One year ago, Nintendo kicked off a new generation with the release of the Wii U. Now that Sony and Microsoft have joined it with new hardware, it's time for us to start planning retirement parties for the previous generation of consoles. We've already looked back at the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but now it's time for the Joystiq staff to recount some of its favorite experiences had on the Nintendo Wii.
Of course, these are just a few of our favorites. Share your favorites in the comments below – that is, if you're not too busy ruling the world as Mario and Friends in their latest adventure.
The other new Disney Interactive-created toy boxes introduced this week are Big Thunder, inspired by the Big Thunder Mountain attraction at Disneyland, as well as Sky Gauntlet 2 and The Sky Trials. Disney Infinity recently received new characters, including Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled's Rapunzel.
If we had you at "Mario games at 30 percent off," let's fill you in on the details. Both the 3DS and Wii U versions of Super Mario Bros. 1 and 2 feature, while Super Mario Land 2 and Mario & Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move are also discounted on the 3DS eShop, and Super Mario World and the original Mario Bros. get price dips on the Wii U eShop. We'd say there's no better time to revisit SMB2 then after playing Super Mario 3D World - gotta love that floaty Peach.
If you're done with discounts and just want the new stuff. we've got that, too - including the first batch of the long-time-coming Sega 3D Classics, and episodes 1-10 of Pokemon: BW Rival Destinies. Head past the break for the full rundown of newly-released games.
It's dangerous to shop alone, so take this – our regularly updated mega-post on the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals:
Remember that these summaries don't include every last detail of every retailer's deals. We recommend judicious clicking and further scrutiny of your preferred outlets based on personal preference, weather conditions and geographical proximity. You'll find sales for four of the major retailers below, with plenty of other deals after the break.
Be frugal, be safe and remember to watch out for aunt Brandine. She stops for no one.
- Best Buy: New games and accessories for $35 or less, monster Xbox 360 bundle for $190
- GameStop: Game discounts, Battlefield 4 (current-gen) for $25, limited edition Zelda 3DS
- Target: Bonus gift cards, $190 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle, $25 Splinter Cell: Blacklist
- Walmart: $100 2DS, $40 Skylanders and Call of Duty: Ghosts, $35 AC4: Black Flag and GTA 5
Released on a regular basis since the game's launch late last year, NASCAR's "Inside Line Highlights" recreate a wide range of past racing scenarios, and are unlockable using in-game currency. Inside Line hosts a grand total of 28 DLC releases, all of which are bundled in the downloadable "Inside Line Pack," available for $24.99 via the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace.
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line marks Activision's final entry in the NASCAR series, as publisher Deep Silver will take over publishing duties for next year's NASCAR 14.
Celebrate Thanksgiving this week with the Borderlands 2 - The Horrible Hunger of the Ravenous Wattle Gobbler DLC...
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Disney Infinity aims to live up to its name with the addition of three movie franchises to the platformer/adventure/sandbox/whatever-it-is game. Wreck-It Ralph and Tangled characters Ralph, Vanellope and Rapunzel have already found their way into stores, while Anna and Elsa from Frozen have yet to arrive.
Ralph is available exclusively at Best Buy until December 31, while Vanellope is exclusive to Target until the same date. Walmart, meanwhile, gets to braid and play with Rapunzel's ludicrously long hair until December 31 as well. Anna and Elsa will be released nationwide on November 26, a day before the movie they star in. So if you already know you're going to love the movie and its characters - or you're a time traveler and have already seen the movie - these toys are for you. And everyone else who can find them.
Along with the characters, Disney Interactive will also be releasing 20 new Power Discs. These discs grant various in-game bonuses, from items and aesthetic changes to boosts and abilities. You can see the full list of discs and their effects after the jump:
Analyst Liam Callahan attributes the growth to the release of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 5, which shipped a total of 29 million copies to retail as of last month. Americans spent $1.30 billion on brand-new, boxed retail games over the past quarter.
"Trends during the third quarter were the best that we have observed since the second quarter of 2011, driven by growth across both the physical and digital sides of the video game industry," said Callahan. "The launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 helped propel the new physical sales by twenty percent and continued growth of console digital full games as well as downloadable add-on content is an indication of the renewed health of the industry."
NPD added that digital game and downloadable content spending grew by 35 percent year-on-year, totaling $1.72 billion in Q3 2013. Used and rental sales reached $436 million over the last quarter.
Wait, you want more? You're genuinely not satisfied with Super Mario 3D World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, both games we awarded five stars to? Really?
Not even if we chuck in a week-long sale that lasers 30 percent off Mega Man 1-4 on 3DS and Wii U? Surely you aren't that greedy?
Fine.... fine. Fine. Be like that. Let's go through the whole list already.
Notable deals found in the ad include a 4GB Xbox 360 console for $100, a PlayStation 3 with The Last of Us and Batman: Arkham Origins for $250 and a $100 2DS handheld. Many games are also discounted, including recent hits like Assassin's Creed 4, Battlefield 4 and Beyond: Two Souls.
Why release an ad specifically created for a singled day of the year before that day has ever rolled around? Simply put, Wal Mart is employing an especially aggressive sales strategy to combat the relatively short amount of time it has to entice holiday shoppers. "Black Friday is our Super Bowl and we plan to win," stated the company's chief merchandising officer, Duncan Mac Naughton. "With six fewer days from Thanksgiving to Christmas, the retail environment is more competitive than ever. Every opportunity to get a great deal - whether this weekend, on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday weekend - matters for our customers."
Additionally, Wal Mart has revealed plans to extend its annual Christmas price matching promotion. Now, every item you purchase between November 1 and December 24 is eligible for a refund, assuming you find it included in any other stores' ads at a price cheaper than what Wal Mart's offering.
Keep in mind however, that this deal does not apply to items purchased on Black Friday or Thanksgiving Day. This promotion also ignores items you've seen on Amazon or any other non-local retailer, removing the possibility of playing retailers off one another for massive savings.
Update: An earlier version of this article mentioned a 250GB Xbox 360 on sale at $100. Walmart's sale is actually on a 4GB Xbox 360. We apologize for the confusion.
Today on Virtual Console, the 3DS gets the classic beat-em-up and pompadour simulator, River City Ransom. Elsewhere on Virtual Console, Nintendo is running a sale on Zelda games. The 3DS and Wii U versions of The Legend of Zelda and Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link have been knocked down to $3.49 each. Meanwhile, Link's Awakening DX, the old Game Boy Color essential, is discounted to $3.99. The sale runs from Nov. 14, 9 a.m. PT through Nov. 21, 8:59 a.m. PT.
And, what's this? A WiiWare game? It is! For all you Wii obsessives, your collection won't be complete without Deer Drive Legends.
We know what you're thinking: "What about all those launch games for PS4 and Xbox One that I want?" We filtered the platforms down on Target's sales page, and found that only four next-gen games are seemingly eligible for the sale: NBA 2K14 on PS3 and Battlefield 4, Fighter Within and Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox One.
Disney notes that its Interactive division took in $396 million in revenue during the quarter ending September 28, 2013. Disney Interactive's revenue totaled $191 million during the fourth quarter of last year.
"Improved operating results for the quarter and year were due to increases at our console games and Japan mobile businesses," the report states. "The increase at our console games business was primarily due to the fourth quarter release of Disney Infinity."
The bounceback follows up on Disney Interactive's $54 million operating income loss in the second quarter of 2013. Disney Infinity represented a significant risk for the division, as parent company Disney passed on the opportunity to produce games based on the Iron Man and Star Wars franchises in order to focus on Infinity's development.
During a conference call this week, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that more than one million Disney Infinity Starter Packs were sold across all available platforms since the game's release in August.
Haunt your enemies this week with Call of Duty: Ghosts..
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Nintendo announced the Wii Mini in November 2012 before launching it as a Canada-exclusive that December. The micro-console doesn't include Internet connectivity, limiting players to single and local multiplayer games. Nintendo sold 35,700 units in Canada across its first two months on store shelves before bringing the system to the UK in March. Though the Wii has been discontinued in Japan, Nintendo announced in October that the traditional Wi-Fi-enabled Wii system will remain on store shelves in America.
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