The Wii U game console has come to the end of the line — its production line, specifically. Eurogamer reports multiple sources have confirmed that the final Wii U unit will be built this Friday.
The Wii U has been a slow seller for Nintendo over the course of its production run. The console has sold barely 13 million units since its debut in November, 2012. By contrast the GameCube sold 21 million during its run, the N64 sold 32 million and the original Wii sold a whopping 101 million units.
When asked for comment, Nintendo declined, stating that “We have nothing to announce on this topic.” Though, given how tight-lipped the company is being with the upcoming release of is next console, the Switch, that response is not surprising.
Nintendo wants to make sure it “does better” next time when it comes to launching its NX platform.
It’s clear from a recent interview Nintendo of America head Reggie Fils-Aime had with AList that the company has indeed learned its lesson from the issues suffering from the Wii U’s launch and subsequent marketing tactics. The Nintendo head outright admitted that Nintendo has to do a “better job helping people to understand [the NX’s] uniqueness and what that means for the game playing experience.”
If you use the Wii U as an example here, the appeal at its core was using the Wii U Gamepad as a tablet to control games, and that was part of what the system’s appeal hinged on. Launch games like New Super Mario Bros. and Nintendo Land didn’t communicate why the Wii U was a new or unique experience as well as the Wii’s launch selection did, and it absolutely contributed to the failure of the Wii U to gain more traction and stabilize throughout its life cycle.
“We have to do a better job from a software planning standpoint,” Fils-Aime concluded, and it seems as though this was the thought when planning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the NX, which should be launching alongside the console when it finally releases.
With a new library of content coming for the NX, the hope is that things will improve this time around for Nintendo, and since it seems they’re certainly on the right track, there’s no reason the console couldn’t be a smash hit, but only time will tell.
Able-bodied people maintain their balance in part by the sensory feedback receive through our feet. People with severed spinal columns don’t receive those sensations which, even though they are being supported by a mechanical exoskeleton, makes standing difficult. That’s why a team of researchers at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition have begun teaching neophyte exoskeleton wearers to regain their sense of balance by standing atop a Wii U balance board.
Patients don’t just stand there, obviously. They play games and run drills which require them to continually shift their weight. Over time, patients figure out how far they can lean in any given direction before tipping. This helps them redevelop their balance control despite the natural sensory feedback that they used to get from their feet.
Source: DRCihmcRobotics (YouTube)
Nintendo announced a slew of upcoming titles and their release dates — as well as new content for existing franchises — during the company’s Nintendo Direct livestream on Thursday. Gird your loins and prepare for Zelda reboots, fancy new Splatoon arenas, and so. many. amiibo sets.
Source: Nintendo of America (Twitter)
‘Spooky’ isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind when one things of the family-friendly Wii U — but that didn’t stop the PlayDate crew from digging up a couple or horror titles to mark the coming of all hallows eve. Join us at 6PM Eastern / 3PM Pacific as we tour Fatal Frame: Maiden of the Black Water’s haunted Hikami Mountain and learn the legend of its ghost-wrangling shrine maidens. Then, we’ll take a Year Walk and step into the darker side of old Swedish folklore. Join in the fun right here, at twitch.tv/joystiq and on the Engadget Gaming homepage.
Street Fighter‘s Ryu is almost certainly coming to Super Smash Bros. (SSB). Multiple files featuring the character have been extracted from a recent update, adding weight to a rumor that began back in April. The evidence is pretty compelling: there’s a video (below) that seems to be Ryu’s victory sequence, an image depicting what appears to be a recreation of his stage from Street Fighter 2 and a selection of color options for the character.
Capcom (which owns the Street Fighter franchise) has already licensed Mega Man out for SSB, but Ryu would be the first character from the legendary fighting series to make its way over to Nintendo’s brawler.
In addition to the Ryu leak, a video pulled from the same update shows Fire Emblem‘s Roy — a character that previously starred in Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube — slashing his way around, meaning we will hopefully see at least two new characters announced at Nintendo’s pre-E3 SSB presentation, which kicks off at 10:40AM ET tomorrow.
The NX console isn’t the only product Nintendo’s working on behind the scenes, naturally. Via a Direct Micro video session, the company has now shared an outlook of its game plan for this year and beyond — though we’re sure it’s not telling us everything. Most notably, Nintendo revealed the Dr. Mario franchise is making a comeback with Dr. Mario: Miracle Cure, which will be launching for the 3DS on June 11th (exclusively in the eShop). But there’s more: Bravely Second is finally coming to North America, where it’s going to be available on the 3DS sometime in 2016.
And looking ahead to the summer games in Brazil, Nintendo also announced Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games for Wii U and 3DS, featuring a slew of characters and playable sports. The best news, however, is that the legendary N-Zap ’85 is debuting tonight as an add-on for Splatoon, Nintendo’s wonderful third-person shooter. You can watch today’s Nintendo Direct Micro below.
– Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) June 1, 2015
Nintendo recorded its first annual profit since 2011 today. Its final results for 2014 (technically April 1st 2014 to March 31st 2015) reveal a $207 million operating profit on $4.6 billion in revenue. That’s nothing to write home about, and way lower than initially expected, but still represents a dramatic improvement from previous years’ consecutive losses. The past three months have actually seen a pretty heavy negative swing for Nintendo, with the international launch of new-and-improved 3DS models failing to make much of an impact, and the Wii U continuing to languish in 3rd place behind the PS4 and the Xbox One.
Wii U sales for the year totalled just 3.38 million, only 340,000 of which were sold in the latest quarter. Nintendo had predicted 3.6 million sales, missing its forecast by 220,000. 3DS sales, as alluded to earlier, were also weak. Nintendo initially expected 12 million sales for the year, later dropping that estimate to 9 million. It still managed to miss that lower figure, moving 8.73 million over the year, and just 1.7 million in the latest quarter.
Software is a mixed story. At the start of the year, Nintendo expected to sell 67 million 3DS games and 20 million Wii U games. It later adjusted that prediction to 61 million 3DS and 25 million Wii U software sales. What actually happened? Something in-between the two predictions, with almost 63 million 3DS games and 24.4 million Wii U games moved over the year. Looking at the bigger picture, Wii U titles sold better than initially expected, propping up a lack of demand for the 3DS and helping Nintendo eke out its slim profit. It’s fair to say that the release of well-received fan favorites like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. helped Nintendo considerably in this area.
‘The Legend of Zelda’ looks set to miss its initial 2015 release date
So what’s next for Nintendo? It’s expecting to move fewer 3DS consoles and slightly more Wii Us, while software sales for both are predicted to be lower. That reflects the fact that, as far as we know, Nintendo doesn’t have many big games coming out over the next year. The Wii U Zelda game was going to be the huge 2015 release, but it’s now got a “TBD” in place of a release date, and looks set to miss this financial year entirely.
Nintendo hopes those figures, together with the expansion of the lucrative Amiibo toy line and a new partnership with mobile games specialist DeNA, will see it make a healthier $419 million operating profit next year. Nintendo has missed its expectations more regularly than it’s hit them in recent years, but for the first time in a long while, the company at least seems realistic about what it can achieve until its next-gen console arrives.
Source: Nintendo (PDF)
The Adventure Time TV show has been a huge success, but the accompanying video games rarely offer the same level of quality. Developer Vicious Cycle is hoping to change that with Adventure Time: Finn and Jake Investigations, a new 3D puzzler featuring the 12-year-old boy and magical dog. The game is being pitched as an “action-oriented twist” on the graphic adventure genre, which has been enjoying somewhat of a renaissance recently thanks to titles like Broken Age. In the new game, friends Finn and Jake are professional investigators, unravelling disappearances and other strange events in the crazy Land of Ooo. It’s the most visually impressive Adventure Time game to date (which isn’t saying much), and promises a healthy mix of puzzles and combat. If you’re interested, it’ll be landing on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, 3DS and PC this November.
Filed under: Gaming
Source: PlayStation Blog
Nintendo’s digital store is beefing up with some top-notch independent titles in the coming months, and the company showed off a few familiar games during a presentation at GDC 2015. We’re talking games headed to the Wii U eShop that have already launched on other platforms, including Klei Entertainment’s Tim Burton-esque survival game, Don’t Starve: Reign of Giants, Young Horses’ PS4 launch title Octodad: Dadliest Catch and the beautiful, educational platformer Never Alone from Upper One Games. Our list below includes the freshly announced Wii U games and a bit of information about each one, so you can make platform decisions in peace.
- Octodad: Dadliest Catch (summer): A game for the paternal cephalopod in all of us. Octodad is funny and super silly, best played with a group of friends watching as you attempt to control the titular character’s flailing limbs. It’s already on PS4 and PC, but now that the game is coming to Wii U, Young Horses founder Phil Tibitoski is already brainstorming more places for Octodad to infiltrate.
Now to convince everyone he should be in Smash Bros.
– Phil Tibitoski (@PTibz) March 4, 2015
- Don’t Starve: Giant Edition (spring): The title is a good start, but there’s so much more to Klei Entertainment’s quirky survival game. This is specifically the Giant version, which is sold as a separate expansion on other platforms — and the Wii U version will follow suit, Klei clarified for us. That means Don’t Starve is coming to Wii U, and the Giant expansion is along for the ride, for an additional (but generally worthwhile) price. We checked it out briefly on Wii U and found the second screen made for a handy map.
- Never Alone (June): It’s tricky to create an educational game that allows its audience to enjoy the larger message and gameplay in equal measure, but Never Alone does so beautifully. The game tells a legend of the Iñupiat, a native Alaska tribe, and puts players in the shoes of a young girl and her fox as they brave snow, ice, animals and monsters while attempting to save her village. Gameplay includes discovering short documentaries about the Iñupiat, and these films will be viewable on the Wii U gamepad, while the game continues running on the main screen, Upper One Games said.
- Swords & Soldiers 2 (May): The second installment of Ronimo Games’ strategy franchise is exclusive to Wii U, and it’s a treat to play locally — one person gets the Wii U gamepad and the other controls the entire main screen. Rest assured that the gamepad’s touch controls are intuitive, though players can turn them off and play with buttons, too. Studio founder Jasper Koning is aware that, as a Wii U game, Swords & Soldiers 2‘s install market is limited: “Chances of it becoming a million-seller are very low,” he said. But, he noted that it’s easier to stand out on the Wii U eShop than on a platform like Steam, which has nearly 4,000 games and more added each day.
- Race the Sun (Q2): Race the Sun is a minimalistic, addictive, twitchy kind of flying game where you try to out-fly the sun. Yeah, it’s hard (and it’s a bunch of fun). This one comes from tiny studio Flippfly, and it got its start in the gaming market through Steam’s user-voted system, Greenlight, back when that was just taking off.
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