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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Nintendo Switch Update Rumors, and the Rest of the Week in Games

This week is all rumors and magic, as we unpack some unsurprising (if unfounded) news about Nintendo and some legitimately thrilling news from Warner Bros. For fans of legacy franchises, this week's Replay will be exciting and maybe a little bit confusing. Let's go!

The Nintendo Switch Might Be Getting an Update Next Year—Try To Act Surprised

Nintendo has a handheld habit, the same kind you see in modern cell phone developers: iteration. Once the company releases a new portable console, you can bet that in a year or two there's going to be a new, sleek hotness—followed by a newer, sleeker hotness, with incremental upgrades continuing until the true next-generation device rolls around.

So it's no surprise that the Switch—which is at least part handheld, and thrives on its cool-gadget vibe perhaps more than any other Nintendo product—might have an update coming. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is planning an updated release as soon as next year, though any new features remain unclear.

Mega Man is Coming to Live Action Because … Reasons

The games-to-video beat continues to be a weird one. The latest news, from Capcom, is that Mega Man, the delightfully cartoonish series featuring a small blue robot boy shooting lasers, is going to get a live-action movie, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, known for Paranormal Activity 3 and 4.

Mega Man, for those who aren't exceptionally clued into the franchise, is a weird choice for live-action. An animated movie? Sure, I could see that. There have been a few cartoons, and while they weren't necessarily good, they were at least sensical. It could be weirder: Capcom could also be working on a Monster Hunter movie. Oh, they are? Starring Milla Jovovich? Huh.

Harry Potter Fans Have Something to Look Forward To

Harry Potter fans have been dreaming of a finer gaming future for some time, and it looks like they might get it. According to leaks that several journalists are corroborating, Warner Bros. is working on an open-world Harry Potter role-playing game, dubbed Magic Awakened. The title, which leaked out via a focus group, ticks most of the usual boxes for fans: letting them create their own character, learn to be a wizard at Hogwarts, and presumably save the magical world from some sort of magic fascists.

The Boy Who Lived has had a rough history in games, with nothing really doing justice to the imaginative potential of the books and films. And with J.K. Rowling seemingly spending her time on Twitter explaining how Hermione is actually a flapper from the 1920s, games might be the great hope wizarding fans need.

Recommendation of the Week: Dishonored

While we're talking magic, now's a good time to revisit one of my favorite magic systems in games: the powers of the Void in Dishonored. These abilities, granted by trickster god/emo cutie The Outsider, serve an inventive, fascinating playstyle that makes Dishonored's Thief-style sneaking really sing. Teleport, possess your foes, freeze time. These powers, notably, can be used for both stealth and utter chaos, as the player desires. I always go stealth, but you might find chaos more fun. The Outsider certainly won't mind.

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