Best Global Green Brands 2014

games people play

Sony Powers Up PlayStation and Virtual Reality at E3

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 10, 2014 12:57 PM

E3, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo, is underway in Los Angeles, with one brand already making noise with major announcements: Sony. 

Its presentation, featuring the anticipatory tagline "Greatness Awaits," was both a games extravaganza and consistent attack on Microsoft’s Xbox One. Sony Computer Entertainment president and group CEO Andrew House went out of his way to point out that playing on the PS4 means getting “the highest visual quality” and that games “look better” on the Sony system, according to TIME

Beyond a slew of new and updated games for the PS4, Sony had a few hardware items to show off including PlayStation TV, which is now available in Japan and is coming this fall to North America and Europe.

Essentially a rebranding of Vita TV, the $99 PlayStation TV will "let you play Vita games as well as original PlayStation classics, let you stream games from your PS4 to a second TV and offer access to PlayStation Now, Sony’s PS3 games-streaming service, which Sony says will be available in open beta on the PS4 in the US and Canada beginning July 31.”Continue reading...

games people play

Standing Firm on Mobile Denial, Nintendo Looks to Focus on Health and Fitness

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 5, 2014 06:51 PM

While the rest of the gaming industry scratches its head over why Nintendo chooses to eschew the fast-growing mobile gaming category, Nintendo has instead turned its focus to an almost equally hot industry—health and fitness.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told investors Monday that the company is redefining “entertainment” to include "health."

“We have set health as the theme for our first step and we will try to use our strength as an entertainment company to create unique approaches that expand this business,” Iwata wrote. "What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s quality of life in enjoyable ways.”Continue reading...

games people play

Japan's Edge In Mobile Gaming

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 12, 2013 10:05 AM

Japan is arguably the leader in the psychology of mobile gaming. “In Japan, each downloaded game earns three times the global average on Apple devices and six times the world-wide norm on Android devices, according to an App Annie report out yesterday.  

“Better than any other country, Japan's mobile game makers have cracked the revenue code despite having few world-wide megahits,” says The Wall Street Journal. “The secret: an industry that is constantly experimenting with new ways to master the psychology of mobile payments.”  

Cash from global games has placed Japan ahead of the U.S. in app revenue on phones and tablets overall, and App Annie reports that in October 2012, Japanese gamers spent 30 percent less than U.S. consumers on gaming apps, but this October, it reversed to roughly 30 percent more spent. Continue reading...

games people play

Microsoft’s Xbox One Wins Black Friday Battle Despite Another Marketing Mess-Up

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2013 06:39 PM

Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 were both released in the weeks before Black Friday in the hopes of generating some early holiday sales. But whatever happened ahead of the biggest shopping weekend of the year is now forgotten, as Microsoft's Xbox systems have emerged as the clear winner in console sales. 

According to Escapist Magazine, Xbox One and Xbox 360 accounted for 61 percent of all gaming consoles sold on Black Friday. So where was Sony? The company’s PS3 and PS4 systems were responsible for 30 percent of the sales, but the consoles were also apparently understocked, according to analyst Jon Brelig. "Microsoft's success can be largely attributed to limited availability of the PS4, in addition to Walmart discounting the Xbox 360 down to $99 for Black Friday," he said.

The Black Friday victory may be sweet for Microsoft, but that doesn’t mean the company gets a free PR pass. Microsoft, which has had a few marketing hiccups lately, had to apologize to the gaming public for a marketing coup that many felt was sexist.Continue reading...

games people play

Sony May Reap the Benefits of Microsoft's Broad Xbox One Intentions

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 25, 2013 11:33 AM

Just as holiday ads begin to creep into the collective consciousness earlier and earlier each year, big-ticket items that used to be reserved for release on Black Friday are making an early debut as well. 

This year, that task fell on Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One game consoles. The $399 PS4 lit up cash registers last weekend, selling more than a million consoles in the first 24 hours. The $499 Xbox One, however, went on sale just a week later, and Microsoft execs reported Sunday that its first-day sales surpassed 1 million consoles. 

However, Microsoft isn’t seeing Xbox One, its first new console in eight years, as just another gaming device. Instead, Microsoft would like Xbox One to become the face of home entertainment, particularly TV, for those who own it. "The strategy is really to do two things: to build a best-in-class device for gaming (and) the first really all-in-one entertainment system," Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft senior vice president of interactive entertainment, told USA Today.Continue reading...

games people play

Sony Hits High Point with PS4 Sales, but Brand Still Fights for Relevance in Mobile Gaming Age

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 18, 2013 04:07 PM

Sony scored a hit this weekend when its PlayStation 4 went on sale to the masses, selling over 1 million of the $399 consoles in the first 24 hours. 

But with any major launch, Sony ran into a few problem. "A handful of people have reported issues with their PlayStation 4 systems," Sony said in a statement to IGN. "There have been several problems reported, which leads us to believe there isn't a singular problem that could impact a broader percentage of systems. The number of affected systems represents less than .4 percent of shipped units to date, which is within our expectations for a new product introduction."

The launch is significant for the brand, which hasn't had a new console since it unveiled its PlayStation 3 in 2006—an unprecedented seven-year gap in the tech world. That console only sold 197,000 units in the first month, but the debut of the PlayStation 4 holds much more weight. Sony reported a 25 percent loss in its second quarter due to “the poor performance of its movies and TV shows in the pictures division” and lowered its full-year profit outlook from $509 million to $305 million.Continue reading...

games people play

Monopoly Empire is a Future CEO's Dream—and a Whole Lot of Marketing

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 11, 2013 03:49 PM

Hasbro’s Monopoly board game has partnered with dozens of cities and organizations over the years to create unique editions of the board game. From the Boy Scouts of America and American Idol to the Boston Red Sox and Teaneck Township, New Jersey, the Monopoly brand has gone out of its way to find large, passionate niche audiences that might be interested in throwing around a little fake money.

But the game's latest edition, Monopoly Empire, puts millions of dollars worth of buying power in the hands of players in the form of major brands, including Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Chevrolet. Bearing the tagline "Own the world's top brands," it features 22 brands in total, and even adjusts the game's purpose to fit the big-brand model. Instead of racking up real estate on Park Place, players instead work on covering their Times Square-like billboards with brand logos. The first to do so wins.Continue reading...

games people play

Apps Help Turn Mobile Gaming into Social Good

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 7, 2013 08:02 PM

The Global Gaming Initiative is leveraging popular mobile game genres to "make play purposeful," with its first effort turning high scores into transportation for those in need in Africa.

Sidekick Cycle provides bikes to people in underdeveloped countries through a partnership with World Bicycle Relief. Users can purchase the app in Apple's App Store for $.99 and enjoy the downhill racing game, all the while contributing to the charitable effort. For every 387 games sold, a bike is given to a disadvantaged child. So far, 157,979 bikes are in the field, changing 789,895 lives, according to Mashable.Continue reading...

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