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.
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.
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.
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.
PS3, Xbox 360 following in near future
Netflix has begun wider deployment of the multi-user profiles that started hitting the Apple TV earlier this week. On top of the Apple TV, the feature is now rolling out to iPhone, iPod, and iPad users "over the next few days," according to Netflix. In the near future, the company is also planning to bring profiles to the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and newer-model connected TVs and Blu-ray players. Android and Wii users are only expected to get the option "soon."
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nintendo pinning hopes on tablet shape over speed
Wii U console may be less powerful than its predecessor. Citing developers, GamesIndustry.biz reports that, although the tablet-like gaming device may support full HD imaging, its graphics processing power may be less than that of the current generation of gaming devices. This could prove a disappointment to avid gamers when the system is released later this year.
Epic Mickey 2 gets remote add-ons just for Wii
Epic Mickey 2 developer Junction Point and its hardware accessory partner PDP have shown a pair of special Wii Nunchuk add-ons being built just for the game. The lead, an updated version of the Paintbrush Chuk, resembles Mickey's magic paintbrush and now has a glowing blue tip. A completely new entry, however, is based around newly introduced second character Oswald's remote and has both a glowing pink remote as well as a unique red analog stick.
Nielsen shows Apple infiltrating gaming
New Nielsen data has shown that cross-platform gaming is seeing heavy inroads, including from Apple. About 24 percent of US homes used at least two gaming platforms, but diversity was especially high among those who had a traditional handheld. In homes where a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP was was used by a child under 12, 66 percent also had some kind of iOS device.
NPD sees big rebound in February
Results posted late Thursday by the NPD Group chalked up a significantly improved February for gaming following a bleak January. Console hardware sales were up 87 percent over what they were in January, to $381.4 million, helped not just by 426,000 Xbox 360 sales but also by the PlayStation Vita. Sony had just four days of hardware sales that weren't directly quantified, but they were enough that the increase would have been a more modest if still healthy 62 percent.
Epic Games pushes for faster PS4 and next Xbox
Epic Games is concerned that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony might let Apple take over in gaming by being too conservative with their hardware, the developer's VP Mark Rein said in a discussion this week at the Game Developer Conference. The Bulletstorm and Gears of War creator told CVG his company was "constantly pushing" hardware designers to make high-end systems to give a clear incentive to pick their systems over what Apple makes. Rein liked Apple, but he didn't want TV gaming to disappear by eroding the gap in experiences.
Nintendo defends third straight patent lawsuit
Nintendo has fought off a patent lawsuit relating to its Wii Balance Board and software in Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus games. A Maryland US District Court judge summarily dismissed the case, which was brought on by IA Labs. In a statement after the ruling, the video game maker went as far as describing IA Labs as a "patent troll," or a company that has no meaningful products and exists solely based on lawsuits and royalties.
Next-generation Xbox to carry Durango codename
Microsoft is internally referring to the third-generation Xbox console as Durango, Kotaku claimed to have learned from multiple sources near the project. If true, this means any future news and rumors will center around this name, though the finalized name on the console and packaging will differ and isn't yet known. Durango is the name of one of Mexico's 31 states, which follows the theme started by Natal, Microsoft's codename for Kinect and a city in Brazil.
Nintendo now offers Hulu Plus on Wii console
Nintendo has made available the Hulu Plus app for US owners of its Wii home gaming console, as expected, though delayed. While the monthly fee to the subscription-based streaming TV show service will be $8 per month, new users will get a free, two-week trial. The service offers over 16,000 episodes from 400 current and classic TV shows from ABC, Comedy Central, Fox, NBC, MTV, and others.
Xbox 360 sales drop year to year but still ahead
New NPD data has once again given the Xbox 360 the lead in console sales in the US during January, but in grim conditions. At 270,000 systems in the month, it had enough to outpace the Nintendo Wii and Sony PS3, whose sales researchers were keeping secret. However, its performance was noticeably worse than a year ago, where it had moved 381,000 systems.
Wii U may launch under a different name: source
Nintendo is reportedly considering changing the name of its upcoming game console, the Wii U. The reason for this internal mulling, CVG heard, is supposedly due to the confusion with the 3D and 3DS, which Nintendo found to be too similar in the public eye. It supposedly fears the same would happen with the Wii U and its existing Wii.
Nintendo to report first annual loss in late March
Nintendo’s quarterly earnings report out today (pdf) shows that company’s fourth quarter profit, normally a strong suit, collapsed by 61 percent compared to the same period in 2010. The company is now well on track to report a larger than expected annual loss, marking the first time it will have been in the red. Part of the gaming giant’s fortunes will rest on its Wii sequel, the Wii U, which Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said will reach the US and other key markets for the crucial holiday season 2012.
PS Vita sales continue to drop
New Media Create data has made clear that the PlayStation Vita isn't yet threatening most other consoles or smartphones. After a blockbuster launch in December, it has tapered off for a second time in a month to just 18,361 systems as of January 15. Every console's sales dropped off sharply in the same period, but it still sat behind Sony's seven-year-old PSP, the PS3, and Nintendo's 3DS.
Netflix expands to Britain
Netflix confirmed its long-in-the-making plans to expand to Ireland and the UK on Monday. The service works much like its American equivalent but has some accommodation for the local market, such as The Only Way is Essex. Going to the area also brings the full Facebook integration that's currently off-limits to Americans.
Nintendo more than recovers from early 3DS slump
Nintendo returned from holiday with word that it had shipped more than four million 3DS systems in the US. The milestone, which it reached in nine months, was enough to outsell the Wii over its own intro period. Nintendo had already passed four million in Japan just days earlier.
PS Vita sells just 72K units in first full week
Sales of Sony's recently launched PS Vita handheld games console have cooled significantly, the latest numbers from Japanese site 4Gamer.net reveal. The first full week of the console's being on the market saw just 72,479 Vitas find homes, a marked decrease from the 321,400 units sold in its first two days on the market. This puts the system in fifth place after the 3DS, the Vita's predecessor the PSP, Nintendo's Wii, and Sony's PS3, respectively.
NPD tracks smartphone and digital gaming at last
The NPD Group in a rare step began tracking some of the contributions of non-traditional gaming to the industry for the first time. It estimated that about $1.64 billion came from "other content," which includes mobile games as well as direct downloads and social network games, generated $1.64 billion in revenue. The growth made it larger than the traditional software side of the business, which dropped to $1.3 billion
LG Magic Motion Remote to power its 2012 TVs
LG gave a teaser for its CES plans Monday with plans for a brand new remote. The Magic Motion Remote Control will center on a Wii-like gesture system for navigation, such as by drawing the letter "V" to watch videos. Voice commands will be present, although they should be simple and focus on basic channel changes and tasks.
Apple TV may go beyond voice with DVR link, motion
New leaks from within Apple's media talks have hinted that the long-rumored Apple TV set may go beyond just voice commands. The sources for the Wall Street Journal had the set responding also to "movements," hinting at a motion system like Microsoft's Kinect or the Nintendo Wii remote. Development has also supposedly been underway for uniting DVR storage with iCloud, hinting that a user might stop watching a regular broadcast TV show on the set itself and then pick it up later on an iPhone or a computer.
Nielsen shows game console usage numbers, bumps
Streaming and video-on-demand on game consoles has seen a sharp increase over the past year, media researcher Nielsen revealed after performing a study in October. Users now spend 14 percent of their time on the Xbox 360, 15 percent on the PS3, and 33 percent on the Wii watching videos from services such as Netflix, Hulu, MLB Network, and ESPN3.
Shigeru Miyamoto not stepping down: Nintendo
Nintendo is vehemently denying reports that its main game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto, is stepping down to a lesser role at the company, said a Thursday report. Miyamoto is responsible for popular franchises like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, and his stepping down would not be good news for the company. In an interview with Wired, Miyamoto said he will retire from his current position and work on something small by himself.
Xbox 360 has best week ever, nears 1m in one week
Microsoft on Tuesday marked its best week ever for gaming. The company sold over 960,000 Xbox 360 consoles during Black Friday week, getting its best one-week Xbox hardware sales ever even with a holiday. Over 800,000 of those were sold just on Black Friday itself, and it was one of the top sellers at Best Buy.
Nintendo Wii surged from peak to valley
Yet another game console had an anniversary in the past week as the Nintendo Wii turned five years old on Sunday, just as its creator launched a long-delayed game, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The company's most successful console by sales launched November 19, 2006 and was an immediate return to form for Nintendo. Most of its first few years were spent in near perpetual shortages, even lasting into early 2010, and led to a total of 88.3 million shipping as of October.
Nintendo Wii blue ready for Walmart
Walmart's flyer for its Black Friday sale [Flash needed] has revealed that it will have an extremely rare blue edition of the Nintendo Wii. The Limited Edition Blue Console bundle has what looks to be the cheaper Wii, minus GameCube support, in the same light blue as Nintendo had previously been using just for an add-on remote. Accordingly, the remote is color-matched to the console; the included Nunchuk controller hasn't been shown, but likely matches as well.
Nielsen shows kids, teens want iPad for Christmas
Apple virtually controls what kids want for Christmas this holiday, Nielsen found on Thursday. Among US children aged six to 12, 44 percent wanted an iPad. The company also swept the top three, with the iPod touch at 30 percent and the usually unobtainable iPhone at 27 percent.
PS3 hits 5th anniversary Nov 17 in better spot
Sony on Thursday will mark the fifth anniversary of the PlayStation 3. The system was launched on November 17, 2006, within days of the Nintendo Wii. As of the end of this September, Sony had shipped 55.5 million of the console and will likely have passed 56 million by the anniversary.
Xbox hits 10 years old and gets bonuses
Microsoft kicked off the tenth anniversary of the Xbox with a celebration page and bonuses. Everyone gets access to a free avatar prop for Xbox Live that provides a gift box that opens to reveal fireworks. Some downloadable games will also be on sale as part of the anniversary.
Convergence Bridge mixes remote, keyboard, pad
Convergence Technologies is hoping to build a universal remote intended for networked media hubs, not just traditional home theater hardware. The Bridge uses a gamepad-like shape that holds both a joystick to replace the mouse, a full QWERTY keyboard, and buttons for common remote control tasks. The device talks over IR and RF (using RF4CE) and should support Apple TV, the Boxee Box, Google TV, and Roku players, as well as most Macs, Linux, and Windows PCs.
NPD says 3DS at 1.65m sold, Xbox 360 at 393K
New NPD data for October on Friday showed Nintendo recovering some of its pace in mobile but still in a struggle with Apple and Microsoft. The 3DS had reached 1.65 million systems shipped to the US since it reached the country in March and was on track to break the original DS' first-year sales record. With 720,000 units left to go by March 2012, the company expected a rush of holiday sales and the winter to tip the balance.
Nintendo Wii U may get two controllers after all
Nintendo's Wii U might get a much-requested support for two of its signature tablet controllers. A developer executive claimed to Develop that there were clues in the code that it was being readied to support the special, very high speed wireless controllers. The console designer looked like it was "on the cusp" of solving the problems that had led it to at first limit the Wii U to one of the special gamepads.
Nintendo Wii cleared in initial ITC ruling
The US International Trade Commission gave Nintendo a respite late Wednesday after it defeated a patent violation claim by Motiva. An administrative law judge determined that the Wii didn't violate two of Motiva's patents for tracking movement through a controller. As with all ITC cases, the ruling is preliminary and will be reviewed by a Commission panel in March to decide if any of the verdict needs to be overturned.
Nintendo to post first annual loss in 30 years
Nintendo has posted a huge loss for the first six months of the fiscal year and expects the first annual loss in more than 30 years. While better than feared, the video game maker netted a loss of ¥70.27 billion ($923 million) in the six-month period ending on September 30, which compares to a loss of ¥2.01 billion yen just a year earlier. This is due to a mixture of factors, including slowing sales of the Wii, a weak global economy, and a comparatively strong yen that is bad for export profits.
Youth conditioned to see iPads, iPhones as cool
Apple holds the most popular brands among American youth, at least in terms of electronics, a new Harris Interactive study claims. The market research firm polled people aged eight to 24 to gauge brand equity, as judged by factors including familiarity, quality and interest in buying. Within the categories Apple succeeded in, however, the age span was narrowed to 13 to 24.