Fore! Love! Strike! Home run! TKO! All five of these phrases are going to echo through the homes of Wii U owners everywhere when the five-sports-in-one packaged version of Wii Sports Club hits stores on July 25 at a suggested retail price of $39.99. With Wii Sports Club, the millions of people who fell in love with Wii Sports can now hop off their couches and get active with new versions of the five original classic sports – Tennis, Bowling, Golf, Baseball and Boxing – enhanced with online multiplayer and optimized for play with the Wii U GamePad controller.
Wii Sports Club feels like a new experience, with the addition of crisp high-definition graphics and Wii MotionPlus technology, as well as creative uses of the Wii U GamePad. For example, in Wii Sports Club – Baseball, the pitcher aims a fastball, change-up or curveball by moving the GamePad around in real space and pressing a button to throw. If the ball gets hit in the air, the player holds the GamePad to track and catch the fly ball – just like they would with a baseball glove! In Wii Sports Club – Golf, players place the GamePad on the floor. The ball will appear on the GamePad controller’s screen and then “fly” to the TV screen when players take their golf swing using the Wii Remote Plus controller.
Using the game’s new online multiplayer mode, players no longer have to wait for a reunion or holiday gathering to play with friends and family members who live far away. Gamers from all over the country who own the game and have a broadband Internet connection can play Wii Sports Club together. Players also can join a club to represent their regions and build online communities with fellow club members by sending tips, pep talks and other messages via Miiverse.
There are so many new features in Wii Sports Club that players will feel like they are playing the game for the first time. The added GamePad features elicit the same “You have to try this!” reactions generated after playing the original Wii Sports.
Digital versions of all five Wii Sports Club games will also be available in the Nintendo eShop on Wii U starting at 6 p.m. PT on June 26.
A number of high-profile retailers in the United Kingdom have told MCV that while they think Mario Kart 8 looks like a fantastic game, the Wii U drastically needs a price cut to be able to compete against the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. The Mario Kart 8 bundle retails for £250 in the UK.
“The market needs a sub-£200 Wii U proposition and the Mario Kart 8 at £250 RRP is going to be a tough one to drive extra sales,” said ShopTo purchasing director James Rowson.
“To get the same kind of weekly sell through that PS4 and Xbox One are seeing a sub-£200 price is needed.”
The head of games at a major retail chain added. “£199.99 would be when Wii U would get interesting. Nevertheless the fact this is the first high res Mario Kart game and is very exciting.”
Speaking about Tesco’s £200 price point for the bundle, Xbite’s CEO Steve Thomas added: “It’s a step in the right direction, but it would have been better if all retailers were involved. Nintendo needs support from the wider industry rather than one retailer.”
But Games Centre’s MD Robert Lindsay plays down pricing concerns, and believes software is key to Nintendo’s success: “[The Mario Kart 8 pack] is a fantastic bundle at an attractive price which should see a nice sales spike over the coming months.
“Will this continue through to Christmas? That really depends on the strength of additional software which is the key to ongoing sales, not the price point.”
New Super Luigi U is essentially downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U. But players who don’t own a copy of the Wii U game won’t be left in the dust. Nintendo today announced that a standalone retail version of New Super Luigi U will arrive at stores on August 25th. In the upcoming DLC, Luigi’s red-garbed brother, Mario, will be absent, but critter Nabbit will be a playable character in its multiplayer mode.
The Nintendo 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro is now being sold in North America. The device is priced at $19.99, adds a second Circle Pad and an extra set of shoulder buttons to the handheld console. For now, the only way to purchase the device is through Nintendo’s online store, as the company confirmed to Joystiq that it currently has no plans to sell the Nintendo 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro at retail.
“There are no plans to sell this accessory at other retail locations at this time.”
UK trade publication MCV has spoken to a number of mainstream retailers in the United Kingdom to find out exactly what they think of Wii U, and how the current situation can be changed. The Wii U has failed to take off in the United Kingdom as not a single Wii U exclusive game has charted in the UK all-formats top 40 during 2013. Here’s what the retailers want from Nintendo.
“Wii U has not caught the public’s imagination yet,” Tesco games buying manager Jonathan Hayes
“We need a killer app to drive sales, and a big marketing push to clearly communicate what Wii U is all about – it will probably be better to focus on the premium edition to do this.”
Sainsbury’s games buying manager Gurdeep Hunjan added: “A new strategy needs to be communicated and launched for Easter, the school holidays, the summer holidays and beyond.”
ShopTo buyer James Rowson said: “Nintendo needs to show there’s a wide range of games available and on the horizon so consumers see Wii U as a good long-term investment.”
GameStop has announced that it is preparing to close 250 stores. The retail chain says that only 50 of the closed stores will be outside of the US. GameStop CFO Rob Lloyd says that the stores which will be closing as those that are unprofitable and those that are marginally profitable stores, mainly in areas with an alternate GameStop store nearby. He announced that the firm will be opening around sixty to seventy new stores. They’ve also got the acquisition of 40 stores in France from the European retailer GAME.
UK video game retailer GAME has announced via Twitter that it has started taking pre-orders for the Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate 3DS & Wii U Double Pack. The retailer is selling the Monster Hunter 3DS and Wii U Double Pack for a reasonably pricey £69.99. Other retail outlets should hopefully announce pricing soon, so it’s certainly best to hunt around a bit to get the best deal.
Developer Frozenbyte was asked, via YouTube, whether it will ever release a physical copy of Trine 2: Director’s Cut. According to the developer, there is a possibility of releasing a retail version of the side-scrolling platformer; however, Frozenbyte said it would need to find a publishing partner, which apparently takes a lot of time to arrange. Trine 2: Director’s Cut is currently a download-only title in the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo’s Wii U console, and its price is $19.99 in North America.
Will you be releasing a hardcover version of this game? Because the Wii U’s ridiculous system locking means if anything happened to the console, the game would be lost forever.
Frozenbyte: “It’s a possibility… we’d need a partner for it though, so even if we decide to go for it, it will in any case take a lot of time to arrange, so it’s hard to say when it could happen… we’ll see!”
Fire Emblem: Awakening launches in North America on February 4th. When the tactical role-playing game arrives, consumers have the option of purchasing it in physical form from retailers, or downloading the entire game straight from the Nintendo eShop on Nintendo 3DS.
The price of each version is $39.99, and if you pre-order a physical copy from GameStop, you’ll receive an art book.
Fire Emblem: Awakening reaches Europe in April.
The Wii U managed to sell 40,000 units in the United Kingdom during the first 48 hours of the console going on sale. Sources have told MCV that the majority of stock that retailers had secured have sold out. Stock is apparently filtering through retail at a trickle but should pick up in the New Year. Sales of the console could have been higher if Nintendo had provided more stock.