This week, the new “Playdate” console was announced, Tencent and Riot Games revealed plans to bring League of Legends to mobile, and Microsoft is creating a new mobile AR title called Minecraft Earth.
New “Playdate” console coming in 2020
Panic, the studio behind the game Firewatch, will release a new handheld console in 2020. Dubbed the Playdate, this Gameboy-inspired device will feature a black-and-white screen, a directional pad, two buttons, and a hand crank. Instead of purchasing individual titles for the device, players will receive a “season” of indie games with the purchase of the console, which will release directly to the console each week. The press were positive about the news, with Engadget stating, “…this is one of the few times you can say that a console maker is trying something truly different. Even if you don’t get many more games beyond the initial roster, the device will at least be memorable.” Playdate is currently available for pre-order for $149. The news was also reported by The Verge, VG247, TechSpot and more.
Tencent and Riot Games bringing League of Legends to mobile
Tencent and Riot Games are expanding the reach of League of Legends by releasing it for mobile. The mobile version will maintain the look that LoL is known for, though there will be different items and runes available, and fewer characters to choose from. While there is currently no release date, HYPEBEAST speculated the game could enter the market at the end of this year. Sentiment from the press was positive. GameSpot said, “Bringing League of Legends to mobile, a game with 10 years of history under its belt, would bode well for both Riot and Tencent.” Reuters, Kotaku, and more also reported the news.
Microsoft to release Minecraft Earth AR mobile title
Microsoft is developing Minecraft Earth, a free-to-play AR mobile title. By utilizing Microsoft’s HoloLens, Apple’s ARKit, and Google’s ARCore software, Minecraft Earth will enable players to collect blocks and materials from real locations to create their own customized buildings and structures. Though the game can be played solo, Microsoft hopes players will collaborate with friends to build large-scale structures in the game. There is no confirmed release date, but an open beta will launch this summer. Outlets were optimistic about the game’s potential, with Polygon going as far as saying, “It’s a lot like Pokémon Go, except deeper, richer, more ambitious and more technically advanced.” The news was reported by CNET, The Verge, Variety, and more.