Nintendo America President Undaunted By Wii U Launch Issues

The launch of the Wii U has gotten off to something of a rocky start, with reviewers unimpressed by the offering of launch titles and many griping over the long firmware download required to take the system online. The ever confident Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime is not worried about the criticism coming from the enthusiast press, however.

“Reviews of a system or review of a game really come down to the quality and capability of the reviewer,” he said. “There has been a range of comments and commentary. But when I go on Miiverse and see how consumers are reacting to games like ZombiU or … Call of Duty, that tells me we’re doing something very, very positive. Similarly, when I go on other consumer social networks and see other consumer reaction that is positive, I know we’ve done well.”

There are also fears that the Miiverse will be brought down on Christmas Day as families plug in their Wii U for the first time. Fils-Aime is confident, however, that launch day troubles for the social network will not be repeated on Christmas.

“Without getting into a lot of technical details, the Miiverse [problem] was not purely driven by capacity,” Fils-Aime said. “That gives us confidence that come Christmas morning, those servers will not be challenged in the same way. Come Christmas morning, the Wii U will be available globally. We know there will be a lot of consumers utilizing their Wii U for the very first time. So we’re working very hard to make sure the initial customer experience is a good one.”

“Every time we launch a new system, there are significant challenges,” he added. “There’s everything from supply to making sure the new offering meet our expectations. In the digital, connected services area, much of what we’re doing is groundbreaking, so we are having to learn as we go to make sure the consumer has the very best experience possible.”

One major feature that has been delayed is Nintendo TVii, though Fils-Aime is confident it will launch in December. “On launch day for us, Nintendo TVii wasn’t at a point where we wanted it to be,” he said. “It was not the compelling innovative product we wanted it to be and we needed it to be.”


PS3 Top Netflix Device In The World

Netflix is claiming the PS3 is the movie streaming service’s lead platform. Netflix says that the PS3 is their primary development platform and is the world’s most popular device for using Netflix to view movies and TV shows on a television.

“PS3 is our largest TV-connected platform in terms of Netflix viewing, and this year, at times, even surpassed the PC in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become our No. 1 platform overall,” said Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings. “PS3 is a natural fit for Netflix in terms of developing and first deploying our most advanced features. We can transparently update our application with new features on a daily basis, and through the free PlayStation Network, people around the world can sign up for Netflix directly from their PS3.”

“The PlayStation and Netflix communities both share a strong passion for high quality entertainment,” added Jack Tretton, CEO and President of SCEA. “Netflix provides a fantastic experience for watching TV shows and movies on PS3, and our joint development will continue to produce innovations for our customers that further demonstrate PS3 as the true home for entertainment in the living room.”

Green Throttle Games Sees $6 Million In Funding

Green Throttle Games has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Trinity Ventures with participation from DCM; Trinity general partner Ajay Chopra is joining the company’s board. The funds will be used to help the company create games and devices that will support mobile gaming on TVs.

“We believe a large percentage of consumers will use their phones or tablets to play games on a TV, and mobile-to-TV gaming could quickly grow to surpass the console market,” said Charles Huang, co-founder and CEO of Green Throttle Games. “By building a straightforward way to enjoy mobile games together with your friends, we hope to revolutionize how mobile games are played.”

“The ability to play mobile games on a big screen TV is very attractive, and Green Throttle’s leadership is well poised to bring in the kind of top quality games and industry connections that are needed to turn the Atlas controller and Green Throttle’s solution into a household name,” added Chopra. “I have always surrounded myself with entrepreneurs who know how to delight their end users and Green Throttle aims to do just that.â”

Skyrim Dragonborn DLC Emerging On PS3

Bethsoft today confirmed that the Dragonborn DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will indeed be coming to the PS3 in early 2012. This comes right before the third DLC pack will release on Xbox Live.

The company was asked if the first two expansions were coming to PS3 and why Dragonborn was coming first. “We think Dragonborn is our best add-on for Skyrim yet, and we didn’t want fans to wait long, so that’s our current focus. Each platform takes a lot of time and attention,” Bethsoft responded. “As noted in our blog post, we’re not done with content for Skyrim. When we’re ready to share more details, we’ll update everyone.”


Star Wars Anime Dogfight

This impressive little animation calls back to both a previous age of anime and of Star Wars, with a hand animated fight between the Imperial Navy and the Rebel Alliance. What’s more impressive is that it’s the product of one man, YouTuber Otaking77077, with sound effects and music added afterward by the video uploader.


Irrational Hires Cosplayer For BioShock Infinite Promotion

Irrational Games announced today that it is hiring Anna Moleva to be the official face of Elizabeth for BioShock Infinite. Moleva, who sometimes goes by the moniker of Ormeli, is a veteran cosplayer whose pics of her cosplaying Elizabeth in an outfit she made went viral and caught the attention of Irrational.

“We were so amazed by her dedication and her resemblance to Elizabeth that we decided to ask her if she’d like to be involved in helping bring Elizabeth to life in our box, our key art and our upcoming television ad,” announced BioShock creator Ken Levine.


Bigpoint Reaches 300 Million Registered Users

Bigpoint announced that it has 300 million registered users across its 65 games. The company will celebrate the milestone with a sweepstakes where players can enter to win one of five sets of five real gold coins.

“In recent years, we’ve seen a rapid increase and unprecedented numbers in our titles. We want to celebrate our accomplishments and show our appreciation to our international community,” said Bigpoint founder Heiko Hubertz. “The strength and support of our players exemplifies how we’ve evolved in the F2P industry, and serves as further motivation to keep us driving innovation in browser games.”

Call Of Duty: Black Ops II – $1 Billion In Sales

Call of Duty: Black Ops II has sold $1 billion worth of copies in 15 days since launch. This bests the record of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which hit $1 billion worth of sales in 16 days.

“The release of Call of Duty has been one of the most significant entertainment events of each of the last six years,”said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. “Since Call of Duty was launched, cumulative franchise revenues from players around the world are greater than current worldwide box office receipts to date for the top-10 grossing films of 2012 combined. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for Harry Potter and Star Wars, the two most successful movie franchises of all time.”

Black Ops II players have played more than 150 million hours online on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions, or about 10 million hours per day since launch. By contrast, the first Black Ops saw online play of more than 600 million hours across all platforms during the same time period, averaging almost 14 million hours per day since that game’s release.

Zynga’s Steve Schreck, Roy Sehgal Depart

Reports are that Zynga vice president Roy Sehgal and general manager Steve Schreck are leaving the company. Sehgal, who joined Zynga in 2009, is resigning to take time off of work while Schreck is leaving to join a game start-up founded by Mike Verdu, who also worked for Zynga as CCO.

Seghal was responsible for the studio’s Cafe World title and was in charge of the casual and arcade games division. Schreck, general manager of around 100 employees in the company’s zCasual division, lead development on Hidden Chronicles and Slingo.