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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nintendo 3DS arrives at Louvre as tourist guide
As reported last year, Nintendo's 3DS has now began serving as the tourist guide at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Officially called The Audioguide Louvre - Nintendo 3DS, it's an audio guide that has visual tools to enhance the museum-going experience. An interactive map is also preloaded, also letting users know their location in the museum.
Joel McHale explains viral video to Nintendo
Nintendo has created a YouTube video (below) advertising the 3DS with comedian Joel McHale. In a staged meeting, McHale from The Soup and a Nintendo representative simultaneously discuss how to make and subsequently create a viral video using typical clichés.
Nintendo 3DS outsells Sony gear for second week
Nintendo's handheld 3DS gaming console has topped the sales charts in Japan for week of March 26 to April 1. While this is the second week its was atop the charts, the week saw nearly a 30 percent boost from that earlier week, now at 121,921 units, according to numbers reported by Media Create (viaAdrianSang). The numbers were large enough that the total of 3DS sales outnumber the combined numbers of all of Sony's consoles, including the PS3, PSP, PS Vita, and PS2.
Nintendo 3DS gets automatic 3D music videos
Nintendo on Wednesday began giving 3DS owners a promised set of 3D music videos. Anyone who has the Nintendo Video app will start automatically pulling a set of videos that take advantage of the glasses-free display, such as "The Rifle's Spiral" by The Shins. B.O.B. and Wale have videos in the app today, while Skrillex and OK Go are among those in the near-term queue.
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.
Nintendo moves 4.5m 3DS in US in first year
Nintendo on Monday touted the resiliency of the 3DS by claiming banner first-year sales in the US. It sold 4.5 million of the glasses-free 3D console in the 12 months since its arrival, or nearly twice the 2.3 million of the original DS sold in a similar span. Reaching the milestone came also with many more games sold, at nine million to five million, and pure revenue that more than doubled from $540 million to $1.2 billion.
We review Sony's flagship handheld console
Many had written off Sony from the mobile gaming arena not long into the PSP's history: high prices and a lack of major games kept it on the sidelines as the Nintendo DS took over. Apple and Google have seemingly been poised to deliver a killing blow with much better general abilities and cheaper games. The PlayStation Vita, then, is a chance at redemption. We'll gauge in our PS Vita review whether it has accomplished that goal or at least made a valiant effort.
Nintendo 3DS fastest-selling handheld console
Nintendo confirmed a milestone for both itself and the gaming would by revealing that the 3DS should now be its fastest-selling console. The system took less than a year to reach the five million-unit sales mark in its home of Japan, four weeks faster than the 56-week record set by the decade-old Gameboy Advance. The DS took 58 weeks to get to the same point.
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.
Sony targets adult gamers, mobile users with Vita
Sony on the eve of the PlayStation Vita's first US wave has kicked off a record $50 million ad campaign to recapture its place not just from Nintendo but from Apple. The most Sony has ever spent on any PlayStation launch in the US, the campaign includes both online spots as well as traditional billboards and TV spots. Where PSP ads focused on younger gamers, though, Sony's new Vita ads (below) will focus on adults, where the allure is to "never stop playing" PS3-level games while on the road and with others.
Nintendo gets Mobiclip for vide streaming
Mobiclip quietly confirmed Monday that it had been bought out by Nintendo. The new subsidiary of the console giant didn't explain details, including the value of the deal or what it would be producing with Nintendo's help. The company has been making primarily video codecs for the console universe, including Microsoft and Sony.
PS Vita on smooth track according to Sony
Sony in its results call Friday was confident that the PlayStation Vita was selling well so far. Having moved slightly more than 535,000 units in its first three weeks, according to Media Create data, company CFO Masaru Kato didn't see "any problems" with results so far. The comment came even after shipments had dipped to just over 18,000 in January and had been mostly steady since.
3DS has free Wi-Fi hotspots in 21 countries
Nintendo has inked a deal with free-hotspot.com to offer free Wi-Fi service to Nintendo 3DS owners. The arrangement will provide the hand-held game console's users with free access to over 5,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. These are dispersed within in 21 European countries.
Nintendo 3DS Pearl Pink hints US on February 10
Nintendo hoped to seize on Valentine's Day by putting out a stand-alone Pearl Pink version of the 3DS. The gaming handheld, previously available only in a bundle for Americans, will be available by itself. It had been available in Japan as early as September.
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 Network to accompany 3DS and Wii U
Nintendo's Friday briefing in the wake of its tough quarterly results has confirmed that it plans to at last go head-to-head with Microsoft and Sony in a persistent online gaming network. Just called Nintendo Network, it will let gamers download chat and play with each other without needing friend codes in addition to getting game add-ons. On the Wii U, gamers will have personal accounts, presumably letting them transport their Mii, downloads, and other preferences across systems.
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.
IDC sees 3DS and Vita surviving Apple and Google
Dedicated handheld gaming systems like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony's PlayStation Vita will trigger a "rebound year" that fends off iOS and Android, IDC estimated on Tuesday. A wave of revenue stemming both from the new hardware and from game sales attached to it was expected to last through 2012 and 2013. While Nintendo and Sony might still sell fewer units and fewer games, the frequent $30 to $40 prices of their games would trump the dependence on cheap or free titles on smartphones and tablets.
Nintendo Wii U may lure iOS devs and e-books
Quickly coming on the heels of talk of a full Wii U app store is a rumor late Monday of Nintendo actively courting iOS developers. The gaming giant was said by a developer talking to Forget the Box to be offering "assistance" porting apps for Apple's platform to the Wii U. The titles would by necessity played on the controller's 6.2-inch touchscreen.
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.
Handheld outfitted with snakeskin
Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has teased a special edition Nintendo 3DS featuring a snakeskin-texture housing. The customized gaming handheld is said to be borne of direct collaboration with Nintendo and created to celebrate the upcoming release of Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D for the platform.
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.
Nintendo opens up to DLC for the first time
Nintendo has joined [sub. req.] its competition in offering paid DLC for its 3DS gaming titles. Users now have the option of purchasing additional levels and other downloadable content for games where offered by developers. The first 3DS game set to get the treatment is Fire Emblem.
Sales picking up after early trouble
Nintendo has reportedly sold more than 4 million of its 3DS gaming handhelds in the local Japanese market, according to data collected by Famitsu. The device is also said to have reached sales of more than 510,000 units for the holiday shopping week that ended on Christmas day, setting a new record for weekly sales across the globe.
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
PS Vita has strong start in Japan
Sony had an upbeat launch for the PlayStation Vita in its home country of Japan. The 7AM launch saw thousands in line with volumes closer to that of an Apple launch, including 600 at Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo's Akihabara district and 300 at Bic Camera in the Ikebukuro district. At the official event at Shibuya Tsutaya, where Sony executives including company president Kaz Hirai were hosts, the first buyer was an unidentified 33 year old northerner.
Nintendo 3DS coming to Louvre as visitor guide
The Louvre museum in Paris just revealed that it will use Nintendo's 3DS portable game console to guide visitors through its collection of art. The 3DS will replace its audio guides starting in March, which are so far used only by four percent of its 8.5 million yearly visitors. The French museum will become the first to do so, and Nintendo will supply 5,000 of its consoles for the cause.
PS Vita Japan launch already spoken for
Sony on Thursday said that it had sold out of the PlayStation Vita in Japanese pre-orders. Not due to go on sale until Saturday, the handheld game system triggered lines that saw its initial batch spoken for. It did have a significant amount of time to sell stock, having started pre-orders on October 15.
Early 3DS adopters get free games this Friday
The promised free games for Nintendo ‘Ambassadors’ will be ready for download this Friday. Users have reported receiving SpotPass notifications informing them of the arrival. Nintendo instituted the ‘Ambassador Program’ when it decided to dramatically slash the price of the 3DS console after less than six months on the market following poor early uptake.
Nintendo 3DS gets right analog add-on in US
Nintendo on Tuesday confirmed that its Circle Pad Pro add-on for the 3DS would becoming to the US. The right analog stick and shoulder button hybrid should reach the US on February 7 as a GameStop exclusive. It will carry a relatively low price at $20, although it won't come with extras.
NPD charts huge device sales, flat cash in Nov '11
New NPD data has shown runaway gaming hardware sales in November that could signal a minor revival in the face of iOS gaming. Nintendo saw a resurgence as it moved 795,000 3DS units in the US during the month, or about double what it has in recent months. It still managed to sell 350,000 DSi systems, leading it to about 1.15 million handheld gaming systems in one month.
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.
Total Immersion teams with Intel on AR in chips
Total Immersion, which specializes in augmented reality, has teamed up with Intel to bring AR features like gesture recognition to the chipmaker's future products. Total Immersion marketing chief Antoine Brachet revealed to Reuters and others on Wednesday that products could reach consumers in as soon as three years, depending on consumer response. This would allow digital information such as text, graphics and games to be overlaid atop screens and allow users to interact with them.