Sony Says PS4 Gives PS Vita A Boost

Sony’s UK managing director Fergal Gara has said that the PlayStation 4 will improve the PS Vita’s sales, giving it a “shot in the arm.’ Gara said the PS Vita was designed more as a companion to the PS4 than for the PS3.

“I don’t think it’s unfair to say it came into a very complex marketplace that probably wasn’t fully envisaged at the time development started,” Gara said, referring to the Vita’s launch in late 2011. “It borrows a lot from the mobile and tablet world, especially with touch control. And it borrows a fair amount from the PlayStation of old with the analogue sticks. And it’s a very worthy and better successor to PSP. Where it’s been difficult has been proving the companion status for PlayStation 3. The fact is it was developed for PS4, much more than PS3.”

Gara went on to note the PS Vita’s Remote Play ability with any PS4 title as an important feature.

“When you consider something like Watch Dogs will be available for PS Vita via the Remote Play functionality it’s very exciting,” said Gara. “And the fact the PS4 is coming out at a well-received price point means it’s not out of the question to own both.”

That seems a bit much, considering the PS4 will be $399 at launch, and the PS Vita is still $249. Gara wouldn’t comment on possible price cuts for the PS Vita or the PS3, though many analysts have suggested such cuts would be forthcoming before the holidays.


PlayStation 3 Update Shuts Down Systems

PlayStation 3 users should take caution before upgrading their systems to the 4.45 version firmware, as “a small number of users” has reported that the update has affected their systems. Sony has since taken the update offline so users who avoided the update will not have to worry about dealing with the system update affecting their systems. Concerning those affected by the update, Sony has said “We kindly ask PS3 users to wait for further details. We will announce when ready.”

The update was meant to add trophy notification options and improved system stability, according to a tweet released before the update’s release. Instead, the update created a problem bringing up the home menu interface, leaving the user unable to do anything on their console. This stumble comes hot on the heels of their successful E3 showing, where they showed off their upcoming PlayStation 4, and a strong lineup of PlayStation 3 games coming later this year. Hopefully these problems will be taken care of quickly.

Source: Kotaku


Iwata Says ‘We Are To Blame’ For Wii U Sales

Over the course of the year since the Nintendo Wii U’s release, sales of the new system have been lackluster. At E3 this year, Nintendo attempted to fix the problem by announcing a variety of new titles for the system. Satoru Iwata recently spoke to CNBC about the problems the Wii U’s launch faced, saying that “we are to blame.”

“We relaxed our [marketing] efforts, so the consumers today still cannot understand what’s so good and unique about the Wii U. Because we’re always trying to be unique, it takes some energies on our side to [make] people understand the real attractions about whatever we are doing.”

When the Wii was initially released in 2006, it was accompanied by numerous advertisements and a stellar, easily picked up title in the form of Wii Sports.

Iwata said, “Because there’s not software that’s simple and obvious for people as Wii Sports for the Wii, potential customers do not feel like trying the Wii U.”

From a marketing standpoint, Nintendo and Iwata understand that there wasn’t enough done. When the system was released, there were few Nintendo exclusive games to push the console forward. There was also almost no advertising to show consumers that the Wii U was a step forward from the Wii that was worth taking. Nintendo has recognized the software problem now, and the announcement of games such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. Wii U is a step towards solving it. Nintendo needs to start advertising to the same massive number of consumers who purchased the original Wii. When they can produce a steady stream of must-have titles and market them effectively, they may finally see their new console sell in respectable numbers.

There is one key marketing tool that’s still not planned is a price cut for the Wii U.

“From the very beginning we came up with a very aggressive price point,” Iwata said.  “We do not think [a price cut] is a very easy option to take.”

That position may change at some point.  The question is whether that will be before the holidays this year.


WPP Digital Gives $4.4 Million To Mobile Startup

Advertising firm WPP Digital has announced today that they have made a $4.4 Million investment in Muzy. Muzy is a new startup mobile photo-based microblogging app and website that currently has 20 million users and is gaining 1 million a month. The app and website allows users to utilize over 50 widgets to arrange photos, games and content a small album, add a note, and post.

The company says they will utilize this new funding to add to their staff and build more tools and widgets for their platform. The app currently uses no form of advertising whatsoever, so some of this support from WPP will no doubt be used to advertise the service and reach out to new users.

The potential for advertising on this service when it picks up steam is also great. Companies can potentially utilize this service’s photo and text sharing options to show more about games, or possibly even fund new widgets for the site in exchange for advertising for the new widget. Muzy has been seeing rapid growth with no advertising, so potential for growth utilizing advertising is incredible.

It’s interesting to see an advertising firm investing in a platform.  Is this the beginning of a trend Will other ad firms see value in acquiring and/or developing mobile tools that can be useful ad vehicles? Mobile advertising is still in its very early stages with no clear winners yet, so the territory is ripe for innovation. WPP has apparently decided to get directly involved rather than waiting for something to emerge.  It will be fascinating to watch the strategy evolve.

Source: TechCrunch

Apple Shows Off Potential iOS 7 Controllers

After Apple announced plans for iOS 7 controller support at their annual WWDC conference, they also announced partnerships with Logitech and Moga to begin development on game controllers for iOS 7 devices. The explosion of game development for iOS devices over the last several years has left developers wondering when support for a controller would be included in iOS. With this announcement, it can be expected that demand for controller-based games will increase after the release of the controllers.

Two concepts for controllers were shown at the conference, both offering up different experiences for the user. The first concept was called the “Form fitting extended gamepad.” This design fit the iPhone 5 into the gamepad, with buttons surrounding the device allowing for both touch and button based gameplay. The other controller design shown was far simpler. Called the “standalone extended gamepad,” the controller looks similar to the Wii’s pro controller, and includes 4 LEDs for allowing multiplayer gameplay. Both controllers feature two analog sticks, a d-pad, four face buttons, four shoulder buttons, and a pause button.

The controllers have been scheduled for an autumn release to the public and will be compatible with iPhones 4, 4S, and 5 as well as iPads 2, 3, 4, and Mini. As gaming becomes an increasingly common presence on smart phones and other mobile devices, controller support has become an important part of mobile gaming experiences on Android. As of this fall, it can be expected that controller support will be an expected part of the development cycle of mobile games for both Android and iOS.


Donkey Kong Country Trailer Shows Gorgeous Jungles

One of Nintendo’s many reveals during their press conference was the newest iteration of Retro’s reborn Donkey Kong Country franchise, subtitled Tropical Freeze. The trailer shows off the 3D rendered 2D platforming gameplay the franchise is known for set amidst lush, vibrant jungle environments. The game will be released for the Wii U this fall.


Rayman Legends CG Trailer Shows New Character, Settings

In the first trailer for Ubisoft’s Rayman Legends since last year’s E3, a gorgeous CG shows off a new character and new worlds for Rayman and friends to explore. Rayman’s trademark animation is put on display as a new redheaded character jumps between worlds to get Rayman out of a rough situation using her axe and the platforming the franchise is known for. Rayman Legends will be unleashed upon the world on September 3.

Killer Instinct Trailer Elicits Nostalgia

Microsoft’s press conference showed off a number of exclusive titles meant to sell their Xbox One system, and Killer Instinct was one of those titles. The original Killer Instinct was released in 1994 by now Microsoft-owned Rare. Microsoft is cashing in on the nostalgia for Rare’s beloved fighting game to help move Xbox One units. The fighting mechanics look as deep and high-quality as they did so many generations ago.


GameStick Android Console Delayed To August

GameStick, an Android based home gaming console has reportedly had its July release date moved back to August to address some concerns. The concerns being addressed were mostly involved with the UI of the system. Developers wanted to get more feedback from users to they could refine it before being released.

The device will be a USB sizes stick that will plug directly into the HDMI slot on any TV, then act as an Android based gaming console. This is the second delay to the system’s release that has been announced, but the release is still only a couple of months away even with this new delay put into place. Hopefully this time will be well spent into making this new experiment in Android gaming a success.

The console will retail for only $79, and with the vast array of free or inexpensive Android games it poses a potential threat to the current generation of consoles. Of course, the GameStick will still need good distribution in retail stores to really be competitive, and a marketing campaign wouldn’t hurt, either. We also have yet to see if the current generation of consoles will reduce prices; a Wii or an Xbox 360 at $99 would be formidable competition.

Source: TechCrunch

Batman Fights For His Life In Arkham City E3 Trailer

The newest trailer for Arkham Origins gives some much needed insight into the story of the game. A new enemy offers a hefty price for Batman’s death, and many faces show up to answer the call including the likes of Bane, Deathstroke and even The Joker. The game will be released on October 25 this year.

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