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Mario Kart 8 closing on 3.5 million copies sold

When Nintendo reported its net profit of 29.2 billion yen yesterday ($224 million), it also revealed that it sold 3.22 million copies of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS since the game's mid-September launch in Japan. The company's improved sales can also be credited to the continued success of another staple in its catalog: Mario Kart 8, which has now sold 3.49 million copies to date, Nintendo revealed. As for other sales figures the company reported in yesterday's earnings statements, Tomodachi Life crossed 3.12 million copies sold and Pokemon X and Y sold a whopping 13.29 million copies to date.

Following its launch in May, Mario Kart 8 provided a boost to Nintendo's Wii U shipments, which have now reached 7.29 million consoles worldwide. The racing game may have a longer tail on store shelves than previous games in the series, as Nintendo will introduce its first downloadable content pack in November for $8. The first DLC pack will feature new race tracks such as the Excitebike Arena and Yoshi's Circuit, new racers like Link, Cat Peach and Tanooki Mario as well as new vehicles like the Zelda-inspired Master Cycle and Mario's returning B-Dasher kart.
[Image: Nintendo]

Nintendo sales jump as Smash Bros. 3DS sells over 3 million

Nintendo posted a profit of 24.2 billion yen ($224 million) in the last quarter, ending September 30, a sizable resurgence for the company following its 9.9 billion yen loss in the previous quarter. The company also reported 96.7 billion yen in net sales ($895 million), a 29.5 percent jump compared to the last quarter. Nintendo's sales increases are thanks in no small part to Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, which sold 3.22 million copies worldwide since its mid-September launch in Japan.

Smash Bros. sales coupled well with the 1.27 million 3DS systems shipped for the quarter, bringing the total number of 3DS systems shipped to 45.4 million to date. Nintendo also reported an increase in Wii U hardware shipments to the tune of 100,000 units (610,000 for the quarter), a 19.6 percent boost over the previous three months. That brings the life-to-date shipments of Wii U systems to 7.29 million consoles worldwide. Despite the positive showing for the quarter, Nintendo did not make any adjustments to its forecasts for the fiscal year.
[Image: Nintendo]

Nintendo CEO Iwata recovers from surgery, returns to work

Good news, Nintendo fans -- CEO Satoru Iwata has returned to his position at the company following a medical-related absence, and notes that he has recovered well enough to resume his regular duties.

Iwata missed a shareholders' meeting in June after revealing that he required surgery to remove a bile duct tumor. Iwata told Reuters that he lost weight during the past few months, but otherwise feels "healthier" after the operation.

Welcome back, Iwata! For real though, what's with the bananas?

[Image: Nintendo]

Return to Excitebike Arena in first Mario Kart 8 DLC

Alongside Yoshi's Circuit and Link's Master Cycle, the first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack will also include a dirt track inspired by NES motorcycle racing classic Excitebike.

For those too young to remember console games that debuted in 1984, Excitebike saw players racing from right to left and leaping off dirt ramps while attempting to speed to the finish. Think of it as a proto-Trials without the modern physics technology and you've got the basic idea. The Excitebike Arena track updates the aesthetics of the NES classic for the Wii U, but as you can see in the footage below the break, is otherwise an unmistakable homage to one of Nintendo's lesser hits.

The first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack is slated to launch at some point in November. It will feature an $8 price tag, but fans willing to go as high as $12 can grab both the first DLC pack and a second, Animal Crossing-themed DLC pack to be released in May 2015.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Joystiq Deals: Ultimate Minecraft Creeper Gear Bundle

Today on Joystiq Deals, we're offering up the Ultimate Creeper Gear Bundle, allowing you to express your fandom for Minecraft's iconic baddie in many loving ways. The $34.99 package includes a Creeper-themed beanie, a scarf, a poster, three stickers, and a cube-shaped Creeper head. For $30 more you can add a plush Creeper, which you can keep as a constant reminder that anything you build in Minecraft can be taken away from you in a hissing, explosive blink of an eye.

If you're looking for more deals on deadly fictional creatures, Best Buy is offering a Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire twin-pack for pre-order starting today. The retailer-exclusive bundle includes both 3DS games and two codes that each grant players 100 health-restoring Potions, making it an ideal starting point for newbie Pokemon trainers.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

FIFA reigns in the UK, Bayonetta 2 debuts in top ten

FIFA 15 continues to rock the UK's sales charts, marking the soccer sim's fifth consecutive week at the top. EA's marquee sports game is followed by the PlayStation version of Minecraft, which reached Vita this month and made a sizable jump from ninth to second in the sales charts last week. Third on the list is The Evil Within, Bethesda's frightful survival horror game.

Unsurprisingly, the middle of the pack includes Destiny, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. As far as new games go, the Wii U-exclusive Bayonetta 2 arrived at seventh in the UK's sales charts last week, a good spot for a single-console new release that also complements our five-star review of the game. Head past the break for the breakdown of the top-ten sellers in the UK, provided by Chart-Track.

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Super Smash Bros. 3DS update balances for your Conquest pleasure

Attention Smash-ers: the non-stop online brawling will have to pause at least momentarily. Nintendo has released the first post-release update for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, introducing changes to make for "a more pleasant experience" that must be downloaded to play online.

What are those changes? Nintendo is not thorough in detailing what this update offers, as a post on its official site says only that its making a variety of balance adjustments. One notable change, however, is that you will no longer see the Conquest chart while actively playing in Conquest mode's online battles.

The large v1.0.2 patch released alongside the game on October 3, which added Conquest mode to the game as well as enabling all online modes, is also packed in with this update for anyone just getting the game so they won't have to update it twice.

Pokemon Omega/Alpha 'dual pack' has healing powers [Update]

Nintendo is packaging both versions of its upcoming Pokemon remake together, though the benefit to buying both games in one box isn't monetary. While both Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will debut next month for $40 each, the "dual pack" bundle will still cost $80. The catch to Nintendo's two-for-two-in-different-packaging deal is that both games come with individual download codes that give players 100 potions in each game, making the familiar journey a tad easier.

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire were announced for 3DS in May as "fresh takes" on the 2003 Game Boy Advance games. Like last year's Pokemon X and Y, the games feature a load of mega-evolved versions of existing 'mon. Players can still obtain a download code to access the game's demo in the next few days by purchasing one of a handful of apps or games. Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire will launch on November 21.

Update: As a minor point of clarification, the dual pack is exclusive to Best Buy stores.

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Persona Q's Wild Cards edition packs in a 3DS XL hard case

We're one month away from reuniting with Persona 3 and Persona 4's leads in the 3DS' Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, but Atlus isn't quite done tempting us with special-edition treats. While Persona Q's Limited Standard Edition will pack Tarot Card Set #2 (the first set can be earned via Persona 4 Arena Ultimax) in with the game for a combined total of $49.99, The Wild Cards Premium Edition gets a little more fancy.

In addition to Set #2, Wild Cards Premium Edition offers up a CD of tunes from the game, a hard case for the 3DS XL featuring Persona Q's cast, and a 38-page artbook, which you can flip through a sample of. The Premium Edition will go for $79.99 and, like the Limited Standard Edition, can be found at Amazon, GameStop and other select retailers.

A refresher of what Persona Q's demon-battling gameplay looks like can be viewed after the break, in which Persona 3's Yukari Takeba finds wholesome reasons to fight before getting some practice in with her bow.
[Image: Atlus]

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Slender: The Arrival stalks ratings for PS4, Xbox One, Wii U

You can't escape Slender Man. Even if you unplug your old consoles and huddle under stronger machines, you're still not safe. That's what new ratings from PEGI (Europe's content rating board) suggest anyway, as a 12-and-up grade has been assigned to Slender: The Arrival's sudden appearance on PS4, Wii U and Xbox One.

Release dates included in the ratings range from October 23 to October 24, which seems ... wrong, given the current-gen port's absence from Europe's digital marketplaces. Majesco Europe Limited is listed as the The Arrival's publisher in each content rating however, so at least that part reflects reality.

Brave souls can also venture into The Arrival's creepy woods on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac, but we propose joining our cowardly sanctuary under the bed, where we're definitely safe and none of life's monsters can ever get us. Well, except for the one that lives down here ...
[Image: Midnight City]

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy issues its final DLC pack

Publisher Square Enix has revealed that yesterday's burst of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call downloadable content is the last planned for the excellent 3DS rhythm game.

As with prior DLC releases, this final push includes nine additional songs and a new character who can be added to a player's in-game party. That character is the Kingdom Hearts 2 incarnation of Auron, a stoic fighter best known for his supporting role in Final Fantasy X, while the new tunes range from Final Fantasy 2's "Chocobo Theme" and Final Fantasy 7's "The Chase" to more recent songs like "We Have Come" from Final Fantasy Type-0. For a full track listing, visit Square Enix's blog.

Like all Theathrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call DLC releases, each individual song and character bears a $1 price tag via the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Unfortunately, there's no discount for buying the entire slate en masse.

Super Smash Bros. Amiibo figures are part trophy, part protégé

Nintendo is getting into the figurine game with a lineup called "amiibo" (disregard for capitalization included). Set to cooperate with several different games, most prominently this holiday's Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., the Amiibo statues capture the company's fanciful characters in a cute, tangible form. "Capturing" might be too strong a word, though, because it implies more fiction than there really is.

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How Nintendo rolls in 8-player Super Smash Bros.

Moments before attendees grabbed the controllers at a Super Smash Bros. press event, held in a hotel in San Francisco on Thursday evening, Nintendo had a pristine setup (above) aimed at 8 connoisseurs of clash. The configuration - 1 Wii U, 8 wired special-edition GameCube controllers, a token Gamepad and two controller adapter hubs – illustrates just one of the many options you have to exceed the traditional fight between 4 players when the game comes to Wii U on November 21.

Each of Nintendo's GameCube adapters supports 4 controllers – add in another adapter and you open the possibility of 8 active, wired players. The adapter itself plugs into 2 USB ports simultaneously, so you'll be taking up all 4 of the Wii U's ports (2 on the front and 2 on the back) if you try to mimic this setup. If you have external storage hooked up already, you can also lessen the load via a powered USB hub.

The result, though, is a responsive Smash Bros. experience which serves the true challenge of 8-player mode: finding out where the hell you are in all that delirious chaos.

Watch Nintendo's awkward Amiibo primer for Super Smash Bros.

Image If you can ignore the obnoxious camera sway, the kids who sound like thirtysomething actors on a CBS sitcom and everything about its clumsy plot, this Amiibo introduction video is a solid primer on the basics of Nintendo's upcoming figurines. [Image: Nintendo] ... Continue Reading

How 8-way fights work in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

Super Smash Bros.' 4-player fights have been chaotic but properly described by subtitles like Melee and Brawl. With the introduction of 8-player fights in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, though, those fights are going from brawl-ish to downright riotous. How will 8-ways in Smash Bros. for Wii U even work? The official Smash Bros. website offers up a handy guide for octuple pounding.

First and most importantly, only certain stages are available for 8-way fights. Screenshots show a Super Mario Galaxy stage, the Xenoblade stage seen in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the Earthbound stage, and the Kid Icarus desert scene. The site does not specify if these are the only stages available for 8-player fights.

Those fights are restricted to Stock (set number of times you can be knocked out) and Time (knock out as many players before the clock runs out) settings. Players can split into as many as four color-coded teams of two as well.

How will these fights control? Players can use as many as eight Nintendo 3DSes or eight Gamecube controllers, but there are some restrictions. Only seven Wii remotes or Wii U Pro controllers can be used simultaneously, and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U only supports a single tablet GamePad. Plan those Smash parties accordingly.
[Images: Nintendo]

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