Today in the Rundown, we find out how the mobile game Pokémon Go is helping to save Nintendo, we have more pocket monsters with the annual Pokémon World Championships in San Francisco, we catch a new game from the developers behind Pokémon, have some non-Pokémon action with Capybara’s Below, find out what 80s vampire movie is being turned into a TV series, swing a lightsaber with Star Wars, and finally, get excited about the multiplayer test for Titanfall 2!
After years of financial turmoil, it looks like things are finally starting to turn around for Nintendo. According to the market research company The NPD Group, Nintendo had the biggest hardware and software sales in July, beating out all the other game makers. The 3DS was the best selling platform, and the best selling game was the 3DS exclusive Monster Hunter Generations. Recent 3DS price cuts and other new games also helped drive sales, and this is exactly what Nintendo needs after the financial failure of the Wii U. There may be a more unusual reason why sales have improved, though. In a press release, Nintendo specifically points out that the explosive success of the mobile game Pokémon Go has created a huge number of new Pokémon fans, which has directly improved sales of Pokémon games on the 3DS. The fact that a mobile title, which Nintendo didn’t even make, has helped drive sales of traditional Nintendo games and systems is a very interesting development, and it will only increase Nintendo’s desire to keep making games of their own for iOS and Android devices. It also makes it that much more likely that their upcoming console, codenamed the NX, will have some kind of handheld and mobile integration, which seems like it would be a big hit. The NX launches early next year.
If you think catching Pokémon on your phone makes you an expert, take a look at these people. The annual Pokémon World Championships kick off today in San Francisco. The best players from 35 different countries will compete in three different games: Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, the fighting game Pokkén Tournament, and the old school Pokémon table top card game. This is the first time Pokkén Tournament will be featured in the Championships, so expect things to get intense. Unfortunately, Pokémon Go won’t be featured in the competition, although it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone in the audience will be playing it. Watch the Pokémon World Championships live on Twitch.
And the makers of Pokémon have an all-new game for players to catch. Pokémon developer Game Freak has released an original game called Giga Wrecker via Steam Early Access. Don’t expect to catch any pocket monsters in this one. It’s a stylish, 2D puzzle-platformer with a unique mechanic; players have the ability to turn the debris around them into different weapons and objects in order to solve puzzles. Pretty cool. This isn’t the first non-Pokémon title that Game Freak has released through Steam Early Access. Last year, they released another platformer called Tembo the Badass Elephant, which had a similar visual style. That game eventually found its way to the PS4 and Xbox One, and hopefully Giga Wrecker will do the same.
Here’s a game delay that might hit a little below the belt. Toronto-based developer Capybara Games has pushed back their latest project Below. It was slated to land on the Xbox One and PC before the end of the summer, but now, writing on their official blog, the team says the game just isn’t ready yet. Although we try not to be disappointed by these kind of delays, the thing that makes this one a little more ominous is that Capybara Games hasn’t named a new release window. This is intentional on their part. They say they’ll be “going dark” for a while in order to take the time they need to finish the game without compromise, so we may not be seeing them, or it, for a while. Below is a top-down, open-world adventure that, like Capybara’s previous games Super Time Force and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, uses a retro 8-bit art style. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to start playing.
It looks like with movies and television, vampires never get old and never die. Deadline reports that The CW is working on a TV series based on the iconic 1987 vampire movie The Lost Boys. The original film starred 80s heartthrobs Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, and Corey Feldman, and focused on a group of vampires secretly living in California. It’s notable for being one of the first films to kick off the modern vampire craze, leading to more recent films like Twilight, but we’ll try not to hold that against it. The new TV series is expected to go in a slightly different direction. Deadline claims that it will be sort of like an anthology series, with the same group of young, immortal vampires living in the shadows across multiple decades. Veronica Mars and iZombie creator Rob Thomas is overseeing the show, so hopefully it doesn’t suck. Get it? That was a vampire pun. It’s not surprising that The CW is interested in taking a bite out of another vampire series. Their hit show The Vampire Diaries is coming to an end with its eighth season next year.
Disney wants to make you feel as though you’re wielding a real-life lightsaber. Pretty much everyone who’s seen the Star Wars movies has pretended to swing a lightsaber around at some point, but now you might get to do it for real… sort of. With special Star Wars-themed lands coming to Disneyland and Disney World in the next few years, Disney has patented a new system that will make attendees feel as though they’re using real-life versions of the elegant Jedi weapon. It gets a little complicated, but basically, Disney plans fill a theatre with fake smoke, and then let audiences use glowing LED lightsabers to deflect fake laser bolts fired by aerial drones. The drones will just be shooting little beams of light, but since the light will be moving through the fake smoke, they’ll look like Star Wars-style laser beams. Sensors on the drones will then know if audiences have successfully deflected the beams with their lightsabers. Since we’ve all wanted to use a lightsaber, this kind of attraction seems like a surefire way to get people to come to the new Star Wars Lands. They’re currently under construction.
And before we go, if you’re looking for something new to play this weekend, Titanfall 2 has begun its first multiplayer beta, or “tech test.” It’s available to everyone on the Xbox One and PS4, making this the first time PS4 owners will be able to jump into a Titanfall game. We’ll try to stream some of it, so keep your eyes peeled for that, and don’t forget that a second tech test will be happening next weekend. Unfortunately, the tech test will not be happening on the PC. The final version of Titanfall 2 drops on the Xbox One, PS4, and PC on October 28.