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  • OUYA's Android-based, hackable game console now official: we chat with designer Yves Behar (update: funded)

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    07.10.2012

    A handful of details briefly slipped out about the project earlier, but now it's here: the OUYA, an attempt not just to delve into the cutthroat world of TV game consoles but to try and shift the goal posts. At its heart, the design sounds more like a smartphone than a gaming rig with a quad-core Tegra 3 and 8GB of storage running Android 4.0. The upscale, RF wireless gamepad's standout is a built-in trackpad for playing mobile games alongside the familiar sticks and buttons -- clever, though not entirely new. But with completely open hardware and software, an emphasis on free-to-play gaming and an all-important $99 price, the system is a gamble by a handful of game industry luminaries that at least a subset of players are frustrated with the status quo enough to want a real break. Read on for the full details, including a Kickstarter project as well as added details from our chat with OUYA (and Jambox) designer Yves Behar.

  • Licensed Portal 2 turret replica to arrive later this year, leave ammo at home

    by 
    Alexis Santos
    Alexis Santos
    06.26.2012

    If an enthusiast-built Portal 2 turret piques your interest, Gaming Heads' Valve-licensed miniature replica may very well force your wallet open. Modeled using Portal 2's in-game assets and cast in "high quality poly-stone," these mini-turrets aim to intimidate intruders with a motion activated light-up eye. In addition to the stoic and silent basic model, the company's offering an exclusive edition, which plays sounds and voice samples from the game. Only 1,100 of these hand-painted facsimiles will be produced (350 with sound, 750 without), but the company notes that other figures based on the adorable death machines are in the works. Pre-orders have already begun, so collectors will want to act fast -- provided they're ready to pony up $300-325, of course.

  • SNES-001 Advance gives two retro gamers a screen to play, guarantees no fights for TV time (video)

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.21.2012

    There's been no shortage of SNES mods with built-in screens. They almost always tend to overlook one fundamental problem, however: with only one screen, gamers have to either share one tiny LCD or play solo, and neither option will make that Street Fighter II nostalgia trip a pleasant one. Frequent console modder Downing has offered a fix with a key trade-off. Although his Super Famicom-like SNES-001 Advance is decidedly non-portable, each gamepad has its own LCD to show what would normally go to one screen, even with audio. Both controllers are custom-molded creations that still plug in the old-fashioned, wired way. Downing certainly isn't hoarding his creation, despite it being one of a kind. An auction for the console (with a $500 buy-now price) is still well underway as of this writing, making sure that at least two Double Dragon fans will be happy without cutting into their less sentimental roommate's Netflix marathon.

  • Razer outs Battlefield 3 aviator headsets

    by 
    Alexis Santos
    Alexis Santos
    05.30.2012

    Can't satisfy your appetite for video game tie-in peripherals? Razer's new military aviator-inspired, Battlefield 3-branded BlackShark headsets might do the trick. Each memory foam, leatherette-lined ear cup packs 40mm drivers paired with ambient noise cancellation and enhanced bass. You can also use the detachable, unidirectional boom microphone to yell at teammates to take cover. The whole package rings up at $129.99 -- or €129.99 for those across the pond -- and will be ready for duty in July. Check out the gallery and full PR below.

  • Alternative Wii U controller design makes brief appearance on Twitter, goes into hiding

    by 
    Sean Buckley
    Sean Buckley
    05.20.2012

    Excited for Nintendo's new tablet-esque controller? So are the kids in TT Games' QA department. An over-excited tester tweeted out an image of a slightly different Wii U slab than the one we laid hands on at E3 2011, teasing "look we what we have at work!" Answering the call does indeed reveal something worth looking at -- a somewhat wider looking Wii U slate featuring two full-sized analog sticks (as opposed to 3DS-like circle pads), a pair of unmarked button-like squares, and a new starboard home for the controller's plus and minus buttons. The tweet was summarily pulled, of course, but not before our friends at Joystiq nabbed a screenshot. Naturally, the rumor mill started right up, churning out speculation of developer specific slabs, early prototypes and late redesigns. The truth? We'll probably need to wait until E3 to find out, but we reached out to Nintendo for a comment all the same. We'll let you know if we hear anything more than the usual "Nintendo doesn't comment on rumors and speculation" line.

  • Neuroscientists develop game for stroke rehabilitation, give the Wii a run for its money

    by 
    Alexis Santos
    Alexis Santos
    05.20.2012

    Think the Wii has the market cornered on gaming rehab? Think again -- neuroscientists at Newcastle University are developing a series of motion controlled video games to make stroke rehab more fun and accessible. The team's first title, dubbed Circus Challenge, lets patients digitally throw pies, tame lions and juggle to help them build strength and regain motor skills. As players progress, the game ratchets up its difficulty, presumably to match pace with their recovery. Although Limbs Alive, the game's publisher, has only described their motion controller as "next-generation," it affirms that the game will be playable on PCs, laptops and tablets later this year. In an effort to lower costs and provide at-home therapy, the team hopes to leverage a £1.5 million award from the UK's Health Innovation Challenge Fund to build a system that will allow therapists to monitor patient progress remotely. The whole enchilada still needs some time to bake, but you can hit the break for a video and the full press release.

  • New York's Chinatown Fair arcade hits reset, plays a new game

    by 
    Sean Buckley
    Sean Buckley
    05.07.2012

    When Chinatown Fair closed in March of last year, Filmmaker Kurt Vincent went to work documenting the New York arcade's final days, continuing to return to the location after it shuttered to work on his upcoming film, Arcade. Imagine his surprise when he ran into Lonnie Sobel, the famous amusement hall's new owner, stocking it with new game cabinets. It's been a few months since Vincent's discovery, but Chinatown Fair finally reopened its doors over the weekend. Old regulars may want to brace themselves, however, Sobel's playing a different game. "We're kind of a cross between a Dave & Busters and a Chuck E. Cheese," the new owner told Gothamist, "We're trying to do the best of both worlds." Sobel's hoping to merge the old Chinatown Fair's culture of fighting games with an assortment of family friendly amusements: skee-ball, air hockey, Guitar Hero, hoop basketball and a counter for redeeming tickets for prizes. The new Fair will also sell game time for use on a Xbox 360 and games like Call of Duty, played on one of two flat screen televisions. Not all of the old arcade's former regulars are happy with the changes, but, as Vincent noted, they "say they're just happy it exists." That makes more than a few of us. [Thanks, Katrin]

  • Nintendo patent application lends a look at Wii U's core technology, add-ons too

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    05.04.2012

    Little did we know that, just two months after we were trying the Wii U for ourselves, Nintendo was busy patenting nearly everything its unique game console would have to offer. A pair of just-published US Patent Office applications filed last August get into the nuts and bolts of how the controller and the legacy Wii remote will play with the new device. It's clear that the patent work had started before Nintendo had redesigned the main system -- the box at the center of the patents looks like the existing Wii -- but it does show the nitty-gritty of things we only saw at last year's Nintendo E3 keynote, such as the gun attachment or playing golf with a combination of the Wii U controller and the traditional Wiimote. Nintendo also gave itself some wiggle room on the controller's screen size: although the LCD is officially 6.2 inches across, the patent allows that it might be "5 inches or larger." We're wondering how much of the overall look and technology will survive through to the finished Wii U design's unveiling at this year's E3. For now, though, you can explore the patents yourself at the links below.

  • Adidas MiCoach game launching this summer, headed to Xbox 360 and PS3

    by 
    Edgar Alvarez
    Edgar Alvarez
    05.02.2012

    Despite being involved in that peaceful conundrum with THQ, we knew Adidas still planned on launching its MiCoach video game at some point in the near future. Now, after weeks of keeping those lips sealed, the German company announced it's teaming up with publisher 505 Games to finally bring the fitness-driven title to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 -- where it'll primarily use the Kinect and Move add-ons. While 505 will handle all publishing duties, Adidas notes the MiCoach game is in the works by UK developer Chromativity "under exclusive license." Of course, the F50 creator couldn't leave its big name reps out of this one, which is why sport celebs like Kaká, José Mourinho and Dwight Howard are going to be teaching "Masterclasses" within the game. Hey, at least now you know you won't have to be out on the field to put that tracking system to good use.

  • Leaked Rayman Legends for Wii U trailer showcases NFC feature (video)

    by 
    Sarah Silbert
    Sarah Silbert
    04.27.2012

    If you're counting down the days till the Wii U is released, you might recall that back in January Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata said the console will ship with an NFC chip inside. Well, you can now get a taste of how games will incorporate that feature, thanks to this just-leaked trailer for Rayman Legends. According to the video, Rayman Rabbid action figures can jump into the game when a player taps them to the Wii U's screen. (It looks like that trick will work with an Assassin's Creed Ezio Auditore da Firenze figurine too.) Check out the trailer, courtesy of Gamekult, while you can -- after all, Ubisoft didn't want you to glimpse the U's magical powers just yet.

  • iCade Core coming to a tiny arcade near you in June

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    04.24.2012

    Bummed that you won't be making it out to E3 this year? Well, at least you'll be able to console yourself with your very own tiny iPad arcade. According to Ion, the iCade Core, the latest in the company's line of nostalgia-inducing Bluetooth tablet controllers, will be shipping to UK customers in mid-June for £49.99 ($81) a pop. The iCade Mobile will be hitting right around the same time for the same price. Now you'll finally be able to experience Pac-Man the way it was meant to played: on a tablet attached to an oversized joystick.

  • Fifth Avenue Frogger brings everyone's favorite roadkill to New York City (video)

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    04.20.2012

    For all their charm, the arcade games of the 80s didn't really offer much in the way of gritty realism -- not like today's titles, certainly. Tyler DeAngelo's new take on video game hall-of-famer Frogger certainly goes a ways toward lending the gaming classic some grit. DeAngelo installed a webcam trained on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, using code to translate that footage into data that allows players to experience a real-time, real world traffic flow in a modded version of a Frogger machine. The creator has been known to drag the machine onto the famed New York street, generator in tow, letting people experience the game it was meant to be played: on a sidewalk in plain view of traffic. Check out a video of the game after the break, including a desperate plea from a talking frog who really wants a trip to the Smithsonian.

  • Nintendo granted patent for emulating handheld consoles and software

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    04.17.2012

    Any geek worth his / her salt knows that techdom's territory-spanning intellectual property spats are far from over, so we don't begrudge heavyweights like Nintendo for endeavoring to bulk up their litigious arsenal. Filed back in October of 2003 and just recently granted by the USPTO, is patent number 8,157,654 that gives the Big N ownership of a method to emulate video game consoles bearing built-in displays (think: handhelds) and accompanying software on external computing devices. What does that mean in plain 'ol English, dear gaming fanatic? Well, it could presage a device agnostic service that would break the company's vast backlog of handheld titles out of its walled garden and into the vast consumer wild. Or it could just be another legal armament poised for deployment should the sue-happy titans of the electronics industry come a-calling. Either way, the house that Mario built's got another IP bullet locked and loaded.

  • Keepin' it almost fake Kinect console has 23 games, no shame

    by 
    James Trew
    James Trew
    04.12.2012

    So, it's not quite a fake Kinect, but to say there's a little bit of crossover in the DNA would be a bit of an understatement, wouldn't you say? Dubbed the iGame Move, it claims to be a "32-bit camera video game console," with 23 games baked right into the cycloptic device. If that weren't enough, you can enjoy those body-controlled titles in full 640 x 480 "high-resolution" graphics, which based on the screen shots look surprisingly good. Best of all it can run on four AA batteries, making it truly portable. Your move Microsoft.

  • Epic Mickey 2 controllers invoke the power of the brush, are made for you and me

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    03.24.2012

    Do you like your M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E with a side of eXtreme? So do the developers at Junction Point, which is why a sequel to the mouse's first Epic is on its way. But the impending release of that title's not all grown-up Mouseketeers-cum-gamers have to look forward to, as two special WiiMote peripherals are also apparently on deck. Shown off at a preview event for Epic Mickey 2, the prototype accessories are made to mimic in-game "weapons," like Oswald's controller and Mickey's paintbrush. The designs aren't final, but as you'll see in the source below, they should make for an excellent addition to any diehard's Disneyana collection.

  • New York's Chinatown Fair arcade presses start to continue

    by 
    James Trew
    James Trew
    03.18.2012

    Live in New York? Miss the familiar sound of a quarter dropping into an arcade slot? If so, then news that the Chinatown Fair arcade could be re-opening will definitely give you a power-up. It turns out that film maker Kurt Vincent headed down to the disused locale to shoot its vacant halls, only to bump into the new owner shuffling some game cabinets back in. Sadly there's sparse little other info about how or when we might see the flicker of screens lighting up the walls once more, but at least you should be able to beat that OutRun top score in relative comfort soon.

  • Ralph Baer, video game mastermind, sits down for inventor portrait video

    by 
    Darren Murph
    Darren Murph
    03.12.2012

    Ralph Baer is a name synonymous with gaming lore, credited with the invention of the Magnavox Odyssey and thinking that digital table tennis was a good idea long before Pong proved him right. These days, he's 90 years young, and still inventing as if his best days are ahead of him. Photographer David Friedman has embarked on quite the interesting side project, lining up a number of interviews that profile some of the world's most quietly influential folk; in the effort of concealing spoilers, we'll simply encourage you to tap the play button below after you're settled in. It's a solid watch, regardless of whether you're familiar with the man, the myth or the legend.

  • 3DS eShop to get free game demos, Nintendo throws users DLC bone

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    01.18.2012

    Never let it be said that good things don't come to those who wait and wait and... well, you get the point. Having finally delivered a much-delayed firmware update to the 3DS last December, the Big N appears ready to make good on its DLC promises. Starting tomorrow, gamers visiting the eShop will be able to take a tour of Racoon City and fire off a few shots at its zombie denizens with a downloadable demo of Resident Evil Revelations. The company's only announced one other title, Mario & Sonic At The London Olympic Games, for later this month, but plans are on deck to refresh the service with new trial content from Rayman Origins and Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D, amongst others in the coming year. Sure, it's no Kid Icarus, but this is Nintendo we're talking about -- you have to take what you can get.

  • Computer Space turns 40, video games gear up for mid-life crisis

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    12.13.2011

    It was November of 1971 that Nolan Bushnell, Ted Dabney and Computer Space officially ushered in the era of the video game. Before running off to start Atari, the two men created the world's first coin-operated video arcade cabinet and, indeed, the first commercial video game ever -- a full six months before the Odyssey. Computer Space was a relatively simple title in which a player used four buttons to pilot a ship around the screen and do battle with flying saucers. The mechanics and graphics should be familiar to anyone who has ever tried their hand at Asteroids. In fact, it is essentially Asteroids without the titular space debris. Technologizer has a rather fascinating and in depth look at the pioneering game, tracing its evolution all the way back to a 1962 DEC PDP-1 tech demo. Head on over to the source to get the full story.

  • Chrono Trigger hits the App Store, lets Square Enix fans turn back time

    by 
    Joseph Volpe
    Joseph Volpe
    12.10.2011

    Square Enix just couldn't resist plucking at our heartstrings -- not to mention willing bill folds. As a timely holiday treat, the company's made good on its end-of-year promise, delivering the SNES RPG epic and cult hit -- Chrono Trigger -- to Apple's App Store. If you're wielding either a third generation and up iPhone or iPod touch, the endless hours of non-linear, time-traveling gameplay can be yours for the re-hashing, albeit on a maddeningly tiny screen. That 16-bit nostalgia won't come cheap, either, at $10. But it's a small price to pay for a welcome walk down gaming's memory lane.