Microsoft’s own Xbox Live homepage recently leaked some new details that we should be hearing about shortly at its annual E3 press conference in Los Angeles. According to the website, which appears to have been pulled, Microsoft will introduce Voice Search within a newly redesigned Xbox Live user interface and preview the ever-popular Halo francise’s new release, Halo 4. The website also mentioned a possible Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary edition and new titles such as Kinect Sports Season 2 and Dance Central 2. We won’t have long to wait — Microsoft’s press conference is set to kick off at 9:00 a.m. Pacific / 12:00 p.m. Eastern. More →
We’ve been keeping our ears to the floor for news on what Microsoft has in store for the E3 trade show, which kicks off early next week, and we’re finally starting to hear some mumblings. According to winrumors, Microsoft is finalizing media partnerships and plans to debut a new Xbox LIVE subscription TV service — currently being called “Diamond” — during its press conference. Xbox LIVE Diamond should allow Xbox LIVE customers to watch streaming television provided by Microsoft’s content partners, although it’s currently unclear how much the subscription will cost. The Redmond-based company has also recently trademarked “Fusion Vault, “Fusion Genesis,” and “Fusion Sentient,” and it reportedly has a music and video discovery service dubbed “Ventura” in the works, too. We’ll be reporting from E3 next week in Los Angeles where we’re sure to hear plenty more. More →
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 →
Terry Gou’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. is said to have landed an exclusive contract to build Nintendo’s next-generation video game console. According to a report on Wednesday from Taiwan Economic News, Hon Hai could begin shipping the Wii 2 to Nintendo as soon as this coming October. Nintendo’s Wii console had consistently been a best seller for the gaming giant, but interest has finally begun to dwindle as competitive offerings pick up steam despite their age. Nintendo’s Wii 2 is said to be a direct attack the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and it will supposedly feature AMD’s new Radeon R700 GPU for outstanding graphics performance and HD video capabilities. With a rumored retail price between $350 and $450, the console may also be much more expensive than Nintendo’s current Wii console. A Wii 2 that lines up with these rumors would be an interesting move for Nintendo, which has found tremendous success with an inexpensive console aimed at more casual gamers compared to its competitors. More →
On Monday, Nintendo released a statement confirming that it will reveal the successor to the original Wii during the E3 Expo tradeshow in Los Angeles — which takes place June 7-9, 2011. The new console, currently codenamed “Project Cafe,” may feature a new “Screen Stream” controller option that will provide each individual gamer with their own touchscreen display, although Nintendo did not disclose any of the console’s new features in its statement. The Japanese gaming firm also announced its earnings for the fiscal year ending March, 2011. Net sales of ¥1,014 billion ($12.35 billion) were down 29.3% year-over-year and Nintendo’s net income fell 66.1% to ¥77.62 million ($946,110). Hardware and software sales for the United States, Nintendo’s largest market, also fell year-over-year. Nintendo sold 15.08 million Nintendo Wii units, 3.61 million of its new Nintendo 3DS devices, and 17.52 million of its Nintendo DS portable gaming consoles in the States. By contrast, the firm sold 20.5 million Wii units in the U.S. last year. Globally, the firm sold 171.26 million Wii units, 120.98 million DS devices, and 9.43 million Nintendo 3DS units. Hit the jump for Nintendo’s earnings release, as well as its official statement on E3. More →
Remember that rumor of a premium subscription coming to the PlayStation Network? Well it’s a rumor no more. PlayStation Plus has just been announced at E3. A subscription to Plus will set you back $49.99 per year or $17.99 every three months. Benefits of joining Plus include beta invites, early access to demos, downloadable content and other exclusive perks. Free access to the PlayStation Network will not be shut off. More →
The wait for the PlayStation Move is finally over. Well, almost. Today at E3, Sony announced that the PlayStation move will be launching in North America on September 19th. This launch will be preceded by Europe on the 19th and followed by Japan on the 21st of October. The Move itself will retail for $49.99 with the navigation controller going for an extra $29.99. A PlayStation Move Sports Champions bundle will be available for $99.99 and includes a Move, Eve and a copy of Sports Champion. For those that don’t have a PlayStation, a bundle which includes the PS3, Move, Eye and navigation controller, and Sports Champions for $399.99. 15 to 20 titles will be available at launch and will retail for $39.99 each. By Christmas, Sony is expecting to have 40 titles in its catalog. More →
Today at E3, Nintendo delivered upon its promise and announced the 3DS, the only device of its kind to deliver 3D imagery without requiring users to wear dorky special glasses. The portables secret weapon is its 3.5″ 3D display which users can adjust based upon their proximity to the screen for optimal 3D viewing; there will also be an option to disable 3D. Like the 2D DS, the bottom display is a resistive touchscreen and the front-facing camera remains unchanged. Another neat feature is the dual camera system on the backside of the main display which allows users to capture 3D images. There’s also a gyropscope, motion sensor, and Wi-Fi which apparently is able to download content in the background and sniff out a connection and log onto the web without your instructing it to do so. Pricing and a release date were not disclosed. More →
At E3 this afternoon, Microsoft announced that it will be bringing over 3,500 live sporting events a year to the Xbox 360 via a partnership with ESPN. The new alliance will bring ESPN3 content, polls, instant replays, and social data directly to your Xbox gaming rig, complete with Kinect integration; all that is required of you is an Xbox LIVE gold membership and a love of sports. More →
Well, it’s official. Today during its E3 keynote, Microsoft took the wraps off the latest and greatest version of the Xbox 360. Described as being “sleeker, smaller, whisper quiet,” the new 360 has a 250GB HDD, built-in Wi-Fi n, and a super sexy $299 price tag. It begins shipping today. Excited? More →
Well it’s official — Microsoft formally announced the Kinect on Sunday evening with the aid of a performance by Cirque du Soleil. Previously known known as Project Natal, the Kinect plugs directly into the Xbox 360 and contains dual-cameras that are capable of tracking 48 points of motion without requiring gamers to use peripherals. The idea is that the Kinect will become the hub of home entertainment systems with titles and software for hardcore gamers while also attracting non-traditional gamers such as young children and the elderly to the Xbox. Exactly which game studios are backing the system have yet to be communicated, although titles touted Sunday by Microsoft include Kinect Sports, Kinectimals (an animal sim), Joyride, and Star Wars. Pricing, a release date and further details were not announced, although that’s hardly surprising considering Microsoft has its big E3 press conference scheduled for Monday morning.
According to Joystiq’s sources, this year’s E3 will see Sony introduce a premium subscription service to the PlayStation Network. Dubbed PSN+, the service is said to differ from Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold in that PSN+ will offer subscribers new features instead of stripping them away from non-paying users. Some of the features Joystiq has been told will be included in PSN+ include exclusive downloadable content, cross-game voice chat, a back catalogue of Classic PSX and PSP Minis titles, discounts in the PlayStation Store, and one hour demos of retail titles. One other major perk is said to be the automatic enrolment in the PlayStation Protection Plan. Rumored to becoming shortly after launch of PSN+ is the ability to save games to the cloud. Specifics about when the service will roll out and how much it cost aren’t all that clear, but it’s believed the cost will be around $9.99 per month. More →