The group gathered en masse in a conference room, as it does with every Apple reveal, to watch a broadcast that faded in and out (and occasionally came through in Chinese). But while the rest of us were gnashing our teeth in frustration, the mobile teams were already riffing on ideas about what they could do with the technology being introduced.
The reports, after all, had been quite definitive: Google was going to be the buyer. But on Monday, everything turned upside down.
While a few competitors have tried to make inroads over the years, when it comes to the better-than-$2 billion per year used game business, GameStop has had a pretty secure lock on king of the hill status. Starting March 26, though, the world’s largest retailer will be looking to steal a significant piece of the pie.
Walmart has announced plans to launch a large-scale video game trade-in program at 3,100 stores across America. Working in conjunction with CE Exchange, the store will allow consumer to swap games for store credit, which can be used to purchase anything that Walmart sells. Used games could be available to in-store shoppers as early as this summer.\
Nintendo will be the first company to tell you about the importance of must-have titles at a console launch. The more you have, the better – as it not only increases the initial frenzy (attracting the wandering eye of the mass media), but keeps demand alive long after Christmas has come and gone.
With Ubisoft’s announcement on Tuesday that it would be delaying Watch Dogs until Spring 2014, both Microsoft and Sony saw their new systems take a painful body blow.
Three years ago, Donald Mustard and his team at Chair Entertainment first started working with the iPhone. And, as a lot of people did around that time, they began to speculate about its potential impact on the gaming world.
The consensus from the team was that within five years, Apple could have a device that was a viable threat to console systems. It was a throwaway guess – the sort of thing you make and tend to forget about. When he got his hands on the iPhone 5S three or four weeks ago, though, Mustard thought back to that discussion – and realized it could have been right on target.
The former lawyer has taken a job with Microsoft, with a focus on PC gaming and entertainment strategy. Because he has just started at the position, Holtman declined an interview request, but confirmed the move.
Last August, Nintendo began to more fully embrace digital distribution as a way to get games in people’s hands – a notable shift for a company that had previously stayed an arm’s distance from the online world.
The experiment is paying off. Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, says digital downloads are fast becoming a notable contributor to the company’s bottom line – and he expects the trend to continue its rapid rise.
Will the next Xbox continue the reign of success Microsoft has seen this generation or will it stumble Sony-style, losing momentum at a critical junction for console systems? The answer could lie in a single feature.
Kotaku recently reignited the rumor about the next Xbox requiring a constant connection to the Internet – and Microsoft Studios’ creative director did nothing to put out that growing brushfire with his Twitter fiasco last week.
Will the next generation Xbox require an ‘always-on’ connection? There’s nothing to base that on right now except for rumors and the echo chamber of the Internet. But, for the sake of argument alone, let’s say that is an upcoming feature. Is it as bad as it seems?
With Nintendo having launched its next generation system and Microsoft and Sony waiting in the wings, plenty of analysts, observers and thumb-suckers are rubbing their worry beads about the impact of mobile and tablet gaming.
The PC is mentioned in passing, though few believe it will be a viable threat, due to the challenges that come with different hardware specifications. They also note that things like driver updates and the perception of more frequent component updates can be intimidating for the mass audience. But if the recent whispers of Valve’s plans to launch a game hardware system prove true, that could upend the playing field.
That’s hardly surprising, given his company’s big bet on the system (it has 10 games in the Wii U’s “launch window,” including six day one titles). But even Guillemot has some things he’d like to see Nintendo doing differently.
Specifically: He’s not a big fan of the console’s price.