Each week brings a slew of new iPhone games to our doorstep (digitally speaking), but time doesn't permit us to write individual posts about each one. Therefore, here's a roundup of some new and interesting titles you might want to check out:Daisy Mae's Alien Buffet Unapologetically sexist and gloriously campy, Daisy Mae (top) has the look of a '50s drive-in movie and a plot to match: the gun-toting titular heroine must blast wave after wave of aliens that have invaded her trailer park. Boy, howdy! Giana Sisters If you like Mario-style platform games, you're sure … Read more
Nintendo doesn't take kindly to people who put one of its major releases onto the Web before it hits store shelves.
According to a report Tuesday in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald, a man has agreed to pay Nintendo 1.5 million Australian dollars (or $1.3 million) for loss of sales revenue after he allegedly illegally copied and uploaded to the Web the New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii prior to the game's Australian release last year.
Australia's Copyright Act outlaws copying and distributing video games without prior approval. Nintendo cited the Copyright Act when … Read more
We spotted a lucky guy whose wife not only knits him things, but knits him nerdy Nintendo-themed things. On DIY site Craftster, poster UpKnitCreek writes that her hubby has been in love with Nintendo (and especially Mario games) since he was 5 years old. Thus, in the true spirit of nerd-appreciating spouses, she made him what she calls "the nerdiest sweatervest" (though isn't "nerdy" and "Nintendo sweatervest" sort of redundant?).
Anyway, if you're the crafty type and you have a Nintendo-loving nerd in your life, you can download the pattern for this … Read more
On this week's Digital City, we discuss Google's rumored new phone; get to the bottom of the current iMac shipping delays, and go over the best games you can play on a Netbook (all after Dan had to get up at 5am to shoot a local news TV segment on his favorite holiday games).
Then, things take a turn for the weird with a solid gold PlayStation 3, rumored to be under Jay-Z's Xmas tree; and a surprising NYC find -- a Mario-themed pizza place that is calling out for a visit from the ghost of intellectual … Read more
Update: Shortly after this post went up, the app was removed by the developer.
File it in the "get this while you can" category. Last week Apple approved a 99-cent application called iRwego that features both the sounds and artwork of the Super Mario series from Nintendo. And yes, it's still up--though probably not for long. Update: the app has since been taken down by the developer.
The app, not blessed by Nintendo, plays more than a minute of music from the Super Mario game while using the iPhone/iPod's accelerometer to take into account any … Read more
Stung by lower Wii sales and a couple of down quarters, Nintendo may be a bit off its game this year. But Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing, keeps focused on the company's strengths and positive numbers.
The recession and a paucity of blockbuster titles have taken a bite out of the overall video game industry this year, with revenue down from record levels in 2008. Nintendo certainly hasn't been immune. For the first half of the year, earnings fell about 50 percent from 2008, while Will sales dipped.
In the midst of this atmosphere, I spoke on Thursday with Dunaway, known to many video game buffs for her high-spirited appearances at E3.
Though I asked Dunaway about the company's revenue decline, lower console sales, and potential competition, she continually championed Nintendo's assets, including its Wii and DS consoles and recent popular games like Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus, as well as new titles like Super Mario Bros.
Dunaway's optimism about Nintendo may have been borne out by the latest results. Though overall video game revenue fell in October, the Wii bounced back to recover its spot as the top selling console, according to NPD.
Last month, Nintendo sold 507,000 Wiis, compared with 320,600 Sony PlayStation 3s and 249,700 Microsoft Xbox 360s. Coming in second in video game hardware sales was Nintendo's portable DSi and DS Lite, with gamers scooping up 457,000 units.
Four of Nintendo's titles also did well in October, finishing in the top 10. The company sold 232,000 copies of Wii Fit Plus alone, and 209,000 of Wii Fit Plus bundled with the Balance Board. Wii Sports Resort scored with 179,000 copies sold, while Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the DS found 169,000 new customers.
I spoke with Dunaway by phone before before NPD released the October sales figures. But she certainly knew ahead of time that the numbers would look good for Nintendo.
Q: The question on everyone's mind is Nintendo's performance this year. For the first half, earnings were down about 50 percent. Sales for the Wii have dropped. Your president, [Satoru] Iwata, recently admitted that sales of the Wii have stalled. What do you pin as the reasons for this downturn, both for the company and for the Wii itself? Dunaway: Let's talk about the U.S., and let's break it down into the separate platforms. So, speaking first about the Wii--what's important to understand is that in 2008, we sold 10 million units of the Wii, which was a record for any console ever in history. And so it's a high mark.
What's also important to understand is that the pacing of our software this year was quite different than it was in 2008. In 2008, our big titles were released early in the year. And this year's huge title, released a few weeks ago in October, Wii Fit Plus, is doing quite well. And then arguably, the largest title of the year, New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii, only releases Sunday [November 15]. So we believe that going into the holiday season, consumers will continue to look for the products they see as representing the best value and the most fun.
Now on DS, we also had a record setting year last year, selling over 10 million units, and we are actually 16 percent above that pace year-to-date in 2009. So the combination of DS Lite and our new product DSi is really resonating with consumers.
Then on software, here in the U.S., our software for both Wii and Nintendo DS is actually up over a year ago. So despite the fact that our big titles are yet to come, we still have had a good year overlapping a tremendous year with our software.
Can you talk about some of the new titles Nintendo has in store for the holidays and next year? You mentioned Super Mario Bros. is a key title for the holidays. Are there others? Dunaway: Looking to some of the additional titles for the holidays, New Super Mario Bros., for the first time enables four people to play a Mario game together. And it is going to be something that provides tremendous challenge to experienced gamers, and something a brand new gamer can jump in with their friends and family and enjoy. So that one will be a monster hit.
We also on the DS side have a new Zelda title--Zelda Spirit Tracks--coming on December 7. And Zelda titles are always strong performers, and it's a franchise that loyalists look forward to, line up to get copies of. And it's a title that we also think expanded market consumers will enjoy because of its heart. It's really about solving puzzles and going on an adventure, which is something that really anyone can have a good time doing.
Then as we go into next year, while we haven't announced timing, we have announced that we'll be launching a new Pokemon Gold and Silver, which has broken all records on its launch in Japan. [We're also launching] a title that will be great for loyalists called Sin & Punishment and a title called Endless Ocean that really provides a wonderful family experience on the Wii.… Read more
Episode 58 of the Digital City, where we wrangle with the legal arguments over Apple vs. Psystar; show off the latest super-fancy laptop to hit our desks, the $2,000 HP Envy 15; and find the world's best laptop backpack in the Booq Boa.
Both Modern Warfare 2 and New Super Mario Bros. Wii get some praise, while PSP Go sales seem to hit a wall; and we compare the original God of War games to the new polished-up versions in the God of War collection for PS3.
Sales of the Nintendo Wii have been flagging lately, and the number of quality titles coming out for this generation's best-selling system seems to be getting thinner every month. What better to fix everything than Mario? New Super Mario Bros. sold over 19 million copies for the DS, and now the Wii sequel has arrived just in time to give a breath of life into the little white box. We've been quite bullish about this new game after multiplayer hands-on and single-player sessions earlier this year. Now, after playing the final boxed version all weekend, did it live up to our lofty expectations? Our takes are below.
Scott: Nintendo wisely chose to make its headlining release this holiday a marquee game for its most popular mascot. The surprising part was putting the whole game in 2D.
After the success of 3D Mario games, including Super Mario Galaxy, dating back to 1996, the decision to make New Super Mario Bros. Wii a 2D game could be considered baffling. But it's actually a somewhat brilliant move: for all of Galaxy's incredible visuals, it's not instantly accessible to older casual gamers. SNES-era Super Mario is, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a better-rendered, 16x9 wide-screen retro-update to the classic series that effectively ended with Super Mario World. The game's all-new levels and clever updates to the game mechanics make this an excellent sequel for the Mario ultrafans.
Much like the DS game New Super Mario Bros., Mario and much of his environment are composed of 3D graphics moving in 2D, lending a much smoother look than sprite-based retro gaming. For single-player fans, the eight-plus worlds and many secrets are actually pretty difficult, and offer plenty of value. Throwing in four-player co-op through the whole game transforms Mario into an experience more like Super Smash Bros. as players compete for power-ups in ways that are often downright mean.
Two other multiplayer modes offer different ways to play the single-player courses, and, sadly, none of the multiplayer is online. Still, the 2D arena offers some of the best multiplayer play that the Wii has ever seen, and that, combined with the mainstream family-friendly feel, could catapult New Super Mario Bros. Wii to the very top of the Wii's best-sellers' list.… Read more
I have always wanted to propose marriage to someone.
It's just that somehow the moment's never seemed right. Or, well, the lover in question leaves before the question can be popped.
So perhaps I might learn from this dashing, daring, and technically very correct man who found one of the more romantic ways to tell his girlfriend of five years he would like to spend at least the next five years with her.
He seems to be something of a geeky sort, so he reached for an editing program called Lunar Magic and inserted the deeply felt words "Lisa Will You Marry Me?" into a Super Mario World level.
Touchingly, the words were spelled out in gold coins.
The Super Mario suitor didn't reveal his name on YouTube, but the poster's identity is BradSmith182. So I know some of you might conclude his name is Brad Smith and he is a large aficionado of Blink 182.
The video does not start in a promising or loving way. Lisa somewhat rattily declares: "Why are we playing this?" as if, perhaps, there was some more cerebral game she had in mind.
But once she sees the magic words and BradSmith182 brings out the ring, she agrees somewhat shyly to be with him for better, for worse, and for Mario.… Read more
Episode 54 of the Digital City, where we discuss NYC's plan to stop taxi drivers from using cell phones and Washington's suddenly high-tech subway system.
Scott talks about his meeting with Shigeru Miyamoto, and Nintendo's big holiday gamble on New Super Mario Bros., while special guest Jeff Bakalar expresses his frustration with Jack Black's Brutal Legend.
And, in a nod to the hottest story of last week, we show off the very best Balloon Boy Web games (ok, the only Balloon Boy Web games we could find), and host the world podcast premiere of the parody … Read more