Straying away from the typical trio of releases, Nintendo today has unveiled just two new virtual console games for the week. Previously available only as imports, these titles carry jacked-up prices.Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (1986, NES, 600 Wii points)--We got a vegetable-yanking game and Japan got the true sequel--and unless you played Super Mario All-Stars on the SNES, this will be the first time you're exposed to Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, the true Super Mario Bros. 2. Sin and Punishment (2000, Nintendo 64, 1,200 Wii points)--This on-rails shooter may be a … Read more
NEW YORK--U.B.Funkeys is a new line of vinyl figures from Mattel that double as avatars in a virtual world.
Instead of entering a code as with the Webkinz, you place your Funkey in a USB docking station. The character is then recognized in the virtual world of Terrapinia, a place filled with funk and other music.
The starter kit with USB docking station and two characters is available for $19.99, with additional Funkeys vinyl figures for $4.99 each. There are over 40 different Funkeys and each one has unique abilities in-world in addition to a bio … Read more
The Walt Disney Co. pulled the plug Thursday on its Disney Mobile phone service.
Disney said the service will no longer be available after December 31, but it might offer some of the specially designed software and applications through another wireless operator.
Disney came on the mobile scene about 18 months ago with a special phone service designed to disseminate its content and create a slew of applications designed for parents and families. Its Family Center allows parents to track their kids and limit how and when they can use their phones. It also allows parents to set spending limits … Read more
A new service out of Italy called Koinup is aiming to be the social network of choice for denizens of virtual worlds and online games like Second Live, World of Warcraft, IMVU and others.
The idea is to give these users a single place to post and share screenshots, video--known as machinima--or personal stories from the virtual worlds.
In addition, given that it is branding itself a social-networking service, it also allows users to create lists of friends from all these different environments, and to see all the content they've posted.
It won't, however, let you automatically move … Read more
I recently covered Spigit, a complex but very interesting prediction engine and community that's designed to help startups home in on workable ideas and plans. At DemoFall, there's another company like it launching: Virtual Ventures (site not live yet). If you want to play pretend VC, check it out.
Viral Ventures was followed at the DemoFall conference by IdeaBlob, a site where you can share your ideas with the crowd to win prizes. Reminds me of those matchbook and comic book ads: "Are you an inventor?"
I like prediction engines, and certainly crowds can be smart. … Read more
Update: I corrected the CEO's name spelling.
Given how much time and money it sunk into KVM, the Linux-based, open-source virtualization project, it's not a surprise that that stealth-mode start-up Qumranet was working on virtualization. But until Monday, the company refused to say just exactly how.
At DemoFall 2007, Qumranet unveiled its strategy: software that makes it easier to run desktop PCs on central servers rather than on actual PCs. Others, notably market leader VMware, already have a start in that market, but Qumranet aims to make it possible by buying software from one company rather than hiring … Read more
For some time now, we here at CNET News.com have been hearing whispers that Google might be looking to get into the virtual world space, particularly in light of the increasing interest of existing environments like Second Life, and the success of Google Earth and the search giant's purchase of the Sketchup technology.
Well, now we might finally be on to something. According to TechCrunch, Google may already be testing its own 3D virtual world technology, in a secret experiment at Arizona State University.
And according to a report published Monday from eMarketer, Google is "planning enhancements … Read more
About 8.2 million kids in the United States, or roughly a quarter of the population of 3-year-old to 17-year-olds online, will log onto a virtual world this month, according to a new report from research firm eMarketer. That number is up from 5.3 million kids last year, or 16 percent of the total population.
The numbers only go up from there. In 2008, researchers predict that 12 million kids will visit virtual worlds at least once a month, and by 2011, more than half of the audience of kids online will be residents of a simulated environment of … Read more
Two classic franchises round out this week's virtual console releases. But don't worry, there's a token TurboGrafx 16 game hiding behind them.Kirby's Avalanche (1995, Super Nintendo, 800 Wii points)--In this departure from the conventional platforming you're used to in other Kirby adventures, Kirby's Avalanche will have you racking your brain in this fast-paced color matching puzzle game. Streets of Rage 3 (1994, Genesis, 800 Wii points)--A staple series in the beat-em-up genre, Streets of Rage brought great action and gameplay to consoles everywhere. In this third installment of the franchise, you … Read more
It's not the most innovative name but the concept may be revolutionary. Metaplace, a virtual community that is currently being tested for launch in spring 2008, was one of the most talked about start-ups at the TechCrunch40 Conference. The new platform allows anyone to build a virtual world from scratch -- for the web or even mobile applications -- without any programming knowledge. Like other virtual communities such as Second Life, There, Entropia Universe, or World of Warcraft, the Metaplace worlds can be used for gaming, socializing, and e-commerce. And they come with the usual community features: forums, user … Read more