Microsoft has officially launched its free Xbox Live Rewards program to give users recognition for their "time and dedication" to Xbox Live.
Upon joining the program, gamers will earn Microsoft Points--Xbox Live's currency--by simply using the service. Those who renew their Xbox Live Gold membership for one year, for example, will earn 200 Microsoft Points. Activating and using Netflix on Xbox Live nets users 100 Microsoft Points. According to Microsoft, users will also receive Points for purchasing "select Xbox Live Marketplace content," but the company didn't say which content applies and how many Points … Read more
If you've been waiting for the 3D Blu-ray version of James Cameron's Avatar, you can finally get your hands on it. But it won't be as easy as going to the store to pick up a copy.
Starting today, customers who buy a Panasonic Viera 3D HDTV VT series or GT series set will also receive the company's 3D Full HD Ultimate Pack, which includes two pairs of Panasonic 3D glasses and a copy of Avatar in 3D Blu-ray, at no additional charge. Panasonic is also allowing those who purchased one of the company's 3D … Read more
Everyone's favorite finch-flinging frolic is going festive for both iOS and Android devices (just try saying that five times fast after downing a glass of egg nog).
Rovio Mobile's next big update for Angry Birds, which celebrates Christmas, has been hinted at, detailed, and screenshotted, and now the company has made it official, though we don't have an exact release date yet.
Angry Birds Christmas will be free if you purchased the 99-cent Angry Birds Halloween edition for iOS devices. Rovio had initially tweeted that the Christmas title would only be coming to the iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad, but today posted a message that it's flying onto Android too.
Now we're just waiting to hear if Angry Birds fans with MeeGo, WebOS, and Symbian devices will see their Yuletide cheer turn into jeer this holiday. … Read more
Sony said it has sold 4.1 million PlayStation Move units worldwide since the controller's launch in September. In a statement announcing the sales, Sony said the figure "not only shows clear success of the launch of the new motion-sensing controller, but also indicates positive momentum going into the holiday season and to the year 2011."
However, Sony confirmed to CNET in a separate e-mail today that the 4.1 million units were sold to retailers, and not to consumers. The company wouldn't disclose how many units were actually sold to customers.
"While we don't disclose our exact sell-through number, the key is that our retailers continue to ask for more Move units and are taking every unit we can supply them with based on their sales," a Sony Computer Entertainment spokesperson told CNET.… Read more
Panasonic has started testing its Jungle portable-gaming device in the U.S. market, Bloomberg is reporting.
According to the news service, Panasonic sent out e-mails yesterday informing U.S.-based consumers that they're invited to test the handheld. Bloomberg cited a Panasonic source who said that the company did, in fact, send the e-mail to some people.
"We know other companies out there have traditional handheld gaming covered," Panasonic reportedly wrote in the e-mail, according to Bloomberg. "We're doing something very different."
What we know of what Panasonic has planned is definitely "different.&… Read more
Mobile game revenue is expected to nearly double by 2015, Juniper Research predicted today.
According to the market researcher, mobile game revenue topped $6 billion last year. By 2015, Juniper predicts, that figure will be over $11 billion. However, the research firm noted that as time goes on, a shift will occur with revenue migrating from the "traditional pay-per-download model" to in-game purchases.
Juniper expects that by 2013, more revenue will be generated from in-game purchases than from actual downloads of mobile games. The research firm said "discoverability remains a problem for developers and publishers on some … Read more
Starting today, consumers can get their hands on Epic Mickey, a title exclusive to the Wii.
The game, which retails for $49.99, puts players in the role of the iconic mouse as he uses paint (and paint thinner) to change the world around him. As gamers play the title, their decisions affect how the game unfolds. Disney said in a statement that there are several "possibilities and storylines" for players to follow, but they will face "consequences for their chosen actions."
Ultimately, gamers must turn Mickey Mouse into a hero.
For a gaming year that started out with a bang, 2010 has stumbled to the finish line. Of course, it's impossible to ignore the outrageous success of the recently released Call of Duty: Black Ops--but aside from that title, most of the second half of 2010 remains forgettable.
A reason for this lull in quality console games is likely the bombardment of motion-gaming initiatives from Sony and Microsoft. In a way, these product launches ostensibly carved out a release window that saw plenty of Kinect and Move-friendly titles but forced conventional "button-games" to take the backseat. Was this the reason for the sharp drop-off in the fall of 2010?
Regardless of when in the calendar year these top-notch games were released, 2010 did see some excellent efforts for each platform as well as a few surprises along the way. Like in 2009, sequels seem to highlight our list, with a few new franchises breaking into the top 10, too. We also think portable gaming suffered in 2010, with only a few titles being released that are even worth mentioning.
Of course, no top-10 list is complete without honorable mentions, so please click through to view some titles we'd like to recognize but that didn't quite find their ways into top-10 placement. As always, be sure to sound off in the comments section if your list is different from ours!… Read more
Nintendo enjoyed an exceptionally strong past week.
The game company announced today that it sold 900,000 DS units and 600,000 Wii consoles in the U.S. from November 21 to 27, according to internal estimates. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said that such success means U.S. consumers "bought about 9,000 Nintendo hardware systems non-stop for every hour of every day during the week of Black Friday."
Nintendo's announcement is an important one, considering the issues it has been experiencing over the past few months.
Last month, Nintendo reported a disappointing six-month period … Read more
The adoption of 3DTVs is expected to spike next year.
Futuresource Consulting predicts that 4 million 3DTVs will be sold worldwide by the end of this year. The figure could at least double next year to 5 million 3DTVs in the U.S. and 3 million in Western Europe, the market researcher said today. Futuresource added that so far, "year-one adoption of 3DTV is running at a far quicker rate in most territories than it did for high-definition."
According to Futuresource, vendors are seeing value in delivering 3D in their sets and "manufacturers are now able to … Read more