Apple is Japan’s top consumer brand for the first time

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

The iPad, iPhone and other Apple products have become so popular in Japan that Apple is now Japan’s top consumer brand.

Just three years ago, Apple was barely visible in the #64 spot in Nikkei’s annual brand ranking. Last year, Apple had made it to 11th place, and this year the company skyrocketed to the top of the list. Apple bumped Google from the top spot, which should make Eric Schmidt’s weekend an unhappy one.

The top ten list follows, with last year’s ranking in parentheses:

  1. (11) Apple
  2. (1) Google
  3. (2) Uniqlo
  4. (7) YouTube
  5. (6) Disney
  6. (4) McDonalds
  7. (3) Panasonic
  8. (5) Nissan
  9. (39) Dyson
  10. (9) Rakute

Business respondents put Apple in second place, with Japan’s Toyota in the numero uno position. Not only did Apple make the top brand list as a company, but the iPad and two other products are in the top 40 as individual brands.

Apple is Japan’s top consumer brand for the first time originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition Headed To PC, iPad And Mac OS X

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players


BioWare’s RPG classic will be overhauled on Mac OS X as well as PC, developers confirm.

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition has been confirmed for a new platform – Mac OS X – which joins PC and iPad to take the total number of  versions to three.

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, a new version of the 1998 RPG, will use an updated Infinity Engine and is set to launch this summer, courtesy of the former BioWare employees at Overhaul Games.

“The Enhanced Edition will include a variety of Mac OS X specific features, including widescreen and iCloud support,” reads the BG:EE website.

Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition will require Snow Leopard version 10.6.6 when it hits the Mac App Store.

More Baldur’s Gate on NowGamer:

 

  • Baldur’s Gate Announcement Incoming, Countdown Begins
  • Baldur’s Gate: Latest Website Tease Suggests Dark Elf Homeworld
  • GOG.com Relaunched With Baldur’s Gate

Trials Evolution: Gameplay Reveals Tracks, Multiplayer, Modes

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Games and Players, Microsoft, Xbox

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See XBLA’s fiendish bike-’em-up Trials Evolution in all its glory.

Trials Evolution is headed to XBLA on 18 April for 1200 Microsoft points, and brings more of the type of mayhem experienced in RedLynx’s first Trials game as well as on and offline multiplayer and loads more.

Get a good look at some of the game’s 60 tracks, skiing, the multiple customisations, four-way multiplayer and loads more in the clip above.

More Trials Evolution on NowGamer:

 

  • Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Gets May Release Date, High Price
  • Trials Evolution: RedLynx Bringing Bikes Back To XBLA Next Month?
  • Trials HD: Big Thrills DLC Out Next Month

Handcircus set to return to iOS with free game based on Okabu

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Simon Oliver’s Handcircus studio was one of the biggest winners in the early days of the App Store. His game Rolando was originally published by Ngmoco back before the company went completely bonkers with social and free-to-play casual games. After Rolando 2 sort of sputtered out into the marketplace, hamstrung by Ngmoco’s own strategy, Oliver and his company strayed away from iOS and created a game called Okabu for the PlayStation Network.

Oliver is coming back to iOS, according to The Guardian. The company has been working on a new mobile title set in the same universe as Okabu that will again be free-to-play. But before Rolando fans worry, don’t forget that the app market changed a lot in the few years since Rolando was released, and Oliver himself has changed as well. “When Ngmoco decided to go free-to-play, I didn’t know how to make games like that,” he tells the Guardian. “But ideas have been bubbling away for the last couple of years.”

I’m interested to see what Oliver gets up to. He suggests that Handcircus still may use a third-party publisher to get the game out, which is a little bit worrying. But it’ll be good to have one of the biggest original iPhone devs back on the platform with a new release.

Handcircus set to return to iOS with free game based on Okabu originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 29 Mar 2012 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kickstarter ‘The Last Hope’ After Pitching Wasteland 2 For 10 Years – Fargo

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players


Brian Fargo, inXile boss, has told NowGamer why he turned to Kickstarter for Wasteland 2.

Wasteland, Interplay’s post-apocalyptic 1988 pre-cursor to Fallout will finally get a sequel thanks to crowd-funding site Kickstarter after inXile floated the project earlier this month, busting through a $900,000 target in less than two days.

But if the demand is so clearly there, why not go to a publisher?

“I decided to go down this route for Wasteland 2 because it was the last and only hope of getting the sequel made that I wanted to do,” inXile boss Brian Fargo told NowGamer.

“I was not wary when I did pitch the game as I thought it seemed like such an obvious thing to do. But I soon found out that there was no interest from any publisher I spoke of. I pitched the game on and off for almost 10 years and got nowhere. I had pretty much given up until I saw what Kickstarter was capable of.”

Double Fine proved Kickstarter’s potential when its adventure game project generated a development budget almost $3 million more than its $400,000 target last month.

So will inXile look to Kickstarter again?

“My next step right now is to just work on Wasteland 2 and make it right. Never have I had more pressure to deliver than ever before so focus will be critical here. There are a couple of huge advantages to the production of this game in being fan funded is that I don’t have to create vertical slices and prototypes every 60 days to prove we are on track,” Fargo told us.

“Secondly I don’t have to spend a third of my time prepping for the next game and pitching it to publishers to ensure the team has a job afterwards. The best games in the industry come from developers who have the power to get the distractions and the people with bad ideas to stay out of the conversation. Fan feedback will no doubt be frustrating at times but I would not have it any other way.”

Look out for our full interview with Brian Fargo later this week.

Study: 87% of iPhone 4S owners use Siri monthly

Author: ally keer  //  Category: Apple, iPhone

Parks Associates surveyed 482 iPhone 4S owners and found that 87 percent of respondents use voice assistant Siri at least once a month. Most people (55 percent) are satisfied with the service and use it to make phone calls and send text messages. About a third of users, however, are not using all of Siri’s features like playing music, sending email and scheduling appointments.

If you fit the above profile and you’re not sure what else you can do with Siri, check out this lengthy primer to the service by our own Erica Sadun.

Via The Wall Street Journal

Study: 87% of iPhone 4S owners use Siri monthly originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 27 Mar 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Guild Wars 2: New Beta Screens Reveal Asura Thief, World Vs. World, Combat

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players

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ArenaNet reveals new shots from the highly-anticipated Guild Wars 2.

Guild Wars 2’s beta would appear to be ticking over nicely, if the latest batch of screens from ArenaNet are anything to go by.

The images reveal a new character combination – the Asura Thief – as well as plenty of lush environments, epic creatures and exciting new features.

Trebuchets are shown in action in the massive World vs. World battle mode, which is also featured in an image in which “a group of female engineers assemble outside a stronghold.” Charr patrols, acid-spitting grubs and fire imps are also depicted.

Centaurs are included, while a norn guardian is shown casting the Tome of Wrath skill, which summons a huge book that opens five new skills.

Check out the latest Guild Wars 2 images in our gallery, left.

Street Fighter X Tekken: Controversial DLC Hits PS3, Xbox 360 In April

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, PS3, Xbox


Street Fighter X Tekken coming to Japan at the start of April, Capcom confirms.

Street Fighter X Tekken’s first DLC will launch in Japan on 3 April, and consist of free character colour-sets and auto-combos, as well as paid costumes for 80MSP or 69p.

Alternatively, gamers can get the full Street Fighter costume pack for all 19 Capcom fighters for 1040 MSP (almost £9), with an equivalent Tekken pack costing the same again.

They’re the first Street Fighter X Tekken DLC details since data for the game’s upcoming £16/1600 MSP character pack DLC was already found to be on the retail disc for the game.

Capcom responded to the controversy over the 12 ‘downloadable’ characters by saying: “to save hard drive space and to ensure for a smooth transition when the DLC is available, allowing players who choose not to purchase the content the ability to play against players that did.”

SFxT players will also be able to swap Street Fighter and Tekken characters’ costumes for 80 MSP/79p a time or 1040MSP for the pack.

Finding the ‘Magic hour’ with your iPhone for the best photos

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Apple, NDS, iPhone

Photographers call it the golden hour or the magic hour. It’s that time when the sun is near the horizon, or just below, and the character of the natural/available light changes. The light quality is best when the sun is 6-7 degrees above the horizon, and the effect ends when the sun is 6-7 degrees below the horizon. It’s not always a fixed time, because it depends on the season and the distance you are from the equator.

Photographers and cinematographers often seek out the golden hour; it can add a striking tone to your photographs.

Now, the iPhone comes to the rescue. I’ve recently been using 2 apps that calculate the golden hour based on your location. One of the apps is pretty simple. The other actually shows you where the sun will be as it races toward the horizon, with a live camera view so you will know when it will be in just the position you want.

First off, let’s take a look at Sun Scout. At US $9.99, it’s not inexpensive, but it also does the most. Sun Scout uses the compass and motion sensors in the phone to superimpose the predicted position of the sun over a live view. I find I’m using it all the time so I know exactly where the sun will be to prepare a landscape shoot. The positions I got from the app for the sun were accurate, but you want to make sure to be clear of large amounts of metal or the iPhone’s compass can get confused. I noticed that problem when I was standing too close to my car.

The other worthwhile app is Magic Hour. This free app is a bit simpler, but very useful. It tells you when magic hour is for your location, how long until it begins, and it can even send you a notification that it’s about to start. You won’t get sun positions, but you will learn the best time to take your pictures. Using the app is simple enough, and I found the calculations to be accurate.

Of course you may not be taking the pictures on your iPhone, but perhaps on your DSLR or pocket camera. No matter what you use, when you make an effort to take your pictures when the lighting is at its best, you’ll be amply rewarded with images you want to keep for their sheer beauty. It’s a great time to shoot landscapes, but it’s also nice for taking pictures of people too.

I’ve included some screen shots from both programs in the gallery below.

Gallery: apps for finding Magic Hour

Sun Scout showing you the sun positionAnother Sun Scout screenMagic Hour calculationsMagic Hour screen for setting alerts

Finding the ‘Magic hour’ with your iPhone for the best photos originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Sun, 25 Mar 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Hacked, Cheating Ensues

Author: Arthur Ricky  //  Category: Games and Players, PS3, Xbox

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“Dirtbags up to dirtbag things,” in MW3 says Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has suffered the inevitable – hackers/modders/cheaters/whatever-you-want-to-call-them have begun running modified lobbies for the Xbox 360 version of the game in order to gain a competitive advantage.

“Do not accept game invites or join Private Matches from any player you don’t know & trust in #MW3. There are dirtbags up to dirtbag things,” comes the advice from Robert Bowling’s Twitter account.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s servers went down for a number of hours last night, but the issue has since been resolved – it isn’t yet known if the loss in service is related to the arrival of online hacks.

The reports come as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 begins a double XP weekend – right off the back of the first standalone DLC content collection drop this week.

MW3 Xbox 360 in-game hacks reported be eyewitnesses include character-based walking AC-130′s, god modes, enhanced speed and infinite ammo. It’s unclear whether PC or PS3 versions of MW3 are yet affected.

Is the game ruined? Can Activision and Infinity Ward pull MW3 back from the brink? As previously stated by Infinity Ward – modifying or abusing the game code results in a swift console ban.

See the hacks in action in the video below. (warning: some bad language!)

More Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 on NowGamer:

  • Modern Warfare 3: How To Get Banned
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – Robert Bowling Interview
  • MW3: DLC Pack Brings Maps, Spec Ops To Xbox 360