Earlier this month, the fighting game community erupted with allegations of sexual misconduct across all levels, from top-level pros, commentators, and organizers. The allegations largely centered on the Super Smash Bros. fighting game community and, in a rare move from the Japanese company, Nintendo issued a statement supporting the victims.“At Nintendo, we are deeply disturbed by the allegations raised against certain members of the competitive gaming community,” Nintendo said in a statement when asked by IGN. “They are absolutely impermissible. We want to make it clear that we condemn all acts of violence, harassment, and exploitation against anyone and that we stand with the victims.”
The statement is rare because historically Nintendo has distanced itself from the Super Smash Bros. fighting game scene. Unlike companies like Riot or Blizzard, who work directly to manage the competitive scene built up around their games, Nintendo has studiously distanced itself, and even actively worked against a community that loves its fighting games.
The statement caused a stir in the Smash community precisely because Nintendo doesn’t often associate itself with the grassroots fighting game organizations: “It’s official. Nintendo’s pulling the plug. We’re f***ed,” Tweeted one fan in response to the statement.
“Well well, Nintendo has never supported the competitive scene. Now they want to complain about it. What a plot twist” commented another.
“From the perspective of the Smash community, [Nintendo] appears to be relatively selective, and as hands-off as possible,” Christina “Chia” Korsak, a 14-year veteran of the Smash Bros. community, said in an interview with IGN.
This means Super Smash Bros. fighting game tournaments are by and large grassroots affairs, run by third-parties, and technically unofficial. Rather than antipathy, Nintendo corporate has a history of taking action against grassroots competitive Smash.
In 2013 Evo held a donation drive to determine which video game would take the 8th slot for the show’s roster. The community that donated the most money would earn a place for their chosen game in Evo 2013, and the Smash Bros. community managed to “win” a spot for Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Despite this good-natured campaign, Nintendo attempted first to shut down Smash Bros. from even appearing in Evo, before trying to block live streams of the game from the event. After an outcry, Nintendo backed off and a Smash Bros. Melee tournament was allowed to proceed. But the resistance from Nintendo would color the community’s relationship with the developer for the years to come.
The lack of official sponsorship didn’t deter the Smash Bros. community. Artist Jaqueline “Jisu” Choe described the smaller grassroots events as “lowkey and inviting.”
Choe says that the Smash community became what it is because Smash fans took it upon themselves to build up the scene. “If it weren’t for the active volunteer work of many smart, capable individuals, then tournaments would simply not exist. A lot of the important work is thankless, so there’s no incentive to actually stand up for it.”
While the camaraderie of the grassroots scene made the community close, Choe says that it left the door open to disorganization and there was a limitation to what the community could organize on its own. “A lot of accountability is lost… Simple business transactions also become muddied by the guise of ‘friendships’ and things could get very messy and ugly very fast.”
Earlier this month Smash 4 pro player Gonzalo “Zero” Barrios apologized to Choe and another community member named Katie after admitting to inappropriate flirting with Katie when she was 15.
Every Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Fighter
In 2015, Nintendo began sponsoring a handful of fighting game tournaments and events. This meant there were some Nintendo booths and demo kiosks, but Korsak says this wasn’t much of an improvement, and far from the level of support shown by other fighting game-adjacent developers and publishers.
“From the public looking in, we had some game demos or booths from Nintendo at a few events, and maybe a few tweets about the events. No huge prize pots or organization of any kind though.”
While Korsak says that the acknowledgment of the community was beneficial, overall it wasn’t the embrace the community was hoping for. “By being a Nintendo sponsored event we didn’t really get much, but instead had to abide by certain restrictions by them such as — not playing third-party modified games such as Project M at events, not using other game modifications like 20XX, broadcast restrictions with certain licensed music tracks, and more.”
[Ed note: 20XX is a mod for Super Smash Bros. Melee that add features more conducive to tournament play, while Project M is a mod for Super Smash Bros. Brawl that makes the gameplay closer to the one in Melee.]
It likely won’t help future relations that Nintendo’s meager overtures to the community have also been caught in the crossfires of the scandal. Smash Bros. pro Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada was one of the community members accused of sexual misconduct. They’ve been dropped from their esports team NRG, and videos of them appearing on official Nintendo clips have been removed from the company’s YouTube channel.
Still, Nintendo’s distance from the Smash Bros. competitive scene is well-known and felt by the community and fans are ultimately hurt that Nintendo’s condemnation is one of the few statements Nintendo’s officially released about the Smash community.
Others, however, see potential reasoning for Nintendo: “Maybe the community never deserved Nintendo’s attention in the first place because the community is a cesspool of toxicity,” laments one twitter user. “The community needs to stop acting like they deserve Nintendo’s attention.”
“If Nintendo actually introduced structure and organization to help facilitate stable pay and avenues for people who experience physical/sexual assault, then we’d have a much cleaner scene,” disagrees Choe.
When asked if she’d like to see Nintendo take a more active role in the community in the future, Choe echoed similar sentiments from other community members online.
“Would I like to [see Nintendo more involved]? Yes. Do I think it’s going to happen? No. Nintendo has been very firm on its beliefs, even at the dismay of many, and I believe all the events that have transpired will either prompt them to come in or permanently keep them away.”
Ultimately, Choe says the Smash community is what it is today because of how grassroots it is, and that official sponsorship will take away “the beauty of what make the community so great.”
“It’s a give or take situation where objectively, it is better for Nintendo to be in the picture, but even without them, the scene has built itself up into one of the most unique gaming communities and will continue to carry itself on its own shoulders.”
Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.
It's finally time to consider a foldable for your next phone – Android Central
I’m always excited to see new form factors start to emerge in tech. Gadgets like foldables or even dual-screen devices recall a more experimental time before the ubiquitous glass slab smartphones we know today, and they come with unique new use cases that can eventually influence the entire mobile industry.
But naturally, with new ideas come various problems and setbacks. The necessary materials for foldable displays, including thin, flexible glass and plastic, aren’t as durable as the glass used on most smartphones, and with so many moving parts, these gadgets can’t be water-resistant, either. You’ll also inevitably run into apps that don’t support the often-unusual aspect ratios of foldable phones, which can lead to letterboxing, poor scaling, or some combination of the two.
Using the Galaxy Z Fold 2 mostly feels like using any other phone. That’s a big deal.
Foldables are very much still a work in progress, as companies like Samsung and Huawei race to solve the problems they largely already tackled years ago in traditional phones. Here’s the good news, though: they’re getting there at an incredibly fast rate.
Last year’s Galaxy Fold was riddled with so many display issues that Samsung had to delay its launch by nearly six months — yet just a year later, the followup Galaxy Z Fold 2 has outstanding build quality that rivals even Samsung’s mainstream Galaxy S and Note designs. There haven’t yet been any widespread display issues on review units (fingers crossed), and the specs are exactly what you’d expect from a flagship phone in 2020.
I think we’re finally a point where foldables can be actual products worth recommending to consumers, rather than neat experiments to admire from a distance. They’re still expensive, sure; the Z Fold 2 costs a whopping two grand, and even more affordable foldables like the Z Flip 5G cost as much as top-end devices like the Note 20 Ultra.
But I can’t remember the last time I’ve been as sad to return a review unit as I was last week, when Samsung sent me a shipping label for my Galaxy Z Fold 2. It was the first foldable I’d used that felt like a finished product, and one with immediately clear benefits over a typical smartphone. Being able to switch from a somewhat standard smartphone experience to a 7.6-inch mini tablet enabled a unique multitasking experience, and created a feeling of deliberacy with every app I opened.
Its drawbacks were few and far between; the only one that regularly stayed at the top of my mind was the lack of water resistance, which made me particularly careful not to pull out the Fold 2 in the middle of the rain. Otherwise, using the Z Fold 2 felt like using any other phone, and that’s a remarkable feat.
Does that mean you should go out and buy a Z Fold 2 right now? Not necessarily; I don’t know that anybody should spend $2000 on a smartphone unless they’re really convinced it’ll positively impact their life. As much as I loved my time with the Fold, I’m not even sure that I would spend that kind of money on it — though Samsung’s high trade-in offers would certainly help ease the blow.
It’s getting harder to make the argument that foldables aren’t ready for the mass market, though. Not everybody needs one, just like not everybody needs the S Pen on Samsung’s Note line, or a 108MP camera, astrophotography, or reverse wireless charging. For those that think they can take advantage of the various advantages of foldable tech, though, I don’t see many reasons not to buy one at this point.
Even the Z Flip 5G has the latest Snapdragon 865+ processor, and fits more easily into a pocket than any other phone in years. The Motorola Razr 5G has a large cover screen that makes it easy to take selfies with the main cameras. The Z Fold 2 opens up to become a tiny tablet that fits in your pocket. These are all great features that you won’t easily find elsewhere, and they’re a testament to the weird, wacky, and wonderful world of foldables. If you want one, go out and get it.
A foldable without any fatal flaws
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is an incredibly refined device that folds out from a tall, narrow phone to a mini tablet, giving you plenty of room to comfortably multitask with split-screen apps. The three rear cameras are great as well, and the battery can last through the day with ease.
The rawest PS5 images yet show exactly how big the console is – Video Games Chronicle
New images offer the clearest look yet at the PlayStation 5″ href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/playstation/ps5/”>PlayStation 5 console and accessories’ size.
The images were published on the United States Federal Communications Commission website this weekend (via Roberto Serrano) and show the PS5 console, its controller and stand.
Sony Interactive Entertainment” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/companies/sony/”>Sony published the official weight and dimensions of the two PlayStation 3″ href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/playstation/ps3/”>PlayStation 3 models this week, confirming that the standard console will weigh 4.5kg and the Digital Edition 3.9kg.
- PS5: Approx. 390mm x 104mm x 260mm (width x height x depth)
- PS5 Digital Edition: Approx. 390mm x 92mm x 260mm (width x height x depth)
According to earlier fan-created PS5 size comparisons, created based on the PS5’s Blu-ray drive and USB ports, PS5 will be significantly taller than both Xbox Series X | S” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/xbox/scarlett/”>Xbox Series X and PS4 Pro.
The console’s size and shape is likely influenced by Sony’s intention to improve PS5 cooling and fan noise.
According to Sony’s EVP European business head Simon Rutter, PlayStation” href=”https://www.videogameschronicle.com/platforms/playstation/”>PlayStation has invested a “great deal of effort” in making the PS5’s cooling system less noisy.
And according to a Bloomberg report from earlier this year, Sony has implemented an “unusually expensive” cooling system in PlayStation 5, something which the platform holder has itself previously hinted at.
However, Cerny would not reveal exact details of PS5’s cooling solution, only stating that he felt users would be happy with “what the engineering team came up with.”
A dev kit patent recently suggested the next-gen console would utilise “a plurality of cooling fans” to supply airflow to a heat sink and keep the console cool.
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