SEGA has revealed Sonic Boom, a reboot of its classic Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, spawning new Nintendo Wii U and 3DS games, an animated TV series, and a new toy line, though the designs are already causing controversy. Set to screen on Cartoon Network as well as France's CANAL J and GULLI in the 2014/15 season, and arrive on Nintendo's home and portable consoles as an exclusive "prequel", Sonic Boom sees a new style of character design that has some fans of the original disappointed.
If there's a way to clearly understand how Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata feels on expanding their business into the mobile smartphone universe through Android and the iPhone, the tech publishing world has yet to find it. Today we're having a closer look at the transcript for Nintendo's recent earnings call, specifically in the (translated) words of Iwata, attempting to decipher what the company really means to do in the near future with their characters, and if they'll ever appear on non-Nintendo-made smartphones. Turns out he says yes, but he also says no, not a chance.
Nintendo is betting on closer development of the Wii U console with its replacement for the 3DS, including faster cross-platform game coding, to turn the company around, with no plans to license characters like Mario out to third-party titles. The strategy for the next-gen handheld is to use Nintendo's newly-combined home and handheld development teams and harmonize the architecture of each, making them "like brothers in a family of systems" CEO Satoru Iwata suggested. In fact, that "family" could end up growing significantly as a result, he predicts.
There was a time when Nintendo made the most popular game consoles on the market. Back in the 80's the Nintendo was the console to have on one of the most popular games on the old school console was The Legend of Zelda. Nintendo has done a decent job of bringing those popular old school games back to the Wii U as downloadable titles.
Despite frantically trying to keep a sinking ship afloat, Nintendo continues to refuse branching out into the mobile space. Instead, the company will be dipping its toes in an area where it has had a bit of experience: health products.
For a period of 5 months after announcing Nintendo's most recent fiscal results, CEO Satoru Iwata will take a 50% pay cut on his salary. This will also be joined by a Nintendo executive pay cut between 20 and 30%. While at the moment it's not clear whose decision this cut was, the company as a whole will certainly appear to be accepting their losses in as open a fashion as possible.
Yesterday a rather quick-spreading report of Nintendo very possibly moving to mobile devices like the iPhone and Android smartphones of all sorts was initiated by Japan's Nikkei and perpetuated by the masses. Today Nintendo has provided a statement that suggests Nikkei's report was based on bits and pieces strung together to create a news strand that, in the end, simply isn't truthful.
This week there's word of an incoming official announcement from Nintendo that'll include their first full push for the mobile device sector - Android and iOS included. But in place of releasing classic titles like PokeMon and Mario Bros. to these platforms, it's suggested that Nintendo will be bringing on "mini games", AKA not full titles, that'll introduce the public to their much more expansive games on their own consoles and handheld devices.
UPDATE: Nintendo has denied this suggestion outright.
I know I've said this before, but it's official now: the time has come for Nintendo, at long last, to kill the Wii U and move into other areas in which it might be able to actually grow its business.
Nintendo earlier this week announced that it's been forced to slash its Wii U sales expectations by millions of units, saying that it felt the heat from a wide range of players in the market, including Sony and Microsoft. The company also didn't seem to believe that the world wouldn't care about the Wii U. Oh, how wrong Nintendo was.