Tag Archives | Nintendo

8 Questions About Nintendo’s Wii U

The crowd laughed at the silly name when Nintendo announced the Wii U at its E3 press conference, but their derision quickly turned to amazement when Nintendo showed what its upcoming home gaming system can theoretically do. The trick is in a controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen that streams video from the console itself.

We’re still a long way from the Wii U’s 2012 release, and Nintendo left a lot of questions unanswered, even as it injected a much-needed dose of buzz into the E3 atmosphere. So I’m going to take a page from Harry and tackle the Wii U announcement as a series of open questions.

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Now Nintendo Admits It Was Hacked, Says No Customer Data Stolen

As this week’s E3 games conference and debut of Nintendo’s Wii successor looms, Nintendo’s admitting that Sony’s not the only victim of hacktivist ne’er-do-wells—yep, Nintendo was hacked, too.

Nintendo acknowledged a security breach in a statement yesterday, explaining that its U.S. servers came under cyber-fire a few weeks ago, but stressed that no personal user data was in breach. By comparison, Sony’s seen troves of sensitive personal data repeatedly stolen (and reportedly distributed) as hackers took turns assaulting the electronics conglomerate’s many corporate facets.

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Nintendo Takes Heat for 3DS Bricking Policy, Rights to User Content

A consumer advocacy group is giving Nintendo a hard time over the Nintendo 3DS’s terms of service, which allow the company to disable modded consoles and claims a license to all user-generated content.

Defective By Design, a campaign run by the Free Software Foundation, seeks donations in exchange for sending Nintendo a brick — symbolic of Nintendo’s ability to render devices useless.

I suppose the campaign has done its job, because I wasn’t aware of Nintendo’s 3DS terms of service until I read the coverage on BoingBoing and PC World. But while several sites reported on Nintendo’s anti-modding policy back in March, not much attention’s been given to the rights Nintendo claims on users’ activities, personal information and content.

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Wii Vitality Sensor: Not Dead, Still Vapor

When Nintendo announced its plans for a next-generation video game console in late April, I wondered if we could unequivocally declare that the Wii Vitality Sensor was vaporware. The answer, according to Nintendo Chief Executive Satoru Iwata, is no.

In a question-and-answer on Nintendo’s website (via Eurogamer), Iwata explains that the Wii Vitality Sensor is very much a work in progress. The problem, he said, is that only 80 percent of test users felt that the sensor naturally detected their biological information. Nintendo doesn’t want to release a product until 99 percent of users feel comfortable. Iwata said “it is difficult to overcome this hurdle,” and wouldn’t commit to a launch date.

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New Nintendo Console Confirmed

The rumors were spot on. Nintendo confirmed in its latest earnings report that it’ll launch a new home video game system in 2012, and will show it off at this year’s E3 trade show.

As for details, there are none. But according to Bloomberg, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata suggested that the new console won’t simply be a more powerful piece of hardware than the Wii. “We would like to propose a new approach to home video game consoles,” he said. Iwata added that it’s “difficult to make 3-D images a key feature, because 3-D televisions haven’t obtained wide acceptance yet.” Cryptic.

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Wii 2 May Debut At E3

Well, this might explain this week’s rumored Wii price cut: Both Game Informer and IGN cite unnamed sources who say Nintendo will reveal a Wii successor at this year’s E3 trade show in June.

Neither story provides much detail. IGN’s Jim Reilly writes that the new Nintendo console is “significantly more powerful” than Sony’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and will be backwards-compatible with the Wii. Game Informer’s Matthew Kato says he’s heard conflicting reports on whether the console will match its rivals on performance, and can’t confirm backwards compatibility.

Both journalists agree that the console will support high definition gaming, and that Nintendo is showing off the console to publishers in preparation for a 2012 launch, although IGN also says there will be a “pre-announcement” this month.

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That's Zeldatainment!

What’s that? You say we haven’t celebrated today’s Legend of Zelda anniversary sufficiently yet? Oh, okay, watch this commercial:

(Thanks to Andrew Leal for finding this.)

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25 Weird, Wonderful Years of The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is…well, legendary–it’s one of the most famous game franchises of all time, and the second most famous Nintendo one after a certain series involving a plumber. And Zelda turns 25 today, having been launched on February 21st, 1986 in Japan with the release of the original Legend of Zelda in Japan.

As is his wont, tech historian Benj Edwards is celebrating the anniversary by remembering some of the stranger Zelda sidelights of the past quarter century, from versions in odd formats (an edition broadcast by satellite!) to the inside story on where the game got its name. Come along and explore its history with him in this slideshow.

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The Legend of Zelda Oddities

Hold up your Triforce and sound the ocarina! The Legend of Zelda is 25 years old. On February 21st, 1986, Nintendo released the seminal game for the Famicom (the Japanese version of the NES). It arrived in the States 18 months later.

Zelda spawned a lucrative franchise that spans over 15 releases for nearly every one of Nintendo’s consoles. It also defined a genre of action-adventure RPGs that are popular to this day. I dove headfirst into the shady corners and back-alleys of the Zelda universe to pull out various oddities for your entertainment. You’ll encounter them as you adventure through the slides ahead.


Happy Birthday, NES

On October 18th, 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System made its US debut. By any measure, it was a gigantic success–so much so that it brought the entire video game business out of the doldrums it had been mired in since Atari and other early titans had crashed and burned.

As is our wont, we’re celebrating this anniversary with a guided tour of the console’s history by our favorite technology archaeologist, Benj Edwards.  He spotlights some of the surprising stuff that the NES has inspired–from oddball controllers to some mighty peculiar (but entertaining) do-it-yoursef projects.

View Nintendo Entertainment System Oddities slideshow.

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