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Japanese console market down 16 percent

The Japanese games console market dipped 16 percent last year, according to a report by the country's Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association. According to CESA, as reported by analyst Serkan Toto, the market for console gaming (hardware and software combined) in Japan in 2013 reached $4 billion, down from $4.8 billion in 2012. Console hardware sales in 2013 were $1.5 billion, down from $1.9 billion the year before. In contrast, Japanese consumers are continuing their love affair with mobile games. According to CESA, which organizes the annual Tokyo Games Show, Japan's market for smartphone games reached $3.5 billion in 2013. CESA's console stats include mobile devices like Nintendo DS, which holds a 47 percent market share and PlayStation Vita (12 percent). PlayStation 4...
News
132 Comments

Nintendo lost $97M last quarter even with the success of Mario Kart 8

Nintendo lost $97.2 million in the yearly quarter ending June 30, the company confirmed in its latest quarterly results. The loss comes even despite the successful sales of Mario Kart 8 earlier this year, which saw shipments of 2.82 million. Why? Nintendo states that these sales can be attributed to existing Wii U owners and not new buyers. The company shipped just 510,000 units of the console between April and June. Nintendo still expects to hit its target of 3.6 million units sold for this fiscal year. The Wii U's total shipments rose to 6.68 million as of June. The company confirms Mario Kart 8 represents 65 percent of the total 4.39 million software shipments made in this three month period, 80 percent of which came from outside Japan. Nintendo appears to be finding most of its...
News
3 Comments

Animal Crossing chief celebrates greater diversity at Nintendo

Aya Kyogoku is one of the most influential women in Japanese gaming. As Animal Crossing: New Leaf director, she is responsible for one of the biggest hits of the last year. She is also that rarity; a woman in a position of seniority at Nintendo. Animal Crossing on 3DS was a huge hit with gamers of all kinds, allowing players to inhabit an alternative life and build their own character and surroundings. In an interview with US Gamer today, Kyogoku said that more inclusiveness is aiding game designers at Nintendo. "When I first got into the industry, into game development, it was at a time where overall, the ratio of men to women was very much in favor of men," she said. "I definitely noticed I was the only woman developer here. But it wasn't something shocking. It was something I had...
News
20 Comments

Yes, you can dress up like Link when Monster Hunter 4 comes stateside next year

When Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate hits Nintendo 3DS next year in North America, players will be able to dress up like Link from The Legend of Zelda and wield his famous gear, Capcom has confirmed. At its Monster Hunter panel at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, Capcom showed off the Monster Hunter 4 announcement trailer that showcases Link's weapon and armor set, but didn't provide specifics about the release. Nintendo and Capcom announced last September that the two companies were collaborating on a crossover that would bring Mario and Luigi and The Legend of Zelda to Monster Hunter, but it was never clear whether that content would ever leave Japan. Capcom hasn't specified whether the Super Mario Bros.-inspired items — which Felynes can wear in Monster Hunter 4 — are also coming...
News
3 Comments

Loki and the Green Goblin introduce Marvel Villains to Disney Infinity 2.0

As promised at Comic-Con 2014, here is the video introducing the first three baddies in the Marvel Villains lineup that will join the Marvel Heroes in Disney Infinity 2.0 this fall. Loki, the Green Goblin and Ronan the Accuser (main bad guy of Guardians of the Galaxy) are playable figurines in the game. Disney Infinity 2.0 will bring more than just a roster of Marvel superheroes and villains when it launches Sept. 23 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Nintendo 3DS. A slew of changes are also coming to the game's popular Toy Box mode; read more about them here.
News
108 Comments

Bravely Default outshines modern Final Fantasy titles by selling one million units

Nintendo 3DS role-playing game Bravely Default has sold one million copies worldwide, placing it ahead of most recent titles in Square Enix's long-lived Final Fantasy RPG series, Dengeki Online reports. Bravely Default launched in Japan in 2012, in December 2013 in Europe and in North America this past February. The game's lifetime sales, including downloads, exceed one million copies — 400,000 copies in Japan and 600,000 copies overseas, Square Enix told Dengeki. While the game is not a true Final Fantasy title, the game does borrow many elements of the 27-year-old JRPG franchise: a focus on narrative and character development, different job classes players can develop — such as mages, warriors and thieves — and a storyline focused around crystals that protect and power the earth. A...
News
10 Comments

Hulk, Tinkerbell and a flying bed make Disney Infinity's 'Toy Box' a whole lot weirder

Disney Infinity 2.0 may still be seen as a kids' game, primarily — but it will also let you put Tinkerbell and The Incredible Hulk in bed together. "That's the bed from Bedknobs and Broomsticks," said John Vignocchi, the game's executive producer, just so we were both clear. It's a vehicle, OK, in Disney Infinity's "Toy Box" mode, where gamers take all of their virtual toys and play with them together, regardless of what continuity or movie or product line they come from. (Bedknobs and Broomsticks was a Mary Poppins clone from 1971 starring Angela Lansbury. It featured a flying bed.) Disney Infinity is the latest money-printer in the toys-to-life genre, in which players bring heroes and other characters into the game by stacking a cool little figurine on a special controller. With...
News
11 Comments

Twitch Plays Pokémon starting Pokémon X on July 27 thanks to modded 3DS

Twitch Plays Pokémon, the gaming phenomenon that took the internet by storm earlier this year, is moving to the most recent generation of Pokémon titles this weekend with a playthrough of Pokémon X. The Twitch channel and its viewers are set to begin playing Pokémon X at midnight ET on Sunday, July 27. In the meantime, the channel is streaming Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Once Pokémon X is completed, Twitch Plays Pokémon will return to Pokémon Stadium 2 as the main interstitial game between other specific titles, according to the channel's description. Twitch Plays Pokémon essentially works as a massively multiplayer co-op playthrough of a Pokémon title. Viewers type into the chat, and the channel parses certain commands into game inputs. It only works through an emulator for the...
Video
5 Comments

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham's Comic-Con trailer shows the Justice League in action

Warner Bros. shared a new Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham trailer in honor of San Diego Comic-Con this week, and boy there sure are a lot of super heroes in this game! The trailer above shows the famous Justice League in action against Batman's nemesis the Joker and a legion of other baddies hailing from the DC Comics universe. Of course, everything has been given that special Lego games-flavored brand of humor, so while the situation may look dire, it's not too dire for a few silly jokes. In addition to getting hands-on time with the game at Comic-Con this week, attendees of the show can stop by the LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham panel on Sunday, July 27 at 1 p.m. PT and get posters signed by the game's voice actors at 2:30 in the DC Comics booth. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will launch...
News
4 Comments

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS will include a Tomodachi Life stage

The Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. will feature an exclusive stage from quirky sim Tomodachi Life, game director Masahiro Sakurai announced via Miiverse. Sakurai posted the following photo and explained that the front walls of the apartment will disappear, allowing players to see the area when a fighter overlaps with the room. "The rooms are randomly placed and selected from among several types," he wrote. "Planting an X Bomb behind a wall might be an effective tactic." Sakurai added that players could encounter Mii characters in different rooms. "The Mii characters are taken from the data in your 3DS system, so you could find your friends living in the apartments," he wrote. Super Smash Bros. launches for Nintendo 3DS Oct. 3. The Wii U version of the game will be...
Video
20 Comments

Tour the next great Metroidvania with its developer

Bodie Lee has had an idea since he was a child — a strange, fantasy world where playing with time is just a part of every day life. Now Lee is bringing that idea into reality in the form of a gorgeous, exploration-heavy action-adventure game.Lee joined me to record a playthrough of his demo for Timespinner, which you can watch above. While the game is far from done — he's currently aiming for a November 2015 release — Lee already has the basics of gameplay down and a strong art style as demonstrated in the demo. If you like what you see, you can check out the Timespinner Kickstarter, which has just over a day left until completion.
News
2 Comments

How to join Nintendo's roving band of Smash Bros. players at Comic-Con

Nintendo is bringing Super Smash Bros. to San Diego Comic-Con, and attendees will have the chance to play the 3DS version of the game with a roaming group of Nintendo employees, the company announced. The "Smash Bros. on Demand" service works like this: after an alert from Nintendo's official Twitter, people tweet their location with a photo to the account. Those selected will then be direct messaged on Twitter and joined by a group of employees carrying the game, who will be moving throughout the convention center to play. Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U is also at the show, for anyone interested in the console version. The game is expected to launch Oct. 3 for Nintendo 3DS and this winter for Wii U. Nintendo will have almost 20 games at the convention, which takes place today...
News
14 Comments

Attention: we now have dates for your Sonic Boom launch party

Sega's upcoming Sonic Boom games are coming this November, according to a post on the Sega Blog. Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal for Nintendo 3DS will be available on Nov. 11, while Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric for Wii U will hit one week later on Nov. 18. The games, announced earlier this year, as part of a new spin-off branch of the main Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, in which Sonic and friends take on a new villain that isn't Dr. Eggman and dress like Nathan Drake. Accompanying the games will be a new cartoon TV show, featuring almost a dozen additional characters new to Sonic's world. The games are also part of a deal with Nintendo, in which the publishing giant has exclusive platform rights to Sega's Sonic games.
Culture
24 Comments

These Pokemon GIFs are good enough to replace comments

Like practically everyone who earns their bread off the internet, I have mixed feelings about comments. The relationship is at best love/hate, similar to my feelings for Twitter, Facebook and any other social network really. Comments introduce me to interesting and challenging people. And they also, sometimes — OK, relatively often — suck the life force from my very core. Negativity is like deadly radiation, and I won't last long when exposed. Sometimes I prefer to just use GIFs in comments. They're lighthearted. It's easy to sense the emotion of the message, which I can't always say about text. Today, I came across these GIFs of Pokemon evolving, and giddily imagined a world in which Pokemon GIFs were the de facto method of communicating online. Everything would be happy and sweet and...
Opinion
200 Comments

In the face of recent wins, Nintendo's lack of online functions is no longer forgivable

Nintendo is a company that, for better or worse, is completely blind to the trends and innovations of the gaming world around it. This allows the company to make interesting and bold leaps with its software and hardware, but it also means that Nintendo is often laughably behind the rest of the gaming world when it comes to basic features. Small steps are being made to fix this issue, but the baffling lack of competitive online or account-based features make the Wii U feel like a prior-generation console. At this point we're not mad at Nintendo, just disappointed. Especially after the release of games like Mario Kart 8 that help breathe new life in the hardware, and a wonderful slate of games shown at E3. The problem A recent update to the Wii U allows you to move your content to...
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