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.
Nintendo shows off final design at E3 2012
Nintendo's Wii U introduction did not come as much of a surprise—prototypes were on-hand at E3 last year—however Electronista took the opportunity at E3 2012 to try out the final design that will be stocked on store shelves later this year. The hardware has changed little since the first prototype was revealed, aside from new joysticks and dedicated buttons for TV remote functionality.
Promo video shows video chat, apparent cross-platform integration
Having unveiled the online strategy for its forthcoming Wii U console yesterday, Nintendo has released a promotional video (seen below) showing off the console's networking features in action. The video touts a number of the console's capabilities, including a video chat function, a message board system for individual games, and an apparent integration with smartphones through what appears to be a Twitter-like service.
Rumored Nintendo 3DS XL may get a 4.3-inch 3D screen, E3 unveiling
Nintendo may upsize its current 3DS portable gaming console, according to reports from Japan that were picked up by SlashGear. If true, the device will likely be called the 3DS XL, following Nintendo's naming convention with the DSi and DSi XL. The 3DS XL is said to get a 4.3-inch display up top rather than the current model's 3.53-inch screen.
Gamepad integrates NFC, infrared transmitter
Nintendo has unveiled the final version of its Wii U Gamepad, along with an Xbox-style "Pro Controller" that will serve as an alternative to the display-equipped handheld. The production Gamepad does not bring many surprises, as its overall aesthetics and features mostly match existing promises, though the Pro Controller introduction confirms that the company has worked to accomodate traditional console gaming.
More standard controller aimed at core gamers
Nintendo is letting details on its forthcoming Wii U console trickle out in the days leading up to the Electronic Entertainment Expo; and now the company has revealed a revamped online strategy for the Wii U. The forthcoming game console will offer a range of connected features, centering around the "Miiverse" social and content network.
Nintendo may have improved tablet controller's ergonomics
Nintendo may have slightly redesigned the tablet-like controller for its forthcoming Wii U console. A photo of a more ergonomically-designed controller appeared briefly on the Twitter feed of a developer, before vanishing shortly thereafter. The Wii U is expected to be showcased in full at this year's E3 being held early next month in Los Angeles, and likely will be released either over the summer or in the fall.
Nintendo DS works with Toyota in-car navigation for control, more
At a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, Toyota showed off its upcoming Estima Hybrid minivan. At the same time, equipping the van with an aftermarket Smart Navi NSZT-W62G GPS head unit will let a Nintendo DS control the GPS system of the car, 4gamer reported. The DS needs to have a Kuruma de DS (meaning Use DS in the car) cartridge inserted, which allows the portable games console to communicate with the head unit over Bluetooth.
Nintendo will no longer sell Aqua Blue 3DS
The 3D TV clip service for the 3DS console Nintendo launched last June in Japan will be discontinued on June 20, making its run just under a year. Called Itsu no Ma ni Terebi, it translates to SpotPass TV, and features short, two-minute 3D clips from eight shows. The service was brought out in collaboration with Fuji TV. Nintendo will continue to offer 3D videos intermittently through its Nintendo Video Channel.
DSi XL to cost $130, DSi just $100 as of May 20
Nintendo on Thursday revealed that it will lower the purchase prices of its DSi XL and DSi handheld consoles on May 20. The price of the DSi XL will drop by $40 to $130, while the DSi will see a bigger, $50 reduction to just $100. Between the two systems, Nintendo offers over 2,000 downloadable or retail games.
Blockbuster UK leaks 25 Wii U launch titles
Amid the rumors and speculation surrounding Nintendo's forthcoming Wii U console, leaked screens from Blockbuster UK purport to show the 25 games likely to accompany the Wii U when the system launches later this year. The supposed lineup shows a range of offerings, from party games, to fitness titles and big franchises appearing for the first time on a Nintendo system.
Zelda creator behing latest Nintendo patent
A newly discovered USPTO patent from Nintendo reveals the video game hardware and software maker may be working on a new tourist-guiding system. Thought up by Shigeru Miyamoto of Legend of Zelda fame, the patent talks about tracking users carrying a portable game console, a DS Lite in this case, by way of overhead infrared transmitters. The console would then communicate with a server that would light up signs built into the building to guide the user.
Nintendo now up to five 3DS colors
Nintendo started off the week by adding a fifth color to the 3DS. It now comes in a Midnight Purple along with the existing black, blue, pink, and red. The color doesn't have a special bundle attached.
Lenovo investment Eedoo makes costly motion gaming
A recent Lenovo investment, Eedoo, is drawing criticism for the upcoming launch of China's first mainstream motion gaming system, the CT510. Pitched as a family entertainment system, the system is conspicuously like Microsoft's Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360 but is intended more as a general device with HD movie playback, karaoke, and motion-driven exercise apps. At $600, however, it costs more than the $399 US price of Microsoft's most advanced Xbox 360 and Kinect bundle.
Rayman Legends trailer shows Wii-U touch controls
A trailer for Rayman Legends has leaked online, showing what appears to be touch controls and NFC capabilities of the Wii U. The trailer has since been said by Ubisoft to not be a representation of the final game, nor the Nintendo console.
No direct selling to end-users yet
In an approach that appears to be a stepping stone to further digital selling, Nintendo has announced that it will begin offering digital copies of selected titles for the Wii U and 3DS systems through retail channels. The approach will allow buyers to visit actual game shops or the online sites for those shops and make purchases, and can choose to have either physical copies or digital downloads delivered to their console's SD card through a 16-digit download code.
Hopes to bring it back to profitability this year
With its latest financial report (PDF), Nintendo has admitted that it is selling its 3DS portable gaming console at a financial loss. This is only since it dropped its price in late July to boost sales, from the original $250 to just $170. The gaming giant did go on to say it plans to stop selling it below cost by the middle of the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2013.
Nintendo struggles with gaming-first hardware
Nintendo has posted (pdf) its first annual loss turning in a result around $458 million into the red. The downturn has been blamed on the rise of mobile gaming on smartphones, and a lackluster holiday quarter where its aging Wii console and dramatic price reduction on the 3DS blew a hole in its finances. The said that it hopes to turn its fortunes around in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013 by launching its next-gen Wii U console and by starting to sell its 3DS for a profit, where it is currently selling it at a loss.
Nintendo 3DS gets UI firmware update
Nintendo chose an unusual Saturday window to update the 3DS in addition to introducing New Super Mario Bros. 2. New firmware will let users organize folders as well as more easily slip in game expansions and patches. More features were expected as part of an ongoing Japanese event.
Patent awarded to Nintendo for gameboy emulation
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently awarded Nintendo patent number 8,157,654 for emulating older handheld consoles. Specifically, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and Gameboy Advance handhelds are targeted for emulation on external "low capability" computing devices such as airline seat-back displays. It's not immediately apparent what Nintendo plans on doing now that the patent has been awarded.
NPD data shows Xbox 360 out front again
New NPD data published late Thursday gave the Xbox 360 not just a sustained lead in March but a rare milestone in hardware overall. At 371,000 units, Microsoft's console stayed in the lead for overall sales for the 15th consecutive month. The $430 million spent on the hardware and its games, however, was also larger than the combination of money spent supporting the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3.