- Chris Morris at Plugged In10 hrs ago
What a difference a couple new consoles makes.
Overall, when hardware, software and accessories -- including subscription cards for Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus -- were added up, the industry posted sales of $2.7 billion at retail stores last month, a 7 percent increase over 2012, reports the NPD Group.
Much of that can be attributed to the rebounding sales of video game hardware, which were up 58 percent in November to $1.3 billion as consumers snatched up the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
But which one sold better? That depends on who you ask, apparently.
In a statement, Microsoft claimed victory in the early sales race.
“November NPD Group figures released today revealed 909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the U.S. in the console’s first nine days, making it the fastest-selling console on the market in the U.S.” the company said. “Xbox One sales averaged a volume of more than 101,000 consoles per day, significantly outpacing the nearest competitor.”
Sony disputed Microsoft's claim that the Xbox One was the top-selling console in the country, though.
- Gordon Cameron at Games Blog14 hrs ago
Last year, video illusionist Brusspup wowed us with a technique called ‘scanimation’ – basically, creating a short cartoon by passing a transparent overlay (printed with bars of a fixed width) over a static image that ‘contains’ several frames of animation within it. It sounds complicated, but the effect is simple, low-tech, and very do-it-yourself-able.
Bruss has refined his technique, incorporating shades of gray for a more realistic, three-dimensional effect. You’ll see this improvement in three of the animations below, including a liquid ripple animation that could almost be CGI if you didn’t know better (though Bruss’ adorable cat is real, we think).
To see more of Brusspup’s illusions, visit his YouTube Channel.
- Chris Morris at Plugged In15 hrs ago
When Sega first released Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to iOS devices a few years ago, the reviews weren't great.
On Thursday, the company announced plans to remaster the game for mobile users, and in the process made it one of the most anticipated updates around for classic gaming fans.
The reason? The update offers more than the usual minor tweaks. It will include a level called the Hidden Palace Zone that was never officially released, but has become something of a legend over the past 20 years.
Android users will be able to get the game -- and the secret level -- for the first time tomorrow. iOS users will be able to download the update for free.
Initially planned as an area that became available once players collected all of the game's Chaos Emeralds, the Hidden Palace Zone was scrapped midway through development and never made it into the final game. The public only became aware of it when it leaked out via ROMs of the game.
- CNET at Games Blog16 hrs ago
Some say playing video games is a waste of time. But it earned South Korea's Dong-hwan "Violet" Kim a career in the United States.
By Tim Hornyak, CNET
South Korea's Dong-hwan "Violet" Kim has earned nearly $100,000 playing video games. Now, he also has a US professional athlete visa to boast about.
The visa is for those "coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance," according to the U.S. government.
The visa allows Kim to travel and earn money in the US for the next five years. Apparently, efforts to obtain a visa caused Kim some stress.
- Ben Silverman at Games Blog3 days ago
Spike TV handed out tons of awards during its three-hour livestreamed awards show this weekend – and no offense to Game of the Year winner GTA V, but the real star of the show was the wealth of new video game trailers and announcements.
Missed the show? No worries – thanks to Yahoo Screen, we’ve got clips of all the biggest reveals right here. Stream away!
Telltale Games: A Game of Thrones The team behind spectacular episodic games based on The Walking Dead and Fables will take its talents to Westeros.
No Man's Sky Looking for the Next Big Thing? A tiny indie team at Hello Games stole the show with this ambitious open-world space game.
Telltale Games: Tales from the Borderlands Telltale hit a double by also revealing work on an adventure game set in the rough-and-tumble world of Borderlands. Yes, that Borderlands.
Broken Age Tim Schafer and Double Fine have been hard at work on this Kickstarted adventure game, and this gorgeous trailer proves it.
- Gordon Cameron at Plugged In3 days ago
When it comes to the Transportation Security Administration’s baggage-confiscation policy, no monkey is safe. Even fake ones.
As Seattle’s King 5 News reports, Redmond, WA resident Phyllis May was going through security at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, en route to a plane flight back home, when she was stopped by a TSA Agent because a gun was found among her bags.
Technically speaking, that's accurate. Not technically speaking, the “gun” was about two inches long, made of plastic, and was being worn in a holster by a sock monkey named Rooster Monkburn. (Yes, that’s a takeoff on the grizzled hero of the Western novel “True Grit” and its film adaptations.)
May, as it happens, runs a small business selling such sock dolls, though that was lost on the TSA Agent, who insisted on confiscating the tiny gun and told May she was supposed to call the police.
Her reply will echo through the ages:
"She said 'this is a gun,'" said May. "I said no, it's not a gun, it's a prop for my monkey."
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In3 days ago
The biggest game of the year was also the biggest winner at this weekend’s VGX Awards.
Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V won the ‘Game of the Year’ award at Spike TV’s three-hour livestreamed gala, capping off a monster year for the open-world crime game. The game also won the ‘Best Soundtrack’ award.
Other notable winners include the gorgeous survival game The Last of Us, which won awards for 'Best PS3 Game', 'Best Male and Female Voice Actor', and 'Studio of the Year' (Naughty Dog). Indie adventure game Gone Home won both the 'Best Indie Game' and 'Best PC' Game categories, while EA’s giant mech shooter Titanfall is the 'Most Anticipated of 2014.'
A one-hour awards highlight show will air on Spike TV December 9 at midnight. Check out the full list of winners below:
Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto V
Studio of the Year: Naughty Dog
Most Anticipated Game (voted on by fans): Titanfall
Best Shooter: BioShock Infinite
Best Independent Game: Gone Home
Best Action Adventure Game: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Best Sports Game: NBA 2K14
Best RPG: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Best Fighting Game: Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Chris Morris at Plugged In3 days ago
Spies aren't just listening in on your phone calls and reading your e-mails. They're also monitoring your gaming.
Based on new information disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, a joint report by The New York Times, ProPublica and The Guardian alleges that U.S. and British spies have conducted surveillance and gathered data in online games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life.
Spy activity in the games was said to be so intense, in fact, that a "deconfliction" group had to be assembled so that spies from the CIA, FBI, and Pentagon would avoid running into each other.
- Yahoo! Games at Games Blog5 days ago
It's been a year of change for the video game industry -- and it's a year of change for Spike TV's annual video game award show, too.
Hosted by Joel McHale, this year's Spike VGX Awards show is less about celebrity antics and more about games and the people who make them. A quintet of top titles are duking it out for the big brass ring -- Bioshock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, Super Mario 3D World, The Last of Us, and Tomb Raider are your five Game of the Year nominees -- but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Over 20 other awards will be handed out, from Best Handheld Game to Best Voice Actress to Best Music, as well as world premieres, special guests, and more. It's a commercial-free three-hour livestream, and you can watch it all right here thanks to Yahoo Screen:
The show begins on Saturday, December 7, at 6:00 pm EST (3:00 pm PST). Our hats off to the winners!
- Chris Morris at Games Blog6 days ago
Sony is asking an unspecified number of PlayStation Network customers to change their passwords after finding "irregular activity" in a routine scan of the system.
The company did not disclose how many users were affected, nor what the exact nature of the activity was.
"The Sony Entertainment Network team routinely monitors for any irregular activity, and if such activity is detected, we may sometimes reset passwords of affected accounts to protect consumers and their account information," the company said in a note to affected users. "Your account password was recently reset as part of this process and you will need to create a new password the next time you access your account using the 'Forgot Your Password' option on the Sign in screen."
In resetting the passwords, Sony also cautioned users to "keep a close eye on [their] account for any unusual activity including emails about transactions [they] did not perform."