In what could be be described as sudden and profoundly saddening, Nintendo has announced that its current president, Satoru Iwata, has passed away. They explain in a very short message that his death was due to a bile duct growth. He had surgery to remove this growth last year, which concerned many since it meant that he would skip out on last year’s E3. Upon his return, it seemed like everything was fine and that the surgery was a success. That is until today when Nintendo told us the news. According to their “Notification of Death and Personnel Change of a Representative Director (President)” (PDF) document, Iwata had actually died last Saturday, July 11th, and waited until today to fully confirm the news and relay the message to the public.
Sorry for the pun, but it had to happen. Late this morning, Satoru Iwata in the latest Nintendo Direct announced that Earthbound will be headed to the North American Wii U Virtual Console by the end of this year. This news came as a result of North American fans practically bombarding the Mother 2 Miiverse with pleas of a U.S. release when it launched in Japan in March.
Earthbound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) was a commercial flop when it launched back on the SNES, leading Nintendo to ignore markets outside Japan whenever games in this series popped up. This also lead to Earthbound 2 (aka Mother 3) never getting launched here either. However, the series has gained a passionate cult following, clamoring for some kind of release in this series. It also helped that Ness, the main character of Earthbound, was something of a mainstay in the Super Smash Bros. series and helped give exposure to the game he came from (like Marth and Roy for Fire Emblem). Some, including myself, want to get into this game to see what all the hubbub is about. Unfortunately, the asking price for the cartridge alone is well into the $100+ range online. Maybe those assholes can lower the price now.
No word yet if the music will be changed since many fans believed it was the many music samples that prevented a re-release in the U.S. But now, more of the U.S. can finally play an RPG that some call one of the best RPGs of all time.
[via Nintendo Direct 4.17.13 around the 23:13 mark]
Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata released some insight on the Wii U’s capabilities. When asked about the comparison between the Wii U power and the other next gen consoles from a Q & A in Japan between him and the company’s investors, Iwata has had this to say:
” We cannot promise that the Wii U will never be excluded from multiplatform software for eternity, but we can at least assure you that the Wii U will not have such a big difference as the Wii had in comparison to how, on other platforms, developers could expect very different graphic capabilities of generating HD-applicable high-resolution graphics.
During an investor meeting, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata mentioned that a new Super Mario games was in development, this time being in 2D like the DS and Wii New Super Mario Bros. He also touched upon the possibility of Super Mario being a good place to add DLC stages. Obviously pricing hasn’t been talked about yet, nor how many stages would be available per pop. Hopefully these’ll be new stages and not stuff already on the cart. Iwata hopes to release the game in the next fiscal year.
Here’s hoping for some asshole-level difficult stages. One of the primary reasons why I liked NSMBWii, Mario Galaxy 2, and Donkey Kong Country Returns. Bring it on Nintendo!