That took awhile. Nintendo has finally decided to bring the New Nintendo 3DS stateside. In October 2014, the Mario makers introduced the New Nintendo 3DS XL in its home country of Japan (there they call it the 3DS LL). Three months later, it came to the U.S. with all its input enhancements including the C-stick nub and the ZL and ZR triggers, as well as NFC inside and improved facial tracking technology. However, if you’ve been in the U.S. market holding out for an updated version of the regular-sized 3DS, you’ve been SOL, until now, that is.
On Monday, Nintendo announced that the New 3DS is coming to the States on September 25. There’s a slight catch, however. Instead of coming in the standard red and black paint jobs, the New 3DS is bundled with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, and the hardware itself is plastered with an Animal Crossing cover plate (see above). Of course, there’s no telling if/when Ninty will release a standard version of the New 3DS to consumers, so for now you’ll have to live with this (the interior of the hardware, mind you, is white). The bundle comes with two themed cover plates, the game, an amiibo card, and a 4GB memory card. The MSRP is $219.99; bookmark it to preorder soon.
On the subject of 3DS, also outed is a Legend of Zelda themed 3DS XL Hyrule Edition, priced at $199.99. The gold-colored, Hylian Crest emblazoned handheld releases October 23; Gamestop’s got it up on its site.
Elsewhere, Nintendo has entered into a partnership with Amazon allowing the online retailer to sell digital downloads of Wii U, Wii, and 3DS titles. Simply purchase a game, redeem a code, and the game will automatically download onto your console of choice. Browse the storefront here.
With the releases of Xbox One and PS4 fast approaching, Nintendo is making moves.
First up, a price drop. The Wii U is shedding $50 and will sell for $299.99 starting September 20. This is the black-coated 32GB “deluxe” Wii U that’s seeing the price decrease. The white 8GB “standard” version remains at $300 but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ninty decided to discontinue what used to be the cheaper model soon. With an even more competitive price tag and an onslaught of anticipated first-party titles coming soon (see below) perhaps the time is nigh to finally pull the trigger and pick up Nintendo’s next-gen entry.
Also hitting shelves on the 20th of September is a limited-edition Wii U bundle packed with the anticipated Gamecube remake The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. At the same $299.99 price point you get the deluxe console, a code to download a digital copy of the Zelda title from the Nintendo eShop (the physical disc doesn’t hit retail until October 4), one GamePad controller adorned with Zelda-inspired gold lettering, and a digital copy of Hyrule Historia, a book that details the chronology, history, and artwork of The Legend of Zelda series.
Next up: new hardware. The Nintendo 3DS is getting a new sibling and its name is 2DS. At $40 less than the 3DS, the 2DS eliminates the ability to play games in eye-popping 3D. Dual screens, cameras, and touch input remain intact, but the original hinge design is replaced with a flat look. The 2DS plays all 3DS games in 2D and it’s backwards compatible with all DS games. When it comes out October 12 for $129.99 it’ll be available in two hues: black/red and black/blue. Watch an introductory video after the break.
Lastly, the house that built Mario is pimping its upcoming games lineup as we near the holiday season. In addition to the aforementioned Zelda title, also in the Wii U pipeline are Wii Party U (10/25), Super Mario 3D World (11/22), Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (12/6), and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Coming soon to 3DS (and 2DS) are The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (11/22) and Mario Party: Island Tour (11/22). For a list of third party games coming soon to Ninty’s home console and handhelds, jump after the break. READ MORE Nintendo drops Wii U price, intros Zelda bundle & affordable 2DS portable→
With the $299 3DS casting its glasses-less spell on gamers, Nintendo is graciously dropping the prices of the handheld’s still prospering predecessors. Effective May 20 the DSi and DSi XL will see their prices slashed to $99 (from $149) and $129 (from $169), respectively. Not into the whole 3D craze that’s going on these days? Nintendo has now made the decision to jump on the DS bandwagon a heck of a lot smoother.
In related news, also on May 20 Nintendo is unleashing a new color variant of the 3DS: Midnight Purple. This joins Cosmo Black, Aqua Blue, Flame Red, and Pearl Pink in the fight against uniformity. Brief PR after the break.
PS Vita, the most powerful handheld video game console ever, is out now. Have launch day nerves? Here’s what you need to know. Sony is selling two different SKUs: the $249 PS Vita with WiFi and the $299 model that also packs in 3G from AT&T. (Also available are the $299 Launch Bundle and the $349 First Edition Bundle, but these are being sold in limited quantities.) If you opt for the 3G model, AT&T is offering up tiered data plans that go like this: 250MB ($14.99), 3GB ($30), and 5GB ($50). There are 25 PS Vita-specific titles from first and third party developers, and the standout must-buy game is Naughty Dog’s Uncharted: Golden Abyss. In addition to fantastic graphics, Uncharted takes advantage of many of the Vita’s innovative input functions including the dual analog sticks, the six-axis motion sensor, and the touch-sensitive back; and so the game will help acclimate you to the new handheld. What else? The PlayStation Store has been updated with Vita-specific apps including Facebook, Netflix, LiveTweet, and Flickr; these freebies are necessities for early adopters, no doubt.
Gamers, it’s time to getcha game on and discover what the new PlayStation Portable is all about. Links to snag one for yourself rest in the paragraph above.
If you’ve got a 3DS and entered yourself into the Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors club in August, there are ten additional free games waiting for you in the eShop today! They are Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare Inc. Mega Microgames, Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Wario Land 4, Kirby & The Amazing Mirror, Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, and F-Zero: Maximum Velocity. This batch of free Virtual Console games from the Game Boy Advance vault follows the first wave of free NES games that were offered in early September. Access the eShop to download the games; for step-by-step instructions click here. Ninty hopes this serves as a peace offering between the company and early adopters of the 3DS that were tied down and forced to witness a significant hardware price drop over the summer.
Today Nintendo boosted its 3DS handheld with some fresh functionality. Nintendo said this feature was coming and now it’s finally here: after downloading the free software update, 3DS owners can now have fun with 3D video recording. You can record up to 10 minutes of glasses-free 3D video in continuous or stop-motion style. Another cool new feature is system transfer; if you’ve got a 3DS you can transfer photos, audio recordings and games, including save data, to other 3DS systems. Street Pass Mii Plaza and the Nintendo eShop have been updated as well. Buying and downloading content in the shop has been made easier; you can use your credit card to purchase content by adding only the needed funds, you can choose to Download Now or Download Later, and now there’s the ability to cue up downloadable content and let it install to your system in Sleep Mode. The update also includes something special for Mario Kart 7 players; any time you play online against another Nintendo 3DS owner in MK7, you can now automatically add them to your Friend List without a friend code. And last there’s Nintendo Zone. If you find yourself standing in one of Ninty’s 29,000 3DS hotspot locations you’ll be offered free and automatic access to game previews, 3D videos, trivia challenges, retailer promotions, coupons and more. Dig into the 3DS’ system settings to perform the software update right now.
Sony is giving its most loyal customers an opportunity to snag a PS Vita one week before the powerful handheld officially launches in North America on February 22. To get your sweaty palms and greasy fingertips on a PS Vita February 15, all you have to do is preorder the “First Edition Bundle” which comes with the Vita (3G + Wi-Fi model), a limited edition case, a 4GB memory card, and the Little Deviants game. The bundle costs $349.99 (that’s a hundred dollars more than the standalone 3G + Wi-Fi model) and it’s up for preorder now at select retailers including Best Buy and Amazon. Want a chance to play with the next generation portable before everyone else? This is it.
If you followed Nintendo’s simple instructions to become a Nintendo 3DS Ambassador like a good fanboy and fangirl, ten Virtual Console games are now waiting to be downloaded on your portable gaming machine, free of charge! The first batch of games come from the NES collection and they are Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, Metroid,Yoshi’s Egg, Mario Open Golf, Wrecking Crew, Balloon Fight, and Ice Climber. Access the eShop to download the games; for step-by-step instructions click here. And if this wasn’t enough to satisfy your appetite for classic gaming on the go, you can expect Ninty to offer another 10 retro games from the Game Boy Advance catalog later this year.
On September 9 a new Flame Red version of the Nintendo 3DS will join the Cosmo Black and Aqua Blue paint jobs on retail shelves. Remember, the significant 3DS price drop goes into effect tomorrow August 12, so all three color variants will be sold for a reasonable $169.99. (Don’t forget: If you’re an early adopter and already own a 3DS, connect to the Nintendo eShop before midnight tonight to become eligible for a boatload of free Virtual Console games!)
In a press release (pasted after the break) Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime pumps up anticipation for the holiday sales season. “Nintendo 3DS is poised to be on fire for the holidays, with its new suggested retail price, great games and our new Flame Red color,” said Fils-Aime. “With major upcoming releases in the Star Fox, Pokémon and Mario series, in addition to downloadable offerings from Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Video and Netflix, the system offers new and fun experiences to owners on a daily basis.”
3DS sales have been waning since the initial launch surge in March due to lack of must-get titles. Nintendo is aware of this, and that’s why they’re gearing up for an exciting games lineup starting in September. Star Fox 64 3D releases alongside the Flame Red 3DS in September, Super Mario 3D Land (featuring the famed Tanooki Suit) drops in November, and Mario Kart 7 races to the 3D handheld this December.
Netflix is officially available on Nintendo latest handheld device, the 3DS. As long as you are signed up with streaming plan (starting at $7.99/month) you can stream content from Netflix directly to the 3D-capable handheld. I know what you’re pondering: does any of the Netflix content take advantage of the 3D capability? At the moment, no. But the press release (pasted after the break) is promising. It hints, “Users will soon have access to an additional library of select movies that can be viewed in 3D without the need for special glasses.” Unfortunately I do not think this future update involves Netflix, however. Back in March Ninty mentioned that a short-form video service was on the way; it is described as a 3D video channel that will act as a gateway to 3D produced content like movie trailers, music videos, and comedy shorts. Perhaps that is what the PR is referring to. But for now, if you’ve got a 3DS go ahead and enjoy Netflix content in classic 2D. The app is now available to download for free in the Nintendo eShop.
The second big E3 press conference was hosted by the PlayStation makers. Again, here’s all the info in easy to digest bullet-point form.
President of Sony Computer Entertainment of America Jack Tretton started by addressing the elephant in the room. He apologized to everyone for the recent PlayStation Network outage.
Sony announced that the PS3 is the leading Netflix streamer amongst consumers, account for almost 30 percent of Netflix’s streams. Coming this fall to PS3 owners is Best Buy’s CinemaNow video service, providing consumers with access to more than 12,000 TV episodes and movies for rental or purchase.
Upcoming PS3 exclusives include: Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (a demo was played and a 3D trailer was shown, due out November 1, 2011); Resistance 3 (Sony will ship a Resistance 3 Sharpshooter bundle dubbed the “Doomsday Edition” and it’ll come with the game, the gun accessory, the PlayStation Eye, and Move controllers, $150, due out September 6); the God of War Origins Collection will bring the PSP games Chains of Olympus and Ghost of Sparta to the PS3 remastered in HD and 3D; the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus collection is also coming to the PS3 with support for 3D gaming.
Speaking of 3D gaming, Sony plans to drive adoption for the new in-home format by selling a PlayStation-branded 3DTV. The 24-inch set features a mode where players can view individual, unique, full-screen images of gameplay when playing two-player games; the bundled set of 3D glasses do the trick. Other specs: LCD display, 1080p, 2D/3D support, high contrast (5000:1), wide viewing angle (176 degree) high response time (4ms GTG average), slim design, high quality sound, 2 HDMI ports. For $499.99 you get the 3DTV, Resistance 3, one pair of 3D glasses (PS-branded 3D glasses will sell separately for $69.99), and an HDMI cable. It’s a good idea, but question remains: is the lower barrier of entry low enough to get you to buy into 3D today?
Upcoming games to utilize Move include: NBA 2K12 (Kobe Bryant popped by for the demo); Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest (made by the devs who brought us the Move launch title Sports Champions); inFamous 2 (out now); deeper Move functionality is coming to LittleBigPlanet 2 this September; Starhawk; Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (he’s back in 2012); Dust 514 (this PS3 exclusive releases spring 2012 and will extend to the NGP); BioShock Infinite (Irrational Games’ Ken Levine had to be convinced by Sony to incorporate Move support in this new title; though skeptical at first, Levine has found potential in it…he also announced that a new game set in the BioShock universe will release for the NGP some time in the future…and Infinite will come packed with the original BioShock); and Star Trek(will release next year alongside the J.J. Abrams sequel and will ship with a phaser-like accessory).
New games from EA will provide PS3 exclusive content: SSX (Mt. Fuji map), Need for Speed: The Run (exclusive cars), and Battlefield 3 (Battlefield 1943 comes on the disc).
Sony honcho Kaz Hirai also addressed the PSN outage and said, “We learned a lot during the recent outage of the PlayStation Network and one of the most important things we learned was the trust and loyalty of our customers.” On that higher note, he talked up the PlayStation Suite and PlayStation-certified Android devices.
And then the announcement we’ve all been waiting for…the NGP is officially called PlayStation Vita. Where does the name come from? Sony explains: “Derived from the Latin word “Vita,” which means “Life,” this next generation portable entertainment system enables a revolutionary combination of rich gaming and social connectivity within a real world context.” It ships this holiday season and two models will be offered: WiFi only for $249.99 and WiFi+3G for $299.99. Sony has partnered with AT&T for the 3G data (the crowd moaned in laughter when this news was announced). The following games will be coming to PS Vita likely as launch titles: Uncharted: Golden Abyss, LittleBigPlanet, Ruin, Wipeout, and ModNation Racers. Capcom previewed Street Fight X Tekken; the game will feature InFamous‘ Cole MacGrath as a playable character. For a more in-depth look at the PS Vita, click here!
Some DJ concluded the event with thumping beats.
Like Microsoft’s presser, I was left somewhat unsatisfied after watching Sony’s outing. They failed to excite me with a new franchise or by reinvigorating an old classic (though the return of Sly looks promising). PS Vita is an odd name for the PSP successor, but that won’t matter in the end if the content developed for it is good. And by the looks of it many developers are jumping on board to produce all kinds of fun, interactive experiences with the handheld’s OLED touch display, tilt functions, camera, and back touch pad. Here’s to hoping that Nintendo brings the goods tomorrow when they announce their new home console and new 3DS titles.
Sony’s next-gen handheld known as the NGP is going to be the talk of the town at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). During their press conference Sony will likely give the NGP an official name, price, and release date. To ramp up anticipation for the announcement, they’ve posted five “NGP Previews” at the PlayStation.Blog website. They introduce gamers to a handful of the system’s launch titles and they include Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Wipeout, Sound Shapes, Hustle Kings, and Super Stardust Delta. The former three previews were paired with video demonstrations, and they’re embedded here for your viewing pleasure (one above, two after the break).
E3 is just days away; Sony’s press conference happens Monday June 6 at 5PM (PST). Until that time, check out the video previews and refresh your knowledge when it comes to all thingsNGP.