Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

Netflix prepping PlayStation 3 and Wii support suggests job ad

netflix-jobWhile Netflix streaming has been an XBox 360 exclusive for quite a while now, we’ve known for a long time that the video rental company harbored greater games console ambitions. CEO Reed Hastings said as much all the way back in October 2007, and Netflix has sinced followed up with a number of customer surveys exploring demand for PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii support.

More proof that Netflix is serious about widening support beyond the XBox 360 emerged today after a recent job advertisement on was spotted seeking a lead engineer responsible for the company’s “gaming platforms” – plural.

Continue reading »

Video: Could the Nintendo DSi become the second mainstream WiFi tablet?

Following Apple’s iPod touch, could Nintendo’s revamped handheld games console – the DSi – become the second “mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform”? That’s a claim that the company’s first attempt – the DS Lite – could have made if it wasn’t for the crippling speed of its otherwise innovative dual screen web browser.

On Nintendo’s original device, web pages simply render far too slowly, and as I noted at the time, the company didn’t even bother to offer the Opera web browser on-board the console itself. Instead, the software came stored on a separate memory card so that you have to keep swapping it out when you want to actually play a game, and then change cards again every time you want to browse the web. Both these issues, however, have been addressed in the updated DSi model, as the following video demonstrates…

Continue reading »

BBC iPlayer on Wii gets a UI overhaul

Six months after launch, the BBC has finally got around to redesigning its version of iPlayer for the Nintendo Wii games console to make it more suited to being operated from the couch. Initially taking a ‘keep it simple, get it out fast’ approach, explains the Beeb’s Anthony Rose, the original Wii version of the public broadcaster’s seven day TV catch-up service made do with the 2 foot user interface designed for the PC. “The new Wii version has a simplified user interface that presents just a few options on screen at a time and nice big chunky controls – easy to aim at with a Wiimote.”

Rose also takes the opportunity to defend the BBC’s original decision to build a Wii version of iPlayer rather than one for Sony’s PlayStation 3. “The reason is simple: there are twice as many Wii units in the UK than PS3s”. Additionally, the original PS3 web browser had “some odd quirks which have increased development time”, says Rose. In other words, a PS3 version is still in the works.

… we’re not quite there yet as the PS3 uses a slightly older version of Flash which doesn’t support some of the features used in our media player, and the very promising Flash 9 update now available on PS3 has some compatibility issues. Our Flash developers are working on it – stay tuned for updates.

See also: BBC iPlayer lands on Wii – who said Nintendo doesn’t do media center?

Taking aim at Apple and Sony, Nintendo announces new DSi portable media device

Meet the Nintendo DSi.

As expected, Nintendo announced its latest portable gaming device, dubbed the DSi, at its fall press conference. The DSi is not a game-only device, however, as it includes browsing capabilities, Wi-Fi, a 3-megapixel camera, and other enhancements that bring it more in line with Apple’s iPod Touch and iPhone and Sony’s PlayStation Portable products. In fact, the DSi is not considered a replacement for the current DS Lite line but a complement, or “third platform.”

The juicy DSi details, brought to us by the folks at Kotaku, include:

Continue reading »

Rumor: New Nintendo DS to encroach on iPod territory

With Apple recently re-positioning its iPod touch, and to a lesser extent iPhone, as a portable gaming device, in addition to media playback and Internet functionality, it would make some sense for Nintendo to move the other way with its DS handheld games console. And that’s exactly what might be about to happen.

According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, an upgraded version of the device sporting a built-in camera, larger screen, improved WiFi, and perhaps most significantly, music playback features, could be unveiled as early as Thursday.

It’s suggested that the inclusion of a camera would be utilized in new gaming experiences – think Sony’s EyeToy – while improved WiFi access could pave the way for a much better out-of-the-box web browsing experience. However, its an emphasis on music – and possibly video – playback that would raise the most eyebrows (including those in Cupertino) since it would mark a significant departure from Nintendo’s single-minded focus on gaming, and gaming alone, compared to competitors Microsoft, Sony and Apple.

(via The Register)

Nintendo seemingly plays it "safe" with "Wii Music" and other casual games

wii music

By now we should expect this from Nintendo. The maker of the Wii and DS Lite underwhelmed at the annual E3 conference only to overwhelm during the following year of sales.

Gaming and tech pundits always seem to expect PlayStation and Xbox 360 games and cutting-edge hardware innovation from Nintendo at E3, which delivers this in its own casual, fun, mainstream sort of way.

Nintendo did it again Tuesday. The maker of the world’s best selling games console, the Wii, and the leading portable game device, the DS Lite, introduced even more products aimed at a wider audience, if that’s even possible. Nintendo’s announcements included a multiplayer community game “Animal Crossing: City Folk,” “Wii Sports Resort” (a sequel to the hit “Wii Sports”), and “Wii Music.”

“Animal Crossing: City Folk” is a game that features a new USB peripheral called Wii Speak, a microphone/camera that integrates into the sensor bar that usually sits atop TV sets. It will allow rooms of people to speak to each other while they do things — redecorate, hang out, fish. It may seem like standard “Animal Crossing” fare, but the ability to send messages and pictures to the Wii message board, cell phones, and computers is a nice community/social touch.

“Wii Music” plays off the popularity of games such as “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” but in the usual Nintendo casual manner-of-play. “Wii Music” will let players simulate more than 60 instruments by moving their bodies with Wii remotes and pressing buttons. The game makes sure you play the right notes.

Continue reading »

Xbox Live Video Marketplace gets content from NBC, Universal and other E3 tidbits

e3Microsoft’s deal with Netflix and the Xbox 360’s impending makeover wasn’t the only news from the E3 Media & Business Summit Monday. A few other tidbits include Microsoft, Universal, and NBC; hard drives; and a new Wii controller.

New partners for Video Marketplace

Microsoft has partnered with NBC and Universal to bring new content to the Video Marketplace, Microsoft’s online service. TV shows include “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Office,” and “30 Rock,” among others. Movies include “The Mummy” and “Bourne Supremacy.”

With more than 10,000 movies and TV shows in the Xbox Live Video Marketplace, Microsoft contends it is now the world’s largest provider of on-demand high-definition content.

Continue reading »

From an RC beer cooler to an ESPN remote, digital lifestyle gifts for Dad on Father's Day

rc coolerThere are only a couple of more shopping days left until Father’s Day, that once-a-year event when wives and kids all across the U.S. buy Dad ties, aftershave, and other things he — let’s be honest here — will never use.

So to make shopping easier this year, we’ve assembled a few digital lifestyle ideas for your husband or Dad. Most of these are more expensive than Aqua Velva aftershave but, since we’re being honest here, these are what Dad might buy for himself, including a remote control beer cooler.

The obvious

The most sought-after Father’s Day gift on the planet will be the new 3G iPhone from Apple, which isn’t available until July 11. Until then, a hand-written IOU redeemable for the iPhone will do. Thankfully, the price is coming way down: $199 for the 8 GB model, $299 for the 16 GB phone. And since it now supports the enterprise with Microsoft Exchange syncing and other business-place features, the grumpy IT guys at Dad’s office will be happy.

Alternatives: none. Sure, we could argue for a Sony Ericsson, BlackBerry, or HTC smart phone, but why bother? Until Google’s Android phones are available — long after this Father’s Day is over — the iPhone will head Dad’s wish list.

Continue reading »

What if Apple re-enters the console gaming market through the iPhone?

apple\'s pippinI’m going out on a limb here because I’m more of a casual gamer than hardcore. But lately I’ve been wondering, with the coming iPhone 2.0, third-party applications, and expected mobile games, might Apple return to the game-console market?

I know: That’s crazy talk. Apple’s last foray into console gaming was 1996’s Pippin, named as the 22nd worst tech product of all time in a 2006 story in PC World magazine. Since then, we’ve seen the advent of Sony’s PlayStation, Microsoft’s Xbox, a slew of Nintendo consoles, and no new attempt by Apple to introduce a game console.

But Terrence Russell of The Industry Standard wonders, like I have, that maybe Apple might be following a different path into gaming — through the mobile market.

“Consumers are already ga-ga over Apple’s mobile devices to begin with,” Russell writes, referring to the success of the iPhone and iPod line of products, “so whether they should be re-imagined as gaming gadgets is more of a marketing issue.

“But with the developer community in a tizzy to create the next great Apple-friendly game, it’s only a matter of time before Cupertino announces that it’s ready to connect the dots.”


Continue reading »

BBC iPlayer lands on Wii – who said Nintendo doesn't do media center?

Later today, a version of the BBC’s iPlayer will be made available on Nintendo’s Wii games console, announced the UK public broadcaster’s Future Media and Technology chief Erik Huggers during a keynote speech at the MipTV-Milia conference in Cannes.

Alongside download (Windows-only) and streaming versions (Windows/Mac) accessible via a computer, the BBC has already built a version of its UK-only TV catch-up service for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices. Today, however, marks the first time the iPlayer will be available on a games console, and perhaps surprisingly, not one designed specifically to be a media center. So much for the ‘trojan horse into the living room’ strategies of Sony’s PS3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360.

The ability to port the streaming version of iPlayer to the Wii was made possible because of Nintendo’s original decision to offer a Web browser for the console, and one that supports Flash Video (see last100’s ‘Five resources to create a Wii media center‘). The PS3 also features a full Web browser with the Flash plug-in, so perhaps we can expect that to be next on the list.

Continue reading »