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Games

Watch out, GameStop: Walmart gets into used-games business

Walmart is planning to make a splash in the used-games business, the company announced on Tuesday.

Starting March 26, consumers can walk into more than 3,100 Walmart stores across the US and trade in games from the latest consoles, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. Customers will receive eGift cards for the value of their trade-in which can be used to purchase of anything sold at Walmart and Sam's Club, both in stores and online. Walmart said customers will be able to purchase "Certified Pre-Owned" games in stores and online starting this summer.… Read more

Unity's new weapon for devs: Porting games to Firefox

Mozilla has teamed up with Unity to run its games on the Web without plugins -- but with an add-on.

Announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the extension will ship later this year with the anticipated Unity 5.0. Powered by the Web graphics library WebGL and the JavaScript subset asm.js, the add-on update says more about game developers' faith in Firefox than anything else.

"We believe WebGL and asm.js will be driving the future of gaming on the Web. We're happy to see the platform mature and look forward to helping to … Read more

What are the biggest issues with Wii U, PS4, Xbox One?

Troubleshooting service Fixya has released a new report on the issues affecting today's latest game consoles, and the results aren't pretty.

Fixya combed through 40,000 troubleshooting requests shared on its Web site and found that 35 percent of Wii U owners complain of freezing problems, while others are looking for fixes to the GamePad. Another 15 percent of Wii U owners report issues with the console's Internet connection.

Like the Wii U, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 also suffer from a wide range of troubles. The Xbox One's chief troubleshooting culprit is the Kinect, … Read more

Bluetooth game controller said to be for Amazon set-top box

Amazon's streaming set-top box could feature a game controller, according to a new report.

Amazon has reportedly been planning to launch a set-top box for the last several months. More evidence to that effect cropped up on Friday in Brazil where an FCC-like government agency revealed images of an Amazon game controller. That listing, discovered by Zatz Not Funny, shows an all-black controller feature four actions buttons, two thumbsticks, and both triggers and bumper buttons. The controller also includes a directional pad and connect via Bluetooth.

Amazon was reportedly planning to launch a set-top box last fall, but backed … Read more

Scrabble to get new official word: Twerk? Derp? Photobomb?

Sneaking in a made-up Scrabble word and getting away with it is almost as much fun as playing a legitimate one that uses three Zeds -- Zyzzyva, anyone? Word nerds who attempt to sneak illegal words like "huzzah" and "bazinga" past their friends may be happy to know that they can now nominate a new word into Hasbro's official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which hasn't been updated in more than nine years.

Fans have the chance to chime in on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook Page comments section to suggest their favorite new word to be added, now through March 28. … Read more

Next Angry Birds game a turn-based RPG

If you wanted more bird-flinging, it looks like you might be in for a wait: Developer Rovio has revealed that the next title in the Angry Birds series is a turn-based RPG.

Our heroes are, of course, the birds, with each bird being a different character class; the red bird, for example, is the knight (obviously; see the teaser trailer below), and the yellow bird is the wizard. You'll lead them into battle across a fantasy-themed Piggy Island, defeating the pigs, apparently, on their home turf -- presumably the story will reveal the whys and wherefores.

It also seems … Read more

Bid on a solid-gold Flappy Bird while you still can

Certain people are having trouble dealing with the demise of Flappy Bird, the short-lived, highly addictive game that died a sudden death when creator Dong Nguyen pulled it from circulation. But the saga isn't over. Nguyen says he's considering a Flappy Bird revival. If you're eagerly awaiting the game's return, you might also be interested in something weird happening in Vietnam that has to do with Flappy Bird, solid gold, and an online auction.

Vietnamese goldsmithing company N3D created a gold Flappy Bird in the shape of the rotund flying protagonist from the game. The 3-ounce figure is a 3D replica crafted from 14-karat gold with two black stones for the eyes. It's actually pretty cute in smoothed-out 3D form. Could we get this in a plush toy version?… Read more

Trapped in the Time Travel Lab: My puzzling Sunday

"You are trapped in the mysterious laboratory, where it has been said, they study time travel. The door is closed. A lot of hidden clues await you. You wonder if they were able to make time travelling true..." These words on a poster beckon you in to a frantic puzzle-solving team experience that can lead, as it did in my case, to your untimely demise.

Or you might...Escape from the Time Travel Lab.

SCRAP Entertainment's first Real Escape Game was held in Japan, and nowadays the company is putting on events in San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles. In addition to the basic Mysterious Room, people have escaped from the Magic Show, the Werewolf Village, and other sticky scenarios. There are also Real Escape Game branches in Singapore, Taiwan, and China, plus there seem to be at least four live-escape game companies operating in the UK, so I'm going to call this a worldwide phenomenon. If the rest of this sounds fun to you, you may be able to find something similar nearby.… Read more

Digging for Atari's 'corporate shame,' the buried E.T. games

AUSTIN, Texas -- E.T. wants to go home. But first there will have to be a massive excavation of a city's garbage dump.

As is part of video-game industry lore, in 1983 Atari ran screaming from its ill-advised E.T. game and hastily and quietly buried millions of cartridges. Somewhere. No one was quite sure where.

It turns out the where was Alamgordo, N.M., and almost certainly deep in the giant city garbage dump. Last year, a team of filmmakers announced they're working on a documentary about the infamous E.T. game disaster -- which cost … Read more

Spy on your own thoughts with Glass Brain

What do you get when you combine a neuroscientist with the guy who helped invent the virtual world Second Life? A way to virtually fly around the brain with a gamepad watching thoughts in real time.

That's what attendees at Austin's South By Southwest were recently treated to when Philip Rosedale, creator of Second Life, and Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist at the University of California San Francisco, unveiled their Glass Brain project. Onlookers were able to be neuro-voyeurs as they peeked in on the mind workings of Rosedale's wife Yvette, and watched the storm of activity taking place there. … Read more