E3 2015: Nintendo wields nostalgia factor to celebrate 30 years of Mario (also, Star Fox is coming!)
As is tradition for Nintendo now, the house that built Mario did not commit to a stage for its E3 briefing but instead hosted its very own “Digital Event” on YouTube. Every year Nintendo has an obscene amount of fun with their E3 events, and this year’s hour-long showcase was no different. The theme this go-around was puppets. That’s right–company President and CEO Satoru Iwata, Nintendo of America’s President and COO Reggie Fils-Amie, and influencial Ninty game producer Shigeru Miyamoto all took the form of puppets for the 2015 Digital Event. If you fancy yourself a Nintendo fanboy or fangirl, you cracked up along with me when Fils-Amie was introduced by performing (Nintendo) 64 push-ups and proclaiming, “My puppet body is ready!”
The entirety of Ninty’s Digital Event was comprised of game unveilings and the introduction of some new amiibo figures. Fils-Amie let loose pretty early on that the company would not be discussing its next console codenamed NX; expect more information regarding it next year. 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros., so there’s more pressing game-related announcements at hand! For the full breakdown of games coming soon to Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
At last, the house that built Mario is spreading the (portable) love. After releasing the New Nintendo 3DS XL in Japan in October of last year, Ninty is launching the updated dual-screen portable game machine here in the States next month. The latest version of the 3DS boasts a slew of enhancements; most exciting is the inclusion of not one or two but three new control input mechanisms. The C stick (that small round nub located above the ABXY buttons) allows for intuitive camera control in games that decide to support it. And new ZL and ZR buttons positioned behind and below the top screen add even more functionality for gameplay. Nintendo has also modernized the 3D display; new face-tracking technology makes for a more stable and immersive experience. Elsewhere, an NFC chip is packed inside and with an upcoming software update you’ll be able to push your amiibo collection to Super Smash Bros. 3DS. Last, the camera has been improved and a beefier CPU will have you noticing faster game start-ups and load times.
The New Nintendo 3DS XL hits the shelves February 13 in black and red paint jobs for $199.99. Watch a video reveal after the jump. (Also coming out that day is the 3D remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask–score!) [Note: Ninty is only releasing the New XL in the States; the New (regular-sized) 3DS remains an overseas exclusive, for now.]
This year Nintendo opted out of the E3 press conference circuit and instead released a pre-recorded Nintendo Direct video hosted by the company’s Global President Satoru Iwata. Ninty’s Wii successor the Wii U has been on the market since November and due to a lack of must-have titles and drooping third-party support the console hasn’t gained much traction in the gaming community. The house that made Mario is looking to turn things around this year with the introduction of many first-party games featuring some of the company’s most prized characters like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. And yes, there are even some third-party titles coming that should stir some excitement Ninty’s way. Iwata previewed many titles coming to Wii U, as well as some for the 3DS handheld, and you can check ’em all out after the break. (Click here for more…)
Perhaps this is something Nintendo should have announced at their underwhelming E3 press conference. On August 19 the company will release a jumbo-sized version of the 3DS handheld. The Nintendo 3DS XL (or LL in Japan) features a 90 percent larger viewing area up top with a 3D screen that measures 4.88 inches diagonally. The bottom screen has grown too to 4.18 inches. Gamers will also notice an updated form factor and “battery life [that] outperforms that of the original Nintendo 3DS.” The 3DS XL will ship with a 4GB SD card and come in red and blue models. The MSRP is $199.99. August 19 also happens to be the same day the anticipated title New Super Mario Bros. 2 comes out; no coincidence there.
Says Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime: “No other hand-held entertainment experience compares to the fun of Nintendo 3DS. With the launch of Nintendo 3DS XL on Aug. 19, consumers will be able to enjoy the great lineup of current and upcoming games on an even grander scale. Plus, Nintendo 3DS XL gives owners even more real estate on their screens to enjoy entertainment applications like Nintendo Video and Netflix.”
In other Nintendo news, it has been announced that a new Super Smash Bros. title is in the works for both the Wii U and 3DS. Developers Sora and Namco Bandai Games are working on it.
It started to seem like every year Nintendo could impress with their innovative hardware and nostalgic titles starring Mario, Zelda and the like. At this year’s press conference, however, things fell flat and at times felt downright boring. The robotic president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime could not manage to lift spirits as he trudged through a small lineup of mostly typical games being produced for the Wii U. Besides a brief video detailing the Wii U Game Pad, Ninty spent no time discussing the new hardware; they didn’t even show off the Pro Controller that had many fanboys drooling when it was announced just days before the press event during the company’s pre-E3 online stream. We came into the Nintendo E3 presser knowing that it would likely be focused entirely on games; Reggie confirmed this at the very start of it. When the dust settled in the end, though, I wasn’t left very impressed.
If you think about it, this press conference was important for Nintendo. It gave them the opportunity to fully flesh out their next-gen console and sell it by showing off the innovative ways the Wii U Game Pad will transform the way people play games. The company made sure to lineup first party games like Pikmin 3, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Wii Fit U but they failed to really capture how they will take advantage of the Game Pad. They showed off quick pre-recorded game sessions, when instead they should have brought developers out to show gameplay in real time. That said, here’s what we learned. In Pikmin, the Game Pad enables up to four leaders to control standard and new “rock” Pikmin to preform a variety of tasks. The Game Pad shows you a map of the land and makes it easier to roam back and forth between your leaders. The new Mario title supports up to five players, four using Wiimotes and one on the Game Pad. Reggie says that the Game Pad gamer “can use the touchscreen to helpfully place blocks along the way.” And that’s it. Nothing more was revealed as to how the Game Pad will truly enhance the gaming experience. We do know, however, that you’ll be able to pause the game on the big screen and continue playing it on the Game Pad, which is a cool feature. Wii Fit U is tailored to once again take advantage of the Balance Board peripheral and this time also the Game Pad to aid users in new exercise routines and “off-TV play.” In the demo video, a women watches a nature channel while a man continues his workout session looking at a GamePad for support.
Third party developers also had a presence at the event, namely WB Games and Ubisoft. WB is bringing Batman Arkham City to the Wii U but with a subtitle Armored Edition. The Game Pad will provide gamers a look at the Batman’s inventory, among other things. The popular, fun title Scribblenauts is coming to Wii U as well under the name Scribblenauts Unlimited. Later Ubisoft showed off Just Dance 4 (up to four people can dance and the Game Pad holder acts as a “puppet master” selecting the dance moves) and ZombiU (the most intriguing of the bunch that turns the Game Pad into a sniper scope, an x-ray scanner, and code breaker). A game with the working title Sing showed off a karaoke-style game that fills the Game Pad with lyrics “so that you can face your friends instead of the TV screen” while you’re singing and dancing along to the music. Yeah. All the other titles that were revealed got packed into a coming soon reel that didn’t quite whet anyone’s appetite.
At one point a Nintendo rep tried to dive into what’s coming to the 3DS, but he barely had time to say anything at all. What we got was a quick look at two new Mario titles and one starring his taller brother Luigi: New Super Mario Bros. 2 (“this Mario is all about the gold”), Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. And then another coming soon reel displayed a bunch of 3DS titles so quickly you could barely muster up excitement for any of them.
Nintendo ended the event with the unveiling NintendoLand, a collection of mini-games that will ship alongside the Wii U that serves the same function as Wii Sports did with the Wii. Simply put, NintendoLand will help gamers understand the appeal of the second screen packed inside the Game Pad. NintendoLand is a theme park that includes twleve attractions. At the presser five of the twelve were announced and they are: Donkey Kong’s Crash Course, Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, and Takamaru’s Ninja Castle. As you can tell, each attraction takes on a classic Nintendo franchise and when your Mii enters one it will also change appearance to match the setting. The theme park is an open world environment where Miis around the world can gather and interact with one another.
In the end, Nintendo spent way too much time talking about how they didn’t have enough time to cover everything. Reggie and company kept pressing that viewers visit e3.nintendo.com for more information regarding the games; during all that time they could have packed in more game reveals and proper demonstrations for both the Wii U and 3DS. In the beginning Reggie introduced the term “asymmetric gameplay”; he said, “this means putting one player with the Game Pad in a solitary role, competing differently, maybe even winning different. Pitting just you against everyone else.” Sound interesting, right? Though the term was bounced around a couple times thereafter, it wasn’t fully realized because none of the games were fleshed out with real time demos. They tried to do it at the end with NintendoLand’s Luigi’s Ghost Mansion mini-game, but that demo got boring quick because we were watching a pre-recorded demo that was too wordy and scattered.
Reggie also through this out: “Our goal with the Wii U this year…is to provide new and engrossing game experiences for every type of player–from the hardest of the core to the newest of newbies.” Batman and ZombiU are welcome entries for the hardcore types, but Nintendo failed to address that demographic here. Titles like Wii U Fit and NintendoLand dominated the show, and if Ninty was really dedicated to draw in the Xbox and PlayStation crowd they would have allotted time to more first and third party games that scream “I’m hardcore!” This they did not do. Since much really wasn’t discussed at Ninty’s presser this year, I will echo Reggie and advise you to visit e3.nintendo.com to learn more about how the new titles will integrate the Wii U Game Pad into gameplay. The 3DS is prominently featured there, too. The Wii U is releasing this holiday season with no hard release date, no price, and a launch lineup that barely has legs. Nintendo’s got to hold another conference before release time if they want to ramp up anticipation for their next-gen offering because this one didn’t do it.
Other announcements made at Nintendo’s press conference include: (Click here for more…)
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.
Nintendo is celebrating its 3D portable’s first (US) birthday a few weeks early by releasing an impressive sales figure. (The 3DS was initially released in Japan on February 26, 2011 and later in the US on March 27.) In the States, Nintendo has sold 4.5 million 3DS hardware units since March 2011–that’s nearly twice as many units as the original DS sold in its first year on the market.
Says Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime: “Nintendo 3DS closes its first year with a lengthy list of accomplishments but we’re still just scratching the surface. With a massive lineup of first- and third-party games and more on the way, a budding library of entertainment options and an engaged and growing installed base, Nintendo 3DS has an incredibly bright future. We’re just getting started but this platform is built for the long haul.”
Continue the party after the break with the official press release which takes a journey down memory lane highlighting some of the major milestones the 3DS captured over the past year.
Nintendo reveals plans for Wii U, 3DS online communities & downloadable content with Nintendo Network
On Friday Nintendo president Satoru Iwata presented his company’s lackluster third quarter financial results but also managed to lift spirits by dropping some interesting hints about the Wii’s successor, the Wii U. Over the years Microsoft and Sony have been generating a community of online video game players with Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, respectively, while Nintendo really dropped the ball and failed to ever capitalize on online gaming. This is about to change with the introduction of “Nintendo Network,” a network platform which will cover both Wii U and 3DS gamers. The Nintendo Network will allow for “competitions and communication among users, as well as the sales of digital content.” The company is also toying with “the future possibility of digital distribution of packaged software.” Wii U users will be able to setup personal accounts under the Nintendo Network, so that multiple household members will be able to login and use the console under their own usernames. Over time the 3DS will be the first hardware to see the upgrades that the Nintendo Network promises to offer; it is likely that the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection brand will fade away but this has not been confirmed yet. Mario Kart 7 is the first 3DS title to take advantage of the Nintendo Network, generating “Community” matches between online players. The upcoming title Theatrythm Final Fantasy will be the first to sell downloadable add-on content.
Additionally, Iwata revealed that the Wii U’s tablet-like controller will pack NFC (Near Field Communication) functionality. “By installing this functionality, it will become possible to create cards and figurines that can electronically read and write data via noncontact NFC and to expand the new play format in the video game world,” says Iwata. “Adoption of this functionality will enable various other possibilities such as using it as a means of making micropayments.” Intriguing, to say the least.
Nintendo plans to showcase the final Wii U hardware at this year’s E3 in June. It is also expected that they will expand upon the aforementioned Nintendo Network service. The new home console will release “between the E3 show and the end of this calendar year.” Holiday 2012 wouldn’t be a surprise. And as for the launch of Nintendo Network? “This concept was built into the design of the Nintendo 3DS, and we already have the necessary infrastructure,” reveals Iwata. “We will prepare the same infrastructure for the Wii U. However, we have not decided the concrete timing of when we will start it.”
With each update, Nintendo’s 3DS handheld system gets better. The latest enhancement for the 3D-capable portable gaming machine is an update to the eShop. As of January 19, the virtual store is offering up free downloadable game demos, giving 3DS owners a way to test out games before buying them. A free demo version of Resident Evil Revelations is begging to be tried out today. Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games will be the next game given the demo treatment later this month on January 26. Ninty promises that the eShop “will be periodically updated with new game demos,” so be vigilant gamers. Look out for demos of Rayman Origins and Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D coming soon. PR sits after the break.
The new year is just underway, and Nintendo wants to make sure the world knows how well they’re doing and how confident they are heading into 2012. In a gleeful press release, Ninty broke news that they sold more than 12 million total hardware units in the US in 2011. It breaks down like this: 4.5 million units of Wii, more than 4 million Nintendo 3DS systems, and over 3.4 million units of the Nintendo DS family of systems were sold last year. Some calculations later, the current install base for Wii is 39 million and for Nintendo DS it’s over 51 million. The house that built Mario blames their recent successes on a strong software lineup. 3DS games Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 have been crowned the fastest-selling titles in the history of their respective franchises when they launched. Additionally, Nintendo notes that they are now also the first 3DS games to sell 1 million units each in the US. Zelda also made an impact on the Wii; The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword became the 45th Wii game to sell over 1 million units in the States. And 2012 is already looking to be a solid year for Nintendo with highly anticipated games on the horizon; first-party titles from franchises such as Mario Party, Pokémon, and Kid Icarus as well as third party titles like Resident Evil Revelations (Capcom) and Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater (Konami) are coming soon. And of course, don’t forget that their next home console the Wii U is expected to launch later this year. Get the full debrief directly from Nintendo after the break.
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.
In a game-centric press release (in full after the break), Nintendo managed to squeeze in a single paragraph officially announcing a new accessory for the 3DS. The Circle Pad Pro, which launched on December 10 in Japan, serves as a cradle enclosure for the handheld device and adds a second analog stick to the right side and three shoulder buttons (L2, R1 and R2). Though it certainly makes your 3DS thicker and heftier, sources claim that the optional accessory adds a whopping 480 hours of battery life working off one AAA battery. In order for games to “see” the cradle and utilize the second analog stick and additional shoulder buttons developers will have to code their software appropriately. Nintendo says that upcoming releases Resident Evil Revelations and METAL GEAR SOLID 3D Snake Eater will in fact be compatible with the Circle Pad Pro. Want one? It will be sold exclusively through Gamestop starting February 7 and will sell for $19.99.
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.
Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like a golden hued Nintendo 3DS. But this isn’t just a special coat of paint. What you see above is a special 25th anniversary limited-edition Cosmo Black 3DS marked with the Hyrule emblem and gold-colored embellishments! So if you’re a Zelda fan and still haven’t jumped to buy Ninty’s latest handheld, this is it. The Zelda-themed 3DS comes bundled with the Ocarina of Time 3D game and costs $199.99. It hits store shelves tomorrow, November 23, Turkey day. Also coming out of the gate tomorrow and at the same price point is a Flame Red 3DS bundled with the recently released Super Mario 3D Land game.
In related news, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is out now for the Wii. At long last.
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.
Since the Nintendo 3DS released in the US on March 27, more than 830,000 units have been sold nationwide. Apparently this number isn’t high enough for the house that built Mario, and so Ninty has plans to drop the 3D-capable handheld from a pricey $249.99 to a much more affordable $169.99 on August 12. To show their appreciation with those early adopters who paid more for the 3DS prior to the price cut, the company will inaugurate 3DS owners into the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. If you own a 3DS and connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59PM ET on August 11, you’ll automatically be registered into the program. Once you’re in, you’ll soon receive the opportunity to scoop up 20 Virtual Consoles for free! Nintendo explains:
Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES Virtual Console games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Jr., Balloon Fight, Ice Climber and The Legend of Zelda, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Metroid Fusion, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.
You see that? Sometimes it is worth being an early adopter! In related 3DS news, the new Nintendo Video Service app is now available to download in the eShop. The app automatically delivers short 3D videos from the worlds of music, comedy, animation and Hollywood. Ninty promises exclusive 3D animation and videos from OK Go, Jason DeRulo, Foster the People, CollegeHumor, and Blue Man Group to start. Expect new content to be delivered to your device on a regular basis. To start, the app offers an intro video, two short films (Sunday Jog and Dinosaur Office), and a Captain America movie trailer–all in 3D.
Update: Nintendo confirmed to IGN that the Virtual Console games will not be upgraded to 3D; bummer. However, when the games become available to the general public later in the year some will be upgraded to feature multiplayer simultaneous play at no cost to the consumer; super!
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.
It’s Nintendo’s turn to show off their latest and greatest in software and hardware. Hint hint. Onward and downward (and Skyward) we go…
- The presser kicked off in brilliant fashion with a large orchestra playing classic tunes from the Zelda franchise. To celebrate 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda, Ninty is making a Zelda game for each of their systems. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (1993) is coming to the Nintendo 3DS today as a download in the now accessibleeShop. It’s the first Game Boy Color title to be added to the eShop’s Virtual Console. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, the remastered N64 classic, ships for the 3DS next weekend; hint movies and Master Quest and Boss Challenge modes included. The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords comes to the DS as a free download in DSiWare in September. And lastly Skyward Sword has been confirmed to ship this holiday season for the Wii. A limited edition gold Wiimote with the Triforce emblem on it will ship alongside the game, MotionPlus tech built-in. Nintendo will hold The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony concerts this year in “each region of the world.” If you can’t attend one, the company is releasing two Zelda music CDs. Those who register Ocarina of Time 3D with Club Nintendo will get “The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D Official Soundtrack” and a CD with recordings from the 25th anniversary concert will ship when Skyward Sword does later this year.
- Nintendo is ready to immensely expand upon the 3DS games lineup by bringing classic Nintendo characters and franchises to the portable system and they are: Mario Kart (with kart hang gliders and underwater race tracks…out this holiday season); Star Fox 64 3D (you can make use of the handheld’s accelerometer and control Fox in the sky by physically turning and moving the system…in multiplayer mode the camera facing you will capture your face and tag it to your spaceship so friends can watch your reactions in real time…out in September); Super Mario (raccoon suit is back!, out “before year is over”); Kid Icarus: Uprising (features 3-on-3 multiplayer combat and augmented reality functionality using the AR Cards to pit (get it?) characters against one another…out later this year); Luigi’s Mansion 2 (it’s not a remaster of the Gamecube classic, it’s a totally new game that includes “several new mansions”); other 3DS titles coming soon: Ace Combat 3D, Tetris, Cave Story 3D; Resident Evil: Mercenaries and Revelations, Driver: Renegade, Pac-Man, Galaga Dimensions, Tekken 3D, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.
- President of Nintendo of America ReggieFils-Aime then went on to talk up the recent 3DS software update that brought the eShop and Internet browser to the handheld. Ninty promises that more Game Boy and Game Boy Color classics are on the way. Free Excitebike 3D for everyone for a limited time. Pokedex 3D is available exclusively through the eShop and also comes free. For more on the update, click here!
- Quite arguably the biggest and most exciting news to come out of E3 thus far was Nintendo’s unveil of the Wii successor. It’s called Wii U and it releases next year. “It’s a system for everyone, but it’s tailor made for you.” Instead of focusing on the system itself, though, Nintendo decided to spill most of the details surrounding the brand new controller design. The controller packs a 6.2-inch display and allows gameplay to take place away from the TV. Nintendo set up this example: Say you’re playing a Wii U game in the living room on the big screen TV and someone walks in and watch to watch live TV. You can easily pause your game and transfer the full experience to your controller and continue right from where you left off on the 6.2-inch screen. The bond between you and the TV has been cut. Wii U games get wirelessly beamed to the controller; one’s precise proximity to the console to make this work was not specified. Besides this awesome function, the controller provides endless possibilities for developers. “In single-player games: The new controller can display information on its screen that does not appear on the TV; The information and viewpoint can also change in the new controller based on the orientation of its gyroscope. In multiplayer games: The player using the new controller can have a different experience than those looking at the TV; This will offer a wide variety of competitive and cooperative opportunities.” Oh, the controller can do even more. The front-facing camera can be used to initiate video calls, you can flick content (i.e. pictures and videos) from the controller to your TV screen, and you can run a web browser on it. Make sure you check out this introduction video to get a sense for how it’ll work.
- Next let’s talk hardware specifics. In addition to the 6.2-inch touchscreen display, the controller also has an inward-facing camera, an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, microphone and speakers, a stylus, and the following buttons: two analog Circle Pads, a D-Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. The Wii U console can be paired to one Wii U controller and four additional Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus controllers. The system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories. Though Nintendo’s keeping mum on console specifications, it’s confirmed that full HD 1080p support is there. It will support connections to the TV via HDMI, component, S-video and composite cables. Four USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot complement the internal flash memory. IBM will provide processor that beats inside. Aesthetically, the console looks like the Wii but with rounder edges. It was show in white. Also, Nintendo has hinted that the Wii U will boast better online capabilities.
- Dig this games lineup: From in-house — Super Smash Bros. is coming to Wii U and 3DS! From third party people — Darksiders 2, Batman: Arkham City, Tekken, Assassin’s Creed, Lego City Stories (coming to 3DS too), Ghost Recon Online, DiRT, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Metro: Last Light, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razer’s Edge…and EA’s bringing Battlefield, Army of Two, and many others to Wii U. Hardcore games are making their way to a Nintendo-made console, at long last. The company’s goal is to provide deeper gameplay and wider appeal with the Wii U, and with the upgraded graphics, better online capabilities, and the unique controller scheme I have full confidence Nintendo will strike a balanced chord with hardcore and casual gamers alike.
Once again Nintendo has beat Microsoft and Sony at the E3 press conference wars. Nostalgia is a powerful weapon and Nintendo knows just how to use it to their advantage. The 3DS is about to get a major boost in popularity with Mario, Luigi, Star Fox, and Pit coming to the handheld this year. Zelda’s star is shines brighter than ever 25 years later. And with the introduction of the Wii U gamers get to anticipate an entirely new and innovative way to interact with their video games. Nintendo made clear that the Wii U’s controller was “not designed to be a portable game machine” even though it’s in the shape of one. Surely more details will surface in the coming months. For now, peep the gallery below for a closer look at the super intriguing controller and the Wii U console.
Attention Nintendo 3DS owners–your handheld’s first major system update arrives early next week, Monday June 6 to be exact. It brings the long-awaited Nintendo 3DS eShop and a handy Internet browser. The eShop contains a wide variety of downloadable content; the press release says it all:
The Nintendo eShop is a digital store for Nintendo 3DS owners that provides access to a wide variety of downloadable content, such as original 3D software, classic games that have been re-mastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boy and Game Boy Color “Virtual Console” games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare games. Visitors can also view video game trailers, screen shots and product information for games, including those available at retail locations.
To celebrate the introduction of the eShop on the 3DS Nintendo will offer the classic NES game Excitebike remastered in 3D as a free download until July 7. The company promises that new content will be added to the eShop every Thursday. Ninty hints that upcoming Virtual Console content includes Game Boy games Super Mario Land, Alleyway, and Radar Mission. Another free application that’ll be offered for eShoppers is Pokédex 3D; it lets you collect data for more than 150 Pokémon from the Pokémon Black and White Version games and view them in 3D with animated motion and sound. Data can be shared with friends using the wireless SpotPass feature.
Additionally the update also gives Nintendo DSi owners the ability to transfer “most” of their previously downloaded Nintendo DSiWare games to their new Nintendo 3DS systems. So that’s nice. Note that this system update does not include the short-form video service that will bring 3D movie trailers, comedy clips and music videos to the handheld; the company is saving it for “the near future.” Same goes for Netflix.
When the evening of June 6 rolls around, head over to System Settings from the Home Menu and select System Update to pump new life into your maturing 3DS.