When Mega Microgame$!'s WarioWare series first debuted on the Gameboy Advanced it took a new direction with the minigames genre that hadn't yet been explored. There hadn't been to many games before it that featured minigame collections in which each game took less than five seconds to complete. This was the first of its kind; quick, short bursts of gameplay that required lightning fast reflexes to complete within a very short amount of time. With WarioWare D.I.Y., the job of creating these minigames is left to the player's hands. Does it work?
According to French gaming site gamekult.com, Nintendo has started sending out DS-2 development kits to several studios, and we might even get our hands on the new portable system before the end of 2010. Too good to be true? Probably. Being mere rumors, the best thing to do at this point is to wait until GDC, which arrives next month, or more likely E3.
Last month, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata sat down with Asahai Shimbun to discuss, among other things, the DS successor. It appears that the interviewer misinterpreted Iwata's statement about needing high-resolution graphics and motion sensors, as Nintendo accurately pointed out.
Iwata says the reporter made an error, effectively putting words in his mouth. Andriasang reports that the interviewer asked "The next DS will need to have high resolution graphics and include a motion sensor, wouldn't you say?" Iwata responded, "Those are naturally considered requirements. However, do you believe it will sell with just this?"
The published interview obviously missed that last bit, changing the meaning of Iwata's statement drastically.
Iwata also clarified his thoughts on a HD Wii.
Analyst group EEDAR predicts the successor to Nintendo's DS will be announced within the next eight months. EEDAR also expects the system to launch in the next 15 months. Even though the DS saw a record year last year, it's expected to drop off in 2010, which is one of the many reasons Nintendo needs to make the switch.
"Nintendo has always had a controlling stake in the handheld market, despite facing numerous competitors, and EEDAR believes one of the biggest reasons for Nintendo's success in the handheld market is their ability to remove opportunity gaps for competitors to enter," the report reads. "Nintendo's transition from the GBA to the DS, a year earlier than anticipated, was a brilliant strategy to remove any upper hand the Sony PSP could have by being first to market."
NPD Group numbers are in for December, and Nintendo won big time, even edging out Activision's Modern Warfare 2. It looks like Iwata was correct, at least partly, when he said the Wii has recovered from a slowdown.
Nintendo sold over 3.81 million Wiis and 3.31 million DS systems in December. Not only that, but six of the top ten games for December belonged to the Wii. New Super Mario Bros. was the champion of December in terms of software, selling 2.82 million units and claiming the top spot for game sales. Wii Fit plus came in a close second with 2.41 million sales, while Wii Sports Resort came in at third with 1.79 million units. Surprisingly, Modern Warfare 2 rounded out at the fourth and fifth place positions for Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively.
Last week, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata sat down with a Japanese newspaper to discuss the next Zelda, the DS successor and other things on the horizon for Nintendo. The CEO commented on how the next DS will have "highly detailed graphics, and it will be necessary to have a sensor with the ability to read the movements of people playing."
Now Nintendo is attempting to retract what Iwata said. Today, a spokesperson for the company issued a statement to Kotaku. "Mr. Iwata did not make any comments regarding the functions of Nintendo's future hardware systems," said Charlie Scibetta, Nintendo of America's senior director of corporate communications. "The answer to the reporter's question was misinterpreted."
According to Nintendo, the Japanese newspaper took something that Iwata didn't actually say and ran with it.
While 2009 might have been a pretty successful year for Nintendo's DS, it looks like it's not all gumdrops and rainbows from here on out. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter expects sales for the DS to decline throughout 2010.
"We believe Nintendo's DS biggest sales challenge will be its own high installed base (36 million in the US), and expect that December will mark the beginning of an overall decline in DS sales that will persist throughout 2010," Pachter said in a recent note.
She might not be a gamer, but Nintendo seems to think Beyoncé is the right person to promote their "style" game Style Savvy for DS. Apparently, a couple commercials featuring the singer are currently in the works, but this isn't anything new for Beyoncé. Last year she also helped promote Rhythm Heaven, which was also a DS game.
"Style Savvy is all about creativity and fashion, both of which are really important to me," Beyoncé said. "I love that I get to become a stylist and take over my own boutique, and it's so much fun to see some of my Deréon designs added to the mix."
Nintendo released its sales estimates for the month of December, and it expects the Wii platform to have sold in excess of three million units in December in the US alone. Official NPD figures won't be released until January 14, which is when we'll see what the real figure is. Nevertheless, it sounds like Nintendo had a strong finish to 2009. They are also expecting 2009 to be a record-setting year for its DS platform.
"The millions of people who bought Nintendo hardware during the holidays can look forward to enjoying great games on those systems now and in the future," said NoA's executive VP of Sales & Marketing Cammie Dunaway. "The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks for Nintendo DS, and Wii Fit Plus and New Super Mario Bros Wii are all currently providing Nintendo fans with amazing experiences and fun adventures for the whole family."
Capcom has released the minimum PC requirements to play Dark Void, as well as a new trailer and screenshots for the DS version (Dark Void Zero).
or AMD 2.0 GHz
GeForce 7900 or Radeon HD 3850 series DX 9 Games for Windows
1 GB RAM
10 GB free hard drive space (more...)