The staff here at The UpStream, along with others, have been testing out the new Xbox Live enhancements for a few weeks now. The addition of Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm have been terrific. Thankfully, though, we are all over 18.
When these new features go live to the general public, they will only be available to Xbox Live gold subscribers who are 18 or older. Major Nelson, the only guy at Microsoft who seems to talk, said in his blog,
Everyone seems to be looking forward to the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Everyone, that is, except the digital distribution companies. "Why is that," you might ask. I have the answer for you.
Infinity Ward has integrated Steamworks into the PC version of the game, meaning that you must install Steam in order to play. Steam, for those of you who don't know, is the digital distribution system from Valve. So, if you were to purchase the game through, say, Direct2Drive, you would be required to install their competitor's software.
In an official statement, Direct2Drive said,
Ever since Valve started developing software for the new generation of gaming hardware, they have been very vocal about their dislike of the PS3. Their seemingly never ending list of one-line insults toward Sony hasn't slipped by us here at The UpStream, and it also hasn't slipped past Randy Pitchford, president and CEO of Gearbox Software.
Randy has done a lot of work with Valve, involved in a lot of the Half-Life titles, and felt he needed to speak up and bring even more attention to, what he believes is "childish and narrow minded" comments and views about the PS3. He said in an interview,
Nintendo is an interesting company. They talk about how perfect their stuff is, but continue to mess with it. Despite the relative newness of the Nintendo DSi, Nintendo wasn't content. They announced this week that a new handheld, the Nintendo DSi XL (or DSi LL in Japan) will be released sometime after the new year. The company, in its announcement statement, said,
A new iteration of the Nintendo DSi system will be introduced in Japan on November 21, 2009. To be known as Nintendo DSi LL in Japan, and as Nintendo DSi XL in North America and Europe, it will offer a screen 93% larger than the current Nintendo DS Lite with a better view angle, an additional longer touch screen stylus, and pre-installed Nintendo DSiWare software. The new version will arrive in North America and Europe in the first quarter of calendar year 2010.
No real explanation as to why they felt the need to alter the device already, but I hope that it will lower the cost of the current DSi. Maybe then I will consider getting one for myself. Any insight from you, the buying public? Are you excited about a bigger DSi, or are you upset that you bought the current one and it is now already obsolete?
The intense debacle between Nokia and Apple has had some new developments. Last week we told you about the claim Nokia made against Apple regarding infringement on patents belonging to Nokia. Your first thought was probably something along the lines of, Nokia isn't able to keep up with the success of the iPhone, so to get revenge on the popular company, Nokia will sue them. A little extra cash from your competitor doesn't hurt right? Wrong.
It seems as if Nokia isn't even after a large amount of money. Although they would most likely be able to milk this lawsuit for billions of dollars, they are just looking to receive royalty rates for licensing patents considered "essential" to GSM, WiFi, and UMTS. In other words, Nokia wants to be credited for their hard work. Basically they believe that because they committed to license the patents in question under "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory" terms (FRAND terms), Apple should pay a licensing fee, assuming these patents are actually essential to each standard's operation. And Nokia certainly feels they are.
Here's something to be incredibly jealous about! Two words. Black Wii. Originally only planned to be released in Japan, the limited edition black Nintendo Wii will now hit Europe very soon. The console comes in a bundle which includes Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, expected to be sold starting November 6th in the UK.
This news is very depressing to Americans, still waiting on word whether it will be released in the U.S. or not. But on the upside, Nintendo is releasing a black Wii Remote and Nunchuk in America on November 16th. The package will include a Wii Remote bundled with a Wii MotionPlus attachment for $49.99 and also comes with a black silicone sleeve. The Nunchuk will be sold separately for $19.99. We may not be lucky enough to get the cooler looking Wii, but at least we can get the accessories right?