Sony to Unveil Two PlayStation 4s: 4K Pro and Smaller Version

Sony plans to debut a high-end console, PlayStation 4 Pro (formerly “Neo”). Set to ship November 10 for $399, PlayStation 4 Pro will boast a faster processor, more storage, and 4K graphics. Sony will also release a more energy-efficient, 30 percent smaller PlayStation 4, to go on sale September 15 for $299. This console replaces the original PlayStation 4, which debuted November 2013 at $399. All PlayStation 4 consoles will be able to play back high dynamic range images, including, via a software update, older PlayStations. Continue reading Sony to Unveil Two PlayStation 4s: 4K Pro and Smaller Version

Nintendo Bringing its Popular Games to Apple Mobile Devices

At the Apple iPhone 7 launch, Niantic Labs chief executive John Hanke announced that “Pokémon Go” — which has been downloaded 500 million times worldwide — is coming to the Apple Watch. Following the announcement Nintendo shares skyrocketed 20 percent; since that and the debut of “Super Mario Run” (coming to iOS this year), the company’s shares have risen more than 65 percent in the past few months. With the new Pokémon app, the company has improved its safety: players can simply walk without having to constantly look for what Pokémon are nearby. Continue reading Nintendo Bringing its Popular Games to Apple Mobile Devices

‘Pokémon Go’ Rakes in Over $200 Million After its First Month

App analytics platform Sensor Tower reports that Niantic’s location-based, augmented reality game “Pokémon Go” is continuing its rise in popularity, with more than $200 million in net revenue generated during its first month of availability. The meteoric rise “compares favorably to in-game revenue generated by other huge in-app purchase-driven games,” notes TechCrunch. “Pokémon Go” has nearly doubled “the first month revenue of ‘Clash Royale,’ the other big in-app star this year” and “made almost four times as much as ‘Candy Crush Soda Saga’ managed during its first 30 days of availability.” “Pokémon Go” experienced a significant spike when it launched in Japan. The game was just introduced to 15 additional Asian countries. Continue reading ‘Pokémon Go’ Rakes in Over $200 Million After its First Month

Nintendo ‘Pokémon GO’ Creating an Augmented Reality Craze

Nintendo added $7 billion in market value since debuting “Pokémon GO,” its location-based, augmented reality mobile game that it says has attracted more than 10 million players in its first month. The game takes users away from videogame screens and out into the real world where they search for virtual monsters in parks, historical monuments and even police stations. While gamers excitedly take to the streets, reports have recently pointed to distracted players falling into holes, walking into street signs, and even being robbed by criminals using the location tech to locate their prey. Continue reading Nintendo ‘Pokémon GO’ Creating an Augmented Reality Craze

Sony to Release VR Headset and 50 VR Titles by End of 2016

At E3 in Los Angeles this week, Sony made a splash in virtual reality, by announcing a release date for its VR headset, designed to work with the PlayStation 4, now owned by 40 million people. PlayStation VR, which will go on sale in the U.S. on October 13, will offer 50 titles by the end of 2016, including an exclusive Batman game, Capcom’s “Resident Evil 7,” Square Enix Holdings’ “Final Fantasy XV” and a “Star Wars” title. The company also debuted exclusive PlayStation 4 games, including Batman and Spider-Man titles. Continue reading Sony to Release VR Headset and 50 VR Titles by End of 2016

Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

Finnish company Rovio Entertainment decided four years ago that, rather than license the “Angry Birds” characters to a Hollywood studio, it would finance its own $73 million movie. Since opening on Friday in some territories, Rovio’s gamble has thus far resulted in a $43 million gross. Companies such as Lego A/S and Hasbro turned to studios to finance their films, but Rovio took the same path Marvel did when it made “Iron Man,” with the goal of controlling the franchise over the long term. Continue reading Rovio Self-Finances ‘Angry Birds’ Movie to Control Franchise

What Began as April Fool’s Day Joke is Now $49 VR Headset

Google Cardboard is no longer the only inexpensive VR headset around. From Oakland, CA-based hardware collective Next Thing Co. comes Pockulus, a $49 portable game console that consists of a palm-sized computer and 3D-printed facemask. The tiny computer that runs Pockulus is CHIP, which was the company’s successful seller at $9 per unit. The idea to repurpose CHIP as a VR controller was an April Fool’s Day joke that is now a real product. It requires some DIY, mainly 3D printing the bezel that fits the display on the face. Continue reading What Began as April Fool’s Day Joke is Now $49 VR Headset

Sony Creates Amped-Up PlayStation for Use with VR Headset

Sony is planning to unveil a new version of PlayStation 4 that will be powerful enough to handle high-end game experiences including virtual reality, say sources. Sony’s move signals a radical change to the typical six-to-seven-year cycle of game console releases; the PlayStation 4 debuted in 2013. At the same time, Sony plans to continue production of the existing PlayStation 4, which has sold more than 36 million units globally. Sources say the two versions will likely share the same software catalog. Continue reading Sony Creates Amped-Up PlayStation for Use with VR Headset

Watchup for Personalized Newscasts is Now Free on Apple TV

With an app from startup Watchup, Apple TV users can now receive free customized newscasts from 160 news partners, including CNN, Fox News Channel, CBS News and Tribune Media, as well as local news covering 80 percent of U.S. markets. Users can select topics of interest and then further refine resulting newscasts by “liking” or “disliking” specific reports. The app supports fourth-generation Apple TV, launched last fall, as well as apps for iOS and Android, Amazon Fire TV, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii U. Continue reading Watchup for Personalized Newscasts is Now Free on Apple TV

Nintendo is Shifting Gears with New Moves into Mobile Gaming

Nintendo is building its new online network, Nintendo Account, with Japanese mobile gaming publisher DeNA. Nintendo Account will allow gamers to login to games via consoles, PCs, smartphones and tablets. Nintendo recently announced that its first foray into mobile games would be “Miitomo,” a new take on the popular “Tomodachi Life” series that will emphasize microtransactions, player-to-player communications and dressing up players’ Mii avatars. The company is also replacing its defunct Club Nintendo with the My Nintendo loyalty system. Continue reading Nintendo is Shifting Gears with New Moves into Mobile Gaming

Nintendo Abandons Its Console-Only Strategy, Enters Mobile

Nintendo will unveil its first-ever game for smartphones, a radical departure from its long-term exclusive focus on its console. In the years of avoiding the move to smartphones, the Kyoto, Japan-based company missed the spectacular rise of mobile gaming, which this year, says research firm Newzoo, is on track to outpace console games in global sales for the first time. But Nintendo is finally opening up, not just with mobile games but also theme parks and a new console game. The first mobile game could debut in a few days. Continue reading Nintendo Abandons Its Console-Only Strategy, Enters Mobile

Nintendo, Facebook to Host a ‘Super Mario Maker’ Hackathon

Nintendo and Facebook are teaming up to host a hackathon at Facebook’s headquarters on July 28 and 29, centered around the upcoming “Super Mario Maker” game. The game allows players to build their own Mario courses, and Facebook employees will be creating their own levels for the game, with Nintendo as the judge. The winning creations will be released for download once the game launches in September. Nintendo hopes that allowing players to design their own games will appeal to a creative generation of young gamers. Continue reading Nintendo, Facebook to Host a ‘Super Mario Maker’ Hackathon

Perspective: In Reality, VR Not the Only Game at E3 (Part 2)

In Part 2 of our E3 overview, we look at the featured products and emergence of virtual reality. E3 operates with a familiar orchestration: Press events, lavish floor displays and private parties with big name bands. The Who, for instance, entertained guests of Electronic Arts. The layout of the exhibit floor gathers the platform players — Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo — in the Convention Center’s West Hall and fills the South Hall with the major game developers. In a sign of where VR leader Oculus fits into the spectrum, its booth anchored a prominent corner of the platform-centric West Hall. Continue reading Perspective: In Reality, VR Not the Only Game at E3 (Part 2)

Nintendo Presentation at E3 Draws Strong Backlash from Fans

More than 10,000 gamers have signed a petition requesting that Nintendo not release a game it showed during this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The gaming giant, which has abandoned its splashy E3 press conferences in favor of more low-key presentations, apparently failed to introduce enough new games for its fans. The harsh reaction led to the petition regarding a lackluster new “disgrace of a game” in the “Metroid” series. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata issued an apology on Twitter and vowed to improve future efforts. Continue reading Nintendo Presentation at E3 Draws Strong Backlash from Fans

E3 Expected to Focus on AR, VR, Online, Mobile and Wearables

The 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo opens it doors in Los Angeles today following a series of press conferences from major players such as Bethesda, EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft. This year we expect to see a new emphasis on virtual and augmented reality, wearable devices, online gaming and mobile apps. At last year’s show, only six companies were dedicated to VR; this week, there will be 27. Also, 74 companies touting mobile and online gaming products will be in attendance. According to Gartner, worldwide mobile revenue is expected to nearly double to $22 billion this year. Continue reading E3 Expected to Focus on AR, VR, Online, Mobile and Wearables