Nintendo is as guilty as anyone of buying into the 3D hype, not because it released a 3D handheld console, but because it grossly overestimated how much mobile gamers would be willing to pay to see Mario and Co. jump around in a third dimension. There exists a market for the 3DS, just not a very big one at the $250 launch price. But what about at $170?
First, a confession: I'm an absolute Xbox 360 fanatic. I stream music and video from my computer to my TV almost every hour of every day using the thing, and I've dropped some serious cash on add-ons and accessory packs. I'm one of those suckers who bought Oblivion's "Horse Armor" pack. Unfortunately for my wallet, Major Nelson says the console's new update makes it even easier to spend money by allowing users to purchase Microsoft Points using PayPal.
While the announcement may not strike a chord with Xbox Live users who've already linked a credit card to their account, it's sure to bring joy to gamers who use disposable Microsoft Points cards to refill their virtual pockets. No more running to Wal*Mart at midnight just because you're 20 points short for a new Avatar accessory.
Apple on occasion will give students heading back to school a free iPod touch with the purchase of a Mac. That's swell and everything (at least until you dance with the digital devil known as iTunes), but let's be real. Would you rather have a Mac and an iPod touch, or a Windows PC and Xbox 360 console? We'll take the latter, thank you very much, especially when you can buy one and get the other for free. Say what?
According to a leaked internal GameStop memo, Nintendo has decided to discontinue its popular DS Lite console, which also puts an end to Game Boy Advance support for the game maker's handheld systems. The memo instructs GameStop stores to remove DS Lite displays once their inventory runs out, and gives them a heads up that they won't be receiving any more stock of the now defunct console.
Out of all the modern game consoles, none is in need of an upgrade more than Nintendo's Wii. It doesn't have a hard drive, the online multiplay sucks, it can't do Full HD, and the graphics look dated compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A recent price cut, along with another rumored cut next month, prompted speculation that a Wii 2 is in the works and could be released as early as this summer. That's all well and good, but what kind of upgrades can we expect?
Maybe Joe Gamer and his friends aren't as enthused about 3D gaming as Nintendo hoped they would be. In an interview with USA Today, Nintendo of America president, Reggie Fils-Aime, revealed that consumers bought just shy of 400,000 Nintendo 3DS units in the first week after the handheld game console launched. Fils-Aime tried to put a positive spin on the sales figures, but compared to Nintendo's other systems, the 3DS isn't having the same kind of impact.
Sony says that worldwide sales of its PlayStation 3 consoles reached a milestone of 50 million units as of March 29, 2011. In addition, sales of Sony's PlayStation Move surpassed 8 million units worldwide as of April 3, 2011, the console maker announced. Both are impressive numbers, though it's worth noting that even though Sony calls them "sales," these are really shipment numbers to retailers, not necessarily to end-consumers.
According to rumors, Nintendo is gearing up to drop the price of its Wii game console in the middle of May by $50, dropping the cost down to $150. We'll have to wait and see if that happens, but in the meantime, both Best Buy and Toys R Us marked the motion-controlled console down to $170. Is it worth rolling the dice, or will you be kicking yourself in a month?
Now that both Microsoft and Sony have added motion controls to each of their respective consoles, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Nintendo may have lost a bit of its competitive edge. The Wii is no longer the only console in town that lets you control the on-screen action by flailing around in your living room. And until the upcoming price cut takes effect, it no longer trumps all other modern consoles at the register. Could these be clues that at Wii 2 is on the horizon?
We're still a long, long ways off from living out a Minority Report lifestyle, but the next time you turn on your Xbox 360 console, you'll be prompted to accept an update that adds even more razzle dazzle to your Kinect, if you have one. The update adds Kinect support for Netflix, so you no longer have to grab your controller to sort through titles and fire up movies in your queue.