Today in the Rundown, we have some cool news about the possibility of virtual reality on the Nintendo Switch! We also head to the galaxy far, far away for the latest on the Star Wars franchise, sink our teeth into the new Walking Dead video game, and finally, get some very good intel about Call of Duty!
Nintendo might be jumping into the world of virtual reality after all. With Nintendo’s new system the Switch coming out in just a few months, patent applications filed by the company indicate that they’re planning to bring VR support to the console. The patents reveal that Nintendo is working on a head-mounted display that’s essentially an empty shell, with an opening in the front where users can slide in the detachable Switch screen. They would then be able to run VR games off the detachable screen itself, kind of like how the mobile Samsung Gear VR headset works, only with the Switch screen instead of a smartphone. The patent also points out that the two Switch JoyCon controllers could then be used as motion-sensing VR controllers, similar to the more fancy Oculus Rift Touch controllers. This seems like a smart and efficient way to bring VR to the Switch, and would likely be a lot more affordable than rival Sony’s VR headset for the PS4. Before you get too excited, keep in mind that filing a patent is no guarantee that Nintendo will actually follow through and make it happen. The company has been back and forth about VR. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto has stated that he doesn’t think the solitude of VR is the right fit for their games, while Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has said that they’re just waiting for VR to become more mainstream before they start using it. We’ll let you know when more details about their VR plans come in. The Switch will hit stores in March. If it does come with a VR peripheral, hopefully it will be better than the Virtual Boy, which was a disaster for the company when it was released back in the mid 90s.
You can officially stop holding out hope for the unlucky Star Wars game 1313. The dark and gritty video game set in the galaxy far, far away is pretty much dead. The bad news comes from Justin McCully, who’s the Senior Brand Manager for Star Wars at Electronic Arts. Speaking with the gaming podcast Achievement Oriented, McCully confirms rumours that the game has been cancelled, and there are no plans to revive it. This puts to rest all the back and forth speculation about the fate of the game. Star Wars 1313 was first announced at E3 2012, and would have been the first M-rated game in the Star Wars universe. Rumors began to surface that it had been cancelled shortly after Disney bought Lucasfilm, but then there were conflicting reports that it would continue development after EA inked a deal to start making new Star Wars games in 2013. Now that we know the game is officially dead, there’s still a glimmer of hope for some of its characters and ideas. On the same podcast, McCully adds that some of the unused ideas from 1313, like characters, environments, and themes, might be recycled in other projects down the road. This is actually very common in the Star Wars franchise. So what upcoming projects might recycle ideas from 1313? It’s impossible to say, but we do know that EA is working on several new Star Wars games, including Battlefront 2, and unnamed projects from Dead Space developer Visceral Games and Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment. We can’t wait to find out more about those.
Another new Star Wars adventure is having much better luck. The new spin-off movie Rogue One earned a massive $29 million from Thursday night preview screenings in North America. This is the biggest Thursday night opening of the year, and puts it just behind the last Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, which earned $30 million from Thursday midnight screenings last year. All of this indicates that Rogue One might be the biggest film of 2016, which is sure to make the executives at Disney very happy. There was some doubt about whether or not a spin-off like Rogue One could be as popular as the main Star Wars films, so its success will no doubt give the studio more confidence going forward. Watch out for my review of Rogue One right here on our channel. The next Star Wars film, Episode 8, hits theatres in less than a year.
And the makers of The Walking Dead video games are leaving last-gen behind. Telltale Games has announced that the highly-anticipated Walking Dead: A New Frontier will not be available on the PS3 or Xbox 360. This makes it the first Telltale game to move on from the last-gen systems, something that many other game makers have already been doing for years. If you played the last game, The Walking Dead – Season Two, on the PS3 or 360, you’ll be able to transfer your save data to one of the new platforms by creating a free Telltale account. This will allow you to continue the story with your important decisions from the previous game intact. The Walking Dead: A New Frontier will sink its teeth into current-gen systems next week.
The people behind Call of Duty aren’t going to leave behind Black Ops 3. Developer Treyarch plans to continue updating their 2015 game with new content well into next year. That’s according to co-studio head Dan Bunting and executive producer Jason Blundell. In a recent Facebook live stream, they revealed that Black Ops 3 players can look forward to another year of updates in 2017, with the popular zombies mode getting new features soon. This is a big change for the series. Given its annual release cycle, Call of Duty games usually stop getting new updates around the same time the next game comes out. Bunting and Blundell say they’re breaking the formula this time around because Black Ops 3 is still very popular with players, and they’ll continue to support it as long as people keep playing in large numbers. This might also have something to do with the fact that the latest game, Infinite Warfare, has suffered a drop in sales and isn’t as popular with the community as Black Ops 3.