The summer months can bring drought conditions in many areas across the world, but as any hardcore gamer will tell you, the gaming industry suffers the same condition each year. It's even tougher in years like 2014, where two major consoles just launched and early adopters are clamoring for new software for their pricey investments.
While I can't do anything about the lack of new games that are set to drop this summer, I can certainly help you get through it. Over the next two months, right before summer hits, we are going to see a few high profile games released that we think will dull the summer gaming blues. Some are old favorites, while a couple are brand new IP that look to offer unique gaming experiences. Here's my list of the five games to pick up this summer, in order of release date:
You know that Wii U system update that is supposed to speed up the console by a pretty big margin this summer? Well, in yet another misstep for Nintendo's latest home console, that update will not be arriving until the fall. Specifically, Wii U owners will be waiting until sometime "between the end of September and the beginning of October." There will still be a system update, but it will be a much less significant patch that simply addresses small stability issues and the standby download feature. The speed update was first announced in January, but we guess it isn't much of a surprise that Wii U owners are stuck waiting. Again.
Read More | Nintendo
Windows super-fan Paul Thurrott, who has a good track record for internal Microsoft rumors, is sharing information that he has heard as it pertains to the launch window and pricing of the new Xbox (which we are assuming will be called Xbox Reveal or Infinity, but is codenamed Durango.) First, the next Xbox will launch in early November 2013, and will cost $499 out of the gate. Alternatively, you'll be able to pay $299 for the console if you also pay a $10 monthly subscription fee.
If this is true, then we imagine that this is where all of the hoopla over an "always-on" console is coming from. If you choose to go the subscription route, then your Xbox will likely need to be connected to the Internet in order to make sure the subscription is active. Piggybacking on that thought, maybe if you stop paying (or if you can't get the Xbox online,) then the Xbox will simply not let you play games until you are paid up or reconnect it to Xbox Live.
Other information shared include that the new console will ship with a Blu-ray drive, and will run on a modified version of Windows 8. We will have all the news as it happens when Microsoft unveils the next Xbox on May 21.
Read More | Windows IT Pro
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.
Read More | Major Nelson
Sony is set to reveal the PlayStation 4 in less than three weeks, on February 20th. According to The Wall Street Journal, not only will we get a look at the PS4 and a rundown of all the new features, which include "more social gaming aspects" and "changes in how users interact with the machine," but gamers can expect to be able to pick up the new PlayStation later this year.
As for the console itself, not much is known--what we do know is that it will likely be powered by an AMD CPU and GPU, which could prove difficult for PS3 backwards compatibility, since the PS3 is powered by Sony's Cell processor. Additionally, although Sony considered shipping the PlayStation 4 without an optical drive, the Blu-ray drive will still be present, because the company believes that games are too big, and broadband not yet fast enough, to rely on hard drive storage and digital downloads.
We'll have all the info for you on the 20th!
Read More | WSJ
If you're looking for a budget friendly gaming console and you happen to live in Canada, then look no further than the Wii Mini for $100. The popular gaming console is in fact exclusive to Canada, eh! Sadly, the console breaks backwards compatibility with GameCube and lacks Internet access [Editor's note: Nintendo really dropped the ball here by removing Internet access. A $100 Wii Mini with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube access would be a fantastic set-top box.] It goes on sale on December 7th, and will be a cool Christmas stocking stuffer. Full press after the jump.
Read More | Wii Mini
Microsoft has put together another custom-designed Xbox 360 console, this one celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Xbox Live. As you can see in the image above, it's a dark gray console with green and orange accents, and an "X" design papered all over the hardware. It's a great looking device to our eyes. It was announced on Twitter by Major Nelson, who confirmed that the company is giving these out to a number of Xbox Live members who've stuck around since the beginning.
Nintendo's Wii U console is set to hit North America in six weeks, and Nintendo has finally confirmed exactly which titles will be available on day one. Buyers will have 23 different titles to choose from, along with deciding between the basic white Wii U bundle, and the Deluxe black bundle. We've got a full list of the games that Nintendo says will hit stores within the Wii U "launch window"--but it's disengenuine, to say the least, as that launch window lasts a ridiculous five months. So click on past the break, and pay attention to the launch dates of the 50 listed titles to see which you can get on day one. It's unfortunate that the only first-party Nintendo titles that will be available alongside the launch of Wii U are Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U.
Seems like Sony is obsessed with slim, and really, who isn't nowadays? Accordingly, Sony's new iteration of the PS3 is about to lose even more weight compared to the previous PS3 Slim model. Yes, you read that right. This is Sony's second attempt at trimming the fat from its current generation home game console. Why is Sony doing this for a stationary device? No clue. Perhaps, it's for those who like the flexibility of taking their console to different rooms throughout the house. The new PS3 Slim boasts a 25% smaller footprint and is supposedly 50% lighter than the current slim model. Moreover, there are two storage capacities and it comes in white and black. These newer models will ditch the slide-in disc drive and will instead use a slide-out tray. Consoles are expected to go on sale in the fall: A 250GB model will go on sale September 25th for $269, which will include Uncharted 3. The 500GB model will include Assassins Creed 3, which will be available October 30th for $299.
Perfect, just in time for a PS4…JK.
Read More | PlayStation Blog
Today Microsoft has announced a permanent Kinect price cut, bringing the motion controller peripheral down to $109. The change in price is immediate, as you can buy it right now on Amazon for the newly-reduced price tag, which still includes Kinect Adventures, by the way. Kinect also sees price drops in Latin America and the Asia Pacific area, with the exception of Japan.
Read More | Major Nelson
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