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June 10, 2014

Meet Nintendo’s Mario Maker: I suddenly want a Wii U.

22:07 // 1 month ago
May 15, 2014

Console Wars

jkottke:

From Grantland, an excerpt from Console Wars, a new book by Blake J. Harris about the video game console battles of the 1990s between Nintendo and Sega. The excerpt is about the rise of Nintendo.

And just like that, the North American videogame industry ground to a halt. Hardware companies (like Atari) went bankrupt, software companies (like Sega) were sold for pennies on the dollar, and retailers (like Sears) vowed never to go into the business again. Meanwhile, Nintendo quietly glided through the bloody waters on a gorilla-shaped raft. The continuing cash flow from Donkey Kong enabled Arakawa, Stone, Judy, and Lincoln to dream of a new world order, one where NOA miraculously resurrected the industry and Nintendo reigned supreme. Not now, perhaps, but one day soon.

Harris is also working on a documentary based on the book. And Sony is making a “feature-film” adaptation of the book as well. Cool!

A highly-recommended read. It’s a good reminder that Nintendo failed a lot before the NES finally succeeded. Also, that Mario Bros. was a rip-off of Joust.

15:55 // 2 months ago
January 31, 2014

Stuff you may have missed: January 31, 2014

How unsuccessful were the Syria peace talks? So unsuccessful that the two sides left the table without having an idea of when they would come back.

Ben Bernanke’s tumultuous term as Federal Reserve Chairman is done. Was it a good term or a bad term? Depends on who you ask.

Jesse Eisenberg will now be know for playing the two biggest villains of all time: Mark Zuckerberg and Lex Luthor.

Nintendo’s plan to save itself involves creating another game console based around fitness products. Great.

Every brand wants to be Oreo on Super Bowl Sunday.

19:52 // 5 months ago
January 27, 2014

Stuff you may have missed: January 27, 2014

Rep. Trey Radel, who got busted for cocaine possession back in October and spent a bunch of time in rehab before returning to Congress, just realized that he might not be able to do his job anymore. He resigned.

A prominent Bitcoin figure, Bitinstant co-founder Charles Shrem, got arrested for allegedly allowing people to buy narcotics on SilkRoad. Fun wrinkle: He has a close business relationship with the Winklevi.

Good news, Nintendo fans: Odds are looking good that the company’s gonna start making smartphone games.

Sign your credit card info was stolen: You have a charge for $9.84 on a recent statement.

Someone stole a vial of the blood of Pope John Paul II. Wait, what?

22:27 // 5 months ago
January 24, 2014
This is the rarest NES game in existence. It doesn’t look like much, but just 116 copies were made. Why’s that? “Nintendo World Championships” was created as part of a competition built around the movie “The Wizard,” and contains scaled-back versions of Super Mario, Tetris and Rad Racer. Want it? It’ll set you back more than $5,500 on eBay.

This is the rarest NES game in existence. It doesn’t look like much, but just 116 copies were made. Why’s that? “Nintendo World Championships” was created as part of a competition built around the movie “The Wizard,” and contains scaled-back versions of Super Mario, Tetris and Rad Racer. Want it? It’ll set you back more than $5,500 on eBay.

9:15 // 6 months ago
January 17, 2014

Stuff you may have missed: January 17, 2014

Freedom industries, the company responsible for the chemical spill that led to a major drinking water shortage in West Virginia, filed for bankruptcy on Friday, a move that protects them from the nearly two dozen lawsuits filed against them already.

Thailand’s anti-government protests got violent on Friday, after an explosive was thrown into a crowd of protesters marching in the streets. At least one person was killed and nearly three dozen injured.

In 1974, Japanese soldier Hiroo Onoda was discovered in the Philippines, operating under orders to not surrender 29 years after World War II ended. Onoda, who died Friday at 91, eventually gave in.

Nintendo’s Wii U is doing so badly that the company is talking about making games for smartphones. It’s gotten that bad.

Here’s a guy who got stuck in a pipe.

23:15 // 6 months ago
December 10, 2012
There’s a dude on eBay — the programmer who created bsnes, FWIW — who claims to have every Super NES cartridge for sale (at a $24,999 bounty), but I did a check and I did not see Super 3D Noah’s Ark. What the hell? I want my unspent imaginary money back. (ht Polygon)

There’s a dude on eBay — the programmer who created bsnes, FWIW — who claims to have every Super NES cartridge for sale (at a $24,999 bounty), but I did a check and I did not see Super 3D Noah’s Ark. What the hell? I want my unspent imaginary money back. (ht Polygon)

8:46 // 1 year ago
November 18, 2012
The sad part isn’t that he waited in line for a month to buy a video game console. (In the age of the iPhone, that’s allowed.) No, the sad part is that the man’s name is Triforce Johnson.

The sad part isn’t that he waited in line for a month to buy a video game console. (In the age of the iPhone, that’s allowed.) No, the sad part is that the man’s name is Triforce Johnson.

22:12 // 1 year ago

Roundup: Highlights from reviews of the just-released Nintendo Wii U

  • Gizmodo "While technologically, the Wii U sort of feels like the step you’d take before you get to motion controls in the Wii, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t totally fit into Nintendo’s ethos of interaction. It’s fun. It’s something your family will enjoy using. If you’re looking for a network-enabled media center, like the Xbox or Apple TV, though, definitely wait before purchasing this.*”
  • Time "The Wii U already feels like a much more robust and fascinating idea, one that shows even more promise, in my opinion, than the Wii did in 2006. That’s partly because the Wii U is still a Wii (a radically more powerful Wii with a second screen that floats around your living room, true), and motion control still factors big in the Wii U’s future. But it’s mostly because I haven’t been this impressed with a new interface since Nintendo put a joystick on a gamepad in 1996.”
  • USA Today "Whether the Wii U reaches the incredible heights of its predecessor remains to be seen. The Nintendo Wii had a clear target (casual players) and game in Wii Sports that served as a shining example of motion-based gameplay that was easy to enjoy. The Wii U needs a similar kind of experience to sell players on a world with two screens.”
  • The Verge "The Wii U is close — tantalizingly close — to being a portable console. So close, in fact, that I found myself wondering constantly why the GamePad wasn’t the console, and the TV-connected piece a peripheral.”
  • Engadget "Nintendo promised consumers a modern HD gaming console, and the Wii U — what’s there of it thus far — delivers on that promise. Games look gorgeous (HD Mario!), the risky controller is another successful control innovation and there’s a ton of promise on the horizon. What’s missing, sadly, is a huge part of the puzzle* — so huge, in fact, that it’s impossible for us to pass judgment on the whole package just yet.”

* — As the Engadget and Gizmodo reviews note, a key part of the Wii U’s play — a digital streaming package which includes Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon — wasn’t ready for them to review.

12:27 // 1 year ago
September 24, 2012
The effect of blowing on Nintendo cartridges: A) This is your NES cartridge. B) This is your NES cartridge on blowing. Any questions?

The effect of blowing on Nintendo cartridges: A) This is your NES cartridge. B) This is your NES cartridge on blowing. Any questions?

13:36 // 1 year ago