Nintendo DS becomes best selling system ever in U.S.

 

47 million. That’s the number of Nintendo DS systems that Nintendo has sold since November 2004 making it the biggest selling system ever in North America. That total includes the original “fat” DS, the DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL systems. Quite an impressive number but not shocking considering the wide audience of the device.

I wonder if the Nintendo 3DS sales will be included in that figure when it launches in March or will it start it’s own tally? We’ll see.

During 2010 Nintendo also reached another milestone, they sold more than 7 million Wii consoles in the U.S. for the third consecutive year.

Pokemon Black and White versions arriving March 6 in North America

 

Write March 6, 2011 down on your calendars Pokemaniacs!

That’s the day that Pokemon Black and Pokemon White will be arriving simultaneously for the DS in North America according to Nintendo.

Like most Pokemon releases Black and White will be slightly different and include unique characters and locations. Pokemon Black occurs in a metropolitan location titled Black City while Pokemon White features a lush green area called White Forest. 150 new characters make their debut, but Reshiram will be exclusive to Black while Zekrom is exclusive to White.

Also, for the first time ever changing seasons will affect the Pokemon game world, making certain areas only accessible during specific times of the year. Rare creatures will become easier to obtain during certain seasons as well adding a new dynamic to the collectable franchise.

Check out the Pokemon Black and White Screenshot Gallery

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation trailer and release date

 

It looks like Square Enix’s latest Dragon Quest remake will be arriving on the Nintendo DS on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2011.

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation previously unavailable outside of Japan finally makes it’s way to North America shores completing the trilogy of Dragon Quest DS remakes: DQ IV, V, and VI.

Originally released 15 years ago on Japan’s Super Famicom and titled Realms of Reverie, DQVI features 15 character classes that you can switch between, even letting monsters like Slimes join your party.

If it’s anything like the previous Dragon Quest remakes for the DS, you can expect numerous enhancements and character options. Nintendo promises updated graphics from the original Super Famicom release.

So you have just over six weeks to wrap up Dragon Quest IX before this one hits. Get cracking!

Check out the Dragon Quest VI Screenshot Gallery

Nintendo DSi and DSi XL Get $20 Price Drop

If the new Xbox Live price increase has got you down, you’ll be pleased to know that the “Big N” is more merciful on your wallet.

Starting September 12, Nintendo will be cutting the price of the DSi and DS XL down $20 to make them more affordable for the holiday season.

The DSi drops from $170 to $150. The DS XL drops from $190 to $170.

“We know shoppers want to get the maximum value out of every dollar they spend,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Our new Nintendo DSi prices make it easier than ever for consumers to access the tremendous variety of games, applications and social tools on the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL systems.”

Buy the DSi and DSi XL at Amazon.

de Blob 2: The Underground paints the 360, PS3, Wii and DS in Spring 2011

In case you missed it during all the E3 noise, THQ announced de Blob 2: The Underground, a sequel to 2008′s Wii exclusive de Blob.

Even better de Blob is going multiplatform so now 360 and PS3 owners will be able to paint the town in glorious HD. In addition, a separate 2D side-scrolling de Blob is being developed for the Nintendo DS.

Developer Blue Tongue promises a full single-player campaign and several multiplayer modes, like a new Co-op mode that lets two players paint Prisma City together.

The original de Blob is still one the best third-party titles on the Wii and if ever there was a game that begs to be in HD, it’s this one.

de Blob 2: The Underground will be arriving in Spring 2011 on the Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3.

Nintendo E3 2010 Press Conference Impressions

At 9 am sharp this morning Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage in Nintendo’s E3 press conference and preceded to announce game after game aimed straight at the hearts of Nintendo’s longtime fans. He was merciless and quite frankly, he kicked my ass.

And then he took my name.

It’s what Reggie does best, though in recent years gamers felt left out due to Nintendo’s catering to the casual crowd.

Today there was no question who Nintendo wanted to please, it’s fans. Gone were the self-congratulatory sales slides, replaced by trailers for games like Kid Icarus: Uprising and Donkey Kong Country Returns.

What follows are my game by game impressions of Nintendo’s E3 press conference. You can also read my Twitter for more.

The show started off with Shigeru Miyamoto unveiling The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. It’s another mature Link game for the Wii that uses the Wii MotionPlus for a sword and the nunchuk for your shield. The combat was different from Twilight Princess. While I was hoping for a return to the Wind Waker look, I was happy with what I saw. They showed a new weapon for Link, the whip, which I imagine will be implemented in clever ways with the Wiimote. It releases next year.

Next was Mario Sports Mix for Wii featuring basketball, volleyball, ice hockey and dodgeball. Why did it take this long for Nintendo to think this one up. Mario + Sports = more money than you can count. also coming next year.

Wii Party, another Mii minigame collection was shown and it’ll probably do great even though I’m not that interested. Holiday 2010 release.

They announced Just Dance 2, which again isn’t my bag, but will probably sell more copies than (insert your favorite game here). It will include 40+ songs and up to eight people can play. Holiday 2010 on the Wii.

A trailer for Golden Sun: Dark Sun for the DS was shown. I never played the other Golden Sun DS game so I don’t have much of an opinion.

Speaking of golden . . . Reggie announced a Wii version of GoldenEye 007! Apparently it’s a remake of the N64 GoldenEye game with Daniel Craig replacing Pierce Brosnan. It features multiplayer with 8 classic Bond characters and comes out this holiday.

Warren Specter showed Epic Mickey which looks absolutely awesome. Part of me still wants it on the 360 or PS3 in HD, but those feelings go away when I see it in action. The last good Mickey game was Castle of Illusion on the Sega Genesis when I was in high school. They showed a black & white 2D Steamboat Willie level that looked like a classic side-scroller. Brilliant. I can’t wait to play this.

Kirby is back in Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Wii. Wow, he hasn’t had a game on a home console in seven years? I didn’t realize that. Epic Yarn has a unique artstyle that utilizes a yarn pulling mechanic with the wiimote. It’s really hard to explain with words but it looks like it works. Also out this holiday.

They touched on Dragon Quest IX for the DS which comes out July 11 in North America. I’m a little afraid to start the game after Reggie talked about a player logging 140 hours into it and is “just getting started”. Numbers like that frighten me these days. I will make time for it though.

Metroid: Other M was shown next. It looks like a traditional Metroid game in some ways, but totally different in others. I think it has the potential to be utterly fantastic or very disappointing. I don’t think there’s much middle ground. Metroid fans are a tough crowd and I remember the negativity Metroid: Prime got before anyone played it. Now it will be amusing to hear people complain that Other M isn’t like Metroid: Prime. You can’t please everybody. You can try it for yourself on August 31st.

Retro Studios have been working on Donkey Kong Country Returns. The gameplay looks just the the side-scrolling SNES Donkey Kong Country games from the 90′s. The best part is that it’s due out this year on the Wii. A great surprise.

Here’s what we were waiting for, Satoru Iwata revealed the Nintendo 3DS handheld system. From a distance it looks just like a DS but close up the differences are obvious. Nintendo was smart to include an adjustable depth slider for the 3D effect on the side. I wouldn’t have thought of that so I guess that’s why they make the big bucks. It takes 3D photos, has a 3.5 inch screen on top, and includes a gyroscope. Apparently it can also play 3D Hollywood movies like How To Train Your Dragon which is mind-boggling. By the way, the stills of people wearing 3D glasses during Reggie’s presentation were priceless. You can read about the full specs at Nintendo’s E3 site.

Jaws dropped when a trailer for Kid Icarus: Uprising was shown. It’s been rumored for so long that it’s almost surreal to actually see it. For the past five E3′s fans would predict the announcement of a Kid Icarus game and it never came true. This year, I didn’t hear anyone suggest it and lo and behold here it is. It doesn’t look anything like the last Kid Icarus game, but that was 24 years ago so how could it. It’s for the 3DS but graphically it looks like a Wii game. The 3DS must be much more powerful that the current DS.

Overall Thoughts

Nintendo had the best E3 showing they’ve had in years today. The unveiling of the 3DS was an undeniable success, people were talking about it all day and the line just to see it was over a mile long in. Add the flood of games announced for Nintendo fans and you’d be hard pressed to be disappointed.

I was skeptical of Nintendo’s chances going in, but they surprised me and reminded me why I play games. Because they make me happy.

Next up is Sony’s turn to shine.

You can read my impressions of the Microsoft E3 2010 Press Conference HERE.

Rock Band 3 Coming Holiday 2010

 

After teasing us last week with a Rock Band 3 logo in the demo for Green Day: Rock Band, Harmonix today officially confirmed that Rock Band 3 will be arriving later this year on all current home consoles.

According to Harmonix -

Rock Band 3 will have an incredible 83-song setlist, as well as support for the over 1,500 existing Rock Band tracks (Rock Band and Rock Band 2 discs, DLC, track packs, AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track PackLEGO Rock Band, and Green Day: Rock Band). 

In development for two years, Rock Band 3 brings two major additions to the franchise: Pro Mode and Keyboard support.

Pro Mode allows you to actually learn how to play an instrument while playing Rock Band 3 thanks to tutorials with varible difficulty. For example, playing the guitar in Pro Mode does away with the 5 colored squares on the screen and replaces them with numbers telling you where on the fretboard to place your fingers. However, an optional Fender Squier Stratocaster controller is required to play guitar in Pro Mode. This guitar made specifically for Rock Band 3 “can tell where your fingers are based on technology in the neck and the bridge of the guitar”.

The other notable addition is the inclusion of a new instrument, the keyboard. Rock Band 3‘s keyboard controller is a fully functional 25-key MIDI keyboard that features an interactive “touch-strip”. The game’s on-screen keyboard track features the actual keyboard keys used in the song, meaning that if you were to play the same notes on a real piano you would be playing the song. Cool indeed.

USA Today did a preview feature on Rock Band 3 that showcases many of it’s new features:

 

Rock Band 3 looks to be the most sizable leap for music rhythm games in years and I can’t wait to bring it home later this year. 

Rock Band 3 will be available Holiday 2010 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii. A version for the Nintendo DS is also being developed.

You can read the announced setlist thus far for Rock Band 3 below:

Rock Band 3 Track List

2000s:

  • Metric – “Combat Baby”
  • Rilo Kiley – “Portions for Foxes”
  • Them Crooked Vultures – “Dead End Friends”
  • The Vines – “Get Free”
  • The White Stripes – “The Hardest Button to Button”
  • Phoenix – “Lasso”
  • Ida Maria – “Oh My God”
  • Juanes – “Me Enamora”

1990s:

  • Jane’s Addiction – “Been Caught Stealing”
  • Stone Temple Pilots – “Plush”
  • Smash Mouth – “Walkin’ on the Sun”
  • Spacehog – “In the Meantime”

1980s:

  • Dio – “Rainbow in the Dark”
  • Huey Lewis and the News – “The Power of Love”
  • Joan Jett – “I Love Rock and Roll”
  • Night Ranger – “Sister Christian”
  • Whitesnake – “Here I Go Again”
  • The Cure – “Just Like Heaven”
  • Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Train”

1970s:

  • Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

1960s:

  • Jimi Hendrix – “Crosstown Traffic”
  • The Doors – “Break On Through”

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Travels To 2099

 

Okay Activision. Now I’m interested.

This latest trailer for Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions reveals the third of four alternate dimensions that will appear in the game. If you remember, the last trailer in March introduced the first two dimensions: Amazing and Noir. Well, now you can prepare to go 89 years into the future because Spider-Man is going to 2099.

If you’re a life-long Spider-Man fan like me then you hopefully remember the early-90′s comic book run of Spider-Man 2099. If not then let me refresh your memory.

Spider-Man 2099 was an alternate universe version of the character set in a futuristic New York in 2099. Peter Parker is no longer around so Miguel O’Hara, a geneticist, is that era’s version of Spider-Man. Many classic Spidey villains appeared updated and with different origins during the series.

I remember the 2009 comics having great stories and this just upgrades this game to a definite purchase for me.

Some other interesting news, each of the four dimensions will have a different voice actor playing Spider-man. Dan Gilzevan (Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends) will voice Spider-Man 2099 and Christopher Daniel Barnes (Spider-Man: The Animated Series) will do the Noir time period. Here’s hoping Neil Patrick Harris will voice one of the other eras.

So where is the fourth and final dimension that Spider-man will be crawling around in? Hopefully we’ll find out at E3 2010.

New Games This Week: Final Fantasy XIII Edition

Final Fantasy XIII

This week’s monster release is the long awaited Final Fantasy XIII for the PS3 and Xbox 360. JRPG fans will no doubt be calling in sick as this is a 30+ hour game requiring their immediate attention. 

Which version is better? Personally, I went with it on the PS3 because I prefer the controller for long RPG’s, but I’m sure the 360 version will be great. Plus, the 360 even gets an exclusive Limited Edition Final Fantasy XIII Elite Bundle!

I don’t have as much time as I once did to play epic RPG’s, but I always make time for the numbered Final Fantasy releases and I haven’t been let down yet.

Other notable droppings this week are Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (360 & PS3), Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver (Nintendo DS) and the Bioshock 2: Sinclair Solutions Test Pack DLC for Xbox LIVE and PSN.

Assassin’s Creed II comes out for the PC and features exclusive DRM nightmare chaos.

The full list of new releases can be found after the break.

Xbox 360

Final Fantasy XIII

Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition

Scrap Metal (XBLA)

Bioshock 2: Sinclair Solutions Test Pack (Xbox LIVE DLC Available March 11)

Deal of the Week: Call of Duty: World at War Map Pack Bundle (Xbox LIVE)

Guitar Hero 5 / Band Hero: OK Go Track Pack (Xbox LIVE)

Rock Band: The White Stripes Pack 02 & individual tracks (Xbox LIVE)

 

PS3

Final Fantasy XIII

Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition

Yakuza 3

Bioshock 2: Sinclair Solutions Test Pack (PSN DLC March 11)

Dragon Age: Origins – Return to Ostagar

Mega Man 10 (PSN)

Rocket Racing (PSP Mini)

Guitar Hero 5 / Band Hero: OK Go Track Pack (PSN)

Rock Band: The White Stripes Pack 02 & Individual tracks (PSN) 

 

Nintendo Wii

Calling

Racquet Sports

Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space (Season Two)

Final Fantasy II ( SNES version for the Virtual Console. It’s really Final Fantasy IV though)

Dracula – Undead Awakening (WiiWare)

Max & The Magic Marker (WiiWare)

Guitar Hero / Band Hero: OK Go Track Pack

Rock Band: The White Stripes Pack 02 & individual tracks

 

Nintendo DS

The Daring Game for Girls

Foto Showdown (DSi only)

Pokemon HeartGold / SoulSilver

4 Travellers – Play spanish (DSiWare)

Dracula – Undead Awakening (DSiWare)

Elemental Masters (DSiWare)

Flips: The Bubonic Builders (DSiWare)

 

Sony PSP

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (Portable)

 

PC

Assassin’s Creed II

Sam & Max: Beyond Time & Space (Season Two)

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva Movie Trailer

I’m an unapologetic fan of the Professor Layton series. Therefore, here’s the trailer for the Japanese theatrical release Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva. Unfortunately, right now it’s only scheduled for release in Japan but hopefully a version will come to North America on DVD. That or I’m going to have to learn Japanese fast.

If not we still have Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box for the Nintendo DS coming on August 24.