Posts Tagged ‘ nintendo ’

Nintendo 3DS

Is 2011 the year of 3D?

3D TVs, 3D Movies, 3D consumer cameras, and Nintendo intends in bringing it to handheld gaming with the Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo has come back from the brink of failure to one of the successes in this gaming generation. But in the previous year, the shine on the Wii has waned and the DS is now six years into it’s lifespan. We’ve seen the DS smaller, bigger and lighter. Now it’s going to be in 3D.

As someone who wears glasses, 3D is a pain. Looking through two sets of lenses that one or another will not be on the right angle is a headache. The 3DS will not need additional lenses. That is great sigh of relief. But at $249.99?

It’s pricey. Not something that you would expect from Nintendo. Just a little perspective, the original NDS came out at $169.99. It’s even more than the Wii at that price. You can get a PS3 or an Xbox360 at that price. Or even an iPod Touch. Expect a price drop when the Sony NGP comes out but even then, it will be a stretch.

The Nintendo 3DS offers a lot by including the great things from the NDS such as dual screen, NDS compatibility and a SD card slot. new things include the analog controller, telescoping stylus, and motion sensor.

Nintendo 3DS hits stores on March 27. http://www.nintendo.com/3ds

Nintendo 3DS launch details

Trauma Team

Atlus USA Trailer: Trauma Team

I did not go to medical school and for those who dream of being a surgeon, this is probably the closest thing most of us will ever get next to the classic game “Operation”

Operation Commercial from 1989

Trauma Team is the latest incarnation from Atlus. Currently the 5th in the series, two Nintendo DS games and two Wii games. I’ve played them all and this is the most polished one of them all. The first game came out for the DS on 2005 and it was hell to finish. At the easiest level, the game difficulty was set pretty high that once you reached a certain level, your patient will die. Frustration just came over me and I wanted to throw the DS right out the window. I gave up on the game until the Wii version was released.

The Wii version is a direct port of the DS game with some minor changes such an additional playable character and surgeries. The best part about is game is the lowered difficulty. Though it’s still challenging, it now allows you to reach until the last stage. The games focus on a terrorist organization using biochemical warfare to further their means. The first half of these trauma games is pretty straightforward with the usual tumors, gunshot wounds or pacemaker replacement. The second half is where the game starts to pull on reality. The terrorist pathogen does weird things to the patient with scenarios that doesn’t seem plausible. Add to the fact that you are gifted with the “healing touch”, this uncanny gift which slows down time and gives you extra time to work on the patient. But even with these unbelievable scenarios it’s still an enjoyable game.

Trauma Center: Healing Touch

Now comes Trauma Team. You don’t just play 2 characters. You now get to play five different characters with different specialties and brings a new angle to the world of videogame surgery. You get to work on different environments such as diagnostics, emergency, orthopedic surgery, endoscopy, investigation and of course general surgery. All the storylines will eventually unlock the final phase of the game and reveal the dark secret of the story. The wii remote is great especially for the endoscopic surgery due to the mapping of the controls. Orthopedics seems a bit too easy and the ER scenes are absolutely heart pounding where every second counts and patients keep coming. My favorite has to be the Dr. House situation in diagnosing the patients or the CSI situation where I find out what really happened as a forensic doctor. Come to think of it, it’s more Bones than CSI.

My diagnosis? This is the best Trauma Center game Atlus has every made. The story is believable. The surgical procedures is doable. I actually wish that the game was longer. Or at least could be extended with downloadable content. But since the Wii doesn’t have that. Maybe we can expect a port coming to the PlayStation Move? We can always wish for these things.

Super sized Nintendo DSi

Nintendo announced a few days ago a new extra large DSi. It will be first released in Japan with other regions to follow in 2010. It is originally meant for “older” gamers who want a bigger screen to read and more space to use the stylus.

The DSi LL is about and inch larger than the current DSi. I guess the bigger screen also does not help with the battery life either as the the DS Lite still has the longest playtime for the handheld. Notice the bigger stylus. Now it really looks like a pen.

Judging from the screenshots, the bigger screen seem to have better graphics than it’s predecessor.

But I also know that the graphics are originally made for a specific resolution. Thus any graphical improvement if any is limited to the size of the displayed image and not from the image itself. In short, the bigger screen will not improve the quality of the graphics. Think of it like you just zoomed in an image and you’re seeing the bigger pixels.

Will I get one? I think not. If you already own the previous incarnations of the DS then there is no need to pick this one up. Unless you want to get your parents or grandparents a DS then this should be the right thing. But then there’s the issue of the cost. In Japan, the DSi LL will set you back ¥ 20,000 ($220 USD, or Php 10,000++). This practically puts it in the same price range as the PSP Go which retails at ¥ 26,800. Unless Nintendo phases out and drops the price on this thing I may even consider a purchase. But still, I’m still very happy with my battered DS Lite which I got a while back and the DSi doesn’t have anything that interests me right now.

I’ll wait until my current DS (knocks on wood) to die before I even think about picking this one up or if they release something so earthshaking on the DSi platform that I really must have. I think this is a safe step up for Nintendo by giving more of the same features as the original DS but incrementally adding features to keep a new crowd interested. Much like what Apple does with the iPod.

The Nintendo DS LL will be released on November 21 in Japan and early 2010 in North America and other territories.

What did we get right on TGS 2009?

Sony
– GT5 Demo – yes Release date -No
– FF13 No exact release date for North America, New demo yes
– No LBP or Assassin’s Creed demo for the PSP
– Demo and playable MGS: Peace Walker
– No dev kit announcement.
– No God of War 3 other than the demo will be part of the GOW PS3 bundle pack to be released in the coming weeks.
– No release date but more playable demo of White Knight Chronicles

Nintendo
– Yes – Wii price cut
– No – DS price cut
– No Wii Zelda Game
– No HD Wii
– No new controller
– Motion Plus technology not exactly a big thing for Nintendo

Xbox
– Still no handheld.

Pleasant surprises of the show:
Sony
– Playable MGS: Peace Walker PSP
– Playable Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep PSP
– Tekken 6 on the PSP
– Yakuza 4 PS3
– Lunar: Silver Star Harmony PSP
– Final Fantasy Agito XIII PSP
– Parasite Eve: The 3rd Birthday PSP
– Final Fantasy Versus XIII PS3
– Persona 3 Portable PSP
– Sony Wand device to be released in Spring 2010

Nintendo
– 4th! (Yes I did say 4th) Professor Layton game DS
– Final Fantasy Gaiden: Warriors of Light DS
– Phantasy Star Zero DS
– Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers
– Okamiden DS

Xbox 360
– Forza Motorsport 3
– Nier Gestalt (Square-Enix action game)
– Alan Wake
– MGS 4 using Natal controllers

Multiplatform
– Resonance of Fate

From the list above I was surprised at the number of Square-Enix games that were shown. No sign of anything they acquired from Eidos yet. Maybe next year in the GDC. Sony showed a lot of games especially on the PSP. Nintendo was also focused on it’s own handheld as well. I only mentioned those that caught my eye. So the Bayonetta, Dead Rising 2, Lost Planet 2, Crackdown 2, Assassin’s Creed, I have a tendency to ignore since those games are covered to death by other gaming sites/ blogs and I don’t play them.

There was also Sony’s display of hardware including a 250 GB limited edition FF XIII PS3 bundle and a peek of all the accessories to be released for the PSP Go.

All in all this year was a pretty good show with nice surprises even if overall attendance was down by 10k.

For now…. please keep this quiet!

Wii price drop confirmed: $199 starting this weekend

More evidence surfaces that the Wii will drop to $199 as early as this weekend. According to Engadget, along with screenshot to boot that Best Buy will start selling the console at this new price on Sunday.

I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow or Friday for Nintendo to make a formal announcement in TGS.

TGS 2009 Predictions

The Tokyo Game Show is the last major show of the year and is highly anticipated as the gaming industry is expected to reveal it’s holiday lineup and upcoming games. It is also notably one of the few shows that is open to the public.

This is an interesting year for gaming. All three consoles are more or less mature now in their deployment. The much awaited games have already been released for each console with the exception of the PS3 which still has to release any of it’s exclusive games.

The gaming industry isn’t doing so well with the closure and/or acquisition of others. It looks like all the games will be released in the 4th quarter while leaving a drought of games in the middle of the year which translates into lower sales figures compared with the year before.

While all three consoles will be present, all eyes will be on Sony and Nintendo as it is their home turf. The Xbox has had some success in Japan but is largely overshadowed by the home team.

This year’s keynote will be given by Kaz Hirai of Sony.

Sony
-Playable demo Gran Turismo 5 with release date for Japan
-Release date for Final Fantasy 13 North America
-Playable FF13 apart from the demo
-Playable Assasin’s Creed and Little Big Planet on the PSP
-Kojima Productions trailers (no hands on demos, just tech demos of MGS: Peace Walker)
-Introduction and release of PSP store and PSP mini dev kit
-Playable demo of God OF War 3???
-Release date and demo of White Knight Chronicles for North America???

Nintendo
-Wii price cut (practically confirmed)
-NDSi price cut or DS price cut. (I expect this around the same time the PSP Go is released or near December)
-New Wii Zelda game
-HD Wii announcement?
-New Wii controller with integrated Motion Plus included.
-More playable games using the Motion Plus technology

Xbox360
-I’m still waiting for that hand held.

What are your thoughts on TGS this year?

Would you get an NDSi in April

Report: Nintendo DSi Gets Priced, Dated For U.S. Launch

Kotaku and IGN report that the Nintendo DSi will finally reach American hands on April 4.

Given the promise of DSi games will you buy another DS? But before we get to that, Nintendo has to fix certain things about the DSi before they even bring to the US.


1. Battery life. The bigger screen and the smaller form factor has somewhat diminished it’s battery life as well. Thus bringing the handeheld into PSP battery life territory which isn’t good.

2. Cheap camera. Reason why I wouldn’t get an iPhone. Cheap camera. Reason why I got the Nokia N95, 5MP camera. Simple as thath.

3. No web browser. What’s with the camera and built in wifi and all if I can’t share it with my friends who aren’t near me.

4. DSi is region locked. I love games from both sides of the Pacific. Why does Nintendo have these limitations on the DSi. This is a first in their history of handhelds which did not have region locks until today. Region unlocked units would make it easier to sell units across the ocean without localization problems. And how many actual users really want Japanese games in the west? I wouldn’t get the game if I didn’t feel it was worth it. I’m still for region free gaming.

5. All this for $180. Yes $180. That’s $50 than the current DS Lite.

6. No GBA port. Yes, Japan thinks you won’t play GBA games anymore. That new Guitar Hero fret bar. Wont work. The rumble pack for Metroid Pinball? Wont work. The data expansion pack for Opera. Wont work. You just got screwed.

7. Wii points and DSi points are different. This means these are separate purchases. Wha?

So are you still going to get the NDSi. Maybe if you already own the original DS and DS Lite. But if this is your first DS, I wouldn’t recommend it. Just too many things so wrong about it right now. They should take their time to bring out the right product. Don’t rush out to buy this. As with other machines, the first generation is usually buggy. And this one is really buggy.