Microsoft’s latest dashboard update for the Xbox 360 introduced the ability to browse the web via Internet Explorer, but web browsing on games consoles isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Nintendo’s Wii, for example, offered this facility over five years ago via The Internet Channel (essentially a customised version of the Opera browser), and the company’s next-generation console, the Wii U, will also offer access to websites.
Nintendo has revealed a few details about the console’s browser, which is based on the NetFront Browser engine, used for embedded browsing in a vast range of devices such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, public information terminals and gaming devices, including Nintendo’s own 3DS handheld.
Unsurprisingly, the Wii U’s browser won’t support Adobe Flash – or any other plug-ins for that matter – but it does support current HTML5 standards. The browser achieved a reputable, if not remarkable, score of 323+8 (out of a possible 500 points) via HTML5Test.com; by comparison, the Xbox 360’s Internet Explorer 9 browser achieved a comparatively poor score of 120+8.
However, while the Xbox 360 includes multitouch browsing support via the new Xbox SmartGlass apps – allowing users to navigate and browse the web on the console using gestures such as pinch-to-zoom on a compatible smartphone or tablet – the Wii U gamepad does not support multitouch inputs.
The Wii U will launch across North America on 18 November, and in Europe on 30 November.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Nintendoland is a never seen before game for the Wii U which uses Miiverse so that people can connected and play together in multiplayer. The example shown at E3 was using Luigis mansion.
- Mii visits the theme park
- Can change costumes
- 12 different attractions
- 5 playable at E3
- Zelda, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion, Donkey Kong are some of the attractions
- Uses Miiverse
- 1 Wii U GamePad, 4 Wiimotes
- One attraction: Luigi’s Ghost Mansion
- Ghosts go after players in this game; 5 players at once
Zombi U is starting to look like a fantastic game just want to see how it plays out in the next few weeks with more game play footage hopefully.
Batman Arkham City for Wii U has been announced today Nintendo showed gameplay footage on the new console today at their E3 press conference. Warner Brother’s Martin Tremblay came along with the reveal and gave us a look at the game on the new console. The Wii U game pad will be used to aid in additional gameplay mechanics, including the touch pad and interaction within the environment.