video games

Does Xbox One’s new Kinect camera work in a tiny Tokyo apartment?

With its new home console, Microsoft is hoping to make Kinect – the motion-sensing camera that comes bundled in the box – one of the main features of the Xbox One experience. Far superior to the original Kinect camera released in 2010, the new unit is noticeably more accurate and can be used in almost complete darkness, also boasting a field of vision 60 percent wider than the original.

But for many Japanese gamers, Kinect simply isn’t a device that works for them. Compared to Western residences, Japanese homes are much smaller, in closer proximity to others, and in some cases with walls so thin that you might wonder whether you could punch through them during moments of nerd rage.

Can Kinect for Xbox One offer the same exciting, controller-free experience in Japan that it does in America and Europe? Our man went hands-on.

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MiniShock: Check out these insanely detailed PlayStation 2 controller smartphone straps

The rest of the world may currently be in love with Sony’s newest controller, the DualShock 4, but gamers in Japan evidently still have a big soft spot for the ageing PlayStation 2 control pad, the DualShock 2.

What you can see in the image above is not, in fact, a row of the now 13-year-old controllers as viewed from a great height, but a new set of earphone jack plugs, and the level of detail is simply astounding.

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Cute little gamer knows the score【Video】

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the weekend has finally arrived! We know exactly how we’ll be spending ours, and we have a feeling that gamers in Australia, Europe, Central and South America will also be spending theirs much the same way following the arrival of Microsoft’s Xbox One and, finally hitting stores outside of the US this very day, Sony’s PlayStation 4.

Of course, one little gamer already knows exactly what’s up, and despite being barely 22 months old and the PS4 having only been released a week or two ago, is already more than familiar with the hardware if this video is any indication.

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We try swapping out the hard drive of a PS4, let the Xbox One hold the beer

Our resident food writer Kuzo loves travelling the world in search of new and exotic McDonald’s food. However, he’s also been known to experiment with game consoles in between meals.

When the Nintendo Wii U came out he tested its online capability while riding nearly 300 km/h on the Shinkansen. Now with his newly acquired PS4, he’s going to attempt to upgrade the built-in hard disc drive (HDD) with a faster solid state drive (SSD). The following is his report.

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Mario, Zelda, Halo…You’ve never seen stained glass like this before

Stained glass is typically seen in cathedrals or castles, sending cascades of colors into the elaborate interior. Images are usually biblical or inspired by the Renaissance and were made centuries ago. But what about modern stained glass art inspired by current trends and events? That’s where Martian Glasswork steps in, creating beautiful glass artwork with a video game twist.

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Using our brand new Xbox One console… to play New Super Mario Bros. Wii U

That’s right video game fans, as of this week, we now finally have a full crop of next (or should that be “current?”) generation games consoles to play with, bringing with them a whole new era of video game magic! Nintendo’s Wii U has been with us for a while now, PlayStation 4 showed its sleek little face over 10 days ago, and we now finally have an Xbox One to tinker with!

The media centre approach Microsoft has taken with its newest home console may not appeal to all gamers, but even if you’d rather play focus on games than flick between live shows and Dead Rising, there’s no denying that Xbox One has one big advantage over its competitors – its ability to receive, rather than simply output, a signal from another device. Microsoft ideally wants us to use this feature to hook up our cable boxes and make the console our living room hub, but being the gaming nerds that we are and already owning every other console, we decided to do something a little different: play PlayStation 4 and Wii U games on our Xbox One. And it works like a charm.

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PlayStation 4 impressions: An Xbox fan and a Sony lover go head to head

Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been out in North America for over a week now, and is finally heading to Europe this coming Friday. Thanks to the efforts of our game-loving staff in the US, we managed to pick up a few units, and have been tinkering with them for about a week now, so felt it was time to share our thoughts on the new hardware.

Rather than getting all techy and giving you lists of stats or focusing on frames per second, however, we decided to take a slightly more human approach, and talk about how Sony’s newest console rates in the eyes of both a self-confessed Sony fan and a long-term Xbox lover.

Let the mud-slinging begin!

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Early photos suggest that European PlayStation 4 consoles are made in Japan, not China

Sony has boasted over a million PlayStation 4 consoles sold during the new machine’s first day of sale alone, and that figure is climbing ever higher by the day, but it’s important to remember that these are just the numbers for North America, and European gamers still have a little while (make that a long while if you’re Japanese, but let’s not rub salt in the wound) to wait until they get to throw cash in Sony’s direction and make the PS4 their own.

It turns out, though, that unlike the millions of units shipped to the US in recent weeks, which were mostly made in China, there’s a good chance that the consoles European gamers will be snapping up come November 29 were in fact made in Sony’s homeland, Japan.

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Gotta run from ‘em all! CG Pokémon fan art turns adorable Bulbasaur into frightening behemoth

When you stop and think about it, the Pokémon series of video games ought to be terrifying. Sure, on the one hand, most of the pocket monsters the player controls are drawn with chubby cheeks and eyes whose size is equaled only by their cuteness. But at the same time, those rolly polly creatures do battle with each other by unleashing lightning storms, fireballs, and tornadoes. From a design standpoint, they shouldn’t look like Bambi’s woodland friends. Pokémon should look like something that could take on Godzilla.

In other words, they should look something like the frightening CG image here.

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Finding the heroine’s panties: The most difficult side quest in newest Final Fantasy role-playing game

While in recent years opinions have become increasingly divided on the gameplay in long-running video game series Final Fantasy, there’s not much room to criticize the franchise’s artistry. New installments of Final Fantasy are consistently among the most visually and aurally pleasing games at their time of release. Each title has a huge team of designers and software engineers who spend untold hours making sure the cut scenes are gorgeous, the interface slick, and the soundtrack stirring and crystal clear. And also, apparently, that the heroine doesn’t inadvertently flash her panties.

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Prince William would “love to have a PlayStation 4” but wonders if his wife will let him

With Sony’s PlayStation 4 set to launch in Europe in just over a week’s time, it’s not only everyday paupers who are itching to get their hands on the shiny new hunk of black plastic. Britain’s Prince William also reportedly can’t wait to grab one of those touchpad-toting controllers and start taking headshots online.

Apparently, the new father hinted that he hopes Santa will leave a PS4 under the Christmas tree this year, but he’s not sure whether his wife Kate will go for the idea.

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Run, fat boy, run! Moe cuties return to help men shed pounds in running app Burn Your Fat With Me 2

With Thanksgiving looming over our North American readers and the eatathon that is Christmas not far behind it, the folks at Creative Freaks are clearly worried about our waistlines. Following on from the success of last year’s Nenshou: Burn Your Fat with Me!! and July’s insult-you-until-you’re-slim-’em-up Nenshou for Girls, the developer has just released a true sequel to the fitness app-cum-dating sim, taking a slightly different approach this time around.

If having abs of steel and not breaking into a sweat halfway through your evening meal aren’t incentive enough for you, perhaps dating a moe-style cutie and having her be your personal trainer each day will be enough to get you off your couch and into your running shoes?

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Reports of PlayStation 4 “red line of death” appear online 【Videos】UPDATED

Just four days after the launch of the Sony PlayStation 4, and barely 24 hours after we brought you news that over a million units of the console had been sold on its very first day in stores, reports are appearing online of a “Red Line of Death” – believed to be caused by overheating – with brand new PlayStation 4 consoles locking up completely.

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Party at Sony’s place! Over a million PlayStation 4 consoles sold in first 24 hours

Pay a visit to Sony HQ today and you’ll no doubt see an awful lot of smiling, and perhaps tired-looking, faces. Following Friday’s launch of the PlayStation 4 in North America, President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, yesterday shared the news via his Twitter feed that over a million units of the next-generation console had been sold within the first 24 hours of going on sale.

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Video game and anime themed leather wallets for all your video game and anime spending needs

Do you have an important date or job interview coming up? Why not seal the deal by flashing your handmade Mega Man wallet so everyone knows you’re playing with power? And if you don’t have a Mega Man wallet, then Sova Leatherworks can make one for you!

Steph M. is the artistic talent behind Sova Leatherworks in Tacoma, USA. Although she sells a wide range of patterns on her wallets, it’s her self-confessed geekiness which led to the series of handcrafted wallet designs based on video games and movies that have been attracting attention in Japan.

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Heads up, poké-people! Nintendo just released the Pokémon X/Y soundtrack on iTunes!

If you’re one of the few million people currently eating, sleeping and dreaming about Pikachu and pals following the launch of Pokémon X & Y on Nintendo 3DS, you’ll very likely be wanting something equally poké-themed to listen to while commuting, taking a shower or during especially dull lectures when you can’t get away with playing the game itself.

Well good news! Nintendo, seemingly not content with releasing a special edition album of its 8-bit retro theme songs, has just made the soundtrack to its insanely successful Pokémon X & Y available on iTunes.

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Nerd crime: N00b online gamer stabbed in real life by L337 Hackz0r

In a slightly convoluted tale of intrigue and betrayal, a Saitama man was arrested for stabbing his online gaming buddy after the two got into an argument about a lack of gaming skills.

The two apparently met at a game arcade over a decade before the incident and had been keeping in touch, dabbling in multiplayer matches of a Gundam-themed online game together. After one apparently teased the other about his lack of skills, the two decided to settle the debate in person.

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Nintendo to release album of 8-bit theme songs to celebrate 30 years of NES

For those of us that find it hard to believe that the NES (called “Famicom” in Japan) turned 30 this year, Nintendo is putting out an album of 26 of the best theme songs from classic games like Super Mario BrothersThe Legend of Zelda and Metroid. The two-disc album comes out December 4, making it the perfect holiday gift for that person in your life that loves the simple 8-bit tunes of yesteryear.

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Japan’s 10 best-selling video games this century so far

In a recent article from Famitsu, the weekly video game magazine considered by many Japanese gamers to be the authority when it comes to their medium of choice for entertainment, a list showing the current total video game sales for all platforms in Japan between January 1, 2001 and September this year caught the attention of gamers both at home and abroad. Aside from the fact that the number of games sold in Japan over the last decade or so is simply staggering, Nintendo’s dominance in its home territory when it comes to total software sales is quite remarkable.

Join us after the jump as we see Japan’s 10 most popular video games of this century so far, and how, with a little help from some clever pocket monsters, Nintendo is absolutely raking the cash in.

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Japanese gamers debate Red Cross’s call for virtual crimes to be punished

The International Red Cross has recently been pushing for so-called “hyper realistic” video games to follow international humanitarian laws and penalize players for their in-game crimes, such as gunning down civilians. Last month, the organization on its Japanese site posted an explanation about why it decided to press for this. As expected, gamers had mixed reactions to the announcement with some decrying the “over-regulation” of their hobby, while many thought it was a much-needed change to the industry.

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