What would happen if Martin Scorsese directed the next Super Mario Brothers movie .
After 34 years of cleaning out the Mushroom Kingdom’s pipes, Mario is turning in his wrench.
Nintendo has changed the biography of its most famous character, saying he is no longer a plumber. What he is doing for a living these days, though, is a lot less clear.
“All around sporty, whether it’s tennis or baseball, soccer or car racing, [Mario] does everything cool,” says the profile on Nintendo of Japan’s page (as translated by Kotaku). “As a matter of fact, he also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago…”
It’s unclear if Mario’s brother Luigi is carrying on the plumbing business on his own.
While Mario, whose fondness for his blue overalls is legendary, has been known as a plumber for years, he actually started out as a carpenter in Donkey Kong (when he was known simply as “Jumpman”). He has also been cast as a baseball player, a golfer, an Olympian and a doctor in other games.
Clearly, the elective classes at Nintendo’s trade school are a bit more thorough than your local community college.
Mario returns to gaming consoles in October in Super Mario Odyssey, where he’ll travel to several worlds to (once again) save Princess Peach from Bowser.
Old school gamers, rejoice: Nintendo is launching the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System on November 11th.
It looks just like the iconic console of yesteryear, except it’s much smaller, includes an HDMI cable to convey the graphics in all their retro glory on your flatscreen, and it’s got thirty games built in.
Megahits like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and the original Super Mario Bros. trilogy, along with dozens of others to while away whatever free time you may have. (Tecmo Bowl, we’re looking in your direction.)
In addition to the petite console itself, the $59.99 console comes with one classic controller—which you can connect to a Wii Remote controller, to play Virtual Console NES games on a Wii U or Wii console.
To Order today :
After more than a year and a half of speculation, we finally know what Nintendo’s NX project is: the Nintendo Switch. The company revealed the first details today via a three-minute video posted to its website. You can watch it above, and read our breakdown of the trailer here.
The Switch isn’t a surprise to anyone who’s been following rumors surrounding the system. It is, as has been reported, a hybrid device — the console itself is essentially a tablet, yet it’s designed to be hooked up to a TV for home use. The tablet has two controller modules that attach onto the side for regular portable play, and they can be detached for on-the-go multiplayer or attached together to form something that resembles a regular controller.
It is simultaneously low-key and extraordinarily ambitious. Here are a few quick thoughts based on the trailer.
- The name is good! It’s catchy, it conveys the core concept, and it’s altogether new. That’s three points over the Wii U, at least.
- The hardware is… complex. Nintendo has its work cut out explaining how on earth these controllers are going to be used in practice. The video’s scenario of two Switch systems with four split controllers being used to play an NBA game beside an actual basketball court late at night seems impractical, to say the least. And attaching the controllers to the tablet had better be as effortless as the video makes it seem.
- The system isn’t aimed at kids. At least, that’s not how Nintendo wants to position it right now. The trailer is all about how the Switch’s versatility helps it slot into the lives of the types of busy, young, mostly male adults you’d find in a typical tech company’s ads.
- We still know almost nothing about the Switch’s power. The tablet base unit has actual vents, which is unusual for a mobile device and possibly puts the custom Nvidia chip in the ballpark of the Shield Android TV. As for the screen’s resolution or overall quality — or even if it’s touch-sensitive — we’ll have to wait for further announcements. But moving to mobile hardware is probably a smart decision, because Nintendo has been technically outgunned for the past two console generations without having many advantages to show for the low-power approach.
All in all, the Switch looks like a unique product that will no doubt serve as an effective canvas for Nintendo’s frequently dazzling software output over the next few years. It’s a smarter, more flexible realization of the Wii U concept, and I’m going to buy one.
But then I always was, and it’s reasonable to wonder who else will. The Wii U, which was largely a disaster for Nintendo, traded on a similar but less practical hybrid approach where the tablet-style controller only worked inside the home and was used differently across various games. It was mishandled at every level, causing Nintendo to squander the dominant position it attained with the Wii.
Nintendo’s genius with the Wii was to identify and define an untapped userbase, resulting in what was to all intents and purposes a market of one — tens of millions of people bought Wiis that would never have considered an Xbox. But by the time the Wii U launched, that userbase had moved on; the rise of mobile gaming appeared to have captured the same type of customer that would have been interested in a casual console. Or there was the possibility that the Nintendo Wii’s success was more like a novel toy than a game console.
The Wii U was a feeble effort to keep up with the shift of non-traditional gamers to touchscreen gaming, seeing Nintendo losing its nerve and chasing the puck rather than skating to where it was going to be. The system was slow, the tablet hardware was laughable, and the platform was archaic. As a vector for excellent software for Nintendo fans, it was well worth buying; for almost anyone else, it wasn’t. Since its late 2012 launch it’s sold just 13 million units, the lowest figure for any Nintendo home console by some distance.
I don’t know if the Switch can sell any fewer than 13 million units — my suspicion is that that figure isn’t a great deal larger than the absolute baseline of Nintendo fans who will buy every system no matter what. But how many more can it sell?
Now that the global insanity surrounding Pokémon Go has finally — and thankfully — subsided, Nintendo’s new NES Classic Edition is expected to unleash another wave of gaming nostalgia when it arrives in stores next month. And now, a new trailer for the miniaturized retro gaming console reveals a new feature that could change the way you play the 30 classic games that come pre-loaded on it: the ability to save your game whenever.
It’s pretty simple: Instead of having to find a save point in the game to secure the progress you’ve made, all you have to do is press the NES Classic Edition’s Reset button and you’ll be taken to the console’s Home screen where you’ll be able to save what’s called a “Suspend Point.” When you’re ready to play again, you’ll be able to pick up exactly where to you left off. Crazy, right? Basically, the feature will make playing games like PAC-MAN, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and others slightly less maddening.
Here’s how Nintendo explains the “Suspend Points” function on the NES Classic Edition website:
“Pick up right where you left off with four Suspend Point slots for each game. Just press the Reset button while playing to return to the HOME menu and save your progress to a slot. Have a perfect run going? You can lock your save file and resume at a later time so there’s no danger of losing your progress.”
The console also comes with screen settings like a CRT filter that adds those retro scan lines to your TV screen, a 4:3 mode that horizontally stretches games to better fit your screen, and of course, a “pixel perfect” mode that lets you play the games exactly as they were designed. Likewise, busting out your old hairstyle and denim jacket from 20-something years ago is totally optional. The system comes out on November 11th and will be priced at around $60.