Photos: Super Mario 3D Land invades Times Square

Nintendo took over Times Square in New York City today to celebrate the launch of Super Mario 3D Land. Since it’s not often that you can see a life size Bullet Bill, we decided to check out the festivities. The celebration kicked off at 10 a.m. with a few dozen acrobats dressed as Mario crossing Times Square to converge on Military Island, where Nintendo had a full size portion of a Mario level built. The “3D” construction was built because Super Mario 3D Land is the first actual Mario game to hit the Nintendo 3DS, a handheld system with glasses-free 3D. The playplace of sorts was fun to see and was full of trampolines so that everyone could jump like Mario. Piranha Plants, Goombas, a Bullet Bill, coin blocks, flying coins, warp pipes, a warp pipe slide, and an end-of-level flag pole were all present, along with a lot of AstroTurf.

Crowd members were given free pizza, Tanooki tails and ears, and kids were invited to come and jump on the life-size replica and the Toys R’ Us next door had a day-early sale on the game, allowing participants to buy Mario 3D Land before anyone else in the country. 

We got a chance to sit down with Cindy Gordon, VP of Corporate Affairs at Nintendo who said that the new game is part of Nintendo’s strategy to shore up sales of the 3DS system and give it a proper boost into the holiday season. In August, Nintendo slashed the price of the 3DS due to low sales. However, since the company dropped the price of the hardware, sales have been phenomenal, she said, and the 3DS is now on route to surpass the first year sales of the Nintendo DS, which has been Nintendo’s most successful handheld to date. She is confident that the combination of Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land will resonate with current and potential 3DS owners through the holidays.

Finally, when asked about the proliferation of games on smartphones and tablets, Gordon didn’t seem worried, commenting that Nintendo is making its systems more connected, but the rise of smartphones and tablets doesn’t seem to correlate with a reduction in interest for its systems (the price may have just been too high at first). Nintendo’s attitude toward the expanding world of smartphone and tablet games seems to be in line with its past strategies of expanding the gaming population with the Wii and DS: the more people who play video games, the more potential fans Nintendo has to win over. 

Update 11-13-2011: Corrected a paraphrase. 

Computing

ZSpace’s laptop brings education to life with its own 3D technology

The ZSpace laptop wants to overhaul education and training by offering affordable access to 3D mixed reality through a bespoke screen and glasses technology that is already supported by a wide array of applications.
Emerging Tech

MIT’s smart capsule could be used to release drugs in response to a fever

Researchers have developed a 3D-printed capsule which can monitor patients' vital signs, transmit this information to a connected device, and release drugs in response to symptoms.
Gaming

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Gaming

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.
Gaming

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.
Gaming

The history of Battle Royale: From mod to worldwide phenomenon

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in streaming and eSports in a way that might hint at the future of the industry.
Gaming

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.
Gaming

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.
Deals

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.
Gaming

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ update 7.10 brings a rotating selection of modes big and small

The latest update for Fortnite introduces 14 Days of Fortnite, an event that brings back large and small battle royale modes as well as brand new ones to enjoy during the holiday season.
Gaming

New Xbox consoles are reportedly code-named ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Lockhart’

Microsoft's next-generation Xbox plans reportedly consist of two separate consoles. One, called "Lockhart," is a more affordable machine, while "Anaconda" is designed with more horsepower.
Gaming

Who needs a Switch? These 25 games prove there's fun to be found on 3DS

The 3DS is home to a large library, including some of the greatest games Nintendo has ever published. We've compiled this list of some of the best Nintendo 3DS games currently available.