In this installment, we look at the swirling Nintendo system rumors, the next Dashboard update and the NGP’s final name.
Nintendo announcing home console for 2012 release by end of E3
A low murmur turned into a roar when Game Informer reported plans to announce a new Nintendo console at (or before) this year’s E3. Possible features include graphical power to equal or surpass the 360 and PS3, a 6-inch screen in the controller and full backwards compatibility.
Gerry: Given the recent surge of talk regarding this, I don’t see what the point of keeping something like that under wraps would be. It might steal a bit of the 3DS’s thunder, but it wouldn’t be releasing this year anyway. 63%
Andrew: While some people are still finding the reports hard to believe, I think the time is now. A new Nintendo console was bound to be announced sometime this year, and E3 is the best place for it. It’s hard to say which rumors about it will be true, but the probability of an E3 press conference from Nintendo without a new console announcement seems very slim. 95%
Graham: I think that, even if Nintendo was planning to keep its plans secret for a while longer, they’ll have to announce now. They can leave out release, price and even many games, but they can do a reveal much like the “Project Natal” event and the “Revolution” unveiling. Give people a taste, but leave specifics for the 3DS announcements. 90%
360’s next Dashboard update to include Hulu Plus
Screenshots have been leaked showing a Hulu Plus app for 360 that looks almost identical to Netflix’s interface. We don’t have anything official, but could it be coming in the next update?
Gerry: Sure, why not. 75%
Andrew: If anything, I’m sure Microsoft would love to add Hulu to their already long list of non-gaming related content available on the 360. I see this being an inevitability at this point, although if it actually happens with the next update is a bit harder to predict. 85%
Graham: This does seem to be where Microsoft is going. They were first with Netflix, they’re still the one with ESPN…it wants to be the media center for everyone, and Hulu Plus is the obvious next step. Add that Hulu has said that “more devices are coming soon,” and it seems like a slam dunk. It could be one more update away, though. 95%
New Sony portable, codenamed NGP, to just be called PSP2
Sony’s Next Generation Portable is still in the codename phase. It seems the final name for things is the last announcement in this industry lately (see: Kinect, PlayStation Move), so we’ll probably see that in June. Will they go the safe route and call it the PlayStation Portable 2?
Gerry: While the “Portable” moniker really is the ideal way to market a portable PlayStation, there’s nothing wrong with getting a “fresh start” for a system with a new name, especially considering the ton of mistakes done with the PSP. This one could really go either way. 50%
Andrew: Sony generally sticks with “sequelizing” their consoles, unlike Nintendo and Microsoft, so I’d believe the NGP would be called the PSP2. The NGP seemed a bit too silly to be an official name, and the PSP brand name, while not hugely successful, still holds some weight. 80%
Graham: Sony never seems to need to go out of the way with naming things. The PlayStation part is a given, since that branding is too pervasive. I think they’ll go with PSP2, since the form factor is so similar to the original, but they may want some iconic name to distinguish it from its predecessor. 70%