Nintendo is still quite secretive when it comes to its next-gen NX console, but that doesn't stop other companies from talking about it.
Ubisoft recently held its financial conference call for Q1 of its fiscal 2016/2017, where company CEO Yves Guillemot talked about Nintendo NX. He said that from what he's seen, the console is really great and that it's going to help the industry grow, as well as bring casual gamers back into the gaming industry.
We don't know much about the Nintendo NX console, but from what we do know, it'll be powered by an unannounced NVIDIA Tegra processor based on the Pascal architecture. We should expect Nintendo to release it in March 2017, which means we should see the company unveil it in the coming months leading up to the holiday season.
Microsoft could be ready to fight in a new way with its upcoming Xbox Scorpio console, which will be powered by a new semi-custom design from AMD, where we should see it featuring Polaris-based GPU cores. This power will unleash 4K gaming in the console space, which hasn't been done before - at least not by Sony or Microsoft.
Aaron Greenberg, the Head of Xbox Games Marketing has talked about Project Scorpio in his latest podcast, where he said that it's a really exciting project that has huge support from Microsoft partners like DICE and Bethesda, as well as Microsoft's own internal studios. Greenberg didn't say much that is new, but he did reiterate that Microsoft is serious about ushering in true 4K gaming.
I don't think we're going to see full 4K gaming on the new Xbox, but rather 1080p 60FPS gaming that is upscaled in a way that is better than anything we've seen previously. I wrote a report about AMD acquiring HiAlgo, a firm that works on upscaling technology that is actually very impressive.
Nintendo is riding the marketing wave of Pokemon GO right now, with the announcement of its NES Classic Edition. Nintendo's upcoming NES Classic Edition is a mini NES system with 30 built-in games, and it's going to sell like hotcakes with its $59.99 price.
The NES Classic Edition launches in November, and will connect to your TV through HDMI, and it'll also include a controller that will be designed to work just like the original NES controller. The new controller will also connect to a Wii Remote, which will allow you to play Virtual Console games on a Wii, or Wii U console.
The new NES Classic Edition will feature something we all wish the original NES did: multiple suspend points, which will mean you won't need to find passwords when you want to start playing a game again. Nintendo will be making its NES Classic Edition available on November 11 for just $59.99, with the 30 games included:
- Balloon Fight
- BUBBLE BOBBLE
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Donkey KongTM
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
- Dr. Mario
- FINAL FANTASY
- GHOSTS'N GOBLINS
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby's Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- MEGA MAN 2
- NINJA GAIDEN
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- SUPER C
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 2
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- TECMO BOWL
- The Legend of Zelda
- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
The Xbox business is looking pretty bright these days and has for some time, but it wasn't always roses. According to Xbox co-creator Ed Fries, at the initial proposal meeting Microsoft founder Bill gates started things off by throwing the Powerpoint deck from Fries' team on the table and saying, "This is a f***ing insult to everything I've done at this company."
Fries recalls in his retrospective interview with IGN that former Xbox executive James Allard was "in shock for a minute", and then himself stepped in only to be quickly shut down by Gates. Others attempted to reason with Gates but were unsuccessful, around which time then-CEO Steve Ballmer backed up Gates and stated the Xbox was financially unsustainable.
Microsoft blew everyone away with the huge reveal of the Xbox Scorpio during E3 2016, but we still know that Nintendo has its NVIDIA-powered NX console baking in the oven, while Sony prepares its PS4 Neo console.
Wedbush Securities Analyst Michael Pachter was featured in the recent episode of the GamerTag Radio podcast, where he talked about E3 2016. Pachter praised Microsoft on announcing Xbox Scorpio a year and a half away from its release, adding: "The hardware reveals were great. The Xbox One S really does look great and obviously the big reveal of Scorpio at the end was a big deal. I think Microsoft confirming the leaks was a big move, a bold move".
Patcher continued: "I think the Xbox One S will be welcome at that right price, $299. The conspiracy theorist in me says, since Andrew House acknowledged the PlayStation 4 Neo to the Financial Times a few days before, Microsoft just said: "Screw it, we're not going to let Sony be ahead of us, we're just going to let people know we have something big coming too. You don't have a company in the gaming space that's better equipped to launch hardware than Sony. They've been making consumer electronics for 70 years. I think the fact that we didn't see Neo here means that it probably isn't coming out this Holiday".
E3 2016 - Sony had a smash hit with E3 2016, with a big push into PlayStation VR, a huge reveal of Resident Evil 7, and just so much more that I can't cram into a single news post. But we did just find out that Sony ran all of their E3 2016 content on the current-gen PlayStation 4 console.
This included the reveal of the awesome-looking God of War, Horizon: Zero Dawn (which wasn't running too well, IMO), The Last Guardian (finally!), Detroit: Become Human - which is from the makers of Heavy Rain, and Days Gone. PlayStation exec Andrew House said that the Neo is definitely on the way, adding: "It is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4. We will be selling both [versions] through the life cycle".
@wakeydog everything is on a standard PS4— Shuhei Yoshida (@yosp) June 15, 2016
PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida himself confirmed the E3 2016 games running on the current, standard PS4, where he tweeted: "everything is on a standard PS4". That's actually quite impressive, Sony - running all of these games on the current-gen PS4, and not the new Neo.
E3 2016 - Furthering its plan of integrating console and PC, Microsoft Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has made it known that keyboard and mouse support are on the way for Xbox One.
"I keep talking about it in the press and my platform team keeps shaking their head, because they... Truthfully in our dev kit modes now keyboard works, mouse support is a little bit further away," he said, explaining how Play Anywhere will work. "I say it because I know it's not years away, it's more like months away, but we don't have an exact date yet."
Spencer also said he hoped gamers would play PC-centric games on their console as a result of the support.
E3 2016 - Microsoft has been on a roll when it comes to hardware, announcing the new beefy Xbox Scorpio console with 6TFlops of performance - and ready for both 4K and VR gaming. But the company has just sliced the price of the Xbox One down by another $20, too.
Just two weeks ago Microsoft dropped the price of the Xbox One to $299, and now the company has done it again, dropping the price to just $279. The $299 promotion was for a "limited time" and by limited time, they must have meant - after that limited time, we'll just drop it lower than that, permanently. The basic 500GB Xbox One bundle is now $279, with Microsoft most likely dropping the price to remove any remaining inventory of the Xbox One before the refreshed, more powerful Xbox One S console drops later this year... for $299.
The new $279 price on the Xbox One runs through to October 1, but once the Xbox One S is out, you probably won't want to buy the current Xbox One. The Xbox One S is 40% smaller, has an internal power brick, supports 4K video, and HDR gaming.
We have a detailed look at the new Xbox One controllers unveiled at E3 2016 as well, with the company announcing an Xbox and Windows 10 cross-buy platform. Xbox Scorpio will be capable of 4K at 90FPS, and powered by an unknown AMD system-on-chip.
E3 2016 - Microsoft announced its new super-powered Xbox Scorpio during E3 2016, with the new console being both 4K and VR-ready. Microsoft boss Phil Spencer said that the company could've shipped a next-gen Xbox this year, but it would not have been 4K-capable.
Spencer said during an interview with Eurogamer: "We could have done a new update this year. We actually looked at it. We went all the way to, we had the spec in front of us, should we ship something that's less than Scorpio this year, but in truth you can't do a true 4K console this year. And I just didn't think anything between what is effectively a 1080p console and the 4K console, like, from a consumer television standpoint there's nothing in the middle. So let's go focus on 4K and next year was the right year to do that".
He continued talking about the hardware inside of Scorpio, saying that it would not have been possible to have a true 4K-capable console with all of the right hardware this year. Spencer said: "Balance in the design of the system is really important. So when you think about the CPU and the GPU that are on the SOC, the optical disc drive and the speed of that, which we haven't talked about too much, but I'll just say that, the speed of RAM, all of these things when you're designing the system, making sure they're all in balance, so one piece doesn't get overpowered relative to the other, or you've got a lot of GPU but you're not able to feed all of the assets to it out of the RAM fast enough, all of those things were critical for us when thinking about the design. All of this is why we picked the design point we did of 4K and the date we did. Like I said, we looked at other designs that might be coming earlier, and we don't think they really delivered on a full point".
E3 2016 - Microsoft's update to their gaming console known as Xbox Scorpio is packing some serious horsepower, with 6TFlops of GPU performance, an 8-core CPU and more. But what about the VR side of things?
According to Xbox General Manager of Game Publishing, Shannon Loftis, Project Scorpio will allow developers that are working on VR games to hit at least 90FPS. During an interview with Geoff Keighley for the YouTube Live E3 coverage, Loftis explained: "The more power you can put behind your VR rendering, the more you can ensure that 90 frames per second synchronicity, the better experience a game developer can create. We're super excited about it".
Oculus and HTC require 90FPS for fluid VR gaming, and even the PS4 will be pushing 120FPS on the PlayStation VR headset, while hitting 60FPS on the PS4 itself. Microsoft will have to be pushing some serious numbers on the Xbox Scorpio console, but with the help of AMD and their next-gen Polaris architecture, I have no doubt that Microsoft will hit a homerun with their Xbox Scorpio console... and that's saying a lot, from me at least.