Just a day after EA’s announcement about how they don’t have a single title in gestation for the Wii U, a bold employee uses the social megaphone that is Twitter to clue us in as to why.
Credited as a Senior Software Engineer and having been with EA since 1999, Bob Summerwill has since sweept his Twitter account of controversy. You can still check out Bob’s heated, but disarmingly honest, comments on EA and Nintendo’s relationship hereabouts. Among them, Summerwill criticizes Nintendo for running shop like it’s still 1990.
“They should have ‘done a Sega’ and offered Mario/Zelda as PS4/Durango exclusives.” That’s my favorite, if you were wondering.
You’d figure those in the industry would temper their opinions when speaking on an immensely public platform what with the whole Adam Orth catastrophe fresh in everyone’s minds, but I’m not complaining. I wouldn’t have “Done a Sega” otherwise and…I simply don’t want to live in that world.
EA: Absolutely Nothing in the Pipeline for Wii U
Here’s the byline bouncing around this evening: Despite EA announcing an “unprecedented partnership” between itself and Nintendo at E3 circa 2011, the game publishing giant has revealed it currently has no games in development for the struggling Wii U.
That oath, made while CEO John Riccitiello had a clasp on the company’s reigns, manifested in several ports of popular titles — Mass Effect 3, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and Madden included — that long since had homes on the Xbox 360 and PS3. According to EA’s spokesperson, Jeff Brown, those handful of ports encompass the whole of their Wii U partnership, ensuring future blockbusters such as Battlefield 4, FIFA, and Madden 25 won’t be making it onto Nintendo’s newest console.
Having that waterway dry up — the”waterway” here referring to one of the biggest third-party publishers in the world — further shoves Wii U into a rough corner. But, as Kotaku illustrates, ever since the first Wii third-parties have had a hell of a hard time finding success on Nintendo’s systems. Usually Nintendo’s first-party hits take up the lion’s share of sales while third-parties are left to scavenge for scraps. Follow that with Nintendo’s increasingly upward slope of a fight to put their hardware in gamers’ homes, and even the big boys like EA are turning their back to the Japanese monolith.
Business is business, however, and EA isn’t likely to give Wii U the lifetime shunning if the system starts to perform well. Hell, EA might even be threatening a drought just to incite Nintendo into shaping up and narrowing their focus on pushing their console. Just a musing. Ultimately, time — and your dollars — will tell.
Zelda Alert: A New Link to the Past Heading to the 3DS This Holiday
Whether you truck with Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker or even Zelda II (weirdo), you won’t hear much argument when someone bursts into the room and proclaims 1992’s A Link to the Past as the best Zelda game ever made. Because even if you don’t agree, it’s too damn hard to build a case against one of the very best adventures game of all time.
That would be why the internet is freaking out over the prospect of a quasi-sequel to the Nintendo masterpiece. Coming to the 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: Kamigami no Triforce 2 (as it’s called in Japan; no English title just yet), is not a remake, but a continuation of sorts set in the same world as the SNES original and shares that game’s top-down perspective. Your retro sense may tingle but things take a turn for the modern thanks to the handheld’s features.
In true 2.5D style, depth plays a huge part of the game’s mechanics as you’ll be able to ascend or descend from areas, navigate puzzles outside of the two-dimensional plane, and become a wall painting that can slip through crevices (just roll with it, man).
A New Link to the Past — that’s on the house, Nintendo — is slated to release this Holiday season. Excuse me while I attempt to reclaim my 3DS from the cobwebs in my closet.
EVERYTHING ZELDA: Nintendo Announces Wii U Wind Waker Remake and Teases New HD Zelda
Snowballing into what turned out to be an avalanche of announcements, today’s Nintendo Direct broadcast brought with it all the justification Legend of Zelda fans need to finally spring for the Wii U.
This August, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker — originally for the Gamecube, and one of the most unique, stylistic entries into this long running franchise — is receiving an HD remake exclusively for the Wii U.
Wind Waker is being overhauled with updates to its presentation including a boost in lighting, visual effects, and — obviously — upgraded graphics. Miiverse integration and Gamepad features (like the ability to play on the tablet’s screen) were also detailed, along with the subtle hint that more undisclosed changes would be made to the game in order to spruce it up for the HD generation.
That’s not all, folks. Series producer Eiji Aonuma claims this remake is an appetizer of goodness intended to sate fans during the years long wait it’ll take for his team to complete a brand new, Wii U Zelda. Not prepared to blow the lid off any revealing details, Aonuma would only say that his development staff is “rethinking the conventions of Zelda” — and “returning to the basics” — in order to provide a Zelda reborn.
And, as previously speculated, this new Wii U Zelda won’t resemble the E3 tech demo from a few years back. On the road from design to creation, Eiji says the game’s visual style evolved into something new and unique unto itself. But since my replica ocarina is only good for inflicting shrill pain to my loved ones’ ears instead of harmonious, time-travelling tunes, we’re just going to have to wait it out until this Wii U Zelda is unveiled.
First Ever 3D Pokemon Titles Releasing in October
“We brought Pokémon into an entirely new dimension and we’re incredibly excited to bring Pokémon X and Pokémon Y to fans.” - Junichi Masuda
So I’m, oh, twelve hours late to the announcement, but my stoner-level journalism doesn’t make this news any less exciting — plus, my inner eight-year-old would slap the shit out of me, and likely overwrite my save, if I failed to make mention of brand new Pokemon games.
For the first time in gaming history, two main series sequels in the Pokemon franchise are going full 3D. Coming to the 3DS this October, Game Freak and Nintendo are releasing Pokemon X and Pokemon Y.The fact that the two titles are in 3D doesn’t just refer to the 3DS’ lynchpin functionality; X and Y will be rendered in full polygonal 3D, from simple exploration to in-battle animations (Eight-Year-Old Me informs me that that is quite awesome).
Besides a bolstered visual presentation, fans will find a lot familiar with X and Y, the tried-and-true formula once more pitting you as an up-and-coming trainer traveling the regions of the world in search of new species of Pokemon to catch — with some familiar species, absent in recent games, making a return — and sharpening your skills against battle-hardened trainers itching to both trump your collection of pocket monsters and humiliate you with cringe worthy one-liners. Lick your wounds, trainer. It’s all bumps on the road to becoming the very best. Perhaps…the best there ever was.
Unlike previous games, Nintendo has forgone the staggered release schedule that comes with localizing the titles, promising Pokemon X and Pokemon Y will see a simultaneous worldwide release this October.
Nintendo Pushes Over 1 Million Devices in a Week; Wii U “Essentially Out of Stock”
The Wii U’s domestic launch is in the bag and the sales flurry that manages to get at least one poor sucker trampled to death a year, a.k.a. Black Friday, has come to a close. So how did Nintendo fair last week? Pretty friggin’ well, actually.
In a phone interview done with CNET, Nintendo of America’s walking meme, spokesperson, and president Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that total U.S. hardware sales — including both handheld systems and home consoles — amassed in 1.2 million units sold.
The highly anticipated and equally impossible to find Wii U system (which debuted to the American public on Nov. 18th) capped off its opening week at about 400,000 units sold. Fils-Aimes is confident that number could’ve wrapped around the moon instead of just reaching orbit if Nintendo were able to pump more Wii U’s into stores in time. “Wii U is essentially sold out of retail,” Fils-Aime explains, “And we are doing our best to continually replenish stock. Retailers are also doing their best to get the product to store shelves. But as soon as product hits retail, they’re selling out immediately.”
Trailing not far behind, the original Wii system proved it was still alive and kicking with 300,000 units pushed out of retail and into people’s homes. Looking at handheld sales last week, 275,000 DS systems (be it Lite, DSi, or XL) were sold and, surprisingly, fewer 3DS systems were pushed, coming in at 250,000 unit sales, though Reggie blames this disparity on Black Friday deals being too good to pass up on and, unofficially, the 3DS’ 3D functionality burns children’s eyes right out of their sockets (Ed: Don’t fucking listen to him).
CNET was also keen enough to ask Mr. Reggie if consumers should expect ongoing Wii U shortages as evidenced with the first Wii platform, a system that incurred holiday line brawls between parents vying for the rarity (Ed: That one’s real). “Wii was a unique phenomenon,” says Fils-Aime, admitting that consumers weren’t able to walk into a store and pick up a Wii unimpeded until Springtime 2009, over two years past the system’s late 2006 launch. “We’ve certainly learned many lessons from that and we are replenishing retailers more quickly this time around. We are looking to have as much product into retail as possible. It’s driven by consumer response.”
Nintendo’s Wii U is Priced, Dated, and Ready to Ship
Nintendo’s been coy when it comes to hard facts surrounding the Wii U, but their legacy of information deprivation was put to rest today as they have detailed both pricing and release dates for the HD successor to the Wii.
The console arrives in North America on November 18th, then in Europe on November 30th sans a sensor bar for (stupid) economical reasons, and finally the console makes its way back home to Japan on December 8th.
The Wii U will arrive to stores in two separate bundles:
- The Basic ($299.99): Equipped with an AC adapter, GamePad, HDMI cable, a sensor bar, and 8GB of internal memory.
- The Deluxe ($349.99): Stocks everything the basic claims stake to along with a charging cradle and stand for your GamePad, a stand for the system, a copy of Nintendo Land, a Nintendo Network Premium Subscription for discounts on digital titles, and 32GB of internalized memory.
Apparently, pricing hasn’t been locked down in European markets due to former conflicts between Nintendo and the region (presumably over the company’s multiple failed attempts to legally rename the continent Nintendo Land), thus placing the final say on price points with retailers themselves.
Some of the standout game announcements made today include Platinum Games letting loose that the long anticipated but unconfirmed Bayonetta 2 will be a Wii U exclusive, Gearbox affirming the presence of Aliens: Colonial Marines for the system’s launch window, and after being one of the deciding factors to develop a Pro Controller, Activision is bringing Call of Duty: Black Ops II to the console.
While exact release dates have yet to solidify, hit this link to see the games slated for the Wii U’s launch window (spanning from November to the end of March 2013).
So…anybody picking up a Wii U this Holiday?
Why, hello out there! I didn’t see you there. Or, rather, you didn’t see me here because I haven’t committed to a Roundup for damned near weeks now. First of all, sorry. Second of all, kindly step off my dick. Third of all, sorry for snapping at you. Fourthly, if I had to be honest, you are kind of needy and I know you hate hearing that because more than one ex has tossed that word at you, but come on, seriously, you’re gonna chalk that up to coincidence?
…Fifthly, sorry again. Video games. I don’t know why you let me get sidetracked. Welcome back to the Roundup, anyway.
The Biggest, Most Ambitious Zelda Title Ever Coming to the Wii U in 2014?
According to Wii U Daily’s anonymous source (a repeat tipster that claims to be apart of Nintendo Japan’s operations), we won’t be seeing a next-gen Legend of Zelda until sometime in 2014. Why such a long wait for the Wii U successor, especially after that fanciful tech demo that debuted at last year’s E3?
For one — despite how impressive it was to behold — that tech demo isn’t being used; it wasn’t even crafted by Wii U Zelda’s team. Secondly, this new title (rumored to be on the drawing board as early as 2010) is a massive undertaking, pegged as the largest production in the company’s history comprising of a team of hundreds led by Skyward Sword’s director Eiji Aonuma. Wii U Daily’s source calls it “a huge investment in money and manpower” adding that “this is Rockstar/GTA territory” in terms of scope.
There’s a bevvy of information on this unnamed Wii U Zelda to be had hereabouts, but I’ll laundry list the most prominent details:
- Wii U’s Zelda is humungous. The source claims the game wouldn’t be possible if not for the console’s optical discs and their 25GB storage capacity.
- The game will feature roughly the same amount of dungeons as previous entries, but their size is awe inspiring. One dungeon is described as literally a forest greater in length than Ocarina’s Hyrule Field.
- Taking into account the increased girth, some dungeons have been segmented. These uber dungeons are said to take hours to complete.
- The title will of course play host to HD graphics “with the most advanced visual features Nintendo has ever made.” The game’s engine is being built from the ground up and actually utilizes a lot of third party tech for physics effects and rendering.
- However, it’s imperative to note that the designers are not going for realism in their visuals (like the “Just a Tech Demo” tech demo). At Nintendo’s behest, Wii U Zelda will have a visual art style on par with Skyward Sword so as to stay true to the “core values of Zelda.”
- It may be dangerous, but you’re going to have to go it alone. No form of multiplayer will be present in the game nor is the notion even being toyed around with. There may be online functionality with Miiverse, but only as far as exchanging hints with friends. The online component “is not a big priority” for the development staff at this point.
- Rather than being created with the Wii U’s GamePad in mind, the GamePad may have actually been molded with this particular Zelda in mind. At least one major feature was brought to the controller only because the development team “figured out they could do something cool with it.”
- As such, the entire game revolves around the GamePad’s use, each dungeon supposedly offering a unique gameplay experience with the tablet controller. “Every single feature in the controller is used to its full potential.”
The anonymous source goes on to promise Wii U Daily that this new Zelda packs one fantastic feature after another, predicting that its innovations will be copied for years to come.
It all sounds too good to be true, and what with rumors being rumors, that could exactly be the case here. A magnificent, well told lie if nothing else. But if this really is our first sneak peek at Nintendo’s grandest, most ambitious Legend of Zelda to date…It’s a crying shame for the Wii U that it’ll be another two years before this game makes the console an absolute must-have.
New Dates for the Symphony of the Goddesses Tour
So you’re a hardcore Legend of Zelda fan and you haven’t seen the live orchestral arrangements performed during the Symphony of the Goddesses show that has toured the country in and out since Skyward Sword’s release last year? Well, folks, some things are truly once in a lifetime…very much unlike this tour, which has just added a slew of new dates, leaving you a few excuses short of not seeing it.
See below if a town near you is worthy to wield the power of the orchestra, and then snag your tickets here.
Sept. 15: Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
Sept. 22: Minneapolis, Minnesota (Orpheum Theatre)
Oct. 12: Dallas, TX (AT&T Performing Arts Center)
Oct. 18: Boston, Massachusetts (Wang Theatre)
Oct. 25: Chicago, Illinois (The Chicago Theatre)
Nov. 3: San Antonio, TX (The Majestic Theatre)
Nov. 6: Calgary, Alberta, Canada (Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium)
Nov. 28: New York, New York (The Theater at Madison Square Garden)
Dec. 8: West Palm Beach, Florida (Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts)
Dec. 9: Miami, Florida (Adrienne Arsht Center)
Dec.14: San Jose, California (San Jose Civic Auditorium)