Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quake 5 might return to its roots

John Carmack, the boss of id Software, recently spouted out some good news for fans of the original Quake. The long time running series might be taking a trip back to its roots - if the game does come into fruition. According to a statement he recently made to Eurogamer, he said: “We are at least tossing around the possibilities of going back to the bizarre, mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting that direction. We think that would be a more interesting direction than doing more Strogg stuff after Quake 4... But we could do something pretty grand like that, that still tweaks the memory right in all of those ways, but is actually cohesive and plays with all of the strengths of the level we're at right now.”

I don't know about you guys, but if I were to pick a defining moment in my life as a gamer, it would be the first time I played Quake. Discovering that you could use the mouse together with the keyboard forever changed the way I played First Person Shooters for years to come. With such fond memories of spending hours shooting up demons and looking for color coded keys on my computer, hearing news about Quake 5 returning to the whole “gothic” feel of the first game makes me quiver with anticipation. I know it's not confirmation that the next Quake is on its way, but we can always dream right? Here's to hoping it arrives (if at all) sooner than later.
source: Ubergizmo

Redbox Now Renting Video Games

With more than 27,000 kiosks around the country, most of you are probably familiar with Redbox movie rentals. Starting today, Redbox is now adding video game rentals to their service. You'll be able to rent games for Xbox 360, Wii, and Playstation 3 for $2 per day. You can go to any Redbox location and take your chances that the game you want is available, or you can go online with your computer or your Android smartphone or iPhone, search for a nearby location with the game you want, and reserve it. The Redbox site is showing 60 titles now, and you can sign up to be notified when new games become available.
source: The Gadgeteer

Microsoft sells 1.5 million Xbox 360 consoles in Japan - after five years

While Microsoft's gaming console, the Xbox 360, has had no trouble moving units in the rest of the world, it seemed to have trouble making a dent in the Japanese market. Well, a Japanese site, Wazap, has just announced that Microsoft has finally sold the 1.5 millionth Xbox 360 in Japan. The console made its debut in 2005 and only surpassed a million sales until 2009. It's now 2011, and Microsoft has finally shipped another half million units in the land of the rising sun.

In case you were wondering - no, it's not selling very well. Fortunately for Microsoft, the console is selling much better in other countries so it doesn't need to sell in Japan to survive, but hey any increase in sales would be welcome, regardless of where it's happening. Any suggestions to how Microsoft could push sales of the Xbox 360 in Japan?
source: Ubergizmo

Crytek: Xbox 720 Coming at E3 2012

One of the best things about shows like E3, Computex and CES is that they put long-standing rumors to rest. Sure, these rumors might not even exist without the shows but, if anything, they at least squash speculation about new products for another 12 months or so. With E3 2011 all done and dusted, talk of E3 2012 has already begun, and for now, the Xbox 720 is the subject.

According to the latest rumors, Microsoft will use next year's E3 show to preview its new console, the Xbox 720. VideoGamer cites Crytek in reporting the news, adding that Microsoft will announce and launch its new console ahead of Sony.

There isn't much in the way of details available right now, but the Crysis developer reportedly told VideoGamer that it's using Microsoft's DirectX 11 as the current basis for next-generation development.

Neither Microsoft nor Crytek are commenting on the story, so take it with a grain of salt until we hear something more official.
source: 2DayBlog.com

Microsoft Kinect SDK officially released

We previously wrote about Microsoft releasing the official Kinect SDK today, and it looks like the rumors were spot on. Microsoft has released the beta version of the official Kinect SDK on the Microsoft Research website today. Designed for non-commercial use only, the Kinect SDK is targeted at researchers, academics and hobbyists (the folks who have been coming up with all sorts of DIY Kinect projects all this while). These SDK will allow Kinect developers to create tools and discover new ways to utilize Microsoft's gaming motion controller. The Kinect SDK only runs on Windows 7 PCs, and supports C++, C# or Visual Basic development via Visual Studio 2010. It is developed by Microsoft Research and the Interactive Entertainment Business unit. Using the SDK, developers will have access to raw sensor streams from the cameras and microphones, skeletal tracking capabilities, low-level programming interfaces, and Microsoft's speech API.

Also provided are 100 pages of documentation, reusable code samples and code walkthroughs – basically everything a developer with minimal knowledge of the Kinect would need to get started. Interested folks can head over to the Microsoft Research website to download the SDK. And since this is a beta, users are also encouraged to provide feedback on how to improve the SDK as well as report any bugs they encounter.
source: Ubergizmo

BioWare hacked – 18,000 accounts compromised

BioWare, the games development company behind hot-selling RPGs like Mass Effect, Neverwinter Nights and Baldur's Gate has been reported as the latest casualty of video game company hacking that's been going on recently. The community servers associated with the Neverwinter Nights forums was recently discovered to have been accessed by an unauthorized user.

BioWare made the announcement recently and sent emails out to accounts that may have been compromised, but as a precaution they recommend all users to change their passwords anyway. Usernames, passwords, email addresses and birth dates were jeopardized, fortunately there was no credit card data to be taken. Here's the full statement from BioWare:

We have emailed those whose accounts may have been compromised and either disabled their accounts or reset their EA Account passwords. If you did not receive an email from us, or if your password still works for your EA account, your username and password were not compromised. Nevertheless, changing your password regularly is always helpful to protect your account.

There isn't any information on who was behind the intrusion, or why the hacker(s) did it, but you can be sure it won't be the last of such attacks. Any bets on which companies will get hit next?
source: Ubergizmo

Wii U dev kits to be updated to latest prototyping hardware in the coming weeks

Nintendo couldn't have put all those glorious names of third party developers up alongside its Wii U announcement earlier this month without giving those companies at least a glimpse at the actual hardware they'd have to code on. Sega Europe's Gary Dunn was among those to have tinkered with a development kit before we even knew what the Wii U would be called, but he says that Nintendo intends to refresh that hardware to the latest prototype model at some point before the end of July. According to Gary, coding for the new system is pretty straightforward, and though he wouldn't get into specifics about performance, he does expect more details to emerge once Nintendo starts distributing the latest version of the Wii U dev platform. Asked about how it compares to the Xbox 360 and PS3, Sega's dev leader simply said the new Nintendo console is “different.”
source: 2DayBlog.com

Kinect SDK used to create Twitter client

The Official Kinect SDK was only released yesterday and it looks like folks have already started getting busy with it. James Pfaff, an intern at Microsoft came up with a simple Twitter client for the Kinect. He used hand gestures to select the characters, and voice commands to add spaces, confirm and delete characters. Judging by the video demonstration it doesn't look like the fastest or most efficient way to send out a Tweet, and some of you might be thinking - if he can get it to recognize voice commands, why not make it recognize alphabets being spoken instead? Maybe if he made the whole client completely gesture based, it would make sense as an alternative client for people who wanted to Tweet but couldn't speak.

Anyway, this client should mark the beginning of things to come - expect even more homebrewed Kinect projects in the coming months.
source: Ubergizmo

Both Android Angry Birds games updated – new maps for AB and AB Rio

Rovio has released updates for the pair of its Angry Birds Android games, with both the original title and the Rio spin-off getting a new collection of levels. The Rio update, Carnival Upheaval, had a brief exclusive period of exclusivity over on the US-only Amazon Appstore, but is now up on the Android Market for us poor “RotW” consumers.

Here they are. Please excuse me for not bothering to unlock them. I'm sure you can imagine what they look like.

The previously rather neglected original Angry Birds, meanwhile, now contains a new map pack of its own, with the “Mine and Dine” section added in today's release. Get regular Angry Birds via the Android Market here and AB Rio here, if you haven't already.
source: Eurodroid

[PSV UPDATE] Playstation Vita, The game is on!

Sony's Playstation Vita (PSV) is getting very well received by the major Japanese game studios, many of them have or are still in development to supply new titles for Sony's latest and greatest handheld. As it happens, neither hardware nor any games are officially out, yet we are here to give you a small round up on what to expect when the console hits the shelves in the forthcoming months and what further to expect in 2012.

One of the first to start the PSV development was Bandai Namco Games, with titles such as RIDGE (Ridge Racer) they showcased a concept render of potential graphic power the new hardware manages to push forward. Other titles still in negotiation for production are Rurouni Kenshin, Gundam Battle and God Eater.

Second big name in the PSV development is Tecmo Koei, well known for Disgaea and its Dead or Alive franchise. They are working together with Omega Force studios to bring you a touch interactive battle simulator under the name Dynasty Warriors (working title). The game is planned for spring 2012 release and will use both front and rear touchscreen + the built in gyroscope to the fullest.

Third.. Well there can't be a new playstation portable without the launch of Minna no Golf (Everybody's golf). The game, a golf simulator, is developed by Clap Hanz (published by SCE) and will feature most of the motion and touch capabilities of the Vita handheld.

Also on the plate: Gravity Daze, an adventure game planned to be released when the handheld itself is ready for shipping. Another one (in collaboration with MM) for Vita release is Little Big Planet, equally set to be ready when the hardware ships. And not to forgetting Uncharted - Golden Abyss! Also published by SCE (developed by NaughtyDog and BEND Studio) which is already expected to be a huge hit for the EU/USA market.

Fourth. UTV Ignition games is developing in corporation with VanillaWare the game Dragon's Crown. Release is planned spring 2012, the concept is a 2D/retro looking RPG with various fighting combo's who utilize most of the new touch features.

Number 5, Capcom: Street Fighter X Tekken, the game will feature characters from both the Street Fighter and Tekken series ( naturally this means Namco is involved for the Tekken part). The gameplay will be based on the 2D mechanics of Street Fighter IV as opposed to Tekken.

Check us regularly for forthcoming updates on the Japanese gaming industry. Cheers!
source: Akihabara News

Nintendo says one Wii U controller per console; gladly sell you the second screen

Nintendo's tablet-esque Wii U controller raised a few questions when it was announced at E3. Questions like, “What kind of crazy games are going to use that thing,” and “How much will a second controller cost me?” The latter, at least, has been answered. Nothing. You don't need one. Nintendo's Satoru Iwata recently said in an interview that games enlisting more than one Wii U controller aren't being considered just yet — although they are possible. Iwata told Diamond Online that the Wii U can technically support multiple screen-controllers, but that additional slabs would be too expensive to sell on their own. Iwata went on to say that the console would ship with only one, and that game developers should design titles under the assumption that each console will use a single Wii U controller. Player two will have to settle for a good ‘ol Wiimote, and even Satoru himself admits that there are plenty of those around.
source: 2DayBlog.com

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wii U graphic running on last-gen Radeon, still more awesome then Xbox 360 and PS3

When you buy computers, you'll do research on their hardware specs, but not for consoles. Well at least they're not famous for their hardware specs. Even if someone tells you that Sony's PS3 is powered by a vector-type Cell processor, you won't know what that means.

And so, Nintendo announced their next Wii, which is the Wii U Wii U which sounds like the police's siren. Apparently Nintendo's Wii U console will come packing a custom Radeon GPU with a chip similar to the R770, and that the chip is competitively stronger than the GPUs of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but will you care? No...

Anyway, the chip is said to run DirectX 10, and is capable of handling four SD video streams — presumably only one of those streams will be necessary, however, given Shigeru Miyamoto's statements about the WiiPad. As GAME Watch points out, the Xbox 360 was limited to a variation of DirectX 9, while the PS3 employs OpenGL APIs.

But now we've gone right off the deep end — what we're trying to say is this: the Wii U has a pretty decent graphical processor. Or, more simply, Wii U games will look good, and likely even better than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games. There, that wasn't so bad!

Last gen... that should be the Radeon Cypress which is considered quite impressive and will easily runs games with high settings on 1080p smoothly, well... almost all games anyway.
source: 2DayBlog.com

Buy one, get half off a second select Xbox 360/PS3 game at Best Buy

Before you indulge that sudden, irresistible desire to purchase two recent PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 games, allow us to pass along some helpful information. Best Buy is offering a buy one, get one half-off deal on several PS3 and Xbox 360 games including Dirt 3, Portal 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Red Faction: Armageddon, and Crysis 2. Yes, that's a number of new games indeed.

You could even double up on Duke Nukem Forever and Homefront, if that's what you're into for some reason. Regardless of the critical response to the Duke, it's pretty impressive to get a 50% off deal on a brand new game like that.
source: 2DayBlog.com

Tetris now available on Samsung Smart TVs

One of the world's most popular video games of all time, Tetris is now available on yet another platform. Granted we've been playing Tetris on our TVs for years but that was with the aid of a console. Oberon Media, the exclusive distributors of the Tetris game for connected TV has just announced the release of the game on Samsung Apps - the world's first HDTV-based app store for Samsung Smart TVs.

The casual game of clearing blocks for points in a race against blocks from filling up your screen is now available on all Samsung Smart TVs with access to the Samsung Apps app store. This version of Tetris has been optimized for the Samsung Smart TV so you can expect to enjoy the game, that's known and loved by people all over the world, the way it's meant to be played.

Unfortunately, the game won't be free - featuring a $4.99 price tag, but for those of you who want to give the game a shot before putting down any money on it, there's a free trial to sink your teeth into. It is available now from Samsung Apps.
source: Ubergizmo

Rumor: Xbox 360 successor to debut at E3 2012

E3 2011′s over. If you were sleeping under a rock, you can catch up on all Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's press conferences at Ubergizmo's live.ubergizmo.com channel (it's still up there, for now). While Nintendo and Sony both unveiled new hardware – the Wii U and the PS Vita, Microsoft chose to focus its concentration on expanding Kinect's potential with a variety of games including Kinect Star Wars and Forza 4. According to VideoGamer, a “high ranking source” from Crytek reports that Microsoft will reveal it's plans for the next Xbox 360 within the next 12 months.

As history has proven, the best place to reveal new hardware is at E3, the largest video game trade show of the year. VideoGamer says that Crytek is already working on TimeSplitters 4 for the new Xbox 360 successor and is basing all next-gen development off of DirectX 11. Our two cents on the rumor? It seems plausible, given how Microsoft's plan to rival the PS3′s 10-year life cycle is in motion. Revealing the console next year would make for a delectable first round tease, with a release in 2013 more likely. We don't think Microsoft is worried about the Wii U's launch next year, as Nintendo is merely catching up to the 360 and PS3 in terms of HD graphics and power. Adding more fuel, we think Microsoft could even build in Kinect's motion powers, given how hard the company and Kinect daddy Kudo Tsunoda are stressing the accessory.

Should Microsoft release the next Xbox in 2013 or 2014, the 360 will only be turning eight and nine-years-old, which leaves plenty of time for the console's life to taper off and for gamers to transition to the next console. Heck, Microsoft doesn't even need to kill off the 360, but price it as a budget gaming experience, much like Sony did with the PS2 when pushing full steam ahead with its PS3. Whatever the case, thing's are getting hot again, with the Wii U looking to start the next-gen of home consoles early. The big question is: are you ready for a new console?
source: Ubergizmo

Wii U does not do DVDs nor Blu-ray discs

We do know that the Nintendo Wii U which was recently announced at E3 2011 will be able to play back discs of up to 25GB in content, leading some to speculate that it might just be the Blu-ray disc format that Nintendo will be supporting – that will come as a surprise actually, since most folks know that Nintendo tends to keep to their own proprietary format when it comes to video games. Well, guess the Blu-ray bubble for the Wii U has burst, as Nintendo president Satoru Iwata touts that their upcoming gaming console will be unable to play back either Blu-ray (sucks) or DVD (sucks even more, considering your vast back catalogue of movies) no thanks in part to patent licensing fees.

Guess it is now official that the Wii U does not have DVD or Blu-ray playback capabilities, then again, it should not come as a shocker or a turn off since most folks out there would probably already own devices that are capable of playing DVDs as well as Blu-rays (PS3 owners, you hear me?).

What do you think of that? Is that a deal breaker for you if Blu-ray or DVD playback had been on your list as part of the package?
source: Ubergizmo

Xbox Live May Be Integrated into Windows 8

Xbox Live will be integrated into Windows 8, and will likely be similar to the service offered on the console, combining Live Messenger, Zune, Games for Windows Marketplace and more.

During an E3 2011 interview with the Seattle Times, vice president of global marketing at Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business group Mike Delman said that Xbox Live will be integrated into Windows 8. The revelation was made after the paper admitted that it was surprised more wasn't revealed about the connections between the Xbox 360 and WP7 devices during Microsoft's press event.

“Live has been successful on the Windows Phone,” he said. “Live will be built into the PC. It will be the service where you get your entertainment. We were talking about it - you will not just see consoles and handhelds at this show next year, this show's going to morph into other devices.”

He went on to say that Live will be the primary entertainment center for Windows Phone handhelds. “If we have that and the PCs to leverage, that will be a big Live base,” he added. “It's our job to make ‘buy a movie in one place and play it everywhere, buy a game in one place and play it everywhere.' Making things portable will be a big focus of ours.”

So how will Xbox Live's services and content be integrated into Windows 8? Naturally Delman wouldn't be specific. “There will be a lot of similarities in design and service philosophy. Whether it's us or Apple or anybody else, people want to be able to navigate through multiple devices in a certain ecosystem very seamlessly so we're committed to that.”

Xbox Live will the pervasive media service across devices, he said. In fact, Delman hinted that Microsoft may actually unify most of its current assets such as Xbox Live, Zune, Windows Live Messenger (Skype?) and SkyDrive, as it would be “good for us and good for consumers.”

Unlike the Xbox 360 console, Microsoft-sanctioned entertainment on the PC is currently broken up into separate applications. As always, Live Messenger is a standalone chat client. Those seeking music, apps and movies must load up the Zune software. PC games, demos and add-ons for Windows-based machines are purchased and downloaded through the standalone Games for Windows Marketplace client. Internet TV can even be accessed through the Windows Media Center.

Indeed, merging all Microsoft content and services into one client would be “good for consumers.” Honestly, we'd like to see the unification roll out in an update for Windows 7 sometime this year.
source: 2DayBlog.com

Dead Rising 2: Off The Record Retails For $39.99 In North America

Eurogamer has unveiled that Dead Rising 2: Off the Record will be priced at $39.99 in North America. Dead Rising 2: Off the Record is a re-interpretation of the Fortune City outbreak in Dead Rising 2 in which Frank West is the lead character. The game will be released in Fall 2011 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC as a full retail disc. [Joystiq]

Gears of War will never come to the PS3

Bad news for PlayStation 3 gamers who were holding out for Epic Games to bring its Gears of War 3 franchise to the Sony do-it-all box. Cliff Bleszinski or “CliffyB” as he is so often called says the third-person chainsaw-gunning series will remain an Xbox 360 exclusive for the foreseeable future. Why doesn't the man want to bring it to more powerful PS3 console? Here's a hint: it involves him not liking the Sony DualShock3 controller design.

Speaking with Industry Gamers, here's what CliffyB had to say about Gears of War for the PS3:

"I would say in the foreseeable future there's zero chances of Gears of War being on the PlayStation 3. Can we bury that now? Seriously. It's like, we have a great deal with Microsoft, they're a great partner..."

"It's one of those things that would be exciting news. Hopefully DualShock would get tweaked a little bit, but anyway, enough about that."

Another reason for no Gears on PS3? Microsoft must be paying him and Epic Games a boatload of cash to keep the series an exclusive. The next installment of Gears of War 3 comes out on Xbox 360 on September 20. PS3 owners, you're out of luck, sorry.
source: Ubergizmo

Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY Android Smartphone Review

Smartphones with slide out keyboards are not unusual. But the same can't be said about a smartphone with a slide out gaming controller. The Sony Xperia PLAY (aka the Playstation Phone) from Sony Ericsson and Verizon Wireless is an Android powered smartphone for those of you that love to play games but aren't so thrilled with using the touch screen to do so. This phone's Playstation style controller is meant to give you true gaming feel, but let's see if it's just a gimmick or the real thing.

Note: Some of the images in this review can be clicked to view a larger size.

Hardware Specs and Design

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon II 1GHz CPU with Adreno 205 GPU

Networks: CDMA 2000 and EVDOrev0/EVDOrevA

Operating system: Android 2.3.2 (Gingerbread)

Display: 4.0" Capacitive multi-touch screen, 480×854 FWVGA display

Camera: 5.1MP, front facing VGA camera

Memory: 8GB pre-installed memory card (approx 2GB used for pre-loaded games), Up to 32GB microSD support

WLAN: 802.11 b/g/n

Bluetooth: v2.01+ EDR

Battery: 1500 mAh

Dimensions: 4.68" x 2.44" x .63" inches

Weight: 6.17oz

The Xperia PLAY has a very shiny Black plastic shell with chrome buttons and sides. The front of the phone has the display with function buttons below it. The display is crisp and vivid. It's not as bright as other phones I've tried lately though. It has more pixels than other 4″ displays. At 480×854, it gives you a wide screen display which is great for watching videos.

The back of the phone has the camera lens and LED flash.

On the top edge of the phone, you'll find the power button with the built in notification LED. The LED will flash Green when you have an email, SMS message, missed call, etc. The location of this status LED seems odd to me since it wouldn't normally be visible to you if you place the phone face up on your desk.

There is a micro USB port for charging and syncing on the Left side, along with the earphone jack.

If we look on the opposite side, we find the gaming controller's shoulder buttons (more about the controller in a sec) and the volume controller in the center. I hate the location of the volume button… It's kind of difficult to press when you're talking on the phone as the screen tends to slide in that direction when you press the volume button while holding the phone in one hand. It's even more difficult to press when you have the gaming controller open and are playing a game.

The Xperia PLAY looked very familiar to me when I first removed it from the box. Why? It reminded me of my Motorola Droid X with the four physical buttons below the display. The button layout isn't quite the same though and one small disappointment is that the icons for the buttons do not light up. This makes it slightly difficult to see which button to press when you're in a dim or dark environment.

Let's Play a Game!

The Xperia PLAY is a normal Android smartphone until you slide over the display and expose the built in gaming controller. I'm not a Playstation person, but even I recognize the Square, Triangle, Circle and X buttons that we see here. Out of the box, there are 7 games installed on the phone that was sent to me for review:

Asphalt 6

Bruce Lee Dragon Warrior

Crash Bandicot

Madden NFL 11

Star Battalion

The Sims 3

Tetris (touch screen mode only)

Whenever you slide the display over to reveal the gaming controller, it will automatically launch the phone into gaming mode. This happens even when the phone is idle, so you won't have to unlock it to play games.

I played with all the built in games and found the graphics to be smooth and sharp. The addition of the enhanced graphics processor and the built in controller really make playing games on this phone feel like playing games on a dedicated handheld gaming device.

The controller feels responsive and the touch pad located in the center is a cool feature which can be used instead of the D-pad on the left. The touch pad doesn't work with all games though… The same is true for the controller itself. You can't use it with every game you download. It will work with all the Xperia PLAY games of course, but random generic games through the app market will be hit and miss.

Xperia PLAY games are purchased through the V Cast App store. Prices vary and some offer a monthly rental or can be purchased outright. Every time I check for new games there seem to be one or two additional added since I last looked. Right now there are 31 titles available.

Camera The 5.1 megapixel camera does an above average job snapping pix. Thumbs up for its macro capability, which is always a feature that's important to me. Here are two sample images. Click to view the full size version.

If I had any requests with regards to the camera, it would be to allow the use of one of the controller's shoulder buttons to double as a shutter button.

The Xperia PLAY is great for games, but what about calls?

First and foremost, the Sony Xperia PLAY is a phone. So it has to be able to make and receive calls. No worries, this phone has no problems in that regard. The only thing I've noticed is that it doesn't seem to have quite as strong a signal as my Droid X, when comparing the number of bars. But that said, I've not had it drop any calls. Call audio quality and volume are very good on both sides of calls. So as a phone, I would have no problems recommending it.

Overall Performance

With its 1GHz processor, this phone is as snappy as my Droid X as far as scrolling through apps, launching apps, etc. Battery life seems to be on par with other 1GHz phones I've reviewed. That means you will want to charge it every night if you are a normal user. I guess that's a cross we have to bear until mobile phones start using fuel cells

If you're an Android fan that just happens to be a gamer, the Sony Xperia PLAY is a great choice. It really turns your phone into a handheld gaming device. There aren't a ton of PLAY games available just yet, but with over 30 and more seeming to show up every day, it has a good start. All I can say is that I wish there was a slide out controller like this one for the iPhone. I'm jealous!
source: The Gadgeteer

Nintendo not interested in “freemium” games

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata sure is speaking his mind lately isn't he? Well, in the latest interview with AllThingsD, Iwata let it stand clear that he and Nintendo have no plans to ever offer free games whether it be on mobile devices or social networks (like Angry Birds on Android and FarmVille on Facebook). By doing so, he believes consumers devalue content and contribute to the downhill fall of quality games. Decreasing a game's price “wouldn't be a bright future and the entire industry will fold.”

In short “Nintendo is not interested” in the freemium market. But let's say if Nintendo were to go down the freemium route, given its exponential growth on social networks like Facebook, Iwata says the company would only do so if it could put a unique spin on things.

Naturally, Iwata also reiterates that Nintendo is a hardware and software company. Iwata says Nintendo will never develop its IPs such as Mario, Zelda and Metroid on other platforms. Yeah, that's also what Sega said before dropping out of the hardware race and milking Sonic out on every platform as possible.
source: Ubergizmo

Wii U's online infrastructure will be “flexible”

More details surrounding the Wii U‘s online infrastructure are trickling in. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata revealed in the latest Q&A Interview that he believes an online strategy where Nintendo creates the central infrastructure and allows developers to support it is “perhaps already out-of-date.” Instead, he wants to offer developers a more “flexible” Wii U online strategy. It sounds like Iwata is telling every game developer to manage its own servers and create its own backbone to support online play – no centralized friends list, voice chat or Achievement/Trophies.

This comes as no surprise, as Nintendo fans will know that the company has always provided a lackluster online service, from hardly supporting it on the Gamecube and then giving us the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection – a platform that can't hold a candle to Microsoft's Xbox Live or Sony's PlayStation Network. To prove my point, it's been nearly three years since Super Smash Bros. Brawl first allowed online matches, and I have yet to battle in one fair fight that isn't ultra laggy. Nope, not once.

Those who were holding out on an Xbox Live or PSN equivalent with the Wii U should probably just give up now. It's quite a shame that for all the acknowledgments that Nintendo has shown for its weak online offerings, it still doesn't seem to want to build the robust infrastructure fans so desperately desire.
source: Ubergizmo

Nintendo secures Wii U-related domain names

Nintendo went on a domain shopping spree recently, grabbing a few domain names related to Wii games (like rhythmheavenwii.com and kirbywii.com) as well as a lot of domain names related to Wii U, referencing things like New Super Mario Bros. Mii and several unannounced games and items like “Wii Zapper U,” “Wii Fit U,” “Wii Party U,” Wii U Balance Board, and even “Wii Music U,” most with variations like “Wii U Music.” All redirect to nintendo.com at the moment. Check the full list after the break, as reported by Nintendo World Report.

While we'd love to say that we had an early look at, like, the entire software and peripheral lineup for next year's console, this looks a lot more like Nintendo just registered everything it could think of, just in case. The duplicate registrations for name variants support this theory. Take that, thwarted domain squatters!
source: 2DayBlog.com

Call of Duty: Elite Beta nabs 2 million testers

This year Activision has a pair of Call of Duty games for hardcore FPS gamers: Modern Warfare 3 and Elite. The latter, as you may have heard is a subscription-based online segment that will be fully integrated into Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops and will feature live running totals of statistics and tight connections to social networks. While initially received with very little fanfare (gamers erupted in anger at the subscription), over 2 million testers have already signed up to try it out – all in two weeks.

To put it all into perspective, Activision actually says that amongst 30 million Call of Duty players, 2 million is hardly a number to be boasting about, but is still impressive. So how many of you have decided to join Elite‘s beta testing round? Are you that big of a fan you'll pay for the subscription (it'll also be available with free features) when it lands in retail this fall?
source: Ubergizmo

Next Generation Portable Gaming – PlayStation Vita

Sony announced on June 7, 2011, their next portable gaming system, PlayStation Vita. Vita means “life” in Latin. The Wi-Fi model will be available for $249 or $299 for the 3G/Wi-Fi version. AT & T will be Vita's exclusive 3G partner. The Vita has a 5″ multi-touch organic light emitting diode (OLED) (960×544 pixels) as its front display and has a multi-touch pad on the rear. The PS Vita allows game play like never before, featuring three-dimension-like motion through finger motions of push and pull, trace, push and pull, and grab. PlayStation's Vita has two analog sticks which create a larger genre of games for the portable gaming experience. It will also have 6-axis motion sensors and dual front and back facing cameras. This device is supposed to run on a quad core ARM Cortex A9 processor. Vita will be preloaded with a new application called “Party”, which enables the user to engage in voice or text chat while online gaming and also when playing different games, or even performing different applications, like surfing the internet. PS Vita will also come with an application called “Welcome Park”, which is a user's guide to accustom them easily to the features of Vita and to easily learn the three-dimension-like finger motions on the PS Vita.
source: The Gadgeteer

Dirt 3′s ‘Power and Glory Car Pack' DLC Released

Dirt 3′s latest DLC ‘Power and Glory Car Pack‘ has finally been released. This new add-on content offers five new cars including BMW M3 Rally, Chevrolet Camaro SSX Concept, Ford Focus ST Rallycross, Lancia Delta S4 and Scion tC. The Power and Glory Car Pack is now available for download via Xbox Live Marketplace for 480 MS Points ($6). [Planet Xbox 360]

Nintendo Wii U Will Have No DVD or Blu-ray Playback

Were you excited when Nintendo announced its new game console, the Nintendo Wii U? Did you hope to have something more than playing games and owning an awesome controller that features a display? Wished that it could do something the original Wii couldn't, like play DVDs? This will probably be not much of a surprise for many though, especially if you're a fan of Nintendo, but the company has decided to make it clear that the console will not be capable of playing DVDs, neither will it play back Blu-ray discs.

Of course, it's not all such a bad thing, with lesser features, it means that the company can put its new gaming console at a more competitive price range. If it's any consolation, the original Wii couldn't playback DVDs either, the feature was left out for North American Wii consoles.

"The reason for that is that we feel that enough people already have devices that are capable of playing DVDs and Blu-ray, such that it didn't warrant the cost involved to build that functionality into the Wii U console because of the patents related to those technologies." - Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo.

Well, in a way, Nintendo is right, I already have a Blu-ray player that is capable of playing DVDs as well, my PlayStation can do that just as well, why will I need a Wii U? Then again just in case you didn't already have a DVD player, I'm sure it wouldn't be long before someone comes out with a solution would it? Will this affect your decision into buying the new Nintendo game console when it comes out?
source: 2DayBlog.com