Today in the Rundown, we discuss the current state of Nintendo as they’re getting ready to launch the new system the Switch. We also have new details on the Uncharted movie, some bad news for fans of the monstrous multiplayer game Evolve, new intel on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, the latest from Apple and Microsoft, and finally, some a troubling announcement from Fallout publisher Bethesda Softworks.
Nintendo really needs their next console to be a success. Less than a week after unveiling their new system the Switch, Nintendo has published their official list of software sales for their current system the Wii U. To date, the best-selling Wii U title is Mario Kart 8, which has sold 8 million copies. That might sound like a lot, but not when you compare it to Mario Kart on the original Wii, which sold more than 36 million copies. The second best Wii U game is New Super Mario Bros U at 5.5 million, compared to almost 33 million copies of New Super Mario Bros on the Wii. This is obviously a huge drop in sales from one console to the next, and these new numbers further cement the fact that the Wii U is a financial failure. This has already had severe economic consequences for Nintendo, and was likely one of the main reasons why they finally decided to start making third-party mobile games. Hopefully they’ll have better luck with the Switch. It’s slated to hit stores in March 2017.
After almost a decade in development hell, the big screen Uncharted movie has found a new director. Deadline reports that the latest director to come aboard the troubled video game adaptation is filmmaker Shawn Levy, best known for directing the Night At the Museum films and the robot fighting movie Real Steel. Levy isn’t the first director attached to the project, not by a long shot. It’s been in development ever since the first game was released in 2007, and other filmmakers who have been involved at one point or another include David O. Russell, Seth Gordon, Neil Burger, and Joe Carnahan, so hopefully Shawn Levy will be able to make it work. It’s kind of surprising that it’s taken this long to make an Uncharted movie, given how cinematic the games already are. The film is expected to borrow the plot from the first Uncharted game, with Drake and his friends searching for the lost city of El Dorado, but there’s no word yet on what actors might bring the characters to life.
The monstrous multiplayer game Evolve might be on the verge of extinction. Developer Turtle Rock Studios has announced that they’re ending support for their 4v1 online game less than two years after it was released. That means there will be no more updates or patches, and no more new characters, weapons, or maps. Developers typically end support for online games when they move onto other projects or when players lose interest. Earlier this year, they shifted Evolve over to a free-to-play model, which many saw as a bid to drive up the game’s dwindling number of players. The good news is that Evolve will still be playable on the PC and consoles… at least for now. In a statement, publisher 2K Games says that the “servers will remain online for the foreseeable future,” although they didn’t say how long that foreseeable future will be.
And speaking of multiplayer, the next Call of Duty game isn’t going to break formation. Activision has revealed what players will be getting in the Infinite Warfare season pass. It will include four post-launch map packs, each of which will include their own chapter in the new Zombies in Spaceland campaign. This is pretty standard for the franchise, with almost all of the previous games getting four batches of DLC as well. The post-launch content will once again be released 30 days early on the PS4 as part of a timed-exclusivity deal between Sony and Activision, and players on the PS4 will also get the Jackal Assault VR Experience, which will only work on the PlayStation VR. That’s free for anyone who buys the game and the headset, but as for the season pass, that will cost $70 in Canada. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will deploy on November 4, and the four batches of DLC will follow throughout 2017.
It looks like the world might have hit peak Apple. The tech giant’s annual profits have fallen for the first time in 15 years. Apple earned $215 billion in revenue last year, an 8% decline from the previous year, leading to a 14% drop in profits. They’re still making a lot of money and are ranked as the number one most valuable company in the world, but some investors and analysts are worried that the drop in revenue means that Apple has hit its peak. The drop is primarily the result of declining iPhone sales, following tough competition from rivals like Samsung and Google. Maybe this means next year they’ll bring back the headphone jack.
And apparently Microsoft is trying to take a bite out of Apple as well. Microsoft held a special Windows 10 event earlier today where they announced several new products. The biggest is the Surface Studio, a new desktop PC that’s part of the Surface product line. It looks suspiciously similar to Apple’s iMac, but unlike the iMac, it gives users a sleek, 4K screen that can be used like a regular desktop PC, but also slides down to become a giant touchscreen tablet. It comes with a new control input device called the Surface Dial, which gives users another way to access menus and other information on the screen. Pretty cool. The Surface Studio PC starts at $3000 USD, and will ship in December. Other new things announced during Microsoft’s event include a new software update for Windows 10 that will make it easier to live stream games natively from the operating system, so you won’t need to download separate programs like OBS. Microsoft also revealed that they’re partnering with companies like HP, Dell, and Lenovo to create new virtual reality headsets built for Windows 10, with prices starting at around $300. That’s a lot less than the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, or even the PlayStation VR. Expect those to start rolling out on the PC next year. We wouldn’t be surprised if some of those VR headsets eventually become compatible with the Xbox One at some point in the future.
Bethesda is making it a lot harder for us to let you know if their games are any good. The publisher that owns Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Dishonored, Doom, and Wolfenstein has revealed that they will no longer be sending out early review copies of their games to media outlets. They say that reviewers will instead get their games just a day before they hit stores, which is nowhere near enough time to make a full review before players go out and buy the game themselves. Bethesda hasn’t said exactly why they’re doing this, but in a statement, they suggest that if players want to read reviews before making their decision to buy a game, they “encourage you to wait for your favorite reviewers to share their thoughts.” If you do that, you won’t be buying a Bethesda title until at least a week or so after it’s released. Usually, when publishers don’t send out early review copies it’s because they know their games are bad and they’re trying to hide it, so hopefully there’s nothing wrong with upcoming Bethesda titles like Skyrim Remastered or Dishonored 2.