After a 9 year hiatus, Warner Bros. Interactive is reviving the Gauntlet franchise, with this new 4 player title for PC. The graphics are obviously much more modern in this version, but it retains some of the classic game mechanics. Each of the 4 characters will have different skills, and different health drain rates. It’s scheduled for a summer 2014 release, more info at gauntlet.com.
Separate sounds from the individual tone generators in the NES for sampling, remixing, or just listen to your favorite game music with a different twist.
Now that you’ve built yourself a 3D printer, what else can you make with common RepRap parts and all Open Source software and hardware? Jose Julio (@jjdrones) wanted to find out, and what he came up with is the Air Hockey Robot. It uses OpenCV with a PlayStation Eye Camera to track the puck, custom Arduino firmware to control the NEMA 17 stepper motors, and a homemade air hockey table with a bunch of 3D printed parts.
Details on the build and links to the code, designs, and documentation can be found on his blog: English – Spanish
Steve Lin (@stevenplin) is so excited about this rare find that he couldn’t help but tweet some pictures he’s taken of the pre-release NES brochure right from the airport while he awaits his flight. Not that I can blame him, these images show a vision that Nintendo had for the NES that I’ve never seen or heard of before.
I can’t say I’m too disappointed that this hodgepodge of peripherals never came to be. I believe the fact that the NES focused solely on gaming and did that one thing very well is what set it apart from the all-in-one computer/gaming systems of the time like the Commodore 64, and made it a device worth buying even if you did already own a computer. I know I would have had a hard time convincing my parents to buy a system that was almost identical to the one we had, only less compact and organized.
Then again, the direction Apple has gone in with the Mac Pro having no internal expansion ports and all external peripherals shows that manufacturers still haven’t given up on that concept. Steve has assured that full, high quality scans of the entire brochure will be forthcoming.
UPDATE 2014/2/11: Now You’re Knitting With Power!
Since Nintendo‘s president Satoru Iwata recently announced that the company is assembling a small team to:
“focus on achieving greater ties with our consumers on smart devices and expanding our platform business”,
many gaming sites and reviewers have been quick to say what a horrible idea that is, some going so far as to predict that it could be the death knell for Nintendo. The main criticism seems to be that there’s just no way to port a game that was designed and tested to be played with one of Nintendo’s unique controllers to a device with only touchscreen and accelerometer inputs. To do so would only tarnish the memory of Nintendo’s great games, and would give newcomers the wrong impression about what they can expect from the company’s other products. I would agree, if that were the case, but it doesn’t appear so.
All we know for sure is that they haven’t specifically ruled out using some of their characters on mobile platforms, but there is no indication that they have any intention of rehashing older titles, or offering any kind of virtual console (cue involuntary shuddering at the thought of a virtual D-pad). The apps would be totally new projects, and I believe that Nintendo definitely has the brainpower and creativity to come up with games for that format that could stand on their own. Personally, I think there are a few franchises of theirs that would translate well… for example, a mobile version of Mario Party with a few well done mini games (preferably some multiplayer) might be just the thing to draw people to the Wii U.