Sir Patrick Stewart Loves iPhone, Fears Gaming

Sir Patrick Stewart (or to geeks, Captain Jean-Luc Picard or Professor Charles Xavier) talks about his love of the iPhone in this brief interview. Apple no doubt loves the free endorsement. The actor also confesses that he has a stack of video games that are unopened because he’s afraid to start playing.

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Xbox Brand ‘Doesn’t Carry As Much Sway’ As Sony, Says EA CEO

The Xbox brand has come a long way since the first console was introduced in 2001, but PlayStation has obviously been around for a lot longer. The PS3 started off slow, but despite the Xbox 360’s one-year head start, the PS3 is closing the installed base gap. Part of that is the Sony brand recognition internationally, says EA boss John Riccitiello.

“Honestly, I think that Microsoft has done great work the last couple of years, and they’ve made a lot of smart moves: hitting pricing when they needed to, the right combination of hitting price points and disk drive sizes that allow them to hit price points that matter, and they ve done a great job with Xbox Live. At the same time, the Xbox brand, the Microsoft brand, doesn’t carry anywhere near as much sway as the Sony and PlayStation brand do outside the United States, and so I think the reality is the international marketplace is just so important and it s a natural advantage that no matter how good Microsoft is at growing their business, Sony has an almost-impossible-to-supersede head start,” he said.

Riccitiello continued, “In the last couple of years, Sony’s sharpened their marketing message, you know, ‘the platform with everything.’ They’ve actually gotten past simply Home as an online connected system for them. While I m not sure that one would compare them in depth and breadth and features and support to what you have at Xbox Live, it s good now.”

EA wants all platforms it makes games for to do well, naturally. And the company is pretty happy with both Xbox 360 and PS3.

“We have a similar share on both platforms,” continued Riccitiello. “It s not that I wouldn t want to criticize one of the other; I’m not shy. I just think they’ve actually both done a pretty good job. The big disadvantage Sony carries is they have an expensive platform because of Blu-ray, so they have a harder time hitting price points. Microsoft has taken advantage of that and their online service, which really is the gold standard. Sony has [leveraged] their limited amount of unique content really well. They’ve done a nice job promoting the Blu-ray, their advertising and marketing campaigns have been stronger, and they ve done a nice job of supporting some EA content to their own advantage. I don t know that you d point to either of them and say they can t shoot straight or that they ve given it up.”

Source: IndustryGamers {link no longer active}

Free Xbox 360 Game With Purchase Of Windows Phone 7

Microsoft is hoping that Xbox Live integration will draw more of the Xbox 360 fan base to its new Windows Phone 7, which has now sold 1.5 million units. In an effort to further spark interest in the device among gamers, Microsoft is actually giving away a free game to new purchasers of Windows Phone 7.

Gamers can choose from Halo: Reach, Fable III, Kinect Joy Ride or Kinectimals. Of course, the last two will require that you own a Kinect camera for your 360. The Windows Phone 7 has to be purchased by December 31 in order to participate in the free game offer.

Check out the free game promotional website. {link no longer active}

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Exceeds $1 Billion

Activision Blizzard has set records in entertainment for two consecutive years with the Call of Duty franchise. Black Ops hit sales of $650 million in just five days, and now the publisher has announced that the game has already surpassed $1 billion in worldwide sales. With DLC content to further fuel the brand, that $1 billion is no doubt just the beginning.

“In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and “Avatar” have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly,”  said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.  “This is a tribute to the global appeal of the Call of Duty franchise, the exceptional talent at Treyarch and the hundreds of extraordinary people across our many Call of Duty studios including Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer that work tirelessly on the franchise.  Our ability to provide the most compelling, immersive  entertainment experience, and enhance it with regular, recurring content that delivers hundreds of hours of audience value, has allowed Call of Duty to continue to set sales and usage records.”

Kotick continued, “This extraordinary milestone was achieved  because of  the tens of millions of passionate Call of Duty players around the world.  Global audiences have logged billions of hours online with Call of Duty games on Xbox LIVE, the Playstation Network and on personal computers.  This unique level of community engagement has enabled Call of Duty to become one of the world’s most engaged online communities.”

Call of Duty continues to rewrite not just the record books, but also the rules of interactive entertainment,” says Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Even more remarkable than the number of units sold is the number of hours people are playing the game together online which are unprecedented. Call of Dutyis more than a game, it’s a true community.

Lara Croft Helps Promote iPhone, iPad

This is definitely one of the cooler examples of real-world marketing we’ve seen. 56 iPads were put together in such a way to make up the “world’s largest iPhone” at London’s St. Pancras International station. Shortly thereafter, the iPads were given away to celebrate the iPad release of Crystal Dynamics’ Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

 

Source: Kotaku

 

LittleBigPlanet 2 Demos Marvel vs. Capcom vs. Sony

In a demonstration of just how much mind share certain game characters and franchises can control, the Marvel vs. Capcom series has managed to find its way into LittleBigPlanet 2, courtesy of one of its beta users. No doubt inspired by Capcom’s upcoming Marvel vs. Capcom 3, a LBP2 beta user created this nifty cross-over fighting game.

 

CityVille Soaring, Could Surpass FarmVille Very Soon

When you think about the social gaming boom, you probably think of two names: FarmVille and Zynga. Well, soon you’ll probably have to add CityVille to that. The newest Zynga title is growing so fast that it should surpass FarmVille’s 56 million users in just a few days. It’s currently sitting at 47.9 million monthly active users, according to InsideSocialGames {link no longer active}.

VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi notes that if CityVille eclipses FarmVille, it “would not only be the fastest-growing game in history. It would also be the largest game being played today, at least on Facebook and perhaps on any platform. That s a pretty astounding achievement for a game that can be described as a knock-off of SimCity.”

Source: VentureBeat

Gaming Leads Electronic Gifts This Holiday – Report

Electronics are always a hot item during the holiday season, especially among the young male 18-34 demographic, and as it turns out, gaming in particular leads all electronics. The Giftmeister 2010 Holiday Gifting Trend Report shows that, based on the purchases of 20,000 Giftmeister customers from the past 30 days, video games and game consoles are the number-one category shoppers are seeking this year.

More interesting findings from the report are at Mashable.