3DS news round-up!

A 3DS Nintendo Direct has recently aired providing us with a lot of new announcements. I’ve detailed them below.

  • Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Star Fox 64 3D, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D are all coming to the European and North American eShop. The four games are available right now for €44.99/£39.99 in Europe while in North America, they will be available for $39.99 on October 18.


  • White 3DS XL Mario Kart 7 bundle and Pikachu 3DS XL announced for Europe. The Mario Kart 7 3DS XL will launch later this year. The Pikachu 3DS XL does not yet have a release-date and will only be available for a limited time


  • Pushmo sequel, Crashmo (Fallblox) is coming to US and Europe this November (the 22nd for the US). It will feature 90 training levels and 120 new levels. There is a new gameplay mechanic adding gravity to puzzle blocks. Not only that but puzzles are no longer limited to a 2D plane and can pulled from every side.


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GBA games might finally arrive on the 3DS eShop!

On the Nintendo of Europe press server, the box-arts for three GBA games (Super Mario Ball, Mario Golf Advance Tour and Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga) were uploaded.

As you might know, a European 3DS-focused Nintendo Direct was announced. It is very possible that they may end up announcing GBA games for the eShop during that presentation!

In the Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga spirit, I ask you guys this.

Rumour: Retro working on a Wii U engine, got Epic to reconsider UE4 for the Wii U

Over at GenGame, there is a rumour that claims that Retro is creating a game engine for the Wii U and “helping other devs implement” it. Supposedly, this involves both internal and external projects. The more interesting bit is that Retro apparently showed what they could do with the Wii U to Epic Games and got them to reconsider bringing Unreal Engine 4 to the system.

Even if this turns out to not be true, I still look forward to Retro’s Wii U game.

The pictures above show Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Donkey Kong Country: Returns emulated in HD on the Dolphin emulator. If Retro was able to make games that looked this good on the Wii, I can’t even begin to imagine what they could do on the Wii U!

Wii U: Will it flop or be a wild success?

And we certainly got a lot of news this week regarding the Wii U which I’ll detail my thoughts on below.

Hardware and Price:

Well we learned that the Wii U features 2GB RAM, GPGPU functions and a 5x Blu-ray drive. Honestly I’m pretty pleased with the news. Iwata specifically mentioning GPGPU functions leads me to think that the GPU is pretty modern (and adding credence to the rumour that the Wii U is using a AMD 7 Series GPU). A 5x Blu-ray drive is a nice improvement over the PS3’s drive too hopefully eliminating the mandatory game installs that we got.

An interesting thing Iwata said was that the RAM was split between 1GB system memory and 1GB for games (VRAM, I guess). 1GB of RAM is quite a lot (with the 360 only dedicating 32MB to the OS). I’m interested in seeing what Nintendo will do with it.

As for the price, while I do think $300 is very reasonable for a console like this, I worry that it will be too expensive to attract the mass-market. Nintendo really needs to push the point that this is a next-gen console and not just a current-gen contender when they advertise it.

I’ve noticed some bloggers expressing concern at the fact that the Wii U contains only 8GB/32GB of storage space. I don’t think it’s a problem at all. Nintendo has given us the ability to add more space by adding in an external USB drive or SD card. An added bonus is that you can get a drive as big as you like (without being restricted to certain sizes) as well as the ability to compare prices and get the best deal in town.

E3 2012 left me a little skeptical. We were shown late ports and Pikmin 3. While I was happy with the latter, I was expecting more than that.

The recent conference alleviated my concerns, though. Nintendo brought Bayonetta 2 back from the dead. We’re getting Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate! Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the biggest game this year is coming. Overall, third-party support seems good. I just hope this support carries on into the PS4/Nextbox era.

Bayonetta 2 being an exclusive really said something to me. Considering that the first one didn’t exactly sell a lot, Nintendo isn’t looking to make a big profit with this. I would say they are trying to fill the gaping holes that exist in their platform’s typical library and I applaud them for that.

Oh and with the Platinum Games-Nintendo partnership that seems to be going on, I expect a Star Fox game developed from them for the Wii U. Mark my words.

Other Functionality:

Not much was shown in terms of things outside of games but we did get a look at Nintendo TVii which I think is quite revolutionary. Being able to access my cable television, Netflix, Hulu+, Amazon Video, DVR and whatever other services in one app is a very appealing prospect.

I can see my self using the second-screen functionality that they showed too. The ability to get stats while watching basketball or whatever and the ability to screenshot a show and share on Facebook, Twitter and Miiverse (particularly Twitter since I use that) is very appealing.

Oh and it’s free which is always good!


We also got some more details on the internet browser. I’m particularly happy with the fact that we can surf alone with the GamePad, view videos straight from the browser (plug-ins), use multiple tabs and multi-task with a game. The latter is the my favourite feature as checking a walkthrough using the browser while playing a game would be very convenient.

All in all, I’m very excited. Although I don’t have enough dough to buy it at launch, I will get one eventually. With the game library, specs and other functionality, I think the platform really has promise. I just hope Nintendo has made strides in ensuring third-party support so that it doesn’t end up lacking good third-party games in comparison to other platforms like with the Wii.

Mega Wii U Conferences Summary!

We recently had multiple conferences regarding the Wii U. I’ve summarized all the things you need to know right here in this post!

Two SKUs

Basic: 8GB storage, HDMI cable, GamePad 299.99

Deluxe: 32GB storage, HDMI cable, GamePad, Stands, Includes NintendoLand + Deluxe Digital Promotion 349.99

Some Specs

Wii U supports full HD 1080p, GPU is able to perform general computing tasks (GPGPU). Main mem: 1 GB. System: 1 GB. Total: 2GB.

Games use only 1 GB of main memory. System memory is for OS. Game discs 25 GB, up to 22.5 MB/s (megabytes per second).
16:03 The Wii U consumes up to 75 watts of electricity. Typical power usage is 45 watts.

  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (otherwise known as Tri G) was announced for the Wii U and 3DS. It’s coming to the US this march and Europe sometime, the Wii U version has online but the 3DS version only features local-multiplayer. They feature the ability to transfer a save file between the 3DS and Wii U version of the game.

monster hunter 3 ultimate

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Japanese Nintendo Direct Hardware summary

Cheesemeister of Neogaf has translated and summarized the Japanese Wii U Hardware Nintendo Direct.

16:00 The presentation has begun! Iwata is behind a podium. This will be 20 min. Launch details. First, going over hardware details again.
16:02 Wii U supports full HD 1080p, GPU is able to perform general computing tasks (GPGPU). Main mem: 1 GB. System: 1 GB. Total: 2GB.
16:03 Games use only 1 GB of main memory. System memory is for OS. Game discs 25 GB, up to 22.5 MB/s (megabytes per second).
16:03 The Wii U consumes up to 75 watts of electricity. Typical power usage is 45 watts. Wii accessories can be used, as can Wii games.
16:04 You can import your Virtual Console and Wii Ware games from the Wii.
16:05 Reiterating the controller specifications now. Headphone jack is still on top. Why there?
16:07 You can play games, watch video on the Wii U GamePad. It features smooth, low latency.
16:08 In other words: you won’t feel any lag on the controller’s screen. Wii has sold 96m units LTD.
16:09 Over 80% of Wii systems are in living rooms, causing conflicts over TV usage.
16:10 You can do multiplayer using a GamePad and several Wii remotes. Dual-screen play possible.
16:11 On controller screen: menus, maps, communication interface. Play without the TV possible. Miiverse is the system-level social network interface. You aren’t the only one playing.
16:12 Miiverse is the system-level social network interface. You aren’t the only one playing. Wii U software will be showcased at 11 pm Japan Time tonight. Now: NSMBU and NintendoLand.
16:13 NSMBU is the 1st Mario game to launch with a Nintendo system since N64. NSMBU is the 1st Mario game to launch with a Nintendo system since N64.
16:14 NSMBU and NintendoLand to go on sale in both physical and download versions on launch day, for 5985 and 4935 yen, respectively. The Pro Controller will be 5040 yen in white and black. Chargeable with USB cable. Black vertical stand for 315 yen, GamePad charger and play stand set to be available for 1890 yen. 13,440 yen for Wii U GamePad when sold separately. Prices include tax.
16:17 Black 32GB Premium Set, White 8GB Basic Set. All sets include system, Game Pad, system and Game Pad AC adapters, and HDMI cable. Nintendo Network Premium provides points for purchases by Premium Set customers, 10% points back on digital purchases depending on the title, to be applied toward future purchases. Points can be redeemed for prepaid codes in 500 yen increments. Runs through 12/2014.
16:18 Nintendo Network Premium runs through 12/2014. Premium includes controller stands. Wii accessories to NOT be included with the Wii U. Remote + nunchuk + sensor bar set sold separately, 5250 yen.
16:19 The Wii U will be launching in Japan on Saturday, December 8th. 32GB Premium Set with Nintendo Network Premium: 31,500 yen (30,000 yen before tax). 8GB Basic Set: 26,250 yen (25,000 yen before tax). You can view a summary of differences between sets here.

There will also be a Japanese software summary soon. Stay tuned!

GBA games coming to the eShop?

gba nintendo 3ds

It seems GBA games might be coming to the eShop soon. Nintendo Australia’s website features a GBA Virtual Console logo under the list of Virtual Console platforms. The only title listed for the GBA so far is Dr. Mario. While Dr. Mario was released for the GBA, it was ported from the NES. As the 3DS has a NES Virtual Console, it could be referring to the NES game.

dr mario gba 3ds virtual console

Even so the fact that there was a specific image made for a GBA Virtual Console gives me hope. Playing Mario and Luigi Superstar Saga as well as other great GBA games on my 3DS would be really awesome!