03 February, 2014

Gaming Headlines: It Begins

Hi everybody. Having decided I really should be writing *something* I present to you the first Gaming Headlines, providing a look back at the best (or not) computer/video game stories of the past week. Let’s get started…

Lazy bum starts new feature on blog
Dave from largely forgotten about blog Possibly Interesting has started a new weekly feature looking at computer/video game news from the previous week. The format seems to be largely stolen from TJR Wrestling’s daily news updates and the feature is expected to fizzle out and die after the third instalment. Dave is said to be expecting mass indifference to the arrival of Gaming Headlines and will no doubt soon be wishing the feature the best in its future endeavours.

So did anyone buy Scorpion as DLC for Injustice?
Remember the fuss when it was announced that Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion was heading to DC Comics brawler Injustice: Gods Among Us as DLC? With the many, many DC characters that have appeared over the years but were not in the game, a lot of people questioned the need to grab a character from somewhere else. Actually some shouted quite loudly about it. So was Scorpion a waste of developer NetherRealm Studios time? Er… apparently not. Last week began with Mortal Kombat Online reporting that the spear-throwing ninja spectre was actually the highest selling DLC for the game. If a number of people were voting with their wallets it seems that number was actually quite small. Whilst exact figures aren’t given and—as the site notes—anyone with a DLC Season Pass got Scorpy whether they wanted him or not, it’s still quite surprising given the anger originally shown in some quarters.

Nintendo trying something else
There were a lot of Nintendo news stories  last week including the usual “Wii U is in trouble” reports which will no doubt crop up again in future weeks, but the big story was Nintendo’s idea to start making more money. No they’re not planning to re-open their chain of love hotels but are  introducing a third platform focussing on “Quality of Life” (story here on Wired). Not a games machine, it will be targeted at a different market: the non-gamers who picked up the likes of Wii Fit or Dr Kawashima's Brain Training (as did plenty of gamers I should note). Anyway here are a couple of diagrams that don’t really explain it…

None of this helps out the Wii U but trying something different could be a success. The last time Nintendo decided they needed a “third pillar” it gave us the original DS and that worked out OK for them. It did mean the death of the Game Boy line however, so could launching the Nintendo Treadmill lead to the 4DS being the only option for fans of Nintendo games next generation? Well no, but I was trying to find a way to transition to…

DS games are coming to the Virtual Console
Speaking of duel-screen handhelds (see what I almost successfully did there?), games from the original DS are coming to the Wii U Virtual Console (Nintendo Life). With the Wii U’s touchscreen gamepad it makes sense, though initial reaction from fans has been along the lines of “why not on 3DS too?” seemingly forgetting you can just use the actual game cards on it. There’s no launch date yet but considering the 3DS and Wii U are still waiting for previously announced PC Engine and Game Boy Advance games respectively, expect the first DS game to hit the service in early 2017.

New PS Vita hits the UK soon
Something that does have a release date (at least in the UK) is a new slim Playstation Vita. Already out in Japan (since October last year), it can be picked up in UK shops from 7th February. The new PCH-2000 series model features a lighter re-design, longer battery life and… some other differences… I guess…. I dunno. To be honest I lost interest when I saw the £180 price tag. If you’re interested there’s a unboxing video over at IGN, though upon clicking it, it turned out to be an advert for some soy sauce.

TVii still not available in Europe and Oceania
Back to Nintendo. It may have launched in the regions 430 days ago but Wii U owners in Europe and Oceania are still without the TVii service. The TVii page on the Nintendo UK site reads:
“We would like to apologise that we were unable to bring the Nintendo TVii service to Europe in 2013 as originally planned. Please continue to keep an eye out for further announcements regarding this service in the near future”.

Well that’s all for this week.

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