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Give him a giant robot suit, of course! Xenoblade Chronicles deserves mention on this list. It is the biggest game on the 3DS, featuring a massive open world, giant monsters, hundreds of quests, and hours upon hours of gameplay to keep you busy. So why is it relegated to an honorable mention?


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Nintendo released a new iteration of its handheld in , confusingly called the New 3DS, which included a slew of upgrades like a stronger processor, better 3D screens, better cameras, and a much-needed second thumbstick and set of shoulder buttons. These upgrades, specifically the more robust processor and second thumbstick, are what enabled a massive game like Xenoblade Chronicles to be ported to the handheld. So, while we highly recommend the game, it comes with the aforementioned caveat of only being available on the New 3DS iteration of the software.

Before you pick it up, be sure the game is compatible with your system. The game boasts an incredible story, attractive animation, and hundreds of clever puzzles that are sure to flummox even the sharpest of gamers.

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The game is set in a post-apocalyptic version of Japan, which has reverted to a feudal society in the wake of several demon invasions. In this world, Samurai act as guardians who combat and control demons using remnants of technology from before the apocalypse. The story centers on Flynn, a young Samurai who is caught in the crossfire of the war between the demons and Heaven. The entire franchise is known for its hardcore dungeon crawling and capture-centric gameplay, and Shin Megami Tensei IV is no different. Players can capture enemy demons, build their skills, and even combine them to create new, stronger demons.

That said, it might require multiple playthroughs to see each ending. As Donkey — or Diddy — Kong, players run, jump, cart, swing, and barrel their way through a host of well-crafted stages.


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The title was heralded for its challenging level design upon release, many of which render it a proper tribute to its predecessor and make it an absolute marvel on the 3DS. With nine familiar levels to play through, Nintendo treated gamers to a title which felt familiar but featured its own set of unique upgrades.

Understandably, the visuals received a massive uptick in quality, each of which further capitalized on a wealth of vivid colors and gorgeous 3D backgrounds. New Super Mario Bros. With its addictive gameplay, beautiful visuals, and high level of replayability, New Super Mario Bros. With 16 playable characters and 32 total tracks — 16 unique tracks and 16 classic tracks — gamers have access to a massive amount of content directly at their fingertips.

With Switch, Nintendo is back on its game and eyeing a return to its glory days. But the Japanese game maker has a history of starting strong and fumbling. But what does Nintendo need to do if it wants to hit the gas and not coast for another year? Here are some ideas. That strategy helped it sell more than million Wii consoles and Nintendo DS handhelds in the mid s—championed by titles like Wii Sports , Wii Fit , and Brain Age , which all eschewed gaming norms like shooting and jumping to reach out to new players who may not play video games much at all.

With a focus on building contraptions from cardboard and string, Nintendo Labo is that kind of game, and has the potential to go viral in a big way by putting a focus on creativity. Labo comes in kits , letting kids and adults fold and snap different objects together. So far, there are two of these kits. One comes with a house, two RC cars, a fishing rod, a motorbike, and a piano. Each creation has slots for the Switch touchscreen or one of the little Joy-Con motion controllers. After you build them, you play Wii-like motion games on them.

The piano makes sound when you hit each key, and the cardboard robot suit lets you walk around and smash virtual objects with your real arms and legs. But pre-designed kits are just the start. Nintendo should enable as much creativity as possible if it wants this odd gaming idea to stick. Hopefully it will let you use it, and sell basic kits of string and cardboard with Labo software that lets you program whatever whatever crazy, goofy contraption you can think up.

The real magic, and longevity, of Labo will depend on how much it empowers players to create. It hits shelves in April. For a low monthly fee, both of those services let you play multiplayer games online, voice-chat with friends in games, create group voice chats, save game progress to the cloud, auto download game updates, access games in early release, earn trophies and achievements, and play a rotating selection of free games each month.

Right now, the Switch can do almost none of these things. Nintendo has promised such a service in September , and even launched a basic smartphone app to help Splatoon 2 players connect for the time being. The company claims the upcoming service will offer more robust online play, voice chat parties, and access to classic NES games with added online play, including Balloon Fight , Dr.

Mario , and Super Mario Bros.

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But the time for teasing is over; Nintendo needs to deliver. An organized online service would help Switch owners connect together online, something they cannot easily do right now. Playing a game like Mario Kart with friends should be incredibly simple. Instead, it requires a How To guide because there is no system voice chat to help players help each other, and no simple way to know what multiplayer games your friends are playing right now.

Even single-player games on PS4 and Xbox give you trophies and achievements when you complete special tasks or progress, another strong online incentive that makes gaming more fun and social. Gamers who regularly play online with friends are more likely to buy and play more games. Nintendo then capped off the year by re-energizing Mario with Super Mario Odyssey , which was also so outstanding and fresh that it made many game of the year lists. Nintendo was so confident in these games that it dedicated an entire E3 show to each of them.

Does Nintendo have a killer game or two in its pocket this year? Nintendo has also confirmed Metroid Prime 4. Please understand that we are still researching these areas. The situation, "Even if a person thought it was amazing at the time of announcement, the excitement fades six or nine months later," may also be felt for the Wii U. If Nintendo could maintain the platform without anyone else's help or use past assets without any change, for example, enhanced graphics along with 3D view when Nintendo DS software is played on the Nintendo 3DS, then we could keep silent in the preparation of the platform and then announce, "We will launch it tomorrow, please buy one.

This applies not just internally within Nintendo but outside of the company also.


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In the past, when Nintendo did not receive as much attention as we do now, we did not have to worry about the spread of our confidential information since it did not have any value in society, but since the Nintendo DS and the Wii created a social phenomenon, "Nintendo's next move" commands great attention and extreme news value. Therefore, although we go to great lengths to ensure that this will not happen, there are cases where, even if a person receives information under a Non-Disclosure Agreement, the information is leaked because there is great temptation.

Even for the Wii U, some people may be aware, if they had been checking the Internet, that information with true and false rumors mixed together was spread on the Internet before the announcement. Therefore, as for new hardware, even if we wanted to, it is extremely challenging to realize a situation where a product is announced and then launched the next day. On the other hand, as for software, it is often the case where the time between its announcement and launch is very short, but we sometimes receive complaints from our consumers such as "I don't have enough time to consider whether I should buy one.

If you look at the global population, Japan's population is declining, and Europe and the U. In addition, Asia has higher economic growth and, considering that consumers categorized as middle class and above, or the people who have enough food and clothing, desire entertainment to enrich their lives, and the number of such consumers will be increasing on a large scale, I think it is necessary to expand our business in Asia.

On the other hand, regarding conducting business in Asia, there are many discussions about whether what we have done in Japan, U. Therefore, that gives us more reasons to localize to the local language, understand the local culture and recognize what things the local people value and will pay money for. If we were selling daily necessities, it would be acceptable to make and provide cheaper and better things, but that is not the case for entertainment, and we would like to show our results after we research what entertainment local people will really enjoy.

We are proceeding with investment, organizing teams and product plans to develop business in Asia since I think that this will be one of the most important fields in the next few years, and I believe I will be able to explain more about it in places such as business reports when we have specific details. First of all, I would like to thank you for your comments on the value of Wii U from the viewpoint of a shareholder who visited E3 as a non-exhibitor.

In my previous answer today, I explained about such market concerns over Nintendo as, "Can Nintendo 3DS recover its momentum?

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One is the exchange rates, in which the yen's rapid appreciation could have an adverse impact on the results of Nintendo because it has large sales in foreign currencies. The other is just what you have inquired about: how many people in the future will dare to buy Nintendo's systems when they can play video games with high-performance mobile phones or smartphones?

I understand that they have adopted the system with which you can start their social games free of charge in the beginning, but you are required to make payments to play more conveniently or to advance in them. So, the concerns in the market in this regard are that there may be an adverse effect on Nintendo's software sales due to such social games that can be played free of charge at the beginning and that Nintendo's business model may eventually become outmoded. It is a fact that Nintendo's results once peaked and then started to decline at the same time that social games started to gather interest and win over many users.

Therefore, a lot of people assume that there is a causal correlation between the two, and about 80 percent of economic articles on Nintendo seem to say that Nintendo is having a hard time due to social games. However, two things can happen by cause or by coincidence, and I think it very important to find out which is true.

The 8 Ways Nintendo Can Double Down on Switch's Success | WIRED

If there is a causal correlation, those playing both Nintendo DS and social games will play with Nintendo DS less frequently or become less likely to purchase Nintendo DS software. Because they will spend more of their disposable time and income on social games, there must be a meaningful gap of active use ratios of Nintendo DS if they also play games on their smartphones or play with the social games. We conduct a semi-annual extensive consumer survey both in Japan and in the U.

Because Nintendo's basic strategy is to expand the gaming population, for us to make appropriate decisions it is necessary to know how large the gaming population is and how many people are playing with Nintendo DS, Wii or other platforms. During the survey, we have recently investigated the number of social game players and the influence of social games on the active use ratios of Nintendo DS.

Please take a look at this graph. The top bar shows the entire number of Nintendo DS owners. As no less than 30 million units have been shipped to consumers in Japan, naturally some of them are not actively playing with it these days. You can see that about three-quarters of the total number of owners are still actively playing with Nintendo DS but the rest are not.

This is a totally converse phenomenon to what many newspaper reporters and analysts are saying. I feel that the fact that, these days, Nintendo has not released software products on Nintendo DS that are as attractive to consumers as before has lowered the overall active user ratios and made Nintendo DS less represented in society and, just incidentally, Mobage and GREE have increased their number of users at the same time. The third bar is the paying users of Mobage and GREE, who represent only a small part of all users of them but pay for additional items and more convenience after starting free games.

I understand that this situation is also contrary to the public perception. The only explanation I can find is that these users love games. In addition, players of paid social games purchase more Nintendo DS games than average: 1.

This is the situation in Japan. Looking at the U. It is said, however, that more and more people are playing games on Facebook, the world's largest social networking service. Let's focus on the users 19 years old and over, as social networking services are basically for adults. The active user ratio of Nintendo DS is just short of 70 percent, a little lower than that in Japan, because this data does not include children, who are in fact more intensively playing with Nintendo DS. No difference is shown with Facebook users.