The Economy Version of The Wii Heading to North America

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The Wii mini is finally arriving in the United States. Nintendo announced the economized version of the Wii will launch in the US for $99.99. Nintendo first released the Wii Mini in Canada last year, and followed with a UK debut this past March. The system is smaller than the original Wii, and comes bundled with Mario Kart Wii. Also included are a Wii Remote Plus controller and Nunchuk, both in red. Sadly, the system lacks some of the core features of earlier versions of the console.

First and foremost, it has no online functionality, so games are limited to local multiplayer options. Nintendo has also removed backward compatibility from the Wii Mini’s feature set, which let it leave out the GameCube gaming feature as well. Finally, the system lacks support for Wii component cables, taking away the ability to output video at a 480p resolution. The highest setting the system can display with be 480i. Is anybody in America going to purchase this system? Sound off below for your thoughts.

[Source – Nintendo PR E-mail]

Soul Calibur 2 HD Online Slices Into Comic Con

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Today, during a San Diego Comic-Con panel, Namco Bandai announced a high-definition re-release of Soul Calibur 2. It will release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this fall. The game will be called “Soul Calibur 2 HD Online”. Soul Calibur 2 HD will feature the original game’s many modes such as Arcade, Survival, VS Battle, Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Practice and Weapon Master. Following the big annoucement, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada announced that Masaaki Hoshino would serve as producer on the Soul Calibur series going forward. Check out this teaser trailer below.

[Via: Gamespot]

The Reality of Gaming and Negativity This Generation (and Next)

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Back in 2009, I was publishing monthly videos via my YouTube account, while working for a previous gaming website. One particular video that garnered much attention was a video I did discussing my thoughts on the gaming market at that time. The video was aptly named “Death of the Console Wars”. Though it got several thousand views, as well as numerous comments, I felt good posting it because it was my thoughts on everything I had experienced and known from my 20+ years of gaming. The video was a culmination of all the disgust and nonsense that was flooding the blogs and internet at that time between the so-called “Console Fanboy Wars”.

Obviously, let’s be honest, this past generation has been Microsoft and Sony neck-and-neck. In the video, I spoke very bluntly on why I buy all consoles and what my predictions were for all three of the major consoles. Fast-forward 4 years years later and it turned out to be completely on the mark. No, Michael Patcher need not worry, because I would need to be wrong numerous times while sounding overly-intelligent about marketing strategies, while at the end of the day I’m just really talking about video games and nothing even remotely important to all of our everyday lives.

In this video, I predicted how Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo would fare by the end of this generation, and, without getting into it, just check the figures and polls online and the results are roughly what I stated they would be. The point is I did that video because I was beyond disgusted with the super-fanatical stereotypical nerdy arguments and drama of 21st century expression. I had purchased the Xbox 360 back in November of 2005 and have never regretted the purchase. This system ushered me into the next generation. For the first time ever, my brother and I raced home and booted it up with excitement. We were told it would visually upgrade your original Xbox games, which was revolutionary at the time. Matter of fact, it’s still revolutionary, being that no other system, including the new X1 and PS4, can upgrade last-gen visuals. Wait, that’s right – they’re not backwards-compatible to begin with! Smart move guys, that way they can port more HD classic collections later on and charge for games we already bought years before. This equals extortion according to the FBI, but let’s not get off-topic.

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Having bought the 360, I purchased Call of Duty 2 and Condemned: Criminal Origins, and needless to say, we were blown away. The visuals and audio were nothing we had ever seen or heard before. Now this is 2005; just weeks before that I was still playing San Andreas on my PS2! The graphical jump coupled with this new “High Definition” technology in video games was astounding. Right out the box, we had HD Component cables, outputting 480p “DVD” quality, 720p, and 1080i, the standard with which TV channels are broadcast in today. Hooking up my iPod to the Xbox, I could stream my music and use it as a game’s soundtrack, which for a movie score fanatic like me was pure bliss. I won’t keep describing the numerous features we have all learned and experienced now or expect. A year later, the Playstation 3 launched and after much apprehensiveness, I decided to buy this mammoth of a system, despite its equally-large price. After leaving Toys ‘R’ Us $640 poorer (tax included), I was eager to race home. This large black console I knew had to be teeming with power if it costs this much, right!? I purchased Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm, and was very content. Motorstorm showed visuals I had never seen before up to that point and was thoroughly excited to see the future of this console. Resistance didn’t wow with visuals, but it did please all in its great gameplay and intriguing story.

As 2007 came, I purchased a Wii, because I wanted this experience of new technology that the other systems weren’t doing, and I loved it. It’s great when each system offers a variety that you cannot get on the other two. I purchased Super Mario Galaxy and Resident Evil 4 Wii edition. Both were fantastic titles that went on to score very well and sell even better. By now, I had experienced all three systems in their early years, and what each one was technically capable of, up to that point at least. And now, here is where the heart of this story lies. Throughout 2006 to 2009, there was an outpouring of gamers who continuously spewed hate because of their particular stance on a gaming system. Every website imaginable had ridiculous columns about why each system was better. Now for the first time ever, “gamers” all of a sudden knew or cared about company stocks and marketing strategies, and using these in arguments about which is the better console. Even big websites, which I will not name, occasionally had articles laced with overtones of bias that would, on numerous occasions, start a list of internet comment wars about 21st-century nonsense.

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These articles/boards/comments would circulate throughout the gaming community, leading consumers who are “not in the know” to believe idiotic rumors, and some did not buy a certain console or tend to take a stance against a company because of what a friend of a friend said, or what www.$@$#.com believed. Now to me, this is all insane and I never encountered such a heavily-psychotic problem in the previous generations. I had a PS2 and Gamecube and a cousin with an Xbox and everything was all cool, the world kept spinning. By the time we got to 2009, I had realized the direction each company was going and I released this video speaking my mind on what I felt I could see coming down the road for all three. Now in 2013, I realized, as well as all of you, who had watched and commented that it was a correct assessment. Regardless, this console generation is finally coming to a close this fall. With the release of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, I had hopes that this drama would be a thing of the past; clearly, it’s not. Interesting, since this generation, both the PS4 and X1 are going to be so closely similar in specs and features and even appearance in some ways, that the differences between them are the most minuscule they have ever been in the previous generations. The Wii U shows the biggest difference between the three consoles.

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I purchased a Wii U in November of 2012, and have my own thoughts on Nintendo’s latest system and their marketing strategies. Regardless, I have never regretted my purchase, nor have I ever seriously taken anybody’s prediction that Nintendo was already TKO’d when the system just came out, literally 8 months ago. Nintendo has been in the business longer than Sony and Microsoft put together, and they didn’t become successful from having a enormous selection of mature-rated titles or a fully interactive online gaming community. They always come out swinging with their exclusive and creative titles that no other company can replicate. And I have no doubts that 8 months from now, the state of the Wii U will be at a much more prominent status than it has been placed in now.

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Sadly, ever since E3 2013, the fanboy rants have been growing to sizes of yesteryear. With Microsoft’s announced DRM policy (and its reversal), it gave Nintendo and Sony untold amounts of ammunition that is waning at a too-slow rate. I say this because once the Fall hits, all three crowds of extremist gamers will have to rant and rave. They will roar about a piece of cheaply-made plastic manufactured in China on an assembly line. They will then give reasons as to why they “hate” (yes, hate) the other company. I have said it many times before, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony DO NOT CARE WHETHER YOU LIVE OR DIE. They do not care whether you make your rent this month, or hospital bills, or lose your job. Mircosoft/Sony/Nintendo exec’s do not scour the internet messaging you on Facebook, asking “how is the family” and “how your old aunt with the heart condition doing”. They do not care about you. Their business is to generate a maximum profit each year by releasing content people that will flock to stores to buy. And there is nothing wrong with that; it’s business, pure and simple. However, when you hear this sort of “hero worship” or “company loyalty” among the gaming community, I can’t help but laugh and feel sad at the same time for them.

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I still today can’t figure out where this hate comes from. Whether some people simply can’t afford to buy multiple systems, and must create an imaginary world of hate in order to compensate for their tight income, I don’t know. All these years later and it’s still a great mystery as to why gamers/nerds/gaming journalists continue to spew hate and lunacy towards the X1, PS4, or the Wii U and all past-gen consoles. What is this passion and anger that comes from a subject so inconsequential in our everyday world? The subject after all is video games; it can’t be more infantile than that. I am 25 years old and I love playing video games and writing about my feelings on them, and the market as a whole too. However, even I realize that no matter how mainstream gaming becomes, it will always be looked on as an adolescent hobby where the only true facts are that money is spent in vast amounts each year by the consumer.

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The hate doesn’t have to be there this time, the rivalry should not be in our minds and spewing out. We are not sitting high above in an office working as an executive at any of these companies, we are merely a purchaser of their manufactured goods. And of course if you are someone who just prefers one over the other for specific reasons, that’s perfectly normal and acceptable obviously. Technology can be amazing at times, and in gaming, I do not think anybody should have the right or provocation to become enraged or angered by another piece of technology that nobody is forcing you to buy or not. I am a gamer and I love to game because it is a terrific pastime for me. I chose to purchase all three consoles because I work multiple jobs and monetary reasons would allow me to. More importantly, I chose to purchase all three because I can never see limiting myself to one or two, if not all three. If they all seem exciting in different aspects, and are all offering unique experiences in their own way, then why not?

Capcom Abandons “Complete” Games, Strives To Push “Incomplete” Games

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In a rather shocking and yet disappointing move, Capcom has announced they are restructuring their entire focus on gaming. First off, they are revising sales expectations downward for their current lot of big titles. The reasoning for this, in their opinion, is “excessive outsourcing”. Capcom now expects Resident Evil 6 to shift sales to just under 5 million, as opposed to their original hopes of over 7 million. Devil May Cry is now expected to sell a 1.25 million copies, not the original 2+ million that they had hoped for. Capcom also pointed out, in their words, “delayed response to the expanding digital contents market and insufficient coordination between the marketing and game development divisions in overseas markets” as justifying reasons for its lackluster sales. The publisher now plans to more heavily focus on promoting its DLC strategies and concentrate more on internal projects. Capcom has warned that because of this restructuring, it has “strictly re-evaluated” some current games in production. Capcom recently announced a two month delay for Lost Planet 3, which is its last known outsourced project to a 3rd party company.

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Now there was plenty of more facts and figures that Capcom issued in terms of their net income loss for the year, but honestly, who cares. None of them are paying our bills. What we do care about is the quality of games being created and how all of this affects “you”, the gamer. From the start, I must point out that the only good thing that can come of this will be Capcom returning to their original “Far East” roots of game making. I feel if you’ve been playing games as long as I have, then you’ve experienced the degeneration of quality from the old days of Capcom.  Blockbuster titles like the original and remakes of the Resident Evil series (0-5), as well as Bionic Commando, 1943, Street Fighter series, Marvel vs. Capcom, Duck Tales and so on, are far gone. Whether Capcom is just blaming western developers for their unsatisfactory sales to deter from their own shortcomings, or they truly feel they have lost their ways has yet to be seen. My personal take is to the point and very blunt, so brace yourselves.

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Yes, indeed since Capcom has shifted to relying on western companies and ideas, the games have gotten significantly weaker and unpolished. You look at Lost Planet 2, or Operation Raccoon City for clear indications of games they published or created that were made to die on release. And then you have Resident Evil 6, which was possibly the biggest disappointment for 2012 in my eyes. For everything the game did right, it did fifty things horribly wrong. Coming from a fan of the series since its inception, I can confidently judge the scope of foul taste it left in most people’s mouths. Rather than discuss what was wrong with these games or many other titles that I have not mentioned, I’d rather focus on Capcom’s statements today.

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If Capcom wants to just focus on creating games that must have DLC, then fine do that. It is 2013 and digital is the future despite the horrible cringe I feel just saying that. However, the question is, does the game need the DLC to become a more “complete” game? Another question is, if Capcom does not improve on making games or continues to publish lackluster titles, is it even worth making DLC for the game? Titles like ORC and Resident Evil 6 clearly shouldn’t have received DLC in the first place because the games themselves left little to be desired in my opinion.

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In closing, my message is simple and clear. Capcom, if you are going to indeed shift the focus back to Japan and the traditional old-school methods of making games, the way you guys used to them, that would be phenomenal. In 2013, if I could buy a Capcom game that contained the same level of quality as the Resident Evil GameCube remake of 2002, then I will personally be sending holiday fruit baskets to Capcom headquarters. Secondly, if you must make DLC, make sure that the primary focus is placed on the game itself first and foremost. If the consumer is spending $60, they want the full experience they expect to receive just as we would have 10 years ago, when there was no such thing as DLC. I know for many, we have all gotten spoiled and forgot what life was like just seven years ago before digital content. Make a game that is “complete’ from start to finish with all the bells and whistles that you guys were known for in the days of old. Then, make DLC that is equally as satisfying and creates an attractive incentive for us to plunk down another $10 or $15. Please Capcom, once again become the company I fell in love with 17 years ago, when I first powered up Resident Evil on my PlayStation. The times should move the company, yes, but in a positive way, not a downward spiral of quality and greed. You guys have a second chance to win gamers back with this move, please look to your own company’s past for the secrets on how to succeed once again.

TimeSplitters 2 HD Remake a Possibility?

Well, this will be somewhat exciting news for longtime fans of “TimeSplitters 2”. The developer, Free Radical Design, had an HD version of the game in development right before the studio’s unfortunate shut down according to what an ex-Rare employee has stated. Team members Steve Ellis, Martin Wakeley and Lee Musgrave divulged the new information in an interview. “We had an ‘HD’ downloadable version of TimeSplitters 2 in development at Free Radical in 2008,” ex-Goldeneye programmer Ellis explained. “I don’t know what happened to that but yes, I’d love to see it released at some point.

“Maybe it could be the catalyst that is required in order to raise enough interest in TimeSplitters 4 that a publisher might want to fund it. Rare outsourced some of the conversion/development of Banjo Kazooie for Xbox Live Arcade, and it was kind of a test case for us to see what could be achieved in terms of developing with a partner, keeping our costs low and making some revenue,” Musgrave explained. “You can make your own conclusions as to how that turned out by the fact that we didn’t move on to any of the other games you mention. We came close to firing off a conversion of Killer Instinct a few times, but there were licensing obstacles to that, and it never really had enough perceived interest to push it forward.” Other franchises from the group’s Rare days have also struggled to make a reappearance, although Banjo Kazooie did turn up on Xbox Live Arcade.

Rumors are now swirling around the internet that this project may indeed be picked up by another developer. Sources are still scattered on who exactly might grab the franchise and gift of completing this much needed HD revival of a cult classic. Until then we the gamers will have to wait and see what exactly comes of this, and who will finish the job. For more news on this or any other topic be sure to keep it locked onto Gamers Xtreme, and as always, “Game On!”

Wii U Price Rumors Swirling

As this generation’s console cycle begins to wind down, all eyes are currently set on Nintendo’s new machine, the Wii U. Within two months, this new hardware is set to open up the passage for the next generation of home console entertainment. On September 13th, there will be a Nintendo event held in NYC, that is expected to unveil the official pricing and launch date details for the Wii U. A viral video released today, showing a major retailer’s catalog indicating the price and different bundle options for the Wii U. If this is a valid document, pricing for the Wii U could start at $249.99 and go all the way to $349.99.

According to the leaked video, online retailers, including Amazon and Blockbuster, suggest the Wii U might launch on November 11th, not November 18th, which some have suggested (Glacier928 provided an interesting analysis as to why it would release on November 18th). If released, there will be three different bundles priced from $249.99, $299.99 and $349.99. There has been no concrete information on the difference and details of each rumored bundle as of yet. Of course speculation has flooded the internet with talk of certain games being released with the system, if you were to purchase the higher end models. At this time however, it seems likely that one thing is for sure, and that is the Wii U will launch either November 11th or 18th.  Nintendo has historically launched new hardware on Sundays alas the Wii , Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and GameCube. Only time will tell, and of course you’ll wanna keep locked onto Gamers Xtreme for the latest on all news relating to the Wii U. “Game On everybody!”

Resident Evil 15th Anniversary Montage Trailer

It’s hard to believe but 15 years have passed since Resident Evil first hit home consoles.  CAPCOM has decided to compile a montage showing every Resident Evil game in a single video.  Check it out!

What do you guys think?  Sound off in the comments!

Tip: Save your scratched discs – for less than a dollar!

Let me paint a picture for you: I’m making progress in my marathon Mass Effect 2 playthrough for each class on Insanity (an appropriate name for how much I love the game…). While charging my Xbox 360 controller, I get snagged on the cord while trying to walk over it and my console tips over. I slam on the eject button in a panic, hoping to see a still-intact disc surface. Unfortunately for me, it was the proud owner of new scarring around the outer area. And just like that, my goals of beating Mass Effect 2 with each class on Insanity was derailed.

Well, until now. It wasn’t several months later until I told Glacier928 about my disc’s predicament, and he offered a very unorthodox solution: toothpaste. No, my game doesn’t have plaque or cavities (well, not THAT kind anyway), but at this point, I figured, I couldn’t really do much more damage to the disc. What did I have to lose? So that very day,  we went on a trip to our local Target and made a beeline straight for the sample section. After grabbing a tube of Arm & Hammer Advance White – a steal at 99 cents – we went for the checkout line and I forked over the cash for what would hopefully be my Mass Effect 2 disc’s salvation. So we rush back to his house to see if the baking soda & peroxide mix will work.

And after popping it back into my Xbox 360…it worked! And just like that, my marathon was back in the running.

Now, let’s get into the specifics of the toothpaste method of repair. I realize this may be a more prevalent solution than I thought, but I’m hoping my experience helps those who haven’t heard about this yet. A few things: I would try to get as simple a toothpaste as you can get. This was the only sample tube they offered, but thankfully it worked. I would avoid toothpaste with beads or breath strips in them – that’s probably stuff you don’t want to risk leaving behind on the disc. Place your damaged disc down on a flat, clean surface and apply a small amount of toothpaste to one of your fingers, preferably the index finger. Now here’s the trick – friction helps to activate the toothpaste’s properties to smooth out cracks and seal them in. Apply the toothpaste on your finger to the entirety of the scratch, and rub it in in a back-and-forth motion. Be sure to use force here – you want to apply a good amount of pressure to achieve friction. Do this for about 3-5 minutes, then clean the disc off under cool water. Once the disc is entirely clean, dry it off and pop it back in your console of choice. If all went well, you should be playing again as if the scratch never occurred!

Let us know if this trick works for you, or if you have any other obscure maintenance tips and tricks, by commenting below.