Nintendo have finalized the first wave of Amiibo figures you’ll be able to get your hands on upon release. Mario, Link and Samus, as one would expected, are included as are 9 other famous Nintendo faces (Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer) each costing $12.99 (price TBC for Europe). Still no solid release just yet but Amiibo is clearly getting closer and closer.
Despite there already being three different variations of the 3DS on the market, Nintendo think we’re in need of yet another 2, the first dubbed New 3DS and the second New 3DS XL… genius, simply genius. Alongside the new names these new 3DS iterations will also feature a second, much smaller than the first, analogue stick and extra pair of ZR and ZL shoulder buttons. NFC connectivity will also be built into this model as will an improved CPU for faster loading times, however standard SD card support has been removed in favour of micro and here’s the real kicker, some 3DS games will now only run on the New 3DS. Yes you read that right, some games for the new 3DS will only be playable on the New 3DS, the first of these being Xenoblade Chronicles which is being ported over from the Wii and needs the New 3DS’s extra CPU power to run. How many other games will follow in Xenoblade’s foot print is anyone’s guess. No release or price yet (well if you live outside of Japan, there it’s October 11th) but Nintendo have suggested both American and European gamers can expect the New 3DS to arrive sometime next year.
Nintendo have revealed the latest addition to the Smash Bros. roster to be none other than Shulk of Xenoblade Chronicles. Alongside the announcement Nintendo also provided us a video of Shulk in action which you can see here and boy does he look like a handful. Super Smash Bros. 3DS is set for an October release while the Wii U version remains on track for this winter.
As of late the hardcore vs. casual gamer debate has died down a little in favour of other arguments, like mobile devices vs. handhelds and of course the PS4 vs. the XOne. Surprisingly Nintendo have chosen to stoke the flames of the hardcore vs. casual feud once again with Miyamoto himself dubbing the casual fan as “pathetic”. In an interview with respected British magazine Edge, Shigeru Miyamoto stated his team, Nintendo EAD, are no longer focused on making content for people who “passively” enjoy games.
“These are the sort of people who, for example, might want to watch a movie. They might want to go to Disneyland. Their attitude is, ‘Okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ It’s kind of a passive attitude they’re taking, and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing. They do not know how interesting it is if you move one step further and try to challenge yourself with more advanced games. In the days of DS and Wii, Nintendo tried its best to expand the gaming population but because of the spread of smart devices people take games for granted now. It’s a good thing for us, because we do not have to worry about making games something that are relevant to general people’s daily lives.”
Mr. Miyamoto’s views and comments reveal just how hard done by Nintendo are feeling right now, selling some 100 million Wiis but only 7 or so million customers have chosen to invest in Nintendo’s latest console, the Wii U.
Whether or not Nintendo can actually get away with blaming all their issues on being left high and dry by the “passive” gamer I’ll let you decide but in my humble opinion Nintendo’s troubles run far deeper than merely people picking Ipads over Wii Us.
Nintendo have announced that 2 further DLC packs will follow the free three Mercedes-Benz karts which are coming to Mario Kart 8 in August (the 27th for North American and Japanese Mario Karters, TBC for Europe). The first of the DLC to be released this November, dubbed Pack 1, will include 3 new characters (Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach and Link) 4 new vehicles and 8 courses while the second, Pack 2, coming May 2015 will include yet 3 more characters (Villager, Isabelle, Dry Bowser), another 4 vehicles and 8 more courses. Each pack will carry a price tag of £7 or $10 bucks with Nintendo’s UK website promising that all customers who purchase both packs will also receive “eight different-coloured Yoshis and eight different-coloured Shy Guys” as a bonus.
The latest instalment of the Yakuza series is to be titled Zero and will be prequel to the 5 previous Yakuza games according to Famitsu. The popular gaming magazine went on the reveal that Yakuza Zero will take place during 1988 and feature a 20-year-old Kazuma Kiryu, who’s working as a part-time as a debt collector for the Tojo Clan and 24-year-old Goro Majima, who runs a popular Soutenburi cabaret club.
No release date as yet be when Yakuza Zero does arrive it will do so for both the PS3 and PS4.
Earlier this year rumours were rife that Nintendo working on a brand new kind of Pokemon game, a Pokemon fighting game no less. After strong initial reports the rumours died down and remained that way until yesterday, when The Pokemon Company revealed that Pokken was indeed very real and coming next year. Developed at Bandai Namco by Tekken’s long time director Katushiro Harada and SoulCalibur’s main programmer Masaaki Hoshino, Pokken Tournament will see a roster of Pokemon facing of against one another in the vein of Tekken, hence the name Pokken. Which Pokemon and how many we’ll actually get to fight as? Bandai Namco are remaining tight lipped about that for now, though Lucario and Machamp feature in the game’s debut trailer which you can see here and snap shots of Blaziken have already been leaked so those three are safe bets (if hitmonlee and hitmonchan ain’t in there somewhere I’ll eat a Pokemon trainer’s hat). As of writing Pokken Tournament is scheduled for a 2015 release across the arcades of Japan but yet to be confirmed for the Wii U, something I’m sure all Wii U owners will be hoping changes very soon.
Yesterday Playstation owners found that not only were they unexpectedly unable to access rudimentary online elements of PSN, things like the store and media streaming services but all multiplayer modes were also down, the big question was why?
Well according to Sony yesterday PSN came under a severe DDOS attack orchestrated by a group named LizardSquad who themselves proudly claimed credit for the act with a number of gaming sites even before Sony had even acknowledged it. The DDOS attack wasn’t the end of things for Sony though as LizardSquad assault went beyond the realm of cyberspace with the tweeting of a bomb threat which delayed a flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley. Needless to say the authorities are now involved in the form of the FBI but more importunately for millions PSN users I’m sure, is the news that the service is back online. Hopefully Sony, Battle.net, League of Legends and Path of Exile networks which were also reportedly effected will learn from the attacks and beef up their security a little.
The most anticipated PS Vita title to date, Freedom Wars, has finally received a solid release date of October 28th in North America and October 29th in Europe along side a pricing scheme of $29.99, €29.99 and £24.99 depending on where you live.
Sandwiched between release date and price Sony have also revealed that pre-orderings of the game through retailers will receive four free sets of DLC including the Formal Wear limited-edition costume, upgraded starter weapons, a medical supply combat pack and an in-game ‘sticker set’. Meanwhile those who buy Freedom Wars from the PSN store will receive the same offer but without the need to pre-order, that deal will run till the 11th of November. For more on Freedom Wars check out the game’s newest trailer here.
Dishonored, the Bethesda published stealth-’em-up which received some rave reviews upon its 2012 release is available to play for free this weekend courtesy of Steam. It takes on average about 12 hours to finish the campaign so if you decent with your keyboard and mouse you should be able to complete it, but even if you don’t but like what you do play, Dishonored is currently available at 75% off, bargain.