Rumors about the iPod are to us what donuts are to Homer Simpson. So we’re fascinated by the latest one, reported by DigiTimes.com. They report that the next-gen iPod will be released in the third quarter of this year, and will incorporate WiFi capability. The wireless connectivity could be in the form of data transfer, particularly that of DRM-free music, as opposed to music sharing. Perhaps Apple has learned lessons from arch-enemy Microsoft, whose Zune wireless MP3 player had problems sharing music between players due to pesky copyright issues. If the rumor is true, Apple will serious competition in the WiFi MP3 player war: besides the Zune, SanDisk, Samsung and Sony are primed to launch wireless-capable players in the near future, if they haven’t done so already.
Read More | TGDaily
Nintendo Wii owners already have lots of things to look forward to, including online multiplayer gaming and a microphone-enabled Wii-mote. Now comes a rumor of Nintendo releasing colored Wii-motes and nunchucks, including silver, blue and pearl pink. Unfortunately, the new hues will debut in Europe first, on June 29th, and if successful, matching colored consoles will be released.
Read More | Geeksugar
Our papa-site Gear Live pointed out this video from MyGamerCard.net that was supposedly leaked from Gamespot.com. This one is looking real legit, and boasts some exciting features:
* Ability to add up to 600 Windows Live Messenger contacts to your Friends List.
* Text chat with up to 6 Live Messenger contacts at once during games or movies.
* The Marketplace will be getting its own Dashboard Blade.
* The Marketplace will be skinned independently of the Dashboard, for special events.
* The Marketplace will be getting a new, easier-to-navigate remake.
* Achievement Pop-ups will now display how many points and which Achievement you have gained.
* Low-power downloading (fans off) and auto-off after finishing queued downloads.
* View partially downloaded video files.
Much like Gear Live, we’re still wondering “where the browser at?”, but it’s looking like Microsoft is still doing a great job of beefing up their already impressive online features.
Read More | Gear Live
The nature of the Warhawk release for the PlayStation 3 has been elusive, to say the least. 1up was one of the first sites to report that the game would be heading to the PlayStation Network, and would not be a retail disc. Now, according to information they received from Sony Computer Entertainment America, the game is actually going to be heading to both Blu-Ray and the PlayStation Network. No clarification was given, but 1up speculates that there will be content differences between the formats, with the possibility of additional downloadable content to even out the releases. Even with this, though, it would see that either way would result in a less than satisfactory experience for each format. Either the Blu-Ray disc ends up being vastly underutilized, or the end user finds himself downloading tons and tons of content to keep up with their physical media brethren. It will be interesting to see how Sony handles this, if the rumors are true.
Read More | 1up
A few sites out there were reporting yesterday about supposed problems with the whammy bar on the Xbox 360 Guitar Hero “Xplorer” controller. Today, a rep from RedOctane responded to these rumors, stating that they were categorically untrue and had not heard of any systematic problems with the controller… they offered the following up for users who are having problems with the guitar.
“We’re currently in the process of having our internal QA and production teams look into this possible issue, and are working to quickly isolate this if there is one,” he stated. “In the meantime, we suggest our fans try to replug in their guitars without holding down any buttons or the whammy bar, and that may help immediately resolve the issue.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if this “fixed” a lot of the problems folks have been seeing - I’m sure there are more than a few gamers out there that may have accidentally mis-zeroed the controls. Now just remember to put the disc in shiny-side down too, OK?
Read More | Next Generation.biz
Do you hear that? That muffled, banging sound? Yep, that’s the sound of yet another nail being driven into the PS3’s coffin. With Devil May Cry 4, Ace Combat, Grand Theft Auto, and Assassin’s Creed now non-exclusive (am I missing any more??!), and with the fairly lackluster launch of the PS3 in Europe, the 360 must be looking pretty good as a platform of choice for next-gen developers. Sony appears to be in such a pickle that even SCEE Vice President Georges Fornay has said that the exclusivity of system-seller Final Fantasy XIII is now up in the air.
Roughly translated by Google, a Jeux-France article quotes Fornay:
(Lastly, for Final Fantasy XIII, I can say to you that exclusiveness is under discussion).
My guess is that Microsoft has found itself in a good bargaining position and has been pressing their argument for non-exclusivity on game developers. And with next-gen development costs soaring, going multi-platform must be sounding like a progressively better idea to publishers and developers alike. We’ll wait for the Metal Gear Solid non-exclusivity announcement, and then I’m going to count the PS3 as officially dead.
Read More | Jeux-France
For you gamers out there reading our blog who don’t also visit Kotaku.com regularly, you should! These guys have shown themselves to have real journalistic/bloggeristic integrity this week. For those of you that missed out, here’s a blow-by-blow account of what will one day doubtlessly be known as “The Playstation Home Fiasco”
For a few weeks, Phil Harrison had been talking about how the PS3 news to be presented at the GDC would make gamers “very happy”. Around this time, Kotaku starts hearing from “sources” rumors that Phil’s big announcement will be Playstation Home, described as fellows:
Basically, you get to make an avatar for your console (like a Mii) and this avatar has a room. As you play games and accomplish certain tasks, you will receive items with which to adorn the room that are specific to the game (achievements). The kicker is that this is going to be a new requirement for every PS3 game.
Before posting this story, Kotaku asked Sony if they had any comment. Instead of just replying with a standard, coy “Sony does not comment on rumors and speculation”, the reply this time was “post that story and you won’t enjoy the consequences”. So, being the good journalists that they are, Kotaku ran the story.
Well, this evidently went and made some folks at Sony very mad (thus only adding to the veracity of the rumor), and Sony decided that they would no longer deal with Kotaku. In fact, Sony dis-invited Kotaku from all future exclusive events, and asked for their PS3 dev kit back. Then the uproar REALLY began. Joystiq, noting that this meant the rumors were obviously true, reported on how Sony was blackballing Kotaku, a story that got some serious diggs.
In the end, Kotaku and Sony kissed and made-up, but I think Sony learned a valuable lesson about treating their bloggers right. Next time, let’s just keep people salivating with a standard “we don’t comment on rumors” reply, OK Sony? It’ll save everyone a lot of grief.
Read More | Kotaku
It looks like the rumors that Warhawk for the PS3 was in trouble might have been correct. Sam Kennedy at 1up is visiting Incognito to preview the latest developments on the follow-up to the Playstation title, and he indicates that Warhawk has been downsized from its original ambitions as a retail PS3 title. Supposedly the title is now slated to be a downloadable title with multi-player support only, a pretty drastic change from the original offering. If the title can bring a strong multi-player experience while maintaining the graphic quality at a reasonable download price, Sony might have a good reason to get on the Playstation Network, but it will still be pretty far from their original promises for the game.
Update: Sony has officially denied the rumors to Kotaku with a non-denial denial stating that they “have not made any decision with regards to distribution for Warhawk”
Read More | 1up
A post on the Cheap Ass Gamer forums indicates that a new Xbox 360 SKU has been loaded into the system, appearing as
GM-XBOX 360 (black/ 120GB) $479.99 NEW $439.99 USED
. The release date is currently listed as 5/1/2007. Some of the posters in the forum were able to confirm this, and Kotaku was able to get independent confirmation from various Game Crazy stores as well. Now, this could be just a phantom in the system, an update created based on speculation at Game Crazy, so one can’t really describe this as a confirmation that there is a black Xbox 360 coming out, but this, along with the previously released alleged box art would seem to be tipping the scales further and further in favor of its existence.
The iPhone looks to be one of the first great, albeit pricy, “convergence” gadgets out there. Running a version of MacOS X that will allow you to surf the web, play 4GB worth of MP3s, watch videos (in near-widescreen format), and make phonecalls, the iPhone holds a lot of promise. Still, nothing’s been mentioned yet about the real reason folks will be picking up this $499/$599 monster - it’s a new way to play Snood, Solitaire, and Bejeweled on the go!
Apple may not have announced anything yet, but Gamesindustry.biz is reporting that Electronic Arts is in talks with Apple to produce games for the new gadget. EA has already produced games for the ubiquitous Apple iPod, including translations of Mahjong, Mini-Golf, Tetris, and Sudoku built for its click-wheel interface. Given that the iPhone will have a multi-touch interface, a faster processor, and a nice widescreen display, it seems that EA could be able to produce some really advanced content for this piece of hardware. Perhaps a Madden clone where you can draw-out your playbook on the screen? Or a first-person shooter where you aim and shoot with touch-controls? We’ll have to wait and see how ambitious EA gets, but it’s looking like there’s a lot of promise in this platform.
Read More | GamesIndustry.biz