Category Archives: Gaming

GameStop Launches Game Trust Publishing Division

Game Trust logoGameStop has launched a full video game publishing division called Game Trust. Some see this move as a way for GameStop to improve its bottom line, as the companies that create video games shift from physical discs to downloadable digital releases. Anyone who has ever shopped at GameStop knows that the company relies on its sales of physical discs of new and used games.

GameSpot posted on their blog about Game Trust. The new publishing division has already signed new games from independent studies, including Ready at Dawn (maker of The Order: 1886), Tequila Works (maker of Deadline and Rime), and Frozenbyte (maker of Trine).

In March of this year, GameStop announced that it was working with Insomniac, the company that made Ratchet and Clank, on a new game. That new game is called Song of the Deep, and will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on July 12, 2016. MCV reports that Game Trust is in discussion with 20 other developers.

The GameStop Corp. verified Twitter account (@gamestopcorp) posted some information about Game Trust. They describe it as: “a new way for indie devs to create and introduce IP to a broad gaming audience and for gamers to discover new video games.”

The above tweet is a succinct example of how Game Trust is different from many other game publishing divisions. It isn’t creating brand new video games on its own. Instead, it is acting more like a games label. The indie developers who work with Game Trust will retain full rights to their properties, and GameStop has no involvement in the creative side of the game’s development.

The Art of Atari Book is Coming in October

Atari logoReady for some some nostalgia? Those of us who look back fondly on the artwork and design style that accompanied Atari games have something to look forward to. The Art of Atari is coming! The book will be released in October of this year.

The Art of Atari was announced at Emerald City Comic Con by Dynamite Entertainment, the publisher of the book. The hardcover edition has a total of 352 pages and is being sold on Amazon for $30.56. It is available for pre-order.

The book was written by Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino. Conte is a pop culture historian with a vast memorabilia collection. (His author page on Amazon shows him standing next to a table filled with old boxes of Atari games). Lapetino is the Executive Director of MOVA, the Museum of Video Game Art. The book also has a forward by Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One.

The Art of Atari includes art that was featured on the boxes Atari video games were sold in, as well as the original artwork that was specially commissioned to enhance the Atari experience (and entice people to buy the games).

The Art of Atari is the first official collection of this artwork, which spans 40 years of Atari’s unique illustrations used in packaging, advertisements, catalogs, and more. The artwork in the book was sourced from private collections around the world. You can see some of the artwork on The Art of Atari official website.

Playbrush Brings Fun to Toothbrushing at Gadget Show Live

Playbrush LogoGood oral hygiene is important for everyone but getting children to brush their teeth can be a bedtime battle. Playbrush should help win the war, bringing fun into the bathroom. I get the toothpaste out with John to find out more about Playbrush and continue coverage of the British Inventors’ Project.

The Playbrush is small bulbous gadget that slips over the handle of a manual toothbrush and turns the toothbrush into a game controller. Communicating via Bluetooth, the toothbrusher plays a game “Utoothia” on their tablet or smartphone, encouraging correct brushing technique and duration. The Playbrush can be shared among a family with game apps supporting up to six people. It’s rechargeable and will last around four-to-six weeks on single charge, depending on use. The games are in both the Apple and Google app stores.

Playbrush with app

Originally a Kickstarter Project, the Playbrush launched back in November and is available now from the Playbrush store for GB£31 (says the store). There’s a bathroom kit for an extra £8 which is a vinyl pocket to hold the smartphone during brushing and keep it toothpaste free. It sticks to tiles or a mirror using suction cups.

I think this is neatly executed idea that’s very affordable, especially as it can be shared with more than one child, though I think Playbrush need a neutral colour that’s not blue or pink!

Rust Now Assigns a Permanent Gender to Characters

Rust logoRust is a survival game on Steam. It is created by Facepunch Studios. The game is currently an early access game and is in active development. A recent update randomly assigns a player a permanent character gender.

Rust is multiplayer game where players attempt to survive through awful conditions “where humanity has been reduced to cavemen”. There are several things that can cause your character to die including falls, prolonged exposure to radiation, starvation, and being killed by another player. That player can then take your stuff. Players can decide if they want to survive by killing the other players or if they want to make friends and band together with other players.

Players cannot, however, choose the gender of their character. When the game first became available, the only option was to play a white, male, character. Later, the game arbitrarily assigned players with unchangeable skin tones and faces. Recently, an update to Rust added female models to the game. As before, the game assigns the character’s gender and appearance. The gender of your character is assigned by your Steam ID.

As you may have expected, this has caused some players to complain because they do not want to play a female character. Some have gone so far as to state that they will quit playing the game if they have to play a female character. Others wanted to play as a female character, but were assigned a male character, and were disappointed. A quick read through the Rust Forums also reveals that there are some players who are very happy to have been assigned a female character (for a variety of reasons).

The Rust blog post about the update includes the following:

We understand this is a sore subject for a lot of people. We understand that you may now be a gender that you don’t identify with in real-life. We understand this causes you distress and makes you not want to play the game anymore. Technically nothing has changed, since half the population was already living with those feelings. The only difference is that whether you feel like this is now decided by your Steam ID instead of your real life gender.

The blog also notes that this is the first pass of an ongoing rework of the player model. This means that “you’re probably not stuck with your new face forever” (as the blog post explains). There is no indication that players will ever be allowed to customize their character themselves, though.

Xbox One Consoles Getting Full Development Kit Support

xbox one controllerDeveloping new games for Microsoft’s Xbox One console is about to get much easier. During today’s Build 16 conference, Microsoft announced it will soon offer a software update that will turn any Xbox One into a full development kit. Previously, dev-ready Xbox Ones were provided on a limited basis. This change will make the full Xbox One development kit available to all Xbox One owners.

This move is taking place as part of Microsoft’s strategy to bring Windows 10 to multiple platforms, including computers, tablets, phones, and Xbox consoles. Dev kits are already made easily available for these other platforms, so it seemed like the right time for the Xbox One to fall in line.

This change should give a real boost to independent game developers. Under the limited distribution system previously offered by Microsoft, some Xbox One developer kits were made available to independent developers. But kits were usually made more readily available to larger AAA-level game developers. Turning all Xbox Ones into dev-ready kits levels the playing field and also opens up the process to hobbyists and others who want to learn more about game development. (It was possible to unlock some of the Xbox One developer kit prior to this update. That process wasn’t officially supported by Microsoft and it didn’t grant access to the full kit.)

The new Xbox One development kit is currently available as a free preview. It will be officially released this summer and will require a $19 fee along with a Microsoft Dev Center account.

BenQ at 2016 CES

Todd CochraneBenQ Zowie interviews Ronald Kim from BenQ. They discuss BenQ’s new line of Zowie line of competitive gaming accessories. BenQ brings in professional gamers to help them validate their gaming accessory designs.

Ron shows three models (they offer a total of seven models) of gaming mice that are specifically designed to give the end user the best possible gaming performance. They include the ZA Series, the EC-A Series, and the FK Series mice. Top-level professional gamers still prefer wired mice over wireless mice for the best possible lag-free performance. BenQ Zowie mice offer the ultimate in adjustable precision.

The mice are all priced at $59.99 each and are available now. The BenQ Zowie mouse pads are priced from $25 to $45 dollars on Amazon.

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dreamGear Retro Arcade Gaming at 2016 CES

DreamGearNakia Mann interviews Oliver Tesoro, product manager for dreamGear, a manufacturer of a variety of video gaming accessories.

They discuss dreamGear’s latest retro plug and play 8-bit and 16-bit retro games that sell at a variety of prices for under $40. Some are designed to look like miniature versions of old-style video arcade games that used to eat quarters.

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View the Future With Vuzix iWear Video Headphones

Vuzix logoVuzix is a leading developer of smart glasses and video eyewear. Their products are designed to let you view the future. They make watching a video, or playing a video game, more portable and exciting than ever before.

Daniel spoke with Director of Consumer Sales for Vuzix, Mike Hallett at CES 2016. They talked about the amazing Vuzix iWear Video Headphones. They come in two versions: an HDMI version and a wireless version.

The newest version is the iWear Wireless Video Headphones. They are the second generation of the iWear Video Headphones that Vuzix released last year. The new version is completely wireless.

Both versions of the iWear Video Headphones offer a virtual, private, personal, home theater that you can take on the road with you. They each give you a virtual 125 inch screen as viewed from 10 feet. They have full 3D capabilities, full headphones, and video. One unique thing about them is that they have been designed so the weight of the product rests on the back of your head (instead of on your face like other products do). This provides users with a more comfortable experience, whether they are using the product to watch a movie or to play a video game.

The iWear Video Headphones are available on the Vuzix website for $499.99. The new version of the iWear Video Headphones will be available in the summer of 2016.

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Fibrum Demonstrates the Next Stage of Virtual Reality at CES 2016

FibrumFibrum an international Virtual Reality company with over 4.3M downloads of its VR apps and games, is presenting its global platform for Virtual Reality where users and developers from all over the world can experience the highest quality of VR content. They will demonstrate the next stage of virtual reality at CES 2016.

Fibrum will showcase its innovative platform, that has the largest number of VR apps available. They have a total of 22 apps in the AppStore, on Google Play and in Windows. These apps allow users to turn their phones into VR devices through Fibrum’s extensive library of mobile VR games and applications that are available for the most popular mobile platforms, and worldwide through the dedicated Fibrum store.

The apps also allow gamers who play PC games to turn any game into an immersive VR experience using Fibrum’s unique streaming capabilities. The apps give global developers the ability to download Fibrums free SDK to create VR games and applications on their own.

Fibrum’s proprietary headset provides exceptional VR content in HD quality and a larger angle of view than its competitors – 110 degrees versus the typical 70 degrees – for superior game play and a truly immersive VR experience. Fibrum’s headsets also have special lenses that allow users with poor eyesight to have a clear picture in virtual reality (from -5 to +5 variance). Users can also play Fibrum’s extensive VR game library with their own headsets as Fibrum’s content is compatible with any other VR headsets.

Visit Fibrum at Booth # 81534 (Eureka Park Marketplace), Sands Hall G at CES 2016.

Unravel is Coming in February of 2016!

Unravel gameRemember the adorable little character named Yarny that was presented onstage at E3 by Martin Sahlin? People fell in love with Yarny and the Unraveled video game that he stars in.

It has been announced that Unravel will be released on February 9, 2016. You can preorder it on PS4 or Xbox One. A new trailer for Unravel has been released to celebrate this announcement.

In this incredibly sweet game players guide Yarny around in order to get him through physics-based puzzles. The story in the game is told without the use of words, which I think is a brilliant idea. That way, the story can be easily grasped no matter what language a person speaks. Yarny is the bond that ties everything together.