PlayStation Now Hints At Rental Periods

Sony’s moving right along with its cloud-based PlayStation Now rental service, which is currently undergoing closed beta for certain PS3 owners. However, some information has come to light that indicates just how long users can rent games for.

A rental version of Atlus’ strategy game Catherine recently popped up on the service, indicating that it could be rented for one, seven or up to 30 days. Functionality and pricing weren’t activated for it yet, but it looks like those will be the options available when the service launches sometime this summer.

Previously, we reported that game rentals could go from $4.99 to $5.99 depending on the title, including such popular games as Far Cry 3, Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us.

There’s no option present for buying games outright — at least, not yet.

Source: Computer and Video Games

Facebook Launches Video Ads Soon

After spending so much time advertising on other media channels on the Internet, Facebook is just about ready to give video a shot. The company announced last week that it will begin debuting 15-second video advertisements in its News Feed over the next few months.

This follows a few months of testing of the service with the clips, running with muted sound until someone scrolled over them to get more information. The goal of the campaign was to make sure the ads were informative, yet not intrusive to those who simply wanted to use the social site.

Bloomberg estimates that the services will launch in late April or early May, but Facebook declined to comment.

Source: GigaOm

Xbox One Controllers Work With PC’s

Those of you looking for a good controller for your PC may have a new option to consider – Microsoft’s Xbox One controller.

Despite reports that the peripheral was only compatible with the Xbox One console, Microsoft’s director of product management Albert Penello confirmed that the controllers will also work with Windows PCs.

Regarding rumors that the controller would be “locked out” for use on PC’s, Penello explained, “This is 100 percent wrong. When the drivers become available, they will work with the existing controllers. There is no plan to do a new, separate controller that only works on Windows. It will be the same as it is on Xbox 360 – the Xbox One controller you have today will work.

“That’s not to say that we may not ship also a PC SKU of the Xbox One controller, much like we do on Xbox 360.”

Penello hopes that the functionality will be added sometime this year, although a date has not yet been given.

“New wireless protocol, combined with the ability to work in ‘wired’ mode, and the addition of features like Impulse triggers, means that new software has to be written and optimized for the PC,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. “There is also some work that we need to do to make sure that existing PC games that support the Xbox 360 controller will work with the Xbox One controller.”

Source: Polygon

Nvidia’s New Graphics Card/Game Bundles

With the launch of its new GeForce 800M series last week, NVIDIA is moving forward with a new promotion to entice game buyers into getting its hardware.

The company has launched a number of new spring models that include some great additions, which will certainly put said hardware to the test. Those who purchase the GeForce GTX 660/760 and above will receive a voucher for a free Steam copy of the survival horror game Daylight, which will be published through Atlus. Daylight is the first published game to use Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, and it includes some very special effects using that engine.

In addition, those who buy GTX 650 and GTX 750 series cards, along with “select GTX 700M/800M-based notebooks” will get some free-to-play currency as a reward, with a voucher that features $50 in value for three different games – Warface, Heroes of Newerth and Path of Exile.

The bundles are only being offered through May 31st, so interested buyers may want to get a jump on picking these up.

Source: Anandtech

Introducing The ZTE9 Fun Box Console

Android consoles are being more commonplace these days, between the Ouya, Gamestick and Mad Catz’ M.O.J.O. device. Now, China is getting in on the action by introducing its own native Android-powered console.

Chinese telephone network equipment provider ZTE Corp has partnered with online game developer The9 Ltd for a new console called the ZTE9 Fun Box, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Set to hit shelves in China later this month, the cube-shaped system is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 4 chip  includes 2GB of RAM, as well as USB and micro USB ports, Bluetooth controllers and dual antenna Wi-Fi capability. It also comes with the ability to stream HD videos online and video through connected devices.

Various video game developers are in talks with the company in regards to software for the Fun Box, which will be the first console launching in China following the lifted ban on video game consoles.

Source: Polygon

Google Chrome Building With Lego Tools

We can’t think of anyone that doesn’t like playing with Legos – especially after watching The Lego Movie in theaters. That’s why it’s handy to have a website like Build With Chrome.

The site, a collaboration between Chrome and the Lego group, utilizes the 3D WebGL graphics technology, enabling users to stretch beyond the limits of their imagination when it comes to building virtual creations within the browser. In addition, creations can be shared via Google +, so users can see what their friends are building.

Those who are new to the program can view a number of tutorials before getting started, and also glimpse at the video below to get a better idea how Build With Chrome works.

The site is available now, and free of charge. It wouldn’t hurt to stop by and make something wonderful.

Google Blog


One Million Gamerscore Achieved

Earning Achievement points is one of the many perks to playing games on Xbox Live, either through the Xbox 360 or Xbox One. And now, a gamer has managed to reach a new record wit a million of them.

Stallion83, or in his secret identity Raymond Cox,  streamed the finish line yesterday on his Twitch channel as he crossed over the one million mark, setting a new precedent for Xbox Live gamers everywhere. His profile shows the last games he played to get there, including Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare and Capcom Arcade Cabinet, among others.

Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb, spokesperson for the Xbox label, was one of the first to congratulate Stallion83 on his accomplishment. Indeed, it’s quite something.

Source: Kotaku

February Retail up 9%, But Software Lags

Once again, sales of new consoles boosted hardware revenues at retail stores in the US, but software sales at retail continued to be lower than last year according to the NPD Group’s numbers for February. Overall, US retail sales were up 9 percent over last year, reaching a total of $887 million compared to last year’s $810 million. The hardware numbers are impressive, up 42 percent over February of 2013 to hit $347 million; offsetting the 9 percent decline in software sales (which dropped to $318 million from $352 million last year).

The hardware revenue increase was, of course, driven by rather expensive next-gen console sales. “February 2014 hardware sales increased by 42 percent over February 2013 due to an over 60 percent increase in console hardware sales,” noted NPD’s Liam Callahan. “PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90 percent of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales. However, with Xbox One’s higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis.”

Microsoft added some detail to this by stating in a press release that the Xbox One sold 258,000 units for the month (ahead of Xbox 360 by 61 percent at the same point in its cycle). Based on Callahan’s 90 percent data point, we can estimate that the PS4 sold around 286,000 units (plus or minus) during February. Of course, this is the US picture, and sales in other countries are a different matter. The US is quite clearly Microsoft’s stronghold when it comes to the Xbox.

While overall software sales dropped from last year, NPD noted that next-gen software was a bright spot. “PS4 and Xbox One software sales are off to a great start through February 2014,” Callahan said. “When compared to the combined first four month sales for the Xbox 360 and the PS3, software sales for the Xbox One and PS4 thorough month 4 are up 80 percent.”

The reason for the decline in overall software revenue is current-gen console software, which continues to lag badly. NPD attributes this to the shift in attention to new consoles. “Despite positive performance of PS4 and Xbox One, the majority of software losses stemmed from declines for seventh generation consoles (Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii), which is expected as we transition from one console generation to another,” said Callahan. Perhaps, but publishers would love to see better sales of current-gen console titles, and continue to hope that Sony and Microsoft will consider dropping the prices on the PS3 and Xbox 360 to goose sales.

Of course, we should increasingly expect to see lower numbers at retail for software as more and more gamers acquire their software digitally, especially on next-gen consoles. Also, more of the spending is going into DLC of various types, none of which is reflected in the retail numbers.

February 2014 Top 10 Games (New physical retail only across all platforms incl. PC)

#1 Call Of Duty: Ghosts (360, PS3, XBO, PS4, NWU, PC)** Activision Blizzard
#2 The LEGO Movie Videogame (360, PS3, 3DS, NWU, XBO, PS4, PSV) Warner Bros. Interactive
#3 NBA 2K14 (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, PC)** Take 2 Interactive
#4 Thief (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3) Square Enix Inc
#5 Grand Theft Auto V (360, PS3)** Take 2 Interactive
#6 Battlefield 4 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC) Electronic Arts
#7 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (360, PS4, PS3, XBO, NWU, PC)** Ubisoft
#8 Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PS3, 360) Square Enix Inc
#9 Minecraft (360) Microsoft
#10 Bravely Default (3DS) Nintendo

**(includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)

China’s iPhone Game Revenues Up 20%

Mid-January China Mobile, China’s largest mobile operator, started selling Apple’s iPhone. The effect can clearly be seen on iPhone game spending in its first full running month of February: an increase of 20 percent representing around $10 million. In one month, the network added an astounding 14 million 3G subscribers.

Remarkably, revenues generated on the iPad in China fell by 27 percent compared to January, pushing them down into fourth place in the country rankings, behind Australia. iPhone revenues are now almost five times bigger than iPad revenues in China. This trend can also be seen in Japan, where iPhone games generate more than ten times the revenue of the iPad.

The jump in China revenues did not prevent iOS game revenues from slipping on a global scale, as expected in the post-holiday period. Moreover, iPad revenues witnessed a greater drop than iPhone. Playstore revenues were up several percent points, led by growth in Japan and the US. Supercell and King are still dominating the publisher charts, a trend that is likely to continue as King’s latest saga titles race through the charts and Supercell’s third game, Beach Boom, is released.

The key rank changes for iOS and GooglePlay games as well as publishers are described below. 


The top five games have remained unchanged with Clash of Clans retaining the top spot, followed by King’s Candy Crush Saga. Hay Day, Puzzle & Dragons and Game of War: Fire Age are claiming the next three positions.

King’s latest release, Farm Heroes Saga, has climbed to position six, following its debut at eleven last month. This is the fifth title in King’s Saga series for mobile. Big Fish Casino: Free Slots, Blackjack, Poker, Cards & Bonus Chips! has climbed four spots to number 13.

There is one new entry, Dragon Quest Monster, which debuted at number 14. has the most games of any publisher in the top 20, with three of their titles featuring.

On the publisher side, the top three remained unchanged this month with holding the top spot and Supercell taking second place followed by EA. King now has three games in the top ten following the successful release of Farm Heroes Saga to mobile.

Shenzhen Tencent Computer Systems Co.Ltd has jumped a further four places to number five thanks to the continued success of Cool Running Everyday. Kabam have dropped three spots to number five, while Gameloft dropped four spots to number six. Square Enix, who re-entered the charts at number 20 last month, has climbed to number twelve.


Just as in the iOS charts, the top five games remained unchanged this month. Clash of Clans is holding on to the top spot followed by Candy Crush Saga and Puzzle & Dragons. Supercell’s second hit title, Hay Day, is still sitting at number five having made its debut in the December charts.

King’s latest release, Farm Heroes Saga, has climbed eleven places to number seven. Candy Crush Saga for Kakao is notably missing from the charts having peaked at number nine in December.

Anipang 2 for Kakao has made an impressive debut at number eight in the charts. Dragon Quest Monster is new at number eleven with Monster Strike and Battle in Warring States also entering the charts this month.

Looking at the publishers, is holding on to the top spot this month with rival Supercell right at its heels. Last month’s number three, ColoPL, Inc, has fallen to number four replaced by Line Corporation.

Namco Bandai Games Inc. has made the biggest drop, falling four places to number thirteen. Square Enix has re-entered the charts at number 14 and Mixi Inc., is the other new entry with their title Monster Strike at number twelve in the games chart.

Time To Share On PS4

Sony is continuing to push their PS4 sharing campaign with two new ads, one for Destiny and the other for Watch Dogs. Cleverly, the games in the ads haven’t even come out yet, so it serves to hype up upcoming products as well as advertise the sharing feature.