Nintendo Reveals Splatoon
Mar 23 15
Nintendo’s upcoming third-person action shooter game 'Splatoon' for the Wii U console, combines elements of shooting, strategy and action and original new characters, Inklings, that can instantaneously transform between human and squid form. Splatoon gives players the goal of covering as much territory as possible with their ink-spewing weapons. The game, which is scheduled to launch in May, features four-on-four online team matches, as well as a full single-player mode that takes players deeper into the game’s unique world and characters. The game’s main online mode is Turf War, in which players with broadband Internet access can compete head-to-head in four-on-four teams to try to cover as much territory as possible in their team’s ink. As they do battle, players will gain levels and earn in-game currency that allows them to customize their Inkling. Players can equip different pieces of clothing, which each provide different game-play perks like swimming more quickly through ink or decreasing the time needed for them to refill their ink canister. Players can also equip pre-determined weapon sets consisting of main weapons like rapid-fire ink guns, long-range ink rifles and paint rollers, as well as sub-weapons like ink bombs or sprinklers. Players can also fill up their special gauge in battle to unleash powerful special weapons for a brief period of time. Players will battle in a variety of online multiplayer maps, including the newly announced Blackbelly Skatepark, Saltspray Rig and Walleye Warehouse. The single-player mode in Splatoon lets players use the game’s mechanics to explore the underground base of the game’s army of octopi antagonists, the Octarians, in original stages that test their ability to shoot, jump and splatter ink. Players can tackle a variety of levels with a variety of clever devices that can only be found in single-player mode. Each of the game’s single-player stages are designed to let players master tips and techniques that can be directly applied to the game’s multiplayer modes.
Nintendo and DeNA Plan to Create an Online Gaming Service
Mar 19 15
Nintendo and DeNA plan to create an online gaming service that will be accessible from mobile devices, PCs and Nintendo's own game systems. For years, Nintendo had insisted that it would not take its beloved cast of video game characters, including Mario and Zelda, to the smartphones and tablets that tens of millions of people now use to play games. Nintendo reversed its position on mobile devices, dropping a pledge that had come to seem increasingly detached from the habits of game players.
The company said it had formed a partnership with another Japanese company that specializes in mobile games, DeNA, to develop games based on Nintendo brands for smartphones and tablets. The two companies said they planned to create an online gaming service to be introduced this fall that will be accessible from mobile devices, PCs and Nintendo's own game systems. Nintendo promised that it was not abandoning the business of making its own game hardware, saying that it had a new game platform under development. The company's president, Satoru Iwata, said Nintendo would share more details about the product, code-named NX, next year. For Nintendo, the risk of ignoring mobile was that its whimsical games would lose relevance to popular mobile games like Minecraft, Angry Birds and Clash of Clans, especially among younger players. Other established companies and figures in the game industry, including Electronic Arts, came to recognize the importance of mobile games much earlier. Nintendo has long favored its traditional approach of designing games only for its own hardware, including the Wii U console and portable players like the Nintendo 3DS. Its position was somewhat like that of Apple, which believes it can create high-quality products only by controlling devices and the software that runs them. Even Apple, though, swiftly bowed to the realities of the PC market, creating its iTunes software and service for dominant Windows computers. Nintendo's aversion to mobile devices, in contrast, came to seem dogmatic and hazardous to the future of the company. Nintendo's sales and profits suffered badly in recent years as game playing on smartphones and tablets skyrocketed. Most mobile games are far cheaper than Nintendo games, especially the free-to-play games that are so common on mobile devices. Analysts believe Nintendo teamed up with DeNA partly because it has so little experience with the methods of generating revenue from today's mobile games. The rise of mobile gaming is particularly galling for Nintendo, which practically invented the concept of playing games on the go with devices like the Game Boy and the more recent 3DS. As successful as Nintendo's portable devices have been, they are far more limited devices than modern smartphones. Mr. Cole estimates the revenue from smartphone and tablet games was about $15 billion last year, compared with about $4 billion for portable games. Despite the recent struggles, it is hard to count Nintendo out completely. Nintendo began to falter as Sony and Microsoft poured fortunes into building consoles with the most powerful graphics available. In response, Nintendo created the original Wii, a console that lacked the best graphics but made up for it with an innovative motion-based controller. For several years, it was the hottest game system around, finding avid users among large portions of the public who had never played games before. It was precisely those casual game users whom Nintendo lost to smartphones and tablets, when games emerged as a category for those devices. But some analysts do not think it is too late for Nintendo to be successful in mobile.
Nintendo and DeNA Team Up for Mobile Gaming Service
Mar 17 15
Nintendo Co. and DeNA Co. announced that they will form a capital and business alliance to jointly develop and provide a global gaming service for smartphones. They will invest about ¥22 billion in each other, with Nintendo taking a 10 stake in DeNA and DeNA a 1.24% stake in Nintendo. The two companies plan to jointly develop a membership-based gaming service available for a wide range of devices, such as smartphones, personal and tablet computers as well as Nintendo's game consoles. The new service, set to start around this autumn, will take advantage of the popularity of characters in Nintendo's Mario Bros. and other gaming series. The alliance allows Nintendo to expand its service, currently run solely on its consoles, to tap into a rapidly growing market for smartphone gaming services. DeNA hopes to leverage the alliance to enhance its operations for smartphones, an area where it has lagged behind. The alliance will also give the company access to Nintendo's global networks.