Nintendo will try to drum up interest with in-store demos
Struggling to drum up consumer interest in its faltering Wii U console, Japanese game maker Nintendo will show off forthcoming games in Best Buy stores while this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo is going on. Nintendo revealed the partnership between the game company and the electronics retailer last week, tipping some of the games that will be shown off in Best Buy stores.
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.
Wii U, Surface among other list entries
Time Magazine has awarded the iPhone 5 the title of "Gadget of the Year" for 2012. In his piece on the phone, writer Harry McCracken calls the device "one of the most artfully polished gadgets anyone's ever built," and claims it outperforms other "nifty" smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III, which isn't included in his top-ten list despite the presence of the Galaxy Note II in eighth place. "When it comes to melding hardware, software and services so tightly that the seams fade away, Apple still has no peer," McCracken argues.
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.
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.
Wii U, iPhone, non-Apple tablets among other coveted tech
The Apple iPad is far and away the most coveted product for by kids and teenagers, a new Nielsen study suggests. 48 percent of surveyed kids aged 6 to 12 would like one in the next six months, while 21 percent of those 13 and older want the device. The iPad mini is fourth place amongst the 6-12 group at 36 percent, and ninth place in the 13+ demographic, coming in at 11 percent.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quarter of manufacturing costs on components
The Wii U is rumored to cost Nintendo $180 per unit to manufacture, according to sources of Forget the Box. Component costs are expected to be $50 of that total. "Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo’s main concern with the Wii U," the sources claimed.
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 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 Wii U may become general-purpose
Nintendo might transform the Wii U into a full media hub if mentions of early discussions are accurate. AdWeek had heard this weekend that Nintendo had been in talks with "several major media companies," including music and sports providers in backroom CES chats last month. The console designer was even said considering a cable TV deal with Comcast, similar to the Xbox 360's live TV.
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.
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.
Application initially submitted in 2010
Sony has filed a patent application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a tablet-like game controller. The Position-Dependent Gaming, 3D Controller, and Handheld as a Remote in many ways conceptually resembles Nintendo's
Wii U's tablet-like game controller. Sony actually began the application process for the technology in July 2010, almost a year before Nintendo showed the system.
Specs said to change often
Nintendo has reportedly continue to make adjustments to the technical specifications for its upcoming Wii U game console. In an interview with Dutch magazine NGamer, Team Ninja's Yosuke Hayashi suggests that the hardware specs have been "changing constantly" since the game studio first began developing for the upcoming device.
No new Xbox in 2012, said Microsoft France exec
Despite rumors to the contrary, Microsoft will not release the next-generation Xbox 360 in 2012, according to Cedric Delmas, Microsoft France marketing director. In an interview translated by Eurogamer, he said nothing will be revealed for a new Xbox at this year's E3 show in June. Other claims have pointed to an E3 2013 reveal instead.
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.
Xbox 360 sequel may use Radeon HD 6670
A culmination of rumors may have given the first clearer picture of the next-generation Xbox's hardware. A tip to IGN has the system using graphics hardware roughly equivalent to AMD's Radeon HD 6670. Although strictly a mid-range graphics chip on the desktop, it would allegedly be about six times faster than the Xbox 360's 2005-era video.
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.
Nintendo Wii U may have full tablet-like apps
Nintendo's Wii U may have a full-fledged app store similar to the iPad or Android by the time it ships, according to a rumor early on Thursday. The portal as portrayed by The Daily would give non-gaming apps such as MLB.tv the option of running on the regular TV interface, but it would also allow for more tablet-like apps that run just on the gamepad's 6.2-inch touchscreen. There would be a "wider variety" of apps than what DSiWare and WiiWare offer now, the source said.
CPU said to be similar to Xbox 360 chip
Nintendo's upcoming Wii U will reportedly be powered by a quad-core processor based on Power architecture. Although the gaming company has yet to fully detail its next console, unnamed developers who are claimed to have early access to the device have told Tom's Guide the U's 45nm 3GHz processor is "very similar" to the 3.2GHz PowerPC chip used in the Xbox 360.
Sony acknowledges late launch of PS4 a problem
PlayStation Europe CEO Jim Ryan said he doesn't want to repeat being behind competitors in the launch of its next-generation gaming console. Speaking in an interview with Eurogamer, Ryan said it'd be "undesirable" for the PS4 to be "significantly later than the competition." Nintendo's Wii U should be out in 2012 while the next Xbox is expected to be introduced next year as well, with a launch possibly due in 2013.
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 will only show final Wii U at E3 2012
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata during an investor discussion regarding the $923 million half-year loss suggested that the Wii U wouldn't arrive until the end of 2012. He anticipated that the finished version of the console would show at E3 2012, a year after it was first unveiled. As Nintendo rarely ships at E3 itself, the timing points to a holiday release as more likely than mid-year.
Nintendo 3DS and Wii to get Hulu Plus streaming
Nintendo wrapped up the week with plans on Friday to add Hulu Plus to the 3DS and the Wii. Both will get the unlimited TV streaming access sometime before the end of the year. Access should cost the same $8 per month as it does elsewhere.
Sony may have control of Wii U patented tech
Nintendo might end up paying Sony patent rights for some of the technology behind the Wii U. A 2009 patent from Sony describes a combination of a console and a "portable electronic device" with a back camera and display that could interact with the image on a main TV screen. When a player would point the handheld at the TV, it would use the camera to create an augmented reality effect where gamers would use the portable device to see things that were 'invisible' on the TV screen, such as ghosts.
Nintendo Wii Family Edition to bow before Wii U
Nintendo is planning a sendoff for the Wii in at least Europe with a new model. The Wii Family Edition has a new, slightly streamlined design meant to sit on its side rather than the vertical layout the Wii has been known for. The design will lower the price to an unknown level and primarily shed support for legacy Gamecube accessories and games, although it will still have both Wii Sports and Wii Party in the box.
Nintendo faces pressure to port to iOS
Nintendo has been facing calls Thursday to drop its policy of developing only for its own systems and support the iPhone. Following a steep 3DS price cut to make up for slow early sales, Stats Investment Management fund manager Masamitsu Ohki argued that Nintendo should either "buy its way" into the iPhone's platform or else make something of its own. He along with others is believed to have seen the Pokemon wing's plans for an iPhone game, and Nintendo's refusal to follow suit, as a sign of a disconnect with the mobile strategy.
CEO calls digital content a major focus
In Friday's earnings briefing, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed the company is planning to implement paid downloads for both the 3DS and Wii U. Iwata said developers will have access to the system for the 3DS by the end of the year. He said Nintendo was interested in extending the life of some games by making new levels available, since that kind of value-added content builds a stronger relationship with its customers.