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Gaming gets an ecosystem

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Razer, in partnership with Las Vegas-based Gaming-Grids, has announced the first phase launch of Razer Arena, a new gaming ecosystem powered by the voice chat gaming messenger, Razer Comms.

Razer Arena is a single platform that brings together competitive gaming tools typically reserved for professional-level gamers. With automatic match creation and reporting, tournament and match lobbies, match notifications, and more, Razer Arena provides a seamless experience without the hassle of uploading screenshots or replays. Razer Arena also allows match teammates and opponents to easily communicate.

In the first phase, users will be able to participate in daily challenge cups to get familiar with the tournament platform, as well as participate in tournaments produced by selected partners.

In the second phase, slated for March 2015, users will be able to host their own private tournaments. Successful Razer Arena tournaments may be featured alongside professionally organized events.

Razer Arena will feature:

·         Automatic match creation and reporting

·         Match-reminder notifications

·         In-game voice chat powered by Razer Comms

·         Chat lobbies for the most social and interactive gaming experience powered by Razer Comms

·         Anti-cheat engine to ensure fair play

·         Single elimination format

·         Custom competition creation and management with friends, schoolmates and colleagues – Coming March 2015

“Tournament platforms focus heavily on the professional gaming scene, leaving out the majority of gamers,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “That ends today with Razer Arena. Finally it’s easy to find the best gamers in your school or your office. There are competitions for every skill level, from casual to pro. You decide how and with whom you compete.”

Gaming Grids President and CEO Dana Garvey says: “We are very excited to partner with Razer on the Razer Arena platform. Razer’s devotion to the gaming industry and e-Sports is once again demonstrated with this latest product.”

Collegiate Star League Founder Duran Parsi says: “We’re pretty excited to be able to give each of our universities the ability to run their own training competitions and qualifiers leading up to the season. Razer Arena provides both users and organizers an amazing platform to run competitions in the smoothest way possible.”

At launch, Razer Arena will support the following titles:

·         Battlefield 4

·         Dota 2

·         Counterstrike: Global Offensive

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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Spider-Verse gets mobile AR

8th Wall, Trigger and Amazon Web Services Bring Spider-Man to Life with Mobile Web AR Experience.

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In anticipation of the recently release of Sony Pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, last week, 8th Wall and Trigger announced the launch of the film’s Mobile Web AR Experience. The immersive AR camera is built using 8th Wall Web and Amazon Sumerian technology running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is designed to let users interact with Spider-Man in augmented reality (AR) where they can take pictures and share them with friends.

The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience, powered by 8th Wall Web and Amazon Sumerian technology and produced by Trigger, is designed to allow users to easily jump directly into Spider-Man’s AR world on any smartphone, without having to download an app.

“Spider-Man is a perfect match for AR not only because his acrobatic moves and iconic poses lend themselves well to the format, but because he’s one of the most relatable superheroes,” said Rose Phillips, SVP, Digital Marketing at Sony Pictures Entertainment. “We’re excited to collaborate with 8th Wall, Amazon Sumerian and Trigger on Spider-Verse Web AR Experience and bring it to all – and new – Spider-Man fans.”

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique sensibilities to a fresh version of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where anyone can wear the mask. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman from a screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman and story by Phil Lord, the producers are Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller and Christina Steinberg.

“The Spider-Verse Web AR Experience demonstrates how established brands can dramatically enrich their customer experiences and better engage with their fans,” said Erik Murphy-Chutorian, CEO at 8th Wall. “Augmented reality allows consumers to dive deeper into the worlds of their favorite products and characters. Sony Pictures has deepened and enriched the Spider-Man experience with the innovative work they’ve produced with Trigger and 8th Wall, and powered by AWS. It’s the perfect example of how AR for the web is the best new medium for brands to make their content come to life while increasing the accessibility and interactivity of their stories.”

“Spider-Man is in our DNA. My team has been a digital developer since the first Spider-Man film and Trigger has been developing AR for Spider-Man properties at Sony Pictures since 2014. We’re excited to continue this longstanding collaboration with this experience for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” says Jason Yim, CEO and Executive Creative Director for Trigger. “We believe Web AR is the final barrier for mass adoption of AR and we are honored to be part of the first large-scale web AR campaign with Sony Pictures, AWS, and 8th Wall as partners. Web AR will not only become the first entry to AR for most audiences, but it will build a foundation of behavior that will lift adoption in social, mobile and head mounted AR.”

“Mobile Web AR is making possible for Sony Pictures to bring people into the world of Spider-Man and engage with the character like never before,” said Kyle Roche, General Manager, Amazon Sumerian, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Using Amazon Sumerian, the teams at 8th Wall and Trigger were able to deliver an immersive browser based AR experience and do so without any specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise. Together with Sony Pictures, we’re changing the way fans experience their favorite web slinger.”

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Hide your sheep, Spyro is reigniting

Spyro, the iconic purple dragon that entertained living rooms worldwide in the late ‘90s, is making a return with the release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy.

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Spyro Reignited Trilogy introduces players to a fully remastered game collection with a re-imagined cast of characters, animations, environments, new lighting and recreated cinematics—all inHD.  Now fans can explore more than 100 lush environments filled with new detail, that brings the Dragon Realms and Avalar to life . The trilogy is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro and the family of Xbox One devices from Microsoft, including the Xbox One X.

South African distributors Megarom provided the followjng information:

In Spyro Reignited Trilogy, lead developer Toys For Bob is giving fans an all scaled-up version of the original three Spyro games that started it all, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, but with a modern-day feel that makes it fresh and fun for today’s player. Adding to the fun, voice actor Tom Kenny is returning to the franchise as the voice of Spyro in all three remastered games. Longtime fans will be treated to Toys For Bob’s reimagined version of the classic soundtracks, in addition to an all-new title-screen theme from original soundtrack composer Stewart Copeland.

Additionally, the new game brings an in-game audio feature that allows players to switch between the original and the newly remastered soundtracks, for those who want a more classic gameplay experience. Players can simply fly in to the “options menu” at any time during gameplay, unleash their preferred nostalgic or scaled-up groove, and glide right back into the Spyro action without losing saved data.

“It’s been a real pleasure to bring back one of most iconic video game characters of all time through the Spyro Reignited Trilogy,” said Paul Yan, Co-Studio Head at Toys For Bob. “We’ve poured everything we’ve got into making sure every detail was done right to deliver a great Spyro experience for fans. We hope players will have as much fun revisiting the Spyro world and characters as we did remastering them.”

In the road up to the official release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, created a first-of-its-kind, life-sized, fire-breathing and talking Spyro Dragon drone. The drone took off from “Stone Hill” castle near New York City, spreading his wings across the U.S. to explore the cities and iconic landscapes that resemble levels and themes from the original Spyro games. As part of the tour, the Spyro drone chased sheep, fired up some BBQ and delivered an early copy of Spyro Reignited Trilogy to fellow O.G. and entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg. Highlights from the Spyro drone’s delivery to Snoop Dogg can be found here.

“Fans have been asking Activision to bring Spyro back for some time now. The response to Spyro Reignited Trilogy has been great thus far, and we’re absolutely thrilled that we’re able to continue to reimagine and reinvigorate some of the most iconic videogames and characters of all time with our remastered experiences,” said Steve Young, Chief Revenue Officer at Activision. “With this year being the 20th anniversary of Spyro, there’s no better time to pay homage to everyone’s favorite purple dragon.”

The Spyro community is invited to geek out and elevate their fandom even further through the elite global partnerships from the Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (ABCPG). Collaborations with Funko, Traly Pins, Exquisite Gaming, KidRobot, USAopoly, Trends International, Rubber Road, and Changes have created new avenues for fans to share their love for the return of Spyro, the original roast master. Spyro consumer products across apparel, collectibles, figurines and more are now available at retailers worldwide. Fans can also take advantage of the GameStop exclusive Spyro TOTAKU Collection.

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