Nintendo prepares to shutter Wii, DS multiplayer services on May 20th
Nintendo has revealed it will be shutting down its online multiplayer servers for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii on May 20th. The global closure will stop multiplayer games from working online through the Wi-Fi Connection service, but it will still allow other online aspects, such as the Wii Shop and video-on-demand services, to continue working. Online play for games made for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U will remain unaffected by the closure.
Rumors suggested threat of lawsuit might be responsible
The creator of Flappy Bird, Dong Nguyen, didn't pull the app because of threats from Nintendo, a spokesman for the latter suggests. Although very different in terms of gameplay, many people have commented that the pipes in Flappy Bird look similar or identical to those from Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. series. In a new email, spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa repeats the position that Nintendo has never made any complaints.
Gaming company to reevaluate business strategies
Nintendo is off to a rough start in 2014, after news in January of a less-than-optimal quarterly performance for the company that saw the forecast number of units of the Wii U cut as revenues were down across the board. It didn't help that the company that it opened itself up to a small controversy over the use of smartphones to market upcoming products -- a plan it first denied, then admitted to. However, the recent decline has caused Nintendo to look toward a different future as it looks to opening up new business strategies.
Today's reversal reverses yesterday's anti-app sentiment
Reversing a previous denial of a smartphone initiative, Nintendo earlier today confirmed that it is going to use smart devices as a future platform for applications and promotions, but there are no plans to port core titles to Android or the iOS. According to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Nintendo will use any developed apps to communicate with customers, and deliver marketing information, but it will stop short of offering full games from Nintendo's catalog of gaming intellectual property.
Console maker struggling for marketshare
Contrary to reports out of Japan, Nintendo will not be producing mini-games for smartphones, according to an official statement. "Nikkei's article contains information previously stated by [CEO] Mr. Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo's willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products. However during such past announcements Mr. Iwata has also stated that Nintendo's intention is not to make Nintendo software available on smart devices and as such, we can confirm that there are no plans to offer mini-games on smartphone devices," it reads.
Future Gears of War titles to be developed by Microsoft's Black Tusk
Epic Games has revealed that the sci-fi first person shooter Gears of War has been acquired by Microsoft studios. The deal gives Microsoft the rights to all the existing titles, as well as future games and other assets -- including merchandising associated with the property. Microsoft studio Black Tusk, helmed by ex-Epic Games director Rod Fergusson, will assume development of the franchise, with an anticipated announcement about the franchise future later this year. No terms of the deal have been made public.
Reduces Wii U sales estimates by two thirds, also cuts 3DS forecast
Nintendo is feeling less confident over the sales of its Wii U game console, and has warned it has reduced sales estimates for its impending quarterly financial report. Initial estimates of 9 million sales of the console in the 2013-2014 financial year have dropped down to less than a third of a figure, with the new full-year total expected to be just 2.8 million.
Foreign consoles to go on sale in China for first tie in 14 years
China is allowing the sale of foreign game consoles in the country for the first time in over a decade. The country's government temporarily lifted the ban on Monday, opening the door to sales of recent game consoles such as Microsoft's Xbox One, the Sony PlayStation 4, and the Nintendo Wii U to its citizens, though it is not clear how long sales will be permitted for.
BlackBerry Z30 spotted at FCC using AT&T frequencies
BlackBerry could be bringing the Z30 smartphone to AT&T in the future, according to an FCC filing. The listing spotted by Berry Review appears to show the device, with a 5-inch 1280x720 Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.7GHz processor, and 2GB of RAM, as sporting radios on AT&T bands, strongly suggesting that the more-powerful flagship device could launch in the US as an alternative to Verizon.
YouTube joins Netflix, Hulu Plus on handheld Nintendo game console
The Nintendo 3DS is now able to play videos from YouTube. A new app download available from the 3DS eShop for North America and Europe lets users view shows on the handheld Nintendo game console, though despite the capability of the 3DS to show glasses-free 3D imagery on one of its screens, the app will not support 3D videos from the service.
Twitter account of Nintendo engineer hints at possible tablet
Nintendo could be working on its own Android tablet, according to a report. The game console producer is said to be in the process of making a tablet specifically for educational games, something which will be a marked departure from Nintendo's existing hand-held devices, such as the Nintendo 2DS, Nintendo 3DS, and the gamepad used on the Wii U console.
Bundle includes console, Wii Remote Plus, Nunchuk, Mario Kart Wii
Nintendo is bringing the Wii Mini to the United States, a year after it first went on sale in Canada, and after a European release. Effectively a stripped-down version of the Wii, the Wii Mini will be going on sale later this month for $100, making it the second re-modelled console the company is launching in the US, after the Nintendo 2DS.
Latest results show Nintendo eking out profit
Nintendo's struggling Wii U console continues to drag on the game maker's earnings, according to the company's newest financial figures. For the six-month period ending September 30, Nintendo generated $2.011 billion in revenue, a year-over-year drop of 2.2 percent. The company did manage to eke out a small profit, though, posting just $6.14 million in profit for the six months.
North America to continue Nintendo Wii sales over holiday season
North America is the last major market to still receive shipments of the Nintendo Wii, after an announcement concerning European availability. Shipments of the game console to retailers in Europe have now ceased, following a similar announcement covering Japan earlier this week, but shipments of the motion-sensitive console to the United States will not be affected in any way.
Google Chromecast app available internationally, hints at possible global release
Google could be launching its Chromecast dongle internationally in the near future. Apps for the device are now available to download in other countries, according to Android Central, with a number of users noting that it can be gained from Google Play in the UK, Germany, India, Canada, and Panama. Though Amazon has started to ship the media streaming dongle internationally, Google has yet to do the same.
Loses 3D display, removes hinge, drops price to $130
Nintendo has put its newest model of Nintendo DS on sale in the United States, Europe, and Australia. The Nintendo 2DS, seen as the budget-friendly and simplified version of the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console, eliminates the 3D top screen functionality and removes the hinge, instead being packaged as a dual-screened slate.
Sony's next console takes top spot on gamer wish lists
Sony could have a winner on its hands, according to a new poll from Reuters/Ipsos showing that the PlayStation 4 has a considerable lead when it comes to gamers' intended purchases. The new poll results come ahead of the launch of both consoles in time for the holiday season, and its results would indicate a bright future for Sony's next-generation offering. Just over one-in-four respondents said that they were likely to purchase a PS4 when it becomes available later this year.
3D screen removed, other cost-cutting measures taken for lower price
In addition to reports of a Wii U price cut, Nintendo has revealed a new Nintendo DS. Dubbed the Nintendo 2DS, the new unit subtracts the 3D capability of its predecessor, eschews the clamshell form factor, and is aimed at a lower price point in an effort to attract more buyers this holiday season.
Wii U discount ahead of Xbox One launch
Nintendo is reportedly preparing to cut the price of its Wii U Deluxe console package down to $300 from its current price of $350. The discount will be available beginning September 20, giving the company several months to bolster sales ahead of increasing competition in November as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are expected to arrive on the market. It remains unclear if basic bundle, which already costs $300, will receive a similar discount.
Nintendo will try to drum up interest with in-store demos
Struggling to drum up consumer interest in its faltering Wii U console, Japanese game maker Nintendo will show off forthcoming games in Best Buy stores while this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo is going on. Nintendo revealed the partnership between the game company and the electronics retailer last week, tipping some of the games that will be shown off in Best Buy stores.
Wii Shop still running, move designed to push consumers to Wii U
Despite the console still being available, Nintendo has announced it will shut down the larger part of the Wii's online abilities on June 28. Channels being discontinued are the Nintendo Channel, the News Channel, the Forecast Channel, the Everybody Votes Channel, and the Mii Contest Channel. Also being lost are data exchange, and in-game messaging on most games.
New device aimed for July release at less than $100
Retro game supporter Hyperkin has announced its latest version of the the multi-cartridge Retron system -- the Retron 5. The RetroN 5 will have five cartridge slots allowing users to play original NES, SNES, Genesis, Famicom, Game Boy Advance, Super Famicom, Mega Drive, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy cartridges. The chipset used in the new device eliminates region locks and increases compatibility, as well as plays both PAL and NTSC cartridges.
New console approaches Wii sales pre-holiday, slips in 2013
Sales projections released by Nintendo cast significant doubt on the Japanese company's Wii U console reaching the heights of demand that the Wii console reached. Nintendo sold 3.06 million Wii U consoles worldwide since November through the end of 2012, but expects momentum to falter. The company has cut sales expectations from 5.5 million units through the end of March to four million.
Discussions could see console ban lifted in near future.
The Chinese government may reverse its ban on video game consoles in the future. Ministerial figures are reportedly discussing lifting the ban, put in place in the year 2000 in order to protect the physical and mental development of younger members of the population, which could open up the Chinese market for gaming products from Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and others.
NTDOY up five percent as Wii U shows solid revenue
Late last week, shares of Japanese video game maker Nintendo rose the most in four months after figures indicated a strong holiday revenue showing for its new Wii U home console. NTDOY currently sits at $12.70, up 4.87 percent, buoyed by news that the new console generated has generated more than $300 million since its introduction in November of last year. That figure has the Wii U outpacing its predecessor, the runaway hit Wii, in terms of revenue.
Brazen thieves loaded two semi-trailers and one box truck with pallets
According to ABC News, thieves stole over 7,000 Nintendo Wii U gaming consoles between 9PM Saturday and noon Sunday under the cover of weather. The thieves pulled into Seattle-Tacoma Airport's Air Cargo warehouse and loaded 64 shrink-wrapped pallets of consoles into semi-trucks brought for the purpose. Investigators are looking for two large trailers with "McKinney" printed on the side, and a Seattle Air Cargo box truck, both stolen prior to the heist.
Satoru Iwata says sorry for Wii U out-of-box experience
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has apologized to Wii U early adopters for what he believes was a less than ideal experience out of the box. Some Wii U users complained that on setting up their new console, they had to endure a lengthy update process before they could start gaming on the new console. The software patch delivered access to the Miiverse social network and Wii backwards compatibility among other enhancements, but some services were still not available on launch.
First 3DS XL bundle due to arrive in the US on December 2 for $200
Nintendo is planning on releasing the first limited-edition bundle of its 3DS XL portable gaming console in time for the holiday shopping season in the US. Mario Kart 7 is preloaded onto the console, which will only be available in a blue and black color scheme. The best part is that the kit will cost $200, or $40 less than buying the console and game separately, effectively making the latter free.
Black and red design set for December 7 release
[Updated after official announcement] Rumors that Nintendo will be releasing a smaller version of the Wii have been confirmed, after an image and release date for the Wii Mini mistakenly appeared on Best Buy Canada's website before any official announcement. Shortly after, Nintendo confirmed the console's existence as a Canada-exclusive device, with its size being not the only change to the popular game system.
Streaming services added days after US console launch
Nintendo has now expanded the streaming video options for the Wii U from the initial offering of Netflix. Both Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus have been included in the Wii U, just days after the console's US launch. Netflix, the natural competitor for both companies, has been included on the console since November 18th.
Update process with slow moving progress bar can take hours to finish
A reporter from the Los Angeles Times has inadvertently discovered that interrupting the mandatory update to the newly-released Nintendo Wii U gaming console has the potential to permanently disable, or brick, the device. The update, which has taken upwards of four hours to complete according to some reports, led the reporter to unplug the machine mid-upgrade, which rendered it unusable.
Wii U won't get TVii-enabling patch until sometime in December
When the Nintendo Wii U arrives in North American stores on November 18, it won't have access to its promised and expected video streaming services, including Nintendo's own TVii interface that will lead to third-party services such as Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and Hulu Plus. According to Nintendo, the TVii feature will arrive over a software update sometime in December. An arrival date for the other service is less defined, with Nintendo saying only that they will arrive in the coming weeks.
Nintendo launches Wii U Sampling Tour across US retailers
The Nintendo Wii U won't become available for sale in the US until November 18, but potentially interested buyers can try the system out starting November 5. Nearly 5,000 demonstration booths will be set up across US retailers that include Best Buy, GameStop, Target, Walmart, and Toys 'R' Us. They will either let shoppers play one of the launch titles or offer a video presentation of the console's features.
3DS owners in Japan will soon be able to stream, buy music from consoles
Owners of the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming system in Japan will soon get access to a music streaming and download site, Recochoku. It's optimized for mobile devices and allows users to find ringtones and complete tracks for a price. The library is comprised of more than one million titles, each priced at about 250 yen (just over $3).
Cost lowers estimated net profit by $175M
Nintendo will sell the Wii U, its next game console, at a loss from launch. A presentation from CEO and President Satoru Iwata said that the console's price is "below cost", and claimed to be one reason for the company's annual net profit outlook being reduced from $251 million down to $75.2 million.
New holiday Wii bundle replaces Super Mario Bros. with Wii Sports, Wii Sports
Nintendo will soon release a new Wii games console bundle that will cost $130, down from the current $150. The bundle's content will change somewhat, however, as the current one includes Super Mario Bros., while the upcoming one will get both Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort on a single disc. Either bundle includes the black console.
Buyers of Wii U won't be able to play games from other regions
The Wii U games console from Nintendo will be region-locked, according to some reports. This means users who buy it earlier in a different country or region than their own will not be able to play games they purchase in their home country. The move is meant to stop game and software imports from other regions as well.
Nintendo America CEO claims lack of game support
Nintendo will not be releasing the Wii U gamepad as a standalone product at launch. The company plans to start selling the controller on it's own when games that actively use more than one WiiPad go on sale, according to Nintendo America CEO and president Reggie Fils-Amie in a session with investors following the global press conferences that announced availability.
US console gets video streaming, earlier launch
Nintendo has laid out its plans for the Wii U release in the US and Europe. Release dates and prices were discussed in both events, however the US and Canada will also have several applications for streaming video to the console, under the banner of "Nintendo TVii."
Nintendo Wii U starts to get shipping dates
Nintendo used is Wii U Direct Presentation to mark December 8 as the official launch date of its next-generation gaming console. The starting price for the Wii U of ¥26,250 puts it in at around $US330, which places it slightly higher than the current Sony PS3 and Xbox 360 in Japan. Nintendo says it will be offering the console in two versions, one a basic set and the other a premium set.
Nintendo will attempt to beat bubble gum record for Kirby's 20th birthday
One of the characters created for Nintendo's games is turning 20 this year, and to celebrate, the Japanese video game company is attempting to set a Guinness World Record. To do so, Nintendo plans to gather over 304 individuals at the Penny Arcade Expo tomorrow, Saturday, September 1 in Seattle. They will then blow chewing gum bubbles in pink.
Nintendo 3DS XL outsells the DSi during first two days on the Japanese market
Nintendo has sold about 193,441 units of its newly-launched 3DS XL portable gaming console in its home market of Japan over the course of two days, Famitsu reported. The strong launch is good news for Nintendo, which has been struggling lately. The sales also compare favorably to at least one previous handheld from the Japanese video game company.
Nintendo on track to deliver full-year profit of $447 million
Nintendo has stemmed the tide of losses, by bucking analysts predictions in recording a loss only half as large as expected, reports Reuters. Its first quarter results (pdf) rebounded somewhat on the back of aggressive pricing on its 3DS hand held gaming console, which doubled its sales. The company also maintained its outlook and says that it is on course to report a record an operating profit of $447 million for the full fiscal year.
Nintendo to highly tether online capabilities for first time
Nintendo customers owning both a a 3DS and the company's forthcoming Wii U console will be able to take advantage of a unified eShop account system. Fan site Nintendo World Report discovered the new policy in an email from a Nintendo service representative to a customer. The news sheds more light on the developing online component that will underly Nintendo hardware for this generation.
No additional 3DS models to come
The Miiverse, Nintendo's online social component for its forthcoming Wii U game console, will be free to play and connect to. Gaming site Genjitsu Game listened in on Nintendo's annual shareholder meeting, discovering the online pricing as well as Nintendo's plans regarding additional models of its 3DS handheld console. The game company also addressed concerns that it would not be able to attract third party support for the Wii U, saying that it was handling third-party interactions differently with the Wii U than it had with previous consoles.
Nintendo Circle Pad Pro coming for 3DS later this year
Following the 3DS XL unveiling last week, a number of commentators were quick to criticize the console for omitting a second analog stick. A report emanating from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu has confirmed that Nintendo will release a Circle Pad Pro for the larger console as it did for the original 3DS. Although only a handful of gaming titles support the second analog stick, its inclusion opens up the potential for more complex gaming.
Nintendo hopes to build gaming-centric network
Nintendo is stepping into the social networking pool with the Wii U, but the company will not be diving in headlong. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Nintendo revealed that the Miiverse social network on its forthcoming console will not be able to connect to other established social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Representatives for the company say the decision is actually in keeping with Nintendo's existing policies.
3DS XL gains larger screen and bigger battery
Nintendo has revealed the 3DS XL, a larger version of its existing portable console with the glasses-free 3D display. Confirming rumors from earlier this month, the handheld copies the pattern set by the DSi and DSi XL by having a larger main screen to match the similar naming convention.
Amazon UK briefly lists £200 price, July 14 launch
Amazon may have let slip two of Nintendo's most closely guarded secrets about its forthcoming Wii U console: its release date and price. A pre-order listing at Amazon.co.uk is said to have briefly listed the console for £200, with an expected shipping date of July 14, according to MCV.
Weak Wii, 3DS sales having impact on Nintendo revenues
Nintendo's tough financial fortunes appear to be continuing unabated, as the company announced today that it will be reducing summer bonuses for its employees by 20 percent. Reuters reports that flagging sales of the company's console and handheld gaming devices played a role in the bonus reduction, and Nintendo will also be reducing executive compensation accordingly.