Cat collecting game Neko Atsume is getting a live-action film adaptation

Mobile cat collecting hit Neko Atsume is getting a silver screen adaptation with a live-action film coming to Japan next year.

As reported by , the film will follow the exploits of a young author suffering from writer’s block following an early success. After moving to the country, he befriends a local stray cat who becomes his muse. So your typical boy-meets-cat story then.

The film will star Atsushi Itô (Battlefield Baseball, Boy’s Choir) and will be directed by Masatoshi Kurakata (Crossroads), who was a writer on Shenmue 2.

Nintendo’s new 3DS game Miitopia lets your star in your own JRPG

Nintendo has a new 3DS game launching in Japan this year, and up until this weekend we knew next to nothing about it.

Saturday brought a mini Nintendo Direct broadcast (in Japan, anyway) dedicated to Miitopia. It was delightfully bizarre, even by Nintendo standards.

Miitopia, it turns out, is a mash-up of StreetPass Quest, Tomodachi Life and JRPG tropes.

JRPG Blue Dragon gets Xbox One back compatibility

Blue Dragon, the Japanese role-playing game that was supposed to endear Japan to Xbox 360, is now backwards compatible on Xbox One.

It didn’t endear Japan to Xbox 360, obviously – that didn’t work at all – but Blue Dragon was a big budget, big deal back in 2007, designed in part by Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, and scored by Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu. And I quite liked it.

The eponymous blue dragons are spirit beasts that a group of kids discover they can summon in battles to fight for them. Those dragons level up and gain abilities and powerful magic over the course of the 50-hour-or-so game.

Nintendo won’t announce Switch launch date, price and games line-up until January

Nintendo Switch’s exact launch date and line-up of in-development games won’t be revealed until an event on 13th January.

The Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 will be held in Japan and live-streamed online for those not in attendance. In the room will be media, analysts and trade partners.

Expect a date at some point in March 2017 to be nailed down, along with detail on what you’ll be playing on launch day.

Japan getting new Monster Hunter next March

A Japan-only Nintendo Direct has just revealed that a new Monster Hunter is coming next year, with Monster Hunter XX currently scheduled for a Japanese launch on March 18th on the Nintendo 3DS. Will that be the only Nintendo platform it’s coming out for next March? Maybe I don’t know what do I look like Mystic Meg?

Monster Hunter XX, as its name suggests, is a follow-up to Monster Hunter X, which launched in the west earlier this year and . The new Monster Hunter features two new hunter styles, an all-new area and new monsters.

There’s already rampant speculation that the March 18th date might pertain to the launch of Nintendo’s Switch console, which we already know is coming next March. Nintendo has said it’s not going to reveal any games or further information on the console in 2016, with an event lined up for January 13th that will go into full detail. Will Monster Hunter XX make an appearance at the Japanese event? I DON’T KNOW.

Suda51’s visual novel The Silver Case is coming to PS4

Earlier this month Grasshopper Manufacture released an HD remake of the studio’s first game, The Silver Case, on PC. Now it’s coming to PS4 as both a digital and physical release in “early 2017”, via NIS America.

The sci-fi visual novel was directed by studio head Suda51 and it follows the story of both a detective and journalist investigating a series of murders.

The remake was developer by Active Gaming Media Inc. and it includes improved graphics, UI, and tailors its puzzles to a western audience. Plus it’s in English, as the original 1999 PSone game never made it outside of Japan until now.

Nintendo opens up one of its secret storage rooms

Nintendo has opened up a storage room inside its secretive Kyoto headquarters and offered the world a glimpse into the past.

As part of a series of articles on The Legend of Zelda on the (via ), the company published pictures that reveal mint and boxed Famicom consoles as well as the Japan-only Disk System.

First up, we have a shelf full of mint Famicoms. The Famicom, known as the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, in the west, went on sale in Japan on 15th July 1983.

Hitman season finale heads to Hokkaido, Japan

Hitman’s season finale is set on the Japanese island of Hokkaido and launches on 31st October.

The sixth and finale season one episode is set against a backdrop of high technology but also traditional Japanese landscapes – so, expect cherry blossoms, hot springs and an “organic sushi restaurant”.

Take a very brief peek at the new location in the teaser below:

Tales of Berseria finally has a western release date

Heads up, JRPG fans – the latest Tales game finally has a date set for its release outside Japan.

Tales of Berseria will arrive for PC and PlayStation 4 on 27th January in Europe, or 24th January in North America.

As ever, there’s a pricey collector’s edition of the game available as well – it costs $149 in the US, which at the current exchange rate equates to about £120. It includes figurines, a hardcover novel, a strategy guide and various other gubbins. This has, however, only been confirmed for the US as of yet.

What happened to Japan’s once bountiful vintage game stores?

Everyone remembers their first visit to Super Potato. Squished in a higgledy side-street, a plushie’s throw from Akihabara station in eastern Tokyo, you climb a cramped staircase, past a parade of blue-tac’ed posters, into a cosy, glittering Aladdin’s den of video games past. The shelves are as packed as the real estate outside. Towers of Famicoms, MegaDrives, PC Engines sway in the corner, while amongst the orderly phalanxes of game spines, desirable specimens sit, turned outwards, attracting customers with colourful plumes of artwork. In glass cabinets, the prohibitively expensive, or the prohibited from sale: Super Famicom review cartridges; an early Neo Geo system, sold exclusively to Japanese hotels; a Radiant Silvergun, the 1998 air – air from a time when its developer, Treasure, was still a going concern – still shrink-wrapped inside. One of Miyamoto’s fingers is probably back there somewhere, propped up against the expensive plastic, wrapped in muslin, brought out on nationals holidays, or Zelda’s birthday.

Places like this don’t exist in Britain – at least, not on this scale, or with this kind of density of stuff (the gigantic Dreamcast pillow, plump under the counter; the Mother scarf draped around the life-sized Solid Snake statue; the GameCube book-ends). Our vintage game stores are almost all gone (the basement of Computer Exchange in Rathbone Place, London, once littered with exotic desirables, has been a DVD dumping ground for years). The National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham has a few dozen eccentricities on show — a copy of a sand-dusted E.T. for the Atari 2600, a Lara Croft Lucozade bottle, a pair of Samba de Amigo maracas — but there’s no place you can go to run your eyes along the spines of a row of games and, in doing so, catch the grand sweep of the medium’s history. There’s precious little chance of being blindsided by an unexpected memory – your secret crush age 12; your favourite teacher age 15; the memory of your parents, together – when you spot an old flame on a shelf.

Super Potato is just one of half-a-dozen vintage game stores in Electric Town’s mile-or-so stretch. It’s the most famous not just because of its percussive, lumpy name, but also because, for a long while, it was the only establishment that allowed visitors to take photographs and videos inside. During the past ten years, as Super Potato’s fame has grown, its effect on first-time visitors has remained undiminished. The prices, however, have steadily risen, while the clientele has changed and the stock has depleted. Super Potato is now a tourist attraction; far more foreigners than Japanese squeeze apologetically through its narrow aisles. This is true, in fact, for most of Tokyo’s vintage game stores, from Mandarake, a chain of second hand geek stores, with a headquarters in a shopping centre in Nakano (a kind of Bluewater for recluses) through to Friends, the most un-plundered of the bunch, situated above Suehirocho station, where every day an elderly lady hunches behind a counter, placing cartridges into plastic wrappers with creaky fingers.