Blog Posts by Chris Morris

  • Report: Smartphone and tablet gaming outpacing handheld systems

    Over the past few years, we’ve seen smartphone and tablet gaming take bigger and bigger bites out of the handheld gaming market. In 2014, it took the biggest bite yet.

    Last year, game spending on iOS and Google Play in the fourth quarter exceeded that of handheld game systems. Put another way: Even though your favorite 3DS or PS Vita game commands a premium price, more people were buying game apps, and spending cash within those games.

    The data comes from a new report from App Annie and IDC, which points to an ongoing tidal shift in how we game on the go.

    There was a little good news for handheld systems. Game spending in the fourth quarer of last year (when most of the money changes hands

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  • Nintendo’s Amiibo toys are turning into serious collectibles

    Nintendo characters like Mario, Kirby, and Link have long thrilled fans. But these days, it isn’t just their games that have players rummaging through their wallets.

    It’s their figurines.

    Introduced in November to coincide with the release of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U, Nintendo’s Amiibo toy line lets players access new features, abilities, and characters in various Nintendo games. And it’s ballooned into a bona fide hit, creating a hot secondary market for the company’s products.

    Nintendo has been coy about specific sales numbers, but according to their Q3 financials, the company sold 5.7 million Amiibo figurines globally through the end of 2014.

    At about $13 per Amiibo, that’s hardly

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  • ‘Exploding Kittens’ sets Kickstarter record

    Yes, there really is a game in the works about exploding kittens. And by one measure, it’s the most popular thing to ever hit Kickstarter.

    The upcoming card game, in which no actual kittens are blown up, received pledges from 219,382 people - the most ever to support a single Kickstarter campaign.

    Not surprisingly, all those supporters resulted in a cash bonanza. Exploding Kittens co-creator Matthew Inman, artist/author of the popular comic The Oatmeal, was hoping to collect $10,000. 

    When all was said and done, his game walked away with pledges of nearly $8.8 million, making it the third biggest moneymaker to ever appear on the site.

    Only the Coolest Cooler and Pebble Watch have raised

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  • Meet Steve Kleisath, 'Mario' master

    Like countless kids of the early 1980s, Steve Kleisath spent most of his free time in an arcade.

    Unlike countless kids of the early 1980's, he still does.

    "It always seemed a very good place to escape or socialize between school and home or school and work," he says. "At the time, there were so many games being pumped out that every 3-4 months, you had a new favorite to try out."

    He counted Ms. Pac Man, Joust, Galaga and Frogger among his favorites, but the one that he really took to was the original Mario Bros. Last month, his ongoing love affair with the game hit its apex, as Kleisath became the world's best Mario Bros. player with a staggering score of 5,424,920.

    The achievement isn't his

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  • Florida pastor embraces Oculus Rift

    As the Oculus Rift and other VR headsets continue to creep towards a mainstream release, more and more organizations are expressing interest in their potential.

    But none may be more surprising than what the First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida has in mind.

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  • Iconic View-Master getting a VR makeover

    (Credit: Mattel)(Credit: Mattel)One of your favorite childhood toys is getting a new lease on life.

    Mattel and Google have announced a partnership that hopes to transform the View-Master from a stereoscopic image projector to a kid-friendly virtual reality device - which will let children explore everything from fictional worlds to outer space in 360 degrees.

    Available this fall, the device will sell for $30 and will include a sample "experience reel" -- as the new drop-ins are called -- that will feature a gallery of "classic" View-Master images, a tour of the inside of the space shuttle, and a 360-degree view of an unannounced destination.

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  • Vote your hometown onto the Monopoly board

    (Credit: Hasbro)(Credit: Hasbro)Forget Park Place and Boardwalk. How'd you like to visit your hometown on a Monopoly board?

    As part of the ongoing 80th anniversary celebration of the classic board game, Hasbro is inviting fans to choose the cities that will be included as property spaces on this fall's version of the Monopoly Here & Now game.

    The game publisher is letting people vote from a list of top global destinations (including usual suspects New York, London and Chicago), but they're also welcoming write-in candidates, meaning a motivated city could find its way onto the map - er, game board.

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  • Games business: Software sales lead the charge into 2015

    Dying Light led game software sales in January. (Image: Techland/Warner Bros. Interactive)Dying Light led game software sales in January. (Image: Techland/Warner Bros. Interactive)The sales pace of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is vastly exceeding that of their predecessors, but every road has bumps - and the video game industry hit a notable one in January.

    Hardware sales, which have been reliably positive for the past year, dipped 23 percent last month, according to newly released sales data from The NPD Group. In raw dollars, that's a $54 million shortfall. But the analytical firm noted there's no reason for concern at this point.

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  • Sony brings Ghostbusters board game to Kickstarter

    Bustin' makes Kickstarter users feel good.Bustin' makes Kickstarter users feel good.Sony Pictures has teamed with Cryptozoic Entertainment to launch a crowdfunded board game based on the classic franchise - and it's quickly finding a fan base.

    Launched today - and running through March 11 - the campaign has already raised more than $130,000 of its $250,000 goal, despite a steep entry pledge level of $80.

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  • Hasbro hides real-world cash in 80 Monopoly game boxes

    Go to France. Go directly to France. Do not pass go. But you could collect more than $20,000.

    To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Monopoly, Hasbro has embedded actual cash in 80 copies of the game in France. One copy in particular contains €20,580 (roughly $23,600.)

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