This old-school mobile game system is full of surprises
- If going without screens entirely isn't possible, or desirable, a Portland software company called Panic is offering up a compromise: A handheld bright-yellow gaming device with a 2.7-inch black and white screen.
- Called Playdate, the new device — announced on Wednesday — looks like a square Game Boy with the classic physical A, B and arrow buttons.
- Playdate's makers think there is an appetite for the features that make it somewhat retro, like the actual buttons and lack of a touchscreen.
- For example, in the only game the company is sharing any details about, "Crankin's Time Travel Adventure," the crank controls the flow of time.
- A little over 10 years ago, the $50 Peek was released as a dedicated e-mail device with a small screen and Blackberry-like keyboard.
- The company has more than 20 years experience making software for Macs, iPhones and iPads, including games such as Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game.
Atari adapts its famous joystick for modern users
- The Atari joystick is one of the most recognizable controllers in gaming history, and now the company is not only bringing it forward into the modern age, it’s making it better with new bells and whistles.
- Out of all the nostalgia consoles coming to the market in the wake of the NES and SNES Classics, the Atari VCS looks by far the most promising — if only because it’s actually trying to be something more than a plug-and-play toy with a few games installed on it.
- These wheeled controllers worked best with driving games and the likes of Pong, and, while not nearly so ubiquitous as the joystick, could also be used with any computer or console that had an Atari port.
Publisher THQ Nordic acquires Gothic and Risen studio Piranha Bytes
- After a quiet few months, it looks like THQ Nordic is back on the acquisition train.
- In a press release, THQ Nordic said that the cost is the same as “three years of what management’s estimated royalty payments to Piranha for upcoming titles would have been, if the acquisition had not occurred.” The company published Piranha Bytes’s most recent game, sci-fi RPG Elex.
- THQ Nordic said the studio will remain independent and continue making RPGs. Piranha Bytes has 31 employees.
- When the original THQ went bankrupt in 2013, Austrian publisher Nordic Games acquired most of its assets, including the Darksiders and Red Faction franchises.
- The company rebranded itself as THQ Nordic in 2016 and moved its HQ to Karlstad, Sweden.
- The last time THQ Nordic made an acquisition, with Australian publishing partner 18Point2, was shortly before that incident.
Animoca Brands raises $2.5 million for The Sandbox blockchain gaming platform
- Animoca’s Pixowl division is remaking The Sandbox as a blockchain-enabled game, with user-generated content that players can buy and sell with real digital ownership, thanks to the blockchain, or a transparent and secure decentralized ledger.
- The investment will accelerate growth of Animoca Brands’ user-generated content (UGC) gaming platform that will empower creators through digital ownership and monetization of 3D voxel creations made and shared by users around the world.
- Development progress on The Sandbox can be seen in a new teaser video released today in conjunction with the announcement, showing a demo of one of the many available biomes where users can create voxel items and gaming worlds from the digital equivalent of building blocks.
- The Sandbox will be offering a high-quality, curated content selection of artist-made voxel models that can be collected for their scarcity and special attributes, in preparation for scripting their behaviors and putting them inside a map to generate new gaming experiences.
Playdate. A New Handheld Gaming System
- It includes brand new games from some amazing creators.
- Twenty years is a long time, and we wanted to try some new things.
- Playdate is our celebration of the video game.
- We reached out to some top game designers, like Keita Takahashi and Zach Gage and Bennett Foddy and Shaun Inman.
- It’s twelve brand new video games, one each week.
- Here’s the thing: we’d like to keep them a secret until they appear on your Playdate.
- When your Playdate lights up with a brand new game delivery, we hope you can’t wait to unwrap your gift.
- Playdate is alive with possibilities and surprises, future games and new ways to make them.
- Some games use the crank exclusively (like Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, above.) Some don’t use it at all.
- But it’s very fun.
Amazon made video games for its workers to reduce tedium of warehouse jobs
- Amazon has created video games that its warehouse workers can "play" while they fill customer orders in an effort to speed up fulfillment and relieve the tedium of packing products into boxes.
- The use of robots in Amazon warehouses the past few years has reduced the amount of walking employees do, as workers spend more time in front of computers while "wheeled robots bring stocked shelves to them," the Post wrote.
- With robots making it easier for employees to grab products from shelves, workers say that Amazon raised requirements "from picking 100 items an hour off shelves to 300 items per hour and later nearly 400 per hour," the article said.
- Various news articles and lawsuits have detailed grueling working conditions at Amazon warehouses.
The Liverpool Football Club’s reliance on analytics
- (In the Premier League, as elsewhere in soccer, a victory counts as three points in the standings and a draw counts as one; Liverpool set the record for the most points in a season, 97, by a runner-up.) In an added fillip for North American fans, Liverpool is owned by the same group of American businessmen who own baseball’s Boston Red Sox, last year’s World Series winners, while Manchester City has a business relationship with the New York Yankees.
- At the same time as it was trying to stay ahead of Manchester City, in England, Liverpool was competing against the top teams from other countries in Europe’s Champions League.
- In the 79th minute of the second game of the Champions League semifinal, in early May, a ball was deflected out of bounds for a Liverpool corner kick.
Review: Alienware’s m17 is a lean mean gaming machine with a nice-sized screen
- Alienware and other manufacturers have wrestled with the giant end of gaming laptops for years, but only recently have we seen these new slimmed-down designs float towards the top of the power spectrum.
- In the configuration I tested – which includes the 4K screen option, Nvidia RTX 2080 Max-Q design graphcs card, and an Intel core i9-8950HK CPU at 2.90GHz – it’s perfectly suited for design, video editing, music, and photography.
- This is one of the few laptops I can edit 4K photos, 3D videos for VR, run my entire recording studio on, or play Shadow of The Tomb Raider with all of its graphical options turned on, including real-time ray-tracing.
- Whatever magic Alienware‘s managed to do has resulted in a laptop with a 17-inch 4K screen that can run for about 5 hours on battery power alone.
'Mortal Kombat 11' is selling so well, it just achieved a rare feat that no other game has accomplished in over a decade
- The industry analysts at the NPD Group published a list of the best-selling video games of April 2019, based on data collected between April 7 and May 4.
- The data includes both digital and physical sales figures from more than a dozen different publishers in the United States.
- Two PlayStation 4 exclusives — "Days Gone" and "MLB 19: The Show" — both came in second and third, respectively.
- Video game industry analyst Mat Piscatella shared the full list of best-selling games and gaming hardware on Twitter, along with breakdowns for all three major consoles: Sony's PlayStation 4, Microsoft's Xbox One, and Nintendo's Switch.
- Video game sales generated $427 million in revenue during April 2019, based on NPD's data.
- Piscatella also said that "Mortal Kombat 11" is the first Mature-rated game to top Nintendo's sales chart since "Bayonetta 2" was released on the Wii U in 2014.
Seven years later, the OUYA is dead for real
- As a cheap Android-powered game console, it was pitched as being able to “open the last closed platform: the TV”.
- In an FAQ on its site, Razer says that the OUYA store will be shut down by the end of June.
- The game store for the Forge TV (a similar attempt at an Android-powered console built by Razer itself) will also be shut down.
- If you’ve somehow still got funds in your OUYA account, you’ll want to use them quick — the FAQ suggests that come June 25th, those funds will be more or less gone.
- You will be able to play games via the OUYA platform until June 25, 2019.
- They do note that the download servers will also go dark on June 25th — so if there’s a game you want to keep for the long term, make sure you’ve got it saved on the console.