China Tops U.S. In Smartphone Install Base

According to Flurry, China has become the largest market for smartphones in the world. While the total was even through January (222 million in the U.S. versus 221 million in China) it is believed that by the end of February 2013, China will have 246 million devices compared to 230 million in the U.S.

The U.S. is not likely to take back the lead from China, due to China having four times the population of the U.S. at 1.3 billion. The U.S and China have the highest rate of device adoption and five times the active installed base than that of the U.K., the world’s third largest market.

China saw a 209 percent rate of growth on top of a base of 71 million devices from January 2012 over the past year, not leading the world but nonetheless impressive. The four BRIC countries are not all among the top 12 countries in terms of percentage growth (Brazil and Russia don’t make the grade), but all four are among the top 12 when calculating the number of net active devices added per market (i.e., Brazil +11.5 million, Russia +12.0 million, India +12.4 million, China +149.5 million).

“In this new era of mobile computing, sparked by a confluence of powerful innovation across microprocessors, cloud storage and network speeds, Apple and Google have helped create the fastest adopted technology revolution in history, 10X faster than that of the PC Revolution and 3X that of the Internet Boom. And now, as the largest and fastest modernizing country in the world, Chinese consumers lead that revolution,” concludes Flurry’s Peter Farago.

Source: {link no longer active}

Crysis 3 Pre-Orders 35 Percent Better Than Predecessor

Electronic Arts has announced that pre-orders for Crysis 3 are 35 percent above those of Crysis 2. Sales of Crysis 2 were 3 million after just a few months after its launch March 2011.

Additionally, EA announced that the Crysis 3 multiplayer beta saw 3 million downloads until its conclusion on February 12. Likely helping the situation for Crysis 3 pre-orders is the free upgrade to the Hunter Edition with multiplayer bonuses along with a free digital copy of the original Crysis.

Harrison Ford Returns As Han Solo In Star Wars: Episode VII

Reports are that Harrison Ford has signed on for Star Wars: Episode VII. He will reprise his role as Han Solo, which despite some rumors, he was actually open to revisiting.

While Ford is now 70 years-old, he recently starred in the action film Cowboys & Aliens. 2013 will be a busy year for Ford, as he’s set to appear Ender’s Game, 42 and Paranoia.

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled for release in 2015. J.J. Abrams will direct the film, and the screenplay will be done by Michael Arndt.

Source: Latino Review

Sandy Hook Arcade Center Opening In Newtown

Andrew Clure and Scott Ciccari of Newtown are opening the Sandy Hook Arcade Center to help bring families together in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting during December 2012. The venture is a non-profit supported by donations and the efforts of volunteers, with entrance fees covered between operating the arcade and the Newtown community.

“The core value of Newtown has always been family and in this time we find comfort in being together, neighbor to neighbor,” a statement on the arcade’s website reads. “With that thought in mind we want to draw on our passion and experience to build the Sandy Hook Arcade Center for the children and families.”

The arcade also serves to put a positive face on a situation where many accused violent video games of sharing some of the blame for the shooting. The investigation into the incident is still ongoing by law enforcement.

Source: Polygon

President Obama Wants Educators To Engage Kids With Video Games

President Barrack Obama recently said that video games and the Internet are important to popular culture, and therefore should be integrated into high-school education more. He wants more computer programming courses where children create programs, apps and games.

“Part of what I’m trying to do here is make sure that we’re working with high schools and school districts all across the country to make the high school experience relevant for young people, not all of whom are going to get four year college degree or advanced degree,” said President Obama. “Given how pervasive computers and the Internet is now and how integral it is in our economy and how fascinated kids are with it, I want to make sure that they know how to actually produce stuff using computers and not simply consume stuff.”

“And there are a whole bunch of young people out there I suspect who, if in high school are given the opportunity to figure out ‘here’s how you can design your own games’, but it requires you to know math, and it requires you to know science, or ‘here’s what a career in graphic design looks like’. We’re going to start setting those programs in our high schools, not waiting to go to community college,” he added.

Source: Google+ Hangout

Die, Drive And Play Hard

Two games have been released to help promote A Good Day to Die Hard.  The first is a mobile game for iOS, Google Play and soon-to-be Kindle Fire.

Yippee-ki-yay! Welcome to Russia: are you ready to battle ruthless mobsters, elite commandos and shadowy politicians

Play as Jack McClane, the son of New York City’s most famous cop, legendary John McClane. Prove that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — blast your way out of Moscow’s mean streets and travel to the radioactive wasteland of Chernobyl, where you’ll have to overcome incredible odds to save the world from nuclear terrorism.

Combining the best of the “endless runner” genre with non-stop first-person shooter action, you now have the ability to play through one of the most popular action-movie franchises in film history! Keep moving and stay alive as long as you can!

In the film, over 132 cars were destroyed in one epic car chase which has Bruce Willis in Russia riding a Mercedes G Class SUV roughshod over cars in traffic chasing Russian bad guys.  Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, you can Drive Hard and help find the codes to disarm a nuclear missle.




Next-Gen PlayStation Controller Pics Posted

A pair of pictures from dev kit for the new PlayStation have been posted online, with unnamed sources confirming their genuine nature. The biggest difference between these controllers and the DualShock 3 is a touchpad in the center.

It is also believed that there is a panel above the touch pad which lights up, giving the controller motion-sensing abilities like the Move. Other differences include an embedded speaker, a headset jack, and a contoured top for both analog sticks.


The Last Guardian Developer Hints At Announcement

Fumito Ueda recently posted that The Last Guardian is taking shape and that afterward he’ll be able to pursue new creative projects. This hints that perhaps more of the game will be shown off at the special event that Sony has announced for February 20.

“While it’s been a long time coming, The Last Guardian remains under my creative supervision and is still in development by an incredibly talented team,” said Ueda. “I should also mention that details regarding The Last Guardian release is solely decided by Sony Computer Entertainment, not myself. Please keep an eye out for their official announcement.”

“Moving forward, it is my intent to continue my involvement with The Last Guardian project, as well as pursue new creative projects with a fresh perspective,” Ueda said. “As I rekindle my passions as a creator, I look forward to seeing where it will take me, and I deeply appreciate your support during this transition.”

Source: CVG

Zynga, EA Settle Copyright Lawsuit

Electronic Arts and Zynga have confirmed that they have “resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California.” No details of the settlement were shared and it has yet to be officially approved by the court.

The suit originated from the fact that EA alleged Zynga was copying The Sims Social with its The Ville game, along with accusations that Zynga was poaching employees from EA. However, EA has shifted its business away from Facebook as that platform becomes more challenging and Zynga has had to deal with its own problems, so a settlement was likely beneficial for both parties.


Adam Sessler Doesn’t See A New G4 Coming Around

Adam Sessler, executive producer for Rev3Games recently participated in an “As Me Anything” session on Reddit.  When asked why he was fired from G4, he gave a straight up answer: he doesn’t really know.

“I don’t know. I was given no explanation,” said Sessler. “I had heard rumors since January of last year that I would be without a job by April…and then it turned out to be true. That’s all I can factually say, because that’s all I know.”

Sessler is now working for a much smaller online channel now, getting back to some of the fundamentals of what he used to do at GameSpot TV and at Extended Play back on Tech TV. “It just felt right,” said Sessler of joining Rev3Games. “We’re small, so we can make decisions fast and be nimble. This team here is awesome and everyone’s clearly supportive of doing video content that isn’t the same as everybody else. In the next few weeks we’re going to be launching some new shows… it’ll all make sense.”

When asked why G4, ostensibly a network for gamers but in reality something that was often disparaged by gamers, turned out the way it did, Sessler opined, “I still think that the contempt stemmed more from being on TV. As a medium, there’s an innate distrust coupled with aversion to how powerful and authoritative it can be. We were offering opinions with a big bully pulpit, that breeds contempt.”

“I don’t think there will be anything like TechTV and G4 in the future,” he continued. “The internet is a much better vehicle to provide information on those subjects that television, which is inhibited by time restrictions. The downfall of the show was due in large part to people less interested in waiting for 6:00 p.m to find out about games.”