Train2Game News: Pokemon bank available in Europe

Pokemon BankThe Pokemon Bank app is finally available in Europe, following a number of delays. Originally scheduled to launch in the US and European eShop on December 27, the app was delayed in response to server troubles and Nintendo Network outages over the holiday season.

The app will be available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop later today and will charge users an annual fee of £4.49 / $5.00 to store their Pokemon online.

A player’s Pokemon Bank account contains 100 boxes, each with 30 Pokemon capacity, allowing for a total of 3000 Pokemon to be stored. Players can deposit and withdraw Pokemon from their copy of Pokemon X & Y.

The service will also enable players to transfer their previously collected Pokemon from Pokemon Black, White, Black 2 and White 2 into their Pokemon Bank using another 3DS app called Pokemon Transfer.

“Pokemon Box is a paid service that will allow players to have secure and convenient access”, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said during a Pokemon Direct broadcast last year.

Train2Game News: Nintendo Direct announces future Wii U games

Wii UNew Nintendo Direct looks at Nintendo’s vision for Wii U, including launching Virtual Console and how Miiverse and second-screen gaming features will continue to evolve

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata unleashed Wii U news in an instalment of Nintendo Direct today as he outlined Nintendo’s future plans for the console. Iwata revealed how the Wii U launch line-up will be bolstered by a long list of top game franchises headed for the new console. These are games that long-time players and newcomers alike will love to play, and everyone will be experiencing them in new ways, thanks to the integrated second-screen experiences enabled by the Wii U GamePad controller.

Iwata also detailed a number of enhancements designed to make the Wii U game experience more social, even if people are not playing in the same room. “The fun of video games is not only just playing games, but also sharing experiences together with people – even though they live far away, their skill levels are different or their experience does not happen at the same time,” Iwata said. “We want Wii U to be the system that brings everyone together.”

To view the Nintendo Direct in its entirety, visit http://nintendo.co.uk/nintendodirect.

The many announcements included:

Game News

  • Two Zelda Games: Eiji Aonuma, the producer of The Legend of Zelda series, revealed two entries in the series for Wii U.

  • Super Mario is on His Way: The Nintendo EAD Tokyo Software Development team that created Super Mario games such asSuper Mario Galaxy for Wii and Super Mario 3D Land for Nintendo 3DS is working on a new 3D Mario action game for Wii U. The game is scheduled to be playable at this year’s E3.

  • Racing Ahead!: Nintendo is also working on a new installment of the hit Mario Kart franchise. This game is also planned to be playable at E3.

  • Yarn Yoshi: The team that created Kirby’s Epic Yarn is hard at work on the first console game to feature Yoshi as the main character since 1998’s Yoshi’s Story for Nintendo 64. Takashi Tezuka, director of Yoshi’s Island and Yoshi’s Story, is supervising the development of the new game, which is set in a fanciful world of yarn and textiles.

  • Wii Fit U Communities: New features coming to Wii Fit U include letting players create user communities on Miiverse from within the game. Community members can discuss exercises, BMI or weight changes and other health topics with other players as a way to encourage one another to reach their fitness goals. Similar functionality for other games is also planned.

  • Pikmin 3 Photos: The upcoming Pikmin 3 game includes a feature that lets players use the Wii U GamePad as a camera to share the same perspective as Pikmin and take close-up pictures of landscapes and creatures in the game and share them in Miiverse.

  • The Party Continues: A new installment in the Wii Party franchise is planned to launch this summer. The game features various play styles, including one that lets both players compete head-to-head using just the GamePad.

  • RPG Mash-up: Nintendo has begun many collaborations with outside development partners to bring the best franchises and experiences to Wii U. In one such partnership, Nintendo and Atlus are working on a collaboration that features the Fire Emblem and Shin-Megami Tensei franchises. A video trailer for the game was shown in the Nintendo Direct.

  • A New Game from Monolith Soft: Tetsuya Takahashi and the team at Monolith Soft that worked on Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii are working on a new game. A video trailer for the game was shown in the Nintendo Direct.

  • More on the Way: Iwata shared a new trailer for The Wonderful 101. That game and GAME & WARIO are scheduled to launch in the first half of 2013. Iwata also showed a new video for Bayonetta 2. That game and the new Super Smash Bros. installment are still on the way, but will need more development time before details can be revealed.

Virtual Console

  • Virtual Console for Wii U: A spring system update will add Virtual Console software to Nintendo eShop on Wii U. The service will launch right after the spring update and will include a selection of NES and Super NES games, with Game Boy Advance games to be added in the future. The prices for NES and Super NES Virtual Console games for Wii U will be the same as they were for the Virtual Console on Wii. People who have already purchased the Wii version of a certain NES or Super NES Virtual Console game and transferred it to their Wii U console can buy the enhanced Wii U version of the same game for the reduced price of £0.99 for NES games and £1.49 for Super NES games.

  • Classic Games for 30 Pence To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the Famicom in Japan (which was known as the NES in Europe), Nintendo is making one NES or Super NES game available each month now through to July at the anniversary price of just £0.30. Each game will be available at that price for 30 days, and the first is the NES game Balloon Fight, which is now available in the Nintendo eShop for Wii U.

Social and System Enhancements

  • Miiverse Expands to Smartphones: Starting this spring, people will be able to browse Miiverse from their smartphones. Initially the experience will be browser-based, but Nintendo plans to create a dedicated Miiverse app in the future.

  • System Updates: Two major updates are on the way, one in the spring and one in the summer. The updates will introduce a wide range of functionality, such as Virtual Console capabilities and shortening the time it takes users to launch software or return to the menu screen.

For further details:
Nintendo Direct website http://nintendo.co.uk/nintendodirect
Nintendo Direct on Ustream http://www.ustream.tv/NintendoUK
Wii U website http://wiiu.co.uk
Nintendo of Europe on Twitter https://twitter.com/nintendoeurope
Nintendo UK on Twitter https://twitter.com/nintendouk
Wii U (UK) on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/WiiU.co.uk
Nintendo UK on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/nintendoukofficial

Train2Game News: Nintendo open to the idea of Free-to-play

Satoru IwataCompany President, Satoru Iwata has revealed Nintendo is open to the idea of using a free-to-play business model for new franchises.

Nintendo’s leader pledged that he won’t add free-to-play or micro-transaction elements to existing series such as Mario or Pokémon, during an interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

“We, as an industry, can now do distribution by digital means as well as micro-transactions, and the ways to obtain money through supporting entertainment have increased.

“I have no intention of denying charged games or the free-to-play model. If we were to talk about if Nintendo were to do that, however, I do not have much inclination to do that with Nintendo’s established well-known products.

“We will not have a proverbial door to full enjoyment that can only be unlocked via payment. However, this is separate from, say, having something where because there are people who want more stages to play in Mario games, we will create new courses for those people and charge for them.”

This all changes for new game franchises, though. Iwata said that for fresh ideas he is open to the idea of other methods of payment.

“For new titles with no established base, if, in the process of development, we found it to suit the free-to-play model, we might follow that route, or we might do something like ‘cheap-to-play'” he explained.

“Our sales methods have been freed up and I have no desire to extinguish that freedom. If we were to release something like that, it is not a betrayal but the birth of an interesting idea through our new found freedom, that’s all. I am not talking about changing how we sell Mario or Pokémon.”

It seems that Nintendo have seen how powerful Free-to-play can be but most certainly doesn’t want to risk their well established franchises on the new business plan.

Train2Game News: Nintendo Wii U supports free-to-play

Nintendo will support free-to-play games for their upcoming Wii U console. That’s what president Satoru Iwata told an audience of analysts at a Q&A session during E3, report Digital Spy.

“With respect to the Wii U system, when we began working on it, one of our goals was to have a variety of purchase options and additional e-commerce options available at its launch,” said Iwata.

“And because of that, we have prepared a Digital Rights Management system. We have designed the system from a technical standpoint to allow developers to freely take advantage of things like free to play and micro transactions.” he added.

While free-to-play has become a popular model for PC, it isn’t as popular on consoles. Ghost Recon Online, a free-to-play version of Ubisoft’s tactical shooter is one of the game’s following the model that’ll be arriving on Nintendo Wii U.

As reported by The Train2Game Blog, One analyst believes the Wii U will be the “Swiss army knife” of gaming.

There’s more about free-to-play and its benefits here on The Train2Game Blog, while be sure to keep reading for the latest news on the Nintendo Wii U.

What are your thoughts on Nintendo introducing free-to-play to their console? Will it be a success?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.