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Nintendo President Satoru Iwata will not attend the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles next week due to health issues, the Japanese electronics company confirmed. The E3 gaming conference is the largest video game conference - and a major platform for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft - though the 54-year-old reportedly doesn't have any major health problems.
It's unfortunate timing for Iwata to skip E3, as Nintendo continues to struggle to get gamers onboard with its Wii U flagship gaming platform. However, the company plans to return to profitability in its fiscal year that ends March 2015, sources say. The company will not have a traditional keynote and will instead unveil new video game titles and new products during video presentations.
"He's been instructed by his physician not to travel overseas in the immediate future and therefore will not be making the trip to Los Angeles," Nintendo U.S. officials told the Wall Street Journal.
The Xbox One has been criticized as not performing as well as the PS4 by some game developers. Microsoft is looking to unlock more performance for its new game console with a software update. The update will reportedly increase the GPU bandwidth inside the console.
The increased bandwidth will hit in the June system update. Along with more GPU bandwidth, the update will also bring with it external hard drive support. Microsoft's Phil Spencer announced that the update would be coming via a tweet.
Microsoft has announced that 45 apps will hit Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014, among them integration with Twitter and Vine.
Twitter integration in particular appears to be key, and a platform called Watch with Twitter will attempt to make watching content through Xbox more social.
"Twitter will be optimized for the biggest screen in your house in a smart, contextual way," a Microsoft blog post read. "Additionally, the Twitter experience on Xbox One will be integrated into the TV listings section of OneGuide where you will be able to see the shows that people are tweeting about in real-time."
Gamers on the Xbox 360 that have Xbox Live Gold membership can get a cool free game this month. The game is called Dark Souls and it will be available to download until June 15. When June 16 rolls around, Xbox 360 gamers will be able to get Charlie Murder and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition for free.
Dark Souls is a game that will have players fighting the undead with each enemy becoming more and more difficult to kill. Last month it was revealed that Xbox One gamers would also be getting some free games in the Games with Gold program.
Microsoft plans to launch its Xbox One console in Japan on September 4, where the software giant took the time yesterday to announce two versions of its next-gen console for the home territory of its biggest competitor, Sony.
The company has announced that 48 developers in the region are interested in developing games for its next-gen consoles, with some games already announced for Japan, these include: Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, Quantum Break, Sunset Overdrive, Halo 5: Guardians and Dead Rising 3. Microsoft has announced two versions of the Xbox One for Japan, with two different prices.
There will be the 39,980 yen ($392) version, which is just the Xbox One on itself without the Kinect, while the Kinect-enabled bundle will set Japan gamers back 49,980 ($490). Both of these consoles will go on sale on September 4.
Sony has been working on a way to get its PS4 console ready to be sold in mainland China for a while now. What delayed things was the need to find a Chinese partner and get a factory ready to be built there. Sony has now announced that it has signed a partnership with a Chinese firm that will see the PS4 go into production.
Once the facility in China is up and running, Sony will have access to the 500 million gamers who are estimated to live in China. Game consoles in the country have been banned since 2000 due to what the Chinese government calls adverse effects on the health of young people.
Microsoft has announced an update for Skype for Xbox that gives the app full Snap support. That means that the gamer can receive a Skype voice or video call while they are using other apps or playing a game. That will bring a new wrinkle to in-game chats with friends.
Before this update, you could only snap other apps to Skype for Xbox One. The big difference here is that Skype doesn't have to be the main app on the screen now. Your game or movie can now be the main app on screen with your Skype call on the side.
The Worms saga is one of those game series that has managed to hold on for more than a decade and still remain relevant to new generations of gamers. Today Team 17 Digital Ltd announced via Sony's official PlayStation blog that the series' latest installment, Worms Battlegrounds, will be heading to the PlayStation 4 on June 3rd of this year.
Worms Battlegrounds features a massive single player campaign spanning 25 story missions and 10 "Worm-Ops" time-attack missions, which have been set across five stunning environments (Inca, Viking, Feudal Japan and Industrial Revolution) with new day-to-night lighting transitions as well. "We've even added in multiplayer clan support! Create your own clan and choose your own clan emblem or simply join another existing clan and take part in league matches! All of these earn you community points, which allow your clan to level up and grow larger," said the blog post. "A particularly cool thing is that if we were in a clan together we could - for the first time - play controlling the same team! I'd take control of two of the worms, and so would you. Just don't let me down; we're fighting for our clan's reputation as the best global Worms clan after all!"
Over the weekend, a new update for the Xbox One started rolling out to users. The update adds in a nice new feature that allows the user to control the sound level of snapped apps. That means that the user can decide which of the two snapped apps is louder than the other.
The update also brings the ability for the user to control volume levels when using Kinect for chat. Optional data tracking for Kinect Chat is also added .The goal of that feature is to improve voice recognition for different accents.
According to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the PS4 and Xbox One use a large amount of power even when in standby mode. Then we have some astounding numbers to look at.
The NRDC's new report has said if the PS4, Wii U and Xbox One replace the 110 million current-generation consoles sold in the US between 2005 and 2013, the total energy use of the three current-generation systems will be over 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year - enough juice to power the United States' fourth-largest city, Houston.
At what cost? Well, this would cost American households over $1 billion per year in energy costs, with 40% of it coming from the consoles' standby mode alone. The report reads: "The new consoles consume more energy each year playing video or in standby mode than playing games". The Xbox One in standby mode uses 15.7W of power, while the PS4 uses 8.5W and the Wii U with just 0.4W.