Tech 2.0 for Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 6/12/2013 11:53 am


So, what do you do when you are a game console maker and you are already out with your latest hardware? For Nintendo, the answer is to focus on its games for that system. And that has been Nintendo's "zig" while Sony and Microsoft "zag" about their new consoles at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo. Already the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have been on display for those attending the Los Angeles show. But when it was Nintendo's turn Tuesday, it focused on the games that can be played by its new Wii U system. Nintendo showed off the anti-gravity racer "Mario Kart 8," 2D platformer "Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze," 3D platformer "Super Mario 3D World," action sequel "Bayonetta 2" and a speedier rendition of "The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker." The Wii U launched in November of last year. But sales so far have been below the company's expectations.

Google is asking the Obama administration to allow the Internet company to disclose more details about the U.S. government's closely guarded demands for emails and other information that people transmit online. The request was made Tuesday in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller. Google is trying to debunk media reports that the company has created a way for the National Security Agency to gain access to large amounts of its users' online communications. The reports surfaced last week after a government contractor leaked confidential documents revealing the NSA has been tapping into computers of Google Inc. and many other Internet services to retrieve information about foreigners living outside the U.S. Google insists it has only been cooperating in a very limited way.

Facebook says it has started processing data through its first server farm outside the United States, on the edge of the Arctic Circle in Sweden. The company inaugurated servers in its new, 300,000-square foot facility outside the city Lulea Wednesday, saying it should improve the social network's performance in Europe. Facebook director of site operations Tom Furlong said the servers will serve a large chunk of Facebook's European users. Facebook is one of nine major U.S. Internet providers whose customers' usage is swept up every day by an NSA counterterror surveillance program. The secret court order that authorizes the program, named PRISM, only allows it to examine foreigners' internet usage overseas. Furlong said the data stored in Sweden is replicated in other locations in the U.S.

It's a video game more than seven years in the making. Square Enix revealed during Sony's presentation Monday at the Electronic Entertainment Expo that "Final Fantasy XV" would finally see the light of day. The latest entry in the long-running role-playing series was previously known as "Final Fantasy Versus XIII" and was first revealed at E3 way back in 2006. What's taking so long? Tetsuya Nomura, Square Enix's chief creative head, says technology had to catch up with his imagination. The title was originally intended for the PlayStation 3, but "Final Fantasy XV" will be available for the next-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The original "Final Fantasy" was released in 1987 and has spawned dozens of sequels and spin-offs.
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