Tag Archives: Wii U

E3 roundup: The latest and greatest from Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo inside

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

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. READ MORE E3 2015: Nintendo wields nostalgia factor to celebrate 30 years of Mario (also, Star Fox is coming!)

Nintendo releases ‘NES Remix’ for Wii U featuring classic games with a twist

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 3ExcitebikeSuper Mario Bros., Mario Bros., The Legend of ZeldaClu Clu LandWrecking CrewPinballUrban ChampionBaseballTennisIce ClimberGolf 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

Nintendo drops Wii U price, intros Zelda bundle & affordable 2DS portable

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

E3 2013: Nintendo and the Wii U

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

Nintendo TVii comes to Wii U December 20

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.”

[Via Nintendo 1, 2] READ MORE Nintendo TVii comes to Wii U December 20

Nintendo’s Wii U launches this Sunday

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! READ MORE Nintendo’s Wii U launches this Sunday

Nintendo announces 23 games launching with Wii U on November 18

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. UCall of Duty: Black Ops IIAssassin’s Creed IIIZombiU, 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.

[Via Nintendo] READ MORE Nintendo announces 23 games launching with Wii U on November 18

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.

[Via Nintendo] READ MORE Nintendo announces Wii U pricing, availability & launch window titles, details Nintendo TVii service

E3 2012: Nintendo disappoints with lackluster Wii U software lineup, saves little time for 3DS

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 CourseLuigi’s Ghost MansionAnimal Crossing: Sweet DayThe 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: READ MORE E3 2012: Nintendo disappoints with lackluster Wii U software lineup, saves little time for 3DS

Nintendo details updated Wii U controller, social space Miiverse ahead of E3 2012

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.

READ MORE Nintendo details updated Wii U controller, social space Miiverse ahead of E3 2012

‘Rayman Legends’ game shows off Wii U NFC functionality

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.

[Via Joystiq]