Report: Nintendo to unveil a new HD console at E3

Game Informer is reporting that several sources have confirmed that Nintendo will be announcing and unveiling a new HD console at E3 this year. In an article posted on their website, Game Informer pieces together some quotes from people who have seen the console and they also report that developers are already being brought into the loop. It sounds of Nintendo is going to make this one very developer friendly and is going to be finally joining the ranks of the HD gaming movement.

Nothing has been said in regards to whether or not the console will have motion controls, but one anonymous source did say, “Nintendo is doing this one right. [It’s] not a gimmick like the Wii.” While I hope that doesn’t spell doom for motion controls, I do hope that it means that a more standard control scheme will be optional for developers and gamers to use if they wish to do so.

Check out the full story at Game Informer: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2011/04/14/new-nintendo-console-at-e3.aspx

Update: More sources are reporting, and now it looks as if there will be an announcement this month. Also, IGN is saying that the new console will indeed be backwards compatible with Wii software. Some sources are saying it surpasses the 360 and Ps3 in power, others are saying it’s just shy of the Xbox 360. We’ll wait for official specs to call that one.

Best Zelda fan art ever?

In honor of The Legend of Zelda’s 25th anniversary, an artist in Japan posted this image that he created himself. The picture is amazing (click the image to enlarge), and I wouldn’t be surprised if this artist had a future in doing concept art in the gaming industry somewhere. Check it out, it’s quite good.

The Legend of Zelda Fan Art (click to enlarge)

Pokemon is popular

In its first two days on store shelves in Japan, Pokemon Black and White sold over 2.63 million copies. In comparison with the last Pokemon installment, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Black and White did much better as those titles managed to sell “only” 1.4 million copies in their first two days and 3.38 million overall (Japan numbers only). Black and White seem to be ushering in more new aspects of gameplay into the Pokemon series than we’ve seen for a while, and it looks like Nintendo’s decision to mix things up a bit is really paying off.

The Best Game Ever: F-Zero GX

Note: Best Game Ever is a series of posts I’ll be doing dedicated to the best games ever made. Each game I profile will be a game I’d accept as someone’s answer to the question, “what do you think the best game ever is?” So please, do not email me and tell me I’m stupid for posting about game X when game Y is clearly superior. And you never know, game Y might be the next game profiled. For more in the series, check out the “best game ever” category in the side bar.

F-Zero GX. Fast. Brutal. Amazing.

F-Zero GX released for the GameCube back in 2003 and brought a sense of speed that the GameCube had never seen before and that it would never see again. Developed by Amusement Vision (Sega), F-Zero GX is absolutely everything the series has always tried to be since it made its debut on the Super Nintendo. The tracks are well designed, the sense of speed is unmatched, the AI is ultra competitive, the graphics and sound are top notch, and the controls are tight and responsive. In my honest opinion, I don’t think there’s a better futuristic racer available anywhere.

So what made F-Zero GX so good? Was it just a case of the GameCube starving for a good racing experience? Before writing up this post I went back and put a couple of hours into the game to make sure I wasn’t viewing it through nostalgia goggles. After being humbled quite heavily by the computer for the first 20 minutes or so, I got my touch back and I started doing well and before I knew it I had invested the majority of my evening into the game.  In fact, it confirmed my opinion that the title is still tops in its genre; bettering even more recent titles such as WipEout HD.

The game sold well enough to be profitable, but it was in no way a big hit. Miyamoto went as far as to call the performance disappointing, but those that game the game a chance were quite happy with overall experience. In the end, Sega and Nintendo gave gamers a present that is definitely worth revisiting from time to time. I don’t know of any plans, but it would be fantastic to see this franchise get some sort of revitalization. To me, the 3DS is a no-brainer for an F-Zero game, but I’ll take it wherever I can get it at this point.

If you’ve never played F-Zero GX, you can pick it up used for under $10 online with shipping included, so there’s no excuse to not give the game a try. Be warned, however, the game is brutally difficult on harder difficulties and will take some commitment to mastery. Don’t blame me for any broken Wavebirds…

For these reasons, F-Zero GX is the Best. Game. Ever.

I’m going to buy every NES (NA release) game ever made

Yeah, it’s a stupid thing to try and do, but dang it, I’m going to try. Over the next few years I’m going to try to collect the entire run of NES cartridges that were officially licensed and released in North America. By my count that is 731 games that I’ll need to collect, though I already have around 100 of them. I’ve done some looking around and there are some rare ones that might give me trouble, but for the most part it isn’t too hard to do this sort of thing. The real challenge is just staying focused enough on it to make it happen. Obviously I’m not concerned about tracking down the games that only saw 4 or 5 copies leak to market, I’m talking about full scale releases.

I’m not aiming to do this as quickly as possible, so I’ll be pretty casual about picking stuff up. But be on notice used game stores of Utah, I’m going to be like a bloodhound each time I see NES carts for sale. Obviously resources like eBay will be a big help as I go about this, so if you have anything particularly hard to find, let me know.

Over time I’ll post updates about how this little project goes. I might set up a site to allow people to more easily track my progress, but we’ll see about that. I wonder how my wife is going to feel about this one…

How the Nintendo 3DS works, what it looks like

Stereoscopic 3D has been around for a very long time. Many of us had toys that used the effect when we were kids in the form of a View-Master. The way the 3D works is that two nearly identical images are presented, one to each eye. Your brain combines the images into a single image, which creates depth in the single image. The reason the depth effect works is because each image is slightly different from a perspective standpoint, and when the image is fused in your brain, both perspectives are preserved, making the scene look alive.

Below I have a good example piece. To make it work you’ll have to cross your eyes until you see a 3rd image between the two. Focus on that 3rd (middle) image and it should come into focus. You may have to get closer to your monitor (10 to 12 inches) to make it work. If you do it correctly, the image should clarify and show depth to it. Try it now.

Now, the 3DS works in the same way, but the cool thing with Nintendo’s technology is that the LCD screen sends the images to your eyes without you having to do any headache-inducing eye crossing. The result is a constant and moving image that has a great sensation of depth. The slider for increasing or decreasing the 3D effect is simply affecting how much the two images vary from a viewpoint difference, making the fused image seem more or less pronounced in its depth.