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Mario Tail Logo
(Image courtesy of Destructoid.com)

According to the information from the Iwata keynote today at GDC 2011, there's a new Mario title on the way from the Galaxy team for the Nintendo 3DS. The placeholder logo has a tail attached, as pointed out by Iwata, claiming more will be revealed at E3 this year. According to him, the 3DS technology allowed Shigeru Miyamoto to address a fundamental problem with 3D location and platforming mechanics. I'd give more credit to Nintendo than to take the obvious route and link the logo imagery to the Tanooki suit, so expect a new game mechanic unique enough to warrant a logo slot.

Aditionally, it was announced that the 3D remaster of Zelda: Ocarina of Time will be hitting on June 7th. Along with 3D functionality, the game has recieved a graphical overhaul so it doesn't look quite as fugly as the N64 version. This will continue the Nintendo release strategy of using our childhoods to plaster their headquarters with money, and there's still plenty of time to hear more about the game before you decide to purchase it, so keep your eyes open for more coverage in the coming months.


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3DS at GDC '11

 

During Nintendo magnate and happy papa Satoru Iwata's keynote at the GDC today, Linebacker-In-Chief Reggie Fils-Aime took the stage briefly to discuss some new functionality slated to arrive for the Nintendo 3DS. This includes:

  • Nintendo will be partnering with Netflix to bring streaming video to the 3DS. You'll be able to pick up watched videos on your home set if you're viewing on the go. No word yet on whether Netflix will begin offering 3D movies for the device, though I wouldn't be surprised if they do in the future.
  • 3D trailers for films such as the Green Lantern will be available for download and mobile viewing.
  • Nintendo will be offering a short-form video service where they curate content for your eyeballs, kind of like the top-level videos on services like Xbox Live. They know what is best for your viewing pleasure. Obey. Obeeeeey.
  • 3D video recording! This had been hinted at for a while by Iwata, but it has been confirmed during the talk. Record videos in 3D from your handheld, watch them right back on the screen. If you thought people uploading photos of their misshapen junk to Tiger Woods games was bad, steel yourself.
  • Nintendo will be partnering with AT&T to have 10,000 existing hotspots acting as hubs for the 3DS. You'll be able to grab content, connect with other players, browse, and access other online functionality for the 3DS through yonder hotspots. I am very confident in this, because anyone with an AT&T iPhone will tell you how much they absolutely love and appreciate the service.
  • New Shops: The 3DS will be allowing you to transfer your existing DSiWare titles to your new handheld, and will be offering 2 new shops: Virtual Console, where you can get old GameBoy Color, GameBoy Advance, Turbografx, and GameGear titles, and 3D Classics, where you can get similar titles newly remastered with 3D functionality. There will also be a game promotion channel for screenshots, trailers, etc.

The update in late May will allow you to transfer your DSiWare, get a web browser, and access the shops.


Word GirlSo far, so good. Following the loss of its Pixar titles, Boom! Kids has rebranded itself as Kaboom! and outlined a number of its upcoming titles in a series of tease posts on the internet in the past week or so.

The curent line-up will feature Word Girl, based on the PBS animated series (newsstand readers and iPad owners will love this), a new Roger Langridge series called Snarked, a Star Wars parody (always a good bet) called Space Warped (which is a translated French series that someone will go in and rework all the French-specific jokes to tap into US nerd culture.

Best of all is a new Peanuts project that had keyboards smoking as the legion of armchair detectives tried to guess what it was: New? Reprints? Ultimate Peanuts by Mark Millar, oh please, internet, tell me!

Turns out it’s a new adaptation of a new Peanuts animated movie called Happiness Is A Warm Blanket Charlie Brown, which Warners Home video will release this month.


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ipad smart cover

At today's Apple event, where the world was first introduced to the iPad 2, one thing stood out to me above everything else. Many of the new features and specs had been leaked, or correctly guessed, months ago, but no one knew that Apple would pour its innovative energies into a case for the new device. But they did, and the new Smart Cover might be the best case I've ever seen for a mobile device.

The Smart Cover is a single sheet, made of either polyurethane or leather and either pink, orange, green, blue, several shades of gray, black, cream or red. It snaps magnetically onto the side of the iPad, and closes over top of the screen. It protects the parts of the iPad that need protecting—the screen—and leaves the parts that don't—the rugged, aluminum back and sides—to the elements. It makes the case thin, the iPad lighter, and best of all makes the case and iPad extremely easy to separate. The magnetic system should work like the MagSafe adapters on Mac computers, which are a popular feature.

Click to continue reading The iPad 2 Smart Cover: Apple rethinks the case


white ipad 2

In the lead-up to the iPad 2 announcement, many were predicting that Apple would give the tablet's 9.7-inch screen a bump in resolution. But when Steve Jobs revealed the second-generation iPad to the world, it had the same pixel count as the first one: 1,024x768, even though the display was revamped to be considerably thinner. Why no extra pixels?

Looking at the history of the display on the iPhone offers some clues. Apple kept the display of the iPhone at the same 480x320-pixel resolution for the first three versions of the phone, and when it finally upgraded the display for the iPhone 4, the bump was huge, doubling the display resolution to 960x640 pixels. The upgrade also introduced the term "retina display," a piece of marketing jargon that Apple doesn't quantify, but generally means a display that is better than the limits of human vision.

Click to continue reading Here’s why iPad 2 didn’t get a Retina Display


ipad clearanceNow that Apple has officially unveiled the iPad 2, the company has placed its first-generation iPads in the clearance bin.

Of course, bargain is a relative term when you're dealing with Apple. The original iPads are now $100 cheaper than they were at launch, meaning the most affordable tablet starts at $399. But with iPad competitors like the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab running about $600, spending $399 for tablet that started it all isn't too bad of a deal.

At this point, the Wi-Fi version of the iPad is available for $399 for the 16GB, $499 for the 32GB, and $599 for 64GB. For Wi-Fi + 3G, the 16GB is now $529, the 32GB is $629, and the 64GB is $729.

Those interested in a first-gen iPad, however, might want to hurry. Apple is reportedly slowing down production of the original tablet to make room for the iPad 2, which debuts on March 11.

Click to continue reading Apple selling original iPad at clearance prices

Read More | iPad clearance

iTunes 10.2

Apple just released iTunes 10.2, hot on the heels of their iPad 2 announcement. Here are the details:

 

  • Sync with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.3.
  • Improved Home Sharing. Browse and play from your iTunes libraries with Home Sharing on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.3.

Not much has changed, but as you can see, the iOS 4.3 functionality is there, and Home Sharing is gonna be awesome with AirPlay.


Get cash for iPad trade in

Hot on the heels of the iPad 2 announcement, Gazelle has announced limited-time prices at which you can trade in your original iPad for cash. Why would you wanna do that? Well, with the iPad 2 set to be released in nine days, the easiest way to upgrade is to sell your current device to get cash to put down towards the new one. In fact, depending on the condition of your current model, you could even walk away with enough money to cover the cost of a new iPad 2, and have some left over to put in the bank (or to buy a Smart Case or something.) If you want to take a look at what you could get for trading in your current iPad, here’s the list:

Just choose your iPad model above, and answer the questions they ask about the condition of your device, and you’ll see the amount that you will be paid for it. If you are cool with it, accept the offer, and ship your iPad--they email you a postage-paid label, and will even mail you a box if you don't have one. Couldn’t get any easier.

Read More | Gazelle

At this mornings iPad 2 event, Apple showed the video above for the first time. It's about six minutes long, and gives a peek into everything you should expect from the new iPad, as well as some details about what's going on under the hood, and a look at the new iMovie and Garageband iPad apps.


 

iPad 2 facetime

Apple just announced the iPad 2 at their March 2 event, and it's pretty much what many of us expected - thinner, lighter, faster, with dual FaceTime cameras and much faster dual-core A5 chip. The A5 is twice as fast as the A4 chip, and graphics performance is up to nine times faster than the original iPad, which is, you know, insane. Despite all that new speed, battery life is the same, and the iPad will run for 10 hours straight, with 30 days standby time. Also unchanged is the price, as the iPad will start at $499 and will be available in the same configurations as the previous model - this time though, you can choose between Verizon and AT&T for the 3G model. Screen resolution remains the same at 1024 x 768, which is fine for now. The iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the original, and as you can see in the image above, will ship in both black and white colors.

Apple is also finally (finally!) releasing an HDMI adapter, which will mirror the iPad 2 on an external display at 1080p resolution. This'll run you $39, but we're sure that there are many out there that'll snap that accessory up quickly. The rear camera will be capable of recording 720p video at 30fps, while the front camera will do VGA resolution, also at 30fps.

Apple has redesigned the cover for the iPad 2, and they're calling the new accessory a "Smart Cover." It's a magnetic cover that sticks tot he display, and automatically wakes the iPad 2 when removed. It folds up and turns into a little stand for both viewing and typing mode. They'll cost $39 for the polyurethane, and $69 for the leather version.

The iPad 2 goes on sale on March 11 at 5:00 pm at Apple Stores. If you were thinking of ordering online instead to get it ahead of time, think again--Apple isn't going to be taking orders for the device until launch day. Hey, they've gotta make sure there are lines at stores, because those look good on the news, y'know?

Read More | iPad 2

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