IPhone 4S Release In China Results In Riot

The release of the iPhone 4S at Beijing and Shanghai retail stores on Friday was stopped when it started a riot. When the store refused to open as scheduled, a group of customers that had waited overnight threw eggs and attacked a mall manager.

Apple spokeswoman in Beijing Carolyn Wu said the company’s five authorized stores in China had sold out of the iPhone 4S; the Beijing store was prevented from opening because of the large crowd. “To ensure the safety of our customers and employees, [the] iPhone will not be available in our retail stores in Beijing and Shanghai for the time being,” Wu said.

The main reason for the tension was that people wanted the phone without a plan, and were willing to pay $790 to $1,070 for the iPhone 4S alone. Another point of restlessness were people hired by scalpers who wanted to later sell the phone on the gray market. “Ninety percent of the people here are scalpers,” said a man surnamed Jin, who said friends recruited him to stand in line.

Apple’s sales in China rose from $3 billion to $13 billion over the last two fiscal years and Apple’s five official stores in China generate more revenue on average than any other Apple stores in the world. Bill Bishop, a Beijing-based technology consultant, said that Apple helps stoke this attitude that leads to riots by pushing back and limiting releases. “It’s a conscious marketing strategy by Apple, and it’s going to cause a problem because things are ridiculously out of control,” he said. “Nobody can be happy with Apple today in Beijing.”

Source: L.A. Times

Mass Effect 3, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Cross Promo Items

Electronic Arts has announced some cross promotion for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Mass Effect 3. The Reckoning bonus includes Omni-blade daggers, alongside a highly weathered variation on Shepard’s N7 Armour.

The Mass Effect 3 bonus includes a Todd McFarlane designed Reckoner Knight Armour and a disc-throwing Chakram Launcher. These items can be had by playing the demos of the respective titles (which unlock the themed items in the other game) with the Reckoning demo due out January 17.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations Leaves For Marketing Company

Ubisoft has seen the departure of Alexandre Amancio, the now former creative director of Assassin’s Creed Revelations. The veteran of the company since 2005 who helped worked on FarCry 2, but will now work for the Quebec City marketing company Cossette.

“Video games and advertising have many common elements. In both industries, we are always looking for new ways to engage the consumer to the brand,” said Amancio. “In addition, like advertising, the video game industry must now take into account and supply a very important social dimension in its development and strategies. The game is no longer just a game, it’s a community, relations between players, and the brand.”

Source: GameInformer.com

EverQuest II Sees New Subs Post F2P Launch

EverQuest II recently switched exclusively to a model of free-to-play. SOE has achieved success with its games that it’s turned F2P and president John Smedley says that EverQuest II has been no different.

“We are seeing some amazing growth in EQ2. 40 percent increase in daily logins since going f2p. 300 percent increase in new players,” wrote Smedley. “200 percent increase in Item sales. Plus we have added a lot of new subs. All during the time that some really good competition hit the market.”

Source: Twitter

Social Game Cheaters More Likely To Cheat In Real Life, Says Study

According to a study performed by North Dakota State University and commissioned by PopCap Games, those who cheat at gaming are 3.5 times more likely to cheat at everyday things in the real world. The polling over over 1,200 adults in the U.S. and U.K. also discovered that slightly less than half of all cheaters in social gaming admit to cheating at things in the real world.

“How we behave in virtual space and interact with others in social games often mirrors how we act in the real world,” said Professor Clay Routledge of North Dakota State University’s Department of Psychology.  “With more than 100 million people playing social games regularly, we can expect to see the full range of psychological characteristics represented in the social gaming population – even cheating.”

The study said that women under the age of 40 were the most likely to play games, while men under 40 were more likely to break the rules; gamers in the Midwest part of the U.S. are the most likely to cheat versus any other polled region, with a cheating rate of 29 percent overall. 49 percent of those that admitted to cheating in a video game admitted to cheating in a relationship, while 43 percent admitting to taking magazines from waiting rooms, 51 percent admitted to parking in a handicap space without the proper tags and 53 percent admitting to cheating on tests in school.

“It’s not surprising that online cheating parallels real-world cheating, even if people are just experimenting with the possibilities,” said Dr. Mia Consalvo of Concordia University.  “With more of our daily systems and processes moving online, and being divorced from human contact (downloading music, filing taxes online) the risks either appear to be lesser, or they don’t feel like crimes.”

Sony Calls Dedicated Home-Based Console ‘Very Important’

Sony has shot down the idea of the PS4 even being mentioned during E3 2012, let alone releasing this year. Now executive deputy president of Sony Corp. Kaz Hirai has quashed the rumor that the next PlayStation will, in fact, be a cloud-based solution instead of a physical piece of hardware.

“It’s very important that we continue to have a dedicated home-based console,” Hirai said. “Relying solely on networks to deliver content is unfortunately just not possible. It’s still very difficult to have consumers download 50 gigabytes of data or more.”

Source: Bloomberg.com

Sony Lets Taco Bell ‘Unlock The Box’ For The PS Vita

Sony has announced a new partnership with Taco Bell for the PS Vita. The “Unlock the Box” promotion will see them give away one PS Vita every 15 minutes to consumers starting January 26, 2012, before the console releases in the U.S., exclusively through Taco Bell.

“This partnership is the perfect way to deliver PS Vita’s game changing technology directly to our passionate fans in the weeks leading up to launch,” said Guy Longworth senior vice president of marketing and PlayStation Network at SCEA. “We know anticipation around PS Vita in the U.S. is reaching a fever pitch, and we’re happy to be working with Taco Bell to give away one PS Vita for every fifteen minutes, ensuring thousands of gamers get their hands on the revolutionary entertainment system before it becomes available in stores.”

Running until March 11, 2012, users can pick up codes found on Taco Bell’s specially marked $5 Buck Box that can be entered online for an instant chance to win a PS Vita prize pack. Fans can win through Taco Bell’s mobile app by battling their friends on Reality Fighters Dojo, an augmented reality game experience set on the $5 Buck Box and by entering an online contest that users boast about what they’d be willing to do for a PS Vita.

“Taco Bell has always been a brand of firsts and we wanted to kick off the year with an innovative combination — our great food, PlayStation’s cool new technology and multiple ways to play and win,” said Brian Niccol, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Taco Bell Corp. “We have an incredibly engaged customer fan base and we are excited to leverage this partnership and help them become early adopters.”

Prize packs include one PS Vita 3G/Wi-Fi model, the Little Deviants game, one 4GB PS Vita Memory Card, and a choice of one of the following games: ModNation Racers: Road Trip, LittleBigPlanet or MLB 12 The Show.

MLB Perfect Game Challenge Returns For 2K12 Edition

2K Sports has announced that the $1 Million Perfect Game Challenge is returning for the third year in a row in Major League Baseball 2K12. This variation will see players attempting to place on a dynamic leaderboard that ranks the top perfect games thrown starting April 4 until the end of April and submit a unique code at www.2ksports.com/perfectgame upon completion of a perfect game; eight finalists will compete in a live tournament to crown the new $1 Million champion.

“Winning $1 Million for being the first to pitch a perfect game in Major League Baseball 2K11 was an unreal experience,” said Brian Kingrey, who won the contest in 2011 using Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies. “I can’t wait to watch the competition unfold and see who will join me and Major League Baseball 2K10 winner, Wade McGilberry, in what’s becoming the coolest fraternity in sports gaming. We like to call it ‘The Perfect Club.’”

“With the Perfect Game Challenge firmly entrenched in the culture of sports gaming, we’re thrilled to introduce several new twists that can only take the contest to the next level of competitive excitement and open it up to more people,” said Jason Argent, vice president of marketing at 2K Sports. “The contest has been incredibly popular the past two years, but there’s always room for improvement. We listened to user feedback and made participation more fun and accessible than ever before.”

Microsoft Xbox 360 TV Subscription In Limbo

While Microsoft just won an award for their Xbox 360 TV setup at CES, reports are now that the company has put the subscription service for TV shows and movies on hold, according to people familiar with the discussions. Licensing cost were apparently to high for the model Microsoft wanted.

“They built Microsoft TV, they demoed it for us, they asked for rate cards but then said ‘ooh ah, that’s expensive,'” said one anonymous senior media executive connected to the talks.

While Microsoft wanted to offer more current shows than services like Netflix does, it wasn’t completely feasible cost-wise and the company will simply continue to work directly with cable/satellite providers. “It doesn’t mean they won’t be back in another iteration,” said the senior media executive. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Source: Reuters

Skyrim PS3 Lag Will Be ‘Addressed’ In Patch 1.4

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on PS3 has had rather infamous lag issues that make the game nearly unplayable if the file size is big enough. While the previous three patches did only a little to alleviate the issue, it looks like it will finally be put to bed once and for all soon.

When asked the PS3 lag issue will be fixed, a post on the Bethesda Blog Twitter account said, “We’re addressing that in the 1.4 update planned for this month.”

Source: Twitter