Are you ready to usher in the arrive of the next-generation consoles? Nintendo is, and it has announced this morning that the Wii U will launch in the US on Sunday, November 18th. There will be two configurations of Wii U available: a $299 white base model that packs in 8GB of storage, and a $349 Deluxe black bundle that has 32GB of storage and the Nintendo Land game.
Both versions include the Wii U console, a WiiPad, sensor bar, AC adapters, and HDMI cable. If you opt for the Deluxe set, you'll also get a play stand, charging stand, and console stand.
The current Wii remotes and nunchuks are fully compatible with the Wii U console. Who's planning on picking one up at launch?
Xbox Live has been down for the past 90 minutes or so, and Microsoft says it's doing its best to bring the service back online.
The outage appears to affect many (if not all) Xbox Live regions, as complains are coming in from outside of the United States as well. Users who were connected to the service were disconnected from Xbox Live at the time of the outage, so this isn't just an issue where new players aren't able to connect.
As soon as Xbox Live is back, we'll update to let you know.
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.
The Aqua Blue Nintendo 3DS. An odd color choice for the launch of a new gaming handheld, sure. However, we didn't think it was so bad that it was time to kill it. Regardless of what we think, though, Nintendo is set to put the Aqua Blue 3DS out to pasture soon. No specific date has been given, but with all the other 3DS colors that Nintendo's pumping out, we're geussing that the turquiose one has proven to be pretty unpopular in the grand scheme of things. Want one? Better get it while you can!
Read More | Nintendo Japan
In its neverending quest to get the Xbox 360 to be the entertainment hub of as many living rooms as possible, it appears that Microsoft has come up with a new tactic to move units. The Verge is reporting that the company is set to launch a new 4 GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle that'll cost just $99. The catch? You'll have to agree to a two-year contract at $15 per month, giving you access to Xbox Live Gold service, and possibly other streaming features (maybe the rumored music service set to launch at E3?) It's certainly an interesting move that hasn't been tested before, which could be why the report claims that the specially-priced bundle will only be available in US Microsoft Stores.
Read More | The Verge
As any in-the-know gamer should be aware of, Mass Effect 3 was released last Tuesday, and, man, is it flying off the store shelves. Opening day sales for the game hit 890,000 units, which is most definitely a lot of cheddar. 1.5 million units of the title have been shipped to retailers worldwide, however take note that the number of units shipped does not correlate with the number of units sold.
To learn more about the game check out our Mass Effect 3 Kinect feature.
Ahh Nintendo, rarely an innovator, often an imitator. At least that can be said about the company’s next online “innovative” venture. The company is looking to various media service providers in order to kick off the Wii U release later this year with a bang. Like the Xbox 360, Nintendo has every intention of collecting as many service providers as it can in order to try to replace your cable or satellite box with the console. Nintendo is currently in talks with several ‘top content’ companies, possibly including Comcast, to become a cable TV provider alongside or after the Wii U launch.
Currently there are no official statements from Nintendo as to what content we can expect to see with the Wii U. What we do know is that Nintendo has announced that the Wii will soon be receiving Hulu compatibility.
UPDATE: Microsoft responded to our request for comment with the following statement from a spokesperson, which indicates that the company regards the "xbox dump" user information as a minor phishing incident, not a major network breach:
"We do not have any evidence the Xbox Live service has been compromised. We take the security of our service seriously and work on an ongoing basis to improve it against evolving threats. However, we are aware that phishing attackers will occasionally post small lists of victims on public channels, and we will work directly with the impacted members to resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts. As always, we highly recommend our members follow the Xbox Live Account Security guidance provided at www.xbox.com/security to protect your account."
Microsoft may be sweating out a possible rehash of Sony's PlayStation Network nightmare from earlier this year if an anonymous posting of dozens of purported Xbox Live Gamertags and passwords is what it claims to be.
We've seen an anonymous Pastebin.com data dump called "xbox dump" posted Monday that contains more than 90 supposed gamertags, most with associated email addresses and passwords.
Microsoft had yet to respond to a request for more information and it couldn't be confirmed Tuesday if the Pastebin document contained real Xbox Live user information. Even if a number of Xbox Live members had their private information compromised somehow, it obviously would remain to be seen if the "xbox dump" document was part of a larger security breach or just a one-off affair.
LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment announced last week that they will shut down Star Wars Galaxies, effective December 15.
"The shutdown of SWG is a very difficult decision, but SOE and LucasArts have mutually agreed that the end of 2011 is the appropriate time to end the game," the companies said in a note on the game's support forum.
The closure affects the MMO and the Trading Card Game. To soften the blow, Sony and LucasArts said the current SWG community will be able to take advantage of a "galaxy-ending in-game event" in December.
"During the last week that SWG is available ... we're going to end with a bang and we want the final chapter of the galaxy to be written in part by the dedicated and passionate SWG community. Details will be announced at a later date," the companies said.
Active SWG subscribers in good standing, meanwhile, will be able to play several SOE massively multiplayer online PC games at the subscriber level at no extra charge. Between October 15 and December 15, those users will have access to Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and DC Universe Online via the Star Wars Galaxies Web site.
When Sony started restoring its PlayStation network this weekend, it promised a welcome-back consolation package for users who have been patiently waiting for its return since it went dark on April 20.
This afternoon, the company provided some details on what returning users will receive, including free games, movie rentals, and virtual items.
"We developed the program as an expression of our gratitude for your patience, support and continued loyalty during the service outage. From all of us at PlayStation, thank you and welcome back!" Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media, wrote in a blog post. "This package will be made available to all existing registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity users in North America (US and Canada), and will be made available shortly after we have fully restored the service."
What do you get? All PlayStation Network customers can choose two of five PS3 games: Dead Nation; inFAMOUS; LittleBigPlanet; Super Stardust HD; or Wipeout HD + Fury. PSP owners can select two of four games: LittleBigPlanet; ModNation Racers; Pursuit Force; or Killzone Liberation. All games will be available for 30 days after the store is restored and can be kept forever.
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