EP Daily Rundown for September 30, 2016

We’ve got some very tiny news today in the Rundown! We take a look at Nintendo’s tiny new version of the Japanese Famicom console, get environmentally friendly with Pokémon Go, breakaway with a look at a new fighting game from the makers of Killer Instinct, have an update from the world of virtual reality, and finally, get details on three movies that are being turned into TV shows!

Japanese gamers are getting their own tiny version of the original Nintendo console. Nintendo Japan has announced the Nintendo Classic Mini Family Computer, a shrunken down version of the Japanese NES, which was called the Famicom Family Computer in the country. Along with the different name, the Famicom also had a very different design, and the new version will look exactly the same, although small enough to fit in your hand. Like the NES Classic that’s coming to North America, the new version of the Famicom will have 30 games built-in, although the actual list of titles has been changed to include games that were only released in Japan, like the original Final Fantasy 3. Other than that, the Japanese and Western versions are pretty much the same – they’ll both have an HDMI port and give you the ability to save your game progress, and there will be no internet connectivity for those of you who want to buy additional games. The Nintendo Classic Family Computer will be released in Japan on November 10, and the western NES Classic will launch in North America and Europe a day later. Nintendo completionists will probably want to find a way to get their hands on both.

The Dutch government doesn’t want you to damage the real world while you’re catching virtual monsters in Pokémon Go. The government of the Netherlands has begun a legal battle against Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs over some of the locations used in the game. It seems that in the Netherlands, one of the best places to catch Pokémon is the area around a protected beach, and the flood of players going there to catch the virtual monsters has caused concern about real-life environmental damage. The government wants Niantic to remove the Pokémon from the beach, along with all other environmentally protected areas in the country. They say they’ve had to open up formal legal proceedings against the company because they haven’t responded to numerous requests outside of court, so hopefully the matter is resolved without any further drama. Niantic has previously removed Pokémon from other sensitive areas like the Berlin Holocaust memorial, so protecting an environmental refuge seems like a reasonable request.

Amazon and Twitch are fighting off the competition with an all-new game. Amazon Game Studios has announced Breakaway, a new 4v4 fighting game made by Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games. They’re making it with streaming in mind, offering fast-paced matches, an overhead camera angle, and plenty of built-in Twitch integration that they hope will make it popular with the streaming community. This makes a lot of sense given that Amazon bought Twitch in 2014, right around the same time they bought Double Helix Games. Making a game specifically with Twitch in mind seems like a good way to keep the site popular, especially against competition from YouTube Gaming and Facebook Live. Amazon also hopes that Breakaway will have a big eSports community, which is another way to keep people watching Twitch. There’s no release window yet for the game, but Amazon has already started a waitlist for the alpha test, which means it will likely be released sometime next year.

It’s getting easier to buy games on the HTC Vive. No, the headsets aren’t getting cheaper, at least not for now. HTC has launched their own digital store called Viveport, allowing owners of their HTC Vive headset to buy games and other virtual reality apps. Before, Vive users had to buy their games through Steam, so this will give them another option that’s tailor-made for the headset. To celebrate the launch of the new store, several popular titles like TheBlu and Mars Odyssey have been discounted to $1 for the next 48 hours. The HTC Vive is just one of several big VR headsets rolling out this year. The next big one, the PlayStation VR, will launch October 13, and games for that can be purchased through the PlayStation Network. Hopefully the cost of the headsets will start coming down soon. The PS VR is the least-expensive right now, and costs a whopping $700 in Canada.

More and more movies might be heading to the small screen. Rumours about several new TV shows based on movies have come in. First up, the 2014 horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows is getting a small screen spin-off. It’s called Paranormal Event Response Unit, and will focus on a pair of police officers who investigate paranormal threats. Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement, who created the film, is serving as producer, so expect it to have the same kind of dark humour. That will premiere in New Zealand next year, and hopefully it will air in North America as well. An even more deadly movie might be turned into a TV series. Speaking with CinemaBlend, The Purge director James DeMonaco revealed that he’s developing a TV series based on his dystopian horror movies. The idea is to make a 10-episode anthology series that will focus on different people fighting for survival on the annual Purge night, and this follows the explosive box office success of all three films. There’s no word yet on when the show might see the light of day. Finally, Deadline reports that NBC is working on a TV series based on the iconic 1969 heist film The Italian Job, which was also remade in 2003. Like the films, the show will focus on a misfit group of criminals, with the same blend of action and humor. It remains to be seen if that will get the greenlight.

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