Activision Unveils Skylanders Trap Team, Release Date Oct. 5

Skylanders Trap Team screenshot

Activision struck first in the "toys to life" genre, creating with Skylanders game both a cottage industry and an innovative way for parents to spend quality time gaming with their kids. With news imminent about the next Disney Infinity, Activision once again drew first blood, unveiling today a totally new direction for the toys-to-life scene: Skylanders Trap Team. Last fall Skylanders Swap Force captivated my household (parents and kids alike) with its ability to mix and match figures. Between that innovation and great level design, Swap … [Read more...]

Nintendo Unveils Wii mini Console, Ships Nov. 17 for $99

Wii mini console

With gamers focused on the next-gen PS4 and Xbox One release dates this month, Nintendo has taken a surprisingly last-gen turn today, unveiling a Wii mini console for the North American market. The original Wii was a cultural phenomenon, and although most people who would consider buying a Wii Mini already have the original system, you can never discount the gotta-have-it-all consumers in the gaming community. Especially when the Wii mini console will cost just $99.99. Oh, and it ships Nov. 17. You can pre-order the Wii mini from Amazon to … [Read more...]

EA to Pay “Tens of Millions” to Current and Former Student Athletes

EA Logo

In a class-action lawsuit brought against game publisher Electronic Arts seemingly decades ago, student athletes asked for compensation related to the money EA made selling college sports-related games. Today, that lawsuit has finally closed, as EA has agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars to current and former student-athletes. The "EA to Pay" settlement, which we'd love to see the NCAA try to ban for "player compensation," resolves EA's liability in a lawsuit brought by former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon. "This is a historic … [Read more...]

Six New Skylanders Swap Force Toys: Hands-On

Skylanders Swap Force Magna Charge

On the eve of Gamescom, I had the opportunity to get hands-on with an updated build of Skylanders: Swap Force to see (and dynamically swap) some new characters. The approachability of the overall game is in line with the franchise’s young-gamer roots, but the new ability to swap the top and bottom halves of real-life toys to create new on-screen characters adds a level of gameplay depth the franchise hasn’t yet seen. In some respects, Skylanders Swap Force is growing up alongside the young gamers who made it a hit. But fret not: it hasn’t lost … [Read more...]

Nintendo Files Lawsuit Against Wii Hacker, 3DS Hacker

Now that the 3DS is a hot commodity, Nintendo has put its game face on, filing a lawsuit today against the owner of a website known for its Wii, 3DS and Wii U hack expertise. Nintendo of America Inc. filed its lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against the owner of, a site that Nintendo claims "blatantly promotes and sells unauthorized Nintendo games along with devices and services that circumvent the security in the Nintendo DS system and the Wii console." Going after the Wii U hacker and 3DS hacker is … [Read more...]

Skylanders Swap Force Pre-Order Bonus at Target

The Skylanders saga continues this year with the new Skylanders Swap Force game, and while Swap Force pre-orders at Amazon are always attractive, if you decide to get the next game at Target, we now know the pre-order bonuses you'll receive for doing so. Starting today, people who pre-order Skylanders Swap Force at Target will receive the first-ever magic pre-sell cards that will unlock an in-game upgrade when Portal Masters place it on their Swap Force Portal of Power. Also, those who reserve a Skylanders Swap Force Starter Pack at … [Read more...]

Nintendo Announces its First Free-to-Play Game

It's news that may have been overlooked by many gamers this week, but Nintendo announcing its first free-to-play game is worth reiterating in light of all the success and buzz the PS4 and Xbox One have had at E3. Nintendo's first free-to-play game will arrive by March 2014. The March 2014 date isn't arbitrary; it's the end of the game maker's current fiscal year. Unfortunately, it wasn't clear whether the "by March 2014" reference means the free game will appear this holiday season -- which would make sense in light of the Xbox One release … [Read more...]

Nintendo Will Not Host an E3 Press Conference, Still Planning a Booth

Back in the day, when Activision decided against holding any more E3 press conferences, the news was bold and brash as well as surprising. Today, Nintendo's revelation that it's planning to skip an E3 press conference and not host anything other than a booth and some pre-show events, comes off not as bold and brash but just plain weird. During Nintendo's financial results briefing, president Satoru Iwata divulged that Nintendo will not host a press conference at E3. Instead, the company will focus on smaller events before the show geared … [Read more...]

Nintendo’s Original Wii Outselling the Wii U at a 3.5:1 Ratio?

Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo reported a slim annual profit in its most recent fiscal year, but an analysis of the company's sales figures shows a far less-encouraging data point for Nintendo, and one that may not bode well for the company's new Wii U console. Nintendo was the first out of the next-gen gates last fall when it launched the Wii U, the successor to its massively popular Wii console. The Wii U includes a tablet-like control pad in addition to its gesture-sensitive mechanics, an innovation that Nintendo hoped would carry the Wii U well beyond the … [Read more...]

Nordic Games Gives THQ Titles a Home, Including Darksiders, Red Faction and Stuntman

If you were worried that THQ's dissolution would doom some of its most notable franchise to hit the dumpster, your new best friend may just be Nordic Games, which has picked up the rights to several THQ franchises in an auction of the now-defunct company's assets. THQ's auction process ended on April 15. Per the terms of the auction, Nordic Games will have the rights to develop further titles in the Darksiders, Red Faction, MX vs. ATV, Titan Quest, Supreme Commander, Frontlines, Stuntman, Juiced, Full Spectrum Warrior and Destroy All Humans … [Read more...]