Nintendo Switch Lite finally unveiled

Nintendo finally unveiled the long-rumored Nintendo Switch Lite. Besides the compact size, the biggest difference is a classic D-pad control. Due out in September, it will retail for $200. From The Verge:

Nintendo says the Lite features “slightly” improved battery life — the company wouldn’t get any more specific than that — due to a more power-efficient chip layout, as well as the lack of additional batteries in the built-in controllers. The Switch Lite also does away with the device’s controversial kickstand...

The Lite comes in multiple colors at launch — yellow, grey, and turquoise — as well as a special light grey Pokémon Sword and Shield edition, and they all have a pleasant matte texture that feels great to hold....

The new device has a 5.5-inch touch display, compared to 6.2-inch for its predecessor. If you take a single Joy-Con off of an original Switch, you’ll have a good idea of the size of the new version.

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Whinefeld: the bizarre Seinfeld parody clip from the Stay Tooned! videogame (1996)

The clip above is from Stay Tooned!, a 1996 computer game developed by Funnybone Interactive. From Wikipedia:

The player takes the place of an ordinary patron living in an apartment. The player starts off simply channel-surfing with a TV remote and watching short cartoons and commercials that parody real-life shows (such as Seinfeld, which is parodied as Whinefeld). One channel even has the game's chief programmer providing hints on how to play the upcoming game. Several cartoon characters either forbid or encourage the player to push the red button on their remote as the player surfs the channels. When the player pushes the button, the cartoons break out of the television set, steal the remote, and cause the entire apartment complex to go into animated form. The player must recover the television remote, which is the only thing that can zap the escaped toons and send them back to TV Land, the fictional toon world found within the depths of the television.

(via r/ObscureMedia) Read the rest

Fantastic TV commercial from Mattel Intellivision (1982)

This excellent 1982 TV commercial for Mattel's Intellivision game console features a "computerized" futuristic newscast that predates both Max Headroom's cyber-pisstake on the media and A-Ha's rotoscoped classic "Take On Me!"

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Xbox-branded deodorant and other personal hygiene products

Microsoft and Unilever's Lynx brand have partnered on a line of Xbox personal hygiene products including deodorant, body spray, and shower gel. Whatever gets them to use it, I say. Unfortunately for now, the products will only be available in Australia and New Zealand. From Gamespot:

The official description is simply delightful:

"Lynx Xbox is a fresh scent of pulsing green citrus, featuring top notes of kaffir lime and winter lemon, aromatic herbal middle notes of mint and sage, and woody bottom notes of patchouli and clearwood. Containing a range of natural essential oils, the Xbox Lynx range comes with a sleek new look and features a body spray, deodorant, and shower gel."

Xbox ANZ boss Tania Chee said in a statement that users can spray or wash themselves with Xbox Lynx to "power up" before heading out the door in the morning.

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A brief history of the bizarre, unholy offspring of Tetris

In 1984, Alexey Pajitnov, then working for the Russian Academy of Sciences, completed his masterpiece, Tetris. It was perfection and, sadly, could only go downhill from there, as the inimitable videogamedunkey explains in this delightful video above.

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Fantastic Super Mario Bros. stop-motion paper animation in a notebook

Kisaragi double 6 created this fantastic hand-drawn stop-motion animation of the Super Mario Bros (1985) World 1-1 level.

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Archival music collection from June Chikuma, composer of the "Bomberman" videogame soundtracks

June Chikuma is the Japanese composer behind the beloved soundtracks to Nintendo’s Bomberman series and countless other videogame, TV, and film scores. Now, Chikuma's 1986 album "Divertimento" has been expanded into a new edition titled Les Archives, available from the Freedom To Spend label. The vinyl edition of Les Archives also includes a limited 7" with tunes from the era that didn't make the original Divertimento release. The above video, "June Rebuilds," was directed by Amanda Kramer and features the track "Broadcast Profanity Delay" from Les Archives. From the release announcement:

While Freedom To Spend’s reinvented edition bares little visual evidence of its origins in the composer’s name, title, or sleeve design, the album, a whooping gonzo of synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, and a mysterious string quartet, remains as vibrant now as it did when released on Toru Hatano’s Picture Label as Divertimento in 1986. In fact, the music of Les Archives now glows with a different purpose; one that revises the past while maintaining, and finally elevating, its hidden influence.

A woman of multiple disciplines and identities, June Chikuma (竹間 淳, Chikuma Jun) has composed for TV, film, and video games over the past thirty plus years. Her proto-techno and drum and bass soundtracks for Nintendo’s Bomberman franchise in the 80s and 90s is an oeuvre unto itself. In more recent years her musical focus has turned toward classic Arabic and Egyptian music. Chikuma studies Arabic nay, playing and performing with Le Club Bachraf ensemble. In a melding of June’s contrasting, colorful worlds, Le Club Bachraf composed part of the original score for the 2007 video game Sonic and The Secret Rings.

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Why video games are made of triangles.. smaller and smaller triangles

The power is in the polygons.

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Play HATETRIS, the most frustrating version of Tetris ever

According to its infernal creator, HATETRIS "is bad Tetris. It's hateful Tetris. It's Tetris according to the evil AI from 'I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.'"

Background, hints, and links to others' prior work here.

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Four or five people 'floss' in Times Square for New Years

Streaming sensation Ninja attempted to lead a very wet New York's Times Square mob in a million person 'Floss.'

Ninja and his wife gave it their best and got soaked in the attempt. Apparently, support for the Backpack Kid crushed the crowds enthusiasm. Read the rest

Firewatch available for Nintendo Switch

The fantastic indie game Firewatch, in which you play a fire lookout living alone in a firewatch tower in the middle of a Wyoming wilderness, is now available on the Nintendo Switch for $20.

The year is 1989.

You are a man named Henry who has retreated from your messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched atop a mountain, it's your job to find smoke and keep the wilderness safe.

An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio—and is your only contact with the world you've left behind.

But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world below, you'll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

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K-Swiss's new line of performance sneakers for videogaming

K-Swiss and esports organization Immortals is releasing sneakers designed for playing videogames.

Bloomberg reports that the "performance" version of the sneaker, called the Grandmaster, "will include the ability to quickly kick the shoes off hands-free. That should help provide comfort during long matches."

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Teardown of the new PlayStation Classic

Jerry of JerryRigEverything takes apart the new PlayStation Classic, a miniature replica of the original Playstation that comes preloaded with 20 games.

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Remember the Vectrex videogame system from the 1980s? It had a little brother

For those who don't know, the Vectrex was Milton Bradley's videogame console with an integrated vector graphics display that was introduced in 1982. As cool and unique as Vectrex was, it was only on the market for two years before succumbing to the video game crash of 1983. A few years ago, photos turned up revealing that Milton Bradley had apparently prototyped a more portable version of the console. Other than what was seen in those images though, there was little-to-no information about the actual system, like whether it actually worked or was just a mock-up. Until now. The National Videogame Museum has actually acquired one of the working prototypes!

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PlayStation sneakers from Nike

Oklahoma City Thunder basketball star and retro-videogamer Paul George worked with Nike and Sony on a new pair of PS1-inspired sneakers. Due out December 1, the PG 2.5 x PlayStation design follows on the heels (sorry) of the black PG2 x PlayStation sneakers that were released in February and sold out in a hot minute.

"For those who know me, gaming is a big part of who I am – I love the fans and I love this community, so it was amazing to see the gaming and sneaker worlds collide with the original PG2 collaboration," George writes. "This time around, I wanted to take the design old school, back to my earliest days of gaming. For me – as I’m sure many of you can relate – those memories date back to the original PlayStation."

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Super Mario Bros accompanied by a live big band!

The 8-Bit Big Band is a jazz/pops orchestra that performs video game music. In this video, they're accompanying "Be More Chill" actor George Salazar as he plays through first two worlds of Super Mario Bros. "All sound FX performed live on drum pads!" Read the rest

Play Bubble Bobble, Wolfenstein, and 13,000 other Commodore 64 disks free online

The Internet Archive now offers in-browser emulation of more than 13,000 Commodore 64 floppy disks. The Sentinel, Paradroid, Oregon Trail, Wasteland... they're all there, waiting for you.

Software Library: C64 (Internet Archive)

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