Nintendo Classic Mini NES review

Nintendo’s Classic Mini NES is a sleek, miniaturised version of the classic console that mimics the look and feel of the original hardware to great effect. Costing £50/$60 (with prices currently inflated to over double that owing to stock shortages) it comes complete with a single controller, and it’s preloaded with 30 classic games. It’s a convenient nostalgia trip for those unwilling to track down original cartridges and offers plenty of value too. Retro gaming is only gaining in popularity, but soaring online prices put a true NES collection out of reach for many. The Classic Mini, known as the NES Classic Edition in North America, bridges that gap effectively. But just how well does the hardware hold up to close scrutiny, and how closely does the emulation compare to original hardware?

Let’s start with the hardware. Both console and controller are built from reasonable quality plastics, with the main device a pleasingly authentic replica of original hardware, downsized to fit in the palm of your hand. However, the key difference is in connectivity: it outputs HDMI and it’s powered by micro-USB, sporting a pair of controller ports based on the Wiimote connector standard. The feel of the controller is a surprisingly close match for the original NES design; a sturdy yet authentic replica, with a d-pad that feels identical to the original.

The drawback? In a bid for accuracy this is a purely wired pad, with an exceptionally short cord to the base unit – it’s actually shorter than the controller that shipped with original hardware. Extension cables are available, and it’s also possible to attach the Wii Classic controller directly too – though this alternative has its own issues with cord length.

Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age gets July release on PS4

Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age will launch for PlayStation 4 on 11th July in Europe.

North America will get the game on the same date, publisher Square Enix has announced, while Japan will see it slightly later, on 13th July.

The Zodiac Age is a remastered version of FF12, which originally launched back in 2006 on PlayStation 2. It includes new music, Trophies and the whole thing runs smoother, as you’d expect.

Sony Platinum Wireless Headset review

Sony’s new Platinum Headset is the new upgrade to the excellent released three years ago, known as the ‘Gold’ headset in North America. The new offering is an accomplished piece of hardware based on more robust build materials, notably featuring higher quality 50mm speaker drivers, along with a unique 3D ‘object-based’ surround sound mode. But these enhancements come at a price – at around £130/$160, the new headset is over twice the price of the original, but the increase in quality is palpable.

Let’s start with what’s in the box. With the headset you get a wireless USB adapter, a micro-USB charging cable, a 3.5mm audio cable, and a carrying pouch. Setup from there is simple; you plug that USB adapter into your PS4, switch the headset on from the left cup, and the two pair automatically. This adapter is key to using the headset wirelessly, and even works on PC with no hassle – once you plug the adapter in, all drivers install immediately. As another bonus, you can wire the headset to mobile phones using the audio cable. This switches the headphones off completely, avoiding any of use the inbuilt rechargeable battery, and disabling the buttons. It basically turns into a regular, passive pair of headphones, but audio quality still holds up very nicely.

First impressions wearing the Platinum headset are favourable. It’s a sturdier, more angular design than Sony’s last model, this time using metal for the headband rather than light plastics – albeit with a rubber support to cushion your head. We’ve used the older headset for years without any issue, but in theory, the shift to metal here might be the antidote to reports of cracked headbands with the original. As with any piece of hardware though,, it’s an area where only prolonged usage over months or years will tell the full story. However, initial thoughts suggest the new headset is otherwise robust, and while on the bulky side, its 318.2g weight isn’t an issue for long playing sessions. The earcups also thankfully keep the soft, pleather-like material of the original, meaning heat build-up isn’t much of a distraction..

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ will be a Switch launch title in North America

Nothing says wholesome family fun like Edmund McMillen’s creepy roguelike The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+, which is now slated to launch alongside the Nintendo Switch in North America.

So far its release has only been announced for North America, but publisher Nicalis, Inc. is . It’s currently asking for retweets on Twitter.

Price-wise, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ will cost $39.99 on both the eShop and retail. You can already pre-order it from and .

What’s going on with Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s release date?

looks like it’s back on for a March release, alongside the launch of Nintendo Switch – at least in Japan and North America.

But what about Europe? The situation here is less clear.

Last year, sources close to Nintendo that Zelda was content complete but “still four-to-six months” from launch and would miss the Nintendo Switch’s March release. Since then, things have changed.

Mass Effect Andromeda release date finally confirmed for March

After years of waiting, Mass Effect Andromeda finally has a release date: 23rd March in Europe and 21st March in North America.

Andromeda is the fourth main game in BioWare’s sci-fi series and has been in development for nearly five years. We’ve been seeing bits and pieces of it for a while, but the game’s marketing has only really kicked into gear in the last couple of months.

Gameplay footage first appeared at September’s PlayStation Pro event, followed by further trailers at December’s Game Awards and PlayStation Meeting.

Tales of Berseria finally has a western release date

Heads up, JRPG fans – the latest Tales game finally has a date set for its release outside Japan.

Tales of Berseria will arrive for PC and PlayStation 4 on 27th January in Europe, or 24th January in North America.

As ever, there’s a pricey collector’s edition of the game available as well – it costs $149 in the US, which at the current exchange rate equates to about £120. It includes figurines, a hardcover novel, a strategy guide and various other gubbins. This has, however, only been confirmed for the US as of yet.

Danganronpa 1 and 2 are coming to PS4 next year

Spike Chunsoft’s cult classic horror visual novels Danganronpa 1 and 2 will be coming to PS4 in early 2017 as the spruced up anthology Danganronpa 1•2 Reload.

The remastered collection will be available in both physical and digital forms in Europe and North America.

The series began in 2010 with Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and was followed by 2012’s Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. It premiered on PSP and Vita with PC, Mac and Linux versions following years later.

Birthdays the Beginning confirmed for Europe

Birthdays the Beginning, the new game from the creator of Harvest Moon, is coming to Europe.

NIS America announced that Birthdays the Beginning, from Yasuhiro Wada, launches in Europe and North America early 2017 for PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. Expect a physical and a download release.

Birthdays the Beginning is described as a sandbox game in which players create cube-shaped worlds that birth lifeforms. The idea is you shape the geography and alter the temperature of each world to create the conditions for life, then witness the birth of an entire ecosystem.