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While Google I/O may have been in the news a lot this week, NVIDIA's Shield handheld console has taken the prize as most talked about. First, the company opened up pre-orders to its newsletter subscribers, and then the device was spotted on ABC's Modern Family sitcom.
This morning NVIDIA announced that it has opened up Shield pre-orders to the general public three days ahead of its previously scheduled date of May 20. For $349 early adopters can secure their all-in-one Android gaming console at Gamestop, Newegg, Canada Computer, or NVIDIA's own pre-order site.
Shield sports a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen with 1,280x720 resolution, NVIDIA's Tegra 4 CPU which supports a maximum resolution of 3200 x 2000 pixels so games can be played at full HD on a TV. Other specs include 16GB of storage, mini-HDMI, micro-USB 2.0, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, a microSD card slot for storage expansion, 802.11n Wi-Fi, integrated speakers, and a headphone jack.
In an interview with Kotaku earlier this week, an EA Spokesman said that the company is not currently developing any games for Nintendo's Wii U console. This comes just two years after both companies announced an "unprecedented partnership" to bring big name titles to the companies flagship consoles.
"We have no games in development for the Wii U currently," company spokesperson Jeff Brown told Kotaku yesterday. Although he did not rule out future development for the Wii U, as things stand right now we will not see ports of the Sims 4, Battlefield 4, or the new FIFA game set to launch soon.
This also means that there will be no NFL games produced for the Wii U console as EA holds exclusive rights on future NFL titles. We want to know how you feel about EA pulling out of Wii U game development. Leave your thoughts in a comment below.
In an attempt to gain revenue from the used games market, EA introduced a program known as Online Pass. Basically, when a person purchased a used game, they would have to buy a new online pass that would allow them to access the online multiplayer aspects of the game. New games would be distributed with a one-time use code.
This program was despised by many gamers and it appears that EA is listening to the customer in ending this program. EA confirmed that this program would no longer be utilized in future games: "Yes, we're discontinuing Online Pass. None of our new EA titles will include that feature."
Initially launched as an effort to package a full menu of online content and services, many players didn't respond to the format. We've listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward. We're still committed to creating content and services that enhance the game experience well beyond the day you first start playing.
I'm sure many of our readers will be happy to hear that this change is being made.
Many Xbox gamers will be excited to hear this rumor. According to The Verge's sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans, Microsoft will be doing away with Xbox Points at E3 this year. Instead, Microsoft will move to a currency-based system that utilizes local currencies and gift cards.
Microsoft would enable purchases via credit and debit cards meaning you would no longer have to go to the store to buy credit for your account. Microsoft will still offer gift cards, but they will be worth money just like Apple does with iTunes gift cards and digital purchases.
The gift card currency will be unified and work across Windows Store, Windows Phone Store, and Xbox. The launch is said to be occurring later this year, with the announcement happening at E3. As with all rumors, take this with a grain of salt.
Ubisoft continues to tease the upcoming Assassin's Creed game. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will take place across islands and boats and will be launching on the next-generation PlayStation 4. Ubisoft has actually commented publicly about how happy they are with the PlayStation 4 and what it is allowing them to do.
Assassin's Creed 4 will also be available on current-generation consoles, which means you won't be forced to upgrade to experience the game. However, the experience will likely be much better on one of the new consoles. Let us know what you think of the trailer and if you're excited for Assassin's Creed 4 to come out.
There are many fans of the Gran Turismo line of racing games. Gran Turismo has been around since the original PlayStation and, as the trailer brags, has 15 years of history. Gran Turismo 6 is shaping up to be quite the game, featuring over 1,200 cars and 71 different race tracks across 33 different locations.
Sony has confirmed that Gran Turismo 6 will be available on PlayStation 3. Interestingly, Sony didn't mention a version of the game being available on the upcoming PlayStation 4. It would seem silly to release it for the older PlayStation 3 when the new and much more capable PlayStation 4 will be debuting around the same time.
The new Gran Turismo 6 will feature an all-new game engine that will supposedly offer more realistic driving. Gamers will get a chance to play with the new engine in July when a demo is released. We here at TweakTown can't wait for the next Gran Turismo.
NVIDIA has finally launched Project SHIELD as a completed project. Now called SHIELD, the portable gaming device will be available for pre-order starting May 20. SHIELD will be available from Newegg, GameStop, Micro Center, and Canada Computers, as well as shield.nvidia.com.
The actual console will begin shipping sometime in June and should mark the introduction of the Tegra 4 processor. It's equipped with 16GB of on-board storage, GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, a mini-HDMI out, a micro-USB 2.0, a mircoSD card slot, and a headphone jack. On the processor side of things, it features the Tegra 4, which has 72 GPU cores and four CPU cores. The Tegra 4 is coupled with 2GB of RAM. The screen is a 5-inch 720p touch-enabled display.
Rovio, the creator behind the hit series Angry Birds, has announced that they will be expanding into the realm of game publishing. No longer will Angry Birds and its spinoffs be the sole source of revenue for the company. Now, Rovio will provide resources and exposure to third-party games they feel worthy of their attention.
One of the first games benefiting from Rovio's new publishing arm is Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage. You can see a trailer for the game embedded above. 5 Ant's Tony Thief will also be aided by Rovio Stars. We'll have to wait for a while to see how well Rovio Stars works. I'm sure plenty of people are hoping it doesn't become the next EA.
Welcome to Rovio Stars, the new mobile game publishing program from Rovio Entertainment! With more than 1.7 billion downloads and hundreds of millions of monthly active users, Rovio can introduce your game to a massive audience while supporting you with world-class marketing and PR. Our post-production services and extensive know-how take your game to all the relevant app stores, while our expert game teams can mentor you on fine-tuning your game and turning it into a blockbuster.
Google I/O is only days away, and the stream of teases isn't stopping anytime soon. Today, brings the news of Google Play Games, which has been seen in the just-updated Google Play Services that is being distributed around the place.
There's been teases of a game-related unveiling at Google I/O, but Android Police have done the detective work for us, showing off some game-related goodness. There are things such as leader boards and matchmaking services are activities that a future application can trigger, as well as achievements and invitations.
Google Play Games will intertwine with Google+, which will give it a nice social aspect, but is it enough? Can Google do it better than Apple's Game Center? Time will tell, and that time is getting shorter and shorter with Google I/O fast approaching.
As I sit here waiting for my Limited Edition Ouya console, a shipping update has hit my inbox. The shipping update reports that 65% of all Ouya units have left the Ouya warehouses, hitting planes, trains and automobiles on their way to early backers.
More than 60% were international orders, which is their most significant activity for international orders to-date. Limited Edition units continue to be pumped out, with Ouya "remaining confident that 100 percent of these orders will be en route to doorsteps two weeks from today".
I have a Limited Edition unit on back order, so here's hoping that I get mine before I board my plane to Taipei for Computex in three weeks time!