Activision set to unveil the latest in reality gaming
|NEWS - VIDEOGAME NEWS|
Cast an eye over those mischievous toys – there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye...
The family gaming genre has exploded in the last five years and, with some of the biggest development and distributing companies now involved, it shows no signs of slowing up. However, this was not always the case. For decades, child-friendly gaming had been limited primarily to the handheld console – mere shrunken, under-performing alternatives to their floor-based brethren.
However, on the 19th November 2006 – or the 8th December if you are fortunate enough to be within the EU – Nintendo released their new console, the Wii. Despite its unusual name, it was the technology within it that had the critics talking and the Wii picked up award after award for its innovative technology and futuristic style of gaming. Yet, with all its awards and technology, it was the Wii’s family-orientated design that really saw sales rocket, enticing families with its ageless gaming style and even tastier release price of just £179 (compared to the PS3’s cheapest alternative of £350). To date, the Wii has sold an estimated 85 million units – dwarfing the estimated sales of both the Xbox 360 (51 million) and Sony PS3 (48.5 million) – and looks set to continue for a good number of years.
Conversely, while the consoles themselves have evolved in regards to the technology within them, it is the titles of said consoles which really bring in the consumer. In recent years, the likes of Wii Sports, Mario Olympics and the Lego franchise have been the staple of youth gaming, keeping the market open and the kids interested. Nevertheless, after reading the latest press release from Activision, all this could be about to change.
At an exclusive press conference in London today, Activision revealed the worldwide debut of Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure, a game the company are calling “an entertainment breakthrough for both the toy and videogame industries”. In what can only be described as a real-life version of Joe Dante’s 1998 classic Small Soldiers, Activision has promised that, through an innovative use of technology, their latest release will allow players to transport real-world toys into virtual environments. Furthermore, these ‘toys with brains’ can be used on multiple gaming platforms – as well as on handheld gaming devices, mobile devices and on the web – and will actually remember any rewarded achievements and level wherever they go.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, said: “By pairing world class character and videogame design, we’ve given players a whole new genre that bridges the gap between the real and virtual worlds. What kid hasn’t thought about their toys coming to life, becoming animated in front of their eyes, before taking them on an adventure? Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure does just that.”
If that’s not enough, Hirshberg went on to reveal that the game's story has actually been written by two of the award-winning writers of the original Toy Story movie. He also promised that as much attention went into said story as it did into the technology. If all this sounds a bit confusing, maybe this video will explain...
So, let's recap for a minute: toys that can remember what happened to them within a virtual environment, a story created by writers of the most successful kids' film franchise of all time, and a mind-blowing trailer with AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" playing throughout? I think it's safe to say I'm excited.
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