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Alienware are still here, making some seriously high-end gaming PC's and notebooks, and their General Manager, Frank Azon, has some harsh words for Microsoft and Sony's next-gen consoles.
He said that the Xbox One and PS4 are just becoming more and more like the PC, stating that the PC is the ultimate gaming platform, and that Microsoft and Sony are just borrowing concepts from the PC and putting them into a flashy-looking box that sits in your living room.
Azon isn't just talking fluff either, as we know that the next-gen consoles are powered by x86 architectures, which is what the PC is built upon. On top of that we have AMD building them, which are a PC company. We have digital downloads, streaming TV and movies, which have been staples of the PC industry for years now.
Console manufacturers have traditionally had issues having enough supply at launch. Inevitably, some users faced price gouging on Ebay if they were set on getting a console within the first few weeks. According to AMD, they won't be the result of any delays as they are completely capable of making plenty of silicon.
AMD corporate vice president and general manager of Semi-Custom Business Saeid Moshkelani:
From a manufacturing perspective, in a year we ship tens of millions of units. So we have a very strong manufacturing base for our APUs and discrete graphics. We leverage the same manufacturing infrastructure to develop for game consoles. So the volumes were not something that actually raised an eyebrow for us, because we're already in high-volume manufacturing.
This is good news for gamers, provided Sony and Microsoft don't experience supply shortages elsewhere in the manufacturing process. It should mean that more consoles are available at launch, helping to reduce any price gouging that may occur.
Today, Rovio announced that the Angry Birds Trilogy will be heading to Nintendo's Wii and Wii U consoles this August 13. This will bring it in line with the existing versions already available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's own DS.
The game will come in a disc-based collection and will include Angry Birds, Angry Birds: Seasons, and Angry Birds: Rio. There is no word yet on when or if Angry Birds: Space, Angry Birds: Star Wars, or Bad Piggies will make it to the consoles. The company says that the trilogy will offer 140 hours of gameplay as well as 30 episodes right on the disk, including some new and exclusive levels.
The trilogy is the perfect fit for the Nintendo Wii and Wii U as they are geared more towards entertaining families and are very popular with younger children. I may go out and buy a Wii just so I can use the slingshot via the Wii Remote.
Last week, Sony pushed out a firmware update that wound up doing much more harm than good. The 4.45 update wound up bricking thousands of PS3 consoles and left owers wondering if their machines would ever work again. This morning, Sony has released a firmware update which will fix those consoles broken by the 4.45 firmware update.
The new update, version 4.46, will fix your broken PS3 in three easy steps that require downloading the new 4.46 firmware, activating safe mode on your PS3, and then manually installing the update onto the machine. Thankfully for those less technically minded, Sony has created an easy to follow, step-by-step guide. Did your PS3 break due to the bad firmware? Try the fix out and let us know if it worked.
According to sources close to Sony, the entertainment giant decided to not bundle the PlayStation 4 camera with every console so they could beat Microsoft's $499 price point. But not only did Sony do this to beat Microsoft on price, they didn't let retail partners know that the price changed. The only information they provided to retail partners was that the PS4 camera would no longer be included with the console.
This might have been a great move. Not only was Sony able to beat Microsoft on price, but it turns out that people don't like an always-connected camera in their living room. Sony has been able to avoid accusations that the device might be spying on its users.
On the other hand, it will likely cause the PlayStation camera accessory to see less uptake in the market. By not requiring every user to have it, game developers will have to deal with a fragmented landscape where only some gamers have the camera. This means developers are unlikely to make as much use of the camera, which in turn provides less incentive for users to buy a camera. It's the classic chicken and egg scenario.
Sony has continued its support of independent game developers by launching a new indie game channel for its PlayStation Vita handheld gaming console. This new channel is the direct result of Sony launching a similar channel on the PlayStation network last month.
With 53 titles already, Sony has begun highlighting new releases such as Hotline Miami, Thomas Was Alone, and Limbo. Sony says it has plans in the coming months to showcase highly anticipated Vita-only releases such as Spelunky, Luftrausers, and Hohokm.
In a blog post Sony said:
At PlayStation, we're proud to support indie development, and our unrestrictive policies make it easier than ever for developers to launch games on PS Vita. We recognize that the unique perspective that indie developers deliver contributes to the success and future of the gaming industry. And we've learned as much from working with talented indie developers over the last several years as (we hope) they have learned from us.
When Microsoft launches their next-generation Xbox One console later this year, it won't be including the 'must-have' wired headset in the box. Microsoft have gone as far as describing this headset as "a must have for fans of online gaming."
Considering the Xbox One is built around online gaming, going as far as previously having to 'check-in' every 24 hours to stay valid, not including a 'must have for fans of online gaming' accessory is weird. Also consider this, most versions of the current-generation Xbox 360 include a wired headset, yet the next-generation $499 console will not.
A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement: "Xbox One does not include a pack-in headset accessory. Each Xbox One includes the new Kinect sensor, with a highly sensitive multi-array microphones designed to enable voice inputs and chat as a system-level capability, both in-game and with Skype and other experiences."
The $100 cheaper PlayStation 4 will include a headset in the box, if that helps your decision making process.
OUYA founder is 'pissed' that some original backers don't have their consoles - but what is she going to do about it?
I voiced my opinion a few days ago about backing the OUYA console on Kickstarter and not receiving my console yet, but now we're at the stage of it hitting retail shelves - and getting to the point of selling out at a few of them.
OUYA founder, Julia Uhrman, is "pissed" because some of the Kickstarter backers haven't received their consoles yet, as she promised they would all receive their consoles before OUYA went to retail. Uhrman writes in a Kickstarter update that only the backers received: "I am pissed. Some of you have not yet received your OUYA -- and, to you, I apologize. I did not promise to ship to *most* of you before we hit store shelves. I promised to ship to *all* of you. I've been reading your comments, and we are working to solve this."
Less than 24 hours after hitting retail shelves in the US, Canada, and the UK, the OUYA Android Gaming Console has sold out at two of its major retailers. This morning, Amazon.com and GameStop are both reporting that OUYA consoles are temporarily out of stock. Other retail partners, such as Best Buy and Target, are still showing consoles as being in stock.
With the little Android console retailing for $99, it is no surprise that they sold out in two of the biggest gaming retailers in the country. What is disheartening is that OUYA has still yet to complete shipping to all of their Kickstarter backers. These are the people who quite literally launched the company into the position they are in right now. Our own Anthony Garreffa is still awaiting the arrival of his Limited Edition OUYA, and here we are a complete day into that retail launch and Ouya has still not fulfilled obligations to their initial investors.
I still haven't heard from OUYA about my console, and I'm an original backer - but the retail OUYA consoles go on sale today for just $99. You can pick them up at Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, Target and GAME.
The Android-powered $99 console will be available at "hundreds of stores" across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. For $99, you'll receive the console itself and one controller, but it gets expensive from here. For an extra controller, you're looking at $49 each. OUYA aren't talking about how much stock will be available at retail, but first in, best dressed is my method.