Apple may launch revamped iTunes Store, App Store later this year

February 20th at 7:15 PM

Apple may launch revamped iTunes Store, App Store later this year

Apple may be working on an overhaul of its iTunes Store and App Store, according to 9to5Mac. Due to growing competition from music streaming services like Spotify and the growing popularity of Amazon’s online music store, the redesign of the iTunes Store is considered “a top priority for Apple.” The Cupertino-based company is looking to simplify the service and deliver a more user-friendly interface than the one afforded by its current design. The redesign will reportedly simplify content discovery, and it will “make the iTunes Store a much more engaging experience.” The revamped stores are reportedly scheduled to launch later this year. More →

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Angry Birds Space set to launch in March [video]

February 17th at 4:15 PM

Angry Birds Space set to launch in March [video]

Rovio on Friday teased the next frontier for the company’s massive Angry Birds franchise. The fourth major Birds release will be called “Angry Birds Space” and is scheduled to land on mobile devices on March 22nd. In the newest edition, users will be flinging birds on zero gravity planets with new gameplay features such as slow-motion and lightspeed destruction, according to Yahoo Games. “We think fans are really going to love it because we’ve already gotten amazing feedback on the physics of our games,” said Rovio’s GM of North America Andrew Stalbow. “They’re so accurate and easy to grasp that some teachers use Angry Birds in their lessons about projectile motion.” Rovio has confirmed that the game will have completely new birds along with some originals, who now possess various super powers. Since debuting in 2009, the franchise has been downloaded over 700 million times on iOS and Android alone. Read on for a video teaser from Rovio. More →

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HTC phones to get the PlayStation Suite in 2012, report claims

February 14th at 8:15 AM

HTC phones to get the PlayStation Suite in 2012, report claims

HTC will be one of the first companies outside of Sony to receive PlayStation certification for its mobile devices, according to Pocket-lint. The announcement is expected later this year and devices with PlayStation certification could possibly debut at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Sony announced that its PlayStation certification program would launch on non-Sony devices at last year’s launch of the PlayStation Vita in Japan. The program gives smartphone and tablet owners access to many classic PSOne games and to Sony’s gaming network. It is suggested that HTC devices with the PlayStation Suite will begin hitting the market in the second half of 2012. More →

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Video game sales fall 21% in December, down 8% for full-year 2011

January 16th at 3:45 PM

Video game sales fall 21% in December, down 8% for full-year 2011

The video game industry capped off a rough year in the United States with a horrible holiday month that saw sales plummet year-over-year across all categories. Market research firm The NPD Group recently released its sales estimates for December 2011 and the full year, and neither set of figures paints a pretty picture. Last month, total industry sales plummeted to $3.99 billion, down 21% from $5.07 billion in December 2010. Hardware sales dropped 28% to $1.32 billion in December, and software sales were down 14% to $2.08 billion. “December was very rough for new physical sales of video games hardware, software and accessories,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. “Because of the great slate of content that came to market during the fourth quarter, I had expected December sales to represent a larger portion of total year sales than what occurred. This year, December accounted for just 23% of annual sales, while the average for the past ten years has been 28.” For the full year, hardware sales were down 11% to $5.58 billion, software sales dipped 6% to $8.83 billion and total industry sales slid 8% to $17.02 billion. The NPD Group’s full press release follows below along with a list of the top-10 best-selling games of 2011. More →

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Gameloft sale drops price on all Android games to 99¢

December 28th at 3:10 PM

Gameloft sale drops price on all Android games to 99¢

When it comes to mobile gaming, no one does it better than Gameloft. The French company is known for its visually stunning and in-depth game-play, having repeatedly raised the bar for mobile gaming throughout the years. Gameloft’s paid games range from $0.99 to $6.99, however, from December 29th through January 5th all of the company’s paid games can be had for $0.99. There is no catch and no gimmick; all games means all games, including the newly released first-person shooter Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation, originally priced at $6.99. Other titles you may want to check out, should you have a compatible device, include Order & Chaos Online, N.O.V.A. 2 HD, 9mm HD, Adventures of TinTin, and BackStab HD. The sale begins tomorrow, December 29th, at 1:00 p.m. More →

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Sony details PlayStation Vita launch games

December 23rd at 7:00 AM

Sony details PlayStation Vita launch games

Sony recently published a list of the games that will be available when its brand new PlayStation Vita portable gaming console finally makes its debut on February 22nd in the United States. The $250 console, which we enjoyed during our initial hands-on during E3 2011, will launch alongside exciting titles such as Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, Dungeon Hunter Alliance, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 and more. Sony will also offer a 4GB memory card for just $19.99, or users can opt to spend up to $99 for a 32GB memory card. The full list of launch day games follows below in Sony’s press release.  More →

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Xbox sees biggest ever sales week thanks to hot holiday weekend

November 29th at 4:10 PM

Xbox sees biggest ever sales week thanks to hot holiday weekend

Microsoft announced on Tuesday that last week marked the Xbox 360’s best ever week of sales. The company sold more than 960,000 Xbox 360 consoles and more than 750,000 Kinect controllers last week. Microsoft also confirmed that more than 800,000 of the consoles it sold last week were purchased on Black Friday alone. “We have seen tremendous excitement from customers for our hot holiday gaming offers,” said Chris Homeister, senior vice president and general manager of Home Entertainment at Best Buy, in a statement. “Xbox 360 was among the best-sellers at Best Buy this Black Friday, and is a testament to the continued popularity of the gaming category this holiday.” Microsoft’s full announcement follows below. More →

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EA and Gameloft drop most iOS games to $0.99 for Thanksgiving

November 24th at 3:45 PM

EA and Gameloft drop most iOS games to $0.99 for Thanksgiving

If you’re unfortunate enough to be sitting at your in-laws wearing that itchy sweater you hate so much, at least we have you covered with a few games to get you through the night. EA and Gameloft have a huge sale going on and both are offering most titles for just $0.99. Gameloft has Starfront: Collision, Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden, Shrek Kart and dozens more up for grabs, each for just a dollar. In addition, EA has Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad, The Sims: Medieval and much, much more for just $0.99 a piece. That’s the same price as a McChicken, but so much more rewarding — and none of us should be thinking about more food right now. More →

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 declares war on sales records: 12M copies, $738M in first week

November 15th at 12:20 PM

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 declares war on sales records: 12M copies, $738M in first week

Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has become the fastest-selling video game in history, crushing previous records set by earlier titles in the Call of Duty franchise. The game lab on Tuesday announced that week-one sales of Modern Warfare 3 totaled 12.3 million units, making it the biggest launch of all time and pulling in an estimated $738 million in revenue. The Xbox 360 version of the game lead sales with more than 7 million copies, a record for game sales on a single console that was previously held by Call of Duty: Black Ops (5.8 million), and 4.8 million copies were sold for the PlayStation 3. Nintendo’s Wii split the remaining half-million copies with the PC version of the game. Activision announced late last week that the new title sold 6.5 million copies and reeled in $400 million during its launch weekend alone, also a record. We reviewed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 last week and called it our favorite first-person shooter ever.

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iOS games ‘absolutely not under consideration’ says Nintendo boss

September 14th at 7:30 PM

iOS games ‘absolutely not under consideration’ says Nintendo boss

Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata recently reiterated that Nintendo will not develop games for Apple’s iPad, iPod and iPhone, despite recent pressure from investors to jump on the iOS bandwagon. “This is absolutely not under consideration,” Iwata told the Japanese news outlet Nikkei following the company’s recent 3DS press conference. “If we did this, Nintendo would cease to be Nintendo. Having a hardware development team in-house is a major strength. It’s the duty of management to make use of those strengths. It’s probably the correct decision in the sense that the moment we started to release games on smartphones we’d make profits. However, I believe my responsibility is not to short term profits, but to Nintendo’s mid and long term competitive strength.” Several analysts have argued that Nintendo will continue to struggle against mobile gaming platforms that offer a larger selection of free or $0.99 games. Nintendo recently dropped the price of the 3DS to $169.99, which helped increase sales, but the system is still expected to miss sales targets for the year. According to AdriaSang, which translated the Nikkei article, Iwata believes Nintendo’s current business model works and he expects that to be reflected during the holiday shopping season. More →

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Mario can’t save 3DS: Nintendo to miss 3DS sales target despite price drop, feature boost

September 14th at 12:00 AM

Mario can’t save 3DS: Nintendo to miss 3DS sales target despite price drop, feature boost

During the Nintendo 3DS Conference in Japan on Tuesday, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata discussed the company’s plans to boost interest in its 3D portable gaming console. Nintendo will add the ability to record 3D video on the device, which is currently only capable of snapping 3D photos, and will sell a new joystick add-on. Nintendo will also launch a pink 3DS in October in an effort to attract female gamers. But those new options as well as 43 new games, including Super Mario 3D Land, will not be enough to help the company meet its sales expectations according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The analysts collectively estimated that Nintendo may miss its goal 16 million 3DS units sold goal by about 16%. Read on for more. More →

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Windows Phone Marketplace now home to more than 30,000 apps

August 31st at 12:45 AM

Windows Phone Marketplace now home to more than 30,000 apps

The Windows Marketplace for Mobile is now home to more than 30,000 applications according to app tracking website WindowsPhoneAppList. On July 2nd, the Windows Marketplace for Microsoft’s Windows Phones passed the 25,000 milestone. By comparison, Apple’s iTunes App Store is populated with more than 500,000 applications and Google confirmed in May that the Android Market has more than 200,000 apps. The Windows Marketplace’s paid app list is loaded with games — as it should be considering the great Xbox Live integrations — and the top-five paid apps are Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Need for Speed Unleashed and Cro-Mag Rally. More →

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Google adds games to Google+

August 12th at 3:00 AM

Google adds games to Google+

Google announced on Thursday that it is following in Facebook’s footsteps yet again by adding games to its Google+ social network. “We want to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to the web,” the company said in a blog post. “That means giving you control over when you see games, how you play them and with whom you share your experiences.” Thankfully we won’t be bombarded with Farmville requests and updates on Mafia Wars: “games in Google+ are there when you want them and gone when you don’t,” the company said. A new ‘Games’ button will be added to the top of the Google+ stream that will bring users to the gaming page. Launch titles include Angry Birds,  Bejeweled Blitz, Bubble Island, City of Wonder, Collapse! Blast, Crime City, Diamond Dash, Dragon Age Legends, Dragons of Atlantis, Edge World, Flood-It!, Monster World, Sudoku, Wild Ones, Zombie Lane and Zynga Poker. Google will be rolling out the update to its users gradually and it will be available to all users “soon.” More →

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