A recent Sega event in Japan is turning up all kinds of interesting news for the publisher, including the fact that a collection of Genesis and Master System games are heading to the Nintendo Switch. Get ready to party likes it’s 1985.
It’s been a busy weekend for Sega, what with the announcements of the Shenmue I/II rerelease and another micro-console heading our way. But for folks gaming on the Switch, the biggest news is likely this new collection of retro games being called “Sega Ages.” According to a report from Polygon, the collection will include 15 titles from the Sega Master System and Genesis, though only a trio of titles have been announced so far. Those include the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star and Thunder Force 4. Since M2 is working on these titles, we have a feeling they will be direct ports rather than remasters. However, that does not rule out additional bells and whistles like art galleries, save states, the ability to rewind gameplay, etc. None of that has been confirmed at this point, I’m just listing examples of some of the modern touches a lot of rereleases have been getting these days. The good news is that M2 has already worked on bringing plenty of 8-bit and 16-bit Sega games to more modern platforms, so we’re expecting some solid work out of the Sega Ages lineup.
We also know that the games will arrive sometime this summer, though nothing more specific than that has been listed at this point. We’re kind of curious what 12 games will make up the remainder of the collection. Since there are only 15 total, we figure they probably don’t want to do all three Sonic games when they could give up those two spots to other Sega classics. Then again, all three Sonic games are playable on about every platform known to man at this point, so maybe it makes sense that they all three make their way to the Switch.
As the original post points out, this could also be taken as a bad sign for some Switch fans, as it sure makes it seem like an alternative to the Virtual Console. Then again, maybe Nintendo simply isn’t worried about bringing outside consoles to a Switch Virtual Console. We know that something has to be in the works for first-party titles, as classic games are a part of their premium online plan. But that also doesn’t mean that games other than those offered through the plan will ever be made available. That would seem like Nintendo was leaving an awful lot of money on the table, but we’re basically done trying to figure out how the company thinks.
Still, whether it’s through a Virtual Console or not, it looks like 15 classic Sega games are heading to the Switch. What titles would you like to see included in the lineup? Let us know in the comments below.
In what is perhaps the strangest story of the week, it seems that Minecraft players will soon be able to earn Xbox Live achievements while playing the game on Nintendo Switch.
Patrick Maka was one of the first to notice this odd revelation over on Twitter where he tweeted out a screenshot of the achievement listing. Much like the iOS and Android versions of Minecraft, it seems that the Switch version will boast the same achievements as every other platform that the game has appeared on.
Polygon was able to later confirm what Maka found by reaching out to Microsoft. A representative from the company responded and stated:
“We can confirm that Minecraft players on Nintendo Switch will soon be able to earn achievements tied to Xbox Live once the Bedrock update is released.”
One of the underlying factors that made this situation possible was likely due to the fact that the Switch doesn’t have a native achievement system tied to the console. The PS4, on the other hand, does not boast these achievements due to the use of the console’s trophy system.
As of now, we don’t have a timetable for when the Bedrock update will be rolling out for Minecraft on Switch, but it likely won’t be too long considering the update has already released for other platforms. Once it does release though, all you’ll have to do is simply login to your Xbox Live account on the Switch to start earning those achievements for yourself.
ASHLAND, OH – An Ashland High School English teacher is using Minecraft to engage students in the literary worlds they are reading about in class.
Minecraft, a sandbox video game that was released in 2011, gives players the freedom to build anything they want in the game’s world. Microsoft bought the intellectual property in 2014. Since then, Microsoft has produced an “Education Edition” in order to implement the game in the classroom.
When Ben Spieldenner, English Teacher at Ashland High School, told his students that they would be playing Minecraft to further their learning, he didn’t have to worry about them being rusty.
“It’s like riding a bike, you know?” Spieldenner said. “They are very familiar about how it works, they are very familiar with how to construct, all those kinds of things.”
Ben got the idea to implement the game into his classroom after playing it with his kids. He recognized that the game did not have a win/lose system, instead it rewards players with the freedom of creation and exploration.
“I’ve been teaching english for a number of years, and so selfishly, I really wanted to plan the worlds that we have been reading about.” Ben Spieldenner said. “I wanted to use Minecraft to create an experience they would not have gotten in the real world.”
When students were able to get hands-on with the game in class, they were structured into teams. One team was tasked with creating, while another was tasked with destruction. Due to limited resources, this brought forward discussions on how to best utilize the resources they have, as well as plan how they wanted to create the worlds that they have been reading about.
Different worlds were built from many english texts from authors such as William Shakespeare, Ayn Rand, Charles Dickens, and more. Students found out quickly that the more they read in the book, the more likely they are to find secrets hidden in the world.
Ben states that having the game help visualize the worlds of the books they have been reading helps them better understand the subject. It’s a tool that not many kids have at their disposal.
“We assume that kids have the tools necessary to be able to understand what they are reading,” Ben explained. “Not all kids have those tools.”
Ben Spieldenner grew up with video games, his parents would often tell him that he would have to read for one hour in order to be able to play video games for an hour. Ben says that this is probably what led him to become an english teacher. This is something that he wants students to experience, the joy of combining two worlds together.
Public perception of using video games in the classroom is mixed, but Ben says that the benefits are endless.
“Sometimes its just a matter of showing that it’s not necessarily about the game itself… it’s about what games can do for your class.” Ben stated. “It’s a different way to look at education, it’s a different way to look at the classroom… I think when they see how excited kids are to be there and to be playing again in class… I think that’s exciting.”
If you’re a Minecraft fan, you’ll want to make sure you’re schedule is open in late September. Minecon 2018 will take place on Saturday, September 29 this year and, like last year, you can expect a vivid celebration of all things Minecraft.
Mojang and Microsoft are asking fans to participate this year in a couple of ways. Ahead of the show, you can submit your ideas for panels that you’d like to see. Those that are chosen will be recorded and shown during the stream. If you’re the creative type, you can also create a Minecraft-themed costume and submit a picture of it to Mojang. If you’re among the team’s favorites, you’ll win a prize an be flown out to Minecon to appear on the live stream.
This is the second year that Minecon will be a live-streamed virtual event instead of a physical convention. The team at Mojang is promising there will be plenty of live gameplay, chats with popular members of the community, and details about new stuff coming to Minecraft throughout the 90-minute event. For more, you can check out the official Minecon 2018 website.
Microsoft has unveiled its latest research project today, Project Zanzibar. It’s a smart mat that’s designed to blend the digital and physical worlds by sensing touch, gestures, and objects. A team of researchers, with a love of toys, created the project at Microsoft’s research labs in the UK. The mat folds and combines sensing, near field communication (NFC), and multi-touch to imagine a future where you could place objects on this smart mat and play games.
Microsoft’s video (above) demonstrates a number of different games that track the position, movement, and orientation of objects — all thanks to NFC stickers. The smart mat, that reminds me of the Surface Music Cover, can even detect inputs like button presses, and works with existing devices via Bluetooth. While the software maker demonstrates basic games for learning, programming, and augmented reality, this looks like the perfect hardware to combine the company’s Minecraft game with real-world Lego blocks. Objects can be easily tagged with NFC stickers, so you could stack them and have the mat translate that physical object into Minecraft.
It’s early days for Microsoft’s Project Zanzibar smart mat, but ZDNet reports that the company will be demonstrating it later this month at the ACM CHI Conference in Montreal. Microsoft has clearly focused on learning and education with this smart mat prototype, and the toys and games aspect could work well in schools if it’s ever released. Microsoft has been criticized in the past for showing off research projects and never making them a reality. However, the software maker did overhaul its research arm back in 2016 to create projects that aren’t just pure research and can have a greater impact on the company.