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  • Wii U News

    by Published on July 6th, 2011 20:34
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    Try as you might to maintain your nonchalant demeanor, we know you're fired up about the potential of the Wii U. Well, we won't spill your secrets, but we thought you might like to know that Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, recently sat down with David M. Ewalt at Forbes to talk about the company's upcoming console. You'll find the full interview at the source but here are a few of the more interesting tidbits. As you may have guessed, the original Wii won't be disappearing immediately. The two will be sold side by side in stores for at least a little while. Interestingly, while we already knew that games will be playable entirely on the controller, turns out there is nothing technically stopping the console from streaming other media to the portable screen -- including content from your Netflix account. Sadly, you'll be waiting till at least Q2 of 2012 to pick one up -- as Fils-Aime revealed, the next-gen gaming device won't launch until "after April 1st."

    http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/05/w...o-to-controll/ ...
    by Published on July 5th, 2011 21:39
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    Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has said third party publishers are best positioned to explain Wii U's online experience.

    "We've said that the Wii U will have an extremely robust online experience," the executive told Forbes. "There will be other publishers talking about that as well, and from our perspective, we think it's much more compelling for that information to come from the publishers than to come from us."

    Online gameplay will seemingly be driven by third party publishers running their own networks for their games.

    "We've seen what our competitors have done, and we've acknowledged that we need to do more online," Fils-Aime added. "For Wii... what we're doing is creating a much more flexible system that will allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear.

    "So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we're going to welcome that. We're going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers."

    Leaving it up to the publishers to handle online duties rather than having a strict overarching online service like Xbox Live will likely have benefits and drawbacks.

    Theoretically, it'll mean lower restrictions on publishers releasing free content and generous patches for their games, but it could also mean features like friend lists and cross-game chat only work on individual publishers' networks, rather than across Wii U's software library.

    Activision boss Bobby Kotick said last week that Wii U will support "deep rich multiplayer games".

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...VG-General-RSS ...
    by Published on July 2nd, 2011 23:27
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    Yoshiaki Koizumi, producer of the Super Mario series, has his team working on a new Mario game for the Wii U, even though he didn't know what Nintendo's new console would even look like prior to its unveiling at E3. In an interview with Wired, Koizumi said now that he knows what the Wii U can do, he wants to "create a console game where two people are playing at the same time but can't see each others' screens." You know, much like how the internet operates, but without all those messy tubes.

    Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma also spilled some secrets about the HD demo Nintendo used to show off its new graphics -- mainly, don't believe everything you see. "You probably remember that when we introduced the GameCube, we showed a somewhat realistic Zelda demo," Aonuma said. "And what we actually created was the cel-shaded Wind Waker. So when we show a graphic demo, people think, 'Oh, this is what the next Zelda will look like,' but that's not necessarily the case." Secrets and lies, Nintendo. Secrets and lies.

    http://www.joystiq.com/2011/07/02/wi...ont-look-like/ ...
    by Published on July 1st, 2011 21:58
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    Nintendo kept even the most senior internal developers in the dark about the capabilities of Wii U leading up to the console's E3 2011 announcement.

    Yoshiaki Koizumi - veteran developer, director and producer of games spanning The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (the original) to Super Mario Galaxy - admitted that even he didn't have the full Wii U picture beforehand.

    "As a developer at Nintendo, I had some information about the new system, but I didn't really have all of the information prior to the announcement at our presentation," Koizumi told Wired's GameLife blog.

    "I only knew some of the things that were considered to be safe."

    Koizumi had nothing to do with the 2D New Super Mario Bros. Mii demo shown on Wii U at E3. He works on 3D Super Mario games.

    Nevertheless, Koizumi confirmed that his team will make a Super Mario game for Wii U.

    It's still early days, though, and Koizumi's toying with the "opportunities" that Wii U presents.

    "When I think about the two screens being used at the same time, it seems like an interesting opportunity to allow us to create a console game where two people are playing at the same time but can't see each others' screens," said Koizumi. "It's certainly an interesting approach, but I have to clarify that it's not something that we're working on just yet."

    Eurogamer's Wii U preview from this year's E3 described a machine that's skilfully put together and easy to understand - providing you're holding it. "No question, Wii U is Nintendo having its cake and eating it. If the ingredients are right - on this showing, quite a big if - it could change everything all over again," Oli Welsh wrote.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...n-devs-in-dark ...
    by Published on July 1st, 2011 21:31
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    Nintendo will invest in a new research and development facility in its home-city of Kyoto, according to a report in Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

    The cost of consttruction has changed since Nikkei first reported Nintendo's plans in 2009, rising from £92 million to £127.5 million.

    The 40,582 square-metre lot is located in Kyoto's Minami Ward, and the building will house 1,500 people over eight floors, standing 41 metres at its highest point.

    Nintendo's main office is also located in Minami Ward, but its existing research and development facility - known as Kyoto Research Centre - is further away, in Higashiyama Ward. The new building will allow all of the company's research to take place in one building, improving communication and efficiency.

    Construction of the facility will start in January 2012, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of calendar year 2013.

    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...and-d-facility ...
    by Published on June 30th, 2011 22:58
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    It's official: open fields of green foliage will look awesome in Unreal Engine 3. Our day is now a good one.

    The pictured screenshot shows off just how sweet leaves and grass and stuff like that will look in Epic's flashy new engine, which will power next-generation games in years to come.

    The shot, shared by Epic PR Manager Dana Cowley, is apparently 100% real-time and in engine, giving you a very real idea of this impressive engine's capability. For a better idea though, you should have seen the incredible 'Samaritan' tech video.

    Gladly, UE3 tech has been confirmed for PlayStation Vita and Wii U.

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com...VG-General-RSS ...
    by Published on June 30th, 2011 22:54
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    2. Wii U News

    If the hardcore gamer had hopes of seeing a Nintendo bundle made especially for her at E3, the return of the family-friendly Wii mantle was probably a bit disappointing.

    Perhaps not enough to cause a mini-sick, granted, but certainly enough to sink the heart knowing that mum, grandma and little sis will yet again be coming along for the ride.

    But the old hardcore-casual argument isn't the niggling problem I have with Wii U: there's something more fundamental about Nintendo's new console that suggests to me we might have to wait much longer for it to appeal to the avid gamer again.


    We should give Nintendo credit, don't get me wrong. It now has a truly current-gen console in its ranks and with titles like Aliens: Colonial Marines, Assassin's Creed and (hopefully) Battlefield 3 the hardcore is definitely being catered for.

    But there's still an itching, worrying feeling in my chest that Nintendo's not quite going all-in to reclaim the core audience, and - shudder - it might even be cutting some corners.

    As far as I'm concerned, for hardcore gamers Wii U could easily end up being seen as a console of half measures, a machine that makes an effort but doesn't quite deliver a five star package. I'm worried it'll end up an amalgamation of 'almosts' that falls just short of the luxury we've come to expect from the top end machines like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

    What's distorted my anticipation for Nintendo's plans is the way in which a lot of our expectations have steadily been dismissed by Nintendo one by one.

    First of all, let's set the smaller details straight; that appears to be a standard definition screen on its otherwise exciting controller - you won't find anything HD on there. It's not OLED either, unlike the stunning hi-def screen on Sony's PlayStation Vita.

    That leads me to wonder how long it will take core gamers to ignore the handheld feature altogether, at the thought of having to play Arkham City on an SD screen.

    And there's more: those are analogue nubs - circle pads like you'll find on the 3DS or the waning PSP, not proper sticks that core gamers demand, and as featured on every controller anyone ever hammered a game of PES or Call of Duty on.

    Soon after E3 came to a close, more issues started to emerge as well. Wouldn't it be great to get involved in some split-screen FPS multiplayer with those Wii U controllers on something like Battlefield 3? Having a full map between the sticks (sorry, nubs) at all times for guiding air strikes?

    The good news is that once Battlefield 3 arrives on the Wii U, you'll more than likely be able to do just that. The bad news? You're going to have to gingerly offer your mate a Wii-mote and hope he understands.

    I know that the Wii U controller is going to be far too expensive to have a couple of spares stashed in the cupboard (that's another stumbling block in itself) but, as Nintendo fidgets around for a solid answer to the multiplayer problem, the 'one Wii U controller per console' feels like another element that isn't up to modern day gaming needs.

    Much like the lack of Blu-Ray or even DVD playback, for example. I like many others use my PlayStation 3 as much for media as I do gaming. It's another important part of the hardcore scene that Nintendo is still refusing to cater for.

    Nintendo's discussions on online gaming too have been worryingly ambiguous. Reggie's come out and said that Wii U's approach to online "will be a flexible one", literally taking the best of what each of our third party partners has to offer, marrying that with the best of what Nintendo does, and bringing that with a more rigid, a more closed type of environment.

    A flexible, closed system taking the best from third party developers? I desperately want Nintendo to blow us away with online features but all I'm getting is flakes of ambiguity and hints of confusion. If Nintendo wants to compete with Xbox Live and PSN online (and it absolutely has to) it needs to come up with a clear, bold, feature rich plan.

    Add all of these points together and you can see why underneath Wii U's otherwise exciting and potentially fantastic features, I'm worried Nintendo's failing to meet Sony and Microsoft toe-to-toe.

    And it should: it's clearly an incredibly creative, hugely resourceful company with bags of money and tonnes of influence. Then why does it keep penny-pinching on simple DVD playback and now, standard analogue sticks?

    The innovation's still there though in abundance of course; Nintendo can still pull off innovative feats its straight-faced rivals wouldn't even understand.

    That's the card that Nintendo's playing and from the fleeting bits of tech demo we've seen so far it looks like the mass of third party devs behind the console could come up with some really creative pulls.

    I question, however, without the entire list of bullet points core gamers regard as standard, Wii U's augmented reality or motion-sensing capabilities will be enough. Whether somewhere down the line the problems listed ...
    by Published on June 30th, 2011 13:03
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    2. Wii U News

    Speaking at a shareholder meeting yesterday, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata discussed the company's goals for the Wii's successor, which aims to pick up the subset of gamers turned off by imprecise motion control. He said, "Wii was not accepted by core gamers because they did not want to abandon their preferred control approach. Additionally, Wii did not use HD because HD cost/performance at the time was low. Wii U makes it easier to use conventional controls. Also, the Wii U controller is not as big or heavy as it looks." Earlier comments from Shigeru Miyamoto indicate the new console will have more to offer in terms of online capabilities, but Nintendo isn't going to focus too heavily on that.

    http://games.slashdot.org/story/11/0...ers-With-Wii-U ...
    by Published on June 29th, 2011 23:11
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    2. Wii U News

    Core gamers will accept the Wii U because it has high definition visuals and can be played in a conventional way, Nintendo has said.

    That was boss Satoru Iwata's response when asked by a shareholder today whether the hardcore will accept Nintendo's next home console.

    "Wii was not accepted by core gamers because they did not want to abandon their preferred control approach," he said, as reported by Andriasang.

    "Additionally, Wii did not use HD because HD cost performance at the time was low. Wii U makes it easier to use conventional controls. Also, the Wii U controller is not as big or heavy as it looks."

    Some criticised the Wii U's debut after Nintendo chose to showcase tech demos running on the hardware rather than games that will eventually launch.

    This led to concern that the Wii U may suffer from a poor launch line-up of games - as the Nintendo 3DS did earlier this year - but Iwata told investors this will not be the case.

    The CEO then suggested the eye-catching Zelda HD tech demo showcased at E3 was only possible on the Wii U.

    "Regarding Zelda HD, Japanese developers said that it could not be replicated on other machines," Iwata said.

    It was made in a relatively short period, so Iwata feels that HD development will not be a problem.

    Nintendo's share price hit its lowest value in five years following the unveiling of the Wii U.

    "There were high expectations from the new version of the Wii and this fell far short," said analyst Yusuke Tsunoda.

    "People had expected to see something more at a big event like the E3, but there wasn't really anything more than what's already reported."

    Iwata countered this criticism, saying feedback from those who actually played the Wii U was positive.

    "Reactions directly from LA were extremely good," he said. "The majority of the overseas media offered congratulations. The reaction differed greatly between those who covered the product at the show and those who just covered it online. In other words, the point is how Nintendo can convey the value of the product."

    Oli Welsh went hands-on at E3 for Eurogamer's Wii U preview.

    The console launches some time next year – but not before April.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...l-accept-wii-u ...
    by Published on June 27th, 2011 13:51
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    Core gamers game for on average 18 hours a week, according to US stat tracking company NPD.

    They bought an average of 5.4 games over the last three months, NPD said in a new report.

    The report claims digital gamers, which are different to core gamers, are catching core gamers up. Digital gamers spend 16 hours a week gaming, and bought an average of 5.9 games for any system or device over the past three months.

    So, how did NPD come up with its numbers?

    It collected data from February to March this year from 8214 respondents aged two and above. The data is weighted and representative of the US population ages two and older, NPD said.

    But how does it define core gamers? And how does it define digital gamers? It doesn't say.

    We do know core gamers represent the highest number of gamers (23 per cent), though, followed by family and kid gamers (22 per cent), then "avid PC gamers" and "light PC gamers, both of which claim 15 per cent.

    Mobile gamers and digital Gamers bring up the rear.

    "The name of the game in 2011 seems to be choice," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said.

    "Gamers are increasingly branching out to methods of play other than those that the industry has traditionally expected them to use.

    "Fuelled by the growth of smartphones and new tablet devices, mobile gaming continues to accelerate, and what a game is and what it means to be a gamer is evolving, reflecting the rapid nature of change within the industry."

    Which type of gamer are you?

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...urs-a-week-npd ...