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Shinjuku Dungeon makes a train station into an RPG ⊟

Well this looks great. Shinjuku Dungeon by Daisuke Uehara builds a retro-style RPG from the real-life floor plan of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station. What a clever idea! 

If I recall correctly, Shinjuku Station is pretty much a nightmare of identical-looking space, so it’s good for a tile-based RPG. I can’t vouch for the quality of this iOS/Android game, but luckily I don’t have to, because it’s free. Via @mulboyne.

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Finally, Nintendo’s mobile plans make sense ⊟

Nintendo going all out with mobile game development? Probably not going to happen. Making “minigames” for iPhones and Androids? Just a rumor, folks.

But this is actually happening, and it’s sure to reverse Nintendo’s fortunes around. Expect president Satoru Iwata to announce this new mobile initiative at the top of the company’s imminent investors’ briefing: Pikmin stands that can hold up your smartphone (or a strawberry if you are so inclined).

San-ei is selling these sets — along with other cute items, like a Pikmin bin that I must have — for ¥1,260 (around $12) in Japan. Via Nintendotweet!

BUY Pikmin 3, upcoming games
  • Source nintendotweet

Aksys puts Banshee’s Last Cry on iOS ⊟

Don’t take my slowness in posting this as a lack of enthusiasm! I’m super impressed that Aksys has translated the iOS version of Kamaitachi no Yoru, a Sound Novel by Chunsoft first released to the Super Famicom in 1994.

"While staying at a hotel around a ski resort, vacationers find themselves caught up in a murderous “whodunit” game when a guest winds up dead. With the lodge completely snowed in and no escape, they will have to use all their cunning to solve this mystery and protect themselves from being the next victim! Local legend tells of a banshee whose screams can rip through flesh, but, is the killer really a deadly monster or the work of a madman?”

It’s worth noting that the game was written by Takemaru Abiko and directed by Kazuya Asano, both of whom recently worked on Guild01's The Starship Damrey — you can grab that on the 3DS eShop.

Multiple endings are available, choose your own adventure style, and as the “sound novel” genre suggests, the reading is accompanied by spooky audio.

I think iOS is the perfect format for this. I’m reading junk on my phone all the time anyway – I’m way into the idea of reading a scary interactive story on here. It’s $3.99 on the App Store.

BUY Virtue's Last Reward & 999, upcoming games

Pokémon Origins comes to Pokemon TV app in November ⊟

The Pokémon Origins series, a four-part retelling of the original Pokémon story starring Red (who is totally not Ash because of reasons [please don’t explain them]), will premiere in English through the Pokémon TV mobile app on November 15.

Kinda weird timing, with Pokémon X and Y coming out right before this and introducing new everythings, but I’m not going to look this gift (Pokémon that looks like a horse, I don’t remember) in the mouth. 

PREORDER Pokemon X and Y, upcoming releases
Shin Megami Tensei IV Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Project X Zone The Legend of Zelda 3DS Animal Crossing: New Leaf Pokemon X and Y Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale Bugs vs Tanks! The Starship Damrey

When was mobile gaming supposed to kill handhelds again?

'Cause it doesn't look like it's happening in 2013.

BUY Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles, upcoming releases

Pokémon TV app for smartphones, tablets

Expanding its mobile presence, The Pokémon Company has put out a new iOS and Android app allowing fans to watch episodes of the Pokémon anime for free. The app rotates 50+ episodes each week from the series’ previous 15 seasons. It will also have movies, special features, animated shorts, and trailers.

It would be nice if there was an app as robust for 3DS owners, but since there’s not, we can at least enjoy the Valentine’s Day episode of Dinosaur Office that hit Nintendo Video yesterday.

PREORDER Pokemon X and Y, other upcoming releases
  • Source Wired
Nintendo combining hardware teams
Starting next month, Nintendo will combine its console (130 engineers) and handheld (150 engineers) teams into one group that will work together, share their knowledge, and optimize their development processes, according to a Nikkei report.
The company aims to bolster connectivity between its portable and home systems, as well as improve online features. Nintendo also looks to speed up its hardware development cycle to match those of tablets and smartphones — so it’s possible we could see even faster console updates (or new console releases) as a result of this change!
BUY Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles, upcoming releasesIMAGE VIA Robert Jonasson

Nintendo combining hardware teams

Starting next month, Nintendo will combine its console (130 engineers) and handheld (150 engineers) teams into one group that will work together, share their knowledge, and optimize their development processes, according to a Nikkei report.

The company aims to bolster connectivity between its portable and home systems, as well as improve online features. Nintendo also looks to speed up its hardware development cycle to match those of tablets and smartphones — so it’s possible we could see even faster console updates (or new console releases) as a result of this change!

BUY Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles, upcoming releases
IMAGE VIA Robert Jonasson
  • Source gamasutra.com
Pokédex app coming to iPhones and iPads in Japan tomorrow. I know Nintendo has vowed not to bring its games to smartphones, but this isn’t as big a surprise as you’d think — it isn’t the first iOS app The Pokemon Company (a Nintendo subsidiary) has put out, and it’s not like these releases are anything like the real games. Also remember that the last app never released outside Japan.
The iOS Pokédex is initially cheaper than the $15 Pokédex 3D Pro app on eShop. It’s ¥170 ($2) to get the iOS edition with Unova Pokémon, but getting data for the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh regions will cost an extra ¥500 ($6) each. You could buy a real Pokedéx with that money!
Buy: Pokemon Black/White Version 2, Pokemon ConquestSee also: More Pokemon news and media
[Via ColtraineGF]

Pokédex app coming to iPhones and iPads in Japan tomorrow. I know Nintendo has vowed not to bring its games to smartphones, but this isn’t as big a surprise as you’d think — it isn’t the first iOS app The Pokemon Company (a Nintendo subsidiary) has put out, and it’s not like these releases are anything like the real games. Also remember that the last app never released outside Japan.

The iOS Pokédex is initially cheaper than the $15 Pokédex 3D Pro app on eShop. It’s ¥170 ($2) to get the iOS edition with Unova Pokémon, but getting data for the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh regions will cost an extra ¥500 ($6) each. You could buy a real Pokedéx with that money!

Buy: Pokemon Black/White Version 2, Pokemon Conquest
See also: More Pokemon news and media [Via ColtraineGF]
So, I guess mobile gaming isn’t killing the 3DS after all? This chart comes from analyst Matt Matthews, who argues that Nintendo’s core handheld market is stable:

"So the big picture here is that the rise of the mobile gaming market … is largely the emigration of consumers who stopped in briefly to play Nintendo’s hardware but had no long-term interest in that kind of platform.
Nintendo’s core market is still intact, and they are still growing their market. The explosive growth of gaming on mobile platforms could mostly be additive to the overall market, without threatening Nintendo.”

This echoes what many have been saying for some time now. As for the PS Vita…
Buy: Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consolesSee also: On the death of handheld gaming & the 3DS

So, I guess mobile gaming isn’t killing the 3DS after all? This chart comes from analyst Matt Matthews, who argues that Nintendo’s core handheld market is stable:

"So the big picture here is that the rise of the mobile gaming market … is largely the emigration of consumers who stopped in briefly to play Nintendo’s hardware but had no long-term interest in that kind of platform.

Nintendo’s core market is still intact, and they are still growing their market. The explosive growth of gaming on mobile platforms could mostly be additive to the overall market, without threatening Nintendo.”

This echoes what many have been saying for some time now. As for the PS Vita…

Buy: Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles
See also: On the death of handheld gaming & the 3DS
"I want a real life Game Boy phone" by Lamar Abrams.
Buy: Game Boy cases for your iPhoneSee also: More comics from Lamar Abrams[Via neo_rama]

"I want a real life Game Boy phone" by Lamar Abrams.

Buy: Game Boy cases for your iPhone
See also: More comics from Lamar Abrams
[Via neo_rama]

Tribute Games’ wonderful Breakout/RPG hybrid Wizorb is now available for iPhones and iPads, which means so is our mascot Tiny, who makes a cameo in the game.

I can’t believe how many platforms Tiny has now appeared on because of Wizorb — Xbox Live Indie Games, Windows/Mac, PlayStation Network, and now iPhones!

It’s a fantastic game that combines brick breaking with a fantasy RPG. And it has a charming retro look from Paul Robertson, maker of rad pixelart and animations.

Buy: Wizorb for Windows/Mac/Linux
See also: More Wizorb posts

[Investors are] telling Nintendo to trade their best players because of a down season. Nintendo’s real treasure isn’t the hardware or even the software, per se. It’s the good will, brand awareness, and nostalgia associated with their top games.

Nintendo has more console exclusives than any other device manufacturer, and they’re going to keep it that way for as long as they can, investors (hopefully) be damned.

TechCrunch’s John Biggs drops some real talk on the investors and analysts pressuring Nintendo to bring its major franchises to smartphones (beyond The Pokemon Company’s iOS/Android app recently released in Japan).

Maybe it’s because I follow news on the company so closely, but analysts, investors, and even gamers who make these sort of droll demands seem so out of touch with Nintendo’s strengths and identity.

Preorder: Nintendo 3DS (Flame Red, Black, & Blue)

Find: Nintendo DS/3DS release dates, discounts, & more

See also: On the death of handheld gaming & the 3DS

[Via TechCrunch]