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Club Nintendo Successor Will Be Called ‘My Nintendo’

Nintendo has decided to go with the most literal nomenclature imaginable for the successor to its fan-lauded Club Nintendo. During an investor briefing this morning in Japan, the company announced the upcoming Nintendo Account and related My Nintendo service.

The new account system is designed to be easy to create and use. Nintendo plans to support traditional logins, but also access via Nintendo ID, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus for those that prefer to link.

The service will support online purchases for 3DS and Wii U, and also display purchase history. It’s not clear if this implies that Nintendo is moving to an account-based licensing system instead of the current hardware-centric approach. 

Currently, Nintendo does not allow you to easily download software to a new or different device. Your purchases are tied to a specific piece of hardware rather than your user account.

With the Nintendo Account comes a new point system that will tie together console and mobile purchases. Just as with Club Nintendo, players will be able to redeem points for digital and physical goods.

The service will also be used for transferring data between mobile and console devices. The implication is that there will be connections between upcoming smartphone games (like Miitomo) and console experiences. Nintendo plans to expand the service to offer benefits at theme parks, retail stores, and movie theaters.

[Source: Nintendo]


Our Take
This sounds like Nintendo is moving to an account-based system, which would be good news indeed. Transferring licenses from one 3DS or Wii U to another is a painful process. And given that you need the old and the new hardware and can’t do it more than once in a week, it’s about time that Nintendo makes things easier. – The Feed

Ubisoft Appears To Rebrand uPlay As Ubisoft Club With Additional Features

Ubisoft has announced a change to its uPlay rewards platform that rebrands the service as Ubisoft Club. In addition to the cross-game uPlay points and in-game rewards players can earn, the new program will offer access to betas and more.

A brief trailer that appeared on the uPlay YouTube channel says that players will also be able to earn badges, shop discounts, and limited edition items. Sign-ups will be available on a new Ubisoft Club website, but it isn’t live yet.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The timing seems to be aligned with the release of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, which is out this Friday. However, Ubisoft hasn’t yet detailed how and when this transition will be live (or if it is a complete transition from the old uPlay system).

We’ve reached out to the publisher for details. We’ll update should we receive a response.

[Source: uPlay on YouTube]


Our Take
uPlay means different things depending on which platform you prefer. On console, it’s frequently simply a way to unlock in-game rewards. However, uPlay has caused authentication issues and serves as PC DRM that has frustrated gamers. 

Whether Ubisoft Club is simply a rebranding or a new initiative entirely remains to be seen. And, if it is new, we’re curious to find out if the publisher is revising its PC piracy protection strategy. – The Feed

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Last Call: June Xbox Live Games With Gold And Club Nintendo

Today is the final day of the first half of 2015. It’s also your last chance to get Xbox Live Games with Gold games and spend your Club Nintendo coins.

For Xbox One users, you can grab Pool Nation FX (really, this is your last chance) and Massive Chalice. Xbox 360 owners can nab Thief. For next month’s games, check out our previous coverage.

This is also the swan song for Club Nintendo. The loyalty program has been phased out in stages throughout the first half of the year. Today is your final chance to spend any leftover coins on games for Wii, Wii U, and 3DS. You can check out the full catalog on the official website. – The Feed

New Reasons To Play The Golf Club

The Golf Club came out last fall as a downloadable title, and its disc-based, retail copy is now available. Apart from the usual plastic box and disc, it's a Collector's Edition featuring an exclusive digital book, all the updates to the game so far, and the new multi-tour Seasons play.

The big new addition – Seasons mode – features five tours of increasing difficulty (beginner, amateur, pro-am, pro, and elite) to give the game more of an overall sense of progression apart from the detailed course creation options and online play. I played through the five-course beginner season and some of the amateur season on the PS4; winning a trophy for my efforts. While it won't sate those looking for a full-on career mode, it offers just enough of a framework to differentiate itself.

The tour courses, holes, and rounds vary at each stage. What makes it slightly different from playing a normal tour is that not only is your competition A.I. instead of real players (although you still see the live ball flights), but the trophies you win are part of the mode's gated progression to the next stage. It's not much, but I liked duking it out with the same group of A.I. golfers and seeing who else made the jump up to the next tier. I wish I could earn outfits or course-creation objects along the way as well, so I'm interested how developer HB Studios builds on this new mode going forward.

For those who don't buy the Collector's Edition, you can still purchase seasons mode as DLC, which will be made available in mid-May for $ 10.

Seasons mode isn't all that's in the package, however. It also includes the game's free updates up to this point, including the handicap system – which is a nice way to judge yourself against the competition.

Also included is the tropical theme. This is currently new for the Collector's Edition, but if you haven't played the downloadable version, you're also getting the countryside and boreal themes, which were part of the game's post-launch updates. These also enabled various bug fixes and tweaks.

Finally, the Collector's Edition includes a 30-page e-book featuring detailed information and golfer recollections about one of the world's most famous courses – The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland.

If you don't already own The Golf Club, I heartily recommend picking up this version (check out my review of the original downloadable title). If you already bought the downloadable version, I think the standalone Seasons mode DLC (including the tropical and delta themes) is worth it with the knowledge that HB Studios will support the mode in the future. Seasons will get free updates down the road, so this is just the beginning.

Currently, HB Studios is already talking about drop balls, a profile screen for other players, cart paths, and more in future free updates. Additional themes will be both free and paid-DLC.

The Golf Club Collector's Edition is now available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC for $ 39.99. – The Feed

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PSA: Tomorrow Is The Last Day To Earn Club Nintendo Coins

If you've got unregistered games or incomplete quizzes, tomorrow is the last day to earn some Club Nintendo coins for them. It will not, however, be the last day to redeem the coins for Nintendo goodies.

Other upcoming Club Nintendo closure milestones include May 1 being the last members can earn Elite status, which entitles them to special exclusive gifts. Finally, the last day to redeem your coins is June 30. After than day, your bank of coins will be deleted and Club Nintendo will be bulldozed to begin construction on whatever Nintendo has planned next.

If you're unsure what to use all your Club Nintendo coins for, Brian Shea put together a handy list of all the games available through the service in its twilight hours, which you can see here.

You can head here to take your final quizzes and redeem your final codes.

[Via: Polygon]


Our Take
Club Nintendo was great while it lasted. I got Virtual Console games like Super Mario RPG, Super Metroid, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for free all because I had bought other Nintendo games. I am disappointed to see it go, but Nintendo has done a good job of offering some worthwhile titles right at the end. I'm curious to see what Nintendo has planned for the Club's follow-up. – The Feed

The Golf Club Adds Season Mode With Collector’s Edition

Developer HB Studios keeps adding to The Golf Club, and this time it's including a multi-year Season mode as part of a Collector's Edition.

Maximum Games is putting out the Collector's Edition on April 28 for $ 39.99, which is the first boxed version of the already-released PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One title. The Collector's Edition also includes all of the game's free updates to date, and for a period of a few weeks, will be gamers' only chance to play the new seasons mode. After the exclusivity window, the mode will be available as paid DLC. Producer Anthony Kyne told us he expects the DLC to cost around $ 10.

Season mode allows you to move up the ranks through five different tours of tournaments, from a relatively short local season through the amateur, pro am, pro, and elite ranks. Along the way you'll play against 48 A.I. players – some of whom will progress and continue to challenge you as you move from tier to tier.

The Season mode contains HB Studios-made courses, and Kyne told us that the developer hopes to make improvements to the mode over time for free. He said one feature currently being discussed is for users to be able to create and share their own seasons.

The Collector's Edition also includes a collectible e-book. Details about its contents are scarce at the moment, but it will contain a look at the sport from industry experts. More info on the e-book will come as the game's release date nears.

For more on The Golf Club check out my review, as well as our discussion with Kyne about the future of the game and more.

[Source:HB Studios]


Our Take
This is a welcome addition to the base game, which needed some kind of overarching progression system. Given how HB Studios' is eschewing the typical approach of yearly iterations, it will be interesting to see how the game and its paid components price out against a new $ 60 game as time goes on. – The Feed

Check Your Mail, Because Club Nintendo Smash Bros. Soundtracks Are Arriving

If you purchased both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros., we hope you registered them with Club Nintendo. If you did, you’ll be receiving something in the mail soon.

The two-disc “Smashing Soundtrack” includes 36 tracks from each of the versions. While game manuals might be a fading memory, the jewel case includes a slick, minimalist track list with brief liner notes from series director Masahiro Sakurai.

“This project weaves together much of Nintendo’s musical history with the works of many veteran composers and musical arrangers, and I think you will find a great deal of value in it,” he writes. Given that there are 72 tracks and it was entirely free, we tend to agree. – The Feed

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