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The NPD report has arrived for March, bringing in some positive (and negative) news for the major hardware players out there. Sony enjoyed the overall hardware sales lead for the month, with the PlayStation 4 topping the charts. This despite the release of Titanfall, which gave Microsoft's Xbox One a nice boost (Titanfall also had the lead in retail sales, edging out Infamous: Second Son). Nintendo saw a rise in Wii U hardware sales compared to last year, while the 3DS saw a significant drop. Numbers inside.

According to a recent interview with Polygon, Activision originally wanted to partner with Nintendo for their Skylanders series. The games, which feature collectible toys that interact with the game world, could have been exclusive to Nintendo consoles, at least at first.

According to Toys For Bob (a Skylanders developer) co-founder Paul Reiche, Nintendo "spent a long time looking and looking. They were just like 'We have never seen anything like this before.' I've always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs]." In the end, Nintendo ended up passing on the offer, leading Skylanders to become a multiplatform game. Nintendo later tried a similar approach with Pokemon Rumble U, and Disney Infinity has risen to challenge the franchise, but Skylanders remains a top gaming franchise (especially for children).

Would you have liked to see Skylanders be Nintendo exclusive? Would you have been in favor of possible Skylanders toys based on Nintendo franchises? Sound off in the comments!

I think for awhile now we've known that the AAA industry seems to have a heavy focus on a select few genres, and among that, making games that seem to be all too similar. We've found plenty of avenues to place the blame for this, but chief among them is the AAA marketing teams. Jim Sterling, review editor of The Escapist, had a chance to sit down with developers and other such folks within the AAA industry to talk about this very issue.

Unfortunately, he can't say who he talked to because they would lose their jobs, but he has a very saddening yet very pointed quote that explains practically every issue we see with AAA games. Head inside.

Nintendo has nailed down a few exclusive titles the last few years, such as the Monster Hunter series, Sonic, ZombiU, The Wonderful 101, and Bayonetta 2. We know when it comes to Star Wars everything Lucas Arts was working on was canceled, but one of those games apparently featured Darth Maul and was intended to be Nintendo exclusive (originally for the Wii and 3DS, later moved to Wii U). When I say intended to be, that is because when push came to shove in the very early stages Nintendo didn't offer enough financial support to ensure console exclusivity.

So, as it were, it was slated for the 360, PS3, and Wii U. The game had never seen the light of day... until now. Head inside.

While not the most inventive of the older Mario Kart tracks, I have several fond memories racing around Moo Moo Meadows. It is also the perfect opportunity to see the increased horsepower of the Wii U at work when compared to the Wii. Needless to say it looks good in the following comparison video, provided to us by GameXPlain. Head inside.

This isn't really new information, but it's something I had previously never knew about so I figured it was worth sharing. Essentially, the original ? blocks that spit out multiple coins was originally a glitch. After seeing how they impacted gameplay, they decided to keep the glitch and turn it into a feature in the game, purposely including more of them. More info inside.

Iwata may be on the hot seat, but not because of investors. Rather, it seems his approval rating is dropping internally at Nintendo and that June could be the "June of trials" - suggesting that whatever happens during the big E3 event could paint the future for Iwata at Nintendo. According to Nikkei, Iwata's internal approval ratings were at 92.89% at the end of 2011. Right now, they stand at just 77.26%. Naturally they will only sink further if he can't make the future seem bright sooner than later. More inside.

Video game soundtracks have been getting a lot of love in the past few years. Since 2011, we've seen Pokémon Reorchestrated, Twilight Symphony, and The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses all take flight, as well as tons of other projects related to video game music. This Spring, a fan hopes to Kickstart another orchestral tribute to video game music called Nintendo Underdogs Reorchestrated. Watch the video above for more information!

"Nintendo’s most recognizable tunes have already been orchestrated by some group or another, so ... I’ve decided to set my sights on some of the less famous music from Nintendo’s library. After all, fan-favorite tracks like “Ashley’s Theme,” “Beware the Forest’s Mushrooms,” and “Rainbow Road,” as well as plenty of hidden gems, all deserve their time in the spotlight... So I’m here to give it to them!"

If you want to hear your favorite overshadowed Nintendo songs in full orchestral glory, you can head over to Kickstarter to help make Nintendo Underdogs Reorchestrated a reality! You can also head inside here at Gamnesia for more information.

Animal Crossing has quickly become one of Nintendo's most successful franchises since its creation in 2001. Despite having only four installments, the series has sold approximately twenty million copies worldwide, and at this week's GDC, series creator Katsuya Eguchi and Animal Crossing: New Leaf director Aya Kyogoku took the stage to give a presentation on the series' past and future.

Animal Crossing: Wild World, the second game in the series, released on Nintendo DS in 2005 and sold ten times more than its predecessor. As of last year, it has sold over 11 million copies worldwide. Wild World was so successful that when developing the third Animal Crossing game, the team was scared of making too many changes to its formula. When Animal Crossing: City Folk released, however, fans felt like the game's world was too "isolated." So for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the development team decided to rethink the conventions of the series, and they approached the project with one goal in mind: community.

Head inside to keep reading!

Veteran game developer and generally interesting guy Peter Molyneux shared in a brief IGN interview his thoughts on the standing of Nintendo and the Wii U. The main point of the one minute, twelve second Q and A is, "Never underestimate Nintendo," as Molyneux says. He explains that he believes Nintendo is "very smart" and that their next console may very well show us the true future of gaming.

You can watch the interview in video form and see his full statement after the jump.