Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Virtual Console Update and More in Wii U System Update

Wii U owners got an email on Tuesday letting them know a new update is available for the Wii U. Among other things, this finally releases the Wii U's augmentation of the Virtual Console, which allows players to play some Nintendo, Super Nintendo, and Game Boy Advance titles on their TV or Wii U Game Pad. Unfortunately, players who bought the titles for the old Wii virtual console can only play their game in "Wii Mode" after transferring their games to the new console and must pay $1.00 for NES or $1.50 for SNES titles to upgrade the game for all of the Wii U's features.

This update also launches the Wii U Panorama View, which lets console owners take video tours of "exotic" locales, like London, Kyoto, and Rio be Janeiro. During the tour you can use the Wii U controller as a kind of virtual window/portal and move it around to get different perspectives of your surroundings.

You can read more about the update on Nintendo's website, or if you own a Wii U, just connect it to the internet and try it out for yourself.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SimCity Receives Public Works Overhaul

A pair of updates via the SimCity Blog on Sunday, March 10, claim that the server issues that plagued the highly-anticipated game’s launch have almost been corrected, hopefully bringing the game that much-sought-after state known as nearly adequate.

Barrie Tingle, one of the live operations producers, said on Sunday that the team had been “making great strides towards improving our servers,” all toward the goal of making the game as stable as it should have been on day one, especially given its controversial, mandatory always-on internet policy, requiring players to connected through Origin, even when playing in single player modes.

Following Tingle’s announcement, Maxis’s Lucy Bradshaw proudly announced that “the core problem with getting and having a great SimCity experience is almost behind us.” Not one to jump the gun, Bradshaw also noted that “some elements are coming together,” leaving players to wonder how severe and how many problems they may yet face.

For most players, the problems reportedly started before they actually had the game, as preordered copies of the game failed to download for some players through Origin. Others found that the Origin download was a breeze compared to the massive initial update that actually contained most of the game. Provided players managed those two feats, many were then faced with long queues for server connections, which, let us not forget, were required even for single player modes.

Most of these problems were blamed on excessive traffic on inadequate servers architecture.

How much progress EA and Maxis have really made toward addressing the problems will be put to the test throughout the next week as players make further attempts to play a game that currently rings up at close to $80 for full content, content that they have already been denied access to for close to a week.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Help us Microsoft. You're our only hope.

Xbox 720 Image

Last year, Nintendo launched the Wii U with what looked to be a promising launch despite some playability hiccups at the gate. Now, however, Wii U sales are already faltering, with very low sales reported in January.

With Nintendo looking like they're trying to kick themselves out of the race, Sony hosted a huge reveal event for the PlayStation 4, but the actual console slept in and missed it. Luckily, the controller was able to make an appearance, but it leaves some wondering why Sony is still hiding what everyone really wants to see.

Now, all eyes are on Microsoft. The rumor is that Microsoft will release some details on the new console during an event in April. Other theories have them making the announcement at E3. Either way, Microsoft will be the last to make their move in the next chapter of the console wars, even if they aren't the last to actually show their weapons.