3DS


Nintendo has been milking its impressive stable of mega-popular franchises for so long now that we really shouldn't be surprised that today's Nintendo Direct online video presentation was devoted almost entirely to sequels, remakes, and rereleases of popular franchises. Still, it's a bit incredible how much Nintendo is leaning on established properties, rather than new game ideas, to populate the software market for the 3DS and Wii U.

Of course, a generation of fans who grew up on these Nintendo games aren't likely to care too much. Nintendo announced a direct sequel to the SNES classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the 3DS today, using the same familiar overhead perspective and established Hyrulian world, while infusing it with new mechanics like the ability for Link to become a 2D drawing and scoot along walls. There are precious few additional details about the game, but I'm willing to bet a good portion of those reading this are ready to preorder for the holiday release right now just because, hey, it's a freaking Link to the Past sequel!

Many Nintendo console owners will likely have similar feelings about the new portable Yoshi's Island game Nintendo announced today. And the new 3DS Mario Party title, the new 3DS Mario Golf game, the new 3DS entry in the Mario and Luigi RPG series, the new 3DS Mario and Donkey Kong: March of the Minis game, the new 3DS Professor Layton game, the 3DS remake of Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Atlus' new 3DS Shin Megami Tensei game. Not to mention the new Wii U Pikmin game, which are now set for August 4, and the new Wario mini-game collection, Game & Wario, now set for June 23.

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While the Wii U won't be an instant flop like the Virtual Boy, sales projections released by Nintendo today show it probably won't match the runaway sales success of the original Wii, either.

Nintendo sold 3.06 million Wii U units worldwide from its November launch through the end of 2012. That's nearly as much as the 3.19 million units of the original Wii Nintendo sold back in the 2006 holiday season.

But Nintendo doesn't think it can keep that momentum up. Back in October, the company said it expected to sell 5.5 million Wii U units through the end of March. That number has now been cut down to 4 million, meaning Nintendo expects to sell fewer than a million systems worldwide in the first three months of 2013.

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Back in April, Nintendo said it was counting on increased 3DS sales and profitability to help turn around the first full-year loss in the company's history. Today, Nintendo admitted that demand for its latest portable and the aging Wii continue to lag behind expectations, dragging down profits.

It's not like the 3DS is a Virtual Boy-level failure—the system did sell over 5 million units worldwide in the six months through September, including 2.1 million sales for the well-designed 3DS XL. First-party titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7 continue to sell in the millions as well.

But Nintendo still lowered 3DS sales expectations for the full fiscal year, which ends in March, from 18.5 million to 17.5 million, reflecting increasingly tough competition from mobile and tablet games. The outdated Wii also continued its long sales decline, selling only 1.3 million units in the last six months due to what Nintendo admitted were "few new title releases." The company cut full-year sales expectations for the Wii drastically, from an expected 10.5 million in April to 5 million today.

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Back in April, Nintendo said it was counting on increased 3DS sales and profitability to help turn around the first full-year loss in the company's history. Today, Nintendo admitted that demand for its latest portable and the aging Wii continue to lag behind expectations, dragging down profits.

It's not like the 3DS is a Virtual Boy-level failure—the system did sell over 5 million units worldwide in the six months through September, including 2.1 million sales for the well-designed 3DS XL. First-party titles like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario 3D Land, and Mario Kart 7 continue to sell in the millions as well.

But Nintendo still lowered 3DS sales expectations for the full fiscal year, which ends in March, from 18.5 million to 17.5 million, reflecting increasingly tough competition from mobile and tablet games. The outdated Wii also continued its long sales decline, selling only 1.3 million units in the last six months due to what Nintendo admitted were "few new title releases." The company cut full-year sales expectations for the Wii drastically, from an expected 10.5 million in April to 5 million today.

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The transition from one hardware generation to the next is never an easy time for a console maker's balance sheet, as sales of the old system start to taper off and investment in a new system has yet to pay off. Still, there are signs that Nintendo is handling the transition worse than could be expected.

The company reported financial results (PDF) for the quarter ending June 30 today that showed revenues plunging nearly 10 percent from last year, to ¥84.8 billion (about $1.08 billion). And while the net loss of ¥17.2 billion ($220 million) for the quarter was actually an improvement from last year's performance, it's still a worrisome sign for a company that had been consistently profitable for decades until just last year.

The main culprit continues to be drastic declines in sales of its most-popular console. Nintendo sold only 710,000 Wiis in the three-month period from April to June, less than half the 1.6 million moved during the same time last year, and well down from the record-setting pace of a few years ago. Nintendo is counting on a strong launch for the Wii U to help turn things around: the company expects its two home consoles to combine to sell over 10.5 million units for the fiscal year, which ends next March.

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The transition from one hardware generation to the next is never an easy time for a console maker's balance sheet, as sales of the old system start to taper off and investment in a new system has yet to pay off. Still, there are signs that Nintendo is handling the transition worse than could be expected.

The company reported financial results (PDF) for the quarter ending June 30 today that showed revenues plunging nearly 10 percent from last year, to ¥84.8 billion (about $1.08 billion). And while the net loss of ¥17.2 billion ($220 million) for the quarter was actually an improvement from last year's performance, it's still a worrisome sign for a company that had been consistently profitable for decades until just last year.

The main culprit continues to be drastic declines in sales of its most-popular console. Nintendo sold only 710,000 Wiis in the three-month period from April to June, less than half the 1.6 million moved during the same time last year, and well down from the record-setting pace of a few years ago. Nintendo is counting on a strong launch for the Wii U to help turn things around: the company expects its two home consoles to combine to sell over 10.5 million units for the fiscal year, which ends next March.

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In advance of E3's official start later in the day, Nintendo will be presenting its traditional pre-E3 press conference on the morning of Tuesday, June 5 at 9:00am PDT (GMT-7—see when the liveblog starts in your own timezone).

Nintendo's presentation is likely to focus on the Wii U, the tablet-controlled console which was first shown at last year's E3, but barely discussed by Nintendo in the year since then. Expect a bevy of game announcements both from Nintendo itself and major third parties, as well as a lot of discussion of how the Wii U's controller will totally revolutionize gaming as we know it (at least from Nintendo's point of view). Nintendo is also likely to trumpet the 3DS' slowly recovering sales and expanding software library, potentially including new information on first-party portable titles like Paper Mario and Luigi's Mansion that were mentioned at last year's show.

Ars Gaming Editor Kyle Orland (that's me!) is on hand to provide all the news as it happens.

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Picked up Kid Icarus today and want some extra cards? Well now you can grab some

Kid Icarus Uprising is in Australian stores today and comes with six AR cards in the box. But what if you want more? Well you could have ordered the game from EB and got some that way, there is also a competition on Nintendo Australia to win some too.

However there are hundreds of these cards! How are you going to collect them all? Well luckily Nintendo Australia is now offering 10 random cards on Club Nintendo for a mere 200 stars. Itll be ilke the good old days of Pokemon Card Trading as youll no doubt get duplicates along the way. You can order them now from Club Nintendo.


Kid Icarus Uprising is in Australian stores today, we will have our review up for it shortly.

Side-scrolling platformer and a follow up to the Castle of Illusion Megadrive game

Over the weekend it was revealed that there would be a Epic Mickey companion game coming to the 3DS alongside Epic Mickey 2 on the consoles. Now the first details of the game have been revealed in the newest issue of Nintendo Power magazine. The magazine revealed that the game is indeed revealed by DreamRift, the developers of Henry Hatsworth and will be a side-scrolling platformer that serves as a follow up to Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse. That’s a great Megadrive game from the early 90s if you’re not old enough to know about it.

Epic Mickey 2: Power of Illusion is going to use the touch screen heavily, which makes sense as Mickey is still using his paintbrush to interact with the world. You’ll have to draw objects in order to use them in game and the better you draw the more effective they’ll be. If you slip up, things might not go the way you hoped.


Could look something like that.


Power of Illusion is set to look exactly like a 16-bit game, evoking the SNES and Megadrive games of the era with scrolling parallax backgrounds. Each level in the game is also based on a different Disney property, the magazine cites Sleeping Beauty and Tangled. Every character you save in the game along the way will join you in your fortress, you can essentially decorate your fortress with the likes of Scrooge McDuck and Peter Pan. Not bad.

There’s no release date yet for the game apart from a ’Fall’ release. Which means sometime before the end of the year.

Source: NeoGAF

 

Segas all singing and all dancing rhythm extravaganza is only a couple weeks away

Segas Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure will be available in Australia next month on April 12th. Nintendo Australia will be distributing the title, funnily enough. Youll need all reflexes set to maximum for this one as you adventure with dance through 50 challenges in the backdrop of Paris. How romantic.

Well, it would be romantic if you werent playing as a young Parisian boy who leads a double life. By day hes a normal young lad, by night hes a virtuous thief who breaks into some of Pariss most famous museums. Dont worry though, he returns everything he steals.

The game is jam packed in the single player department but also comes with local Wireless Play and Download Play. Theres also StreetPass modes in which you can battle people you pass. Theres a demo up on the eShop right now if youre keen to check it out.

 

Prepare to hone your sleuthing skills and tap out some rocking rhythms as Nintendo and SEGA launch the latest rhythm action-adventure, Rhythm Thief™ & the Emperor’s Treasure, on 12th April 2012, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS™. This funky, up-tempo adventure is packed full of over 50 rhythm-based challenges set against the background of a 3D anime style Paris that is waiting to be explored. If you just can’t wait until the game launches, then make sure you check out the playable Nintendo 3DS Demo, available to download from the Nintendo eShop today.

In Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure we meet Raphael, a young Parisian boy who leads a secret double life. He seems just like any other boy, living in the French capital with his trusty dog Fondue. But he assumes the new persona of a virtuous thief, breaking into some of Paris’s most famous museums to steal priceless works of art; only to return them a couple of days later. On his adventure he meets Marie, a violinist with a mysterious past, and clashes with Vergier, the superintendent at the Paris constabulary; all the while hoping to find his missing father.  

Help Raphael avoid the museum guards and police by completing rhythm-based challenges and exploring the anime-styled Paris. A range of features on Nintendo 3DS are at your disposal to conquer these challenges. Tap the Touch Screen, push the buttons, work the stylus and control the gyro in time to the music. If you lose the beat, you could empty out your Groove Gauge and it’s game over! But if you complete the challenge you will be rewarded with medals that can be traded for items that make future rhythm games easier to complete, or bonuses such as music or more games to play.    

If you’re feeling competitive, then you’ll also be able to challenge your friends in a variety of multiplayer levels through either Local Wireless or Download Play. When you encounter another Rhythm Thief player via StreetPass, a new character appears on the streets of each player’s map. Their character will only stay on your map as a fan if you can beat their high score in a rhythm game battle! You can have up to 90 fans on your map at any one time, and as you begin to accumulate fans, a range of special characters become available.  

Check out the playable Nintendo 3DS Demo of the Rhythm Thief & the Emperor’s Treasure available to download from the Nintendo eShop today, allowing you a taster of the game ahead of its debut on 12th April 2012.

 

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