Nintendo has made a major announcement, saying that it will not be holding it's regular annual E3 media briefing this year. The E3 press conferences held by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are usually the highlight events of E3, setting the stage for the rest of the event by letting us know what each of the Big 3 have coming over the next year. With Wii U sales not meeting anywhere near Nintendo's expectations (and even falling short of the updated guidance,) alongside corporate reshuffling at Nintendo of America, one has to wonder if the move to not hold a major press event is because the company is putting out fires internally. Nintendo says that it will, instead, hold two smaller events at E3 for media and distributors, limited only to showing off new games.
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Microsoft has announced that it will reveal the next Xbox on May 21st at an event to take place at the Xbox campus in Redmond. Gamers have been patiently waiting for an announcement from Microsoft on the next Xbox (codenamed Durango,) especially after Sony announced the Playstation 4 at an event in February. The company says that the event will "mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV, and entertainment." Aside from inviting select press to be on hand, the event will also be broadcast as it happens on Xbox LIVE for all to see. It'll also be broadcast on SPike TV for those who are in the US or Canada.
Don't expect all the info on the next Xbox to be revealed on the 21st, though. Microsoft says that they'll wait about three weeks before announcing the full line-up of games, which it'll do at E3. There's a lot riding on the next Xbox, which follows up the current generations most successful console, the Xbox 360.
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This morning Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo 3DS XL (or 3DS LL in Japan.) The console takes everything about the standard Nintendo 3DS, and makes it bigger. What you end up with is a 4.88-inch 3D display on top, and a 4.18-inch standard touch display on the bottom. Buyer also get a free 4 GB SD card included. In Japan, the 3DS LL will hit stores on July 28th for about 18,900 Yen ($235) while us 3DS XL buyers will have to wait until August 19th to get in on the action, where it'll cost $199.
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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.
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.
One of the updates you can expect when the Fall Xbox Dashboard Update drops is the addition of a web browser. That's right, after seven years, the Xbox 360 will finally be getting Internet Explorer. During the Microsoft E3 Media Briefing, it was mentioned that a browser would have been cumbersome previously, but with the introduction of the Xbox SmartGlass app alongside Kinect integration, users will be able to easily browse the web on their Xbox 360 console.
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.
Nintendo just finished presenting its annual E3 Media Briefing, and they went all out on letting us know about the games that'll be coming to the Wii U console. In addition, the company put together a video tour of the Wii U GamePad itself, allowing gamers to learn more about the unique peripheral and all it can do. Get a look at the video above.
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