The Wii U will go down in history as one of Nintendo's least successful consoles. It had one great idea, however: Miiverse. A system-wide message board that players could post drawings, messages and screenshots to. Better yet, some titles displayed Miiverse posts as friendly advice (New Super Mario Bros. U) or expressive speech bubbles (Splatoon) directly inside the game. Now, of course, Nintendo is focused on the Switch, so it's killing the Miiverse in Japan. On November 8th, at 3pm local time, it will no longer be available on either the Wii U or 3DS family of consoles.
You may want to check if you can cancel your Fire Emblem Warriors or Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon pre-orders. Nintendo has just announced a special FE Warriors edition for the Switch and a Veteran Trainer's dual pack that includes both new Pokémon games. The special edition FE Warriors comes with a copy of the game for Nintendo's hybrid console, three CDs' worth of music from the game, character art cards and a dual-sided poster. It'll set you back $80, or $20 more than just the game itself, but if you get weak in the knees for special edition collectibles, then that doesn't sound so bad. Nintendo has also revealed that the game will be available in North America on October 20th, at least for the Switch.
Microsoft regularly uses Halo as a selling point for its technology (see: the original Xbox), and that's definitely true in the virtual reality era. The tech pioneer and 343 Industries have revealed that they're working on Halo mixed reality experiences. The two aren't saying anything more at this early stage, but it's safe to say these offerings will run on Windows Mixed Reality headsets whenever they're ready... and of course, Microsoft is bound to hype them to the hilt.
Back in 2013, NVIDIA released the Shield, a handheld gaming unit that looked like a heftier Xbox controller paired with a fold-up screen. Powered by the company's then-current Tegra 4 chips, it ran on Android as a small powerhouse. The company renamed it the Shield Portable but never followed up with another officially-released handheld, instead moving on to a pair of tablet gaming machines. But a supposed prototype for the next version of the NVIDIA Shield Portable somehow wound up in a Canadian pawnshop.
We've just wrapped up another games show, and found plenty to keep us busy in Cologne, Germany. Gamescom might not have the flagship reveals of E3, but all the major games makers are here -- and they usually have plenty to show off. Whether it was VR tasters, indie hits of the future or adding drama to the beautiful game, there's likely something for everyone. Here's what wowed -- and what underwhelmed -- the Engadget team.
When I first stumbled across the rumor that Nintendo and Ubisoft had teamed up to make a Super Mario Bros. and Raving Rabbids cross-over, I chose to live in denial. It just wasn't something I wanted to be real. The very idea of allowing the banal, annoying humor that defined Ubisoft's screaming mascots into the Mushroom Kingdom just felt wrong to me. I told myself it had to be a joke, because if it wasn't, I was either going to have to play a Rabbids game -- something I'd avoided for over a decade -- or skip the first original Mario title to release on the Nintendo Switch. I was wrong. It's real. And you know what's weird? Not only is Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle actually pretty good, but the mascots I primed myself to reject, completely steal the show.
Much of Sony's advantage with the PSVR was that it was the cheapest way to get (non-cardboard) virtual reality into your home. Now that Oculus has dropped the price of its bundle, that advantage is evaporating. In response, Sony has added the required PlayStation Camera to its core bundle and kept the $399 price tag. But for the full experience, you'll need a pair of Move motion controller wands. Sony has a bundle for that as well, but it'll set you back $449 starting September 1st. And if you want the best PSVR experience, you'll need to pony up for a $400 PlayStation 4 Pro.