Tiny Cartridge 3DS

Nintendo included its HQ building in this company guide ⊟

Before Mario posted photos from Nintendo’s beautiful company guide book for 2013, including these shots for a fold-out section. The pages mimic the drab, window-dominated exterior of Nintendo’s headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.

What’s great is you can prop the book up and pull the pages out to form the cube building. And you can peek over the top at what goes on behind those boring windows, to see employees having fun at work, creating colorful and exciting games. Check out the cartridge art prototypes!

The photos also showcase another point Nintendo is emphasizing lately — that the company is striving to create a gender-diverse workplace. I’d love to get a hold of one of these books, but Nintendo only hands them out to potential employees who pass the company’s initial application process. Via Sergio!

SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!
  • Source blog.beforemario.com
Analogue Interactive’s high-end aluminum Famicom/NES ⊟
Analogue Interactive, the company behind the gorgeous wooden Neo Geo systems, is doing something I’ve never seen before: a luxury NES/Famicom. The Analogue Nt is being put forward as an NES for “audiophiles” and “videophiles,” the “highest quality way to experience the NES and Famicom.”
And no, I don’t know what that means! I do know that it has four controller ports and a case built out of a solid piece of aluminum, along with hardware custom engineered by Analogue.
We’ll find out more when the company releases details at the end of the month. Being neither an engineer nor an audio/video-phile, I can’t speak to the meaning of a higher-end output of NES games, but I do think this thing looks cool and will be worth following up on.
SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!

Analogue Interactive’s high-end aluminum Famicom/NES ⊟

Analogue Interactive, the company behind the gorgeous wooden Neo Geo systems, is doing something I’ve never seen before: a luxury NES/Famicom. The Analogue Nt is being put forward as an NES for “audiophiles” and “videophiles,” the “highest quality way to experience the NES and Famicom.”

And no, I don’t know what that means! I do know that it has four controller ports and a case built out of a solid piece of aluminum, along with hardware custom engineered by Analogue.

We’ll find out more when the company releases details at the end of the month. Being neither an engineer nor an audio/video-phile, I can’t speak to the meaning of a higher-end output of NES games, but I do think this thing looks cool and will be worth following up on.

SUPPORT TINY CARTRIDGE Join Club Tiny!
What’s going on with third-party games for 3DS ⊟
Nintendo has had difficulty attracting third-party games — games produced by other developers and publishers — to its consoles for years now. The company’s president Satoru Iwata acknowledged that reputation at last week’s Investors’ Q&A, but he also shed some light on where Nintendo is at right now with courting other companies to make games for 3DS.
"If you consider the Japanese market, it is fair to say that the number one dedicated video game system that Japanese third-party publishers are focusing on is Nintendo 3DS," he said. "This is because Nintendo 3DS has an overwhelmingly strong presence in the hardware as well as software markets for dedicated game systems, meaning that it would be illogical not to do business on Nintendo 3DS, and we are cooperating with third-party publishers in a variety of ways as long as we can establish win-win relationships."
While the DS and 3DS have done a good job attracting major Japanese companies like Level-5 and Atlus, the same can’t be said in the West, where outside of a few small studios like Renegade Kid and WayForward, we don’t see much third-party development. Iwata argues that’s because most publishers on our side of the globe specialize in making games for high-end home consoles.

The executive believes that can change, though: “The fact that Nintendo 3DS has now sold over 10 million units in both the U.S. and Europe seems to be news for third-party publishers, and we have recently been receiving more proposals from third-party publishers.” But don’t expect that growing interest to immediately translate into a slew of releases. “While [publishers] are very interested in Nintendo 3DS, it appears that they are currently investigating what they want to develop on our platform,” Iwata added.
He also repeated Nintendo’s interest in publishing more third-party games from Japan in the West, similar to its arrangements with Square Enix for Bravely Default and Dragon Quest's DS releases: “We sometimes distribute, or even publish depending on the circumstances, games that were made by Japanese software publishers in the overseas markets, and you can expect to see more examples of this this year and the next.”
We’ve heard Nintendo make that promise before and deliver on it to a limited extent — hopefully we’ll see those efforts multiplied. The photo from E3 2010 used above, by the way, comes from Destructoid.
BUY Nintendo 2DS & 3DS/XL, upcoming games

What’s going on with third-party games for 3DS ⊟

Nintendo has had difficulty attracting third-party games — games produced by other developers and publishers — to its consoles for years now. The company’s president Satoru Iwata acknowledged that reputation at last week’s Investors’ Q&A, but he also shed some light on where Nintendo is at right now with courting other companies to make games for 3DS.

"If you consider the Japanese market, it is fair to say that the number one dedicated video game system that Japanese third-party publishers are focusing on is Nintendo 3DS," he said. "This is because Nintendo 3DS has an overwhelmingly strong presence in the hardware as well as software markets for dedicated game systems, meaning that it would be illogical not to do business on Nintendo 3DS, and we are cooperating with third-party publishers in a variety of ways as long as we can establish win-win relationships."

While the DS and 3DS have done a good job attracting major Japanese companies like Level-5 and Atlus, the same can’t be said in the West, where outside of a few small studios like Renegade Kid and WayForward, we don’t see much third-party development. Iwata argues that’s because most publishers on our side of the globe specialize in making games for high-end home consoles.

Read more

  • Source destructoid.com
Small victory for homebrew software in Europe ⊟
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that it’s legal to circumvent encryption systems on your video game console, so long as you’re not doing it to play pirated games. So if you were to use unauthorized devices to run media programs or homebrew games, you won’t be breaking the law.
This issue came up in a lawsuit between Nintendo and Italian retailer PC Box, the latter of which had been bundling DSes and Wiis with devices that bypassed the consoles’ encryption security. PC Box was able to successfully argue that those devices enabled users to run unauthorized software (e.g. MoonShell media player, Homebrew Channel).
[[MORE]]
Courthouse News Service noted:

European law expressly permits right holders to use technology to protect their copyrighted material ‘without preventing the normal operation of electronic equipment and its technological development.’
The Luxembourg-based high court acknowledged Thursday that Nintendo has right to copy-protect its games but said the company ‘must not go beyond what is necessary for this purpose.’
To determine that, the Italian court must look at whether encryption codes installed on both consoles and games is overkill by Nintendo, according to the ruling.”

That doesn’t mean PC Box is off the hook, as a court in Milan will now investigate how often the retailer’s customers used their bundled devices to run bootlegged games versus homebrew software. It will also look at how often the devices in question are used for piracy purposes versus homebrew apps/games.
Nintendo responded to the ruling in a statement:

"Since Nintendo only ever utilizes technological protection measures which are both necessary and proportionate to prevent widespread piracy of its intellectual property, and since the preponderant purpose of the circumvention devices marketed by PC Box is to enable piracy of legitimate video games, Nintendo is confident that the application of the guidance set out by the CJEU relating to proportionality will enable the Milan Tribunal to determine that the sale of circumvention devices is unlawful."
"In the meantime, Nintendo maintains that the commercial dealings in circumvention devices infringe copyright laws as well as other intellectual property laws and Nintendo will continue to pursue those involved in the distribution of such devices."

This ruling comes shortly after a hacker demonstrated progress in running homebrew software on Nintendo 3DSes (and a week after someone else shared instructions for a risky way to play games from other regions), which hasn’t been possible for most system owners due to the handheld’s aggressive anti-piracy protections.
However, flashcard manufacturers and piracy advocates have kept up the pace with their own developments on the 3DS, recently showing off new capabilities for running multiple bootlegged games on a flashcard.
BUY Nintendo 2DS & 3DS/XL, upcoming games

Small victory for homebrew software in Europe ⊟

The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that it’s legal to circumvent encryption systems on your video game console, so long as you’re not doing it to play pirated games. So if you were to use unauthorized devices to run media programs or homebrew games, you won’t be breaking the law.

This issue came up in a lawsuit between Nintendo and Italian retailer PC Box, the latter of which had been bundling DSes and Wiis with devices that bypassed the consoles’ encryption security. PC Box was able to successfully argue that those devices enabled users to run unauthorized software (e.g. MoonShell media player, Homebrew Channel).

Read more

  • Source gbatemp.net

Neat Zelda, Nintendo shirts from Threadless ⊟

These two shirts from Threadless – “It’s Dangerous to Go Alone, Take This" and "A Pixel of My Own" both manage to make nice, wearable designs out of t-shirt subject matter I usually roll my eyes at.

Like, when was the last time a “haha Zelda reference” shirt was actually cool?

PREORDER The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, upcoming games

Limited edition Zelda 3DS & Earthbound labels for… NES controllers? ⊟

This is weird but neat (a common theme for our site): that gold/black design Nintendo used for its limited edition Zelda 3DS and Wii U systems can now be purchased as a skin for an NES controller. There’s also a Mother/Earthbound design — red buttons/pad presumably not included!

GamerGrafx says the peel and stick decals are “precision cut to the exact dimensions of the original NES controller” and feature “a weatherproof glodd polyester material.” The labels are $9.99 each.

PREORDER The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, upcoming games
Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, 1927-2013 ⊟
Yamauchi took over his grandfather’s hanafuda card company at the age of 22, driving its transformation into a thriving toy maker and then a video game powerhouse. During those transitions, he fostered inimitable talents at Nintendo like Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi, famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto, and the firm’s current president Satoru Iwata. 
Just as important, he instilled principles in the company that endure there today a decade after his retirement, emphasizing compelling software over powerful hardware, and pushing his employees to create unique experiences.

"What did Hiroshi Yamauchi care about? He couldn’t stand making the same kind of toy the other guy was making, so whatever you showed him, you knew he was going to ask, ‘How is this different from what everybody else is doing?’ The worst way to answer was to tell him, ‘It’s not different, it’s just a little better.’ He’d be furious. He was very clear on just how foolish that attitude was for a toy company."

- Iwata (excerpt from Osamu Onoue’s Nintendo Magic; image via Bagemu)
Yamauchi passed away today due to complications from pneumonia, just a year after his wife Michiko died. He is survived by his two daughters, Yoko and Fujiko, and his son Katsuhito.

Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, 1927-2013 ⊟

Yamauchi took over his grandfather’s hanafuda card company at the age of 22, driving its transformation into a thriving toy maker and then a video game powerhouse. During those transitions, he fostered inimitable talents at Nintendo like Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi, famed designer Shigeru Miyamoto, and the firm’s current president Satoru Iwata. 

Just as important, he instilled principles in the company that endure there today a decade after his retirement, emphasizing compelling software over powerful hardware, and pushing his employees to create unique experiences.

"What did Hiroshi Yamauchi care about? He couldn’t stand making the same kind of toy the other guy was making, so whatever you showed him, you knew he was going to ask, ‘How is this different from what everybody else is doing?’ The worst way to answer was to tell him, ‘It’s not different, it’s just a little better.’ He’d be furious. He was very clear on just how foolish that attitude was for a toy company."

- Iwata (excerpt from Osamu Onoue’s Nintendo Magic; image via Bagemu)

Yamauchi passed away today due to complications from pneumonia, just a year after his wife Michiko died. He is survived by his two daughters, Yoko and Fujiko, and his son Katsuhito.

Trust me, put an iPad Mini and a 3DS on a table next to each other, and most kids today will reach, if not jump, for the iPad. If you don’t see that as an existential threat for Nintendo, there’s nothing I can say that will change your mind.

A Nintendo that doesn’t make games for iOS is a Nintendo that doesn’t reach today’s kids; a Nintendo that doesn’t reach today’s kids is a Nintendo with no future.

Nintendo doomsaying from John Gruber ⊟

I alluded to the tech press’ recent pessimistic pieces on the Nintendo 2DS and its maker in Thursday’s silly GIF sethere’s a sample of the articles that’ve popped up from people like prominent Apple blogger Gruber.

People really want to see Nintendo making games for iOS! So much so that many are committed to this narrative that the company can’t survive if it doesn’t. Despite the authoritative tone of Gruber’s statement, I don’t believe he has a complete grasp on the state of gaming handhelds (he still thinks 3DS games cannot receive patches or DLC updates, and he believed the PSP was the all-time best-selling portable game console until recently). Luke Mathis comes off as a bit more informed in his counterpoint pieces.

Anyway, this has been your quarterly reminder that people are still convinced that handhelds are dying, ya fricks.

BUY Nintendo 2DS and 3DS/XL consoles, upcoming releases
  • Source daringfireball.net
Happy 30th birthday, Famicom!
Isn’t this art from Gengenkob the best? Can you name all the character cameos?
BUY Famicom stuff, upcoming games

Happy 30th birthday, Famicom!

Isn’t this art from Gengenkob the best? Can you name all the character cameos?

BUY Famicom stuff, upcoming games
  • Source twitter.com

Stop it, Iwata. Stop being so adorable.

I don’t care if the Wii U never takes off, if Nintendo never returns to the financial glory it enjoyed during the Wii and DS era — the company can’t get rid of this man. The game (industry) needs him.

These pics come from the Nintendo president and CEO’s latest session of Iwata Asks for the Google-powered Wii Street U app coming to Wii U:

Kawai: It has fifteen cameras of five megapixels each, and if you put the images together into a panorama later, you get a Street View photo with 75 megapixels. … Would you like to try carrying it on your back?

Iwata: Huh? Can I? Okay, I’ll put it on. (laughs) (standing up) How much does this weigh?

Kawai: It’s about 40 pounds, so about 18 kilograms.

Iwata: If you’ll pardon me… Umph! …This is now “Iwata Carrys”. Like this?

What is this life. Here’s Wii Street U in action.

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

Nintendo postcards by Daruma Studio, posted for and sold by Game & Graphics. The four Nintendo-themed designs all have art on the reverse that combines to form a larger piece full of console images and logos.

The main designs remind me of the Bape Mario x Milo collection, which I loved.

A full set is just 2 euros right now! Be sure to look around the store for more cool designs, including a Game Boy/BMO shirt!

BUY Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles, upcoming releases
  • Source gameandgraphics.bigcartel.com
Wii U hits Japan on December 8 with Premium (black, $405) and Basic (white, $338) editions. While the prices are steep, keep in mind that’s usually the case with Japanese products, and the system will likely be cheaper in the West — Nintendo is expected to announce U.S. and European pricing later this morning.
Along with the extra storage and accessories, the Premium configuration comes with “Nintendo Network Premium,” a loyalty program that gives you a 10 percent credit when you make digital purchases.
New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land will both be available at Japanese launch, though not bundled with the system — the Wii didn’t include Wii Sports when it launched in Japan either. You can buy a Wii U GamePad for  ¥13,440 ($173), a GamePad charging stand for  ¥1,870 ($24), and a Pro Controller for  ¥5,040 ($65).
You can not only play your Wii games on Wii U, but also transfer your WiiWare and Virtual Console titles.
Preorder: Wii U stuffSee also: More Wii U news, media

Wii U hits Japan on December 8 with Premium (black, $405) and Basic (white, $338) editions. While the prices are steep, keep in mind that’s usually the case with Japanese products, and the system will likely be cheaper in the West — Nintendo is expected to announce U.S. and European pricing later this morning.

Along with the extra storage and accessories, the Premium configuration comes with “Nintendo Network Premium,” a loyalty program that gives you a 10 percent credit when you make digital purchases.

New Super Mario Bros. U and Nintendo Land will both be available at Japanese launch, though not bundled with the system — the Wii didn’t include Wii Sports when it launched in Japan either. You can buy a Wii U GamePad for  ¥13,440 ($173), a GamePad charging stand for  ¥1,870 ($24), and a Pro Controller for  ¥5,040 ($65).

You can not only play your Wii games on Wii U, but also transfer your WiiWare and Virtual Console titles.

Preorder: Wii U stuff
See also: More Wii U news, media