Many studios and publishers are shunning Wii U, Nintendo’s new console, simply because it’s not powerful enough. Crytek and DICE, both of whom engineer high-tech game engines, have stated outright that their games won’t be released on the console. You can now add Avalanche Studios to that list, but not for the same reason though.
Speaking to Press Fire (translated by The Escapist), studio founder Christofer Sundberg said that the platform’s low user base and poor communication on Nintendo’s part is causing them to forego developing for Wii U. “It’s a bit sad because we wanted to do something,” he said. “I think it’s a cool platform, but right now… we want the game to reach as many [gamers] as possible.”
Sundberg also talked about communicating with Nintendo, noting that the company has always been “difficult to reach.” He pointed out Sony’s approach, stating that their communication with studios has been clear and efficient and that their enthusiasm for the new console is palpable. Simply put, the same cannot be said for Nintendo.
I would have felt bad for Nintendo if the company wasn’t so resistant to change. Their online offering on the Wii was poor at best when compared to PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. They also thrive on gamers’ nostalgias by baking the same or same-ish games based on their past franchises. Also, the success of the Wii was based on a gimmick, which people are now becoming wary of.
Satoru Iwata, the company’s global president, has acknowledged the problem of Wii U sales, blaming it on consumer’s misconception of the new console as a peripheral for the Wii. He also said that the period of time between first-party game releases has been much longer than they expected.
Nintendo now faces an uphill battle when it comes to marketing the Wii U. I don’t know how they’re going to compete in the face of true next-generation hardware from Sony and Microsoft. I hope they survive because competition is always good for the industry. And also because I’d love to play more Mario!
Highlighting what seems to be a major problem for Nintendo, UK supermarket Asda has cut the price of the Wii U for the second time in two months. Asda is a subsidiary of retail giant Walmart.
Asda, which has stores all over UK, is now selling the basic model of the console for £149; the premium pack is being sold for £199. This comes down from the previously reduced prices of £199 and £249. Interestingly, the device launched in November 2012 for £249 for the basic model, plus £50 more for the premium pack.
Nintendo appears to be having problems shifting the Wii U to customers since they believe that the device isn’t powerful enough. While it’s true that Wii U is faster than PS3 and Xbox 360, it remains to be seen how it’ll compare to PS4 and whatever Microsoft decides to name their new Xbox.
It wasn’t too long before Wii U’s copy protection would be broken. So, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise as a group of hackers are now claiming to have played pirated Wii U games from USB media.
The group is said to have broken the console’s authentication system, disk encryption, and other related stuff to be able to play pirated games. They’re calling the device an “optical drive emulator,” which it claims uses an “embedded Linux system” and doesn’t require soldering. It is said to be compatible with all current models of the console.
Nintendo has said that it’s aware of the claims made by the group. However, it said that there have been no reports of its hardware being modded to play games.
The company has previously deployed software updates and model revisions to deter piracy on Wii. It’s not clear at this moment what this means for the console’s future. If its copy protection has indeed been broken, you can expect to see torrents of Wii U games going up quite soon.
This E3 is going to be very boring for Capcom fans. The publisher has stated that it won’t have any games for Nintendo’s systems playable at the event.
There have been rumors of a new Resident Evil 3DS game for some time now. Many have speculated over the localization of Monster Hunter Tri G being unveiled at E3. Although the announcement doesn’t rule them out, these games, if they do appear, won’t be playable in any form.
As for Nintendo, it is expected to fully unveil the Wii U, and maintain a strong presence for 3DS. Playable games are of course expected.
Nintendo may have had an interesting show at E3, but they didn’t reveal any details on when the Wii U would be out. This was taken care of by a Sega executive who let it slip that the console would launch next spring or summer.
EVP of marketing Alan Pritchard made the mistake when asked if Sonic Generations is coming to the platform: “Generations releases this November, and the Wii U is coming out next spring/summer.”
He added that a new game would be better suited for the platform, noting that it is “more likely to be a separate stand-alone installment or in conjunction with a multiplatform release in the future.”
Here’s to looking forward to the Wii U next spring/summer.
With the Wii U making its presence felt strongly at E3, many were wondering if The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword would be published on both platforms. Nintendo US chief Reggie Fils-Aime has quashed that dream, however, noting that “Skyward Sword was built to be played with a Wii controller.”
It should be noted that the company released both Gamecube and Wii versions of Twilight Princess, which was originally a Gamecube title, back in 2006.
Skyward Sword is planned for release this holiday season. Wii U still doesn’t have a princess to save.
Gloom and doom for the industry continues, this time directed at the Wii. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter noted that the Wii’s declining software sales is a bad sign for the system and its publisher support.
"Wii software sales were down 19% year-over-year and DS software sales were down 13%, while PS3 software sales were up 58% and Xbox 360 software sales were up 29%. We think this is remarkable, given growth in the Wii hardware installed base of 44% and growth in the DS installed base of 33% over the last 12 months.
In contrast, the PS3 installed base is up 60% and the Xbox 360 installed base is up 32% over the same period. Software sales growth mirrored hardware unit growth for both the PS3 and Xbox 360, but sorely lagged hardware unit growth for the Wii and DS.
In our view, this indicates that Nintendo’s customers either are not finding enough software to satisfy their needs, or need less software than the typical Sony or Microsoft customer."
Pachter added that publishers seem to be “reluctant to support the console as broadly as the other two.”
Another week, another Wii-kly update! This week sees the arrival of two new games, one each for WiiWare and Virtual Console.
Bonsai Barber (Nintendo, 1-4 players, Rated E for Everyone-Comic Mischief, 1,000 Wii Points): The village residents are hungry for the latest in foliage fashion, and it’s up to you, the new barber, to fix them up. Use the tools of your trade: scissors, clippers, spray can, and more in this humorous, first-of-its-kind "first-person-groomer" game. Bonsai Barber features a colorful cast of 12 intriguing customers, including a temperamental shallot starlet (don’t call her an onion), an oddball strawberry boffin, a cactus cowboy, a daredevil carrot, and a suave banana with top-secret clearance. Each day, five customers arrive to test your stylistic skill. If the customer requests a specific style, you’ll plow that furrow, or you can rely on your expertise to pick from more than 30 popular fashions. Or, why not turn over a new leaf? Be creative and see how they react. They’re a demanding bunch, so if you miss an appointment, you’ll hear about it-on your Wii Message Board. If you do a good job, you may receive a gift or even a postcard from an exotic destination as your happy customers travel to distant lands and show off their exquisite coifs.
Super Punch-Out!! (Super NES™, 1 player, Rated E for Everyone, 800 Wii Points): Featuring the tight game play and humor the series is known for, this sequel to the NES™ classic sees Little Mac return to the ring with the World Video Boxing Association belt once again at stake. Slug your way through the grueling, sweat-pounding matches of the Minor, Major and World Circuits as you face off against some of Little Mac’s greatest rivals, such as Bear Hugger, Bald Bull and Super Macho Man. With a cast of new challengers waiting, do you have what it takes to identify their unique patterns and exploit their weaknesses? Go to your corner and come out fighting, but remember what Doc Louis would say: "It’s not about brawling-it’s about finesse!"
Aching to get a Nintendo DSi in your hands? Well, if you do, then there’s a reward for you: if you purchase the console and connect it to the DSi Shop within the first six months of availability – between April and October – Nintendo will reward you with 1000 free DSi points.
These points can be redeemed in the online shop for downloadable DSiWare games and applications. Most games fall within 200-800 points, so those thousand points will allow you to pick up some stuff.
The DSi is already available in Japan and is the third revision of the familiar DS. It features a slimmer profile, bigger screens, two cameras and the ability to buy and download games online.
Gamers in the US will get it on April 5 for $169.99.
A lot of Nintendo news comes our way, courtesy of the company’s press conference at GDC today.
- First up is word that the ever-popular Wii has shipped a stunning 50 million consoles worldwide since its debut in 2006. Nintendo claims it is the fastest-selling console ever.
- The DS appears to have reached a sort of gender harmony, with the company claiming that 47% of all new DS owners in 2008 were female and that women make up 27% of the platform’s life-to-date install base.
- Addressing the Wii’s lack of storage options, Nintendo today released the SD Card Menu as part of its latest system update. This download will enable Wii users to launch applications, such as WiiWare and Virtual Console titles, from an inserted SD card.
- The Wii will today extend its Shop Channel to include classic arcade games. Initial offerings will include Space Harrier, The Tower of Druaga and Star Force. Pricing will range between $5-6.
There were two game announcements, too:
- Ninty’s head honcho Satoru Iwata announced Rock n’ Roll Climber, an upcoming WiiWare game making use of the Wii Balance Board. The game will have players scale virtual rockfaces, shifting their feet on the balance board to control the climber’s feet.
- The second is a rather big one – a new Zelda game for the DS! Dubbed The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, the DS title will feature a similar visual style to The Phantom Hourglass and will see traditional gameplay in the form of combat and dungeon exploration. It is due out later this year.