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Nintendo Creators Program shares ad revenue with YouTube users

Nintendo unveiled its new revenue-sharing affiliate program for YouTube users, offering up to 70 percent of ad revenue to video makers using Nintendo-copyrighted content. The House of Mario's christened it the Nintendo Creators Program, and users with both Google and Paypal accounts can take the open beta for a spin right now.

The beta is currently offering 60 percent of ad revenue for individual videos attached to the program, and 70 percent for channels. Nintendo will calculate revenue shares on a monthly basis before sending them out to video creators via Paypal. Furthermore, videos and channels have to be approved by Nintendo before the company begins doling out the cash, and the big N says that process can take up to three business days.

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Nintendo: Sales tracking below forecasts, weak yen drives profit

Nintendo reduced its annual sales forecast by 6.8 percent today, leading to a 50 percent drop in the projected operating profit for its core business. Nonetheless, the ever-weakening state of the yen is balancing that out by boosting the company's overseas earnings.

According to its revised forecast, Nintendo now expects to earn a net profit of ¥30 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, which converts to around $255 million. That's up 50 percent from the company's previous projections, and a sharp contrast to the $229 million loss posted the previous fiscal year.

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Club Nintendo closing, 'new loyalty program' on the way

'Club Nintendo is dead, long live the new loyalty program,' is the message from Nintendo this morning, after the company announced it's closing its current rewards service. Users in the US and Canada have until the end March to earn Club Nintendo Coins and until the close of June to redeem them, signalling when the service will finally hang up its brown boots.

"We thank all Club Nintendo members for their dedication to Nintendo games and their ongoing love for our systems and characters," said Nintendo of America executive VP Scott Moffit in the company's press release. "We want to make this time of transition as easy as possible for our loyal Club Nintendo members, so we are going to add dozens of new rewards and downloadable games to help members clear out their Coin balances."

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Nintendo and Philips resolve 'virtual body' dispute

Nintendo and Philips resolved their patent disputes by signing a licensing agreement, the technology company announced. Per the agreement, both Nintendo and Philips will "cross-license portions of each company's patent portfolio." However, Philips did not disclose any other terms or financial details for the licensing agreement.

Philips filed a complaint against Nintendo in May, alleging that the video game maker infringed on Philips' patent '379, "Virtual Body Control Device." Philips said it sent notice of the alleged infringement to Nintendo in December 2011, claiming a second instance of infringement in May for patent '231, "User Interface System Based on Pointing Device." In June, a UK court found that Nintendo's reasons for developing various devices and controllers for its Wii, Wii U and DS consoles with both motion-sensing tech and cameras in it to be "unconvincing."
[Image: Nintendo]

Happy birthday, Nintendo DS

Double digits, Nintendo DS! Little two-screened wonder, the machine that rose Nintendo to the heavens rather than the depths of hell, you turned 10-years-old earlier this month. How far you've taken us, Nintendo DS! As the GameCube floundered back in 2004 and Game Boy Advance was staying afloat thanks to Pokemon, the world scoffed at your weird design. A microphone? A touch screen? Madness! Now there's scarcely a device out there that doesn't sport both features. You sit along the original Nintendo Entertainment System as one of the most successful and influential gaming machines ever.

Now that you're ten, Nintendo DS, it's time to grow up! No more dillydallying with soft batch games like Spectrobes! With a decade under your belt, its time for games that will make you the womanliest woman and manliest man you can be, Nintendo DS. Here are ten games that will make you a grown up. They will teach you things about life, love, triumph and heartbreak. Here, dear DS, are ten games to play on your road to adulthood.

Pokemon Art Academy hits North America in October

Image Pokemon Art Academy launches on October 24 in North America, digitally and in stores for 3DS. This follows the game's launch on July 4 in Europe. Pokemon Art Academy trains players to be master Pokemon artists, starting with basic shapes and working up to blending, shading, and special lessons in d... Continue Reading

July NPD: PS4 leads hardware, Last of Us returns to top software

July 2014 continues the trend of rising hardware sales and declining software sales, according to the NPD, though the software sales charts have seen a shakeup thanks to Sony's Last of Us re-release.

"Hardware sales doubled in July 2014 (vs. July 2013), stemming from growth in eighth generation console sales which offset declines in seventh generation console and portable hardware," states analyst Liam Callahan in the latest NPD report. Callahan adds that combined sales of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 after nine months of availability are now nearly 80 percent higher than prior generation consoles. The PlayStation 4 continues to be the top-selling new-generation console for the seventh month in a row.
[Image: Sony]

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Library of Congress discovers unreleased Duke Nukem game, chews bubblegum

Hail to the king of unlikely archival discoveries, baby. David Gibson, a moving image technician with the Library of Congress, stumbled upon a diamond in the rough while scouring through hundreds of games and game-related media artifacts submitted to the library by game publishers: a complete, playable, but never-released game. Duke Nukem: Critical Mass for PSP, a wholly different game than a version released on Nintendo DS in 2011, was discovered on an innocuous DVD-R.

Far from a piece of random archival material, Gibson found the actual source disc that would have been used for writing the game onto UMDs, the ill-fated proprietary media Sony used for retail PSP games. This led to further complications, though, as he had to find ways to access information locked inside of Sony's proprietary files. While Gibson hasn't found way to make the game fully playable at this point, he was able to access game code and view 3D models for not just the series' iconic Pig Cops but also Duke himself. Duke riding a jetpack, no less.

Gibson's complete report on the discovery is fascinating as both a document of a lost piece of lore in one of gaming's most infamous series, but also as a view inside the challenge of archiving gaming's history. Even with the discovery of the game, sharing the data hidden on that DVD-R remains a challenge due to the proprietary files within.
[Images: 3D Realms]

Fashion thesis dresses you like a thoroughly modern Link

Andrew Shields, a student at Parsons the New School of Design, believes that while it isn't easy being green, Link still looks spectacular decked out in viridian. Hyrule's chosen warrior and his companions in The Legend of Zelda are the inspiration for Shields' BFA thesis, a men's clothing line that will be ready-to-wear provided he acquires the necessary funding to see it complete.

"When I was young I wasn't really allowed to play with Barbies or draw dresses in my notebook, so I stopped and played on the computer, and I learned to play video games," explains Shields, in a brief video on Kickstarter. "My thesis is based on The Legend of Zelda, a game that helped shape my childhood and taught me how to explore and navigate through life."

Navigation Awaits, the name of Shields' line, includes 21 items making up seven different outfits. These range from leafy t-shirt and jeans combos that look like Link's preferred outfit for an Avicii show to more avant garde numbers right out of a Cirque de Soleil adaptation of Twilight Princess.

"The Hyrulian wardrobe is pretty diverse and proportions are pretty well developed so I think most people could pull it off," Shields told Joystiq via email. "If there really was a big difference I would say the addition of synthetics and metal notions like zippers."

"I did think on changing the theme of my collection, by taking inspiration from only Majora's Mask, and doing a really dark, twisted collection. Ultimately, I decided a lighter collection would represent the greater whole and thats more what I wanted to do."

The real question: Will you get to wear these designs?

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PSA: Nintendo eShop undergoing maintenance today

Nintendo's Wii U and 3DS eShop services are intermittently down this evening until 5:00 p.m. Pacific (8:00 p.m. Eastern), the company noted in an update on its network status and maintenance site. Additionally, the Wii Shopping Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will be down at that time.

Today's maintenance on Nintendo platforms affects all services on Wii U and 3DS for a five minute period at 2:30 p.m. Pacific (5:30 p.m. Eastern). Likely, that brief interruption is over by the time you, dear friends, are reading this. So while it'll be a little longer before you can browse the eShop, you may resume your online Mario Kart 8 races.
[Image: Nintendo]

New Nintendo eShop releases: Guacamelee, Armillo

To coin Sony's term, Squids Odyssey is the first 3DS and Wii U "cross-buy" game, but it's only supported by Nintendo of Europe. Over in Europe, customers who buy the underwater RPG on 3DS can download the previously released Wii U version for free, as long as their Nintendo Network ID is linked across the two systems.

However, Siliconera confirmed the promotion isn't coming to North America. We wonder if there's an element of testing the waters going on, but we'll have to wait and see.

That's all very interesting, as is 3D rolling platformer Armillo (pictured above, check out its trailer below the break) and the excellent Guacamelee, both of which are now on Wii U. Yet our eyes are inexorably drawn to Bombing Bastards. Not because of the game, which has an undeniably familiar whiff about it, but the name itself, which Nintendo is apparently cool with. Remember when Stealth Bastard Deluxe became Stealth Inc on Sony platforms? Looks like Nintendo doesn't care so much, which is not the way round we pictured that.

As ever, you'll find all the new eShop releases below the break. Sales-wise, Kung Fu Rabbit is half-price at $2.49 until July 10, while Just Dance 2014 is permanently down to $40. Also, you can visit the weird and wacky world of 3DS sim Tomodachi Life through a new demo.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Shovel Knight, Castlevania 3

The gardening tool-wielding Shovel Knight makes his debut on Nintendo platforms this week, joining Konami's NES classic Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Virtual Console. Who would win in a fight, you think -- Shovel Knight or Trevor Belmont? I'm guessing that a shovel would do a lot more damage to a leather-clad vampire hunter than a bullwhip would do to a suit of armor, so we'll give this round to Shovel Knight.

Other Wii U highlights this week include the 3D Arkanoid-like Brick Breaker 3D and the intriguingly-named Monkey Pirates. 3DS owners get a broader selection of choices with games like Skypeace, Toy Stunt Bike, and Mysterious Stars: The Samurai.

This week's update also gives eShop users the chance to save some cash with price drops for Code of Princess, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, Urban Trial Freestyle, Darksiders 2, and a collection of Ubisoft-published games. You can read more about this week's eShop releases here.

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Retro Game Challenge 2 fan translation released

A fan-made translation patch for Indieszero's classic gaming-themed Nintendo DS compilation, Retro Game Challenge 2 (aka Game Center CX: Arino no Chousenjou 2), has surfaced, rendering it fully playable in English for the first time.

Like its officially localized predecessor, Retro Game Challenge 2 features a quest that takes players back to the 8-bit era, where they must complete difficult challenges across several included games while scouring faux gaming magazines for hints and cheats. While the original game featured simple action games and straightforward challenges, Retro Game Challenge 2 includes multiple text-based adventure games, making the Japanese version a difficult playthrough for players who are unable to read the language.

Though Retro Game Challenge met with acclaim from players stateside, publisher Xseed declined to translate and release its sequel in North America, citing low sales of the original game. Instructions for applying the Retro Game Challenge 2 patch are available at the translation team's website.

[Image: Indieszero / RGC2 Translation Team]

Wii U plugs first DS game into Virtual Console in Japan

Puzzle-poser Brain Age is the first DS game to arrive on Wii U Virtual Console, and it's out now in Japan for free until June 30.

Nintendo revealed plans in January to add the DS to Virtual Console on Wii U, but it's unknown if Brain Age is headed West or when other DS games may come to the system. When approached on the matter, a spokesperson for Nintendo UK told Joystiq, "We have nothing to announce at this time."

To use its oh-so-catchy full title, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day! hit Japan's store shelves back in 2005. The West didn't see it until 2006, but that didn't stop the brain-teaser going on to notch 19 million sales worldwide.

It also didn't stop our love affair with Dr Kawashima's floating polygonal dome, even if he couldn't understand our thick Manchester accent.
[Image: Nintendo]

Wii and DS online play lives on through homebrew server

Pro-tip for life: Don't tell the Internet it can't do something. Case in point, Nintendo shut down its official servers for Wii and DS online play just three days ago, and already there's a community running their own service in its stead. While it may take some extra work and tweaking on your end to configure a DS or Wii system to be compatible with the unofficial server, it is theoretically possible to still get in a race or two of Mario Kart.

We say "theoretically" because, being unofficial and all, the server isn't as stable or reliable as Nintendo's was. Not every game with online play has been tested for compatibility, and even those that have been tested could crash under server stress. Still, the project's wiki page notes that it is being actively developed, so it's possible things will improve. In the meantime, wear a hard hat and watch for falling goombas.
[Image: Nintendo]

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