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2013-09-13
Road to Launch tour starts in New England next week with fans able to go hands-on with next-gen console at Microsoft Stores.   The Xbox One doesn't launch until late November, but gamers can go hands-on with the next-generation console beginning next week at Microsoft Stores in New England. Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has announced the Xbox One Tour: Road to Launch event, which begins in New England and will feature stops across the United States and into Canada. The tour kicks off at the grand opening of the Microsoft Store in Burlington, Vermont, on September 19 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. Killer Instinct and Forza Motorsport 5 will be playable at the event. In addition, those who attend will receive $25 off a $75 purchase, though this excludes Surface and Surface accessories and Xbox One and Xbox One accessories. The next day on September 20, the Xbox One Tour stops in Boston, Massachusetts, at the Shops at Prudential Center from 7:30-9:00 p.m. Other stops include Microsoft Stores in Orlando, Florida; Edmonton, Canada; and Scottsdale, Arizona. All events are free and open to the public. Microsoft said it expects "large crowds." The Xbox One launches in 13 regions on November 22. The platform's launch lineup, described by Microsoft as the best in the history of a console release, features 23 games. "Xbox One playable at Microsoft Stores this month" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 06:33:49
2013-09-13
Lifeinvader's tagline is "Where your personal information becomes a marketing profile (that we can sell)."   In the lead-up to Grand Theft Auto V's worldwide release in five days, Rockstar Games has launched a social network parody called Lifeinvader. "Where your personal information becomes a marketing profile (that we can sell)," reads the page's description. The Lifeinvader portal appears to be a riff on Facebook. Users are able to "stalk" friends from Los Santos and Blaine County and visit pages associated with fictional brands, shops, and services. Earlier this week, the Grand Theft Auto V world map surfaced, reportedly stemming from a Brady Games strategy guide for the upcoming open-world game. Rockstar Games has cautioned about "inevitable" leaks from the open-world game. Grand Theft Auto V launches exclusively for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 17. Its multiplayer component--GTA Online--will be released two weeks later on October 1. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Grand Theft Auto V. "Rockstar launches GTAV social network parody" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 06:41:24
2013-09-13
Fifth expansion for aging MMO game being released this fall; Base and Premium versions available for prepurchase beginning today.   The fifth expansion for the free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game Lord of the Rings Online--Helm's Deep--will launch on November 18, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today. The expansion is now available for prepurchase through the $60 Premium Edition and $40 Base Edition. The Base Edition includes all Helm's Deep content, as well as the Hauberk of the Hammerhead chest piece, the title of Helm's Enforcer, and 1,000 Turbine points. The Premium Edition packs in the Armor of Hammerhand armor, an additional 10 quest log slots, the Crystal of Remembrance (adds one additional legacy to legendary weapons), the titles Helm's Enforcer and Helm's Avenger, and 2,000 Turbine points. In addition, all Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep prepurchases will receive the Shield of Hammerhand (+25 percent experience) and the Steed of the Hammerhand, an exclusive Rohirrim mount with matching War-Steed appearance. These bonuses can be used immediately in the game. The Lord of the Rings Online: Helm's Deep expansion, as its name suggests, brings players to the Battle for Helm's Deep. Players can enlist as a soldier in the Battle of the Hornburg as early as level 10 and earn rewards--win or lose. The expansion also introduces new landscapes across the Western Rohan lands, including the Westemnet of Rohan, Edoras, Dunharrow, and the Hornburg within Helm's Deep. The Helm's Deep expansion also increases the level cap from 85 to 95 and introduces new skills and updated class specializations. In the content, players will encounter Aragorn, Eowyn, and Eomer as they help restore King Theoden to his throne. For more on the expansion, check out GameSpot's preview of the content. Helm's Deep is the fifth expansion for Lord of the Rings Online. It follows Mines of Moria (2008), Siege of Mirkwood (2009), Rise of Isengard (2011), and Riders of Rohan (2012). The game adopted a free-to-play business model in 2010, which resulted in monthly revenue jumping three times over. "LOTRO: Helm's Deep expansion out November 18" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 07:18:17
2013-09-13
New bundle launching October 8 for $40 includes Knife of Dunwall, Brigmore Witches, Dunwall City Trials, and Void Walker's Arsenal DLC.   Bethesda today announced a Dishonored Game of the Year Edition, due out October 8 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC for $40. In addition to the main game, the Game of the Year Edition includes previously released downloadable content, including The Knife of Dunwall, The Brigmore Witches, Dunwall City Trials, and Void Walker's Arsenal. A double-sided poster is also included with the bundle. The Dishonored Game of the Year Edition was first revealed last month through a listing on the Australian Classification Board. Dishonored launched in October 2012, with Bethesda saying a month later that sales were "far exceeding" expectations, making future games in the franchise likely. A sequel is reportedly in development at Arkane Studios' office in Lyon, France. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's review. "Dishonored Game of the Year Edition revealed" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:03:11
2013-09-13
Rock band's new song "Monster" will see worldwide debut in Chair Entertainment's new iOS game out next week.   Rock band Imagine Dragons will debut their new song "Monster" in Chair Entertainment's upcoming iOS game Infinity Blade III, which launches on September 18, the developer announced today. The song is available for preorder today on iTunes. "Monster" is a result of a collaboration between Chair Entertainment and Imagine Dragons and can be heard in Infinity Blade III during a "crucial" battle. In addition, players who click on the album cover appearing in-game will earn the exclusive "Imagine Dragon Axe," which will trigger the song to be played anytime it is used. "Chair has always been on the cutting edge of mobile gaming. Infinity Blade has been massive and we felt the song fit perfectly with the tone and visuals," Imagine Dragons said in a statement. "We're pretty big gamers ourselves, so we couldn't be more excited." Chair Entertainment co-founder and creative director Donald Mustard told GameSpot that the developer has long been a fan of the band, and working with them on the song was "one of the most surreal experiences of my life." Infinity Blade not only features a song from Imagine Dragons, but its opening animated short was directed by Ben Hibon, who co-directed the acclaimed The Tale of Three Brothers sequence from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1. The short is called Infinity Blade: Origins and will also feature the voice work of Lord of the Rings actor John Noble. The opening sequence will serve as a means to catch players up on the Infinity Blade story leading up to Infinity Blade III. Infinity Blade III is "truly a next-gen gaming experience," according to Mustard. The game makes use of the iPhone 5S' new 64-bit A7 processor to achieve character resolution four times that of a character from a console game, according to Chair. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's interview with Mustard. "Imagine Dragons debuting new song through Infinity Blade III" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:10:13
2013-09-13
Just-announced movies based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be spun into video games from Warner Bros.   Warner Bros. today announced (via Deadline) a new series of Harry Potter spin-off films based on the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them written by fictional author Newt Scamander, and said these properties will be developed into games as well. J.K. Rowling will make her screenwriting debut for the Fantastic Beasts films. The story will be original and set in the wizarding world, though it is not a sequel nor a prequel to the Harry Potter universe, but rather an extension of the fiction. Fantastic Beasts will start in New York, 70 years before Harry Potter's story begins. Video games based on the popular Harry Potter films were developed and published by Electronic Arts. It is unclear if Warner Bros. will develop the new Fantastic Beasts games internally through its Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment label or license them out. No release date for the theatrical release of the first Fantastic Beasts movie was announced, nor were details regarding platforms for the tie-in games. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as a required textbook for Hogwarts students. J.K. Rowling released a real-world version of the book in 2001 to support the Comic Relief charity. The most recent Harry Potter game was 2012's Kinect-required Harry Potter for Kinect. "Harry Potter spin-off films will get game adaptations" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:32:49
2013-09-13
PlayJam's 2-inch $80 console releasing next month across the world at retailers like GameStop and Amazon.   PlayJam's $80 microconsole Gamestick will launch at retailers across the world on October 29, the developer announced today. The Gamestick is a Kickstarter success story and has moved from paper to production in nine months. The USB-enabled console was originally targeted to launch in June, but was pushed back to meet "stringent QA targets." Those who backed the Gamestick's Kickstarter campaign will receive their units ahead of the October 29 launch. These units will ship at the end of the month before the global rollout in October. Powered by Android, the Gamestick features an ARM Cortex A9 CPU and a Mali 400 GPU, as well as 8B of onboard storage and a Micro SD slot. The system also features built-in Wi-Fi, 1080p playback, Bluetooth 4.0, and "full parental control" with content filters. Included with every $80 package are one Gamestick console, one Bluetooth control, a power adapter, and all other cables needed to get the system running. The console is available to preorder today through Amazon and GameStop, among others. "Android-powered microconsole Gamestick launching October 29" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 09:01:27
2013-09-13
Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore outlines what he believes will drive the industry forward, discusses company's shift to becoming an Internet company.   Battlefield and Mass Effect publisher Electronic Arts' COO, Peter Moore, has outlined his view of what the future of the game industry is going to be all about. "It's about connected, it's about mobile, and it's about digital," Moore told FOX Business. "And I love my roots in Sega. I certainly love my roots in Microsoft. I think at Electronic Arts we bring it all together." Moore said EA remains a "powerhouse" in the core packaged-goods business. However, he pointed out that the company's $1.7 billion in digital revenue for the past 12 months shows that change is brewing. "We are moving towards being really an Internet company that provides game experiences for gamers around the world," Moore said. Also in the interview, Moore addressed the impending arrival of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and what the next-generation consoles will mean for EA's bottom line. He said the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 platforms would remain the "core" of the company's business this fiscal year, noting that it won't be until fiscal 2015 that the new platforms play a meaningful role in the publisher's earnings. The PlayStation 4 launches on November 15, while the Xbox One comes to market on November 22. "EA: The future is connected, mobile, digital" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 10:29:47
2013-09-13
Producer Kazunori Yamauchi says unannounced racing game will be ready in 2014 or 2015; Gran Turismo 6 about 80 percent finished.   A new Gran Turismo game for the PlayStation 4 will be released in "a year or two," according to Polyphony Digital producer Kazunori Yamauchi. In the latest issue of Famitsu (via Polygon), Yamauchi said this unannounced game will feature a significant community aspect. "The PlayStation 4 game, which we'll likely call GT7, will be done in about a year or two, I think, and I think the community aspect's going to be vital there as well," Yamauchi said. Yamauchi previously said that he had a PS4 version of Gran Turismo "in mind." Gran Turismo 6 launches exclusively for the PlayStation 3 on December 6. Yamauchi also said in the magazine that the game was about 80 percent finished. "The physics engine, the steering controls; those parts of the user interface are things that we fine-tune right up to the very end," Yamauchi said. "Things like the game modes; I can say that those are complete." Gran Turismo 6 is one of the more than 50 games that Sony will have on display at its booth at the Tokyo Game Show, which begins late next week. For more on Gran Turismo 6, check out GameSpot's previous coverage. "Polyphony: Gran Turismo 7 for PS4 in "a year or two"" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:43:47
2013-09-13
Andrew House says streaming device not planned for release in Western markets, at least not yet; could support PS3 and PS4 streaming.   Sony has no plans to release its newly announced PlayStation Vita TV streaming device in the United States or Europe, at least not yet, president and group CEO Andrew House has said. According to a report from Nikkei's Tech On blog, House told a group of journalists following Sony's pre-Tokyo Game Show event this week that the PS Vita TV will be released first in Asian markets, including Japan, China, and South Korea. Western markets will be left out, though no rationale was provided. Also in the interview, House said the Gaikai-powered streaming service in the works for the PlayStation 4 could "technically" be supported on the PS Vita TV. "Therefore, SCE is considering providing PS3 games to the PS Vita TV by using the service in the future," House said. The Apple TV-style device measures 6.5x10.5cm and connects to a television, with slots for players to insert their PS Vita game cards. The hardware will also beam games remotely to other televisions within the home, as well as work in conjunction with streaming video services such as Hulu. The PS Vita TV will allow owners to play PSP, original PlayStation, and PS Vita games directly on their televisions. The system will also work with the PlayStation 4's Remote Play feature. The device will launch in Japan on November 14 for ¥9,480 (around $95) and will also be available in a bundle that includes a PS Vita TV, a DualShock 3 controller, and an 8GB Vita Memory Card. Earlier this week, Sony published a full list of supported titles for the PS Vita TV. "Sony has no plans to launch PS Vita TV in US, Europe" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:48:41
2013-09-13
Brad Keselowski will be featured as non-playable character in Ubisoft's upcoming open-world game, joining actress and comedian Aisha Tyler.   Ubisoft's upcoming open-world action game Watch Dogs may be an entirely new franchise, but its list of familiar faces is growing longer. NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski will be featured in the game as a non-playable character, Ubisoft confirmed today. Keselowski will be one of many in-game citizens roaming the streets of Chicago and joins actress and comedian Aisha Tyler, who will also appear as an NPC. In addition to his career as a racer, Keselowski owns Keselowski Racing, which operates two full-time teams in the Camping World Truck Series. He currently drives the No. 2 Ford Fusion for Penske Racing in NASCAR and the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in the Nationwide Series. Watch Dogs launches for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC on November 19. The Xbox One and PS4 versions will be released as launch titles for those platforms. Ubisoft expects the game to sell more than 6.2 million units. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Watch Dogs. "NASCAR driver will be NPC in Watch Dogs" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:55:16
2013-09-13
Fans can now pick up $40 tickets for two-day all-things-Blizzard event in November; purchase includes access to multi-channel HD streams.   Though physical tickets for BlizzCon 2013 are sold out, fans can now purchase virtual tickets for the all-things Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft event, Blizzard Entertainment announced today. Available at $40 each, a virtual ticket includes access to a live high-definition stream of the event, which takes place November 8-9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Viewers will receive access to two channels featuring developer panels, interviews, community contests, and the closing ceremony, as well as on-demand replays and DVR functionality. Of note, video programming will be available in English only. BlizzCon 2013 will mark the seventh instalment of the event. Blizzard elected to skip a 2012 show due to a "jam-packed" release schedule. In addition, anyone who orders a BlizzCon virtual ticket will receive exclusive in-game items for World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and HearthStone: Heroes of Warcraft. These will be detailed later. For those who don't want to buy a virtual ticket, Blizzard will provide a free video stream of the BlizzCon 2013 opening ceremony and the event's various eSports tournaments, including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational. Past BlizzCons have featured closing concerts from big-time acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Foo Fighters, The Offspring, and Tenacious D. Blizzard has not announced details for this year's musical guest, if there is one. "BlizzCon 2013 virtual tickets now on sale" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 15:58:35
2013-09-13
Nintendo's portable outsells home consoles from Microsoft and Sony in the US for latest month; software sales post first gain since November 2011.   The NPD Group today released United States sales data for August 2013, revealing Nintendo's 3DS was the top-selling platform during the month, outpacing the PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Nintendo did not reveal specific sales data for the 3DS, but Microsoft chimed in to say the Xbox 360 sold 96,000 units during the month, down sharply from the 193,000 systems sold during August 2012. Total Xbox 360 platform revenue (hardware, software, accessories) was $213 million, the most for any platform in the United States, Microsoft said. Sony did not reveal August US sales figures for the PS3 or PS Vita. Overall, US hardware sales were down 40 percent year-over-year to $90.8 million and every platform saw a decline. "We hope to see hardware sales improve with the launch of the Xbox One and PS4 in November," NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. Overall, total industry sales rose 1 percent to $521 million, though this number only reflects about half of the true market spend on games during the month, Callahan said. "These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software, and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games," he said. "When taking into account our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in August such as used and rentals at $178 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including micro-transactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $528 million, the total consumer spend in August is just over $1.2 billion." Excluding January 2013, which posted gains due to an extra reporting week versus January 2012, the last time retail sales were up overall year-over-year was October 2011. Switching to software, this category jumped 21 percent to $305 million, compared to $253 million last year. This was principally driven by the shift of Madden NFL 25 into the NPD Group's August reporting period and the release of Saints Row IV, Disney Infinity, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Callahan said. "Collectively, August 2013 launches made up an astounding 58 percent of overall dollar sales for the month and 41 percent of units sales, which compared to 24 percent of dollar sales and 15 percent of unit sales that August 2012 launches represented in that month," he said. "Due to a greater percentage of sales stemming from newer games at full price and have higher priced collector's editions, overall software average pricing grew by 25 percent." Callahan said it is "remarkable" that Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sales grew over 50 percent during the month and were only down 1 percent year-over-year considering the arrival of the Xbox One and PlayStation is just months away. Madden NFL 25 was the top-seller during August, followed by Saints Row IV and Disney Infinity. The full list of top August titles is below. The accessories category rose 7 percent to $136.7 million for the month. The NPD Group said with the launch of Disney Infinity, which includes physical toys, the research group has begun categorizing these sales--along with Skylanders sales--within the accessories category as Interactive Gaming Toys. "Sales of Video Game and Subscription cards were also strong in August 2013, and when combined with Interactive Gaming Toys, these two types of accessories represented over 50 percent of dollar sales this month," Callahan said. AUGUST US GAME SALES (August 4-August 31, 2013) OVERALL DOLLAR SALES Total retail sales: $521 (1%) Non-PC hardware: $90.8 million (-40%) Non-PC software: $293.4 (23%) Accessories: $136.7 (7%) Total software: $305 million (21%) TOP 10 GAMES FOR AUGUST 2013 Title (Platforms) - Publisher 1. Madden NFL 25 - (X360, PS3) - Electronic Arts 2. Saints Row IV - (X360, PS3, PC) - Deep Silver 3. Disney Infinity - (X360, Wii, PS3, Wii U, 3DS ) - Disney Interactive 4. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist - (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) - Ubisoft 5. Minecraft - (X360) - Microsoft 6. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team - (3DS) - Nintendo 7. NCAA Football 14 - (X360, PS3) - Electronic Arts 8. PayDay 2 - (X360, PS3) - 505 Games 9. Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn - (PS3, PC) - Square Enix 10. Pikmin 3 - (Wii U) - Nintendo "NPD: 3DS outsells Xbox 360, PS3 in August" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:26:03
2013-09-13
Nintendo reveals first-month sales for new strategy game; 6.47 million 3DS units sold during 2013 so far.   Pikmin 3 has sold 115,000 combined physical and digital copies in the United States since launch on August 4, Nintendo announced today, citing data from research firm the NPD Group. Another August release--Mario & Luigi: Dream Team--sold nearly 190,000 combined physical and digital units, Nintendo added. That game was released on August 11. Nintendo also called out New Super Luigi U, saying the game has now sold nearly 120,000 copies. It was originally released as downloadable content for New Super Mario Bros. U in June and became available at retail earlier this month. The 3DS was the top-selling games system for August in the US, beating out the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Nintendo said today that is has now sold more than 6.47 million systems so far in 2013, up more than 30 percent compared to this time last year. Thus far in 2013, nine 3DS games have sold at least 250,000 copies. Nintendo also provided updated 2013 and lifetime sales figures for various 3DS and Wii U games. Check out the list below. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - 863,000 units (2013) Animal Crossing: New Leaf- 739,000 units (2013) New Super Mario Bros. 2 - 406,000 units (2013), 1.85 million units (lifetime) Fire Emblem: Awakening - 390,000 units (2013) Mario Kart 7 - 352,000 units (2013), 2.84 million units (lifetime) Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity - 298,000 units (2013) Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D - 268,000 units (2013) Super Mario 3D Land - 265,000 units (2013), 2.86 million units (lifetime) Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins - 264,000 units (2013) "Pikmin 3 US sales reach 115,000 units" was posted by Eddie Makuch on Thu, 12 Sep 2013 17:31:15
2013-09-12
Namco Bandai's latest free-to-play fighter coming to PS3.   Namco Bandai is working on a free-to-play version of its long-running fighting series SoulCalibur. The latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu (translated by Gematsu) confirmed that SoulCalibur: Lost Swords is being developed for the PlayStation 3. No additional information about the game was provided. SoulCalibur is Namco Bandai's latest attempt at free-to-play, following Tekken Revolution and Ridge Racer Driftopia. The last entry in the series, SoulCalibur V, was released in 2012. "Once the steep learning curve is surmounted, you will find a fresh-yet-familiar fighting system that's fun to explore," said GameSpot in its review. "Namco Bandai announces free-to-play SoulCalibur: Lost Swords" was posted by Martin Gaston on Wed, 11 Sep 2013 03:08:56


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