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No GravatarAs discovered by Neogaf users , Amazon Japan will now sell and ship games internationally. This only applies to games sold directly by Amazon Japan, no third party sellers or sales fulfilled by Amazon.

Considering that most consoles aside from Nintendo’s are now region free ( and Nintendo has implied that their new system Codenamed NX will not be region locked) this is a great change for importers. Previously these games would have to be acquired via a third party who would often hike up the prices considerably.

To use this, you will need to set the site to English and set up and account ( see below for the site in Japanese and the site with English language enabled)

What do you all think? Will this lead to a new golden age of importing games? Let us know in comments and on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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final two tribes

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Two Tribes has announced via a press release that Rive will be their final game and they will stop developing games after its release. They note they are not closing and will support their partners but are ending game development.

See the full press release below

 

This is it! After more than 15 years of hard work and gallons of blood, sweat and tears, we have decided that RIVE will be Two Tribes’ final game. This may come as a surprise for you, but we’ve actually been thinking about it for some time now

For the last two years, we have been working feverishly to finish RIVE, the shooter/platformer hybrid that we always wanted to make. We have delayed it several times to make it the best experience possible and now that we are nearing the finish line, we can confidently say that RIVE will come out in September 2016!

We also want to make clear that Two Tribes will remain operational. We will continue to support our partners and all gamers out there, we just won’t be making any new games after RIVE.

So what happened?
The industry changed a lot since we started in 2000. Back then, there were maybe a dozen game developers here in The Netherlands. It was extremely difficult to enter the global games industry, as you needed to have a track record and experience. Even if you took a shot, you still had to secure backing from a publisher, since the only way to reach gamers was through physical distribution.

The technological bar was also set very high, as there were no middleware engines available. There were severe hardware limitations and most of today’s sophisticated design tools were non-existent. You basically had to make everything yourself. We felt comfortable working in such an environment, and we actually still cling to this DIY mentality.

The big change happened around 2008, when new technologies and tools allowed developers to make games way more easily and faster. Suddenly, because of digital distribution, small developers were able to create and publish their own games without the help of big publishers. Initially this was great for us, as we were one of the first developers to enter the Steam, WiiWare and iOS markets. Business was good. We were on the shortlists of companies like Nintendo and Valve.

But the situation didn’t last. While we were working on Toki Tori 2+ for two years, the industry was changing without us realizing it. The market was flooded with games by developers from all around the world. Game development schools were erected, and every year thousands of students tried their luck under increasingly difficult conditions. With game changers such as the Humble Bundle, the ever-continuing race to the bottom and a growing focus on free-to-play games, it became tough for a game to even hit the break-even point.

The industry had moved on and we were still stuck in the past. We learned this the hard way, when most of our employees needed to be laid off in 2013. But it would be too easy to solely blame the industry. Perhaps it would be better to blame it on dinosaurs!

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As said, we’ve been working in the games industry since early 2000, making us dinosaurs, old farts, grandfathers or whatever you want to call us. This is great, because we’ve got a lot experience, but it also means that we act like a typical grandfather: slow and totally unaware of what is hot and what is not. Don’t get us wrong: we absolutely love making games, and we strongly feel that we’re good at making them. However, ask us anything about new industry developments, and often a big question mark will appear above our heads.

For example, we are used to working with our own proprietary engine. It’s technology that works great for us, but is by no means competitive with tools like Unity or the Unreal Engine. And then there are monetization strategies like free-to-play. We only know, and feel comfortable working with, the traditional model of full-priced games. The same goes for marketing: we know how to make a decent trailer and send out a press release… but have no clue how to get traction on YouTube and Twitch.

Wrapping up
Long story short (grandfathers like to digress!): when running a company, you need to be on top of your game, not just in terms of the product you’re making, but business-wise too. And we just aren’t on top of the games business anymore. Therefore, it makes sense to focus our attention elsewhere, perhaps even outside the games industry. We simply don’t know yet; but we do know that RIVE is going to be our parting gift to you and we’re making damn sure it’s going to be an awesome one!

Stay tuned for the release in September 2016!

 

Its very sad to hear that a company like Two Tribes will cease game development. What are your favorite games that they developed?

 

See the full statement here

PAX South

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At PAX East earlier this year, it was announced that there would be a PAX South in San Antonio, Texas. PAX South is to be held from January 23 to January 25.

Yesterday, Penny Arcade randomly announced at 1:11 pm via Twitter that PAX South tickets were on sale.  Within 2 hours, 3 day passes sold out.

Fortunately, single day passes are still available for purchase at http://south.paxsite.com/registration.

You can follow Penny Arcade on Twitter at @Official_PAX.

I will be at PAX South. Will you? What did you think of how they informed the public about the tickets being on sale? Let us know in the comments!

trades

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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

No GravatarOperation 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.

8-Bit Salute Boxes Filled

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:

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 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.

Everything in the Headset Box PS4

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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No GravatarSigh. 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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No GravatarSonyLogo11Afternoon 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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No Gravatar5aa5523c828151b4_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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