Did GameStop just reveal new 3DS Game Release Dates?

Thanks to Zelda Informer for this one, apparently one of their staff members visited a GameStop store recently and found that they were giving out promotional materials with release dates for 3DS, Wii, Xbox 360 and PS3 games.  Is this list accurate?  Not sure, but there are some interesting things on it:

  • Luigi’s Mansion 2: 2nd August 2012
  • Paper Mario: 2nd August 2012
  • Theatrhymn Final Fantasy: 3rd of July 2012
  • New Super Mario Bros 2: 2nd of August 2012
  • Rayman Origins: 5th of June 2012
  • Heroes of Ruin: 17th of July 2012
  • Epic Mickey 2: 1st of October 2012

Yeah, that’s quite an interesting bunch of possible release dates there.  However, are they true?  Well Zelda Informer seems convinced enough, but I’m not.

Look at the release dates for the Mario games, all the 2nd of August.  Seems a little unlikely because of a few factors:

1. This would be business suicide for Nintendo.  Do you really think they’d be stupid enough to release three big name Mario games all on the exact same day?  They’d pretty much only annoy long time Mario fans who can’t afford all three on release day and well, most parents buying games for their kids ever (do you really think your average parent will be happy about spending around 90 dollars on video games in the middle of summer?)

Not to mention it’d just cause Paper Mario and Luigi’s Mansion to fail miserably.  What game are the likes of IGN/Gamespot/Official Nintendo Magazine/Nintendo Power/whoever going to cover in more depth and focus all their advertising on?  New Super Mario Bros 2.  Then add the fact these games will pretty much end up driving away each other’s target market (because the userbase for Paper Mario and Luigi’s Mansion 2 likely directly overlap, as does that for New Super Mario Bros 2).  Even releasing them in the same month seems like an unfortunate way to completely bury the likes of Paper Mario.

2. It’s a little too conveniant that three big name games all come out on the same day, making it seem like Gamestop is just guessing and got lazy with it.

Still, it’s a distinct possibility at least some of this release date list might be partially accurate (maybe the listings for third party 3DS games anyway), so it’ll be interesting to see how it causes each game to sell.

Do you think this list is accurate?



Dynasty Warriors won’t be released outside Japan

Want Dynasty Warriors for 3DS?  Well, turns out you probably won’t be getting it since the company says they don’t plan to localise the game and release it overseas.  Sucks to be you.

As their community manager said on Twitter:

Dynasty Warriors VS (for the Nintendo 3DS) – This title is for Japan only & will not be localized and released for / in overseas.

Well, that counts out a Western release for Dynasty Warriors Vs. Pity, could have been a good game if it’d came out in regions that weren’t Japan.

Anyone disappointed that this game won’t get a Western release?

More New Pokemon Forms in Black and White 2?

Ever think Nintendo might be going a little bit overboard with all the different forms recently?  Ever since generation 3 and the announcement that Deoxys had three different forms, it seems like recent legendaries have all seemingly been getting them (like Skymin, or Arceus).  But while we already know that Kyurem’s new forms are the main focus of Pokemon Black and White 2, what’s new is that they’re not the only additions.

No, Thundurus, Landurus and Tornadus are all getting alternate forms as well!

See those Pokemon to the left?  Yeah, they look a whole lot less like genies now and a whole lot more like semi dragon type creatures.  Does this mean another whole three new movesets will probably end up getting added, along with maybe even more exclusive one Pokemon only attacks or abilities?  Perhaps.

Have to give them some credit for the designs though, despite looking ugly as sin, they’re at least more differentiated than the palette swaps that were their first forms.  Unique is good, right?

On another note, there are also a ton more interesting rumours:

-Cheren, Bianca, Brock and Giovanni are shown
– Pokéwood replaces the musicals
– this is the movie theatre seen in the trailer
– Cheren is said to be a gym leader
– new forms of Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus are exclusively captured in the 3DS game; Pokémon AR Searcher
– you then send them to Black 2 and White 2

Well, the fourth one seems reasonable enough considering that these new forms have officially been shown, although the others seem questionable.  Why would characters from the last few generations show up?  Hell, what would Giovanni want in Unova?

None the less, Pokemon Black and White 2 definitely looks to be an interesting game, and the amount of new elements is just plain incredible for what’s supposedly just a direct sequel.

Aqua Blue 3DS being discontinued?

Seems like this is so, at least in Japan.  Yes, Nintendo have confirmed that they’re not making any more of this 3DS colour for the Japanese market (presumably because they want to replace the old style with the new models that have been steadily released since).

Scheduled to end production shortly

Thankfully this shouldn’t affect anyone in the US or Europe where this colour of 3DS console is still being made (and where Nintendo have no plans to cease production of it), but it’s interesting to note that they’re shutting down production of a certain hardware design regardless.

So yes, if you want an Aqua Blue 3DS and you live in Japan, you’d better buy one quick.

How come it takes so long for eShop games to be released?

Nintendo really needs to admit that their download services are honestly far too slow to update (especially compared to the likes of the app store or other such services).

For example, why does it seem to take three whole months (or even more) for a virtual console game to be released outside of Japan? I mean, I understand that it some cases there might be legal issues to sort out, but these are games which are already available on the exact same service in other regions.  It’s not like Nintendo has much rights negotiating left to do with Capcom or Sega or Konami or the like at that point, the companies willingly submitted said game to the service.

But even stranger is when this happens with Nintendo owned/published/developed games.  Look at Kirby’s Block Ball for example.  It has taken six months for just this one game to be released in all regions.  Six months to release a game which Nintendo themselves likely owns all rights to, on a platform they themselves run.

Even if you assume it’s got something to do with HAL or whoever owns the Kirby series, surely you’d think the next game mentioned should be out in all regions by now, right?  That game?  Wario Land Super Mario Land 3.  It’s been developed by Nintendo Research and Development 1, published by Nintendo and is pretty much 100% Nintendo’s own property.  So why is it still not out on eShop in the US?

Maybe it’s because of age ratings and what not, that whole ESRB/PEGI thing.  But why even bother to rerate it?  The game’s already been given a perfectly reasonable age rating ten or twenty years ago, and the content’s hardly going to be changed much since then for an identical port.  If 3D’s added, just up any 3+ ratings to 7+ ones because of the whole 3D and bad for your eyes thing.

More to the point, these ratings are practically meaningless anyway.  In the US there’s no legislation saying a game needs to be rated, it’s only recommended because many shops won’t sell them otherwise. The 3DS eShop doesn’t need any support from brick and mortar retailers due to being an online service, so in theory Nintendo could just release games straight to it with their own in house parental guidelines and not have anything to worry about.

As for the UK, while PEGI ratings are supposedly legally mandated, there are a few interesting get out clauses for Nintendo.  From videostandards.org.uk:

What is Not Covered by the Act?

Video games are also exempt but it should be remembered that if the software product is not a game in the first place it cannot claim exemption unless it is designed to inform, educate or instruct or is concerned with sport, religion or music.

From another site on law:

 it is not an offence to sell a PEGI rated game to someone under the age rating.

And from the European Government’s ‘Video Recordings (Labelling) Regulations 2012 ‘:

The new requirements for labelling of video games will only apply to those games that are suitable for persons aged 12 years and over.

In practical terms, unless a game would be rated 12+ or above under the PEGI system, it doesn’t need to be rated.  Nintendo hence wouldn’t theoretically need to do anything about these series, and could probably just skip the whole thing for them:

  • Mario series (nearly never has a Mario game got above a 3+ rating)
  • Donkey Kong (all games bar Jungle Beat have a 3+ rating)
  • Wario (all Wario games get either 3+ or 7+.  Wario Land 4 got the former, Shake Dimension the latter)
  • Kirby (almost all games get 3+ rating, one or two get 7+ rating)
  • Pokemon
  • Mega Man
  • Tetris
  • Sonic the Hedgehog

You could probably add all 2D Zelda games to the list as well, they tend to get just 7+/E ratings.  For point of interest, here’s what all the ambassador games got:

  1. Super Mario Bros (3+)
  2. Wario Land 4 (3+)
  3. Mario Kart Super Circut (3+)
  4. Mario vs Donkey Kong (3+)
  5. Metroid Fusion (7+)
  6. Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (3+)
  7. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror (3+)
  8. F-Zero: Maximum Velocity (3+)
  9. Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (7+)
  10. The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (7+)
  11. Donkey Kong Jr (3+)
  12. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ (7+)
  13. Balloon Fight (3+)
  14. The Legend of Zelda (7+)
  15. Ice Climber (3+)
  16. Wrecking Crew (3+)
  17. Metroid (7+)
  18. Zelda II (7+)
  19. NES Open Tournament Golf (3+)
  20. Yoshi (3+)

Pretty much all of them are suitable for all persons, hence wouldn’t have needed rating.  I’d say in theory most virtual console games on the 3DS eShop so far are the same way.

So I think that counts out age ratings as much of a factor for this, right?

I don’t think it’s due to difficulty of porting the games over either.  Some maybe (I hear Yoshi’s Island for the SNES and some other Super FX/mode 7 using games have problems), but most are probably as easy to add as running the game on an included/built in emulator.

With all that then said, why exactly does it take so long to release a virtual console game (like the ones on the 3DS eShop) in all regions?  Why can’t Nintendo just release them in all regions simultaneously and make piracy a much less attractive option than it arguably is at the moment (admit it, if games were easily available at the same time in all regions, the amount of copies stolen would be much, much less since it’d be more conveniant to buy it on eShop/Virtual Console than use an emulator).