8Bit News – March 23rd

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Welcome to 8 Bit News, quick snips of the biggest stories in gaming and geekdom each week!

1. The ‘Game of Thrones’ TV show will spoil the books.

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Its official; my fear has come true. The wildly gifted yet unbelievably slow writer George R.R. Martin and the show producers have confirmed that it is impossible to carry on the show without producing plot spoilers to the books. This is especially heart breaking for those who have been as obsessed with the book series as myself (and the elite feeling of knowing what was going to happen before those other casuals.)

So now it begs the question… do you watch the season premiere on April 12th, or do you sit out the season and finish the books first? I for one am still on the fence.

There is also the chance that they are considered different alternate realities, similar to comic book arcs… but thats purely speculation.

2. Elite: Dangerous gives its first Elite player $15,000.

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With the launch of Elite: Dangerous, Frontier Developments new space exploration sandbox, a competition was started that would grant $1,500 to the first players to reach Elite rank in Combat, Trade, and Exploration, and would award the first player to reach Elite in all three with 10,000 pounds, or the equivalent of $15,000.

Well, after 1,029 hours of play, Commander Onepercent has won it all after surveying visiting 10,342 systems, defeating 9,032 pilots, and trading 835,410 metric tons of cargo from port to port.

Thats a lot of flying through space. I purchased Elite on launch day, enjoyed it thoroughly for several days but eventually shelved it to wait for a few more updates. Now that the Wingman update is out that adds more party features, I will definitely be heading back soon… If I can remember how to fly.

3. Nintendo is developing a new console, Wii U’s days are numbered.

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In a somewhat expected yet still surprising announcement, Nintendo declared that it will be teaming up with mobile giant DeNA to create new games on the mobile platform. Naturally many were upset as they felt the Wii U was being abandoned, but CEOs Satoru Iwata and Isao Moriyasu assured Nintendo fans that this wasn’t a shift in Nintendo’s direction, but was instead a way to expose Nintendo to a wider audience. To that I say, “Who hasn’t heard of Nintendo??” but I’ll leave the decisions to the CEO’s.

With this announcement however, many feel that it means the days of Wii U support are numbered. As Martin Robinson from EuroGamer believes, if the NX turns out to be a home console that is slated for 2017 at latest, that gives the Wii U just two more paltry years on the market. This would make it the shortest life of a Nintendo console ever. But perhaps it is as Iwata says, and the NX will not cannibalize the Wii U market – we will just have to see.

4. Cities: Skylines fills the hole in our hearts left by Sim City.

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Earlier this month saw the launch  of Cities: Skylines, a title that frankly snuck up and surprised us all. With nice tweaks to the city planner sim formula, Skylines was able to fill the gap left by the completely botched launch of Sim City in 2013. Featuring much larger plots of land, no always-online component, and lovely tilt-shifted graphics, Cities: Skylines surged to 500,000 copies in its first week. While there are no natural disasters or catastrophes like volcanoes and aliens to contend with like the SimCity counterpart, clearly many are enjoying it; myself included!

5. Rockband and Guitar Hero are coming back, baby.

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That’s right, the huge living room sensations that are now gathering dust lying broken and disgraced in your basement are coming back! While the Guitar Hero announcement has yet to be confirmed, there is without a doubt a new Rockband coming that will be showcased this summer at E3 2015. The question is; do we want another Rockband? Will we remember the rotting guitar and drum carcasses in our attics, or will they be able to reinvent the series enough to make it new and fun again? Already off to a good start, Harmonix has created a website where you can suggest songs to your hearts content.

I for one welcome our new overlords, and would love another romp into the party sensation that dominated so many of our living rooms.

6. Remember those awesome rumors about a Legend of Zelda Netflix original? Not happening. Thanks Iwata.

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It’s official. Or rather its officially unoffical. The rumors circulating about a potential Netflix show following the adventures of Link have been squashed by Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. I was super excited (like everyone) to hear the potential new show, but I also wondered how a non-talking protagonist would work out. Now I guess we don’t have to ponder it any longer…

7. Bloodborne drops tomorrow.

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The long-awaited and much-hyped spiritual successor to Dark Souls, Bloodborne, hits shelves tomorrow. The PS4 exclusive builds off of the familiar Dark Souls gameplay mechanics, and tweaks them to offer a refreshingly new experience. The game will feature less weapons than ever, but more weapon variants than ever as well, procedurally created dungeons, a new twist on healing, co-op and invasions, and an entirely new content and universe. Freaky and nearly impossible bosses are also a guarantee.

Like it’s spiritual sister Dark Souls, Bloodborne will also have New Game Plus options, however evidently it’s too difficult for even the people who designed it… This will be fun.

8. Sony tries to oust cable companies with Playstation Vue.

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More details emerged recently of Sony’s attempt at cutting the cable cord. Playstation Vue is a Netflix-like platform that will allow the users to watch 60 channels that allows the recording of shows, pausing and rewinding of live television, and streaming to three concurrent devices for $50 per month. The service is available on both the PS3 and the PS4, and will be able to be streamed to the iPad as well.

For comparison; Verizon Fios cable is $50 for 155 channels and 30 HD channels. The Vue’s user experience is much nicer than any cable provider however; see it in action below.

Will the Vue be able to replace cable? Probably not. But the new direction of HBO becoming available separate from cable, Netflix’s popularity as high as ever, and now the Vue making its debut… things might just be looking dire for cable. I for one would love a chance to try the Vue when it comes to my area – anything I can do to undermine the malicious monopoly of cable criminals (hm, those were nice alliterations.)

Thanks for joining us! Come back next week to check out our curated articles and tidbits in the gaming and tech industries!

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