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The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

Nintendo has a lot going on this week. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword comes out on November 20 -- days away -- and to get you hyped, Nintendo wants to give you the chance to play the game early. But that's not all. The  Big N is also partnering with those gaming wags over at Penny Arcade for a web-comic, as well as attending the L.A. Auto Show to "unveil an exclusive collaboration" with West Coast Customs for a Mario Kart vehicle "that bridges together the iconic video game racing series and one of the most recognized names in the custom automotive industry."

Busy week, right? Details on all three initiatives under the "Read More" tag.

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Wii U Hands-On Impressions -- Battle Mii and Zelda HD

Let me just say at the outset: the foundation for this rumor is incredibly shaky. Nintendo fan site Wii U Go (via Game Informer) has word from an alleged Electronic Arts insider that the publisher is "aggressively" working to make its Origin digital store the one that power's the Wii U console. Those talks have apparently extended to Steam owner Valve as well, but the biggest push is supposedly coming from EA.

Now, to put all of this in proper perspective, let's make it clear that the EA insider in this case is an intern who heard the information from a network engineer. This is about as far from the source as news can get. That said, it's an interesting possibility being raised here.

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Nintendo logo

Why would video game maker Nintendo be holding a press conference at the LA Auto show in Los Angeles? Why would a video game company reserve the same hall Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Kia, Lincoln, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Ram are using at the big car show?

Officially, Nintendo has no comment, saying only that "we’ll have more info coming soon, but nothing more to announce at this time," but that won't stop anyone from speculating. Nintendo has no other presence at the show -- they don't have a booth or anything like that -- leading to the suggestion that the Big N is planning some kind of collaboration with a big car maker.

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The Road to E3 2011: Nintendo Report Card

Last week Nintendo reported it is expecting its first annual loss in its 30 year history. In the last six months, the company has lost nearly $1 billion dollars. According to EEDAR's Jesse Divnich, we shouldn't panic for Nintendo yet.

"I am not too concerned for Nintendo. Nintendo has consistently delivered high-quality products and I think we owe them the benefit of the doubt that they can once again retain the crown in profitability and hardware sales," said Divnich. He also noted Nintendo has hit tough times before,  "They’ve stumbled before with the Virtual Boy and the Gamecube, and have easily bounced back with their next release."

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Nintendo DS Now All-Time Best-Selling System In U.S.; 7 Million Wiis Sold In 2010

Remember back a few years ago, when the Wii was the hit toy of the year and the joke about the Nintendo DS was that it prints money? Not so much any more. Nintendo continues to post huge losses. Nintendo posted a net loss of some 70.3 billion yen ($926 million) for the six months to September 30 2011. That's nearly a billion dollars in loss. I'm no math wizard, Nintendo revised its full-year net income down from a 20 billion yen profit to a 20 billion yen loss.

Although softer sales on its systems and software are certainly a factor in Nintendo's sagging profits, the main reason for the loss is thought to be the rising value of the yen itself, which damages profits that come from overseas.

Click the "Read More" tag for details on Nintendo's shaky financial outlook.

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Playstation Move vs Microsoft Kinect: The Future of Motion Control

The concept of motion control has been embedded in every gamer’s mind since the first person jerked an NES controller in a desperate bid to keep Mario out of a pit. From there, various companies tried (and failed) to create a viable motion controlled game/system. It wasn’t until Nintendo released the Wii in 2006 that the industry finally realized there was a juicy new opportunity still ripening on the vine.

Only years old, the Wii’s influence has reshaped the face of the industry. What some see as a bubble—a fad at best—still resonates through the daily workings of video games. New motion controlled games promising to push the limits of the medium are announced with regularity. But just how far can it stretch? Will people continue to patronize games that make them get off their couch and dance around or will these games remain party favors?

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The Future of Platformers: Looking Forward To Super Mario 3D, Land, LittleBigPlanet Vita, The Last Guardian, and More!

The hop and bop genre has been through quite a bit since its humble beginnings, when Pitfall Harry and Mario first took their first leaps of faith. We’ve seen the rise and fall and rise again of the mascot platformer, the renaissance of 2D, and the advent of user-generated content.

Platformers have always been incredibly important to Nintendo, being the flagship franchise bearer’s genre of choice, but increasingly, we’re seeing plenty of innovation in Sony’s devices, and on the indie-friendly platforms – including Xbox Live Indie Games, IOS devices, and even in browsers.

Indies have been making waves by kicking it old school with a twist (see VVVVVV and Bit.Trip.Runner for a couple of excellent recent examples), breathing new life into both the aesthetics and the mechanics of the 8-bit platformers that paved the way. Think of it as revisionist history. Meanwhile, 2D has come back into style again, with the runaway success of New Super Mario Bros., and larger studios are mixing and matching genres to give the hop n’ bopper new tricks.

Looking ahead, unique physics, experiments in perspective shift, and genre blending are going to be the strongest trends moving forward. From industry standards like the big N and Sony all the way down to the tiniest indie studios, experimentation is keeping the genre alive and well in 2011 and 2012. Here are a few of the most exciting and likely influential games on the horizon.

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A Guide To the Next Generation of Consoles

The surest guide to tell that the next-generation of video game consoles are on their way, outside of official announcements and specs, is that flagship series’ hit their stride and trilogies are wrapping up. Case in point, we just battled through the last horde as Marcus Fenix in Gears of War 3 and, next month, we’ll assume the role of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 3. Whether or not Epic Games and Naughty Dog continue to develop these hugely successful IPs, the teams are likely to be experimenting with next-generation hardware long before we see the fruits of their labor.

In fact, Epic Games is experimenting with next-generation technology right now given the fact that president Mike Capps told Industry Gamers that “We’re very interested in the Wii U.” Nintendo’s 2012-bound console was unveiled at this year’s E3, and speculation has it that E3 2012 will be the trade show where Microsoft announces the successor to Xbox 360 and Sony reveals the tech specs for PS4. Until that time, precedence from the last two console generations tells us a lot about what to expect from the next-generation console launches.

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Batman: Arkham City Challenge Modes

If the achievements for Batman: Arkham City are to be believed, a future DLC pack will let the player spend time as Nightwing - the original Robin, all grown up. According to an article on Joystiq, the new achievements that leak point to a future "Nightwing Bundle Pack" that will let players play as Dick Grayson.

I'm all for a Batman game that includes every character possible, just so long as they manage to retain their own characteristics.

What about you guys, are you excited for the growing cast of characters in Batman: Arkham City?

Source: Joystiq




Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Details: New Magic, Combat, and Perks

In an interview with the UK's Official Nintendo Magazine, Bethesda's Vice President of PR, Pete Hines, said that bringing The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim to the Wii U is "a possibility." According to Hines, Bethesda will "look at any platform that will support [the] games we're trying to make, but that's the key thing - the console has to support the game as it is designed."

While Nintendo is looking to reach out to more third party developers when the Wii U is eventually released, Hines goes in to detail about how much work it is to create games for multiple platforms. "The more changes we have to make to a game the less and less palatable it becomes because making a game is an enormous process. Just doing 360, PS3 and PC - I don't think people understand the amount of work that goes into that," he said.

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Getting Girls Into Video Game Development Jobs

Last week we brought you G4 University, which aims to get you into the video game industry in one career track or another. But, as most people know, that field is predominantly male. That hasn't escaped the attention of some people, including some who have deep pockets. Over the last month college students around the nation have shared stories about their summer internships with their classmates. Only one of those students was a recipient of the G.I.R.L. Scholarship.

Alicia Crawford won this year's Gamers In Real Life Scholarship, a program run by Sony Online Entertainment and dedicated to increasing the role of women in the video game industry. The scholarship includes $10,000 for tuition and a ten-week paid internship with Sony Online Entertainment. Crawford spent this summer in San Diego working on art assets for the MMO Free Realms.

"It's been quite a blessing," Crawford says. "It's given me the opportunity to work in the industry and get hands-on experience working with a team. I have a better understanding of the game design process as a whole."

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This week on Feedback Adam "Eggplant" Sessler welcomes Mike "Mandate" Leffler, Kevin "Filler" Kelly and special guest Jessica "Kidnapped" Chobot.

Tokyo Game Show recently wrapped up. Our panel of experts detail all the major announcements from Japan's E3. And while on the subject of TGS, everyone reminisced about their favorite Tokyo Game Show memories. This part of the show consisted of glazed donuts, vans covered in plastic, kidnapping and phallic eggplants.

Other news topics included Sony's new EULA agreement additions and Netflix's plan to get into video game rentals.

Gears of War 3 was the game of the week. Maybe you've heard of it? Adam and co. dissects the game from Single player, Horde 2.0, Beast and Multiplayer.

 

Feedback -- Gears of War 3 Impressions & Best Moments At Tokyo Game Show »

The AUDIO MP3 of this episode of FEEDBACK is available here: Right-click and Save.

Show your appreciation for Feedback by leaving a comment. And tip your waitress. I'll be here all week.

Super Smash Bros. Universe Title Leaked?

We've known since E3 that a Super Smash Bros. game is in development for the upcoming WiiU system, but a recent leak (or fake) suggests the name of the game will be "Super Smash Bros. Universe."

The source is a supposedly leaked design document that you see above. A translation of the blurry text reportedly points to  third-party support (hinting at the possible inclusion of more characters like Sonic and Snake), and the abolishing of tripping a/k/a "prat-falling" (a game mechanic that has characters sometimes falling over when dashing), as well as more speed for Samus in the new game.

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Homefront

Homefront had some problems. Some of you probably think that's putting it lightly. The game rode a wave of hype into stores earlier this year, but the end product from THQ's now-defunct Kaos Studios was a certifiable mess. The publisher has invested in Homefront as a franchise, however, which means a sequel has always been on the horizon. With Kaos gone, THQ has now turned to Crytek for the follow-up.

The news was confirmed this morning, though it's going to be some time before we see how occupied America is faring in the wake of the resistance's victory at the end of the first game. The press release notes that the Homefront sequel is currently targeted for a 2014 console and PC release.

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G4 University: Your Complete Guide To Landing a Video Game Job

G4 University Week has concluded its courses, but thanks to the magic of the internet, you can attend anytime you want. We've put together a full guide to all of the G4U content right after the break, so if you happened to miss anything, you can find it below. So get out there, get educated, and get a job!

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