Google has finally launched Lively to try to lure some of those Second Lifers away. The site utilizes avatars and 3D graphics like the other virtual game, and meeting rooms for characters. After the download, you can also display YouTube videos on virtual TVs and show photos in virtual frames. Engineering Manager Niniane Wang wants subscribers to create their rooms in their own interests.
“If you enter a Lively room embedded on your favorite blog or website, you can immediately get a sense of the room creator’s interests, just by looking at the furniture and environment they chose.”
Note that you have to have Windows Vista/XP with Internet Explorer or Firefox to subscribe. We can’t anticipate its success but we did notice that the demo on YouTube already has received over half a million hits.
Read More | Lively
It’s about time somebody came up with Wii-type controllers for PCs. GoLive2 has introduced Stix. The motion-sensing controls feature LED lights and come in three styles and will be compatible with games on their site, as well as offering third party and independent game support. The Stix 100 and 200 will only work with 2D games, while the Stix 400 can also be used with 3D titles. No price has been announced as yet, but look for an August arrival.
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In honor of Activision’s launch of “Guitar Hero: Aerosmith” last Friday, the band made a personal appearance at Times Square in NYC. After the press conference was held, the Hard Rock Cafe housed a game lounge where fans could try before they bought the game. While we know that Activision will sell a ton of them, it remains to be seen what effect the old rockers and their album sales will have on a younger generation.
Read More | I4U News
You may already know that Sims creator Will Right has been hard at work making Spore, a game that involves evolution of unicellular creatures to intelligent life. Electronic Arts has released the Creature Creator, free editing software that you can use to devise your own Spore and customize buildings, vehicles, etc. Over 250,000 of them have already been built and displayed on the Sporepedia Website. If that isn’t enough to keep you busy, there is now a video/dance competition. The $49.95 game will be available for PCs, Macs, mobile phones and Nintendo DS this September.
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Takara Tomy has yet another toy for the masses. This time it is Bank Quest, a combination RPG and change bank. The more money you put inside, the more weapons and armor you can “buy” to avenge the baddies. The bank can hold up to about ¥50,000 (~$466.00,) runs on 3 AA batteries (not included,) and should be available for those who have spare change around August. At least in this instance, as opposed to those gathering places we call arcades, you actually get to keep the coinage when you play the game.
Read More | Akihabara News
There have been video games based on films and tv shows for as long as we can remember, and we notice that every time a new super hero movie arrives, there is always a game tie-in. Now video games meet Reality TV with Hell’s Kitchen. The lovable curmudgeon Chef Gordon Ramsay is in 3D and helps you work your way up to a Five Star restaurant and includes recipes you can try at home. Compatible with Windows XP/Vista, the game is free to download. Of course, if you want the unrated version that will set you back $19.95. Next thing you know “Big Brother” and “Survivor” will become games, too.
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Gamers, time to get excited with a way to make your fave video game more lifelike. Creative has released their PCI Express Audio Sound Card. Connect to your home theater system with a single cable for Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The company promises super 3D positional audio with X-Fi CMSS-3D and great EAX 5 sound effects even with headphones. You should also get clearer voice chat when you plug in your mic. You can “hear it all,” as Creative says, for $149.99.
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And yet more retro gadgets rear their heads in the shape of NES koopas and other miscellaneous gamey creatures. “pixelparty” makes the Super Mario 3/4 x 1/2-inch jewelry out of shrinkydinks, plastic, and plain cufflinks. Each design will set you back $16.00, and if you don’t like what you see on his Etsy page, he is more than willing to create something pixellated just for you. We wonder what he could do with Metroid or Frogger.
Read More | Etsy
We think that the Massage me Jacket must have been designed by a couple of women whose men wouldn’t leave their gaming consoles. Hannah Perner-Wilson and Mika Satomi are behind the clothing made with a hacked Playstation Controller that takes two to use. One wears the jacket and the other treats the users back as a gamepad, since it has soft, flexible buttons. As long as the game lasts, the wearee earns the real bonus. The duo tells you give you some DIY tips on their site. We’ll take several, please.
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Sony Ericsson has unveiled its F305, a cell phone for those who are Wii-happy. The cellie supports 3D Java games as well as Nintendo’s swipe and swing gesturing control. At a size of 3.8 x 1.9 x .6-inches and a weight of 3.4oz., it has a 2-inch, 262k, 176 x 220 pixel TFT display. The battery allows 8 hours of gaming per charge, and other features include Bluetooth support, an M2 memory card slot, a 2 megapixel cam, and built-in stereo speakers. That’s all well and good, but think how silly you will look when the person in the next cubicle sees you during your lunch break playing “Johnny Crash, Stuntman” and makes you a reservation at the nearest rubber room. Look for the F305 to debut in Q4.
Read More | Mobile Burn