Is MH Nintendo’s Next Handheld Console?

No, not Monster Hunter (though a lot of people have made that joke already). Basically, there’s a Japanese ‘Traders Web’ article which mentions a possible Nintendo portable console codenamed MH, which has gotten people hyped over the idea of a 3DS successor.

But as prominent industry analyst ZhugeEX says, this is not a confirmation of anything. There’s no word from Nintendo on the possibility of such a system and there’s evidence either way for something like this being in development.

Instead, what we’ve got is a prediction for what might happen, made to give investors an idea about what the company might be doing in the future. Or in other words, the NX is coming. Nintendo has always made a handheld to go with their home consoles. Hence by any logic, a handheld is coming at some point too. We’ll just call it ‘MH’ because we need a two letter codename to go with it and that’s as good as any.

Does that mean we won’t get a new handheld console?

Not at all. In fact, I’m pretty confident we will get one at some point, and presumably quite soon. 3DS sales aren’t as good as they once were, the cycle is coming to a close and Nintendo generally does like to release their portable consoles within a year or so of their home system. What’s more, the idea still makes business sense for now. Why? Well, because Nintendo tends to make a profit on their consoles, and their handheld ones are no exception to the rule (3DS as the initial sole exception so far). There’s also the fact that the company collects licensing fees from companies who release games on it, they take a share of the money spend on games for the console and they make more money from people buying their games there than they often might on mobile. Well, at least in the short run, the revenue made on Mario games sold at 40 quid a pop is pretty sizeable even without the sheer number of users on mobile platforms.

And hey, they also make more money of us too. Don’t forget that part. A lot of Nintendo fans will happily buy the same game on multiple systems. A lot of gamers in general will buy similar games on multiple systems. Nintendo thanks you for buying Super Smash Bros on 3DS and Wii U, or New Super Mario Bros on DS, Wii, 3DS and Wii U! 10 million or so of you bought New Super Mario Bros 2! Another 5 million bought New Super Mario Bros U! There’s real money in releasing the same thing on two different systems, even if the mobile market is getting bigger than the console one!

Either way, the ‘MH’ is not confirmed and there’s no proof that Nintendo is working on it. We’ll likely be getting a new handheld games system from the company, but there’s nothing to say that this is it.

Source:

Translation of Trader’s Web news mentioning Nintendo’s new portable console MH – BlackKite on Twitter

First Worldwide Splatfest Announced!

Ever since Splatoon was launched early last year, online contests called Splatfests have been a regular occurrence. Based on everything from choices of food to favourite Spongebob character, they’re team based events where players pick a side and engage in battles against members of the other team.

But up to now, they’ve been region specific. For example, the first one was:

Rice vs. Bread (in Japan)
Rock vs. Pop (in Europe)
Cats vs. Dogs (in North America)

Now though, things seem to be changing. A new splatfest event has been announced, and this one is global! Yes, people from every region battle against other players from other regions, all over whether they prefer attending fancy parties or costume parties. This will start on the 13th of May (PDT)/14th May (other time zones) and run until May 15th. Here’s the banner for the event:

Global Splatfest Fancy Party vs Costume Party

As you can see, it’s also tied in to Miitomo, and will help promote Nintendo’s new mobile app a bit as well.

So that’s the new Splatfest event. It’s worldwide, it’s based on which type of party you prefer attending and it’s starting on May 13th/14th. Are you going to be taking part in this one? Post your thoughts here or on our social media channels today!

Source:

Splatfest Details – Nintendo of America’s Twitter Account

Nintendo Outlines E3 Plans for 2016!

A short while ago, it was mentioned that the only playable Nintendo game at E3 2016 would be the Legend of Zelda. There would be no Nintendo NX titles. There would be nothing about the console itself. Nor would there be playable versions of titles like Pokemon Sun and Moon or Paper Mario Colour Splash.

Either way, the internet went crazy over it.

Well now they’ve given a few more details about their E3 plans. To cut a long story short, it will be their sole focus at the show. It will be the only playable game at said show.

And what’s more, it seems like there won’t even be a Nintendo Direct to go with it. Instead, their presentation will start on 9 a.m. PT Tuesday, June 14, when Reggie will introduce Treehouse Live. Which will be dedicated to a day of live streamed footage of The Legend of Zelda. Okay, it will have interviews and other behind the scenes stuff to vary it up a bit, but it’s still all about the one game.

Nintendo of America is also holding a contest on Twitter where a lucky fan can win a trip for two to E3 to play the game. To enter, they must tweet to @NintendoAmerica about what the series means to them, while using the hashtags #MyZeldaLegend and #NintendoSweepstakes. As seen in Nintendo’s Twitter post here:

So what can I say about these E3 plans?

Well on the positive side, this does look like it’s going to be an amazing game. The trailers for it looked really good, the open world aspect seems promising and the Sheikah symbol on Nintendo’s E3 site implies that it’ll somehow expand on the group’s backstory in some way. So for those of us who are Zelda fans, the game shouldn’t disappoint.

sheikah symbol

Above: Something that will excite many a Zelda fan. Especially the ones that like Ocarina of Time or Skyward Sword.

The problem is that not everywhere is a fan of the Zelda series. Sure, about 20 million people obviously are, as seen by the sales numbers. But another few hundred million prefer Mario or Pokemon or Metroid or Super Smash Bros or well… just about any other franchise that Nintendo owns. For these people, Nintendo’s E3 presence is completely uninteresting to them. There’s no reason for them to watch any coverage of Nintendo’s event. So off the bat, Nintendo have restricted their E3 audience to the Legend of Zelda fanbase. That’s not a good move.

There’s also the obvious worry that it could all go wrong. I mean, Nintendo isn’t perfect. They’ve made mediocre games in popular franchises, and they’re going to continue to make them in future. That’s just how the world works.

But with the new Legend of Zelda game being the only Nintendo related thing at E3, they literally have zero room to mess this up. If the game has an underwhelming first trailer or the coverage starts out in a boring way, then Nintendo will instantly becoming the laughing stock of the internet. If the game outright looks bad or broken in some sense… well, now they’ve got a situation on par with Wii Music’s announcement and the rest of the E3 2008 disaster. They can’t afford that to happen, since their reputation is already at an all time low with such hated games as Metroid Prime Federation Force and Paper Mario Colour Splash just around the corner.

They also can’t afford to have Zelda U as a mediocre game because of it’s likely role as a Nintendo NX launch game. A good Zelda game will sell people on the new console, like Twilight Princess did for the Wii. A bad one could just about kill the hype outright.

Either way, it’s a risky move Nintendo are making here. Will a one game E3 pay off? Hard to say. But the new Zelda game just has to live up to the hype now, since Nintendo have no margin for error and are resting their hopes for the next ten or so months on this one title.

Continue Reading…

Nintendo Patented a Gaming Phone in 2001?

Ever since smartphones became such a huge thing all those years ago, the idea of a Nintendo phone has been omnipresent. Whether it’s people on forums asking why Nintendo doesn’t cut out Apple and Google or bloggers thinking Nintendo should enter the Android handset market, the concept has been brought up time and time again.

But did you know that Nintendo themselves may have considered the idea? That at one time, a Nintendo mobile phone may have actually been in consideration?

Yes, it’s true. Back in 2001, Nintendo patented something called an ‘Electronic apparatus having game and telephone functions’. Possibly intended for Pokemon Crystal (or other similar titles released around that time), the device would contain both a ‘game CPU’ and a ‘phone CPU’ and switch between them as necessary. For example, if the player was playing a game, then an incoming call would pause the game so they could answer it.

And as the illustrations included show, this was very definitely going to be a traditional mobile phone. Well, of the type released in the early 00s anywhere. Remember, this was before touch screens or iPhones were ever a thing, so the design looks a tad ‘retro’ now:

NintendoMobile2

NintendoMobile

Above: 2001 mobile phone design is nothing like that of today…

They also provided some other pictures showing the games would pause if you received a phone, as well some diagrams showing the device’s workings:

nintendo phone2

nintendo phone 1

nintendophonediagram

Above: Seems like Game Boy/Game Boy Color games would work on this device.

So Nintendo was definitely working on a phone/console hybrid at one point in time. But why did they stop?

Well, a few reasons really. For starters, it was a time when both the Game Boy Advance and GameCube were brand new. So Nintendo likely had to spend a lot of time and effort on making games for their two systems, both of which were likely seen as greater priorities than this device. Does that sound silly now? Maybe, but in 2001, mobile phones were nowhere near as big of a deal as they are now. Neither Android nor iOS would debut till about six years later, Blackberry wasn’t much of a thing yet and people likely thought mobile gaming was something akin to playing Snake on a Nokia device.

In addition to this, it was also a market that Nintendo didn’t really have the most experience in. Could they do well there? Maybe, but they’d need to work with carriers. They’d need to build in all the needed phone features like a contacts list, dialing systems, etc (remember, no Android yet). They’d have to market it as a phone, likely outside of video game stores. It was an ambitious idea, but perhaps not the right one for the market at the time.

Either way, if anyone asks about a Nintendo smartphone, tell them that the general idea was already patented back in 2001. Now that’s an interesting bit of history!

Source:

Electronic apparatus having game and telephone functions – Nintendo Patent Description

Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing Are Going Mobile!

Ever since Miitomo, people have been wondering when Nintendo will make a more ‘traditional’ smartphone game. That’s not to say Miitomo isn’t a good app (10 million people certainly like it!), but it’s perhaps not what everyone was expecting.

But now it seems our questions have been answered. Nintendo is making two new games for smartphones, and they’re spinoffs of the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem franchises respectively. Here’s some proof, straight from Nintendo themselves:

What’s more, these are explicitly meant to be ‘games’, with a recent press release describing them as ‘pure game applications’ and contrasting them with Miitomo:

Nintendo’s Next Mobile Apps: Building on the positive consumer reaction to Miitomo, Nintendo announced that its next two mobile apps would be based on the familiar and beloved Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing franchises. Nintendo plans to release both of these applications this autumn. As for the former app, while making it more accessible in comparison to the Fire Emblem games for Nintendo’s dedicated gaming systems, Nintendo aims to offer the great value of a role-playing strategy game. Nintendo will design the latter game so that it will be connected with the world of Animal Crossing for dedicated gaming systems. By playing both Animal Crossing games, users will find increased enjoyment. Both of these are pure game applications. Compared to Miitomo, they have more prominent game elements, and the game content will tie closely into Nintendo’s dedicated games business. Nintendo will provide more details about these applications closer to their launch period, and aims to have multiple types of apps that appeal to different audiences and different groups of players.

So if you’re one of those people who was a tad disappointed by Miitomo, or wanted to see Nintendo make ‘proper’ game for smartphones, these should be exactly what you’re looking for. They probably won’t be full installments in the series (although hey, anything is possible at this point), but they’ll at least tie into the dedicated games based on the series. In other words, they might work a bit like Pokemon GO, integrating with the main series titles and working alongside them.

But what do you think about this? Are you happy to see Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem on mobile devices? Do you like that these apps are actual games? Or would you rather have seen something different?

Source:

Nintendo provides updates on mobile, NX and The Legend of Zelda along with annual earnings – Nintendo Press Release