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'Angry Birds Stella' teased by Scandi studio

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 1:36pm

The firm behind "Angry Birds" has started dripping info on its new spin-off, "Angry Birds Stella," featuring a pink plumed avian and her four best friends. Rovio Entertainment had already produced 50 mobile games between 2003 and 2009 before "Angry Birds" took off; But a new blog post on Rovio's site indicates that the series is ready to spread its wings. The upcoming brand promises "a part of the Angry Birds universe you've never seen before," as well as "plenty of fun and adventure."

The Xbox One is getting a great new accessory next month

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 10:57am
Xbox One users will soon be able to purchase a new accessory for the device, Amazon U.K. has revealed, The new device is remote that will let Xbox owners control media playback, adjust the volume and more. The “official Xbox One Media Remote” for Microsoft consoles costs £19.99 (or $33) and is listed for pre-order, with Amazon saying the accessory will be released on April 4th. Meanwhile, only lists a similar product for the old Xbox 360, which sells for $15.47, and Amazon Canada had the Xbox One Media Remote listed as well but it has since been removed, according to The Next Web. Amazon Canada revealed a March 4th launch date for the accessory in the pulled listing.

Angry Birds tries to dethrone Flappy Bird with mysterious reveal

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 9:45pm
Before the mobile smash hit Flappy Bird dominated the news cycle, Finnish company Rovio ruled the roost with its own group of suicidal avians. Now that Flappy Bird has flown the coop, Rovio is cautiously stepping back into the daylight with a new game in the Angry Birds franchise. The new Angry Birds will feature a fresh flock of birds to toss at the marauding green pigs, as Rovio revealed in a tweet, but we will have to wait until Thursday to learn the title of the game and to see whether or not Rovio has partnered with another major property this time around. This browser-based ripoff of Flappy Bird should tide you over in the meantime.

Xbox One said to be ‘easily the most appealing console platform’ for game makers

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 5:16pm
People will be comparing the brand new video game consoles from Sony and Microsoft in any number of ways for years to come. Sales, power, performance, utility, home entertainment capabilities and more are all valid points of comparison, but another angle we keep seeing pop up gives us a different perspective on the current-generation “console wars.” As developers continue to test Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, feedback they share could give us an idea of what to expect from game makers on each platform — and according to one independent game lab, Xbox One is the place to be for indies. “[Xbox One is] easily the most appealing console platform for developers like us to release on,” independent video

PlayStation 4 seen dominating the Xbox One all year long

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 1:24pm
A strong launch lineup and a few major system updates won’t be enough to put the Xbox One over the PlayStation 4 in 2014, if Wedbush Securities is correct in its predictions. According to a recent report from the analysts at Wedbush, the PlayStation 4 will outsell the Xbox One 12 million to 9 million this year, owing mostly to the $100 price difference between the two consoles. “The lack of differentiation between the PS4 and the Xbox One means that consumers will initially make their purchase decision based on brand loyalty or price, with the former favoring Microsoft and the latter favoring Sony,” wrote Wedbush. “Our choice of the PS4 to win the next generation console race is purely

Xbox TV series to tap on Nas's life

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:57pm

New York rapper Nas will take part in the writing of "Street Dreams," a TV series developed by Xbox Entertainment Studios based on the East Coast musical star. This musical series will be based in the Queensbridge neighborhood of New York, where Nas grew up and which gave birth to other acclaimed rappers such as Mobb Deep. "Street Dreams" will mainly tackle family relations and music, looking back at the rap scene's early days in New York. Nas will also work on the soundtrack.

Supercell to launch new game after sales soar in 2013

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 8:39am
By Ritsuko Ando HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish mobile game maker Supercell plans to launch a third game next month, hoping to replicate its success with hits "Clash of Clans" and "Hay Day" that helped it to earn $892 million in revenue last year. The growth in revenue from $101 million in 2012, to an average of around $2.4 million a day, underscores a boom in mobile gaming and Supercell's spectacular rise since it was founded in 2010. In October, Supercell sold a 51 percent stake in the company to Japanese tech and telecoms group SoftBank Corp for 150 billion yen, a deal that valued it at $3 billion - more than Zynga, which sold former hits such as "FarmVille." Its popular games "Clash of Clans" and "Hay Day" reached the top spot in Apple's App Store in 137 and 96 countries respectively, SoftBank said in October. Supercell said its annual earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) grew to $464 million from $51 million in 2012 and a loss in 2011.

PlayStation 4 boasts of 100 games planned for 2014

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 7:16am

One hundred games are on Sony's slate for the PlayStation 4 this year, according to the console firm's Twitter feed.

Microsoft details major Xbox One improvements coming next month

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 6:05pm
The Xbox One February update, which was originally scheduled for this Tuesday, has unfortunately been delayed to later in the week. To tide you over while you wait, Microsoft has posted an outline on the Xbox Wire for the March update, which will focus on improvements to the multiplayer and social features of the Xbox One. Xbox Live is a key component to the Xbox ecosystem, but the Friends list has been inexplicably hidden within a menu on the Xbox One. When the March update hits, your friends list will be pushed forward to the homepage of the Friends app, so you can see who’s online right away. When you party up with those friends, chat audio will now be

PlayStation 4 sales still screaming, Sony says PS4 ‘generally sold out at all retailers’

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 2:30pm
We’re still in the very early days of the new video game console generation but according to everything we have seen thus far, Sony has a real winner on its hands. As market chatter continues to point to Xbox One inventory build-up in various retail sales channels, Sony has reportedly revealed during a closed-doors meeting that sales of its new PlayStation 4 console are still screaming. “PS4’s are generally sold out at all retailers although regular supply is refreshing the channel,” Sony said on a slide shown during an internal presentation, according to IGN. Sony also said that it has increased its market share among what the company categorizes as “heavy gamers.” “[The PlayStation 4 launch] hasn’t been like prior

Super Mario RPG made February's Club Nintendo reward

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 11:33am

North American members of Nintendo's official fan club can nab themselves the Wii download version of "Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars" until March 9. Developed by Square (now Square Enix), 1996 SNES release "Super Mario RPG" blended the adventuring tradition of "Final Fantasy" games with characters and environments from the "Super Mario" universe. As such, it was an early predecessor of the "Paper Mario" and "Mario & Luigi" spin-offs, both of which have recent representatives on Nintendo's portable 3DS by way of "Paper Mario: Sticker Star" and "Mario & Luigi: Dream Team."

Microsoft delays today's Xbox One update, now coming later this week

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:14am

Microsoft has revealed today that it's delaying the February Xbox One update. Microsoft’s Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) revealed the news on Twitter, noting that the company plans to release it this week, but not today. Microsoft’s February Xbox One update is primarily focused on managing content and displaying battery life for controllers. The update will allow Xbox One owners to see what has been downloaded and installed, and separates out the My Games and My Apps sections to make it easier to manage large libraries of games and apps.

Xbox One will get multiplayer tweaks and headset accessories ahead of 'Titanfall' release

Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:01am

As an Xbox One system update rolls out later than expected this week, Microsoft has revealed more details on the multiplayer-focused improvements coming to the console next month. The Xbox One has come in for criticism over certain UI decisions that make some online functions less accessible than players might like, and the March update is focused around addressing those concerns. Microsoft also promises it will include "many more" unannounced features in the update and share more details leading up to its release. In a much-requested feature, party chat will also work across different games, letting you talk to friends inside and outside of your multiplayer session.

PlayStation Plus a big hit for Sony despite initial backlash

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 5:20pm
There was a minor uproar from the PlayStation crowd last year when Sony announced that PlayStation Plus would be required for online gaming on the PlayStation 4. After years of free multiplayer support on the PS3, Sony’s subscription service becoming a necessary purchase was a hard pill to swallow. But despite the initial backlash, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai has confirmed that “more than half” of PS4 owners have already signed up for PS Plus. One way Sony has eased the pain of a yearly service charge is by providing exceptional perks for subscribers. Since the PS4 launched in November, three titles have been made available free of charge for PS Plus members: Resogun, Don’t Starve and Outlast. As the catalog

Blaming Violence on Video Games Does More Harm Than Good, Researcher Says

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 9:36am

Yet another study claims to have found a link between playing violent video games and real-world violent behavior. But like many that came before it, the study relies more on correlation than causation. And by focusing on the video games themselves instead of  real-world behavior, researchers, parents and gamers are getting distracted from the real issues at play.  

Upcoming video games: 'Lightning Returns,' 'Donkey Kong,' 'EDF! EDF! EDF!'

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 4:53pm

Among upcoming video games, "Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII" concludes the "FFXIII" trilogy, "Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze" puts a new spin on the "DKC" series, and giant insects need their butts kicked back into outer space in "Earth Defense Force 2025."

Bonnaroo music festival will stream live on Xbox this June

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 11:08am

Microsoft is teaming up with Superfly Presents, the company behind Bonnaroo, to stream the annual music festival on Xbox consoles this June. Both Xbox One and Xbox 360 owners will get access to an "exclusive, interactive television event that will be streaming in high-definition where available." Fans will be able to switch between multiple streams — presumably covering each of Bonnaroo's multiple stages — and they'll also get access to "exclusive" performances from years past. The press release doesn't specify whether the entire festival will be streamed live (i.e. This year marks the 13th time Bonnaroo has been held;

Kids learn to shoot down stroke with video game

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 5:56pm
By Ronnie Cohen NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A doctor who generally advises children to turn off electronic devices urges them to play "Stroke Hero," a video game that teaches kids to identify stroke symptoms and summon help, according to a new study. "While I recognize the hazards of video games, and I recognize the need to limit screen time, what better way to enable children to save lives than to have them play a video game?" Dr. Olajide Williams, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health. Americans suffer nearly 800,000 strokes a year, and on average, one American dies from stroke every four minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatment administered within four and a half hours of the first signs of stroke can save lives and reverse disabling symptoms, said Williams, who is chief of staff of neurology at Columbia University Medical Center.

It's no game: Xbox-sensor guards Korean border

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 12:12am

Microsoft's movement-recognition Kinect software has morphed from virtual shooter gaming to the real-life challenge of guarding the world's last Cold War border. The sensor allowing hands-free play on the Xbox is the basis for a security device now deployed along the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separates North and South Korea, after being adapted by a South Korean programmer. Four kilometres (2.5 miles) wide and 248 kilometres (155 miles) long, the DMZ is a depopulated no-man's land of heavily fortified fences that bristles with the landmines and listening posts of two nations that technically remain at war. The Kinect-based software developed by Ko Jae-Kwan, founder-president of Saewan Co., has been taken up by the military because of its ability to differentiate between human and animal movement.

Leaked video provides first glimpse of hotly anticipated PlayStation Now

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 3:07pm

In early January, Sony announced an upcoming new service tied to its PlayStation gaming platform that gamers can’t wait to get their hands on. The service, dubbed PlayStation Now, will allow PlayStation 4, PS Vita and PS3 owners to access classic games from PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2 and the original PlayStation video game console and stream them from the cloud. Needless to say, the service will have a huge impact on the catalog of titles available to early PlayStation 4 adopters. PlayStation Now won’t be made available to the general public until sometime this summer, but a leaked video of a private PlayStation Now beta gives us our first glimpse at the upcoming Sony service. The first leaked video showing off