Finally, a week with more than a few big stories. Let’s go!
Nintendo Makes Big Non-Game Announcements
Nintendo has announced that they have made a profit this year, but only half of what they projected. They also failed to sell more than 400,ooo Wii Us in the past three months, with it still being handily outsold by the Wii. Furthermore, Satoru Iwata is taking over as CEO of Nintendo of America in an attempt to streamline their international business operations, so Reggie will be reporting directly to him as the COO.
Nintendo has also announced that they will be dropping the conference format for E3. They will instead hold two closed-door events, one for investors and a hands-on event for the press. They will also have their games available at the show floor, and will announce things through Nintendo Direct events before the show. This move was apparently done because the conference itself was rather pointless in the grand scheme of things, and I’ll have to agree with that.
Nintendo has released Miiverse for browsers, which is currently in beta and cannot be accessed without already having an account. Hilariously, it can be accessed on the PlayStation Vita, but not on the 3DS, which will be receiving its own Miiverse.
Nintendo has also announced that it will be selling refurbished systems on its online store.
The first of two Wii U updates has been released, speeding up load times both in-game and on the OS by 45%.
THQ Auction Results Announced
In a surprising move, Gearbox (Borderlands, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Brothers in Arms, Duke Nukem Forever) have picked up Homeworld. 505 Games (mostly a porting team) has picked up Drawn to Life, and everything else, including Darksiders, has gone to Nordic Games (Painkiller, Rochard, Alan Wake). Gearbox and Nordic immediately opened up forums asking for suggestions from fans.
The CEO of Crytek USA, which is composed mostly of people from the development house behind Darksiders, has suggested that Nordic “do what we would have done”. Nordic has stated that they have no intention of rushing with their new IP, and will be carefully deciding their next moves.
The Tale of ALLTYNEX Blasts Through Kickstarter in 19 Hours
I’ve covered Nyu Media releases in the past, and I’m on their press list, so, of course I was made aware of their announcement of The Tale of ALLTYNEX, a trilogy of innovative shmups that were released from 2008 to 2010 in Japan, doing something rare for indie games – being sold in stores.
The games were put on Kickstarter with a goal of $4999, which was cleared in 19 hours. They are now currently working on their stretch goals.
At $12,000, they will provide digital copies of the official guide book in English to anyone who pledged $25 or more. At $22,000, they will give physical copies to the first 450 people who pledged $45 of more ($55 for non-Americans due to shipping).
At $28,000, they will give a limited physical run of the games, giving physical copies on 3 discs to anyone who’s getting the physical guide book. At the time of this writing, the first 173 of those 450 of those slots have been taken, but the physical goals are still far away.
Some Other Stuff
- The iDOLM@STER has finally been released for English markets by Namco Bandai, but with a pretty large catch. What they’ve released are the 3 Shiny Festa iOS games, and they’ll be charging you $54.99 for each, before DLC. These are rhythm games, not the idol simulators of which the series primarily consists. They are available now. The translation was apparently very good, but really now? $55 each?
- The team behind the Virtuix Omni (an omnidirectional conveyor belt that handles motion control for games using your legs) has announced support for the Oculus Rift. Adding that to their support for the Razer Hydra, I can only imagine what would happen if a wireless version of that setup were to become the norm. At the very least, a wireless Oculus Rift would be necessary for that to be easily used.
- Tickets for PAX Prime sold out in under 6 hours. Rumours say most of the tickets were picked up by resellers, who will charge exorbitant prices for them.This is just further proof that not only do they need more measures against that, they need to move to a larger hall.
- A movie for Ratchet and Clank has been announced for 2015. A movie for Heavenly Sword is also on the way.
- In more news from Sony, they’ve updated PSN. You can now queue downloads from your browser.
- Sony has also filed two trademarks recently in Japan. The first of the two is “Destiny of Spirits”, which is fine, but the second one is Yūsha no Kuse ni Namaiki da, which is the title for a 2-game series NIS America localized for PSP under the name Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman!, which they were later forced to change to What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord?, presumably for sounding too similar to Batman.
- Compile Heart has created a new label for Japan-only games. The first game for said label will be a new IP helmed by the Neptunia team, and will be done in collaboration with Uematsu and Amano – the same ones that worked on Final Fantasy in its early days.
- Arc System Works, the creators of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, have announced that they will be making a new fighting game series for PS4. This is apparently a deliberate pattern, as BlazBlue took over in place of Guilty Gear when the PS3 was released. An interview later confirmed the deliberateness of the move.
- In more news regarding Arc System Works, they recently released Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R with a trailer that strongly implied online play being available on the Vita version. This was apparently in error, and was since corrected.
- Mega Man 4 has been released in the 3DS eShop. In a suprising move, a recent Beyblade 3DS game will also be released in English, as will Kokuga, a shooter from the maker of Ikaruga.
- Vlambeer, the creators of Super Crate Box, among other things, are presently very annoyed at how much of a clone magnet their games have been. Their current game, which isn’t even done yet, has been cloned on iOS with horrible controls (and exactly the same art).
- A live-action adaptation of the critically acclaimed manga series Monster has been announced as in the works for HBO.
- An international-only release of Dragon Ball Z Kai for the Buu Saga has been announced, though no date was given. Dragon Ball Z Kai previously ended just before then.
- Capcom has recently teased a new game for the Ōkami series.
- Microsoft has announced that the new Xbox will be revealed on May 21st.
- Apparently, the new Thief game has been in production for 5 years due to people leaving the team repeatedly over company politics. I can really empathize.
- A game that was titled Scribblenauts Unmaked at one point in development has been announced for PC, 3DS and Wii U. It will feature DC superheroes, but it is not yet decided if it will even be officially a part of the Scribblenauts series.
- Ace Attorney 123 HD for iOS has been delayed. More information for Ace Attorney 5 should be coming to Western audiences soon. A new Japanese trailer has also been released.
- The new Sailor Moon anime has been delayed. Apparently not to 2014, though.
- Unity has dropped Flash support, claiming that Adobe has chosen to be rather finicky. They have ceased sales on new Flash licenses, but they will continue supporting current customers until Unity 5 is released at some point down the line.
- Ubisoft has delivered their promised Challenge Mode app for Rayman Legends on the Wii U. Aside from that, you can also play all levels from the demo as many times as you want (there was previously a 30-play limit as per all other demos on Nintendo systems).
- A new Pokémon event has been announced. A level 100 Deoxys will be available for owners of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 on Wi-Fi between May 8th and May 31st. Early copies of the press release said it would also be available in Pokémon Black and White, but this was apparently in error.