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From iPlayer Expansion to Activision's Concern - News Roundup 23rd June 2010

Jonathan Lester
Activision, BBC iPlayer, Games news, Kinect, Nintendo 3DS, Playstation Move, Video Chat

3DS Capable of 3D Video Chat; Possible Christmas UK Release?

From iPlayer Expansion to Activision's Concern - News Roundup 23rd June 2010

The newly-demoed Nintendo 3DS handheld has been sparking myriad rumours about its capabilities and features- and Satoru Iwata has confirmed that the portable console will be capable of supporting three-dimensional video chat. In an interview with Forbes, Iwata stated:

“Technologically speaking, a variety of different things are possible with the 3DS, for example, 3D video chat,”

However, whilst the 3DS may be "capable" of video chat, I personally can't see this happening to any great degree. Nintendo's online policy has always prioritised child safety above all else (instigating restrictive friend codes and denying unsecured voice chat) to ensure that our rosy-cheeked youth can't interact with online undesirables. We can expect a huge number of safeguards to be set in place if the 3DS features video chat at launch. [Forbes]

In other news, several retail sources are strongly suggesting that the 3DS will make its UK debut this December. Nintendo are currently denying these rumours, but then again, Nintendo has a history of releasing new consoles in the holiday season. Watch this space. [T3]

Activision "Concerned" About Kinect and Move's Price

From iPlayer Expansion to Activision's Concern - News Roundup 23rd June 2010

Activision COO Thomas Tippl has voiced "concern" about the high prices for Kinect and the Playstation Move, stating that Activision will take an extremely cautious approach to releasing games targeted at the Motion Control audience. We discussed the internal politics behind Kinect's rumoured $150 price point (and manufacturing costs) yesterday, and apparently Activision are going to be extremely selective about which brands will support the new peripherals.

“We have a few franchises where we think this could be an interesting value to improve the experience for the player,”

“Tony Hawk is an example. We have our Rapala Fishing franchise. But it’s not going to be something that will be in every game... [because] it’s not going to enhance the experience for every game.”

"But wait a minute!" I hear you cry. "Activision love backing and producing expensive game-specific gizmos!" Well, this newfound (and hypocritical) concern for pricey peripherals doubtlessly stems from the 2009 slump in the music games market. After all, Activision were all about expensive peripherals during the heady Guitar Hero days- and there must be an element of "once bitten, twice shy" about their new strategy.

However, the fact that a major publisher has openly professed concern about Microsoft and Sony's motion control projects can't be a good sign... and may cause others to follow suit. On the other hand, Activision ought to look to their own price points before criticising others- especially when it comes to CoD subscriptions. It's not going down well in our poll... [Gamasutra]

BBC iPlayer 3 Headed to PS3; Possibly to Xbox and Wii

From iPlayer Expansion to Activision's Concern - News Roundup 23rd June 2010

The PS3's built-in upscaling iPlayer functionality is both a massive selling point as well as a slap in the face for Xbox Live Gold Members (myself included)- and it's apparently receiving an upgrade this year. The BBC has confirmed that iPlayer 3 will contain improved networking features, context-specific suggested content and improved streaming features. It's currently in beta for web browsers and the PS3.

Interestingly, BBC Web Developer Simon Cross has stated that they're looking into bringing iPlayer 3 to the Xbox 360 and upgrading the Wii to the latest version in the near future. Frankly, it's about damn time... so long as Microsoft plays ball! [Eurogamer]

Add a comment5 comments
John Peat  Jun. 23, 2010 at 17:02

erm - the iPlayer is already on the Wii and has been for a while!?

It's not great - long programmes tend to go out of lipsync, some streams will halt/not play again and the quality is shonky but that's the hardware I suspect.

Jonathan Lester  Jun. 23, 2010 at 17:39

You're absolutely right- in fact, I worded that rather badly. The BBC are looking to upgrade the Wii to iPlayer 3 in the near future.

Reworded, and many thanks for pointing it out. :)

Gunn  Jun. 23, 2010 at 19:26

The iPlayer on PS3 is definitely the best bar watching on a PC.

evil_gn0me  Jun. 23, 2010 at 22:15

Can't see microsoft giving the iplayer free to silver users and due to fact the bbc cant charge for the service it won't go gold only so cant really see that happening

Matt Gardner  Jun. 23, 2010 at 22:56

Hit the nail on the head there.

Personally I think Microsoft would be idiots not to offer iPlayer along with a Silver membership...it wouldn't affect the Gold side of things one little bit and the Beeb would never agree to the subscribed cost to the consumer anyway. But most importantly, not doing it puts them way behind Sony and Nintendo. Netflix is a myth to us Europeans and the Sky player is so bricked you have to laugh otherwise you'd cry. Improve the service with iPlayer on Silver and don't put the new buyer in a dealbreaker position, then work on making LIVE Gold worth £40 with things we can't already get for free!


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