SCEI Launches PlayStation Business in People’s Republic Of China

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOSony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) will launch its PlayStation 4 (PS4) and PlayStation Vita (PS Vita) in the People’s Republic of China on January 11. Along with the release of the two systems, SCEI will offer an after-sales service to ensure Chinese users have a smooth and positive experience on PlayStation.

Along with SCE Worldwide Studios, 70 third-party software developers and publishers plan to deliver a stream of software titles to gamers in China. In addition, a variety of titles created by Chinese game developers will be available on PlayStation.

In cooperation with modian.com and business partner Shanghai Oriental Pearl Suole Culture Development Ltd., SCEI will actively provide support to Chinese game developers to bring their content to PlayStation platforms.

Sony’s PS4 20th Anniversary Edition Marks 20 Years Since Original PS Release

Sony Computer Entertainment PS4 ConsoleSony Computer Entertainment Inc. has announced the PlayStation 4 (PS4) 20th Anniversary Edition, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the release of the original PlayStation (PS) on December 3, 1994.

The 20th Anniversary Edition will be limited to 12,300 units worldwide, and will be available in North America, Japan, and Europe. Both the console and included accessories will come in original gray, and will be packaged in a special commemorative box.

In the U.S., the PS4 20th Anniversary Edition will be available in very limited supply for pre-order via sony.store.com on December 6. Information on accessing the pre-order link will be viewable via the PlayStation Experience keynote presentation on December 6 at 10:00 a.m. PST via twitch.tv/PlayStation.

Sony Moving Closer to Making Inroads into China

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGODuring the past week, it was widely reported that Sony Corp. is moving closer to shipping video game consoles in China, where devices such as its PlayStation had long been banned.

According to a filing reported on by Bloomberg News this past Thursday, a Sony-affiliated factory in Shanghai’s free-trade zone will start packaging consoles this December. The filing—an environmental assessment posted by a Sony local partner on the free-trade zone’s official website—stated that the factory has the capacity to package 200,000 consoles a year.

The exact type of console was not specified. “Though it is true the filing was made and approved, some parts of the document such as the amount of shipment, number of staff, production start timing, were only tentative and do not represent the actual business plan. We have yet to announce which system will be available in China, price for the system, and the launch date,” said a representative of Sony Computer Entertainment in a statement.

Sony signed a deal earlier this year with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group Co. to make and sell PlayStation game consoles in China. The move came after the Chinese government in September lifted a 14-year ban on the sale of video game consoles, which had been in place due to concerns about violent content.

Sony video game competitor Microsoft began selling its Xbox One through the free-trade zone late last month, with restrictions on the titles approved for sale.

Minecraft Will Join Microsoft Studios

Minecraft-gamesMicrosoft Corp. has reached an agreement to acquire Mojang, the Stockholm-based game developer behind the popular Minecraft franchise.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Mojang team will join Microsoft Studios. Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion, and expects the acquisition to be break-even in fiscal year 2015 on a GAAP basis. Subject to customary closing conditions and any regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close later this year.

Available across multiple platforms, players have downloaded Minecraft more than 100 million times, on PC alone, since its launch in 2009. Minecraft is also the most popular online game on Xbox, and the game’s community is among the most active in the industry, with more than 2 billion hours played on Xbox 360 alone in the past two years. [Read more...]

LeapFrog Adds VP of Sales and VP of Platform Marketing

LEAPFROG ENTERPRISES LOGOLeapFrog Enterprises Inc. recently added two executives: Dan Burns and Scott A. Steinberg.

Burns joins LeapFrog as vice president of sales. In his new role, Burns will lead LeapFrog’s efforts to drive sales of the company’s award-winning products, including the recently unveiled LeapTV active video gaming system, the new LeapBand activity tracker, and more.

Prior to joining LeapFrog, Burns was vice president of sales at VTech Electronics for 10 years, where he drove record sales revenue and profit, set the strategy for global brand and product development efforts, and led retail merchandising initiatives for all sales accounts. He previously held executive sales positions at Radio Flyer Corporation and Hedstrom Corporation, as well as management positions at Hasbro and Kolcraft. [Read more...]

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...]

Get Ready to Moon Over Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel from 2K, Gearbox

Borderlands2K Australia and Gearbox Software are co-developing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, a standalone game set in-between Borderlands and Borderlands 2. The game will be available worldwide this fall for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles and Windows PC.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place on Pandora’s moon, where players will experience gravity-bending gunfights in zero-atmosphere environments using all-new weapons. For the first time, fans will also be able to play on the side of the Hyperion Corporation as four new playable characters.

WWE Slam City Launches with Mattel Toy Line

WWESlamCityMattel Inc. and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) recently launched WWE Slam City, a new kids property that includes a complete line of WWE Slam City merchandise as well as an original animated short-form series co-produced by WWE and Mattel’s Playground Productions. WWE Slam City toys, including action figures, ring sets and more, are currently available at major retail stores. In addition to toys, books and graphic novels will be available by year’s end, while a WWE Slam City mobile game will be in stores next year.

Episodes will be aired on WWESlamCity.com, Cartoonium, and YouTube in addition to TV broadcasts, live events, digital version, and social media. Other platforms include Hulu, Mattel.com, iTunes, and Playstation.

The series was filmed in the next generation of stop-motion animation. A new WWE animated character will fire all of the WWE Superstars and send them to Slam City to find day jobs. The characters, including John Cena, Randy Orton, and Sheamus will have a new lifestyle outside of the ring but will stay true to their personas.

COMMENTARY: Minecraft Brings A Whole New World

CARSONI admittedly didn’t know very much about the Minecraft toy and game selection until Halloween, when my uncle sent a photo of the costume that he had made for his son; who am I kidding—I knew nothing until then! My cousin Carson is a 5 year-old obsessed with the stuff! At the time, all I knew was that Carson could make anything look adorable, and that he had clearly moved on from trains and into this world where players can build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3-D generated world. I can’t even begin to understand all of the insider ins-and-outs of Minecraft, and it seems as though the name represents an entity of games and licensed products. I do, though, like to get as involved as I can with Carson, as I am much more aware of the favorites of his sister, Kennedy, since they were the same as mine: all things pink. Man, girls are simple! In time for the holidays, I took the game home to see what this Minecraft business is all about, so I can get those ever-elusive little kid “brownie points” while I’m home for Christmas. [Read more...]

2K and Gearbox Software Announce Borderlands 2 $100,000 Loot Hunt

2KGMKT_BL2_GOTY_10K_LOOTHUNT_ART_ALLPRIZESBorderlands 2 launched over a year ago, but 2K and Gearbox Software are still celebrating the game’s success. With the Borderlands 2 Game of the Year Edition coming out on October 8, fame, fortune, and loot—both in and out of the game—are up for grabs in the Borderlands 2 $100,000 Loot Hunt.

This four-week sweepstakes begins on October 11, at 10 a.m. EST, and a cash prize is not all that’s at stake. Playstation, Nvidia, Turtle Beach, and BrandyGames will each sponsor prizes that fans, and new players, will have a chance to win. Prizes include:

  • Playstation Vita handheld entertainment systems with copies of Borderlands 2 Vita once released
  • Customized Borderlands 2 XP Seven headsets from Turtle Beach
  • Nvidia Shield PC streaming set-up with a custom painted Tiki PC by Falcon Northwest
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti GFX cards
  • Lifetime supplies of all 2K titles on Stream—past, present, and future

Loot hunters can enter the sweepstakes by taking down the daily targets once a day for a total of 28 entries. In addition to the weekly sponsored prizes, one loot hunter will win a grand prize of $50,000 and four others will win varying amounts of cash totally another $50,000. Only U.S. players are eligible for cash prizes and sponsored prizes, however all players worldwide can participate in the Loot Hunt. U.S. residents may enter the sweepstakes by mailing a postcard to 2K, Borderlands 2 Loot Hunt Sweepstakes, 10 Hamilton Landing, Novato, CA 94949.

The Borderlands 2 $100,000 Loot Hunt ends at 5:00 a.m. EST on November 7. Players can join the hunt go to borderlands2loothunt.com, and log in using your SHiFT account information. The official web site has complete sweepstakes rules and prizing, details about daily targets, and daily community goals.