PlayStation 4 Adds Freebies

With the PlayStation 4 just days away from release, gamers everywhere can’t wait to jump into the next generation of games. Thankfully, the system will come with enough extra goodies to allow them to do so.

Inside the package – along with the system and the DualShock 4 controller – purchasers will also find a 30-day PlayStation Plus subscription, so they can download games and check out other goodies. Following the expiration of the 30 days, they can opt to continue the membership for a yearly or monthly fee.

Also included in the box is a $10 PlayStation Store credit, which can be used either towards movies or games, depending what the user is in the mood for. Finally, a free month of Music Unlimited will also be thrown in, enabling users to listen to millions of songs from an instant streaming playlist.

The PlayStation 4 arrives in stores on November 15.

Source: Ars Technica

Nvidia CEO Believes In Android

Nvidia, the creators of the popular Shield handheld system, is fully behind the belief that Android is the operating system of the future – according to the company’s co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, at least.

During an investor call before the weekend, Huang explained his beliefs. “Shield is our initiative to cultivate the gaming marketplace for Android,” he stated. “We believe that Android is going to be a very important platform for gaming in the future, and to do so we have to create devices that enable great gaming to happen on Android.

The Shield is an Android device wirh a built-n game controller, which lets gamers “feel” like they’re playing on a real system, rather than swiping away on a touch-screen.

Source: ZDNet

‘World of Warcraft’ Expansion Announced

This past weekend saw Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon event make its return to Los Angeles, and the company didn’t disappoint, as it featured a number of announcements and tournaments to keep fans happy. Among them – a new chapter in the ongoing World of Warcraft saga.

Titled Warlords of Draenor, this fifth expansion to the popular online MMO sends players to a mysterious new realm, during a pivotal moment in history to fight alongside – and against – legends from Warcraft’s history.

Warlords of Draenor gives players a chance to take a commanding role in one of the Warcraft series’ most crucial conflicts,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “This expansion also includes features that make it easy for anyone to jump right into the action, whether they’ve played WoW at some point in the past or are just setting foot in Azeroth for the first time.”

Featuring fully revamped player models and animations, as well as a character boost up to level 100, the expansion should be quite popular with fans. The new Dungeons, Zones, Raids, Scenarios and Battlegrounds should also keep them busy for hours on end.

No word yet on release date, but it’s likely to arrive in 2014.

Source: Blizzard

Xbox One Reveals Media Partners

Microsoft, no stranger to introducing media services across its Windows and Xbox platforms, has a stellar line-up ready to go for Xbox One when it launches next Friday.

Among the partners that will have applications featured for the new console include NFL, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, ESPN, Machinima, Hulu Plus, Redbox Instant, FoxNow, Crackle, VUDU, and several others. More will also be added in the months ahead.

“We set out to make Xbox One the all-in-one games and entertainment hub for your home. The one system that offers the best games next to the best entertainment experiences and apps,” said Marc Whitten, Xbox Chief Product Officer. “Along with offering a stellar app portfolio from around the world, Xbox One takes the next step by offering them in a way that is seamless and easy to use.”

These apps will also work with Bing search, so users can either speak or input their desired programming with its menu and find what they’re looking for.

The Xbox One releases on November 22 in the United States, amongst other markets.

Source: Xbox

Virtual Item Sells For $38,000

It’s funny how a few cosmetic changes to a character can attract someone to buying them through an in-game shop – as if it was telling them, “You have to have this!” In this case, an animal courier character for Valve’s Dota 2 managed to sell for a whopping $38,000. You read that right – a virtual character sold for that much.

Couriers are characters that are used throughout the game, and vary depending on the circumstance and what the user has in mind for them. Some can’t be easily bought, as you’ll have to open treasure chests to find them on occasion. Others, however, can, through the in-game shop. That is where PAADA, a Reddit trader, managed to sell theirs, a pink Enduring War Dog with an “Ethereal Flame,” for the whopping $38 K price tag.

Special effects are rare on couriers, but this is a startling price considering what the user is getting, and what kind of effect it’ll serve in the game.

This isn’t the first time someone’s paid big bucks for digital property in a game. A space station was sold for $100,000 at one point, and a plot of virtual land managed to fetch . . . wait for it . . . $2.5 million.

Let’s hope these users are happy with their purchases.

Dota 2 is available now for PC.

Source: Ars Technica

China’s Top Ten PC Games For October

The popularity of League of Legends continues to grow worldwide, and it’s conquered China yet again as the most played game in the country. According to the report from Games In Asia, Legends easily led the charge followed by a variety of genres.

1. League of Legends – Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) run by Tencent in China
2. CrossFire – a tactical shooting game that works similarly to Valve’s Counter-Strike series, this game originally came out in 2007
3. DNF – also known as Dungeon & Fighter or Dungeon Fighter Online, this beat-em-up from 2005 is still quite popular
4. QQ Speed – a racing game from Tencent Games that came out back in 2008
5. QQ X5* — a casual dance game, also released by Tencent back in 2008
6. AgainstWar – a first-person online shooter, and another popular entry from Tencent; it’s a little more recent, having released in 2011
7. Dream of the Three Kingdoms – a fantasy-battle game developed by Electric Soul, this one’s been on the charts since 2009
8. Asura – a popular fantasy massive multiplayer online role-playing game loosely based around Journey To the West
9. New Dahua Xiyou 2 – another popular role-playing game from Netease,released back in September
10. NBA2KOL – a variation of 2K Sports’ NBA 2K series, and another recent release

As you can see, role-playing games, first-person shooters and, of course, League are quite popular, and the audience may grow once the country allows certain game developers to release their software next year. We shall soon see.

Source: Games In Asia

Internet Explorer, Anime Hero

If at first you don’t succeed, try something new. That’s exactly what Microsoft is doing with its venerable Internet Explorer browser.

Following the launch of a popular “Child of the 90’s” ad, the company has unveiled its latest commercial, which features a beautiful, hand-drawn Japanese animation style. In it, a young girl, Inori Aizawa, the “official mascot of the Internet Explorer,” is on the run from rogue Internet robots, but finds herself saved when she locates a shield with a monogrammed “I” on it, transforming into a warrior in the process.

Considering the popularity of the “90’s” ad (it led to a 57.8 percent hold of worldwide market share), this new commercial could be the next big viral campaign.

Source: Mashable


Super Mario, Super TV Campaign

Nintendo’s been needing a hit game for its Wii U console for some time now, and in a couple of weeks, it’ll be getting it with the latest adventure from the familiar plumber, Super Mario 3D World.

To prep gamers for the forthcoming game, Nintendo of Europe has already launched a huge TV campaign that features the plumber in action, aimed at kids, families and girls alike. Though the general focus on the ads will be the hardware, the game will also be featured, including bits and pieces of the new four-player cooperative multiplayer. Print and social media advertising is also being planned.

“Mario is the perfect title for families this Christmas, not only is it a title that family members of all ages will enjoy, but it’s the first multiplayer 3D Mario platformer ever,” said Nintendo UK product manager Roger Langford.

“Pre-launch the focus will be on online and Facebook activity, aimed at Mario fans. We will also be launching a significant TV campaign targeted towards families and kids, highlighting the key features of the game and the Wii U hardware itself. Post-launch activity will centre around gifting via online, TV and PR.”

No word yet if Nintendo of America is planning a similar campaign…but come on, it’s Mario.

Source: MCV UK

Ten Years Ahead For Xbox One

Microsoft has invested quite a few years into its popular Xbox 360 console, and it’s still got a ways to go. That said, it believes that the Xbox One will last even longer.

Talking with GamesIndustry International during the X13 showcase event in Toronto earlier this week, Microsoft Canada’s Xbox director of marketing Craig Flannagan explained the numbers behind the Xbox One. “I’ve been here for the launch of Xbox 360. I was here for the launch of Kinect. This is far and away the biggest launch we’ve ever done,” Flannagan said. “It’s the most hardware we’ve ever produced. It’s the most we’ve ever pre-sold. We’re preselling a little over 2-to-1 from what we did with Xbox 360. The momentum on launch has been really good. And we didn’t have a 40-foot console at the launch of the 360, either.”

As far as shelf life, Flannagan believes it has longevity to spare. “Xbox One is going to start ahead, in terms of the experience we can deliver,” he said. “And because we’re built for the future, we’re going to stay ahead. I think there is not a better experience you can buy this holiday, and there will not be a time this generation where there’s a better experience you can buy than Xbox One…And it’s probably going to be a pretty long generation. We’re probably here for a while because we’re built for the future. This is a console that will last you, conservatively a decade, if I had to put a bet down today.”

Regarding the system’s durability, Flannagan wasn’t fazed. “We feel great about where the hardware is at right now,” he stated. “Our yields are good. It’s allowing us to produce more consoles than we ever have for a launch. We feel great about how the hardware is performing.”

Flannagan concluded, “Much like 360, Xbox One’s not going to look a whole lot five years from now like it does on November 22, 2013. I don’t know where it’s going to go, but that’s kind of fun because we’re built for the future. We do have a connection; we can change what things look like and how it performs.”

We’ll see how the Xbox One fares when it arrives at retail on November 22.

Source: GamesIndustry International

‘Candy Crush’ Candy Launches

Candy Crush Saga has addicted millions of players since its mobile release from King, and now it’s made its way to the candy aisle.

The developer has announced that it has launched four kinds of candies based on the game, including Color Bombs, Jelly Fish, Fruit Gummies and Sour Fruit Gummies.

The candy is only available in the U.S. for the moment, but King is working on plans to release it worldwide. For the time being, potential buyers can visit Dylan’s Candy Bars website and order however many they desire.

Candy Crush Saga is available for download on both iOS and Android devices, and playable on Facebook.

Source: Modojo