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And the games keep on comin’: Nintendo held a virtual E3 announcement again this year, streamed over the Internet. The main star was “Super Smash Brothers for” Wii U and 3DS, that lets you put yourself, or at least your Mii avatar, into the game. It also will work with 10 new Nintendo toys that connect with the Wii U through NFC on the touchscreen controller. Nintendo showed off several more games including an open world “Zelda” and a “Mario Maker” tool that lets you design your own Super Mario levels, both coming in 2015. Also coming next year is a new property called “Splatoon,” a family-friendly FPS that uses paint balls and lets participants swim through the paint. After the stream, Shigeru Miyamoto was showing off a prototype for a new Starfox game in development.
There’s more: Sony made a big deal about exclusives in its E3 press conference Monday night, and didn’t shy away from talking hardware and services. Bungie’s Destiny will be available in Alpha Thursday, with a multi-player beta coming July 17 and shipping September 9 bundled with a white version of the PS4. Among the avalanche of other games, were a look at “The Order: 1886” coming in August and “Uncharted 4” exclusive. “Far Cry 4” will allow players to invite friends to play, even if they don’t own the game and “Little Big Planet 3” made a surprise appearance. Sony announced two game titles for its virtual reality headset Project Morpheus, called “Jurassic Encounter” and “Street Luge.” The PlayStation Now game-streaming service built on Gaikai will arrive in beta July 31. And the PlayStation Vita TV will come to the U.S. and Canada under the simpler name PlayStation TV for $99 or $139 bundled with a memory card and controller. Sony’s also getting into the original content game on the PS4 with an animated series called “Powers” based on the comic book and a Ratchett and Clank movie coming in 2015.
Next up, Google space shuttles: Engadget reports Google has agreed to spend $500 million to purchase Skybox Imaging, which builds small high-resolution imaging satellites. The satellite tech could help Google Maps, but also might be used as relay to spread wireless Internet around the world.
“Lyric, I’m hot. Fan me.” Gigaom report Honeywell launched its first Smart thermostat Tuesday called the Lyric. Unlike the Nest, which attempts to learn your habits, the Lyric uses geofencing to tell if someone is home, optimizing for comfort when you are and energy-savings when you’re not. It also uses humidity sensors to tell when a fan would be better at keeping things cool vs. AC. The Lyric will be available in August for $279.
Rubin joins Oculus VR: VentureBeat reports Oculus VR has hired Jason Rubin to head its worldwide studios. Rubin cofounded Naughty Dog game studio co-created the game “Crash Bandicoot.” Rubin will run content studios in Seattle, WA., San Francisco, Menlo Park, Irvine, Calif., and Dallas, TX.
Wear this: The Verge reports NTT Docomo announced a prototype of Portable SIM, intended to replace a phone’s SIM card. The prototype incorporates Bluetooth, NFC and SIM into a credit-card sized unit that makes it possible to authenticate phones and other devices and allow them to make calls and connect to data networks without having to have a SIM card inside. The device can also store profile data and credentials for other services like Amazon and Google. The carrier hopes to reduce the size even more to make it fit in a wearable device like a bracelet.
News From You
spsheridan submitted the Next Web article that Amazon has updated its Kindle apps for iOS and Android to include access to audiobooks without leaving the app. Kindle books have been able to sync with select audiobooks from Audible for awhile, but users needed to launch a separate audible app. Now, while reading a Kindle book, one tap launches the audio version and picks up from the page you’re looking at. Amazon says about 45,000 Kindle titles have the feature enabled.
JohnEllsworth3 posted the FastCompany story that the Facebook temporary message app called Slingshot that appeared in the Apple app store yesterday, appeared by mistake. A Facebook spokesperson told the Associated Press: “Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on.” Oops. But hey they’re very excited for you to try it out. Just not yet.
russiancatfood pointed out the Ars Technica article that gives Netflix the latest word in their spat with Verizon. Yesterday we mentioned Netflix said they would remove controversial error messages being tested on some users, that said things like “The Verizon network is crowded.” Netflix General Counsel David Hyman sent an official response to Verizon reiterating that the test of the error messages would end June 16 but adding that doesn’t mean they won’t bring them back. Hyman wrote, “…we are evaluating rolling it out more broadly. Regardless of this specific test, we will continue to work on ways to communicate network conditions to our consumers.”
Discussion Section Links: E3 Part Two!
Pick of the day: ZipList via Matt Maher
This pick is in response to your Big Oven pick. I’ve been using ZipList for a couple years now and I love it. I was approaching this type of app from the opposite direction. You were looking for a recipe app that could make grocery lists, and I was looking for a grocery list app that could draw from recipes. Consequently I think the focus of the two services is different. Grocery lists are more important to me, so ZipList works a little better for my uses. For one thing, my wife and I have a shared list that we can both add to, which makes shopping SO much easier.
ZipList also has a slew of great features. One of my favorite is that I can set up a number of stores that I go to regularly. I can then edit those stores and tell ZipList the exact order of the aisles, thereby making shopping trips a breeze because I can just sail through from one end of the store to the other. It also lets me add a bunch of items to one list, and then I can choose to only show one store at a time. That way I can take a single list, but go to Costco and Safeway without seeing the items for the store I’m not in at the moment. I highly recommend the service and app.