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Welcome to 2024, otherwise known as the sequel to last year. Hopefully, the first week of the new year has been equally restful and kind to you as you batten down the hatches for what is sure to be a busy few months of video game and seasonal anime releases.
Shigeru Miyamoto Isn’t Retiring From Nintendo Anytime Soon
Recently, The Guardian asked Super Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto if retirement was on the horizon for the pivotal Nintendo figure. His response? Well, Miyamoto replied saying he’s more likely to fall over than to retire. I’m not kidding.
“More so than retiring, I’m thinking about the day I fall over,” Miyamoto said in the interview. “In this day and age you have to think about things in a five-year timespan, so I do think about who I can pass things on to, in case something does happen.”
Like Miyamoto, other popular Japanese video game developers like Super Smash Bros.’ director Masahiro Sakurai and Bayonetta creator Hideki Kamiya have voiced that they aren’t calling it quits as industry creators. Whereas Miyamoto has handed off development for Nintendo games like Super Mario Bros. Wonder to a younger generation while he’s preoccupied reading scripts for Hollywood film adaptations, Sakurai and Kamiya have respectively transitioned into gaming YouTubers.
I hope Miyamoto will highly consider the power animation had at the box office with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem if he ever considers shopping around for an adaptation for other Nintendo franchises. Might I boldly suggest a Metroid anime by Ghost in the Shell studio Production I.G? Asking for a friend.
Switch Pro Rumors Might Have Some Weight Afterall
It’s been rumored for the majority of 2023 that Nintendo was cooking up a new handheld console. While some have posited online that the aforementioned console would be an entirely new iteration of the Nintendo Switch, A.K.A the Switch 2, it’s looking more like the next big thing will be a half-step akin to Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro.
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Kantan Games analyst Dr. Serkan Toto said he expects a “Switch successor” to release this year for $400. Toto also anticipates that its games will release for $70 just like next-gen “AAA” games on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.
“The time is finally here for a Switch successor, even though I can say a ‘Pro’ model actually did exist and certain developers were already working with the dev kit. The next system is also likely to be an iteration rather than a revolution. Nintendo might add some bells and whistles to the device, but it will be similar to the current Switch,” Toto told GamesIndustry.biz. “And because there is Pokémon, and Pokémon is associated with handheld gaming, there is no way on earth Nintendo will drop the portability feature for their next big thing.”
As one might expect, Nintendo has remained hush about any reports of a new Switch console. However, a 2022 report from GamesIndustry.biz suggests that the new console’s design could be a send-up to the 3DS’ clamshell design. Should Toto’s prediction come to fruition, 2024 will undoubtedly be filled with online discourse over whether handheld gaming tech should return to its once-folded state.
Twitch Puts The Kibosh On ‘Implied Nudity’
Remember the butt-end of last year, pun intended, when Twitch reversed its short-lived decision to allow artistic nudity on the streaming platform? Well, a new year means a new year backpedaling resolution for Twitch concerning “implied nudity.” For your reminder, there was a new trend/meta among streamers where they would appear to be live streaming in the nude. A majority of streamers weren’t actually in a makeshift New Year’s baby cosplay and instead cropped their webcams or threw a censorship bar where they might appear nude. We live in strange times where envelopes get predictably pushed when allowed.
We want Twitch to be a place where all communities feel welcome. You spend so much time with us and it’s important that you have a consistently positive experience. Read up on recent changes to our attire policy that serve this goal.https://t.co/sbdCauhX9h
— Twitch (@Twitch) January 3, 2024
A new blog post now clarifies new(er) rules regarding sexual content guidelines on the platform, stating:
“We don’t permit streamers to be fully or partially nude, including exposing genitals or buttocks. Nor do we permit streamers to imply or suggest that they are fully or partially nude, including, but not limited to, covering breasts or genitals with objects or censor bars. We do not permit the visible outline of genitals, even when covered. Broadcasting nude or partially nude minors is always prohibited, regardless of context.”
“For those who present as women, we ask that you cover your nipples and do not expose underbust,” the blog continued. “Cleavage is unrestricted as long as these coverage requirements are met and it is clear that the streamer is wearing clothing. For all streamers, you must cover the area extending from your hips to the bottom of your pelvis and buttocks.”
And there you have it, new rules that address the goose-stepping some bad-faith Twitch rascals tried to obfuscate toward the end of last year. The fad Twitch meta is officially dead. Rest in Gaussian blur.
Jack Black Joins Minecraft Movie Cast As Steve
As all of you well know, Jack Black can do little to no wrong. Jack Black stole the show as Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. Movie both on screen and during its press junket. Now not only is Black reprising his role as Po in a fourth (holy cow, there are four of them?!) Kung Fu Panda movie, the Tenacious D paramour will be stepping into yet another video game adaptation: the upcoming Minecraft movie.
According to Deadline, Black will play the game’s protagonist Steve in the film. Black will be joining the likes of other celebs like Aquaman actor Jason Mamoa and Wednesday actor Emma Myers. In typical fashion, Black took to social media after the news broke to assure fans he was hard at work researching the role by posting an image of himself reading Minecraft Basics For Dummies. I have no choice but to stan.
That just about wraps up this New Year’s edition of This Week in Games. And would you look at that, no discourse or scandals in sight! While it’s nice to have a week where nothing crummy happens, it is also important to note that even if a week in games feels rife with only bad news, that’s only because these guides serve as a reflection on the present state of the industry. Sometimes that can mean weeks of debilitating news about layoffs, misconduct, and legal mumbo jumbo.
Going forward into the new year, I hope This Week in Games comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable when confronting the prevailing pitfalls of the industry and raising up those endeavoring to usher in solutions for change.