Wii U Update is Live

There’s a Wii U update available for download. It’s unclear whether or not this is the “Summer” update that Nintendo stated would be coming out around this time, but the file size of this download is 648 MB, which is much larger than any typical update.

I’m currently updating my Wii U as I type this, but I’m not getting my hopes up because Nintendo likes to discuss and detail something like this before they actually release it. Also, Nintendo stated that there was supposed to be a long maintenance going on right now, and yet the Nintendo Network didn’t go down.

This could very well be the major update, but let’s no hold out breathes until we get some kind of confirmation. Check back later on and we’ll have updated information regarding the Wii U update.

 

UPDATE: Here is the list of improvements from the update:

-USB Keyboard
-Wii Off TV Play
-Surround Sound support for Wii games (Dolby Pro Logic II)
-Access Friend’s List from Wii U menu directly
-Upload screens taken when pausing the game directly to blogs and forums using the browser.
-Option to receive automatically downloaded software from Nintendo.
-Wii U Chat via headset connected to the Game Pad
-View PDFs on the Browser.

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Assassin’s Creed 4 Coming To PC This November + Wii U Version Delayed

Ubisoft announces the release date for Assassin’s Creed  4 on the PC , the game will drop on November 19, in North America and November 22, in Europe.  Ubisoft pushed back the Wii u release date until November 22, but the North America version  will be release alongside the ps3 and xbox 360 versions on October 29 . Look out for our review of the game coming very soon.

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Microsoft Employees Caught Playing Mario Kart 8

At this year’s Eurogamer Expo, NintendoLife has caught actual Microsoft employees checking out Mario Kart 8. Check out the pic below:

microsoft employees

Now while this may seem ridiculous to most people – and some hardcore Nintendo supporters may laugh at this and make snark comments like “Even Microsoft doesn’t want to play their own games” – let’s all keep a leveled-head and realize that all because somebody works for a company does not automatically mean that they are a fanboy of that company.

Someone could be an avid Nintendo fan but land a job at Microsoft.

Anyways, it’s always cool and intriguing to see employees from rival companies playing eachother games. If they can enjoy the other systems, why can’t we?

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Mighty No. 9 Gets Online Co-op Challenge Mode!

Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 project is one of the most successful kickstarter games I’ve ever seen. This game is causing an immense amount of excitement and hype, and things are getting even better as the kickstarter reaches its closing. Just recently, the project reached $2,750,000 pledges, and gamers have enabled Inafune’s new studio to include Online co-op challenge mode to the game.

This may be the last goal that is unlocked since there is only 3 days to go, but gamers have done a fantastic job supporting the development of this fantastic project. So far, gamers have unlocked Two additional stages, Mac/Linux versions of the game, New game plus, Turbo mode, making of documentary, bonus boss rush mode, PS3/360/WiiU versions, challenge mode, an extra end stage & boss, and lastly Beck & Call online co-op challenge mode. That’s a great showing from gamers, and while there is little time left, we might still get that intro stage & boss!

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Valve Announces Steam Controller: Revolutionizing the Way We Play

Valve has finally released their last announcement in their Steam Universe campaign: the Steam Controller. The controller itself can be seen above. As we already know, the Steam library is full of Controller enabled games (and if one isn’t controller friendly, you can always use Xpadder), so Valve set out to create a controller that would bridge the desk & living room experiences. Valve says that their controller offers a superior control scheme, with high precision input technology that is focused on low-latency performance.

The first thing you’ll notice about this controller, is that it has two rather large track pads on each side. Both are driven by using your thumbs, and they are also clickable. These two track pads offer a much higher level of input & accuracy over the tradition joystick controller. Valve’s aim is to deliver perfected control in games that were difficult to operate on a console; such as RTS, cursor driven, strategy, space exploration, simulation, and a huge number of indie games.

controller_schematicWhat about feedback? Don’t worry, it has rumble, but I’m sure many of the joystick jockeys are already not liking the idea of not getting any physical feedback from the controller. Well, what Valve has implemented into the controller is Haptic technology. This is a form of non verbal communication technology that relays a message to the person holding the controller; and according to Valve, their Haptic technology can relay ingame information about speed, boudaries, thresholds, textures, action confirmations, and etc.

Just like the PS4 controller, the center of the Steam Controller has a touch screen. The touch screen’s main purpose is to accommodate the large number of games on Steam that might require more buttons than what is already available on the controller. The entire screen itself is also clickable, and it also allows gamers to browse available commands, can be used for a radial dial, provide map information, and etc.

There are 16 buttons total on the controller, and Valve says that half are accessible without having to remove your thumbs from the pads. They are all symmetrically placed, so it doesn’t matter whether or not your left or right handed.

controller_bindingsAs I’ve stated earlier, not all Steam games are compatible with controllers, and programs like Xpadder convert controller inputs to mimic keyboard & mouse. Valve also incorporates a similar program to enable all Steam games to be compatible with the Steam Controller. This is called Legacy mode. Valve provided an example, as seen to the right. Valve also says that the controller is completely open for gamers to hack and customize.

I’ve got to say that this controller is going to finally do something that has never been done before: offer the precision of keyboard and mouse, on a single controller. Part of the reason why they usually keep console & PC gamers separate from competitive online multiplier, is because  the accuracy that can only be found on keyboard and mouse destroyed console gamers each time. Valve will finally bridge the two platforms and revolutionize the market! I’m sure many of you agree when I say, I cannot wait for the Steam Machine, Steam OS, and Steam Controller to hit the market!

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Emily Rogers: “Wii U Owners Better Buy Ubisoft Games”

Emily Rogers, a well-known Nintendo insider on the net, has warned Wii U owners on Twitter that they “better buy Ubisoft games.” In the same Tweet, Rogers also mentioned that the 3DS firmware update that will add the Miiverse will be pushed back and the Wii U firmware update is coming sooner than expected:

“3 things. 3DS firmware is no longer coming October. Wii U firmware update is sooner than you think. Wii U owners need to buy Ubisofts games.”

The last part is definitely in-response to the dramatically low sales performance Splinter Cell: Blacklist had on the Wii U. Rogers when into further detail of her 3rd point, emphasizing that the importance of supporting Ubisoft is very crucial.

emily rogers

It sounds like Emily has heard from her sources that Ubisoft was either deeply displeased with Splinter Cell’s sales, or Ubisoft is giving Wii U owners a one-last-chance ultimatum, or both. I don’t know about you guys, but to me this sounds like Ubisoft has made a pretty serious threat to the Wii U user-base behind-the-scenes.

And for those who may not be familiar with Rogers, she’s been spot-on numerous times in the past when it came to past updates and when Nintendo Directs were going to happen, so she’s very reliable.

Nintendo fans: Don’t complain about third-party support if you’re not buying the 3rd-party games.

 

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New Kindle 8.9 339 PPI

Amazon announces their 3rd generation line of kindle fire hd’s both the 8.9 inch model and the 7 inch models are getting makeovers. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 features a screen resolution of 2560 by 1600, that’s 339 pixels per inch. The 7 inch model features a screen resolution of 1920 by 1200, that’s 323 pixels per inch. The new 7 inch screen puts the quality on par as the Nexus 7 by giants Asus and Google. Both models also feature faster hardware for a faster over-all tablet experience. The over-all improvements are great, but amazon CEO states, “Premium products, at non-premium prices.” His approach is to make money when users use the product and buy apps. Sure there is a profit margin, but it isn’t nearly as large as the iPad’s.

Above all the improvements the coolest improvement is the mayday feature. What is the mayday feature? So anytime you need help with your new kindle fire, instead of hopping on a search engine and finding what you need just press the mayday button and a on-screen REAL Amazon tech support agent pops up on the screen. You can see the agent on his webcam and hear his voice, on top of this he can actually draw on your screen to show you where you need to go and what you need to do to get to where your trying to get to. I love this, I can really see this being implemented in future devices and I really hope it is.

 

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/25/tech/gaming-gadgets/kindle-fire-upgrade/index.html

Featured image courtesy of Amazon Kindle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpuRIJnya5E

The Mayday Button: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFYHF1w8w3g

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Will There Be Actual Steam Box Exclusives?

So this week has yielded some pretty exciting announcements from Valve regarding their upcoming Steam Box. In my eyes, the SteamOS, controller, and Steam Machines all sound like some innovative and quality ideas. But one question still lingers around my head: will there actually be any Steam Box exclusives?

As of right now the hype train for this system (or rather, these systems) are going full-steam ahead. Valve seems to be cooking up some really unique and innovative ideas not seen before in the console market.

But one potential problem that could hold this entire operation back is the lack of exclusives.

While the Steam Box is sounding great, hell, even amazing right now, it’s hard to imagine that Valve, a company that currently has tens of millions registered Steam members would actually either buy or create exclusives for the platforms. The current PC market is simply too massive to ignore. So going under the [probable] assumption of the Steam Box not having any games to call it’s own, what would entice gamers who plan on owning an Xbox One or a PS4 – or gamers who already own PC’s – to purchase a Steam Machine?

Multiplats are great, but the main driving force behind any system is always going to be it’s exclusives. If all the games on the Steam Box can simply be found elsewhere, what would be the benefit of owning one?

steam box exclusives
One more announcement to go. Valve is actually counting to 3?

Now, I understand that these machines are meant to basically be specially-tailored, accessible, family room PC’s, but at the same time, Valve is also aiming to out-class the PS4 and Xbox One hardware-wise. This leaves us to believe that the Steam Machines will be somewhere in the $500 range. But why would anyone spend $500 on a multiplat machine when they can simply use that money to purchase a PS4 (for $100 cheaper) and an Xbox One, which are two systems that theoretically will have the same games as the Steam Box and then some?

Some of you may make the argument that the Steam Box will offer notable upgraded visuals and features over the competition, but at the same time, if you’re looking to spend $500 for a PC-like experience, you might as well save yourself up some couple hundred extra dollars to purchase a real, actual PC in the first place.

As for any potentially cheaper models – let’s say in the $300-$400 range – at that price point, you might as well purchase a next-generation system.

Now if the Steam Box actually will come with some exclusives, then every point I’m making in this article is null and void. And I don’t mean this to come off as bashing the system(s) or Valve themselves. I love Valve and Steam goddammit. I’m just proposing a question I actually don’t see many people considering.

But here’s to hoping that Valve is successful with their 2014 endeavors.

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Valve Announces Steam Machines: Powerful Hardware Headed to the Living Room!

Valve previously announced their SteamOS, and now they’ve announced Steam Machines. According to Valve’s latest Steam Machines page, Valve will releasing their own pieces of hardware that run the SteamOS. The best part, is that you will be able to choose what hardware fits your needs. Valve will more than likely be releasing several different versions of what we can call the “SteamBox”; and they’re working with multiple hardware partners to bring this variety of machines to the market in early 2014.

living

Unfortunately, that’s all the information they’ve released about their Steam Machines. But they also offer a way for us Steam fans to beta test the prototypes! Just visit the Steam Machine page and follow the steps to enter your name to be chosen!

 

 

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