Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:35PM - By Benjamin Opal
No need for alarm, Nintendo’s next console is most likely not called the Nintendo Zii, and hasn’t been trademarked as such. SiliconEra, which loves to dig up this stuff, found a Nintendo trademark for “Zii” in Japan, and speculated that this was perhaps the name for a high-definition Nintendo Wii, noting that three years is a bit late for something as simple as name protection. But after doing some digging, Engadget found that this is likely just a renewal of a trademark request from 2006. Also, trademarks from Nintendo were found for Bii, Cii, Oii and Yii. Why the Big N didn’t go the extra mile and trademark Xii, Uii, Iii and Nii is beyond me, and my Mii.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 6:44PM - By Jared Newman
Nintendo Power pulled the lid off Mega Man 10, and, well, it looks like every other Mega Man you remember from childhood. Purists won’t like some of the features Capcom has lined up for this WiiWare release, such as the ability to select other characters (Protoman is mentioned, and a third character is being kept secret for now) and a story that requires Mega Man to assemble a vaccine-making device that cures robots of Robotenza. It’s not said whether Dr. Wily is involved, but come on.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:04AM - By Jared Newman
How was Mario created? It’s common knowledge that his hat-and-moustache appearance were due to graphical limitations that made it hard to otherwise distinguish facial features. But what was at the root of Mario’s origins? Why was the character, originally dubbed Jumpman, created to begin with? Money.
Friday, November 6, 2009 10:20AM - By Jared Newman
Congratulations, Game Boy, you’re not only pushing 20 years old, you’re also now a legend among toys, having been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Here’s what the Strong Museum of Play had to say about the induction: “No video-game platform did more to put gamers on the go than this invention. And go they did – bringing their gaming experience to school, to summer camp, and to the back seat of the family automobile.” Strong also notes that the Game Boy pioneered handheld multiplayer long before ad-hoc wireless and Wi-Fi were the standard, and hit the big time with Super Mario Land (the sequel was particularly excellent) and Tetris, which came packed in with the device.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 10:00AM - By Benjamin Opal
You can cool those “printing money” and “we’re rich as f—” jokes now, as Nintendo is coming to terms with a stagnating Wii. Speaking to analysts and investors, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said the “Wii has stalled,” according to a translation by Andria Sang. “We were unable to continually release strong software, and let the nice mood cool.” Another report from Sankei Shimbun quotes Iwata as saying, “We were unable to show a new game to become ‘the next thing.’” For the six-month period ending September 30, the company’s profits dropped for the first time in four years. The Nintendo DS continues to do well, at least from what I’ve seen in North America, but overall Wii sales dropped 43 percent from last year, causing Nintendo to lower its sales forecasts.
Still, Iwata is optimistic, saying that price cuts will boost sales, even if they don’t reach the levels of last year. Indeed, it ultimately comes down to the software, and no matter what Nintendo comes up with, I think it’ll be hard for the company to match the hysteria of Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Mario Kart Wii and Super Mario Galaxy. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, which is due in North America on November 15, will help, but Nintendo really needs bigger long-term plans to get its groove back. [via Andria Sang]
Monday, October 26, 2009 3:09PM - By Benjamin Opal
Nintendo reportedly continues to tinker with the Nintendo DS, this time boosting the portable gaming device’s screen size to 4 inches, according to a report in Nikkei Shimbun. But unless your getting old and your eyesight is fading, don’t get hot and bothered if you already picked up a Nintendo DSi earlier this year; the upgrade Nintendo is rumored to be making is essentially catered to elderly users, likely looking to keep their noggins finely tuned with a daily round of Brain Age. For the rest of us, the existing dual 3.25-inch displays should be adequate, and maybe preferable, considering you couldn’t really improve resolution without shrinking images right back down again. [via Wired]
Tuesday, October 6, 2009 5:11PM - By Jared Newman
Thanks to some arbitrary metrics, Nintendo is a superior company to Apple and Google, according to a study commissioned by BusinessWeek. The publication hired consulting firm A.T. Kearney to look at the world’s top 2,500 publicly-listed companies. To thin the list, the firm threw out all the companies with less than $10 billion in annual sales and less than 25 percent of their earnings coming from outside their home region. After that, it’s all about growth, and Nintendo had the highest combined percentage of sales and value increases from 2004 to 2008. Obviously, this is all thanks to the explosive popularity of the Wii and Nintendo DS, though Nintendo is stagnating now that the recession has caught up with the games industry. Shiggy, Reggie and Iwata better have that beer before this distinction goes stale. [BusinessWeek via GamePolitics]