USG Notebook is a weekly column dedicated to rounding up rumors, tidbits, and commentary that didn't get full coverage on the site.
A new hardware model designation seems to have appeared for the Nintendo Switch. In a datamine of the latest firmware update for the Switch, a mysterious "nx-abcd" popped up, with some interesting connotations.
Posted to Twitter, the recent firmware update that added accessibility options like button remapping also had some mentions of "nx-abcd." This model is a new designation, apparently not related to the base Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite.
As the dataminer Mike Heskin noted, there's evidence in this particular info dump of a "secondary display of sorts" for this model. The "abcd" thing might seem like a stretch, but Heskin has shown in the past how hardware has been designated in Switch updates.
Nintendo said earlier this year that it has no plans for a new Switch model in 2020, and given the ongoing hardware shortages amid increased demand, not to mention coronavirus-related complications, it's easy to see Nintendo sticking to that. But the idea of a new Switch hardware development is still intriguing to mull over.
Some are theorizing a DS-style Switch that uses two screens, while others speculate it could be a stronger push into VR. With Nintendo, anything could be possible, and it's all purely speculation. But it's nice to know that, at least from this new data point, exciting things could still be brewing in the Switch hardware department.
Here's the rest of what's been happening this week in gaming news.
News and Tidbits
Last week, Japan's rating board CERO announced it would be temporarily suspending operations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. ESRB and PEGI, meanwhile, are reassuring players that they'll continue working. Speaking to IGN, both entities said they've been working remotely and don't foresee any complications.
A Nielsen report has found that while more people are playing games, fewer are increasing spending. With the abundance of free-to-play options like Warzone, Fortnite, or League of Legends, it seems the playtime increase isn't converting 1:1 into sales for the industry.
An Adweek article dove into the ways Unreal and Unity are being used to make commercials amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In lieu of gathering actors, film crews, and more in a centralized location, game engines can create commercials like the recent Google Pixel 3 ad featuring Childish Gambino.
From the Rumor Mill
- More details have surfaced about the potential Resident Evil 4 remake in reports from VideoGamesChronicle and Gematsu. Leon getting not one, but two remake makeovers seems a bit like favoritism to me.
- Accusations of Planet Entertainment launching Cooking Mama: Cookstar half-baked and getting into potential legal issues with series creator Office Create seem more likely today. Office Create issued a statement saying the game was unauthorized to launch, and that it could seek legal action over the release of Cooking Mama: Cookstar into the wild.
- Industry analyst Daniel Ahmad took a look at the spike in Steam users during this time of social distancing and staying indoors. That massive bump is pretty staggering.
- NASCAR racer Kyle Larson lost his gig on a pro team after using a racial slur on an iRacing stream.
- Many people have been discussing whether Resident Evil 4 "needs" a remake. Our own Editor-in-Chief Kat Bailey says yeah, the game is pretty dated these days. Me? I just hope it will let you move and shoot, but the village sequence is already darn near perfect.