Nintendo News Roundup May 22 2016 Feature

May 16 to 22 Nintendo News Roundup

 Hyrule Warriors Legends

The previously announced update for both Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors Legends is now out worldwide. The update contains the Wind Waker Master Pack DLC for Hyrule Warriors Legends, as well as the free addition of Medli to both versions.

Here are the update notes for version 1.3.0 of Hyrule Warriors Legends:

– Added playable warrior Medli. Control the power of wind to bring the fight to enemies both on the ground and in the air!
– New medals are awaiting to be won!
– Adjustments have been made to improve the overall game experience.

And version 1.9.0 of Hyrule Warriors:

– Added playable warrior Medli. Control the power of wind to bring the fight to enemies both on the ground and in the air!

The download size for the Hyrule Warriors Legends update is 590 blocks (73.75MB) in North America and 620 blocks (77.5MB) in Europe. The Wii U version update is 106MB.

It’s also worth noting that Hyrule Warriors Legends is celebrating the game’s first DLC pack with a SpotPass distribution, so if you have the internet functionality enabled, you should be able to receive 500,000 Rupees, 10 x Delicious Weird Egg, and 10 x Delicious Odd Mushroom.

Finally, you can find some footage of these new additions to the game below, thanks to GameXplain:

Kirby: Planet Robobot

Kirby: Planet Robobot’s North American website is now open. You can access it here for game information, screenshots, and more.

You can also find a new trailer for the game below, from Nintendo UK, and some new gameplay footage by GameXplain.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

Nintendo of Europe has launched a special microsite for Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. You can find it here.

It contains a nice overview of the game, and details the game’s story, characters, various gameplay mechanics and DLC. There’s also a screenshot gallery, showing off a bit more of the English localization.

Nintendo also released a new trailer in North America, which you can find below:

Pokémon Sun & Moon

sun-moon-169-enThe official Twitter accounts for Pokémon have announced that new information about Pokémon Sun & Moon will be shared on June 2nd, at the following times:

– 6 AM PT
– 9 AM ET
– 2 PM in the UK
– 3 PM in Europe

Also, even though I think it isn’t surprising in the least, Amazon has confirmed that the Alola Region is composed of various islands, as one would expect of an Hawaiian based region.

The retailer mentions:

“Embark on a new adventure as a Pokemon Trainer and catch, battle, and trade all-new Pokemon on the tropical islands of a new Region and become a Pokemon Champion!”

pokemon-sun-moon-guideA guide containing over 350 pages has also been announced, and will release at the same time as the games. Two versions are planned: a standard guide and collector’s edition.

Here’s what’s included in it:

The official strategy guide from Pokémon for the Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon video games!

Be prepared for each part of your journey with the step-by-step walkthrough and extensive hints in Pokémon Sun & Pokémon Moon: The Official Strategy Guide! From your first steps as a Trainer and through your adventure, this guide has the info and tips to help you play like the very best.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:
-Detailed walkthrough of the brand-new Pokémon games!
-Locations of where to catch Pokémon!
-Lists of moves, items, and more—including how to obtain them!
-Helpful tips for getting the most out of communication features!
-Pullout map of the region!

The collector’s edition also comes with a premium hardcover along with some “bonus content” that is only included in that version. Pricing is set at $25 for the standard guide and $40 for the collector’s edition.

Pokémon GO

pokemon-go-1The Pokémon Company and Niantic have announced that the Pokémon GO field test is coming to the United States later this month, letting fans try out the app and giving them “the opportunity to share early feedback and help improve the Pokémon GO experience”.

Those who are interested in this can sign up here, but note that doing so doesn’t guarantee access.

Super Mario Maker

Nintendo has posted a couple of new Super Mario Maker stats over on its North American Twitter page.

The game now has over 7.2 million user-created courses, and collectively they’ve been played over 600 million times.

Version 1.43 is also available now, and is a 324MB download.

Here are the patch notes from Nintendo:

  • The Star Ranking list in Course World has been changed to display courses that have received the most stars relative to the number of people who have played them.
    • Previously, when searching for courses in the Star Ranking list, results could be set to either “Weekly” or “All-Time” but will now be limited to “All-Time.”
  • “Super Expert” difficulty has been added to the difficulty filters when searching for courses.
  • This update (ver1.43) must be downloaded and applied in order to use the Internet features of Super Mario Maker.

You might also be interested in knowing that another two Mystery Mushroom costumes have been uncovered via datamining, so I added a video showcasing both inside the spoiler tag below:

Click me for spoilers!
Yup, the costumes are for Callie and Marie from Splatoon! They are probably going to be added when their amiibos release.

Finally, we have another video in Polygon’s “Devs Make Mario” series. In this latest episode, Zero Escape creator Kotaro Uchikoshi makes a level in the game. Check it out below:

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

Super Smash Bros. July 3 FeatureA new update patch for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS has been released, bringing both games up to version 1.1.6. You will need 61MB of free space on Wii U and 325MB on 3DS to apply the patch.

The patch seems to only change Bayonetta, making her a bit weaker. You can find a compilation of the changes over at Smashboards.

Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem Fates is now out in Europe, so Nintendo UK uploaded a couple of new trailers during the week in preparation for the title’s launch. You can watch them below:

Tomodachi Life

Nintendo has been sending out unique items via SpotPass in Tomodachi Life since its launch. After nearly two years, the distributions have now ended.

If you have SpotPass enabled for it, you should be getting the last schoolgirl uniform color. Tomodachi Life’s news flash mentions that it’s the final Special Import item. These can now only be obtained from friends or with QR codes.

You can take a look at it below:

Nintendo Selects

5 additional 3DS games will be added to the Nintendo Selects lineup in June in the European region, which means they will get a reprint and will be sold at a lower price (including on the Nintendo eShop). The new suggested retail price for these games is €19,99 / £15.99. The included games are The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, LEGO CITY Undercover: The Chase Begins, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros., Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Nintendo presents: New Style Boutique.

You can find a trailer below, showcasing these titles:

Virtual Console

Below you can find a trailer for the Japanese Virtual Console Wii U version of Yoshi Touch & Go, originally released on the DS.

My Nintendo

my-nintendo1In an official notice on the European version of the My Nintendo site, the company mentions that email reading users will be able to receive “more benefits” such as “subscriber-exclusive Nintendo eShop discount offers or early access to certain content”.

That said, it seems like some benefits are coming soon to those who subscribe to Nintendo’s email newsletters, so stay tuned to find out more about that and think about subscribing to those if you haven’t yet.

Nintendo exploring the movie business

Tatsumi Kimishima Asahi InterviewIn a recent interview with Asahi, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima has shared that the company is trying to get into the movie business, hinting that it is looking at a production system where “we can do as much as we can ourselves”. Kimishima also added that Nintendo would like to have its first movie ready within the next 2-3 years, and that Various franchises are up for consideration.

You can find a complete translation of the interview below, thanks to NeoGAF member GSR. It also includes other topics like mobile and NX.

-You’re currently working to invest your IP in new fields. In April Nintendo sold its stake in the Seattle Mariners; are you putting the income from that to use?
We aren’t looking to make money simply by directly licensing our characters, but we must invest heavily in new areas such as film production going forward. When we’ve finalized that sale, we’d like to use part of the proceeds in these areas.

-By film production, you mean movies?
The most common meaning is films, but there’s a variety of opportunities such as video content. We’re currently talking with a number of partners, and I think we’ll be able to finalize something in the not-too-distant future.

-In the past, there was a live-action Super Mario Brothers movie, correct?
That live-action film didn’t do particularly well at the box office. From now on we’d like to do things ourselves more than just license something.

-Are you partnering with Hollywood companies?
That could be an option. That’s not to say it absolutely must be Hollywood; we’ll be able to discuss more once things are finalized. However, we’d like to work together with partners who can be successful on a global scale.

-Does that mean another live-action film?
We’ve already tried that, so perhaps not this time.

-Is the intent to be like (3D animation companies) Disney and Pixar?
We have a strong stable of IP, so we’d like to be able to do something like them. So we’ll keep that in mind as we work towards making this a reality.

-Will you be announcing any production in 2016?
While I can’t say a particular year, we are in specific talks at the moment. Of course we’d like to make use of any income from this year, but I can’t say we’re pushing it to something five years out. I’d like to make something happen before that.

-Would it be movies for Zelda or Mario?
We’d like to use IPs that are really quite popular. But I can’t exactly say “we’re doing Mario!” All I can say is that we’ll make something everyone can enjoy.

-Well, if we’re talking movies, it seems like the Zelda series would be a good fit, considering how popular it is overseas.
Put that way, of course we understand that it’s something there’s a strong demand for.

-So you feel there’s many people who want a Zelda movie?
That’s right.

-Do you believe these films will be profitable for the company?
Our primary goal is to increase the number of people who know our IPs. Our core business is to create games and hardware, but the question becomes how to make that business more effective. And of course simple advertisment is no good. So we’d like to create other businesses that can support that goal.

-In the past, have there been movies created by Nintendo?
Our partner companies have created films such as the Pokemon movies, so it’s not an area we’re entirely unfamiliar with.

-Pokemon’s a franchise that involves games, movies, toys, all sorts of things. Would the same sort of expansion be possible for other Nintendo characters?
It’s true that Pokemon has become a great success, and we have learned a lot from it, but the question for us is always “should this be the case for our IPs”? We came to the conclusion that these things must be in order to guide consumers to our core business, but that we’d like to actively move forward.

-Is Mr. Miyamoto involved in these new businesses?
Of course. He’s taught many other game producers, and as a result of that we’re able to have him consider how best to use our IPs. We’d like his input in our film business as well.

-How is Miitomo doing?
The number of downloads is in line with expectations, but the most important thing is that we’d like people to keep playing for a long time. We’ve gotten many requests to make it easier to add friends and to increase the speed of the app, and we’re working to respond to those. With Miitomo, the more friends you connect with the wider the possibilities become, and we’d like to implement that into our next apps as well.

-Your next apps will be the two games announced for release this fall, correct?
That’s right.

-The Animal Crossing series, where players enjoy creating fantasy towns, has fans from children to adults. Is the plan to have the smartphone app connect with games on traditional hardware?
We aim to have our smartphone games work in synergy with our traditional hardware, so we’d like to make something like that a reality. I feel that we at Nintendo are well-suited for that sort of thing.

-Do you mean interacting with the 3DS?
Considering the sales numbers for the platform, I don’t think you would be wrong to imagine as much.

-Fire Emblem is more popular amongst hard-boiled fans. It’s a SRPG where you direct an army, after all.
It’s precisely because of that that we felt it was a good fit for smartphones. But if we were to bring it over 1:1 it would feel a bit pointless. So the question is, what parts of Fire Emblem would be enjoyable to bring to smartphones? That was the key question, and while I’m afraid the answer to that is an industry secret, we’re keeping it in mind as we develop.

-In your future apps the plan is to have more monetization, but is there any concern about the increasing number of people who spend too much on smartphone games?
At the moment, we have no official reports on that. However, the players of Nintendo games are not simply made up of people who can splurge on any amount of DLC. We’re working for a solution that can satisfy everyone.

-You previously announced that five apps would be released before March of 2017. That leaves two; is the next one finally Mario?
We’re working to plan and develop IPs with a strong demand for them. I can’t say “the fourth game will be Mario”, but we’re well aware of people’s hopes.

-What are your thoughts on your next-generation console, NX?
It’s something very new. The hardware, the software lineup, all of it is something I’d like to play for the first time myself.

-By releasing in March 2017, you’re missing end-of-year sales. Isn’t that a bit late?
It’s for the purposes of our game development schedule. When people finish the launch titles, they’ll want things to buy in spring, on summer break, at Christmas. As such, it’s not simply a question of when the hardware’s ready; rather, we need to ensure our software lineup is also in a good place.

-Is that in response to criticisms that the Wii U stalled out due to lack of games?
That was indeed a learning experience for us. However, it’s also true that we were struggling with the exchange rate at the time as well.

-Given the NX will be released next March, won’t that cause people to stop buying consoles this year?
Our business is a lively one. Of course, if you compare the Wii U to the Wii, you understand that situation. When the NX is released, the Wii U business will slow. But the 3DS has Pokemon coming this autumn, and that’s such a big hit that I can’t imagine the NX will have a negative impact on the 3DS.

-It seems more to me that the NX will have an effect on the Wii U due to the fact that both will be consoles.
I suppose it can be seen that way. However, the NX is neither the successor to the Wii U nor to the 3DS. It’s a new way of playing games, which I think will have a larger impact than the Wii U, but I don’t feel it’s a pure replacement for the Wii U.

-The forecast for the fiscal year ending March 2017 remains unchanged from last year. However, projected Wii U sales are 240,000 units behind. Do you feel the NX will sell enough to make up that difference?
The NX is still an uncertain quantity, so any numbers are tentative. However, it’s true it will be difficult unless we foster a strong interest in the NX in our customers. In addition, I have high hopes for the sales of our smartphone apps.

-I am curious about the price. Nintendo has a history of value-focused consoles.
It’s true there is a certain expectation for the prices of Nintendo consoles. Our developers put a lot into them, but we can not sell at a loss. The final price is determined by balancing these two conflicting ideas. I don’t believe it’s as simple as “because this is a new platform, we can make it more expensive.”

Later in the week, Nintendo put up a new job listing on its website for an “IP Art Asset Specialist”. This person will be involved with evaluating artwork for use in movies, among other activities.

Here’s a rundown of the expected responsibilities:

  • An individual contributor that supports the Director of Intellectual Property (IP) Management in evaluating various artwork and submissions for products and promotional materials using Nintendo game characters and franchises such as Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, and Splatoon.
  • Evaluate artwork submissions to ensure the usage and design of Nintendo characters and/or other IP used within the overall design are in compliance with the Nintendo Style Guidelines. The artwork may be stand-alone items or Nintendo characters or IP incorporated into merchandise, including toys, figures and clothing; promotional materials for events including objects and full-body suits; and character proposals and artwork for use in movies and external websites.
  • Create reports and provide feedback and instructions to submitters and licensees on how to appropriately modify drawings and other submissions to meet compliance standards under the guidance of the Director of IP Management.
  • Create reference materials and documentation of game characters for licensees including 3D character posing, multi-view drawing, and color coordination.
  • Work directly with Director of IP Management and as needed the Nintendo Japan Licensing team to maintain Nintendo’s high standard of artwork quality and protect Nintendo IP and character images.

Finally, Nintendo has also recently announced new Articles of Incorporation, which are a means for the company to set itself up for new businesses. Mentioned areas include medical and health devices, “computer software”, managing/investing in “eating establishments”, and IP licensing. While specifics were not detailed, this could partially refer to Nintendo’s quality of life initiative or theme park plans, or even movies in the case of IP licensing.

The Articles of Incorporation go into effect on June 29, which is the same day as Nintendo’s 76th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

Overall, I think it’s good for Nintendo explore new areas of value with its IP, and will certainly be interesting to see what comes out of all of these initiatives.

Nintendo Minute

This week’s episode of Nintendo Minute features Kit and Krysta sharing some of their gaming confessions. You can watch it below: