Originally posted at News - Internet & Media
Originally posted at News - Internet & Media
Nintendo’s new console is in trouble. With a current library of games that makes it hard for even the most ardent Nintendo fanboy to defend, sales of the Wii U are approaching crisis levels and has caused Nintendo to lower its sales expectations several times.
What’s more troubling, however, is how developers are increasingly publicly distancing themselves from the Wii U at an alarming rate. The only major publisher to recently offer support was Ubisoft, which has some solid games in the pipeline for the Wii U, including Rayman Legends, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. The only problem is they’re all multiplatform games, even Rayman Legends, which started its life as a Wii U exclusive.
With industry-wide interest seemingly at an all-time low, Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata announced a strategic partnership with SEGA, its former rival, during a Nintendo Direct broadcast. The partnership will see SEGA release a multitude of different games across Nintendo platforms but most importantly are the three new Sonic games on the beleaguered Wii U - Sonic: Lost Worlds, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and another game that has not been announced but is rumored to be a racing title that will include iconic characters from both SEGA and Nintendo.
The question is, what impact will the “Sonic 3″ have on the Wii U?
For starters, let’s first look at the next Olympic title in the series. The original Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games was a massive success, selling nearly 8 million units worldwide. It wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will also be very popular just off the Mario and Sonic cast of characters alone.
Next up, is Lost Worlds, and, with how little we currently know about the game, it’s hard to predict how it will do at retail. About the only thing we can go on is looking back at the past, at the only exclusive Sonic game SEGA has released on a Nintendo console. Sonic and the Black Knight sold 1 million units on the Wii during the height of the console’s popularity … pretty disappointing, if you ask me. However, Sonic has come a long way since the days of the Black Knight, and his past several games have been pretty damn good, so Lost Worlds could very well become the system seller the Wii U so desperately needs.
The mystery title is the wild card in all this. According to a series of tweets by Sumo Digital Executive Producer Steve Lycett, he pondered what the studio, which recently shipped the critically acclaimed Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing Transformed, should do next with the series. He tweeted, “Having a beer, thinking of how we’d follow All-Stars Transformed… (1) I’m thinking we could finally settle some arguments, Who’d really win a kart race… (2).”
Now, the two biggest kart racers in the industry are obviously Mario Kart and All Stars Racing. Sumo Digital has shown an amazing ability at successfully implementing a multitude of different racing styles, vehicles and everything else that makes a racing game so great. Plus, Nintendo previously had SEGA develop F-Zero GX on the Gamecube, so the precedent is there. With that said, it certainly wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that the mystery title could be a Mario & Sonic kart racer. This game would have the potential to be the most popular game the two game companies have ever combined to create and would surely sell a bazillion units.
If all three games pan out well, it will be a huge boon for Nintendo, which desperately needs exclusive third-party games right now and into the future. This need is exacerbated by the fact that its first-party titles are nowhere to be seen. With SEGA’s support, Nintendo could get through the next couple of years with some very good games that give people a reason to buy the console.
The Wii U certainly won’t rival the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in terms of graphical power, online functionality and social support, but it could have some amazing games that SEGA fans will only experience on Nintendo’s console. That alone could convince many gamers to purchase a Wii U who otherwise wouldn’t. Moreover, if these games sell well enough, it might convince other third-party developers to reconsider developing games on the Wii U.
How ironic would it be if SEGA, which was at one time Nintendo’s biggest rival, ended up playing a major role in saving the Wii U?
Unfortunately, Google Hangouts was acting like a total douchebag this week and didn’t let us record a video Nerdcast, so we had to revert to the old-fashioned audio only version. Fortunately, though, we were visited by Kris and Taron from Crazy Viking Studios to talk about their roles in developing Shinobi on 3DS and their badass upcoming game, Volgarr the Viking! This is an epic-ly long show that lasts nearly two and a half hours, but you just can’t contain Volgarr in our normal podcast time!
In this episode, we talk about:
- SEGA and Nintendo’s unholy alliance
- Christian Whitehead totally makes a better Sonic game than SEGA
- Volgarr the Viking is going to kick some major ass when it releases this summer
- And a whole lot more, like what we’ve been playing and other stuff!
Many classic SEGA titles are pretty much available on every damn system ever created, and even some microwaves, so this bit of news isn’t all that surprising as SEGA of Japan announced today that Altered Beast is coming to Nintendo’s 3DS in Japan on May 29.
Like many of SEGA’s recent re-releases, the game gives you a wide assortment of options, including playing the North American or Japanese version, two visual modes – a stereoscopic 3D and CRT, mid-game save and ”whimsical transformation,” which apparently allows you to choose which beast to transform into at the beginning of a level, to name a few.
With Altered Beast, SEGA has now “transformed” four classic SEGA games into 3D on the Nintendo handheld, which include Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Harrier and Super Hang-On, for 600 yen.
Well, I’m not sure if anyone really saw this coming, but it’s a pleasant surprise – the Total War: Rome franchise is now spinning off into its own series of novels.
Written by David Gibbins, “The Sunday Times’ Best Selling Author” (as the book’s cover states), ‘Total War: Rome – Destroy Carthage‘ is the first of four books, based on The Creative Assembly’s best-selling game series, to be announced.
The story follows Roman centurion, Fabius Petronius Secundus, as he rises to power. Here’s the blurb from the book’s official site:
Destroy Carthage will launch alongside Total War: Rome II this September, and will be released in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Hungarian languages at launch. The book is currently available to pre-order from Amazon.
After the recent announcement that First 4 Figures (F4F) was launching a new series of SEGA All-Star statuettes, the company teased Ryo Hazuki as its first figure. F4F then asked fans to vote for their favourite SEGA characters on its forums – this wasn’t a promise, but it did allude to the idea that the winner of the vote would be the next character to be released.
Well, now the company has teased its next release, but it might not be what people thought.
As you can see from the above video, the next statuette will be Shadow the Hedgehog. Now, I know that alot of gamers and some SEGA fans might not be too keen on this release – however, I also know that within the Sonic community, Shadow is a very popular character. So there are definitely going to be a lot of people excited about the news.
No information on the release of the Shadow statuette just yet, but F4F started pre-orders for Ryo soon after the teaser went out, which is due for release from Q4, so I would expect Shadow to be released around the same time.