Rumors are a mainstay in the world of technology. Indeed, it seems that every time you boot up your computer to peruse the newest tech stories, there is a new and outrageous rumor. Perhaps a new, extraordinary gadget is being developed by a major technology firm, one that could change the game. Perhaps a new video game title is set to be released a little earlier or a little later than previously thought. Whatever the case may be, these rumors mostly end up as little more than what they started out as: simple rumors, miscommunication, or something that got a little overstated. That is not to say that rumors do not have their place in the tech realm. They can be good catalysts for discussion, can move a dialogue on a particular issue into the limelight and truly get something rolling. They can of course also be catalysts for action, inspiring those who wish to see the fantastical brought to the real world.
It seems that even the most out-there rumors can be found to be true once in a while. We reported last week that Nintendo was rumored to have been on the cusp of announcing a new video gaming console at this June’s E3 Expo. The successor to the Nintendo Wii was also rumored to be a further innovator in the realm of the controller, as this new system was purported to have built-in high-definition screens that would compliment the big-screen gaming experience. A few of these rumors have now reportedly been confirmed. In a press release, Nintendo has confirmed that a new console will be released in 2012, and that specifics will be outlined at this summer’s E3 Expo. The rumors regarding the controller’s specifications were not addressed, but are expected to be the keynote of the E3 demo. For more information, please visit Gamers’ Mint.
The world of technology is a world of constant change. Nothing stands still for very long, and indeed it is a dangerous thing to be in stasis for any appreciable period of time. Things can change quite often and sometimes without a warning of any sort. In this industry, that is to be expected. The way technology changes, as well as the frequency with which it changes, dictates the way we as consumers and users of this technology react to it. As well, it very much dictates what we buy, as well as our overall shopping habits when it comes to technology. What is in style and top-of-the-line one day can very easily become obsolete within the span of a few weeks. That is just the way things seem to work out these days. The best we can do is hold on and hope that we do not miss the cool new toys coming our way.
Video games, as part of this crazy world of technology, are as well subject to its rules and conventions just as any other gizmo or gadget. Nintendo released the Wii video game console in late 2006 to a great deal of fanfare. The wireless controllers and motion-capture technology were a first for home consoles, and there was a fantastic critical and commercial response. Now, it seems that Nintendo sees this a perfect time to change the game up a little bit. There are rumors floating about that say that this June’s E3 convention will see an announcement from Nintendo of a successor to the very popular console. Further rumors state that this new console will feature controllers with built-in high-definitions screens. For more information, please visit USA Today.
It is truly inspiring and humbling to see what technology can be capable of. Yes, we have all these wonderful devices meant to entertain us, to help us manage our lives, and to help us stay connected to one another at all times. These are fascinating little objects in their own right, sure, but there is a bigger picture here. We are talking about technology that has a profound effect on the lives of others. Medicine advances just as quickly as all other branches of technology, and is responsible for the well-being of millions of people the world over at any one time. This technology has a direct influence on the everyday lives of people, allowing them to function at a normal level and indeed allowing them to function at all. We have come a long, long way from even five or ten years ago, and the future promises that we will be able to do things that were only possible in the most fantastical science fiction stories.
Of course, that is not to say that the technology we already possess cannot also do great things to help people. Take video games, for instance. Yes, it may seem a little far-fetched to assume that video games might actually be anything more than fun distractions or hobbies. However, it is true that we can utilize certain aspects of gaming to help improve or even save lives. A recent review of 12 medical studies by a Toronto research group states that stroke patients who play video games such as those on the Playstation 3 or the Nintendo Wii were five times more likely to improve the motor function in their arms than those patients who had standard therapy. For more information, please visit All Headline News.
When we think of advanced technologies, the images that come to mind are rather fantastic. We picture flying cars and buildings of amazing scale, such as those in the beginning of the movie Blade Runner (which is, in a temporal sense, about eight years from now). We picture the best and brightest from science fiction stories. We picture a world of ease and comfort and beauty unsurpassed. We picture that every little thing, from tying our shoes to washing our clothes to communicating with one another is done with the ease of breathing. We want the best and we want it now, and no substitute or excuse for less will be accepted. Such as the culture that technology has promoted. However, we must also think about what the technology does to our culture in the sense of our entertainment and leisure, for that is a very large barometer of where we are.
For instance, a very big trend in gaming is the “hands-free” experience. Peripherals such as the Xbox 360’s Kinect or the Playstation 3’s Move system have promoted a future free from the grasp of remotes, where your body itself controls the action. A big trend that is not seen in gaming so much right now, but is huge in the film industry, is realistic 3-D technology. While there have been movements toward a home 3-D experience, the expense as well as the need for special glasses has prevented any serious foothold. Until now. The recently-released Nintendo 3DS provides an on-the-go 3-D experience, where the DS’s upper screen is now a 3-D screen that does not require glasses to experience. The 3DS retails for about $250 in North America.
As an art form and as a mode of entertainment, video games as a whole are entering a new era: the nostalgic time. Yes, they have indeed been around long enough (roughly 60 years or so) to warrant the use of such phrases as ‘classic’ and ‘groundbreaking’ when describing certain titles. It seems that we are becoming more and more aware of the impact of early video games, of franchises that a certain percentage of the population can claim to have ‘grown up playing.’ We are beginning to see just how these games have shaped the current gaming landscape, how these titles are so revered and respected as true archetypes of design, storyline and gameplay. A few of these titles have become cultural juggernauts in their own right, their franchises extended from the console to the television screen, the silver screen, merchandising, and beyond. Truly, video games are now an entertainment force to be reckoned with.
Nowhere is this more evident than the Super Mario franchise. Since 1985, the adventures of a plumber transported to a fantastic world of fire-breathing plants, dinosaurs, and princesses have captivated millions of gamers the world over. In fact, it can be said that the most famous video game level, the most iconic and recognizable to anyone familiar with video games, is level 1-1 in the original Super Mario Bros title. So recognizable, even, that subverting the very side-scrolling nature of the original game can produce something both fresh and iconic. Take, for instance, the work of a YouTube user who turned level 1-1 from a side-scrolling 2D endeavor into a 3D, first-person experience.
Gamasutra is predicting that the sales of Nintendo’s DS sales will be superseded by sales of the 3DS.
Though the DS is already one of the best-selling consoles of all time with more than 140 million units sold worldwide, Nintendo says it hopes to exceed those numbers with its recently launched 3DS.
The company’s president and CEO Satoru Iwata revealed that Nintendo has so far moved over 140 million units of the DS’s previous models around the world since the console’s debut in late 2004, and that more than 300 million people have played with the handheld.
Still, the Kyoto-headquartered firm’s boss said, “We’d like to increase this even further with the 3DS”, according to an interview with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun translated by Andriasang.
The 3DS debuted in Japan last weekend and sold an impressive 371,326 units in just two days — Famitsu previously recorded four-day sales of 441,485 units for the original DS and 67,653 for DS Lite, and two-day sales of 170,779 for DSi and 103,524 for DSi XL/LL.
Level-5’s latest release from its popular puzzle franchise, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle (published by Nintendo in the West), is the top-selling Japanese launch game for the Nintendo 3DS, selling 117,589 copies during its first two days of availability.