26th July 2011

Kobo Developing HTML5 eReading Web App

koboFollowing recent App Store policy changes imposed by Apple, Kobo has announced that development is underway on an HTML5 eReading web app. With the development of the HTML5 app, Kobo will continue to provide the most optimized experience for iOS users and users on other Kobo platforms.

Kobo is dedicated to an open-platform experience and believes that consumers should have the freedom to read on any device, at anytime, anyplace in the world. With the new HTML5 web app, Kobo remains committed to open solutions and extends eReading capabilities to a platform that can be quickly enhanced and updated with the latest eReading features and functionality. Kobo’s HTML5 app will not replace the company’s existing apps, but extend its read-across-any-device strategy to reach a broader set of users and add additional value for their current customer base.

Over the past weeks, Kobo has worked with Apple to create a solution that would benefit the iOS eReading community within Apple’s new App Store guidelines. Unfortunately, Apple has mandated that Kobo, along with all eBook retailers, substantially change the eReading experience for consumers by removing in-app access to the Kobo store.

Even after modification, Kobo’s hugely popular and heavily downloaded eReading iOS apps continue to offer powerful features in the new 4.5.1 version, from the Reading Life social platform to the app’s industry leading reading experience. Kobo users can continue to use the Kobo app to read existing books in their library, purchase new books from Kobo using any popular web browser and shop from Kobo’s selection of over 2.4 million eBooks – latest New York Times bestsellers, new releases and more. Any books purchased on Kobo.com are automatically updated in the iPhone or iPad Kobo app.

This change does not affect Kobo’s other free eReading apps, all of which retain the integrated eReading and in-app Kobo Store access. Kobo’s move to provide an HTML5 web app will offer additional convenience to consumers and deliver a rich and seamless experience to Kobo app users across platforms, including Android, RIM and HP WebOS.

“Kobo believes in providing an open platform for users, and our HTML5 development will support the company’s current app strategy to reach a broader base of users worldwide,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. “HTML5 allows us to add more features and update our popular Reading Life social experience far more quickly, providing an agile method to deliver advanced enhancements to consumers without limitation.”

Kobo continues to innovate, and the HTML5 app development will let Kobo users enjoy the best eReading experience worldwide, allowing consumers to read, browse, shop and share on dedicated eReaders, smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktop computers. Kobo’s HTML5 web-based app will continue to offer the company’s popular, industry-leading features to readers around the world, as well as quick and easy access to Kobo’s massive eBook store of over 2.4 million titles. Kobo expects to launch the new HTML5 web app later this year.

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26th July 2011

NBA Jam First Look Video Trailer

EA SportsEA Sports has released a first look video for the upcoming NBA Jam On Fire Edition, currently in development at EA Canada. NBA JAM: On Fire Edition will change the way players play this NBA Jam On Fire Editioniconic franchise. All your favorite moves, spins and dunks are still available but now the game includes a host of gameplay improvements.

NBA JAM: On Fire Edition brings you even more to this basketball arcade classic.  Enhanced gameplay, ground breaking artificial intelligence and exciting online features continue to bring countless hours of enjoyment to this over-the-top experience.  The game will be available via digital download from Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network this October.

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  • Enhanced Gameplay — In addition to vast improvements to the core experience and more variety across the board, NBA JAM: On Fire Edition will include a Tag Mode where gamers can swamp players on the fly, Team Fire – the ability to ignite your entire team and Razzle Dazzle – special style moves that allow players to creatively express themselves in the midst of gameplay.
  • Using the groundbreaking AI system from the Fight Night series, NBA JAM: On Fire Edition will feature more organic play giving gamers a less robotic and more real gameplay experience.  AI behavior will be based on Archetypes – Big Man, Forward, All-Rounder, Shooting Guard and Point Guard.  In addition, at any given time gamers have the option of playing against their own AI for the ultimate challenge.
  • He’s Back!  – Boomshakalaka!  Legendary Tim Kitzrow is back and bringing more unforgettable calls for NBA JAM: On Fire Edition!
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26th July 2011

Ezio Embarks On A New Tale With Embers

ubisoftUbisoft® has introduced Assassin’s Creed Embers, a new computer-generated animated short movie that will ship when Assassin’s Creed® Revelations hits store shelves on November 15th. Assassin’s Creed Embers expands on the final chapter of the life of master assassin Ezio Auditore and a journey that has spanned more than four decades.

The animated short, developed by UbiWorkshop, will be available with the Assassin’s Creed Revelations Signature Edition at GameStop for pre-order, and for download on Xbox LIVE® Marketplace for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and on PlayStation®Network.

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21st July 2011

Ubisoft Unveils Rocksmith

ubisoftUbisoft will redefine music gaming with the release of Rocksmith in October 2011. Rocksmith is the first and only music video game where players can plug into any electric guitar. Every copy of the game will include a Rocksmith™ Real Tone Cable, a standard quarter-inch to USB cable allowing guitars to be played through an Xbox 360®, a PlayStation®3 or a PC for the first time. Players can access an in-depth library of music including everything from the latest hits to classic rock songs.

Rocksmith features gameplay that automatically adjusts to the player’s skill level, mini-games to help hone specific skills, a split-screen multiplayer option, and a first-person perspective that puts the player on stage. Rocksmith will feature a huge variety of in-game effects pedals that allow users to customize and reproduce their favourite tones. Its innovative game design makes reading music visually fun and intuitive. The game includes a sizable catalogue of music from classic rock bands such as The Animals, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, to current artists like The Black Keys and Interpol.

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“Canadian music and game lovers can be among the first in the world to try out Rocksmith at select, high profile music events this summer,” says Lucile Bousquet, Director of Marketing and Communications for Ubisoft Canada. “Rocksmith not only engages experienced musicians, it’s also exciting for those who are playing a guitar for the very first time.”

Canadians are invited to pick up a guitar and try out Rocksmith at official Rocksmith Rehearsal Studios across the country, which are designed to look and feel like an authentic garage-style rehearsal studio space. The Rocksmith Rehearsal studios will be located at some of the country’s biggest rock music festivals including:

  • Heavy TO in Toronto: July 23-24
  • Osheaga Music and Arts Festival in Montreal: July 29-31
  • Sonic Boom in Edmonton: September 3
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21st July 2011

Pre-Order Your Special Editions of Star Wars The Old Republic

BiowareThe start of your personal Star Wars™ saga grows ever nearer, and now BioWare has revealed three editions of Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, each custom-designed to delight RPG and Star Wars fans worldwide. The Star Wars: The Old Republic Collector’s Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition and Standard Edition are available for pre-order today at participating retailers (some conditions apply), with digital versions available exclusively at Origin™. Upon pre-order, players will be granted a redemption code that will unlock early game access as well as an in-game color stone to change your weapon effect. Note that pre-order quantities are limited, they will be processed in the order in which they were received, and Early Game Access will only be available to those who pre-order the game and redeem their code before the game’s official release.

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been honored with over 95 industry awards and accolades from game critics worldwide and continues to be one of the most anticipated launches of 2011. The game innovates and advances the MMO genre by emphasizing story as a key pillar of the experience – a proven strength of BioWare and Lucasfilm. As anticipation grows, BioWare also announced today that Star Wars: The Old Republic will open “Beta Test Weekends” starting this September. These weekend play sessions will be open to selected players worldwide and create an opportunity for fans to get a sneak peek of the epic stories, worlds, quests, battles and characters in the game.  Read the rest of this entry »

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20th July 2011

Goldtooth Creative Jacks Up San Diego Comic-Con With Prototype 2 Trailer Debut

Goldtooth CreativeGoldtooth Creative once again proves itself a force to be reckoned with as its cutting edge trailer for the highly anticipated sequel to 2009’s top-selling game from Activision Publishing and Radical Entertainment, PROTOTYPE® 2 debuts today at San Diego Comic-Con International 2011.Radical Entertainment

The first entry in PROTOTYPE 2’s three-part CG trilogy, which are behind age-gates on the Prototype 2 site, is titled “Homecoming,” displays the slick editing and breathtaking visuals for which the Vancouver-based creative agency and full-service production studio is quickly becoming known.

Director Paul Furminger and the Goldtooth crew worked tirelessly to build a captivating trailer that introduces gamers to the post-outbreak world inhabited by James Heller, PROTOTYPE 2’s all-new protagonist, and it offers a sneak peek at what’s to come as Blackwatch Special Forces continue the struggle to contain and control the outbreak of the Blacklight virus.prototype 2

Artists at Goldtooth produced all the visuals for the trailer, including animation, lighting, effects, and compositing, and used all the latest technical tools in their arsenal—including motion capture, game capture, facial performance capture, CG and intense live action shoots—to achieve the look and feel of a feature film that hints at the epic showdown looming between Heller and Alex Mercer, the protagonist of the original game.

The sequel to Radical Entertainment’s best-selling open-world action game of 2009, PROTOTYPE 2 takes the unsurpassed carnage of the original PROTOTYPE and continues the experience of becoming the ultimate shape-shifting weapon. PROTOTYPE 2 is currently in development for Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

As the latest project in the ongoing collaborative relationship between Goldtooth and Activision, the first trailer for PROTOYPE 2 demonstrates Goldtooth’s continued dedication to captivating story-telling and technical excellence. For the original PROTOTYPE game, Goldtooth created multiple trailers and provided creative direction on story cinematics; Furminger directed the ‘Web of Intrigue’ in-game cinematics for the first game.

Activision and Radical have also confirmed the release date for PROTOTYPE 2. The shape-shifting title will be on stores shelves April 24, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC. You can get your pre-orders in at several retailers – I already have mine in.

“We know our fans have been clamoring to find out when they would be able to get their hands-on PROTOTYPE 2, and the whole studio is excited that we can finally reveal the timing,” said Ken Rosman, Studio Head, Radical Entertainment.  ”We’re also thrilled to be at the point where we can show the game directly to our fans.  It’s always rewarding to see those first time reactions to what we’ve been working on for the past couple years, and we can’t wait for them to see some of Sgt. James Heller’s amazing new shape-shifting abilities at San Diego Comic-Con.”

Show goers attending ‘The Con’ will have the opportunity to check out PROTOTYPE 2′s signature crazy, over-the-top, shape-shifting action during 15-minute live stage presentations held throughout each day.  Fans who come by the Activision booth to check out the game can enter a raffle for a chance to win a limited edition, custom leather jacket modeled after the one Sgt. James Heller wears in the game; or a Alex Mercer one of a kind, custom skinned Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.  Additionally, the team from Radical will be on-site handing out assorted PROTOTYPE 2 themed goodies, including t-shirts, posters, giant foam Heller Blade Arms and more! < not fair! :(

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14th July 2011

DeathSpank Goes For A Full Bacon Breakfast with The Nuclear Family

Hothead GamesVancouver indie Games developer Hothead Games has released some exciting character details and screenshots from the anticipated summer title that fans have been salivating over. The Baconing, The Baconing Forest of Tomorrowwhere the endearingly egotistical DeathSpank faces an assortment of terrifying new enemies will be released on PC, Mac, and other platforms this summer.

Fortunately for our naively intrepid hero, he finds help in the Forest of Tomorrow from an unlikely group of adventuring scientists. The Nuclear Family is a group of rather socially dysfunctional mad geniuses who push the boundaries of science within their laboratory-esque arboretum. Truly – what other type of scientists could one expect to find in DeathSpank’s wonderful world of whackiness?

Motherly Betty Nuclear stays home and has perfected the science of cooking and cleaning while her The Baconing Nuclear Familyhusband, Dick Nuclear, spends his time at the “Pleasuretorium” creating robots to help cure the ills of society through full body sensual massage.  Meanwhile, their brilliant son Elroy keeps busy with his attempts to clone a two-headed dog to call his own, and his sister Chastity entertains herself by constructing a boyfriend out of ‘spare parts’ dug up from a graveyard.

In order to gain access to the Fire of Bacon, DeathSpank must reunite this frenetic family.  Of course, it’s never as simple as that: each family member has a tendency to explode when agitated, and that tendency grows when in the vicinity of their fellow Nuclears.  But if he ever wishes to get one step closer to facing off against the villainous AntiSpank, whose very presence threatens everything he stands for, DeathSpank must find a way.

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14th July 2011

New And Noteworthy From XMG Studio

xmg studioToronto’s XMG Studio has been very busy lately. The studio recently joined forces with toy manufacturer Spin Master Ltd. to deliver innovative mobile gaming to the newly announced App Blaster. The collaboration is bringing a new dimension of realism to spin mastershooter games everywhere, giving users a truly unique way to interact with their favourite XMG sniper game, Marine Sharpshooter, which is currently being optimized for the App Blaster. With over 5 million unique downloads, Sharpshooter has become one of the most popular sniping games, making it a perfect fit for the peripheral.

“Working with Spin Master on this has been really exciting”, says Ray Sharma, Founder and CEO of XMG Marine SharpShooterStudio. “It’s a great opportunity to really expand the expectations of what people consider to be traditional mobile gaming.”

This partnership marks a major strategic alliance of these leaders in their respective industries. The concept of combining an out-of-game experience with an in-game effect and using an interactive, real world object is extremely cutting-edge. The App Blaster will revolutionize the way future first person shooter games for mobile devices are played – less button mashing, more strategic aiming. Now, with the innovative toy-making and consumer expertise of Spin Master, coupled with the mobile gaming savvy of XMG Studio, sniper-fans everywhere can have something incredible to look forward to with a far more intense game-play experience, bringing them closer than ever to the skill and precision of the real thing.

“What we have here with App Blaster is very cool and very innovative,” says Dave Colebrook, VP Marketing at Spin Master.  “Gamers haven’t yet seen this type of gaming, so we’re glad to be working with such a company as XMG to bring this to concept to life.  This is just the beginning of this kind of interactive gaming.”

In addition to some awesome updates to one my favourite game titles, Cow vs Aliens, XMG Studio has also recently two great new games in Apple’s App Store that you might be interested in checking out.

Degrassi: A story-driven game based on the hit TV series, it has already reached a degrassi#1 ranking in the App Store’s “Role Playing” category. As their first days of school unfold, players make important decisions, engage in meaningful conversations and play their way through classes, all in the ever-familiar locations of Degrassi. The player is free to forge his or her own pathway through the game, ultimately resulting in a different ending depending on which choices were made. Degrassi is the most watched drama on MuchMusic in Canada, and highly rated on TeenNick in the U.S. It’s an interactive role playing game that allows the user to build and maintain relationships with familiar characters from the popular TV series.

Louisville Slugger Homerun Challenge: There are plenty of baseball games, and even some home run derby apps, but Louisville Slugger distinguishes itself in a few ways in that it’s extremely accessible with simple, responsive swipe controls. The game has crisp hand-drawn artwork, multiple game modes, stadiums, and Louisville Slugger bats modeled after original Louisville Slugger models. (published by our partner mLamb Productions)

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13th July 2011

A Space Shooter By Frima Coming To iOS

frima studioFrima Studios has been traced as the source of this cryptic message that has been transmitted across the gaming universe today:

“Attention people of Earth! It is I, Commander P Jefferson, sending this message from the future to a space shooter for free boss fightalert you that the galaxy is finally safe from alien scum. How did it become safe, you ask? Well, because I kicked their ugly alien butts!

On July 28, you will be able to recreate my epic battles with the forces of evil (a.k.a. anything that isn’t human) by downloading A Space Shooter for Free!, an exciting shooter that takes place in—wait for it—space! I bet you humans from the past are neither smart nor handsome enough to grasp that concept. A Space Shooter for Free! costs nothing to try and features an infinite supply of aliens to obliterate. The big ASS version, with more special weapons, more bosses and more power-ups can be unlocked in-game for only $0.99.

Within this epic and critically acclaimed game, previously available for the PSP, yours truly will yet again demonstrate how to kill aliens dead by blowing up their ships, earning loot to upgrade the USS Eradicator, and blasting even more aliens dead.”

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13th July 2011

Book4Time Selects TripCraft As Mobile Development Partner

book4timeReservations Software provider Book4Time, Inc. has named US company TripCraft as its mobile development partner, announcing the launch of powerful mobile solutions for both consumers and spa operators later this year. This partnership provides Book4Time customers with world-class mobile capabilities on the TripCraft platform, seamlessly integrated into Book4time’s leading cloud-based spa solutions. Book4Time currently operates in 16 countries, with many of the leading international spa brands utilizing its robust platform.

“We’re excited to launch both consumer and business mobile solutions for our clients, extending our industry leading cloud-based spa software offering into mobile commerce,” remarked Roger Sholanki, CEO of Book4Time. “Leading the industry with the first web-based spa software platform and processing the first real-time online spa reservation, mobile solutions provide a new landscape to continue our innovation and market leadership.”

“This partnership with Book4time is incredibly exciting. We believe our mobile capabilities paired with Book4time’s robust spa solutions makes a powerful offering for spa operators looking to engage guests in new and compelling ways,” says Mike Murray, Co-Founder of TripCraft.

Book4Time’s web-based spa management system has completed over 20 million real-time spa appointments and currently averages over 500,000 appointments every month, peaking at nearly 40% coming from Book4Time’s reservation portals.

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