Wii-u-doomedIt’s deja vu for Nintendo… A year and a half ago, their newest handheld portable device, the 3DS, was experiencing terrible sales, and Nintendo cut the price by 40% in less than six months after release. It was unheard of to slash prices so early in a release cycle. Now, it looks like they may have to go through it again, this time for the Wii U, even though in a recent investors meeting Nintendo president Satoru Iwata reassured them that they would not reduce the price as the newest system is already being sold at a loss.

There was a lot of hype for Nintendo’s new console, as it has a very versatile and responsive tablet controller (a first for consoles) and for the first time in Nintendo’s history 1080p HD quality graphics. So why are Nintendo sales now being associated with words like “abysmal”, “catastrophic lows”, “disaster” and even some are starting to call the system a “flop”? In only its second full month of availability, the Wii U sold a paltry 57,000 units in the U.S. (while the Xbox 360 sold 280,000).

Well, critics like Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter are saying various factors: “First, we think that the console was misunderstood by many as a peripheral for the Wii; second, the price point for the Wii U is relatively high, and the launch was into a weak economy; and third, first party software support was thin, and third-party software was not sufficiently differentiated to convince many that they needed a Wii U as a replacement for their Xbox 360 or PS3.”

Others are saying various reasons: Nintendo’s shoddy marketing of the system pre-launch (basically none); the rise of mobile gaming in Asia; the fact that it doesn’t really outshine existing competitors in any way; as with the company’s previous two consoles, the GameCube and Wii, the waning 3rd party support for the console.

IS THERE ANY HOPE?

Nintendo acknowledged last month that the launch of the Wii U were disappointing and confessed that it had failed to communicate its value to the end-users worldwide. They claim that they will ensure that there are more games for the platform on the market soon.

This is a critical stage. In order for the system to succeed, the only choices for Nintendo is 1. rush more games out from their 1st/2nd party development studios as there’s definitely no help from 3rd party developers on the horizon, or 2. the eventual price cut (I’m gonna say September 2013).

As a video games fan, I feel sorry for Nintendo, a company that stands for innovation and creativity. Competition is healthy for the industry, and gamers like us will benefit if Nintendo does succeed. I really hope that they turn things around.

nintendo-historyDid you grow up playing Nintendo games? NES, SNES, Gameboy, Nintendo 64, Gamecube… Nostalgic memories of my childhood and now my children get to experience what I did, as I’ve kept all my old systems for them to enjoy (did you? do they still work?). This video posted by retrogameaddict1 is really well made! If you’re a Nintendo fan, you’ll enjoy this creation by a computer graphics designer about Nintendo’s history of the consoles and handhelds.  You can see the creator Anthony Veloso is a Nintendo fan like me. By the way, try your hand at guessing all the games between 1:54 and 2:00.

Holy smokes! 51 launch titles?!! I’ve seen the game demos of Nintendo’s launch titles for the next-gen Wii U video game console, and I am anxiously awaiting how Nintendo (and its 3rd party developers) will be using the iPad-like controller in creating fun and addicting games that will be hitting the console in the coming year. Looking at Nintendo’s track record, you already know several things: guaranteed family fun games based on Nintendo’s characters, innovative use of the features of the new system, Nintendo satisfying the HUGE appetite of the loyal fan base eagerly awaiting the next iteration of Super Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, et al. Here’s one video game fan eagerly awaiting for Sunday November 18.

Nintendo of America’s President Reggie Fils-Aime sat down with NY Times just two days ago and talked about where Nintendo is heading with the new Wii U.

What we recognize is we own that most desired space in the home, and it’s the big screen TV in the living room. We own that because of the games that we offer that are targeted toward multiple players in the household sitting down and having fun together. By owning that big screen TV we can branch out to other services like Nintendo TV and continue to really solidify our footprint.

– Reggie Fils-Aime, President, Nintendo of America

Read the entire interview here:

Curious how the Wii U’s unique tablet controller works and how it will be innovatively used in games? Check out  Nintendo Land trailer to see it in action, as well as ZombiU trailer, and Rayman Legends further below:


Holy smokes, Mario, that was fast… This is gonna be a crazy Xmas shopping year for the Wii U… Get your pre-order in soon or you may not see a Wii U till January 2013. YOU SNOOZE YOU LOSE!

Zimgo

According to its website, GameStop has filled its available quota on the $350 Wii Deluxe Bundles and has stopped accepting pre-orders for it. It is still however, accepting sales on the Basic White Bundle going for $300.

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OMG yes! There will be 51 games within the official launch window (between November 2012 and March 2013) for Nintendo’s brand new system arriving at your local stores starting on Sunday November 18. If you do NOT want to be disappointed, immediately go and pre-order NOW ($350 for 32gb, $300 for 8gb). I have a very bad feeling that supply will not meet demand until January 2013 (remember the Wii launch? There were many, many disappointed kiddies at Xmas). GO! NOW! RUN!

edit: Of the games listed below, here are the ones that are confirmed to be available on the actual Launch Day: New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, ZombiU, Assassin’s Creed III, Darksiders II, Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, ESPN Sports Connection, Game Party Champions, Just Dance 4,  Rabbids Land, Scribblenauts Unlimited, Sing Party, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. —Also very likely to be ready on Day One: Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, FIFA Soccer 13, Jett Tailfin, Madden NFL 13, Mass Effect 3: Special Edition, Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth, NBA 2K13, Ninja Gaiden III: Razor’s Edge, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Transformers Prime.

Nintendo

  • Nintendo Land
  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge
  • SiNG Party
  • Lego City: Undercover
  • Wii Fit U
  • Game & Wario
  • Pikmin 3
  • The Wonderful 101

505 Games

  • Funky Barn

2K Sports

  • NBA 2K13

Activision Publishing, Inc.

  • 007 Legends
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • TRANSFORMERS PRIME
  • Wipeout 3
  • Skylanders Giants
  • Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013
  • Rapala Pro Bass Fishing

Capcom

  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

D3Publisher

  • Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
  • Ben 10: Omniverse
  • Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade

Disney Interactive

  • Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two

Electronic Arts

  • Mass Effect 3
  • Madden NFL 13
  • EA Sports FIFA Soccer 13
  • Frozenbyte
  • Trine 2: Director’s Cut
  • Gaijin Games
  • Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • Majesco Entertainment
  • Zumba Fitness Core
  • Maximum Games
  • Jett Tailfin

NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.

  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2
  • Tank! Tank! Tank!

SEGA

  • Aliens: Colonial Marines
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Shin’en
  • Nano Assault Neo

Tecmo Koei America Corporation

  • Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper

THQ

  • Darksiders II
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Jeopardy!

Two Tribes

  • Toki Tori 2

Ubisoft

  • Assassin’s Creed III
  • Just Dance 4
  • Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth
  • Rabbids Land
  • Sports Connection
  • Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
  • ZombiU
  • Rayman Legends

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • Game Party Champions
  • Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition

credit: digitaltrends.com

Finally! Some AAA games on the PS3 that I’ve been waiting for the price to come down. At Wal-mart Canada, for CAD$14.83 each, you can get Heavy Rain, Gran Turismo 5, Uncharted 2 (GoTY edition), God Of War 3, Infamous 1, Modnation Racer, Killzone 3, Little Big Planet 1 (GoTY edition).

I finally bought Heavy Rain and GT5 after all this time. I’m so excited to play both, as they were both highly touted games. Heavy Rain‘s Metacritic score is 87%, while Gran Turismo 5 is 84%.

FYI, each Wal-mart will have different stock. I went to the huge bargain bin that had the price sign “$15 and up” and it took me 10 minutes to find the games that I wanted, so YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Phew, it’s expensive being a video game fan!

(Sorry U.S. friends, this sale is not for Wal-mart USA – yet)

Wow, just wow… The team that brought you Heavy Rain (developer Quantic Dream, who brought you the eye-popping demo: KARA, that I blogged about a while ago), brings this new PS3 exclusive game starring Oscar-nominated Ellen Page (of Inception and Juno).

  • The game is centered around questions about what happens after death. It lets the player take Jodie Holmes through 15 years of her life on a journey to discover what is the true meaning of a ghost-like entity that’s alongside her throughout the story.
  • This supernatural element will empower Jodie with various abilties. The video shows that these abilities could include possession, the ability to light people in a mystical fire and some kind of protective shield.
  • The game features a dark graphical style, similar feel to Heavy Rain.

Heavy Rain was awesome, Quantic Dream is awesome. All signs point to the fact that Beyond will be an improvement of Heavy Rain. I can’t wait for this game to come out!