Posted by Alan Buckingham at 11:07 AM on March 11, 2013
We found out a few weeks ago that Rovio would be releasing Angry Birds cartoons. Now, today, the company added some more details to that news. According to a company announcement, “Rovio Entertainment is bringing its weekly Angry Birds Toons animated series to fans around the world, setting an industry first in launching a video distribution channel across all of its Angry Birds game titles on smartphones and tablets”.
The new animated videos will be available beginning the weekend of March 16-17 through a dedicated channel available in Rovio games. The Finnish game-maker will also make the cartoons available on select video-on-demand channel providers, Smart TVs and connected devices. An Angry Birds Toons channel will be available on all of Comcast’s video platforms in the US including Xfinity on Demand, online atXfinity.com/tv and the Xfinity TV Player app.
The animated shorts will also be available on FOX8 in Australia, JEI TV in Korea, ANTV in Indonesia, Cartoon Network in India, MTV3 Juniori and MTV3 in Finland, the Children’s Channel in Israel, 1+1 networks in Ukraine, Gulli and Canal J in France, SUPER RTL in Germany, TV2 in Norway, Canal 13 in Chile and Gloob in Brazil
Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio stated that “We’ve long wanted to tell our fans the story of the Angry Birds and the Bad Piggies, to introduce their personalities and their world in detail”.
Along with the cartoon announcement, Rovio also let it be known that it has now surpassed 1.7 billion downloads of its games, meaning that more mobile users are likely playing them than not.
SimCity has been mentioned quite a bit in blogs, news articles, and various forms of social media recently – for all the wrong reasons. EA, the makers of the game, have done an excellent job of finding ways to frustrate potential players. I haven’t seen this much complaining about a game since the launch of Diablo III (which didn’t have nearly as many problems as SimCity has).
The situation is a quick study in how to completely alienate your customers. Create a game that requires you to be online in order to play it, and there will be people who loudly voice their opinion that they want to be able to play the game without having to connect to the internet. You know, like they could with previous versions of SimCity.
Follow that with serious server instability issues, and you will quickly frustrate the players that were willing to play the game online. The longer this goes on, unfixed, the more frustrated and angry players are going to get. Eventually, people got fed up and tried to return the game, only to learn that EA was refusing to accept any returns on SimCity. Its an effective way to decimate the amount of customers who once were loyal to EA, as well as to discourage new players from considering the purchase of one of their games.
Today, it appears that EA has become aware of the negative publicity regarding SimCity that is spiraling across the internet. The company will be offering “something for your trouble”. EA is offering a free PC download game from the EA portfolio as a peace offering. Their blog says:
And to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game.
The question is, will this freebie be enough to encourage frustrated gamers to stick with EA (and potentially buy another game from them, someday)? Is it enough to make you decide to “hang in there” as SimCity gets updated throughout the weekend?
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 7:33 AM on March 4, 2013
Monster is known for its audio cables, but the company produces other products as well. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show Product Manager Elbert Lee dropped by TPN to talk a bit about it.
The company has partnered with Electronic Arts (EA), the popular game manufacturer. Monster is producing new high-end caming headphones like the MVP Carbon, which is EA-branded and powered by Monster. The new headphones come in both black and white colors and are for more than just gaming — you can easily use it for Skype, Music and more. The MVP Carbon is even so flexible that it can be folded up. The cable and mic are also removable. It has debuted at $269 retail.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 9:30 AM on March 1, 2013
Able Planet winner of several awards over the years for their Linx Audio Technology showed off their new gaming headphones at CES 2013 the Gamers’ Choice. Linx Audio Technology enables you to hear frequencies you can’t hear normally or with other technology. It splits the signal in to three tone harmonics . This technology enhances sound quality and clarity, reduces distortion and because it is an analog technology it also reduces interference from other digital devices.
The new gaming headphone with the Linx Audio Technology comes in eight colors. It has an adjustable headphone strap. You can easily move the microphone to the position you want. It also has an inline volume control, The headphones come with several adapters so you can use them with portable gaming devices, laptops and an Xbox. One headphone for all your gaming needs. The adapter for the laptop is also a must for podcasters with older laptops it will turn your audio into 16 bits and reduce the hissing sound. For more information about these headphones, lynx technology and other Able Planet products visit the Able Planet website
Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine, and Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live.
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Posted by KL Tech Muse at 4:17 PM on February 23, 2013
Digital Innovation introduced several products at CES 2013, including the Nest, the ScreenDr and the ChargeDr®. The Nest is a case that was built to solve the problem of tangled up ear buds. It is soft and durable and made of silicon. The earbuds wrap around the center and the case folds into itself. You pull the earbuds from the center so they automatically come out straight. The Nest is $10.00 and is available at retail stores and on Amazon
They also introduced the ScreenDr®. ScreenDr consist of an alcohol and ammonia free cleaning fluid which helps to keep screens clean of dust, dirt, finger prints and bacteria and a micro-fibre cloth. What makes ScreenDr unique is that the fact that the cloth is stored within the cleaning fluids cap. The ScreenDr comes in three sizes, a small bottle is $10.00, a medium bottle at $15.00 and the large bottle for $20.00.
The final product they showed was the ChargeDr® This is a small dongle that you attach to your laptop. It allows you to charge your iPad on your computer. Normally a laptop’s USB port doesn’t create enough amps to charge a tablet. The ChargeDr changes this by having the chip that is embedded in it talk to both the device and the computer. It tells the computer how many amps are required to charge the tablet, which then produces the correct amperage. It allows you to charge a tablet through a laptop at as if you plugged it directly into the wall. The ChargeDr will run $29.99 and should be available soon.
GNC first saw Sphero at CES last year and it’s a really cool toy: a rugged waterproof ball controlled from a smartphone or tablet. So what has Sphero been up to in the past year…Todd and Don find out from Ian Bernstein, CTO Founder.
While the hardware is unchanged from last year, Sphero has grown the number and type of companion apps from around 5 apps to over 20 with several produced by third parties. New on the scene is a mixed reality app which uses the tablet or smartphone’s camera to track Sphero and overlay Sharky the Beaver on the device’s screen. It’s particularly fun as the real-world interaction with Sphero creates a relationship with the cartoon character which makes it that bit more believable.
Sphero works with both iOS and Android devices, and retails for around $130. Lots of fun and there’s an SDK if you feel like rolling your own (sorry!)
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 6:21 PM on February 14, 2013
Gerard Williams of HipHopGamerShow stopped by the TPN booth at this year’s consumer Electronics Show to talk about some of the coolest things that he saw at CES, from a gamer perspective.
Gamers are very particular about the gear the use — everything has to be just right from the TV to the audio to the console. Willams talks a bit about that and then gives some details on the show he does, which is an all-video podcast. the show not only covers game play, but also news and the musical side of the industt, as Williams produces songs for some of today’s major releases.
This is one of the most fun and informative interviews you will see from the 2013 CES, with lots of entertainment adn clearly both sodes enjoyed themselves. I will leave it at that and urge you to check out the video below.
Posted by Alan Buckingham at 4:43 PM on February 11, 2013
In one of the more interesting developments at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Lenovo partnered with Fragdolls and TPN stopped by to get some information.
There are three games involved in this partnership and you can get details in the video below. If you are not familiar, this all about female gamers. Warning: This may shatter your concept of female gamers. The interview is really about gaming and removing stereotypes and it is definitely a must watch. it also provides a good history of CES and E3 as well.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 10:20 AM on January 28, 2013
Brian Landwehr of UnitedHealthcare talked about their new partnership with Konami, the gaming company to bring the Dance, Dance Revolution Classroom Edition into schools. This is part of the UnitedHealthcare’s Activate Program which also includes dietary and mental health curriculum. The idea is to increase kids physical activity by using something they are already doing, playing video games. The program is tied into each school current curriculum. The student and their parents along with the school can track the student’s progress throughout the year.
At the present time this program is being introduced by UnitedHealthcare into schools that they already have a partnership with. These schools are being used to pilot the program. However the Dance, Dance Revolution Classroom Edition is also available at retail stores and through Konami who will work with directly with school systems.
Posted by KL Tech Muse at 7:59 PM on January 24, 2013
I am old enough to remember a time when if you said you were going to an arcade you were going to be playing pinball. I played occasionally. I wasn’t very good, but I loved the watching the balls fly and the sound of a pinball machine. If you are a fan like me you now can have a professional made pinball machine at home.
Stern Pinball the worlds only current maker of traditional pinball machines is now making pinball machines for the consumer market. They have two models the Transformers and the Avengers. They are made of quality Stern parts including flippers, tilts and multi ball capability. The top can be lifted up to get to a stuck ball or do some cleaning. It has LED lighting for the scoreboard with Hi Def cabinet artwork and decals. Both weight 125 lb. and use home current. There is technical service from Stern Pinball and a network of repair shops.
Both models were released at Christmas time and run $2500. They are available through the Stern Pinball website and selected merchants.