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Nintendo patents Game Boy emulation software

Is this the end of those Apple App Store/Google Play Store Game Boy emulators that allow gamers to experience the classic Nintendo games for no cost?

Game Boy emulators have long been prevalent, but Nintendo may now be looking to re-emerge their class mobile gaming system and reuse the platform across a variety of different target markets.

The popularity of the device along with Nintendo’s massive library of classic games make Game Boy emulators widely desired among gamers. But this news could be bad for the third-party emulators currently available on the likes of the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Nintendo may look to bring those who infringe their copy-rights down, but with no right to actually remove the emulators, its more likely the company will offer their own emulator.

In-flight Super Mario and Zelda games may be available in the near future.
In-flight Super Mario and Zelda games may be available in the near future.

The patent applies to the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance and the diagrams included show the devices being incorporated into various transportation methods.

Utilizing the Game Boy in planes similar to how TVs are embedded into the back of seats is an interesting inclusion in the patent claim by Nintendo. Desktop and mobile iterations of the emulator are also shown as possibilities.

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Battletoads on the Xbox One? | Microsoft files trademark for the classic NES game

Battletoads is over 20 years old, but it seems it may now be revived by Microsoft.
Battletoads is over 20 years old, but it seems it may now be revived by Microsoft.

The trademark application originally brought to light on NeoGAF shows Microsoft has filed a video game patent for the 1991 beat em’ up/platformer, Battletoads.

Rare, the developer behind the notoriously difficult game, was purchased by Microsoft in 2002, but the dev has struggled to put out many memorable or worth while games.

It’s reasonable to expect the NES classic to be brought to the console (and possibly PC as well) with a typical arcade-game style that Microsoft encourages.

Killer Instinct, another classic game that has been revived on the Xbox One, was re-envisioned and upgraded with more contemporary graphics and gameplay.

Whether Battletoads will follow-suit with a new experience or if it will be just a remake with an HD resolution is entirely up to speculation.

Link to the application
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Fourteen years after its original release, the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask remake announced for 3DS

One of the best Zelda games ever released, Majora’s Mask, is coming to the Nintendo 3DS in Spring 2015.

Majora’s Mask is one of the highest rated games on Metacritic and has received virtually universal praise upon it’s release in 2000. The journey as Link is creepy, but still wonderfully Zelda and for those who haven’t gotten a chance to play it before will likely enjoy this opportunity just as much as those who are revisiting the game.

A special edition of the Majora’s Mask 3D featuring a steelbook case, double-sided poster, and a pin-badge will be available in the UK.

Nintendo portable console had been underwhleming throughout its first few years, but with major titles like Smash Bros, Pokemon, and now this Zelda remake broadening the selection of top-notch games, the company has been doing extremely well and is on pace to do even better.

Check out the full Nintendo Direct.

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The Legend of Zelda meets Mario Kart in new Mario Kart 8 DLC

Nintendo will be adding new DLC to the WiiU's most popular game -- Mario kart.
Nintendo will be adding new DLC to the WiiU’s most popular game — Mario kart.

Link joins Mario in the first of two of DLC for Mario Kart 8. The upcoming add-on will be available this November on Nintendo’s E-Shop while the second DLC will be available May 2015.

The $7 add-on is giving players three new characters (Link, Tanooki Mario, and Cat Peach), four new vehicles, and eight courses with one of them being the world of Legend of Zelda.

The second add-on (presumably the same price) will include the same rationing of each type of add-on, with the three new characters being Villager, Isabelle, and Dry Bowser.

The eight new courses in each add-on will be part of sectioned courses typically executed in a Mario Kart game with the tracks being divided up into groups of four

Those who purchase both add-ons together will also receive eight different-colored Yoshis and eight different colored Shy Guys as a bonus that can be used immediately.

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Hyrule Warriors will not support online co-op | Offline co-op available

Though many had hopes for it, online co-op will not be coming to Hyrule Warriors.
Though many had hopes for it, online co-op will not be coming to Hyrule Warriors.

Nintendo’s official site had initially suggested that Hyrule Warriors, the upcoming installment in the Legend of Zelda universe, would feature an online battle/adventure mode, but it has now been confirmed by the game’s official Japanese twitter feed that it will have no form of online co-operative multiplayer.

The tweet confirms that there will be no online play in Hyrule Warriors, but it also reiterates the offline 2-player co-operative capability with one player using the gamepad and the other using the standard wii remote.

While many fans understandably had high hopes for online play, the game’s sales will likely not be stifled. Though the game may seem ideal for online multiplayer, the sheer popularity and love for the franchise is still very much prominent and this revelation will likely not hold the game back all too much.

Hyrule Warriors will be one of the many games being released later this year for Nintendo that will hopefully bring the company a greatly needed positive end to the year.

More details will soon be revealed with a Nintendo Direct livestream this Monday.

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It’s been 18 years. Will the love for Pokemon ever die down?

Over 18 years since Pokemon's initial Japan release, will Game Freak and Nintendo's franchise ever slow down?
Over 18 years since Pokemon’s initial Japan release, will Game Freak and Nintendo’s franchise ever slow down?

Over 18 years ago one of the most definable games of all time, one that would extend to multiple generations of gamers and quickly turn into a billion dollar franchise, was released.

With a total of 30 pokemon games,  and nine of them taking in $10 million or more, one may think there would be some sign that time would be running its course on the love of Pokemon.

But it hasn’t. Pokemon is proving the test of time with their highest selling games being relatively identical products. The most recent installment, Pokemon X/Y, has made over $12 million and is right on track with the sales of its predecessors. With the first generation of gamers who grew up with Pokemon Red/Blue in their early 20s, Nintendo finds ample support in the franchise for nearly every release.

With the older generation remaining loyal to the franchise and the consistent influx of children to adore the game as well, Nintendo has created a system in which they can consistently dominate two generations of gamers.

As the gamers who grew up with Pokemon Red/Blue get older and perhaps less attentive to the Pokemon franchise, there is an entire generation of gamers from Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire to take their place. This makes it incredibly hard to envision how the company’s support will ever waver.

The game itself has shown little need to change as well. The entire base of the game is no different than it was all those years ago. It wasn’t until the most recent release that a truly 3d world was even introduced.

While most games’ mechanics grow stale after a few years, Game Freak’s mantra to keep the core gameplay simple and similar to what has worked in the past is exactly the reason their franchise has thrived for so long. Nintendo as an entire company has shared this same outlook on gaming.

The gaming world is coming to a tipping point though. With the popularity of video games in general sky-rocketing, a massive push for higher resolutions, innovative features, and unique ideas raises the question if the beloved franchise will fall behind.

Nintendo has shown love for innovative ideas like the gamepad, motion sensor controls, and dual-screen interfaces. It’s certainly not an absurd idea for Virtual Reality to become the next step for Nintendo’s creative minds.

The main question is would Game Freak follow suit though? Could it at all be possible in 10 years for a virtual reality Pokemon game to exist?

Speculating the future is rather difficult. All that can really be said is that crucial decisions for the path of the franchise on the part of both Game Freak and Nintendo are sure to soon exist.

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Splatoon may be the missing link for Nintendo

The Wii U FPS exclusive Splatoon could be a revelation for Nintendo. (Photo/e3.nintendo.com)
The Wii U Shooter exclusive Splatoon could be a revelation for Nintendo. (Photo/e3.nintendo.com)

Nintendo is one of the most successful entertainment juggernauts in the world. Almost all of their first-party game characters are international icons that have become a part of our culture. But as time has passed, the rise of Call of Duty has shown us one thing: gamers love first-person shooters and that is not going away anytime soon.

It’s an overstatement to say that Nintendo has held on by a thread in the modern era because their previous console, the Nintendo Wii, has sold over 101.02 million consoles worldwide. So the recent Wii U struggles are most likely a temporary situation that is being remedied as we speak with the release of Mario Kart 8.

Nintendo will not be a platform for everyone through purely third-party titles as many studios have given up making their triple-a titles for the system and its confusing Gamepad controller.

But if Nintendo can break the ice and create new IPs that are of the shooter variety, they could wipe the competition with shooters and their already successful first-party favorites (Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, etc.)

Splatoon is a very important experiment for Nintendo. Can they make a shooter title molded from the core values and creativity that is Nintendo and succeed not just critically but commercially as well?

From what we saw at E3 2014 in June, Splatoon is a multiplayer 4-on-4 shooter, where players use ink for offense, defense and transportation around the maps. It looks both fun and strategic and exactly what a Nintendo shooter would look like.

I am very excited for this title and hope it succeeds and spurs Nintendo to explore more ideas for shooters (keeping my fingers crossed for a shooter spinoff of Super Smash Bros., with all of Nintendo’s greatest characters in a team deathmatch).

Check out the Splatoon announcement trailer from Nintendo’s digital E3 press conference.

 

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Nintendo looking to gain console ground this holiday

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U could be a game-changer for console sales when it releases this holiday season. (Photo from smashbros.com/us)
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U could be a game-changer for console sales when it releases this holiday season. (Photo from smashbros.com/us)

Nintendo is not dead, not yet.

With many of Sony and Microsoft’s system sellers being pushed into early 2015, gamers do not have much reason to purchase a next-gen console.

Sony opened up its first-party lineup back in November with the PlayStation 4’s launch starting with the platformer Knack (which had much more potential) and Killzone: Shadow Fall (which was meant to show off PS4 graphics).

Sony followed up with its not-so-secret weapon, Infamous Second Son. Sucker Punch showed off the power of the PS4 while trying to weave its natural storytelling formula into the equation. Although, the game was generally well-received, certain critics were finicky with certain aspects of the game , such as the voice work of Delsin and characters as well as the story itself.

Xbox One opened up with Ryse, Dead Rising 3 and Forza Motorsport 5. All were met with mixed to generally favorable reviews.

Crytek, the studio behind Ryse, is reportedly experiencing a staff strike as employees are refusing to come to work because they are not getting paid. As a result, Ryse 2 is rumored to be cancelled and the developer’s next title, Homefront: The Revolution (Homefront 2) is in jeopardy.

Xbox made up some ground with the March release of Titanfall. But the  Respawn multiplayer FPS was not a strong enough catalyst to deter Sony’s growing console sales.

Now, most of the console exclusives (i.e. Halo 5, Quantum Break The Order: 1886, Uncharted 4) and third-party blockbusters (i.e. Batman: Arkham Knight, The Division, The Witcher 3, Dying Light, Elder Scrolls Skyrim Online) have been pushed back to 2015.

Nintendo has emerged out of the darkness with its highly successful Mario Kart 8 on Wii U. The eighth installment in the series has sold over two million copies worldwide and continues to boost Wii U sales as well. In fact, the Nintendo racer has pushed Wii U console sales more than Titanfall did for Xbox One or Infamous Second Son did for the PS4.

Since the release of Mario Kart 8, the Wii U has accomplished another feat: the Wii U has outsold the Xbox One. As of June 14, the Wii U has sold a total of 6.4 million sales, while the Xbox One has sold 4.6 million consoles and PS4, in the lead with 8.4 million.

Now, Nintendo is poised to enter the homes of holiday shoppers this fall when it releases Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS on October 3, with the Wii U version to follow. The best bet would be a Black Friday bundle deal which would quickly fly off shelves.

The last installment of the fighting series, Super Smash Bros. Brawl released in March 2008. But this time around, a holiday release would almost definitely assure increased console sales, as the only bundles Nintendo might have to compete with is a Xbox One/Master Chief collection bundle and a white PS4 Destiny Bundle. The Mario Kart 8 bundle is already surpassing all expectations.


A few months ago, most people would have pegged the Wii U as a dead console. But now, it has the opportunity to jump back into the market and in a big way.

 

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You can even reach those mountains out there! Or can you? | Miyamoto on the new Legend of Zelda

Nintendo's definition of open world may not be exactly what you expect.
Nintendo’s definition of open world may not be exactly what you expect.

In the 74th annual general meeting and Q&A session between Nintendo and their shareholder, Shigero Miyamoto addressed the upcoming Legend of Zelda for the Wii U.

While the game was broadcasted at E3 as an “open world” game, Miyamoto stated that he would prefer not to use the generally used term ‘open world’,” and that “there is a large world in which players can do numerous things daily.”

This could be a question mark to the direction of the game, but he went on to explain that he is trying to shift the focus in attitude players may take when approaching the new Legend of Zelda.

“In the traditional “The Legend of Zelda” series, the player would play one dungeon at a time. For example, if there are eight dungeons, at the fourth dungeon, some players may think, “I’m already halfway through the game,” while other players may think, “I still have half of the game to play.” We are trying to gradually break down such mechanism and develop a game style in which you can enjoy “The Legend of Zelda” freely in a vast world, whenever you find the time to do so.”

This idea appears promotes an attitude that hints that their idea of open world may not be as similar to other such games. Miyamoto concluded his response by mentioning that they look to evolve the Legend of Zelda series for the Wii U — likely to try and conform to a format of gameplay that is prominent today, yet adding their own personal touch.

So, yes, you can go to those mountains over there, but maybe not right away.