As previously rumored, Microsoft is now offering a subsidized 4GB Xbox 360 gaming console and Kinect for $99 with a monthly subscription option. The bundle requires customers to sign up for a two-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold Membership for $14.99 per month. The subscription plan is similar to the model wireless carriers have been using for years. If a customer is to break off the agreement prior to end of the 24-month contract period, early termination fees will apply. The deal is only available at Microsoft Stores for the time being. A chart from Microsoft outlining applicable early termination fees follows below. More →
NVIDIA sees its mobile system-on-a-chip graphics solutions surpassing the performance of the Xbox 360 in the coming years. A new graph the company shared with AnandTech highlights the performance of Tegra chips in comparison to those found within PCs and gaming consoles. The solid lines are estimated performance, while the dotted lines are trends. NVIDIA estimates that at some point in 2013, mobile graphic performance will match the Xbox 360 and by 2014, mobile performance will surpass that of the Xbox 360. Of course processor performance is hardly the only piece of the puzzle when it comes to gaming, and Microsoft and Sony will each have new consoles on the market in 2014. More →
Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox will use controllers that have “an HD screen surrounded by the traditional 360 buttons and sticks,” according to Xbox World Magazine. The magazine claims Microsoft’s tablet-like controller will have shape closer to Sony’s PS Vita than Wii U’s “bulky unit”. The next Xbox “will be a matte-black media hub with a mission to bring games to life in your living room with augmented reality, directional sound, and a four-player, finger-tracking Kinect.” The new controller will apparently also be used as a remote control when watching TV, a browser for the Internet or for extra buttons while playing a game. Earlier rumors suggest that the next generation console may be six times more powerful than the current Xbox, however it is not expected to launch this year. The publication speculates that the console could be priced over $600. “Microsoft are playing it safe with the CPU and GPU but running wild with the functions that will change how you play, but it won’t be cheap,” the site claimed.
Microsoft will reportedly not launch the highly anticipated follow-up to the Xbox 360 this year. Cedrick Delma, Microsoft’s marketing director in France, recently told Le Point that he was “certain” the Redmond-based company would not release a new Xbox this year. Gamers shouldn’t give up all hope on at least getting a glimpse at Microsoft’s next-generation console this year, though. BGR exclusively reported last June that Microsoft has plans to unveil its Xbox 360 successor during this year’s E3 gaming show in Los Angeles. A few Microsoft patents recently suggested that the “Xbox 720″ might double as a set-top box complete with DVR functionality, and a rumor last week also suggested that the new console will be six times more powerful than the Xbox 360. More →
Nintendo recently published a note in which it said it will report an annual operating loss of 45 billion yen ($575 million) for the December quarter. Analysts had expected the Japan-based gaming giant to report a 4.2 billion yen loss, Reuters said Thursday. The company now expects to ship 10 million Wii consoles, instead of the original 12 million projected, and 14 million units of its portable 3DS gaming consoles, down from 16 million units. “We had higher expectations for the year-end season, but failed to meet them,” President Satoru Iwata said while speaking to press in Osaka, Japan. Three analysts speaking to Reuters all agreed that Nintendo needs to rethink its strategy and understand that consoles could be a thing of the past. “Their time of growth [from console systems] is over, and, while I don’t think the company will cease to exist, if they don’t move into new categories, they will no doubt lose the great scale they’ve amassed,” Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management in Tokyo, told Reuters. Satoru Iwata has previously said that creating games for Apple’s iOS mobile platform is “absolutely not under consideration.” More →
The Xbox 720, which BGR exclusively reported will likely be unveiled during E3 this summer, could be six times more powerful than the current generation Xbox 360. IGN broke the news earlier this week and said that the production of the Xbox 720’s graphics processing unit (GPU) is scheduled to begin by the end of this year. IGN said the GPU will be based on ATI’s Radeon HD 6670 GPU and should offer support for 3D technology, 1080p HD output, multiple displays and DirectX 11. Microsoft has also filed a patent that suggests the console will also offer DVR support, which has raised questions of whether or not the company will release two versions of the console, one with DVR support and one without it. Dave Cutler, also known as the “father of Windows NT” also recently joined Microsoft’s Xbox team and is tasked with taking the console “beyond a gaming platform.” More →
Sony announced on Tuesday that it is lowering the price of its 160GB PlayStation 3 console to $249, down from the console’s original $299 price tag. In addition, Sony will now sell the 320GB version of the PlayStation 3 for $299 instead of $349. The Japanese consumer electronics firm also dropped the price of the system in Japan and in Europe. The move is likely an effort to tackle Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, which has been the best-selling console in the United States for past seven months according to the latest data from The NPD Group. Recent rumors have suggested Sony is already working on the PlayStation 4, which could launch as soon as next year to compete with Nintendo’s Wii U and Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox. More →
Sony’s brand new portable gaming console, the PlayStation Vita, could launch as soon as this fall according to IGN. A Blockbuster flier in the United Kingdom started the rumor. The advertisement suggests the PS Vita Wi-Fi edition and 3G & Wi-Fi model will both launch on October 28th. A Sony spokesperson confirmed with IGN that the company will begin a “phased global release” during the holiday season, but would not confirm specific dates. We already know that the Vita will cost $249.99 in the United States and that a version with AT&T 3G will be available for $299.99. Hopefully we see the console hit U.S. shores by the holidays, too. Read on for a shot of the leaked flier. More →
Sony’s manufacturing partners will begin building the consumer electronics giant’s next-generation video game console toward the end of this year, with a launch scheduled for 2012, DigiTimes reports. Details surrounding Sony’s PlayStation 4 are very limited for the time being, but the report states that the new console will feature integrated movement-based controls similar to the Microsoft Kinect controller. Foxconn and Pegatron, the two manufacturing firms charged with assembling Sony’s PlayStation 3, will build the new console according to DigiTimes’ sources. 2012 shipment volume for the PS4 is said to be at least 20 million units. Sony’s PlayStation 4 was not expected to launch until 2013 or 2014, but with Nintendo’s Wii U launching next year and Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox due to be unveiled in 2012 as well, it is possible that Sony accelerated the new console’s development in order to remain competitive. Sony’s current PlayStation 3 console has sold more than 51 million units globally since its launch in November 2006. More →
While Nintendo has been quiet when it comes to the specs of its newly announced Wii U gaming console, preliminary details are beginning to emerge from the E3 2011 show. We obviously already know plenty about the Wii U touchscreen controller, which we went hands-on with yesterday, but the console itself is a bit of a mystery. A few of Nintendo’s hardware partners got a little excited, however, and we now have a few pieces of the puzzle. We know the Wii U will support full HD 1080p gaming, and now we also know it will be facilitated by a custom Radeon HD graphics processor from AMD. In addition, IBM will be supplying Nintendo with a 45nm multi-core processor with embedded DRAM for the console.There are also four USB ports on hand, an HDMI port, an S-video port and component jacks, and the console with obviously feature 802.11n Wi-Fi. The rest, for the time being, is still a mystery. In case you missed it, we’ve also included Nintendo’s full press release below. More →
We’re here at E3 2011 in Los Angeles and we just got our hands on Sony’s brand new PlayStation Vita — its next-generation portable gaming console — and we’re impressed with what we’ve seen so far. Games were crystal clear in HD and the device was light, but large enough to feel like we were getting a great immersive gaming experience. It’s probably a bit too big for most pockets, but it will be perfect in a backpack. Also, you’ll probably note the fingerprints in some images — the device is definitely a grease magnet. The controls all felt snappy and they didn’t depart too much from the previous-generation PSP, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, the demo units we played with were locked in game-only mode, which meant we couldn’t back out to check out the other pre-installed applications, the default user interface, or the web browser, so we’ll definitely want to revisit that in the future. The Vita will land for $249.99 but there will also be a 3G version available from AT&T for $50 more. Sadly, we still don’t know when it will launch, but the good news is the gaming already feels top notch. Be sure to check out our hands-on photo gallery below!
Listen up gaming fanatics. It looks like Nintendo’s Project Café, otherwise known as the Wii 2, has been caught on video thanks to a sneaky developer and their utter disregard of non-disclosure agreements. Aside from slides that showcase the “Screen Stream” controllers, we see the Wii 2 console projected and lurking in the background as well. There appears to be a docking accessory — most likely for controller recharging — shown on the screen towards the end of the clip, although it is hard to tell as an audience member’s head obfuscates our view. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is scheduled for next month from June 7th to 9th; don’t be surprised if the Wii 2 gets a lengthy preview from the folks at Nintendo. The video is waiting for you after the break.
Nintendo will launch the 3DS web browser and eShop on June 6th during the E3 game tradeshow in Los Angeles. A post on Nintendo’s website confirms: “The Nintendo eShop will be enabled through a system update which has been announced for the evening of June 6, 2011. We’ll have more information for you after this update becomes available.” The eShop should allow 3DS users to download extra game content directly to their devices, although it’s unclear what else will be available at launch. Nintendo has said that a Netflix client is in the works, so our fingers are crossed that it’s part of the package, too. We reviewed the Nintendo 3DS in early April and the lack of an eShop, Netflix, and web browser, were some of our biggest gripes with the device. More →