Recently, pretty big rumours have surfaced regarding Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console from a Ubisoft developer in Italy. Surely, we’ll get a lot of actually factual information in just a couple of weeks at E3, but why not speculate today, too?
Here’s a list of the important stuff:
- Launch date – November 23rd
- Launch price – between $350 and $450
- Radeon HD 6770 GPU
- DirectX 11 support
- Can run Unreal Engine 4
- 2GB RAM, 560 MB reserved for OS
- Support for 2 touch-screen controllers
- Trigger buttons won’t be analogue
- “New button” has a link to the Wii Vitality Sensor
- Multiple versions of the console given to developers – perhaps hardware is not completely finalised yet
- There will be achievements
- UI will be customisable
- Launch titles from Ubisoft: Rayman Legends, The Avengers, Assassin’s Creed 3, Just Dance 4; Killer Freaks from Outer Space to arrive weeks after launch
- Assassin’s Creed 3 to run at 60 fps at 1080p, compared to 720p on PS3/Xbox 360
- Crytek, EA and Valve are working on Wii U
- Valve working on a digital distribution platform and Portal ports
Most of this is very interesting. I highly doubt Nintendo will go for anything above $350 for the price. With the word out already that Wii U will not be THAT much of an improvement over the other two, a $400 price tag would be a certain recipe for a slow start, unless they manage to convince everyone that Wii U is truly full-fledged next-gen at E3.
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SEGA has announced that the sequel to one of the finest online RPGs and a pioneer of the genre, Phantasy Star Online, will be free-to-download and free-to-play. The game model will be based on microtransactions with items and other benefits costing money. However, it will not be required to buy anything in order to progress and there will not be a level cap or any other restrictions for non-paying customers.
PSO2 had already been announced for PC and PlayStation Vita, and now we know that a third version is being developed – one for Android and iOS devices. This version will share character data with the main PC/Vita versions, but will be more simplistic and will not offer cross-platform play.
The PC version is scheduled for a summer 2012 release in Japan, the smart phone version follows in the winter, and the Vita version is to be released in early 2013. The PC version’s second alpha test for the game was recently completed and reached a scale of 50,000 users. A closed beta for the PC version will start in April, with a scale set to 100,000 players.
I am really happy with this news. Since I would not be able to put in more than 10-20 hours of play a month, I was never going to get the game if it had monthly fees. Now it is a definite for me. If it has even half of PSO’s magic, I will enjoy it greatly. I have a total of about 200 hours logged into Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst for the PC (138 on my currently existing character), and I still play it occasionally on Schthack’s server.