Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo Wii U’

Nintendo Wii U Japan sales top 300,000 during launch weekend

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

While players in North America and Europe have been enjoying their Wii Us for a little while now, the newest Nintendo console only launched in Japan this past weekend. We’re now hearing the first numbers from the Wii U’s Japan launch, with statistics from Media-Create putting the Wii U’s launch weekend sales at 307,471. That certainly isn’t bad, with Nintendo selling 400,000 Wii Us during the console’s North American launch week.

Which games performed the best? By far it was New Super Mario Bros. U, which sold 160,140 copies. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate did well too, with 106,454 copies sold. Little surprise there, considering that Monster Hunter has proven to be an incredibly popular series in Japan (with some very passionate fans in other regions of the world). Nintendo Land, on the other hand, didn’t perform as well as those two, pulling in only 66,583 sales.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that Nintendo Land isn’t a pack-in game in Japan like it is in other regions, so there aren’t any bundle sale to boost the game’s numbers. So, it appears the Wii U and a few of its headlining games made a pretty strong showing during launch weekend, but that’s expected for most new hardware launches. Considering we’re right in the middle of the holiday shopping season, Nintendo can probably expect strong sales through the month of December, but whether or not those numbers stay up as we move away from the holidays is another matter entirely.

Nintendo 3d
Nintendo 3d

Once we’re into 2013, we’ll be able to better gauge if Nintendo has another Wii or another R4 Nintendo 3ds on its hands. If it continues selling strong, then there’s nothing to worry, but Nintendo is no stranger to botched launches – the 3DS was struggling in a big way until Nintendo cut its price a mere six months after release. Is a similar future in store for the Wii U? Only time will tell, but at the moment, things are looking pretty good.

Nintendo Wii U update causing big problems for some users

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Wii U day-one unpopular 5GB firmware update ‘bricking’ some consoles


Just to be clear, the update doesn’t actually do this.

Although Australians won’t see the Wii U until 30 November, the next-gen console has already launched in the US.

Already under fire for the massive 5GB day-one firmware update that users require to activate a number of system features — such as Miiverse, the online store and the compatibility for older Wii games — reports are coming in that interruptions to the download can render some consoles inoperable.

Nintendo 3d
Nintendo 3donly € 145,00

Ars Technica noted that a number of forum posts and tweets — including one from LA Times reporter Ben Fritz — indicated that interruptions to power or internet access during the update won’t just require you to try again; it’ll actually kill your console completely.

While there’s no official comment from Nintendo yet, bricked consoles should be covered by the standard warranty, and — fingers crossed — the issue will be sorted by the time of the Australian launch.

Nintendo Wii vs Nintendo Wii U

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Nintendo Wii U vs Nintendo Wii  fight!

The first thing we noticed about Nintendo’s next console when we last got our hands on it was the length — the Wii U is Nintendo’s longest console yet. Sure, sure, there’s a tablet controller and HD graphics and yadda yadda yadda. That’s immaterial. What matters here, folks, is how the new hardware — the console itself — physically stacks up against the first Wii. As you’ll see in our gallery, length is the least of the Wii U‘s changes: in the Wii U, Nintendo added two more USB 2.0 ports up front and rounded out its hard right angles, for starters. Around back, the port layout of the Wii is nigh-on identical with that of the Wii U, albeit with the fan moved an inch (or so) to the right, making space for HDMI output. This is an HD console, after all. Wonderfully, unlike the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Wii U includes an HDMI cable right out of the box. Not a huge deal, but it sure was a baffling move when Sony and Microsoft both skimped on such an important detail.

NINTENDO WII MARIO KART PACK
NINTENDO WII MARIO KART PACK

The only other change we spotted (outside of the power port being flipped from horizontal to vertical) is the lack of GameCube controller ports up top. Say sayonara to those old Wavebirds, as Nintendo’s moving on to its new tablet controller and its updated Pro Controller.

Top 10 most underrated games this generation

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

There have been literally thousands of videogames released since Microsoft kick-started this generation of consoles back in 2005.

And all of the middling and major titles released over the past seven years have each been put through the same brutal acid-test of critic reviews, user scores and aggregated numbers.

Some videogames, however, have had a tougher time than others – falling out of favour for whatever reason despite showing promise. So below we are celebrating the unpolished gems of this world. The rough diamonds that, for whatever reason, haven’t had the big break they deserved.

A quick clarification before we begin: when people talk about ‘underrated games’, they tend to start rattling off games such as Bayonetta or Vanquish. Those games aren’t underrated. They sold like they were N-Gage exclusives, granted, but they’re not underrated. Pretty much everyone who has played them agrees they’re great.

The benchmark is simple. We are hand-picking the best games that scored less than a 75 per cent average on Metacritic. Each one is likely lurking in a pre-owned bin somewhere, and hopefully with our advice you’ll be more tempted to give them all a deserved home and some much-deserved TV time.


Prototype 2

Click to view larger image PS3, Xbox 360, PCMetacritc score: 74

Sample critique: “The action requires little real skill to control and although gaining new powers is a strong impetuous for continuing it’s all extremely shallow and inconsequential” – Metro GameCentral – 6/10

Why it’s secretly a bit good: It’s the epic open-world superhero game that the likes of Spidey and Superman have promised in the past, but never quite delivered.

‘Shallow and inconsequential’ is a pretty good summary of Prototype 2’s action, but since when did a GTA clone have to be a Franz flippin’ Kafka novel? While the New York Zero setting is a little contrived, gliding from skyscraper to skyscraper like a murderous sugar glider is a top laugh.


Ridge Racer 6

Click to view larger image Xbox 360Metacritic score: 74

Sample critique: “Mediocre at best. If you’re trying to find a simple racer to appease someone who is confused with such daunting tasks as, say, reciting the alphabet, then Ridge Racer 6 might be what you’re looking for” – Game Over Online – 6/10

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Why it’s secretly a bit good: Namco only have themselves to blame for Ridge Racer 6’s lacklustre reviews. Like a Mini on a frozen Winter morning, it takes an absolute age to get going.

Power through the sluggish opening quarter however and your reward is a pulsating twitch racer that challenges you to steer a car sideways through the eye of a needle at screen-blistering speeds. For an additional thrill, try reciting the alphabet while you do so.


Pandora’s Tower

Click to view larger image WiiMetacritic score: 74

Sample critique: “Pandora’s Tower doesn’t offer anything appealing or unique, and is not a Wii title that will find a home with many gamers” – Gameplanet – 5/10

Why it’s secretly a bit good: It’s no surprise that Pandora’s Tower got overlooked – a Nintendo console is always going to be a tough place for a Zelda clone to make a living.

But Pandora’s Tower carved a niche for itself by adding a speedrunning twist to the ponderous Zelda format. Pandora’s dungeons might not be as fiendishly inventive as Eiji Aonuma’s twining inventions, but the stress of a constantly ticking clock makes it easy to muff up even the simplest of puzzles.


Space Giraffe

Click to view larger image Xbox 360, PCMetacritic score: 68

Sample critique: “Maybe if the gameplay were more endearing to the casual gamer, or if the visuals didn’t make half of the people who play the game foam at the mouth…just maybe Space Giraffe would have been as cool as its designers had hoped” – IGN, 47%

Why it’s secretly a bit good: Famously eccentric designer Jeff Minter out-weirded even himself when he decided to take a pile of Tempest grids and overlay them with a disorientating light synthesiser effect. “It’s almost impossible to tell what’s going on” bemoaned reviews at the time. A perfectly valid criticism, but it’s worth noting that this was exactly Minter’s intention.

To survive Space Giraffe’s visual onslaught, you have to play it by ear – using the subtle audio cues to ‘feel’ your way around the grid. If it clicks, you’ve got yourself one of the most unique and nuanced shooters around. If it doesn’t, you’ve just got a garish mess. An iffy tutorial section didn’t help sway the floating voters.

At 400MP, it’s worth a punt to see which side of the divide you fall on.


Earth Defence Force 2017

Click to view larger image Xbox 360Metacritic score: 69

Sample critique: “Earth Defence Force 2017 is the action game equivalent of potato chips: no nutritional value, but tasty nonetheless” – Hardcore Gamer Magazine – 45%

Why it’s secretly quite good: EDF 2017 is ugly and jerky, true, but it’s absolute bucketloads of fun too. Someone once described it to us as ‘Robotron in 3D’, and that nails it on the head for us.

We mean, it throws you into a fully-destructible city, with a whopping great cannon and an infinite amount of giant ants/robots/spiders to test it out on. What’s not to like? The lack of online multiplayer maybe, but come on. Don’t be like that.

Excite Truck

Click to view larger image Nintendo WiiMetacritic score: 72

Sample critique: “It might show off how well racers on the Wii will work when developers finally do it properly (yes, Ubisoft, we’re looking at you) but even so, there’s just not enough here to warrant the premium price” – Games TM – 6/10

Why it’s secretly quite good: Excite Truck was a victim of inflated expectations. For the first few years of the Wii’s existence, people expected motion control to provide a wonderful new dimension to games; the kind of next level experience that Nintendo had always promised. Ultimately, the controller’s limitations meant that the revolution was not going to happen (though Nintendo, which had sold more than 95 million of the machines, would beg to differ).

The Wii’s best games are often the early ones that kept things simple. Games such as Excite Truck, which is one of those breed of racers where the trick is to correct your positioning in mid-air so you don’t lose momentum when you land.

We’re spoiled for choice with these at the moment (MotoHeroz, Trials et al), but Excite Truck is the best 3D example of the sub-genre, and its wild handling is a perfect match for the Wiimote’s jittery nature. Terrible name, mind.


Binary Domain

Click to view larger image PS3, PC, Xbox 360Metacritic score: 72

Sample Critique: “It’s the best kind of 7/10. The gunplay is raucous, but never revolutionary. The relationships make you laugh, if not cry. Binary Domain is unpolished in all the right places” – Official PlayStation Magazine – 7/10

Why it’s secretly quite good: There’s one thing Binary Domain gets very, very right, and it’s not the box art. It’s the mechs. Most specifically, the satisfying way they fall apart at the seams (rivets?) when you shoot at them.

Mechs must have a good union, because games rarely manage to get this simple thing right. It’s okay for us humans to bleed rivers, but mechs tend to be allowed to die quietly and with dignity. Binary Domain addresses this imbalance with glorious, metal-crunching fury. Death to our mechanical oppressors!


Deadly Premonition

PS3, Xbox 360Metacritic score: 68%

Sample critique: “Awful in nearly every way. The Twin Peaks meets Resident Evil with a dash of Grand Theft Auto formula sounds pretty great, but it was well beyond the capabilities of this development team. Terrible controls. Terrible pacing. Terrible sound effects. Terrible visuals.” – IGN – 20%

Why it’s secretly quite good: Deadly Premonition holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Critically Polarizing Survival Horror Game”, which in itself holds the record for “Most Peculiarly Specific World Record Category”. Little wonder really as it’s really quite bizarre.

Deadly Premonition is a game that defies easy classification. The closest we can come to describing it is as a budget Resident Evil with a penchant for mischief. Brutal acts of violence are accompanied by terrible one-liners. Outlandishly freakish scenes are juxtaposed by mundane segments where you trim your beard or swig coffee. It’s a surreal piece of interactive story-telling and you’ll either love it or hate it for that.


Alpha Protocol

Click to view larger image PS3, Xbox 360, PCMetacritic score: 72

Sample critique: “Alpha Protocol’s astounding intricacies are tarnished by bugs, clumsy gameplay mechanics, and rough production values” – Gamespot – 6/10

Why it’s secretly quite good: You have to dig deep to get the most from Alpha Protocol, but it’s worth the blood and tears.

Your digging will have to cut through a crust of ugly presentation and a mantle of shoddy AI. Then you’ve got to drill through the near-impenetrable outer core that is the main character’s crouching animation, which makes him look like he’s filled his pants.

Dig past all of that, and you get to sip from Alpha Protocol’s delicious gooey liquid centre; a stealth-action RPG which gives you a mind-boggling number of ways to develop your character’s skill set and approach each mission.


SSX Blur

Click to view larger image WiiMetacritic score: 74

Sample critique: “It all boils down to the controls. When you have the capability to utilize the innovative controls of the Wii, be sure to use them to the fullest extent” – Cheat Code Central – 52%

Why it’s secretly quite good: Does this sound familiar? It’s Excite Truck syndrome all over again. With the benefit of hindsight, we can see SSX Blur for what it actually is: a cracking little snowboarding game that works well within the Wiimote’s limited capabilities. Carving into the snow with the nunchuk feels great. We’ve even grown fond of the cartoon aesthetic. Time heals all wounds, right?

Hands On Nintendo Wii U

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Last weekend, the doors of Earl’s Court were opened to a horde of hungry gamers as it played host to Eurogamer Expo. We attended the event and while the R4 3ds presence appeared to be non-existent, Nintendo did bring out the big guns in the form of the portable’s big brother; the Wii U. Naturally, we headed in its direction immediately to get our mitts on the shiny new toy.

The obvious question is “how’s the gamepad?” Fortunately we can report that it’s a real nice bit of kit; while the released pictures make it look a bit flimsy, that thing is real sturdy. The gamepad somehow manages to be extremely comfortable to hold while also feeling like it could take a few knocks. Nintendo have earned a +1 to ergonomics. The screen is also great; it’s really bright and the colours look great, and it was putting out some surprisingly impressive visuals. There are big television sets that can’t put out a picture as good.

Speaking of television sets, the Wii U was putting some nice visuals up on there too: It’s definitely a step up from an XBox 360 or a PS3, but if you’re used to playing on mid-range or higher PCs then you probably won’t be too impressed. The fact that it’s putting out some pretty good visuals on two screens however shows just how powerful the Wii U is.

You probably don’t care about the technical stuff though; what you’re really interested in is the games. We managed to get out hands on the Luigi’s Ghost Mansion segment of NintendoLand, The Wonderful 101, and Pikmin 3.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion

If Luigi’s Ghost Mansion is any indicator, NintendoLand is going to be a ton of fun. If you haven’t seen any coverage of it yet, here is the basic premise; there are five players, one of which is armed with the GamePad while the other four carry a Wii Remote each. The goal of the GamePad player is to navigate an invisible ghost through the mansion and take out the other players, all of whom are armed with torches to both fight off the ghost and revive their fallen comrades.

While it’s fun to play as part of the torch-bearing team, it’s way more exciting to creep around as the ghost hunting down the group. The game does a good job of making the ghost feel powerful with the advantage of invisibility, though you do become visible if you dash or are hit by a torch. Over on the other side, teamwork is definitely a big part of the game and coming together to outwit your foe is definitely something of a rush. Being the one to track down your foe may also illicit a somewhat smug grin from… some people…

M3 + 2gb + Pennino per DS Lite
M3 + 2gb + Pennino per DS Liteonly € 34,99

The Wonderful 101

The Wonderful 101 is a game based around forming a squad of superheroes who join together (often literally) to punch monsters in the face. The game was a little disappointing as the controls are definitely in need of some tuning; most of the time it didn’t really feel like the GamePad was having much effect on what the large swarm of heroes was doing. The combat in the game also seemed incredibly simple; you just hammer the attack button until you build up enough meter and then unleash your special attacks. It’s also really hard to tell which direction a swarm is facing, resulting in a few punches to the right veering wildly off to the left.

In one segment of the demo, the lead character walks into a building. That’s pretty standard, but the game veers off in two directions here; on the television set, you’re treated to an exterior view of the building where four numbers are displayed and can be altered. Meanwhile on the GamePad screen, the lead character was walking around inside and found a combination of four numbers! After matching the exterior set with the interior, the door was opened and the heroes were able to continue their journey. This was a surprisingly great use of the GamePad, one which will hopefully lead to some great gameplay moments.

Pikmin 3

Pikmin 3 was probably the most impressive Wii U game we were able to play. If you haven’t played a previous game, they are centred around an astronaut who commands are large group of the small vegetable people, the Pikmin. The demo was a pretty simple level in which the astronaut (who appeared to be someone other than Olimar) used his Pikmin to collect fruit and wildlife and send them back to the spaceship. A pretty familiar set up, but this time there is some new additions; The most important of which is the Wii Remote.

The Wii Remote has been used poorly a lot in games like this, but here it feels intuitive. Movement of the astronaut is obviously controlled via the analogue stick on the nunchuck while you aim with the actual remote, using it to throw or call Pikmin. Pointing at the large monsters that roam the level and then smashing them in the face with your friendly Pikmin is a ton of fun. There is also the addition of the Rock Pikmin, used for smashing walls and hitting harder enemies, but this third entry into the series is mostly just more of the same great gameplay from the rest of the series.

Nintendo Wii U pricing, launch titles announced

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Nintendo has announced a launch date for Wii U, as well as a line-up of games, including New Super Mario Bros U.

Arriving in Australia on 30 November, Nintendo’s first HD console will come at two price points: AU$349.95 for the basic pack, which contains a white 8GB Wii U console with a white GamePad controller; and AU$429.95 for a black 32GB Wii U console and black GamePad controller, as well as a charging cradle for the controller, a sensor bar and the Nintendo Land game.

Nintendo also announced the line-up of games that will be available at launch:

  • New Super Mario Bros U: a side-scrolling platformer in the style of classic Mario that looks amazing
  • Nintendo Land: a theme park-style game, featuring mini-games from Nintendo’s favourite franchises, including Metroid and Zelda
  • FIFA 13 the next title in the world’s most popular soccer game franchise
  • ZombiU: first-person zombie-based horror shooter
  • Rayman Legends: the fifth game in Ubisoft’s side-scrolling Rayman series and the sequel to Rayman Origins
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II
  • Mass Effect 3: Special Edition: according to Nintendo, this title, exclusive to Wii U, will use the GamePad to give you a unique control of the battlefield.

Also coming to the console, within the launch window, will be Skylanders Giants, Ninja Gaiden 3, Darksiders II, Assassin’s Creed III and Batman: Arkham City.

MICRO SD 8 GB SANDISK
MICRO SD 8 GB SANDISK only € 8,90

You can read more about the Wii U’s specs and get the full list of titles here, and watch Nintendo Europe’s Satoru Iwata give a run-down of the console in the video below.

We’re quite impressed by both the lineup and the pricing — it’s head and shoulders above what was available for the R4 3ds. What do you think?

Nintendo Wii U Would Revolutionize the Sci-Fi Games

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Considering what we know about the Wii U console, its features and capabilities, there is a high possibility that the future Sci-Fi games which are going to be designed for this console will bring a completely new perspective and game play.

Nintendo-3DS-elektronichouse.com

Sci-Fi games have always attracted consumers, no matter of their level of gaming expertise. And the reason for this is that they bring imaginary and at the same time somewhat real perspectives of the sci-fi universe. We have all imagined and desired to see the universe and the possible life forms in it. True, most if these games are build on a more violent aspect, but the imagination and graphical details capture any of us.

Get an Idea about The Wii U Sci-Fi Game Potential

Well, as we have said, considering the facts about the Wii U  console that have emerged on the net during the last year, it is safe to presume that the console will bring a new gaming experience to Sci-Fi games and will enrich the playing experience.

The most important feature of the Wii U console which will benefit the future design and development of the Sci-Fi games is the touch screen. This will be able to turn a simple device in a sensor scanner or a communicator. Now the only boundary that remains is the developer’s imagination. Just pause a second and imagine all the controller combinations that you can control your character as well as the actual graphical resolution of the game.

Console for Nintendo DS Lite
Console Nintendo DS Lite€ 119,99

And in the following we are going to present just a couple of possible Wii U applications in the Sci-Fi game industry. The first on the list is the motion tracker which can be used to track different locations, such as that of your enemies or of your friends. This means that you will need to move the controller around to get an overall image of your environment.

A second idea is the use of the Wii U controller screen as a device to unlock different areas such as doors or codes, especially for small games which have been integrated in the main game.  An interesting touch would be the use of the controller to scan different objects in the game.

See Also

Wii U Price Rumor

These Are Your Upcoming eShop Games