skrillex-quest-2I grew up playing Nintendo games. NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Wii… Anything Nintendo-related gives me a warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling. This free game that you can play in any internet browser window does just that. And it’s actually quite well-made for a browser game, with its colorful seizure-inducing graphics. And it has a Skrillex soundtrack!

This simple game even has a story: A certain “golden NES cartridge” (I still have mine!) has gotten a piece of dust in it, and as a result the game within has become corrupted with glitches. You must take your sword and fight through a series of rooms in an effort to defeat the glitches inside the game.

The gameplay is simple yet fun, and I like how he incorporated the music. Hats off to the creator, Jason Oda, who also recently brought us the nostalgic but very short Perfect Strangers game (based on the opening song from the 80’s sitcom with Balki).

Click or go here to play Skrillex Quest: http://www.skrillexquest.com/

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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.

Legend-Zelda-digitalAre you a Nintendo fan like me? Do you like anything Nintendo-character related? Mario? Kirby? Zelda? Link? Then take a look at this really well-made video of a paper Link walking through some iMac’s, Macbooks, iPads and an iPad Touch. This must have taken a huge amount of time and coordination/planning.

credit: Final Cut King

By the way, there’s a cool “Behind the Scenes” video of how they made this below.

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.

super-mario-beads-2I grew up playing Nintendo games. NES, SNES, Nintendo 64… I have fond memories of my childhood whenever I see anything Nintendo-related. This video by lefvandebilder brings that warm nostalgia feeling. And you can see the creators are Nintendo fans like me. So much hard work in order to make this original animation. You guys are terrific!

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By the way, the “Behind the Scenes” video below is almost as fun to watch – especially when they get to the time-lapsed portion of production. Definitely worth seeing!

Wii_ps3_xbox_360With the recent release of Nintendo’s next generation Wii U system, it’s interesting to see how we all got here, and how Microsoft and Sony were just a handshake away from thwarting Nintendo all the way back in 2001!

I’m a video game fan, who enjoys all games, whether it’s on the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Nintendo, PC or iOS games. So, reading this interesting article by computerandvideogames.com surprised me when I found out the Wii boom could have never happened! And if the Wii craze had never happened, then maybe Nintendo would have went the way of Sega, and not even be here today!

So the story (worth reading all three pages) goes that an inventor named Tom Quinn got a worldwide patent on gyrometer-based motion control technology (the heart of the Wii remotes). And in 2001, he decided to pitch his idea to Microsoft, who rudely turned him down:

The attitude I got from them was that if they wanted to do motion control, they would do it themselves and make a better job of it. I mean, they were just rude. In fact, the meeting went so terribly that one of the executives came over to me afterwards and apologised on behalf of others…

Wii-remoteNext he went to Sony and pitched again. Ken Kutaragi (the father of the Playstation), also turned him down, after inquiring Quinn if his tech can be produced for 50 cents per unit. He told him obviously no.

So finally, Quinn went to Nintendo, and for a moment, he thought that he was going to be shut out again. But after a heated debate, Nintendo jumped in, and the rest is history.

Two missed opportunities that would have effectively blocked Nintendo from making the Wii, which later in 2006 would start an unprecedented global craze!

Those idiots must be shaking their heads…

— Wanna read another article that I wrote about another pivotal moment in computer history? Read about the man who started Apple Inc with Steve Jobs, then sells his 10% shares for $800 (Would now be worth $22 billion!)

Nintendo’s 6th generation console system, the Wii U was released today, November 18, 2012. Although the jury’s still out on the Wii U, early reviews have been positive! The system’s tablet controller is going to be the main feature that every kid and mom will be drawn to. You will be very lucky to find any supply anytime soon, unless you preordered.

Here is a list of first impressions by the early adopters that waited in line or preordered:

  • The GamePad feels awesome! It’s light, ergonomic, comfortable, and not as heavy as an iPad.
  • Gamers are already enjoying the added map and inventory views you get on the GamePad in single-player games. It frees up TV screen real estate, and no more need to pause to bring up your secondary screen, cuz it’s right there.
  • The charge cord for the GamePad and Pro Controller are 8-feet long (and you can play while you charge it (battery charge is 3-5 hours).
  • The HD graphics in Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros U are simply beautiful (this is Nintendo’s first HD-capable console in the company’s history).
  • Gamers were able to play certain games on the GamePad even after they turned their TV off, or when someone wanted to watch some TV – games such as Madden NFL 13, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and New Super Mario Bros. U. And since the GamePad is wireless and has a range of 26 feet, depending on your walls, you can keep playing in your bedroom, washroom, etc.
  • With a system update, the Wii U is backward compatible with the Wii (but not Gamecube games). You can also transfer Wii data to the Wii U.
  • The GamePad’s resolution is not HD (so not better than iPad), but the graphics still holds its own. And this pad has controller sticks (so better than iPad!)
  • There is no built-in system-wide achievement or aggregate scoring system.

A nice editorial of why it was made, and Nintendo’s philosophy on the Wii U:

The Wii U is the right console for this moment in history. Regardless of its future, the Wii U feels like a machine of the moment… The Wii U is for a new way we live. It’s for the era of four people going to dinner, theoretically being together, but all also being off in their own worlds via the cell phones that they keep checking… Look at New Super Mario Bros. U: four people are looking at the TV, running across a sidescrolling landscape using Wii Remotes held sideways. They are jumping on platforms and crushing enemies. They are four people at a dinner party talking about the same thing. The fifth player is on the GamePad. They control no characters. They press no buttons. They just watch the same game world scroll by and tap the screen to create blocks that catch any TV players who are falling and that make staircases for any of those TV players who need a leg up. The GamePad player is at the same dinner party, but they’re not really listening. They’re on their cell phone. This is our world right now. The Wii U is a perfect video game console realization of that. Its timeliness is exciting.

– Stephen Totilo, Kotaku.com

So, this is why the Wii U will sell millions? Oooh… Ahhh…

Comparing Wii U Pro Controller vs Xbox 360 / PS3 controllers

Credit for first impressions: kotaku.com