Tuesday Update:Vita Production To End, Switch Updated, Dr. Mario Trademarks, Plus More News!

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● Sony today announced that its PlayStation Vita handheld console will soon end production in Japan. The system launched on 17 December 2011 and has sold just under six million units domestically, less than 25% of its main competitor, the Nintendo 3DS. Whilst it has maintained a fervent fanbase, Vita never became a major commercial success, largely due to the Monster Hunter series moving from the PlayStation Portable to the 3DS. The PlayStation TV, which launched in 2014, failed to ignite sales but allowed many handheld Vita games to be played on the television, a concept that is now popular with the Nintendo Switch console. It’s extremely unlikely that the Vita will see a handheld successor, but a PlayStation 5 hybrid console is a possibility, although has not been confirmed.

● Nintendo updated the Nintendo Switch firmware to Version 7.0.1 which resolves the issue where the Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! games cannot reconnect to the Pokémon GO app if the game software was closed after pairing with the app.

● Despite not being at the Japanese Direct, Ubisoft announced that Assassin’s Creed III Remastered will also be releasing in Japan on 23 May 2019 priced at ¥5,184. Only the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 versions will be phsycial. Announcement trailer and Switch version trailer posted here.

● Yacht Club Games said that have Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove as well as King of Cards and Showdown will be delayed by several months. Flyhigh Works will be responsible for the packaged release of Treasure Trove in Japan.

● The first part of a Satsujin Tantei Jack the Ripper manga drawn by Yu Tsurusaki here.

● The latest Fortnite content update adds the Driftboard item, the Infantry Rifle weapon, and the Driftin’ Limited Time Mode (two teams of 32 players, all with driftboards).

Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission will have an Edit Card feature where players can create custom cards from a blank canvas card.

● Electronic Arts announced that the co-op platformer Unravel Two will also release on the Japanese Switch eShop on 22 March. Original trailer posted here.

● The Trials Rising Open Beta is now available to download on the Japanese Switch eShop, allowing you to trial various courses for free between 21 – 25 February. Open Beta trailer posted here.

● Preceding the demo in tomorrow’s issue of Weekly Famitsu, the Lulua no Atelier ~Arland no Renkinjutsushi4 (Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland) demo was made available on the Japanese Switch eShop today.

● Hi-Rez Studios today published the free-to-play version of SMITE on the Japanese Switch eShop. The Founder’s Pack released several weeks ago.

● FDG Entertainment updated Monster Boy Norowareta Oukoku (Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom) to Version 1.0.4 on Switch adding multiple saveslots, a flashing light reduction option, an updated to the Haunted Manor map adding three points of interests hints, and over 100 bug fixes.

Dragalia Lost will see Void Battles this week (Friday, or Thursday PT). The latest information on them has been added to this post.

Fire Emblem Heroes will see Forging Bonds: The Orb Case begin tomorrow.

● Nintendo Co., Ltd. latest two trademark applications are for DR. MARIO WORLD and DR. MARIO. The former is more to do with the upcoming mobile game co-developed with LINE, whilst the latter includes providing entertainment and the planning of game tournaments etc. Actual applications posted here.

● Nintendo are recruiting for graduates for 2020 and have open days lined up for Tokyo on 08 March and Kyoto on 16 March, which will include a speech by President Shuntaro Furukawa and meeting with senior employees. Go to this page for details on how to apply.

Nintendo Co., Ltd. shares dropped by +1.01% today to close trading at ¥29,375.00.

● Red Hook Studios have announced that they are working on a Darkest Dungeon 2 game. Trailer posted here.

● The roguelike 2D action shooter Black Future ’88 was also announced by Good Shepherd as a Switch console exclusive. Trailer posted posted here.

● San-ei Boeki are releasing a couple of officially licensed Tentacles (Off the Hook) plushies in late June 2019. See pictures of them both here.

● The L.C.A.STUDIOS ~USJ Blog posted some mock-up pictures (along with some construction images) from SUPER NINTENDO WORLD which I’ve posted here.

● The Detective Pikachu Trading Card Game set releases on 29 March in Europe and 06 April in North America with 26 cards featured. Jigglypuff, Mr. Mime, and Psyduck are newly revealed.

● A nine days to release countdown trailer for JUDGEMENT 7 Ore-tachi no Sekai wa Owatteiru。 (Our World is Ended) here.

● A Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon Buddy System trailer here.

● Thanks to Naruki for news tips and The Video Game Art Archive for the Dr. Mario pics!

● And thanks everybody for following. Please also follow me on Twitter @japanese3ds and please buy me a coffee!