Week in Games: December 9th

Unsurprisingly given the shadow of the Wii U release, two of the stories today relate to Nintendo’s new console. A lot of the chatter in gaming circles this week has inevitably been related to the Wii U. That and the thoughts of the North Korean government on unicorns.

Nintendo blocks 18+ daytime Wii U downloads in Europe

Nintendo of Europe has prevented daytime access to any downloadable content for the Wii U which is rated 18+. Specifically, customers cannot download content outside of the four hours between 11pm and 3am where the content has an 18+ age restriction. So in the case that you’re an adult who lives without children and has no immediate contact with minors on a daily basis, you are still prevented from downloading certain games until night. Nintendo haven’t given any official reasons for this other than making sure that the content regulations are in line with the various laws protecting minors from mature content in all the European countries. There is speculation and suggestions that this is so the regulations are in line with Germany’s regarding blocking mature content during the day, though there are also suggestions that this is Nintendo intending to stick to its guns as the ‘family friendly’ company. Of course, the majority of suggestions are that this is a really really really silly move.

Wii U sells over 400,000 units in first week

The Wii U has sold over 400,000 units in its first week on sale. Though the figures are based on the first week of North American sales only, they show that, despite possible perceptions of the gimmicky element of the console, the Wii U has still caught the attention of many shoppers across the pond. The sales effort was undoubtedly helped by the American phenomenon of ‘Black Friday’, the first sales weekend of the Christmas season. Despite the predictably strong first week sales for the Wii U, this doesn’t necessarily mean that console will have a successful staying power, or that it will even continue to sell as strongly over the holidays. It probably will, it is a Nintendo console after all, just as long as Nintendo put out their usual high-profile homemade games as major titles.

Composer of Journey Soundtrack gets Grammy nomination

Austin Wintory, composer of the score for the videogame Journey, has been nominated for a Grammy award. The Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media has been previously awarded to movie soundtracks exclusively; however this year represents perhaps a crucial point in gaming’s progress as a medium as the term “Visual Media” has clearly been expanded upon to include video games. In fact looking at other nominees, such as Hans Zimmer, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, and John Williams, it is clear that this really could be a watershed moment. There have been plenty of video game soundtracks which have been of the highest quality already (including Journey’s), but now is the first time there has been any major mainstream acclaim for one soundtrack in particular.

PS3 Skyrim to get Dragonborn DLC ahead of Dawnguard

Good news for PS3 Skyrim fans, the DLC is being released finally in early 2013. The bad news is that this is referring to the Dragonborn expansion, not the Dawnguard expansion. The reasoning behind this is that Dawnguard is already late for PS3, yet Dragonborn may still be released in sync with (or at least at a closer date to) other platforms. So rather than Bethesda using resources on two late expansions, at least one will probably be finished in some sort of reasonable time. Despite this being the latest in a long series of drawbacks for the PS3 iteration of Skyrim, at least there is clearly progress being made, and still clear plans to release all DLC content for PS3. Also, if Bethesda are working backwards on releasing DLC for PS3, there’s still hope for Shivering Isles. Right?

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