Today’s E3 show has me excited for next gen


Wow, what a day. Both Microsoft and Sony showed off some amazing games today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), including the Xbox One exclusive Project Spark, which is one of the many titles that I can’t wait to play. (Here’s my coverage.)

First, this is what you need to know about the two upcoming home consoles: the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.

While the Xbox One will cost a whopping $500 and restrict how you play and share your games (with required periodic Internet check-ins and possible used game fees), the PlayStation 4 will sell for $100 less. That’s $400. And Sony won’t impose confusing policies. There are no fees or limitations. (We also finally know what it looks like.)

Thank you, Sony. I love you right now — even if you are charging for online multiplayer. And good job supporting indie developers the right way. Hear that, Microsoft?

Click here to catch up with all of GamesBeat’s coverage of the event today — especially if you want to see all of the new game footage and reveals. There were some very good ones. Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now Final Fantasy XV, Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive looks like a blast to play, Bungie’s Destiny seems all-around amazing, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Mirror’s Edge 2 are actually happening, The Crew is an incredibly open-world and boundary-less driving game, and so much more. Including THE PHANTOM PAIN, oh my god.

What are you most excited about?

Goodnight, everyone. And cheers to the future.

Microsoft gives $300 million to Barnes & Noble to fund new Nook subsidiary

Technology is expensive.

Microsoft recently granted Barnes & Noble $300 million to form a subsidiary dedicated entirely to the Nook. The Redmond-based corporation will have a 17.6 stake in the division, temporarily called “Newco,” which also incorporates B&N’s college textbook business.

The partnership is unexpected, since the companies were previously engaged in a lawsuit over supposed patent infringements associated with the e-reader. Their shared investment in Newco puts that feud to rest.

Perhaps Microsoft is considering its own agenda: “Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them,” Andy Lees, president of Microsoft, said. “We’re on the cusp of a revolution in reading.”

These days, e-readers are doing a lot more than storing books—they’re becoming multi-purpose devices, and that’s causing them to rise in price. The Nook Tablet, B&N’s most expensive model, costs $199. Compare that with the basic Nook Simple Touch, which is now priced at $79. Amazon offers a similar price range—the same at its lowest and highest ends, actually.

How much are you willing to pay for an e-reader, and how important are multimedia features to you? Reading will always be my top priority with these devices, but I do occasionally salivate over the glowing, full-color screens of better models.