Splatoon 2's free post-launch content support might be winding down next month, but Mario Tennis Aces on Switch is still going strong. Nintendo has now confirmed that it'll be adding three new playable characters to the game's steadily expanding roster, starting in January.
The inimitable Birdo is heading to Mario Tennis Aces on Switch next week as a new playable character, and to celebrate Nintendo has released a trailer showcasing the glamour that'll be coming to court as a result.
Nintendo is still being infuriatingly coy about its paid online service with just over a month to go until its release - though it's just reaffirmed what few details are out there while sharing the tiniest bit more.
A new detail has just emerged via the company's official Twitter accounts - first from the US, and then replicated by the European account this morning - with the service now confirmed to launch in the last half of September.
There's the ability to upload save data to the cloud - if the software supports the feature - the ability to play some NES games with added online features - what those games will be are anyone's guess, though given Nintendo's apparent eagerness to disappoint I'm fully expecting a re-release of Urban Champion with online co-op - and the dedicated app for your phone, which is already out there and in its current form remains woefully inadequate.
It's been a rough couple of weeks for poor old Bowser Jr., as the notes for Mario Tennis Aces update 1.2.0 have revealed Bowser's naughty son is due for a second nerfing.
Nintendo shifted another 1.88m Switch consoles between April and June this year, bringing the console's lifetime sales total up to 19.6m.
This figure is down slightly on the same quarter last year, when it sold 1.97m over the same three months, albeit soon after the console's launch and during a period when Nintendo released Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Arms.
Switch is still selling well, then, and roughly equivalent to the PlayStation 4 at the same point in its lifecycle (while only having had one holiday sales period when PS4 had had two). And, importantly, game sales more than doubled over the same period last year - where Nintendo makes a lot of its money.
Nintendo UK's Versus (VS) event is now live, showcasing Nintendo's range of competitive games.
Wimbledon may be over, but it seems there is still plenty of tennis court drama to be found. Since the release of Mario Tennis Aces in June, players have been calling for one of the characters - the naughty yet surprisingly powerful Bowser Jr., to be nerfed to balance the game. From the new update notes, it seems their campaign has been successful.
Fans had initially complained Bowser Jr. seemed to have no obvious weaknesses, with incredible reach and the ability to "trickshot on reaction" (just take a look at the Twitter video below for evidence). The game imbalance was severe enough players began to deliberately quit online matches to avoid facing the troublesome turtle. Indeed, the community even began to agree it was socially acceptable to drop out of Bowser Jr. games.
The latest update post reveals Nintendo has responded to these complaints, as the notes show it has altered the character's abilities. For starters, Nintendo has "adjusted how fast Bowser Jr. can move when charging a shot," but also "lowered the angle at which he hits the ball back." There may be further changes in the near future, as Nintendo promised to adjust the character again "in time for the August tournament." I guess poor Bowser Jr. won't be able to catch a break this summer.
Mario Tennis Aces doesn't let you play a regular game of tennis - and some people are so upset they're trying to refund the game.
Mario Tennis Aces has a day one update which changes the game's tournament mode. It's as much of a surprise to us as it is to you - Eurogamer was under the impression the build we played was final code, with Nintendo failing to mention any day one updates when it handed out review code.
Nintendo Switch Family Showdown is a new family game show set to be broadcast this summer.
Mario Tennis Aces will launch for Nintendo Switch on 22nd June, but you'll be able to try it yourself several weeks earlier via a pre-launch online tournament.
It's a kind of beta, in other words, similar to that received by Splatoon 2 and Arms last year.
You'll be able to try this serving of Mario Tennis Aces from 3pm UK time on Friday, 1st June until midnight UK time on Sunday 3rd June.
Screenshots and details for Mario Tennis Aces have popped up online via retailer Rakuten ahead of tonight's Nintendo Direct.
The game's product page lists a 22nd June release date for Mario's sporty Nintendo Switch game - at least in Japan. (It's likely the same here.)
Images confirm the usual roster of characters you'd expect to be playable, including Mario, Wario, Waluigi, Daisy, Rosalina, Yoshi, Donkey Kong and Bowser.