Go 8 Bit is based on a live show in Edinburgh that shares the same name. It's a simple format, challenging two teams to five rounds of "increasingly competitive, hilarious gaming contests." These will range from nostalgic arcade classics (think Pong, Pac-Man and Street Fighter II) to modern masterpieces like Grand Theft Auto V. In addition, Dave is teasing "larger-than-life game-inspired physical challenges," no doubt imitating other game shows like A Question of Sport in the UK. A Splatoon-style paintball match, perhaps? How about a race with Mario Kart-themed power-ups?
The team captains will be Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon, a pair of comedians with a genuine passion for video games. They created and performed the original concept in Scotland, and will be partnered with a celebrity guest in each of the new episodes. Collectively, they should offer a healthy mix of star power and video game authenticity. That will be crucial in order to build a show that feels both genuine for gamers and interesting enough to pull in a broad, mainstream TV audience.
The commission follows a renewed interest in gaming from the UK's mainstream broadcasters. Both Sky and the BBC are dabbling in eSports coverage, while Radio 1 preps a show hosted by presenter and YouTuber Julia Hardy. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a new programme this year that feels true to the culture of gaming? We've got our fingers crossed.