We don't remember there ever being a healthy heart logo plastered on the side of our Atari 2600 consoles growing up, but had there been, perhaps we logged a lot more time playing Adventure, Pitfall, and Pac-Man. Maybe we can make up for lost time because hey, there's something to be said about playing videogames in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
Don't believe us? Just ask the American Heart Association, which has teamed up with Nintendo to promote healthy living through active-play videogames, as the organization explains it. No need to twist our arms, we're all in.
"Our two organizations come from different worlds, but we share a common goal," said Clyde Yancy, M.D., president of the American Heart Association. "Showing people accessible ways to stay active has been a part of our mission for decades, but our research tells us nearly 70 percent of Americans are getting no regular physical activity. As an organization we are looking for ways to change this. Nintendo has demonstrated clear leadership in active-play video games with the popularity of the Wii system, and I’m confident that together we can encourage Americans to become more physically active."
As part of this totally awesome campaign, consumers will see the American Heart Association brand on boxes for the Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort titles for the Wii starting this summer. And what better way to stay healthy during summer break than to toss a virtual Frisbee or wakeboarding from your recliner?
While nobody in Nintendo's ranks is freaking out just yet, the company did post an annual profit decline for the first time in six years, the Wall Street Journal reports. What's more, Nintendo said it expects the backwards trend to continue again this fiscal year while the company focuses on new products to spur growth.
Sales of Nintendo's Wii and DS handheld consoles have finally started to slow down. For the fiscal year ended March 31, Nintendo said it sold 20.53 million Wii consoles world-wide, down 21 percent from the previous year. And for this fiscal year, Nintendo expects sales to drop yet again, this time to 18 million units.
"There's a lot of expectation that Nintendo will continue to dominate. And that's a tall order in this industry, which is characterized by changes in leadership in every generation," said Jay Defibaugh, equities research director at MF Global FXA Securities.
Going forward, Nintendo will face increased competition from Microsoft and Sony, both of which are planning to introduce motion-sensing controllers for their own respective consoles. Combined with the Wii's inability to play back high-definition content, Nintendo has reason to be concerned.
On the handheld front, Nintendo will release the 3DS next year, which won't require any goofy looking glasses. If it works as well as Nintendo anticipates, the company will be better prepared to fend off increasing competition from mobile phones, which have started to make a harder push into the casual gaming segment.
You can't check out of a Best Buy or other retail electronics chain without a sales associate pushing for an extended warranty. Even Toys R Us will try to up sell you on additional coverage, but if Sony has its way, you'll go through them for longer warranties when shopping a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable (PSP) console.
It appears Sony suddenly wants to cash in on all the the third-party extended warranties being sold at the retail level, and perhaps cut into those offered by services like SquareTrade. Helping to do that, Sony will offer additional accidental damage coverage, so should you fall down a flight of stairs and land on your PS3 to soften your blow, you're covered.
Of course it's all going to come down to pricing, and Sony's is fairly competitive. For a barebones extension, Sony will charge $50 to bump up warranty service on its PS3 console from one year to two years, or $60 for three years of coverage. The PSP console will run $30 for two years or $40 for three years. And the accidental damage insurance? That's another $40.
What do you think about Sony's pricing? Do you usually buy an extended warranty when purchasing electronics? Hit the jump and sound off.
As many expected would happen, Sony has been handed a class action lawsuit for removing the 'Install Other OS' option from its PlayStation 3 console starting with the v3.21 firmware released in March.
In the lawsuit, plaintiff Anthony Ventura argues that "Sony's decision to force users to disable the Other OS function was based on its own interest and was made at the expense of its customers." Ventura also alleges deceptive business practices "perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting customers."
"On information and belief, contrary to Sony's statement, the 'security concerns' did not involve a threat to PS3 users, but rather reflected Sony's concerns that the Other feature might be used 'hackers' copy and/or steal gaming and other content," the lawsuit reads.
At the time of its release, Sony said the firmware update was optional, but any users who refused to install it would lose key features, like the ability to sign into the PlayStation network. Making matters worse, Sony soon followed up with yet another firmware update -- version 3.30 -- which was described as mandatory.
Anyone who purchased a PS3 between November 17, 2006 and March 27, 2010 and did not sell their console is eligible to participate in the suit.
Would a sleeker look courtesy of an all-black makeover be enough to get you to consider buying a Wii? Nintendo is hoping it will, and according to the latest rumblings, the Wii is putting on its tuxedo and heading for North American shores.
Apparently the Wii hasn't been selling as well as Nintendo's bean counters would like, and according to news and rumor site Fudzilla, the console maker is hoping that the new black version will spark a bunch of sales. The black Wii bundle will still cost $200 and will come with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort, and the Wii Motion Plus. With Wii Resort and the Motion Plus thrown in, that's not a bad deal, but if a black console doesn't match your decor, don't fret -- the bundle will also be available in white.
In addition to the new digs, new life has recently been breathed into the Wii with recent availability of Netflix streaming, the last of the Big Three consoles to jump on that bandwagon. Netflix subscribers need only request a disc, which must be inserted into the Wii when watching streaming content.
Look for the new bundle to arrive on store shelves on May 4, 2010.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Eric Lempel, Director of Sony's PlayStation Network Operations, announced a "mandatory update" (version 3.30) which he says will be available shortly. Most of the added features have to do with sorting options within Trophies, including:
Trophy Enhancements: It's now easier to sort trophies in the Trophy Collection and Comparing Trophy sections.
Trophy Folder (Title List): this can be sorted by game name or title according to teh date in which they were earned
Add-on List (Group List): can be sorted by original/the date in which yu earned your last trophy (ascending/descending)
Trophy List: can be sorted by original/trophy name/grade/date of obtaining the trophy (ascending/descending)
The update also readies the PS3 console for some upcoming features, most notably 3D stereoscopic gaming "which is coming soon to the PS3."
This is the Sony's second firmware upgrade in less than a month, and it's interesting that this latest one is being described as mandatory. On April 1st, Sony released firmware version 3.21, which was primarily to kill off the "Install Other OS" feature. While this was an optional update, users who opted not to install it would lose key features, such as the ability to sign in to the PlayStation Network.
A little over two weeks ago, Netflix announced that it had mailed out streaming discs to a number of Wii owners to enable streaming on their console. At the time, Netflix said it was in the final phase of getting ready for the launch to the Wii, and now the wait appears to be over for all Wii owners.
"Jessie Becker here from Marketing and we're thrilled to let you know that we are now shipping instant streaming discs for the Wii to ALL members who want one today!," Becker wrote in an official blog post.
Wii owners who haven't already reserved a disc but would like to can do so here. In addition to the disc, Wii owners also need to be subscribed to one of Netflix's unlimited plans starting at $8.99 a month.
Have you turned on your Xbox 360 console today? If so, you may have noticed that you're now able to save data to removable USB memory drives, just as Microsoft promised a couple of weeks ago.
In early May, you'll be able to snag Microsoft's own-branded memory sticks from outlets like Gamestop, but the question is whether you'd even want to in the first place. According to Gamestop's pre-order pricing, an 8GB memory stick will run you $40, while you can expect to pay $70 for a 16GB flash drive. The good news here is that you can use any USB flash drive, "so long as you're aware that the maximum amount of data moved or stored is 16GB on any one device," Kotaku reports.
Microsoft has been aggressively upping the storage ante for its Xbox 360 console of late. Two weeks ago, the Redmond outfit released a 250GB standalone hard drive with transfer kit after previously saying the company had no plans to do so. Could Blu-ray be next? Don't hold your breath.
In a recent blog post, Jessie Becker from Neflix's marketing team said the online video rental and streaming service has mailed out discs to a number of Wii owners to enable streaming on their Nintendo-brand console.
"We are in the final phase of getting ready for the launch of streaming to the Wii," Becker writes. "Today, we shipped out instant streaming discs for the Wii to some of our Netflix members. Their feedback will ensure that we deliver a great experience to everyone when we launch."
The upcoming launch will complete Netflix's console triple play, though it's unclear exactly when the service will go live. Those who receive a disc will have access to the streaming service right away, but in an email to CNet, a Netflix representative said, "We have not announced a full launch; however, it will be soon."
It may not have been popular, or even easy, but the simple fact that a PS3 could boot and run Linux was a pretty awesome bragging right, one that will be phased out on April 1st. According to the official Playstation blog April fools day will mark the release of Firmware version 3.21, and the death of the "install other OS" option on non slim PS3's.
Sony wasn't really specific as to why support for such a long-standing feature was being dropped, but like everything that's hard to explain "Security concerns" was picked as a blanket excuse. If you followed our How To guide last year to get this up and running, now might be a good time to say goodbye to your Linux install if you plan to keep using your console for online play.
April fools day is a terrible occasion to try and convince people you're making a serious announcement, but the fact that they are giving us almost a weeks notice makes me think they are serious about this one.