EP Daily Rundown for March 16, 2016

In a special edition of The Rundown brought to you from the floor of GDC in San Francisco, we have the official launch details and price for Sony’s PlayStation VR, as well as a look at some of the launch titles for the device. We also have an update on cross-platform multiplayer for the PS4 and Xbox One, the latest details on the Han Solo spin-off movie, a look at Tim Burton’s latest directorial effort, and finally, new details on the StarCraft II add-on Nova Covert Ops.

We finally know when the PS4 is going to enter the world of virtual reality. Sony has announced the official launch details and price for their PlayStation VR headset. The peripheral will hit stores this October, and cost $400 in the US and $550 in Canada. That might sound like a lot for a peripheral, but it’s less than the $600 US for the Rift, or the $800 US for the HTC Vive. Since the PS VR is built for the PS4, you won’t need an expensive gaming PC to run it. Sony had originally planned to launch the device this Spring, and that fact that it’s now launching in October means that it will arrive several months after the Rift and Vive, but Sony says they need the extra time for manufacturing. As for technical stuff, the PS VR will weigh 610g and needs to be connected to the PS4 via a cable. That’s included in the box, but it looks like the motion-sensing Move controllers and PlayStation Eye camera, which are needed for some titles, will be sold separately.

And now that we know how much the PlayStation VR is going to cost, the important question is, what games will we be able to play? Sony says that more than 230 developers and publishers are working on games for the device, with 160 titles currently in development. An exclusive VR version of Star Wars Battlefront is coming to the device, which makes a lot of sense given that first-person shooters are perfectly suited for VR. It will also be very cool to sit in Han Solo’s cockpit. Other confirmed titles include the space dogfighting game EVE Valkyrie, the rail-shooter REZ Infinite, the Until Dawn spin-off Rush of Blood, and Double Fine’s Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. [reacting to goofy Rhombus of Ruin image] Wow, I hope I don’t look that silly wearing the thing. The PS VR will also have a cinematic mode, allowing you to play non-VR games on a jumbo-sized screen, or at least, it will look jumbo-sized to you. Industry insiders think virtual reality is the future of entertainment, but they’ve been wrong before so there’s no guarantee that it will actually catch on. It will be very interesting to see if general consumers jump in.

And the Xbox One and PS4 might be a step closer to jumping into bed together. Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that they hope to extend the Xbox One’s cross platform multiplayer from the PC to other game consoles, which would obviously include the PS4. Now, Sony has responded… sort of. Speaking with Gamespot, a Sony representative said that they “would be happy to have the conversation with any publishers or developers who are interested in cross platform play.” They didn’t exactly say if they’re going to work with Microsoft, so that seems like a noncommittal response. We hope that Sony and Microsoft do make this a reality. Cross-platform multiplayer between the PS4 and Xbox One would be awesome, allowing PS4 owners to play games with their friends on the Xbox One, and vice versa. Fingers crossed that it happens.

We found out yesterday that Harrison Ford is returning as Indiana Jones, but Disney wants a new face for his other iconic role. New casting rumours have come in for the Han Solo prequel movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney recently tested several young actors to play a younger version of the scruffy-looking nerf-herder. The shortlist includes Hail Caesar’s Alden Ehrenreich, Transformers 4 newcomer Jack Reynor, and Kingsman’s Taron Egerton. There’s no guarantee that any of those actors will get the part, and Disney might end up going with relatively unknown actors like they did with The Force Awakens. The Han Solo solo film is being directed by The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and will chronicle the early life of our favorite smuggler in the years before the first Star Wars movie. It hits theatres in 2018. Disney’s fifth Indiana Jones adventure, which will star Harrison Ford, comes out in 2019.

It looks like Tim Burton is putting his unique visual gifts to good use in his latest movie. The first trailer has arrived for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Burton’s latest directorial effort. Let’s take a look. Yeah, it reminds us of the X-Men movies too. Eva Green plays the titular Miss Peregrine, who runs a special school for gifted youngsters with super-human abilities. When a seemingly normal kid played by Asa Butterfield is brought to the school, he discovers that only he can keep the children safe from terrifying monsters out to get them. Judging by the trailer, it looks Burton is going for a blend of his more serious movies like Big Fish and Ed Wood, combined with his more commercial ones like Alice in Wonderland and Sleepy Hollow. Shockingly, Johnny Depp and HBC are nowhere to be found. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will enroll audiences this September.

StarCraft 2 is getting a little stealthy later this month. Blizzard Entertainment has announced that the Nova Covert Ops expansion for the game will being rolling out on March 29. That’s when the first of three mission packs will arrive, with the other two slated to follow in the coming months. Nova Covert Ops is all about stealth; it will introduce new mechanics to the RTS gameplay, with a new story focusing on the badass ghost covert operative Nova Terra. Three missions will be included in all three packs, which means there will be nine new missions in total. The best part is that Nova Covert Ops is a stand-alone expansion, so you won’t need to buy StarCraft 2 in order to play. It costs $15. The pack was originally supposed to launch later this Spring, which means the notoriously delay-prone Blizzard is actually going to release something early. Go figure.

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