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Grant Kirkhope is one of the industry's most beloved composers, creating the soundtracks for many famous Rare titles, including GoldenEye 007 and Banjo-Kazooie. After heading our way for an exclusive interview and being listed in the Classic FM Hall of Fame, Grant Kirkhope made his way over to Guest Grumps, where he shared some information on his days at Rare and revealed one of his greatest wishes for the future of the Banjo series.

“I keep wishing that all the ex-Rare staffers would just get together and form a company, and go to Nintendo and say ‘give us the money. We’ll make you Banjo 3 for the Wii U’ or whatever. Just make Banjo 3 like it should have been made back then and it would be great, and it would be great on Wii U, and all the ex-Rare guys would be together again all happy and kissing each other. I just keep thinking we should just give it a try.” — Former Rare Composer Grant Kirkhope

Though a Banjo game on 3DS instead of Wii U is still a possibility, for Banjo 3 to ever show up on Wii U, Nintendo would have to do some ground work with Microsoft to buy the IP off of them. So while Banjo 3 the way Kirkhope would like to see it is not likely to happen any time soon, I have no distaste for the idea of the old Rare staffers getting together to form a new development company. Even if they can't bring us Banjo, I'm sure we'd all love to see their creative drive back in action again.

OUYA is an upcoming game console running on a custom-built version of the Android operating system. The console was crowd-funded via Kickstarter, and OUYA, Inc. has since been working hard to get the console ready for launch. Those who backed the console in its early Kickstarted phase should be receiving their consoles soon, while OUYA will be available to everyone else at retail starting June 4th for the low price of $99.

In other OUYA news, alongside the previously-announced NES and SNES emulators that will be launching for the console, OUYA, Inc. will be licensing emulators for several other consoles, such as Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, SEGA Genesis, Atari 2600, and plenty more. These emulators have no announced price as of yet, but you can expect more news to come soon.

OUYA is an upcoming game console running on its own version of the Android operating system, and not too long ago, the emulation community announced that there will be working emulators for NES, SNES, and other consoles immediately at — or soon after in the case of some — the console's release. Of course, emulation is a very touchy subject, especially in legal terms, so a representative from OUYA, Inc. has stepped in to address the question.

OUYA will accept emulators as long as they adhere to our content guidelines and are not submitted with any games. Meaning, if they have games they would be breaking our IP infringement guidelines.

Essentially, OUYA will accept any emulators uploaded to the OUYA store so long as they don't include any games with them. After all, there's nothing wrong with emulation itself — piracy is the question, and of course emulators would be nothing without ROMs, but when emulators don't come with any pirated games, OUYA has no obligation to stop them.

Do you remember the days when we only used one term to describe a console’s power? Twenty years ago, what people saw as “bits” were all that mattered and we could tell when one console was better than another simply by looking at the games. One needn’t any more insight than his own eyes to see that Donkey Kong Country was more advanced than the arcade’s Donkey Kong or that Sonic the Hedgehog could do more than Alex Kidd in Miracle World.

Fast forward to today and how do we compare consoles? Jargon. Twenty years ago, people didn’t debate the relative merits of a “Customized 6502 CPU” and a “Television Interface Adaptor Model 1A” because a system’s power could be easily described by marketers as “bits,” and every generation self-evidently doubled the power of the last. But those days, as you certainly know, are gone.

These ever-improving graphics were always one good reason to buy a console, but alongside visual improvements, each generation’s new technology brought us bigger and better ways to play our games. The new Mode 7 technology of the Super Nintendo, for example, allowed racing games like F-Zero and Super Mario Kart to take off, while the jump to 32 and 64-bit consoles allowed for full 3D gaming, which was a monumental advancement in its own right. During this time, advancements in technology went hand-in-hand with advancements in gameplay, but when the core fundamentals of a video game have reached their limits, companies look for other, less essential ways to improve the experience.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

PAX East is upon us and it is the time for gamers everywhere to rejoice (so long as they're in the North-East area). one of the most exciting things about PAX is that once in a while, software companies will use the opportunity to announce new titles, and that's just what we've got today. ...Sort of.

At the Capcom panel at PAX East, Mega Man fans had a lot to be happy about. Community manager Brett Elston announced a special light-up Mega Man figure to go along with the rest of the franchise's 25th anniversary celebrations, and also confirmed that Mega Man 4 is coming to the Nintendo 3DS eShop on April 25th, while Mega Man 5 is coming on May 16th. The most exciting news, however, is that Elston also announced that Capcom is developing a new Mega Man game, but they are not ready to reveal any details.

Quickly afterwards, however, the full corporation stepped in and clarified that the company is having "ongoing discussions about Mega Man," but that there is nothing they are ready to announce. Did Elston slip up on his word choice, or did he reveal a new title before he should have? Not too long ago, Christian Svensson revealed that the company was discussing the future of the Mega Man series, and it looks like they've settled more firmly on a solid direction to take it. Are you excited to see what Capcom has in store for us?

Did Nintendo accomplish anything with the Wii besides being a money-raking, disruptive piece of hardware? Last time on nextract, I mentioned that at some point the Wii could offer up any kind of game one might imagine themselves wanting to play. To which a reader replied: 'You don't seriously believe that?' 

Yes, I do. And inside, I attempt to explain why.

Despite its shortcomings in the last few years, the Virtual Console has always been a great service for which we Nintendo fans should be very grateful. It remains, however, an incredible opportunity for Nintendo to expand and prove their prowess in the online market with a touch of inspiration and a lot of drive to pull through. One particular area in which the Virtual Console can expand is its interface—right now, gamers simply choose a retro game from the regular menu and boot it up, but why not have a full menu for all Virtual Console titles? Wouldn't you like to own a true virtual library of games?

One particular Nintendo fan has created a vivid display of his ideal Virtual Console menu and I must say, I couldn't agree with it more. Head to around 1:37 in the video above to see the wonderful display of creativity. While a decision like this would likely boost Virtual Console sales due to better ease of access and a more enjoyable experience all around, I'm going to take a leap and say an offering like this should be expanded to all digital titles, Virtual Console included.

What about you? Would you like to see this dream become a reality?

Unbeknownst to many in light of the wonderful Nintendo World store, Nintendo conducts a lot of their US business from offices in New York City—Park Avenue, in fact, if you're nearby and would like to see the final days of their larger occupancy. The offices in New York are originally in charge of the Club Nintendo awards program, but with their recently-annoucned downsizing, the program will be moved to the pre-existing Redmond, WA branch, where most of the company's American localization takes place.

"Nintendo is keeping a facility and operations in New York. The Direct Consumer Communications (DCC) team is moving to Redmond headquarters to merge with our Network Business Department (NBD) to provide better digital offerings and services for consumers. Other Nintendo staff unrelated to DCC will remain in New York in a new office location close to the Nintendo World Store."
— Charlie Scibetta, NoA Spokesperson

This move will probably not affect your daily life, though it's sad to hear that a building with so much Nintendo history will no longer see the gorgeous light of the glowing GamePad screen day. They do, however, note that this move is in effort to improve the digital offerings of Nintendo of America, so as long as the Virtual Console finally gets the likes of Pokémon, Wario Land, and for the love of God some Game Boy Advance games, it seems like this move will be worthwhile.

In a recent interview with GameSpot, legendary Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto revealed that when developing a game, his work first goes into the core gameplay, and then he decides what IP best suits the experience.

"Whenever I start working on something I always start with creating new gameplay. After that gameplay becomes more concrete, we look at which character is best suited to the gameplay. So I guess from my standpoint, the ideal situation would be that we’re creating an experience that’s so new and so unique that we can present it to consumers with a new character or IP in a way that would be easiest for them to really understand the concept and enjoy the gameplay. But it may also be that in some of those cases it makes more sense for it to involve some of the characters that are more familiar to our fans."
Shigeru Miyamoto

Now funnily enough, I can imagine that there are a lot of times when he breaks these rules. Surely when developing a New Super Mario Bros. game, the associated franchise is the first thought in development, rather than building a sidescroller. Similarly, I’m sure Skyward Sword began production as a Zelda game before they decided to slap Link onto a faceless dungeon-filled adventure game. But of course, for brand new types of games like the famously rebranded Kirby’s Epic Yarn, this kind of approach is completely unsurprising. It does make you wonder, though, just how many potentially great new IPs Nintendo’s thrown away over the years.

Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s legendary creative ringleader, recently sat down with GameSpot’s Giancarlo Varinini for an interview. After being asked if he plans to give any other games the Wii U treatment like Nintendo is planning for The Wind Waker HD, Miyamoto-san avoided the direct question, but revealed that he actually prefers developing new titles to remaking old games.

Of course I can only talk about the titles we've announced publicly. We are thinking about the possibilities around that, but there's nothing I can share today. I guess I can say from my perspective, I’m more interested in creating new titles. — Shigeru Miyamoto

It’s interesting to see him say this, after expressing interest in remaking A Link to the Past for Nintendo 3DS alongside the recent 3DS remakes of Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64. On the other hand, though, it’s not entirely unsurprising that creating fresh games is more enjoyable than simply redoing something.

What makes Nintendo tick? Is it like the beautiful pendulum swing in Mario 64's Tick Tock Clock? Why allude to that? 

Last time, we looked at what Nintendo did to make some successful, innovative content in the past. We saw that their interest in non-specifically Japanese things and slightly Western things helped them achieve creative, mainstream success. We also questioned whether "modern Nintendo" was a little too invested in technology in creating new, innovative hardware and software. …Are they? The former and latter styles of innovation say something about Nintendo's philosophy. For an answer on what makes Nintendo "tick," let's discuss the Wii and Nintendo 64 years…

We know Yarn Yoshi is on it's way to the Wii U eventually, so it's more prevalent than ever to take a look back at some of the series roots. Yoshi's Island is often considered a rather iconic game for the other "green" hero who's name doesn't start with an L. Nintendo 3DS Daily is doing an in-depth analysis of the entire game, starting with part one of a long series. Here's an excerpt:

Whether this intro scene was a holdover from the “prerendered graphics controversy” or whether it was always intended to look distinct from the rest of the game, it certainly stands out. While it looks radically different, it carries a storybook feel, which fits the rest of the game’s style nicely. The intro is actually rather dark and subdued, depicting a “dusky, pre-dawn sky,” Yoshi walking through a dark jungle, and Kamek in his castle before finally showing some broad daylight. The music-box-inspired tune is simple and emotional, and hilariously comes to a halt early and needs to be rewound.

The title screen is truly a memorable one: a rotating view of the bright, colorful inviting island. Even as the game shows off its graphical muscles (in a friendly, incidental way, not like an intimidating bully), the standout here is the music. Initially, we hear only the sounds of waves crashing onto the beach. The music slowly and quietly makes itself heard, a gentle, relaxing piece lazily drifting through your ears.
There is just a lot of great stuff in this. To think, it's only the beginning! What are some of your fondest memories of Yoshi's Island?

It's no secret that the modern gaming market is a lot less stable than it was a few years ago. I was hoping to write a lengthy editorial on this very subject, but the brilliant minds at CleverNoobs have just done so in video form! This feature takes an in-depth look at the gaming crash of 1983 and the parallels between it and today. Discussing the effects of DLC, online gaming, and retooling old games, CleverNoobs explains why the current market is in a state of upset and what we can all do to try to avoid it—and even why a crash may ultimately be a good thing. CleverNoobs has done a wonderful job at explaining the state of the industry, and as educated gamers, this is an essential video to watch.

Excited about Mega Man's 25th Anniversary? A few months ago, Capcom announced its plan to bring the first six Mega Man titles to the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console, and with the third game in the franchise coming in three days, it's great to see them give the classic Mega Man its proper due in light of recent fan outcries. Mega Man 3 will be available on Nintendo 3DS' Virtual Console service starting March 14th, while the fourth, fifth, and sixth entires in the famous series will be released in the following months.

What's more is that Capcom plans to release digital versions of the soundtracks to each of the six original Mega Man games. Barring this treatment plus a series reboot, this is just about the best possible time to be a Mega Man fan.

A few months ago, Vicarious Visions posted an image on Facebook of their team hard at work. What they didn't realize was that in the background, a large poster of a redesigned Crash Bandicoot could be seen quite clearly. After several commenters pointed the poster out, Vicarious Visions took the image down, which tells the keener viewers out there that this may not be the leftovers of a scrapped Crash Bandicoot reboot—this may be the beginnings of a new era for the orange menace.

Crash Bandicoot was originally designed as Sony's answer to Mario and Sonic, but in recent years, he has dropped off the map. But now, a countdown page has popped up and since been retracted, saying "HE'S BACK!" Boasting the logos of Vicarious Visions, the team that leaked the first image, and Activision, their parent company and owners of the Crash license, alongside Crash Bandicoot's immediately recognizable green eyes, it's quite clear that the creator of this page is just itching to unveil Crash Bandicoot's brand-new multiplatform adventure.

The fact that this website was quickly taken down further implies that Vicarious Visions mistakenly revealed something they had hoped to keep secret. Now that the news is out, the only question is when we'll see the full details of Crash and his glorious return.

Update: a user on NeoGAF has noticed a remarkable similarity between the wooden texture in this image and the wooden texture found here. While this doesn't disprove the legitimacy of this image, it certainly doesn't do it any good. When asked about the poster on the wall, Vicarious Visions co-founder Guha Bala seems particularly evasive, so there very well could be something in the works. But then again, there might not.