Nintendo is on a roll. In the midst of surging in popularity thanks to the overnight success of the augmented reality smartphone app Pokémon GO, the house that built Mario has announced a new console. No, it’s not the highly anticipated next-gen NX. Ninty’s playing its most reliable card, nostalgia, by releasing a miniaturized version of its very first video game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which originally debuted in the States in 1985. The company describes it as a “near-identical, mini replica” of the NES and it’s compatible with all modern TV sets as it utilizes an included HDMI cable to display audio and video. In addition to the cable, the package comes complete with an AC adapter for power and one NES Classic Controller for gameplay input. The wired controller is patterned after the iconic rectangular design of the original NES gamepad. You can even connect it to a Wii Remote to play Virtual Console NES games with it on the Wii and Wii U.
Speaking of games, the mini NES, which easily fits in the palm of a hand, comes preloaded with 30 classic and cult NES titles including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN, and Kirby’s Adventure. Though Nintendo doesn’t divulge into details, it seems like your dreams of blowing into cartridges and jamming them into the console’s slot-tray have been dashed here. What is cool, however, is that each game has multiple suspend points, so you won’t have to worry about manually saving your progress and locking it with a password. Additionally, some of the onboard games will support two players, and NES Classic Controllers will be sold separately for $9.99. Update: A Nintendo spokesperson confirmed to Kotaku that the “Chamber Lid” will not accept cartridges or any other kind of physical media for that matter. In addition, the console does not connect to the Internet, so the games library here is capped to the 30 that come preinstalled. Engadget adds that original NES controllers will not work with the new NES due to differing connectors. So there you go.
The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition hits the market on November 11 at the reasonable price of $59.99. Be sure to jump after the break to view a full list of all the preloaded games, as well as an image of the retro product’s packaging.
Update (7/21): Ninty’s dropped an especially retro commercial to promote the mini console; it evokes its marketing campaign from the 80s with the classic tag, “Now you’re playing with power!”
[Via BusinessWire] READ MORE Nintendo celebrates its history with retro NES console release
Summer’s just around the corner, and gamers know exactly what that means. E3 is in town, and The Big Three console makers are ready to show off the best they have to offer. For 2016, Microsoft took a big swing by introducing loads of new hardware, including a new Xbox console debuting in August, as well as its next-gen beast due out in 2017. Sony and Nintendo, on the other hand, laser-focused on their respective games library. The PS4 is on the verge of transforming into a virtual reality conduit, and Sony packed quite the punch with its PS VR launch lineup. Nintendo, meanwhile, lifted the veil off the next game in the coveted Legend of Zelda franchise and it looks spectacular. If there’s a theme to be had here, it’s that all three companies are churning out visually splendid and heart-pounding experiences coming to systems this year and beyond. It’s a great time to be a gamer.
For the full scoop from Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo at E3, jump after the break. READ MORE E3 roundup: The latest and greatest from Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo inside
The Wii U, Nintendo’s followup to its revolutionary motion-sensing video game console, the Wii, never quite lived up to its potential. The giant, lackluster GamePad and the system’s inferior specs ultimately drove third-party developers away and the Wii U never gained steam in the console wars against powerhouses Xbox and PlayStation. Ninty is gearing up to turn a new leaf, announcing a broader push into mobile and even a launch window for its next home console.
Last March, Nintendo partnered with Tokyo-based developer DeNA to develop games for smartphones and its first foray became a smash-hit practically overnight. A couple months ago, Nintendo dropped Miitomo into the App Store and today the company’s celebrating over 10 million users. The “social experience” app invites users to create a Mii (or on-screen avatar) and interact with other Miis over the Internet by taking photos and hanging out. This fall, Ninty’s increasing its app count by two with fresh games based on the popular Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises. According to Nintendo, “compared to Miitomo, [these apps] have more prominent game elements, and the game content will tie closely into Nintendo’s dedicated games business.”
Wii U’s successor, codenamed NX, now has an official launch window: March 2017. It will be unveiled sometime later this year, Mario’s maker promises.
Lastly, Nintendo opened up about its plans for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This June, the NX will not make an appearance at the annual convention, but the next-gen Legend of Zelda will. In fact, Zelda will be the only playable game at Nintendo’s booth this year. It’s a strange move since Nintendo is typically known to have many of its beloved franchises on-site to demo at the show. The new Zelda is currently in development and will be released simultaneously on the Wii U and NX consoles in 2017.
See you at E3!
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.
[Via BusinessWire; Engadget]
The passing of Nintendo President & CEO Satoru Iwata affected me greatly the moment I learned about it. I was casually scrolling my Twitter feed when the news broke: Iwata, at age 55, passed away due to a bile duct tumor. And just like that, the video games community lost an innovator and an icon.
It was Iwata who pioneered Nintendo’s journey into the future of gaming, leading the development of the game-changing Nintendo DS handheld and the motion-controlled Nintendo Wii console. These devices went on to shape the current state of the industry. The DS eventually evolved into the 3DS, dominating the games portability market and rivaling what iPhones and Android sets have to offer. The Wii’s successor, the Wii U, continues to pump out grade-A first-party games that finally bring Mario and friends into the world of high definition. The motion control input which first debuted in the original Wii spawned intense competition from the likes of Microsoft and its hands-free motion capture camera, Kinect. Sony also offers a camera of its own, and soon it will take advantage of a virtual reality headset codenamed Project Morpheus. In sum, Iwata was the brains behind an originally outlandish concept that would soon take the industry by storm. Kinect, Morpheus, and even VR startup Oculus have Iwata to thank for his ability to properly gauge and cater to gamers with new modes of gameplay.
In addition to running Nintendo and coming up with brilliant innovations, Iwata knew how to connect with his company’s fanbase on a number of levels. He came up with “Iwata Asks,” a series of in-depth interviews he hosted alongside creators of major titles coming to Nintendo’s systems. He also put a spotlight on his incredible sense of humor, having fun when making big announcements at E3 and during Nintendo Direct web videos. All in all, he was a CEO with heart and a true passion for video games. And with that, I leave you with a powerful quote:
“On my business card, I am a corporate president. In my mind, I am a game developer. But in my heart, I am a gamer.” – Satoru Iwata, RIP.
[Image via PeachBunni]
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. READ MORE E3 2015: Nintendo wields nostalgia factor to celebrate 30 years of Mario (also, Star Fox is coming!)
It won’t be long before you can find Mario on your smartphone. After years of denying the importance of the smart device app space (read: games for phones, tablets, laptop PCs), Nintendo is changing its stance by debuting a new partnership and initiative to bring new games to consumers based on Nintendo intellectual property. Ninty has partnered with Tokyo-based developer DeNA (pronounced “D-N-A”) to make apps. “The alliance is intended to complement Nintendo’s dedicated video game systems business and extend Nintendo’s reach into the vast market of smart device users worldwide,” reads a press release. The PR also notes that “only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created;” what this means is that you should not expect ports of classic Nintendo titles such as Super Mario 64 and Donkey Kong Country to land on your iPhone. In addition, the video game companies are collaborating on an online membership service that will tie together consumers playing these new apps across devices including the Wii U home console and the 3DS handheld.
With Nintendo entering the highly lucrative app arena, does this mark the beginning of the end for Nintendo-made home consoles? Shortly after announcing its initiative with DeNA–on the same day, even–the house that build Mario made it abundantly clear that it is not ditching its core consumer base. In fact, they went on to confirm a followup to the Wii U and it’s codenamed “NX.” Here’s all the company revealed about it during a press conference: “Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated games platform with a brand new concept under the development codename NX.” Nintendo fanboys and fangirls, you can breathe a little bit easier now! Still, I’m certainly excited to see how Nintendo will go about making its mark in the crowded mobile app space.
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.]
[Via Nintendo 1, 2] READ MORE Nintendo deems the New 3DS XL ready for US gamers
The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo came and went this week and The Big Three–Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo–were all about games, games, and games. The Xbox maker’s show was literally a lineup of upcoming titles for Xbox One. Sony managed to squeeze some hardware and PSN news into theirs but like MSFT they mainly showcased games for PS4. And Nintendo did what they do best: stand out from the pack with a highly entertaining (not live) “digital event” featuring a fun lineup of games starring their famous mascots.
Jump after the break for the full rundown of games unveiled by The Big Three at this year’s E3. READ MORE The Big Three are all about the games at E3 2014
Still looking for a reason to pick up Nintendo’s Wii U? Well, here’s one: the house that built Mario is releasing a game collection called NES Remix that invokes gaming nostalgia with a twist. The collection includes 16 classic NES titles and each of them have been “remixed” with fun alterations; for example, a stage in Mario Bros. has been flipped and players must complete it backwards. Elsewhere, Link from The Legend of Zelda shows up in Donkey Kong with Mario and Pauline. In addition to the remixed stages, the collection also offers up “rapid fire” special challenges; in Mario Bros., for example, you can test how fast you can score 10 1-Ups in a row. The following NES titles come packed inside NES Remix: Donkey Kong (featuring Link!), Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, Excitebike, Super Mario Bros., Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Clu Clu Land, Wrecking Crew, Pinball, Urban Champion, Baseball, Tennis, Ice Climber, Golf and Balloon Fight. It’s out now exclusievlty on Wii U through the console’s eShop store for $16.32. Worth it? Worth it. Watch a trailer after the break.
[Via Nintendo] READ MORE Nintendo releases ‘NES Remix’ for Wii U featuring classic games with a twist
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
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. READ MORE E3 2013: Nintendo and the Wii U