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Tag Archives: Nintendo

Nintendo 3DS Gets Priced And Dated – Start Saving Your Coins

Nintendo 3DS (Image courtesy Nintendo)
By Andrew Liszewski

So it turns out that November release date rumor for the Nintendo 3DS was wrong, wrong, wrong. The 3D version of their dual-screen portable gaming system will actually be available starting in Japan on February 26, 2011, with a slightly vaguer ‘March 2011′ for North America and Europe. Not that long of a wait, particularly since it will give you an extra few months to save up ¥25,000 or around $300 which is what the 3DS will retail for in Japan. Hopefully that will be a little cheaper elsewhere, but still, ouch.

It will initially be available in two color choices, Aqua Blue and Cosmo Black, and will come with a charging cradle, telescoping stylus, 2GB SD card and some augmented reality cards that can be used with the 3DS’ cameras. Other revelations include the ability to jump to the home screen and access other features at any time without having to end or shut down a game in progress, the ability to transfer purchases from your DSi to the new system, and the one that’s got me most excited, a mini Virtual Console letting you buy old Game Boy, GBC and GBA titles!

At this point I guess I’m supposed to complain that the 3DS is going to cost more than a Wii, but I’m not going to kid anyone, I’ll have my pre-order in on the first day and will be there with credit card in hand when it’s finally released in North America.

[ Tiny Cartridge - Nintendo 3DS hardware compendium ]

Say Hello To The Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo 3DS (Image courtesy Kotaku)
By Andrew Liszewski

Nintendo’s E3 presentation wrapped up a short while ago, and thanks to the chaps at Kotaku, here’s one of the first photos of what the latest generation of the DS actually looks like. It’s not that far off from the description that was leaked over the weekend, with a wider 3D-capable top screen and the standard touch screen on the bottom. But new additions include an analog ‘slide pad’ that’s hopefully a marked improvement over what the PSP had, a slider on the side of the screen for adjusting the depth effect, and a pair of cameras on the outside for snapping photos in 3D.

On the inside it’s got built-in motion and gyro sensors, an always on wifi system for downloading game content from the internet or from other 3DS’s even if you’re not playing a specific title, and improved graphics, though not drastically given the demo they showed of a new Kid Icarus game that will be available when the system launches. And speaking of games, Nintendo also went through a quick list of titles in development for the 3DS and there’s some exciting stuff in there including DJ Hero 3D, Kingdom Hearts 3D, Saints Row, Dead or Alive 3D, Ninja Gaiden, Street Fighter IV, Riiiiiiiiidge Racer and most surprisingly, a Metal Gear Solid title.

Now even Nintendo admitted that showing off the 3D effect was impossible via a 2D video, so after their presentation they flooded the theater with 3DS units running timed demos. And Gizmodo’s Mark Wilson posted one of the first hands-on with the system and had this to say about the 3D effect.

In our 2-minute demo, we weren’t able to actually play anything. Instead, Nintendo had the demo units (tethered to models) running through a loop of 3D spinning images of famous characters like Mario and Yoshi. Head-on, the new screen is bright, colorful and, yes, 3D. You look a bit more into the screen than the images jump out, like a window—an effect that’s surprisingly natural, actually—until you view the screen from the side. Anywhere but head-on, the 3D effect fails completely and the colors wash out a bit.

I’ll hand it to Nintendo, they seem to have made 3D extremely intuitive. In our admittedly brief hands-on, we were impressed but not necessarily floored by the tech alone. Until developers really exploit the new technology, the experience is akin to the average decently made 3D movie: Neat, but not necessarily integral to the experience. Nintendo still needs an Avatar to really sell the idea.

There was unfortunately no announcement on when the 3DS will hit stores, but given the hundreds of demo units that were paraded out after the presentation it’s safe to assume they’ve already gone into production.

Update: Just got a press release from Nintendo in the mail and it includes mentions of a few other titles being demo’d for the 3DS at E3 this week including PilotWings Resort: “a flying simulation that lets players soar above Wuhu Island.” I was a big fan of the original PilotWings for the SNES, and it looks like Nintendo’s already got an impressive lineup of titles en route.

[ Kotaku - Your First Look At The Nintendo 3DS & Gizmodo - First Hands On: Nintendo 3DS ]

Custom GameBoy Arcade Mod – Yours For Just $149.99

Custom GameBoy Arcade Mod (Images courtesy XCKDIY)
By Andrew Liszewski

Every gamer would like to have an arcade in their home full of classic titles, but not everyone has the space, or the money, needed to buy and/or build one. Chinese modder XCKDIY may have found a happy medium though. They’ve converted an old Game Boy, well 10 of them actually, into a miniature arcade cabinet by removing and angling the handheld’s controls, and swapping out the 4-way directional pad with an actual joystick. As I mentioned, 10 of these creations are currently available on eBay at $149.99 a piece, and while it’s a clever mod for sure, for that kind of money I’d like to be able to request some different cabinet graphics, and maybe a simple overhead LED to better illuminate the Game Boy’s monochromatic display.

[ eBay - Custom GameBoy Arcade Mod ] VIA [ Tiny Cartridge ]

CTA Digital Milking This Wii Thing For All It’s Worth – Introduces Inflatable Racing Kart Accessory

Inflatable Racing Kart for Wii (Image courtesy CTA Digital)
By Andrew Liszewski

Continuing in a long line of confusing, awkward and utterly pointless gaming accessories like the Wii Bowling Ball and the Wings for Wii comes CTA Digital’s latest creation, an inflatable racing cart designed to take games like Mario Kart Wii to the next level. It includes a plastic steering wheel which will accommodate a Wiimote, just like the accessory that comes with the actual game, and while it’s listed as being “safe for both kids and adults” I just can’t see anyone over 15 comfortably fitting into it.

The accessory will be officially unveiled at E3 where attendees will have a chance to give it a go, but if you’re already sold on the idea you can pre-order one from Amazon right now for $39.99.

[ Inflatable Racing Kart for Wii ] VIA [ GoNintendo ]

Wii2HDMI Adapter Doesn’t Need Much Explaining

Wii2HDMI Adapter (Images courtesy Neoya)
By Andrew Liszewski

If your TV is brimming with unused HDMI ports, but is suffering from a lack of available component connections, this dead simple HDMI adapter for the Wii will at least let you convert it over to the HDMI-side. Just jam it into the back of your Wii (installation techniques may vary) plug in an HDMI cable and you’re ready to enjoy all the glorious eye-candy that is 480p! It’s available from Neoya for $39.95 which isn’t incredibly cheap, but they let you tack on a 5 foot HDMI cable to your order for just $7.95 so it doesn’t seem like they’re trying to rip you off like other HDMI cable sellers.

[ Wii2HDMI ] VIA [ ChipChick ]

Wii Accessories Hit A New Low With Wings For Wii

Wings For Wii (Images courtesy CTA Digital & Destructoid)
By Andrew Liszewski

I haven’t played any of the new activities available in the Wii Fit Plus update, but apparently it includes a game called Bird’s-Eye Bulls-Eye where you flap your arms while standing on the balance board to guide your Mii (who’s dressed up in a chicken suit) to a series of targets to score points. I’m sure it’s occasionally a fun diversion to yoga poses, but apparently CTA Digital thinks it’s an important enough activity to warrant a set of strap-on nylon wings to “… add a sensation that you will not feel mimicking a flying chicken with your hands alone.” Unfortunately there’s no pricing info on the CTA Digital website, but anything over $1 would be a complete rip-off in my opinion.

[ Wings For Wii ] VIA [ Tiny Cartridge ]

ThrustMaster Goes After The Coveted ‘World’s Heaviest DS Stylus’ Record

The Toy Story 3 Projector Stylus (Image courtesy ThrustMaster)
By Andrew Liszewski

Once known for their wonderful line of joysticks and game controllers, ThrustMaster has apparently decided to seek their fame and fortune in the world of ridiculous Guinness World Records with this new Nintendo DS stylus accessory. Designed to serve as a tie-in to the upcoming third Toy Story film, this overburdened stylus accessory features a built in lamp that projects an image of Buzz Lightyear on the wall. The projector end of the stylus is flexible too, allowing you to aim the image, and the inclusion of batteries and overall bulk of its design should easily claim that ‘World’s Heaviest DS Stylus’ accolade they’re after. Available sometime between now and when Toy Story 3 is released for just over $7. (£4.99)

[ Meodia - ThrustMaster Announces New Videogame Accessories ]

Nintendo Announces Black Wii For US, Includes Extras

Black_Wii

By Chris Scott Barr

If you’re tired of your Wii being the only thing in your living room that doesn’t match your black TV, then listen up. Nintendo has finally announced the release of the black Wii bundle here in the US. It has already been available in Japan for nearly a year, so it’s not a huge surprise to finally see it hit our shores.

What is a bit surprising is that now the new black console will include  Wii Sports Resort and the Wii MotionPlus adapter in the box. This is a great value, as you had to purchase those separately for $50. These additions will also be found in all newly-shipped white consoles as well. These new ones won’t hit stores until May 9th, so you might want to hold off on purchasing a new Wii until then. If you decide to buy the white version, double-check that Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus are in the box, as there will likely be plenty of older bundles still on store shelves for some time.

[ Nintendo ]

1980’s Tranforming Famicom Carts Are Pretty Lame

Kasetto Sentai (Images courtesy Video Game Den)
By Andrew Liszewski

Cars and robots are a match made in heaven when it comes to toy design, but video game cartridges and video game characters? Not so much it turns out. And if you need proof of this just check out these ‘Kasetto Sentai’ or ‘Cartridge Corps’ transformers that Bandai produced back in the 80’s.

In cartridge mode they looked just like an actual Famicom cart, just a lot smaller, but when each one transformed into a character in the game they represented, things kind of fell apart. As Video Game Den, who actually found the toys, puts it, “Thruthfully, the toy ends up looking like a character in a cartridge suit.” Kind of hard to disagree with that. The Kasetto Sentai came in 8 different versions including characters from Ghost’n Goblins, Dig Dug and of course Super Mario Bros. They kind of remind me of the Food Changeables McDonald’s also had back in the 80’s, though they didn’t cheap out on the robot design quite as much.

[ Video Game Den - More than meets the eyes? Bandai's 'Kasetto Sentai' ] VIA [ Kotaku ]