Nintendo ‘willing to invest’ to secure third-party support
July 7, 2011

It’s not a new concept to the industry; Microsoft reportedly paid $50 million for exclusive Grand Theft Auto IV DLC and were even accused of money-hatting Namco in order to secure the exclusivity of Tales of Vesperia, but paying for third-party content is not something that Nintendo has openly admitted to. Similarly, Jack Tretton – President of Sony Computer Entertainment of America – has, in the past, proudly proclaimed that Sony ‘don’t buy exclusivity’, whilst also taking a side swipe at Nintendo, who, in the eyes of Tretton, have a tendency to rely too heavily on first-party production.

While Tretton is world-renowned for talking from his arse, I do believe that particular comment holds some merit. It’s unlikely that Nintendo took his words to heart, but it’s no secret that criticism can be a compelling catalyst for creativity, and Nintendo’s relationships with third-parties have elicited criticisms abound. To what extent you believe their words or not aside, Nintendo have, since the Wii U’s reveal, been promising much-improved third-party support, suggesting they’re willing to learn from, and, more importantly, act upon, their shortcomings.

At a recent shareholders meeting, Satoru Iwata was questioned on the Wii’s frequent software droughts, and if Nintendo had plans in place to prevent a similar situation with the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS:

We think it very important to make several hits from the third-party software publishers within the first year from the release of the platform, while offering Nintendo software seamlessly. In order to achieve this goal, we have shared information about the new hardware with the software publishers earlier than we did previously and built a cooperative structure, and we are developing several titles in collaboration with these publishers. I cannot talk in detail about the names of the titles, or with which publishers we are currently collaborating, because we have not announced this information yet, but what we are aiming for with the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U is, platforms which have much more software and a wider variety of software than the former Nintendo DS or Wii. Therefore, we are thinking of creating an environment where software from other companies will become hits.

Nintendo claims to have shared the hardware specs of the Wii U earlier than usual, but developers such as Bethesda have indicated that they ‘know nothing’ about its capabilities. To me, this is worrying. Huge, Western developers like Bethesda are of the precise ilk that Nintendo should be trying to get on board. Bethesda, BioWare, Infinity Ward, Rockstar, Valve, Crytek – names that core gamers recognise and respect, names that will sell, and names that will promote system sales. I don’t work for Nintendo, I have absolutely zero inside knowledge or sources at Nintendo, and I have never claimed to. In that sense, I also have absolutely no idea who Nintendo is courting and who they’re not, but if a studio as big as Bethesda has been left in the dark, then it doesn’t fill me with confidence.

After the initial excitement and positivity coming from select studios, promises of core IPs like Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield heading to the Wii U were made by developers Ubisoft and EA, respectively, but their relationship with Nintendo was already fairly strong. So, what about those who are seemingly less inclined to develop for Nintendo’s latest console? What kind of Nincentive (sorry) will be offered to them? Money, of course!

Please understand that Nintendo is prepared to invest in order to make this a reality.

Problem solved? We shall see…

 – Rory

Source

Advertisements

Miyamoto interview: Twilight Princess and Galaxy were ‘missing something’, drum along to songs on DSi
October 29, 2008

In a recent interview with Stephen Totilo of MTV, Shigeru Miyamoto let slip a new feature of the new Nintendo DSi.

When you’re using the built in Music Player, you can ‘drum’ along to your music by pressing the DSi’s face buttons. Sounds basic, but we bet it’s pretty fun and it’s a nice touch.

With DSi there’s a couple of things. One is just the DSi music player. It’s almost kind of silly. While you’re listening to your audio tracks you can sit there — and we haven’t really talked about it a lot — but you can press the buttons and play drums along with the music you’re listening to.

Miyamoto was then asked if Nintendo were looking to innovate more in their existing genres, rather than branching out to new genres and innovating those. For example, are they looking to innovate Fantasy Adventure in their next Legend of Zelda title, rather than innovate the sports and music genres with Wii Sports and Wii Music respectively? He had this to say

That’s something that I talk to the members of my development team about on a regular basis.

What I’ve been saying to our development teams recently is that “Twilight Princess” was not a bad game, by any means. But, still, it felt like there was something missing. And while, personally, I feel like “Super Mario Galaxy” was able to do some things that were very new and were very unique, at the same time, from another perspective, certain elements of it do feel somewhat conservative in terms of how far we branched out with design. And so this is something I’ve been talking to both of those teams about.

Of course, as is customary with Nintendo, it’s very rare that we are able to announce any games until they’re ready for release, but I can say that these are themes that both of those teams are taking into account and the hope is that for both of those franchises, when we do release the next installments of the “Zelda” [franchise] or maybe the next “Galaxy,” hopefully they will feel newer and fresher than their most recent versions.

Sounds like Nintendo are considering a direct sequel to Super Mario Galaxy with a more radical approach.

Miyamoto then asked the interviewer a genuine question; are there any hardcore games that have recently introduced new and fresh ideas and elements?

The reviewer answers using examples such as Spore, LittleBigPlanet and Mirror’s Edge. Miyamoto acknowledges their innovatons but also explains how these are brand new games and almost entirely new genres themselves.

So, those sound like — particularly in the case of “Spore” — those are games that are doing something that’s very new and different, within the game itself. Whereas it sounds like there’s not a whole lot in the realm of the RPG or in the realm of the adventure game where there’s an amazing new fresh gameplay element that’s been introduced. Would you say that’s right?

The interviewer looks at the FPS genre, using examples such as Mirror’s Edge and Portal to back up his point that there are increasing amounts of innovation in existing genres. Miyamoto only had this to say

Yeah, I think “Portal” was an amazing game, too.

Miyamoto wrapped up the interview with his feelings about the new Punch-Out!! game for Wii.

Of course, withPunch-Out! it’s a game that people have been wanting for a very long time and we’ve had a number of people who have wanted to make a “Punch-Out!” game. I’m working on that game as a producer. I think people who are fans of the original will be very thrilled to see the kind of style we’ve designed the game in. It will feel very classic. But at the same time, with the 3D polygons and the polygonal rendering of the characters, I think is going to make for some very nice cut-scenes and a little bit deeper story.


–Rory–


Klonoa to get Wii remake
October 1, 2008

Klonoa? It's been a while

Klonoa? It's been a while

Klonoa was a classic PlayStation platformer, sadly overlooked. It pretty much invented the graphical style of ‘2.5D’ by using two-dimensionsal character artwork on rendered, three-dimensional backdrops.

If you didn’t own Klonoa: Door to Phantomile for Sony’s PlayStation, you might remember it from one of the demo discs that Sony and Official PlayStation Magazine sent out; we sure do, and we’re delighted that this hidden gem is making its way to the Wii.

With an average score of 86%, fans thought that Klonoa warranted a sequel, which it got. Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001 to great critical acclaim. Its average score is 91%, and even today, it ranks amongst the PS2’s greats.

So, we’ve established that the Klonoa series is a solid one, now to tell you about this Wii version

– Remake of the first Klonoa game, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

– Cel shaded

– NES Style Controls (Wii Remote held sideways)

– Upgraded visuals, specifically for Wii

– Releases December 4th in Japan

– 99% Complete

We loved these platformers when we were younger, let’s hope Namco can surpass our expectations, rather than tarnish our cherished memories.

Scans- courtesy of Gamekyo

–Rory–

Nintendo to revive ‘old franchise’ for Wii
September 30, 2008

The fight is on!

The fight is on!

Gaming website Gamekyo, formerly known as jeuxfrance.com, have posted an article on their site today.

It talks confidently of a franchise revival, noting that Nintendo are set to show off said game at their Press Conference this Thursday.

Nintendo seems to be hiding some more surprises for its upcoming Japanese press conference next Thursday. Everyone is talking about a new model of the Nintendo DS that includes a camera, but what you don’t know is that Nintendo has a new game to show. We can annou

nce today that Nintendo will reveal a new game for the Wii during this event which is actually an old franchise that everyone is waiting for. Nintendo press conference will be held in Japan on October 2nd.

Is the source to be trusted? Yes, Gamekyo are a respectable site, you may know them by their more well-known name of jeuxfrance.

Could this be the long-rumoured Kid Icarus? We’re betting yes, but we’ ll only know for certain this Thursday.

And more importantly, who will be the developer?
We already know Miyamoto isn’t involved with the game, but seems to be aware of its existence.

Our money’s on Factor 5 or Retro.

Source

–Rory–

The House of the Dead: Overkill- new screenshots
September 24, 2008

Sega impressed us with Overkill and its debut trailer last month; it was artistic, old school and cheesy- just what you’d expect from a HotD game.
It also showcased some impressive visual effects and some gruesome zombies.

Whilst the trailer was cheesy, the game itself seems to be a lot more serious than its arcade counterparts with some pretty disgusting beasts and realistic zombies.

The Official Nintendo Magazine have got their paws on some brand new screenshots for all to see.
Check them out after the jump.
You’ll cry blood from your own eyes, apparently.

–Rory–

Disaster: Day of Crisis gets Famitsu score
September 22, 2008

Bang.

Bang.

Nintendo have been upping their advertising campaign of Disaster: Day of Crisis recently to coincide with its Japanese release this month.

Around all the trailers and screenshots and other articles with Disaster in the tags, this is probably the most interesting and exciting.
Japanese magazine, Famitsu have an exclusive review in this month’s issue. While the entire review hasn’t yet been published, there is one number that’s going round.

Famitsu have given Disaster: Day of Crisis an impressive 34/40.

Thing is, can you trust Famitsu’s scores after the overrating of titles such as Haze, Lair and Nintendogs?

Well, that’s up to you to decide.

–Rory–

Nintendo event in October
September 22, 2008

Come on Link! We're on in 10!

Come on Link! We're on in 10!

Following Nintendo’s rather lackluster E3, along with their absence from the Leipzig GDC (and the news that they would not be attending the Tokyo Game Show or E for All ), many fans were left feeling rather uneasy about the future of Wii games.

Rumour has it that a Nintendo press conference will be held in Japan on October 2nd or 3rd.
There are also rumours that Nintendo is readying a similarly large event in America as well.

Neither Nintendo of Japan, nor Nintendo of America (or any other subsidiaries for that matter) have commented on how the event will pan out, what they will release, or even where the events will be held.

Considering that the two dates are the same for both regions, it’s possible that Nintendo has an announcement of relatively large scope and importance to unleash.

A new Zelda with MotionPlus?
Storage solution?
Kid Icarus?
F-Zero?
Pikmin?

Well, as for new announcements, we’re not entirely sure. The above is complete guesswork.

We are, however, pretty sure that the following titles will be on show-
Animal Crossing: City Folk
Wario Land: The Shake Dimension
Disaster: Day of Crisis
Wii Music
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Nintendo held a similar event at around the same time frame last year. The event held a number of surprises. We saw Fire Emblem DS, Monster Hunter 3, WiiWare and Kirby Superstar announced and we saw Sonic making it into Brawl.

Whatever happens, we’ll be covering it.
Don’t start the hype train too soon though. Remember E3?

–Rory–

GTA: Chinatown Wars- new details
September 19, 2008

Do want

Do want

Nintendo announced GTA:Chinatown Wars to a rather indifferent audience at E3 this year.

“But it’s GTA…on DS!” I hear you cry.
“What’s not to like?!”

See, the thing is, when Nintendo announced the game, that’s exactly what they did.
They did no more than merely acknowledge its existence.

We had no idea how the game was going to play, look or function. All we knew that it was a Grand Theft Auto game…on the DS…presumably set in ‘Chinatown’.

But for all those salivating for some information on Rockstar‘s latest, look no further.

As most had second guessed, the game takes place from an isometric view, much like The Sims.
So while not fully 3D, the ‘top down’ view still allows for 3D detail. 3D Cel Shaded detail that is.
Yep, that’s right, a cel shaded GTA game.

The game will stick to the fashion of every GTA game ever, and remain a free-roaming crime sim.
However, the missions, and the entire game itself, are more suited to handheld play, with missions being shorter and more streamlined.

There will be Touch Screen controls, but aiming will be controlled by the D-Pad, with ‘R’ taking care of the targeting.

The game will feature all the things you’ve come to expect from a GTA game, like a free roaming city, cops, a wanted level system, 24 hour clock, weather effects and all the rest.

The game also supports the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for uploading stats.
Just what exactly these stats are remains to be seen, but rest assured, when we know, you’ll know.

–Rory–

We came, we hunted, and we came with this.
September 19, 2008

Thanks to our awesome friend Kryss, we have some new juicy information on Monster Hunter 3.

With some impressive looking screenshots and videos already, here is some recently announced information to more than whet your appetite.

—————————————————————————————

  • The game is built from the ideas of the original
  • New island location
  • Swimming/diving and fighting in the sea
  • Monsters react to items (i.e. either interested or scared)
  • New behaviour modes for monsters.
  • Main monster is a sea dragon

Rumoured:

  • Fishing
  • Changeable landscape aspects
  • Ability to chase monsters into other areas of the map

—————————————————————————————

That’s all we have for now, but that’s fresh information released from Japan.

-JammyJu-

New Capcom fighter announced.
September 18, 2008

While Capcom seem resilient on not announcing Street Fighter IV for the Wii, they’ve announced a new interesting exclusive fighter.

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom is in the style of Marvel Vs. Capcom but with characters from anime company Tatsunoko.

However, it remains an Eastern delight for the moment, so a Western release may seem unlikely in the future.

But there’s always hope…

-JammyJu-

We want.

We want.