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Jun
26
2017

Nintendo confirm SNES-flavoured sequel to Nintendo Classic Mini line

Nintendo made waves last year when, near the holiday season, it released the NES Classic Mini – a miniaturised facsimile of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, with 30 classic games built-in. Though the console was only available for a few months – with most selling out – before being discontinued by Nintendo as a "limited edition product", even before its discontinuation, rumours were swirling about a potential sequel based on the NES's successor console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – often shortened to "Super NES" or just "SNES".

Well fans, the wait is over. Nintendo has confirmed the rumours, announcing that a SNES-flavoured sequel IS indeed in production and will be hitting European and American Nintendo fans very soon!

Official banner showing off the European Super Nintendo Entertainment System, courtesy Nintendo UK.

Like the NES Classic Mini, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a miniaturised replica of the Super NES console, seemingly with the localised styling for its region. For us Europeans, that means the sleek and svelte curved chassis embellished on its top-right corner with the four-colour Super NES emblem; Americans will receive the blocky, squarish design with purple buttons that was released in that region. It's not yet clear if the controllers – of which two will be included in every pack – will follow suit. Also included in the package will be a HDMI cable, allowing the classic games to be enjoyed in Full HD for the first time; and a USB cable for power. Annoyingly, the European package will NOT include an AC Adaptor in the box, meaning that if you don't have a powered USB port on your TV, you will need to pay extra for an adaptor to plug it into the mains.

The less sleek, but still attractive US Edition of the SNES Classic Mini, alongside its controllers (courtesy Nintendo of America)

But what about the games? While the SNES Classic Mini will feature a smaller software library to its predecessor – containing just 21 games compared to the NES Mini's 30, the titles on offer still give a diverse range of single- and multi-player games comprising many of the original console's favourite titles. All but one of these titles will be available straight off the bat, and all of the titles will be based on their original 60Hz American releases – even in the European edition. For example, Contra III: The Alien Wars, which was remade in Europe as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels, will go back to the original US version for both region's consoles. Star Fox (originally released as Starwing in Europe) and Final Fantasy III (which is actually Final Fantasy VI in the original Japanese numbering scheme, as the actual 3-5 were not released in US originally) also keep their US names.

Games available from the start:

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby's Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • SECRET of MANA
  • Star Fox
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls'n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!

While all the games listed above are available out of the box, Nintendo has also tucked in one final tasty treat. By playing one level of Star Fox, a twenty-first, exclusive game will be unlocked: Star Fox 2! This sequel to the original Star Fox, also originally intended for the SNES, was cancelled just prior to its original launch in all regions, and although it has since been leaked and made available illegally online as a ROM, the game has never been officially released by Nintendo – until now!

The SNES Classic Edition will hit both Europe and America on September 29, 2017 with a suggested retail price of $79.99 in America; while Nintendo UK has it listed at £69.99 at time of writing. Other European prices are still to be confirmed.

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    Jun
    06
    2017

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX

    The official logo for the Pokémon franchise internationally

    As is customary for Nintendo, overnight fans of Pokémon were surprised by the sudden announcement of a Pokémon Direct scheduled for 3pm British time today, with the promise of news of “future entries in the franchise”. Lasting just 8 minutes, the Pokémon Direct was a short and sweet affair, making three major announcements without going into detail about any of them – but here’s a summary of what we DID see.

    Pokkén Tournament DX

    As many people likely expected, Nintendo is bringing a Pokémon game to the Switch, although it’s not a main series RPG as many had hoped. Following in the footsteps of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, another of the most popular games on the Wii U, Pokkén Tournament, is coming to the Switch in an upgraded form. Pokkén Tournament DX will be bringing the popular Tekken-inspired Pokémon beat-em-up to the Switch on September 22, 2017, augmenting the original 14-Pokémon cast (and two additional alternative forms) with additional characters such as Darkrai, Scizor, Empoleon, Croagunk, and Decidueye. Three-on-three team battles are also being introduced to the DX release, alongside online ranked matches and friend-only group fights.

    Gold and Silver on Virtual Console

    On the same day, Nintendo will also be re-releasing the second generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Gold and Silver, to the 3DS Virtual Console. The last Pokémon games before the modern GBA and DS era, Gold and Silver allowed players to traverse both Kanto and Johto on their hunt to catch all 251 Pokémon across both regions and beat the 16 gyms. Famously remade for the DS as HeartGold and SoulSilver with many enhancements, the original games will now be re-introduced to the modern generation as eShop exclusives on September 22, 2017; and like the Red, Blue and Yellow Virtual Console releases, will also support Pokémon Bank, allowing you to import your Pokémon into Sun and Moon to bring them to the latest Generation. Check out the announcement trailer below:

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" /> Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" />

    Unlike the original games, there is no word yet as to whether transfers between the Red/Blue/Yellow VC releases and that of Gold and Silver will be possible – but we wouldn’t put it past Nintendo to have thought of this too, so watch this space for updates.

    Ultra Sun and Moon

    Perhaps the biggest announcement of all though is the reveal of the next main series titles. On November 17, 2017 Nintendo will release to Pokémon fans worldwide Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, promising new monsters not found in the original releases and a different story, along with new features that, according to the video, “will allow you to enjoy your adventure even more, making this truly an ‘ultra’ title”. Details were scarce, with only ten seconds of footage shown, but there is a strong suggestion that the new titles will be a sequel/upgrade to the current generation Sun and Moon games, in a similar fashion to how Pokémon Black and White were later followed up by Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2 (commonly referred to by fans as Black 2 and White 2).

    No doubt by now you’ll be wanting to watch these other announcements yourself as well, so enjoy the official announcement trailer below; and don’t forget to check back here for all your latest Pokémon and other gaming news!

    Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" /> Pokémon Direct 6/6/2017 Roundup: Ultra Sun and Moon, Gold and Silver, Pokkén Tournament DX" />
    Jan
    30
    2017

    Pac-Man Creator and Founder of Namco passes away

    It was announced earlier today that the creator of Pac-Man and founder of Namco (now Namco Bandai Games Incorporated), Masaya Nakamura, has died at the ripe old age of 91. A major pioneer of early video games, without whom many Arcade stalwarts would not exist and who even companies like Nintendo owe a debt to, his life saw him go from humble beginnings to one of the most successful video game legacies in history.

    I ask everyone to join me in paying their respects. You can post your messages of tribute in the comments below, or on the Forum Thread I have created for the purpose.

    Nov
    08
    2016

    Is Pokémon GO About To Expand Its Pokédex?

    Pokémon GO has proven popular with nostalgic Android and iPhone users worldwide, and Niantic has shown a strong willingness to maintain that popularity with special events, daily rewards and other updates – but for many players, one thing has held back the game's fun. With the game's Pokédex currently limited only to Pokémon from the original crop of 151 First-Generation species (and no Legendaries or Ditto), many Players have already exhausted all there is to catch. However, there's evidence this is finally about to change.

    Data miners from The Silph Road, looking at the most recent v0.45.0 release of Pokémon GO on Android, claim to have found references to the names of all 100 Pokémon from the franchise's Second Generation – from Chikorita to Celebi. However, while the Pokémon may be referenced, the game currently lacks models for the additional 100 Pokémon or any data for their movesets, suggesting that a full Johto-flavoured update is still a while away.

    There may be one Pokémon coming in even sooner though: Ditto. The only non-legendary from the first 151 not available in-game, Ditto has so far been held back from Pokémon GO due its single attack, Transform. After all, coding a Pokémon that can transform into other Pokémon is a tough job. However, v0.45.0 introduces new code for the move, complete with its own in-battle animation, suggesting that Niantic may be planning to introduce Ditto's special move – and possibly Ditto itself – very soon. If so, it would mark the first new move since the game's release.

    Would the introduction of Johto-era Pokémon to Pokémon GO excite you? And what about Ditto? Sound off in our comments!

    Apr
    27
    2016

    Nintendo announce planned launch date, Zelda game for NX

    Over a year since it was first teased, we still don’t know what it looks like, plays like, or even what its final name will be – and Nintendo don’t plan to spill the beans until later this year. But now, thanks to a Tweet by Nintendo of America (based on information discreetly hidden in Nintendo of Japan’s annual financial report), we DO finally have one piece of concrete information about the upcoming Nintendo “NX” console – it’s launch date:

    March 2017. Just under a year away from the date of this article’s publication. For Nintendo, however, the launch likely can’t come soon enough. The Wii U has failed to resonate with players, with the GamePad being seen as a gimmick and games such as Splatoon and Bayonetta not doing enough to pull people on side; and the console’s lack of power compared to the XBox One and PS4 has seen its third-party support dwindle into near-nothingness. That Nintendo has taken a hit for the console’s failure was apparent in the annual fiscal report, revealing that Nintendo as a whole made 45.3 billion yen less in the last 12 months than the previous financial year, though this still equates to 504.5 billion yen or roughly £3.116 billion British Pounds.

    Importantly, however, Nintendo’s operating income came in at 32.8 billion yen last year, an increase of 8 billion yen. The company predicts that its move towards smartphones, combined with the launch of the NX, will pay off in the next year and aim to hit 45 billion yen in operating income by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.

    Of course, Nintendo may also have another ace in the sleeve to get people back on-side – a dynamite launch title. Nintendo also announced today, in a separate announcement to the fans, that the long-awaited Zelda Wii U title has once again been delayed to 2017, for “further quality testing”; and that the game will now launch simultaneously for both the Wii U and the NX – meaning that a new Zelda title may well be a launch title for the next console as well as a swansong for the current generation, paralleling the launch of Twilight Princess for Wii and GameCube ten years ago. 2017 may well be an interesting year for Nintendo fans.

    This article first appeared on Sanitarium.FM

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    Mar
    09
    2016

    3DNes is a NES Emulator with an added dimension

    Nintendo rose a fair few eyebrows in technology circles when it announced the 3D Classics line – classic games from older consoles such as the NES and Game Boy with a 3D graphic upgrade, offering a unique way to show of the power of the Nintendo 3DS handheld. While the idea has its merits, with a number of classic Nintendo titles getting the 3D Treatment – and persuading SEGA to join in and do the same to some classic SEGA titles – it has to be said that there are actually very few titles that have had the 3D Classic treatment.

    Wouldn’t it be cool if you could take a NES game of your own choosing, and add 3D? If you’ve found yourself thinking that, you may want to check out Geod Studio’s new project, 3DNes – a work-in-progress Unity-based emulator that, as the name suggests, converts NES games into 3D.

    3dmario

    Considering the simplicity of NES games, translating them into 3D is actually a difficult task. Unlike SNES games, which have four background layers, NES games have a single layer for the entire background. Imagine a diorama or a board game – everything in the background is printed on one board, while all the sprites – like your character the ground, enemies, items – are all just pieces on top. To allow the entire game to look 3D, 3DNes uses an algorithm that analyses the flat background and cuts it up into the pieces that make it up, then attempts to turn each piece into a 3D Object. The software is even clever enough to turn round objects into spheres or tubes, so for example, a ball will actually look like a ball instead of just a circle.

    Exactly how well this works depends on the game in question, with things getting messier as the backgrounds get more complex. Games like Mega Man are translated well and benefit greatly from the effect, but games such as Contra or Castlevania somewhat struggle. Perhaps the best-emulated game is the original Super Mario Bros., which the developer admits was the main focus of the emulator and the most tested, which may explain the gap in quality between it and other games.

    This having been said, Geod Studio hopes to improve the number of games that work well through subsequent beta releases, with head of the project Trần Vũ Trúc aiming for one-tenth of the entire NES library as his marker for success. He also suggests that there might be the potential for users to individually tailor the emulator for certain games, but is quick to state this is not currently the case, as he wants to ensure there’s “a strong emulation engine as the backbone” first.

    At the moment, the emulator exists only online, as a WebGL game playable through the Unity Player. This means it only properly supports Mozilla-based browsers, such as Firefox or Seamonkey. It’s also extremely unstable, particularly when not using a AMD Graphics card, and may fail to go beyond loading the ROM, or even fail to work at all. However, Trần states that future releases of the emulator will be made available as software downloads, so it should only be a matter of time before we all get to try it properly.

    3DNes is a NES Emulator with an added dimension" /> 3DNes is a NES Emulator with an added dimension" />
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    Mar
    04
    2015

    EA calls time on SimCity studio Maxis Emeryville

    With those 117 characters, SimCity lead gameplay scripter and designer Guillaume Pierre revealed the sad news that Electronic Arts has closed down SimCity studio Maxis Emeryville. After 12 long years, the company have apparently decided to close the studio in order to consolidate Maxis IPs into existing Maxis studios.

    EA confirmed the closure and intentions with the following statement:

     

    Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to our studios in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne locations as we close our Emeryville location. Maxis continues to support and develop new experiences for current Sims and SimCity players, while expanding our franchises to new platforms and developing new cross-platform IP.

    These changes do not impact our plans for The Sims. Players will continue to see rich new experiences in The Sims 4, with our first expansion pack coming soon along with a full slate of additional updates and content in the pipeline.

     

    Although Pierre had additionally tweeted “everyone’s out of a job” in reference to the studio’s employees, EA included a further paragraph in their statement in regards to the affected employees:

     

    All employees impacted by the changes today will be given opportunities to explore other positions within the Maxis studios and throughout EA. For those that are leaving the company, we are working to ensure the best possible transition with separation packages and career assistance.

     

    At this time, it’s unknown how many employees will be affected by the closure.

    Maxis was founded by Will Wright and Jeff Braun in 1987, and was acquired by EA in 1997. The studios are well-known for their town-building and life-sim franchises, SimCity and The Sims respectively; but following the adoption of a new engine in their latest title, Sims 4, causing a large loss of content from that found in previous games; and a disastrous attempt to revive the SimCity franchise in 2013 as an online game which was plagued by numerous technical and design flaws as well as server instabilities, Maxis’ future under EA has found itself on an unfortunate downward spiral.

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    Dec
    02
    2014

    The ZX Spectrum is returning – as a retro gaming device

    Back in the 1980, when computers were expensive, far more basic and far less capable, a number of computers that tried to keep everything simple gained cult followings. The landmark of these was the ZX Spectrum, a simple plug-in-to-your-TV affair which was inexpensive (for its time), but had a wide variety of uses and many additional options such as modems and printers. It also was easy to develop for thanks to its simple BASIC programming language, which caused it to turn a number of children, teenagers and adults working in their bedrooms overnight into game and software developers; and the ZX quickly gained a following in Britain as an early game console with classic home-grown hits such as Elite, R-Type and Manic Miner.

    A 3D model of the ZX Vega Controller, which may not be the final design. Image courtesy IndieGoGo.

    A 3D model of the ZX Vega Controller, which may not be the final design. Image courtesy IndieGoGo.

    Flash forward to today, and now – thanks to efforts by Retro Computers – the Spectrum is being reintroduced to a modern audience. The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is an all-in-one controller and console that's styled after the original, but uses modern advancements to reduce the cost and streamline the design. While designed to look similar to the most well-known and iconic of the original Spectrum designs, with that classic rainbow motif in the corner, the Vega's design is focused solely on playing those classic Spectrum games of old, to the extent that the full QWERTY keypad of old has been simplified to just the five most commonly-used buttons – R, F, S, 1 and 2 – plus a brand new D-Pad for directional control and a dedicated "Reset" function.

    Retro Computers – a startup backed by Sinclair Research, the company founded by ZX Spectrum inventor Sir Clive Sinclair – are pitching the new computer on IndieGoGo after successfully completing a prototype model of the device. The company are aiming for an initial production run of just 1,000 of the new devices, and are asking for £100,000 ($157,115 USD) to begin work; with pledges of £100 ($157 USD) or more bagging one of the first models. Retro Computers says it'll come with 1,000 games pre-installed and support additional Spectrum titles loaded from an SD card, plus further free games are planned to be added down the line.

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    Oct
    03
    2014

    Nintendo unveil some spooky Pokémon treats for October

    Halloween seems to be a holiday the team at Game Freak – rather like myself – really admires lately, given how many Ghosts and spooky happenings were slipped into Pokémon X and Y in reference to the game's October worldwide launch – and now, Nintendo have unveiled a series of ghoulish gifts to make Halloween 2014 truly a treat.

    Shiny Mega Gengar picture

    Shiny Mega Gengar

    The first of these was spoilered last month when it was revealed to be following the Diancie giveaway, but is worth a reminder anyway. Between October 15 and November 5, 2014 at participating GAME, GameStop and other stores, you'll be able to pick up a special code card. Enter your code with the "GET WITH CODE" option in Mystery Gift and you'll unlock a shiny Gengar to send to your Pokémon X or Pokémon Y game… but it gets better!

    This Gengar arrives holding a Gengarite, the Mega Stone that allows it to become Mega Gengar during battle, bringing with it the usual Mega Pokémon stat boosts. With the Shadow Tag ability – preventing opponents from fleeing or switching while Mega Gengar remains in play – replacing the Gengar's normal ability in Mega Form, Nintendo state this terror is "as ready for a fight as it is for a fright" – though while Nintendo also make a big deal of Shiny Mega Gengar's new white colouration, even being the hardened Gengar fan I am, I find this very much something I could just as easily take or leave.

    pumpkaboo

    Super Size Pumpkaboo

    If that wasn't enough for you, how about a SECOND free Pokémon? That's right! In another nod to Halloween, Pokémon X and Y also introduced two Kalos Pokémon based around pumpkins – Pumpkaboo and its evolution, Gourgeist. Like real pumpkins, the two Pokémon have a unique gimmick in X and Y in that they they can be caught in four different sizes, from Small to Super-size. Each size varies in rarity with the Super-Size version being the most difficult to catch – but now, for the month of October, you don't even have to catch it to get one!

    Throughout the whole month of October – that's the 1st to the 31st – simply check Mystery Gift to collect a free Super Size Pumpkaboo to download to your copy of Pokémon X or Y. Unlike the Gengar, no code is needed – just choose the "Get via Internet" option to find the gift. The Pumpkaboo – which can be either male or female, selected randomly – will also come equipped with a Rocky Helmet, allowing it to cause recoil damage to any Pokémon that dares to attack it up close – and just to fit the Halloween theme a little more, Trick-or-Treat and Scary Face are just two of the moves it'll know out of the box. All Pumpkaboo evolve via trade, so don't forget to share your new pumpkin Pokémon with a friend (as long as you can trust them to give it back!) and that super-sized Pumpkaboo will become an even more super-sized Gourgeist!

    As well as being a great Halloween gift, the super-size Pumpkaboo giveaway is also a clever advertisement. By having one, players are one step closer to participating in the next big treat:

    Trick or Treat Friendly English Logo

    Halloween Tournament!

    As a special Halloween treat, the Pokémon Company is running a special online Tournament this month specifically for Ghost-type Pokémon. Between 16-24th October, players will be able to register theier Battle Box to compete in a global Trick-or-Treat Friendly, as long as their Battle Box contains Ghost-type Pokémon only. However, one of these Pokémon MUST be a Super Size Gourgeist to qualify – hence the giveaway above. Sneaky! Additionally, the Pokémon MUST have come from Pokémon X and Y – ones imported from Black/White or their sequels do not count – and Rotom or Giratina are also banned. Entries are limited to the first 50,000 participants, so make sure to register fast you want to get involved!

    The tournament will take place from 9:00 a.m. Japan time on October 24 until 8:59 a.m. Japan time on October 27, with final rankings posted on the 31st and will use a Single Battle format. Complete at least one battle during the tournament and you'll be entitled to a gift of 5 Rare Candies! Pokémon will be set to level 50 for this competition. Each battle will have a maximum length of 30 minutes. Players will have 60 seconds per turn, and 90 seconds to select which Pokémon they would like to use. They may battle 10 times a day; and "Juniors" – those born before 2000, which will be entered into a seperate division to other players – will not be able to battle from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. Japan Time.

    Other Stuff

    Finally, to promote the launch of the next Pokémon X & Y Trading Card Game expansion, Phantom Forces, the official site is offering a page of Spooky Stuff to download – such as backgrounds for your computer desktop, and pumpkin-carving templates to add some Pokémon fun to your Halloween party. There will also soon be a Gengar costume available for players of Pokémon TCG Online to deck out their characters in. Have a great Halloween, everyone!

    [An edited version of this article first appeared at Sanitarium.FM]

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2014
    Acknowledgements: Images copyright Nintendo / The Poké more...
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    Aug
    30
    2014

    Nintendo reveal upcoming NEW 3DS and 3DS XL models with Amiibo, more buttons, better battery life and more!

    When Nintendo came out with the Circle Pad Pro accessory for the original Nintendo 3DS – which added a second Circle Pad and extra buttons to the 3DS which allowed for even more control; and which Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate made good use of – many asked why a second Circle Pad could not have been a standard feature of the 3DS. When the 3DS XL was released and also lacked the second pad, the complaints became even more vocal.

    New3DSColours

    Colour choices at launch for the New 3DS and New 3DS XL

    Today in Japan, Nintendo have not only finally heeded the call, but have gone even further. The company announced all new models of their popular hand-held game consoles, the Nintendo 3DS and the 3DS XL (called the 3DS LL in Japan), which along with extra controls, make a number of other additions and improvements over the previous models.

    3DSXLsizecomparison3DSsizecomparison

    If you actually care that the new models are a few mm bigger in most directions, you probably have an Apple device and/or no shame (click pictures to enlarge)

    The real big news of the announcement, however, comes in the form of a small toy.

    New 3DS XL / Amiibo Stylised Logo

    If you’re wondering why this pic shows just the Amiibo logo instead of an actual Amiibo, blame Nintendo.

    With the new consoles including an NFC Reader, the new 3DS and 3DS XL will come with built-in support for Amiibo, Nintendo’s upcoming range of NFC-enabled figurines. Previously thought to be exclusive to the Wii U, the new addition enables future 3DS games to also offer the ability to allow select Nintendo characters to be stored and shared across compatible games or to use the toys for special in-game functions; and use of the feature in the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. is already confirmed – what it consists of is yet to be announced, but if one is to make a guess, imagine something like the sticker mode in Brawl, but with an actual physical toy to enhance and make your own character with.

    New3DSButtonColours

    Those colourful SNES-like buttons.

    As to the controls, the new 3DS and 3DS XL will add a splash of colour to the A/B/X/Y button. The new 3DS gets the more significant facelift with fully-coloured buttons, while the XL simply gets coloured button labels. The colours are the same as those originally used on the Japanese SNES controller, in a nice homage to Nintendo history.

    New3DSC-Stick

    …But that’s not what you care about, is it? The bigger news is both devices finally feature a second Circle Pad – well, kind of. Dubbed the “C-Stick” by Nintendo in another homage (this time to the yellow analogue stick of Nintendo’s own GameCube controller), the new stick is much smaller than the main Circle Pad – in fact, it’s roughly the same size as one of the four A/B/X/Y buttons. This isn’t accidental – according to Nintendo’s own Satoru Iwata, while the new control will function like a stick, it’s also designed to be used as though it were a button itself. Iwata also claims the new C-Stick “is easy to use”; with Nintendo releasing a picture showing that the size and positioning of the button should make it easy to control with the same thumb used to press the lettered buttons – it remains to be seen if this turns out to be the case. The new C-stick will be used in Dragon Quest X: Online, Final Fantasy Explorers, and Monster Hunter 4G to control the in-game camera function, and in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS to unleash Smash Attacks.

    The back of the 3DS now has ZL and ZR buttons next to the L and R, but the game card slot is no longer found here.

    The back of the New 3DS XL. Notice anything different?

    The new 3DS models will also include ZL and ZR buttons on the back beside the existing L/R buttons, thus making the Circle Pad Pro accessory entirely redundant. Because there is no longer space for the game card, the game card slot is now found on new 3DS and XL’s bottom-left side, which seems poorly thought out – surely it’ll be right underneath your left palm thus making it easy to accidentally push the card in and eject it? The space at the top previously occupied by the game card slot now houses the charging port, which has been moved from its original off-centre position.

    3DSXLbatterycomparison   3DSbatterycomparison

    Battery life comparisons (given in minimum to maximum expected time between charges) for the New 3DS XL (top) and New 3DS (bottom) compared to their predecessors (click to enlarge)

    Nintendo claim that the new 3DS and XL models also make small improvements on the battery life, with their rated maximum life up half an hour on the XL to 7 hours; and up a whole hour on the regular 3DS to 6 hours. Part of the reason for these gains are due to a new adaptive brightness feature, where the screen will automatically brighten or darken depending on the currently displayed picture, which is also aimed to improve colour quality. Another big reason for the small improvement is a new, more efficient processor – which also grants the new models a small speed boost to make downloads and loading times quicker – though exact specs are not yet known. Speaking of downloads, you’ll also now be able to use Micro SD cards with both new 3DS models, with a new slot located under the bottom covering.

    The new Nintendo 3DS models also have an improved 3D function. With the original 3DS and XL, if you viewed the 3D effect from the side and didn’t stay in the “sweet spot,” the graphics became all blurred. However, the New 3DS has improved 3D, enabling players to continue to see the 3D effect even if viewed from an angle. Using the device’s cameras and gyroscopes, the new 3DS and 3DS XL actually track your face to work out the angle the screen is being viewed from – and will adjust the 3D effect to what’s best for your view. Clever!

    New3DSPrices

    Though the international launches of the new 3DS and 3DS XL models is still to be announced, both will be out October 11 in Japan. The New Nintendo 3DS is priced at 16,000 yen (approx. £92.75 at time of posting) and the New Nintendo 3DS XL is priced at 18,800 yen (approx. £109 at time of posting) – given the usual mark-ups, however, I’m personally predicting prices of £129 and £159 when they hit the UK. Sorry, that’s business.

    [Via Sanitarium.FM]

    Digiprove sealThis informative article has been Digiproved © 2014
    Acknowledgements: Images courtesy Nintendo and the Publ more...
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