Apple Expected To Sell 1.5 Million IPad Minis First Weekend

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray believes that Apple will sell between a million and 1.5 million iPad minis over the tablet’s launch weekend. This is a modest number should be increased when when 4G version of the tablet releases later in November.

Munster believes consumers will appreciate the ability to use the iPad mini with one hand and the enhanced portability the smaller form factor offers. “Consumers will gradually realize the benefits of the smaller form factor, which will drive adoption, although it may not take form in lines for tomorrow’s launch,” Munster wrote.

Source: AppleInsider.com

Assassin’s Creed Creative Director Talks About Series’ Future

Assassin’s Creed was initially conceived by Ubisoft to be a trilogy of games that would presumably finish during this generation of consoles. However, with the success the series has wrought, it will continue as a franchise for the foreseeable future and Assassin’s Creed III creative director Alex Hutchinson has a general idea for how it will go down.

“We know the beats. There was an ending planned, but the success of the series affected that a lot. You can get screwed by too much success or too much failure,” said Hutchinson. “If you’re successful then you want to keep going. But if you come up with this big epic story with a great ending and you don’t succeed to start then you don’t get to make that ending.”

Hutchinson described the series in terms of Star Trek in how it will perpetuate itself. “What we’re really trying to do now is start and end narrative arcs. The way I pitch it to people is that this is Star Trek: The Next Generation,“ he said. “Someone is going to make Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and that’s fine. But we need to have a satisfying conclusion to this storyline and this part of it.”

There’s a delicate balance between expanding on a franchise and running it into the ground and Hutchinson acknowledges this issue. “So we ended Ezio’s storyline. And I think we’re getting better at beginning and ending other parts of the game. As we move on you’ll see new storylines come up, other storylines end. I hope we get to do these games for a long time, but we’re trying not to draw things out for too long anymore,” Hutchinson said.

Source: The Financial Post

Microsoft Considering Surface Phone – Report

Microsoft is reportedly looking into creating a Surface phone. They have started working with component manufacturers in Korea and China to finalize the hardware with a possible 5-inch screen.

Windows 8 Mobile is designed to better integrate their PC OS with a mobile counterpart. The Surface phone could be a back up plan if offerings from HTC and Nokia prove to be unpopular.

Source: WSJ.com

Dreamfall Sequel Will Be On Kickstarter

Ragnar Tornquist has founded Red Thread Games to make a sequel to The Longest Journey and Dreamfall. While the studio has secured a grant from the Norwegian Film Institute to fund pre-production, the company will shift to crowd funding after that.

“We will be doing a Kickstarter,” he said. “Not right now, but we will be doing it in the near future . . . In order to fully develop Dreamfall Chapters we’re going to need more money and we will be going to Kickstarter.”

Meanwhile, he will continue to work with Funcom while he maintains Red Thread Games as a separate entity. “I’ll still be contributing a lot to the story side [of The Secret World], advising Joel [Bylos] and the team,” Tornquist continued. “I’m working on the master story document at the moment, making sure all the threads are coming together and we know where we’re at. I want to make sure the team are as independent as possible but I have no plans to leave. The Secret World is very dear to me and I plan to stay on as long as possible.”

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

Raptr Launches Desktop App

Raptr announced that it is launching a Desktop App that serves as an in-game gateway to the web. This will make sure that players no longer have to disrupt their games in order to communicate and access web content, share experiences, and access Raptr tracking and reward tools.

“We are completely obsessed with serving players a richer game and community experience,” said Dennis Fong, CEO, Raptr. “Through our new Raptr Desktop App, we are delivering a seamless in-game experience to players with the power to play games and simultaneously tap into their favorite web services and destinations, community discussions and content. Gamers can say goodbye to alt tabbing.”

Check out the Raptr Desktop App at raptr.com/download.

38 Studios Sued By Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation announced it is filling a suit against 38 Studios. The suit relates to the company’s $75 million in loan guarantees given to the developer, and the suit accuses the managers of 38 Studios and anyone who signed off on the deal of fraud, negligence, conspiracy, larceny, and more.

Essentially, the suit says that 38 Studios’ directors and executives deceived the state about the risks, helped by the RIEDC’s own lawyers and financial advisers. Rhode Island claims that they should have known the $75 million was insufficient to relocate the company’s offices to the state and complete Project Copernicus.

“Litigation is often long and tedious. The filing of this complaint is only the beginning. I know therefore there still will be many unanswered questions as the legal process continues and if and when other information comes to light it will be appropriately addressed,” wrote Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee. “My message to Rhode Islanders is this: I know that you work hard for your paychecks, and for your tax dollars to be squandered is unacceptable. The Board’s legal action was taken to rectify a grave injustice put upon the people of Rhode Island. You have my commitment that I will continue fighting to protect the interest of all Rhode Islanders every day that I am Governor.”

Tablet/Laptop Ads Square Off

It’s the holidays, which means that every and all companies are launching their new devices to market in order to win the hearts and minds of consumers. We have the frenetic Surface commercial, the understated Macbook Pro and the populist Chromebook.

 

Sons Of Anarchy Creator Wants Rockstar To Handle Adaptation

Kurt Sutter has wanted to see a game made based on his biker drama Sons of Anarchy but he’s had difficultly getting network FX on board with the idea. So in lieu of formal talks, Sutter has reached out to the talented folks at Rockstar (developers of Grand Theft Auto IV and its expansion The Lost and The Damned) via Twitter.

“@RockstarGames you should make the SOA game,” Sutter wrote. “I know it’s an expensive/complicated process, but let’s chat, see if we can make it happen.”

Source: Twitter.com

Microsoft Touts Halo Numbers Ahead Of Halo 4 Release

Microsoft has revealed that the Halo franchise has generated nearly $3 billion in revenue since launch, with more than 46 million Halo games sold. Halo 2 generated $125 million in first day revenue while Halo 3 saw $170 million first day and Halo: Reach topped them all with $200 million.

Halo is a $3 billion blockbuster franchise which has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers,” said Microsoft’s Chris Lewis. “From the world’s first ever red-carpet premieres for a video game to sending a man strapped to a jet-pack 50-foot above London’s iconic skyline, Halo launches have continually broken the mold and we are back with a colossal bang for Halo 4, transforming a country on the biggest scale imaginable.”

Nexus 7 Selling Over 500k Per Month: Asus

Google has not publicly reported on the sales of its Nexus 7 tablet, even though it has been well received. However, Asustek indicates that the tablet is approaching the magical milestone of a million units per month.

Asustek CFO David Chang says that the company was selling 500,000 units a month initially when the Nexus 7 launched in July, bumped up to 600,000-700,000 in the following months. This would potentially make the device the most popular Android tablet on the planet, even more than the Kindle Fire HD and the Galaxy Tab.

Source: WSJ.com