New Apple Products Have the Right Gaming Stuff

2016-09-21-09

Apple is making a bid to attract gaming fans to the more powerful graphics and processing power embedded in its new iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 products.

The iPhone 7, which became available on Friday, features the new A10 Fusion chip — the most powerful ever in a smartphone, according to the company. The CPU fuses two high-performance cores that run twice as fast as the iPhone 6 with much more efficient use of battery power. The phone’s improved graphics performance makes it suitable for more intensive gaming.

In a surprise appearance at the Apple event, Nintendo Creative Fellow Shigeru Miyamoto (pictured above), the legendary game designer behind the Donkey Kong and Super Mario franchises, introduced Super Mario Run — the first mobile version of the iconic game, which will make its debut on iPhone 7.

“We want as many people as possible all around the world to be able to enjoy playing as Mario,” he told the audience through a translator.

Smartphone makers often use mobile games as a way to showcase the latest advances in hardware and performance capabilities, noted Jack Kent, director of operators and mobile media at IHS Markit. However, the jury is still out on how much gaming apps influence new sales.

“A more common hardware feature that drives new smartphone purchases is the camera — which Apple devoted a lot of attention to at its launch event,” Kent told TechNewsWorld.

Game developers likely will have a wait-and-see attitude about writing new apps for the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch, said Lewis Ward, research director for gaming at IDC.

“It’s always a chicken-or-egg issue for third-party developers. The new tech is sexy, and you want to take advantage of the available enhancements,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but the installed base starts off so small that you’d blow a hole in your foot — or at least your P&L statement — if you developed a game that ran on the latest iPhone or Apple Watch.

New Apple Products Have the Right Gaming Stuff

As casual gamers move to mobile, Facebook eyes the hardcore crowd

Blake Soberanis

In May, Facebook announced it would release a downloadable desktop app for games—a new competitor for PC gaming platforms like Steam. And last week, Facebook said it was teaming up with Unity, a popular game development system, to make it easy for Unity developers to release games to the new platform.

If Facebook is looking to expand into the more hardcore PC gaming market while staying relevant on the web, Unity makes sense. The system’s major selling point is that a developer can use it to make one game and distribute it to multiple platforms, including PCs, Macs, consoles, mobile devices–and the web browser as well.

Upon the launch of its new app, Facebook may very well focus on casual games, but the Unity partnership indicates that larger, more traditional PC games could be on the menu as well. Games made with Unity range from simple to highly complex, and many—such as the Kerbal Space Program—have been big hits on Steam, which is the most prominent platform for PC gaming.

As casual gamers move to mobile, Facebook eyes the hardcore crowd

PlayStation Now game streaming is coming to PC

2016.08.24 03

Get ready to play Uncharted on your computer: Sony has revealed that PlayStation Now game streaming is coming to PCs. The company says that PS Now will be available “overseas in parts of Europe soon and will come to North America shortly thereafter.” Sony recommends the following specs if you plan to partake in the service on your desktop:

  • Windows 7 (SP1), 8.1 or 10
  • 3.5 GHz Intel Core i3 or 3.8 GHz AMD A10 or faster
  • 300 MB or more; 2 GB or more of RAM
  • Sound card; USB port

As part of the announcement, Sony also revealed a new wirelss USB adaptor to connect a DualShock 4 controller to a Mac or PC. It’ll be available next month for $24.99.

PS Now — which lets you stream hundreds of PS3 games for $19.99 a month — originally debuted on the PlayStation 4, before expanding to other platforms as well, including non-Sony hardware like Samsung smart TVs. PS Now currently features more than 400 games to stream, and while there’s some filler, that also includes big franchises like Ratchet & Clank, Resident Evil, God of War, and Uncharted.

Today’s news means that it’ll be the first time that the likes of Kratos and Nathan Drake grace a PC in playable form.

PlayStation Now game streaming is coming to PC

Nintendo’s NES Classic Targets Gaming Geezers

2016.07.26 04

Nintendo on Thursday unveiled its latest gaming console: the NES Classic Edition, a mini replica of the original home console that can connect directly to a TV via an HDMI cable.

The system features 30 built-in games from the 8-bit era, including fan favorites such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN and Kirby’s Adventure.

“We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo’s original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place,” said Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America.

“The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers,” he added.

The system, which will be available this fall for US$59.99, will ship with a newly designed NES Classic Controller patterned after the original NES controller. It will include an HDMI cable and an AC adapter.

Additional NES Classic Controllers will be available for $9.99 at the time of launch, and Wii Classic Controllers and Controller Pros also can be used with the NES Classic Edition. However, original NES controllers will not be compatible with the new model.

Nintendo’s NES Classic Targets Gaming Geezers

This phone case turns your phone into a fully-functioning Game Boy

2016.06.17 04

Game Boy fans: rejoice! There’s an amazing new smartphone case that converts your miniature supercomputer into a delightfully retro Nintendo Game Boy handheld.

Hyperkin showcased the first model of its Smart Boy, a phone case that turns Android phones into fully-functioning Game Boys, at E3 2016 this week in Los Angeles (the game industry’s big annual trade show). Hyperkin says the case should work with any Android phone that has a standard micro USB port.

This phone case turns your phone into a fully-functioning Game Boy