Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

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Game Guys review – Raptor M3 Gaming Mouse DKT Edition


2012
04.22

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High-end PC gaming peripherals is a very competitive market to be in, as function is just as important to the user as form. The Raptor M3 Gaming Mouse DKT Edition (herein referred to as M3), a new high-end gaming mouse from CompuExpert, is marketed as a pro gaming mouse but comes off as a mid-grade generic at best.

Visually, M3 is a downright good-looking computer mouse. Its mesh of matte- and shiny-black finishes work well for it and the touches of red make for a good overall presentation. Its also large, so its almost like it knows it looks good and wants to make sure everything else on the desk knows it.

M3 is also very comfortable in the palm. Its a bit larger than a standard mouse commonly found at big-box stores and fits the hand of a fully-grown male adult well. This is quite important not only for general computer use, but also the marathon gaming for which it is designed.

Designed by former eSports World Champion Brian DKT Flander, M3 features three dpi settings (400, 800, and 1600 dpi) and the highest of which is excellent for twitch games like first-person shooters. For general computer use and less action-intensive games, the 800 dpi setting is ideal. The mouse also has a braded USB cord, which is not only stronger but also longer (8.2 feet) than a standard rubber mouse cord. For comfort and tactile sake, CompuExpert has installed a rubber grip where the thumb goes. This pad is a great addition to the mouse.

In short, the mouse looks and feels good. Functionality, however, is where things fall apart a bit.

Not including the dpi setting toggle, M3 is a six-button gaming mouse with a clickable illuminated mouse wheel, forward/back browing buttons at the thumb, and traditional left/right clicks. The placement of all buttons is very comfortable, but they dont always work the way one would expect.

The thumb buttons, for example, dont click so well independently from one another — meaning that, in a pinch, the mouse might accidentally register both being clicked rather than the one that is actually desired by the user. A complaint could be had with the mouse wheel as well. While its wider than the common mouse wheel, it had a tendency to intermittantly wander (especially when the mouse wheel is being clicked). A wandering mouse wheel might be slightly annoying while browsing the Internet, but it can be the difference between fragging and being fragged in a game of Call of Duty.

Furthermore, M3 simply isnt as advanced as some other more hardcore gaming mice on the market these days. Both Razers Naga and Mad Catz RAT. blow CompuExperts M3 away with not only better functionality, but also with a higher level of overall quality. Of course, M3 is also the least expensive of the three.

Those issues (and mainly the mouse wheel one) prevent M3 from being the gaming mouse CompuExpert hoped it would be, butthey doesnt rule it out as a mid-level option for those not wanting to spend too much on a gaming-oriented computer mouse.

News10/KXTV

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iPad’s new gaming playbook


2012
04.06

Apples faster and sharper-looking new iPad is drawing the notice of the traditional video game industry, as developers are envisioning games for it that have more in common with the visceral 3D shooter Call of Duty than FarmVille.

The company is also setting itself up to take on Microsoft and Sony on their home turf of game consoles.

From Electronic Arts to Crysis developers Crytek, industry executives are figuring out ways to migrate graphics-intensive so-called hardcore games to the iPad. Epic Games and Namco Bandai took the stage at Apples iPad unveiling this week to show off what they can do with an iPad that has a faster quad core processor.

With more than 55 million iPads sold to date, including 15.43 million last quarter, the tablet is quickly catching up to the number of consoles on the market: the PlayStation 3 has sold 62 million units and Xbox 360 has moved more than 65 million units. That growing user base is drawing developers who want to see their games played on as many devices as possible.

Apple is definitely building their devices as if they care a lot about triple-A games, said Mike Capps, president of Epic Games, the studio behind Gears of War for consoles and Infinity Blade for the iPad.

The triple-A moniker is bequeathed to only the highest-quality video games — those with the best graphics and that cost in the tens of millions of dollars to produce. So far, not many triple-A titles appear on mobile devices.

Capps, who has appeared on stage at all three of Apples iPad launches, said he is trying to push the console manufacturers, Sony and Microsoft, to come out with more powerful devices so they do not get left behind. On Wednesday, he told the crowd in San Francisco the new iPad has better screen resolution and more memory than Microsofts Xbox and Sonys PlayStation.

While gamers today might still prefer to play shooter games at home on big screen TVs with a handheld controller, that could soon change, Capps said, especially if a Bluetooth controller is developed for the iPad.

It is quite easy to imagine a world where an iPad is more powerful than a home console, where it wirelessly talks to your TV and wirelessly talks to your controller and becomes your new console, Capps said in an interview.

Meanwhile, the industry is bracing for change. Frank Gibeau, president of Electronic Arts Labels, who oversees the companys biggest games such as Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic, said the company is eyeing Apples moves closely.

When the iPad gets to the processing power thats equal to an Xbox 360 and it connects to a television, thats no big deal to us. Well put the game through the iPad and have it display through the television. Gibeau said.

Bring on the games

EA has already brought some games from its marquee franchises to the iPad: Dead Space and Mass Effect.

For publishers, it used to be, oh hey, its just the Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft show, but thats not the case anymore, Gibeau said.

Germanys Crytek, which developed Crysis 2 for consoles and PCs, is working on its first game for the iPad, due out in the spring. While that game will be puzzle-based — minus the free-wheeling pyrotechnics — the company said it could one day bring that genre of hardcore games to the device.

As more people come to these platforms, we have to follow our fans, said Kristoffer Waardahl, a Crytek studio manager.

While speedier iPads will soon be getting into more gamers hands, Jeremy Parish, editor in chief of gaming blog 1UP.com, said it does not necessarily put pressure on console makers to come out with a new product any faster. The Xbox 360 launched in 2005 and the PlayStation 3 came out in 2006.

For the console makers, it has got be a little bit of an embarrassment to say that this tablet has more power and better screen resolution. But at the same time, this will not be the motivating factor to get them to jump into a new generation of consoles, Parish said.

Yet the industry is counting on a new wave of gaming hardware in the near future. Nintendo will release the Wii U, its first console with high-definition graphics, later this year.

For now, experts are divided as to whether the new iPad will make a dent on consoles but at least one investor said he does expect sales of rival gaming products to be hurt.

While consoles wont cease to exist, it does create pressure on them by hurting their growth and taking away some of their customers, said Michael Yoshikami, CEO of Destination Wealth Management.

Sony spokesman Dan Race said the PlayStation 3 business is having its strongest year ever and the PlayStation $249 price point is resonating with gamers and families alike.

Nintendos US executive vice president of sales and marketing, Scott Moffitt said Regardless of the device, consumers have repeatedly demonstrated that they care more about the experience than the tech specs.

Microsoft declined to comment.

Apart from the iPad, Apples fledgling TV product is also being watched closely by video game companies. Hudson Square analyst Dan Ernst said he doubts the iPad will affect console sales, but said an Apple TV with an app store could one day pose a viable threat.

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Inafune on the sad state of Japanese gaming


2012
04.06

Despite years of hand-wringing over the waning Japanese game industry, former Mega Man series producer Keiji Inafune believes the state of game development in the island nation has shown no improvement. If anything, he believes it has gotten worse.

During last weeks Game Developers Conference, Inafune took time aside to talk with GameSpot about a range of topics, from Japans myopic game publishers to the rise of indies and smartphone gaming and his wish list for next-gen consoles. He also addressed his new multimedia company Comcept, confirmed plans to launch its debut title internationally, and teased big collaborations with surprising partners.

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IGT and Lottomatica Announce Partnership in Italy


2012
04.03

LAS VEGAS, ROME, Italy, and PROVIDENCE, R.I., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ –
International Game Technology

/quotes/zigman/230150/quotes/nls/igt IGT
+2.20%



and Lottomatica Group today announced that they have entered into a strategic relationship to bring game content and game terminals to the Italian VLT (Comma 6b) gaming market.

“IGT is excited about stepping into this large and growing market,” said Patti Hart, IGT chief executive officer. “Partnering with Lottomatica will allow us to engage the Italian VLT players with our leading game content. As a global leader in gaming solutions, we are proud to partner with the leading operator of gaming entertainment in Italy and one of the largest gaming companies in the world.”

This strategic partnership provides entry for IGT into the Italian VLT market; a market reported to be in excess of 2 billion dollars in gross gaming revenue, with Lottomatica, currently the leading operator in the VLT market.

“We are proud to partner with IGT,” said Marco Sala, Lottomatica Group chief executive officer. “Together we will not only increase our significant footprint in the VLT market, but we will be able to combine our resources to provide the Italian players with new and exciting games that will help increase our competitive edge in the market, leveraging on the integration with the Spielo VLT system and games.”

IGT game content will be available to the Lottomatica Group in Italy VLT for a period of exclusivity. Lottomatica will deliver IGT game content to a high percentage of the installed base of VLT’s in Lottomatica’s network, which, with nearly 9,000 units, is currently the largest active VLT network in Italy.

In addition to licensing game content, IGT will also partner with Lottomatica to integrate IGT’s VLT terminals on the Spielo VLT system, which is currently adopted in Italy by Lottomatica and several other concessionaires.

About IGTInternational Game Technology

/quotes/zigman/230150/quotes/nls/igt IGT
+2.20%



is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of gaming machines and systems products, as well as online and mobile gaming solutions for regulated markets. More information about IGT is available at
www.IGT.com or follow IGT on Twitter at @IGTNews or Facebook at
www.facebook.com/IGT .

IGT Resources:

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter!

View IGT’s YouTube Channel

Check out our games!

About Lottomatica GroupLottomatica Group is a market leader in the Italian gaming industry and one of the largest Lottery operators in the world based on total wagers and, through its subsidiaries including GTECH Corporation, is a leading provider of lottery and gaming technology solutions worldwide. Together, the companies are the only vertically integrated full service lottery group. Lottomatica Group is majority owned by De Agostini, which belongs to a century-old publishing and media services group. Lottomatica is listed on the Stock Exchange of Milan under the trading symbol “LTO”. In 2011, Lottomatica Group had approximately euro 3.0 billion in revenues, based upon preliminary results, and approximately 8,000 employees in over 60 countries.

This press release and earlier ones are available on Lottomatica Group and GTECH websites:
www.lottomaticagroup.com –
www.gtech.com

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among others, the possibility that the anticipated benefits of the strategic partnership might not be realized. More information about potential factors that could affect IGT’s business and financial results is included in IGT’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in IGT’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for its 2011 fiscal year and its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for its fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2011, and available on the SEC website at
www.sec.gov and on the investor relations section of IGT’s website at
www.IGT.com . All information provided in this release is as of March 13, 2012, and IGT does not intend, and undertakes no duty, to update this information.

SOURCE IGT

Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

/quotes/zigman/230150/quotes/nls/igt

Add to portfolio

IGT

International Game Technology

US

: NYSE Euronx


$
17.16

+0.37
+2.20%

Volume: 3.10M
April 2, 2012 4:01p

P/E Ratio19.02
Dividend Yield1.40%

Market Cap$5.00 billion
Rev. per Employee$427,522

/quotes/zigman/230150/quotes/nls/igt

Add to portfolio

IGT

International Game Technology

US

: NYSE Euronx


$
17.16

+0.37
+2.20%

Volume: 3.10M
April 2, 2012 4:01p

P/E Ratio19.02
Dividend Yield1.40%

Market Cap$5.00 billion
Rev. per Employee$427,522

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Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft: three very different takes on portable gaming at …


2012
03.31

Tim Cook says the darnedest things. Why, just last week Apples head honcho suggested that iPad users are ditching their home consoles in favor of Cupertinos favorite slate. Bold words, ones that cant be sitting well with the gaming industrys big three. Steady thy rifle, hardcore gamer, Cook has a point: the console wars have shifted irreversibly. Gone are the days of bickering over somewhat similar 16-bit consoles and their supposed lack of blast-processing; todays gaming armies wage war with wildly different artillery. In the pursuit of your mobile gaming dollar, Nintendo toed a traditional line with a new twist. Sony, on the other hand, seems to have bundled every input method it could get its mitts on into its next-generation portable. Microsoft, however, puts the mobile in mobile gaming, echoing Apples own approach with an Xbox Live platform that eschews dedicated hardware to float across Windows Phone devices as a feature.

Take a step back, and suddenly it seems like the major players of consumer gaming arent even driving on the same track. This war isnt about the most powerful console anymore; its about creating the right experience for todays gamer. We ducked under the unspoken truce of last weeks Game Developer Conference to get a bead on Nintendo, Microsoft and Sonys portable gaming strategies. Read on to see what theyre doing to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Nintendo

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Is Gaming Changing Health Care and Helping You Live a Healthier Life? Part 1


2012
03.29

Do you think gaming can improve health care and help you live a healthier life?

There is no doubt gaming is all the rage, and according to The Entertainment Software Association, (ESA) consumers spent $25.1 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2010.

Jane McGonigal, game designer, in her TED Talk from February 2010 said, Right now we spend 3 billion hours a week playing online games. She said she feels everyone needs to spend more time playing bigger and better games.

Bigger and better games, declares McGonigal, and why not? Gaming is popular, so can the momentum continue if the games played are with the intent to encourage a healthier lifestyle?

This is a four-part series addressing the issues of gaming in health care.

Is gaming changing the landscape in health care?

I asked a few health care industry experts to weigh in on the topic and answer the question: How is gaming changing the landscape in health care?

Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, founder and director at the Center for Connected Health; Bill Crounse, MD, senior director, Worldwide Health Microsoft Corporation; and Fabio Gratton, co-founder and chief innovation officer at Ignite Health, share their insights. Additionally, as former senior director of clinical affairs for a telehealth technology company, media broadcaster, writer, and registered nurse, I share my thoughts on how gaming is changing the landscape in health care today.

Part 1

Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, founder and director at the Center for Connected Health

Q: How is gaming helping to change the landscape in health care?

A: Everyone is doing it. Men, women, kids, baby boomers. Can health care providers ignore the fact that gaming can be another tool in their armamentarium? Will consumers embrace gaming as a way to get fit, lose weight or manage their high blood pressure?

When it comes to gaming for health, I see two silos drifting apart. First, traditional health care is long considered doctor-driven, serious and focused on addressing acute illness. Its assumed that if you are sick, youll want to get better, so just follow the doctors advice for Gods sake! Its perceived that theres no room for gaming here, methinks. The prevailing view is that your health is no game; its serious.

The other silo is the consumer-driven, highly-focused personal drive to improve ones health/wellness/fitness. This is about fun, being fit, looking youthful, svelte, hip, in. We want the right gadgets and the trendiest workout to create that youthful appearance we all strive for.

Here, creating an environment that gets folks competing online to achieve their health goals is more obvious and makes sense.

However, there is also middle ground, left up for grabs — chronic illness. The traditional health care system is still very acute illness-focused, while the fitness crowd is about muscles, runs, reps, etc. In a fascinating commentary published in the Dec. 14 issue of JAMA, Allan S. Detsky, MD, PhD, contends that the No. 1 thing consumers want from the health care system is, quite simply, to be better when ill. Detsky says patients want certain qualities from their health care providers, including timeliness, kindness, hope and certainty, and a trusting relationship. He rightly concludes that, What people want when they are healthy may be very different from what they want when they are sick.

So, the question remains, can we use gaming to transform the market for chronic illness? I think we can. But a real mind set shift is required. Doctors have to begin to think that their patients might have fun getting better. Patients need to start thinking that their doctors can be a bit irreverent and that this is okay — maybe even a good thing.

There are a number of very smart researchers and companies devoted to harnessing the psychology of gaming for improving health and wellness. Were increasingly seeing consumers respond to incentives, such as earning points, badges or virtual rewards for living healthier or achieving their personal health goals. Healthrageous, a company we launched from our center over a year ago is using all of these tools to improve engagement. Weve only just scratched the surface.

And, with an estimated 500 million people using health care mobile apps by 2015, app developers are working overtime. Apps like Meal Snap from the Daily Burns health and fitness platform estimates the calories of any food or drink, and AsthmaMD, iHeadache and the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach help people to track everything from triggers and medication to sleep patterns.

But we still have miles to go to change the mindset of health care providers and consumers. Game on.

Your turn

We would love to hear from you. Do you think gaming is changing the landscape in health care? Do you think it can help you live a healthier life? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

As always, thank you for your valuable time and for sharing your insights.

Next up

Part 2, Fabio Gratton, co-founder and chief innovation officer at Ignite Health shares his thoughts.

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[Original post, How is Gaming Changing the Landscape in Health Care? Parts 1-4 published on Healthin30.]

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Nielsen: Cross-platform gaming on the rise


2012
03.27

More people played video games on more than one device in 2011, according to a new Nielsen survey.

Last year, 24% of players enjoyed video games on at least two different devices, up from 17% in 2009.

And while 56% of US households own either a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 or Nintendo Wii, the mobile and tablet gaming space continues to surge. The survey finds 39% of households have access to an Apple iOS device — iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch — while 28% own an Android-powered smartphone.

Also, more video game players are shifting online to search for new games and make purchases. According to a survey of game shopping trips in the US, online was the only category to experience an increase, while staples such as electronics stores, game specialty outlets and larger retail chains all suffered big declines.

As for the next wave of home video game consoles, Nielsen finds its mostly current hardware owners most interested in the future. The survey found 4 out of 5 people interested in next-generation consoles already owned a PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii.

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What Happened to Gaming’s "Middle Class?"


2012
03.16

What Happened to Gamings Middle Class?
Indie and AAA developers and publishers dominated GDC, but what about those in the middle?

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Gaming Sees Lower Video-Game Sales in February


2012
03.14

NEW YORK (Trefis) —
Gaming stocks such as Electronic Arts (EA), Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and GameStop (GME) are expected to decline, after a NPD Group report revealed that retail video gaming software sales declined by 23% in February 2012 compared to that in February 2011. Though the figure improved from the massive 38% drop in January, the 23% decline was far deeper than the markets expectations.

We believe a lack of significant new releases in February, combined with the changing landscape of the gaming industry from retail to digital and the aging of current generation consoles, were the primary reasons behind the steep decline.

See our full analysis for Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and GameStop.
Continuously Declining Video Gaming Industry
Video game sales remained choppy throughout February, with software and hardware sales declining by 23% and 18%, respectively. A lack of new games was the primary reason behind the decline in software sales. Though Activision Blizzards Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) was the market leader in February, we believe the lead of MW3 on gaming charts better represents the lack of exciting new games rather than the continuing strength of MW3.

The situation was equally bad in hardware sales. The 18% drop in hardware sales primarily reflected a sharp decline in Nintendos Wii sales. Microsoft XBox 360, with units sales of 426,000 for the month, continues to be the market leader in gaming consoles. We expect the hardware sales figure to improve in March, as the recent launch of Sony PlayStation Vita is expected to improve the hardware sales numbers, going ahead.

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Checking Boyd Gaming’s Intangibles


2012
03.13

Checking Boyd Gamings Intangibles

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Rex Moore

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March 12, 2012
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