In a move that will surely have a polarizing effect among nostalgic gamers, Japanese video game maker Nintendo will soon venture into smartphone games. It will partner with Japanese mobile gaming production house DeNA to develop games for mobile devices that make use of Nintendo’s extensive portfolio of iconic games and characters in an attempt to “ensure the quality of game experience that consumers expect.” The move comes years after facing increasing competition from other companies, including PlayStation maker Sony and Xbox maker Microsoft, who have been offering customers a mobile experience.
The cross-platform service will run across smartphones, tablets, PCs and Nintendo’s own devices, and is set to launch in fall of this year.
A research team led by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen has located a Japanese battleship that was considered one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced warships when it was sunk off the Philippines during World War II, according to the expedition’s website
Using an underwater vehicle, the team aboard Allen’s superyacht M/Y Octopus found the Musashi on Sunday in the Sibuyan Sea.
The search vehicle, using high-resolution cameras, spotted the 73,000-ton battleship on its third dive, the statement said.
The Musashi, built under strict secrecy and commissioned in 1942, was sunk by U.S. forces during the lead up to the Battle of Leyte Gulf on Oct. 24, 1944.
Nearly half of its crew of 2,399, including Commander Vice Admiral Toshihira Inoguchi, lost their lives when the ship went down under a barrage by 19 torpedoes and 17 bombs.
Allen said he respects the area as a war grave and plans to work with the Japanese government “to ensure the site is treated respectfully and in accordance with Japanese traditions.”
An organization that supports Japanese navy veterans and conducts research on maritime defense said that if the discovery is confirmed, a memorial service could be held at the site, according to the Associated Press.
The Musashi, and her sister ship Yamato, were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever built, Allen said. The Musashi featured 18-inch armor plating and was armed with nine 18-inch guns, the largest ever mounted on a warship.
The research team began looking for the ship more than eight years ago, drawing upon historical records from four countries, detailed undersea topographical data and advanced technology aboard the yacht.
“Since my youth, I have been fascinated with World War II history, inspired by my father’s service in the U.S. Army,” Allen said. “The Musashi is truly an engineering marvel and, as an engineer at heart, I have a deep appreciation for the technology and effort that went into its construction. I am honored to play a part in finding this key vessel in naval history and honoring the memory of the incredible bravery of the men who served aboard her.”
What do you get the gamer that has everything? For starters, how about a 24-karat controller? High-end electronics customizer ColorWare is now offering exactly that with the introduction of gilded controllers for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Both Sony and Microsoft‘s controllers undergo a complex process to achieve the rich, glossy effect while their buttons and overall ergonomics remain untouched.
Said ColorWare CEO Justin Cisewski of the idea:
“24k gold is something we have been experimenting with for a while. The gaming controllers are so popular we thought it would be fun to create an exclusive gaming controller for those diehard gamers.”
Limited to just 25 of each style, the limited edition, individually numbered controllers are now available from ColorWare’s website and are slated to ship in three to four weeks.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said in the past that he was jealous of Steve Jobs’ “good taste.” Jobs has always been known for his eye for design and, whether you want to give him credit for it or not, helping to create some of the most revolutionary and user-friendly products in the world.
How did Jobs acquire such an eye? According to him, it was through Zen meditation, which he encountered at 19 during an extended trip to India after dropping out of college. In an interview with Walter Isaacson for his biography, Jobs said:
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes things worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things — that’s when your intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more than you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice it.”
Zen has been around for thousands of years and those who practice it have to commit to courageousness, resoluteness, austerity and rigorous simplicity. Jobs’ commitment to simplicity transferred over into the products he helped create at Apple.
But Zen didn’t just help inform Jobs’ classy, simple aesthetic, it also helped him understand his customers better — numerous studies have shown that meditation increases empathy. Isaacson writes in his book:
“Instead of relying on market research, [Jobs] honed his version of empathy — an intimate intuition about the desires of his customers.”
Arguably the most glaring omission from Sony and Microsoft‘s feature-packed next-generation gaming consoles is the complete lack of backwards compatibility between the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and their predecessors. Thankfully, that’s all about to change (at least to some degree) for the PS4 with the introduction of Sony’s PlayStation Now streaming service. First announced back in January of 2014 and finally set for an official debut — following last year’s rental-centric open beta — later this month, PlayStation Now’s new subscription will eschew rental periods and instead offer instant and unlimited access to a catalog of more than 100 PS3 games on your PS4. And since you’re streaming the games, there are no downloads, installs, or patches (not to mention trips to the store) involved.
PlayStation Now will be available beginning January 13; one-month subscriptions will go for $19.99 USD while a three-month subscription will cost $44.99 USD. The service will first be available for PlayStation 4 consoles across North America before making its way to additional regions and devices later this year.
AAPE by A Bathing Ape recently partnered with Microsoft to produce an Xbox One bundle pack. In this collaboration, BAPE’s signature camo pattern has been applied to almost the entirety of the Xbox console and controller, with the ventilation grille remaining a consistent brown color andAAPE branding in contrasting white.
Also in the bundle is a controller plushie and an Xbox x AAPEby A Bathing Apetee and tote bag. The package itself was presented solely as a promotional gift and will not be available commercially.
Details have emerged regarding yet another AAPE by A Bathing Ape collaboration with a third party outside of the familiar territory of clothing. The brand’s latest endeavor is a partnership with Microsoft for a special release of a limited edition Xbox One bundle pack.
The pack features a BAPE camouflaged Xbox One and accompanying controller, in addition to a tee and tote bag featuring artwork that unifies the two brands. Stay tuned for future updates regarding pricing and availability on this Asia exclusive release.