China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Classic Games Are Revived with Modern Twists

5CF7F28B50569047F5EEB18A916E5462The summer months are known for spontaneous beach trips, an abundance of delicious ice cream, and, of course, the much-dreaded summer storms that come with unbearable heat. But the next time the weather is uncompromising, consider having a family game night in, though I know what you’re thinking: Please, not another children’s game.

It can be difficult choosing a game everyone agrees on; parents are frequently disconnected, and youngsters who are a few years apart in age constantly battle over which game should be the one played. But a new trend in the toy industry could stop these common issues before game night even begins. I am constantly seeing companies revisiting old games and giving them a modern twist, and these simple alterations often involve modern technologies to pique younger players’ interest. [Read more...]

Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition to Premiere at Comic-Con International

Skylanders

Skylanders Trap Team at Licensing Expo 2014

Activision Publishing Inc. is bringing the Skylanders video game franchise to Comic-Con International: San Diego, and attendees will be the first to check out the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack toys. The pack includes the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a special, larger-sized trap, which allows Portal Masters to trap and play as Kaos when the game launches in North America on October 5.

In addition, the pack will include two Traps; exclusive black and silver variant designs of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire, and Food Fight; a two-sided poster; sticker sheets; and trading cards. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack will be available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U systems.

Comic Con International: San Diego kicks off thus Thursday, but North American fans can pre-order the Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition Starter Pack beginning today at major retailers while supplies last.

Special Alien: Isolation Content Unites Original Movie Cast

AlienIsolationAlien: Isolation will include exclusive pre-order bonus content, featuring the vocal talent and likenesses of key cast members of the 1979 Twentieth Century Fox movie, Alien. Sigourney Weaver (who played Ellen Ripley), Tom Skerritt (Dallas), Veronica Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), Yaphet Kotto (Parker) and Ian Holm (Ash) are set to feature in two downloadable bonus missions, which allow players to relive classic scenes from the movie.

Anyone who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the Nostromo Edition, which includes the bonus content, Crew Expendable. Players can choose to play as one of three surviving crewmembers, only moments after Brett’s death at the jaws of the creature. As Ellen Ripley, Dallas, or Parker, players can explore the Nostromo from habitation deck down through engineering, coordinating their efforts with Lambert and Ash to lure the Alien into the ship’s airlock. [Read more...]

Ubisoft Takes Players on an Unpredictable Journey with Far Cry 4

june10 FarCry4,jpgAt the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Ubisoft showcased Far Cry 4, the sequel to the No. 1 rated shooter of 2012. The sequel features co-op Guns for Hire, which allows players to invite friends to liberate towers, take over outposts, and share in the spoils–even if their friend does not own the game.

Customers who pre-order Far Cry 4 will receive a free upgrade to the limited edition, which includes Hurk’s Redemption, a series of three action-packed, single-player missions featuring the popular character, Hurk, and his harpoon gun The Impaler, from Far Cry 3. Pre-orders are now available at all major retailers.

The game will be available worldwide on November 18 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

Sony’s PS4 News Includes Glacier White Console, Growing Game Portfolio, and YouTube

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOSony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will introduce the first color variation for PlayStation 4 (PS4), in glacier white, which will be available worldwide starting this fall. Peripheral lineups will also expand with the glacier white DualShock 4 wireless controller and vertical stand, along with the DualShock 4 in urban camouflage.

In North America, Latin America, and Europe, the glacier white PS4 will be available as part of a bundle pack featuring Destiny, a highly-anticipated title developed by Bungie Inc., and published by Activision. The bundle also includes a free 30-day membership to PS Plus.

The PS4 system’s game portfolio will continue to expand with more than 120 titles available worldwide by the end of this year. Along with Destiny, highly-anticipated titles include Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End from Naughty Dog, Far Cry 4 from Ubisoft, Batman: Arkham Knight from Rocksteady and Warner Bros Interactive, The Order: 1886 from Ready at Dawn, No Man’s Sky by Hello Games, and more. [Read more...]

PlayStation Now Open Beta Coming to U.S. and Canada Beginning July 31

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOSony Computer Entertainment Inc.’s (SCEI) open beta for PlayStation Now, the company’s streaming game service that leverages cloud-based technology, will become available to PlayStation 4 (PS4) users in the mainland U.S. and parts of Canada on July 31. The service will subsequently expand to PlayStation 3 (PS3) systems in September, followed by PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV by the end of this year in the U.S. and Canada.

SCE has been conducting a private beta on PS3 systems with select participants since this January, and more recently with PS4, and has been working towards the delivery of the open beta while receiving constructive feedback from users. By expanding the beta to the general public, SCE will give more gamers the opportunity to experience the benefits of game streaming, and also continue to collect user feedback to further evolve the service. [Read more...]

PS TV Offers Access to a Wide Variety of PlayStation Content Starting This Fall

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOThis past Monday, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) introduced PlayStation TV (PS TV), which will enable users to easily enjoy various game content and PlayStation 4 remote play on their TV set at home. PS TV will be available in North America, Europe, and the PAL region this fall. In addition, a bundle that includes a DualShock 3 wireless controller, 8GB memory card, and The Lego Movie Videogame from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will be available in North America.

Adopting the same chip sets and system software as the PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) portable system, PS TV comes in an ultra slim size—6.5 by 10.5 cm—the smallest of all PlayStation platforms that connect to a TV. Regarding its main features, remote play allows PS4 users in the living room to continue playing a game on a PS TV system in their bedroom. PS4 users can also enjoy most of the PS4 games on PS TV with excellent operability, as if playing them on their PS4 system. [Read more...]

Warner Bros. and NetherRealm to Launch Mortal Kombat X

MortalKombatXWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment recently broke the news on Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm Studios’ next installment in its legendary fighting game franchise. Scheduled for release next year for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360, Mortal Kombat X will make its first public appearance at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 (E3) in Los Angeles.
Mortal Kombat X combines cinematic presentation with all-new game play, and offers a new, fully-connected experience that launches players into a persistent online contest. In addition, for the first time, players will have the ability to choose from multiple variations of each character, impacting both strategy and fighting style. The game also features an original story showcasing some of the game’s most prolific characters including Scorpion and Sub-Zero, as well as new challengers.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Blasts Off to Outer Space Adventure

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the third installment of the Lego: Batman video game franchise, will be available this fall under multiple platforms. The game is being developed by TT Games and will be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will take Batman and Robin outside of the title city to join the superheroes of the DC Comics Universe in an effort to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Players will be able to unlock over 150 characters from the DC Comics universe, including members of the Justice League, as well as villains such as Killer Croc and Soloman Grundy. Fans can play as heroes and villains alike with new gadgets and abilities. [Read more...]

NPD Group Reports Numbers of Gamers and Average Hours Spent Playing Per Week

Core Gaming 2014, the latest report from The NPD Group, states there are 34 million core gamers in the U.S. spending an average of 22 hours per week playing video games.

These core gamers are defined as individuals who play video games five or more hours per week on a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, or Mac. They play action, adventure, fighting, flight, massively multiplayer, racing, real time strategy, role-playing, shooter, or sport genres.

While core gamers are most likely to play on consoles and computers, phones and mobile devices are also a popular method of play by two-thirds of these gamers, according to the data. In addition, close to 70 percent of core gamers play multiplayer games either regularly or occasionally, and 74 percent would opt for the physical format over digital if the price were the same. The preference for digital is up 5 percentage points to 26 percent this year.