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Nintendo Project Cafe

Time to start your wrist exercises: IGN has gotten its hands on new details about Nintendo's upcoming Wii 2 console, codenamed "Project Café," and the system's specs look pretty beefy on paper. But we should preface this all by saying that Wii 2 is just a nickname for Nintendo's Wii successor. According to IGN, Nintendo is floating around alternate names for the platform, including "Stream." This morning Nintendo confirmed that they'd be showing the console at E3 this June:

Nintendo Co., Ltd. has decided to launch in 2012 a system to succeed Wii, which the company has sold 86.01 million units on a consolidated shipment basis between its launch in 2006 and the end of March 2011.
 
We will show a playable model of the new system and announce more specifications at the E3 Expo, which will be held June 7-9, 2011, in Los Angeles.
 
Sales of this new system have not been included in the financial forecasts announced today for the fiscal term ending March 2012.

That name is itself interesting, as the Wii successor will finally have the power to be able to output high-definition video–1080p content–but it's still not expected to have a physical way to read HD content like Blu-ray discs.

The 1080p compatibility will be partially thanks to the custom-built tri-core IBM PowerPC chipset that'll serve as the Wii 2's brains. It's going to be the same kind of setup that you'll find on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. Only, Nintendo will allegedly up the clock speeds to beat out the three 64-bit, 3.2-Ghz cores of Microsoft's competing device, among other enhancements.

Click to continue reading Nintendo confirms Wii successor to be shown at E3 in June

Gallery: Nintendo confirms Wii successor to be shown at E3 in June


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Wii price drop

To help push dusty Nintendo Wii's off the shelves, Nintendo is reportedly dropping the price of its console to $149, down from $199.

Citing an unnamed source, Engadget reported on Monday that the new price will take effect on May 15.

A spokesman for Nintendo said, "Nintendo does not comment on speculation or rumor." Engadget pointed to a March interview between Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime and Gamasutra, in which Fils-Aime discussed re-pricing the console.

"The Wii has a long life in front of it," Fils-Aime said. "We're still sitting at $199. There are a variety of marketing tools at our disposal."

Click to continue reading Nintendo set to drop Wii to $149 next month?

Gallery: Nintendo set to drop Wii to $149 next month?


Nintendo 3DS teardown

The peeps over at iFixIt decided to import a Nintendo 3DS from Japan in order to give us a look at what it looks like on the inside, well in advance of the March 27th US launch date. Head on over to get a look inside of Nintendo's most ambitious handheld device to date.

Read More | iFixIt

Gallery: Nintendo 3DS gets torn apart


Mario Tail Logo
(Image courtesy of Destructoid.com)

According to the information from the Iwata keynote today at GDC 2011, there's a new Mario title on the way from the Galaxy team for the Nintendo 3DS. The placeholder logo has a tail attached, as pointed out by Iwata, claiming more will be revealed at E3 this year. According to him, the 3DS technology allowed Shigeru Miyamoto to address a fundamental problem with 3D location and platforming mechanics. I'd give more credit to Nintendo than to take the obvious route and link the logo imagery to the Tanooki suit, so expect a new game mechanic unique enough to warrant a logo slot.

Aditionally, it was announced that the 3D remaster of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will be hitting on June 7th. Along with 3D functionality, the game has recieved a graphical overhaul so it doesn't look quite as fugly as the N64 version. This will continue the Nintendo release strategy of using our childhoods to plaster their headquarters with money, and there's still plenty of time to hear more about the game before you decide to purchase it, so keep your eyes open for more coverage in the coming months.

Gallery: GDC 2011: New Mario title coming for 3DS, Ocarina Of Time 3D coming in June


3DS at GDC '11

 

During Nintendo magnate and happy papa Satoru Iwata's keynote at the GDC today, Linebacker-In-Chief Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage briefly to discuss some new functionality slated to arrive for the Nintendo 3DS. This includes:

  • Nintendo will be partnering with Netflix to bring streaming video to the 3DS. You'll be able to pick up watched videos on your home set if you're viewing on the go. No word yet on whether Netflix will begin offering 3D movies for the device, though I wouldn't be surprised if they do in the future.
  • 3D trailers for films such as the Green Lantern will be available for download and mobile viewing.
  • Nintendo will be offering a short-form video service where they curate content for your eyeballs, kind of like the top-level videos on services like Xbox Live. They know what is best for your viewing pleasure. Obey. Obeeeeey.
  • 3D video recording! This had been hinted at for a while by Iwata, but it has been confirmed during the talk. Record videos in 3D from your handheld, watch them right back on the screen. If you thought people uploading photos of their misshapen junk to Tiger Woods games was bad, steel yourself.
  • Nintendo will be partnering with AT&T to have 10,000 existing hotspots acting as hubs for the 3DS. You'll be able to grab content, connect with other players, browse, and access other online functionality for the 3DS through yonder hotspots. I am very confident in this, because anyone with an AT&T iPhone will tell you how much they absolutely love and appreciate the service.
  • New Shops: The 3DS will be allowing you to transfer your existing DSiWare titles to your new handheld, and will be offering 2 new shops: Virtual Console, where you can get old GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Turbografx, and GameGear titles, and 3D Classics, where you can get similar titles newly remastered with 3D functionality. There will also be a game promotion channel for screenshots, trailers, etc.

The update in late May will allow you to transfer your DSiWare, get a web browser, and access the shops.

Gallery: GDC 2011: Nintendo 3DS picks up Netflix, 3D movie trailers, more


 

wii sales

January has just not been a pleasant month for video game sales. At least, that's according to new numbers released by NPD. Total January 2011 sales for gaming accessories, portable systems, and games for PCs and consoles fell to $1.16 billion from last year's total of $1.22 billion. And the $1.22 billion figure for January 2010 is itself a decrease from January 2009 figures, or $1.33 billion in total sales.

Breaking that number out a bit, hardware sales took the biggest year-to-year hit, dropping 8 percent from $353.7 million in January 2010 to $324 million in January 2011. NPD no longer splits this number out into publicly available data for the various console manufacturers; however, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Microsoft was the only big player to experience year-to-year growth on hardware sales.

According to Pachter, Microsoft sold approximately 332,800 Xbox 360 units, representing a year-to-year growth of 14.4 percent for the company. More than half of the systems sold were also bundled with Microsoft's Kinect accessory.

Nintendo, on the other hand, found its sales down 31.5 percent compared to the same period of time last year. That's a drop from 465,800 Wii consoles sold in January 2010 to 319,000 sold in January 2011. The company still leads the current console market with 34.5 million Wii units sold in the U.S., in total, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 coming in second place at 25.8 million, followed by Sony's PlayStation 3 at 15.7 million.

Click to continue reading Nintendo Wii sales plummet by 31.5 percent from January 2010

Gallery: Nintendo Wii sales plummet by 31.5 percent from January 2010


 

 Nintendo 3DS hazard children 

Those thinking about buying the upcoming Nintendo 3DS for your pre-schooler might want to wait a few years. In advance of its Nintendo World 2011 demo, Nintendo posted a warning that suggests children under the age of six should not use its 3D functions.

"Vision of children under the age of six has been said [to be in the] developmental stage," according to a note posted to Nintendo's Japanese site. 3D content, including the 3DS, "delivers 3D images with different left and right eye images, [which] has a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes."

Nintendo recommended the use of parental controls to only allow younger gamers to play in 2D. There is "enough for everyone to enjoy," Nintendo said.

Nintendo recommended that players of all ages take breaks from 3D content every 30 minutes - or if you feel sick.

Click to continue reading Nintendo warns against allowing kids to use Nintendo 3DS 3D functions

Gallery: Nintendo warns against allowing kids to use Nintendo 3DS 3D functions


Zelda no Densetsu Legend of Zelda

Then as Zelda no Densetsu for the Famicon Disc System, this early prototype shows a considerably less difficult adventure for Link to conquer: enemies appear less frequently and rupees aparantly grow on trees. Other changes include minor differences in character design, such as the whiskers on the Pols Voice as seen in the pictures above (FDS version pictured left).

Click that read link to try out the rarest build of Zelda no Densetsu known to man! 

Read More | Lost Levels

Gallery: The Legend of Zelda prototype appears, try it now


Since Kinect came out there have been some pretty interesting hacks of the technology. The latest one is a retro reprogramming that allows “Yankeyan” to control NES classic Super Mario Bros. using his body as the controller.

“I programmed it to recognize my motions and passed the virtual button presses to the NES emulator," says Yankeyan. "I could have placed a simulated keypad right in front of me that I can press with my hands, but I thought full body gestures were more in the spirit of Kinect. Of course, Mario isn't designed to be played like this, so this is really really hard."

If you listen closely you can hear the sound of Shigeru Miyamoto’s Wii controller hitting the floor. 

Read More | Game Informer via Youtube

Gallery: NES Super Mario Bros. played using Kinect


The Nintendo Wii has done well. Really well. Though, sales of the hit console peaked in its third year, and have since been waning. This kind of shift in sales is what usually prompts a successor to be named. Not to mention that the Wii now faces an uphill battle against the motion technologies of both Sony and Microsoft, the latter of which is taking off into American homes like hot cakes. However, Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime believes that the original Wii still has a lot of fight left in it, even against the transformed market strategies of Sony and Microsoft. 

In an interview with Kotaku journalist Stephen Totilo, Reggie stated: 

"As we sit here today we're saying the Wii has many, many more units to sell. After we've reached an installed base of 45 million here in the U.S., we can have a conversation about the next generation. "

As of now the Wii has an installed base of more than 30 million in North America. Looks like it's going to be at least another two years before we Nintendo even thinks about a new console. Or at least that's what they want us to think, wink wink. 

Read More | Kotaku

Gallery: Wii successor not a top priority for Nintendo…yet


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