Warner Bringing Sesame Street Back To Games

Warner Bros. and Sesame Workshop have partnered to create Sesame Street games for consoles including Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, reports AP. The pair aim to make educational games targeted to preschool age children. Warner s game marketing head Russel Arons said the publisher hopes to create games that use the motion controllers coming to both systems later this year. AP says the deal to collaborate on games comes three months after Warner Bros. partnered with Sesame Workshop to distribute Sesame Street home videos. The news outlet points out that the last game based on Sesame Street was Bonsai Entertainment’s 2001 title Sesame Street Sports, with the license more prolific on game platforms in the 1980s and 1990s. Read more from AP.

EA And Dr Pepper Launch Yearlong Co-Op Campaign

EA and Dr Pepper have launched a yearlong promotional partnership, reports Promo. The partnership is a co-op marketing campaign with EA games branding appearing on a range of Dr Pepper products, including packaged sodas and fountain drinks sold through convenience store chains such as 7-Eleven. The campaign, slated to run through the end of 2010, gives buyers of Dr Pepper products special codes that unlock exclusive content for EA games. EA’s current lineup of games involved includes Mass Effect 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Spore, and Sims 3.”  The publisher intends to roll other games into the campaign throughout the year. Promo flavors the news with recent data from 7-Eleven that sales of prepaid game cards at its stores doubled between 2008 and 2009. The chain said as a result it s now looking to double the number of games for which it sells the cards. Read more at Promo.

Best Buy Springs Into UK

Best Buy has launched a UK web site paving the way for its entry into the country’s brick and mortar retail market, reports Gamesindustry.biz. The US-based electronics retailing giant opens its first UK stores this spring. The Best Buy UK site is not yet offering online purchases, rather it’s preparing Britons for the debut with a welcome message along with guides and information on consumer electronics products. The categories currently being prominently highlighted on the site include 3D TVs and motion-controlled videogames.  Read more, and access the Best Buy UK site, at Gamesindustry.biz.

Marketing With Sunshine

Messing with Mother Nature just became a marketing technique. Cream reports that German car rental company Sixt has harnessed the same rain cloud dispersal technique used at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing to promote rentals of its convertible cars. The technique involves seeding clouds with silver iodide to speed up the process of precipitation, therefore lessening cloudy and rainy weather periods.  It’s commonly used by airports to combat fog. Sixt used the technique last summer in Halle, Germany, known as one of Europe’s wettest cities.  The company hired a military pilot to disperse the chemical using infrared air-to-air missiles whenever rain threatened the city. Cream says as a result Sixt’s hired pilot has been hailed as a local hero responsible for the best July weather on record.

 

Read more at Cream.

Gaming With Android

Writing for Edge-Online, Alex Wiltshire pens an extensive piece on mobile gaming on Google’s Nexus One and other Android-powered smart phones. He looks at the phones capabilities and the current market for Android game apps, sizing them up to category leader Apple iPhone.

 

 

Read the article at Edge-Online.

The Move Towards Motion-Sensing

Writing for NY Times, Ashlee Vance looks at motion control devices coming out of this year s Consumer Electronics Show.  Along with Microsoft’s Natal controller for Xbox 360, companies were showing technology ready to enter living rooms to control TVs and other entertainment devices.

 

Read the article at NY Times.

New Media Jargon

Ad Age is featuring a glossary of new media buzzwords, mostly of the cheeky jargon variety, compiled by Nielsen digital group VP Pete Blackshaw.

 

Check it out at Ad Age.

Survey Finds PS3 Expected To Thrive, Wii Optimism Waning

Gamesindustry.biz has surveyed the game industry on game platform and publisher performance expectations for the year. The survey culled responses from Gameindustry.biz Network’s members comprising more than 10,000 industry professionals. The findings show a robust year expected for Sony’s PlayStation 3 from more than a third of those surveyed. About 34 percent said they expect the PS3 to outperform all other game platforms, more than doubling those who picked it in last year s survey. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was a close second in the survey, named as likely to win out this year by about 30 percent of respondents. Neither console maker fared well in expected performance for their first party software. Microsoft didn’t make the survey’s top five list despite an anticipated new entry in its Halo series, and Sony listed fourth with only six percent despite big titles such as God of War III and Gran Turismo 5 slated for this year. Activision-Blizzard was the hands down winner for software, with nearly 44 percent of respondents picking it to beat the competition this year. Gamesindustry.biz points to anticipated Blizzard fare in the World of Warcraft and Starcraft franchises, as well as a potential Diablo sequel, as buoying the publisher s prospects. EA came in a distant second as an expected software leader, picked by about 19 percent of respondents. Nintendo suffered in both categories, with only about nine percent of respondents picking both the Wii and Nintendo software to perform best in 2010. The drop in optimism for Wii is a more than eight-fold fall from last year’s survey, putting it below Apple iPhone. About ten percent of respondents picked Apple’s smart phone as the game platform with the biggest potential for success in 2010. Check out the full results at Gamesindustry.biz.

Netflix Coming To Wii

Netflix streaming video is coming to Nintendo Wii, reports NY Times. Owners of Nintendo’s console with a broadband connection will be able access the service this spring. NY Times calls it a hat trick for Netflix, with the service now available on all three current generation game systems including Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3. Netflix videos on Wii will only be available in standard definition, given the console hardware s inability to process HD video. The console will also require a disc provided for free by Netflix to access and stream online content, a requirement similar to how PS3 delivers the service.  Netflix chief Reed Hastings said that the delay in getting its service on Wii had to do with overcoming technical challenges and adapting the service to the console s user interface.  NY Times adds insight to the news from Mark Mahaney, a managing director at Citigroup. The analyst told the news outlet that the move represents game console makers facing a challenging environment for packaged $60 games, adding that the general sentiment is that they better quickly hurry to add more functionality and features.

 

Read more at NY Times.

Report: Consoles Poised To Leverage Online Gaming Growth

A research report from Screen Digest has predicted the online game category to grow by a third from last year to make up 24 percent of the game market in 2010, reports Gamesindustry.biz. The report partly credits last year’s rise in popularity of games for social media and mobile platforms for fueling the appetite for connected gaming. But it predicts that networked game consoles are best positioned as the online game platform of choice, given their sizable install base, prominence in gamers living room, and hardware suited for storing and processing premium online content. Screen Digest s report also predicts that more than 65 million game consoles will be online by the end of 2010, breaking it down as 25 million Wii systems and about 20 million each for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The firm’s game analyst Piers Harding-Rolls pointed to the introduction of motion controllers for consoles by Sony and Microsoft as necessary innovations to compete both with Nintendo as well as non-console platforms vying for gamers attention. Read more at Gamesindustry.biz.