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Mad Catz Ships Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Arcade FightStick

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. announced today the Company has begun shipping the Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition S, the first fighting game controller released by Mad Catz for the new Wii U console from Nintendo and the similar Tournament Edition S+ FightStick for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system. Licensed by NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc., the Tournament Edition fighting game controller has been designed for competitive play featuring genuine arcade components.

"We're pleased to extend our relationship with NAMCO BANDAI Games and particularly excited to introduce a Tournament Edition fighting game controller to the new Wii U console," said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. "We believe that the new FightStick will enable us to further grow our position as market leaders in this category."

AMD Powers Brilliant HD Game and Video Performance for Nintendo's Wii U

AMD is proud to support Nintendo's newly launched Wii U home console as the supplier of custom AMD Radeon HD GPU technology. As announced at E3 in 2011, the custom-for-Nintendo AMD graphics processor enables Wii U to provide exciting, immersive game play, brilliant HD video and game graphics and new forms of interaction for consumers. Since 2001, AMD technology has been included in more than 118 million Nintendo Wii and GameCube hardware units around the world.1

The AMD GPU will help bring Nintendo's popular franchises into HD for the first time with new innovative game-play experiences, and the new Wii U GamePad controller, which creates a second window into the game world. "Wii U and its GamePad controller offer completely new and unexpected game-play and entertainment experiences," said Genyo Takeda, General Manager, Integrated Research & Development Division, Nintendo Co., Ltd. "We chose AMD to support our HD gaming efforts with its best-in-class graphics capabilities, and we're proud to call them a technology partner."

Get Ready to PARTY When Wii U Launches on Nov. 18

Nintendo has revealed additional details about SiNG PARTY, the new singing-and-dancing game for Wii U that turns living rooms into concert venues. The game will launch alongside the Wii U console on Nov. 18 at a suggested retail price of $59.99, and includes a microphone. Wii U owners can also download the game directly from the Nintendo eShop for $49.99, though they will need to obtain a compatible microphone separately. The game is backward compatible with all licensed Wii microphones, while new microphones will be available at a suggested retail price of $24.99 each.

The game includes a wide variety of music from many different genres and eras, with a primary focus on creating the best party atmosphere for both singing and dancing. Artists like Rihanna, Jackson 5, Lady Gaga, The Wanted, James Brown, The Village People and Selena Gomez & The Scene blend together to create a perfect party playlist for everyone young and old. Additional songs will be available starting in 2013.

New Wii Bundles Keep Families Grooving and Imaginations Soaring This Holiday Season

Nintendo has great news for gift seekers looking to keep their loved ones entertained and energized this holiday season. Starting Nov. 4, consumers in the United States will be able to choose from two new Wii bundles, each containing a Wii console and one of two new games from Nintendo's third-party partners. One bundle includes Ubisoft's Just Dance 4 and a white Wii console with matching Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers, offered while supplies last at a suggested retail price of $129.99. The other bundle includes Activision's Skylanders Giants, a blue Wii console with matching Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controllers, one Portal of Power, two Skylanders characters and one exclusive Giant Skylander, available while supplies last at a suggested retail price of $149.99.

Turtle Beach Storms E3 With New And Advanced Line-Up Of Gaming Audio Products

Turtle Beach, pioneers and market-leaders of the gaming headset category, is pleased to unveil its new fall lineup at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Turtle Beach has created a 6,000 square foot both that will showcase new products and a dedicated theater showcase featuring an immersive audio experience. In addition, Turtle Beach will also underscore its commitment to competitive gaming by offering attendees a tournament showcase. The tournament area, theater experience and full line of gaming audio products are available via its E3 booth; Los Angeles Convention Center South Hall #2447, from June 5 – 7, 2012.

The Turtle Beach Ear Force theater experience offers E3 attendees a unique and innovative audio presentation to demonstrate the importance of audio in the gaming experience. Through a custom system utilizing a 270-degree screen, three projectors and headset integration the presentation highlights Turtle Beach's advanced audio. As always, hundreds of Turtle Beach headsets will be powering the audio experiences for visitors to numerous E3 booths, including Activision, 2K Games, Warner Brothers, Konami, Project (RED), Snapdragon, Bethesda, Gameloft and many others.

Nintendo’s Wii U Ushers in New Age of Video Games with Second-Screen Experience

Nintendo revealed a massive lineup of first- and third-party video games for its upcoming Wii U home console today, including new games in the Super Mario Bros., Pikmin, Wii Fit, Batman: Arkham City, Scribblenauts, Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance franchises. The Wii U console launches this holiday season and introduces the Wii U GamePad, a controller with a 6.2-inch touch screen that redefines how people interact with their games, their entertainment and one another. Video game publishers from around the world, including Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Electronic Arts, SEGA, THQ and NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. are demonstrating how their biggest franchises are being reimagined for Wii U.

Nintendo Shows Off Ergonomic Wii U Pro Controller

For all those put off with the ergonomics of Nintendo's standard Wii U controller, the console giant is planning a new ergonomic gamepad for games that can make do with just common controls (D-pad, axes, four buttons, triggers). Called the Wii U Pro Controller, the gamepad dons a similar shape to that of the Xbox 360 controller, but with both its analog sticks located in the same row of controls. The controller appears to be designed to work both wired and wireless. More details will be released at this year's E3 event, scheduled for this week.

Source: Joystiq

Microsoft Patents Pressure-Sensitive Controller

Since Nintendo pushed the envelope, hardware manufacturers seem intent on making new controller types. Now that each of the big gaming companies have at least dabbled with motion controls, biometric feedback seems to be the next big thing. Sony is looking into biometric controllers to measure factors like sweat and heart rate. Not to be outdone, Microsoft is apparently considering a pressure-sensitive controller. The company has registered a US Patent (8,172,675) for a controller with a "pressure-sensitive exterior surface." The patent suggests that device memory could store the output signatures to identify users simply by how they grip the controller. And confirming that these plans relate to gaming, the patent also mentions the device as "a game controller that interacts with a game console service."

The patent makes repeated mention of the controller being used for identification, but doesn't go much deeper than that. Microsoft could potentially find gaming utilities, but doesn't seem to be going in that direction with the initial patent application. As always, a patent doesn't mean a product will ever come to market.

Source: Shacknews

Nintendo Wii U Costs Around $300: Sources

Sources associated with the manufacture and distribution of Nintendo products gave ForgetTheBox their estimates of the "Bill of Materials" of its upcoming Wii U game console, including that of its swanky-looking controller. The Bill of Materials of the entire package is estimated to be around US $180, despite its interactive screen, the controller's Bill of Materials is no more than US $50. Taking these figures into account the street price of Wii U is estimated by the source, is "no less than $300."

The same sources told ForgetTheBox, "Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo’s main concern with the Wii U. They are cutting costs in the Wii U's hardware to build back confidence in investors. Nintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less risky proposition." They went on to mention interesting tidbits such as "The cameras in the Wii U controller are an estimated manufacturing cost of $6. They are slightly better quality than the 3DS and DSi cameras. The touch screen has a manufacturing cost estimated at $14."

Nintendo WiiU Hardware Less Powerful Than Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3: Developers

Although Nintendo's next-generation WiiU game console can drive 1080p graphics, developers familiar with its hardware specifications say its hardware is not even as powerful as that of current-generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. "No, it's not up to the same level as the PS3 or the 360," one of the developers who spoke with GamesIndustry Internation said "The graphics are just not as powerful," they reiterated. Another developer, working for another company backed this view. "Yeah, that's true. It doesn't produce graphics as well as the PS3 or the 360," said the source. This should let us in on Nintendo's focus with the WiiU: gameplay mechanics over visual details.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Nintendo Prevails in Maryland Patent Suit

For the third consecutive time this year, Nintendo has prevailed in a patent litigation in the U.S. A Maryland U.S. District Court judge has summarily dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nintendo brought by IA Labs CA, LLC. IA Labs had alleged that the Wii Balance Board accessory and Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus software infringed on one of its patents (U.S. Patent No. 7,121,982).

"Nintendo has a passionate tradition of developing innovative products while respecting the intellectual property rights of others. We vigorously defend patent lawsuits when we firmly believe that we have not infringed another party's patent. We refuse to succumb to patent trolls," said Rick Flamm, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of Legal & General Counsel.

AMD Designing Next-Gen Playstation's GPU

Sony has begun working on its next-generation gaming console under the Playstation brand, and Forbes learned that it's none other than AMD designing its graphics processing unit (GPU). AMD is far from new to the game console GPU business, as its GPUs already drive graphics processing in Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii consoles. If launched anytime soon, the next-gen Playstation will create a rare moment where GPUs of all three major game console makers would be AMD-made. The current Playstation 3 console uses an NVIDIA GPU.

Source: Forbes

Nintendo, Sony, EA Withdraw Support for SOPA: Too Little Too Late?

Video game industry majors Nintendo, Sony, and EA dropped financial support for the passage of Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), as an increasing number of the bill's proponents are feeling the sting of bad PR as a result of their endorsement of the bill. Last month we've seen domain registrar GoDaddy suffer a mass exodus of tens of thousands of domains to its competitors due to its initial endorsement of SOPA, which it later withdrew seeing the public outcry that has some real implications on its business.

This latest withdrawal from Nintendo, Sony, and EA appears to be similar, a knee-jerk response to the bad PR each of SOPA's endorsers are getting. The updated list of the bill's endorsements (read: here) shows the three companies to be missing from it (they were earlier listed). SOPA has been widely criticized as being overkill, too wide-ranged, and too vaguely written to tackle online piracy. Critics say it is peppered with loopholes that make censorship by corporations and governments easy. Think of it as using a tactical nuclear strike to take down a pillbox. Sure, the pillbox will be obliterated, but you end up destroying everything unrelated to it in a very wide area surrounding it.Source: Business Insider

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Hits $1 Billion Milestone in Just 16 Days

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 crossed the $1 billion mark in sales since its launch on November 8, 2011, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information. Highlighting the trend of interactive entertainment gaining a greater hold of audiences worldwide, the game achieved this milestone in just 16 days, eclipsing the record set in 2009 by the feature film "Avatar," which reached the $1 billion milestone in 17 days.

While 2011 box office revenue is on the decline — down 4 percent this year at $9.4 billion, compared with $9.8 billion in 2010 -- the number of people purchasing and participating in gaming is on the rise, with no sign of slowing.(1) With more than 30 million gamers, the Call of Duty community now exceeds the combined populations of the cities of New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Madrid.

IBM Microprocessors to Power the New Wii U System from Nintendo

IBM today announced that it will provide the microprocessors that will serve as the heart of the new Wii U system from Nintendo. Unveiled today at the E3 trade show, Nintendo plans for its new console to hit store shelves in 2012.

The all-new, Power-based microprocessor will pack some of IBM's most advanced technology into an energy-saving silicon package that will power Nintendo's brand new entertainment experience for consumers worldwide. IBM's unique embedded DRAM, for example, is capable of feeding the multi-core processor large chunks of data to make for a smooth entertainment experience.

Greenpeace Updates its E-Waste Report of Manufacturers

I once posted a news story on how well computer manufacturers are treating the environment according to the Greenpeace organization. Well I'm going to give you a little update on that story today. Last time Nintendo was the worst among worst when talking "green" and this year it is strengthening its position even more. From zero to eleven in being "green" (zero means worst) Nintendo scores the whooping 0. HP, Microsoft, Lenovo and Dell are next to have poor scores when it comes to preserving the world we live in. According to Greenpeace only Apple is "truly kicking the habit", maybe that's because they have an apple as their logo. Philips learned a lesson from last Greenpeace research and the company jumps from 15th to 4th place this year, well done Philips. The two best "green" manufacturers as of March 31st 2009 are Samsung and Nokia.

Source: Greenpeace

NVIDIA Announces PhysX SDK Support for Nintendo Wii Console

NVIDIA Corporation today announced that it has been approved as a third party tools solution provider for the Wii console. As a result, the NVIDIA PhysX technology SDK is now available to registered Wii developers.
“Nintendo has reshaped the home entertainment and video game market with the success of the Wii console. Adding a PhysX SDK for Wii is key to our cross-platform strategy and integral to the business model for our licensed game developers and publishers,” said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA. “With NVIDIA PhysX technology, developers can easily author more realistic game environments for the evolving demands of a broad class of Wii gamers.”

AMD Announces Shipment of the 50 Millionth Graphics Processor for Wii From Nintendo

AMD announced that the 50 millionth ATI ‘Hollywood’ graphics processor for the Wii game console from Nintendo shipped today. With 50 million units delivered, the ATI graphics processor code-named ‘Hollywood’ becomes the most successful AMD game console chip to date in terms of unit sales.

“Nintendo values its ongoing relationship with AMD. AMD’s graphics technology expertise as displayed in the ATI ‘Hollywood’ chip is a great part of the momentum of Wii. Our combined efforts help deliver entertaining experiences to create many smiling faces in living rooms around the world,” said Genyo Takeda, general manager of Integrated Research and Development, Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Nintendo Sets New Game Console Shipment Record

Nintendo has had a happy hunting season in the month of November, with record-breaking sales of the Wii game console in the US. According to data compiled by NPD and sourced from TG Daily, Nintendo shattered its own record it set in November 2007, of 981,000 units sold, with a phenomenal 2 million units sold in November '08.

Given the state the economy is in, game console shipment estimates for November 2008 by NPD, come as a big surprise. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony shipped 3,254,000 static consoles last month, which compares to only 2,217,000 units in November and translates to a 47% increase in shipped units year over year and 139% sequentially. Sales of console by Sony saw a sharp drop at the expense of Nintendo and Microsoft. The month saw equally good sales of game titles (covered here), again with those for the Xbox 360 and Wii holding the top spots.


Source: TG Daily

Nintendo Wii Selling Extremely Well in Korea

It would seem as though some countries have yet to even see the Nintendo Wii in store shelves. Stores in Korea began receiving the hip Nintendo console just last month, and so far, sales have been through the roof. Nintendo unleashed the Wii as a way to promote a profitable gaming industry in Korea. This was in spite of concerns that the high amount of piracy that occurs in Korea would negate the majority of profits Nintendo would earn in the country. In fact, that alone prevented Nintendo from releasing the Wii any earlier than April 26, 2008. While piracy data is still inconclusive regarding the Nintendo Wii in South Korea, retailers have managed to sell 35,000 of the 50,000 Nintendo Wii's that made their way to store shelves.Source: Neoseeker

Microsoft Challenges Console Competition to Sell 100 Million Units

Most of the time, the console war winner is decided as soon as a company sells 10 million units of their console. With NPD data consistently showing a high demand for the Nintendo Wii, most would agree that Nintendo has already won. By the 10-million-to-win rule, Nintendo won several months ago. At present, Nintendo has sold around 25 million units around the world. Microsoft has sold 19 million Xbox360's, and Sony has sold 12 million PS3's. However, Microsoft refuses to go down without a fight. Microsoft instead set a new competition, and wants to see who can sell 100 million units first. Microsoft feels that they have a superior product, which will inherently shine as time goes on. However, with grocery, gas, and mortgage prices quickly approaching the cost of gaming, the lower initial cost of the Nintendo Wii just might cinch the console war in Nintendo's favor. We shall see.Source: DailyTech

Nintendo Wii Fit Now Available in Europe

Nintendo Europe is pleased to inform all Wii owners that the state-of-the-art Wii Fit console accessory is now available in Europe. Wii Fit is designed to let you do more than 40 fitness exercises including Aerobic Exercises, Yoga, Muscle Workouts and Balance Games. The Wii Fit and its accompanying software will cost you £69.99 in UK, and around €89.99 for the rest of the European Union. Find out more by visiting the official Wii Fit website.

Source: Nintendo News, Engadget

Wii Users Face New Problem: Tendinitis and Sports Injuries

When the Nintendo Wii was first released, several people took Wii Sports too seriously. The wrist straps to the controllers snapped, and Wiimotes went flying into a plethora of very fragile things. When Nintendo replaced the straps with much stronger ones, it seems that some people went crazy. Now, several reports are coming in that Wii gamers are facing a new problem: tendinitis, due to moving too much. Since gamers get much more physically into the game than they normally would, they try to mimic the actual movement the activity on screen would require. This stresses muscles a lot more than you'd think, especially after a long period of time. Most problems are surfacing in 30-40 year olds, who really don't play too many video games, and suddenly became very involved in Wii gaming. Strangely, it's actually children that warn adults not to get too into gaming.Source: Neoseeker

Hospitals to Bring Nintendo Wii to Physical Therapy

To help spice up and/or improve physical therapy programs, hospitals are adding Nintendo Wii consoles to the proper offices. The reasons behind putting consoles in a hospital are simple. For one thing, the Nintendo Wii simply makes physical therapy more fun. Renowned doctors throughout America have found that there are other reasons. When a game requires users to make repetitive movements that might otherwise cause them pain, the game distracts from the pain, allowing the patient to do necessary exercises. To help confirm what these doctors already know, and have put into hospitals such as the Hines Veterans Affairs Hospital west of Chicago and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the University of Minnesota is performing a study on the effects of the Nintendo Wii to physical therapy. If all goes well, the results will confirm that playing the Nintendo Wii is beneficial to things such as endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, and cardio.Source: The Inquirer

Super Smash Brothers: Brawl Sells Over 800 thousand Copies in Japan During Week 1

While not nearly as epic as Halo 3, sales-wise, the sequel to one of the most popular Nintendo-based multiplayer games has hit it big. Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, where gamers throw famous characters from classic games at each other, sold 800 thousand copies in the first week of sales. This puts the game at the top of all current game charts, outselling Sony's Devil May Cry 4 by several hundred thousand units. Other than those two games, here are the top five games in Japan right now:
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) - 819,647 units
  • Devil May Cry 4 (PS3) - 205,390 units
  • Tales of Destiny: Director's Cut (PS2) - 116,928 units
  • Suzumiya Haruhi no Tomadoi (PS2) - 114,335 units
  • Wii Fit (Wii) - 73,325 units
Source: Neoseeker
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