NES Classic Edition

NES Classic Edition Discontinued After Less Than Six Months

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In less than stellar Nintendo news, the company has announced that they are officially discontinuing the NES Classic Edition.

The retro console launched last November. Since then it has been notoriously sold out and extremely difficult to find due to high demand. Additional units have been supplied sporadically in the following months, but no where near enough to meet demand, leading the console’s price to skyrocket from resellers.. But this week’s news of cancellation is a jarring shock to many who were still holding out hope.

Here is Nintendo of America’s official statement:

Throughout April, NOA territories will receive the last shipments of Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition systems for this year. We encourage anyone interested in obtaining this system to check with retail outlets regarding availability. We understand that it has been difficult for many consumers to find a system, and for that we apologize. We have paid close attention to consumer feedback, and we greatly appreciate the incredible level of consumer interest and support for this product.

A Nintendo representative told IGN that the “NES Classic Edition wasn’t intended to be an ongoing, long-term product.” This is absolutely baffling given the obvious popularity of a nostalgic console at a prime price point ($60) packed with 30 games.

The NES Classic Edition was a tiny re-production of the original Nintendo Entertainment System that helped save gaming in the mid-80s. The NES is one of the most important consoles ever made, with an impressive library of classic games. The NES Classic Edition included all the best games, from Mario to Zelda and Metroid. Nintendo grossly miscalculated the number of nostalgic fans who wanted to relive the classics in a neat little package.

Nintendo claims they have listened to consumer feedback. An optimist may hope that this means we’ll see a new version of the retro console soon, as there’s clearly still a high demand for it. We can only hope that Nintendo, a company that’s well over a century old, learns a lot of lessons about market prediction and supply and demand.

Star Wars Forces of Destiny

Star Wars Forces of Destiny Is an Animated YouTube Series

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Disney and Lucasfilm have announced Star Wars Forces of Destiny, a new YouTube series that focuses on the iconic women of Star Wars.

Characters Rey, Jyn, Leia, Amadala, Sabine, and more take center stage in 2-3 minute mini-adventures. Actresses such as Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones and Lupita Nyong’o will reprise their roles for the animated series, which tells small stories that remain true to Disney’s Star Wars canon. The series debuts this July on Disney YouTube.

“Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ashoka’s tenacity,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “We’re thrilled that so many of the original actors are reprising their roles in these shorts which capture the small moments and everyday decisions that shape who these characters are. It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars.”

Star Wars Forces of Destiny won’t end at YouTube. A two-part special featuring eight additional episodes will air on Disney channel this Fall.

An entire product line has also been announced, including books, figures, and role-playing items.

“From Princess Leia to Sabine Wren, Star Wars heroines are unique, and we wanted to represent that in the product line for Star Wars Forces of Destiny,” said Jimmy Pitaro, chairmen for Disney Consumer Products. “The result is the creation of our new Adventure Figures that celebrate the power and stories of these incredible characters and allow kids to recreate their most heroic moments at home.”

Star Wars Forces of Destiny adventure figures

The Adventure Figures are impressive 11-inch action figures with multiple points of articulation. Hasbro president John Frascotti admits that “the Star Wars fan base has broadened over the last 40 years,” referring to the very obvious untapped market of young girls who love Star Wars. Not to mention that boys love awesome female characters as well. As the father of an impressionable young girl who loves watching Star Wars Rebels, I’m ecstatic for Star Wars Forces of Destiny.

A special preview of Star Wars Forces of Destiny will be shown during the “Heroines of Star Wars” panel at the Star Wars Celebration Orlando event tomorrow, April 14. The series launches in July.

elder scrolls online free play week

Join The Elder Scrolls Online Free Play Week

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As part of their three-year anniversary event, The Elder Scrolls Online will open its digital doors this week. The Free Play Week begins tomorrow, April 11, at 10 am Eastern/7 am Pacific on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and Mac (Steam). It ends April 18 at the same time.

When the Free Play Week begins, you’ll be able to download The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. The Free Play Week includes the base game, but not any of the DLC areas. When creating an account, you’ll receive 500 crowns to spend in the in-game Crown Store. You can purchase XP boosts, unique outfits, and other items.

Any character progress and Crown purchases you make will carry over if you decide to purchase the game after the Free Play Week. Likewise if you have participated in previous Free Play events, your characters will still be preserved and ready to play (assuming you use the same account).

The three-year old MMORPG’s anniversary event also grants some additional goodies. A unique cake vendor will spawn in Vulkhel Guard, Daggerfall, or Davon’s Watch depending on your faction. Completing his quest will reward you with the new 2nd Annual Jubilee Cake. Anyone in your group can eat a slice of cake to enjoy a two-hour 100% XP boost. Additionally all daily and weekly quests completed during the event grants an Anniversary Gift Box. These boxes contain the usual crafting materials, but also at least one rare item. The three-year anniversary event also ends on April 18.

The Elder Scrolls Online originally released on April 4, 2014 as a spin-off MMORPG to the popular single-player RPG series. It began with a subscription model and was met with mixed reactions. A year later in 2015, it dropped the sub model and was re-branded as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Now it’s a one-time purchase, along with a real-money store for extra stuff and DLC that adds new areas and content.

The first major expansion for The Elder Scrolls Online is Morrowind, coming this June.

 

Harvest Moon Lil' Farmers logo

Harvest Moon Lil’ Farmers Is a New Mobile Game for Young Children

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A new mobile spin-off title from the Harvest Moon series is being aimed directly at younger children. Harvest Moon Lil’ Farmers is being developed by Daredevil Development, who previously created kid franchise apps like Bob the Builder and Paddington Bear. It is published in cooperation with Rising Star Games and Harvest Moon owner Natsume. It’s coming worldwide on May 25 for iOS and Android mobile devices.

“We are thrilled to enter the app market with a title based on Harvest Moon, a series whose name has been synonymous with family-friendly gaming for 20 years,” said Martin Defries, Managing Director at Rising Star Games. “We worked in close partnership with the series’ originator Natsume for complete authenticity, and partnered with developer Daredevil for its impressive experience in delivering engaging and kid-friendly experiences based on trusted children’s brands.”

Harvest Moon Lil’ Farmers uses simple tap and swipe controls to farm and raise animals. Activities include collecting eggs, milking cows, planting seeds, and providing your produce to the locals. There’s no on-screen text as the game is aimed at the preschooler crowd.

Harvest Moon Lil' Farmers

Recently the Harvest Moon series went through a confusing name change with Story of Seasons and publisher Marvelous Entertainment. The Harvest Moon series of the 90s evolved into Story of Seasons. Natsume would retain the rights to the name “Harvest Moon,” however, and would publish their own Harvest Moon games beginning in 2014. Thus far Story of Seasons has been more well-received by fans and critics.

Harvest Moon Lil’ Farmers launches on May 25 for iOS and Android.