The annual Tokyo Game Show has just wrapped up, and while there weren’t any major console announcements, we still had our fair share of memorable moments on the show floor. On top of trying several different virtual reality demos, we also watched Japanese girls giggle away at a romance simulation booth, and we even bumped into Japanese porn stars without realizing who they were at the time. Check out our list of TGS highlights in the gallery below.
You might have heard: Nintendo’s refreshing its 3DS family with two new models. Both the New 3DS as well as the larger New 3DS XL will arrive with a diddly analog stick just above the action buttons. (Throw away your Circle Pad Pros!) Plus, there’s built-in NFC for those incoming Nintendo figurines and a new microSD card reader. Unfortunately, in my fly-by Monster Hunter 4G gaming test, I didn’t have the chance to try either of those features — readers love SD slot close-ups — but it does offer an estimation of what Japanese gamers will get in less than a month when both handhelds launch. There’s still no word on an overseas release for either model, but for now, watch me prove how poor I am at Monster Hunter in our video after the break. No, far worse than that.
This time, I was handling the big-screened New 3DS LL (That’s the Japanese version of the 3DS XL), and if we’re honest, there really wasn’t much difference from my now-obsolete 3DS XL at home on initial handling: the corners are still curved, making it, once again, far more comfortable than the OG 3DS, while both screens are bright and vivid — perfect for the palette of Nintendo’s gaming oeuvre. Now, there’s no games that appropriately make the most of the analog stick (at least, not yet). Here at TGS 2014, with Monster Hunter 4G , the right stick was assigned to camera duties, a role it shared with the d-pad and, er, about a third of the touchscreen too. Understandably, the tiny stick was the better option, as it was easier to access and offered a better degree of control.
That’s because the new stick has a rubbery finish, while its location means it’s easy to nudge a little and then swiftly return to the X, Y, A and B buttons. Then there’s those secondary shoulder trigger buttons (which should work nicely with that stick once games arrive): they’re a little smaller but they’re appropriately spaced enough that you’re not going to hit ZR instead of the primary R trigger. It’ll be interesting to see how Nintendo handles transitioning between existing 3DS hardware and these new models, which will likely require completely different controller layouts to make those new buttons worthwhile. Both models launch in Japan on October 11th — and I bravely vow to waste hours and hours on Smash Bros. in the ensuing days to bring you Engadget’s official verdict. (You’re welcome.)
This one is right in my wheelhouse! With more and more vintage games getting ported over to Android, the only thing missing is the authentic feel of gripping a Nintendo controller and mashing away.
The NES30 has the look and feel of a classic NES controller, but connects with Bluetooth or USB. Its rechargeable battery provides over 20 hours of use per charge and the re-programmable keys allow you complete customization. This controller is compatible with not only your tablets and phones, but any Bluetooth or USB-ready devices including Mac and PC. For just $29.99 you can load up an emulator and vintage roms (of games that you own, of course) and re-live your gaming past! Anybody want to get destroyed in Tecmo Super Bowl?
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Got a little too much money and an abundance of gaming gadgetry on your hands? Here’s a weekend project that may be right up your alley. As demonstrated by KatsuKity, the makers of a 3DS capture card, you can rig up a way to play your favorite games on an Oculus Rift complete with those rad stereoscopic 3D effects (assuming the game in question actually has them). It’s actually pretty simple once everything’s hooked up — KatsuKity’s viewer software has been updated with support for the DK2, so once your tiny console is sending 3D video to your PC, you shouldn’t have much trouble running that into your Rift. As for how you get that capture card up and running in the first place… well, that’s another story entirely. You can either buy a a capture board and shoehorn it into your 3DS yourself, or take the easy way out and purchase a pre-modded unit. It’s a pretty proposition either way, but it may just be a small price to pay to catch a few glimpses of Super Smash Brothers in three dimensions.
If you need another method of controlling Super Smash Bros whenever it actually releases for Wii U, Nintendo apparently has you covered. Spotted by a Japanese gamer on Twitter and IGN (the handheld version is already out in the East), the 3DS version offers the option to connect the portable to Nintendo’s HD console to exchange customized characters. What’s more, there’s a menu saying that you “can use it as a controller,” too — perfect for any future couch-based tournaments, we’d imagine. Granted, you’ll almost assuredly have to own the game on both platforms for this to happen, but what Nintendo fan wouldn’t anyway? We’ve reached out to Nintendo for confirmation on the matter and will update this post should we hear back.
Am I crazy, or does this say that if you connect your 3DS with your Wii U, that you can use your 3DS as a controller? pic.twitter.com/Cg4G7cjSYL
– Kyle McLain (@FarmboyinJapan) September 12, 2014
The text on the top screen says “connect your 3DS with your Wii U to exchange customized characters, and you can use it as a controller.”
– Kyle McLain (@FarmboyinJapan) September 12, 2014
Source: Kyle McLain (Twitter)
Nintendo regularly draws on its long history in video gaming to get you buying games and consoles, but it may have just topped itself with its latest 3DS XL variants. On top of two models meant to honor the launches of Persona Q and Super Smash Bros., the company has unveiled an NES Edition that plasters the classic NES gamepad on top of a gray back. It’s not as good-looking as the similarly-themed Game Boy Advance SP from years ago, but let’s not kid ourselves — this is still going to evoke many fond memories of playing Metroid in the family den. Not fair, Nintendo. If you’re feeling all warm and fuzzy just by looking at the photo, you can buy the NES Edition at GameStop on October 10th for $200.
When it comes to video games, more often than not audio gets the short shrift because, well, you can’t see music in a screenshot. It’s with that in mind that Red Bull (yes, that Red Bull) is putting together a documentary series about the scene surrounding classic Japanese video-game music called Diggin’ in the Carts. The first episode focuses on the early days of the industry at Namco Bandai and Nintendo and features interviews with, among other luminaries, the first person in charge of game music for the Mario company, Hirozaku “Hip” Tanaka. Tanaka would go on to produce the iconic scores for Balloon Fight and Metroid, as well as design the sound chip for the first Game Boy. This premiere episode, embedded below, also showcases just how early soundtracks were composed. Spoiler: it involved more wave-forms and soldering than it did keyboards and drum machines. Interested in seeing more? A new clip is scheduled to release every week for the next month-and-a-half.
Source: Red Bull Music Academy
Today, we take a look at Google’s “Project Wing” delivery drone, go crazy with emoticons, learn about Nintendo’s new 3DS and 3DS XL handhelds and more. Read on for Engadget’s news highlights from the last 24 hours.
Filed under: Misc
Nintendo releases recorded video presentations, known as “Nintendo Direct,” pretty often. Usually they’re focused on games, or they highlight an upcoming season’s game releases. This morning, however, Nintendo revealed two new versions of its wildly-successful 3DS portable game console. And just like the Mario series, Nintendo’s not pulling any punches when it comes to naming conventions: the new 3DS is simply called “New” 3DS. And yes, there’s a “New” version of the larger 3DS XL, too.
As seen above, the smaller “New” 3DS has Super Nintendo-themed buttons on the right side. Just above those buttons is a new, tiny analog stick. Bizarrely, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata compared the new analog stick to the GameCube controller’s yellow C-stick (which was rarely used in GameCube games).
Beyond the new analog stick (it’s really more of a nub, isn’t it?), NFC tech is now built-in to the 3DS, making this holiday’s Amiibo figures all the more logical. There’s also a new microSD card reader below the base panel (which is now easily swappable for new designs) — convenient! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear from the images, the “New” 3DS models are both slimmer and taller than the previous models.
There are two shoulder buttons now on each side as well, and the cartridge slot’s been moved to the bottom front. There’s also word of a new CPU inside the new 3DS, but we’ve got next to no info about it thus far. Presumably it helps with the new “Super-Stable 3D” functionality — which Nintendo says “will provide players with an even more comfortable 3D gaming experience” — though we’ll need more info before we can be sure.
The “New” 3DS will be available this October 11th, but they’ve been announced for Japan only thus far; a press release from Nintendo says that North America and Europe shouldn’t expect the new 3DS until some point in 2015. Pricing in Japan ranges from about $150 for the smaller version to about $180 for the XL (“LL” in Japan).
In other Nintendo news, the company this morning announced release dates and rollout plans for its Amiibo NFC figurines. The first 12 (“Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer”) are available for pre-order starting today, and there’s no solid release date given; they cost $12.99 apiece. That said, they’ll need to be available in time for Super Smash Bros. Wii U — arriving at some point “this holiday season” — as that’s the first game that’ll use them. Nintendo says that first dozen is just the beginning, and there’s “more on the way in the future.”
Nintendo has taken a few steps to modernize its gaming experience, but downloadable content (DLC) is still a sore point; even New Super Luigi U is more of a separate (and fairly expensive) title than a proper booster pack. Today, though, there are signs that the company is getting serious about improving its less-than-stellar reputation with add-ons. Nintendo UK has given a sneak peek at a Mario Kart 8 expansion that adds The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, F-Zero‘s Blue Falcon ship and eight new courses, among other things — that’s a lot of goodies to keep you coming back. It should arrive in November for £7 ($12), and Animal Crossing-themed DLC due next May will add similar numbers of cars, characters and tracks.
It’s not shocking that Nintendo would pour that energy into Mario Kart when it’s one of the Wii U’s few big hits. Nonetheless, the move hints that the developer is at last willing to show games the same kind of after-sale devotion as many other studios. You can buy at least one big Nintendo game knowing that there will be some worthwhile DLC to lure you back a few months down the road.
Source: Nintendo UK