The 3DS is poised to have a banner year in 2013 thanks to a compelling lineup of software, according to Nintendo director of product marketing Bill Trinen. Speaking with GameSpot today, the developer said Nintendo portables in the United States have historically taken a few years to see sales pick up, but when a solid pipeline of software is in place, the systems can really take off.
"We have noticed that in the US in particular, people tend to, at least when it comes to handheld gaming, they tend to shift generations a lot more slowly than they do particularly in Japan," Trinen said. "In Japan, once a new handheld system comes out it's like everybody just goes right to it."
"GameBoy Advance was the same way; DS was the same way; 3DS now. It does take a couple of years," he added. "But then once it does, it really builds steam and so with the lineup that we're seeing this year, to me it really feels like this is the year that 3DS is really going to take off."
As of December 31, Nintendo has sold nearly 30 million 3DS units and almost 85 million pieces of software worldwide. Those figures are well behind the original DS, which has sold over 150 million hardware units and 930 million games to date.
During a Nintendo Direct presentation today, Nintendo announced a slew of new 3DS titles, including a
Nintendo also confirmed today that
A "reliable source" has told The Verge that Microsoft's Xbox team is testing a wrist-worn smartwatch. The company has reportedly been working on the technology for over a year.
Last year, it was reported that Microsoft was working on a
The watch is believed to be in prototype phase, currently in development by the same team that worked on Xbox accessories and Kinect. The device reportedly features removable bands attached to a 1.5-inch touch-enabled display.
The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the story, citing supply chain sources with the information.
A Microsoft representative was not immediately available to comment.
If Microsoft is in fact working on a smartwatch, it won't be the first time the company has done so. Microsoft launched a range of SPOT smartwatches in 2004 that used radio signals to pull in news, weather forecasts, and stock quotes. These devices were discontinued in 2008.
Activision today announced preorder bonuses for High Moon Studios' upcoming Marvel action game Deadpool. As has become an industry trend, the bonuses are split between retailers.
GameStop and EB Games shoppers will receive the "Merc with a Map Pack," which includes two maps for Deadpool's Challenge mode: GRT Plaza and Inside the Tower. Also up for grabs are Deadpool digital wallpapers for GameStop PowerUp Rewards members.
Those who preorder Deadpool at Amazon will receive a $5 Amazon credit towards the following Marvel graphic novels: Deadpool, Vol. 1: Dead Presidents, Deadpool, Vol. 1: Secret Invasion, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, Deadpool, Vol. 2: Dark Reign, and Deadpool, Vol. 3: X Marks the Spot.
Amazon shoppers will also receive a digital Deadpool wallpaper and digital cover sleeve.
Deadpool launches June 25 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at $50, while the PC version will be available for $40.
Professional League of Legends player Mike "Wickd" Petersen, who plays for Evil Geniuses, has broken the record for the largest personal stream of all time on TwitchTV with 137,769 concurrent peak viewers.
Petersen and Fnatic's Paul "sOAZ" Boyer were both vying for a spot to represent Europe in the League Championship Series All-Star Game, scheduled to take place May 24-26 in Shanghai, China. With hours to go in the public voting process, both players were neck-and-neck in the polls with 33 percent of the vote and a ways ahead of the other contenders.
With such a small margin of difference between the two, both players decided to take matters into their own hands and have a spontaneous 1-on-1 duel to determine the starting Top Lane spot--with Petersen streaming the whole thing.
The duel spread throughout social media via Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook. Within just minutes, tens of thousands of people were tuned in. By the time it was about to start, over 100,000 people were tuned in. Petersen couldn't believe it.
"I did expect that we'd get quite a lot of people watching, probably somewhere around 50-70,000," Petersen told GameSpot. "But almost 140,000 concurrent viewers just blew my mind. I definitely did not expect that many to tune in, but I'm happy they all loved it and that just shows how awesome our community truly is. The thing is that there's a lot on the line and it's something that no one have ever done before. It was a incredibye important match for both me and Soaz because of pride."
"On our end, we see new records fall all the time," TwitchTV VP of Marketing Matt DiPietro told GameSpot. "The biggest eSports event of all time, the biggest personal stream of all time, the biggest charity event of all time, the biggest game publisher stream of all time, etc. It's clearly a sign that streaming is touching all parts of the video game ecosystem and is becoming a ubiquitous piece of the gaming experience."
Riot Games' League of Legends has had impressive viewership for its tournaments, seeing six figure stream numbers for their weekly League Championship Series games, and
"I'm not at all surprised at the size and commitment of the League of Legends community, but still, it's an incredible accomplishment for an individual player to reach so many viewers," Evil Geniuses owner Alex Garfield told GameSpot. "I especially appreciated the fact that, even though the content was showcased on Wickd's stream, it was truly a team effort. All of the players on our team were on camera offering advice and cheering him on. I think it's a great example of the bonds our players have with one another."
Boyer ended up squeaking out a narrow 3-2 victory over Petersen to claim the All-Star spot. Although disappointed on not making the team, Petersen sees no reason to believe the momentum will stop anytime soon.
"I believe everyone in the community keeps getting surprised about how much the force is growing," Petersen said. "A few months ago this wouldn't have been possible. I think most people expected that League of Legends would stop growing as most games after so many years, but it just keeps getting bigger and bigger."
Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has sold over 415,000 units in the United States since launch, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told Games Industry International. The 3DS game launched March 24 and is the first entry in the series since 2001's GameCube game Luigi's Mansion.
The game was well-received and currently boasts a score of 86 on Metacritic, GameSpot's sister site.
Fils-Aime also revealed that Fire Emblem: Awakening has now sold 240,000 units in the US since launch in February, up from
One-third of all Fire Emblem: Awakening sales were digital, Fils-Aime said.
The Nintendo executive also commented on the software lineup for Wii U, saying the company had hoped it could have more titles available by now.
"What I would say about Wii U--and what [Nintendo president Satoru Iwata] has said--is that the pace of launches has been slower than we hoped," Fils-Aime said. "But as we prepare for E3, the pace of launches for Wii U is going to dramatically increase."
Significant first-party titles for the Wii U are on the way, including a
Sugar Land, Texas-based TimeGate Studios faces $7.35 million in damages and the loss of the Section 8 license following a failed appeal in a fraud lawsuit from SouthPeak Interactive, according to an April 9 U.S Court of Appeals decision spotted by Polygon.
A source with knowledge of the matter told Polygon today that TimeGate staff met this week to discuss the company's future, including its recently announced free-to-play stylized shooter Minimum.
It is unclear how the company plans to move forward or what changes will be made following the decision.
The legal battle between TimeGate and SouthPeak originated in 2009, when TimeGate sued the publisher, alleging multiple breaches of contract. In response to this, SouthPeak claimed that it was TimeGate that breached the contract by "failing to put forth its best efforts in developing" Section 8.
Both parties then entered into arbitration with a third party, who found in favor of SouthPeak, awarding the company $7.35 in damages and total control of the Section 8 game license. This decision would be overturned in federal court last March.
The U.S. Court of Appeals' decision this month to reverse and remand the previous federal ruling would force TimeGate to pay $7.35 in damages and give up control of the Section 8 IP.
TimeGate was also co-developer on Aliens: Colonial Marines. The studio
Nintendo has announced that the Wii U Virtual Console will officially launch in North America next week with the console's spring firmware update.
Speaking during today's Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said Virtual Console games on the Wii U would be playable on TV and from the GamePad. Games will also be able to access the Miiverse community.
At launch, the Wii U Virtual Console will feature classic Nintendo titles F-Zero, Balloon Fight, Donkey Kong Jr, Excitebike, Punch Out, Super Mario World, Ice Climber, and Kirby's Adventure
As part of the announcement, Nintendo confirmed that cult 1995 SNES RPG Earthbound would be also be coming to the Wii U Virtual Console this year in North America and Europe.
Elsewhere in the Nintendo Direct presentation, Nintendo confirmed that Wii U eShop title Game & Wario would release in North America on June 23.
As for the 3DS eShop, Nintendo will be releasing Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move on May 9. This year the 3DS eShop will also see three original games from Professor Layton publisher Level 5: The Starship Damrey, Bugs vs Tanks, and Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale.
Finishing off Nintendo's downloadable announcements, the publisher confirmed Capcom-developed The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons will be released for 3DS Virtual Console on May 30.
High-profile upcoming Wii U game Pikmin 3 has been delayed again. Nintendo announced the news today, slating the strategy game to ship August 4 in stores and through the eShop.
Pikmin 3 was originally slated
No rationale for this latest delay was provided.
Noted Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto
"And in my mind, there's really two kinds of games: games that get delayed and then there's games that sort of shift [laughs]," he said at the time. "I'm sorry. I know everybody is waiting for it."
Nintendo also today revealed a new Pikmin for the game: the flying Winged Pikmin, which follows players can and can carry items in the air.
Square Enix 3DS role-playing game Bravely Default: Flying Fairy is coming to North America in 2014, Nintendo of America's Bill Trinen announced today during a Nintendo Direct video presentation.
The game launched last October in Japan.
Nintendo also today revealed a special edition Animal Crossing: New Leaf 3DSXL bundle that sports a special design and includes a preinstalled copy of the game.
The bundle will retail for $220 in North America.
Other highlights from the Nintendo Direct presentation today included Nintendo announcing a July 16 release date for 3DS game Shin Megami Tensei IV. All launch copies of this game will include a music CD, strategy guide, and special slip cover, Nintendo said.
Lastly, Nintendo announced today that a new entry in the Professor Layton series will release in 2014 for 3DS in North America. This game is called Professor Layton and the Azran Legacies and as developer Level-5 said August, will be
Nintendo has announced a new Zelda game for 3DS.
The game, which currently has no official title, will take place in the same world as 1991's iconic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on the SNES.
The new 3DS Zelda will be released during the 2013 holiday season.
Like A Link to the Past, the new 3DS Zelda will predominantly be viewed from a top-down perspective, although Link will be able to transform into a drawing and move across walls. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says the new mechanic will play a key role in the game.
Nintendo will shortly make a video of the new 3DS Zelda available on the eShop to illustrate how the perspective shifts in the game will be viewed from the 3D-capable console itself.
Elsewhere in the Nintendo Direct broadcast, the publisher announced that Capcom-developed Game Boy Color titles The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages will be available on the 3DS eShop from May 30.
A new Yoshi's Island game for 3DS is in development.
Nintendo announced the news today during a Nintendo Direct video presentation, showing off a short trailer for the game with baby Mario riding Yoshi through a series of colorful levels.
Yoshi's Island for 3DS will be the first new entry in the series since
Speaking as part of a Nintendo Direct event, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata confirmed that Mario & Luigi: Dream Team would be released in North America on August 11.
The game will be released in Europe on July 12 and in Japan on July 18.
Alongside a physical release in stores, the game will also launch on the 3DS eShop.
Iwata also confirmed that
Today during a Nintendo Direct video presentation, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced a new Mario Party game for 3DS. The game will launch during winter 2013.
Mario Party for 3DS includes a "tremendous variety" of mini-games, including some that use AR cards.
This is a breaking news story. Additional details will be added as they become available
The May lineup of free games for PlayStation Plus subscribers in Europe has been announced by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
The three games will replace outgoing titles Okami HD, F1 Race Stars, and Quantum Conundrum.
PlayStation Vita owners will have access to shmup revival
A 12-month subscription to the PlayStation Plus service has an RRP of £39.99.
Syfy's new TV series Defiance is off to a hot start, though the success of the game tie-in of the same name remains to be seen.
Deadline reports that the premiere episode this week drew 2.7 million total viewers and 1.3 million adults 18-49.
This makes the show's premiere the network s most-watched scripted series debut for adults in seven years.The previous ratings king for Syfy was the 2006 debut of Eureka
Defiance was developed as a TV series and a game from Trion Worlds. According to Deadline, players have logged more than 6 million hours in the title since it launched on April 2.
The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC game is set in the San Francisco Bay Area in a futuristic time period where Earth been dramatically changed by alien terraforming, whereas the TV series takes place in St. Louis.
Defiance the TV show airs Mondays at 9 p.m.
Electronic Arts has cut more jobs, with the latest layoffs taking place at EA Hyderabad (India) and social game studio Playfish (London).
MCV India reports that 50 jobs were cut at EA s mobile studio in India. The company acknowledged that layoffs took place, but declined to give any further official details.
As for Playfish, Develop cites sources saying that EA cut an unspecified number of jobs at the outfit. This is not much of a surprise, as earlier this week EA announced that Playfish Facebook games The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society will
Jobs have also been cut at
Last week, EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg
EA has revealed the first details for FIFA 14, which the company has officially confirmed for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
No next-gen support was confirmed, but EA says it will reveal FIFA 14 for additional platforms "in the months ahead."
The main changes to this year's take on the annual football franchise includes a new ball physics engine and a feature called Pure Shot. Pure Shot is designed to allow players to adjust their stride and approach angles, with the game now incorporating off-balance and rushed shots.
EA also says it has added the ability to maintain momentum while turning in any direction while sprinting, that there is more variety on touches when sprinting, and says that the intelligence of the AI has been improved.
A new feature, which EA calls Protect The Ball, is also designed to give attacking players more ways to block defenders while dribbling.
The game's career mode will also receive an update, allowing players to manage a global network of talent scouts and featuring a redesigned hub.
Elsewhere, FIFA Ultimate Team will be updated, a new online mode will be implemented, and social tracker Football Club will make a return.
No exact FIFA 14 release date was provided by EA, but FIFA games traditionally launch in September.
Last year's title,