If you are old enough to remember the Commodore 64, you are old enough to remember how good those games were compared to Pong. While they are simplified compared to most of those released today, they continue to have their own following, evidenced by the fact that you can still play them online. Virtual Console is adding these games to allow Wii owners to play them as well. International Karate and Uridium will be the first two titles offered and VC will add to their line from time to time. While they will first become available on the European Wii Shop Channel, we suspect it will not be long before they move globally.
Read More | Nintendo News
Finally, after a long period of silence, Nintendo has finally made release dates public for a few of their more anticipated products: Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit, and the WiiWare channel. First up is Mario Kart Wii, which will launch in Japan on April 10th, and Europe the following day on April 11th. No word yet on the US launch date.
The WiiWare channel, which will be a portal to downloading original games to the Wii, will be available on North American Wii units on May 12th. No word on Japan or European launches for WiiWare just yet.
Lastly, Wii Fit, which has been flying off of shelves over in Japan since it’s release back in December, will launch in North America on May 19th. If you are in Europe, Wii Fit will be available in your neck of the woods on April 25th.
Hasbro was present at the NY Toy Fair this week, displaying its new Nerf toys. Included in the line is their Switch Shot EX-3. The device not only works as a Wii Shooter gun, it doubles as a dart blaster with a module that inserts into its remote slot. You can stow two darts in the lower half of the barrel, which also keeps an N-Strike accessory rail. Arriving in the 3rd Quarter of 2008, you will be able to get a Switch Shot for ~$15.00 or purchase one packed with the upcoming N-Strike game for Nintendo DS (no price determined thus far.)
Read More | Crave
The statistics are in and apparently it was a Nintendo Christmas. Approximately 1.4 million of the Wii console systems found their way down chimneys in December, according to a report by the NPD Group. About 2.5 million DS also were purchased. The accomplishment allowed the entire video gaming industry to over $17.9 billion in sales, 43% higher than last year. Microsoft sold nearly 1.3 million Xbox 360s and Sony managed to sell about 800,000 PS3s. As for games statistics, “Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock” and “Call of Duty 4” each sold over 2 million copies in December alone.
Read More | USA Today
We know we are a couple days late, but being the extreme hardcore rockers that we are, we weren’t coherent enough to push out our top 10 most popular episodes of Bleeding Edge TV, Gear Live’s technology video show. Or something like that. Anyhoo, click through to check out the ten videos that were viewed the most in 2007. If we’ve learned anything from compiling the list, it’s that you guys love yourselves some iPhone, Bluetooth, AMD, and video games. Exclusives also seem to strike your fancy.
I just got off a press call with Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime where the focus was on the availability of the Wii console. Reggie made it clear that Nintendo never expected the success that Wii has been enjoying since launch, and therefore has remained hard to find despite ramped up production. Nintendo is hoping to help out just a bit with a couple of short-term initiatives.
We can’t wait to try Tversity, free software that will add even more entertainment options to your already multi-tasking PS3, Wii, or Xbox 360. Tversity allows you to stream just about any multimedia from your PC to your TV via your gaming console. Basically, if it can be played on Windows Media Player, it can be played on TV. The software also allows you to stream internet media—audio, video, RSS feeds, podcasts and images—for television viewing. This can be done by entering websites of your choice, or using Tversity’s audio and video guides. And that’s only some of this freeware’s features! Sounds like exactly what we’ve been looking for. We’ll report back after giving Tversity a test run…
Tecmo has announced that the next installment of its Fatal Frame horror series is in development for the Wii. The earlier games didn’t sell especially well upon release but have amassed a sizable cult following, or so I gather from the growing number of GameStops that have been unable to sell me a copy over the years. Now, with the burgeoning Wii phenomenon upon us, Tecmo has seen a way to give its underexposed franchise a second chance. You can certainly see where Tecmo is coming from, as snapping photos of ghosts is a staple game mechanic of the series, one that seems like a perfect fit for the Wii’s motion controls.
Interestingly, Tecmo has enlisted Grasshopper Manufacture to produce the game; Grasshopper is the studio behind Killer 7 and next year’s sure-to-be-bizarre Wii actioner, No More Heroes. Tecmo has remained mum on the subject of release dates, but for now just add Fatal Frame to the growing list of promising third-party Wii games.
Read More | 1UP
Koji Igarashi, creator of the popular Castlevania franchise, is featured in an interview with Game Informer where he talks about what’s next for the series.
[Next,] I will be working on a DS version, but I am thinking of moving to the home consoles for the future. I will continue to use 2D for the DS version, but I’m still trying to figure out which console to do the home console versions. I think the Xbox 360 would be the best platform for the U.S. market.
Another DS Castlevania wasn’t really a bold prediction, but focusing on the 360 is a little unexpected. Igarashi goes on to clarify, “The U.S. market is the biggest market for the Castlevania series, so I will give the first priority to the U.S. market. The platform will be the Xbox 360, since the PS3 isn’t doing well everywhere in the world.” He does later suggest that he thinks Metal Gear Solid 4 could easily increase the PS3 base in the US which would make it more attractive as a target for a Castlevania game.
As for the Wii, which represents an even larger market than 360, Igarashi says he hasn’t quite figured out how to make the gesture controls work with the game saying that the motion for cracking a whip might be too hard on users but some kind of abstraction would be “not so good.” “I will have to think about a way to accomplish this,” he concludes.
Read More | Game Informer
A research paper from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research has been released that suggests that games with online support can be crucial to a game’s retail success. Not surprisingly, another way to boost sales is to create a quality game (defined as those with a 90+ score on Metacritic), with these well-reviewed titles outselling the average release well above 5-to-1.
While making good games typically means making good money, naturally, it is a bit surprising to see the report indicate that sales can be doubled by dropping in an online mode. With online games selling twice the number copies that offline titles do, it’s curious to note that over half of games released don’t offer even basic online support.
Read More | Ars Technica
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