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Valve to show off new Steam Machine prototypes at GDC 2015

Valve might have unveiled its NVIDIA-powered Steam Machine all the way back in 2013, and while we were promised to see Steam Machines properly unveiled and released last year, all we saw were prototypes at CES 2014. Well, it's 2015 and we're closer than ever to proper Steam Machines, with Valve announcing that their partners will be showcasing their latest prototypes at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015 next month.

 

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Valve has partnered up with PC manufacturers like Alienware, CyberPowerPC and iBuyPower, wherer we should see most, if not all of them unveiling their latest Steam Machine prototypes at GDC 2015. Valve's Doug Lombardi has confirmed with Polygon that the latest Steam Machine prototypes will be at the show, but outside of that, we know nothing new. Don't fear, as GDC 2015 isn't even a month away, taking place between March 2-6.

NVIDIA's secret unveiling at GDC 2015 to be an Android-powered console

We know that NVIDIA will be hosting a special "Made to Game" event on March 3 during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015, but the company hasn't said anything outside of the new product will "redefine the future of gaming". No details, not even so much of a tease of what it could be.

 

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We know that it has been five years in the making, but what we're going to report is that it will be an Android-powered console. We're sure that it will be powered by a Tegra processor, most likely the Tegra X1 that NVIDIA unveiled at CES 2015 earlier this year. It would make sense, as NVIDIA has been pushing in that direction with its Shield line for a while now.

 

It wasn't long ago that we reported on a Tegra X1-powered Shield Tablet, but maybe it is the new Android-powered console that we here at TweakTown think it will arrive as? We have a Shield Tablet that would be close to an Android-powered console as it is, the Shield Controller which could connect to it, but a new 4K-capable gaming box that could bake down to 1080p 60FPS? Yes, please. This is all speculation until NVIDIA unveils the new device on March 3, which isn't too far away from now.

Sony shuts down the factory building processors for the PS3

It looks like the end of an era is approaching, with news that Sony is shutting down the production facility that makes the RSX processors for the PlayStation 3 console.

 

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Sony had recently said it would discontinue any and all operations at the factory responsible for the RSX chips in the PS3, but it looks like this is now happening. Oita TEC who was previously responsible for the memory packaging recently starting the production of advanced packaging for the CPUs that power the PlayStation consoles. The plant itself was producing the packaging of the Cell and RSX processors for the PS3, but is now being shut down keeping the "changing business landscape" in sight.

 

With 220 employees at the factory, usually their jobs would be lost, but this isn't the case. All of their jobs will be transferred to other plants that are used to make image sensors, or to other factories at alternate Sony Semiconductor Corporation sites.

Redesigned, slimmer PS4, Xbox One consoles teased by... Netflix

We've already heard that a redesigned PS4 is coming, as well as a redesigned Xbox One on AMD's new 20nm APU, but now Netflix is teasing that the redesigned consoles are coming.

 

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Samsung has some shiny new high-density GDDR5 memory that should be baked into the redesigned PS4 Slim, while the redesigned Xbox One should feature AMD's new 20nm-based APU. Both consoles are now close to 18 months old, which is about the time the previous generation consoles saw their slimmer, faster, redesigned models. Netflix's Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt said at CES 2015 that the company is expecting a "traditional two-year refresh" which should see both consoles with 4K abilities.

 

We should expect thinner, cooler, hopefully more powerful consoles from the redesign. AMD's 20nm APU should provide some added performance thanks to its lower heat and power outputs, while the better GDDR5 RAM from Samsung will give Sony a boost to its PS4. Let's just hope it's not a redesign, as in a smaller/thinner console, and that we get some added performance with them, too.

Microsoft is building 'magical, delightful' next-gen tech

Microsoft has been slowly unveiling some exciting stuff lately, where we have Windows 10 and HoloLens to look forward to, the company is now hiring new staff, including a Senior Software Engineer position for something even more 'magical'.

 

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A job listing has popped up on the Microsoft Careers spage for a Senior Software Engineer who will help the development team built "magical, delightful and disruptive consumer experiences for the next generation of technology (from the creators of the Kinect: Alex Kipman & Kudo Tsunoda)" and the company is "looking to make significant contributions to the early stages of a project with huge growth potential".

 

This could mean we'll see it reach the Xbox One, or something new is coming. I would peg it on HoloLens, but we could see it reach the Xbox One or even Windows 10. The Xbox One for me, is kinda dead ass you can't add some magical peripheral to it like VR as the system isn't fast enough to deliver the experience Microsoft will need to beat Oculus VR and the Rift. But something for HoloLens and Windows 10? Now you're talking.

Alibaba spending $10 million on bringing the Ouya console to China

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Alibaba is in talks with Ouya to launch the Android-powered microconsole in China. The Chinese online merchant has reportedly signed over $10 million to Ouya to see its console launch in China.

 

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What does Alibaba score from this deal? Well, the Chinese merchant will reportedly use Ouya's marketplace and software library as a primary feature in a future set-top box for Chinese living rooms. Since we've seen China's decade-long ban on consoles lifted in 2014, this makes perfect sense for Alibaba, and Ouya, to take advantage of it.

Nintendo has sold a total of 9.2 million Wii U consoles

Nintendo has posted its latest financial report, where we can see just how successful its consoles and handhelds are. Starting with the New 3DS, it has helped Nintendo push the "3DS family" over the 50 million mark.

 

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This is all while the New 3DS hasn't even launched in the United States or Europe, with these sales scooting along in Japan and Australia for now. When it comes to the Wii U console, Nintendo pushed 1.91 million units during the holiday quarter, while Wii U sales are sitting at a total of 9.2 million systems. Wii U software sales are sitting at 52.87 million.

 

Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. were big sellers for Nintendo across 2014, with Mario Kart 8 selling 4.77 million units while Super Smash Bros. sold a nice 3.39 million units. In total, New Super Smash Bros. had sold 4.16 million units.

Report: Microsoft shipped 6.6M Xbox units during 2014 holiday

Microsoft reportedly shipped 6.6 million Xbox game consoles to retailers, including both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, during its most recent quarter that ended on December 31, 2014, it confirmed today. Even though it saw a "strong holiday season performance" for its Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Microsoft didn't provide a shipment breakdown for each individual console.

 

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The shipment figures were a noticeable drop from 7.4 million Xbox One and Xbox 360 units shipped to retailers during the same time frame in 2013 - as the aging Xbox 360 is shown the door in favor of its next-generation counterpart.

 

Despite the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 last November and December, Microsoft will have a lot of work cut out for itself in 2015.

Someone just paid close to $130,000 for a 20th Anniversary PS4

We unfortunately spoiled the surprise in the headline, but someone has just paid a huge ¥15,135,000 (or around $129,000) for a single 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4 console, which comes in the original PlayStation gray color.

 

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Sony performed a huge bidding war on Yahoo Auctions in Japan for the magic 20th Anniversary PS4 with the serial number of 00001 from 12,300 units. The winning bid hit a huge $129,000 with a Sony representative telling The Wall Street Journal: "We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations". The company will be donating the money to Save the Children Japan.

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