The top-down Zelda games started as console releases on the NES and SNES, but as 3D graphics took precedence, the flatter rendition of Hyrule was relegated to the portable platforms. Some have been better than others (here’s to you, Minish Cap), but virtually every portable entry to the series has stayed rooted to the open-world exploration of the original game. It might not be the best game in the series, but A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS and other portable consoles is the most open, fluid and distinctive title since Wind Waker. More →
Nintendo might be taking a page from Samsung’s gadget spam approach with its holiday hardware lineup. Polygon reported on Monday that the Wii Mini console, which was previously exclusive to Canada, will be coming to the United States before the end of the month in a $99 bundle that includes a Wii Remote Plus, a nunchuk controller, a sensor bar and Mario Kart Wii. More →
Price cuts have helped Nintendo sell a lot more Wii U consoles but they haven’t helped the company’s operating bottom line. Per Engadget, Nintendo posted an operating loss of $237 million in its second-quarter earnings report despite nearly doubling the number of Wii U consoles sold from the previous quarter. In all, Nintendo sold 300,000 Wii U’s in Q2, a significant jump from the 160,000 it sold in Q1 but not nearly enough to help the company reach its goal of selling 9 million of the consoles by the end of March. In its earnings report Nintendo even went so far to say that the Wii U, which has sold just 3.9 million units so far this year, “still has a negative impact on Nintendo’s profits.”
It has already been a very busy month for Nintendo, between the incredibly positive sales figures of the Wii U and the retirement of the original Wii, but October isn’t over yet. In an interview with The Sixth Axis, “Need for Speed: Rivals” creative director Craig Sullivan said that Rivals would not be making its way to the Wii U after “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” failed to sell many copies on Nintendo’s next-generation console. More →
Nintendo’s best-selling home console to date, which moved over 100 million units, has finally been retired. Kotaku noticed on Monday that Nintendo has updated its Japanese product page for the Wii with a short phrase which translates to “production ended.” Some consoles live much longer lives than the Wii, such as the PlayStation 2 — which has been through several redesigns since its release in 2000 — but Nintendo has decided to cap off its previous generation by shutting down production of the Wii all together. Nintendo will refocus entirely on its very successful portable platforms and the year-old, flailing Wii U as a new set of challenges arise in the form of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Nintendo will do its best to build on a relatively strong September as it hopes to find its way to as many shopping lists as possible this holiday season.
Nintendo has been struggling to move the Wii U from store shelves into living rooms around the world since the day the console launched. Several huge publishers have all but abandoned the system, leaders in the game industry have discounted Nintendo’s future, and first-party games are still nowhere to be found. Nintendo had no choice but to get proactive in the wake of all that bad news, so they chopped $50 off the price tag of the Wii U Deluxe Set, and it seems to have turned things around. More →
The Windows 8 app market has struggled to gain any real traction, dwarfed by the gigantic iOS and Android app stores. But it does seem to have a secret edge over the larger app markets: a total lack of IP protection! Right now, some of the hottest new apps on Windows are called Mario Jump, Yoshijump and Pokemon Attack. And yes, they do use the popular Nintendo characters from the games we all know and love. The apps seem very odd — the Mario game seems to be combining a photorealistic sky backdrop with 1980s style platforms. Bowser Town Defense features an equally weird graphical style. More →
Nintendo’s Wii U has had a rocky start, to say the least. Sales of the new console have been hugely disappointing thus far, forcing Nintendo to slash the system’s price despite repeatedly stating that it would not. According to comments made recently by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Nintendo may currently be on a “path to irrelevance” by sticking to dedicated home and portable video game consoles while refusing to embrace mobile platforms. And if there’s anyone who knows about dominant gaming console companies becoming irrelevant, it’s Bushnell. More →
Nintendo’s newest portable gaming console may be ugly but at least it’s cheap. The Japanese gaming company announced on Wednesday that it will start selling its new Nintendo 2DS portable console on October 12th for a rock-bottom price of just $129.99. Nintendo says the console will play all Nintendo 3DS games in 2D and that it has been “designed specifically for anyone looking for a more affordable entry point into the world of Nintendo hand-held video games.” While releasing a cheaper portable console is certainly a smart move on Nintendo’s part, the fact that the new console cannot be folded and is aesthetically rather unappetizing may make it a tough sell. Nintendo’s full press release follows below. More →
Nintendo on Wednesday announced that the Deluxe edition of the Wii U will be getting a price drop of $50 to a new MSRP of $299.99 beginning September 20th. The Verge notes that only about 3.45 million units have made it off of store shelves since the console launched late last year, according to Nintendo’s estimates. In the months since the console debuted, it has yet to turn a profit for Nintendo, but the company adamantly stated on more than one occasion that the Wii U would remain at its $349.99 price for the foreseeable future. Clearly the lack of third-party support and the continual decreasing sales have put pressure on Nintendo to change its mind, especially with the upcoming launches of the highly anticipated Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Nintendo faced a similar dilemma (although on a slightly smaller scale) after the 3DS was met with tepid sales when it first launched. A price decrease and a welcome redesign managed to restart the life of the portable system — now Nintendo hopes to do the same with the Wii U. Nintendo’s full press release follows below. More →
The long-term challenge that mobile apps present Nintendo keeps getting more formidable. The new joint study from IDC and App Annie shows how consumer spending on games for iOS and Android continues to soar above spending on portable console games. In Q2 2013, revenue from iOS games was more than double the revenue generated by 3DS and Sony Vita games. Google Play games alone also generated more revenue than the entire portable console industry. More →
It’s safe to say that Nintendo has made some mistakes with the Wii U over the last year. GamesIndustry reports that Nintendo is still selling its newest console at a loss nearly nine months after its launch. The company said last year that it would be selling the Wii U at a loss only initially and that increased manufacturing efficiencies and lower component prices would shortly make the console profitable. That Nintendo still hasn’t managed to turn any profit from Wii U sales is especially discouraging because the console’s sales have been disastrously low so far this year and they have little hope of getting better now that Sony and Microsoft are both gearing up to launch their own next-generation consoles by the end of the year.