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Due to the uncovering of some recent patents, more plans for the Nintendo NX have been revealed. This time around it's about the controller, revealing that a patent from June secured the rights for this technology giant to create a controller featuring virtual buttons on a touchscreen.
The image above makes the controller look something similar to a smartphone-emulated Nintendo title, with the NX controller being published on the US Patent and Trademark office website in the last 48 hours. The image above isn't an official release from Nintendo as it's a mock up of the patents laid down by Nintendo, but you could very well be looking at Nintendo's new poster child console controller as it stands in prototype form.
The official patent mentions holes for real control sticks, but will utilize touchscreen technology for the actual buttons. If you're wanting to look at the 'nitty-gritty' of the whole patent, head here.
The NPD Group has put out their latest November 2015 report, highlighting that it was a good month for consoles. November was the best month for hardware sales on the Xbox One and PS4, with hardware sales growing 11% to $1.12 billion. This contributed a 2% rise in the overall industry, which hit $2.47 billion for the month.
NPD's Liam Callahan explains: "Growth was driven by console hardware, up 14 percent, which offset a 31 percent decline in portable hardware. November 2015 marked the best month ever in total unit sales for 8th generation consoles (Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U), surpassing sales of December 2014 (now second-highest), and November 2014 (now third-highest). Within console hardware sales there were dramatic differences by console generation as 8th generation console sales rose by 22 percent in dollars, 7th generation sales dropped by 76 percent in dollars, which is sharper than the year-to-date decline of 57 percent. In November 2015, 8th generation sales had 93 percent share of overall hardware sales, a 9 percentage point increase from last November".
Callahan also said that the PS4 and Xbox One sales are selling quicker than the Xbox 360 and PS3, where he added: "After 25 months, the combined sales for the PS4 and the XBO are 47 percent higher than the combined sales for 25 months of PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware sales".
Even though the next-gen consoles, currently teased as the Xbox Two and PS5, aren't expected for a few more years - we're now finding out how long this generation will last for. AMD has said that it will continue to supply APUs for the Xbox One and PS4, with a life cycle til 2019.
AMD also expects that 2016 will see increased console sales over 2015, which will help their bottom line. Considering that APU sales to Microsoft and Sony are a large chunk of their revenue, investors are interested to see where AMD will be taking it in the future. It wasn't long ago that we reported that the next-gen consoles would feature 5x the performance per watt over this generation, with an increased focus on VR.
AMD expects to see a 7-year cycle for the current-gen consoles, with the Xbox One and PS4 going on sale in 2013, it should work out that 2019 is when they'll die - personally, I'd like to see them in the ground in 2016 with next-gen units released and replacing them with full 1080p 60FPS power and VR support. But, we all know that won't happen.
According to Phil Spencer, Microsoft is going to have a big year in 2016, with a bunch of unannounced titles expected for the Xbox One, on top of the exclusives that the Xbox One will already enjoy, such as Quantum Break from Remedy Entertainment.
Spencer took to Twitter to field questions from fans, saying that 2016 is "going to be a fun year" for Xbox IP. Next year, the Xbox One will receive ReCore, Quantum Break, Scalebound, Gears of War 4 and Crackdown 3 - these games are enough to sway users into Microsoft's arms, which is exactly what they want.
If you didn't see ReCore, we've got the video embedded above.
Nintendo is starting to talk more about its next-gen console, currently codenamed 'NX', with Nintendo's new president, Tatsumi Kimishima talking with Time recently.
Kimishima said: "As far as NX goes, I've said it's different and obviously a new experience. If you look back to the beginning of our conversation today, we talked about the transition from Wii hardware to the Wii U hardware and how difficult it is to explain to the consumer base what is different and new about the new hardware. It's difficult to convince them to switch from their current platform to the next platform".
If you thought that the NX would be a new, next-gen Wii or Wii U, you're wrong. Kimishima squashed those rumors, telling Time: "That being said, I can assure you we're not building the next version of Wii or Wii U. It's something unique and different. It's something where we have to move away from those platforms in order to make it something that will appeal to our consumer base".
As for the origins of the NX name, Kimishima added: "As for the codename NX, I don't believe that there's any real meaning behind it, and to be perfectly honest, I don't know where it came from. Or perhaps Mr. Iwata had meant to tell me and then never got the chance".
Developers traditionally have limited access to console CPU cores, but as time goes by, console-makers like Sony and Microsoft find ways in opening up their respective systems to aid games development. Reports indicate that Sony has just made development a little bit easier by unlocking access to the PS4's seventh core.
The news was first spotted on NeoGAF, where one user spotted something quite interesting in an update changelog for a PS4 Software Development Kit. Check out the snippet below:
Code:Firelight Technologies FMOD Studio API
Detailed Revision History
17/11/15 1.07.03 - Studio API patch release (build 69975)
LowLevel API - When using System::recordStart the provided FMOD::Sound can now be any channel count, up/down mixing will be performed as necessary.
LowLevel API - Improved performance of convolution reverb effect when wet is 0 or input goes idle.
LowLevel API - PS4 - Added FMOD_THREAD_CORE6 to allow access to the newly unlocked 7th core.
While the Japanese tech giant might be having troubles on other fronts, Sony is doing exceedingly well in the console gaming realm. Today the company has announced that over 30.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been sold across the globe, continuing the sleek rhomboid's long-running reign of dominance.
The PS4 has been a powerhouse contender for Sony's PlayStation brand, surging the company far ahead of Microsoft and Nintendo. As of November 22, 2015, the PS4 has sold more than 30 million consoles since it released in 2013, making a quite impressive rate of sales for a two-year period. Back in October we reported Sony's projections that the PS4 had sold "well over 25 million" units, and we can now confirm the company wasn't lying.
"We are sincerely grateful that gamers across the globe have continued to choose PS4 as the best place to play since launch two years ago," said Sony Computer Entertainment CEO and President Andrew House. "We are committed to bringing engaging games and entertainment services to users worldwide. Thanks to the support of our partners, PS4 continues to be the premier platform for game and interactive entertainment innovation."
We knew they were coming, but according to the latest rumors the next-gen consoles should be released in 2018 - much earlier than the roadmaps Microsoft and Sony had before the current gen consoles were released.
Before the Xbox One and PS4 were released, 4K gaming wasn't really solidified - but now it is. It's getting cheaper and cheaper to get on the 4K bandwagon, and over the next year or two, the current-gen consoles are going to look very aged next to mobile, VR and PC gaming. The Xbox One and PS4 are barely capable of 900p let alone 1080p (and then let alone 60FPS), with AMD set to beef up the APU powering the Xbox Two and PlayStation 5 consoles.
The biggest thing that we need to think about is VR. Sony is already onboard with PlayStation VR, but the PS4 is underpowered to really push 1080p (or higher) at 90FPS (or higher). This is where the PS5 and Xbox Two will be better equipped, but another thing to consider is backwards compatibility. Thanks to the new consoles being powered by AMD technology again, and an x86 architecture, the Xbox Two and PS5 should be backwards compatible with the Xbox One and PS4, so you won't lose your game library like you did from the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 is a mighty machine; even today the Xbox One is far eclipsed by the functionality, games library, and general UI setup of its yesteryear predecessor. Today the Xbox 360 celebrates its tenth birthday, signalling that the console's lifecycle is starting to wind down, but the system will forever remain one of Microsoft's crowning achievements.
Originally released on November 22, 2005, the Xbox 360 propelled console gaming forward to new heights. I've shared thousands upon thousands of hours with my Xbox 360, and regard it as one of the most momentous gaming systems in my gaming history. I still remember how magical it was playing Oblivion for the first time, taking in the enchanting scenery of Cyrodiil--this was the first time that I really felt like "next-gen" gaming was here.
The Xbox 360 still has one of the best games libraries in gaming; it's so good, in fact, that Microsoft has brought it over to the Xbox One via backwards compatibility. It's rather strange to think about how Microsoft got so many things right with the Xbox 360, and so many things wrong with the Xbox One. The system has served for an entire generation of gaming, spawning a huge assortment of memorable exclusives and amazing experiences that we might never see again.
A well-constructed post on Reddit by user 'serfbufo' has so far earned them three lots of Reddit gold and major support from the /r/gaming community. The topic at hand is a botched PlayStation network refund due to an account hand and unauthorized payments.
Serfbufo says that they have been in discussion with Sony over the past three months, something that began due to $499.1 of unauthorized charges being issued to a debit card. After being promised money back by Sony representatives at multiple occasions, in the end Sony has delivered only $230 in total back to this disgruntled user.
This hack has seen serfbufo contact Sony through live chat, phone calls and emails alike, with another claim being launched as you read this. There's no saying whether the full funds will be ever sent back, but it's obvious that this user is jumping through every hoop they can in order to win back what is rightfully theirs.