Tonight, the GenGAMEcast makes another glorious return to discuss the PlayStation 4 launch. We’ll talk about everything (and nothing), including coverage of the launch games, hardware features, and all our favorite (and least favorite) things. Also, is that a teaser for Naughty Dog’s first PS4 game? Tune in at our Twitch channel for greatness incarnate.
With Nintendo, it’s always easy to see how their game business is doing: it’s pretty much all the company has going. But for Sony and Microsoft, figuring out just how well their game platforms are performing is a bit harder – exacerbated by the fact that both companies package their game revenues with other business activities. In Microsoft’s case, the Entertainment and Devices division is the same division that houses not only Xbox, but Skype and Windows Phone as well.
Apparently the division covers another, more lucrative business, too: Microsoft’s Android patent royalties. According to Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, those royalties make up the lion’s share of the profits – and are actually masking some pretty significant losses in the other parts of the division.
Click below to read more.
Yesterday’s re-introduction of Marth as a playable fighter in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U & 3DS was a big surprise to no one, but it made this week’s batch of new screenshots extra-special. Not only will we get to see Link face off against the fair prince in HD – we’ll also get to see it in 3D.
Click below for this week’s Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS screenshots.
The Super Mario 3D World content landslide hasn’t ended yet. Following Wednesday’s massive slam of new commercials, a gigantic gameplay trailer, and a bunch of new screenshots, Nintendo’s released yet another slew of images from the game.
As in past media dumps, you’ll spot a good combination of returning features (like the springboard), new enemies (like an evil springboard), and new levels – is it just me, or is this the most packed, diverse Mario game we’ve ever seen?
Click below to check out the new screens.
Nintendo just dropped four TV commercials for Super Mario 3D World – and they show a surprising amount of new content that we hadn’t seen before, including new levels, new bosses, and a close-up look at that neon Bowser theme park world (see above). Yeah, pretty much the entire set made me feel like Mario does in the image above.
Click below to see.
I’ve always had faith in Super Mario 3D World. While much of the world dismissed it as more of the same, as just another iterative sequel in a long list of iterative sequels, I’ve always seen something more beneath the surface. Maybe it has something to do with my faith in EAD Tokyo, the studio at the helm of the new game, whose last big console titles were the two Mario Galaxy games on Wii. Maybe I just had way too much fun with the game at E3.
As we’ve seen the game take shape, I’ve noticed that my original perspective has been a bit off the mark. I’ve been looking too closely at EAD Tokyo’s involvement, and as such my view of the game has always been filtered in terms of Galaxy and 3D Land. In reality, 3D World is really more like the modern-day equivalent of Super Mario 64.
Ever since A Link Between Worlds was first announced, I’ve been really careful not to get too overhyped. Nintendo’s tried their hands at a number of posthumous classic sequels lately – New Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Country Returns, Metroid: Other M – and since some have been better than others, I thought it best to try not to drink too much of the Nintendo kool-aid.
It’s been many months since then. I’ve gotten a taste of how the game plays, and recently Nintendo’s finally been giving us glimpses of the real meat of the experience – the world, dungeons, items, and other adventuresome elements. Eiji Aonuma has been touting the team’s approach with A Link Between Worlds as representative of a larger shift the series is taking toward more non-linear exploration and greater overall player freedom. And I know this will be a shock to many of you who follow my criticism of the Zelda series… but I think Mr. Aonuma’s right on point.
If A Link Between Worlds is an old-school take on the future of Zelda, then that’s a future I’m excited about.
Zelda games are often seen as chief showcases of a Nintendo console’s power – that’s why Nintendo constantly uses the franchise to stage tech demos for new hardware. It’s been true for every system since the Nintendo 64. Zelda appeared in an early tech demo for Nintendo’s first 3D engine, returned as an example of the GameCube’s technical prowess, was adapted to present how motion controls and traditional games could go together on Wii, and made a comeback as a graphical showcase on Wii U.
Usually, when I see a tech demo, I expect that tech demo to give me a good impression of what the franchise it depicts will be like on the system. It was the case for Ocarina of Time – the battles were dramatic and ground-breaking for a 3D game at the time; it was the case for Twilight Princess – the game’s motion controls worked pretty much as advertised. But it wasn’t the case for the SpaceWorld demo. Instead of a game that resembled a next-generation Ocarina of Time, we got The Wind Waker.
Don’t get me wrong – I love The Wind Waker. But a part of me still really wants to see that more advanced Ocarina of Time take shape. Having seen how the Twilight Princess high fantasy look could be expressed in HD, I’m also really interested to see how Nintendo could take that popular style in a bold direction with some new, original content. And I know lots of other people are, too – the response to the Wii U tech demo was overwhelmingly positive.
Unfortunately, Nintendo doesn’t seem interested in turning those tech demo dreams into reality.
While Pokémon has seen a number of iterative changes over the years, the series’ core ideas have largely remained the same – a top-down 2D adventure, punctuated by RPG battles with elementally-themed monsters. With the release of Pokémon X & Y, the series has finally taken the long-awaited leap to 3D visuals… but what else has changed? Has 3D mega-evolved the series, or are the gameplay shifts in X & Y more in line with the evolution we’ve seen in the past?
Super Mario 3D World has really started coming into its own lately. After a ho-hum reception at this year’s E3, the game’s latest trailer defied all expectations and reminded us that EAD Tokyo is still pretty much the most interesting studio to ever touch the series. Not only does the game really take the “classic Mario in 3D” concept to World 8 and beyond, it’s full of new characters, tons of returning enemies (including some that have never been seen in 3D), and brand-new world ideas like that intense neon Bowser paradise.
The latest batch of screenshots from the game reiterates all this, as well as showing us that the game’s actually pretty darn beautiful, too. Click below to see the latest Mario magic.
Nintendo’s messaging for A Link Between Worlds is starting to come together pretty nicely. At first, they seemed hesitant to show off anything new from the game, insisting instead that it’s “a new adventure with a new story, set in the world of A Link to the Past.” Combine that description and a few shots of areas that looked eerily familiar, and it sounded more like a glorified remake than a full-blown sequel.
Even early on, though, the seeds for something much bigger had been planted. We heard that the game would feature the Dark World, but that this time we’d discover a whole kingdom, parallel to Hyrule. Given that the original Dark World was pretty barren, largely setting the stage for a string of dangerous dungeons, the prospect of revisiting it in greater detail seemed exciting from the get go.
Now that the Dark World has been revealed as Lorule, it seems as though Nintendo’s really taken the idea of a parallel kingdom seriously. Yet I can’t help but shake the feeling that it’s still mostly “been there, done that.” Why is it that something as significant as an alternate Hyrule civilization – which is, as Princess Hilda said, brimming with potential – comes off as so flat?
Capcom’s working on seriously unlocking online-only Monster Hunter Frontier G‘s platform exclusivity. Last month, we learned the game’s headed to PS3 and Wii U. At TGS, Capcom announced that Frontier G is also headed to PS Vita as the platform’s first Monster Hunter game – at least, the first that isn’t actually a PSP game.
While PS3 and Wii U versions are slated for this fall, Vita owners will have to wait until 2014. Maybe they’ll be finished with Monster Hunter 4 by then. Click below for the game’s TGS trailer, which features the Vita announcement.