Nintendo Land

This mini-game collection does a better job of entertaining than explaining the Wii U - and it shows a forgotten side to Nintendo, too.

Key events

It was far from an auspicious start. Before Nintendo Land was debuted in the Nokia Theater at 2012's E3 conference, there was a small momentum gathering behind the Wii U: this was the console that would take the company back to its core audience after its mainstream dalliance with the Wii, the homecoming that would see it take the fight to Microsoft and Sony as it moved away from mini-game compilations and returned to the more traditional, hard-edged propositions that had forged its reputation.

Nintendo announces three new Wii U hardware bundles

Nintendo announces three new Wii U hardware bundles

UPDATE: Nintendo selling them for 250 each.

UPDATE: The Nintendo Store lists the Wii U Mario & Luigi Premium Pack for 249.99 (thanks, youhavenomail!).

There, the Wii Party U Basic Pack is also 249.99, as is the Just Dance 2014 Basic Pack.

ORIGINAL STORY: Nintendo has announced three new Wii U hardware bundles to launch in time for Christmas.

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Used game sales can be limited by making better games, Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime says

Used game sales can be limited by making better games, Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime says

Most traded in are "annualised" and "undifferentiated" games.

Developers can limit used game sales by simply making their games better, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime has suggested.

Fils-Aime pointed to the relatively low trade-in and resale market for Nintendo products as proof.

"We have been able to step back and say that we are not taking any technological means to impact trade-in and we are confident that if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games," Fils-Aime told Polygon.

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Miyamoto blames Wii U launch software delays on Nintendo's leap to next-gen

Miyamoto blames Wii U launch software delays on Nintendo's leap to next-gen

"Any time you have a big jump in the hardware technology it certainly takes the teams time."

Nintendo's top designer Shigeru Miyamoto has explained that its developers struggled with the hardware leap from Wii to Wii U, and that's why some of the console's initial software line-up has been a long time coming.

The Wii U launched with New Super Mario Bros. U and mini-game collection Nintendo Land, but other 'launch window' titles such as Pikmin 3, Game & Wario and The Wonderful 101 have yet to arrive. It's especially surprising as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was Nintendo's only blockbuster Wii release in the last two years of that console's life.

"Any time you have a big jump in the hardware technology it certainly takes the teams time to learn that and adjust their development environment in order to adapt to those big changes," Miaymoto told GamesIndustry International.

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Nintendo announces bigger Wii U GamePad battery in Japan

Nintendo announces bigger Wii U GamePad battery in Japan

Plus a new White 32GB Wii U, Nintendo Land bundles and Wii Remote charge kit.

Nintendo of Japan has revealed a slew of new Wii U hardware items, including a beefier battery for the console's touchscreen GamePad.

The new 2,550mAh battery model has double the power of the original. You'll get up to eight hours of play on just one charge, but will need to manually install the thing yourself.

Next up on Nintendo's list of goodies is a White-coloured 32GB Wii U Premium. Nintendo had previously reserved the White colour simply for Basic models of the console - although these have sold poorly in comparison to the Black-coloured Premium.

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Asda drops Wii U price to just 149/199

UPDATE: Amazon UK, follow suit.

UPDATE: Online retail giant Amazon has matched Asda's latest price drop for the Basic Wii U model, and cut the console's cost to just 149. The Wii U's Premium version has yet to have its price changed, however.

Nintendo makes surprise profit despite lower than expected Wii U sales

Nintendo makes surprise profit despite lower than expected Wii U sales

Currency exchange gains push results into the black.

Nintendo has missed its revised sales targets and shifted just 3.45 million Wii U consoles worldwide - but still made a surprise profit for the financial year.

The company had originally expected to sell 5.5 million Wii U consoles by the end of March 2013, a figure already slimmed down to 4 million in January.

Company-wide, Nintendo recorded poorer sales than last year, when the company made its historic first ever loss. It avoided a repeat performance entirely due to currency exchange gains, which pushed an otherwise disappointing result to 7 billion yen (46 million) in the black.

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Nintendo: no plans for Wii U price cut

"I would like to make this absolutely clear."

Nintendo has no plans to drop the price of its struggling Wii U console, it has announced, despite early sales being poorer than predicted.

Nintendo cuts Wii U sales forecast by 1.5 million, says console having "a negative impact on profits"

Nintendo has cut the number of Wii U consoles and games it reckons it will sell this year, after lower than expected sales over the Christmas period.

The company's much-trumpeted target of 5.5 million Wii U consoles has been reduced to 4 million by the financial year's end.

Nintendo previously predicted it would sell 24 million Wii U games in the same time-frame, a number that has been reduced to 16 million.

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UK chart: Wii U exclusives absent from top 40 for third week running

The first UK games chart of 2013 shows another week of no Wii U-exclusive titles in the top 40.

It's the third week in a row this has happened. The last time a Wii U-only game was spotted in the top 40 was the week ending 15th December, when Nintendo Land was 39th.

A week earlier, Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U were 26th and 35th respectively. A week before that, when the Wii U launched, Nintendo Land was 11th and New Super Mario Bros. U 14th. The brilliant ZombiU made its only top 40 appearance at 17th back then.

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It would be easy to dismiss Nintendo Land. It's a mini-game collection, a handful of tech demos, a pack-in with the Wii U's Premium bundle. It's the equivalent of Wii Sports.

FeatureDiscovering the Wii U's third space

How Mario Chase reveals the magic behind Nintendo's new console.

Nothing quite beats the thrill of the first day with a console. It's a little like a first date; endless days of anticipation leading into a few hours that combine awkwardness and nervous excitement - and if the stars are aligned it's all full of the promise of years of happiness together.

Wii U midnight launch plans detailed, two free games for first 100 customers

Nintendo has announced details of the Wii U's midnight UK launch, which will be held at HMV's flagship Oxford Street store in London.

Doors open at 11pm on Thursday, 29th November. The first 100 people in the queue will get New Super Mario Bros. U and another selected game free.

The next 100 people will get 5 off Wii U hardware or software during the event. The first 500 people will all receive goody bags.

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Nintendo Land review

Two days from Wii U's release in the US, and we still don't quite know what it is yet. We don't have a full picture of its features or its system software or how it will work online. We don't fully understand the digital glue that will stick this beefed-up HD Wii console to its GamePad tablet controller. It's a weird console.

So - in its early days, at least - the burden of explaining Wii U will have to be shouldered by Nintendo Land. Like Wii Sports and Wii Play before it, this mini-game collection is part party game, part tech demo, part game design propaganda. It's meant as much to illustrate the potential of a novel hardware set-up as it is to entertain family and friends. To be quite honest though, it's better at the latter than it is at the former. Nintendo Land is a weird game for a weird console.

Its cute conceit, presented with perfect polish and charm, is that it's a virtual amusement park dedicated to all things Nintendo. It's somewhere your Miis stroll and cavort, dressing up as Mario or Samus or Captain Olimar before jumping into playpens where Nintendo's colourful game worlds are recreated out of stitched cloth, painted metal and shiny plastic capsule toys. It's completely disarming.

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Wii U: Hunting for the star of the launch line-up

FeatureWii U: Hunting for the star of the launch line-up

Asymmetry and a focus on local multiplayer suggest great promise for Nintendo's new box of tricks.

Console launches can be tense affairs, can't they? First there's the worry about getting home from a midnight opening without being mugged by the bigger kids. Then there's the fear that the arrival of expensive new hardware will magically coincide with your rent going up and your wife walking out, landing you on the streets with an old paper bag for a house and no electrical sockets to plug your brand new Fairchild Channel F into.

More importantly, though, there's the software line-up. You've probably got a limited amount of money to spend - if you don't, incidentally, have I ever mentioned that I'm a bone marrow donor and I love receiving gifts? - and you want to make sure you end up with Twilight Princess rather than Red Steel. Nintendo showed off quite a few of its launch titles in Frankfurt earlier this week, and with Red Steel still fresh in my mind, I wandered around trying to spot potential winners - and also eating some of those weird menthol boiled sweets I can only ever find in Germany. Tangy!

Let's put aside the ports and the cross-platform stuff for the sake of this piece. The likes of Darksiders 2 and Mass Effect 3 look great, but the true star of any launch is going to be something console-specific, right? When Nintendo's involved, you can bet the true gems will probably be self-published, too, and sure enough there are two titles you should keep an eye on.

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FeatureSaturday Soapbox: Can Nintendo court the casuals again?

The Wii U's done a brilliant job of pleasing the hardcore, but it's going to have do more if it wants to succeed.

Do you remember the last time? When the Wii launched at the tail end of 2006, it was to an air of excited curiosity that went well beyond the borders of core gamers, with Nintendo conjuring what ran close to a full-blown phenomenon.

FeatureFearful Asymmetry? Assessing the Promise of the Wii U

Why Nintendo's 'new' idea might be a lot of fun.

Gaming's filled with long words these days. I'd just gotten used to 'asynchronous', for example - although I still can't spell it first go - and now here comes 'asymmetry' to mess me up even further. Asymmetrical gaming. It's straight over to autocorrect for that one, too. Damn you, double-m.

FeatureNintendo Land: Roll Up, Roll Up?

Wii U's marquee mini-game collection is good fun, but falls flat at E3.

It all started so well. The charming intro video of Shigeru Miyamoto and his Pikmin moistened the eyes of a few attendees overwrought by all of yesterday's throat-stabbing and dubstep. It heralded a look at a long-awaited and gorgeous sequel, and did our ears deceive us, or was the legendary game designer up on stage actually talking about deep game mechanics? This would be a different kind of E3 press conference from Nintendo!

Nintendo Land announced for Wii U

Nintendo Land announced for Wii U

12 Nintendo-themed mini-games.

Nintendo has announced Nintendo Land, a mini-game collection for Wii U which will be available at the console's launch.

The collection includes 12 titles, including multiplayer games The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest, Luigi's Ghost Mansion and Animal Crossing: Sweet Days.

Single-player games include Donkey Kong's Crash Course and Takamaru's Ninja Castle - one of the tech demos from last year's E3.

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