Geek News Roundup for 12/08/13 — U Was Not Ready

Hi! As you can see, I am not Angela Moseley. Unfortunately, she’s rather ill, and can’t do the Geek News Roundup today because of that. So I’m filling in for the time being. Hopefully she’ll feel better soon, not so she can do more updates for this blog, but because she’s a good friend of all its writers.

Anyway, let’s get down to business.

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Remember when Nintendo said they wanted to sell 9 million Wii U’s by the end of the fiscal year (March 31st, 2014)? They probably wish you didn’t, because they’re nowhere near that goal. It was revealed by the NPD, who tracks video game sales in North America, that only 220,000 systems were sold in the continent in November. Its sales are eerily similar to Sega’s home console swan song, Sega Dreamcast, meaning this is not a predicament Nintendo wants to be in — especially as their competition is championing the excellent sales of their recently-launched consoles. Wii U sales have been paltry in other territories as well, and the company will need to sell an estimated 2 million systems a month to reach their lofty goal. There’s no chance of that, meaning their next investor’s meeting could be a bloodbath.

Those rumors you heard about Youtube were true: they’re indeed cracking down on users that monetize Let’s Play videos. It’s an awful move for a number of reasons; not only are they cutting off the paychecks for many users, but this also dramatically reduces the amount of freedom any Youtube user has in which videos they can upload — as if that process wasn’t stringent enough already. This service needs serious competition, but with that comes the fear that said competitor would be just as beholden to the big corporations that instigated this move. It would still be nice if someone took the challenge, though. Some game publishers have vowed to fight for the users, but whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen.

Virtual Reality headset Oculus Rift attained much popularity when it was first shown at E3 2012, and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz realized its potential when they decided to pour $75 million worth of funding into it. To further prove they believe in its future success, its co-founder, Mark Andreessen, will join Oculus’ board of directors. With people like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom lead programmer John Carmack on board, this could be an unstoppable force in the near future.

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With the number of Studio Ghibli movies awaiting a release outside Japan, it almost feels like it’s too early to talk about the next project. That’s precisely what they announced last week, via film distributor TOHO. Their next movie will be an adaptation of Joan G. Robinson’s When Marnie Was There, scheduled for a theatrical release in Japan in summer 2014. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, of The Secret World of Arrietty, will be directing the film. This was one of the many potential adaptations recommended by former Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, whose spirit remains in the company despite his “retirement” in September. (“Retirement” meaning he’ll be keeping himself busy, to our benefit.) How the company will manage without his future input will be interesting to watch.

Meanwhile, the next Ghibli film for western territories will be The Wind Rises, Miyazaki’s final movie for the company. It will be shown in a limited amount of theaters starting on February 21st. It received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, a first for a Ghibli movie.

China’s first lunar rover, Jade Rabbit (or “Yutu”), departed from its Chang-3 unmanned spacecraft and began rolling around the moon on Saturday, and it didn’t take long for it to snap its first photo. While the United States is busy curtailing NASA’s use of space exploration equipment to keep the federal budget in check, China has been outpacing us in expanding their programs. Get it together, America.

The Wolverine just released on DVD and Blu-ray a couple of weeks ago, and X-Men: Days of Future Past will hit theaters next year, but it’s already time to talk about the next next movie: X-Men: Apocalypse. Fox knows they have a moneymaking franchise on their hands, and they want to keep striking while the adamantium is hot. Like DoFP, Bryan Singer, of the first two X-Men films, will be directing this one. Apocalypse is one of the most menacing villains in the X-Men universe, meaning there’s a lot of potential they can tap into. Hopefully the production team can make a movie worth watching out of it.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

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