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Nintendo Toys With Mobile-App Possibilities
December 21, 2013
Nintendo's Wii U hasn't exactly been the smash hit that the company had surely hoped, and a year after the console's debut Nintendo is reportedly exploring a future that could include mobile apps. With Angry Birds, Temple Run and other casual games dominating tablets and mobile phones, Nintendo faces increased competition in the mobile gaming space.
Smithsonian Crowns 2 Video Games 'Art'
December 19, 2013
The Smithsonian American Art Museum this week announced the addition of two video games to its permanent collection: the 2009 title Flower by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago of the Thatgamecompany; and the 2010 title Halo 2600 by Ed Fries, former head of Microsoft Games Studios. These new acquisitions will build upon the museum's collection of film and media arts.
NSA Snoops Extend Ops to Online Games
December 09, 2013
The U.S. National Security Agency and British counterpart GCHQ have monitored the activities of online gamers, according to documents published Monday that were leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The two agencies gained access to the online Xbox Live console network, the documents suggest, as well as deploying real-life agents into the virtual realms of Blizzard's World of Warcraft and Linden Labs' Second Life.
Ecuador Boards the Internet Freedom Train
December 09, 2013
Ecuador hosted an Internet freedom forum last week, welcoming guests from the pro-transparency community. The nation's president, Rafael Correa, is also funding a new research project designed to overhaul traditional copyright laws. To that end, the FLOK Society, based at a public university in Quito, is exploring ways to liberate Ecuador's Internet from global intellectual property laws.
Xbox One Edges Ahead in US Black Friday Sales
December 02, 2013
Sony's PlayStation 4 may have had a weeklong head start in building sales momentum, but on Black Friday, Microsoft's competing Xbox One appears to have edged out its rival -- at least in the United States. The new Xbox One -- along with the previous-generation Xbox 360 -- together accounted for 61 percent of console sales on Black Friday, compared with 30 percent for Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.
Steam Machine on Track to Switch Up Video Gaming
November 30, 2013
iBuyPower reportedly is working on prototypes of a commercial Steam machine. Valve recently announced that it was working with multiple OEMs to bring Steam gaming machines to market in 2014. All will run its Linux-based SteamOS. The iBuyPower device is the first Steam machine prototype unveiled by a third party so far, but Valve is said to be working on its own prototype.
German Worker Strike Threatens Amazon's Holiday Cheer
November 25, 2013
Workers at Amazon in Germany are striking yet again in an effort to coax the company into better pay and conditions. Hundreds of workers at two Amazon centers, one in Bad Hersfeld and one in Leipzig, walked out on Monday. At the heart of the strikes -- there have been a handful of short strikes by Amazon workers in Germany this year -- is Amazon's classification of itself as a logistics company.
Clumsy Ninja May Tug Your Heartstrings
November 25, 2013
NaturalMotion first wowed Apple fans at last year's September Apple event with a tantalizing demo of a new game, Clumsy Ninja, which was teased to hit iOS sometime during the 2012 holiday season. Santa came and went, and no little kids played Clumsy Ninja. And then boom, Apple reveals Clumsy Ninja as an Editor's Choice app in the iTunes App Store with, get this, a video trailer.
Aussie Police Investigate Facebook Pot Peddler
November 21, 2013
Australian police are investigating an Aussie who is openly advertising and, presumably, selling marijuana on Facebook. The dealer, who operates under the pseudonym "Rick Kush Dispenser," has posted advertisements for multiple strains of marijuana on a "swap and sell" Facebook page that is generally used for clothes, children's toys and electronics.
Xbox One Party's On
November 20, 2013
Just one week after its biggest rival hit the market, Microsoft's new console, the Xbox One, will go on sale with a series of splashy events to mark the launch. From the stroke of midnight on Nov. 22, a new war will be under way. While Sony is focusing on game play with the PlayStation 4, Microsoft is pitching the Xbox One as a home entertainment hub.
Logitech Outfits iPhone for Gaming Control
November 20, 2013
Logitech on Wednesday introduced its new PowerShell Controller + Battery, a device that's designed to turn users' iPhones into gaming consoles. Compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and fifth-generation iPod touch devices running iOS 7, the PowerShell offers analog off-screen controls along with a battery pack for $99.99. It is now available.
Microchips May Haunt Tombstone Thieves
November 18, 2013
A private company in South Africa has created "Memorial Alert," a microchip-based technology designed to thwart tombstone robberies. There recently has been a spate of these crimes in Johannesburg. The microchip is inserted into a memorial. When it is disturbed, it will sound an alarm and send a text message to relatives and integrated security companies.
Apple Gets Into the 3D Sensor Game
November 18, 2013
Apple may have a new tool in its armory, reportedly having acquired PrimeSense, which makes chips for 3D machine vision and gesture-based technology. Apple is said to have paid $345 million for the company. Reports vary as to whether the deal is done or will close by the end of this week. PrimeSense is perhaps best known as the company behind the technology that enabled Microsoft's Xbox Kinect.
Oceanhorn Taps Zelda's Goodness in All-New iOS Adventure
November 18, 2013
Oceanhorn is a delightfully odd adventure game for iOS, at once fresh and yet heavily inspired by The Legend of Zelda, a classic title from the days when Nintendo ruled video gaming. Beyond evoking fond memories of exploring a wide open land while trying to save a princess, Oceanhorn is interesting because it's on iOS. Success? Definitely. It's a fun diversion.
PlayStation 4 Launch Dampened by Dearth of Hot Games
November 15, 2013
Sony's first new console in seven years, the PlayStation 4, hit the market Friday, but the launch was not without its glitches. Among the reported hardware problems were some complete failures. Less catastrophic, some systems would not output a signal through HDMI. Some issues cropped up following installation of the Day 1 patch, intended to offer additional functionality.
Google Reveals Skyrocketing US Data Requests
November 15, 2013
The U.S. government once again heads the list of those requesting data from Google, and lately it's been asking for a lot more. Google's Transparency Report, a twice-a-year reminder of how often governments ask for information, says that the U.S. submitted 10,918 requests for 21,683 user accounts during the first half of 2013. U.S. requests had the highest rate of compliance.
Countdown Begins to PS4 Launch
November 13, 2013
After months of buildup, the launch of Sony's PlayStation 4 video game console is now just a day away. The $399 console will go on sale at 12 a.m. on Friday, and Sony predicts that sales will exceed 3 million by the end of the year. While preorders will likely dominate the first day transactions, Sony has announced that it is ready with a steady stream of systems to arrive at retail through the holidays.
Reactive Grip Brings a Magic Touch to Gaming Control
November 12, 2013
If you think about the failings of existing game controls next time you're playing, you might come up with touch feedback -- the game's tactile responses to your actions. Video has improved over the years partly because of increased computer processing power; audio improvements have been due to improved sound engineering. We're also finally beginning to see usable virtual and augmented reality.
Duck Dynasty: Battle of the Beards: Redneckify Yourself
November 11, 2013
Duck Dynasty is an American reality television series on A&E featuring a band of redneck family men who sport ratty beards. They became wealthy by making the popular duck call, Duck Commander, and the reality show itself? It's a wild phenomenon -- the fourth season premiere snagged a whopping 11.8 million viewers. When I saw that the show had a No. 1 paid app game, I had to take a closer look.
Apps Lineup Promises Xbox One Entertainment Edge
November 08, 2013
Microsoft on Friday announced the first wave of entertainment apps for its upcoming Xbox One video game console, which will arrive in stores Nov. 22. In the United States, the announced apps for the Xbox One include streaming-video offerings from Amazon Instant Video, ESPN, Fox Now, Hulu Plus, Machinima, Netflix, Redbox Instant by Verizon, the NFL on Xbox One, and VUDU, among others.

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