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Last week, speculation arose that Nintendo would launch the black edition of its 3DS XL handheld console over this past weekend. The weekend came and went with no black 3DS XL showing up online or in retail stores, and we are sure this was a big letdown for some. Those who were bummed out about the no show will be excited to learn that Nintendo has officially released a launch date for the device.
Sunday, August 11, will be the magical day when we finally see the black 3DS XL arrive in stores and online for retail sales. Coincidentally, that is the same day that the new Mario & Luigi: Dream Team game arrives. No pricing info was released on the 3DS XL Black Edition, but with other colors retailing for around $200, we expect it to be priced in the same range.
In a statement, Nintendo said:
The system is launching on the same day as Nintendo 3DS game Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, so fans that pick up a new black system or already own a Nintendo 3DS can also play the exciting new entry in the much-loved Mario & Luigi role-playing series. Aug. 11 will be a classy day to become a new Nintendo 3DS owner. Just make sure there is room in your tuxedo pocket or fancy purse!
Nintendolife.com is reporting today that a source who has access to the inventory system at a "major systems retailer" has informed them that Nintendo is putting together a Wii U hardware bundle that will feature The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker HD. The report comes in the form of a tweet which says the bundle will retail for $199, but no release date was given.
NintendoLife seems to think that this report is credible and Nintendo releases major title bundles for its flagship console every year just before holiday season. Additionally, the tweet alluded to a red and blue Pokémon X&Y bundle that would retail for the same price. Interestingly enough, the tweet also mentioned a 12 GB PS3 that would retail for $199 as well.
I received my Ouya console a few weeks ago, but it just hasn't excited me that much. I feel like it's just a half-baked product, and it seems like I'm not alone. Ouya CEO, Julie Uhrman, has said that the console is performing well, but game sales are very slow.
Slow enough, that only 27% of Ouya owners have purchased a game, leaving the other 73% playing the free titles. I'm in that group of 73%, as there's nothing that has caught my fancy on Ouya just yet. Uhrman, when talking to The Verge, said: "Monetization on Ouya is so far better than we expected. It takes time to build what traditional consoles have had decades to build."
She continued: "There are a lot of social and mobile app developers that would kill for an eight percent attach rate on a platform that's 30 days old. These numbers will grow as more gamers pick up consoles, and as we attract more developers, and I believe that by the end of the year, we'll see a few developers telling us they've made more than a million dollars on Ouya."
This afternoon, Microsoft announced via Facebook that the Xbox One would allow self publishing of apps and games. The announcement says that every Xbox One can be used for development by anyone and everyone. We will not know more until Gamescon next month, but this announcement does point towards a consumer-level, easy entry development kit rather than using something like Visual Studio which almost requires 4 years of college to use efficiently.
Marc Whitten, Chief Product Officer for Xbox said:
Our vision is that every person can be a creator. That every Xbox One can be used for development. That every game and experience can take advantage of all of the features of Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. This means self-publishing. This means Kinect, the cloud, achievements. This means great discoverability on Xbox LIVE. We'll have more details on the program and the timeline at Gamescom in August.
It looks like the FCC have enjoyed the presence of a Sony PlayStation 4 developer kit last week, but have received the consumer version of the next-gen console quite recently.
The federal documents show off the PS4's polished exterior, with a note that there's a "max clock frequency" of 2.75GHz. There's not much else to write about, but there is a very labels stating "Made in China" and "Made in Japan". We are to expect the PlayStation 4 to grace our gaming hands later this year.
Both next-gen consoles constantly record your gameplay, with the recording ability being pushed as being 'social'
Earlier today we reported about the Xbox One recording the last five minutes of your gameplay, but now Sony have confirmed that the PS4 will keep a 15-minute buffer of your gameplay.
The PS4 goes a little further, though, with a dedicated social "Share" button built directly into the controller. We have no idea if gamers will actually use these functions yet, but it would be nice to go back through your last few minutes of gameplay for sharing purposes. I wonder if it records all of the audio through the various microphones, and Kinect?
Today Microsoft confirmed that the Xbox One will continually record the last five minutes of gameplay for any game that you're playing. The company says that this is so you can share any last-minute achievements, feeds, or skills after the game has ended. We knew the console would already create clips automatically when you unlock achievements which can then be shared with your friends, but the recording of the last five minutes of gameplay is entirely new news to us.
"The idea is you're always recording. The last five minutes of any game you're playing is always being stored locally on your hard drive," said Ken Lobb of Microsoft Studios during an interview with GameSpot at Comic-Con 2013. This means that you can use command such as "Xbox record that" which will instantly save the last 30 seconds of gameplay or you can choose to trek through the full five minutes of footage to edit down to the key parts.
NVIDIA delayed Shield, their portable Android-powered gaming console last month, but have now confirmed a July 31 shipping date. Until now, we didn't really know why the 5-inch gaming device was delayed.
The company have now said that a "mechanical issue that relates to a third party component" is the reason behind the delay, but NVIDIA haven't said anything past that to explain that the issues had been resolved. NVIDIA's original release date for Shield was June 27, so we're not talking about that much of a delay.
But, in order to fan away consumers' issues with the delay, the pricing was dropped from $349 to $299 - something that definitely can't be complained about.
PAX Australia 2013 - Something else I've been quite excited to see is the Xbox One in person, which is something I got to finally do at PAX AU today. This is the first time that Microsoft have shown the next-gen console to the public down under.
There's not much to talk about other than what we've already reported, but we took a nice long look around the console itself, checking out the ports, etc that it has on offer. We also took a look at the Kinect sensor, which is huge in person, as is the cord and plug it uses to hook up to the Xbox One console. The controller isn't much special, but we still take a look at it all in the video above.
Microsoft is really making a push to build subscription levels of its Office 365 Suite. Today, we learned that Microsoft will start bundling one year of Xbox Live Gold with any purchase of Office 365 Home Premium or Office 365 University that is made before September 28.
Once signed in for the first time, the Xbox Live code will be provided during the initial setup process for Office. Sadly, those of us in the US are not eligible for this freebie, but our readers in Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada will be happy to know that the offer does apply to them. When you combine this with Microsoft's recent promise of giving away two free games per month to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, this deal virtually pays for itself three times over.