Hello, and welcome once again to Replay, WIRED’s videogame news roundup. This week, during the times when folks in the gaming industry weren’t talking about Sony’s next-generation console, they were often talking about Nintendo. Not only did the company reportedly remove itself from the health gadget business, it also made moves to start selling the Switch in China. Wild times, indeed. E3 is fast approaching, and as it gets closer the rumors will surely pick up. But until that happens, here’s all the gaming news you need to know.
The Nintendo Switch Is Finally Coming to China
First thing’s first: the Switch. According to Reuters, technology company Tencent officially has permission to begin selling the console in China. As we’ve discussed on Replay before, China has a very different videogame market than the West, with strong regulations requiring local corporate partners and lots of oversight to get videogame hardware released in the country. With such high barriers for foreign countries to enter the market, the most successful game products in China are largely homegrown.
With Tencent’s help, though, the Nintendo Switch has gotten government approval to appear in the region for the first time. It’ll come with a test version of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. No word on when, precisely, the console will hit stores in the region, but it’s on the way.
Nintendo Is Out of the Health Gadget Business
For years, one of the great mysteries of Nintendo has been the fate of their so-called “quality-of-life” technology, which was said to use their expertise (and their affinity, in the pre-Switch days, for weird peripherals) to create a series of personal health devices that would do things like monitor your sleep and provide useful information on it.
Now, a report by Nikkei (with translation work from Kotaku) confirms that, after being shelved in 2016, that project has officially been cancelled, and that Nintendo is out of the health gadget game altogether. The report also confirmed that previously rumored new models of the Switch are still in progress, with at least one model—a smaller version of the console—still on track for this year. You’re going to have to wait a bit longer for the heftier version, though, if Nikkei‘s report is correct. We’ll probably learn more around E3.
The Next Exciting Minecraft Invention Is a Feature Film, Coming in 2022
People make the coolest things in Minecraft. Computers, reproductions of world monuments, the USS Enterprise. Now, the coolest thing coming to Minecraft is a feature film. While probably not made, like, inside the game (though wouldn’t that be amazing?), the film, directed by Peter Sollett, is slated for release in 2022. Or, well, we hope so—this movie has been in the works in one form or another since 2014, and it’s gone through a lot of ups and downs in that time. Currently, the flick, produced by Lego Movie producers Roy Lee and Jon Berg, with input from Minecraft dev Mojang, is set for March 4, 2022, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Which, to be fair, is probably faster than we could build anything impressive in Minecraft.
Recommendation of the Week: Cibele, on PC
Intimacy is a rare quality in games. Action, excitement, fear—those are normal. But the feeling of actually knowing someone? Of seeing something private, and strange, and personal? That’s a lot more rare. Part game, part fictionalized confessional, Nina Freeman’s Cibele is one of the best personal games you can play. Taking place on a fictionalized version of her teenage computer, it’s a chat simulator and a voyeuristic look into a young person’s most complicated feelings. Games can help you experience things you wouldn’t otherwise, and Freeman here uses that power to bring you into her life. It’s a powerful use of the medium, and a beautiful game.
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