Wii Not Going Anywhere, Says Iwata

While the Wii has not been matching the level of sales it had two years ago, it is still performing competitively against the Xbox 360 and PS3. Despite some criticism from the outside, Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata says they are sticking to their guns for now.

“It’s just four years since [Wii’s] release,” said Iwata. “It’s selling over seven million units a year in North America, so we don’t think it’s at the limit. We’ll make decisions about a successor system at the time when software developers cannot offer surprises [on the Wii].”

He also thinks that the new capabilities of the 3DS will push it beyond the original DS. “We’ve equipped it with a 3D camera and so-forth, which can also bring in those who aren’t interested in games, said Iwata. The 3DS will be the first 3D video playback device to reach major penetration. We’ve had many proposals from the film, music and such industries. We’re looking into distributing Hollywood trailers and movies, along with things like 3D reference software.”

Source: Andriasang

Panasonic Slashes Jungle

Panasonic announced this past October that it would launch a new portable device called Jungle designed to cover the gap between tablets, laptops and portable gaming systems. While many were skeptical that it would succeed, it will now never get the chance since Panasonic has canceled it before its release.

“Panasonic decided to suspend further development due to changes in the market and in our own strategic direction,” the company said in a statement.

Source: Reuters

Sony Ericsson Announces MLG Sponsorship

Sony Ericsson and Major League Gaming announced a new partnership. The PlayStation Phone will now be the official mobile handset of Major League Gaming.

“Sony Ericsson is redefining mobile gaming with Xperia Play. It’s designed to give you everything you need from a fully featured smartphone and the one thing you want the ultimate mobile gaming experience,” said Peter Farmer, Head of Marketing for North America, Sony Ericsson.  “We know that Major League Gaming’s community of gamers will put that gaming experience to the ultimate test and we’re looking forward to connecting with this highly engaged global community.”

Each MLG Pro Circuit event will have demonstrations involving the Xperia Play. At the same time Sony Ericsson will also sponsor MLG Pro Player Dave “Walshy” Walsh and MLG Coach Andy “JT Bravo” Dudynsky for the 2011 season, along with a video segment for apps and games on MLG.tv.

“At MLG, we aim to showcase the latest technology that will benefit our community of gamers,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, CEO, MLG. “Xperia Play is an amazing smartphone and a stellar gaming device bringing the best mobile capabilities to our audience.”

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Gets Da Vinci Edition

Ubisoft has announced that they are releasing an Assassin s Creed Brotherhood: The Da Vinci Edition. The release will include the full game and “The Da Vinci Disappearance” DLC.

The DLC itself focuses on Leonardo Da Vinci (who is kidnapped by the Hermeticists and must be rescued) featuring two new locations and two new gameplay features. It also features additions to the multiplayer in the form of a new map, four new characters and two new game modes.

Assassin s Creed Brotherhood: The Da Vinci Edition will release March 25 for PS3 and Xbox 360, roughly a week after its release on PC.

IPad 2 Comes Thinner, Faster With More Features

Apple has officially unveiled the much anticipated iPad 2. Among the primary features are the fact that it’s a third thinner, will run on the faster A5 chip, will have a camera on the front and rear, has a built-in gyroscope, and will have a white model.

Available on March 11 in the U.S., the prices will run from $499 all the way up to $829. “We’ve been working on this product for a while and I didn’t want to miss today,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who had been taking a medical leave of absence.

Source: PC Mag

EA Hypes Up Rango

Rango the movie with Johnny Depp is getting a lot of attention right now, and EA is making sure the game is equally high profile. There will be ads on TV, online and even in theaters, along with plenty of POS materials and Nickelodeon ads.

EA is very excited to partner with Paramount on Rango, said EA’s senior marketing director Matt Woodley. The game has been made hand in hand with the film’s creators and the resulting quality is very high. It is a genuine extension to the wonderful film an achievement often strived for but rarely reached in this genre.

Source: MCV

Kirby Not Targeted To GTA Fans, Says Nintendo

Nintendo has tried to be all things to all people with the Wii, but there have been some difficulties in reaching the core market sometimes. Kensuke Tanabe, producer of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, admits that his game isn’t going to be every core gamer’s cup of tea.

“We do not intend to convince the fans of Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto to play Kirby games,” said Kensuke Tanabe.

“People have likes and dislikes,” he added. “If someone really hates apple pies, even the best-tasting apple pie in the world would not satisfy him. On the other hand, if those who have never eaten apple pie found interest in apple pie and got really satisfied when they actually eat one isn’t it possible to make them new apple pie fans I believe the first step for that possibility is to let more people know that there is a great apple pie available in the world.”

Source: Eurogamer

Google Changes Don’t Worry Demand Media

Google recently announced that it was changing its search algorithm in a way that is likely to negatively affect content farms. While Demand Media creates a lot of the non-original content that might be negatively impacted by this decision Richard Rosenblatt, co-founder and CEO of Demand Media isn’t worried.

Nothing changed materially for our business, said Rosenblatt at the Interactive Advertising Bureau annual meeting. We cannot be commenting every time Google makes an algorithm change. It’s just one component of our ecosystem. We’re fine. We re just trying to create quality content.

While the business of Demand is built around maximizing popular searches, he downplayed the impact on journalism, saying what his company does is not journalism. The only people that call us journalists are journalists.

Source: AdWeek

Microsoft Rankles Team Meat

While most downloadable titles don’t get any promotion as prominent as a television campaign, there are still meaningful ways that the games can be shown off, like on the Xbox Live dashboard. Given that, Team Meat’s rather upset attitude about not getting their release week exclusively to their Super Meat Boy (they shared it with Double Fine’s Costume Quest) and not getting the top slot in the Spotlight feed as promised, can be understood.

“I was like ‘What’s the deal Are you guys pulling out Where’s our stuff ‘,” said Team Meat co-CEO Tommy Refenes. “It finally went up half way through our launch day. It was the number four spot; it wasn’t number one. The ‘spooktacular sale’, which was a whole bunch of other games that already came out that was the number one slot. An ad for a Mazda 3 was the number two slot because you all go on Xbox to figure out what car you want, right? We were number four and we stayed number four the entire week.

Apparently, Microsoft had promised Team Meat that the better that the title did, the more promotion it would receive. Despite outselling other contemporary games, further marketing did not materialize.

“We just kind of got pushed to the side, and that’s basically how the Xbox Live launch went. The only reason the game sold well was because of how we promoted it. The help from Microsoft was there in a very limited capacity,” Refenes insisted. “It’s not supposed to hurt your feelings because it’s business, but it totally f**king hurt my feelings. Me and Ed just killed ourselves trying to get this game done and now we’re just pushed to the side.

It was a f****** mindf***,” added the other half of Team Meat, Edmund McMillen. “It was really confusing. At that point I think we were so f***** up in our heads from development, it almost felt like ‘are these people out to get us? What’s happening here? Did we do something wrong? Are they trying to screw us because we did something wrong? ‘”

Source: Eurogamer