Wii Little Baby Game

Nintendo is releasing Baby and Me for Wii after much internet buzz about the interactive baby doll game, reports BrandFreak. The doll hooks into the console through the Wii remote to become interactive, offering both on-screen games and motion-controller activities such as rocking the baby doll to sleep. BrandFreak says the doll is launching in Australia next month. There is very little information on other sites about the toy s availability or official release date. Read more at BrandFreak.

An Academic View On AR

The University of Southern California is taking an academic approach to the growing use of augmented reality as a way to grow and promote entertainment properties. LA Times has a piece on how a new course covering the phenomenon is being offered at the school, considered one of America s top ranked film programs. The course is taught by Henry Jenkins, a former MIT professor and author of books on the influence of digital media on culture. Jenkins has dubbed the term transmedia storytelling to describe the extension of a fictional universe into bits and parts distributed over various forms of media, such as The Matrix storyline extension through the Animatrix series and AR film promotion campaigns for Blair Witch Project and District 9. He calls their appeal as something that taps into the human impulse to hunt and gather, and he says this new media literacy is giving American children a richer intellectual life outside of schools. He also traces the roots of it back to early comics and even classical literature such as the serialized fiction of Charles Dickens.

 

Read more at LA Times.

Shack News Game Release List For Week Of Nov. 22

Shack News lists this week s releases for PC, Xbox 360, Sony s PS2, PS3 and PSP, and Nintendo’s Wii and DS.

The year’s biggest titles are out and holiday wish lists for most people are probably off to Santa. The week ending with Black Friday sees a very light game release schedule. The broadest release, hitting all three home consoles, is Konami’s Karaoke Revolution. The biggest from a game franchise standpoint is Namco-Bandai’s Tekken 6 going handheld on PSP.

 

Check out the full list at Shack News.

Modern Warfare Lifts GameStop’s Boat

GameStop says it sold 2.5 million copies of Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 in the first three days, setting a new game launch sales record for its stores. Media outlet GameSpot reports that the US game retailer stated the figure as part of its third quarter earnings, where it also said it expects continuing brisk sales over the holidays on other big titles including Ubisoft’s Assassin s Creed II and Nintendo’s The New Super Mario Brothers.

GameSpot also lists the games provided by the retailer as meeting or beating sales expectations during its third quarter. They are EA’s Madden NFL 10, Microsoft’s Halo 3: ODST, Warner Brothers Batman: Arkham Asylum, 2K Sports’ NBA 2K10, and Nintendo’s Wii Sports Resort. Read more at GameSpot.

Music And Games Are YouTube Moneymakers

Research firm TubeMogul has found that the biggest moneymakers on YouTube are major music labels followed by the videogame program Machinima, reports Business Insider.  TubeMogul measured the daily share of what it calls monetized views on YouTube, comparing the audience draw for ad-carrying content among the site’s top 100 most viewed videos. It found that videos released by music labels Universal, Sony, Hollywood Records and EMI top the list. The fifth highest ad revenue generator is the videogame editorial program Machinima, although with a much smaller share than the music labels.

TubeMogul says nearly four percent of all daily views on YouTube are for content from Universal and Sony music. Business Insider points out that the two labels are joining forces to launch their own online content channel Vevo.

‘The Beatles: Rock Band’ Gets A Holiday Campaign

MTV Games has launched a holiday campaign for The Beatles: Rock Band with a new TV spot and an upcoming behind the scenes special. The special Making of The Beatles Rock Band is scheduled to air on music channel VH1 later this week. As reported in 411mania, the show’s highlights are never-before-seen footage of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr overseeing development of the game and an interview with George Martin’s son, Giles.

The TV spot is set to begin running in the US this week. It shows various rooms in a house full of Christmas cheer but void of people, as The Beatles Day Tripper plays in the background. Eventually the viewer finds the whole family, young and old, gathered around a TV set playing along to the track on Rock Band. Besides the boys from Liverpool making up the music, the ad delivers a very British feel as it moves through empty rooms showing tea on the stove, footie on the telly, and very busy wallpaper. Although not reported it’s quite possible UK and Europe are included in the rotation, especially given the premise.

Watch it and read more about the campaign at 411mania.

Flying Kills Polar Bears

An organization called Plane Stupid wants to raise awareness about the aviation industry as a big global polluter. To get the point across and tie their message to global warming s effects, they’ve chosen to highlight how a flight can produce enough greenhouse gasses to equal the average weight of a polar bear for each passenger on board. That analogy becomes a creative if somewhat disturbing allegory in the ad, one where polar bears are seen falling out of the sky as a jet can be heard flying overhead.

Caveat spectator. The ad goes for maximum impact with a very realistic (read: gory) depiction of what it would look like if it started raining 900 lb polar bears.

 

Watch it at Creativity-Online.

Beer Breaks Come To DVR

TiVo and MillerCoors have partnered to bring branded pause screens to DVR viewing of NFL games, reports Ad Age. The beer distributor’s Coors Light brand has a long-standing relationship with the NFL, touted as the official beer of America’s pro football league. The deal brings Coors Light branded screens to any televised NFL programming recorded or being watched on delay on TiVo DVRs. The display ads will appear whenever the DVR screen is brought up during prompts such as pausing or rewinding.

According to TiVo, live football has proven to be less affected by time-shifted viewing habits than other televised programming. Only about 20 percent of people watch NFL games on delay compared to more than 60 percent with regular primetime TV programs.  Ad Age says despite the disparity, the deal proves that ad-skippers have caught the attention of pro sports marketers. Read more at Ad Age.

Edge-Online Games Index For Nov. 16

Edge-Online charts internet buzz for games in the UK.

Activision’s Modern Warfare 2 may have set yet another bar, completely dominating Edge’s online chatter chart. It’s not even so much that the game dominated normal volumes of chatter as it seems it generated hefty amounts of its own. It had more than 38,000 mentions, nearly quadrupling average volumes tracked for prior top games. It’s worth noting, as Edge does, that Activision’s game gets a little less positive mojo than previous chart toppers. Slightly less than half of the Modern Warfare talk measured as positive while most games have drawn 50 percent or more positive-to-negative ratio.  Other high attention getters in the chart are Nintendo’s Mario Kart, Microsoft’s Forza Motorsports 3 and EA’s FIFA 10.

Edge’s chart can be ranked by volume of comments, or by percentages of positive and negative mentions. Data is provided by Brandwatch. Check it out at Edge-Online.

Report Reveals Online Gaming Habits

Researcher Gamesindustry.com has conducted a worldwide study surveying more than 13,000 people ages eight and up on online gaming habits, reports Industry Gamers. The study looks at how much game time people dedicate to massively multiplayer online games. Figures vary by country, from 14 percent in the US to only 8 percent in the UK, averaging out to about 15 percent worldwide. The study also found 21 percent of those surveyed in the US say they play MMOs while only 10 percent of European respondents said they do. Ages of MMO players varied between territories, with pre-teens being the primary players in the US while Europe skewed thirteen and up.

Gamesindustry.com included questions about mobile and casual gaming, finding among US console game players that 25 percent play mobile games and 55 percent play online casual games. The firm says the study shows how various forms of games are now competing for people s attention.