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