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Super Mario 3D Land [Review]

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Allante Sparks

Super Mario 3D Land [Review]

Mario has been jumping on our television screens and killing evil woodland creatures for over 25 years now. You would think we would get tired of the same formula of: beautiful princess running a peaceful kingdom of mushroom people in diapers, an evil dragon... turtle... thing decides to kidnap the princess just because he wants to, princess calls out to the four foot tall neighborhood plumber to come to her rescue, he defeats the evil fire-breathing bastard and saves the princess all for one single kiss. Well, apparently, we are not tired of this formula, because Nintendo seems to find a way to make each and every experience fresh and sometimes revolutionary.

Nintendo's newest installment to the Super Mario franchise has arrived. Super Mario 3D Land jumps, flutters and fireballs its way into our 3DS consoles and our hearts with stunning graphics, familiar nostalgic gameplay and powers, and level designs that will keep you questioning how good you really are at gaming.

For more of my thoughts on the game, hit the break.

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Console Game Developers Say 'Press Subscribe to Continue'

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Console Game Developers Say 'Press Subscribe to Continue'

Any hardcore gamer can guess what this is about. Subscription-based gaming is the norm for most social games that aren't free to play and companies like Zynga have not only enjoyed a more stable and predictable cash flow but they've been chipping away at the console gaming market at a steady pace. For the past few years console game developers have been trying to avoid getting pwned by bad economic conditions and the threat of shrinking market share, so naturally they have been gravitating toward the same subscription-based model in an effort to have more security for their revenue streams than Sony had for the PSN back in October. According to THQ's CEO Brian Farrell,

The big win there is you have a consumer base that pays you the subscription fee each month ongoing. That's a very different revenue model for a video game company, when you have this monthly subscription revenue rather than a one-time purchase.

Read on to find out why subscription-based gaming is gaining more momentum after the recent Reuters Global Media Summit.

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Spotify Welcomes Developers with Apps and an Open Platform

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Spotify Welcomes Developers with Apps and an Open Platform

Just a few short months after Spotify launched in the US, it was already running into a couple of hiccups, outside of getting enough subscribers to the service. Independent and smaller music label talent were both pulling their songs out of the service, claiming that the artists were not making enough off of each song play. To respond, Spotify has tried to make amends with the affected artists.

Outside of that realm, however, the new streaming company has tried to make a name by teaming up with other companies to show off cool demos and even appearing on our beloved WinPho 7.

So what's next for Spotify? This week, the company announced that it will start to open its music-laden arms to developers, asking them to create apps and other things to distance Spotify from the pack of other new music streaming companies out there, like Google Music.

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Nintendo Uses Its Strong Black Friday to Push Through to the New Year

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo Uses Its Strong Black Friday to Push Through to the New Year

A failed product launch quickly followed by a price drop of that same product are two reasons a company has to apologize for a potential upcoming disaster. Ask Sony for the other reasons a company could fail. For Nintendo, however, things weren't looking so good after the 3DS fiasco. Many analysts of the gaming industry were predicting the tragic end of an iconic company if the holiday season wasn't a success for them.

This week, Nintendo responded to the call. We have the details after the break.

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Toyota and Yamaha Bring the Future into the Past With e-bike Collaboration

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Toyota and Yamaha Bring the Future into the Past With e-bike Collaboration

Looking forward into the future, Toyota and Yamaha understand that urban areas will become much more densely populated over the next decade and that population requires reliable and economical transportation capabilities. There are only so many cars that can fit on the road and the forward looking approach Toyota and Yamaha have taken is to focus on small electric vehicles such as bikes and scooters that could play a big role in personal transportation in the future.

The EC-Miu three-wheeler, called the "electric commuter" and PAS-WITH e-bike concepts appeared at the Tokyo Motor show this year and one of the obvious benefits is the "cool" factor built into its futuristic design. It also runs on electricity, which is a plus for those who would like hold their noses up at Prius owners every time they drive by. The best part of this conceptual technology is actually under the hood, so to speak. The collaborative relationship that Toyota and Yamaha are leveraging involves Toyota's Smart Grid technology which was developed through a partnership with Microsoft.

Read on after the break to find out what makes it so cool and to see a video of the technology in action.

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Foot Path Steps in It

posted Sunday Dec 4, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Foot Path Steps in It

Well, it turns out not everyone was so jazzed about the new technology from Path Intelligence, Foot Path, that allows retailers to anonymously track a cell phone's journey through a retail environment. To recap last week's report, The malls, owned and operated by Forest City, Promenade Temecula in Temecula, California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Virginia, were trying out the new technology to survey shoppers behaviors in a way more accurate and anonymous than the old "give us your email and we'll send you a coupon" method.

As expected, people have taken offense to the concept of being tracked and after concerns were raised by US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), Forest City has decided to halt their testing of the equipment, at least temporarily. Schumer said,

A shopper's personal cell phone should not be used by a third party as a tracking device by retailers who are seeking to determine holiday shopping patterns. Personal cell phones are just that—personal. If retailers want to tap into your phone to see what your shopping patterns are, they can ask you for your permission to do so.

To find out exactly what caused all of this and how the parties involved have responded, hit the break.

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