Weekly Nerd News: August 20


by Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

Have you fallen behind on your nerd news? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here are a few stories to bring up at the water cooler this week:

Disney launched their new gaming platform over the weekend. Called Disney Infinity, it allows players to use action figures in a video game world. The starter kit comes with the game, the base to connect the action figures to a gaming console, plus three figures. It costs $74.99 and is available on Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. Upcoming titles include Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story, Cars, and The Incredibles.

Star Wars fans, get ready to see the story told in a whole new way. Next year, the Disney Channel is premiering a Phineas and Ferb one-hour special that places the characters of the show into the world of Star Wars. However, that doesn’t mean they will interact with characters from George Lucas’ world. Phineas and Ferb will live near Luke and his family on Tatooine and will assist the rebellion in their plans to destroy the Death Star. No exact premiere date has been announced.

Entrepreneur Elon Musk has announced speculative plans to create a Hyperloop high-speed train that could take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 35 minutes. That means the train would be moving at almost 700 miles per hour. Musk imagines building the system above ground, following California’s Interstate 5, and would cost about $6 billion to build.

The Zune Marketplace will soon essentially be shutting down. At the end of the month, it will no longer offer media sales or rentals. The system is being converted to the Xbox Music and Video digital store, similar to the shutting down of Games for Windows Live. Users will still be able to access their purchased content, but any unspent Microsoft Points must be used before the conversion.

In yet another change to the Xbox One, Microsoft has decided to nix the Kinect link requirement for the yet-unreleased system. The One will come with the newest Kinect camera, but connecting it will no longer be mandatory. The console will still function, though any feature that uses the Kinect sensor will not be operational.

A new element has been added to the sure-to-be hit Call of Duty: Ghosts – female soldiers! In the multiplayer trailer that was just revealed, a female soldier is shown sniping enemy forces in what is the first time a female will play a large role in the series. The characters will also be customizable, which will be sure to please the game’s wide fan base. Combat dogs will be added in the game, too, which comes out November 5.

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