EA Sports Active Line To Expand

EA has enlisted several electronics accessory makers to create a line of EA Sports Active branded interactive fitness products, reports Edge-Online. The publisher has partnered with manufacturers Sakar International, Sunflex Europe and Accessories 4 Technology to make and help distribute products in the line for game consoles, PC and mobile platforms.  EA has thus far released two game titles for EA Sports Active, both for Nintendo Wii. Edge says the deal extends from EA’s recent partnership with the licensing division of sports brand management giant IMG. Read more at Edge-Online.

Develop Conference Call For Speakers

UK-based game industry event Develop Conference has put out the call for speakers and is accepting submissions until March 25. The fifth annual event is slated to take place July 13-15 in Brighton, UK. Edge-Online says the event s focus is on new trends including Facebook as a game platform, 3D TV and game tech, and iPhone and mobile games. Read more and access the event web site at Edge-Online.

Natural Motion Comes To Football

NaturalMotion and 505 Games trailer for BackBreaker highlights the game’s use of the Euphoria animation engine. The engine is NaturalMotion’s tech promising lifelike, real-time behaviors in the American football game. Coaches may cringe at the lack of form, but if the quarterbacks in the video throwing off of their back heels is real-time behavior reacting to incoming pressure, that s pretty nifty.


Watch it at GameTrailers.

Army Of Two Invade GameStop

With Army of Two: The 40th Day ready to hit shelves, EA has put out this trailer showing the game s protagonists as a couple of animated staffers at a GameStop retail store.  The menacingly costumed pair seem to be on the cusp of breaking into real violence at any moment in the video. Developer EA Montreal should’ve pushed for a sequence where they trash the used games section.


Watch it at Joystiq.

Seven Lessons For Branding

Writing for Ad Age, Nitish Gupta outlines seven universal lessons for brand managers. He had the[a]listdaily at number one: Leverage information via hypothesis-led data analysis. Besides goal-oriented research, Gupta offers suggestions on differentiating and targeting brands, managing budgets, and staying consistent with messaging.


Read the article at Ad Age.

Another Apple Surprise On Slate

Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson compiles a pictorial of past form factor mock-ups that predicted what an Apple iPhone would look like, showing how off-base many of the expectations proved to be. He says given the precedent, people might still be surprised by the look of Apple’s tablet computer.


Sony PS3 Had Brisk Holiday Sales

Sony has announced that sales of PlayStation 3 over the holidays jumped 76 percent compared to the same period last year, reports Edge-Online. The company says that it sold more than 3.8 million units of the console worldwide during the holiday period, which it measured as the final five weeks of 2009.  Sony cited the new PS3 Slim along with big titles such as its own Uncharted 2: Drake s Fortune and high profile third party fare as helping sales along.  To keep momentum for the PS3 in 2010, the company pointed to upcoming titles including God of War 3 and Gran Turismo 5, enhancements to PlayStation Network services, the introduction of its motion controller, and 3D games and movies.  Read more at Edge-Online.

Microsoft Touts Xbox 360 Sales

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer and Robbie Bach touted Xbox 360 worldwide reach at CES, reports Edge-Online. The company said that, globally, there are now more than 39 million Xbox 360 consoles, more than 500 million games sold for the system, and more than 20 million people on Xbox Live. Ballmer said that more than 10 million people alone are logging onto nongaming services such as Facebook, Twitter and Netflix through the console, and that Xbox Live is adding a new member every second. Read more at Edge-Online.

Sony Entertainment Network Surfaces At CES

Sony’s game division chief Kaz Hirai has unveiled plans to extend PlayStation Network to other devices, reports Kotaku. Hirai made the announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show, saying that the service rolls out next month for networked Sony Bravia TVs and Blu-ray players along with any Windows computer. Registered PlayStation Network users will be able to use their account to access the network across devices. Hirai added that Sony has launched a content division called Sony Network Entertainment to create offerings for the service. Read more at Kotaku.

Netflix Delaying Warner Pics

Netflix has agreed to delay offering Warner Brothers films to its subscribers until 28 days after the DVD has released, reports AP. The move is to give Netflix a steep discount on Warner Brothers’ older library of DVDs, and is also tied into getting greater access to the studio s fare for online streaming. For Warner Brothers, the deal is meant to help boost DVD sales. Netflix Ted Sarandos said that spurring DVD sales would be good for the entertainment ecosystem, adding that three-fourths of all DVD sales happen in the firs four weeks. The first delayed films will be this month s DVD releases The Invention of Lying and Whiteout. AP pointed out that no similar deal is in place between Warner and Blockbuster because the rental chain s business model is based on revenue sharing per copy rented with studios. Netflix’s 11.1 million subscribers pay a single monthly fee to access any content. AP says Netflix added 1.7 million customers in the first nine months of 2009, spurred by its rollout on PlayStation 3. Read more from AP.