5 Bits Of Good News From Game Developer’s Conference 2015

Each year, the Game Developers’ Conference showcase some of the most exciting breakthroughs in the pixilated world. On both the hardware and software sides, here are the announcements that toggled our joysticks.

Shovel Knight Comes to Xbox One (with Battletoads!)

Shovel Knight was one of the best 2D sidescrollers of recent years, a sweeping, nostalgia-steeped action epic that was lovingly rendered. Developers announced that the game would be not only be making its way to the Xbox One, but also bringing everyone’s (second) favorite freakishly-muscled amphibian heroes from the 90s along for the adventure. Here’s hoping Rash, Zit, and Pimple still have their punting ability — and that there’s no brain-caving hoverbike level anywhere to be found in this reboot.

Valve Enters the Virtual Reality Game

One of the biggest surprises of the show came from Valve. The company behind the entire Steam PC gaming ecosystem announced it’s partnership with HTC and their joint plans for Valve VR, one of the most compelling virtual reality systems we’ve seen to date, featuring a 1,200 x 1,080 pixel screen in front of each eye and sensors that’ll allow for a range of 225 square feet. Their proof of concept video  showed the first-person puzzler, Portal, into a see-it-feel-it-first-person-experience and has us dreaming about what will come when Valve is able to take a deep dive into virtual worlds.

Project Morpheus is Real

Sony used this year’s GDC as a soapbox to officially announce that their VR system, Project Morpheus, has moved from a concept to an actual consumer product. They also revealed it in its newest form, one that boasts screen improvements to tackle the pixelation issues that plagued the first iteration. Sony demoed a proof of concept video that let us experience the thrill of pulling off a high-profile London jewel heist. The moment they let us rob a Vegas casino in VR, we may never return to reality.

Rockband4 Makes its Way to Next Gen Consoles

Bust out the leather chaps and unearth your guitar controllers (you still have those from 2008, right?); the game that lets you live out your dreams of rockstardom has been updated for Xbox One and PS4. It’s reassuring to know that when we want to belt out some Red Hot Chili Peppers, dust off our drumsticks to bang out the solo on Radar Love, or play any of the 2000+ backlog of songs Harmonix is porting over, our new-gen consoles will be up to the task.

Bethesda Spills Nazi Blood

“How many Nazis are there in this world?” asks the hero of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Thankfully, there are enough factions bent on world domination to warrant another reboot of the run and gun franchise. From the looks of it, the first-person shooter, set to release on May 5th, maintains the pulp style, high body count, and gatling gun-fueled mayhem that made the original so addictive.