Input lag for N64 games improved in latest update for Nintendo Switch Online

By Ed Nightingale

Nintendo is gradually making improvements to the Nintendo 64 app for Switch Online players.Last week the addition of Banjo-Kazooie to the service came with a 1.2 update for the app that made some changes, including reduced input lag.According to YouTube channel Modern Vintage Gamer, the input lag has been significantly improved across the board.

“The input lag has had some work,” he said. “It’s certainly not fixed, but it is better than the original release and it does show me that Nintendo is listening, or at least reading the feedback and trying to address these things.”Using The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as an example, the input lag has been improved from between 5-6 frames of lag to 1-2 frames. Other games may vary.”Again, this is not perfect, and due to the nature of emulation it may never be, [but] it’s clear that Nintendo has reduced lag here and overall the game does feel much better to play so this is quite a good result,” he said.

What’s more, Ocarina of Time has seen a further improvement.Fans of the game will be familiar with the battle with Dark Link in the Water Temple, which takes place in a room flooded with water and ambient fog. Except in the Switch emulation the water wasn’t reflective and the fog is gone, meaning the encounter lost much of its atmosphere.Now the water texture has been fixed to add in a reflective surface, though the fog is still missing.
[NSO – Nintendo 64]It seems the water in the now-infamous Water Temple room has been fixed in the latest update? I think the fog is still missing, though.Haven?t checked the rest of the game to see if any of the other issues have changed, but this is promising. pic.twitter.com/wcoG3hIxu2— OatmealDome (@OatmealDome) January 21, 2022

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That lack of fog can be seen throughout Ocarina of Time. It means objects in the distance now pop far more than they should, so the game shows its age more clearly when compared to the original release.The emulation isn’t perfect, then, but through incremental changes it seems Nintendo is listening to fan feedback.

GTA 5 streaming on a Game Boy is a real thing that actually happened

By GameCentral

Who needs the next gen versions when you’ve got this? (pic: YouTube)Perhaps the best demonstration yet of the flexibility and potential of video game streaming is playing GTA 5 and Crysis on a Game Boy.
There are few people that would deny that streaming is the future of gaming, but the question is when exactly that future will happen. Broadband speeds need to be a lot more consistent, everywhere in the world, for it to completely take over from traditional gaming, and that could take a decade or more.
In theory though, streaming services such as Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud can use any device to play any game, with the only limitation being the controls and screen – and you don’t get much more limited than the original monochrome Game Boy.
The Game Boy used in the video below is a completely ordinary one, but physicist Sebastian Staacks has created his own custom cartridge to allow streaming of not just Grand Theft Auto 5 but also Cyrsis, Doom, and Super Mario World.
Staacks’ video goes into plenty of detail on how he got the cartridge to work and is very interesting if you want to know more about not just streaming but working with retro hardware.
For instance, the Game Boy can’t even display a fullscreen image, since everything is made up of smaller tiles and it can’t use them all at once – so what Staack has achieved is even cleverer than it first seems.
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You can barely make out GTA 5 via the Game Boy’s ridiculously low res screen but it’s clearly working properly, albeit it at just 20 frames per second.
Crysis running on a Game Boy sounds absurd, but it works too and we’re only surprised that he didn’t try Skyrim as well, just so that it could claim another format. Although he does use Doom, which is just as cliché.

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Gears Of War remaster collection planned for Xbox claims rumour

By GameCentral

Gears Of War – the Marcus Fenix collection, anyone? (pic: Microsoft)Microsoft is planning a new remaster collection in the mould of Halo: The Master Chief Collection and it’s either for Gears or Fable.
Despite all the talk of Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard, and their now unparalleled number of first party studios, the fact is they currently have almost nothing scheduled to come out in 2022.
That doesn’t mean that games won’t be announced in the coming months, for release this year, but at the moment we know very little about their exact plans, but a new rumour suggests that they may involve a remaster collection of the Gears Of War franchise.
Gears 5 was released over two years ago now and there’s been little word on a new sequel – despite it leaving plenty of plot threads hanging – but it seems Microsoft may be concerned that neither of the last two games created quite the buzz they were hoping for.
The rumour originated with the normally reliable Nick Baker, who suggested that Microsoft is planning a new release in the mould of The Master Chief Collection. He didn’t know which franchise though and speculated either Gears Of War or Fable.
Fable does seem the more obvious choice at first, as it has a major new reboot on the way – which is expected to be released in the next year or so.
The problem with that choice though is that it’s only really Fable 2 that was ever very popular, although the first game did receive a remaster on Xbox 360.
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Gears Of War is the next best choice and The Verge senior editor Tom Warren seemed to indicate that is exactly what’s happening by replying to a tweet about the rumour by saying ‘the gears are really turning on this rumour’.
This seems to suggest that he knows a Gears Of War collection is underway, but there is also the issue of what purpose such a release serves given Game Pass and the high quality of Xbox backwards compatibility.
All the original Gears Of War games are already available to play and while new remasters are always welcome it’s not something that would necessarily have the same appeal as when The Master Chief Collection was originally released.
If the problem is that Gears Of Wars doesn’t have the mainstream appeal that it once did though – or simply that Microsoft needs a new release because Gears 6 is still a long way off – the rumour does make a lot more sense.

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