Gamer’s “News of the Week” (March 24th – March 31st)
The last month of March brought Nostalgia and a lot of mobile-related news.
Would you like to know what happened from March 24th to March 31st?
1) Nintendo 3DS Turned 10 (years-old) This Month
While the handheld console came out on February 26th for Japan. Europe got it on March 25th and North America followed two days later, on March 27th.
Back then, the initial model was just available in Aqua Blue and Cosmos Black colors, but no major Nintendo game franchise accompanied the system on its release.
Instead, we had backward compatibility with games from the original DS, the StreetPass feature, and a series of AR cards capable of “summoning” 3D models of your favorite Nintendo characters.
It sold 75m units and it finally got an outstanding library of games (as Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Super Smash Bros, Pokémon Sun and Moon, and Zelda: A Link Between Worlds).
2) Switch Pro: Cost, Release Date, and New Nvidia Tech
According to Takashi Mochizuki, trustable sources connected to the development of the console’s new version, the Switch Pro might be put on sale at the end of the year, at around $399.99. The cost is justified by a 720p OLED screen, and more memory and CPU power.
New Switch would be:
-release later this year
-7-inch, 720p OLED screen
-better CPU, more memory
-with a lot of games
-analysts tip as much as $399.99 price tag
source: multiple people familiar with the matter that we talked to.https://t.co/1lleqAFQBh
— Takashi Mochizuki (@6d6f636869) March 23, 2021
In fact, it seems like the new model will make use of DLSS to reproduce 4K resolution due to Nvidia tech inserted. But games released before that are either going to “die” or be upgraded by their respective developers. Most of them are waiting for its release.
This change in production is the opposite that Nintendo has been doing for a long time: to catch a younger and less expensive audience, as they did with the Switch Lite.
Now, they’ll compete against top console-makers Sony and Microsoft in cost and power.
3) Nostalgia: 2021s World Video Game Hall of Fame & Hundreds of PS2 Demos for Free
12 finalists have been announced for this year to appear in the World Video Game Hall of Fame, by The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York Strong.
As you can see from the picture, the following games were chosen The 12 games to be nominated include Animal Crossing, Call of Duty, FarmVille, FIFA International Soccer, Guitar Hero, Mattel Football, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Pole Position, Portal, StarCraft, Tron, and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?
Each game made an impact on the gaming industry and would be deserving of getting into the Hall of Fame, so it will be interesting to see which games make the cut when the inductees are announced on May 6.
Now, speaking of icons: The Hidden Palace and the Internet Archive worked together to find, enlist, upload 860GB worth of PS2 demos and prototypes that sony never released.
Called “Project Deluge”, it highlights 752 games, of which you can find E3’s Shadow of the Colossus, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, and Final Fantasy 10-2 prototypes.
They showcased a big number of them on Twitch:
4) Open BETA: WoW Classic’s Burning Crusade & Magic: Legends
According to Blizzard, players will now start to receive their so-request beta access.
Wowhead confirms, saying those on the Burning Crusade wishlist already received email confirmations.
And if you get selected, you can install it through the Battle.net client and start right away with a new test character of any previously made on Wow Classic.
Thankfully for RPG players, Magic: Legends beta has also opened its doors to the fantastic deckbuilding world Magic: The Gathering on the Epic Game Store or Arc (Cryptic’s launcher).
5) More Details About League of Legends’ MMO and Fighting Game
Riot Games has been announcing numerous mysteriously-titled projects for different genres, all around the world of League of Legends. While it feels like yesterday when Teamfight Tactics and Legends of Runaterra came out, it’s now time to know more about two newer.
We finally know more about the MMO game that the company remained silenced for. Accurately, a new page on Riot’s official website seeks new employees with experience in Gameplay Engineering, Game Art, Production, and Design, for the upcoming game.
While we don’t know about names, dates, or available platforms yet; we got something.
This also applies to “Project L”, its League of Legends-themed fighting game, first announced at the 2019 EVO tournament by Tom Cannon (Founder) and his brother, Tony Cannon. “The Skilled Roy” discovered surveys that Riot began to roll out for some players.
The Pro Runaterra player believes that a new announcement will come during EVO 2021.
6) League of Legends Is Out Now in the US
If Riot Games wasn’t successful enough, they’ll become even bigger in 2021 after the release of Wild Rift, League of Legends’ mobile version. While both Europe and Asia have been enjoying its beta since a few months back, North America just got it on March 29th.
Wild Rift Beta is now officially out for North America on both Android and iOS devices, including 58 Champions, with 3 skins each, compared to League of Legends 145 Champions.
Its last patch update (2.2) introduced new Champions (Galio), Modes (ARAM in test), features (Position Preferences), skins, buffs, nerfs, and more.
7) Niantic and Nintendo Work Together on an AR-based Pikmin Game
AR Games developer company Niantic (Pokemon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite) is creating a Pikmin-based mobile game with the help of Nintendo. As with the billion-dollar releases, this one plans to get more people to walk outside.
The company shared more details about this game and others coming soon from the partnership. They’re planning to create future games based on popular Nintendo properties.
Kei Kawai, VP of Product Management, says:
“We’ll share more details about the apps in the coming month. We’re excited to continue building on this partnership as we pursue our mission of encouraging people to explore the world together.”
This one (Niantic’s Pikmin) is planned to be released in later 2021
8) Rocket League Sideswipe: New 2D Mobile Game
Developer Psyonix announced Rocket’s League 2D mobile version, Sideswipe.
Coming later this year to Android and iOS devices, Sideswipe will consist of two-minutes long 1v1 and 2v2 matches, differently from the five-minutes, four-players from the original.
It will be “easier to pick up and play” and it will include a different side perspective, as well as more unlockable cosmetics to customize your vehicles. More details should be shared soon.
An Android alpha-test has begun for Australia and New Zealand.
9) Patents: EA 2D Images Into 3D Objects & Tencent’s Handheld Console
Two new registered patents were discovered in the last week of March.
The first one, filed by Electronic Arts, seeks to transform 2D images into 3D models, with the help of an engine to, for example, dress or animate characters without generating meshes.
This technology could be easily applied to successful franchises like FIFA, Madden NFL, and The Sims.
The second approved patent is from Tencent, which resembles the handheld console Nintendo Switch. Maybe you didn’t know, but Tencent got exclusive rights to distribute the Switch in China back in 2019.
Instead, this new Windows-run patent filed in October 2020, with no removable controllers, would represent their second attempt to be in the console war (the first being the 2016s Tencent Gaming Platform (TGB) Box).
10) Bioware’s Anthem Director and Cyberpunk 2077 Senior Game Designer Leave
The Dragon Age and Mass Effect series has been well-received for more than a decade, selling hundreds of millions of physical and digital copies. This can’t be said about Anthem.
Jonathan Warner, the original game director, has decided to leave the studio after plans of reviving it with a sequel were abandoned to focus on other games.
In his announcement, Jonathan doesn’t mention this as the reason for his retirement. But he is sure about the future of BioWare’s franchises under the hands of the team.
So, today is my last day at BioWare, I’m moving on to do new things.
BioWare has been home to my grateful heart for nearly 10 years and I want to wish them all the best. DA ME and SWTOR are in good hands and I can’t wait to play from this side of the screen.#ThankYou #BioWare pic.twitter.com/g5zp7hkSV5
— Jonathan Warner (@Zen_Warner) March 26, 2021
Andrzej Zawadzki, senior gameplay designer at CD Projekt Red has also left the company, after working on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (QA tester) and Cyberpunk 2077 (design unit).
After almost 8 years, my time at CDPR has come to an end. It’s time for the new adventure.
To every person I’ve met on the way – thank you 🙂 It was an honor and pleasure.
See you around 🙂 pic.twitter.com/Hts3TE9VzW
— Andrzej Zawadzki (@ZawAndy) March 22, 2021