Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change.
The crossover between gearheads and gamers is growing every day. Professional race car drivers develop their chops digitally before ever stepping foot onto certain tracks thanks to racing simulators like iRacing. Entertainers like T-Pain are simultaneously diving into both automotive and gaming ventures.We even see the overlap first-hand every on our very own livestreams, where car enthusiasts of all ages from around the world join us to talk about not only their favorite cars, but also, their favorite racing and driving games. Because of all the hype, we wanted to create a place on Autoblog to talk about the gaming news of the week, and how it might relate to the automotive world (and for any parents out there, we'll try to help you make sense of some of the madness.) Enter: Autoblog's Gaming Roundup. Let's dive in.
There's a new Nintendo Switch now?
Well, not quite yet, but according to this Bloomberg report one is on the way. Currently, there are two versions of the Switch: The regular version and the Switch Lite. The regular version is slightly bigger and can connect to your TV as well as be used as a handheld. The Switch Lite is smaller and a handheld-only device. According to the report, the main difference for this new version of the console is that it will feature a 4K screen and potentially an updated CPU, though none of this is confirmed.
The second part to the rumor is that there are going to be several first-party (Nintendo-made) games announced next year to coincide with the launch. That got us thinking... It's been 7 years since the last new Mario Kart game, and at the time of writing, 'Mario Kart 8 Deluxe' is currently the best selling game on the Switch with nearly 28 million copies sold. It's an incredible racing game, but it's getting a little long in the tooth. This could be an opportunity introduce the next title in the franchise and release it in stunning 4K. Unfortunately, though, we're not sure if the new console iteration opens many doors for more third-party racing games to come to the system in the future. The fact is, the Switch is underpowered compared to its contemporaries, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and by next year, it'll be competing with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, widening the gap even further. It's possible to compress large, graphics-intensive games for the Switch – games like WRC 8 and V-Rally 4 run just fine on the system – but that requires time, effort, and money, and can result in a product that doesn't live up to the quality of the main releases. As such, those developers will be asking more frequently whether it's worth that extra effort to do a port, even if the rumored new Switch supports a 4K screen.
With new consoles coming up, what's going to be the new best way to play racing games?
How nice of you to ask! Up to this point, we've been playing on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch only on our live streams, Tuesday and Thursday 2pm - 4pm EST, join us and hop into a session! But outside of those two consoles, I've also been slowly, secretly building a PC. It's almost done, so I'll be sharing it on the stream in the next few weeks. Everyone has different gaming needs, but for me, neither of the new consoles really excited me and I wanted the superior performance of a PC, so that's why I went this route. A PC also comes with the benefit of PC-exclusive games like the smash-hit 'iRacing', you know, the game that all of the NASCAR racers briefly switched to a few months back? That game and others like it are only playable (for now) on PC, so in the interest of being the best mediocre racing gamer out there, that's where I'll be. I'll talk more about my specific build in later posts, but for now, I've been marveling at how cool even just the case looks.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will also be popular choices for virtual racing in part because each has a long-running flagship racing simulator series. On PlayStation, you have the Gran Turismo series, which has been around since the late 1990s. The latest installment, 'Gran Turismo 7' has been previewed for PlayStation 5 and will return to its roots with a deep career campaign. Over on Xbox Series X, you have Forza Motorsport. Details are more limited on the newest version of the game, since it's still in early development, but it appears to continue to be a showcase of the console's graphics and should have a long list of cars and ways to play. Release dates haven't been revealed for either title. It's worth noting the next 'Forza Motorsport,' like many Xbox releases from Microsoft studios, will be available on PC, too. In a similar manner, many titles, including racing games, will be available across all three platforms, including the game we discuss in the next section.
I saw something about creating your own tracks in 'Dirt 5' when it comes out?
Yes! You can read all about the awesome new feature in our article from earlier this week right here. We can't wait to hoon ourselves straight into a set of oversized bowling pins.
For the parents - What is happening with 'Fortnite' and Apple?
If you've got a Fortnite-addicted kid, you've probably heard all about the drama between Epic Games (developer and publisher of 'Fortnite') and Apple. We won't dive too deep into it, but if you want the details you can check out A Parent's Guide To What The Hell Is Going On With 'Fortnite' on Kotaku.com. The whole situation is a mess for players, but it's mostly just billionaire corporations bickering about who gets to be the billion-est. I'm no lawyer, but it seems like Epic Games probably doesn't have much ground to stand on here, so you may want to start transitioning your kid over to a different kid-friendly game like Splatoon 2 or Fall Guys.