PlayStation 4 to Stream PS3 Games

The rumor/announcement comes from sources of the Wall Street Journal “familiar” with the plans of Sony regarding the PlayStation 4.  The report claims that the streaming of current PS3 games will coexist with games on optical media sold through traditional means.

This rumor seems plausible since Sony acquired the streaming company Gaikai last year for the tidy sum of $380 million.

It’s expected that Sony will officially make an announcement on the subject during their event on the 20th.

Source: WSJ via Joystiq

Nintendo Direct Tomorrow at 9AM

For all of you diehard Nintendo fans out there, Nintendo will be having a Nintendo Direct presentation tomorrow at 9am EST.  The Nintendo of America presentation will focus on upcoming 3DS and Wii U games, according to the Nintendo Direct splash page.

Hopefully, we’ll get some more juicy information on the new Zelda and Mario games!  Also, with Nintendo holding a presentation tomorrow (2/14) and Sony holding one on 2/20, I wouldn’t be slightly surprised if Microsoft jumped on the presentation bandwagon and made a presentation offering of their own.

Link for Nintendo Direct.

Further Next-Gen Xbox Details Leaked!

A source in contact with Kotaku has revealed even more information regarding the specs and features of the Durango (next-gen Xbox) project from Microsoft.  This source is the same individual that leaked over 90 pages of PlayStation 4 development kit documentation.  It was also noted by Kotaku that the specs they were given weren’t just for the dev kits, they were also for the retail consoles.

According to their source and a previous report they made, the new console will come with a mandatory and upgraded Kinect sensor.  It must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to work.  This will allow developers to include the feature in all game development since it will be included with every console sold.  Another thing of note though is the fact that it will also have the ability to constantly “watch you”.  The new mandatory Kinect will have the ability to track six people in the room at all times.

The idea that the new Durango Kinect can track you at all times is a quite frightening one.  They could in theory charge customers for content based on a “how-many-people-are-watching” basis.

Kinect specs via Kotaku:

durango kinectkinect-specs

This time around, as opposed to the Xbox 360, all Durango consoles will ship with a hard drive and the base size will be 500GB; don’t get too excited though, that storage will mostly be used for the required install of games upon the first disc insertion.  Good news, though?  That installation can occur while you’re playing the game; you won’t have to wait for it to first install.  Sadly, these installs are mandatory as the Durango games can’t access data directly from the disc.

Another nifty feature will be the consoles ability to multitask and run more than one game or app at a time.  The 360 can’t even do anything remotely close; if you want to use Twitter or Facebook on the console, you have to close everything and open it separately.  (It’s about time we’ll have that functionality with a console!.)

The Xbox 360 will not work with the Durango unit according to Kotaku’s source, citing the reason that Microsoft is using a “new wireless technology” in the Durango controllers.

There’s also talk of Microsoft trying to increase support for its Xbox Companion App by possibly using it in tangent with a phone or tablet; they would then possibly give it functionality akin to how the Wii U controller has both motion and touch capability.

Finally, according to the Kotaku’s source, the following are the final retail console specs and not the dev kit specs that have been reported in the past.  Enjoy!

durango specs

All of the information and picture content in this post was respectfully borrowed from the wonderful folks over at Kotaku.

ZombiU Limited Edition Wii U Deluxe Set

According to various sites such as IGN, Nintendo has confirmed that it will be releasing a third variation of the Wii U hardware package.  It will be available in the U.S. and Canada and be sold for an MSRP of $389.99 (only $40 more than the current Deluxe).

The bundle comes with the black 32GB Wii U, a digital copy of Nintendo Land, everything in the Deluxe set, the ZombiU game, a Wii U Pro Controller, and a ZombiU art book.  If only I could have waited a couple extra weeks to buy my Wii U!

This new bundle is an excellent deal!  The Deluxe set plus Pro Controller and Zombi U game would run you around $459.99 if bought separately!

If you’re interested, the Zombi U bundle is slated to go on sale starting February 17.

Ultimate Game Collection Being Auctioned Off By Italian Collector

There is a MASSIVE video game collection that went up for auction recently on eBay.  “Massive” can’t even begin to paint a picture of how much stuff is in the collection.  The seller states that they had been collecting for about thirty years and came to the conclusion that they no longer have the space or time to continue such a collection.

To quote the seller of this amazing collection:  “This collection is the story of the videogames from A to Z, from the game & watch and old pong systems to the actual generation of PS3 and XBOX360.”  This is definitely one of the most definitive collections I have ever seen (and will probably ever see).

They estimate that there are over 6850 games, 330 consoles and handhelds, 220 controllers, 185 various accessories,  and numerous collectibles and promotional items related to different games such as limited editions items like Kratos’ Twin Blades!

There are a ridiculous amount of images for the collection on their Imageshack page.  There were about 10,000 pictures taken but roughly 500 were used for the auction.  Judging by both the seller’s description and the numerous pictures, a majority of the collection is still in the original boxes as well!

They posted a link to their Dropbox account for a full listing of the video games in the collection, but the account has been disabled at the time of this post due to overwhelming traffic.

Here are a few of the more all-encompassing pictures from the collection:

The items in those pictures are but a portion of the entire collection, by the way!  Needless to say, if I had enough money sitting in my bank I would be very tempted to purchase it.  Oh, and if you’re wondering, the price tag is only a mere $550,000 USD and the auction ends on February 15.  Yes, that’s four zeros after the fifty-five; yes, it’s real.

If your rarity hunting senses are tingling, tell them to stop!  The seller has already declared that they are unwilling to sell separate pieces and will only sell it as a whole.

I would be really interested to see if an enterprising individual takes the time and effort to appraise the entire collection before the auction ends.  It will be interesting to see what happens at the very least!

Feel free to leave your comments, questions and/or thoughts below!

Next-Gen Xbox (Durango) to Require Internet Connection, No Used Game Functionality

A source held by EDGE Magazine has confirmed that the next-gen Xbox’s rumored specs are accurate.  These specs include “an AMD eight-core x64 1.6 GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM.”  The hard drive capacity is unknown for now, but it’s speculated that “Microsoft’s extended commitment to online delivery suggests that it will be the largest unit it has put inside a console to date.”

EDGE is claiming that their inside source is saying that the next-gen Xbox games will be on 50GB Blu-ray discs; it’s also believed that these discs will ship with a one-use activation code that will have no use past the first redemption.  What would this mean for the average consumer?  No more used games would be functional on such a console!

We have already begun to see a similar model when it comes to the online component of console games.  Quite a few big budget games are packaged with an online multiplayer activation code these days.

Development sources have told EDGE that Sony’s console unit architecture is more preferable.  Apparently, development studios working with the next-gen Xbox are being forced to work with a more oppressive operating system compared to Sony.  If Sony doesn’t follow suit with game activation codes, they are going to have numerous advantages going in to the next-gen market.

Hopefully, the one-use activation codes are just speculation and never come to fruition.  Something like that would be devastating to stores like GameStop and services such as Gamefly (both of which rely heavily on the used game market.)

EDIT:  Forbes has reported that, because of the article published by EDGE, GameStop shares took a 6.8% dive at a loss of $1.81 per share.  They also stated that used game sales account for 28% of GameStop’s overall sales and 48% of their gross profits.

For more information, please visit the good guys over at Kotaku and EDGE!

Microsft to End Support of XNA Platform

On Friday, an internal email at Microsoft declared plans to phase out XNA (the development framework used by indie developers to publish their games on Xbox).  Microsoft plans to “retire” XNA and DirectX from its “MVP Award Program” and cites the reasons as being the fact that “the XNA Game Studio is not in active development and DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology.”

There’s speculation that it could be that Microsoft is phasing out XNA to prepare for a replacement.  However, it could also mean that Xbox is going to remove the Xbox Live Indie Games service completely.  This would be crushing to many indie developers if that were the case.  To illustrate what this means, both Bastion and Fez were developed using XNA.

The full Microsoft email below:

Our goal is to provide you the best experience during your award year and when engaging with our product groups. The purpose of the communication is to share information regarding the retirement of XNA/DirectX as a Technical Expertise.

The XNA/DirectX expertise was created to recognize community leaders who focused on XNA Game Studio and/or DirectX development. Presently the XNA Game Studio is not in active development and DirectX is no longer evolving as a technology. Given the status within each technology, further value and engagement cannot be offered to the MVP community. As a result, effective April 1, 2014 XNA/DirectX will be fully retired from the MVP Award Program.

Because we continue to value the high level of technical contributions you continue to make to your technical community, we want to work with you to try to find a more alternate expertise area. You may remain in this award expertise until your award end date or request to change your expertise to the most appropriate alternative providing current contributions match to the desired expertise criteria. Please let me know what other products or technologies you feel your contributions align to and I will review those contributions for consideration in that new expertise area prior to the XNA/DirectX retirement date.

Please note: If an expertise change is made prior to your award end date, review for renewal of the MVP Award will be based on contributions in your new expertise.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this change.

Source: CVG