Tags ĎWiií

The All Controller controls all your consoles

 Remember the third party controller your sibling/cousin/friend made you use when you visited his or her house in the NES days? Remember the pain you felt when the joystick wasn’t quite right and they were hosing you on Mortal Kombat while you were busy trying to figure out why your character kept kicking? Well the All Controller isn’t like that at all. The All Controller is a… Read More

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John Biggs

August 1st

Gadgets

Nintendo and the limits of nostalgia

 Can the world stand another Link adventure? Can it throw another blue shell? Hit the Rainbow Road for another lap? Catch ’em all again? If you’re a Nintendo exec I suspect you’re starting to think that the venerated company is now brushing against the limits of nostalgia and that something – something big – is about to give. Thankfully the company is poised to… Read More

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John Biggs

May 4th

Gadgets

Believe it or not, these are the 10 highest grossing video games of all time

Highest Grossing Video Games of All Time

When you think of the most popular video games, a few titles probably come to mind: Halo, Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, The Legend of Zelda. Each of these franchises has millions of fans all over the globe, but not a single one even cracks the top 25 on the list of highest grossing video games of all time.

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Jacob Siegal

July 9th

Uncategorized

Opinion: Don’t hold your breath for real Nintendo games on your iPhone or iPad

marioipad

My feelings for Nintendo are complicated. I’ve loved its¬†games ever since the original Donkey Kong, owned every Nintendo console (including the Virtual Boy), and recommended the Wii U¬†as the best game console for¬†families and¬†kids. But if I was mildly displeased with Nintendo as a company during its haughtiest years ‚ÄĒ the time when most of its key third-party developers walked away ‚ÄĒ I’m downright angry with it today. At a press conference in Japan this morning, Nintendo announced its second collaboration with a mobile game publisher in two months, the headline from which was what millions of people have been waiting years¬†to read:

“Nintendo to start making iPhone games, including first-party IP like Mario.”

Sure, the¬†official Nintendo¬†press release actually says “smart devices” including phones and tablets, but iPhones and iPads are a safe bet. The¬†press release also says “gaming applications” rather than games, but a¬†press release from Nintendo’s new mobile partner DeNA¬†confirms¬†that the companies will indeed produce¬†mobile games together. Just think about it: Super Mario World on the iPad! Donkey Kong Country on the iPhone! That’s just what everyone has wanted! But there’s a catch…

zeldaipad

Unfortunately,¬†because this is Nintendo we’re talking about, the reality is more complicated than the headline:

“We have no intention at all to port existing game titles for dedicated game platforms to smart devices,” said Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata, “because if we cannot provide our consumers with the best possible play experiences, it would just ruin the value of Nintendo‚Äôs IP.”

DeNA confirmed this:

“To ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect from this alliance of Nintendo and DeNA, only new original games optimized for smart device functionality will be created,” DeNA said, “rather than porting games created specifically for the Wii U home console or the Nintendo 3DS portable system.”

I know what you might be thinking. “New, original games¬†from Nintendo for iPhones? That means a¬†new Legend of Zelda for iPad. Sign me up!” But that’s not what’s happening here. These will be DeNA games using Nintendo characters. That’s like Microsoft giving Hasbro¬†the rights to make a Minecraft board game. And Nintendo’s still not interested in bringing its backcatalog to hundreds of millions of App Store customers.

So why am I angry? Because there’s no good reason for Nintendo to hold its titles back from the App Store any more. iOS devices are powerful enough in every way to run 90% of Nintendo’s past games. And there’s no business justification, either. Nintendo’s first mobile game partner, GungHo, has made over $1 billion on a single mobile game.

mpandd

Back in January, Nintendo announced a partnership with GungHo ‚ÄĒ a company best known for free-to-play¬†puzzle games and¬†regionally popular¬†RPGs ‚ÄĒ¬†to release a Super Mario Bros. version of GungHo’s mobile game Puzzle & Dragons (shown above). As¬†a sign of how messed up the video game industry has¬†become, the simple matching Puzzle & Dragons game accounted for over 90% of GungHo’s $1.5 billion in 2014 revenue. GungHo actually surpassed Nintendo’s market capitalization two years ago,¬†despite¬†Nintendo’s¬†ownership of two current-gen gaming platforms and the world’s most valuable library of classic games. How?¬†It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that GungHo’s embrace of iOS and Android gaming (like King¬†Digital Entertainment’s¬†Candy Crush-fueled $2.2-billion 2014) is responsible for this insane cashflow.

wiiueshop

Despite Nintendo’s insistence that it would “ruin the value of Nintendo’s IP” to offer compromised game experiences on “smart devices,” the reality is that there are now fewer compromises on iOS than on Nintendo’s own platforms. Buying games from Nintendo’s eShop (above) is a multi-step chore compared with two-tap App Store purchases, and games bought¬†for one Nintendo device won’t run on others. Apple has made the purchasing experience comparatively frictionless.

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As crazy as this sounds, you have a better chance of easily¬†controlling a 7-year-old iOS game on any current-generation iOS device¬†than a 7-year-old Nintendo game on the Wii U. Try to play a Wii game on a¬†newer Wii U and you’ll have to deal with screens like the one above, showing you which of Nintendo’s giant collection of controllers will and won’t work with the¬†title. I recently downloaded¬†several¬†original Wii titles for my¬†Wii U, only to discover that I had to go out and buy $40 worth of additional controllers to play them. (And I already owned two different types of Wii U controllers. Nintendo didn’t bother to update the Wii U eShop versions to support Wii U controllers.)

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It goes without saying that iOS devices already have more than enough horsepower to run Nintendo’s most beloved games. Floppy Cloud, an NES and SNES emulator that briefly appeared in the App Store, runs pretty much every 8- and 16-bit Nintendo game ever made at full speed, including the original music and fully responsive controls. Nintendo could buy the emulator for a pittance, sell NES and SNES games for $3 each, and probably make more money in one week than the Wii U console made last year.

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You’re not just limited to on-screen controls any more, either. If¬†you don’t like the virtual D-pad and buttons, you can use a Bluetooth controller such as Mad Catz’ Micro C.T.R.L.i¬†(reviewed here), which iOS has officially supported since iOS 7. Earlier Bluetooth controllers were¬†unofficially supported before that.

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Nintendo could sell iOS gamers Bluetooth versions of its classic controllers for $30-$40 each, and people would be happy to buy them. But most games play quite well with the emulator’s virtual controls, and would be even better if the buttons could be resized and moved to your choice of locations.

supermario64

If you’re willing to jailbreak your device, which I don’t personally advise, other iOS emulators already support more powerful consoles such as the¬†Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS. Again, it would take Nintendo (or DeNA) very little effort to buy one of these emulators outright, assuming they don’t have the iOS coding prowess to make an emulator themselves.

metroidprimepc

And given the incredible results the¬†developers of the Mac/Windows¬†Dolphin Emulator¬†(above) have achieved with the GameCube and Wii ‚ÄĒ 83% of games are playable, looking better on computers¬†than they did on the original Nintendo consoles¬†‚ÄĒ it’s not too hard to imagine even sophisticated 3-D games running perfectly under emulation on the latest iPads. Take a look at the two pictures below. Can you¬†tell the difference between Nintendo’s last F-Zero racing game and the $4 iOS-exclusive AG Drive, released last month? Hint: the one actually running at Retina resolutions (rather than 480p) is the iOS game.

I love Nintendo’s games, but in my view,¬†the company¬†is doing¬†everyone¬†‚ÄĒ its fans, and¬†itself through its shareholders¬†‚ÄĒ¬†a huge disservice by continuing to hold back its backcatalog¬†from phones and tablets. Promising “new original games” developed by so-so developers like GungHo and DeNA really isn’t enough. The world doesn’t need another free-to-play puzzle game with Mario or Zelda characters. It needs to experience the truly great Nintendo games that people have loved for decades.

agdrive

It’s time for Nintendo to actually take the big step that its fans have been waiting for, and bring its best games directly to the iPhone and iPad. With iOS’s giant user base, powerful hardware and controller support, no excuse makes sense any more. But after so many years of waiting, I’m not holding my breath at this point. Are you?


Filed under: Apps, iOS, Opinion, Tech Industry Tagged: App Store, Apps, DeNA, Donkey Kong, Games, Hasbro, Legend of Zelda, Microsoft, Minecraft, Nintendo, Super Mario World, Wii, Wii U

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Jeremy Horwitz

March 17th

Apple

Mac

How Gesture Control Actually Works

Gesture control sure is cool, even if it’s still a little bit of a gimmick. But how the hell does it actually work?

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Jamie Condliffe

September 26th

Uncategorized

How Gesture Control Actually Works

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Jamie Condliffe

September 26th

Uncategorized

Nintendo Amazingly Gets Worse At Marketing Just In Time For Plummeting Wii U Sales

wiiuvswii

Perhaps poor marketing is holding back Wii U sales for Nintendo. As Spike TV’s GTTV host Geoff Keighley noted on Twitter, a new campaign from Nintendo is using flyers to show just how awesome the Wii U is.

Except, instead of going after console rivals Nintendo decided to aim its attack at its own, older-generation console the Wii. To be fair, the Wii is probably the strongest competitor to the Wii U, yet the consoles treat gaming very differently. The Wii is a family, group console, bringing people together, while the Wii U essentially lets you take your single-player game where ever you want, even if a family member wants to watch a movie with you.

To display the Wii U’s strengths against the many shortcomings of the Wii, Nintendo’s flyer shows a side-by-side comparison. Though the two consoles do share a few features, the Wii’s dots are clearly less awesome than the Wii U’s check marks. As we all learned in elementary school, dots < check marks. Obvi.

Luckily, Nintendo has made it so you can rip one of these flyers right off the wall and take it home with you. Maybe you can post it up in your bedroom, just over your Wii, to remind yourself that you should probably (not*) upgrade. Perhaps you can just store it away in your desk for later reference when someone asks, “What the fuck is a Wii U?”

Because, to be honest, not many people know about the dual-screened Wii U console, despite the fact that it was announced at E3 last year. Again, Nintendo marketing hasn’t really been killing it.

For instance, let’s take a look at this Wii U commercial.

To start, I’ve never actually seen this commercial air on TV. Secondly, a good deal of this ad is dedicated to non-gaming activities, such as drawing, watching TV, weighing yourself, browsing the web, and video chatting. Because, you know, that’s why people buy gaming consoles. It has nothing to do with Netflix, Hulu+ and a complete gaming experience.

But let’s not forget, Nintendo’s awful marketing isn’t a new thing. Remember the Nintendo 3DS commercials, with that girl from Glee and Selena Gomez, I think? If you haven’t seen it, it’s essentially a famous blonde girl sitting in a diner like a hipster trying to draw a piece of pie. Again, Nintendo clearly knows its market: girls who draw pie.

Again, if you find yourself forgetting that the Wii U is better than the Wii, or if you find yourself forgetting that the Wii U exists, march on over to your nearest airport or mall and grab yourself a flyer.

*Here’s our review of the Wii U.

[via Kotaku]


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Jordan Crook

March 25th

Gadgets

This Bluetooth Controller Is Fluent in Wii, Wii U, and Android

When you tire of all the fancy motion controls and just want to enjoy some classic button-mashing gameplay on your Wii or Wii U, consider this wireless controller—particularly if you're an Android gamer too. In addition to playing well with Nintendo's hardware, this gamepad also cozies up to your smartphone or tablet. More »


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Andrew Liszewski

March 4th

Gadgets

This Bluetooth Controller Is Fluent in Wii, Wii U, and Android

When you tire of all the fancy motion controls and just want to enjoy some classic button-mashing gameplay on your Wii or Wii U, consider this wireless controller—particularly if you're an Android gamer too. In addition to playing well with Nintendo's hardware, this gamepad also cozies up to your smartphone or tablet. More »


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Andrew Liszewski

March 4th

Gadgets

Are You Getting a Wii U?

The Wii U just went on sale this weekend. It's not quite finished—its media features aren't coming until December—and it's an odd little duckling. But look beyond all that, and you see that it's actually, well, good. More »


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Brian Barrett

November 20th

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