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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Nintendo to launch revised 3DS hardware

Posted by Erin Marcon On Sunday 31 August 2014ADD COMMENTS

The XL version of Nintendo’s latest 3DS model.

Nintendo has a long history of iterating on its handheld hardware. The GBA, for example, evolved into the clamshell style GBA SP and the more compact the GBA Micro. Neither of those revisions significantly altered the core functionality of the system though, and that’s what makes Nintendo’s announcement of the ‘New Nintendo 3DS’ (in both standard and XL varieties) something of an eye opener.

As reported by Kotaku, the revised handheld features a second thumb stick, two additional shoulder buttons, as well as NFC tech to take advantage of Nintendo’s forthcoming line of Amiibo figurines.  The platform holder is also promising that the unit’s slightly larger screen will allow the 3D effect to be more clearly perceived from a wider range of angles.

The New Nintendo 3DS will also offer a little more processing power. The freshly announced Xenoblade Chronicles port will be the first title to take advantage of this, and indeed, the game won’t be compatible with existing 3DS and 2DS hardware.

The New Nintendo 3DS is set to launch in Japan in October. A western release is yet to be confirmed.

Morpheus may revive Move

Posted by Peter Nickless On Friday 29 August 2014ADD COMMENTS

Anyone for ice-cream?

Gaming peripherals are on the wane these days. The now not so humble controller has proven to be the console gamer’s main choice with Microsoft’s Kinect, Sony’s Move and Nintendo’s Wii-remote often gathering dust in the corner right next to the balance board and multiple Guitar Hero instruments.

The Oculus Rift has certainly whet appetites with the promise of new gaming experiences, particularly as 3D TVs have not been enough to give players that extra immersion into their favourite titles. Sony, of course, has been working on its own headset, known as ‘Project Morpheus’. Now it seems that the Move concept could be revived for use in conjunction with the Morpheus and the PlayStation Camera to provide accurate 3D immersion for the PS4.

When interviewed on Pocketlint, PlayStation exec Shuhei Yoshida expressed the view that although the PS Move was “a bit ahead of its time”, he was still excited about technology that would allow studios to use “3D positional tracking to make games”.

Sony, please just don’t use this to just make more cheerleader games.

Amazon gets Twitchy

Posted by Matthew Hewson On Tuesday 26 August 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Twitch logo will now appear on all US currency.

Earlier this year, streamers everywhere suddenly became worried that Twitch was getting bought out by Google. Rumours abounded on the net that the massive internet company was buying out everyone’s favourite streaming service and when Twitch recently introduced a new music copyright system, many thought that this was a sure sign Google was poised to take over.

Well, in a twist that few saw coming, it was confirmed through an open letter from Twitch CEO Emmett Shear that the company had indeed been purchased, but not by Google. The new owner of Twitch is none other than virtual department store and e-reader champion Amazon.

According to Amazon, it purchased Twitch for US $970m, which is just shy of the billion dollar mark Google was rumoured to be offering. Apparently the owners of Twitch felt that Amazon was a better fit for the company. Amazon has a pretty good reputation for buying out companies and letting them run with minimal influence so this surely had a lot to do with the choice. It is easy to see some Amazon influence creeping into the world of Twitch however. Perhaps all Twitch ads will become Amazon related? Maybe we’ll see live links thrown into video streams as well?

It will be interesting to see what changes, if any, are coming to this super popular service. Will it be for the better or will another favourite internet company fall under the influence of an evil corporation? Only time will tell.

Major gaming networks besieged

Posted by Black Panel Staff On Monday 25 August 2014ADD COMMENTS

The Playstation Network is a little worse for wear.

In a development that has revived memories of the great PlayStation Network calamity of 2011, Sony’s online infrastructure has again come under attack.

Sony has issued a statement advising that “the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network have been impacted by an attempt to overwhelm our network with artificially high traffic.” This is commonly referred to as a distributed denial of service attack.

While this has again resulted in severe service interruptions, it differs from the 2011 incident in so far as confidential data does not appear to have been compromised this time around. “Although this has impacted on your ability to access our network and enjoy our services,” the statement reads, “no personal information has been accessed.” Sony later updated its page to indicate that the issues had been resolved.

As reported by Shacknews, a group referring to itself as Lizard Squad has claimed responsibility not only for the network issues, but for a bomb hoax targeting a flight carrying Sony Online Entertainment President John Smedley.

Several other major online games such as Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft and Riot Games’ League of Legends have also experienced downtime over the weekend, and it appears that the Xbox Live network could be next on Lizard Squad’s hit list.