Posts tagged Nintendo
Nintendo updates the 3DS
This morning Nintendo updated the 3DS and the 3DS XL. The key updates are an additional second thumbstick on the right side (above the ABXY buttons) and ZR and ZL shoulder buttons.
The new 3DS launches on October 11 in Japan with no word on release for Europe or the United States.
It’s interesting to me that the regular 3DS got larger in every dimension and heavier and the 3DS XL got slightly thinner and slightly lighter. As much as I want to say “I’m still cool with my launch 3DS” and “I don’t need to upgrade, even though I’d like better battery life” I know that all it’s going to take is a Zelda game that needs a Z button and I’ll be ordering one.
Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - E3 2014 Trailer
“THERE IS A CLEAR CONTRADICTION IN THIS PUZZLE”!!!!!
Ok. Shut it down. This is going to be game of the year.
The Legend of Zelda - Wii U
A new Zelda game is coming in 2015. Promises of a more open world and a beautiful art style make this a must have. But let’s be honest, I was going to buy whatever Zelda game Nintendo was selling.
I feel obligated to say something about the Nintendo investor meeting that ended a short time ago since I did write quite a bit about Nintendo earlier today.
If you didn’t see the news it’s this: Satoru Iwata, CEO of Nintendo, outlined a strategy for the company. They’re looking to the health market for new business. They’re not putting games on mobile devices but they do have a mobile strategy. They want to make more Wii U games that show off the GamePad Controller.
This was a meeting for investors so none of this is a surprise.
- Of course Iwata was going throw his weight behind the Wii U, their current console, and promise games that would take advantage of the one thing that distinguishes it. Because even if they were abandoning the hardware, it’s not going to happen over night, and they need to keep selling a console in the interim.
- Of course they’re not going to put their 40 dollar games on phones, where 99 cents is considered pricy. Nintendo doesn’t know how to make a freemium game, and I hope they never learn. But people are yelling their heads off that “all they need to do is release Mario Kart on the iPhone” so phones and tablets needed to be addressed. Companion apps that drive people to Nintendo hardware doesn’t sound appealing to me, but ok.
- Of course they’re looking at new markets. Investors love hearing about new markets. I am intrigued by what they’re looking at in the health space. The Wii Balance Board was interesting, I guess. And the 3DS does count my steps when I bring it with me. I’m curious to see how this new thing fits in with the rest of their current hardware. Maybe it doesn’t.
Overall, not a lot was said. This sounds like they’re staying the course. Which is good, it’s what I think they should do. Hopefully they spend the money they have to stay the course better than they have been the past two years.
Earlier this month Nintendo drastically cut its sales forecasts for the fiscal year after they missed their targets during Christmas. This sent everyone with an internet connection into a tizzy suggesting that Nintendo could make buckets of money releasing iOS and Android games and that they should pull a Sega and exit the hardware market (Kotaku wraps it up nicely, thanks Kotaku).
Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata addressed this by saying, “It’s not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone.” I couldn’t agree with him more. Nintendo needs to be Nintendo. They need to make great hardware and make great games for that hardware.
So, while people are yelling for Nintendo to abandon their hardware business they’re not seeing that Nintendo has 10.1 billion dollars in the bank. That’s enough money to allow them to coast for decades.
It’s undeniable that Nintendo doesn’t have the marketshare or the mindshare they had at the start of the last generation. Their new console didn’t grab the hearts of the everyman the way the Wii did, but there is still a way for Nintendo to continue to be Nintendo and, perhaps, return to the top.
I have a four point plan:
1) Nintendo needs to pull a Microsoft and start paying developers to develop for their platform. It’s exactly what Microsoft is doing on Windows Phone, and slowly, it’s working.
Nintendo should be actively pursuing indy developers and spurring games creation for their devices. Have ‘dev days.’ Pay for companies of all sizes to release their titles on your platform. Create tools that make it easier to develop. Start earning back that developer trust.
2) Abandon the Wii U. Make it a “hobby” if you want (the way Apple made the Apple TV a hobby for a few years). Sony and Microsoft are using off the shelf parts for their new consoles. Use the same ones. Release modern hardware and price it the same as the PS4. Yes, you’re going to get called out for releasing a “me too” box. But you need to do that. If you can put an Wii / Wii U emulator (or really, all the hardware the way Sony installed an entire PS2 in the PS3 at launch) that’s a bonus. We’re expecting this console cycle to last 8-10 years again, so even if this was released in 2015 it would still sell for six years.
Bleep Bloop - Your Best Game
I’m a few weeks late posting this, partially because I’ve been busy, partially because it was hard for me to find the right words. The video above is the final episode of Bleep Bloop.
This series means a lot to me, both as a nerd and professionally. Yes I worked on about 80 episodes of the show so I’m close to it. But even from the very start I thought of Bleep Bloop as important. Yes, the directive from Jeff was always “funny first” (after all the show aired on a comedy site), but I always felt like we were doing the community a kind of service. Even though were poking fun and prodding the industry and calling out bad games, we were also informing and speaking to a certain part of video game culture, and hopefully we expanded their horizons with our comedy video. You can see it in 8-bit Rock Band, Artsy Fartsy Games, Night Vision Goggles, Dante’s Infreno, Wii vs Kinect vs Move, iPad Games, and Uwe Boll.
As someone who follows tech and games journalism pretty closely there was really nothing else like it when I started working on the show at Episode 12 in January 2009.
Professionally, Bleep Bloop is what propelled me into a full time job at CollegeHumor. I early in my days freelancing for CollegeHumor I was brought in to shoot and edit this show. Shortly thereafter they hired me full time and I can thank CollegeHumor for seeing a producer in me and allowing me the opportunity to produce some of their highest profile content. Presently I’m a commercial / music video producer, but you can draw a straight line from freelance shooting and editing a few episodes of Bleep Bloop to where I am right now.
So please watch the final episode of a series I have a lot of love for. Oh, and you can spot me in the last one at 10:40 choosing my favorite game of all time Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
Nintendo just announced a 2D version of the 3DS… a 2DS. My roommate and I discuss (I’m on the right).
Just to clarify, I’m I pretty strong Nintendo defender. I bought a DS Lite, DSi and a 3DS all on launch day. I continue to love my 3Ds and I always bring it when I travel.
But like, this thing. This thing is weird.