FrontierVille: Population 5 Million

Zynga has revealed that FrontierVille has already attracted 5 million players. The social game company’s latest title launched just 13 days ago.

Descibed as a combination of Oregon Trail and FarmVille, the game includes new variables like wildlife encounters, varying weather, and vegetation growth. Players are also able to use a whole family of avatars and even help out at friends’ farms.

FrontierVille is available to play at facebook.com/frontierville/.

Location Data Shared By Apple

For Apple’s new iOS 4 technology, they will be sharing precise location data with partners and licensees. This was unveiled as part of the new users license agreement for their mobile operating system.

This feedback is helpful for various developers checking how their apps perform. As the company says in their end user license agreement: To provide location-based services on Apple products, Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

Apps are required to request location access from the users, and information isn’t being tied to any specific end users and can’t be used to discover their identity directly.

Source: InformationWeek

Machinima.com Raises $9 Million

Machinima.com has recently announced that it received a $9 million venture capital investment from Redpoint Ventures. This Series B round of financing will be used to help further growth for the site that delivered over 127 million video views to over 27 million uniques during May 2010.

“We are extremely excited about this new partnership with Redpoint Ventures and Geoff Yang,” said Machinima.com CEO and Chairman Allen DeBevoise. “This capital infusion will enable us to further expand the scale, reach and engagement of our community while delivering the best globa marketing platform for video games on the planet for our customers and partners.”

Geoff Yang, a partner at Redpoint Ventures, will join the board of directors of Machinima.com.

“We’re delighted to be a part of Machinima. Video gaming is an enormous market, and has become mainstream media,” said Yang. “Machinima is the leading entertainment network for this exciting market, and begins to blur the line between game and entertainment experiences.”

3DS In U.K. By Christmas, Says Source

While Nintendo has assured that the 3DS will release by the end of this fiscal year (March 31, 2011) the portable system could be coming much sooner than that. An insider is claiming that the 3DS will release in the U.K. before Christmas with limited stock.

“Early indications to us are that the launch is going to emulate Wii in December,” an industry source said. “We’ve been informed that Nintendo wanted a long run-up to Christmas, but now it’s going to be a close-run thing. We’re not expecting a lot of stock before next year.”

A release of the 3DS in the U.K. would hint at a release in the U.S. this year, and possibly earlier than December.

Source: CVG

SCE WWS Talks Move, Stereoscopic 3D

The two biggest elements in Sony’s E3 press conference were stereoscopic 3D and PlayStation Move. Naturally, SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida thinks that both will be key for the PS3 moving forward, especially when working in tandem.

“Once PlayStation Move is combined with stereoscopic 3D, as shown in The Fight, EyePet Move Edition, Tumble and Killzone 3, your sense of immersion is heightened to a level never experienced with any system before,” said Yoshida. “This powerful combination is unique to PlayStation and shows what the future of gaming will feel like when you are totally immersed in your visual and physical senses at the same time.”

That’s all well and good for Sony to be excited about these technologies, but according to Yoshida, third-party developers have embraced Move and 3D as well.

“The response from developers has been great; they are happy and amazed at how well PlayStation Move works and how easy it is to incorporate the technology into already fully developed game engines,” said Yoshida. “They are very excited about creating totally new game experiences that use PlayStation Move’s unique capability to accurately track player s actions in the 3D space, as well as to expand the customer base of existing game IPs by making the interface more accessible with the intuitive, responsive control that PlayStation Move offers.”

“The response to stereoscopic 3D gaming has also been very enthusiastic, especially considering that the major launch of 3D TVs is just happening now,” Yoshida continued. “Once you set eyes on a 3D game, you understand how natural it is for humans to look at the world in stereoscopic 3D, and it makes the gaming experience much more immersive, making objects and background clearly separated, making the games more intuitive to play. This is a natural evolution of gaming.”

When asked about 3D in games both existing and upcoming, Yoshida repsonded, “Almost all WWS developers are researching how they can incorporate stereoscopic 3D technology into their games. As these techniques are developed and shared among developers, we ll see more games utilizing this cool new perspective. With regards to adding 3D technology to existing titles, it is much more difficult to do as the game engine has already been developed and in most cases the development team has moved on to new titles. It is always better to adopt new technology into new titles, as the content can be created with stereoscopic 3D effects in mind.”

Source: Au.Playstation.com

AT&T Not Carrying iPhone 4 At Launch

Pre-orders for the iPhone 4 have been famously heavy, causing AT&T and Apple to cut them off after a day and even causing some pre-orders to be voided. Now, it comes out that AT&T stores will not be carrying the iPhone 4 on the launch day June 24, and will instead start carrying them June 29.

“As we said last week, iPhone 4 pre-order sales volumes (on June 15) were 10 times higher than the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3GS last year,” an AT&T spokesman said Tuesday. “Because of this, we ve made it our priority to fulfill these orders first and we re on track to do so beginning this week. We want to provide iPhone 4 to as many customers as possible. We ll start by fulfilling preorders, and follow with iPhone 4 availability for all other customers starting next week Tuesday, June 29 when iPhone 4 goes on sale across all AT&T sales channels.”

The iPhone 4 will be available in limited numbers at Apple Stores, Wal-Mart and Best Buy on June 24. Online orders are not promised before July 14.

Source: MSNBC

Microsoft Store Prices Kinect At $149.99

Early postings by retailers have put the Kinect at $149.99 though Microsoft’s policy has been to remain mum on the issue. Still, another hint that the motion sensing device will be priced at $149.99 comes from the Microsoft store itself, which is putting it up for $149.99, albeit with a disclaimer.

Official pricing has not been announced. $149.99 is an estimate only subject to change, reads the posting. “Quantities may be limited. Orders will be fulfilled on a first in first served basis.”

Source: store.microsoft.com

Kinect Joy Ride Gets A Volt

Chevrolet and Microsoft Advertising recently demonstrated a multiscreen advertising campaign at the 2010 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. This was notable because of the way it used the Kinect for Xbox 360 to promote the Chevrolet Volt electric car.

“The Volt applies advanced environmental technology to give Chevrolet drivers freedom from the gas pump, making it one of the most exciting developments the automotive industry has seen in years,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Marketing. “Our marketing campaign needs to reflect this. Kinect allows us to bring the excitement of the showroom to the living rooms of our customers. It’s a way for us to replicate the experience of physically engaging with a product that is essential to the customer’s purchasing decision.”

When Kinect launches, players will be able to test-drive Chevrolet Volt in Kinect Joy Ride. Players must view a video advertisement in-dash on Xbox Live or on the Internet, in order to unlock the Chevrolet Volt in Kinect Joy Ride for play.

“Chevrolet Volt is not only offering a new way for car buyers to interact with and learn about a vehicle before heading to the dealership,” said Darren Huston, corporate vice president of the Global Consumer & Online group at Microsoft. “It’s enabling people to virtually test drive the Volt from the comfort of their own living room. This campaign showcases the kind of breakthrough digital campaigns we can deliver for marketers when we combine great partnerships with leading-edge software innovation.”