Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

3DS Sales Have “Slowed Considerably”

Sales of the Nintendo 3DS have “slowed considerably” since the initial launch, according to analysts, with predictions suggesting the new portable will not match the success of the DS.

“Based on our recent checks, we believe that sales of the 3DS have slowed considerably since the initial launch window, although the Easter holiday could provide a near-term boost,” said Lazazrd Capital Markets’ Colin Sebastian, according to IndustryGamers.

Not suprising. It will come down to what unique games are available for the unit while it is competing with the DS.

When it inevitably replaces the DS, sales will most likely pick up. But the ’3D’ part of the ’3DS’ is a gimmick.

Posted: April 12th, 2011
Categories: Nintendo
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Some Nintendo 3DS Launch Titbits…

[T]he portable will have an approximate battery life of 3.5 to 5 hours when playing 3DS games, depending on operating conditions such as screen brightness levels and use of wireless features.

When playing DS or DSi games, the handheld will have a battery life of 5 to 8 hours. Fully charging the system’s battery will take around 3.5 hours.

The 3DS will ship in Japan on February 26 for ¥25,000, or $301, in “Aqua Blue” and “Cosmo Black” editions.

Ten games will release alongside the 3DS’s Japanese launch: Nintendogs + Cats (three versions), Konami’s Winning Eleven 3DSoccer, Capcom’s Super Street Fighter IV, Tecmo Koei’s Samurai Warriors: Chronicle, Square Enix’s Tobidasu! Puzzle Bobble, Namco Bandai’s Ridge Racer 3D, Ubisoft’s Combat of Giants, and Level-5′s Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle.

Nintendo also outlined its schedule for first-party 3DS titles in Japan: Steel Diver, Pilotwings Resort, andThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D will ship in Spring 2011;  then Star Fox 64 3D and Kid Icarus: Uprising will release in Summer 2011; and Mario Kart 3DS, Animal Crossing 3DS, and Paper Mario 3DSwill hit stores at a later date.

Posted: January 10th, 2011
Categories: Nintendo
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Video : Stolen Nintendo 3DS

Looks almost identical to previous DS units. But then if you saw one at any of Nintendo’s public demos that should be no surprise. Also this unit, which has apparently been stolen from the Chinese assembly line, does not have consumer firmware installed so it doesn’t do much.

“Leaked” details so far.. It has 96MB of RAM.

Posted: January 4th, 2011
Categories: Nintendo
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“PSP2 will be Dead on Arrival”

When speaking on the latest episode of his show Pach Attack, [analyst Michael Pachter from Wedbush Morgan Securities] said that he feels the market is reaching saturation point.

“We’re starting to see DS hardware sales crack, I think the big woody of the iPod Touch is cutting into the handheld market, I think the PSP is dead on arrival and I think the PSP2 is going to be dead on arrival.”

“It looks to me like young kids are just as happy playing with an iPod Touch or a Nano. The Touch is cool, it plays games, plays music, they’re going to put a camera in it and you’re going to get all kinds of cool stuff.”

He did, however, have some positive words to say regarding Nintendo’s new 3DS, but also that after an initial spike, sales will dip and hand the incentive back over to Apple.

“What’s the difference if you play Tetris on an iPod Touch or on a DS? Well, you pay a buck on the iPod Touch, you pay $20 on the DS. Parents prefer $1 or free software, I think the iPod Touch is going to sell really, really well. So, after the 3DS has had its little rush I think the handhelds will continue to decline.”

From gamrFeed.

Pretty much identical to the conclusion I came to a few days ago

People have theorised that the console market could be in trouble in the future simply because of the convergence of portable and home hardware.

I don’t think so. But I do think that the day of the dedicated portable console is over. Nintendo’s 3DS will most likely be the last marginally successful one, and for similar dubious reasons to the Wii.

But after that it’s going to be hybrid smart phones all the way for mobile gaming…

Oh, and iPads and iPods of course!

Unfortunately this Playstation Phone doesn’t stand a chance in that market.

Posted: December 7th, 2010
Categories: Sony
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What is Sony’s Plan For The PSP2?

So here’s the real question mark in my mind regarding the PSP Phone leak – does it really make sense for Sony, probably less than a year away from getting PSP 2 out into the public eye, to start building tech from the (pretty unsuccessful) PSPgo into phone handsets? One might argue that it could help to head off Apple’s assault on the gaming sector – and certainly, a phone that can play Monster Hunter Portable would be pretty attractive in Japan – but the potential for a PSX style high profile failure which would pollute a future, PSP2-focused effort cannot be discounted.

What is Sony’s plan?

We have heard that PSP2 hardware is with developers right now. And yet this week we are seeing leaked images and specs of a “Playstation Phone”. Which is apparently an ARM based smartphone with slide out controls.

Japanese console hardware, be it handheld or full size, is typically very focussed, low cost, high performance hardware (as long as you can do the programming equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your tummy).

As good as the current crop of 1Ghz ARM processors and their GPU sidekicks are, they are not really suited to emulating PS2, or even PSP games.

Even Nintendo’s underpowered 3DS has some fairly unique specialisations to its silicon. 2 CPUs (roughy equivalent to one original iPhone CPU) and a really ancient GPU. But a GPU that boasts some fairly specialised pipeline mods to an OpenGL ES 1.x base. All in all enough to provide a focussed and specialised gaming experience.

If the PSP2 and the “Playstation Phone” both come to market it is extremely unlikely that they will be compatible in any way. The former is likely based on specialised silicon and relies on proprietary languages and APIs. The latter is just a branded Android smartphone.

This is fragmentation of a brand and a hardware base of the very worst kind.

Colour me confused.

My fear is that Sony Ericsson just want in on the smartphone explosion. And we are going to see yet another Android handset. Which will achieve nothing more than killing the PSP2 outside Japan.

Perhaps it is just time to kill the PSP line altogether? If I was actually using my PSP developer credentials, and was half way through a project for that platform I would be very concerned right now.

Posted: October 29th, 2010
Categories: ARM, PSP, Sony
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Nintendo Suffers ¥2 Billion Loss…

Nintendo has made a loss of ¥2.01 billion ($24.5m / £15.5m) for the first six months to September 30, 2010, compared to a profit of ¥69 billion ($848.3m / £537.4m) for the same period last year.

It’s a drop in the ocean for them really. But that is how quickly things can turn around in this business. Part of the reason is the strength of the Yen affecting exports, but another facet is the shifting landscape in the tech entertainment sector, and the changing tastes of consumers.

People often ask why Apple hangs onto such a huge war chest. Part of the reason behind that I am sure is because they have a deeply ingrained fear of almost going under again. And they know from personal experience just how quickly you can hit the skids if you are too complacent. They want to protect themselves against that, and a big hoard of cash is certainly comforting. Nintendo has one too.

You only have to look at Sony’s slow return to profitability with the PS3, and how much cash they haemorrhaged getting to where they are now. And the puny amount of money Microsoft still make from their gaming division, despite having the “most successful” high end console business on the market…

  • Windows and Windows Live: $3.32 billion income.
  • Business: $3.39 billion income.
  • Entertainment and Devices: $382 million income.

Lucky for Microsoft that they still have their core businesses to rely on. And a massive hoard of cash that they will be burning through as they try to capture a share of the smartphone market.

Expect horrific figures from Microsoft in coming quarters.

And if the 3DS fails to capture people’s imagination, expect Nintendo to start hurting too.

Posted: October 29th, 2010
Categories: Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo, Opinion
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Nintendo : Apple more of a threat than Microsoft

If you want to find someone doing that kind of volume you’ve got to look outside the game business. At, say, Apple, which is pushing games on the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple sold more 14.1 million iPhones alone during the quarter ending in September.  “Do I think that in the near term they can hurt us more than Microsoft?” Fils-Aime says. “Absolutely.”

Interesting to see how Fils-Aime’s tune has changed subtly over the last few months.

Here’s where Nintendo has an edge, Fils-Aime says. The iPod and iPhone are great for casual games like “Angry Birds” that provide a welcome distraction. Games on the Nintendo DS, by contrast, can consume. Fils-Aime admits he’s spent 150 hours playing Nintendo’s Dragon Quest.

And he perhaps has a point.

iOS devs. (small and large) only have themselves to blame if he is right.

Posted: October 25th, 2010
Categories: 3D, App Store, Apple, Apps, Microsoft, Nintendo, iOS, iPhone OS, iPod, ipad, iphone
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3DS Launch Details & Prices…

The new system, which features a 3D display and does not require separate glasses, will retail in Japan for ¥25,000 ($298 / £188).

I think it’s a little expensive.

It was also confirmed that the Virtual Console store will sell Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles for the system.

Shock!

First-party software for the machine include re-imagings and brand new titles in the Kid Icarus, Animal Crossing, Paper Mario, Star Fox, Mario Kart, PilotWings and Nintendogs franchises.

Posted: September 29th, 2010
Categories: Nintendo
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Nintendo 3DS Specs. Leaked…

3DS is powered by twin ARM11 CPUs clocked at a relatively meagre 266MHz, while overall system storage (sans SD card) is 1.5GB. Onboard RAM is 64MB, with 4MB of video memory. DMP’s PICA-200 graphics chip is said to be running at a relatively lightweight 133MHz.

That’s two CPUs from the original iPhone running at a combined speed which is slightly less than its original single ARM11 was running at.

The GPU is a classic, in many ways. Classic as it has some neat hardware features I have noted before. But also because it is old. And under-clocked.

The RAM is the same as shipped in the original iPhone too.

But the VRAM is a fraction of what iPhone devs. got to play with on the 2G.

This is a typically quirky Japanese peice of hardware. I wouldn’t mind playing with one. Three chips is always more fun than two!

But it will take work to get anything epic out of this thing.

Posted: September 22nd, 2010
Categories: Nintendo, Technical Specs
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Apple to Surpass Nintendo as Portable Game Leader

Consumer data from Newzoo’s International Gamers Survey 2010 shows that Apple’s iOS devices have entered the major league of the portable gaming market.

Of the 77 million Americans playing games on mobile phones and portable Apple devices, 40.1 million do so on the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. That is comparable to the number of Nintendo DS and DSi gamers aged 10 years and up: 41.0 million.

An interesting thing about those numbers is that there is obviously some overlap, which they touch on later in the report. Horses for courses? Or just utter geeks who own all the toys available on the market?

Sony’s PSP is played by 18.0 million Americans.

Sony’s PSP, in its current incarnation, is dead.

Two-thirds of PSP and iPad gamers play games on their portable device at least three days a week compared to approximately fifty percent for the DS, DSi, iPhone and iPod Touch.

The share of paying players is significantly higher for the Nintendo (67%) and Sony devices (66%) compared to iPod Touch / iPhone (45%) and iPad (32%).

Do Sony or Nintendo do any free games?

When you read these figures, and then shortly afterwards read the recent survey on worldwide mobile OS market share, the world of Nokia, Sony, Nintendo and just about any mobile device manufacturer has a big Apple shaped cloud hanging over it.

The majority of the 160 million Americans playing computer games do so on multiple platforms depending on time of day, social setting and mood.

Gaming is now something that people do while commuting, in a boring meeting and on the loo.. as well as sprawled on the sofa in-front of a 42″ Plazma at home.

Posted: September 15th, 2010
Categories: Analysis, Apple, Nintendo, Sony, iPhone OS, iPod, ipad, iphone
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