Nintendo announces Japanese Wii lineup

Nintendo’s Japanese Media Summit conference has just concluded, and I must say it was one hell of a ride. In addition to a flurry of announcements regarding the Wii and the new DSi, they also released a list of the Wii’s line up for the remainder of 2008 and a preliminary lineup for 2009 in Japan. The titles in BOLD and marked as NEW are games announced at the conference. (List stolen from Neo-GAF)

2008

  • Wii Music (Nintendo) 10/16
  • Animal Crossing: City Folk (Nintendo) 11/20
  • The Melancholy of Haruhi (Kadokawa Shoten) 11/27
  • Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes (Capcom) 12/11
  • 428 (Sega) 12/4
  • Samba de Amigo (Sega) 12/11
  • Let’s Tap (Sega) Dec. 2008
  • Cooking Mama 2 (Taito) 12/4
  • Rygar: Muscle Impact (Tecmo) Dec. 2008
  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith (Activision) 10/16
  • Karaoke Joysound Wii (Hudson) 12/18
  • Sky Crawlers (Bandai-Namco) 10/16
  • Happy Dance Collection (Bandai-Namco) 10/23
  • Family Ski: World Ski & Snowboard (Bandai-Namco) 11/13
  • Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (Bandai-Namco) 12/4
  • Taiko Drum Master Wii (Bandai-Namco) 12/11
  • Tenchu 4 (From Software) 10/23
  • Harvest Moon: Exciting Animal March (Marvelous) 10/30
  • Rune Factory Frontier (Marvelous) 11/27
  • Shape Boxing (Rocket Co.) 10/30

2009

  • Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo) Spring
  • Start w/ 100 Conversations! English Conversation (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Punch-Out!! (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Trace Memory: R, Gateway of Memory (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Kensax (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Cosmic Walker (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Spawn Smasher (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Dynamic [illegible] (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Takt of Magic (Nintendo) 2009
  • Sin & Punishment 2 (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Forever Blue 2: Beautiful Ocean (Nintendo) 2009   NEW
  • Everyone’s the Star on the NHK Red-and-White Quiz Battle (Nintendo) 2009
  • Line Attack Heroes (Nintendo) 2009
  • Castlevania: Judgment (Konami) Winter 2008-2009
  • Dead Rising: Zombies’ Sacrifice (Capcom) Winter 2008-2009
  • FFCC: Echoes of Time (Square-Enix) 1/29   NEW
  • Sonic and the Black Knight (Sega) Spring
  • Fragile (Bandai-Namco) Winter 2008-2009
  • Arc Rise Fantasia (Marvelous) Winter 2008-2009
  • Oboro Muramasa (Marvelous) Spring   NEW

GameCube “Masterpiece Series” coming to Wii

Nintendo is intent on celebrating its past and exposing its newfound “expanded” market to the finest titles in the Nintendo portfolio. With the Virtual Console Nintendo has been able to steadily release classic titles, but great games from the GameCube are obviously too big to make use of the Virtual Console service and many stores are no longer carrying GameCube software. In yesterday’s press conference, Nintendo announced that certain GameCube titles would see a re-release on the Wii with a budget price point. The first title to be released will be Pikmin, one of the best titles of the past generation. After Pikmin, DK Jungle Beat will see a re-release. At this point it’s not sure if they will enhance the games in any manner of if they’ll be just straight re-releases. Either way, it should be a great opportunity for Nintendo’s new audience to experience some of the classics that defined Nintendo’s underappreciated predecessor to the Wii.

Off the top of my head I can think of a few games that could definitely use a re-release in addition to Pikmin and DK: Jungle Beat. For starters, I’d like to see Pikmin 2, Metroid Prime 1 & 2, Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, F-Zero GX, Super Mario Sunshine, and Eternal Darkness.

Mega Man 9 boss order

A few people have asked me what the best order is for taking down the bosses in Mega Man 9. Well, here you go. Start at the top of the list and work your way down using the previous boss’ weapon. For the first one, just use the Mega Buster, obviously. Attempting to take the bosses down in any other order is something you shouldn’t probably try to do until you’re a certified expert of the game. I managed to beat Jewel Man first, but it was very, very, tough.

  • Galaxy Man
  • Jewel Man
  • Plug Man
  • Tornado Man
  • Magma Man
  • Hornet Man
  • Splash Woman
  • Concrete Man

I THINK I PEED A LITTLE! PIKMIN 3!!!

Exclamation point.

Yes, Pikmin 3 was confirmed earlier tonight in a roundtable meeting with Shigeru Miyamoto. No screens were shown, no info was given, simply a “We’re making Pikmin” from Shiggy himself. That’s it, that’s all I cared about going into E3. I wanted Pikmin, and I wanted it bad. Ok, I wanted a few other things, but Pikmin 3 being announced was easily on top of the wishlist.

Some art from Pikmin 2

Seriously, if you own a Wii or a GameCube, and you haven’t played Pikmin 2, you’ve missed out on one of the most unique and enjoyable titles to be released in the past decade. The series is just downright amazing, and news of one in development makes me happier than I can express without embarassing myself.

Dead Rising coming to the Wii

The latest issue of Famitsu has information on Dead Rising coming to the Nintendo Wii. The game won’t be a sequel, but rather a port of the Xbox 360 version. Obviously the game will make use of the Wii’s motion controls, which should make taking pictures and tearing apart zombies just that much more satisfying.

It’s really hard to tell from the pics, but it looks pretty good, graphically. Of course, it’s entirely possible that those are pics from the 360 vesion and they’re merely talking about how it will work on the Wii. I really enjoyed the first Dead Rising, despite some annoying quirks that held it back from greatness.

Now, this is just one more example of a game that Nintendo could have at least made mention of in their E3 conrference yesterday. We know they have games coming, but Nintendo seemed entirely disinterested in sharing what’s in store.

Nintendo E3 press conference notes

Once again, a little sloppy. Sorry.

-Starts off with montage of very different gamer types
-Kids, adults, teens, the elderly play

Cammy (sp?) Dunaway VP of Sales and Marketing

-“We promise to keep you smiling…” CHEESY!
-This lady is definitely out there to appeal to moms and Nintendo’s “new audience” types
-This is nearly unbearable. She’s telling stories about her fall snowboarding last year.
-Shaun White is on stage to demo snowboarding with the Balance Board and totally hamming it up.
-Whatever game it is, it looks good
-Of course, it’s Shaun White’s Snowboarding by Ubisoft

Shaun White’s Snowboarding
-Shaun White gave lots of input in development such as look and feel
-Goofy mom figure steps on the a board next to Shaun
-I don’t know if this is pre-rendered, but she’s nailing some nice tricks in the half pipe…ok, not pre-rendered, she wipes out a few times
-Exlusively for Wii by year end

Satoru Iwata
-A true paradigm shift has taken place
-5 years ago in May 2003 was Iwata’s first E3
-Everybody had negative outlook on Nintendo’s future
-Agrees that view was common sense, even Nintendo couldn’t imagine that 5 years later that Nintendo would be on top and selling “bathroom scales” by the millions around the world
-Games like Nintendogs and Brain Age combined with games like Mario Kart and New Super Mario Bros. are causing the big change in the market
-Graphics aren’t always the answer (yeah, we know this stance all too well)
-Nintendo is dedicated to making impressive games from a technical standpoint…internal teams hard at work on those (confirmation of Mario and Zelda games on the way?)
-Small games and small budgets can be worldwide hits if they have good ideas backing them
-Intuitive interfaces attracting new games and expanding audience
-Seasonal nature of hardware sales is gone. No longer just a gift item.
-Nintendo selling hardware like every week is a holiday week
-Guitar Hero III selling best on Wii
-Takes a jab at those trying to “reproduce” what Nintendo has done
-Must find more ways to engage players and enrich games to grow enthusiasm
-Nintendo always challenges itself to be a pioneer in the industry

Katsuya Eguchi – Creator of Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: City Folk
-Curved world, like DS
-No required goals (as in the past)
-Players still rise and sleep while you aren’t playing
-City is new place to explore…separate from Town where you live
-You can put things up for sale in the city auction center
-Stores located in the city for customization
-Letters can be sent to PCs, cell phones, Wiis
-NEW PERIPHERAL…WiiSpeak
-Microphone for the Wii, shows a group (4 players) talking while fishing together
-Still looks very similar to old Animal Crossing experience
-By the end of the year

Reggie Fils-Aime

-Nintendo is pleased, but not satisfied
-Wii over 10 million, DS over 20 million in North America alone
-Total DS worldwide sales will be over 100 million by the end of the fiscal year
-Pokemon over 180 million sales
-DS software 29% higher than last year, hardware 12% up
-After ads ran targetng females using celebs, software sales doubled on those featured titles
-Wii software sales are at a higher pace than 360 and PS3
-Wii library fastest growing of all 3 consoles

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

-Trailer showing players in lightsaber duels using Wii remote and nunchuck
-Force moves motion controlled
-Coming for the holidays

Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party
-Balance Board + Wii Remote + Nunchuch
-Looks fun and silly, just like you’d expect

Call of Duty: World at War
-Graphically very strong for Wii
-Using Wii Zapper
-Co-op mode included
-“Coming Soon”

-Audience pretty underwhelmed…WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THESE GAMES

Back to Mommy to speak about DS releases
-DS appeal for females growing fast
-Guitar Hero: On Tour sold over 300k in first week, On Tour: Decades on the way

Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades
-Able to song share between other versions of the game

Spore Creatures
-DS version is unique and custom
-Missed a lot of the rest…

Pokemon Rangers: Shadows of (something or other)

-No info given

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
-DS this winter
-That’s it for info?!

-DS going to be used to improve air travel
-Currently being tested in airports

-DS to be used to check box scores, watch highlights, play trivia, order food, and more at Seattle Mariners baseball games

-Cooking Navi is an electronic cookbook in Japan
-English version coming in November
-Jeez, laying it on thick wit the moms, huh?

Back to Reggie
-Wii remote improvement through Wii MotionPlus
-Makes the Wii remote much more precise
-Successor to Wii Sports

Wii Sports: Resort
-Comes with MotionPlus and extended Wii remote jacket
-Wow, MotionPlus looks super accurate with Wii Sports: Resort
-Mommy throws a frisbee, her puppy doesn’t catch it
-Second try the puppy catches the frisbee…Reggie not impressed (jokingly)
-Reggie playing a Wave Race type of game using Remote and Nunchuck
-Mom and reggie getting ready to duel with swords
-Game understands any angle of slashing or blocking
-Reggie takes down mommy in first round
-Reggie loses round 2
-Launches next Spring

Wii Music
-Starts off with a guy showing drumming
-Uses balance board for bass drum and hi-hat, Wii remote and nunchuck for the rest
-Shigeru Miyamoto using Wii remote to play a sax instrument, buttons like valves
-Shiggy on sax, funny looking second dude on the drums…they’re playing a jazzy song
-Was in development while in finalization of plans for Wii
-Music transcends age and gender
-Different than most music games
-Wii Music allows everybody to perform, rather than just try to hit buttons quickly
-Wii Music lets you create music through movement
-Ok, this looks insanely simple to play…maybe too simple?
-Over 50 different intsruments
-You control tempo, but the game controls the tone
-Amount of motion controls volume
-Other game types including (conductor, record videos, etc.)
-Showing 4 players (Nintendo execs) choosing from 6 parts
-All 4 perform Super Mario Bros. theme w/ drummer dude in the background
-It looks fun, but everybody looks like a giant tool doing it…except Shiggy of course, he’s the muthaflippin’

Reggie and Mommy
-Recapping the show
-Is this it? C’mon Nintendo, at least one more game!
-Looks like they’re playing it safe with the casual crowd
-Reggie saying that you can’t call the Wii a fad anymore

That’s it. Underwhelming, for sure, and the crowd looks confused. Yes, it looked like they were having fun out there, and I’m sure there are more games coming, but the spotlight was given to some pretty tame stuff. The mainstream news is going to be all giddy about what Nintendo has in store, long time fans didn’t get any Mario, Zelda, Metroid, F-Zero, Fire Emblem, or any other big franchise outside of Animal Crossing.

Nintendo adds 1:1 movement to Wii remote with MotionPlus

File this under holy crap, because Nintendo just dropped the first bomb at E3…a whole day ahead of their conference. With Microsoft (most likely) set to show off a motion controller this morning, Nintendo decided to show off a small accessory that will give the Wii Remote a full 1:1 motion performance. Many said that it wouldn’t be possible this gen, given the current tech, to have 1:1 support on the Wii, so this is actually pretty surprising stuff. Here’s hoping that tomorrow’s conference has geeks having it out with simulated lightsaber battles in full 1:1 glory.

MotionPlus

Here’s the official word from Nintendo.com:

Nintendo’s upcoming Wii MotionPlus accessory for the revolutionary Wii Remote controller again redefines game control, by more quickly and accurately reflecting motions in a 3-D space. The Wii MotionPlus accessory attaches to the end of the Wii Remote and, combined with the accelerometer and the sensor bar, allows for more comprehensive tracking of a player’s arm position and orientation, providing players with an unmatched level of precision and immersion. Every slight movement players make with their wrist or arm is rendered identically in real time on the screen, providing a true 1:1 response in their game play. The Wii MotionPlus accessory reconfirms Nintendo’s commitment to making games intuitive and accessible for everyone. Nintendo will reveal more details about the Wii MotionPlus accessory and other topics Tuesday morning at its E3 media briefing.

Pre-E3 predictions, hopes, and expectations: Nintendo

Just days away, boys and girls…E3 is upon us once again. It’s that special time of year when airport food prices expand all across Los Angeles, hotel rates jump 33%, and hot dog carts can be found 2 blocks in each direction around the LA convention center. Yes, even in its terribly scaled back form E3 is stirring up the industry and its supporters. Nintendo has their conference on Tuesday, and as usual, knowing what to expect is like cracking into a fortune cookie. You’re expecting something cute, but there’s always a chance you’ll be highly entertained. Usually, however, you just kind of nod and say, “well, that’s sort of what I was expecting.” Either way, Nintendo is always the company to garner the most pre-show hype. Here is what I’m expecting to see:

Bringing Back the Classics – Nintendo’s greatest strength has always been its franchise characters. Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and others have been driving Nintendo profits for more than two decades now. Because of this, and because the fans demand it, we’re going to get more classic characters getting new games. We know Mario will be there with a sport game or two, Pokemon will have some sort of presence, but we should also be seeing Kid Icarus’ return, along with a balance board supported version of Punch-Out!!. Animal Crossing is going to be there, and I really hope it’s announced alongside a hard drive solution for the Wii (more on that later). Much like Capcom is doing with Mega Man 9, look for 3rd parties to jump in on the retro love with the Wii in some fashion.

Fixing Things That Need Fixin’ – It’s no secret that the Wii needs a better storage solution than its built-in memory. I’m hoping that along with their Animal Crossing unveiling that Nintendo will also announce that it will come bundled with a hard drive. I’m out of space on my Wii, and I’ve been swapping things on and off my SD card, and it’s a bit obnoxious.  A hard drive would immediately fix these issues. Also, without a hard drive, Nintendo would be severely limited in what they could offer as DLC for Animal Crossing. I also hope that they’d make the hard drive available separately. In addition to the storage issues, Nintendo needs to bring voice chat to the Wii. I’m not real confident in it happening just yet, but there’s always a chance that Nintendo has paid attention to the complaints.

LOOK AT ME!!! – As always, Nintendo will parade around with their chest out and show how completely insane the sales have been for the Wii and DS. They’lll reiterate that they’ve become the media darlings, and continue to showcase products that illustrate just how they’re going to keep soccer moms buzzing about the Wii. Continued support of the balance board can be expected, and there’s an outside chance that some other crazy peripheral will make its debut.

Eye to the Future – Nintendo is hot now, but they have got to realize internally that the DS and Wii are getting old in a technological sense. While high power has never been the focus of either platform, there are cell phones pushing out visuals on par with the Wii (almost) and much better than the DS. I was doubtful a few months back, but now I’m beginning to think that Nintendo may start to hint at the successor for the DS or even another possible redesign (removed GBA slot, slimmer form factor, better battery life, etc.). Without showing too much, Nintendo will definitely attempt to instill faith in their fans that they are actively working on their future beyond the Wii and DS.

Nintendo logo

Nintendo always has 2-3 games that everybody wants to play in each conference, another 3-5 that are interesting on some level, and then a whole bunch of games that just seem to be for “someone else”. With the revival of Punch-Out!! and Kid Icarus, I’m pretty much happy with things already, but I really hope we can see some quality 3rd party efforts beyond Fatal Frame and Mega Man 9. Capcom has done very well on the Wii, so I can really see them tossing some love in the Wii’s direction.

Microsoft: http://stupidgamer.com/2008/07/11/pre-e3-predictions-hopes-and-expectations-microsoft/

Sony: http://stupidgamer.com/2008/07/11/pre-e3-predictions-hopes-and-expectations-sony/

Buy Boom Blox you idiots

Yeah, you! According to the latest NPD, Boom Blox sold around 60,000 units…not exactly a great performance. The game rocks, and it’s easily accessible for experience and new gamers. If you own a Wii, there really isn’t a good excuse for passing the game by. Buy it, or I’ll make sure each of you lose something you love on Christmas!

Boom Blox was a bomb. Sad.

For shame, Wii owners. For shame!

Ellen gives away Wiis and Wii Fit…it begins

Well, we’ve seen Wii Fit getting quite a bit of press on some of the daytime or early morning news shows, but the indoctrination of mommies across America has really kicked in. On her show, Ellen DeGeneres gave out Wii consoles and Wii Fit to every member of the audience, and the mom-infested crowd went nuts at the news. Below is a YouTube clip ripped from the show…it’s madness I tell ya (sorry for the Sex and the City bit at the beginning of the clip)!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyYNborIkZI

In related news, I’ve lost 3 pounds with Wii Fit so far and my glutes and abs are plenty sore.