Nintendo Reacts to Wii U Manufacturer Child Labor Claims
Taiwan based company Foxconn has long been a go-to source for the manufacturing needs of some of world’s largest electronics companies but their practices have recently come under increased scrutiny. Controversies over working conditions and pay came to a head with employee riots that gained all the more notoriety with the release of the iPhone 5, which Foxconn manufactures for Apple. Now, the massive corporation, which is China’s largest non government employer, has admitted to employing underage workers.
The legal age for employment in China is 16, however Foxconn has hired workers as young as 14 into an internship positions in order to meet its increased demand for labor. Foxconn said of the situation, “it is also a violation of Foxconn policy and immediate steps have been taken to return the interns in question to their educational institutions.” Foxconn also has an extensive history with video game companies, including Nintendo, who hired Foxconn for the manufacturing of Wii U. Upon learning of these latest revelations, Nintendo released the following statement:
“Nintendo is in communication with Foxconn and is investigating the matter. We take our responsibilities as a global company very seriously and are committed to an ethical policy on sourcing, manufacture and labor. In order to ensure the continued fulfilment of our social responsibility throughout our supply chain, we established the Nintendo CSR Procurement Guidelines in July 2008. We require that all production partners, including Foxconn, comply with these Guidelines, which are based on relevant laws, international standards and guidelines. If we were to find that any of our production partners did not meet our guidelines, we would require them to modify their practices according to Nintendo’s policy.”
This Week’s Downloadable Releases
Nintendo has announced the latest round of new releases for their digital storefronts, and leading the charge is a group of major retail releases moving to eShop. Super Mario Land 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Mario Kart 7, and Ocarina of Time 3D are all now available for download, for their original retail prices of $39.99 each. More retail releases will also be making the move as well as upcoming titles, such as Style Savvy: Trendsetters which will be available on October 22nd.
Also being released on eShop this week are Moshi Monsters: Moshlings Theme Park, Sparkle Snapshots 3D, the original Gradius, and Puzzler World XL which is also available as DSiWare. On the video side of the store, Dinosaur Office will be getting a new, Halloween themed episode, on October 24th.
Nintendo Clarifies In Game Chat on Wii U
Nintendo has been slow to pull back the curtain on the various aspects of Wii U’s online experience, and today they have revealed how voice chat will work while actually playing games. Rather than implementing an overarching chat system across the platform, chat support on Wii U titles will be up to the developer. Nintendo has confirmed that several big third party releases will support chat, including Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Assassin’s Creed III, and Mass Effect 3.
However, this will not be done through the Game Pad’s integrated mic, instead, you will have to purchase a separate third-party microphone that plugs into the Game Pad. While Nintendo did not announce any plans for their own microphone, it was revealed that Tritton and Turtle Beach, two companies specializing in gaming headsets, are licensed to make their own devices for the system.
One very good point brought up is the fact that the Pro Wii U controller does not have the necessary port to support a headset, so it would appear that those who use that controller might have to keep the Gamepad by their side in order to stay plugged in.
That’s all the news for today; what do you think about the voice chat situation on Wii U? Does Nintendo’s use of child labour throw their brand message into question? Will you be downloading any gaming classics onto your 3DS? Let us know in the comments’ section below!