Posted on April 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm by james
Don’t you just hate it when your bloke spends all weekend transfixed to his laptop? When lad-mates would rather stay in and collect flags and ray guns rather than socialise in a public place? The worst is when you’re trying to have a serious conversation but some silly app he’s just bought is obviously far more interesting. If you think that’s bad imagine how he feels, because apparently, we girls are spending more time, and money, with the latest Apple gadget, downloading more games, and spending more time surfing the web than our male counterparts. Really!?
A really pretty info graphic by aytm.com makes it perfectly clear: 88% of games and entertainment apps are bought by females, compared to 82% by men. And women are dedicating as much time to work as they do to their iPad’s. This statistic becomes a little less shocking when you consider the amount of stay-at-home Mums, compared to stay-at-home Dads, but it still is quite a monster discovery that after all the moaning about wires and noise, non-comprehending of technological advances and a complete apathy when it comes to megapixels, gigabytes and motherboards, we were actually clogging up the app store just itching to get the latest apps, updates and Apple technology.
The blokes only surpass in what I will deem as, no offence, ‘useful apps’, such as services, news, productivity, reference and business, whilst we’re too busy crawling the AppStore for leisure, fitness, lifestyle and horoscopes, the last one was a guess, but it’s a fairly confident assumption. It seems the latest touch screen technology has really turned the world on its head, and not in the post-aliens, robot-as-standard vision we deemed of future sci-fi style technology. The present landscape seems a lot more casual, with touch screen mobile phones, laser keyboards, and palm sized all singing, all dancing, all downloading computers as standard. What must be the biggest advancement in user-friendly technology for a really long time, didn’t scare us, worry us, or even surprise us. We adapted our lives to compensate it, like taking home an injured cat, sort of. We opened up our homes to super-technology, we all fell for Apple, and we never looked back. It’s hard to imagine what you did before music, news, internet, games and books were all at your fingertips. It’s hard to imagine what you did whilst commuting into work, and how did we waste time before the internet was available wherever we wanted? I, for one, dread to think, mainly because it wasn’t that long ago, and I can only really remember reading the free newspaper, or taking in the scenery.
Now, there is an App for everything, and most probably an App for comparing Apps. Our daily existence is simpler and better connected than ever before. When you think of it like that, it’s hardly a surprise women are in the lead for downloads and browsing time. We saw a useful tool and made it work to our advantage, we utilised what was available on the market, seen potential, and enhanced our daily lives with HD. Well, something like that, either way, we should probably stop nagging the other half to get his head off the keyboard, and we should accept that a generation of geek is now incorporating geekette’s too.
Posted on April 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm by james
Game manufacturer Nintendo has reported an overall loss for the financial year, the first in the company’s history.
Despite the huge sales of the company’s consoles and games, the manufacturer lost 43.2 billion yen (£329.14 million), which has been partly blamed on the poor performance of the Japanese currency overseas.
Nintendo recently announced that their 3DS console has sold 17.13 million units worldwide.
The new figure covers all sales of the game console up to the end of March 2012.
The recently released figures show that the new 3DS console sold two million extra units in the first three months of 2012. Previous tally’s released at the end of 2011 showed that 15.03 million copies had been sold.
The company also announced that their Wii console, despite being released in 2006, managed to add close to a million extra units on its sales. The console has now shifted 95.85 million, up from 94.97 million on New Year’s Eve 2011.
3DS games also saw a surge in numbers, with Super Mario 3D Land holding its position as the best selling game on the system. The game has now sold 5.84 million units since its release last November, gaining an extra 800,000 this year.
Mario Kart 7 came in second, will sales of 5.24 million, up from 4.54 million at the end of last year.
The company are expecting to sell more 3DS and Wii consoles this year than last, and has forecast a return to profitability for 2012/13 financial year. They are also hoping that the release of their Wii U console later this year will help their margins.
Posted on at 2:30 pm by james
Apple has announced it will hold its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) event from 11-15 June at San Francisco’s Moscone venue.
The event will take place just two weeks before Google’s I/O event, which will be held at the same venue.
The WWDC event will last five days and will focus on IOS and OS X Mountain Lion software, and will feature technical sessions along with hands-on labs aimed at developers creating apps for the two platforms. There will also be an awards event for the best iPhone, iPad and Mac apps.
Despite the recent anticipation surrounding the announcement of an iPhone 5, any such announcement at the event looks unlikely.
In previous years the company unveiled its new hardware at the WWDC event; the iPhone 3g in 2008, iPhone 3GS in 2009 and the iPhone 4 in 2010. However after the company broke the pattern in 2011 by saving the iPhone 4S for a separate autumn event, it appears that any mention of an iPhone 5 will be subjected to the same fate.
The sixth generation of Apple’s IOS software is predicted to be the key announcement at the WWDC, with rumours surrounding the possibility of a redesigned App Store, with the inclusion of revamped recommendation technology from its acquisition of startup Chomp in February 2012.
Google is also expected to announce major updates to its Android OS at their I/O event two weeks later, making June a pivotal month for Smartphone and tablet app developers specialising in the Android and IOS markets.
Posted on April 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm by james
Sales of Apple’s iPad hit 11.8 million in the last three months, representing a year on year rise of 151 per cent.
The figures were revealed in Apple’s latest quarterly financial report, which saw the technology giant make $39.2 billion (£24.3 billion) in revenue and $11.6 billion (£7.2 billion) in net profit between January 1st and March 31st 2012.
During the same three months of 2011, Apple made revenue of $24.7 billion (£15.3 billion) and a net profit of $6 billion (£3.7 billion).
The rise in revenue and profit was also helped through the sales of the company’s iPhone Smart Phone, which saw sales of 35.1 million, which was an 88 per cent year on year rose.
Apple’s Mac range also sold four million units, up by seven per cent.
Despite the impressive sales from there iPad, Iphone and Mac products, Apple did see negative figures in their iPod range, which sold a modest 7.7 million units, down by 15 per cent on the previous year.
This could be due to the iPhone and iPad incorporating the iPod within them.
New CEO Tim Cook commented: “The new iPad is off to a great start, and across the year you’re going to see a lot more of the kind of innovation that only Apple can deliver.”
Posted on April 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm by james
Former Call of Duty creative strategist Robert Bowling is to open his own game development studio called Robotoki.
Bowling who was the former public face for Activision’s Modern Warfare Studio, abruptly quit his job at Infinity Ward in late March 2012 and cut all ties with publisher Activision, saying that he wanted to work in a place where developers could retain control over their creations.
Speaking to Game Informer he said the decision to start his own company began as soon as he left his long term position with Activision.
He told the website: “Robotoki is focused on being a developer development studio that just happens to make games.”
He said: “We are focused on our team first and everything else second, because I believe as an industry we have a lot to learn on how to treat talent. While we continue to out stride film and music entertainment in other areas, we are falling severely behind in how to properly inspire and support our creative talent.”
He mentioned that new company Robotoki is completely self funded before adding that the company would only partner with those who supported their model.
He added: “I wanted to create an environment where the creative vision holders held complete control over their work and could guide and maintain it from concept to execution.”
The studio’s first projects will be revealed later on in the year and are set to debut on the next generation of consoles, PC and mobile devices, such as IOS, Tablet and Android.
Bowling commented: “As a developer, our focus is on creating a universe first, experiences second, and game mechanics last.
“With focus being on universe, we aim to create experiences that transcend platforms and genres and allow our players to connect to our world, their characters, and game play via any medium.
“However, how they experience the world is unique to their device. The mobile / tablet experience should not mimic the console or PC experience, it should be additive to it, not supplemental. Allowing them to support their console and PC experience, continue their progression, but by experiencing the world in a meaningful and unique way.”
Finally Bowling said that his focus is creating an experience that is no longer strictly single player, strictly co-op, or strictly multiplayer, but adapting the strengths of each of these into a unique experience that is fueled by the actions and contributions in each.
The company’s website has just opened up and is available to view here: http://www.robotoki.com/
Posted on at 3:00 pm by james
Warner Bros Interactive UK have confirmed the release of the Batman: Arkham City Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC game.
The new game will add more than two hours worth of fresh game play to campaign according to Warner, and will be available for download in all international markets from Wednesday May 30th on the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Marketplace.
In the DLC the player will interchange between playing both Batman and Robin to discover Harley’s plan. The game will include a whole new storyline, new environments and a new gang of villains to fight.
The add-on will be priced at 800 Microsoft points (£6.80) for the Xbox live release and $9.99 (£6.20, final UK price TBC) for the PSN.
Warner Bros have also revealed new details surrounding the release of the Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition.
The game will launch in the UK on September 7th for PlayStation 3 and Xbox, which is three months after the US release. There has been no word yet on the PC release of the game.
The content for the game includes:
- The Catwoman Pack, Nightwing Bundle Pack, Robin Bundle Pack, Challenge Map Pack and Arkham City Skins Pack.
- Maps: Wayne Manor, Main Hall, Freight Train, Black Mask, the Joker’s Carnival, Iceberg Long, and Batcave.
- Playable Characters: Catwoman, Robin and Nightwing.
- Skins: 1970s Batsuit, Year One Batman, The Dark Knight Returns, Earth One Batman, Batman Beyond Batman, Animated Batman, Sinestro Corps Batman, Long Halloween Catwoman, Animated Catwoman, Animated Robin, Red Robin and Animated Nightwing.
- Batman Year One animated film
Whereas the Batman Year One Animated Film has been confirmed for inclusion on the US release of the game, there has been no confirmation about whether it will be included on the UK release.
Posted on April 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm by james
The PS3 and Xbox 360 release for Risen 2 has been pushed back again, this time until August 3rd.
In March 2012 Deep Silver confirmed a month-long delay on the release of the game for the two consoles, with the US release date announced for May 22nd and European release on the later fate of May 25th.
Risen 2 is a pirate themed fantasy RPG game created by the makers of Gothic, Piranha Bytes.
There has been no specific reason for the further delay of the game, but the publisher has announced that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the pirate themed RPG game will include extra content, which will include; the sub-plot episode “The Air Temple”, which will see the hero embark on a quest to discover the lost temple. It will also include several additional hours of game play.
The release of the PC version of the game has been unaffected by the delay according to Deep Silver, who plan to launch the game on its original release date of April 27th.
The PC version will be released via digital distribution and as a retail version. There will also be a Risen 2 Collector’s Edition available too.
Posted on at 3:00 pm by james
Nintendo has announced a side-scrolling New Super Mario Bros. 2 game to be released on the 3DS in August.
The game is a sequel to the New Super Mario Bros. Games currently available on the WII and DS, and will incorporate 2D jumping, new visuals along with Mario’s popular Raccoon suit, according to Eurogamer.
The news comes after a direct streaming conference hosted by Nintendo, which also revealed more announcements from the company, which includes two new Pokemon 3DS apps.
The first Pokemon app to be revealed was an update for the existing Pokedex application; the new version will feature every breed of Pokemon from the entire series, plus a few extra features.
The second is the Pokemon AR searcher, which is described as an augmented reality shooter similar to the 3DS firmware Face Raiders. The app will act as a companion to Pokemon Black and White 2 and will allow players to transfer creatures that have been captured between the two. Both Pokemon apps will be available from the 3DS eShop.
Amongst the other announcements from Nintendo was the revelation of a 3DS firmware update, which arrives in Europe on April 25. The update will add folder support to the system’s menu and allow game patches. The first of these patches will be to stop the Wuhu Island track glitch experienced by games in Mario Kart 7, which will be removed in mid-May.
The company also mentioned plans, which are currently under-wraps, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kirby and a full roll-out of Kid Lcarus AR for European shops.
Posted on at 2:30 pm by james
David McCourt’s looks at AppStart’s new side-scroller.
WHEN Imangi Studios released Temple Run in August last year, designers Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova reaped the rewards for their hard work when it was included in the top 50 downloads chart of the iTunes store for 2011.
Its addictive gameplay and pretty graphics helped create the kind of popularity frenzy that all small game developers dream of, and so many have tired to replicate.
AppStart are no different, but is 51: Alien Outbreak the next big mainstream mobile hit? Or is this just another developer desperately trying to get a big slice of lovely money pie?
Set in Area 51, you play the role of Brian, an escaped test subject with numerous alter-egos. Brian must overcome a number of obstacles to get through the Nevada desert in order to escape his captors, and earn his freedom.
The gameplay is built around a constantly side scrolling world that see’s Brian rapidly flailing his way through the environment. Players use upward swipes to jump gaps in the land and tap to fire weaponry at oncoming enemies. The game is endless, and relies on the player’s passionate quest to build a huge score.
Sound familiar? That’s right; 51: Alien Outbreak has taken huge inspiration from Temple Run.
And that’s the biggest problem with this game. Alien Outbreak is not as good as Temple Run. It looks far, far worse. There are no tilt controls, there’s less variation in the level regeneration, it’s not as responsive to your swipes, and Temple Run is now free to play – 51: Alien Outbreak costs 69p.
But the worse thing is nobody will care about building high scores in 51: Alien Outbreak. Temple Run was a hit because it got people talking. Footballers and celebrities were tweeting their high scores. It was addictive and exciting, and felt rewarding when you finally got that huge score you’d been chasing.
51: Alien Outbreak is so late to the party, and so ill-equipped to compete with what’s already there, it might as well of not bothered turning up at all.
You can buy the game here: 51: Alien Outbreak
Posted on April 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm by james
Games Company THQ has made more money than originally expected thanks to game Saints Row 3.
THQ lost money forcing them to cut 240 jobs in February, but the publisher recently released a note preparing their investors for better than expected news come May 15th, when they publish their annual results for the 2012 financial year.
They now expect to end the year with a cash balance three times higher than they had originally expected.
The note says this comes following news of “better than expected” sales between January and March (Q4 of THQ’s 2012 financial year).
The note continues to tell investors that their game Saints Row: The Third has now “shipped in” more than four million copies, and has received “higher than expected” sales of the game in its digital format.
Other games produced by the company, such as UFC Undisputed 3, has also seen “slightly higher than expected” sales, but no specific numbers were given for the game.
The note from THQ continued to read: “The company expects to utilise a substantial portion of its cash and cash equivalents, as well as its credit facility [that it didn't dip into in financial Q4], as it launches its slate for the 2013 fiscal year, beginning with Darksiders 2.”
The note did not mention a specific release date for the game Darksiders 2, but it has been speculated to be released during June 2012, with THQ games boss Danny Bilson adding “we’re not going to ship it before it’s done.”