China Toy Fair


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...]

COMMENTARY: Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. [Read more...]

Nintendo Enters Toys to Life Category with amiibo

AmiiboAt the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) video game trade show in Los Angeles, Nintendo began showcasing new interactive figures called amiibo, which feature popular Nintendo characters. The company’s entry into the toys to life category, amiibo can interact with Wii U and Nintendo 3DS games in unique ways.

Nintendo will launch the new amiibo line this year with 10 figures, and more during the holiday season and throughout next year. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be the first game to support the figures, and upcoming games include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Mario Party 10, and Yoshi’s Woolly World. A new NFC reader/writer designed for Nintendo 3DS is scheduled to launch next year.

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...]

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved Scheduled for October Console Release

DisneyFantasiaMusicEvolvedDisney Interactive and Harmonix will release the music and motion video game, Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, for Xbox One and Kinect for Xbox 360 on October 21.

At this year’s E3, players will be introduced to new multiplayer gameplay and musical content, along with a vibrant city realm, entitled The Neighborhood. In The Neighborhood, players work their way through a restrained 2-D urban cityscape, unleashing a vibrant and magical 3-D environment by interacting with billboards, rooftops, trains, and more. Players will watch and listen as their movements create bold colors and whimsical music.

The latest announced tracks that will appear in-game include “Enjoy the Silence,” by Depeche Mode; “Take Care” (featuring Rihanna), by Drake; and “Message in a Bottle,” by The Police.

Players will also be introduced to Yen Sid’s previous apprentice, Scout, who will guide players as they perform, transform, and create music to restore order to the world.

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.

Skylanders Fans Can Pre-Order a Trap Master Toy for Skylanders Trap Team

SkylandersTTGearshiftSkylanders Trap Team is bringing a new female character, Gearshift, to Portal Masters via a special pre-order program starting today. Gearshift is the latest character to be unveiled in the Skylanders Trap Team lineup and will be offered to Skylanders fans for pre-order at all major North American retailers while supplies last. Fans will be able to get their hands on the Tech element character months in advance of her official arrival at retail next year. A limited supply of Gearshift will be available for the October 5 launch of Skylanders Trap Team in North America.

Angry Birds Stella Game, Animation Series Set to Launch this Fall

June4.ABStella-300x186 copyRovio Entertainment Ltd, the company behind Angry Birds, has created an all-new game, Angry Birds Stella. It will feature a whole new set of stories, characters, and adventures.

Angry Birds Stella adds a new cast of characters to the Angry Birds universe: Stella, Poppy, Willow, Dahlia, and Luca. Gale, a good bird gone bad, wants to take over Golden Island, the birds’ island habitat. All of the birds must work together to find creative solutions to their problems. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Teen Titans Go! Has Licensed Toys Ready to Go

Phil.TeenTitans1.RobinFunkoIt’s been a good year for superhero comics on TV, what with the success of DC Comics’ Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., not to mention the planned fall arrivals of The Flash and Gotham. But let’s not forget the animated side of small screen super-heroics, as the second season of Teen Titans Go! premieres next month. The series resurrects Teen Titans, which aired during the mid-to-late 2000s, as something wackier and anarchic. Both shows are based on the long-running comic book of the same name, which is centered on some of the best-known teenage characters in DC’s pantheon.

Along with everyone’s favorite young sidekick, Robin, the cast includes Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy. While adept at defeating evil-doers, Teen Titans Go! more often depicts them hanging out unsupervised at their team headquarters, at which point trouble worse than any super-villain tends to break out. The series is a fun romp, not to mention a good antidote to the spate of more serious, live-action superhero adaptations of late. Teen Titans Go! is currently licensed by a number of toy companies, with items for collectors, young kids, and everyone in between. But in all cases, the property’s lighthearted attitude shines through. [Read more...]