Flipboard Jumps To Browsers

More than 2.5 million user-made magazines have been created since Flipboard 2.0 was launched in March of this year.  Now Flipboard is moving from mobile devices to the web by launching full HTML 5.0 versions of its magazines. Unlike Flipboard 2.0’s magazines, the newest version will work on any browser connected to the Internet. Whether on mobile or desktop, users will have full access to select Flipboard magazines.

The interface will feel familiar to Flipboard’s established users, as the app’s tried-and-true card flipping translates well to large computer screens. Magazines will also automatically resize based on the size of the screen and window, showing either a full page or a single article based on whatever fits. The site lets users flip through pages using the spacebar or arrow keys, the way users would use a finger on an iPad screen. For now, only a small editorially curated list of magazines is available online.

Source: The Verge

Copperhead Takes On Batman

Batman: Arkham Origins puts players in the role of Batman as he is hunted by a series of high-powered assassins. One of these is revealed as Copperhead, a deadly menace who uses her acrobatic prowess to attack and apparently poison The Batman. Batman: Arkham Origins will be available on October 25 this year.

Soul Calibur II Returns In HD

When classic 3D fighters come to mind, there are few more beloved than Namco’s Soul Calibur II. At San Diego Comic Con last weekend, Namco Bandai announced that they would be bringing the classic fighting game to the current generation in the form of Soul Calibur II HD Online. The game offers classic gameplay, but gives it an HD facelift and introduces online play. The game will come to current gen consoles sometime this fall.

Attack Of The Friday Monsters

The final game in Level 5’s Guild 02 initiative has come to market in the form of Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale. The game puts players in the shoes of a 10-year-old boy who lives in 1970s Tokyo, where every Friday gigantic monsters (kaiju) do battle against heroes in the style of Ultraman or Godzilla. The trailer shows gorgeous backgrounds and an idyllic small-town setting, where the boy deals with living in a world of heroes and monsters. The game is available now on Nintendo’s eShop for the 3DS.

What Makes You The ‘Last Of Us’

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us has pretty much lived up to the hype, killing it with critics and helping PlayStation 3 go out with a bang. While stellar on many fronts, the game has been getting accolades for its sophisticated storyline and how well it weaves plot and character progression into the game play.  Sony’s TV spot for Europe captures that perfectly, coming across as one of those pieces of creative where the creators really understood the source material.

The Gamification Of Shopping

Crowdstar has done very well with its line of mobile and social apps for young girls, including titles like Top Girl, Mermaid World and It Girl. Crowdstar’s games have been installed more than 250 million times, and the company estimates that girls spend over 25 million minutes daily with its titles. Now Crowdstar is going after an older female audience with its new title Covet Fashion. The [a]list daily spoke with Crowdstar CEO Jeff Tseng about the game and its unique relationship with fashion brands.

Crowdstar felt that a fashion game for women was a logical extension of the product line. “We strongly believe the female audience hasn’t had that much focus and core games, besides casual games,” said Tseng. “Consoles are very much focused on a male audience. Women have tablets and smartphones, and they’re ubiquitous. The opportunity was there to create this genre of products for the audience.”

The key feature of Covet Fashion is its integration with fashion brands. The app is all about trying out new fashions and discovering what you like and what you don’t like. “The brands all know their audience is moving to mobile, but they don’t have a great way to reach that audience,” Tseng noted. So Crowdstar came up with the idea, and reached out to fashion brands to see what they thought. “We were confident in the value and fun we provide. We did a significant amount of outreach to validate the idea, and almost unanimously people loved it,” Tseng recalled.

The cooperation from fashion brands was outstanding. “There are over 60 brands we’re working with right now, with over 1000 items and we’re working towards more,” said Tseng. Brands signed up include names like Rebecca Minkoff, Cynthia Rowley, Hudson Jeans, Yigal Azrouël, Joie, Nanette Lepore, Erin Fetherston, Dannijo, Fallon, Halston Heritage, Sigerson Morrison, and Mara Hoffman.

Digitally rendered illustrations of each brand’s in-season collections are presented on Covet Fashion for users to buy with virtual currency. “You can learn about fashion, interact with fashion and use it as a stepping stone to purchase fashion,” said Tseng. “We’re bridging different worlds here. You’re styling, you’re sharing and you’re shopping.”

One of the important benefits for a brand that’s used in the game is the data Crowdstar collects. “The data we get is very extensive, and of course we aggregate it to remove personal information,” said Tseng. “We see what items are paired together, the most popular colors, it’s a huge amount of information. We collect a billion data points a day.” This sort of data is invaluable to brands, which usually have limited insight into how their products are combined with products from other companies.

Crowdstar has also enlisted the help of fashion maven Rachel Zoe to boost the visibility of the app.”We met her through one of our investors, it’s been a great relationship,” said Tseng. “She’s had a lot of people asking her to participate, but when she saw our product she got really excited.” Zoe has given Crowdstar feedback on the app as well as helping to promote the title.

Zoe loves the realistic results of the app. “One of the things that impressed me was the aesthetic of the game and how real the products look. It’s a very intelligent game “” it doesn’t dumb down fashion,” explained Zoe in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily. Zoe is also marketing her own Rachel Zoe Collection label on the app.

Tseng sees a bright future for this concept of blending games and shopping. “I think there’s potential for other themes,” Tseng said. “We’re trying to rethink fashion for the medium of mobile and tablet, though tablet is really our main focus. I think that model is very interesting because that tie-in to e-commerce is there. We’re creating a really fun way for you to see what’s out there to buy. We’re taking shopping and making it a fun experience — some see it as the gamification of shopping. There’s huge potential.”

Nvidia Shield Launching (Again)

Nvidia’s Android-powered handheld console Shield was supposed to be in consumers’ hands at the end of June. It finally has an official launch date, with Nvidia announcing that it will hit shelves on July 31.

Nvidia delayed the original launch days before the console was scheduled for release, citing in a statement that it was due to “a mechanical issue that relates to a third-party component.”

“We want Shield to be perfect, so we have elected to shift the launch date to July,” the company said in the same statement.

Now, Nvidia has announced that the issue has been taken care of, with the first Shield units rolling off the production line.  When it hits stores next week, the handheld will be available for the reduced price of $299 as an introductory price.  The Shield is available through NewEgg and the Nvidia website as well as GameStop, Canada Computers and Micro Center stores.

Source: IGN

Developer: Used Games A Broken System

Ready at Dawn co-founder Ru Weerasuriya has said that the used games business model is not good for the industry, saying the ‘flawed’ system where revenues bypass the people who make the games needs to be fixed.

“I think the problem is right now, there are retail outlets that are really taking everybody for a ride,” Weerasuriya told GamesIndustry.biz. “You can’t make a living at the expense of everybody else. Unfortunately they’re not just making a living at the expense of developers but also the consumers.”

Game retail giant GameStop, which makes a good chunk of its profit from used games, regularly argues that the ability to sell back and trade games helps sales of new games.  Weerasuriya doesn’t see it that way.  He says used game sales equate to losing revenue for developers and publishers, which affects how much they’re willing to reinvest in making new games. The result is that they’re forced to put out fewer releases.  He also questioned the priority GameStop puts on pushing used games, which have higher profit margins.

“I walked into a GameStop, asked for a new copy of a game and without telling me he tried to slip me a used copy and wanted to sell it to me for $5 less,” said Weerasuriya. “I flipped out in front of the guy. There are developers out there who are making games for [years], and some of them will go down purely because the revenue stream is basically flawed and creating this place where developers don’t see even a little part of it.”

Weerasuriya doesn’t think ridding the market of used games altogether is the answer. He says that a system should be put in place where the developer gets a portion of used game sales.

Ready at Dawn is currently developing the new PS4 game The Order: 1886.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

‘Dumb Phone’ Facebook App Has 100 Million Users

Facebook’s mobile strategy revolves around the massive iOS and Android smart phone user base, but now the social net has revealed that their app for ‘dumb phones’ has reached more than 100 million people worldwide. Facebook’s Every Phone app designed for use with feature phones, which have low computing power and usually run native operating systems, is now on more than 3,000 different types of devices.  Its functions include access to news feed, photo uploads, and messaging.

While the app is only reaching less than 10 percent of Facebook’s 1.1 billion users, it’s enough of an audience that Facebook recently announced ads are appearing on it. The app is most popular in India, Turkey and Indonesia and other developing countries.

Source: Mashable

Leaked Ad Shows Sneak Peek Of Nexus 7

Google’s new version of the Nexus 7 tablet is supposed to be announced Wednesday at an orchestrated event, but a leaked Best Buy ad may already lifted the veil off of the device. The ad was tipped to Phone Arena, which published it to show that the retailer is pricing the device at $229, touting that it has 16 GB of storage and a 1920 x 1200 pixel 7-inch touch screen, and saying it’s available as soon as July 30.

There has been no official word on the device from Google yet. The company’s event scheduled for this Wednesday is being headed by Sundar Pichai, who is in charge of Google’s Android division. That’s a strong indication that Google’s next tablet is on the agenda. If the leaked Best Buy ad is true, Nexus 7’s specs and especially pricing would make it a strong competitor to the current crop of low-priced tablets, Apple’s iPad Mini and Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

Source: Giagom