Have new announcements redeemed Nintendo?

[Update: Since this story was posted, Nintendo's Cammie Dunaway has stated that a new Pikmin is on the way in addition to the Wii port of the Gamecube original. No platform has been confirmed, but given the context of Miyamoto's E3 comments, we currently presume this new game will be coming to the Wii rather than the DS. We've also updated this feature with a fuller list of GC games being ported to the Wii.]

Okay, so Nintendo announced a lot of new stuff at it's press conference in Japan this morning, so we thought we should take a Radar-style look through it all and see what it all means. Has the company taken the opportunity to redeem itself after the crushing horror of E3? Well...

The first big news is the new DSi. Sporting larger screens, an even thinner profile and a camera on both the front and back of the unit, it's definitely a revised model of the existing DS rather than an entirely new handheld. But we're fine with that. We don't need a brand new DS yet, and a forced obsolescence would be pretty annoying given how much we're all still enjoying our current models.

What's really interesting about the new DS is the way Nintendo seems to be using it as a tool to integrate the "New Nintendo" branding beyond the Wii and across the entire range. There's a program called "Lifestyle Rhythm Calculator" built in - yes, we think that first word is pretty telling too, whatever the software turns out to be - which brings the Miis over to the DS.

Then there's the DSi's new SD card slot which is going to facilitate software downloads from a DS equivalent of the Wii Shop Channel, using the same points system for purchases. And yes, the new camera means there's going to be a DS Photo Channel too.

It looks like this means the shiny white new Ninty is here to stay then. Whether its move onto your handheld will be a welcome one or not remains to be seen.

As far as the Wii goes, it's a mixed old bag. Loads of 'new' games have been announced (reason for the inverted commas to come) and unsurprisingly they cover a whole load of audience demographics. The good news consists of a brilliant looking new Punchout!! (finally!), a sequel to Treasure's cracking N64 shooter Sin & Punishment (check it out on the Virtual Console now) and a sequel to the DS' under-rated point-and-click adventure Another Code.

Then there's a new Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, an Endless Ocean sequel, an interesting-looking space themed game called Cosmic Walker, and some weird but cool Japanese stuff we don't properly understand yet. Check out the full showreel and list of titles to see what else appeals.

The very bad news? Well, remember when Miyamoto mentioned in response to the E3 backlash that Nintendo was working on Pikmin for Wii? Well, Pikmin Wii is NOT Pikmin 3 as we all assumed. It's a port of the original Gamecube game with waggle controls attached. And it's the first part of a new line too, called "Enjoy With Wii". Oh good. Just what we need. Last-gen Wii ports becoming an official company policy. Thanks Nintendo.

So far, the list of ports consists of Pikmin, Pikmin 2, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, Chibi-Robo, Mario Power Tennis, Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2. All strong games with logical applications for the Wii remote, but come on! Is this the great appeasement for hardcore gamers we've been hoping for? Last gen's hardcore games repackaged? At best it's lazy. At worst it's insulting, and a horrible indication of the way the new Nintendo might be going from now on. Ninty fans are used to having to appreciate any old bone thrown to them, but rarely has the bone been this old and already-chewed.

So an official overall Radar verdict of 'meh' then. The new DS is certainly interesting, and the prospect of downloadable games is a cool one - even if it may turn out to be a blatant attempt to stamp out the homebrew scene with an official alternative, especially given that the hacker-aiding GBA slot has now gone. And there are some potential stars in the new Wii software line-up.

But "Enjoy With Wii"? Good lord, that's a terrifying prospect. If Nintendo really thinks that recycling its old hardcore games for the Wii is all that its core audience needs, then it might be more out of touch than we ever feared. The concept takes the idea of the lazy token gesture to a whole new low, and right now sounds like the biggest slap in the face the hardcore have yet suffered.

02 Oct, 2008

Check out the screens for all the new games:



Sin and Punishment 2

The Conduit


Mario and Luigi 3

Rhythm Heaven

Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon

Personal Training: Cooking


  • iamthepieman - October 7, 2008 7:57 p.m.

    Nintendo Used to be my faverout (sorry dont know how to spell that word) but they seem to be running out of Ideas N64 was great lots of origonal story lines for stuff but now there just repeating them selves its sort of depressing
  • 1NVAD3R - October 7, 2008 1:52 a.m.

    I loved the original FF:CC and I'm certainly looking forward to the new one. But I really don't want to have to play multiplayer on a DS hooked up to the Wii like the GC version did with the GBA. Honestly, all the old re-releases are getting tedious and it's honestly a little annoying. Sure they're great but c'mon Nintendo! I want good new real games that are fresh and exciting, no more games that tell me I'm fat. A new Wind Waker style LoZ would be awesome, the new AC:CF is well looked forward to and perhaps a fresh fan pleaser. Mega Man 9 and Wario Land: Shake it! can only curb my hunger pangs for Nintendo games for so long. Throw me a few good games Nintendo, and I'll throw back my years of devotion and hardship to your company.
  • chewyman - October 7, 2008 12:17 a.m.

    what the flip this is so buck nasty man... the new ds will be somewhat sweet if it still had the gba port. and in my opinion they should make the pikmin remake for the ds instead even if it takes two cards because that would make it the best decission nintendo ever made
  • cultofbananas - October 5, 2008 3 p.m.

    "They have done this already." I know they have.. I was referring to the "next gen" of Nintendo handheld, not the DS. The DS is hardcore heaven and i heartily agree with you ;)
  • Elmhurst676 - October 5, 2008 1:58 a.m.

    Cybermaster: "But the good outweighs the bad" Uhh, no. No it doesn't. ;)
  • BurntToShreds - October 4, 2008 10:31 p.m.

    I just bought a new DS Lite last month. I'm really thinking about selling my Wii, as well. Maybe when Metroid Dread comes along (Maybe the same year as Duke Nukem Forever), I'll be interested in Nintendo again. And, it just seems like a stupid idea to hold out the DSi's NA release until AFTER APRIL '09 when it's coming out in Japan in NOVEMBER THIS YEAR. Also, no GBA port means no Pal Park for Pokemon, as well as other bonuses in other games.
  • bob1484sh - October 4, 2008 7:31 p.m.

    The new DS looks awesome, but it sucks that they got rid of the GBA port. That just makes some of the games harder or impossible to beat.
  • crazyqazqaz - October 4, 2008 2:13 p.m.

    Ahh Nintendo, where art thou great ideas? Looks like they're down the toilet, the casual gaming toilet....
  • cultofbananas - October 4, 2008 1:44 p.m.

    To: Mega 64 Yeah dude, because the PSP HAS a camera.. Anyway, I'm definitely excited for the DS lineup and the new hardware. Lots of quality games coming our way pretty soon.. As for the Wii, lol. yeah.. wouldn't expect anymore out of that piece of crap. My biggest concern? Is Nintendo going to go all casual with the next gen handheld? If so, my heart will shatter. Sony's alternative is boring and regurgitated... Nintendo has to be brainstorming a next gen handheld by now.. PLEASE! PLEASE DO NOT LET US DOWN!!! Nintendo handhelds have always been my lifeblood since I was a wee lad with my green screened Game Boy. I don't know what I'd do without a good Nintendo Handheld =( The DS managed to be mass appealing to both the Hardcore (especially RPG) crowd AND the idiot casuals.. Please do this again!! <333
  • georgeguy - October 3, 2008 9:05 p.m.

    god i have nothing to say
  • Sash - October 3, 2008 7:50 a.m.

    And people complained about Microsoft only in it for the money? Nintendo have now brought "gaming to the masses" with their wii. But it seems like they have now remained focussed on this target market because they are now the majority. They have released yet another DS, thats their 3rd version in how many years? Obviously another attempt to cash in on the casual gamers market. I know this is a business and you need to try and make the most money as fast as you can, but does anyone else think that they have stopped caring about the people who have followed them for years? In between the casual games Nintendo throw us out a good game. I just think its not enough anymore. I support all the companies and I am not biased against anyone. I have all 3 consoles and the Wii is the one console I have hardly touched again since I bought it in December 2006. I think I have probably had about 30 hours gaming time (enough to complete Zelda and muck about with wii sports and Red Steel.) This isnt an anti Nintendo post incase I upset people but I just think they have lost their vision of the past.
  • LionheartAce - October 3, 2008 5:50 a.m.

    Actually, I'm glad Metroid Prime 1 & 2 are getting the new controls. They're superb.
  • FiggnutsMark2 - October 3, 2008 4 a.m.

    You know...I think I'm okay with these, for the most part. New DS? I'm in. Storage is fine by me, and if they want to add a handheld version of the Virtual Console to the DS, I'm TOTALLY okay with that. I never really used the GBA slot as it was, so losing it is no great loss to me. "Enjoy With Wii" is okay by me too, because in my case, I pretty much glossed over the Gamecube and missed out on some good games. As long as they don't try and charge me the full $50 for last-generation games, I'm okay with spending a few extra bucks to get a brand new copy.
  • Da_Wetman - October 3, 2008 3:14 a.m.

    like i said from escapist, What I'm looking forward to is Nintendo actually trying to create something as good as their old IPs rather than focusing on improving (psha right) their system. When's the last time you see a good Nintendo game that is not a sequal? Oh, Project Hammer has such a potential to be successful as a new IP. On the bright side, I'm looking forward to the release of MadWorld, and maybe this game will be as good as or maybe even better than No More Heroes.
  • Defguru7777 - October 3, 2008 3:03 a.m.

    I'm really losing my Nintendo faith. But I'll hold onto it until Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World and Overlord: Dark Legend are out.
  • cricket0 - October 3, 2008 2:32 a.m.

    I cant wait to get the new DS. but I am going 2 wait untill it goes on sale.
  • BHT128 - October 2, 2008 11:06 p.m.

    You'll note that "Enjoy With Wii" abbreviated is EWW. Not to mention the official name is grammatically incorrect. They need to fire every decision making person in the company and begin anew.
  • Mega64 - October 2, 2008 10:07 p.m.

    So.....The DS Just copied PSP?
  • bron1417 - October 2, 2008 9:11 p.m.

    im offended by nintendo thats all i have to say.
  • lava_lamp - October 2, 2008 8:18 p.m.

    when i heard of the new pikmin for the wii 1 or 2 months ago i got exicted and belived nintendo was still awesome. but now nintendo has turn into a fagfest,all i can do is remeber the good 'ol days. all of the other nintendo systems were brillent what happened with the wii?

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