“Holy App” mayhem for Ipad 2 release

By Celeste Carrigan

Apple's Latest Gadget the Ipad2 Source: Apple

It is a gadget filled weekend with the release of the Nintendo 3DS and the Apple Ipad 2.

Thousands of people began queuing last night to get their hands on two of the biggest gaming gadgets as they battle it out for sales. Nintendo 3DS had a midnight launch with thousands queuing outside shops nationwide.  London’s Oxford HMV store held the official launch of the Nintendo 3DS with Plan B playing for the crowds. [Read more...]

Gamers spoiled for choice this Christmas

by Andrew Donaldson

Around a dozen new titles are flooding the market on Friday, as the video game industry prepares itself for the Christmas shopping period.

With the big day only around five weeks away, many of the industry’s biggest hitters see this week as the perfect opportunity to release their flagship games.

Top of the pile is New Super Mario Bros Wii.

Nintendo’s first 2-D Mario game on a home console since 1992 is a safe bet to top the sales charts come Christmas Day.

Meanwhile, for the sport fans out there, the Wii versions of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 and Formula 1 2009 are also available from today.

But if Nintendo isn’t your thing, or you’re looking for something with a little more action, don’t worry.

Xbox 360 owners can at last get their hands on Valve’s long awaited first-person-shooter, Left 4 Dead 2 – exclusive to Microsoft’s system.

Another much anticipated sequel, Assassin’s Creed 2 from Ubisoft Montreal, is also available to pick up from today, on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

Also among today’s pile of releases on PS3 and 360 are Lego Indiana Jones 2, Dragon Age: Origins and Konami’s video game adaptation of the Saw movie franchise.

For those who prefer to do their gaming on the move however, today sees the unveiling of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky for Nintendo DS.

What will be in his stocking come the 25th?

But which game will prevail as the Christmas number one?

A spokesperson for the high-street retailer, Game, said: “So far we’re selling more copies of Assassin’s Creed 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 than the new Mario game.

“We had a lot of pre-orders for Left 4 Dead 2 and expect it to sell a lot over the next couple of weeks.

“Although we’ve sold a decent number for Lego Indiana Jones, we currently sell it as part of a console bundle, so it’s hard to tell if people are only buying it because it’s part of an offer.”

Is the Traditional Paperback Being Replaced by Technology?

Nintendo, the Japanese video games company, is set to announce a deal with publisher HarperCollins to make literary classics available to view on its handheld console, the Nintendo DS.

The collection of titles available for the tiny Nintendo have been dubbed The 100 Classic Book Collection. As expected this will include works by authors such as Shakespeare and Dickens.

nintendo-ds-liteAlthough the Nintendo has been very successful primarily as a portable games console, selling two million units in Britain, how will it stand up against other e-book competition?  Fellow Japanese giant, Sony, is trying to monoplise the market with The Sony Reader. This £199, Waterstones endorsed product can hold about 160 titles and thousands are available to download from Waterstones’ website.  Online retailer, Amazon, released the kindle in America this year, a product that also offers subscriptions to newspapers.

So will these flash products catch on?  Many readers have stated that ‘the good old book’ can’t be replaced and that the new electronic readers don’t give the same experience and flow. Understandable when the small lcd screens can sometimes only display a few sentences at a time.  The other school of thought hits on the new products’ top selling points; portability, choice and convenience. Nintendo executive James Honeywell said, “When you go on holiday, or if you’re a commuter, lugging around a big paper book can be a bit of an inconvenience. Now you’ve got this whole library that you’re taking with you.”

Nintendo has already paved a way for alternative applications for the DS with ‘games’ such as Brain Training and sudoku and has captured a different type of user from the stereotypical ‘games’ player.  By continuing to provide software for a varied audience and by branching out from staples like Pokemon the DS may well succeed in the book market. The 100 Classic Book Collection goes on sale on December 26.

Traditional book sales don’t seem too affected currently.  Not compared to the impact of mp3 downloads on the sales of hardcopy music. However, in a world of ever increasing technology and peoples’ desire for online conveniences, it has to be acknowledged there is definitely a new kid on the literary block.

by Will Esland

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