Our other stop on our 1200+ kilometre trip to Redmond, WA was of course Nintendo of America HQ. Unlike Microsoft, Nintendo doesn’t except casual visitors of any kind on their property. We were able to catch a few rare pictures when we showed up and no one was home on Labor Day, but when we went back to try to talk our way into the company store to buy some rare swag we were (fairly politely) told to get the crap out of there because they have a “closed campus”. All we managed to snag was one of the business cards they have at their reception desk. We can only hope that Nintendo rethinks their current PR policy at their headquarters some day and once again lets people in to buy cool rare Nintendo stuff.
We made a little 1200+ kilometre trip to Redmond, WA at the beginning of the week to pay a visit to Microsoft and Nintendo headquarters (which are literally a stone’s throw apart). Here are the pictures we got from Microsoft’s “Building 92″ Visitor Center/Gift Shop. We first went on Labor Day and they were closed up tight, so we went back the next day and the Visitor’s Center was still closed up (but this time for new employee orientation), so we checked out the gift shop and bought a bunch of neat things — we even got a small “peek behind the curtains” by watching whoever controlled the video monitors pick out the video to play that morning. Also worthy of note: there were a bunch of Kinect stickers in the bargain bin where most gamers would agree that they belong. Check after the jump for the full gallery!
Imagine that Nintendo called you up at home and asked you to design a new version of the 3DS for them. What would you put in it? A second circle pad, probably, and what else? Well, the sweet spot for the 3D is so low that most people don’t bother using it anymore — so why not add a better 3D screen, or even something super high-tech like face tracking so the 3D could adjust to your viewing angle? You’ve been given carte blanche after all, so why not go totally crazy and add some extra cool things like a faster CPU so it can play better games (current 3DS owners be damned, this is the future so get on board the future train!) and a microSD card slot like illegitimate devices for the DS/3DS have had for around a decade now? (You’d probably want better cameras and screen resolution too, but let’s take our victories one at a time).
Well guess what. In just a couple months Nintendo is launching a fully improved 3DS and 3DS XL line dubbed the “new 3DS” and “new 3DS XL” in Japan (NA release dates haven’t been confirmed yet, but Europe has to wait until 2015) that have most of the features I just described:
- Secondary C-stick which can indeed be used for smash attacks in Smash Bros.
- Face-tracking using gyroscope and camera for 3D
- Option for automatic brightness adjustment of screens
- Faster CPU and games that exclusively use it like an upcoming port of Xenoblade Chronicles
- NFC functionality on the lower screen for amiibo compatibility
- MicroSD card slot under the system’s back panel to expand internal memory
- ZR/ZL buttons on the top of the system
- (non-Xl model only) Interchangeable face plates for the top/bottom of system
There’s tell that they might not be available in North America until 2015 just like in Europe, which would make the wait excruciating indeed.
Other mind-blowing news included the announcement of Shulk as a playable character in Smash Bros., further confirming all of the leaked rosters, etc. that came out earlier this week, so we can at least expect Duck Hunt, Dr. Mario, Ness, and Bowser Jr. too.
An upcoming firmware update for the 3DS in October will also allow for the purchase of custom menu themes:
You can see all of the (Japanese) details for the new 3DS/XL systems here. It’s a good day to be a Nintendo fan.
Game Usagi Opens the heroic August 2014 “Heroes” Loot Crate in a familiar new location. Beware the Ides of Creepy Groot Bobbleheads!
If you’d like to get a Loot Crate of your own, you can go here: http://mbsy.co/lootcrate/5202985 and even use the code SAVE10 to knock 10% off of your order.
Tic Toc Games is relaunching their Kickstarter campaign to help them complete their PC/Mac/Wii U game Adventures of Pip (that features stretch goals for Xbox One and PSN). They gave us their relaunch trailer to share with you so you can see just how far along the development is for this promising adventure game.
Check out their new Kickstarter if you’re interested in supporting the game and snagging yourself a copy and/or some swag along the way.
Game Usagi Opens the villainous July 2014 Loot Crate, with some emotional support from a stuffed Pusheen.
If you’d like to get a Loot Crate of your own, you can go here: http://mbsy.co/lootcrate/5202985 and even use the code HEROES to knock 10% off of your order.
Current Retail Price: $39.99
Last year we reviewed 8Bitdo’s great take on a wireless Bluetooth Famicom controller, the FC30. This year, 8Bitdo has expanded its offerings to include a similar controller, but this time based on the classic NES controller. Does their NES-style controller live up to the lofty reputation they have established for themselves with the FC30 or is it a quick cash-in on their early successes? Read on to find out a bit more.
Nintendo confirmed three more playable characters for inclusion in Smash Bros. today. Fire Emblem fans will be ecstatic as two more of their favourite characters have been added: Lucina and Robin. I know literally nothing about Fire Emblem so I can’t attest to how good this news is. For the rest of us, Captain Falcon is confirmed to return and FALCON PAWNCH everyone into submission.
What’s more, this instantly un-confirms the most famous list of leaked Smash Bros. characters as Chrom, that it had purportedly confirmed, as been confirmed as non-playable in this new trailer. So, there’s hope for a genuine surprise or two left in the Smash Bros. roster and excited speculation can once again resume regarding what treats Sakurai has left for us in his magical bag.
You can check out the artwork for the individual characters and see a bunch more screenshots of them in action here.