At a time when the future of game consoles has never looked less rosy, along comes Ouya, another box for under the TV set with the backing of none of the major publishers.
Unpromising? Certainly. But the price ($99), the design (Yves Behar coolness) and the concept (an open platform for every type of free-to-play game out there) could give the startup a fighting chance of success with consumers. Read more
Persuading players to pay real money for virtual goods represents the biggest challenge for developers and publishers pursuing the “freemium” business model in social gaming.
But introducing real-money gambling would improve the odds dramatically of building a viable business and be a real game-changer for the industry, according to Betable, a real-money gaming platform emerging from stealth mode today with the backing of some of Silicon Valley’s best-known investors. Read more
The success of Activision Blizzard’s new Call of Duty game for China will hang on its localised production, according to its chief executive.
Bobby Kotick was speaking from China to the FT after Tuesday’s announcement in Shanghai of a partnership with online gaming provider Tencent to bring the world’s biggest video game franchise to the market. Read more
The video game industry looked to the razzle-dazzle of its annual trade show in Los Angeles this week to lift it out of depression and E3, in part, delivered.
Sales have been suffering as interest has waned in the current generation of consoles, now seven years old, but Nintendo showed more than 20 games that would feature on its innovative Wii U console, due to launch later this year. Read more
Sony was the only console maker to unveil new hardware of any significance at the video game industry’s E3 trade show in Los Angeles this week.
However, the Wonderbook is the most natural looking peripheral you can imagine – it looks just like a real book but works with an Eye camera and Move controller to conjure augmented-reality 3D images from its pages. . It will go on sale later this year for $40 bundled with its first title, Book of Spells, an original work from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
In an interview at E3, Andy House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, told me how the Wonderbook came about. Highlights after the jump. Read more
Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s chief executive, did not make his usual appearance at his company’s E3 press conference on Tuesday, preferring instead to tweet backstage about the announcements as he explores social media ahead of the launch of Nintendo’s Miiverse social service for its gamers.
But in an FT interview shortly afterwards, he talked in person about his hopes for the Wii U, the new console launching this holiday season, the concept of asymmetrical gaming it introduces and the early attempts by rivals to match its features. Highlights after the jump: Read more
Microsoft has announced Xbox SmartGlass, a new way of transferring content from smartphones and tablets to a TV, using its home console.
When movies and other media are moved to the TV, the phone or tablet becomes a second screen on the couch, offering more information on what is being shown. Microsoft also announced the long-awaited introduction of its Internet Explorer browser to Xbox, tight integration with devices running the new Windows 8 operating system and a revamped music service. Details from its press conference on the eve of the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles are after the jump. Read more
Funding Circle, a UK-based online marketplace where individuals lend directly to small businesses raised $16m of Series B financing from joint investors Index Ventures and US-based Union Square Ventures. This brings the total amount raised by the company to $21m. Launched in August 2010, the company now facilitates around £1m in loans each week. The company is planning to use the funds to double its staff over the next year.
Dragonplay, a Tel Aviv-based games developer raised $14m in a Series A funding from Accel Partners. Dragonplay specializes in makes card, casino and board games for smartphones and social networks and is best known for Live Holdem Poker Pro, which has more than 2m monthly active players. The company will use the investment to expand its portfolio of games. Read more