Nintendo has just announced that the Nintendo Wii retail price will drop to $149.99 beginning May 15th, and it will include a free copy of Mario Kart and the Wii Wheel accessory as well. This bundle replaces the bundled Wii Sports game that used to come with the system, and we have to admit, this is an amazing deal and a great way to help revitalize sales of the Wii system and games. Nintendo also lets us know that it is into color coordination, because the steering wheel and the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers match the color console you purchase — white or black. Not bad, Nintendo, not bad. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Terry Gou’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. is said to have landed an exclusive contract to build Nintendo’s next-generation video game console. According to a report on Wednesday from Taiwan Economic News, Hon Hai could begin shipping the Wii 2 to Nintendo as soon as this coming October. Nintendo’s Wii console had consistently been a best seller for the gaming giant, but interest has finally begun to dwindle as competitive offerings pick up steam despite their age. Nintendo’s Wii 2 is said to be a direct attack the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and it will supposedly feature AMD’s new Radeon R700 GPU for outstanding graphics performance and HD video capabilities. With a rumored retail price between $350 and $450, the console may also be much more expensive than Nintendo’s current Wii console. A Wii 2 that lines up with these rumors would be an interesting move for Nintendo, which has found tremendous success with an inexpensive console aimed at more casual gamers compared to its competitors. More →
Speaking during an investor briefing on Tuesday, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata said that sales of his firms new 3DS portable gaming system failed to meet expectations. “Sales of the 3DS have been weaker than expected since the second week of launch in the US and Europe,” Iwata said while discussing the device’s launches in Europe, the United States, and in Japan. Nintendo had expected to sell 4 million units last quarter, but sales fell short at 3.61 million units. Iwata said that he hopes sales will increase as much as 40% during the next year, AFP reported. We reviewed the 3DS earlier this month and argue that the gaming system doesn’t offer enough features to justify its $250 price point. More →
Nintendo’s next generation Wii console — currently codenamed “Project Cafe” — could land later this year, and it may sport a new controller with a touchscreen display. A user in the NeoGaf forums has posted several images that provide additional details on Nintendo’s rumored system. According to the photos, “Screen Stream takes the 1080p image and pushes each rendered quarter to the player’s personal TV screen,” which is on the controller itself. So if you’re partaking in a four-player game, for example, you’ll be able to view your slice of the HDTV screen directly on your controller. Similarly, we imagine instances where a gamer could manage his or her character’s traits or abilities directly from the controller itself, without having to pause the game for everyone to access game menu options. IGN says the Nintendo Wii 2 will likely cost between $350 and $400, will offer 1080p output with possible support for stereoscopic 3D, and will run a newer version of AMD’s R700 GPU. Hit the jump for more images. More →
According to Kotaku, neither Microsoft nor Sony will launch new gaming consoles before 2014. “Both [Microsoft] and Sony are telegraphing to each other that they’re delaying, to milk the current [generation] and fill in previous craters better,” one source told Kotaku. By contrast, Nintendo’s next generation gaming console is expected to land sometime next year. Microsoft and Sony may decide to build onto the current systems, however; for example, Microsoft may release a “Kinect-upgraded” Xbox 360 in 2013. “Sony definitely isn’t launching a successor before 2014 and could stand to benefit by having Microsoft launch first as PS3 builds in North America and builds a strong position in Europe,” said Billy Pidgeon, an analyst with M2 Research. Microsoft has gone on the record saying that it will offer support for the Xbox 360 through 2015, but we’re curious how it will hold consumer interest in a system that made its debut in 2005. More →
Sony has kept its PlayStation 3 sales figures close to the vest, but on Friday the company officially announced shipment figures for its popular PlayStation 3 gaming console. Sony said that, as of March 29th, 2011, it has shipped 50 million PlayStation 3 consoles globally. Sony’s PlayStation Network, which allows users to download games, watch movies, and more, now has more than 75 million registered users in 59 countries around the globe. Sony also noted that it has shipped 8 million of its PlayStation Move motion controllers since the September 2010 launch. As of February, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console remained the most popular gaming console in the United States – that’s no surprise given that it’s available at multiple price points, most of which are below that of the PS3. Hit the jump for Sony’s official announcement. More →
Analytics company Flurry has published an interesting study involving Android, iOS, and the U.S. video game market. Following up on a report from 2009, the company notes that the two mobile operating systems accounted for 8% of all U.S. video game sales in 2010 when calculated by revenue. What’s even more interesting is where both Android and iOS are taking their share from: portable gaming players. Console software revenues grew by 5% from 2009 to 2010 — 71% to 75% respectively — with portable gaming systems (e.g. Sony PSP, Nintendo DS) revenue falling nearly 8% in during the same period. Combined, Android and iOS accounted for 34% of all U.S. portable gaming software revenues — behind the Nintendo DS with 57% and ahead of Sony’s PSP with just 9%. Portable game software was a $2.4 billion business in 2010, with overall U.S. video game software revenues hovering around $10.7 billion. “Over 2011, we expect to see continued and significant smart-device game growth fueled by the recent launch of iPad 2, iPhone coming into distribution on Verizon, the expected release of iPhone 5, a relentless expansion of Android devices by leading OEMs across all major U.S. carriers, and Google’s enablement of in-app purchase billing, a proven key driver in iOS game revenue,” reads Flurry’s report. Smartphones and tablets may not be immersive enough for the most hardcore mobile gamers, but they seem to be more than adequate for most. More →
Nintendo may drop the price of its Nintendo Wii game console from $200 to $150 on May 15th, Engadget is reporting. The new price will likely help Nintendo compete better against Microsoft and its Xbox 360 4GB console —which currently retails for $199.99. According to recent figures from NPD Group, Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii consoles during the month of February, far behind Microsoft’s 535,000 Xbox 360 sales figure. Similarly, Nintendo reported weaker hardware sales in its Q3 earnings report, so the move could help it reignite consumer interest. More →
The 3DS, Nintendo’s latest portable gaming platform and the first with a 3D display, made its U.S. debut on March 27th. Nintendo moved 400,000 units on launch day in Japan, and Amazon U.K. said the device broke console pre-order records as well. So, being the subway riding gamer that I am, I knew I had to find out what all this hype was about. I took it for a spin over the last week, staying up late trying to beat games and carrying it in my backpack to rock on the subway. And now, after a week of 3D gaming, it’s time to drop the hammer and see if the 3DS really is worthy of all that hype.
If Amazon U.K.’s pre-orders are any indication of what’s to come, the Nintendo 3DS could be as big of a hit as it was in Japan when it launched in February of 2010. On its Twitter account Thursday, Amazon UK said that the Nintendo DS has become the most pre-ordered console ever. U.K. residents interested in buying the device can purchase it for £187 ($381 USD). The Nintendo 3DS will launch in the United States on March 27th for $249.99. As its name suggests, the 3DS offers a 3D display, and games are backward-compatible with previous Nintendo DS and DSi titles. More →
It’s not exactly a mystery that Microsoft’s upcoming Kinect sensor is highly anticipated — Kinect is expected to be the hottest gaming accessory to launch ahead of the holidays this year. Interested gamers (and friends or relatives of interested gamers) might want to scoop one up as early as possible because demand is already quite high. Business Insider reports that pre-orders for the Microsoft Kinect standalone sensor are already sold out at both Best Buy and Amazon.com. Console bundles are still available at both locations, but that won’t help the millions of gamers out there who already own Xbox 360 consoles. Playing the waiting game until Kinect becomes available at brick and mortar stores is always a gamble, so those looking to be prepared should head over to the GameStop website or Walmart’s website where pre-orders for the Kinect sensor are still available… for now. More →
Who doesn’t remember the 9-9-99 launch date? What about the VMU controller accessory which never took off? Sega’s Dreamcast console was the first to enable Internet connectivity through what was called SegaNet, and it was pretty mind blowing to play a multiplayer game with a friend in a completely different location over the internet (via a 56k dial-up line nonetheless). A couple of the launch titles were Sonic Adventure, Hydro Thunder, and Soul Caliber. As far as specifications went, the Dreamcast featured a 200MHz CPU, a PowerVR2 graphic chipset, 16MB of RAM, and was capable of outputting video at 480p. Unfortunately, Dreamcast was short lived and was Sega’s last foray into the home console business. It launched in September of 1999 for $199.99 and was discontinued in March of 2001 in the U.S. Following the end of Sega’s home console production, Sega has gone on to license and develop new and existing game titles for other platforms including their previous competitors.
BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
In a short but sweet press release, Nintendo announced that sales of its Wii gaming console have topped 30 million units in the United States. The feat took only 45 months to accomplish which Nintendo claims makes it the fastest selling console ever. USA Today writes, “More than 73 million Wiis have been scooped up worldwide, which puts the console on pace to becoming the best-selling video game device ever. That title is held by Sony’s PlayStation 2, which has notched about 140 million in sales.” Not bad Nintendo, not bad at all. More →