Nintendo Announces the 3DS

Earlier today, Nintendo announced a new portable system, the Nintendo 3DS. This system will offer 3D graphics without the need for special 3D glasses. This system will likely be released during Nintendo’s next fiscal year, meaning sometime between April 2010 and March 2011.

Further speculation leads to other conclusions, primarily that this is the start of a new hardware line for Nintendo, rather than just a continuation of the DS line.

The 3DS will be backwards compatible with the entire library of DS/DSi titles (which implies that the 3DS will, by necessity, have the same two cameras that the DSi has).

Expect a full reveal of the 3DS at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which takes place mid-June.

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Nintendo Marketplace: 10/12/2009

Nintendo DSiWare

Pinball Pulse: The Ancients Beckon™
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™
Description: Pinball takes on mythological proportions in this Nintendo DSiWare exclusive. Choose from two modes of play (Regular Game or Daily Game) and begin your journey to becoming a pinball champion. Conquer mythic quests, collect gifts from the 12 Olympians, and push your skills to the limit by facing Medusa, the Sirens and more. Your portable pinball table will give you a quick adrenaline rush as you watch the steel ball fly through ramps and carom off bumpers all over the playing field. Rack up combo points, open specific game modes and enlist the Oracle for some help. Will you accept Zeus’s challenge?

Virtual Console

Final Fight™ 2
Original platform: Super NES™
Publisher: Capcom USA
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Violence
Price: 800 Wii Points™
Description: It’s been several years since peace settled in Metro City. With Cody and Jessica on vacation and Guy resuming his training out of town, everything seems to be in order. But Haggar is feeling uneasy after learning that Mad Gear was not completely destroyed. Once again, the Mad Gear Gang has emerged, and this time they want revenge. They’ve kidnapped Guy’s master, Genryusai, and Genryusai’s daughter, Rena. Now Haggar must travel the globe in search of Genryusai and Rena. Hopefully, with the help of Maki and Carlos, the reign of the Mad Gear Gang will be destroyed.

WiiWare

Gravitronix
Publisher: Medaverse Studios
Players: 1-8
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: It’s time to claim your rightful place as the champion of the Gravitronix arena, but get ready to deal with up to seven other players who are all shooting for the same title. Vanquish your opponents with four different projectiles and the powerful beams of your gravity platform. Intercept attacks and take careful aim at exposed vulnerabilities. Deflect incoming projectiles or capture and charge them with energy for devastating explosive attacks. Team up with a friend and battle through campaign mode, or recruit up to eight players on a single Wii™ system in versus mode for an all-out battle. Customize your matches with a variety of different options, such as flooding the arena with projectiles or making the game insanely fast. No matter how you like to play, grab your friends and have a blast.

Nintendo Marketplace: 10/5/2009

Virtual Console

FINAL FANTASY
Original platform: NES
Publisher: SQUARE ENIX
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 500 Wii Points™
Description: The world lies shrouded in darkness. The winds die. The sea rages. The earth decays. But the people believe in a prophecy, patiently awaiting its fulfillment. “When darkness veils the earth, four Warriors of Light shall come….” After a long journey, four young travelers did at last appear, and in the hand of each was clutched a crystal.

Nintendo DSiWare

Thorium Wars
Publisher: Big John Games
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Fantasy Violence
Price: 1,000 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: In Thorium Wars, you must stop the Thorions, a super species of Thorium-based machines, from destroying mankind. Blast through waves of Thorions by controlling an arsenal of tanks, skyfighters, hovercrafts, gunboats and starfighters with either the standard or touch-screen controls. In 12 exciting missions, navigate through a variety of combat environments while viewing 360 degrees of the battlefield, fully rendered in 3-D. Toggle between first- and third-person views to destroy the terrifying army of Thorium beasts, from swarms of Redeye Drones to the bone-crushing Manticore Walker. This man-versus-machine battle proves to be the ultimate test for the survival of the fittest.

WiiWare

Word Searcher
Publisher: Digital Leisure Inc.
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: You’ll need a sharp eye and a quick mind to complete 100 themed word-search puzzles. Word Searcher contains fun words from multiple categories including anatomy, world cities and U.S. presidents. With a huge assortment of subjects to choose from, there’s sure to be a puzzle for everyone to enjoy. Help improve your vocabulary, memory and problem-solving skills with these engaging puzzles. Track and try to beat your own play-through times again and again—words are scrambled every time you play.

Nintendo adds new titles to the Nintendo DSi Shop and the Wii Shop Channel at 9 a.m. Pacific time on Mondays. Users with broadband Internet access can redeem Wii Points or Nintendo DSi Points to download the games. Wii Points can be purchased in the Wii Shop Channel. Nintendo DSi Points can be purchased in the Nintendo DSi Shop. A Nintendo Points Card™ can be purchased at retail locations. All points from one Nintendo Points Card must be redeemed in either the Nintendo DSi Shop or the Wii Shop Channel. They are not transferable and cannot be divided between the two systems.

Nintendo Marketplace: 9/28/2009

Nintendo DSiWare

Art Academy™: Second Semester
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 800 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: Art Academy is a portable art course that anyone can enjoy. Art Academy: Second Semester provides new and returning students with a larger set of tools and in-depth lessons designed to encourage the creation of more complex artwork. By gaining an even deeper understanding of colors and techniques used by famous impressionist artists, you will be ready to take on more challenging themes that include moving objects, and vast landscapes with distant objects. The openness of Free Paint mode offers plenty of opportunities to hone your skills and boost your confidence as an artist.

DRAGON QUEST® WARS™
Publisher: SQUARE ENIX
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Language
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points
Description: DRAGON QUEST WARS is a grid-based strategy game featuring all of your favorite quirky DRAGON QUEST monsters. Choose from several modes and get ready for battle. While the rules are simple, strategy is the key to victory. The game features single-player and DS Wireless Play, as well as battles with foes worldwide via Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection. (Broadband Internet access is required for online play.)

WiiWare

ARKANOID Plus!
Publisher: TAITO
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 600 Wii Points™
Description: ARKANOID Plus! is an updated version of the original arcade blockbuster. Players must destroy colored blocks by guiding an Energy Ball around the screen using a spaceship called a VAUS. The game features a host of new modes and settings that radically alter the experience: Arcade Mode consists of 61 rounds divided into left and right versions, with two types of boss characters appearing in the last round; VS Mode lets players face off against a friend or the CPU; and the unfailingly frantic Time Mode challenges players to clear rounds within a strict time limit. With the subtle differences arising from the choice of “Lives” or “Barrier” rules, plus a plethora of exciting items, you’re in for hours and hours of block-busting fun.

DRiiFT Mania
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Players: 1-8
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief
Price: 800 Wii Points
Description: DRiiFT Mania is the ultimate top-down multiplayer racing experience. Challenge your friends in fast, exciting races and some totally crazy game modes. You’ll need to adapt your driving skills to the different racing environments if you want to succeed.

Virtual Console

Altered Beast™
Publisher: SEGA
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Fantasy Violence
Price: 1,000 Wii Points
Description: “Rise from your grave!” When legendary Greek god Zeus brings you back to life with those famous words, you set forth on a mission to rescue his daughter, Athena, from the wicked God of the Underworld, Neff. To survive the gauntlet of mythological foes, you must hunt down the three-headed wolves that inhabit each stage and collect the Spirit Balls that they release. The Spirit Balls increase your strength and allow you to transform into a variety of forms, including a Werewolf, Weredragon, Werebear, Weretiger and the ultimate form, the Golden Werewolf. Each creature possesses powerful attacks to help bring an end to Neff’s scheme.

Nintendo Marketplace 8/31/2009: Wii/DSi Shop Updates

This week we’ve got two WiiWare titles, one Virtual Console title, and one DSiWare title.

WiiWare™

Tales of Monkey Island: Chapter 2
Publisher: Telltale Games
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) – Alcohol Reference, Cartoon Violence, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes
Price: 1,000 Wii Points™
Description: Guybrush’s adventures continue on the high seas as pox-plagued pirates lay siege to the innocent Mer-People. Between defending the Mer-People and dodging the persistent pirate hunter hot on his trail, Guybrush manages to catch up to his beloved wife and despised arch-nemesis, but the reunion is short-lived. Now Guybrush must focus on eradicating the Pox of LeChuck before more harm can be done. And as the Mighty Pirate draws closer to a cure, the waters will only grow murkier in this thrilling chapter of the epic saga.

3-2-1, Rattle Battle!
Publisher: Tecmo
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) – Comic Mischief
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: 3-2-1, Rattle Battle! is a party game packed with exciting mini-games. Intuitive controls mean that anyone can enjoy playing – just grab the Wii Remote™ and shake it to “rattle.” Great fun for single players, but the party really gets started when you register high scores on Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection to see how you measure up against players from around the globe.

Virtual Console™

Phantasy Star™
Original platform: SEGA Master System
Publisher: SEGA
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone 10 and Older) – Animated Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence
Price: 500 Wii Points
Description: Originally released on the SEGA Master System, Phantasy Star is a pioneer in the role-playing game genre. Alis is the fearless female protagonist out to avenge her brother’s death at the hands of cruel dictator King Lassic. Players must guide Alis and her troops through the sprawling environments of the Agol solar system in an attempt to defeat King Lassic and liberate the people of Agol. Engage in dynamic turn-based combat with dragons, ghouls, giants and magicians by using unique weapons such as glowing daggers, crossbows and magic spells.

Nintendo DSiWare™

Puzzle League™ Express
Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points™
Description: The ever-popular Puzzle League comes to Nintendo DSiWare. As it is with all good puzzlers, the concept is simple: Connect blocks of the same color to clear them from the screen and prevent your stack from becoming too high. There are four single-player modes to choose from: Endless (survive to earn a top score), Clear (eliminate all blocks above the line), Score Attack (score as high as possible in two minutes) and Vs. COM (use items and combos to attack a computer opponent). You can choose from a variety of background music to help get you in the zone, and even play in horizontal or vertical mode by holding the Nintendo DSi system normally or like a book. Whichever way you play, you’re guaranteed maximum fun.

Monster Hunter 3 launches new Wii controller color in Japan, fuels rumor of new console color

This week in the Japanese video game market began with the release of a new title for Wii, Monster Hunter 3. Perhaps this would’ve gone otherwise unnoticed were it not for a console/game bundle being offered.

The first alt-colored Wii console was released alongside MH3, as a bundle offer with the game. The bundle came with a black Wii classic controller Pro and a copy of MH3.

MH3 trumped sales of Wii Sports: Resort this week, with three different bundles each selling totals around 180,000. One bundle came with a standard classic controller, one with a black classic controller, and the last was just the game itself.

I would like it if the new controller color was a hint that Nintendo might release an alt-colored Wii console but, if they haven’t done that by now, it probably won’t happen.

EDIT: Corrected the title of this article.

Nintendo Rep indicates more WiiWare, fewer VC in coming weeks

According to a news snippet posted by GoNintendo on Monday, a representative for Nintendo stated that the sales figure comparisons between Virtual Console and WiiWare releases are indicating that Nintendo move more in the direction of WiiWare for online releases.

The un-named Nintendo rep said the following:

“We understand your concern about the lack of service on the VC as of late. Due to sales numbers being far greater recently on Wiiware than on Virtual Console, we have decided to steer in the direction of WiiWare. Also, we in America have NO plans to update the Internet Channel or the Nintendo Channel. We hope you understand”

To be fair, Nintendo has a reputation of releasing anywhere from two to four WiiWare titles in a week but, of recent note, have only been releasing, at most, two Virtual Console titles per week. It is because of this ratio of WiiWare to Virtual Console titles that WiiWare is doing well compared to Virtual Console. This is a situation that Nintendo created, and their response to their own problem.

I’m all for more Virtual Console releases. In fact, I’m more a fan of classics being re-released than the majority of what’s been released so far on WiiWare.

If this actually means that Nintendo is going to stop releasing Virtual Console games, we’ll have to wait and see. The above statement shouldn’t be taken as an official account of Nintendo’s position on the matter, but should be taken into consideration given how Nintendo of America is faring in terms of their online marketplace.