It’s your video game industry news update for January 12th, 2018 – Nintendo Direct Mini for January 2018, HTC Vive announces improvements at CES, and Detective Pikachu is confirmed for release on 3DS in North America. The video game industry changes every day and your time is important. Let’s get you caught up, starting right now, on Games in Time!
Nintendo Direct Mini for January 2018
Rumors of a Nintendo Direct arriving on January 11th turned out to be spot-on, despite some masterful teasing from Nintendo, as a Direct Mini suddenly aired without prior advertising. Key announcements of early 2018 Switch titles included:
- The World Ends With You -Final Remix- – an HD remake of the 2008 DS game, with added control schemes and an epilogue, coming 2018
- Ports of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (coming May 4th) and Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (coming Spring 2018), which continues the export of Wii U’s impressive library onto a more popular, portable system
- Mario Tennis Aces, which hopes to turn the franchise around by adding a story mode, coming Spring 2018
- Kirby Star Allies, originally announced at E3 2017, will be available on March 16th
- And Dark Souls Remastered is coming to Nintendo Switch on May 25th, 2018. The remaster will also be available on other platforms on the same day, but portable Dark Souls is a big win for Nintendo fans.
Other ports, indie game release dates, and DLC announcements were made during the Direct, so make sure to tune in to the 15-minute presentation for the full story.
Nintendo Switch Breaks U.S. Sales Records
Nintendo has reported that the Switch is now the fastest selling console in the United States of all time. The previous record for this ten-month post-launch stateside mark was 4 million units for the Nintendo Wii. However, Switch has surpassed that with 4.8 million units in the same time frame. This only underlies Switch’s tremendous year-one success, as the hybrid console surpassed Nintendo’s goal of 10 million worldwide fiscal year sales within nine months. In fact, over in Japan, Switch has already surpassed Wii U’s 3.3 million lifetime sales.
Nintendo also released their list of the top 20 most played games on Switch in 2017. While the top five isn’t entirely surprising with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, and Minecraft, third-parties and new IP stand out with Stardew Valley at 6, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle at 7, and ARMS at 8. The full list can also be viewed on Switch’s Nintendo News section on the home screen.
HTC Vive Pro Announced
Over at CES in Las Vegas, HTC announced several updates to their Vive room-scale virtual reality platform. An improved Vive Pro model of the head-mounted display ups the combined resolution to 2880×1600, a 78% improvement from Vive’s 2160×1200. Price and availability will be detailed soon. Additionally, the Vive Wireless Adapter will allow both Vive and Vive Pro users to experience VR without the cables that currently tie the room-scale experience down. The accessory will ship in Q3 worldwide, but no price has been announced. Futhermore, updates to HTC’s Viveport VR will allow for better curation on the platform’s VR experience storefront, while Vive Video partners with Vimeo to offer curated video content for Vive. These software updates are available now.
AGDQ 2018 Concludes
The speedrunning marathon known as Awesome Games Done Quick 2018 is wrapping up its week-long effort to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. The best speedrunners in the world are showing off their talents over at twitch.tv/gamesdonequick until the end of Saturday, January 13th, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the marathon’s final game. Some of the highlights so far that I personally recommend watching via the VoD thread on the speedrun subreddit have been the Sonic Adventure 2: Battle Hero mode race, as well as the Battletoads Turbo Tunnel blindfold run. AGDQ 2018 hopes to beat last year’s donation total of $2.22 million.
- The localization of Detective Pikachu is coming to Nintendo 3DS on March 23rd, 2018 with a voice for Pikachu that’s not Ryan Reynolds, but isn’t entirely unlike Danny DeVito, either. A large Detective Pikachu amiibo will also be released. To celebrate this news, the Pikachu-themed New Nintendo 2DS XL finally comes stateside for $159 on January 26th.
- Assassin’s Creed: Rogue will receive a current generation update, arriving on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 20th.
- The PC port of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age arrives on February 1st.
- SEGA’s official Twitter account has posted a lightbulb teaser image for what is an expected to be an announcement on January 16th.
- Donald Trump praised the delivery of F-52 fighter jets to Norway, but these are fictional planes found in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
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