A new app is about to land on Wii U. Nintendo TVii, a second-screen experience that changes the way you “find, watch, and engage” entertainment content, was supposed to launch with the console in November, but it was delayed due to lack of app support. Now that Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video are available to download on the Wii U, the stars have aligned for TVii to launch at last. In short, TVii is a free service that functions as a “personalized program guide, remote control, and social second screen,” collating TV shows, movies, and sports from various content providers including the aforementioned video streaming services, live TV (cable and satellite providers), and DVRs powered by TiVo. In addition to searching across these services and watching content, you can make the experience social by commenting on what you’re watching and sharing your thoughts with friends via Miiverse, Facebook and Twitter. According to a new press release (in full after the break), the app will only support Hulu, Amazon, and live TV at launch; Netflix and TiVo integration “are expected in early 2013.”
Nintendo TVii comes to Wii U tomorrow, December 20, as a free download. Watch a demo after the break.
Update (12/20): As promised, TVii is now available on the Wii U. It isn’t delivered as a download however; simply fire up your Internet-connected console and you should find it hanging out in the home screen. In related news, Nintendo has specified that TiVo support is coming in January, with support for other DVRs coming “in the future.”
Shorty after pushing out their next-gen Wii U, Nintendo let loose another new hardware release. The Wii Mini is a miniaturized version of the original Wii featuring an updated matte black with a red border design. It comes packaged with a matching red Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuck Controller. At just $99 the Wii Mini is steal for casual gamers who’ve fully embraced motion control gaming. To lower the price to such an affordable level, Nintendo removed the console’s Internet capabilities and GameCube backwards compatibility. The Wii Mini is designed exclusively to play Wii games, and that’s it. “It’s a great value for first-time Wii owners who just want to jump in and experience all the great Wii games that helped usher in a revolution in motion-controlled gaming,” says Ninty in a press release. For the time being, the redesigned Wii will ship exclusively in Canada come December 7. I find it interesting that it’s not simultaneously releasing Stateside, and I’d be surprised if it didn’t penetrate our marketplace soon.
The next wave of video game home consoles begins this Sunday, November 18 when Nintendo ships the successor to the Wii dubbed Wii U. We know pretty much all there is to know about the Wii U already: the HD console’s main selling point is its tablet-like controller that enables new forms of gameplay and second-screen interactivity; the Nintendo Network will finally usher Mario and the gang into the modern online gaming era; over 30 launch day games will be available for purchase alongside the system; and Nintendo is offering two SKUs starting at $300 for the basic set. For all things Wii U, refer to these marked posts.
Leading up to release day, Nintendo shed light on a couple new system features. First, up to 12 players can register on a single console. Your personal profile is directly tied to your game saves, settings, play history, and Internet browser bookmarks. Next, we already know that the Wii U GamePad enables video chat with its front-facing camera, and now Nintendo has divulged that the magic happens with an app called Wii U Chat. With an Internet connection, users can connect to other Wii U owners and video chat across their GamePads and TV screens. Using the GamePad you can draw on top of your recipients face and they will see your creations in real time. If you’re playing a game, you’ll be notified of an incoming call when you see the controller’s Home button flash a blue hue.
Besides online gameplay via the Nintendo Network, another way the house that built Mario is jumping ahead is by offering up entertainment consumption apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and its own interactive second screen experience that curates video content called Nintendo TVii. Originally it was planned that these apps would arrive via a software update on launch day, but this week Ninty shared unfortunate news spilling that they will be delayed until December. Netflix told Engadget that their app will indeed ship when the console does on Sunday, but as for the rest of them we’ll have to wait a few weeks.
With its unique GamePad, the Wii U hopes to once again revolutionize the way gamers play games. And with their newfound approach to providing entertainment content, Nintendo offers yet another way to consume movies, TV shows, and sports. With Xbox SmartGlass just finding its feet, will the Wii U steal the spotlight and provide an even better second screen experience with games and other content? The second screen is built into the Wii U’s DNA and that’s what Ninty is banking on. Get in line, pick one up, and give it a spin. (If you didn’t preorder, you’re likely out of luck, unless of course you live in the NYC area and are willing to participate in Nintendo World’s midnight launch event!) PR after the break.
Update (11/18): If you managed to pick up a Wii U today, you should know that the console does not come preinstalled with many of its touted software-based functions. In order to access and run Miiverse, Nintendo eShop, the Internet browser, and WiiU Chat, you must download and install a chunky software update. This update also enabled backwards compatibility with Wii games and even reproduces the last-gen Wii menu interface when a game disc is inserted. Netflix is also available via a separate update, and the other video consumption apps Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and Nintendo TVii are coming later this year as previously reported.
Update 2 (11/22): Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, and YouTube have officially joined Netflix on the Wii U. When Nintendo TVii decides to drop, you’ll know! (Click here for more…)
A couple weeks back Nintendo revealed some juicy information pertaining to the Wii U including pricing, availability, and games. The house that built Mario announced that over 50 games will release over the course of a specified launch window that runs from November 18 (launch day) to March 31, 2013. Thanks to a newly minted press release (in full after the break), we now have a better idea of what games specifically will be sold alongside the console on launch day. A total of 23 titles–including New Super Mario Bros. U, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III, ZombiU, and EA SPORTS FIFA Soccer 13–will be available day and date with the system.
Says Nintendo of America’s Reggie Fils-Aime: “We’re making sure that Wii U owners will have great games to play from the moment they open the box, and that a steady stream of fun new games is always on the way. We have something for everyone, from new franchises to creative new approaches to familiar favorites.”
Jump after the break to see the full list of launch window titles; the ones marked with “Nov. 18″ come out the same day as the Wii U.
Nintendo announces Wii U pricing, availability & launch window titles, details Nintendo TVii service
66 days. That’s when Nintendo’s next generation home console the Wii U releases. Calculating… the Wii U ships November 18, 2012. Consumers will have two SKUs to choose from: a $299.99 basic set and a $349.99 deluxe set. The basic set includes an 8GB Wii U console and GamePad splashed in white, one GamePad stylus, the sensor bar, an HDMI cable, and AC adapters for the console and controller. The deluxe set adds a Wii U console stand, a Gamepad cradle and stand, a deluxe digital promotion for redeemable points in the Nintendo eShop, and the Nintendo Land game. This slightly more expensive model also upgrades the internal storage to 32GB and switches the console and GamePad’s color to black. The console stand, GamePad stand and cradle will be sold separately, along with the Wii U Pro Controller. Nintendo has confirmed that they won’t be separately selling GamePads at launch since games don’t support two at once just yet.
More than 50 games will be available for Wii U adopters during a launch window that extends from launch day to March 31, 2013. In typical fashion, Nintendo has a Mario game in the mix along with the anticipated Pikmin 3 but you may be surprised to discover many high profile third party games coming to the Wii U as well including Call of Duty: Black Ops II from Activision, Assassin’s Creed III from Ubisoft, and Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition from Warner Bros. Jump after the break to view the full list of launch windows games.
In addition to announcing the Wii U’s pricing, availability, and games lineup this week, Nintendo also previewed a new service that takes advantage of the GamePad. It’s called Nintendo TVii and it serves as an interactive second screen experience playing on the way you “find, watch, and engage” entertainment content. It’s a free service that functions as a “personalized program guide,” collating TV shows, movies, and sports from services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, live TV, and your DVR (if it’s powered by TiVo). The user interface is straightforward; click Movies and you’ll be able to browse a collection of flicks provided by the streaming video companies you subscribe to. Click one and it will begin to play on your big screen TV. During the course of the movie, your GamePad is a second screen that provides additional information pertaining to the content that’s being played. While a TV show or movie is on, you can access social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Nintendo’s own MiiVerse to share and comment on what you’re watching and interact with your friends. The Sports section shows you scores from your favorite teams; tap a scoreboard for additional information related to that game and if it’s playing in your region you can hit play to watch it on your TV. Jump after the break to watch a video demonstration.
The Wii U is up for preorder today at GameStop. Get a closer look at the HD-capable console in the gallery below. PR after the break.
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…)
Ahead of the Electronic Entertainment Expo that officially begins on Tuesday, Nintendo has kicked off the festivities with a “Nintendo Direct Pre E3 2012″ video featuring the company’s president Satoru Iwata and the upcoming Wii successor. He informs the press and gamers around the world that Nintendo’s E3 press conference will focus mostly on Wii U software, and so the Pre-E3 video is used as a platform to expand upon Wii U hardware and social infrastructure.
First, Iwata unveiled the final product version of the Wii U’s tablet-esque controller that is now officially called the Wii U GamePad. (The name is derived from the original NES controller that was also referred to as a “GamePad” since it was the first of its kind to not feature a joystick.) The controller has been tweaked and refined since its prototype days to provide maximized comfort. Most significantly, the two Circle Pads are have replaced by clickable analog sticks. Underneath the D-pad there’s a marker for the controller’s built-in NFC functionality; it is here where gamers will be able to place physical objects to enhance gameplay. The plus and minus buttons have been moved to the right side of the controller underneath the ABXY buttons. Along the bottom underneath the touch-capable screen is a new button labeled TV Control; clicking it opens up a TV remote app that turns your GamePad into an infrared remote control and guide for channel surfing. Around back the grips have been slightly transformed to improve ergonomics.
Next, Iwata unveiled a new accessory for the Wii U. Yet another controller and this one’s called the Wii U Pro Controller. Taking design cues from the original Wii’s Pro controller and Microsoft’s Xbox controller, Iwata describes the new peripheral as a “lighter, and maybe more attractive for longer, more intense forms of gaming” alternative to the GamePad. As you’ll notice in the gallery below, the Pro Controller is shown off sporting a slick coat of black; perhaps this is a sign that the Wii U will also come in black when it ships later this year.
Iwata wrapped things up by introducing Nintendo’s giant leap into the social space with Miiverse. When you turn on your Wii U, the Miiverse serves as your homescreen. It looks like Mii Plaza from the current Wii, with all your custom-made Miis mingling around a big white space, but this is so much more than that. Miiverse brings together your avatar, all the avatars you’ve created on the console, your friends’ avatars, and avatars of people from your country that are playing the same games as you. Miis are organized around the games and apps they are currently involved with. You can interact with this giant community of Miis via text messages and drawings that are sent through the GamePad. In addition to sharing messages to gamers in your locality and around the world, you can capture screenshots from games and share these too. Iwata says that developers will be able to take advantage of this messaging system inside their games to make for a more communal gaming experience. (Iwata makes the point that even if you are playing a game alone in your living room, you are not truly alone because the sense of community with the Miiverse is always there.) Iwata confirms that the Miiverse is destined to bring Nintendo gamers together like never before by making it accessible through web browsers on PCs, smartphones, and of course Ninty’s portable offering the 3DS. This social expansion, however, will not be available immediately at launch.
E3 is just around the corner, and Nintendo is ready to show off what really counts (read: the games) when they take the stage for their press conference on Tuesday at 9AM PST. The Wii U hardware and social network contain a goldmine of gaming potential, but in the end it always comes down to the software lineup. Will Nintendo impress with games beyond their typical lineup of first-party gems starring the company’s mascots Mario, Zelda, and Metroid? Keep it right here for the latest from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony as E3 kicks off later this week.
Check out the gallery below to see pictures of the final Wii U GamePad, the Wii U Pro Controller, and glimpses at the Miiverse interface. Jump after the break to watch Iwata’s half-hour Pre-E3 clip.
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.
In January Nintendo revealed that their upcoming new console the Wii U will ship with Near Field Communication (NFC) 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,” said Ninty president Satoru Iwata Iwata. This week a video surfaced on the ‘Net that previews what gamers can expect with NFC paired with the Wii successor. Developer Ubisoft is developing Rayman Legends to take advantage of NFC by giving players the ability to place physical figurines atop the Wii U’s touchscreen controller to instantly teleport the physical object into the game. See how it works in the video embedded above.
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.
‘The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’ releases November 20, limited-edition gold controller bundle in tow
What may be considered the final great game for Nintendo’s Wii console finally has a release date. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword drops November 20, 2011. As detailed at Ninty’s E3 press event, Skyward Sword will ship standalone at the regular $49.99 price point and a limited-edition gold controller bundle will be offered at a reasonable $69.99. If you have your sights locked on the shiny, golden Wii Remote Plus bear in mind that it will not be sold separately from the bundle. To further celebrate Zelda’s 25th anniversary, Nintendo is also bundling in a music CD featuring select orchestral arrangements of iconic music spanning the history of the franchise which will be performed at The Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony Concert. For more information regarding the concert–which is coming to Los Angeles and London in October–click here. The CD will be included in every game box (whether sold by itself or as a part of the bundle) during the initial retail run. Eye the packaging above, and read the PR after the break.
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.