China Toy Fair


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.

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...]

Dora and Friends: Into the City! Debuts in Primetime this August

DAF_Group_ShotDora and Friends: Into the City! will premiere in primetime on Monday, August 18, at 8:00 p.m. on Nickelodeon. The half-hour series will regularly air on weekdays during Nickelodeon’s preschool block. The original Dora the Explorer series will continue to air.

The new series takes place in the fictional city of Playa Verde, where Dora and her new friends will go on adventures. It features an interactive curriculum focusing on community service, problem solving, emotional skills, the Spanish language, and Latino culture. Throughout her journeys, Dora will use the Map App on her smartphone and a magical charm bracelet to navigate the city and overcome obstacles. Her new group of friends includes Kate, an avid reader who is dramatic and artistic; Naiya, a smart girl who excels at math and science; Emma, a driven and accomplished musician; Alana, an athletic soccer player and animal lover; and Pablo, a smart, playful, energetic athlete and explorer. [Read more...]

Sony Plans Launch for PlayStation 4

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA LLC LOGOSony Computer Entertainment Inc. reveals that the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system will launch on November 15 in Canada and the U.S., and November 29 in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK. The PS4 will also launch in the following Latin America countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Peru.

SCE will continue to offer breakthrough gaming and entertainment experiences to users by further enriching the services available on PS4 such as PSN and PlayStation Plus, a membership service offering members exclusive content and features, while enhancing the PS4 system itself through future system software updates.

There are currently more than 180 PS4 titles in development. This line-up reflects the strong support for PS4 among virtually every software developer and publisher and within the independent development community.  Since June of this year, the number of developers joining has increased from nearly 500 to 620.

Sony Releases New Video Game Collections In Time For the Holidays

Sony released its Ratchet and Clank video games collection, which is a re-mastered version of the classic Ratchet and Clank games from PS2 in 1080p with 3D support. The collection includes Ratchet and Clank, Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando, and Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal. The Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal game allows for online multiplayer support. The collection also features full PlayStation Network Trophy Support. Players will also get a free 10th Anniversary Ratchet and Clank Avatar.

Sony also released LittleBigPlanet Karting. Players can get behind the steering wheel and get ready to race through tracks, discover unlockables in 3D environments, and battle in karting arenas. The game also allows players to pick-up items and weaponry and to customize tracks, karts, weapons, and Sackboy costumes using the in-game editor. Players have the option to download designs built by players around the world.

Journey: Collector's Edition for PS3

Sony also presents its Journey Collector’s Edition for PS3. The Blu-Ray Bundle features exclusive titles, new content, and previously released digital content. The bundle also features a thirty-minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of Journey, creator commentary, three mini games from thatgamecompany, concept art, and screenshot galleries for all three games, original soundtrack, PS3 dynamic themes and wallpapers, PSN avatars including 8 exclusive new Journey avatars, official game trailers and developer diary videos, and reversible cover art.

NRF to Welcome Walmart President, CEO as Keynote at Retail’s BIG Show 2013

The National Retail Federation has announced that Bill Simon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S. will keynote Retail’s BIG Show, held from January 13 to 16 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. Simon’s keynote, titled “A Job to Do: Retail’s Role in an American Renewal,” is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15 at 8:30 a.m.

In his keynote address, Simon will make the case that leadership from within the retail industry is needed now more than ever when it comes to issues like the economy and job creation.

Retail’s Big Show and Expo serve as the world’s leading retail event, bringing 25,500 retail executives and vendors from more than 75 countries together for educational and networking opportunities. The convention has been ranked as one of the Top 200 events in North America, as well as one of the 50 fastest-growing events. Other speakers will include executives from Coca Cola, Belk, Sony, and Deloitte.

PlayStation to Launch New Gaming System and 3-D Display

Later this year, Sony will premiere the PlayStation Vita, which will redefine the portable gaming world with an inventive new platform for a heightened game experience.

The device will feature a 5-inch multitouch OLED as the front display and will also incorporate a unique multitouch pad on the back. This technology allow users to interact with motions that were previously not available, such as grabbing, pushing, pulling, and tracing finger motions. The Vita will also be equipped with two analog sticks, enabling for a wider range of game genres. Two versions of the PlayStation Vita will be available for sale: the Wi-Fi model ($249) and the 3G Wi-Fi model ($299).

Additionally, this fall, the new PlayStation 3D Display will be available at all major retailers. The display is a 24-inch, full HD LCD screen that will give PlayStation users full access to the three-dimensional realm of entertainment. There will be a 3-D Display bundle, including the 3-D Display, 3-D glasses, an HDMI cable, and the Resistance 3 game, available for $499. The 3-D glasses will also be sold separately for $69.99.

Hasbro’s Risk Joins List of Games to Become Movies

Risk Board Game

Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired movie rights to the board game Risk from Hasbro. Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s CEO, and executive Bennett Schneir will produce the action/military film with Overbrook Entertainment. According to Variety, the deal with Sony Pictures allows Hasbro to produce two large-scale films.

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