Nintendo Of America Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Nintendo Of America RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Reggie Fils-Aime Steps Down Today as Doug Bowser Steps In as NOA President Mon, 15 Apr 2019 15:34:27 -0400 Ashley Shankle

We had fair warning, but the day has finally come for Reggie Fils-Aime to step down as President of Nintendo of America and enter retirement.

The gaming community at large knows Fils-Aime for his iconic presentations for Nintendo over the years, and for his friendly and welcoming demeanor.

Reggie's going to be leaving some big shoes to fill, but who better to step into them but Nintendo's own, aptly-named, Doug Bowser?

Bowser worked at Nintendo of America as its Senior President of Sales and Marketing since May of 2015, a year before the Nintendo Switch was revealed and a year before Nintendo made some big changes to its image.

If anyone were to take the over for Fils-Aims, it'd be Doug Bowser. Not just because of the bizarrely appropriate name.

Though he may be leaving Nintendo of America, Fils-Aime will probably continue to be known throughout the gaming community for years to come. His audacious E3 introduction all those years ago set the tone for his public persona. The rest, as they say, is history.

Reggie Fils-Aime has been synonymous with Nintendo of America for over a decade. In a way, it feels like another sign of an end of an era at Nintendo.

Surely fans and Nintendo of America themselves can feel confident with Doug Bowser at the head. This is not a day too be sad, but one to usher in a new era of Nintendo. I'm eager to see where the company will go under Doug Bowser. You should be, too.

Is a New Animal Crossing Game on the Horizon? Thu, 25 Jan 2018 14:35:00 -0500 Steven Oz

Will a new Animal Crossing title appear in the near future? According to the Tumblr website Japanese Nintendo, a new game might be coming soon. Nintendo has submitted a new trademark application for Animal Crossing in Japan.

It includes Class 9 classification, which covers video games programs, electronic games, downloadable electronic game programs, and ROM cartridge storage for video game software (among other items).

animal crossing trademark filed in Japan

Japanese Nintendo states that the trademark can be used in many different products:

"... software for a home video game machine, portable electronic game machine, and smartphone devices, as well as stuffed animals, game machine controllers, board games, playing cards, protective carrying cases, trading card games, and much more!"

The last Animal Crossing game Nintendo released was Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for mobile devices. Prior to that, it was Animal Crossing: New Leaf for Nintendo 3DS.

Most publishers do this to refresh their trademarks so that other companies do not get the rights to that name. While this trademark application does not necessarily mean a new game is incoming, it shows that Nintendo is updating their properties for the future. That is promising for Nintendo and all their brands.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more information as it develops.

If You Think Nintendo Never Learns Its Lesson, The Switch is Proof You're Wrong Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:24:02 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Nintendo is one of the most beloved video game companies of all times, and for many of us, it has a significant place in our childhood memories. That doesn't mean it's a perfect company, though. Over the years, Nintendo has made numerous poor choices in terms of hardware and software development, marketing, and communication in general.

As a result, it's often assumed that Nintendo is completely out of touch with its audience and even with reality -- an idea the Wii U didn't do much to dispel. But however much it might seem like Nintendo is conservative and never learning or making changes, that's not really the case. On the contrary, the Switch console and how Nintendo has approached it proves that the company does, indeed, learn from its past and mistakes. 

A Different Marketing Strategy

Nintendo's marketing campaign for the Wii U was, to say the least, dreadful, both in terms of television and Internet advertisement. The system's first ad was repetitive, showcasing very little that differentiated the Wii U from its predecessor, and mostly showing people watching someone else play. Significantly, there wasn't much in the way of gameplay to show either (more on that later).

To compound the problem, there wasn't much marketing for the Wii U's games either. You'd probably only need one hand to count the number of game commercials that Nintendo put out, with 2013's Super Mario 3D World being the main exception. Nintendo did pick up the marketing pace (much) later -- but as others have noted, it was too little too late, and the ad campaigns didn't even try to push the Wii U's most distinguishing, divisive feature: the gamepad.

Nintendo addressed the gamepad problem on a few occasions in the past year, saying the public did not grasp the Wii U's core concept. Even Shigeru Miyamoto said the company failed to differentiate it from other tablets and stand out as a game system.

Yet Nintendo's developers were also to blame. Apart from Nintendo Land, most titles made no exceptional use of the gamepad; when they did, as with Star Fox Zero or Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, consumers complained the controls and the overall idea were too complicated and that the game was mostly played on the gamepad, making the TV useless.

It's easy to blame the consumer and say they should try to appreciate a new control scheme. However, that simultaneously places the blame back on the company for not making enough games that utilized the gamepad to begin with, so players were never forced to get used to it through consistent usage.

The Switch marketing campaign is, so far, completely different. From the system's first reveal trailer, Nintendo relentlessly pushed the system's core concept of playing anywhere. Alongside a memorable reveal commercial, there are at the time of writing two other ad campaigns focusing on the system itself, both of which feature highly anticipated future releases and continually show off the system's primary function.

Nintendo also ensured these ads appeared in front of the right audiences as well. In July, for example, Nintendo led the way in advertisement budgets, featuring their commercials on channels like Nickelodeon and Adult Swim, during popular shows including SpongeBob Squarepants and American Dad. The New 2DS received the bulk of the marketing budget, but the Switch still wasn't left out.

And Nintendo needs these ads. With the Wii U only selling approximately 13 million units, Nintendo knows it has to work hard to reach a wider audience, whether that be the former Wii audience or gamers who haven't picked up a Big N game in years -- hence the focus on Breath of the Wild during early TV spots. Relying on Directs or other promotions followed only by dedicated gamers, as they did during the Wii U's lifecycle, could never result in success for the Switch.

Though still not perfect (because no company is) it seems that Nintendo is learning to balance its appeals to both casual and core audiences.

Better Hardware Concepts

There is a bit of psychological marketing going on as well to try and ensure consumers fully understand core concept behind Nintendo's most recent console. At this point, almost anyone who sees Yoshiaki Koizumi on screen knows what will happen when he lifts his right hand. The snap sound has nothing to do with the Switch itself, of course, but it suggests simplicity and ease of use -- everything the Wii U wasn't, in other words. Even the system's name promotes its main feature, something the rather bizarrely named Wii U never could have dreamed of doing.

But more important than how well the audience understands the core concept is the fact that the Switch's concept works and works well. The Wii U suffered from being the middle child -- a half-step between the traditional console gaming the Wii was and the portability of handheld systems that the Switch fully realizes.The gamepad gaffe ultimately forced the consumer to pay for technology that brought no benefit. But Nintendo has been careful not to make the same mistake with the Switch.

Granted, there isn't much available for the console that makes use of the JoyCon HD Rumble feature, even though that technology drove the controllers' price up. In spite of this, the Switch has a wide range of alternate functionality for the JoyCons, from motion control to multiplayer. So even though the consumer is still paying a higher price for some underutilized technologies, the JoyCons aren't a half-baked gimmick with nothing else to offer. 

This superior hardware iteration has certainly been beneficial to Nintendo and made its consumers happy. The NPD group recently reported the Switch as the top-selling console in four out of the six months it's been on the market. Analysts speculated that part of Microsoft's slower sales may be due to the impending Xbox One X, though PlayStation 4 certainly isn't missing any heavy hitters of its own that would increase its sales. In short, Nintendo's plan is paying off.



Software likely has a lot to do with Nintendo's redemption as well. The company made two tremendously bad -- and tremendously similar -- mistakes with the 3DS and Wii U launches. It offered both systems to consumers at higher price points than they should have been, then proceeded to leave them with very little in the way of substantial material to play on those new machines. So the incentive to buy them was very low.

The 3DS finally received a price drop and a quality lineup of games, to the point where its catalog now boasts an impressive variety of titles. But the Wii U suffered from overly long gaps between first party releases, and had so little third-party support that it's almost not worth mentioning. 

Additionally, the games Nintendo developed for the Wii U had little variation in terms of game length and depth. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Pikmin 3 were certainly good games -- but it doesn't take all that long to get through them, and there are few short-term reasons to return after completing them.The overall lack of games, and the general brevity of what few worthwhile titles there were, created a definite problem for owners of the system as well as prospective buyers.

Image via Pocket-Lint

Nintendo finally changed its approach to software lineups with the Switch. Their much vaunted plan of a major release every month means that after just six months, Switch owners have a plethora of games to choose from that represent several genres, including mainstream giants like Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 alongside sleeper hits such as Disgaea 5 and Splatoon 2.

The company even felt confident enough to take the big risk of introducing a new IP, Arms, shortly after launch. It's not a very deep game and has its limits, but alongside games like BoTW and even I Am Setsuna -- games that may take players several hours to complete and offer more complex experiences -- that's not a problem.

It's true that several of these games are ports from the Wii U. However, given the Wii U's very low sales numbers, it makes sense to port popular games that most people missed out on as a way to attract and maintain interest in the Switch. The console's core concept works as incentive here as well, since it allows for greater freedom of play and even more multiplayer options than the Wii U did for the same games.

Of course, there are games even more highly anticipated coming in the future, like Super Mario Odyssey and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It could lead many to wonder what the plans are for the future, with Metroid Prime 4 and the still mysterious Pokemon game for Switch having no estimated release dates at this point. The Wii suffered from that problem as well -- after 2007, big releases were few and painfully far between each other. Yet it doesn't seem like that will be the Switch's fate. The first portion of 2018 seems to be continuing the same pattern of releases, with an exclusive Square Enix game, the Yoshi game demonstrated at E3 this year, Kirby: Star Allies, and likely more -- though Nintendo stated its desire to focus mostly on the current year at this point.


Where there may be gaps in mainline development, Nintendo is relying on the eShop to fill in. The 3DS and Wii U eShops took quite a while to finally get going. Much like with its physical offerings, the 3DS eShop eventually ended up with plentiful games to choose from, along with the usual nonsense ones. The Wii U had its own unique pieces to showcase, such as Affordable Space Adventures -- but the majority of popular indie titles on the Wii U were also available on the 3DS, like the Steamworld games. This provided even less reason for potential buyers to look into the Wii U.

Image via iMore

In fact, at this point, there are far more eShop games than retail ones. Far from being a case of indie-gestion, though, the result of Nintendo's dedicated curating effort has been positive. Indie games can (and do) meet the needs of a diverse audience, and the number of them on offer means that Nintendo can appeal to that wide audience without overextending its own resources and compromising on quality.

Several of these indies for the Nintendo Switch, including the upcoming Hollow Knight and Yooka-Laylee are ports too. They are available on other platforms -- but when placed alongside Nintendo's traditionally popular franchises and the added bonus of the Switch's portability, there is still an appeal to foregoing these games on other platforms and adding them to the Switch library instead. Perhaps Sony's Shawn Layden was right when he said the Switch and PS4 would be sitting side-by-side in people's homes.

Of course, those left out by the curating process may not think so favorably of Nintendo for its practices, with notable developers like Lorne Lanning having expressed their dissatisfaction. But at the end of the day, it's a business -- and between the small developer and the multi-national, multi-billion dollar corporation, it's the latter whose interests are ultimately going to be served.


One of the most important practices Nintendo seems to have changed with the Switch is the one that enabled this software success so far. The Wii U was notoriously difficult to develop for, owing to the gamepad and off-TV functionality. Coupled with the small user base, there was not much incentive for third parties or independent developers to invest resources in it.

Image via Forbes

With the Switch, though, developers say Nintendo streamlined the process -- another major bonus of the Switch's simplified and functional core concept. The biggest hurdle is ensuring a game can run in docked and handheld mode, though most -- even EA -- don't seem to find that much of a challenge overall. Even with its graphical and processing limitations, the ease of development and much larger install base is probably why Hajime Tabata is so interested in putting Final Fantasy XV on the Switch.

Third Parties

Thus far, the Switch's sales success and easy development process seem to have won third parties back over to Nintendo. Alongside Square Enix and EA, Bethesda, NIS, and Ubisoft are contributing substantial support for the system in a variety of ways. Of course, the Wii U received promises of support in the beginning as well -- promises that never materialized -- and some developers (like EA) still say they are in "wait-and-see" mode before fully committing to the system. Regardless, at this point the Switch and its consumer appeal are already vastly different from previous Nintendo systems, so all signs seem to point to a much brighter future as far as third-party support is concerned.

Mature Games

Several of the third-party games coming to the Switch differ greatly from the sort of material usually featured on Nintendo systems. Combined with Nintendo's advertising campaigns focusing mostly on young adults (rather than younger children or families), it sends a definite signal that Nintendo is moving in a new direction that includes concerted appeals to older players.

Unlike the failed Wii U attempt to do the same, there is actually substance here to make it happen, including games like SkyrimDOOM, and Wolfenstein. With developers like Bethesda seeing the potential for brand new audiences with the Switch, it is likely that the Switch will continue to see an influx of more mature games. That, in turn, means wider appeal for the system and more sales.

It is a risky move as well, though. Nintendo's image as a family company and its unique IPs are what made it stand out in the market after the PlayStation 2 arrived on the scene. One could argue that approach led to the Wii U's failure. But moving away from it means that Nintendo is going to have to rely even more heavily on its own franchises and a steady stream of desirable third-party games to continue distinguishing itself from competitors and avoid falling flat once again.


The Switch and Nintendo itself still have their problems, of course -- including issues with voice chat functionalities and the current lack of retro options. Yet none of these ultimately affect the system's performance or the ability of consumers to enjoy a wide variety of content on it.

After the heady days of the Wii's mass success with the casual crowds and the failed attempt at passing the Wii U off as hardcore, Nintendo seems to have finally found its way back to delivering quality content that appeals to a diverse range of people on a machine designed to complement and enhance that content.

Let us know down in the comment section what you think: has Nintendo learned from past mistakes?

Header image via Gematsu

Shovel Knight is Getting New Amiibo Figures Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:51:17 -0400 Steven Oz

During Nintendo’s Nindies@Night event in Seattle, several announcements were made -- including the reveal of three new amiibo from the Shovel Knight game series.

Two years ago at PAX West, Yacht Club Games originally announced that its game Shovel Knight would receive amiibo support. And now, these new figures are joining the lineup. 

These three new knights are based on King Knight, Plague Knight, and Specter Knight. As with all other amiibo, these will activate certain things when tapped on the NFC reader for the Nintendo Switch.

According to Nintendo, these amiibo will unlock exclusive in-game content:

"While playing Shovel Knight, players can unlock exclusive armor sets, new challenge stages and the ability to summon fairy companions to accompany players on quests."


These new figures will work on Yacht Club Games Shovel Knight: King of Cards -- which is set for release in early 2018 and serves as a prequel story that reveals how King Knight claimed his throne. 

There's no word yet on when these amiibo will be released to the public. Nintendo is saying that it will be sometime in 2018 to coincide with Shovel Knight: King of Cards.

Why Star Fox 2 On the SNES Mini Classic Edition is HUGE Wed, 05 Jul 2017 15:51:24 -0400 ActionJ4ck

Last week saw Nintendo confirming the release of the SNES Mini Classic Edition, the successor to last year's NES Mini Classic Edition. Though the announcement itself was hardly shocking, it did include a very interesting surprise: among its 21 classic SNES games, the SNES Mini Classic Edition would include the never-before-released Star Fox 2. And while this may just seem like a neat feature at first glance, Star Fox 2's inclusion could be a sign of something much bigger: Nintendo is finally bringing its beloved franchises back to the forefront.

Granted, there's a number of reasons that Nintendo would plug the unreleased sequel to Star Fox into the SNES Classic. It could simply be a cheap way of selling more consoles -- though this seems unnecessary considering how surprisingly well the NES Mini Classic Edition sold and the SNES Classic's already-stellar lineup of games. Maybe Nintendo is looking for a simple cash grab by releasing an older, nearly-finished game. But if that were the case, wouldn't it just release Star Fox 2 as a Switch port or virtual console title?

No, this is something else entirely.

This is Nintendo reminding us that it still cares and has plans for the Star Fox franchise -- which may be a necessity considering the middling reviews, abysmal controls, and poor estimated sales of 2016's Star Fox Zero. But there's more to it than just the Star Fox games. The SNES Mini Classic Edition release of Star Fox 2 is the next in a series of signs showing that Nintendo is finally listening to fans about its most prized franchises.

As you might have noticed during this year's E3 conference, Nintendo seemed to be making a special point of letting us know that the kinds of games that fans have been begging for (sidescrolling Metroid, Metroid Prime sequel, Pokemon on consoles) are in the works -- even in spite of the conspicuous lack of details or gameplay from the latter two. Heck, the Pokemon game didn't even get a title. On top of that, we even have a (sort of) new Star Fox game to remind us that the franchise still exists. 

Taking all of these games into consideration, it appears as though Nintendo is making a new commitment to providing fans with the franchises (Metroid, Star Fox) and types of games (console Pokemon, a Metroid that actually has Samus in it) that have been absent for too long. It's almost as though the big N is trying to make a point of saying, "Hey, we know you love these franchises. We're on it."

If this truly is the case, then it's a sign of good things to come. Fans have been clamoring for the likes of an F-Zero sequel, localized Mother 3, a new Wario Land, etc. for years now. (Okay, that last one might just be me.) And if Nintendo is going to start capitalizing on that demand for forgotten franchises, then that's going to create a lot of great games for fans and a lot of money for Nintendo -- both of which sound great.

Sure, it is possible Nintendo is simply gauging the remaining interest in the Star Fox series after Star Fox Zero's unsuccessful launch. Maybe Star Fox 2 on the SNES Mini Classic Edition really is just a minor -- but admittedly decent -- cash grab. But more than anything, it could also be a sign of what's to come, and that's the revival of the games and franchises that fans have been clamoring for. 

Do you think Star Fox 2's inclusion is meant to just be a novel selling point? Is it a sign of better things to come? How badly do you, too, want another Wario Land? Let us know in the comments section.

[Header image courtesy of Star Fox wiki]

Not Even Crazy Taxi Can Escape the Boring Idle Game Fad Wed, 21 Jun 2017 15:32:36 -0400 Adreon Patterson

Since the emergence of home computers, incremental -- or idle -- games have been an integral part of the gaming experience (for better or worse). Evolving like Pokemon, the genre has seen itself move to myriad mediums and through many different models, such as online subscription gaming, social gaming, and mobile gaming. But one thing remains the same – hours of mindless, inactive fun.

Currently, idle games are all about numbers and clicks. The more clicks, the higher the numbers go. Eventually, it leads to some reward or unlocked level or character, all of which lead to more clicks and bigger numbers. It all seems mind-numbing and simple, yet players dedicate copious amounts of time to this phenomenon.

And even vaunted franchises have joined the sub-genre. 

Victim of (Mobile) Circumstances

Sega’s much-cherished Crazy Taxi series has become the latest victim of said trend. The original game and its countless sequels are built around getting a customer to his or her destination in the fastest time possible.

But Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire does away with that concept for a click-your-way-to-an-empire scheme. Instead of conventional racing, the player must build a fledgling taxi service into a booming empire by collecting and upgrading a fleet of cabs and drivers. This move toward an idle game of a beloved classic seems to a desperate move by SEGA to make a quick buck from fans.

Everything Old is New Again (But Not Necessarily Better)

But Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire is just the tip of the iceberg for SEGA, who has even more plans for mobile games. The company really wants to expand beyond the console and into the PC and mobile gaming areas by using existing IPs to draw in consumers and generate bigger results and success. SEGA's motto for success revolves around the belief that recognizable characters will make it more viable in a Nintendo-versus-PlayStation market.

SEGA isn’t alone in its quest for mobile domination, either. Nintendo has pledged to release two to three signature games a year, which began with Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes. Like Sega, Nintendo seems to believe using old games and iconic characters is the best way to succeed in the mobile games market, which seems to rely on nostalgia for profit.

These two companies aren’t the first to abuse the nostalgia factor with classic titles as PlayStation launched its mobile division in 2012 to little fanfare. But that failure hasn't slowed down Sony's effort to best Nintendo as the company plans on getting back into the mobile arena with releases beginning in 2018 (whether that means old or new games remains to be seen). The only problem for Sony is that PlayStation doesn't necessarily have the IP recognition the way Sega and Nintendo do. But these mobile ventures have been met with mixed reactions from both critics and fans. Many pointing to the fact that these games are building on established franchises but take rather than add to their legacies.

But these mobile ventures have been met with mixed reactions from both critics and fans over the years. Many point to the fact that these games are building on established franchises but take from those franchises rather than add to their legacies -- adding to the dearth of original content in the space.

Lack of New but Plenty of Nostalgia

But the real problem for many gamers and fans comes from the reliance of these companies on past IPs for mobile content rather than creating new properties for mobile platforms. The lack of new content seems to signal a gaming industry unwilling to take chances on a relatively young platform. 

Their fear of failure and aversion to losing money makes established IPs a better option for profitability, but it seems to hurt not only the legacies of these IPs but the companies as well, especially when it comes to integrity and the gaming fanbase. With so many indie games popping up on all platforms, it would be more beneficial and profitable for new games to be funded rather than using vintage characters for profitable nostalgia.

These revered companies seem to be falling behind in terms of innovation and influence in the mobile games market rather than taking the genre to new levels and pushing the boundaries like they did with consoles and handhelds. SEGA, Nintendo, and Sony have forgotten they helped shape the video gaming industry and now seem to follow trends rather than setting new ideas loose in the mobile arena.

What’s so Wrong With This?

Many complaints by fans come from the simplicity of idle games, especially in the case of Crazy Taxi. The words “generic” and “rip-off” come to mind when referring to the game. Plus, it’s not even a good idle game when compared to many others on the market right now.

Like other games, Crazy Taxi relies on in-app purchases increase in-game score. This component has left many fans of the series crying foul on SEGA. On top of in-app purchases, the game relies on another idle game trademark – game activity without the player. This quality leaves many idle games boring and bland, as one doesn’t even have to interact to level up or gain rewards. That seems very unsatisfying to the average gamer.

And for a series like Crazy Taxi, one that is inherently predicated upon action and movement and player interaction, it's nearly a sin to plunk it into the idle games genre. 

Better Future?

Hopefully, as the franchise-meets-idle game train rolls on, developers will start considering (more often) fan investment when creating these mobile versions of treasured franchises in the future. Or it’ll continue to look like a money ploy for them to cheat fans.

Nintendo Switch Has a Lot to Gain From a Strong E3 Tue, 11 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Eric Adams

With E3 just a little over 2 months away, the buzz is starting to build for what should be an incredible 3 days of gaming. Sony and Microsoft will have their usual big conference and multiple companies such as EA, Ubisoft and Bethesda are sure to be on hand with announcements of their own. The 3-day electronic extravaganza should be filled with exciting announcements that will have gamers everywhere buzzing. The big question is who has the most to gain from a strong E3 conference? The answer is easily Nintendo.

With the Nintendo Switch starting off strong in the sales department, the future of Nintendo’s latest console/handheld hybrid is pretty bright at the moment. With games such as Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe all due to release this year, the Switch will have a very strong year 1 library. The lack of games argument for the Switch should die out by the time E3 rolls around. With a strong library full of great indie games as well as some big name titles, the Switch should remain a hot commodity for the long haul. What would truly cement the Switch in the eyes of the public and casual gamers? A strong E3 conference that announces some surprisingly big games would do just that.

No, not those big games 

Before you get ahead of yourself and start hoping for Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption 2, it would be wise to remember we are dealing with Nintendo. If you bought a Switch hoping for the aforementioned games then you are just setting yourself up for disappointment. As unfortunate as it is to say, big time AAA titles are just not ready for the Switch right now. A Skyrim port is a great start but it’s a 6-year-old game, they’re not just going to jump into the here and now with more ports such as this one. NBA 2K18 and FIFA are a good start but this will take time.

The Big Nintendo Games to think about

Switch, Nintendo

Nintendo already has games that they are ready to show off including the new Super Mario Odyssey (sure to be a focal point) as well as Splatoon 2 among others. These will not be neglected and are sure to be main attractions for the conference. However, there are big games that can be merely given a glimpse at E3.

So which games am I talking about? What would be a Nintendo property that would allow the Switch to sustain its hot start? A few games come to mind:

  • New Pokemon game
  • New Animal Crossing game
  • New Metroid game
  • Smash Bros for Switch
  • New Mario Party game

Those are just 5 games that could really hype the Switch even more. Nintendo would be wise to bring at least 1 of these games to E3, as it would cause hype to go even further through the roof for Switch. While these are the big hitters that Nintendo should consider, a truly great conference for the big N will have a cherry on top.

Announce VC/Ports

Virtual Console, Nintendo

There is not a single current owner of the Nintendo Switch that goes a day without wondering when Virtual Console will be announced. The thought of playing classic Nintendo games on the go has fans salivating. E3 is the almost too obvious time to announce that Virtual Console titles will slowly be rolling out week by week. I have no inside sources, I am not using anything concrete to base these claims off of, but color me shocked if VC is left out of the Nintendo E3 conference.

Next up for Nintendo will likely be to announce some ports of older games to the Switch. What games will be ported from earlier systems? Who knows, but Nintendo usually is good for at least 2 to 3 ports of big name titles and the E3 conference is the perfect time to unleash them.

Nintendo can steal the show

I can’t stress enough how important this E3 is for Nintendo and, more specifically, the Switch. This new piece of technology has the chance to become the standard form of gaming. Nintendo has built up a strong amount of support already for the Switch but if they truly want to reach Wii-like sales numbers then E3 is the time to shine. The demand for the Switch is greatly outweighing the supply at the moment. With a strong conference at the biggest gaming event of the year, it will remain that way.

Splatfest is Delayed in North America Sat, 20 Jun 2015 07:24:27 -0400 David Fisher

Players who woke up today expecting to splatter their enemies on Team Cat (let's face it, Team Dog owns this) will be highly disappointed, as Nintendo of America has decided to delay the highly anticipated Splatfest due to server issues in Japan.

According to Nintendo of America's Twitter page:

Players are visibly confused in Splatoon's plaza, many Miiverse posts taking one of two positions: outraged at the delay, or trying to inform other players why the event had to be delayed. Some players are still hopeful that the Splatfest will be resuming shortly, writing posts such as: "No matter when: Team Cat will win!!!!!" or "Nintendo just wants to give Team Cat a chance to practice!" A select few, however, will be quite upset due to their Splatfest Tees being taken away as one player I saw this morning wrote:

"I rerolled my Splatfest shirt three times and now it is gone!"

If delaying Splatfest was a necessary evil, then players can only hope that there will be no issues at all when it finally arrives. Until then players should keep practicing on the new Splatoon map: Bluefin Depot, a map some players will recognize during Octoling matches in Single Player.

Stay strong fellow Inklings, Splatfest will return! Until then, Stay Fresh!

Last Nintendo Direct Before E3 Airing Tomorrow; Not an April Fool's Joke Tue, 31 Mar 2015 05:58:25 -0400 Autumn Fish

Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe both tweeted out to announce the latest Nintendo Direct. April 1st — better known as April Fool's Day — marks the start of the Japanese new year, bringing some much anticipated announcements for upcoming Wii U and 3DS titles.

The Nintendo Direct will air on the official Nintendo Direct page, or you can always catch it on the Nintendo Twitch channel. Make sure you're tuned in when the Nintendo Direct starts at 3pm PST (6pm EST) — or Midnight CEST on April 2nd for those of you in Europe.

With The Legend of Zelda Wii U delayed, I'll be interested to see what they have behind the curtains to make up for such a gaping hole in releases. Nintendo has always got something up their sleeve. We are only two months away from E3 2015. What do you think they'll pull out next?

Majora's Mask 3D Special Edition To Come Stateside [UPDATE] Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:18:54 -0500 Esteban Padilla

After several months of silence regarding if a Limited Edition for the Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3DS would be coming to the US, Nintendo finally announced one, and it looks awesome.

The Limited Edition of the game will come bundled with a gorgeous Skull Kid figure, similar to the Ganondorf figure that came with the Wind Waker Wii U Limited Edition bundle released back in 2013. The Majora's Mask 3DS bundle is already available for pre-order at GameStop and will retail for $49.99, which is only $10 more than the game will be sold for on its own.

The US Finally Enjoys Exclusive Limited Edition Perks

Having a neato Limited Edition in the US is great, but European markets are still getting a few exclusives over us: the EU Limited Edition of Majora's Mask 3DS comes with a steel book, pin badge, and double sided poster.

Nintendo is pretty notorious for releasing uneven amounts and versions of the Limited Edition sets for their games in different regions.

Case and point, while European and Japanese gamers enjoyed some oh-so-sweet Limited Edition options for Hyrule Warriors (with bundles that included a real scarf in Europe and Triforce LCD clock in Japan), Nintendo of America only sold limited copies of the scarf bundle at the Nintendo World Store in New York. To add insult to injury, preordering was not an option.

Having a neato Limited Edition in the US is great, but European markets are still getting a few exclusives over us: the EU Limited Edition of Majora's Mask 3DS comes with a steel book, pin badge, and double sided poster. Sure, it's not a Skull Kid statue, but it's definitely something different, which can be frustrating if you have a "Gotta catch 'em all!" mentality to collecting.

What do you think? Is the US getting the short end of the stick again or do the perks match up to those being offered overseas? Will you be getting the Limited Edition bundle, the regular one, or sitting the release out altogether? Let us know in the comments below.


It looks like the preorders for the Limited Edition have pretty much completely sold out. This includes the GameStop exclusive Ultimate Edition bundle of the game that will retail at $84.98 and comes with the Limited Edition of the game as well as an exclusive stategy guide from Prima. Some retailers such as Best Buy have yet to release word if they'll be allowing preorders or are even selling the Limited Edition, though the listing on their website suggests they will. Stay tuned for more.

New Game Awards Show Supported by Major Game Companies Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:21:00 -0500 mchiu

All of the major entertainment industries have their own awards shows, whether it's the Emmys for TV, the Grammys for music, the Oscars for movies, or the Tonys for Broadway, but the video game industry does not really have that one big show that recognizes all the talent within its own industry.

Tracy aspires for EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), but room for one more letter?

The Video Game Industry Does Have Awards Shows...

Over at GDC, there is the "Game Developer's Choice Awards", which centers more on the game developers, and Spike TV has been hosting the "Video Game Awards" (later renamed to VGX) focuses more on the actual video games themslves, and has more of the Hollywood awards show feel to it, complete with live musical acts. 

Now, Geoff Keighley, the video game broadcaster behind the VGX, has unveiled "The Game Awards" show, which looks like it will now focus more on game developers, while also including e-Sports and communities, recognizing both game developers and game players. Similar to the VGX, it will also feel like a Hollywood awards show, as well as having live musical acts, but the focus will certainly be on video games. In addition, the show will also feature world premieres of new games. 

Advisory Board Contains Some of the Biggest Names in the Business

Looking at the advisory board on the website, it features a star-studded group including: Peter Moore, (COO of EA) Hideo Kojima, (Director of Kojima Productions) Phil Spencer, (Head of XBox Microsoft) Reggie Fils-Aime (President and COO of Nintendo America) Shawn Layden, (CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America) Yves Guillemot, (CEO and Co-Founder of Ubisoft) as well as the game publishers, Valve and Rockstar Games.

The Game Awards 2014 show will be held on December 5, 2014 in Las Vegas at the AXIS Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Tickets will be made available through Ticketmaster starting on November 11, 2014. While the show will not be picked up by any of the TV Networks, it can be viewed directly from the show's website, as well as on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, Nintendo, and Steam.

While it can be argued that this is just the industry patting itself on the back for work that it's supposed to do, however, for myself, I feel that it is important to give credit where it's due, as well as using these kinds of awards shows to inspire people to continue pushing forward. Hopefully, as video games become more prevalent and prominent in our society, we can see a show such as this become a major award that game developers aspire to win. I can't wait to see what the red carpet interviews would look like!

Nintendo Will Not Be Bringing Twitch Streaming to the Wii U Thu, 12 Jun 2014 15:55:20 -0400 Amanda Wallace

One of the quibbles at the start of this console generation was the capacity to livestream gameplay from your console to Twitch. Twitch streaming was a launch attribute for the PS4, and later integrated into the Xbox One. But what about that other console, the third of the big three, the Wii U? 

While not a system seller, Twitch streaming has seen a huge gain in popularity since the start of this latest generation, but there's been no word from the Nintendo camp about whether or not they would include it on the Wii U. 

According to an interview between Polygon and Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, you shouldn't expect Twitch streaming anytime soon. Or at all. Nintendo's philosophy has always been, "It has to be fun." And according to Nintendo, streaming gameplay does not fit the bill. 

We don't think streaming 30 minutes of gameplay by itself is a lot of fun. 

This isn't to say that Nintendo has anything against Twitch streaming. The Nintendo Treehouse Live at E3 was done through Twitch, and Fils-Aime said, "We're looking to do a lot of great things with Twitch." The Smash Invitational, one of the big Nintendo events at this years E3, was also streamed. While Fils-Aime doesn't see an inherent value in watching "Joe Blow" stream, he does see a value in content like the Smash Invitational from an educational standpoint. 

We loved that streamed because that's where you are able to see how these players perform, the moves they make, you can learn something. That has value to us. And you can expect us to do more of that type of activity, highlighting our games and providing a forum for players to learn how to play better.

There has even been some activity from the highlight reels that players can put together in Mario Cart 8, which Fils-Aime points to being a different kind of user video experience since the player has some choice in what content is put together and distributed rather than just mindless streaming. 

What do you think of Nintendo's decision not to include Twitch streaming on the Wii U? Why do you watch Twitch streams? 

Why Nintendo Did Not Have a Live E3 Conference Wed, 11 Jun 2014 19:18:48 -0400 Derek Paulus

Nintendo went without a live conference for the second time in a row at this year's E3, choosing instead to show a pre-recorded video to reveal their big news.

In an interview with IGN, Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, explained why the company has taken this approach at E3. 

“The environment has completely changed," Fils-Aime said. "More and more people are looking to tune into an event. More and more people are looking for the full entertainment value of an event.

Couple that with the fact that so much of our developers are Japanese, so having them explain the game directly is a little bit more challenging.”

Nintendo took a different approach instead by filming a video beforehand, with interviews, skits, and game footage, something that Fils-Aime said has "all of the little Nintendo magic and pixie dust."

Fils-Aime also said that, due to online networking, no live audience is required for Nintendo to receive feedback from its fans.

"Through social media, we know exactly what people are saying," he said. "We know exactly what they’re feeling and how they’re responding to the message.”

While the pre-recorded route may work for Nintendo, it also needs to work for the fans. If I'm honest, I have a difficult time getting excited while watching Nintendo's video.

While it's true that Nintendo's pre-recorded video seems to provide a more thorough look at the company's games and announcements, as well as some special Nintendo "magic," there's also some magic that is lost when reveals are not done live.

Part of my excitement when watching E3 comes from crowd reactions and the ways company heads and developers interact with the audience live. Watching a developer's eyes light up when they talk about their game, or perhaps seeing a company head's eyes while trying to sell the audience, face to face, on something that doesn't look that exciting, helps create the full experience for me.

A live event is visceral and emotional, and it gives me a more dynamic idea of what games to get particularly excited about.

Refurbished Wii U Deluxe Now Available For Cheap Via Nintendo Store Tue, 21 Jan 2014 17:57:37 -0500 Courtney Gamache

Newly added to the Nintendo of America online store is refurbished Wii U Deluxe editions. They're also available at GameStop online, but the price is much cheaper going through the Nintendo site.

What you'll get inside the box

Some items are guaranteed to be within your Wii U deluxe refurbished box, and they include:

  • Black Wii U 32 GB Console
  • Black Wii U GamePad
  • Nintendo Land game disc.
  • Wii U AC adapter
  • Wii U GamePad AC adapter
  • High Speed HDMI Cable
  • Sensor Bar

Although these items are given through the Nintendo online store, you can also receive them if you wish to go through GameStop for discounts or bonus points. Keep in mind though, the Nintendo store gives the buyer a full-year warranty on the console, but mentions that the console may have cosmetic blemishes that won't affect the game-play.

Things to know before getting the Wii U Refurbished

The refurbished price is only $250, which is only a small price difference than getting the Wii U new for $299. If you feel that refurbished isn't the way you want to go, you won't be missing out on too many dollar savings. The refurbished console also won't be eligible to receive club Nintendo points.

How do you feel about refurbished consoles? Comment below!

A Link Between Worlds Timeline Placement Confirmed Wed, 27 Nov 2013 02:43:34 -0500 Courtney Gamache

Many of us Zelda fans have been disheveled by the crazy timeline brought on by the release of Skyward Sword a few years ago. Although this game series can be as crazy as keeping up with Star Wars, I think we'll have an easier time now that Nintendo of America on Twitter has confirmed the placement for A Link Between Worlds on the growing Zelda timeline.

What is the timeline?

If we are true in assuming the Nintendo of America Twitter account knows what they're doing, this timeline should give us a great example to see how A Link Between Worlds works in the Zelda franchise.

On the timeline, A Link Between Worlds is placed after Link's Awakening, with A Link to the Past before Link's Awakening. As a Zelda fanatic, this confuses me a bit since I thought A Link Between Worlds was supposed to be more related to A Link to the Past.

What else did the tweet say?

The tweet also gave out some great information on the differences/similarities between A Link to the Past and A Link Between Worlds. Although they are similar in ways, you'll be playing a whole new game when you pick up A Link Between Worlds, now available.

Feel out of the Zelda-loop?

If you feel as though you don't know too much about A Link Between Worlds, or have difficulty with the newly released game, you can check out the guide on GameSkinny. There is also an available first 20-minutes of the game if you feel like testing the waters and seeing how the game is. Lastly, you can even spoil some of the game by viewing this Q&A to see what the game really has.

To those of you gamers who are currently playing A Link Between Worlds, good luck! I'll be joining you shortly after I sort out the 'lack of a 3DS' problem. Maybe I'll even pick up the A Link Between Worlds 3DS XL. Who knows? But the game is on.

What do you think about this timeline? Comment below!

Wii U Drops to $299 on September 20 Wed, 28 Aug 2013 12:20:14 -0400 Synzer

Nintendo of America tweeted recently that the Wii U Deluxe suggested retail price will be lowered to $299, from the original $349, on September 20 of this year. In addition, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD will be launching earlier, also on September 20. To top it all off, there will be a bundle of the Wii U and the Wind Waker on the same day for only $299!

Let the Wind take you

If you don't have a Wii U yet and was thinking about getting one, this is the time to do it. This deal is fantastic, as you are basically getting the game for free. Legend of Zelda has always been a popular series and The Wind Waker is a personal favorite of mine. It was originally released on the Gamecube and has a unique art style compared to the rest of the series. The improved graphics and extra features make this one an obvious choice in my book.

Trust me. You want this.

Nintendo's not done yet 

This news, plus other big titles still on the horizon, including Super Mario 3D World and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical freeze, gives you plenty to get excited about. It seems Nintendo still wants to compete, and what better way than to lower the price of a console and have good deals? Plus, there are still classics on the virtual console that may be hard to get anywhere else, such as my personal favorite, Earthbound. What do you think about this news and does it entice you to think about picking up a Wii U? Tell us in the comments section below.

Luigi Takes Over Nintendo of America Twitter Account Today Mon, 12 Aug 2013 10:30:33 -0400 Corey Kirk

If you’re like me, then you’ve always liked Luigi more than Mario. He has a certain charm about him that is not easy to ignore and almost impossible to hate. Plus, his green clothes are very stylish since everyone knows that green is better than red. I’ve often wished I could talk to the cooler, taller, and younger of the Mario Brothers, but that opportunity never came up…until now.

According to Nintendo of America, Luigi is taking over their official twitter account in celebration of his 30th year making all of us smile and fans will be able to interact with him all day today. In a post made by Luigi himself, he said hello and made the announcement earlier this morning.

A picture of Luigi has also been placed as the profile picture for the Twitter account today. So if you’ve ever wanted to get in touch with him, perhaps over some goomba tea and koopa krisps, then go say hello and help him celebrate 30 years of memorable fun.

So which Mario Brother is your favorite? Comment below!

Where are my Nintendo 3DS colors? Thu, 20 Jun 2013 02:15:40 -0400 Kristin Silver

If you're looking for variety when it comes to your hardware's color, you're not going to find it in North America. At least, that's what consumers are thinking when it comes down to the Nintendo 3DS.

If you go to Nintendo's USA portal site, and find your way onto the Nintendo 3DS page, you'll see the options are very limited for both models of the 3DS.  You can only pick from three colors for the standard 3DS and three colors for the 3DS XL. (Guess that cuts down on decision making time, right?)

Hop on over to Nintendo's Japan portal, and you'll instantly see a difference. The first thing I noticed on the page was a special "30th Anniversary of Luigi" 3DS with colorful, illustrated silhouettes of the character scattered around the handheld in a playful manner.


As you can also see, there's a new color, Metallic Red, as well as the Tomodachi Collection: New Life 3DS, decorated with speech-bubble silhouettes on its cover.

But wait, there's more!

In addition, Japan has a fair number of options to choose from for both the standard 3DS and the LL model (which is Japan's XL).

The following shows Japan's Nintendo 3DS color variation.



The following shows Japan's 3DS LL color variation.


So why are we so limited with options?

Well the answer is quite simple.  Nintendo America President Reggie Fils-Aime says that the practices of the North American retail market are the reason. He explains that Japan tends to keep their hardware behind the counter and that makes it easier to hold more inventory. The North American market, on the other hand, is much different.  Everything is all out for easy access on the shelves, and this can be a major problem when it comes to having a selection of colors.

"In our [North American] market, it’s all out there on the shelf. When you visit our retail, if I had to try to have 25 different SKUs out there, Wal-Mart would kill me. So what that means is that we have to be more selective and more knowledgeable in how we handle different SKUs."

But don't worry, not everything is at a loss.

A few unique hardware options have been implemented.  There was the special bundle for Fire Emblem: Awakening, the special Pikachu edition, and the most recent bundle for Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

Ok, so we will still be limited in our options, for the time being, but at least we know the reason.  (Now, if we can persuade the North American market to change...)