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Starting March 26, Walmart will be accepting trade-ins for used games in over 3,100 store locations. The new trade program works much like GameStop’s – a customer brings in their pre-owned games and accessories and the cashier checks them for damage. The customer is given a trade-in value that they can choose to accept. Trade-in credit will be given in store credit only that can be used at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.

Later in the year, once Walmart’s stock of pre-owned games grows, they plan to roll out used games to sell in stores. Unlike GameStop, all pre-owned merchandise will be refurbished before hitting the shelves. Also, unlike GameStop, Walmart is providing a game value calculator online so you can have an estimate on what your games are worth before you go to the store.

Walmart customers can already trade in tablets and smart phones towards new products. Online, you can trade in a larger variety of electronics.

Could Walmart give GameStop a run for their money? The vast majority of GameStop’s profit comes from buying used games off customers at a low price and selling them for over twice their trade-in value. When you trade your games in at GameStop, you’re really limited on what you can spend your store credit on. At Walmart, you could trade games towards groceries or even a new TV.

Would you trade in your games at Walmart? What would you get with your store credit?

8-Bit Salute Boxes Filled

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Operation Supply Drop Long Logo 2014

On May 17th and 18th from 9am to 9am, Naughty Dog, Wargaming America, Rooster Teeth, and ASTRO Gaming are teaming up for a great cause!  The charity they’ll be helping out is Operation Supply Drop.

Operation Supply Drop’s mission is:

“Operation Supply Drop (OSD) is a military gaming 501(c)(3) charity designed to build video game filled care packages for soldiers (America and Her Allies) both deployed forward to combat zones as well as those recovering in military hospitals.”

This event will be used to raise funds for video game care packages for soldiers in Afghanistan and recovery centers across the United States.  It will be a 24-hour non-stop gaming marathon which OSD dubs as an 8-Bit Salute.

It’s always great to see companies and people coming together for such a great cause.

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Operation Supply Drop was created by Captain Stephen Machuga in 2010 and has since raised approximately $700,000 and served 2,500 soldiers.

Here is a video to show what OSD is all about:

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To register or donate to this cause or just simply want to find out more about OSD, go here.

Source: Operation Supply Drop official website, The Bohle Company

Sony PS4 Gold Headset

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Sony PS4 Gold Headset

Sony announced on their blog on February 3, 2014 their new Gold Wireless Stereo Headset.  The headset will retail at $99.99 (MSRP).  No set date has been given for when we will see this on the market, though Sony said it will be released early this month.

The specs for this headset are 7.1 virtual surround sound, a noise cancelling microphone, and custom audio settings for the different PS4 games.  The cable is a 3.5mm audio cable.

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The headset is compatible with the PS4, the PS3, the PS Vita, computers, and mobile devices.  There will also be a free Headset Companion app coming to the PlayStation store some time this month.

You can watch Sony’s video on the new headset below.

Source:  PlayStation Blog

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Sigh. That’s all I can really do after watching the VGX, formally known as the Video Game Awards or VGAs, just let out one big sigh. The VGAs have been getting flack for years about not being about games or the gamers. So when the announce came of a changed format meant to focus on just that, the games, we were excited for the change. I never thought the awards show in the past was particularly good or bad. For me it was the middle of the road, trying to pander to non gamers and gamers alike. So I was looking forward to the change in format. What we got was a 3 hour show full of awkwardness, terrible jokes, and host who made you clamor for the old Ubisoft E3 presentation with Mr. Caffeine.

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Before diving into what made the show bad, let’s talk about the good. We got some decent premieres for trailers and a couple surprises that actually surprised me. The highlight for me was The Division Snowdrop Engine trailer. All the trailer showed was in game footage, but not of gameplay. This was of the environment, the lighting, and the weather effects. And it all looked phenomenal. Maybe the first game that actually looks next gen, this game is gorgeous. Other trailers we got to see were Titanfall showing off two new Titan classes, The Witcher 3, Destiny, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, and a brand new IP called No Man’s Sky just to say a few. No Man’s Sky stole the show by actually being able to be kept secret. Most everything else we knew we would see but no one saw this coming. It looks interesting as a sprawling space adventure. I need to see more but I am interested in it. We will post an article of all the trailers and demos shown on the show.

That’s really all I can say for the good. Now for the bad and the ugly. This show was really awkward. Moving from a live audience to no audience to focus more on the games seemed like a way to make it more intimate and game centric. The only thing it really did was making it uncomfortable when someone would accept an award only to be met with complete silence when usually an audience would congratulate them. Also, the lack of an audience makes terrible jokes even more apparent of how terrible they are, but more on that in a bit. Through all the cringing and boredom, I actually felt bad for the people accepting awards in person, they looked like they couldn’t run out of there quick enough.

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And can we talk about awards for a minute? For a three hour show that changed their format to focus more on the games, how is it that you only cover half of your own rewards, if that? Not even the quick, “Oh hey we are short on time so these people one this.” They outright ignored and never spoke about certain awards. It’s weird to see who one best Xbox game and best shooter, and not even mention who won best PlayStation or Nintendo game, or other categories like best handheld or RPG. They had more than enough time to cover all the awards if the really wanted to. At the very least, they could have pretended to treat every console equally and shown the best of for them instead of focusing so heavily on Xbox in the week leading up to the show and in the show itself. The VGAs have always been treated like companies pay for the awards. How VGX only really talked about Xbox really doesn’t help that image.

Nintendo was talked about briefly with its first appearance on the program.  Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aime came on to present Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze for the Wii U.  What followed was a very awkward showcasing. Reggie could barely get in any words before being interrupted with terrible jokes and accusations about not presenting a different game. I admit that I was hoping and would have preferred something like Super Smash Bros. or a new Legend of Zelda game or even a Metroid game, but for a host to actually act like that wasn’t enough for you is just rude and unprofessional. Whatever you may feel for Nintendo, as a “gaming journalist” you should at least pretend to be professional when you are actually interviewing them.

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And now we get to the biggest rotten egg of the night, cohost Joel McHale. Joel was… well, he was Joel. Pretty much the same as when he host The Soup on E! But there is a problem with that; on The Soup he is making fun of celebrities and dumb TV moments, here he was making fun of the targeted audience of the VGX, the gamers. And not in the way of, “Oh these are dumb things we gamers know is stupid but some people still do.” No this was the, “I’m better than you and I will talk down to all of you” way. Half of the time he just looked bored and not wanting to be there, the other half he wouldn’t shut up and kept interrupting the developers who were trying to talk about there games. It was a bad choice to pick him, one that may go down as the next Mr. Caffeine debacle. Some argue that awkwardness is funny and therefore it was a good show, but this was just bad.

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Last but not least we have the GTA music concert, which took up about 30 minutes. Choosing the Loiter Squad to host that section of the show was another terrible choice. They make their living on off the wall weird awkwardness so I suppose they fit right in, but it didn’t help the show. Coupled with a lazy concert and a lack luster crowd who looked like they were dragged into the concert by force makes for a bad show.

All in all, the newly reinvented VGX got off on the wrong foot. Instead of trying to appease to the gaming community, it seemed like they just chased them away. The VGAs always had a cloud hovering over them of not really being about the games or the gamer, and those clouds turned into a hurricane. If this is what they think the gaming community wants they are sadly mistaken. We did get to see some good trailers and new games, but that wasn’t enough to save this train wreck. If there is any silver lining is that they can only improve from this. At least, I can’t imagine them getting any worse. Hopefully next year will be better, and you know there will be a next year. But for now, VGX was just bad. A little good, mostly bad, and ugly.

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SonyLogo11Afternoon Fellow Otaku!

Akodo here, Senior Editor/Writer on the site. So who wants a 30 day PlayStation+ trial! I have five to give away from the amazing people over Sony. I need you all to do 3 things for me:

1) Follow us on Twitter @realotakugamer (https://twitter.com/realotakugamer)

2) ‘Like’ Real Otaku Gamer on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheRealOtakuGamer)

And 3) Leave a comment below to be entered in the contest.

Its that simple! Five people, will be randomly selected. Must have valid US PlayStation Network ID to claim your prize. Winner will be chosen September 2nd.

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Today we are diving into an artistic dream world, in a fast paced arcade puzzle adventure! Echoes is playable on PS3, PSP and Vita. These are called Minis, simple yet very entertaining. The game is created by Indie game developer Halfbrick. Echoes is an old version of you, every time you collect a crystal in the game, you create an Echo that traces your path back and forth. The point of the game is to collect the selected amount of Crystals every round.

The game presents you with a more and more difficult challenge as you progress. Echoes also features different powers that help you thought the game, such as hourglasses that stop time. The game starts you with 3 life’s,  although you may lose a few life’s hitting your own Echoes, you eventually do get life’s in some of the stages.

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The game also comes with different modes to keep the game fresh. The game includes Arcade mode, Jackpot mode, Survival mode and clock work. These are modes are unlocked the further you progress in the game. Jackpot mode gives you about a minute to grab as many crystals as possible while avoiding your own Echoes. Survival mode, starts you off with 10 seconds,you then set off pulses ( crystals that eliminate echoes). The point in this mode is to get the highest score possible. Clockwork allows to move your Echoes forward and back with the trigger buttons.

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The game is really fun, especially for the price. At last check it was going for $2.99 and remember it is a PS Mini, meaning that this game be played on most of you Playstation handheld devices. Great game, HalfBrick did a great job to make such a simple artistic looking game very entertaining.

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5aa5523c828151b4_Sony-Playstation-4_1The Sony Conference event, started off light, and on time, with an cavalcade of the history of PlayStation brand through the years; from the PlayStation to the current generation, PlayStation 3. Everything was intermingled with the Dual Shock controller, being focused at some point and other PlayStation item as well. But within the first few seconds after the MC or main presenter, Andrew House began, he announced that Sony is indeed bringing the PlayStation 4, with the release window of Fall of this year. As he continued to speak, he talked about how the developer as well as the consumer is the focal point of the PS4. He additionally wanted it to be known, that the PS4 would be an central hub for all entertainment purposes for next generation.

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The specs of the PS4 have definitely come back down to earth, from the cell processors and its raw power to a more easily programmable, but still power X86 CPU and an Advanced GPU, which easily allows 1st & 3rd party developers to get the most out of it. Sony is additionally giving, what all developers wanted, 8GB of unified memory and a supercharged architecture, again, which is catering to the developers, since Sony learned from previous PS3 development, and the grips most developers, that weren’t 1st party had to deal with. And from the out of the gate, a larger internal storage, which will come in handy with what will be explained next.


Sony has completed an massive infrastructure of involving mobile devices and primarily the Vita as the on the go version of the PS4, with turning your PS4 into a server of sorts. With the mention of the Vita, the games from your PS4 with the of Gaikai Cloud computing, which was acquired by Sony last year, is allowing for your catalogue to be on the go with you, mainly with the Vita but with other devices as well. With the Vita on the go, being more integral than before, it was shown by transferring, a new game for the PS4, called Knack, to the Vita as it was played, without missing a beat or any downgrade of graphics to the Vita’s clearly smaller screen. Also, Knack, slightly reminds me of the 360 launch game called Kameo, but that may just be me.

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Next, is the new PS4 controller, which is simply called Dual Shock 4, its almost the same design as before, but with a touchpad where the Sony logo and Start & Select buttons were on the Dual 3. This gives the controller, a look of being a bit heavier, but it’s one of those things, people were saying the Dual 3 was too small, and cumbersome. With the touchpad comes, the integrated share button, right on the controller. It looks to be out of the way from accidental sharing, but convenient. Also, the light on the front of the controller, is continuously sending information to an almost Kinect like device, which is a stereo camera, which will track the controller as your playing.

The Share button takes me into the complete social integration as well other steps Sony is taking to further advance the PS4, with 5 words, each explaining the functionality of the PS4. First was Simple. Allowing for developers, be it, big companies or Indies to develop more easily for the PS4, and for the consumer to simply share and gain games for their PS4, more easily than ever before. Second, was Immediate. This was explained in the way of, a second chip, specifically, for background downloads, updates while playing a game either online or offline. Also, allowing for almost immediate, see what I did there, pick up and play from a suspended state of the game, even when its turned off. Third was Social. This is the heavy integration of the Share button.

PS4-1The PS4 will be partnered with Facebook and Ustream, to allow for a better PSN profile, almost Facebook like, but Sony tailored. Also, with the Ustream and Gaikai, you can stream gameplay or upload screenshots or bits of gameplay directly to Facebook and other social media, and allow for immediate access by your friends on the media site as well as, your PSN friends, all the while retaining your anonymity, if you want. With the ability to stream, you or your friends can sit in on one another, if the person allows it, to watch them play, or even “pass the controls onto them” for help if need be. Also you can leave comments while they’re playing, be it helpful or even trash talk. Fourth was Integrate, allowing for the consumer to continuously, regardless of location or device do almost anything with the PS4. Finally was Personalization. This feature, is like smart shopping where, over time collected data from your purchases, from the PlayStation Store, or actual disk, and give you games and content, already fully downloaded to your PS4, and you’ll have to do is hit the buy button.

Moving back to Gaikai, Dave Perry, mentioned that, over time, the PS4 will have the catalogues of the PS1, 2, and 3, able to play digitally on the PS4, with the use of its technology. Also, with the service, they are adding, the Free to Try ability, giving the consumer, the ability to play actual full games, not a shortened version or a downgraded version, and buy at any point and time during that trial, and all without hassle.

LB_0788_large_verge_medium_landscapeAfter the beginning, they began to show games, videos, and live demos, from both 1st party and 3rd party. First up was Guerilla Games, with live gameplay of Killzone: Shadow Fall. The game is brighter than previous versions, and looks amazing. Next was Evolution Games, game Drive Club, a team based driving game about challenging the World as a team or Club, with a heavy integration in mobile devices for the challenges. Next, was Sucker Punch, bringing us back to the world of Infamous, the game calling Infamous: Second Son, and I was giddy with joy over this announcement, and I can’t wait. After which, Braid developers, Jonathan Blow, with the next game for the PS4 at launch, with The Witness, this has 25hrs of unique puzzles, and the music amazing with a Celtic feel.

Quantic Dream, creators of amazing Heavy Rain, showcased its pushing of the PS4 with a live demo of rendering facial and eye design and emotions with amazing lighting and textures, and small nuances. Media Molecule, the creators of Little Big Planet, shows full use of the Move with an sculpting and allowing your dreams to be created. This gave way to a recorded live performance of a show featuring “puppeteers” of a musical performance. With that, House mentioned that it had full support from, almost, if not, every major 3rd party developer for the PS4.

watch-dogs-logo1Capcom, with Yoshinori Ono, showing a gaming engine code named Panta Rhel, built specifically for the PS4 and a game being developed in conjunction with Panta, called, Deep Down (Working Title), showing beautiful lighting, character models, and amazing action, that seemed to be what real time action will be. Square Enix, showed the tech demo running the Luminous Engine by Hashimoto Yoshihisa, and the other Hashimoto, Shinji saying a new Final Fantasy title is in opening stages of development and more information released at E3. Ubisoft Montreal, showing an live demo of Watch Dogs running on the PS4. And the game looks amazing, and can’t wait till I get my hands on it. Blizzard, with Chris Metzen, announced that Diablo 3 will be coming to both the PS3 & PS4. And finally, the last announcement was from Activision’s Eric Hershberg, bringing Bungie’s new IP Destiny, to the PS4 as well as, the PS3, with exclusive content to the Sony family. All gameplay trailers, demos and videos will be on our site as well.

Sony came out hard hitting in this press conference. Showcasing that they have learned from their previous mistakes in the current generation, and looking forward to showing why Sony’s PlayStation was always a bright star, and not a waning one, as they were saying Sony was. Sony, came out saying, contest us now Microsoft, we will see you on the field of battle come this console launch. And Sony certainly means business, this generation.Ps4Holiday2013-610

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“Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted.” The contradictory maxim of the Assassins Order’s creed; I will try to give you everything that, I believe is the truth about the Series in my eyes. But there will be things that contradict what I say. That is what the Assassin’s Creed Series embodies through and through. The series burst onto the gaming scene as one of the few video game franchises to gain renown outside of just video games. It encompasses the area of complete franchise with clothing, comics, books, and eventually a movie. Only a few other franchises have done any of this, those being Halo and Gears of War. The franchise has managed multiple stories bound around the ongoing struggle between the Assassin’s and that free will and thinking for humanity against the Templars and that free will should be subjugated and humanity guided behind a veil.

The franchise started in 2007 and introduced us to a pissant of a main character Desmond Miles voiced by the ever so everywhere, Nathan Drake, I mean Nolan North. As he is monitored by Doctor Warren VIdic voiced by Phil Proctor and his assistant, Lucy Stillman, voiced by the amazingly beautiful Kristen Bell. As Abstergo Industries, the modern day Templars, try to find the McGuffins, the Pieces of Eden, that’ll allow them to dominate the World, even though they do already as a Worldwide Enterprise. And the Assassins are smaller, and are trying to prevent them from doing so, with Desmond’s ancestors, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and Ratonhnhaké:ton aka Connor, as the other main characters showing the path to them.
A quick, recap of all five of the main games in the Assassin’s Creed series. Assassin’s Creed is the first, introducing you to the modern protagonist Desmond Miles, and his ancestor via the Animus, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. Altair is disgraced during a mission and busted back down to beginner in the Order, and is tasked with taking down various enemies to humanity. Uncovering the truth leads to both Altair and Desmond further into the conflict of Assassin and Templar. Continuing on, Desmond escaping with the help of Lucy and being united with fellow Assassin’s Rebecca and Shaun. As they dive back into the Animus, you are introduced to another ancestor, hot-head and ladies’ man, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and his goal of revenge against Rodrigo Borgia, which takes him all over Italy battling the Templars and meeting amazing people who are instrumental to the Order. As Ezio is tempered over his journey of revenge, he gains revenge by stealing the Apple from Rodrigo and leaving him broken, and sparking the Assassin’s on the hunt to prevent the World’s destruction from the warnings of Minerva, in the real World. 
Continues with Ezio and the next chapter of the story with the destruction of the Order in Monteriggioni by Pope Alexander VI aka Rodrigo, and his war driven son, Cesare. Ezio survives after witnessing his Uncle dying, and takes the fight to Rome, taking on the Pope and his armies. As you uncover more, the deeper Desmond goes, as Ezio dismantles the Borgia family. As Desmond and company reach the piece seen by Ezio, Desmond is forced to do something unthinkable, kill one of his own, as he falls into a coma afterwards. Additionally, it’s the first game to introduce a well done multiplayer. Revelations ends the trilogy of Ezio, with him older, and much wiser, this time, taking him to Istanbul at the behest of events at the Assassin’s Ancient home of Masyaf. This game serves as bookends for Altair and Ezio stories. As you gain more information on the Doomsday event, with Ezio discovering what Altair wanted to teach those who could reach his vault, and speaking directly to the now awake Desmond. The newest entry of the Assassin’s Creed, starring Ratonhnhaké:ton aka Connor, who begins to be an Assassin for reasons of protecting his people, but is quickly swallowed into the Revolutionary War, where the lines of friend and enemy are blurred. As Desmond and company race to find a way to stop the doomsday clock from striking true, with the help of the First Civilization’s crypt ruins in Upstate New York. This game follows, Connor’s entire life from the start of his mother and father to him being an old man.

 

But as Desmond unlocks their extensive memories, he uncovers the world ending doomsday, of a massive solar flare that will wipe out all of humanity on December 21, 2012. And the Assassin’s now race to both prevent the end of the World, with the help of First Civilization, and Abstergo at the same time. As the story continues to unfold with the most recent release, Assassin’s Creed III. Additionally, check out the review of it here Assassin’s Creed III, at  Real Otaku Gamer.

As for the good that comes from the Assassin’s Creed franchise, its the amazingly well done story. Each game, comic, Facebook game, and book, being necessary and well weaved together

for the whole. Each game is fantastically paced, albeit the first Assassin’s Creed was a little slow, but that was to be expected, with an entirely new IP. Each main character, from Altiar to Ezio to Connor to Desmond, each is developed thoroughly, giving you a look into their past, to see how they changed over time to their present day selves. The games follow the stealth
The bad can range from multiple and heavy to miniscule. I’ll start with the gameplay holes, like the stealth in the series is very very not there. It’s not on the level of fellow Ubisoft game, Splinter Cell, where the shadows are your friends, but more so like Tenchu, get seen in the wrong areas, and start looking for an exit strategy. Additionally, the actual fighting can get repetitive and you can easily from game to game, spam the counter button and never be touched, unless, the story says so. The graphics and draw distances are amazing, but the game will slowly but surely, blur into just a set of color schemes, repeated NPCs, and multiple, non-landmark buildings looking the same. Each game in the series, improves on the last but still fails in what it attempts in the first place. Another gripe about the game is, after about the first day or so of playing any AC game. It turns into a repetitive play, get your hands dirty, dry, and repeat. From the fetch all the feathers, to find all the other random collectibles, fun at first, but it will surely drain you in the long run.action genre, but I would more so call it, stalking action, which fits well for what happens in the story and the gameplay mechanics. Stalk your prey from on high; close behind or within the crowd, to blend in. Speaking of gameplay, the combat is rewarding and visceral, each counter and combo, dealing more death to quickly dispatching multiple opponents and fade back into the crowd. Additionally, the voice acting from the top to the bottom is amazing and well done. Even though at some points, they can seem a little stilted.

Assassin’s Creed is a well done franchise of media, which can come at gamers, in many different forms, each with its own distinct personality. Even though the game on the grand scale is amazing, it does fall short on some of the many things it does in each game. Assassin’s Creed as a franchise, is amazing, and surely will continue on for some time, depending on how Assassin’s Creed III will end and the story of Desmond will play out. But from the looks of it, and the way they merchandise, the Assassins and the Templars will forever be locked in a secret war that humanity will rarely ever see, or hear about

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It’s touchdown time for Sony in Japan, as the company has launched their new portable hardware the Vita to it’s Japanese market. Reports all over had come in stating that their were huge lines that stretched far and wide with people eager to get their hands on the new portable gaming system. Some gamers here in the states went as far as to import the console and be some of the first to experience Sony’s Playstation Vita. With a big lineup of launch titles, many a Japanese audience and early birds were quite pleased at what Sony delivered.

 

By now, most gaming websites are giving tons of praise to the Playstation Vita. The system itself, complete with a  5-inch OLED Multi-Touch Touchscreen, two analog thumb sticks, rear and front cameras, a back touchpad, six-axis motion control,  and WiFi ( and also a 3G model); was enough to impress early reviewers of the portable game console. Some issues have been brought up however, with some customers reporting issues with online support for those playing games online (more for people who imported the Vita) which end up freezing completely. There have also been some reports of some models not turning on even after having been completely charged to maximum power. There are minor issues, but still some issues worth noting.

 

There is still time however for Sony to work out all the kinks and problems that might be popping up with the launch of the first Vita models in Japan, before finally launching Vita here in North America. We’ll have to wait and see what other things Sony can bring to the table with the Playstation Vita. With all the support behind this new hardware, as well as a bunch of games at launch, it’s going to be a very interesting time next year when Vita is released stateside.

 

 

 

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Today is a sad day for many gamers out there. GamePro Magazine will be shutting down completely on December 5th. A spokesman from IDG (International Data Group) had this to say to everyone regarding the matter.

 

“…the ad dollars just weren’t there, and unfortunately layoffs of staff are being implemented. Fans of GamePro online will be able to access the latest games news, reviews, and ‘how-tos’ from the PCWorld editorial team. Visitors to gamepro.com will be redirected to the PCWorld GamePro channel on pcworld.com

 

GamePro has been around since 1989, printing out a new issue of their magazine every month with the latest in video game news and reviews of the most recent blockbuster games. It is a shame that such a magazine is wrapping up after having been involved in the industry for so long. All of us within the video game industry wish all of the staff that worked with GamePro Magazine the best in their future endeavors.

 

 

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