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.
Sony may not have made mention of the Playstation Move Racing Wheel during its E3 Media Briefing, but the Playstation Blog has all the details on the accessory that's targeted at LittleBigPlanet Karting and other Move racers. The company says that the oddly-shaped Move Racing Wheel, saying that it will offer "precise motion tracking" despite its weird looks. You can pick one up in the fall for $39.99, but you'll need to supply your own Move controller to make use of it.
During the Sony E3 Media Briefing, it was announced that the Playstation Vita would be getting a new coat of paint, along with an exlusive bundle. The "crystal white" model will be Wi-Fi-only, and will ship with Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, along with a 4 GB memory card. Pricing has yet to be revealed, but that's probably because the PS Vita Assassin's Creed III bundle won't launch until October 30th, as that's the release date for the game.
After showing off Halo 4 this morning, Microsoft let us know that the Xbox 360 now has the distinction of not only being the best-selling console in North America, but it is now the best selling console on the planet. Pretty nice achievement for a company that had no video game console at all two generations ago! What's that? You don't have one yet? Go and grab one on Amazon! Be sure to check out more news from the Microsoft E3 Media Briefing.