Posts with tag nintendo
Yours for only $200
We’ve been waiting for several months now, but it’s finally here. Announced at today’s Nintendo Direct presentation, the New 3DS is finally coming over to North America as well as a couple of exclusive New 3DS titles.
For those unfamiliar with the New 3DS, it features more processing power and RAM, two more shoulder buttons, a C-stick and NFC to take advantage of Nintendo’s Amiibo figures. There is a port of Xenoblade Chronicles coming specifically designed to take advantage of the extra processing power and Super Smash Bros. 4 will be picking up with the Amiibos. There’s also a new Fire Emblem game coming, but we can’t quite yet tell if it will be a New 3DS exclusive. And for the Zelda fans, a remake of Majora’s Mask is coming and there’s even a limited-edition Majora’s Mask version of the console coming.
In Japan, there’s both a New 3DS and a New 3DS XL (or more accurately, LL). The major difference between the two other than the size is that the smaller of the two allows for removable and customization faceplates; the New 3DS XL allows for no such customization. In today’s presentation, Nintendo announced only the New 3DS XL will be coming to North American shelves which leaves people who prefer small hardware like myself out in the dust.
The New 3DS will come in red and black colors unlike Japan which offers white and blue. Curiously, it will ship without an AC adapter with Nintendo opting to let you continue to use your DSi or 3DS charger. If all of this floats your boat, you can pick one up on February 13th for $200.
Flopped when its hardest to flop
The Christmas season is traditionally a pretty good time for technology and entertainment brands, with big businesses usually growing the most as a rush of tech-hungry holiday shoppers cross loved ones off their shopping list. While Christmas likely helped boost the sales of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 launches respectively, it seems the gaming industry’s third player wasn’t so lucky. According to NewStraitTimes, Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata admitted at a press event this week that the gaming giant was “not able to lift sales momentum for the Wii U.” Iwata reportedly blamed the failure on inadequate software sales.
The Wii U, which we originally reviewed back in November of 2012, has had a rough life so far. Originally championed as a “return to form” for Nintendo in a sense, the Wii U has gone on to dramatically flop, constantly losing the support of big publishing companies, developers, and consumers alike. Nintendo finally admitted the poor performance of the Wii U early year when they cut the sales forecast of the Wii U by over half, with Nintendo executives taking pay cuts due to the console’s poor performance.
One of the primary issues with the Wii U seems to be its lack of hardware capabilities. While the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 both contain powerful, fast x86 based AMD processors with next-generation graphics capabilities, people have been disappointed with the Wii U’s relatively weak hardware, which is barely – if any – better than what you’d find in an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 back in 2006. Developers like DICE have gone so far as to openly mock the Wii U, with DICE claiming that the console “can’t run” the company’s next generation Frostbite 3 engine, which powers such games as Battlefield 4. It’s worth pointing out that even the Xbox 360, a console released in 2005, is capable of running Frostbite 3.
Gotta watch 'em all
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the size of the state of Texas for the past 25 years, you’re probably already familiar with the Pokémon television show – a Japanese anime by Nintendo that follows the wacky adventures of Ash, a forever-twelve-year-old kid who’s on an epic, seemingly never ending journey to be the best there ever was (whatever that means) and collect all nine million Pokémon while he’s at it. To date, there have been over 800 episodes of the show, and starting on March 1st, you’ll be able to watch some of the best episodes and specials on Netflix.
According to the internet streaming and DVD rental service, Netflix will have available to stream “the classic first season of the television series, Pokémon: Indigo League, the fan-favorite Pokémon: Black & White season, and two feature length Pokémon movies [Pokémon the Movie: Black-Victini and Reshiram and Pokémon the Movie: White-Victini and Zekrom].”
So while that may not be quite enough to appease younger fans of the series, that’s more than enough content to get some of the series’ older fans excited – I mean, the entire first season? Indigo League? Those are gems of the 90s! Sign me up!
Satoru Iwata's salary cut in half
Nintendo’s in a bit of a bad situation over its mostly failed next-generation Wii U console, and Nintendo isn’t taking the failure to perform lightly. According to the AFP, a whole host of Nintendo executives will be taking a pretty massive pay cut in light over the debacle. While most executives will be taking a pay cut of 20-30%, Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata has been given a pay cut of a whopping 50%. While the punishment is “harsh”, it’s hard to argue with the reason – Nintendo recently downgraded their Wii U sales forecasts from 9 million to just a smidge over 2 million following a third consecutive year of annual loss.
With sales of the Wii U abysmal and the handheld Nintendo 3DS platform acting as virtually the only money maker Nintendo has at the moment, the company’s future is as uncertain as its ever been. Many have called for Satoru Iwata and his fellow executives to step down from their current roles in order to find a younger, more “in touch” team of executives. However Nintendo’s president has confirmed that he will not be stepping down in wake of the losses, and will instead focus on creating a new business strategy to get Nintendo on track. And no, we doubt it involves that horrible Fusion rumor.
Those specs are a bit unrealistic
Have you seen the supposed list of specs for Nintendo’s supposed upcoming consoles, codenamed “Fusion”? If not, let me link you to them. Finished reading? Good, because now we’re going into detail about why the Fusion is most likely fake.
Now, let’s be real here: Nintendo is probably working on some sort of successor to both the 3DS and Wii U and it may very well be codenamed “Fusion”. I don’t want to deny that. What I do think is fake are those specific spec listings for both the Fusion DS (portable) and Fusion Terminal (set-top console) and I’ll do my best to explain it all in non-technical words.
Article continues after the break.
Things are getting dire
Poor Nintendo. After optimistically (or perhaps foolishly) promising that the floundering next-generation Wii U console would sell 9 million units this fiscal year, the company is now projecting an operating loss of 35 billion yen ($335 million, for us American folk) after adjusting that estimation to just 2.8 million Wii U consoles – way less than even half.
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, who has also overseen the launch of the extraordinary successful last-generation Wii console, the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo 3DS, apologized to investors this morning taking “full responsibility” for the projected losses. Unfortunately for Nintendo, the investors, and Iwata, this marks the third consecutive annual loss the Japanese gaming giant will suffer through, bringing investor confidence in the company – and in Iwata in particular – to an all time low.
Talking to his critics directly, Iwata claimed that “there will be no major management shake-up in the short term” over at Nintendo, despite many believing Iwata should step down following this latest failure. While it’s understandable that Satoru Iwata is eager to try to protect his job, there’s no denying that the critics have a point – the Wii U is, in many ways, the lowest point in the history of the company, with the company’s halo flagship title – Super Mario 3D World, the latest in a long line of best selling 3D Mario platformers – failed to generate anywhere close to the sort of sales that the previous entry in the 3D Mario series, Super Mario Galaxy 2, had.
The company is also reducing the sales forecast of the Nintendo 3DS, the company’s handheld console, from 18 million to 13.5 million – still considerably more impressive than the sales of the Wii U.
A much needed boost
Could the Wii U be getting a much needed boost? That’s the question that analysts must now be asking themselves, as popular video game tracking site VGChartz is now reporting that sales of Nintendo’s latest and greatest console has not only dramatically picked up in the last couple of weeks, but have actually exceeded that of the Xbox One – at least for a little while. According to the site, the Wii U fairly significantly outsold the Xbox One during the week leading up to Christmas, with the Wii U selling 319,860 consoles versus the Xbox One’s 307,366 consoles globally.
Of course, there are some some caveats – the Xbox One has yet to go on sale in Japan whereas the Wii U’s already on sale in all key markets having had a whole year’s worth of head start. That said, the Japanese market has never been kind to Microsoft, greatly preferring Nintendo and Sony for years now, so the absence of Japanese sales is unlikely to have greatly affected the numbers.
Nintendo has been ramping up marketing for the Wii U console as of late, as well as introducing many big budget titles for the faltering platform. Both The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD and Super Mario 3D World are said to have boosted console sales for the Wii U, and with more big titles such as Hyrule Warriors, the untitled Zelda Wii U, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U on their way in 2014, things are certainly looking up for Nintendo.
Nintendo 3DS best selling console fifth month running
Just yesterday we reported that analyst speculations pegged a big month for the Wii U, with investment firm Wedbush claiming that September sales have risen as much as 80% over August sales. Well, Nintendo has decided to set the record straight themselves, pridefully revealing some unexpectedly large numbers. According to Nintendo, the Wii U in fact did not see merely an 80% increase in sales – sales of the Wii U have actually risen over 200 percent.
Of course, Nintendo has made a big push to sell the Wii U this month, lowering the price of the 32GB Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set from $349 to just $299 and creating a special, limited edition bundle with a unique GamePad design and an included copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, which was officially released just a couple of weeks ago.
On top of that excellent news for the Japanese video game manufacturer, Nintendo has today confirmed that the Nintendo 3DS has remained the best selling console for the fifth month in a row in the United States, based on data they’ve obtained from the NPD Group. Sales of the Nintendo 3DS are expected to see yet another big boost with the release of Pokémon X and Y last week, and Nintendo says they’ll publish updated numbers along with their quarterly report in just a couple of weeks.
Around 55,000 units sold
Good news for Nintendo – according to Wedbush, a popular and privately held financial services and investment firm not affiliated with Nintendo, month-to-month sales of the Nintendo Wii U are predicted to have risen by as much as 79% in September, selling around 55,000 units. This can only be seen as good news for Nintendo, who has famously struggled to gain any real traction with their next-generation console after hitting on a massive sales success with the Wii in 2006.
According to Wedbush, the dramatic rise in sales can be attributed to Nintendo’s new The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD Deluxe Edition bundle, alongside the release of the flagship game itself. I’d also add that Nintendo also lowered the price of their Wii U console last month in order to be better prepared to compete against Microsoft and Sony’s next generation offerings, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively.
Wedbush remains cautious, however, pointing out that though this is a large increase in sales it still pales in comparison to last month’s Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sales estimates, with the Xbox 360 selling 145,000 units and the PlayStation 3 selling about 175,000.
Edit 10/19/13 @ 1:10 PM EST: Nintendo has confirmed the rise in Wii U sales, clarifying that sales have risen by over 200%, not 80%. You can check out that story here.
A much needed boost for the Wii U?
It’s no secret that Nintendo has been massively struggling with the Wii U thus far this generation, but it appears they’ve gotten a much needed boost from one of their most popular franchises. A quick look at GameStop’s official website confirms that they’ve sold out of their limited edition The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD bundle, which included a copy of the remastered Gamecube classic as well as a limited edition Ganondorf collectable statue.
Some quick calls at numerous GameStops around my area are also implying that the bundle has sold out in a majority of stores – I couldn’t find a single GameStop around here that still has the bundle available for pre-order. This is seemingly great news for a Nintendo that has thus far been unable to convince consumers that their eighth-generation console and successor to 2006’s Wii, the Wii U, is a worthwhile proposition.
The Wii U will be battling the PlayStation 4 ($399) and the Xbox One ($499) in the marketplace by the end of this year. Nintendo has also attempted to increase the value proposition of the Wii U with a not insignificant price cut just a week ago.
This is strange
What are the two most defining features of the Nintendo 3DS? I’d wager that the answer is the 3D screen and the clamshell package (even though that’s been part of the DS lineup since the original one). Take both of those away and what do you get? The Nintendo 2DS, as seen above.
The Nintendo 2DS is a $130 portable console that plays all the 3DS games, but without the 3D screen. It also lacks the clamshell case that every other DS has had, making it feel reminiscent of the Atari Jaguar controller. The console is also wedge-shaped, making it feel like a Sinclair ZX-81 computer. Now, let’s not jump into wild and crazy theories here but it feels weird to have a flagship portable console that looks so much like two giant flops in the computing gaming world.
Oh, I almost forgot – the 2DS will be shipping in either red or blue accent colors. So the question is, are you interested?
Much, much more convenient
It’s no secret that Nintendo has been slow to adapt to the always-on, connected digital world we live in today. While the Wii U made giant strides towards bringing Nintendo closer and closer to Sony and Microsoft in this respect, there were still some key features missing – namely, support for interacting with the eShop and Miiverse over the PC and smartphones. The good news, though, is that according to a new report Nintendo is planning on improving the eShop experience significantly by the end of the year by allowing gamers to purchase titles and download demos from the Wii U’s eShop right from your web browser.
The plan, apparently, is to have the Wii U download the titles while in standby mode as soon as you complete the order on your PC or smartphone. That way Super Luigi U will be done downloading and ready to play by the time you get home from work – no more waiting around a whole ten minutes (or longer if you have a poor connection, I suppose) to get your game on after a long day of work. With the Wii U gaining more and more third party support and Nintendo kicking their own Wii U gaming catalog into high gear with an increasingly large number of quality first party titles going into the Christmas season, we’d say that this is a wise addition to help make the console just a bit more attractive to the types of folks Nintendo needs to worry about most.