Are you bored and tired of the big players in the video game space failing to innovate in truly meaningful ways? Then you'll wanna meet Ouya, the Android-powered game console that will cost just $99 with a controller that connects to your television set just like your Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3 does. The difference? Anyone can develop games for the Ouya console, and there's no huge financial barrier to entry. That means more indie quality indie games, likely much less cheaper than you'd find on other home game consoles. The product is designed by Yves Behar and team, the same folks who dreamed up the designs for the One Laptop Per Child OLPC computer and Jawbone Jambox. On the inside it's powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB RAM, and 8 GB of built-in storage. It also packs 1080p output over HDMI, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Interested? You can head over to the Ouya Kickstarter page to pre-order one now. This could turn out to be a very big deal. Check out a video explaining the project after the break.
Read More | Ouya
- The Co-Star comes with OnLive steaming gaming built-in as an app. Just launch the app, and as long as you have decent broadband, you can play a ton of video games.
- Price: Vizio has priced the Co-Star at just $99. That matches it up nicely with higher-end Roku boxes and the Apple TV, and is half the cost of competing Google TV boxes that don't offer OnLive gaming out of the box.
Google TV has certainly had a rough time getting off the ground, and the Co-Star may be the product that offers it the boost that it needs, although we highly doubt it. If you're interested, Vizio starts taking Co-Star preorders next month.
Read More | Vizio
Today we received a question about Nintendo's upcoming console release, Wii U, with GeekWire reader Alex wondering why the company continues to release new peripherals for a console that's seen better days.
Question: What's up with the Wii U? Why is Nintendo releasing yet another expensive peripheral for the aging Wii?
Nintendo originally announced Wii U in June 2011 in a vague manner, leaving much of the pertinent details left to the imagination. Because of this, many assumed that Wii U was the name of the new tablet-esque controller, and that it would interface with the Wii console that originally hit stores in November 2006. Thankfully, nothing could be further from the truth.
Microsoft is set to take the stage in just a few hours to make a major product announcement. Rumors have been running rampant that the company will finally reveal its own tablet. Over the weekend, a document surfaced that goes into detail on a product called Xbox Surface. Xbox Surface is purportedly a 7-inch multi-touch tablet that runs at 720p with WI-Fi, Bluetooth, SD card slot, and up to 7 hours of battery life.
The Xbox Surface would interface with a "stationary computing device" as well, allowing you to stream content from a device that's more powerful than the tablet itself. While utilizing the Xbox brand for a new consumer device seems to make sense, always remember that documents like this one are easily faked. We'll know later today, and of course, will keep you updated.
Read More | CNET
Earlier this week during the Microsoft E3 Media Briefing, the next version of Bing voice search for Xbox 360 was shown off. We were able to see searches performed in both English and Spanish in order to find video content to watch. You are able to use your voice to search for genres (like comedies, horror, etc.) as well as for specific titles. Bing will then search across all video services, showing you the results that it finds in a grid. So if you look for Rango, it'll show you that you can rent it, but also that you can watch it for free as part of your Netflix subscription. Bing search will also allow you to search for YouTube content as well. This will all come as part of the fall 2012 dashboard update, supporting six languages in the US, and hitting dozens of other countries as well.
If you thought Nintendo wasn't serious about bringing more than just video games over to the Wii U console, think again. This morning during its E3 Media Briefing, Nintendo announced four popular streaming video options that'll be available on Wii U at launch: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video. That's not all, though. While you'll be able to watch content from these four service, Nintendo also announced plans for a dual-screen experience with each one. Imagine, for example, that while watching a movie on Netflix, you could pull up all sorts of related content, facts, maps, and other information about that movie on the Wii U GamePad when it launches later this year. Could be interesting, and it sounds a lot like Xbox SmartGlass.
It's official, folks! This morning at the Nintendo E3 Media Briefing, the company confirmed that Wii U will hit stores this holiday season. No specific price or date was given, but we're guessing that it'll cost about $400 sometime in November. In addition, NintendoLand (the title that will be to Wii U what Wii Sports was to the original Wii) will be available on launch day.
During the Nintendo E3 Media Briefing, it was casually mentioned that the Wii U console will be able to support up to two GamePad accessories at the same time. It's nice to know that some games will be able to allow two players to use the more advanced features that the GamePad has to offer, but there is one catch: when using two GamePads, the frame rate of the Wii U will drop to 30 frames per second. It's not horrible, but it is a performance decrease, so it should be noted. You'll also be able to turn off the second GamePad and get that performance back on the fly.
Check out the video tour of the Wii U GamePad for more on the peripheral.
We knew Microsoft was planing to do away with the Zune brand, and today the company revealed its new music service during its E3 Media Breifing. Xbox Music will soon be released for the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. During the presentation, we were able to see that the service takes on the Metro UI, staying consistent with the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows branding. Expect over 30 million tracks to be available at launch, with the Smart DJ feature that was popular with Zune users to stick around. Microsoft also mentioned that Xbox Music will give you access to your music collection from "any screen," but we don't know if that means we should expect iOS and Android apps like they'll be released for Xbox SmartGlass, or if it just means that you'll be able to access your music from a web browser, similar to Zune. Xbox Music is set to launch later this year.
That Xbox SmartGlass rumor that we posted at the eleventh-hour has turned out to be true. During the Microsoft E3 Media Briefing this morning, the company gave all the details of the ambitious Xbox SmartGlass feature. SmartGlass is an app that will be available on Windows 8, smartphones, and tablets that will allow the user to view and use content that is tied to the game or video you're currently enjoying. SmartGlass is meant to be used as a second screen, and a great example was given using Game of Thrones. While watching the show on HBO Go on the Xbox 360, you can use the SmartGlass app to view an interactive map that shows where the action in each scene is taking place, offering content and more informational metadata about the show.