Microsoft has confirmed that the successor to the Xbox 360 will not be announced at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo. “While we appreciate all the interest in our long-range plans for the future, we can confirm that there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon,” the company said in a statement to Kotaku on Thursday. “For us, 2012 is all about Xbox 360-and it’s the best year ever for Xbox 360. The console is coming off its biggest year ever-a year in which Xbox outsold all other consoles worldwide.” The next-generation Xbox is rumored to be six times more powerful than the current Xbox 360. It has been reported that the console will be equipped with a GPU based on ATI’s Radeon HD 6670 and should offer support for 3D technology, 1080p HD output, multiple displays and DirectX 11. It is also possible that Microsoft’s next-generation system may use online downloads and swappable solid state cards rather than a traditional disc drive. More →
On Wednesday, VIA Technologies and WTI announced that the two have reached an agreement to sell holdings in S3 Graphics to HTC for $300 million. S3 Graphics builds hardware graphics solutions for a number of consumer devices including game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. VIA will receive $147 million from the deal while WTI will take home $153 million. “The transaction would allow VIA to monetize a portion of its rich IP portfolio, yet retain its graphics capabilities to support the development and sale of its processors and chipsets,” said Tzu-mu Lin, Senior Vice President and Board Director of VIA. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval but is expected to close before the end of this year. Read on for the full press release.
In a recent interview with Forbes, Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime was asked how his company will market the new Nintendo Wii U console — given that the existing Wii will still be on the market. Fils-Aime responded by noting that the console will not launch until after April 1st of next year — a date we hadn’t heard yet — and that, historically, Nintendo has sold multiple devices side by side. Fils-Aime pointed to the launch of the Nintendo DS alongside the Gameboy Advance, and also said that the Wii was on the market at the same time as the Game Cube. He also discussed cross-platform play, which could allow users to play against one another using different Nintendo machines “We have one key developer with a very strong relationship to Nintendo, the same developer who created Smash Brothers, that is envisioning a Smash Brothers experience that will be cross platform between Wii U and 3DS,” Fils-Aime said. Nintendo took the wraps off of the highly anticipated Wii U during the E3 tradeshow early last month, but has yet to announce a price for the console.
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 →
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 →
Nintendo’s next generation Wii console — currently codenamed “Project Cafe” — could land later this year, and it may sport a new controller with a touchscreen display. A user in the NeoGaf forums has posted several images that provide additional details on Nintendo’s rumored system. According to the photos, “Screen Stream takes the 1080p image and pushes each rendered quarter to the player’s personal TV screen,” which is on the controller itself. So if you’re partaking in a four-player game, for example, you’ll be able to view your slice of the HDTV screen directly on your controller. Similarly, we imagine instances where a gamer could manage his or her character’s traits or abilities directly from the controller itself, without having to pause the game for everyone to access game menu options. IGN says the Nintendo Wii 2 will likely cost between $350 and $400, will offer 1080p output with possible support for stereoscopic 3D, and will run a newer version of AMD’s R700 GPU. Hit the jump for more images. More →
According to Kotaku, neither Microsoft nor Sony will launch new gaming consoles before 2014. “Both [Microsoft] and Sony are telegraphing to each other that they’re delaying, to milk the current [generation] and fill in previous craters better,” one source told Kotaku. By contrast, Nintendo’s next generation gaming console is expected to land sometime next year. Microsoft and Sony may decide to build onto the current systems, however; for example, Microsoft may release a “Kinect-upgraded” Xbox 360 in 2013. “Sony definitely isn’t launching a successor before 2014 and could stand to benefit by having Microsoft launch first as PS3 builds in North America and builds a strong position in Europe,” said Billy Pidgeon, an analyst with M2 Research. Microsoft has gone on the record saying that it will offer support for the Xbox 360 through 2015, but we’re curious how it will hold consumer interest in a system that made its debut in 2005. More →
According to AV Watch, Sony has announced that it’s ending sales of its PSP Go portable gaming console. Sony let the wraps off of the PSP Go in June 2009, and while it is both smaller and lighter than the PSP, that comes at the cost of a UMD gaming cartridge slot. The requirement to side-load games or purchase them over the air no doubt played a role in Sony’s poor hardware and software sales in Japan. While the Japanese firm will no longer produce the PSP Go, it will continue to offer device support for repairs and updates. Sony said it will focus its efforts on the PSP-3000 and its successor, currently codenamed “NGP.” More →
Sony has kept its PlayStation 3 sales figures close to the vest, but on Friday the company officially announced shipment figures for its popular PlayStation 3 gaming console. Sony said that, as of March 29th, 2011, it has shipped 50 million PlayStation 3 consoles globally. Sony’s PlayStation Network, which allows users to download games, watch movies, and more, now has more than 75 million registered users in 59 countries around the globe. Sony also noted that it has shipped 8 million of its PlayStation Move motion controllers since the September 2010 launch. As of February, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming console remained the most popular gaming console in the United States – that’s no surprise given that it’s available at multiple price points, most of which are below that of the PS3. Hit the jump for Sony’s official announcement. More →
Nintendo may drop the price of its Nintendo Wii game console from $200 to $150 on May 15th, Engadget is reporting. The new price will likely help Nintendo compete better against Microsoft and its Xbox 360 4GB console —which currently retails for $199.99. According to recent figures from NPD Group, Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii consoles during the month of February, far behind Microsoft’s 535,000 Xbox 360 sales figure. Similarly, Nintendo reported weaker hardware sales in its Q3 earnings report, so the move could help it reignite consumer interest. More →