Itaindou, a Japanese stamp maker based in Saitama Prefecture, will start accepting orders for the new stamps featuring the nine heroes from Sunrise’s 2014 anime film Tiger & Bunny: The Rising tomorrow on March 12, including Wild Tiger, Barnaby Brooks Jr., and the new character for the film Golden Ryan. Same with the previous line-ups featuring Girls und Panzer, Fate/stay night, Uta no Prince-sama, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and The Idolm@ster, this Tiger & Bunny stamps are limited produced on order items.
The nine characters/heroes featured in the Tiger & Bunny stamps are: Kotetsu T. Kaburagi/Wild Tiger, Barnaby Brooks Jr., Ryan Goldsmith/Golden Ryan, Karina Lyle/Blue Rose, Antonio Lopez/Rock Bison, Keith Goodman/Sky High, Huang Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid, Ivan Karelin/Origami Cyclone, and Nathan Seymour/Fire Emblem. The price for the 18mm round stamp is 3,580 yen (about US$34.65) and that of
the 21mm square stamp is 3,980 yen (US$38.52). And the purchasers who order the round and square
stamps at the same time will receive a leather storage case for the two stamps. The scheduled delivery
Ubisoft today confirmed a May 27 launch date for Watch Dogs, but that’s not all. Writing on the PlayStation EU Blog, Sony confirmed that the company will offer Watch Dogs bundles for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in Europe that include a system and a copy of the game. Pricing was not divulged.
Neither Sony nor Ubisoft have confirmed if indeed the bundles will be sold in North America. We’ve reached out to both companies for clarification on the matter and will update this story with anything we hear back.
Following outcry over its decision to trademark the popular word “Candy” and cloning and theft accusations, Candy Crush developer King has withdrawn its trademark for the word. At least in the United States, that is. In Europe, King continues to hold a trademark for the word “Candy” as a means to protect its intellectual property, the company said today in a statement.
“King has withdrawn its trademark application for Candy in the U.S., which we applied for in February 2013 before we acquired the early rights to Candy Crusher,” a King representative said in a statement to GameSpot. “Each market that King operates in is different with regard to IP. We feel that having the rights to Candy Crusher is the best option for protecting Candy Crush in the U.S. market. This does not affect our E.U. trademark for Candy and we continue to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP.”
Candy Crusher is the name of a game at the crux of one independent developer’s angry open letter to King earlier this month. Albert Ransom, president of Candy Swipe developer Runsome Apps, said that King’s acquisition of the rights to Candy Crusher in 2009 allowed the company to challenge Ransom’s own trademark for Candy Swipe. Ransom maintains that King bought the Candy Crusher rights only as a means to thwart Ransom’s own trademark for Candy Swipe.
King is also currently involved in a legal dispute with Stoic Studios over The Banner Saga, a game about vikings that King claims makes uses of the “Saga” name without credit. Right now, the tussle is limited to trademark opposition paperwork alone, at least for the time being.
Last week, King filed its initial public offering (IPO) statement, so it’s possible that the company’s abandonment of the Candy trademark today is a means to appease future investors. As part of the IPO filing, King revealed that more than 93 million people play Candy Crush Saga every day.
Edward Makuch (GameSpot News Editor): Let’s not read too far into today’s announcement. If you believe Microsoft (and I do), the battle they face against Sony in the console space is a long-haul effort. We’re only months into a cycle that stands to potentially span a decade. Microsoft knew it had the more expensive console going into last holiday. The $100 premium over the PlayStation 4 is nothing new and it’s not something Microsoft is wary of because, in Microsoft’s words, they have the “better system.”
And so, the fact that the UK price cut is not coming to North America tells me Microsoft remains confident in its ability to sell the Xbox One at $500. The UK price cut appears to be a one-off promotion aimed at capitalizing on the launch of Titanfall next month rather than a desperate move to gain ground against Sony. The PS4 is off to a hot start, for sure, but Sony’s initial success does not necessarily mean Microsoft’s demise.
It’s up to Microsoft to prove to consumers that the Xbox One is worth $100 more than the PS4. I don’t think they’ve done it sufficiently yet, but with a string of highly anticipated exclusives and ambitious digital initiatives in the pipeline, I’m optimistic about Microsoft’s long-term plans.
Thomas Mc Shea (GameSpot Editor): Microsoft isn’t stupid. Despite how much I and many others prefer solo adventuring, a large part of a console’s success is determined by how well it can foster a community of competitive players. Grab hold of those who enjoy firing guns at their friends and enemies, and you’ve secured system loyalty for years down the line. That’s why Microsoft shelled out money to keep Titanfall from appearing on any console bearing the Sony brand, and that’s why you’re seeing them make such a bold pricing move just three months after the console debuted. Do not overlook just how important Titanfall is for Microsoft.
If they can lure those who have pushed Gears of War, Halo, Call of Duty, and Battlefield toward the top of the retail charts for the past decade, then Microsoft has established the Xbox One as the definitive console for multiplayer conquests. Once you get a taste of that mech-on-mech action, you’re going to tell your friends, and soon one purchase becomes too many to count. And, yes, this doesn’t preclude people from buying a PlayStation 4 as well, but if Microsoft can convince people that Xbox One is the place for competition, then people will flock toward every upcoming shooter on the Xbox One because that’s where all of their friends let out their day’s stresses.
Microsoft is betting a lot on Titanfall. We’ll soon see if their gamble was worth the cost.
Randolph Ramsay (GameSpot Managing Editor): There are really only two things we can safely glean from today’s price drop announcement. One, the Xbox One hasn’t shipped enough units in the UK. And two, the console is selling well enough in the US to not warrant a similar drop (just a free copy of Titanfall). So despite all the sound and fury about next-gen console sales numbers in recent weeks, it seems Microsoft isn’t feeling that freaked out about the gap between PS4 and Xbox One sales, at least in the US. That means a price drop isn’t likely for US gamers any time soon. Sorry everyone–you’ll have to stick with that $500 price tag for now.
The UK price drop isn’t necessarily a harbinger of doom for Microsoft’s new console, either. Sure, it’s not a great look to cut the price of your much-hyped system barely three months after release, but Microsoft is looking at this console generation as a marathon, and not a sprint (as was the previous generation). The PS3 was famously behind the Xbox 360 in sales for much of the last console cycle, only to make up ground and eventually overtake the 360 in global units shipped. Microsoft is playing the long game, and the UK news from overnight is just one move in a very, very long and complicated game of chess.
Justin Haywald (GameSpot Senior News Editor): Microsoft still doesn’t know what they’re doing. While the price drop is great for the UK, it seems like the company is ignorant of the fact that every other country that’s not the UK can read the same news and now knows they’re not getting the same deal. Add in the fact that current purchasers get a free copy of Titanfall, and it just feels like Microsoft is insulting everyone who ordered an Xbox One early.
At least when Nintendo dropped the price on their 3DS, they had the foresight to give their audience a selection of free exclusive games.
In the end, I think this will do more harm than good for the Xbox One. If you’re in the market for a system and you don’t get a console with Titanfall, why wouldn’t you wait for the next price drop/reduced price bundle? And there’s no chance that the rest of us will get Titanfall for free, since Microsoft would be giving up on their sizable pre-order crowd. It seems they haven’t really learned anything from last year’s E3 missteps.
Those are our opinions, but what do you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Microsoft will cut the price of the Xbox One in UK to £399.99 from February 28, the company has announced.
The price cut comes 94 days since the machine was launched, with its original UK price coming in at £429.99. It took almost two years for original Xbox 360 to see a price cut, with a $50/£30 cut to the 20GB model of Xbox 360 in August 2007. The PlayStation 3 saw its first US price cut, a $100 reduction on the 60GB model, roughly eight months after launch.
Xbox UK Marketing Director Harvey Eagle confirmed to GameSpot that the company currently has no plans to cut the price in other territories. The Xbox One retails for $499 in the US–which is roughly £300.
A new report from research firm NPD Group–Exploring Digital Gaming–found that 36 percent of individuals in the United States (aged 13 or older) are “digital gamers,” meaning they currently play downloaded games on a computer, console, or portable device. It is not clear how this number stacks up on a year-over-year basis.
An all-digital future for gaming seems eventually inevitable, don’t expect this transition to happen anytime soon. The report also shows that 16 percent of respondents said they exclusively play downloaded games and not physically purchased products.
The Exploring Digital Gaming study concluded, as you might expect, that the PC is the most popular device by far for digital gaming, with 90 percent of “digital gamers” playing on the computer. Digital gaming on consoles is gaining in popularity, the study found, but it’s still far behind the PC; 28 percent of digital gamers said they play downloaded games on a console.
Despite the growth in digital gaming from console gamers, purchase frequency remains moderate, according to the study. Around 67 percent of “primary console players” (people who play on consoles most often) said they purchased digital games more than once a year. However, only 14 percent said the purchase digital games on a monthly basis.
“Most digital players, regardless of device, don’t plan their purchases,” NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “They purchase simply when they find something they like. But primary console players do have a greater tendency to purchase at or before the time of release relative to PC players. As more consumers purchase the new consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4), we expect to see greater digital spending from digital console gamers as consumers indicated that purchasing these consoles will most likely increase their digital spending.”
Regarding purchase preference between formats, 25 percent of respondents of the Exploring Digital Gaming study said they would choose digital and 30 percent said they would choose physical if both formats were offered at the same price. The rest were unsure.
Primary console players said they are more likely to choose physical products in this case at 44 percent. The Exploring Digital Gaming study also interestingly found that primary computer players don’t automatically side with digital, as this group was split closely between choosing digital (25 percent) and physical (28 percent). The rest of the group were “indecisive.”
Finally, the report concluded that gamers see value in both physical and digital games. 70 percent said physical and digital offer “the same” value for their money.
“The value that gamers see in physical is having an actual disk that can be held, while later being able to trade-in or sell the game,” Callahan said. “Digital gamers like the economy of these games: they’re either free or less expensive than their physical counterparts, as well as the ease and convenience of acquisition and storage.”
The Exploring Digital Gaming study was fielded December 19-January 2 to members of the NPD Group’s online panel. It was completed by more than 6,000 people ages 13 and older.
Asahi Shimbun reports today that Mie Prefectural Police officially admitted that a police sergeant in his 50s, who worked out of a station in the prefecture, was caught for changing price tags on a used Kamen Rider figure and trying to purchase it for the lower price in a recycle shop on November 16, 2013. According to the police, the sergeant took the original 1,980 yen (about US$19.34) price tag off the figure and put a 400 yen (US$3.91) tag, which was taken from another item in the shop, on it. His act was, however, watched by a shop clerk and he had no choice but to admit it when accused.
The prefectural police sent the case to the Numatsu District Public Prosecutors Office on suspicion of fraud attempt in January 2014, then the indictment was suspended. The police punished him with a 10% salary reduction for six months, and he has already resigned voluntary. He threw away his career
After a couple of runs in Japanese capsule vending machines, Bandai is bringing its smartphone underpants to the US this spring. The silicon ornaments stretch to fit most models, and, if there’s a functional element of the pervy little items, it’s that they’re said to protect the phone’s home button… more at least make pressing it more exciting.
—— Scott Green is editor and reporter for anime and manga at geek entertainment site Ain’t It Cool News. Follow him on Twitter at @aicnanime.