Android Users Will Soon Be Able to Play Super Mario Run

Nintendo has opened up pre-registration for the company’s newest smartphone game, Super Mario Run. The game was released exclusively on iOS platforms on December 15 with the promise of Android platforms soon into 2017. It appears the company is now preparing to hold to that promise very soon.

Just two weeks after the game’s initial release on Apple devices, the game has already been downloaded well over 50 Million times. The installed base for Android users will surely allow Nintendo to at least perform as well, if not exceed, those numbers. It will be exciting to see how much of an impact the expanded launch of the game will have for the company over some time.

Have you already downloaded the game? If so, how much have you enjoyed it? If not, will you be getting it when it does come available to you?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


Has Super Mario Run Re-Defined Success in Smartphone Game Development?

Perceptions on Super Mario Run are a bit hilarious right now. As you may already know, Nintendo released their first smartphone game featuring the company’s iconic Mario character just a few days ago (December 15). Even though the game has only been initially released on iOS platforms, it has performed extremely well. Within the first 4 days after launch the number of downloads was already well into 8 figures.

As impressive as those numbers are, it can also be noted that within the first 24 hours of launch, it was being reported that the game had already produced over $5M in revenue for Nintendo. So, why does it seem that despite these incredible early figures, there are those in the gaming community who are looking for the worst in the game. Some are players who sheepishly ask the question, “Is it worth buying a $10 smartphone game that can be beaten in just a few hours?” Others are those in the media who attempt to point to the company’s stock price as an indicator of the game’s success or failure in the market.

What many of those people fail to realize is, the purpose of Nintendo launching the game on smartphones (and tablets) has multiple aspects. Of course, it is meant to generate revenues for the company, but there is also the TOMA aspect of putting a unique and fairly simple (but also challenging) title on the device that most people keep in-hand virtually all day long. TOMA is top-of-mind-awareness, and the longer something enjoyable remains forefront in your consciousness, the more you become aware of it, even subtly when it meets any of your senses. So, for those people who take the time to really enjoy games, and do so with Super Mario Run, the more they see it, the more they will gravitate toward other similar experiences. Whether those experiences are on currently existing platforms, or on future platforms, understand, Nintendo will satisfy their desire for more.

So, I am trying to understand some people’s apparently obligatory negative perception of all things Nintendo. Why the desire to point out what you perceive to be failures or missteps by the company! It’s interesting that that is not a universal thing we see in particular arenas. In this case, with gaming, it’s not seen on the same scale with Nintendo as, say, with Sony or Microsoft. No company or person is perfect, so we understand there will be flaws, but the pervasiveness of the negativity is smothering. I do understand everyone is different, and they all have preferences, so maybe the number of people who gravitate to the negativity and doom-speak outnumber those of us who seek to embrace those things that bring light and positivity to our personal space. If that is the case, maybe that’s just our uphill battle to fight, but if it isn’t, then perhaps we can allow these words to sink in for a bit to really understand what that is all about.

Have you already downloaded Super Mario Run? Do you have the full version, or the trial version so far? If you don’t have iPhone (or iPad), do you intend to pick up the game when it launches on Android platforms later next year? Do you think 50,000,000+ downloads in less than a week is a disappointing result?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!

A Zelda Super Fan Gets Something Special

Nintendo recently allowed the creative minds at Super Fan Builds to surprise a Legend of Zelda fan with a one-of-a-kind, custom-built Zelda-inspired pool table. It was very interesting to watch as the designers created the unique piece that will be sure to provide countless hours of enjoyment for Super-Fan Bryan and his friends.

Super-fan Bryan has been a fan of The Legend of Zelda™ since…forever! The game came out the same year that he was born which means he’s been a fan for almost 30 years now. In this episode of Super-Fan Builds, Bryan receives a very unique build – a pool table designed with elements from the legendary game. Not only can Bryan share this build with his friends, but he can enjoy his fandom in a whole new way!

Even beyond the fascinating designs and accents that were provided for the table, I think the most intriguing part of the build was the Master Sword cue sticks. How can you go wrong when you have those in hand!

What did you like best about what you saw in the video? Would you like to have a custom table built for you? Which Nintendo franchise would you prefer, if not Zelda?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


Hunting Down the Origins of Metroid

For the last several weeks, Nintendo has been releasing developer interviews commemorating the launch of the NES Classic Edition. Already we have seen interviews from the creators of Donkey Kong, Balloon Fight, Super Mario Bros.1 and 3, and The Legend of Zelda. Now we have come to the last in the series from writer, Mr. Akinori Sao. This interview features the developers of the wildly popular Metroid game (and series), Yoshio Sakamoto and Hiroji Kiyotake.

sakamoto-kiyotakeConcept and early development for the game was actually done by two of Nintendo’s youngest employees who, in fact, were novice game developers and had only ever worked on Game & Watch titles before. For many people who played the original Metroid game when it was first released on the Nintendo Entertainment System, the game was notoriously known as difficult. Some players who got their start with Super Mario Bros. and the like, may have recognized the game as a stark departure from Mario, and that was actually by design.

Ah, so what did you two new employees have in mind as you began making the game?

Kiyotake: As we were working, the Super Mario Bros.4 boom hit. So we wanted to make something that had what Super Mario Bros. didn’t have.

What Super Mario Bros. didn’t have? Like what?

Kiyotake: As a simple example, you know how Mario slides a little before stopping?


Kiyotake: So we tried to make a dead halt.

You began with movement?

Kiyotake: Yes. We wanted to make actions that Mario didn’t have. And then…

Sakamoto: Aren’t you forgetting something important?

Kiyotake: Am I?

Sakamoto: Super Mario Bros. is about avoiding enemies.

If you touch one, you lose a turn.

Sakamoto: In response to that, Kiyotake was complaining, saying, “Why do we have to avoid them?!” (laughs)


Sakamoto: When you began making Metroid, you wanted a technique called a Screw Attack for doing a spinning jump to defeat enemies. Isn’t that right?

Kiyotake: Oh, that’s right! (laughs)

As 30 years have passed since the creation and release of Metroid, a lot of the “secrets” of the game are now common knowledge, but the origin of some of those things is still unknown. By now, everyone knows the name of the protagonist of Metroid is Samus Aran, and also that she is, in fact, a woman, but how did she get her name?

Kiyotake-san, weren’t you the one who named Samus Aran?

Kiyotake: Yes, I was.

About ten years ago when I did a magazine interview, I heard from Sakamoto-san that you’re a soccer fan and took that name from the real name of Pelé, the King of Football.

Kiyotake: Yeah. (laughs) Even though it may not really be his name…

Yeah, it isn’t. (laughs)

Kiyotake: I thought so. (laughs)

Apparently, you thought Pelé’s real name is Samus Arantes Nascimentos.

Kiyotake: Yeah, yeah, something like that.

But if you look it up, it’s Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

Kiyotake: Yeah, I was totally off! (laughs)

Sakamoto: But Arantes was right. (laughs)

Yes, that much is! (laughs)

Kiyotake: I thought that conjured up the right image, so I used that name.

How did you decide to make Samus Aran a woman?

Sakamoto: Once we entered the final stage of development, we started talking about having different endings depending on how long it took players to clear the game. We wanted to prepare a reward for people who cleared it more quickly.

Kiyotake: We wondered what would surprise everyone and talked about removing Samus’s helmet.

Sakamoto: Then someone said, “It would be a shocker if Samus turned out to be a woman!” And everyone thought that would be interesting and wanted to do it, so we decided it right away.

Kiyotake: Yeah, we decided that in a flash. Back then, people played games over and over, so we wanted to give a reward for playing through quickly. Then we decided to put in four endings, with Samus removing her helmet or her suit and so forth.

As they played, everyone thought Samus was a tough, musclebound guy, but they learned in the end that Samus was a woman.

Sakamoto: People who played it back then were shocked. And even now people talk about it like a kind of legend. (laughs)

The very history of the early days at Nintendo mother-brain.pngis always an intriguing thing to me, as it is just fascinating how things came together, and certain decision led to such magnificent results. How many times were simple decisions or limitations the very things that turned out to be pivotal and most memorable! In Nintendo’s 30+ years in the video game industry, they have created a lot of the most iconic experiences ever, and as time continues to pass, it is wonderful when they take these rare moments to open up just a little bit.

Be sure to take the time to view the entire interview for Metroid here.

Did you enjoy the interview series? Have you been able to get your hands on the NES Classic Edition, yet? Do you know anyone else who has gotten one? Which classic game do you consider your favorite of the 30 games included on the system?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


Nintendo Announces Super Nintendo World

00000488_820_461Monday morning in Japan saw the dissemination of more details from Nintendo regarding their partnership with Universal Studios theme parks. The first attraction will be named Super Nintendo World and is set to open in Japan just prior to the launch of the 2020 Olympic Games. You may remember that during the closing ceremonies for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nintendo’s iconic mascot, Mario, transformed into the Japanese Prime Minister. Now, Nintendo will be able to show the World of Nintendo to the world when the Olympic Games head to the Land of the Rising Sun.

The company is looking to capitalize on the sure influx of tourism that is generated by the Olympics. In addition, a lot of the testing ground for new ideas from Nintendo is right in the company’s home country. So often, Nintendo debuts their new concepts in Japan first, then abroad, and although we don’t know how soon afterward, we do look to see Super Nintendo World in the Orlando and Hollywood parks, as well.

“SUPER NINTENDO WORLD™” is coming to Universal Studios Japan and will be the first such opening in the world, featuring globally renowned characters and game worlds from Nintendo. Super Nintendo World is targeted to open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While Universal Studios Japan will be the first location to open, Nintendo themed areas are also coming to Orlando and Hollywood as announced by Nintendo and Universal Parks & Resorts on November 29, 2016.
Super Nintendo World will be comprised of expansive and multilevel environments filled with unprecedented, state-of-the-art rides, interactive areas, shops and restaurants, all featuring Nintendo’s most popular characters and games. Development cost at Universal Studios Japan is currently expected to exceed 50 billion Yen. Super Nintendo World will be developed mainly using the park’s current parking area and part of an area designated for future expansion. Katsuhiro Miyamoto, Professor Emeritus of Kansai University estimates that Universal Studios Japan — after opening Super Nintendo World — will bring economic benefits following its opening of approximately 6.2 trillion Yen for the Kansai region, 11.7 trillion Yen for Japan as a whole, and will create approximately 1.1 million jobs in Japan within a decade after opening. Universal Studios Japan will introduce the wonder of the world-class, Japan-based entertainment brand of Nintendo not only to Japan but to the world.

What stood out to me about the proposed development is the expected budget for it. 50 billion Yen, which is approximately $434 million US! That is a lot of money that I am sure Nintendo will guarantee to put to great use, even beyond what we could possibly imagine.

One of the most interesting things about Super Nintendo World is that it is primarily focused on themes and characters from the Super Mario Bros. series, with a little character representation from other franchises. Of course, this is just the first phase of work from this partnership, so why not begin with the most iconic of Nintendo’s many iconic works!

Super Nintendo World will feature characters and themes from the “Super Mario” series, which has continued over the years to win the hearts of devoted fans around the world. The attraction area will also feature a variety of other globally popular Nintendo characters. Nintendo characters and the worlds they inhabit will be re-created at the highest level of quality through the strong partnership between Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto, Creative Fellow at Nintendo, and Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative, renowned for creative and technical excellence. Super Nintendo World will allow guests to fully immerse themselves and all five senses in the worlds of Nintendo, and is expected to attract guests from Japan and the world over.

For many Nintendo fans, the idea of a “Super Nintendo World” has existed in their minds for decades, and to know that now it will exist in reality is surreal. I think it is important to note that as this World comes together, the ideas and concepts will be those of the original imaginators so I am sure we will truly have the opportunity to experience the essence of what their minds have intended to convey since conception of our favorite games–in real life.

What do you want to see from Super Nintendo World? Will you visit the park in Japan, or wait for it to open in Orlando or Hollywood, instead? What else would you like to see Nintendo and Universal Studios do with Nintendo’s IP?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!


The Nintendo Switch Presentation Time Has Been Set

A few weeks ago, Nintendo shared the announcement trailer for the Nintendo Switch, and the video has garnered incredible viewership in the weeks since. Within hour of going live, the video was well past record-views on the company’s official North American YouTube channel, alone. In fact, the number of views for the announcement trailer are well over 21 million, as you read this.

Following the trailer, we learned that any/all new details regarding the Nintendo Switch would officially be shared on January 12. Of course, that date seemed to be so far off for some because it had been virtually the entire year prior to the announcement waiting in anticipation for that small bit of information.

Nintendo has now announced the time at which we will finally be able to see exactly what the Nintendo Switch is going to be for us to experience.

We are right at about a month out from this global event, and I am flat-out excited about it. Nintendo is going to finally fully reveal to us what the Nintendo Switch is, and what it will be. With an 11pm ET stream, it immediately says to me this will be a HUGE global presentation that the company is certain will attract eyes from everywhere, regardless of the time.

Will you be tuning in live to watch the Nintendo Switch Presentation? What are you looking forward to seeing most during the January 12 event? What types of surprises do you anticipate?

As always, gaming is meant to be fun, so keep gaming!!