Several major online game networks experienced notable performance issues — and outright crashes — as a new influx of players jumped online.
In a Nintendo Direct broadcast Wednesday, company president Satoru Iwata and Nintendo of America chief Reggie Fils-Aime revealed a number of surprises and updates for both the Wii U and the 3DS — and even delivered some of them to players immediately.
Roughly a year after introducing the scaled-down version of the last generation console to Canada, Nintendo has announced plans to bring the Wii Mini to the U.S. in the coming weeks. Nintendo declined to give an exact release date, saying only “mid-November.”
Effective September 20, the Wii U Deluxe Set will see its retail price drop $50 to $299.99. Nintendo also plans to include The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD with the system in a limited edition bundle.
The oft-delayed, heavily-anticipated, uber-cute strategy title hit retail shelves this weekend in the U.S., and gamers — even the most jaded — are smitten.
The game currently boasts an 87 rating on Metacritic, making it one of the five best reviewed console games of 2013 and the highest rated title to come out for the Wii U thus far.
As part of a quarterly earnings announcement Wednesday, Nintendo said that in the three-month period ending June 30, consumers worldwide bought just 160,000 units of its next-generation console.
That’s the go-to response for pretty much anyone in this industry when asked if the company will be able to dig itself out of the hole the Wii U has created – and it’s usually a valid one. (Think back to the GameCube days and things were just as dire as they seem today – but it managed to turn things around.)
But as we head into the Wii U’s second holiday season, the pessimism about the system is starting to crest. And despite Nintendo’s push of first party software coming in the next year, there’s nothing to suggest that a turnaround of any sort is imminent.
While the Wii U hasn’t lived up to sales expectations and some important video game publishers have severely pulled back their support of the company, Nintendo’s global CEO isn’t looking to shift blame.
Unlike many executives who might obfuscate the issue with corporate doublespeak or finger-pointing, Satoru Iwata is blunt in his assessment of the company’s recent troubles.
Reflecting the focus of this year’s show, EA instead spotlighted titles for the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, showcasing a pair of new graphics engines that are meant to showcase the graphical advances of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
While the back half of 2013 is expected to boast breakout hits, the first part of the year hasn’t been encouraging for the videogame industry. Retail sales are down 14%, falling nearly $500 million year over year through April.