Seeing as how I've been writing for a few months now and am really enjoying it, I've decided to add a weekly update article outlining the big gaming news that has come out of the industry each week. This will be a snapshot of what has made headlines in the last seven days, wrapped in one small package for your reading pleasure! Regular articles will still continue, but will be moved to sometime during the week :)
Welcome to Games Corner, your new weekly update into the world of gaming!
"I like games, but I never can keep up with all the things that happen in the gaming industry. I would like to be a bit more in the know about this stuff though. So what are the all the important stories in the gaming press this week?" If this is you, well, you're in the right place!
Expansions for Nintendo - New console on the horizon, (legit) Mario on your phone
Early this week, Nintendo had a slew of announcements to make for investors and gamers alike. Two of these announcements stood out in particular, causing the stock price of Nintendo to skyrocket.
First off, Nintendo pleased critics and investors to no end by announcing a partnership with mobile games company DeNA. This partnership would allow DeNA to bring Nintendo games to mobile systems, with "full access to Nintendo IP." This doesn't mean that good ol' Ninty will be porting old school Mario games for you to play on your touchscreen device of choice however. It is important to note that Nintendo will be building games suited to mobile devices from the ground up, with appropriate gameplay systems and payment options. Nintendo wants to provide the best Nintendo experience they can for the device - not simply soaking up ad revenue and shady in-app purchases - as well as use the reach of mobile devices to drive consumers back to Nintendo hardware. Think playing a match three game with Kirby characters on your phone that unlocks extras in a Kirby console game, for example.
This leads us to our second tibit - Nintendo has said that a new console is in the works, to be officially unveiled in 2016. Codenamed the NX, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced this development to prove to consumers that Nintendo's core business still revolves around it's hardware and first party software - they aren't abandoning the video game console (yet). What this console actually IS is anyone's guess, but my money isn't necessarily on a Wii U successor.
While the GameCube only had a lifespan of 5 years before the Wii being released - November 2016 will be 4 years for the Wii U, nearly matching that lifespan, so a Wii U successor is plausible - I believe Nintendo won't be cannibalizing it's flagship console just yet. Even while the numbers still don't look good for the Wii U - 9.2 million units as of Jan 2015 (despite a quite good lineup of first party titles, actually) - and the 3DS being a success as far as sales go, it seems that Nintendo are more likely to head in the direction of something that muddies the waters between 'handheld' and 'home' consoles. See the article mentioned below for a great breakdown of what we know so far.
Eve Valkyrie VR Demo
Virtual Reality continues to get bigger and better with every day that goes passed. With Oculus, Sony, Samsung and now Valve getting in on the VR headset space, we're going to be like a kid in a candy store for choice when these things finally get a consumer release. While actual experiences outside of closed demos and Dev Kits are still not necessarily available to the general public, this amazing pre-alpha gameplay trailer from CCP Games is absolutely mind blowing.
This trailer was filmed essentially in game - the players eyes are the camera recording the experience.
If this isn't the most exciting thing you'll watch on YouTube today, I'll be surprised.
Offworld has officially launched
While this website officially launched a few weeks ago, post GDC 2015, I feel it is important to bring the knowledge of it's existence to the fore of your mind.
Offworld is a joint project by game journalists Laura Hudson and Leigh Alexander. As Women in the public eye of the games industry, these amazing people constantly suffer unnecessary abuse at the hands of people who need their hands clapped in irons - and yet they continue to stand tall in the face of that crap.
The website Offworld is designed to be a place for people of all ethnicities / genders / backgrounds to come together and share their stories, their interests and their passion. It is a place where 'Non gamers' and 'gamers' alike can feel safe to explore interesting experiences. I would definitely encourage you to check out and support this fantastic project started by two very strong and passionate Women in the industry.
That's all we have for this week - stay tuned for my regular article throughout the week, and come back next Sunday for more from the Games Corner!