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Tengami's pop-up world hits Wii U next month

Origami-inspired iOS game Tengami is making the leap to Nintendo's Wii U on Nov. 13, the developers tell Polygon. The game will sell for $9.99 on the eShop. "We spent the last couple of months carefully porting the game over to the Wii U, as well as integrating Wii U specific features such as posting and sharing to Miiverse, as well as collectible Miiverse stamps," said developer Nyamyam's Jennifer Schneidereit. In the game, players guide an origami samurai through a rice paper world of puzzles, wolves and folding tea houses. Check out our early interview with Schneidereit from 2012 for a bit more on the game.
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Wii U sales skyrocket, and Nintendo expects more thanks to Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will bolster console sales, continuing a trend that began earlier this year with the release of Mario Kart 8 and increased sales as much as 200 percent, Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata said during a financial results briefing today. In May 2014, Nintendo announced a $456 million annual operating loss for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. Not for the first time, the company described Wii U hardware, whose cumulative sales totaled 6.17 million at the time, as having a "negative impact on Nintendo's profits," for several reasons including software sales. By late October, Nintendo announced that Wii U sales topped 7 million units and credited strong Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS sales for a surprise profit. Must Read H...
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Nintendo eyes expansion of digital payment on New Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo is looking into the possibility of expanding its Suica e-money payment system to its New Nintendo 3DS, the company confirmed today. The smart card, which was introduced earlier this year in Japan, has so far only been available for monetary payments relating to Nintendo's Wii U console. Before the introduction of these e-money payments, the company had only supported digital payments over credit cards and prepaid cards. According to company president Satoru Iwata the "barrier has been cleared" for other consoles to adopt digital payment systems — particularly consoles that feature content for under 500 yen (roughly $5). "From this summer, we commenced public transport e-money payments, starting with JR East's 'Suica,' on Wii U," Iwata said. "By the introduction of this...
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Why Nintendo's New 3DS didn't arrive in Europe and the U.S. first

The New Nintendo 3DS arrived first in Japan this year in an attempt to boost "slow moving" hardware sales in that market, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during a financial results briefing today. Nintendo 3DS hardware sales decreased in the first half of 2014, according to Iwata, because Nintendo "could not release any million-selling titles for the platform in the Japanese market." The subsequent release of two versions of Yokai Watch 2 and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in Japan have sold more than 2 million copies each. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS has sold 1.88 million units, and Iwata expects that to cross the 2 million threshold "shortly." The New 3DS launched Oct. 11 in Japan and won't arrive in Europe or the U.S. until 2015 at the earliest. The upgraded device sold...
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Pre-loading coming to Wii U with Super Smash Bros., to 3DS next year

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will feature pre-downloading when it is released later this year, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during a briefing today. "The 'pre-download' system is a system in which consumers who have purchased the game before its release can download most of the game content in advance," he explained. "Using this system, consumers will not have to wait for a long time to download the game after its release. They will then be able to start playing the game by only downloading a requisite minimum amount of update data." Pre-loading will be available for the game both by purchasing it online through certain retailers and by purchasing download cards at stores and then entering the download code at the Nintendo eShop in advance. "Consumers will not be required to...
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Iwata explains how Nintendo is going to have a record-breaking year

Nintendo sold more than 3.22 million copies of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS as of September and the company is "confident" that the game has plenty more sales in its future. More importantly, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata explains, that means the two new Pokemon games are going to be hits and perhaps lead to a historic run of multimillion-unit 3DS games for the publisher. Don't understand why? Let's let Iwata, who walked a gathering through the company's theory on this during today's corporate management briefing in Japan, explain. To start, you have to understand Nintendo's view on the importance of the recent success of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, which Iwata says has several implications. "First of all, it proved that the 'Super Smash Bros.' series, which has been...
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Nintendo's getting into the health business with a device that monitors your sleep

Nintendo revealed first details about its health-focused QOL platform, which stands for "quality of life," announcing a new sensor that monitors and analyzes you while you sleep. In a presentation, Nintendo described the QOL device as having "five 'non' sensing" features: It will be non-wearable, non-contact (meaning it doesn't need to touch your body), non-operating, non-waiting and non-installation. Essentially, the device is designed to operate on its own, without much set-up. The QOL device is designed to monitor a user during sleep. Using radio waves, the device reads a user's movement, heart rate, respiration and fatigue, and sends that data to servers to be analyzed. The QOL system will connect with smart devices and "dedicated video game devices," presumably Nintendo's Wii U...
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Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata returns to work following surgery recovery

Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata is back at work following his recovery from a surgery in June to remove a tumor in a bile duct, reports Reuters. Presenting the company's quarterly earnings, Iwata said he felt healthy enough to fully return to work, although he has lost weight since the operation. Earlier this year he talked about his surgery. "In general, it is said that a bile duct growth can be difficult-to-treat, partly because of the difficulty of detecting it early. In my case, luckily, it was detected very early and I had no symptoms. I was counseled that removal at an early stage would be the desirable medical option. Therefore I had surgery last week, and I came through it well, as predicted." Iwata is likely to find his inbox full as he addresses the many challenges facing...
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How Nintendo inspired Anita Sarkeesian

Anita Sarkeesian is one of gaming's most prominent commentators, critiquing its propensity for misogynistic and exclusionary portrayals of women, through her series of video documentaries, Tropes Versus Women in Video Games. In the New York Times today, she writes an opinion piece on her own relationship with games, set against the backdrop of the death-threats, harassment and hostility she has received since her videos appeared, and particularly during the GamerGate internet campaign. The Wii reignited my interest in gaming Sarkeesian talks about how she begged her parents for a Game Boy, back when she was a child, but faced resistance from her mother, who viewed the handheld games machine as something that was not for girls. "She thought it was a toy for boys. And could I really...
Video
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Check out Mario Kart 8's tribute to Excitebike

The Mario Kart series is no longer bound by the constraints of the Mario-verse. With Mario Kart 8's downloadable content, the franchise is plucking the best from Nintendo's other series: The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, F-Zero and — as Nintendo shows in a new trailer for Mario Kart 8 — Excitebike. The Excitebike Arena course is part of the first batch of Mario Kart 8 DLC, which hits Wii U in November. The course will have randomized ramps and speed boosts, the location of which changes every time you play (with the exception of Time Trials). Mario Kart 8's first pack of DLC adds Link (and his sweet custom motorcycle), cat-suit Peach and tanooki-suit Mario as playable characters. In total, the pack adds four vehicles and eight tracks. A second DLC pack, which includes Animal...
Culture
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Horror manga master Junji Ito makes Pokémon Gengar a mega creep

The Pokémon Company's collaboration with horror manga creator Junji Ito continues with the artist's interpretation of Gengar, who's all tongue with some unfortunate young lady who clearly doesn't appreciate the ghost-type Pokémon's advances. Ito's first take on Pokémon — part of a larger promotion called Kowapoke — featured the character Banette, also being creepy to a young woman, just less touchy. The Kowapoke section of the Japanese Pokémon website has plenty of spooky art just in time for Halloween, featuring the likes of Gastly, Gengar, Cofagrigus, Chandelure and other ghostly Pokémon highlighted in comics, Art Academy illustrations and character profiles. Junji Ito's work includes the manga Uzumaki, a series about a town's obsession with spirals that turns some residents into...
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Pokémon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire Dual Pack includes both games, lots of potions

Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will be available separately or together as a special Dual Pack when the game launches Nov. 21, Nintendo announced today. Individually, each game will sell for $39.99. The dual pack is available for $79.98 and includes a download code that gives players 100 free potions each. It will only be available at Best Buy and Amazon. As with previous generations, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will include many of the same Pokémon, though some are exclusive to their individual game. A demo for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, which allows players to carry over items and Pokémon Glalie, is available now on Nintendo 3DS. For more on the franchise, check out our interview with producer Junichi Masuda.
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Why Mario's creator decided to start making little movies

Shigeru Miyamoto, the legendary creative force behind many of Nintendo's most famous characters and games, premiered his latest project at the Tokyo International Film Festival last weekend — but it wasn't a video game. Pikmin Short Movies runs 23 minutes and tells three stories — "The Night Juicer," "Treasures in a Bottle" and "Occupational Hazards" — based on the video game series that most recently appeared on Wii U in 2013. According Miyamoto, he's long considered creating cartoons based on Nintendo characters. He decided to do so now because it's not so different than making games. Must Read Shigeru Miyamoto on Nintendo's innovative past, unsteady present and optimistic future "I haven't moved over [from game development]. But as computer graphics have gotten...
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Your Pokémon dreams of sleeping on a Snorlax can be real

Pokémon fans who often wonder what it would be like to drift to sleep on a Snorlax's stomach can now make their dreams come true — for a couple hundred dollars. Seoul-based Etsy user Catherine Kim sells customized characters beds in her online shop, using a teaser pic of a Snorlax paw as the display photo. While it looks like this particular Snorlax bed has been sold, Kim writes that she will create bed shapes to buyers' specifications — all they have to do is buy loose cotton and stuff the bodies themselves to desired firmness. Alternatively, the 33-pound Pikachu bed pictured below is available for 39,800 yen (about $371 USD) from Japanese online store Mercari. We're not sure how big Pikachus tend to get in the wild, but if you like the idea of snoozing on top of a giant one, then...
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Train Super Smash Bros. amiibos, get the girl?

Nintendo shared a new video on its YouTube channel detailing how amiibo figurines will work with Super Smash Bros for Wii U... albeit in a very roundabout way. The video above tells a story of unrequited prepubescent love. In an effort to impress the girl he likes — an older woman who appears to be a friend of his siblings — one kid drags his mom to the video game store to get his very own amiibo. He settles on Mario, and hilarity ensues. The following training montage paints a pretty clear depiction of how players can use these little figures. Placing them on the Wii U GamePad allows you to use them in-game, and frequent use allows you to level them up. But does he get the girl? Watch until the end to find out. Amiibo figures will cost $12.99 and launch alongside Super Smash Bros....
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Nintendo confirms 8-player mode in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will allow for eight-player simultaneous play, Nintendo confirmed today. In a Nintendo Direct video (below) the company unveiled a host of features for the game. "In a major first for the franchise, a special mode lets eight players fight simultaneously in local multiplayer," stated the company. "This option appears only in the Wii U version, and lets players compete on even larger stages to accommodate all the characters." This option will only be available on "certain stages" and is not available online. Those larger stages were created in order to accommodate the larger numbers of players. The new Nintendo Direct looks at specific new sections in the game, compared to the previously released 3DS version. Nintendo Direct also talked about extras like...
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