Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily recap of the top gaming headlines.
Nintendo plans for future with ‘unique, different’ NX, more mobile, theme park details
In a Time interview, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima discussed a variety of topics relating to the company’s future as 2016 looms closer. Among the talking points are Nintendo’s mobile strategy, its upcoming NX console, recent corporate restructuring, and more.
Let’s start with the NX, its next dedicated gaming console. Kimishima assured fans what the console wasn’t going to look like.
“I can assure you we’re not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. [NX] is something unique and different.”
-Tatsumi Kimishima, Nintendo president
However, Kimishima promised that the Wii U is still a priority in Kyoto.
“Of course, we are working on NX and looking at the experiences we can bring to that platform. But first our job at this point is to support the consumers who have to purchase Wii U and make sure that they have software experiences available to them.”
Mobile is also an important part of Nintendo’s future. Kimishima used the Time interview to reiterate what his predecessor Satoru Iwata established about the company’s mobile strategy.
“We want to increase the population of those people who have access to our IP, and we also need to make the way they access our IP as simple as we can or as easy as we can. And that’s how we’re going to make the smart device business successful.”
Miitomo aims to attract Nintendo fans across platforms. While a Nintendo account isn’t required, Kimishima stated that users will benefit from connecting the game with their Nintendo account or My Nintendo.
“When [players are] using Miitomo, it’s going to be easier to do some of the Miitomo features if you have a Nintendo Account. It’ll be easier to reach out and talk to your friends.”
After registering for My Nintendo, you’ll get points that can be used in the new rewards program. My Nintendo will replace Club Nintendo as the company’s way to exchange game registrations for exclusive gifts, downloads, and discounts. Points can also be received in nontraditional ways.
“They’ll start earning points not only by using their software, but by interacting with our stuff, not just by purchasing software, but by interacting both at theme parks and also with merchandise.”
This is where veteran Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto fits into the company’s reorganization. After briefly filling in as co-president after Iwata’s July passing, Miyamoto now serves as a creative fellow with the company. According to Kimishima, the role requires Miyamoto to spend “a lot of time, not only with his fellow developers, but also working with Universal Theme Parks to design the Nintendo experience that will evolve there.”
“In fact, you may even be seeing Nintendo characters more often in the clothing and shoes that people wear [because of Miyamoto].”
The president also sees room for improvement with its existing merchandise, the line of amiibo figurines.
“A challenge that we’re facing right now is, our earliest goal for the [amiibo] was to have these connected to software and have them enhance the play experience for the consumer. What we’re seeing instead is that the [amiibo] are being picked up more as a collection item at this point, rather than, say, as an interactive item with software.”
In the future, Kimishima told Time, the company intends to strengthen the relationship between the figures and the software they support.
Overwatch closed beta going on ‘extended break’ Dec. 10
Blizzard Entertainment’s closed Overwatch beta is taking a holiday break. According to the developer, the hero-based shooter’s beta is going offline starting Dec. 10th while Blizzard works on new game features.
“This phase of development has been key, but now it’s time to analyze the data we have, dig into your feedback even further, and put that knowledge to use as best we can. During this downtime, we’re looking forward to making more improvements to the game, as well as continuing to work on in-development features like spectating and progression.”
-Blizzard Entertainment, in a blog post
According to Blizzard, the game’s beta will return in January.
Overwatch will come to PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One in the spring.
PlayStation 2 games now available on PS4
Sony is bringing some of the PlayStation 2’s greatest hits to the PlayStation 4, according to the company.
Eight beloved titles are now available on the American and European PlayStation Stores:
- Dark Cloud: $14.99
- Grand Theft Auto 3: $14.99
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: $14.99
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: $14.99
- Rogue Galaxy: $14.99
- The Mark of Kri: $14.99
- Twisted Metal: Black: $9.99
- War of the Monsters: $9.99
To be clear, this is not PlayStation 2 backward compatibility on PlayStation 4. As the embedded video above notes, your PS4 can’t play PS2 classics or your existing PlayStation 2 discs. Instead, you’ll be buying enhanced versions of these titles. All of them have been upscaled to 1080p, and Sony has added features we’ve all grown accustomed to on PS4 games like Remote Play, Share Play, and Activity Feeds on the systems dashboard, second-screen support with the Vita or PlayStation app, and livestreaming.
Sony plans to bring more PS2 games to PlayStation 4 “on a regular basis,” according to Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida. Upcoming titles include Rapappa the Rapper 2 and The King of Fighters 2000, both of which are playable at PlayStation Experience this weekend along with some games on the aforementioned list.
Rise of the Tomb Raider’s first new mode coming later this month
Endurance Mode, Rise of the Tomb Raider’s first post-launch add-on, will launch December 29th for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, followed by two others next year, according to publisher Microsoft Studios.
According to Microsoft, Endurance Mode is the “ultimate woman-versus wild test.” Players must scavenge for resources because “everything must be caught, collected, or crafted.” Those who survive longer than their friends will push their way up the mode’s leaderboards, vying to become the “Ultimate Survivor.”
During The Game Awards 2015 Thursday night, Microsoft debuted a gameplay trailer for Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, the game’s first story-based DLC. In Baba Yaga, Croft is on the trail of a man who went missing in a Siberian forest that is haunted by a witch.
Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Cold Darkness Awakened mode pits Lara against waves of zombie-like beings infected with a “mysterious affliction that transforms beasts and men into blood-thirsty, mindless killers.”
All three pieces of DLC are included in the game’s $29.99 season pass, along with three other pieces of add-on packs that offer new outfits, skins, weapons, and card packs.
Shovel Knight amiibo coming in January with exclusive content
Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight’s titular star is receiving its own amiibo Jan. 8th for $12.99, according to a video (embedded above) from the studio.
As seen in the video above, using the figure with the Wii U version of the game gives you new customization options and weapons, as well as a co-op mode. The local multiplayer feature will be exclusively available to amiibo owners, as previously announced.
Dark Souls 3 launching April 12
Publisher Bandai Namco has confirmed that Dark Souls 3 will launch for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One on April 12.
The game will launch on March 24 in Japan.
A new trailer for the game was also announced (embedded above).
Rocket League coming to Xbox One in February
Car-based soccer game Rocket League is coming to Xbox One in February, according to a trailer (embedded above) revealed during The Game Awards.
The Xbox One version will include special cars geared towards Gears of Wars and Halo.
Rocket League is available now on PlayStation 4 and on Windows.
Rock Band VR coming to Oculus Rift next year
Harmonix is working on Rock Band VR for the Oculus Rift, according to a trailer (embedded above) revealed during The Game Awards.
The trailer showed off gameplay in an audience-facing view, with the player hammering away on a floating Rock Band guitar controller. The trailer was preceded by a video featuring Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, Harmonix developers, and the band DragonForce.
Shadow Complex Remastered coming to PS4, Xbox One; free download now on PC
A remastered version of Shadow Complex, Chair Entertainment’s award-winning sidescroller, is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One early next year.
It’s also coming to Windows. The game’s complete version is available for free here until Dec. 31.
Shadow Complex Remastered includes all of the original content with better graphics, new dynamic melee takedowns, as well as additional Achievements and Master Challenges.
“Bringing Shadow Complex to a larger audience of gamers across multiple platforms has always been one of our goals at Chair. We’re super excited to introduce a remastered version to fans, old and new, and for the opportunity it creates for us to do more in the Shadow Complex universe.”
-Donald Mustard; Chair Entertainment co-founder, creative director