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Titanfall K’Nex sets drop in on the US this fall

Now you can own a real-life mech from Titanfall – scaled down and made out of plastic, and with some assembly required. The K’Nex Titanfall line is due out this fall in the US, with six sets including various environments and robots, running from…
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New Nintendo eShop releases: Blok Drop U, NES Open Tournament Golf

This week’s round of eShop releases is more for the retro-heads among you. For starters NES nostalgics can to take to different kinds of green in Adventure Island 2 (3DS) and NES Open Tournament Golf (Wii U), while fans of 1980s anime Mysterious…
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Titanfall gameplay launch trailer prepares you for a mech drop

With Titanfall’s launch just one week away, we feel the only proper course of action is to watch every video for the game that’s in reach. That includes this gameplay launch trailer for the game, which combines an appropriate amount of drama,…
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Analysis – Microsoft’s UK Price Drop And Titanfall Bundle Reveal The Road Ahead

It has been three months since the Xbox One was released in North America and 12 other territories. And while its still too early in the console life cycle to declare a winner, it’s relevant that Sony’s less expensive PlayStation 4 is outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One across the board, including in its two most important territories: North America and the UK.

Microsoft’s decision to lower the price of the Xbox One in the UK and bolster the install base worldwide with an aggressively priced Titanfall bundle offers clues about the console’s future. Lowering the price of a marquee product, especially so soon, is a choice that reveals much about strategy.

On Kinect
Products are traditionally marketed and sold using a number of variables: product, place, promotion, and price. Microsoft and Sony are even on “place,” as you can find both consoles in the same retailers (excluding first-party storefronts like the Microsoft Store). 

The two differ on the other three elements. On product, Microsoft decided to bundle the Kinect with every Xbox One. Whether this was a good decision or not is something we won’t be able to determine until more developers begin integrating the feature into their software.

For Microsoft to continue to justify creating a universal install base for the Kinect, the device must be integrated into game experiences. I use my Kinect every day to turn my console on, access apps, and change television channels. I like having it, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a part of the experience I couldn’t live without.

The most important note about Kinect though, is what a price cut tells us. Price is often the last differentiating factor addressed because it comes with so much baggage. It’s easy to interpret a price drop as a sign of weakness. Beyond that though, this is Microsoft affirming its commitment to Kinect. 

It would be easy for the company to cut the price across the board and lower its production costs by removing the Kinect from the box. The fact that Microsoft is sticking by the included peripheral, even in the face of worldwide adversity, means that you won’t see a SKU without it any time soon.

On other promotional vehicles
Microsoft knew that it had an uphill battle in Europe, which is why it struck a deal with EA. Every Day One edition console in that territory came with a copy of FIFA 14. 

Granted, the converted prices are higher in those countries, and the added value was necessary. The UK price at launch was £429 ($ 712) and €500 ($ 687). However, I believe that not bundling a game in with the North American consoles was a sign of overconfidence.

North America is Microsoft’s home turf and up until right before the Xbox One launch, the company dominated here for 32 months straight. Sony came out swinging with two free PlayStation Plus games and a month of that service in every early PS4 box. 

The PlayStation Plus / Xbox Live Games with Gold divide is enormous, especially as the latter hasn’t made its way to the new hardware yet. Microsoft might not have been in a position where it needed to compete heavily before, but I expect the company to step up Games with Gold soon.

On changing tactics
Microsoft is playing from behind right now. PlayStation 4 is outselling Xbox One (by more than double according to January reports), games are often sporting higher resolution and/or framerate on Sony’s system, and the company is still mending fences with fans following a shaky E3 2013. A price drop is a much different message than Don Mattrick's assertion that Microsoft is "over-delivering value against other choices." 

Essentially giving Titanfall away to new console owners is the first action we’ve seen from Microsoft that it understands it no longer leads the market. Microsoft is beginning to compete in this generation for the first time, and I expect we’ll see a much different approach to Xbox One than before.

Microsoft has a big month ahead. Titanfall isn’t just important because it’s not on PlayStation 4. It’s a crucial test of Xbox Live Compute and the “power of the cloud” we’ve heard so much about. The beta helped generate buzz, struck the right tone thanks to open and frequent communication, and won over numerous skeptics. Now, Microsoft must capitalize on that momentum.

Ultimately, games are what move consoles (as many of our readers reinforced in responses to a Reader Discussion yesterday). Whether it was GTA III on PlayStation 2, Halo on Xbox, or the bundled in Wii Sports for Wii, software drives hardware adoption.

Neither of the new consoles have a legit system seller yet, and Microsoft is banking on Titanfall bringing people to the table. With more exclusives coming on both sides (Infamous: Second Son comes just a week after Titanfall), the console cycle is just getting started and top position at the end of 2014 is still up for grabs.

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Ubisoft sees 35% drop in sales

Ubisoft reported 520 million euros ($ 709.5 million) in sales for the third quarter of the 2013 – 2014 fiscal year, which ended December 31, 2013. The sales represent a 35.2 percent drop year-over-year. Ubisoft reported total sales of 813 million…
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Onslaught drop date confirmed for Call of Duty: Ghosts

It’s official: Call of Duty Ghosts gets its first DLC, Onslaught, on January 28, True to series form, the due date first cropped up on a GameStop display, but Infinity Ward provided official confirmation last night. There’s no confirmation the date …
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Dokuro gets a massive price drop on PSN

Dokuro, an action platforming game by Game Arts and GungHo Online Entertainment on the PlayStation Vita, gets a price drop today on the PlayStation Network.

Released in October 2012 in the United States, Dokuro follows the story of a skeleton working for a dark lord who defects after witnessing a princess being captured. The skeleton helps the princess escape the dark lord’s castle. The game utilizes a chalk-style art to depict characters and backgrounds.

 

Dokuro utilizes a unique and fun chalky-type of artwork.

The North American version of Dokuro can only be purchased digitally via the PlayStation Network. The game originally retailed for $ 13.99, but today its price dropped to $ 2.99.

To find out more about Dokuro, visit http://www.gunghoonline.com/games/dokuro/.

Image credit: http://oyster.ignimgs.com


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Titanfall preparing to drop sooner than you think

Respawn Entertainment today has announced that you won’t have to wait that long to play one of the hottest next gen titles. Titanfall will be released on March 11th for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

In addition to the release date announcement a collectors edition has also been unveiled for a pricey $ 249.99 but features an 18 inch hand crafted Titan.

Here is an image of the collectors edition:

Titanfall is the brainchild of the creators of Call of Duty and was announced at E3 this past June to much fanfare. Here is a video to remind you of what awaits in early March next year.


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FIFA 14 tops UK charts despite 24 percent year-on-year drop

There aren’t many games capable of dethroning Grand Theft Auto 5 as the UK Number 1, but FIFA 14 is definitely one of them. EA’s soccer sim dispossessed GTA 5 as it was always going to do, but Rockstar’s second week sales equate to the 18th biggest if ranked against all first week sales; that’s despite a 83 percent drop from last week.

That gives you an idea of just how big a deal FIFA 14 is, although that’s with a 24 percent drop in first week sales compared to last year’s FIFA 13. Chart Track wagers the money spent on GTA V last week might be a factor, but we suspect FIFA 14 being a freebie with Xbox One Day One pre-orders in Europe has more to do with it.

Other games aren’t stupid enough to take on the FIFA behemoth, especially a week after GTA V came out, so the rest of the charts is pretty quiet. Nonetheless, you can check out the top ten after the break.

Continue reading FIFA 14 tops UK charts despite 24 percent year-on-year drop

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Guns of Icarus Online receives permanent price drop and content update

The team-based steampunk airship combat simulator, Guns of Icarus Online, has received a new content update which introduces a new weapon called the “Hades Light Canon”, and gives you the ability to dye your costume different colors. A full list of patch notes can be found right here.

In addition, the developers have announced that the game is now available to purchase for a price of $ 15, while the Collector’s Edition now comes at a price of $ 20. The Collector’s Edition 4 pack, which includes the game, the soundtrack, a costume pack, and three extra copies, now costs $ 29.99.

Guns of Icarus Online is currently available for PC, Mac, and Linux through Steam, and features team-based PvP airship combat. An open-world version of the title is also currently in the works.


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