We’re back after a break over the BC Day long weekend and trying to get back into the swing of things. News out of Toronto this morning is that Virgin Gaming  has partnered with Ubisoft  to be the online tournament provider for some of the publisher’s most anticipated multiplayer console releases. Leading the charge is Tom Clancy”s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier™, the latest chapter in the award-winning franchise.
“Ubisoft is one of the leading video game publishers in the world and we are thrilled to offer our members the opportunity to compete in some of their best multiplayer console games,” said Rob Segal, CEO of Virgin Gaming. “Virgin Gaming is a unique convergence of social networking, video games and competitive gaming, and we are excited that Ubisoft shares our vision for the platform and its potential.”
“Ubisoft is thrilled to be partnering with Virgin Gaming on its new venture. We have an exciting lineup of multiplayer titles this year that we believe will be a perfect fit for gamers to play and compete against each other in a tournament setting,” said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America.
Sir Richard Branson unveiled Virgin Gaming to an enthusiastic reception at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The overwhelmingly positive response helped Virgin Gaming to quickly take the industry by storm, being the first online platform for gamers of all skill levels to compete in some of the best games for the biggest prizes. In true Virgin style, Branson kicked things off with dramatic flair, announcing that Virgin Gaming would give away over $1 million in cash and prizes over its first 12 months. Ubisoft headlines a slate of industry partnerships with key publishers and retailers to be announced by Virgin Gaming in the coming months. Additional details on these partnerships will be announced soon.
nextMEDIA has just opened up for 2010 Design Exchange  early-bird registration. The conference, which will be held in Toronto this November 29th and 30th, will help you create opportunities for your business by bringing together the highest growth areas of the converging next-generation entertainment marketplace.
Highlights for this fall’s conference include:
* 2 days of learning, strategizing and collaborating across all areas of digital entertainment, including advertising, gaming, TV, mobile, music and publishing.
* Facilitated meetings and networking between established industry leaders and emerging new talent from multiple sectors.
* Sessions, discussions and workshops designed to drive your business forward and provide you with the connections and info you need to stay ahead of your competition. 
* Insight into emerging technologies and platforms that can change your business.
Don’t forget that Digital Leisure’s  Match Up!, designed exclusively for Nintendo’s DSiWare™ game service is available as of today for only 200 Nintendo points.
Flip, match and…kaboom! – How fast can you find the right set in Match Up!? Whether you’re 4 or 40, Match Up! will have you captive for hours. Reveal shapes, colors and even hidden bonuses with a new take on a childhood favorite. Quick hands and a sharp mind are the only way to beat the clock and disarm the explosive cards riddled throughout. Not quite ready for the explosive action? Then start with the absolutely addictive classic concentration play, and see if you can level up. So come on – get matching!
Tricon Films & Television , one of North America’s strongest independent production and distribution companies, is proud to be working with award-winning Toronto production company Banger Films . With this new relationship, Tricon has acquired the international television rights to the recently theatrically released documentary RUSH: Beyond The Lighted Stage , which chronicles the legendary band over the past 40 years. Tricon is also set to distribute Metal Evolution: The Series (8 X 60), which is slated for the spring of 2011 on VH1 Classics.
“Banger Films founders Scot McFayden and Sam Dunn bring a wealth of talent, creativity and heart to their projects,” said Andrea Gorfolova, President of Tricon Films & Television. “Tricon is thrilled to be joining creative forces and distributing their products with the same passion and dedication.”
“Tricon has managed to establish themselves as a major competitor in both North American and international markets,” said Scot McFayden and Sam Dunn, founders of Banger Films. “We are thrilled to be working with a company that has such a wide reach and we look forward to continuing to develop this relationship.”
RUSH: Beyond The Lighted Stage had its sold-out world premiere at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, where it received the audience choice award, and its Canadian premiere at the opening night of Hot Docs 2010. The band is one of rock’s most influential acts in rock history and enjoys a devoted following from legions of fans around the world, yet Rush’s incredible success story has, up to this point, remained largely untold. Featuring never-before-seen footage and interviews with some of today’s most respected rock artists, RUSH: Beyond The Lighted Stage explores the 40-year career and phenomenon behind what could be called the world’s greatest cult band.
EA Sports  fans will be playing even more basketball thanks to EA’s announcement today that all new copies of NBA Elite 11  will include a one-time download code that will enable users to access three modes of NBA Jam  – Play Now, Classic Campaign and Online. Already set to revolutionize the way basketball simulation games are played with new Hands-On Control, the inclusion of the NBA Jam modes will make NBA Elite 11 the ultimate basketball videogame experience available, on the Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3, when it is released on October 5, 2010. 
“NBA Elite 11 is going to change the way basketball videogames are played,” says Jordan Edelstein, Vice President, Marketing, EA Sports. “The addition of three free downloadable modes of the award winning NBA Jam is an unprecedented value add to a product that is already set to revolutionize the basketball videogame category.”
Winner of eight ‘Best Sports Game of E3’ awards, including the coveted Game Critics Award, NBA Jam has been optimized for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to truly deliver a next-gen experience of the classic franchise. With Play Now, Classic Campaign, and Online modes included, the downloadable version of NBA Jam, that is available with purchases of NBA Elite 11, will include a robust single player and multiplayer experience. NBA JAM allows fans to challenge the world, or their friends on the couch, with Online and Play Now, respectively, or climb from worst to first as they take their favorite NBA team through a ladder tournament through the league.
NBA Elite 11 featuring three modes of NBA Jam will be available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system with an MSRP of $59.99. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB.
The new teaser for “Hard Drive 13 ”, the “conspiracy theory action adventure thriller online cliffhanger serial webseries”, has been unveiled. The teaser contains the first substantial glimpse of exciting footage from the hotly anticipated webseries, which is due to begin its run on September 13, 2010.
“Hard Drive 13” follows the adventures of Nomad (played by cb shaw ), a hacker and corporate spy as he uncovers the mother of all conspiracies. Joined by Dee (played by Denyc ), a shadowy and gorgeous government agent, and pursued by the rogue black-budget Interplanetary Security Department, Nomad attempts to unravel what’s really going on and, while he’s at it, save the world from the gravest danger it’s ever seen.
“HD13” was ably written and directed by Stephen H. Plitt (“Super-Anon”), who also co-produced with Michael Chmara (“Riese: The Series ”) and M.E. Lewis (“Dark Island ”). The series will be released under the banner of Four Dimensional Films  in association with High Deaf Productions , and is certain to be a bold leap forward in the evolution of the webseries format.
The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross  is an exciting new iPad app, the first installment in Moving Tales’  series of Classic World Tales . Inspired by the age-old tale of a man who becomes rich through a dream, The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross describes the journey of a poor peddler woman who, guided by the shifting line between the real and the unreal, discovers a surprising and wonderful treasure. 
The app’s dynamic typographic layouts can be animated using the iPad’s accelerometer, and randomly selected alternative perspectives are incorporated to ensure that no two viewings are alike. Other features include Cover Flow-like navigation, the choice to hear and display the story in Spanish as well as English and compelling, poetic voice-over narratives.
By presenting tales of transformation, truth, drama and humour using a state-of-the-art digital ‘mash-up’ of methods from the worlds of ebook publishing, graphic novels, film and interactive media, Classic World Tales establishes a truly original and engaging new world of storytelling.
“The Unwanted Guest” will be the next release in the series. In this adaptation of a traditional Jewish folk tale, a poor old man, down on his luck and living in a tumbledown house, is visited by an unwelcome houseguest. The story tells of the old man’s attempt to rid himself of his surprising visitor once and for all.
Memorial University in Newfoundland Labrador extends an invitation you to the beautiful and exciting city of St. John’s this October 12th through 15th to participate in an international dialogue on new and emerging technologies in education. The Edge Conference  will bring together researchers, university and college educators, cooperating teachers and teacher mentors, school district and ministry of education professionals, teacher association leaders, and graduate students to share research and innovative practices in the field of new and emerging technologies in education. The conference program is intended to be broad, encompassing K-12 and post-secondary education and aims to provide a constructive forum for the presentation and discussion of new ideas, research and best practices relating to use of new and emerging technologies in education. Sessions will focus on the application of technologies in teaching, learning, research, and educational leadership. Themes will include such topics as Web 2.0 and 3.0, assistive technologies, fine arts and culture, skills training and trades education, second language, professional development, leadership, and aboriginal education.
Multiplied Media Corporation has added a gas price search feature to their free, local search application, Poynt  for iPhone and iPod Touch. The newly added gas feature searches the user’s local area for nearby gas stations, as well as locates the best price per litre by grade.
With the new gas feature, Poynt for iPhone  users have the benefit of choosing whether to view search results by lowest price or by location. Users can easily toggle between both options giving them a clear sense of the different gas stations in the local area and what the best-offered price may be. At the touch of a button users can also quickly pull up a map to the selected gas station or access turn-by-turn directions.
Also included with this update is enhanced iOS 4 compatibility with the ability to add events such as restaurant reservations and movie times to the iPhone’s calendar. Users are also able to save a list of favorite local movie theaters in the app, providing even greater convenience when planning a night out.
Poynt connects iPhone users to businesses, movies, retailers, restaurants, people, local weather and now provides the user with the added benefit of being able to find the best local gas prices. Poynt for iPhone also features Poynt 360, a unique augmented reality feature that utilizes the iPhone’s GPS, compass and camera to display search results as clickable tags over a live view of the surrounding environment.
Poynt is a free application available to iPhone and iPod Touch users in Canada and the United States. Poynt is also available for BlackBerry  smartphones on BlackBerry® App World, for Android devices on the Android Market or via Over the Air download at m.poynt.com.