According to Famitsu, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) portable 3DS console continued to see huge success during the week ahead of Christmas. It racked up sales of 433,000 units in Japan, up from 333,000 units in the prior week. But weirdly enough, the brand new and heavily promoted Wii U home console wobbled badly as its weekly sales slipped to 122,000 units from 130,000 units in the previous week. This may have been the biggest week in Japanese console market in 2012, so the stakes were high. More →
After a month-long delay, Nintendo (NTDOY) will launch its Nintendo TVii service for the Wii U on December 20th in the U.S. and Canada. Nintendo TVii is the company’s take on organizing all of the various video streaming and DVR services a user might subscribe to and then displaying them in an easy-to-navigate touchscreen-based interface on the Wii U GamePad. With Nintendo TVii, Nintendo hopes to make content discovery an easier task, rather than a chore. At the same time, Nintendo TVii will offer new “second-screen” experiences (similar to Xbox SmartGlass) with built-in social sharing options to Facebook (FB), Twitter and the Wii U console’s Miiverse.
Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii prided itself for being a super energy-efficient console that ran nearly silent and sipped very little electricity. And although Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 was originally a loud monster with a penchant for Red-Ring-of-Death-ing itself, the amount of power it consumed was never as much as Sony’s (SNE) launch PlayStation 3, which used more power than a refrigerator. Eurogamer took it upon itself to pit the Wii U against the Xbox 360 S and new super slim PS3 and concluded that Nintendo’s new console “draws so little power in comparison to its rivals that its tiny casing still feels cool to the touch during intense gaming.” Most impressive is that the Wii U maintains its low-wattage while fitting in a chassis that’s smaller than both the Xbox 360 and PS3. More →
As we noted in our first impressions, Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U is charting new ground with its wireless GamePad and touchscreen controls that engage gamers in the living room like never before. But before you can even set up the Wii U, a mandatory firmware update is required upon power up. Gamers everywhere were frustrated to learn that the firmware update, which is pegged anywhere between 1GB and 5GB, takes hours to download and could even ”brick” new consoles if the power was cut off. In an email conversation with IGN, Nintendo’s global president and CEO Satoru Iwata said was “very sorry” that Wii U owners were experiencing network issues and that other services such as Nintendo TVii weren’t available at launch. Iwata said he believes “users should be able to use all the functions of a console video game machine as soon as they open the box.” More →
If there were ever any doubts that Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U would have a strong holiday season, consider them gone. Nintendo revealed to CNET that its new game console that launched on November 18th has sold 400,000 units in the U.S. during its first week of availability. The Wii U is the first console to kickstart the next generation of gaming consoles and is Nintendo’s first high-definition ready system. Although the console is only about as powerful as a PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, its controller is unlike any other – sporting a 6.2-inch touchscreen that’s capable of streaming games and video directly from a HDTV. More →
Nintendo’s Wii U is a capable little game console with a nifty touchscreen-equipped GamePad controller, but one thing it’s not is profitable off the bat. Traditionally, most console hardware is sold at a loss at launch because of high-cost components that provide cutting-edge graphics and processing power. To put it into perspective, it took five years for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox business to become profitable and four years for Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3 to get out of the red. Nintendo’s modus operandi has always been to make a profit on every console it sells, so it was shocking to hear the Wii U would be sold at a loss. But Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime recently sat down with MercuryNews and set the record straight, explaining that the Wii U isn’t losing much money per unit sold. More →
Google (GOOG) on Thursday announced the launch of a YouTube app for Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U gaming console. The app doesn’t let you watch videos with the GamePad, however it does allow users to search for content and also displays video details. Amazon (AMZN) earlier this week also announced the availability of its Instant Video streaming app for Wii U, giving users access to more than 140,000 movies and TV episodes to purchase or rent and more than 30,000 movies and TV episodes to stream for Prime customers. In addition to searching for content and displaying information, Amazon’s app also allows users to watch videos on the GamePad’s 6.2-inch display. The YouTube and Amazon Instant Video apps are both available immediately for free.
Nintendo (NTDOY) doesn’t follow trends. And contrary to popular belief, Nintendo is not really a game company — it’s an entertainment company. The values that run deep within the humble 123-year-old company that started out producing hanafuda cards carry on through every console and every game it makes today. It might sound silly, but Nintendo is in business to put smiles on faces of all ages; not just the Mountain Dew-drinking, Doritos-eating, pajama-wearing 30-year-old. More →
Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U launched on Sunday to much fanfare. As gamers snapped up preordered consoles and games, scalpers took to eBay and Craigslist to sell Wii Us for double their value. Even without the availability of Nintendo TVii at the console’s launch, the Wii U is off to a good start. Naturally, the iFixit team broke out the screwdrivers and went straight to cracking the unit open. What did iFixit discover? For one thing, the Wii U has flash memory chips made by Samsung (005930) and an HDMI controller made by Panasonic. More →
Unless you’ve preordered or plan to wait on line overnight, it’s going to be very tough to get a Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U on Sunday. Preorders for the console with the unique touchscreen controller and wireless streaming functionality have been sold out since September and we’re already seeing skyrocketing prices on auction sites such as eBay. Needless to say, the Wii U is all but guaranteed a successful launch. According to Gamasutra, the hardware isn’t the only thing that is selling out – GameStop (GME) is also seeing huge demand for Wii U games. GameStop says 1.2 million Wii U games have already been preordered, which is double what it saw for the original Wii. More →
The Nintendo (NTDOY) Wii U launches this Sunday and people are pumped for it. Aside from gaming, Nintendo is marketing the Wii U console and touchscreen-equipped GamePad as the ultimate TV controller. Announced in September, Nintendo called the the Wii U’s “TVii” service a “personalized TV guide that can tell you what’s available on Netflix (NFLX), Hulu Plus, Amazon (AMZN) Instant Video, live TV and video on DVR.” The free service is designed to wrangle all of your TV and video on demand content into a single easy-t0-use UI. That and the GamePad’s ability to double as a universal TV remote makes the Wii U a couch potato’s best friend. The only bad news is that Nintendo TVii and the Video on Demand services won’t be ready at launch— Nintendo says TVii will instead arrive in December. So, if you have those services and planned to ditch your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and go all-in with the Wii U, you might want to wait just a few more weeks before putting them up on Craigslist.
The Wii U doesn’t have a hard drive like the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Instead, Nintendo (NTDOY) chose to include flash storage in two capacities: 8GB and 32GB. Unfortunately, the actual amount of storage users will have access to is significantly less than what’s advertised on the box. As Kotaku explains, after formatting the internal storage, the 8GB model has 7.2GB of storage leftover and the 32GB Wii U has 29GB of storage. Then, the Wii U operating system takes another 4.2GB of storage out of that, and leaves a grand total of 3GB and 24.8GB of storage for saving games, movies, downloadable content, etc. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Wii U doesn’t have a lot of storage, especially for those picking up the 8GB basic set. More →
Nintendo (NTDOY) president Satoru Iwata has already spoiled the unboxing ceremonies, but that doesn’t mean the Wii U doesn’t still have a few mysteries left to it. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamato of the Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Metroid fame told IGN back in June that the game company was working on “experiences along [the lines of] the Xbox 360′s Achievements and PlayStation 3′s Trophies.” But according to 5th Cell co-founder Jeremiah Slaczka, developer of Scribblenauts Unlimited, the Wii U has no such system-wide accomplishments in place. Instead, it will be up to each developer to create their own Achievement-systems in their own games. More →