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Nintendo reveals first Amiibo figures and prices, but no release date

Nintendo revealed an initial line up of Amiibo toys on Thursday. The near-field communication-equipped action figures compatible with Nintendo Wii U and 3DS games like Super Smash Bros. will cost $12.99 each when they launch, but Nintendo has yet to announce an official release date for the line beyond 2014.

The first wave includes 12 figures, among them many that were initially unveiled at E3 2014. Metroid's Samus, The Legend of Zelda's Link, Kirby, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, Pikachu, the Animal Crossing boy villager, and Super Mario Bros.' Mario, Princess Peach, and Yoshi populate the line. There are also figures of Marth from the Fire Emblem series and the Wii Fit trainer. Some figures shown in prototype form at E3 2014, including Princess Zelda and Kid Icarus, are not included in the first wave.

While Nintendo still hasn't confirmed a release date for its Amiibo, it did announce additional games that will support the figures, including Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Yoshi's Wooly World, Mario Party 10, and Mario Kart 8.


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SUPER SMASH BROS., AMIIBO, POKÉMON AND NEW HARDWARE BUNDLES STAR IN NINTENDO'S HOLIDAY LINEUP

Pre-Orders for First 12 amiibo Figures Kick off Nintendo's Holiday Season

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 29, 2014 – Nintendo has prepared a massive lineup of new games and products for the 2014 holiday season. The lineup includes new entries from some of the biggest franchises in gaming, new hardware bundles for Wii U and Nintendo 2DS, and new amiibo interactive figures featuring some of the most iconic characters in the world of video games.

The holiday shopping season begins today for Nintendo fans, as the first 12 amiibo interactive figures become available for pre-order at a suggested retail price of just $12.99 each. The first dozen characters available for pre-order at select retailers are Mario, Peach, Link, Samus, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Pikachu, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Villager and Wii Fit Trainer, with more on the way in the future.

"Nintendo's holiday offerings demonstrate a combination of fun franchises and great value," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "With Wii U and Nintendo 2DS hardware bundles, classic names like Super Smash Bros., Bayonetta and Pokémon, new IP like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, and amiibo, everyone will find something to love about Nintendo this holiday season. Whether people are shopping for themselves or they're prepping their gift lists, Nintendo has them covered."

Interactive amiibo Figures: Nintendo's foray into the toys-to-life category starts today, with the first 12 amiibo figures available to pre-order from select retailers. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which launches this holiday season, will be the first game with full integration of amiibo functionality. Other games that will support amiibo include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10 and Yoshi's Woolly World, with more to come. More details on amiibo functionality with the various games and a launch date will be revealed shortly.

Ultimate NES Remix slides onto 3DS later this year

Ultimate NES Remix infuses 3DS with the series' mashed-up tapas approach to revisiting 8-bit classics, starting November 11 in Europe and December 5 in North America. According to Nintendo's brief announcement the 3DS entry features content from 16 NES games, but the company didn't note if any of that content comes from the NES Remix 1 and NES Remix 2 games already out on Wii U. We've reached out to the big N to learn more, but for now all that's left to say is that it's coming to stores and the eShop, and it's priced at $30.

Meanwhile on Wii U, the NES Remix Pack compilation of the two released entries is coming to North American stores, and also with a $30 price tag.
[Image: Nintendo]

Bayonetta 2 gives Wii U a new 'do on October 24

Bayonetta 2, the new Platinum Games and Nintendo joint starring a witch wearing a jumpsuit made of her own hair, will officially be available on the North American Wii U just in time for Halloween. Both retail and downloadable versions of Bayonetta 2 will release on October 24th.

The retail version of Bayonetta 2 will also include a new version of the original Bayonetta. First published by Sega on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010, this edition of Bayonetta has her wearing new costumes based on classic Nintendo series like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Metroid. They're not just cosmetic additions either. Bayonetta's new Princess Peach outfit actually lets her summon a giant Bowser fist to crush angels.

Watch our Bayonetta 2 video preview for more info on the Umbra Witch's return.
[Images: Nintendo]



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Bayonetta 2: The witch is back on Oct. 24. The game features over-the-top battles with wild weapons that take place in gorgeous set pieces. A new snake transformation lets Bayonetta better navigate underwater. The original Bayonetta game, complete with some Nintendo cosplay options for the powerful heroine, comes bundled with the retail packaged version of Bayonetta 2.

Super Mario 3D World, Walmart Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundles by mid-September

Along with a new 3DS for Japan, which is not planned for the US or Europe this year, Nintendo also revealed new Wii U bundles. Available sometime in mid-September, Nintendo of America plans on launching a Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 bundle.

The Super Mario 3D World deluxe set bundle will feature a physical copy of the game and Nintendo Land for $299.99. The Mario Kart 8 bundle is a "Walmart exclusive," with a physical copy of the game along with Nintendo Land, and it will also retail for $299.99 "while supplies last."
[Image: Nintendo]

New Nintendo eShop releases: Layton vs Phoenix Wright, Mega Man X3

There's a good helping of eShop eStuff to tuck into this week, both on Wii U and 3DS. On the portable side, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright features two characters who were born to point together - check out our review for a more nuanced analysis. Also, Azure Striker Gunvolt pumps Mega Man-inspired side-scrolling action onto the 3DS, complete with Mighty No. 9 crossover mini-game.

Talking of the (original) blue bomber, Mega Man X3 coming to Wii U completes the Nintendo set of X games on the system. If you prefer your platforming a bit more vertical and underground, Steamworld Dig may be the Wii U game for you.

As ever, the full list of new releases is below the break. On the sales side, Capcom has a decent-sized one this week across Wii U and 3DS, and Splinter Cell Blacklist will be permanently reduced from $40 to $20 starting September 1.

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Gone Home going to Wii U, says Nintendo manager

For more on Gone Home, check out our review. (The Unite 2014 video is below the break as well as the text from the image for anyone who has difficulty reading it.)

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Mario Kart 8 DLC packs priced $8 each, $12 2-in-1 bundle

Nintendo of America confirmed the crossover Mario Kart 8 DLC packs spotted yesterday on the company's UK site, with the Zelda pack due to launch stateside in November and the Animal Crossing one in May 2015. Both packs will be available for pre-order starting today, each priced at $8. However, if you know you're going to get both, you can save 25 percent by ordering the $12 two-in-one bundle.

The saving doesn't apply if you buy both packs separately, unfortunately. On the flip side, anyone who buys both packs unlocks eight new colors of Yoshi and Shy Guy "immediately," in case you're in immediate need of some technicolor racing.

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Lego Batman 3 goes Beyond Gotham on November 11

No longer content with striking fear into the hearts of superstitious criminals in the back alleys of his hometown, Batman is branching out to more exotic climes in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

According to publisher Warner Bros. Interactive, the Dark Knight's latest blocky adventure sees our hero battling Superman villain Brainiac to prevent the destruction of Earth. It seems the hyper-intelligent alien has swiped a handful of Lantern rings and is using their power to shrink worlds for his creepy collection of tiny civilizations. Batman must join forces with the "greatest super heroes and the most cunning villains" to travel through the cosmos, collecting Lantern rings and eventually using their Oan might to topple Brainiac's plot.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will debut on November 11. As with all DC Comics/Lego mashups, the game will appear on myriad platforms, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PS3, Vita, Wii U, 3DS and PC.

Link revs up in Mario Kart 8 this November

Link is a playable character in Mario Kart 8 with the "Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8" DLC pack, due out in the UK in November for £7. We're contacting Nintendo of America for more information about a stateside release [Update: The packs are now confirmed for North America].

The pack includes Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach and Link as new playable characters, plus four vehicles and eight courses (that's two new cups with four courses each).

A second DLC pack for Mario Kart 8 is due out in May 2015, called "Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8." It includes new playable characters in Isabelle, Villager and Dry Bowser, plus four vehicles and eight courses. Purchase both packs in a bundle or separately and snag eight different-colored Shy Guys and eight different-colored Yoshis. Score.
[Image: Nintendo]

Zen Studios latest pinball table summons the Walking Dead

The silver ball maestros at Zen Studios have unleashed another meticulously designed table, this time within the horrific universe of Telltale's The Walking Dead adventure game.

Despite its non-linear nature - pinball rarely adheres to a structured narrative - the table does a solid job of using skill shots and careful ball management to retell key story moments from the first season of Telltale's beloved The Walking Dead. Zen Studios was even able to get the original voice cast from the game to record new lines for the Walking Dead pinball table. Most crucially, the table is periodically littered with ambulatory corpses that, in proper Walking Dead spirit, must be avoided or, if you've got no other options, destroyed.

Like all Zen Studios tables, The Walking Dead is DLC content available on a number of platforms. Today marks the table's debut on the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita, while PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will have to wait until tomorrow. Those playing Zen Studios' pinball games on Android and iOS will have a chance to relive the adventures of Lee and Clementine on August 28. While you wait, take a look at the trailer past the break.

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Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition trailblazes the UK charts

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition is the new UK No.1, displacing The Last of Us: Remastered after three weeks running at the top. Data compilers Chart Track offer a few interesting infobits on the new chart leader, including that the top platform for sales was PS4 with 47 percent of the share. The PS4 version sold more than last year's original Xbox 360 release, but only around 500 units more. Xbox One took 32 percent of the share, Xbox 360 13 percent this time around, and PS3 8 percent.

Also rising out of the undergrowth into this week's top ten is Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, thanks to the brand new PS4 and PS3 versions. It takes third place behind The Last of Us: Remastered, while JRPG Tales of Xillia 2 debuts in an impressive tenth place.

Finally, and quite incredibly, FIFA 14 is out of the UK top ten for the first time since its release. If only EA had another upcoming edition of its soccer sim to replace it...

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Voice of Mario meets Instagram in funny clips

Charles Martinet, best known as the voice of Mario, has joined Instagram. Of course, there are lots of people on Instagram, possibly even your dear ol' Granny. Of course, Granny probably isn't walking around with a bunch of Mario figurines and making silly videos (more power to her if she is, though).

After starting his account in mid-August, Martinet has already filled it with plenty of amusing clips, including Mario educating Luigi on the art of puns, Wario not understanding said puns and the two brothers being juggled by a Chilean street performer. We'd suggest you start with that one and work your way forward.
[Image: Charles Martinet]

Rumor: Super Smash Bros videos show Bowser Jr, Shulk, Duck Hunt Dog [Update: Videos pulled]

Update: The videos have been removed from YouTube, though you can still see snippets of them in GIF format on the NeoGAF post linked below.

If rumors are to be believed, we're not even close to seeing the final roster of Super Smash Bros. Several images and videos of Nintendo's upcoming mascot brawler have surfaced (handily collected on NeoGAF), showcasing lots of new characters. Among these are King Koopa's bandana'd progeny, Bowser Jr, Xenoblade protagonist Shulk and ... the dog from Duck Hunt.

In the videos, Bowser Jr is seen piloting a tiny version of his father's iconic flying machine, while Shulk seems to have a few things in common with fellow sword-swingers Roy and Marth. There's no video of the Duck Hunt dog, sadly, but if his appearance turns out to be true: best ... taunt ... ever.

Of course, we have to point out that talented modders have been squeezing new characters into Smash Bros Brawl for years – everything from Master Chief to Cloud Strife – so we suggest a smashing serving of salt to go along with all of this.

See the videos after the break.

Brainiac has the whole world in his hands in LEGO Batman 3



Forget Gotham, it's the world at stake in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Brainiac is collecting planets, and it's up to Batman and other DC heroes (and even some villains) to stop him. While stealing planets isn't cool, at least Brainiac got those pants he wanted.
[Image: Warner Bros. Interactive]

Upgrade Disney Infinity Wii to Wii U free of charge

Still on the fence about buying a Wii U? Disney Interactive is offering a new reason to move to Nintendo's latest home console by allowing Disney Infinity players on Wii to upgrade to the Wii U version free of charge. Beginning today, those that own the Disney Infinity Starter Pack on Wii can download the Wii U version of the sandbox game from the eShop, including the game's multiplayer components.

The offer arrives just in time for the next game in the series, Disney Infinity 2.0, which stars Marvel's super heroes when it launches on September 23. The upgrade deal also makes sense for the publisher, as Disney Interactive would certainly love for the series' sizable fanbase on Wii to make the trek to Wii U, given that Disney Infinity 2.0 won't be available on Wii.
[Image: Disney Interactive]

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