In Like a Lion…

supermarioodyssey_1987273Nintendo took to E3 2017 like a lion! Prior to the Nintendo Spotlight, which was followed by the Nintendo Treehouse Live, reports circulated about about the length of the presentation. Of course, these reports were met my some of the strangest reactions possible. In typical fashion, there were the usual complaints from this person or that, expounding on all of the “reasons” Nintendo was making a mistake, and already on the way to “losing” E3.

These sentiments, however, were wholly premature, as Nintendo absolutely showed off so much information on games that will be coming to the Nintendo Switch and a few to the Nintendo 3DS titles, as well. The Nintendo Spotlight was 25 minutes of packed details, and it was all about Nintendo Switch games coming very soon. Afterward, the Treehouse Live broadcast featured a few additional tidbits.

If you were unable to watch the Nintendo Spotlight, or would like to see it again, check it out below.

A few of the highlights from Day 1 include:

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 looks amazing and is due to release Holiday 2017
  • a brand new Kirby game is coming to the Nintendo Switch, due to release next year
  • a new core RPG Pokémon game is in development for Nintendo Switch, but may be more than a year out
  • Metroid Prime 4 is now in development for the Nintendo Switch
  • Yoshi is in development and due to be released next year
  • Fire Emblem Warriors is due to be released Fall 2017
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild DLC Expansion Pass Pack 1 is due to be released on June 30 and is called The Master Trials; and Pack 2 is due to be released in Holiday 2017, and called The Champions’ Ballad
  • Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was shown off and is due to be released August 29
  • Rocket League was announced for Nintendo Switch and includes console exclusives, cross-network support, and in due to be released Holiday 2017
  • Super Mario Odyssey was packed with tons of surprising content, features amazing music and so many never-before-seen mechanics and abilities, and is due to be released on October 27

“Nintendo Switch provides everyone a ticket for a journey to new worlds and fun, exclusive experiences,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “This journey continues through all of 2017 and beyond, and it’s one that video game fans of all types won’t want to miss.”

Nintendo's E3 2017 Show FloorDuring the Treehouse Live, Nintendo showed off several minutes of game play footage for the upcoming Metroid: The Return of Samus, a new 2D Metroid title for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. This game is due to be released September 15. In addition, we were also treated to game play for the upcoming Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, due to be released on October 6. Also, as many as 12 new amiibo were shown off, and should be available soon.

The Treehouse Live was then followed by the first of three phenomenal tournaments featuring different competitive titles from Nintendo. The Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational took place today, pitting 4 teams from around the world against each other in the new Splatoon 2 game that will be released July 21. The remaining 2 tournaments are today and tomorrow, Wednesday June 14 and Thursday, June 15, respectively.

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3 returns 10 a.m. PT on Wednesday. The day will include more live gameplay, game details and developer commentary, as well as two competitions. The 2017 Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., while the 2017 ARMS Open Invitational is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PT.

There was just so much to like about Day 1 of Nintendo’s E3 showing, and it was just the first day. What else will they do?!

Which aspect of the day stood out most to you? Were you happy with what you saw? What was the biggest surprise of the day?

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


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The Information Keeps on Coming In…

Just as Nintendo prepares to create their latest E3 experience next week, the company is preparing to host 3 separate Invitational tournaments during the event. Of course, leading into the tourneys, Nintendo is giving fans an opportunity to know a little more about the games that will be shown off, competitively. One such game is, of course, Splatoon 2.

Last week, Nintendo of America released a Splat Chat video on their Official YouTube channel illustrating some of what it takes to play competitively well in the new game. They have released a second Splat Chat video today that talks about a few things like weapon choice, and even changes to certain maps.

The march to E3 2017 is officially on, and Nintendo is setting the table for some incredible activities over that 3-day period. It is going to be amazing seeing first-time footage and game play from upcoming games that we will have the opportunity to play very soon. Nintendo has already stated that their E3 coverage will focus on games that are coming in 2017. So that means like many times before, we will not be inundated by promises of long-off experiences. We will soon be able to enjoy them.

Also of note, Nintendo of America has created a new Twitter account dedicated to the competitive gaming scene called Nintendo Versus.

https://twitter.com/nintendovs/status/873228598236258304%5Bembed%5D

What are you most looking forward to from this year’s E3? Are you excited to see how the Invitational tournaments go? Would you like to participate if this becomes a continually competitive event at E3?

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

Let the Games Begin!

The annual event that most North American gamers look forward to, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, is just around the corner, and it looks like Nintendo is more than ready to deliver an amazing and unique experience this year. Invitational Tournaments are going to take over the show, and fans at home will have a front-row seat for all of the action.

This year’s E3 promises to showcase several Invitational player tournaments, and the excitement can’t get higher. Not only has Nintendo announced there will be the Nintendo Spotlight, showcasing new details on the upcoming gaming landscape for the company, but there will be a Treehouse Live presentation to follow, that will allow us to see many of the games featured in the Spotlight in game play action. In addition, they will treat observers to a display of the competitive nature of many of the games that are bringing so much life to the Nintendo Switch. Splatoon 2, ARMS, and Pokkén Tournament each have their own Invitational Tournament where competitors will go head to head live during the show to see who will come out victorious.

Tournaments
Name: 2017 Splatoon 2 World Inkling Invitational
Date: Tuesday, June 13
Time: 2:30 p.m. PT*
Details: For the first time ever, competitors from four different global regions will compete for world dominance in Splatoon 2. The four-person teams – from the United States, Japan, Europe and Australia/New Zealand – defeated their local rivals and gained the chance to take on competitors at E3.
Format: Teams will battle in a round-robin Turf War tournament that will decide seeding for the next round. All teams will play one another and get a chance to scope out their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. In the next round, teams will battle in the game’s Ranked Battle modes, in addition to Turf War. The semifinal stage will be a best-of-five battle, while the championship will be best-of-seven
Prize: The winning team will win global bragging rights and its members will have their names engraved on a sweet Splatoon 2 trophy.
Casters: Jordan Kent, Ashley Esqueda and Nintendo of America’s Eric Smith

Name: 2017 Pokkén Tournament DX Invitational
Date: Wednesday, June 14
Time: 10:30 a.m. PT*
Competitors: Eight YouTube and Twitch stars
Format: Crew battle with four teams and two players per team. Random draft order. The first person in each crew must choose one of the new characters; the other person can choose one of the original characters.
Prize: Winners will each receive a Pokkén Tournament DX art piece signed by Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company, and members of the development team.
Casters: Jordan Kent, D1 and VikkiKitty

Name: 2017 ARMS Open Invitational
Date: Wednesday, June 14
Time: 3:30 p.m. PT*
Competitors: Four professional competitive fighting game players (Alex “CaliPower” Valle, Kelsy “SuperGirlKels” Medeiros, Daniel “Tafokints” Lee and Marie-Laure “Kayane” Norindr) will take on four E3 attendees who rise to the top by competing in Nintendo’s booth.
Format: Single-elimination
Prize: The coveted 2017 ARMS Open Invitational Belt
Casters: Jordan Kent, D1 and VikkiKitty

It is utterly exciting to see Nintendo continue to embrace their competitive roots when it comes to their games and the esports landscape. Over two years ago, Triforce Johnson was often quoted as saying that through his observations, Nintendo was positioning themselves to seriously move back into the esports and competitive scene with many more of their games, beyond the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Shortly after that, Nintendo announced their Nintendo World Championships event at E3 2015. Now, more and more, we are seeing the company embrace their competitive gaming roots.

Splatoon 2 and ARMS are games that lend themselves perfectly to tournaments, and E3 is an ideal venue to bring people together to compete,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “These friendly tournaments will highlight the fun, competitive nature of these games and the Nintendo Switch hardware for people at home and on the show floor.”

One staple that has grown to be a major fan-favorite that started at an E3 event and has returned for several key events, is the Treehouse Live presentation. This is where we fans tuning in to Nintendo’s E3 presence from home get the opportunity to get a lot of the insight into Nintendo, and of course, what they have to offer us in the coming days and months. That is why I am thoroughly excited about what we will get the opportunity to experience next week!

Nintendo Treehouse: Live at E3
What: Members of Nintendo’s Treehouse will once again delve into the details of the Nintendo Switch console and games for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, including Super Mario Odyssey and Pokkén Tournament DX. Viewers will get an in-depth look at gameplay and hear behind-the-scenes details about Nintendo’s lineup for E3.
When: On Tuesday, June 13, the show starts right after the Nintendo Spotlight: E3 2017 presentation about 9:30 a.m. PT. On Wednesday and Thursday, June 14-15, the show starts about 10 a.m. PT.*
Who: Treehouse members, as well as developers and other game experts, including Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company. Ishihara and development team members will talk about the upcoming Pokkén Tournament DX game for Nintendo Switch.

Will you be tuning in live next week for any/all of the Nintendo E3 2017 festivities? Which event are you looking forward to most (aside from the Nintendo Spotlight, of course)?

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


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New Pokémon Direct Tomorrow Morning

Nintendo announced that the company will holding a Nintendo Direct in the morning. This Direct will be focused on Pokémon, and presumably the company’s plans for the rumored, yet unannounced, Nintendo Switch offering.

In one week, Nintendo’s E3 will kick off with their Nintendo Spotlight presentation, followed by the Treehouse Live streams, but it seems the company wants to lead into the event next week by sharing some potentially blockbuster news this week.

It will definitely be interesting to see what the company does with this 8-minute video presentation, and I look forward to seeing it all. The company has a track record of sharing big news leading into E3, with mixed results to follow, but with all that Nintendo has been doing to push forward their message and advance their momentum, I am supremely confident that their recent history will go a long way toward establishing a winning week ahead.

Are you a Pokémon fan? What do you expect to see during the Direct? Do you think this is foreshadowing for the coming E3 information?

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

Nintendo’s Summer of Play

Since early March, Nintendo has been keeping their proverbial “foot on the gas” so-to-speak when it comes to promoting their new home console, and even their still-successful, yet aging, handheld device, as well. The Nintendo Switch is selling out as soon as stock can be replenished at retailers worldwide. That, in addition to the continued success of the Nintendo 3DS family of systems (the New Nintendo 2DS XL, included), make the coming months and even years absolutely critical for Nintendo as a company.

Traditionally, the Summer months are slower than the rest of the year, as companies look to push out their BIG titles in the Holiday season. Nintendo, however, has a separate agenda than those other companies, as they are viewing this Summer as a time that is meant to advance momentum. After all, the Nintendo Switch did just launch only two and a half month ago, globally!

“For families looking to purchase Nintendo Switch or a new handheld in the Nintendo 3DS family of systems, the Summer of Play tour is the perfect opportunity to give these popular systems a try,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “And since each stop is filled with familiar Nintendo characters and camera-ready visuals, the tour is a great place to spend a summer afternoon, take photos and create long-lasting memories with everyone in the family.”

The Summer of Play Tour will visit the following cities on these dates:

Date City Venue
June 9-11 Irvine, California Irvine Spectrum Center
June 16-18 Pleasanton, California Alameda County Fair
June 23-25 Bloomington, Minnesota Mall of America®
June 30-July 2 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Henry Maier Festival Park
(Summerfest Grounds)
July 7-9 Chicago Navy Pier
July 14-16 Glendale, Arizona Arrowhead Towne Center
July 20-23 San Diego Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina
(San Diego Comic-Con)
July 28-30 Arlington, Texas The Parks Mall at Arlington
Aug. 4-6 Miami, Florida Aventura Mall
Aug. 11-13 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Musikfest
Aug. 18-20 New York DUMBO Waterfront
Aug. 25-27 King of Prussia, Pennsylvania King of Prussia Mall
Sept. 2-4 Baltimore Harborplace

So, as you can see, the entire Summer will be full of events from Nintendo all over the United States, and lead right into the Holiday season where not only will the excitement over the games that people will play at these events will be selling, but the highly anticipated titles of the Fall/Winter will begin to release, as well. Heightened awareness of Nintendo, their systems, and software is exactly what the company wants to create in the marketplace right now, and this series of events will go a very long way toward making that possible.

Nintendo Switch games scheduled to appear on the tour include:

Nintendo 3DS games scheduled to appear on the tour include:

On top of all the fun and games, My Nintendo members who check in with their My Nintendo QR Code will also be able to receive a free gift item (while supplies last). For more information, visit https://my.nintendo.com/news.

Will you be able to attend any of these events this Summer? Have you been able to get your hands on either of the new Nintendo devices, yet? If not, do you think attending one of these events will help you decide whether you will pick up one sooner or later?

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


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The April 12th Nintendo Direct

c9pwjhpvoaexbnmAnnounced two days in advance, Nintendo aired their newest Nintendo Direct presentation on Wednesday evening, and it primarily focused on two upcoming Nintendo Switch titles. When it was shared via Twitter, we were told that the focus would indeed be on Splatoon 2 and ARMS, which are both due to release very soon, as Spring and Summer games. It was also shared that along with the Nintendo Switch, there was also to be Nintendo 3DS game coverage, as well.

This Nintendo Direct was fantastic, and full of details on many things known and unknown. From some smaller titles to highly anticipated titles due out through the remainder of the year, we were treated to a great variety of game experiences on the horizon (and even a couple things right away).

So as there were so many specific details throughout the entire Nintendo Direct, I will talk more on highlights and some of the points that stood out to me. In the meanwhile, below is the full video of the Nintendo Direct, in case you were unable to watch before.

The Nintendo Direct started out with the Nintendo 3DS and I really enjoyed the pace of the new information, as the details came across in more of a news feed/report with a lot to share in a small space of time. A lot of great content coming to the system throughout the rest of the year, too, so Nintendo 3DS owners have a lot to look forward to.

Some of the titles that stood out to me the most during the Nintendo 3DS portion were Hey! Pikmin due out July 28 alongside accompanying Pikmin amiibo, Miitopia set to launch in North America later this year, and then there is Team Kirby Clash Deluxe which actually is free-to-start and available right away, following the presentation.

Along with the Pikmin amiibo, a few other amiibo sets were mentioned/announced, as well. June 23 will see the release of three new Legend of Zelda series amiibo, depicting Link from the Majora’s Mask era, Twilight Princess era, and Skyward Sword era. Also, the final three remaining amiibo from the Super Smash Bros. set (as previously announced) will become available on July 21, as well as a new set of Splatoon 2-themed amiibo (Inkling Boy, Inkling Girl, and Inkling Squid form).

c9pur5ju0aaojnhFor the Nintendo Switch, the company did not hold back much in the way of forthcoming content, and that’s fantastic for the brand new console. A steady stream of new games to play, and experiences to be had, have been promised to Nintendo Switch owners since the days, week, and even months leading to its release on March 3. Now, that promise is being held by the company is a major way. Over the next few months, there will be quite a few titles releasing for the console and they all vary in genre, and should appeal to most any taste of gamer out there looking for some seriously fun gaming.

From the introduction of the new characterc9pqo2vvwaaies Min Min from ARMS, to new details in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, to the new mode coming to Splatoon 2, called Salmon Run, there are gems for everyone. We know that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches on April 28, in just a couple of weeks, but then Minecraft fans have something to look forward to on May 11. Shortly after that, Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers is set to release on the 26th of May. We were finally able to get the release dates on both ARMS and Splatoon 2, June 16, and July 21, respectively.

 

 

c9psrhdumaaqldmIt was fantastic to see so much information packed into a wonderfully paced Nintendo Direct, and aside from the fact that I really enjoyed it, especially knowing that we had not really had one of this nature in quite some time, it was refreshing, to say the least. I will, however, give my additional thoughts in an upcoming post, so be on the lookout for that soon. Until then, tell me what you liked best about the Nintendo Direct.

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

Nintendo of America Launches the Nintendo Treehouse Log

Nintendo has always been known to be a highly secretive company, and rightly so, as they have successfully created some of the most iconic experiences and franchises that we know to this day. Of course, over time those same ideas have fallen prey to “copycatting” and blatant malicious intentions on some people’s parts. However, over the past several years, the company as a whole has begun to scale back the shroud slightly, here and there. From the occasional Nintendo Direct presentation to the Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentations, fans have been able to share in the joy of getting to know just a bit more about the company they love.

Now, the curtain has been pulled back just a bit more by the Nintendo of America arm of the company by launching an ongoing blog on Tumblr called the Nintendo Treehouse Log. This blog will serve as another way in which the company will be able to communicate with its fans more frequently.

tumblr_inline_omexle86hu1uftrnv_1280The first two posts are from Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff, respectively, and they both serve to illustrate the nature of what the blog will likely develop into going forward. I know that there are other game developers who maintain blogs, as well (like PlatinumGames, for one), so I am very hopeful that the Nintendo Treehouse Log will offer up tremendous amounts of information in the near and distant future.

Over the last several years, we’ve continued looking for new ways to communicate with Nintendo fans and get them the product knowledge and insight that Treehouse staff are uniquely positioned to share. What we’ve seen from Nintendo Treehouse: Live is that there is a hunger for deeper details from people who know and love the games. Sometimes it makes sense for that information to come in the form of a Nintendo Treehouse: Live broadcast, but what we’re finding is that there is more to share over the course of the year, and it may not always make sense to do it in a live stream. That’s where the Nintendo Treehouse Log comes in.

One of the great tidbits of information thattumblr_inline_on6fulrq0l1uftrnv_1280 we were able to get early-on, here from the blog, is how much of the start for the localization team happens. Nate shares his experience with the very first game that he helped to localize in his Nintendo Treehouse career, Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64.

That’s a microcosm of how we start with every game. Sometimes it begins years in advance, when we meet with dev teams to review artwork or game concepts, sometimes it begins when we see a near-finished Japanese product, but no matter when we get in the pool, the core tenet of our process remains unchanged—we need to first understand the game and the developer’s vision before we do anything else.

I am really looking forward to what we will be getting from the staff as they post to the Nintendo Treehouse Log going forward. It will be really interesting to read, and hopefully learn new things often. With the effort that Nintendo continues to put forth to make sure the experiences that fans are having with regards to their IP, it is a testament to the amount of care that Nintendo has for their fans, and I believe it will continue to show, the more they do things like this. I know I certainly plan to share the contents from the blog quite frequently (or as much as it is updated).

What type of things do you hope to see from the Nintendo Treehouse Log? Do you think this will become a major part of Nintendo of America’s strategy for communicating with fans? Will you be reading often?

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