Nintendo is to cut its employees’ summer bonuses by 20 per cent after poor performance this year, according to a report.
Japanese business outlet Nikkei claims that the console giant has taken the action after declining demand for Wii hardware and software.
The decision to make cuts comes despite the Nintendo 3DS reportedly shifting more than 13.5 million units worldwide. Executives at the company are also set to have their bonuses slashed, although it is not clear by how much.
In April Nintendo reported its first annual loss since entering the console market, posting a net loss of £329 million for the 12 months ending March 31st.
The console giant is expected to launch its Wii U console by the end of the year, which could help turn around the company’s poor recent financial performance.
Welcome back to our feature where we aim to highlight the new releases that that our readers might be interested in!
With all the hype surrounding E3 this month, it’s unsurprising that there aren’t many new games to look forward to. What’s more, we’re entering that awkward Summer drought before the holiday season kicks off. Still, while late PC ports and other compilations make up most of the schedule, there’s light-hearted fun to be had with the next Lego Batman game (this time featuring heroes from the rest of the Justice League), and on the Marvel side of things we’ll find out if the reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man can take us back to the glory days of Spider-Man 2!
|8th June||Game of Thrones||PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Rayman Origins||Nintendo 3DS|
|14th June||Gravity Rush||PlayStation Vita|
|Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion||PC|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier||PC|
|22nd June||Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes||Nintendo 3DS/DS, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii|
|Steel Battalion: Heavy Armour||Xbox 360|
|29th June||Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns||Nintendo 3DS/DS|
|Metal Gear Solid HD Collection||PlayStation Vita|
|The Amazing Spider-Man||Nintendo 3DS/DS, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii|
I thought Nintendo’s E3 press conference was okay. It showed off the hardware well, did plenty to explain what it was and how it worked and assured existing Nintendo fans that their franchises would be catered for. Nothing mind blowing, certainly not as exciting as I’d hoped for a new console’s first major showing but solid enough.
Nintendo’s investors don’t seem to agree though. The company’s share price on the Nikkei dropped significantly by 5.7% following the E3 showcase. It was amid a flurry of activity, too, with 2.2 million shares changing hands in a day rather than the average 750,000.
It seems that investors aren’t particularly confident in the Wii U, and that makes some sense. It has been suggested that Nintendo need to embrace the surging mobile market, rather than attempt to combat it and for investors, that swelling pot of money that casual, social and mobile games represent is a much more attractive proposition than a company making a solid bit of hardware and some great games.
Reports are also coming out of E3 that Iwata has been saying that the Wii U will cost over ¥20,000 (roughly $250/£165) when it goes on sale. At the low end, that seems pretty cheap but currency conversion and taxes could see the western price settle significantly higher, with some speculating a £250 UK price. For new console hardware, that doesn’t sound unreasonable to me but Nintendo’s 3DS pricing will have left them very cautious in this area.
Source: Bloomberg, which references Nikkei newspaper
It’s four years since we last saw a fully-fledged Burnout game on PS3, (excluding PSN title Burnout Crash) and with Criterion making two Need For Speed titles in a row it’s been a quiet time for their flagship series. But that doesn’t mean it’s gone forever – speaking to OPM today at E3 2012, the company’s executive producer confirmed that it definitely isn’t dead.
When asked if the Burnout number plate on one of the cars available in Need For Speed Most Wanted’s E3 build signified and end to the series on the current platform, Webster responded:
“Burnout’s certainly not going away, no.”
Criterion’s current project, Need For Speed Most Wanted 2, was announced at EA’s E3 2012 conference, and it’s set for an October 30th release date. Its most recent NFS title Hot Pursuit went down very well.
There’s plenty to suggest that Wii U is set to launch in November, from supposedly leaked retailer emails to the simple facts that GameCube released on November 18, 2001 and Wii on November 19, 2006 in the US.
And now Ubisoft’s David Martinez, engine architect for Rayman Legends, has strongly hinted at a November for Nintendo’s new console.
He told GameXplain that Rayman Legends will be out “at launch” for Wii U. Pressed on when that might be, he went on to say “around November”. Skip to the 5:49 mark for a bit of an uncomfortable exchange on the subject of release dates.
There will be no Call of Duty XP event this year, Activision has confirmed.
Instead, Activision will host “new experiences” at events such as Gamescom, the German video game show.
In a statement on the One of Swords community blog, Activision said XP may return in the future.
“Last year’s Call of Duty XP was a great way to celebrate our Call of Duty community and reveal Call of Duty Elite. Each year we try to surprise and delight our fans and this year we are planning to host some new experiences for our fans around the globe including at Gamescom later this summer in Cologne, Germany. While its possible we may host another XP in the future, we don’t have plans to hold the event this year.”
Call of Duty XP was a gargantuan convention that took place in Los Angeles last year ahead of the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. It played host to a concert by Kanye West and a million dollar COD tournament. Read Simon Parkin’s report for Eurogamer here.
Below is the black ops 2 trailer
Danish developer IO Interactive has apologised to those who were offended by its recent trailer for Hitman: Absolution.
The short, which featured Agent 47 taking out a group of sexually provocative killer nuns, elicited a strong reaction from some consumers and parts of the games press.
They were uncomfortable with its marrying of extreme violence and sexually provocative imagery.
“We’re sorry that we offended people – that was truly not the intention of the trailer,” the game’s director Tore Blystad told IGN.
“Of course we understand, this has been a very big topic for us and we’ve been reading as much as we could of the articles and responses. We were surprised that it turned into such a huge topic. Something similar happened with our Sniper Challenge pre-order bonus.
“We just wanted to make something cool, it wasn’t the intention to stir up anything. It was never the intention to provoke people with it.”
Blystad also confirmed that the video IS based on a level in the game and is not, as many had presumed, a random scenario conjured to facilitate the making of the trailer.
You can see the trailer below:
Shareholders are unimpressed
Nintendo’s E3 press conference prompted a mixed reaction from the attendees and viewers around the internet, with the Wii U-focused presentation apparently failing to gain widespread support and praise. That same reaction has been reflected in the Japanese stock market since it opened today, with the company’s shares falling: at the time of writing they have fallen around 2.68 percent.
Falling share prices are a hazard of the business that Nintendo knows well; it experienced similar issues after previous E3 press conferences, in addition to dropping shareholder confidence after recent financial issues. The fall in share value could be attributed to a number of issues, with the announced launch titles — particularly those that are first-party — perhaps failing to grab the imagination as expected.
It’s disappointing news for Nintendo, but as we’ve seen with its efforts in improving the fortunes of 3DS, you should never write it off.
Bethesda has confirmed it.
Bethesda said that ‘if nothing goes wrong’, the DLC will finally arrive on June 26.
ethesda has just announced that the ‘Dawnguard’ DLC for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will finally arrive in June.
“Tentatively, it’s coming on June 26.” So if nothing goes wrong, the DLC will arrive on June 26.
Bethesda is still offering a beta for the Dawngard DLC on the Xbox 360 console, so ‘sign-up‘ to get in early on the action and this DLC and the second DLC pack will be released also on the Xbox 360 platform first.
Nintendo’s Wii U Gamepad controller will last anywhere between three and five hours on a full charge, the company has confirmed, paying a runtime penalty for its 6.2-inch touchscreen. The distinctive tablet controller is the all-singing, all-dancing hub of Nintendo’s next-gen console strategy – not only allowing for primary game control, but independent use and even replacing your TV remote – but the limitations of battery technology mean gamers can’t expect to go wireless all day.
Nintendo hasn’t confirmed battery life times until now, having revealed the slightly redesigned Wii U Gamepad earlier this week at E3 2012. The equally important figure is recharge time, with the Japanese firm suggesting the slate will take around 2.5hrs to juice back up to full power.
In the meantime, though, gaming can continue, albeit over a wired connection. The Wii U supports a direct, cable hook-up between console and tablet, at the cost of some flexibility but meaning players will still at least be able to use their systems while they wait.
The gamepad also supports reading and writing of data via NFC, and measures in at 41mm x 255.4mm x 133.4mm. It weighs roughly 500g. Nintendo has reconfirmed that it’s due to hit shelves in time for the holidays, though pricing is unknown.