We just stormed the show floor at E3 and strong-armed a few people to get right up close and personal with Nintendo’s brand new Wii U controller. The demo game required a lot of movement on the user’s part — there was a lot of shaking involved with controlling the character on the screen — but the interaction definitely looked like nothing we’ve seen before. The large touchscreen display was bright, too, and the controls are all comfortably within reach of your thumbs. We dig the white color of the controller as well, and it absolutely looks like a substantial high-end device. Hit the gallery below to see the rest of our hands-on images!
Sony announced on Wednesday that the final piece of its PlayStation Network, the PlayStation Store, is now back online after Sony’s networks were taken down due to a massive security breach. Sony also noted that it has outfitted PlayStation Plus store with new game trials, games, downloadable content, free avatars, and bigger discounts. The company’s “Welcome Back Offer,” which will provide two free games to Sony users as well as 30 days of PlayStation Plus, is in the final stages of testing and will also be available soon. More →
Activision on Tuesday announced Call of Duty Elite, a new social network-style experience that will allow Call of Duty players to interact with one another in an entirely different way. The social network has three pillars: connect, compete, and improve. “Connect” will allow users to compete against friends, join groups, find players with similar interests, and enter tournaments. Activision will provide both web and mobile interfaces for managing your Call of Duty information from multiple devices. “Compete” will allow players to enter events and competitions with other players that have similar abilities, and Activision promises real world and in-game prizes. “Improve,” will provide users with a strategy guide to help them bump their gaming skills by following their performance and ongoing statistics. “The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer,” Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg, said. “That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community. Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before.” Most features will be free, although a premium package will also be available. The service will enter public beta with Call of Duty: Black Ops this summer and will launch on November 8th with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Hit the jump for the full release and a demo video.
When Rovio announced Angry Birds Rio, the game publisher promised it would offer a new episodic update each month through November. Later this week, Rovio will begin to follow through on that promise when it introduces Angry Birds Rio: Beach Volleyball. The update will provide 30 new levels and more achievements. It will presumably launch across the multiple platforms on which Angry Birds Rio is available, including webOS, Android, and iOS. Hit the jump for a video preview of Beach Volleyball. More →
Gameloft has updated its popular Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus game with several new features. The update includes 10 free XP levels and three new multiplayer maps — including an Eastern European bunker, a new battlefield, and a shanty town in South Africa. Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus includes an extensive single player campaign and also allows up to ten players to battle against each other at once in four different multiplayer modes (Battle, Team Battle, Defuse the Comb, and Capture the Flag). The update is free, and if you haven’t installed the game yet, it’s available in the iTunes App Store for $6.99 for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Hit the jump for a link to the download. More →
On Monday, gaming site Major Nelson wrote that Activision has revealed it will launch the next expansion pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops for Xbox 360 on May 3rd. Dubbed “Escalation,” the new downloadable content — for Xbox LIVE subscribers — will sport five new maps, including four that can be played in multiplayer mode. New maps include “Hotel,” where you’ll battle on the roof of a Cuban hotel and casino, a Russian “Zoo,” a WMD “Stockpile”, and “Convoy.” And what’s an update without some more zombies? Escalation will reportedly offer a new “Zombie experience,” with new playable characters. It’s unclear how much Escalation will cost, but we’ve already begun raiding our couch cushions for spare change. More →
Sony has officially dropped the suggested retail price of the PSP in Europe to €129.99 ($187.29). This follows the company’s February 25th announcement that it was slashing the price of its gaming system to $129.99 in the United States. Sony also said that — beginning on April 14th — PSP owners will be able to access an unlimited cloud-based music service called Music Unlimited. Powered by Qriocity, Music Unlimited will allow PSP owners to listen to customized music channels or sync up with tunes stored on their PlayStation 3, PC, or other Sony devices. “The price cut is aimed at increasing adoption of the player in Europe,” said Sony spokesperson Satoshi Fukuoka. The move may also be tied to the recent launch of the Nintendo 3DS, which we reviewed earlier this month. More →
Stop dusting off your old Atari 2600 and get to the iTunes App Store, stat. Atari Interactive on Thursday announced the release of its Greatest Hits application for iOS devices including the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The download is free and includes PONG, but there are also a number of in-app purchases available including many classic Atari Arcade and Atari 2600 games. The app offers original cabinet and box art for each game, and there are 25 different packs of four games that cost $0.99 a piece — or you can buy the entire collection for $14.99. Titles include hits like Asteroid, Missile Command, Air-Sea Battle with Bluetooth multiplayer support, Breakout with Bluetooth multiplayer, Battlezone, and more. Atari’s Greatest Hits is compatible with devices running iOS 3.0 or later. We know what we’re doing for the rest of the night. More →
It’s Friday, so kick back and catch up on your gaming. Two popular iOS titles, NBA Jam and Legendary Wars, were recently updated with some noteworthy features. NBA Jam picked up a new roster feature which provides more current rosters for teams like the Knicks, Nets, and others. This will allow you to dunk with Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups on the Knicks or Deron Williams on the Nets, for example. It’s not the multiplayer update we’ve been waiting for, but we dig being able to play as recently traded characters. Next up: Legendary Wars has been updated with a host of new features, including Retina display support, 50 Game Center achievements, 5 Leaderboards for Endless Modes, a new Armory, some bug fixes, and improved loading performance. There’s also a new free-demo of Legendary Wars in the iTunes App Store. More →
Angry Birds Rio, the latest free game in the Angry Birds franchise from Rovio, is now available from the Android Market. The game features two episodes — a total of 60 different levels – complete with some gameplay twists built around Rio the movie. Rovio has added new achievements, as well as “hidden fruits” that you’ll discover as you play. Instead of attacking pigs, as usual, your goal is to liberate imprisoned birds by knocking them out of their respective cages. We played through the first few levels of episode 1 and are digging it so far; it has the same addictive gameplay we’ve come to expect from Angry Birds. The best part? Rovio will add episodic updates each month through November. Hit the jump for a gameplay trailer. More →
Look, we know what it feels like to be the only one left in the office while the senior partners all go out for a not-so-quick 18. But that’s OK, because today EA launched Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for the iPhone and iPod touch ($6.99) and iPad ($9.99). The updated game allows you to hit the links on championship courses, including TPC Sawgrass, Pebble Beach, and St. Andrews, all from the comfort of your cubicle. We fired up the game today and loved the multiplayer option, which allows you to challenge friends over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth — you can also find friends ready to hit the links by signing into Facebook. The graphics look like they have been totally overhauled from the original, iPhone Tiger Woods game, but the controls remain just as easy — you pull your finger down to swing back, throw it forward to swing through, and add spin to the ball by swiping like a madman. We’re definitely impressed with the game so far and think it’s a worthy update to the original. All those years of sleep-away golf camp are finally paying off. Hit the jump for the iTunes link. More →
iOS gamers: You can now do your part to donate to Red Cross for Tsunami relief efforts in Japan by downloading any Sonic the Hedgehog title and/or Street Fighter IV for iPhone or the iPod touch. Sega’s games include Sonic Spinball ($0.99), Sonic the Hedgehog ($1.99), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ($2.99), and Sonic the Hedgehog 4th Episode 1 ($3.99) — 100% of the proceeds from any downloads through March 20th will be given to Red Cross’ Disaster Relief in Japan. Similarly, Capcom cut the price of Street Fighter IV to $0.99, and all of revenues from downloads through March 22 will be given to charity in Japan. We haven’t had a chance to play any of the Sonic titles, but we’ll be downloading a few today. Street Fighter IV takes us back to our Sega days, though, and it’s definitely worth a download. Hadouken! More →