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Tag Archives: Nintendo

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 ]

So It Turns Out The Virtual Boy Wasn’t Nintendo’s First Foray Into 3D Gaming

Famicom 3D (Image courtesy NES-A-DAY)
By Andrew Liszewski

While many grown-up gamers instantly thought back to the Virtual Boy when Nintendo announced the upcoming 3D successor to the DS, it turns out that the company actually had a 3D accessory dating back to the days of the original Famicom in Japan. The Famicom 3D used a pair of LCD shutter glasses connected to the console that would sync to the left eye/right eye images on screen, producing a convincing 3D effect.

There were only a handful of titles ever released that supported the 3D accessory because it never really caught on in Japan, which also meant that Nintendo never bothered to release it in the United States either. Of course the fact that users complained of motion sickness and headaches while using it didn’t help its cause. So hopefully Nintendo doesn’t strike out a 3rd time with whatever the 3DS ends up being.

[ Famicom World – Famicom 3D ] VIA [ NES-A-DAY ]

WODE Jukebox Stand For The Wii Lets You Run ‘Homebrew’ Software Without Breaking Out The Soldering Iron

WODE JukeBox Standard for Nintendo Wii (Image courtesy ShopTemp)
By Andrew Liszewski

The Wii ‘homebrew’ scene has evolved over the years to the point where you don’t need a steady hand and a soldering iron to ‘enhance’ the console’s capabilities anymore. But while the WODE (Wii Optical Drive Emulator) Jukebox doesn’t require you to know how to solder, there is some assembly required, including opening up your Wii and swapping around some ribbon cables. The WODE Jukebox connects between the Wii and its internal DVD hardware, and ends up functioning like a virtual drive, allowing you to mount ISO files which the Wii will think are actual game discs. So while there are some hardware modifications needed, you aren’t doing anything to your Wii that can’t be reversed.

The WODE Jukebox features a USB port allowing you to connect flash drives or an external hard drive loaded with homebrew software, as well as an SD card slot providing the same functionality. But it can also operate in a ‘Flat WODE’ mode allowing you to load software burned to DVDs like with other modification chips. A monochrome LCD display and a tiny joystick on the front of the Jukebox allows you to choose what titles you’d like to load, though if the prospect of having to get up to change applications isn’t that appealing to you, a special version of the WODE firmware lets you use an on-screen menu with the Gamecube controller instead.

If you’re seriously interested in the device, and aren’t scared off at the prospect of cracking open your Wii, or the $95.46 price tag, GBAtemp has an extremely thorough review on the device, including installation procedures and compatibility tests.

[ WODE JukeBox Standard for Nintendo Wii ]

Quality Time With The Nintendo DSi XL

Nintendo DSi XL (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

I’ve had the chance to spend a couple of weeks with Nintendo’s latest addition to the DS family, the DSi XL, and there aren’t too many surprises not immediately given away by the ‘XL’ in the name. I’m not going to go into too many details about the system, since it’s essentially a bigger version of the DSi, so feel free to check out my hands-on review of the DSi from last year if you’re not up to speed. Otherwise, you can find my thoughts on Nintendo’s ‘new’ system after the jump.

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Nintendo Announces The DS’s Successor, The 3DS

Nintendo 3DS (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

By now you’ve probably already heard that last night Nintendo spilled the beans on the successor to their immensely popular DS portable gaming system. Well, spilled the beans maybe isn’t best way to describe their announcement about it, more like just cracking open the can and letting us have a whiff of what’s inside. In fact, here’s the extent of what they ‘announced’ regarding the new Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo Co., Ltd.(Minami-ward of Kyoto-city, President Satoru Iwata) will launch “N intendo 3D S”(temp) during the fiscal year ending March 2011, on which games can be enjoyed with 3D effects without the need for any special glasses.

“Nintendo 3DS”(temp) is going to be the new portable game machine to succeed “Nintendo DS series”, whose cumulative consolidated sales from Nintendo amounted to 125million units as of the end of December 2009, and will include backward compatibility so that the software for Nintendo DS series, including the ones for Nintendo DSi, can also be enjoyed.

We are planning to announce additional details at E3 show, which is scheduled to be held from June 15, 2010 at Los Angeles in the U.S.

At this point all we can do is speculate on what the system will look like and how it will work, but no one had really predicted any kind of 3D being part of the new system’s functionality, even though it’s all the rage now. Of course given Nintendo’s history with 3D gaming systems, I’m going to try and remain cautiously optimistic about the 3DS, but so far I’ve yet to come across a glasses-free 3D display that didn’t leave me feeling woozy after just a few minutes. So here’s to hoping Nintendo has something really revolutionary up their sleeves while we count down the days until E3.

[ PR – Launch of New Portable Game Machine ] VIA [ Kotaku ]

Upcoming DSiWare Title Features Motion-Controlled Interactive 3D Dioramas

I have no idea what this game is called since the page on Nintendo.co.jp is made up of images (hence Google translate is useless) but an upcoming Japanese DSiWare title features a clever system of motion-controlled 3D dioramas that allow you to change the view’s perspective by tilting the DSi. It’s actually kind of hard to explain, so I recommend watching the video above to really get the gist of the game’s mechanics.

But here’s the really slick part. The DSi doesn’t have motion controls or a built-in gyro, and since this game will be available for download via the DSiWare online store, that functionality won’t be added through a cartridge. So I have to assume the DSi’s camera is being used to track the person playing the game, and 3D motion is being extrapolated from that. Looking at the video it’s not as flawless as it would be with dedicated hardware, but it’s still pretty impressive. So here’s to hoping the game eventually becomes available in North America and the rest of the world.

Update: According to Kotaku the game is called Rittai Kakushi e Attakoreda and is actually available now for download.

Upcoming DSiWare Title Features 3D Interactive Diorama (Image courtesy Nintendo)

[ Nintendo.co.jp ] VIA [ MAXCONSOLE ]

Game Boy Advance Turned Into An iPhone Case

Game Boy Advance iPhone Case (Images courtesy Goteking)
By Andrew Liszewski

Nintendo fans might want to skip this mod because it requires sacrificing a Game Boy Advance, but since you couldn’t really see the LCD display on the original non-backlit model anyways, this seems like a far better use for the housing. The mod doesn’t require much in the way of electronics capabilities, short of removing screws and various bits of circuitry, but ‘Goteking‘ who created this bit of hackery did manage to stash the iPhone’s sync cable in the GBA’s battery compartment for easy access. And thanks to some clever alignment the ‘B’ button on the GBA can actually be used to press the iPhone’s ‘Home’ button.

[ Goteking – Stupid iPhone Case ] VIA [ ALBOTAS ]

Use The DSi’s Camera To Star In Your Own Mortal Kombat With Photo Fighter X

By Andrew Liszewski

I think everyone has a favorite character from Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter they’d play with more than others, but what makes Fight With Photos: Photo Fighter X for the Nintendo DSi better than both of those titles is the fact that your favorite character could be you.

The DSiware title uses the DSi’s built-in camera to capture photos of you in various poses to build your character, as well as random objects that can be used as weapons or backdrops for your epic brawl. You can even do your own foley work creating custom sound effects for every action using the DSi’s built-in mic. Now since it’s a DSiware title that will cost just 200 points, don’t expect an in-depth game, but for originality it seems like a must-have. Just check out this amazing game play action if you have any doubts.

Photo Fighter X is available in Japan as of the 16th, and hopefully gamers in the US, Europe and elsewhere will eventually get their own localized version.

[ Fight With Photos: Photo Fighter X ] VIA [ andriasang ]