Thursday, September 27, 2012

Microsoft Unveils MyAchievements, Actually Rewards You for Your Gamerscore

Hey! You know those points you get for achieving....well....achievements on Xbox Live? Of course you do because since you figured out what they were you have been wondering what in the world they are even good for. Well, up until recently, the only thing they were good for was to show off to your friends about how many games you play and how good you are at them. However, Microsoft is finally putting those points to use and rewarding gamers for their gamerscores.

Microsoft just unveiled the all new MyAchievements program, a program that is set to offer rewards to gamers based on the amount of achievements they have completed and the coinciding gamerscore that comes with it. MyAchievements is only available to Xbox Live Gold members and is separated into three different categories, or levels, based upon the amount of achievements you have completed and how high your gamerscore is.

The first level is labeled Contender. This rank will be given to gamers who have a gamerscore between 3,000 and 9,000G. The Champion rank is reserved for those gamers that have a gamerscore between 10,000 and 25,000G with the final rank, Legend, being reserved for those gamers that have a gamerscore of 25,000+G.

Aside from having a fancy rank that you can show off to your friends, each rank will also offer you a special gift during the month of your birthday. In addition to that, Champion level players will receive a 1% rebate on Xbox Live Marketplace purchases (in addition to the birthday gift) while Legend level players will receive a 2% rebate in addition to their birthday gift.

The new MyAchievements program is simply a continuation of Microsoft's Xbox Live Rewards program. The Xbox Live Rewards program offers up Microsoft Points in exchange for taking surveys and launched back in 2010. If you haven't already signed up to be a part of MyAchievements (and I can't think of any reason why you wouldn't) then you can do so now by clicking here. Joining is free and you get rewards....what could possibly be better? (Side note: Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I just happen to fall in the Legend ranking....oh yeah).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nintendo Announces Pricing and Launch Dates for the Wii U

For some reason unbeknownst to me, Nintendo has decided to create yet another gaming console. If you ask me, Nintendo should just stick to making handheld systems, but I digress. The Wii U (because Nintendo couldn't think of a better name for their console than to add a "U" onto the name of the last one) is poised to launch on November 18th in North America, on November 30th in Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and on December 8th in Japan.

The Wii U comes in two variations, the Basic and Premium. The Basic model comes with 8GB of memory, the console, a gamepad, sensor bar, HDMI cable and AC adapter (U.S. version) and will cost you $299.99. The Premium model comes with 32GB of memory, the console, gamepad, sensor bar, charging cradle and stands for both the console and gamepad. In addition to that, the Premium model comes with Nintendo Land and will run you $349.99.

The Premium model also comes with a Nintendo Network Premium subscription, giving you discounts on Nintendo games bought online. According to the company, this is a reward program that gives you points for digital purchases in the Nintendo eShop. The credit is valued at about 10% of the original Nintendo eShop price and can be used against future purchases once you reach a minimum of 500 points.

Many people are wondering about the games that the Wii U will be offering on launch day and whether or not Nintendo has decided to step away from the family-friendly entertainment offered by the Wii. Launch day games (at least in Europe) have been confirmed as New Super Mario Bros. U, Nintendo Land, FIFA 13, ZombiU, Rayman Legends, Mass Effect 3 and Call of Duty Black Ops 2. A definitive list for the U.S. launch has yet to be announced, though it will probably be similar to the European list.

The biggest shock with the announcement of the Wii U was that Bayonetta 2 would be on the console. While many people will be thrilled to see a sequel to the highly popular game, they will be utterly crushed to find out that it is a Wii U exclusive! This came as a major shock to almost everybody, mainly due to the fact that a sequel for a game that was extremely popular on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 won't be showing up on either console.

I can't say I'm personally excited about the Wii U. While the tablet/controller hybrid gamepad is a very unique and innovative idea and will undoubtedly have some cool workings with certain games, I can't help but feel like the Wii U is going to be the iPhone 5 of Nintendo. What about you? Are you excited for the Wii U? Do you think Nintendo is going to look more towards the hardcore gamer with this console unlike how it did with the Wii? Sound off in the comments section below!

Source: IGN