Nintendo Thinks Wii U Needs More Than Just Beautiful Games

Nintendo has downplayed the significance of HD graphics over the years, though they are including the option in the Wii U. Despite the enhanced visuals, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime says it will take more than nice graphics for the Wii U to be a success.

“The Wii U has to deliver a differentiated experience that can only be brought to bear through the use of these two screens.” said Fils-Aime. “If all we do is a beautiful game in HD, it’s been done before. We have to take advantage of the second screen, we need to take advantage of the connectivity that the system will offer.”

“We believe that we will yet again disrupt the market the same way we did with DS and Wii,” added Fils-Amie.

Source: Games Blog

IPad 3 Reports Say Production Begins Early 2012

According to reports, production will start on an iPad 3 very early in 2012. Rumors state that Apple’s suppliers have already shipped one million panels to Apple, and have orders for another 2 million, which would be concurrent simultaneously with the new A6 processor.

iPad 3 is believed to have a Retina display similar to the iPhone 4, or a resolution of 2048 x 1536, with evidence suggesting this inside iOS system code. In order to meet the increased processor demand of the iPad 3, the A6 chip is rumored to be a quad-core chip in order to keep the overall experience at a high level.

Source: DigiTimes

Zynga Business Officer Assumes Smaller Role

Zynga has confirmed that Chief Business Officer Owen Van Natta will step down from his position. He’ll be a strategic adviser focusing on major partnerships and remain a board member at Zynga, but will give up millions of pre-IPO shares by moving to the new role.

“Owen is a valuable business partner,” said Zynga CEO Marcus Pincus. “He’s made great contributions to Zynga and continues to be an important part of our team.”

Source: All Things D

Xbox 360 Users Playing Modern Warfare 3 More Than Battlefield 3

According to Raptr, their users logged an average of 40 percent more playtime in Modern Warfare 3 on 360 than Battlefield 3 on the respective games’ launch days. 53 percent of Battlefield 3 players on Xbox 360 are also playing Call of Dutybut only 31 percent of Modern Warfare 3 players are playing Battlefield 3.

“The battle for dominance for the first-person shooter market in 2011 is clearly in Activision’s favor,” said Dennis Fong, CEO of Raptr. “EA made a valiant effort evangelizing its fanbase and generating massive support around the launch of Battlefield 3. Given how well received the game was, EA has a powerful opportunity to take things further next year, though it’s clear at this point that Call of Duty is a phenomenon that is unrivaled.”

92 percent of respondents did consider DICE a more innovative developer than Infinity Ward and 58 percent of respondents said the Battlefield franchise has had a bigger impact on the FPS genre.

Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition Detailed

GameStop has detailed more of Mass Effect 3‘s Collector’s Edition. Along with the 70-page art book and in-game Robot Dog, the Collector’s Edition will also include bonus squad appearances for Ashley Williams, Liara T’Soni, James Vega and Kaidan Alenko, plus more a “classified” bonus character and mission

Other bonuses for the Collector’s Edition will include a premium metal case featuring male and female Commander Shepard, a limited edition Mass Effect comic by Dark Horse Comics, a fabric N7 patch, an exclusive 4×6 lithographic print of the SR-2 Alliance Normandy, a downloadable N7 Arsenal Pack, a squad alternate appearance pack and a Mass Effect 3 digital soundtrack. The Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition will retail for $79.99 on March 6, 2012.

Source: GameStop

Bully 2 Might Be Next For Rockstar Vancouver

Bully came out originally in 2006 and was a critical if not commercial hit for Rockstar. While the developer Rockstar Vancouver moved over to Max Payne 3 instead of a sequel, there may yet be a Bully 2.

“Contrary to a lot of people, we like to take a little bit of time at the end of a game before starting a sequel, so we can wait for the excitement or disappointment and everything else of the experience to shake down and really see what we should do in the next game,” said Rockstar’s cofounder and vice president Dan Houser,. “So we knew that we didn’t want to start doing the Bully sequel instantly at that second with those guys [at Rockstar Vancouver] — even though it is a property that, like Max [Payne], we adore and might come back to in the future. There was just no impetus to do that then. So we said, ‘you can do Max, and then we will see what we can do with Bully.’ It was really waiting for the slot to open up and the group to open up to at least start work on it.”

Source: Gamasutra

Guillermo Del Toro’s Game Still Three Years Out

Director Guillermo Del Toro has come into video game development with a humble spirit and that’s certainly a good thing. As he’s finding games are a completely different way to tell a story.

“With a videogame, you don’t have to solve one screenplay, you have to solve 20 screenplays, because you are giving the player the illusion of free will. If the character kills another character or destroys a building, the game goes one way; if the character doesn’t, it goes another. It keeps you very nimble,” said Del Toro. “I think that’s the biggest, and the most fun, lesson I’ve been getting. We’re being really, really nasty in the game. We’re really trying a lot of stuff that I don’t think would even fly in the movies. It’s still two-and-a-half or three years away, though, because videogame development is so long.”

Source: Wired

Mass Effect Multiplayer Considered Since The Beginning

Mass Effect 3 is going to have a multiplayer mode in “Galaxy at War.” However, Mass Effect 3 creative director Casey Hudson indicates that BioWare has been looking for ways to put in multiplayer since the first game.

“To us it was always a fun, intriguing idea to partake in the Mass Effect universe with friends, to look around, kind of see it from inside with others rather than just taking part in this solo experience,” he explained.”In general, that’s the direction that videogames are heading; they’re more social, more online, and we’ve been trying to find a way ever since Mass Effect 1 to integrate some kind of multiplayer.”

“In those early days we were trying to figure out what kind of a game it was going to be, and were thinking of ways that maybe the whole story experience might revolve around a co-op (structure),” he added. “That, instead of there being just one Commander Shepard, he’s in fact kind of lots of different heroes that can jump in, meet each other and interact. And by embarking upon that route we realized there was just a lot of things we simply couldn’t do, or had to compromise when ensuring the solo experience was as great as we wanted it to be, so we dropped that idea and proceeded to perfect single-player, to make it really solid.”

“Then, with ME2 we revisited the idea, deliberating whether you could perhaps take control of one of the other characters for a while, but – again – there were a lot of factors that would have compromised the single-player story,” he noted. “So the difference really was that, with ME3, we adopted a fundamentally different approach to what the thing is about, which is that there is a whole intergalactic war going on, which wasn’t the case in the previous entries . . . That provided us with a different idea; now in multiplayer you can play as that crew of special forces, journeying around and helping Shepard with the war effort.”

Source: CVG

Benetton ‘Unhate’ Campaign Draws Ire

Benetton has created a stir with its new ad campaign. The images show Pope Benedict XVI kissing Egyptian imam Imam Ahmed el Tayyeb on the lips, along with images of President Obama locking lips with Chinese premier Hu Jintao and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Part of the fashion company’s “Unhate” ad campaign, the White House had no comment, but the Vatican threatened legal action. “This is a grave lack of respect for the Pope,” said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

Lombardi asserted that the image is offensive to the “sentiments of the faithful” and “a clear example of how advertising can violate elementary rules of respect for people in order to attract attention through provocation.”

Benetton, for its part, is apologetic. “We are sorry that the use of an image of the pontiff and the imam should have offended the sensibilities of the faithful in this way,” said Benetton in a statement.

“Our campaign promotes a shift in the balance: don’t hate, Unhate,” says the Benetton explanation on its website inviting “us to consider that hate and love are not as far away from each other as we think.”

Source: New York Daily News