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When I first read that Toyota has introduced DS connectivity to their vehicles, I thought they had gone and done what Nintendo failed to do with the Wii and offer some cool and useful connectivity features using the DS. Alas, while what they have come up with is definitely somewhat “cool”, it certainly isn’t going to make anyone rush out and buy a new Toyota and the required hardware.

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Toyota have introduced a new Satellite Navigation system in their vehicles with allows users to use the DS as a remote and enter a destination in the GPS system. The DS can display a map and sightseeing information, as well as saving “Favourite” locations. Miis apparently feature in the system, and real-time vehicle speed is also available on the DS when connected. Connectivity requires a bluetooth radio in the form of a game card.

The Sat-Nav system costs (and this is cool) around $3500, while the game card is priced at around $120. Somehow I don’t expect this pretty gimmicky system to fly off the Toyota parts centre shelves. >> via TG Daily

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A photo has surfaced from a now deleted Twitter account which may show a new version of the controller for the Wii U, which is set to be showcased at next month’s E3 conference. Posted by a game tester at Travellers’ Tales Games (the team behind the Lego series of video games), the subsequently deleted photo shows a controller that has several differences from the original Wii U controller.

Gone are the nub-style analog controllers, with a return to raised dual analog sticks. The photo shows a wider controller than earlier images, and some function buttons have been shifted. Start and select buttons in the alleged controller are now on the right under the XYAB buttons, and a couple of new and unlabelled square buttons feature below the D-pad and next to the power button. There have been rumours of Nintendo considering a name change for Wii U, but Wii U branding appears in the apparently leaked photo.

Click after the break to see the photo, as well as an early stock image released by Nintendo showing the Wii U controller. Is this for real? We will probably find out in a few weeks time.

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There was a time when I’d be pretty lenient on any sci-fi western that walked into the proverbial saloon simply because of how rare they are. The TV series Firefly has managed to raise the standard of this particular unlikely genre combo enough that I don’t just give out free passes to any old city slicker with a six shooter laser gun, though. Starhawk manages the combination by way of plot devices analogous to the gold rush, but at heart, the narrative and aesthetic is secondary to the multiplayer sensibilities of it’s predecessor. Calling Starhawk “Warhawk in space” is to probably not giving it enough credit whilst being mostly accurate.

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Feed me oil

Just a heads up that Feed Me Oil is currently on the iOS App Store for free, presumably for a limited time. Both the standard “iPhone” version ($1.29) and the HD iPad version ($2.59) are currently free, with no indication of the reason for the sale, nor how long it is free for.

It’s a physics puzzler where the aim is to mop up oil spills into the mouths of strange and hungry creatures. If only it was so easy to clean up spills in real life…

Here we go, y’all.  Number 179 and there is a craptonne of news.  Much of it concerns Battlefield.  James has played Diablo 3, and we get his impressions.  Paul unboxes his collector’s edition too.  THQ continue their downward spiral, and Activision try to out-do EA.  There’s also news about Dishonored, Dead Space 3, Black Ops 2, Minecraft, and Playstation’s financial situation (confused somewhat by some bad maths).  Enjoy.

After posting their first ever recorded annual loss last month, Nintendo have announced price cuts for the DSi and DSi XL from May 20. The company’s loss was partly blamed on a stronger Yen compared to the Euro, as well as disappointing 3DS sales – the price of which will remain unchanged at an SRP of $169.99 USD (already down from the original launch price of $249.99 USD).

The DSi will fall from SRP $149 USD to $99 USD, while the XL version will cost $129 USD down from $169 USD. EB Games NZ sells the DSi and XL currently for $259 and $319 respectively, so if the same price cuts were to be proportionally applied to our region the new RRPs would be approximately $169 and $249. No official word on whether there will be any price cuts in New Zealand, but unlike the US, retailers here don’t seem to be moving a lot of the stock that they already have on hand, at least from what I see from local store shelves.

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I’m not one to over-romanticise old Nintendo properties, but I can’t help but notice when there’s fan-demand for a revival, and “a new Kid Icarus” is something that I’ve heard time and again. A revival of this magnitude is also a tricky stretch, since the genre that the original fell in to is (in this case, old-school 2D platformer), best case scenario, very different to how it was then. Kid Icarus makes two significant leaps, from home console to portable; from 2D to stereoscopic 3D, from 8-bit to ‘lots of bits’…

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A new system update for the 3DS offers some ground-breaking features which will make a dramatic improvement to the end user experience. The latest update introduces a folder system which will please prolific Nintendo eShoppers who have their home screen cluttered with an array of difficult to arrange software titles. Of much greater interest however is something which Nintendo consoles have been seriously lacking for far too long in an online world – the ability to deliver game updates via online download.

Remember back to the launch of the Wii, a console which featured a web-browser, the ability to send email style messages, online gaming, and even the ability to voice chat. Patching serious bugs by online update however was something which the console could never perform; nor has this since been remedied by a system update. It led to the early bugged copies of Super Paper Mario needing to be physically replaced by Nintendo for affected users.

Mario Kart 7 is the first game to have a patch applied, and as with all games with an online component the update is a mandatory requirement for anyone wishing to log on to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Nintendo terms the patch “update data”, and “resolves shortcut exploits” in Mario Kart 7.

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Owners of an Aqua Blue 3DS will soon be belong to a select group of individuals as Nintendo has announced that production of this colour variant will soon cease and be replaced by the new Cobalt Blue already available in Japan and expected to drop soon in the US. This will join the Midnight Purple colour option which is set to release alongside Mario Tennis Open later this month.

Neither colour option has been announced in our region yet so it’s anyone’s guess if and when we will get new colour options on our shores. Of course rather than new colour options, many are already thinking ahead to the inevitable redesign of the console. That falls purely into the realm of speculation for now though, with Nintendo tight-lipped on any such talk.

While the Kickstarter campaigns mentioned here have more or less been successful, Republique is in danger of failing with less than 40 hours to raise $500,000. They’re currently at $355,333. The catch of Kickstarter is that if the pledged goal isn’t met within the time frame the project isn’t funded. The developers get 0 cents and the backers are out of a game. So while some projects may crack $10 million, little guys like Republique here lie mostly forgotten.

Republique is a game designed for iOS devices but a PC and Mac version is also in the works. It’s a cinematic third person stealth game with a twist. You control security cameras and computer systems trying to save Hope from a freaky 1984ish nightmare state.

The game includes special voice acting stars such as David Hayter. You may know him as Solid Snake. And Jennifer Hale. You may know her from Mass Effect… if you went female.

While I’m pretty sure the game will still see the light of day even if the Kickstarter fails, if this thing interests you at all, please help fund Republique.

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