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Why Nintendo Making Their Next Home Console is the Right Move

Based on reactions to yesterday’s news that I’ve seen lately, it’s clear that the mere fact that we know Nintendo’s next console is in development is causing a big stir. Some people seem really out of touch with how game console generations work—I’ve seen remarks stating the Wii U should last another five years. To put that in perspective, that would make the Wii U a seven-year console, which is longer than any prior Nintendo home console generation… including the Wii. And if a phenomenon like the Wii couldn’t keep the same amount of high quality software coming five or six years after its launch, the Wii U certainly wouldn’t be able to keep up.

I also feel that this conversation is really about clarity—if we think Nintendo has only just now started to work on their next console, we’re probably behind the ball entirely. According to Mark Cerny, the PlayStation 4 began development in 2007, just one year after the launch of the PlayStation 3. The Xbox One is one shining example of a shorter development cycle, reportedly beginning in 2010, which might explain why Microsoft was giving us such mixed messages.

What about Nintendo? Like Sony, they begin working on their next system almost immediately. In fact, Iwata told us the Wii started development as soon as the GameCube was launched. Given that the Wii U seemed to release within the normal range of a Nintendo console life cycle, it’s safe to assume the Wii U started soon after the Wii released. Iwata seems to imply this is always the case.

While yesterday’s news has confirmed that they are doing something, reality is that they’ve likely been working on their next home console from the moment they launched Wii U. It has nothing to do with when the system will come out, but instead with maintaining a normal development cycle. Wii U sales are currently growing, but when they get two or three years down the road, and the sales are in decline, Nintendo will be prepared to launch new hardware and reinvigorate their market.

Traditionally, they do this every five years. The NES had a five-to-six year cycle, depending which region you’re looking at. After that, the SNES, Nintendo 64, and even the GameCube, their worst-selling console until Wii U, all had five-year cycles. The only anomaly here is the Wii, which lasted from 2006 to 2012. Despite being Nintendo’s best-selling console in history, even Wii only lasted one year longer than the rest of its family.

Some say that Nintendo should worry less about their next hardware and more about game production—but that would suggest that Nintendo has slowed game production down, and that’s not true either. In their first two years, Nintendo published 33 Wii games and 31 Wii U games. Super Mario Galaxy hit a year after launch for the Wii, while Super Mario 3D World hit a year after launch for the Wii U. Smash Bros. and Mario Kart both came to Wii almost two years after launch—and the same is happening on Wii U. They are still producing just about the same volume and quality of games as they always have (you might argue the Wii’s launch lineup was superior, but Wii Sports was a really a one-of-a-kind phenomenon).

So Nintendo is doing what they have really always done. So, is it the right move for Nintendo to be working on a new home console currently? It most certainly is. Is doing so causing them to make fewer games? Evidence suggests that it’s not. Is it unusual for Nintendo to develop new hardware shortly after the current system is released? Nope.

For better or worse, Nintendo is simply being Nintendo. Their entire history suggests there is nothing for us to worry about right now. We should be more worried about the direction this future hardware will take, rather than whether or not they are making or releasing it too soon. History tells us that it’s on schedule to release in 2017 or 2018, which is precisely their typical pace.

Image Source: veraukoion

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Here’s the First Two Hours of Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is one of Xbox One’s big exclusive games this holiday season, and now we get to see what our first two hours with the game will be like. Sunset Overdrive is that game that argued it’s a complete opposite from something like The Last of Us. We can talk about that until the cows come home, but this is supposedly very much a game that knows it’s a friggin’ video game (yeah, that’s totally a censored version of the one of the game’s actual taglines).

Are you looking forward to the game? I may be giving it a try myself, especially if we get a demo first.

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Pokken Tournament is Aimed at Young Adults

Over the years Pokémon has been about appealing to practically everyone. Children, teenagers, adults… everyone really seems to enjoy the series for one reason or another. Pokken Tournament is actually doing something Pokémon typically doesn’t… it’s aiming for a young adult audience. The target audience is between the ages of 18 and 30, though they do feel elementary school children can still find some enjoyment. As of right now, Pokken Tournament is still exclusive to arcade cabinets, but naturally fans are hoping to see it on the Wii U some day.

Here is what Katsuhiro Harada had to say about it in a recent interview:

“Naturally, it’s being developed into something that elementary school children can also enjoy, but if we’re talking about age demographics, we’re aiming for something over 18 years of age to the early 30s. When it comes to Pokémon, everyone says they love it up until the fourth grade, and what’s funny is that there are kids who graduate from it after that. Well… it’s not that they ‘graduate,’ since they’re still fans, but they just don’t show [their enthusiasm], and kind of play it more behind-the-scenes.

That applies to some of the kids out there. However, for some reason, once they get into their 20s, there are more and more people who enthusiastically share their love for Pokémon. This title is being made as an ‘adult’s Pokémon’ for that generation of people who grew up with Pokémon. Those in their 20s and 30s today have spent a lot of time during their school days with Pokémon, and have some strong memories looking back at the games and anime. And for those people, Pokkén will finally allow them to experience what it’s like to freely move around their favorite Pokémon, and I expect it to be a very impressive title. Please look forward to it.”

Would you like to see this make it out of Japan?

Source: 4Gamer (via Siliconera)

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Opinion: How Nintendo Could Be Changing if Iwata is “Forcefully” Removed

I honestly don’t like writing editorials like this one because it focuses on a future that is undetermined. Yet I can’t help but wonder what the future of Nintendo will be if the rumor of a scheme to remove Iwata is true. We may never know, and if Iwata does “step down” there is actually a rather convenient public excuse right now – his health is not 100%. Even if Nintendo brass wants him gone, they aren’t going to shame the man when he does have their respect. That’s just not the way business is done in Japan.

Still, in what some may feel is an inevitable future (someday Nintendo won’t be ran by Mr. Iwata), the question remains: what will Nintendo be if these rumors are true? Nintendo management wants to make games on mobile platforms? This is the first we’ve heard of that being a real thing. They want to do more with the internet? They want to focus less on gaming consoles? This is all news to us, as we’ve only ever heard the company line – a line that is set by the one in charge. Nintendo could very well be a very different place if this is true.

We all love Nintendo for various reasons. Stock holders naturally want Nintendo to move to mobile platforms, and that’s understandable to a point. You make a quick buck, increase current profitability, and abandon money sinking platforms like the Wii U. It hurts us as fans, but it makes sense financially in the short term. That’s usually all investors really care about: the short term gains, especially post 2008.

But for us gamers, how would the world change? Given what we know about this rumor, it would seem Nintendo could embrace the mobile phone and tablet market as their next great handheld gaming machines. That they may focus less on their own hardware and possibly offer their console-like content on other, more popular platforms, such as the PlayStation 4. Less hardware, more software, and a lot less overall risk. That isn’t what is said entirely by this rumor, but it’s the feeling I keep getting every time I read it. This would be a complete 180 on what Nintendo is today and actually anger a lot of fans… while gaining some new ones on the other side. Any major change like this would make waves.

Of course, Iwata himself could alleviate some of this before we get to a point of removal by being a bit more open. Maybe Nintendo will stick to hardware as he wants with software parity on the consoles, but he could still open up the doorway to alleviate some of these desires. Things like offering old school virtual console games on the mobile market are mostly a no brainer. Why not take advantage of it? It’s not that hard to truly embrace online gaming, is it? The standards are out there; you would just have to keep moving forward to meet them. Maybe management wants to make games that feature more online use – so let them. Nintendo is always at its best when it does the things it wants to do. It seems what management wants to do may be at odds with what Iwata wants to do. All he would have to do is give in just a little, and everyone could be happy. There would be content on phones, more online gaming focused stuff, and Iwata could still push individual handheld and home console platforms with brand new content. He would just have some additional revenue streams… which seems like a no brainer.

Still, Iwata hasn’t shown any inkling of budging, and we know that just based upon his own phrasing. This could lead us to a future none of us, or very few, really want to see unless it was a last resort option to stay afloat. Nintendo isn’t in any financial crisis to warrant that move.

Of course, this is all a rumor, and the more you read it the more it sounds like investors being upset rather than upper management. Reality is that we don’t know anything about what the management feels, and they will publicly keep repeating the company line because that’s what companies do. They don’t want to look divided, even if they are. Divides have happened in the past over future hardware decisions, so it’s not unheard of. It’s just unheard of at this sort of high level position.

So, what’s next? For our sake… not a whole lot. Iwata either ends up stepping down in the next year and this rumor seems to gain credibility, or nothing happens and Nintendo continues down its current course. Nothing happening doesn’t mean it isn’t true, only that they failed to get rid of him. I have my qualms with Iwata, and I feel he isn’t a very good CEO. I have wanted him gone from that position for a long time, but I am not completely sold on the direction that it seems the rest may be selling either. Iwata may be the lesser of two evils. What do you think?

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GameStop Aims to Get Involved in Early Game Development for Exclusive Content

The last thing GameStop needs is more bad PR, but this time they are truly doing it to themselves. One model that currently exists out there is that various retailers and consoles get exclusive content. This isn’t something new and while fans have always hated it, it hasn’t shown any slow down in sales. GameStop is apparently looking to go one step further, and get involved in early development so they can offer a more substantial chunk of the game only through their outlet. This isn’t some additional hour of gameplay folks, but rather a significant chunk:

“The retailer recently sat down with investment company R.W. Baird to talk about the games industry’s present and future, and Baird analyst Colin Sebastian revealed that the brick-and-mortar chain wants to find ways to give customers more value when they preorder games. GameStop often offers special items and downloadable content when customers reserve big-name releases like Watch Dogs or Call of Duty, and that’s one of the reasons (along with its trade-in and rewards programs) that are helping it gain record market share for software sales on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In an effort to deliver more attractive exclusives in the future, the company has confirmed to GamesBeat that it is looking to get involved early in the development process of big games — something it does not do now.

[GameStop] indicated that software publishers are more enthusiastic about partnering with it,” Sebastian wrote in his note to investors. “For example, by offering exclusive content on each major game release, and longer term, future models may include GameStop offering exclusive gameplay.

This is huge news if it does happen. GameStop makes up a large chunk of packaged game sales in the United States and could easily say they won’t carry your game if you refuse them. I’ve always liked GameStop’s atmosphere and some of their bonus programs, but I hate the exclusive content stuff that is becoming an industry standard these days. Nintendo has my respect in this regard. Everyone gets the exact same game.

Source: Gamesbeat

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How Nintendo Restored Faith in E3 While Everyone Else Shat on It

E3 is a wonderful time for gaming fans across the globe. We get several new reveals, new demos, and tons of information about games we are craving more information from. It also occasionally comes with new hardware reveals, but also assuredly with tons of interviews for us to salivate over. At the same time, E3 is a time for broken promises. Reveals that never live up the finished product (Watch Dogs taught us that harsh lesson), or outright lies (Alien: Colonial Marines). For all the glamor E3 brings, it is also a world of empty promises and essentially, the master of showing off a game without actually showing off the game.

This was all true again this year… until Nintendo decided enough was enough. Before I get any further into this conversation, I wanted to point out something a fellow journalist had to say on this very topic. Jim Sterling is one of the more respected journalists out there because he doesn’t sugarcoat his opinions or buy into corporate bullshit. He calls an uncooked ham an uncooked ham, not making it out like it is the food that, in it’s current state, can save the world from hunger. His latest Jimquisition episode really dives deep into the problems E3 presents, problems Nintendo seemed to ignore existed.

A big point Jim Sterling hits on is how E3 is generally a place full of lies. Full of CGI trailer reveals, or showing off what we’re supposed to think is gameplay and setting unrealistic expectations. Meanwhile, Nintendo decided to try and win people by actually showing their games, and when they had nothing more to show (Zelda U, as an example), they sort of let it be and tried to avoid talking about it. Why overhype something before you can actually show off proper gameplay? Nintendo seems to understand this concept.

E3 is a really sickening place at times. We get overly hyped on stuff that may not ever truly come to fruition. Everyone I know right now seems to feel that Uncharted 4 snippet we saw is pretty much the closest thing to reality we have ever gotten—and yes I have to admit it looks really good. Naughty Dog’s track record for pushing great realistic visuals is on full display. The problem is—we never actually saw any gameplay. It could have easily been a cutscene, or even, dare I say it, complete CGI. We don’t know, because we never got to see any actual gameplay. There is a real chance the final game doesn’t inherently look that good—let alone consistently look that good everywhere.

Nathan Drake looks fantastic in Uncharted 4. However, do we really know if the game will look this good? No, we don’t.

I’m not trying to knock down Sony or any other company, I just feel what Nintendo did at E3 should be the shining example of what E3 should be about. Games should be shown off with gameplay, not snippets where we can only guess if it’s actually real or not. That isn’t to say there can’t be reveals of games that won’t be coming out for a year or two—but those game should get minimal screen time and be revealed at least with in-engine stuff—something we can fully believe is from the game. Then they should just stop talking about it, really, if they can’t show off the game itself. The
Zelda U reveal reminds of this greatly. I can believe what I saw on screen is from the game visually. However, they couldn’t show off gameplay, so they stopped talking about it. Is it so hard to not overhype something before you can prove it?

I have been PC gaming a lot lately and it’s made me come to a greater appreciation of Indie content. At the end of the day, Nintendo and Indie developers seem to be the only ones hyping their content with gameplay these days. Hopefully, Nintendo can see some sales success from their approach and put the industry on its heels next E3. More studios should be taking notes—Nintendo is getting it right this year.

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EA: “We Want the Wii U to Succeed”

EA has been out of the Wii U’s corner almost before the system even launched, however times have changed and there is some slightly new management in place. As such, EA’s Peter Moore wants to see the Wii U succeed, and they feel competition between Microsoft and Sony is really healthy for the industry. Here is what he had to say to GamesIndustry:

“Consumers love it as well (console wars), and it’s good for the industry. You need powerful companies like Sony and Microsoft to be battling out with each other because it drives investment in their platforms. It drives competition. You want to see Nintendo come back with the Wii U. All in all, it becomes healthy for gamers, for the environment. When you have a runaway winner, that actually has a reverse effect.” — Peter Moore

Competition is certainly healthy for any industry. Here’s hoping the Wii U turns around—with or without EA’s future support.

Source: GamesIndustry International

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Cross Buy Now Possible on 3DS and Wii U, Squids Odyssey is First

Cross Buy has been a feature many have been clamoring for ever since the Wii U launched. While it doesn’t apply to a vast majority of the Wii U and 3DS games, it can have implications for certain indie titles as well as titles on both systems through the virtual console. Either way, up until this point there was a partial assumption that it wasn’t yet possible with Nintendo’s current architecture, even though there has been some sales in the past when you bought one version of the game.

As of today, we now have our first true cross buy game, called Squids Odyssey. Currently, this cross buy has only been announced in Europe. Here is a PR email being sent out to current 3DS and Wii U owners in Europe:

Squids Odyssey (The Game Bakers) – €12.99/£9.99
Squids Odyssey is a unique mix of action strategy and RPG: build your team of Squid heroes for epic turn-based battles against corrupted crabs and shrimps! Steev and the rest of the Squids are in danger! An infectious black ooze is corrupting their world. The band of unlikely heroes need to fight back to save their kingdoms!

Special offer: If you downloaded Squids Odyssey on Nintendo 3DS, you can download Squids Odyssey from Nintendo eShop on Wii U for free! (Your Wii U and Nintendo 3DS must be linked with the same Nintendo Network ID.)

While this doesn’t confirm cross buy is now going to become a thing, it does prove a few points—namely that any game not made by Nintendo can do this (hello indies) and it is completely within their own control to offer it. The more indies that do it, the more pressure it puts on Nintendo to start offering the same thing with their games. Of course, the odd thing here is that Squids Odyssey has already been released on the Wii U in Europe, while the 3DS version is two weeks away.

What’s more so, it hasn’t been confirmed that it works the other way around—where if you already own the Wii U version you can get the 3DS version free. This may not be the case, but if it is possible one way it is certainly possible to do it the other, should the indie developers want to offer it.

Squids Odyssey is the first game on Wii U and 3DS to offer cross buy.

What we learn from all of this is that the infrastructure for it does it exist, should Nintendo or anyone else want to offer cross buy. Nintendo is naturally not making a big deal out of this yet, because this isn’t one of their games and they would have to plan to offer cross buy in the first place. It is always hard to know if cross buy will help or hurt sales long haul. Though, cross buy naturally puts the consumer first.

Just to address one more point—while there is still some work to do in making Nintendo Network ID’s more readily available (such as, being able to unlink an account over the internet versus needing that hardware right there with you), please remember if you sell a 3DS, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or any other video game device that you should always remove and unlink your accounts from the console before sale. That is, of course, unless you like others parading around as you and if you have your card info saved to that ID—spending your money on new games. It’s just good common practice, and you shouldn’t blame Nintendo for the fact you sold a Wii U, never unlinked the account, and thus can’t link it to a new Wii U.

Nintendo has some stuff to work out, but still, it is technically your fault. That being the case, remember: we now have literal proof cross buy can occur should Nintendo or anyone else want to offer it. We’ll see if this becomes the first of many or a simple aberration.

Source: NeoGAF

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Miyamoto Talks About a Unified Console and Handheld Future

One popular suggestion for Nintendo in the future is to have a unified platform—that is, a platform that you can both take with you and hook up to your television. This would allow games made for mobile and home console to exist on one platform, and give a Nintendo console essentially twice as much, if not more, yearly content. Nintendo does a great job between both platforms, and would only do better if they were together. Shigeru Miyamoto agrees, and has some ideas to add.

It should be noted Shigeru Miyamoto is more referencing the ability for a game to be played on both platforms, rather than one or the other. This means he still foresees a two platform future, but a much more unified development cycle.

Miyamoto: So, certainly if you look at the show floor, currently the games are designed for the systems they’re running on. There are games that in a way take advantage of being on a higher-spec machine that plays on a TV and there are games that are designed to play better on a portable machine. But certainly we’ve gotten to an age where the technology has advanced and it’s become more and more possible to have a similar experience running on a lower-spec system. And even within the Wii U itself we have the Virtual Console, which sort of is an exhibit of how you can have one type of play that is at a higher-spec level and another type of play at a lower-spec level as well. So certainly I think there is possibility in that area in the future.

So, this is a bit of a tangent, but five years ago I think the industry was at a point where many game developers felt that, if they weren’t creating games for the highest-spec machine, then they weren’t going to get work, that the business would go away.

But over the last five years we’ve seen that the range of devices that they develop for has expanded, so they’re able to decide if they want to create something that is very high spec type of game or something that is for a lower-spec device. So I just think it’s good to see the freedom of choice that developers now have.

What I can say is, certainly, within Nintendo the fact that our development environment for our home console is different from the development environment for our portable system is certainly an area of stress or challenge for the development teams. So as we move forward, we’re going to look at what we can do to unify the two development environments.

So, particularly with digital downloads now and the idea that you’re downloading the right to play a game, that opens up the ability to have multiple platform digital downloads where you can download on one and download on another. Certainly from a development standpoint there is some challenge to it, because if you have two devices that have different specs and you’re being told to design in a way that the game runs on both devices, then that can be challenging for the developer—but if you have a more unified development environment and you’re able to make one game that runs on both systems instead of having to make a game for each system, that’s an area of opportunity for us.

Totilo: It’s good to hear you say that, by the way. It’s not really a question, but Super Mario Bros. 3 had just been released on Virtual Console in the States on 3DS and Wii U on the same day. You had to pay for it for each download. You couldn’t get it for free [on the other platform]…

Miyamoto: Ohhh. That’s right. I’m sorry. [laughter]

Totilo: Maybe you guys can do that differently next time.

Miyamoto: I’ll think about it.

Source: Kotaku

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Nintendo: Wii U on Brink of Success, Won’t Drop GamePad or Price

Nintendo is having a rather good time since the release of Mario Kart 8. They “won” E3 by many media accounts, and they are really looking forward to seeing what the June sales figures will be for the Wii U. However, having some positive momentum doesn’t inherently mean Nintendo’s current home console can become a success. Nintendo feels they are right on the cusp of getting there, saying that it will be very hard to keep resisting a Wii U purchase heading into 2015. Scott Moffitt, from Nintendo of America’s marketing team, had the following to say:

“As I look at what we have coming this holiday, now with Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., plus the innovation of Amiibo, I think we are right at that tipping point where we have a lot of great content that is about to be released for that platform that’s going to tempt gamers into buying the system,” Moffitt said. “From the comments I’m reading online, and following gamers’ comments, I think there are a lot of people that are going to have a hard time resisting buying a Wii U once Smash Bros comes out. I think that’s going to be a major hardware driver for us. So that’s the narrative we hope that plays out and that I think we are starting to see play out.” — Scott Moffitt

Those are some very strong words. They also believe heavily in the Wii U GamePad:

“We think GamePad is the only innovation that’s come in this new generation of consoles. So we have the only real point of difference. Certainly graphics are faster, graphics are better. This is not a real innovation for gamers. We are fully committed to leveraging the GamePad, to keeping it bundled with the system.” — Scott Moffitt

A huge part of turning everything around would involve third party support. Nintendo realizes this, but they put it on themselves to entice third parties to come back:

“It’s all about driving the install base and so that’s our work to do, right? We need to get to a critical mass where it makes financial sense for them.” — Scott Moffitt

Of course, many feel that a price cut would help increase the install base, but as Reggie Fils-Aime has put it, that simply isn’t something Nintendo needs to do:

“We don’t see a need to cut price. Our value equation is quite strong for the Wii U. I say that because we just launched the “Mario Kart 8” Wii U bundle, premium price, $329. The product is selling with no issues. The biggest challenge is retailers getting it out on shelf. The challenges we’ve had with Wii U aren’t value based; the challenges are having the range of software that motivates the consumer to jump into the platform.” — Reggie Fils-Aime

It should be noted the Wii U recently became profitable from a hardware perspective, meaning they now make money on each unit sold.

Source: GameSpot, The Seattle Times

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Nintendo Developers Always Aim for Perfection

There is no such thing as a perfect video game, but the quality standard for Nintendo games always feels like a step above the rest of the industry. You never hear about a game needing a day one patch to be playable, and I can’t remember the last game breaking bug I ran into (okay, I can, the cannon room save in Twilight Princess). How are they able to maintain such a high standard of quality? Cindy Gordon, VP of Corporate Affairs, sheds some light on the topic:

Examiner: With games, my priority is great gameplay and then we can move onto graphics. The aesthetics of a game can be absolutely gorgeous, but with no heart and soul, it is just a pretty game. Nintendo has a good reputation for releasing products that are well-polished. The quality team does a great job on working toward a finished product that has few to none glitches and the Nintendo graphics are an added bonus.

Cindy: The developers will not put out the game unless it is to our perfection. They are tweaking all the way until launch. The games do not come out until they are ready so that the fans have a great experience with them. So, I definitely agree.”

Source: Examiner

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Reggie Begins to Explain Nintendo’s YouTube Affiliate Program

Nintendo is launching a YouTube Affiliate program at some point this year, but so far we know absolutely nothing about how it will function. As it turns out, we have seen some of the beginnings of the idea already, with a more fleshed out version to be coming later.

Reggie: Think of it as an affiliate program where we will be providing access to executives, information, et cetera, encouraging that group of affiliates to create content on our behalf. When we unveil our affiliate program it’ll be clear how different entities can play and likely there will be a place for the kinds of examples where you reference, like, look, ‘All I want to do is capture some of the content and put it out there,’ not add a lot of value. There’ll be a role for that.

But, candidly, what we really want is folks who are going to work with us to create some unique, compelling content, because we believe that benefits both entities. Again, you look at that Mega64 video, last time I looked, close to a million views, and that benefits them and that benefits us.

The first thing we needed to do was make sure that the content that’s out there was representative of the franchises. These are our lifeblood. These are our children. We needed to make sure that the content there was reflective of what these franchises are. The next step is working with the YouTube community to provide access to information, access to executives, to help them create world-class content, leveraging our franchises.”

Source: Kotaku

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Nintendo has Detailed Plans for Bringing in Younger Fans

It’s no secret that a big key to Nintendo’s success over the years has been introducing youth to their video games and continuing to expand the gamer population. If you think back, many in my age group (I’m 27) grew up with Nintendo consoles, but what about those experiences really drew me to their platform over others? What about children last generation, or even during the 90s? Nintendo has a plan.

GamesBeat: Certain sectors and markets are always under attack by competitors. The kids’ market seems like one of those. Free-to-play and mobile have really gone after that market. How do you hang on to this segment that’s so important?

Reggie: It’s critical for us to have kids grow into and aspire to play Nintendo content. I think about how I introduced my kids to Mario and to The Legend of Zelda. We have to find ways to do that today. We’re doing it in a variety of different ways. We had about 10 kids here yesterday, unique kids — kids who write for Time for Kids, kids who have their own YouTube channels. We had them interacting with Mr. Miyamoto and playing our games. They had a fabulous time. We think that type of activity, and having the kids themselves broadcast out what they found appealing, is critically important.

We’re doing things around our web presence. We’re going to be launching, later this year, a dedicated kids and parents portal that speaks directly to kids and introduces them to our franchises. It gives moms and dads some fun activities – how to plan a Mario-themed birthday party. Things that we know parents are interested in, but there’s not a ready resource. That kind of information doesn’t exist on Nintendo.com today. It’s a day to day job for us to create messaging and content for kids and parents to keep filling the funnel of new consumers to play our games.

Source: GamesBeat

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Reggies Explains One of Nintendo’s Key Differences from Competitors

Nintendo is certainly a one of a kind company in the video game industry, but what is it about them that makes them so unique? That’s something that can’t be easily answered in one sitting, but Reggie Fils-Aime goes on to explain one key difference maker that makes them really stand out.

Reggie: This is what makes us different from all the other publishers. We have launched Mario Kart 8 roughly a year and a half into the life of Wii U. That game is going to sell in big numbers now through the end of life. That’s a very different proposition than what many other publishers do. They annualize their content. They launch and the content is gone four months later. Because of the high quality of our software, because they really are system-selling must-have games, they sell for years and years.

We’re still selling Mario Kart DS when that product was launched in 2005. We’re still selling New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. That was launched, I think, in 2008? We sell product for years. The argument of, boy, maybe Nintendo should have waited until the installed base was higher? No. These games drive our installed base.”

Source: GamesBeat

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Nintendo Designed the GamePad Partly for Shooters

According to Shigeru Miyamoto, the GamePad’s design, especially with the gyro controls, was to create more precision with FPS and shooting type games. We may finally see some of that first hand in Splatoon, but the GamePad has shown some improvements in Call of Duty basic controls so far as well.

Mashable: I definitely noticed with Splatoon [Nintendo’s newly revealed IP] the ability to use the GamePad gyroscopically to move around. It seems like you were designing for the GamePad first.

Shigeru Miyamoto: We’ve been thinking very deeply about how to leverage the GamePad and games that we’ve designed. Maybe there are some people who criticized us and said that we struggled with how to do that but really, what we do is we think deeply about how the GamePad can be used. And so it’s not just about designing game play around the GamePad, but really it’s about designing the complete game play experience and finding the best way that the GamePad fits into that overall experience. We’ve found that we’ve been able to naturally over time come to a point where we’re able to find the best and most natural way for the GamePad to fit into the game play.

And actually, when we first developed the GamePad itself, the reason that we put the gyro controls in there was because, very specifically, we wanted it to be easy to use those types of controls for aiming in those FPS or shooter-styles of games. So that was one of the first things we implemented when we began designing Splatoon.

Source: Mashable

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Capcom is Now Available for Purchase

In a new twist, Capcom is technically available to purchase. While they have been a third party company since the beginning, stockholders voted to end their takeover defense, which has been in place since 2008. Essentially, that means their stock is available to be purchased by any big company, and should someone want, they can purchase a 51% share stake and get console exclusivity for their various IP. While that doesn’t mean someone will pay the hefty amount of money required for a takeover, it is now a very real possibility.

Anyone who chooses to invest such a large sum of money would gain some extremely prominent franchises. Capcom controls Ace Attorney, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, Street Fighter, Mega Man, and many more.

Personally, Nintendo would seem like the best fit, given they already exclusively get Ace Attorney games, the recent Monster Hunter games, and are seemingly single handily keeping Mega Man relevant thanks to Smash Bros. It would also give Nintendo more exclusive content, and thus more yearly content to help fill out their thin release schedule. This is really the one way Nintendo can get a leg up on the rest of the industry.

Then again, others wouldn’t be so willing to let Nintendo simply get a majority ownership, and Nintendo may not wish to pony up the cash to do so. Microsoft certainly has the most cash to make it happen. Time will tell who, if anyone, can lock down Capcom for exclusive content.

Source: Capcom

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News Wii U

Single-Player Mode Could be Coming to Splatoon

One of the more exciting games we got out of Nintendo during E3 2014 was Splatoon, a 4-on-4 multiplayer experience with robust online support. It is Nintendo’s take on online shooters as a brand new IP, and from the sounds of everyone on the show floor, it is a very entertaining experience. Of course, Titanfall recently released as an online only game, which was met with some push back from the gamer community. So the question is, will Splatoon also have a one player option?

GamesBeat: Is there a single-player campaign?

Reggie: We’re not showing single-player, but as I said, the developers have a lot more modes coming.

Source: GamesBeat

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3DS News Virtual Reality Wii U

Reggie Claims Nintendo is Looking into Virtual Reality

One of Nintendo’s forgotten failures is the Virtual Boy, which flopped horrendously at retail. However, that doesn’t mean Nintendo has given up on Virtual Reality. With Sony taking a crack at it and the Oculus Rift getting attention, Nintendo is deciding to relook at the viability of virtual reality.

“For us, it’s all about fun gameplay. That’s what we want. We want a fun, compelling experience. Right now, the (Virtual Reality) technology isn’t quite there yet, in our view. Certainly, it’s something we’re looking at. We look at a wide range of technologies. When it’s there and enables a fun experience, we’ll be there, too.” — Reggie FIls-Aime

Source: GameSpot

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News Videos Wii U

Tezuka: Yoshi’s Woolly World to be “pretty challenging” compared to Epic Yarn

Yoshi’s Woolly World is one Nintendo’s premier titles making its way to the Wii U next year. We’ve played a lot of the game ourselves (which you can watch above), and it certainly looks gorgeous. It takes that Epic Yarn feeling to a whole new level. That being said, apparently the final product is going to be rather challenging, at least according to a key mind behind the game.

“With Yoshi’s Woolly World, we don’t intend it to be for younger players…we were going to make it a Yoshi game. The courses beyond what we have on the show floor will get more challenging. And if you try to get all the collectibles, you’ll find it pretty challenging. It’ll push back.” — Tekashi Tezuka

This is likely welcomed news to many fans.

Source: Nintendo World Report

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