Nintendo’s Tomodachi Life Looks to Breathe New Life into Social Media Gaming

82977A 3DS package_NOA_mOn June 6, Nintendo will release Tomodachi Life on its 3DS system. The game, which is set in an apartment building on an island, lets players create Mii avatars that represent themselves, as well as their closest friends and relatives, and to watch those characters behave and interact with each other.

Players check in on the Tomodachi Life characters on a regular basis, solving problems as they arise, which range from being hungry to sadness, to issues stemming from their love life. While players cannot control the decisions of the Miis, they can influence them.

Whenever the player makes a Mii character happy—for example, through purchasing them a gift from the in-game store—the player’s on-screen happiness level increases. They also receive in-game money that can be used to purchase more items for the Miis, and these items rotate on a daily basis. [Read more...]

Report: Toys Imported into U.S. Dropped 9 Percent in September

Toys imports into the United States dropped 9 percent in September year-over-year, according to figures from The Journal of Commerce/PIERS. September was the eighth straight drop for toys coming into the U.S. The drop in container volume is attributed mostly to China.

The 60,616 20-foot-equivalent units arriving at ports in September, according to measurements by PIERS, marked a 7.6 percent year-to-date drop—or 30,430 fewer containers—from the same period last year. To date, 89 percent of overall inbound toy shipments this year have originated in China (including Hong Kong). China’s market share is down 2 percent compared to 2010, while toy shipments from Vietnam have grown 82 percent between 2001 and 2010. A full analysis of the JOC/PIERS findings is available online at www.joc.com.

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