptions including different hardware?

Nintendo Switch Production Shortages

Switch production returning to normal

The on-going Switch stock shortages should be alleviated over the course of the summer as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down and production increases.

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa made the announcement during the 80th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. Switch sales have surged since the counter-pandemic lockdowns started earlier this year across most of the world.

No delays: Retailers will receive bigger shipments of Switch consoles this summer and will also be able to fulfill their back orders. While Nintendo’s development studios have shifted to working from home, they don’t expect to delay any upcoming titles despite COVID-19’s impact on production.

Lockdown alert: If there is a second wave of the pandemic that prolong lockdown or impose more serious restrictions, there is a chance of delays. Both games and console production are vulnerable to supply chain disruptions.

What Else Happened Today?

DailyBits Spotlight

10% off Haxity on Steam Early Access

How do you like the idea of a rogue-lite deck-builder? Check out Megapop’s new game Haxity on Early Access. Expect a gritty, neon-soaked cyberpunk dystopia where you control bands of warriors in a city corrupted to the core.

There’s online PvP as well as a nail-biting single-player rogue-lite experience that will grind you into highly nutritious paste to banging dark synthwave tunes. Get a 10% discount this week on Steam Early Access!

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which items do you need to unlock the Secret Cow Level in Diablo 2 ?

Answer: The Tome of Town Portal, Wirt’s Leg, and the Horadric Cube!

If you want to experience the Secret Cow level, you need to beat Diablo II’s final boss first.

Defeat Diablo (or Baal, if you are playing Lord of Destruction) and then put Wirt’s Leg and a Tome of Town Portal into the Horadric Cube. That allows you to face the scariest monsters the game has to offer: A bunch of bipedal cows who moo and assault you with polearms.

How did Blizzard come up with this? At the height of the first Diablo’s popularity, there were rumours of a secret cow level. Developers are Blizzard were clearly amused, since ‘there is no cow level’ is a level skip cheat in StarCraft and it actually appears in Diablo II. Let’s hope the Hell Bovines return in Diablo IV!

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