Playing Pokémon X and Y is making us all sorts of nostalgic for the ole Nintendo franchise. Be the very best, like no one ever was, with our breakdown of facts you may not have known about your favorite game for the Nintendo 3DS. We join The Sync Up host Veronica Belmont to bring Pokéfans the top things you didn't know about Pokémon — but wish you did.
If you fantasized about creating our own video game as a kid, there was probably something stopping you (math homework, Saved By the Bell, dinnertime). But now that fantasy can become reality with the DIY gamer kit ($48) from Technology WIll Save Us.
Here's how it works: using the kit, build your own handheld gaming console in about two hours. (Make sure to read the manual from the website or watch the how-to video to get acquainted with the bolts, nuts, and other components.) Then follow the rest of the online instructions to learn how to use the platform Arduino to code physical objects.
Next, use the custom software library to test out features and create a killer animation. Step four? Well, that's easy. Experiment, invent, and let that imagination run wild!
Those clever executives at Microsoft released the new Xbox One the week before Thanksgiving, ready for our long weekend packed in a room with family looking for a way to get some energy after a haze-inducing turkey meal with all the trimmings. Now that the Xbox One is here, we're adding these fitness games to our living rooms. Refuse to let the postbird coma get you down, and break in the latest gaming device with these sweat-inducing titles.
Kinect Sports Rivals PreseasonThe next generation of Kinect Sports, Kinect Sports Rivals Preseason, is aptly named as the free launch-day teaser to hold us over until the full version of Kinect Sports Rivals launches in Spring 2014. The new Kinect sensor with its higher sensitivity shows off in this jet ski race, registering a change of a finger motion to have you barreling through water and jumping off barges. Play on your own, or challenge a friend in split-screen mode. In our trial of the game, the POPSUGAR Tech editors ended up getting more of a workout than looks possible when watching as a spectator.
Xbox FitnessFree with an Xbox Live Gold subscription through December 2014, the Xbox Fitness service brings together a catalog of workout videos from top trainers, including Jillian Michaels, Tracy Anderson, and Tony Horton of P90X. Once users get in the swing of things, Xbox Fitness acts as a personal trainer, creating personalized workout routines of 10-60 minutes based on past workout history and performance as monitored with the Kinect sensor. Xbox claims the sensor will help you keep top form and even read your heart rate.
Zumba Fitness World PartyIf you can't get enough Zumba dancing at the gym, Zumba Fitness World Party ($50) is your chance to have the 1,000-calorie-an-hour-busting fitness routine any time of day at home. Players travel through the world Zumba-style working out to over 40 new songs and following the moves of top well-known instructors, including Zumba founder Beto Perez.
Just Dance 2014The living room has never seen moves like Just Dance 2014 ($50). No more rock, paper, scissor rounds to decide which duo dances next; Just Dance 2014 now accommodates up to six dancers per song, with each dancer getting her own choreography. A Just Sweat mode tracks calories burned while dancing to some of the new songs, which include "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell and "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke.
It's gaming console season this November with new technology hitting stores in the form of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. While the consoles certainly top our holiday wish list, the excitement has us ready to get back into the gaming spirit in its many forms. From an indie console gone big to a racing game built on robotic intelligence to new hits on a classic dance title, these are the POPSUGAR Tech must haves for a November that'll have us glued to gaming.
Happy gaming season! Sony's new platform launched at midnight on Nov. 15 in retail stores across the US and Canada, and it'll be available across the globe on Nov. 29.
You probably weren't as lucky as Joey, who was the first person to get his hands on Sony's new console in New York. But that's OK, because this handy field guide will show you where to buy the PS4 and what games our editors think PS4 gamers need to get.
Where to Buy
Status: sold out online, but most likely available in stores Sunday, Nov. 17.
The console-only package ($400) is sold out online, but GameStop says you will most likely find luck in stores. Enter your zip code in the store locator, and the phone numbers/addresses of retail locations in your area will appear.
Pro tip! GameStop is currently holding "Reserve" console-only packages for customers who preordered the device. Any device that was not picked up on launch day will be available for resale on Sunday. So head back to GameStop on Nov. 17 if your local store doesn't have the console in stock yet.
Check Best Buy, Walmart, Toys "R" US, and more retailers, plus discover the PS4 games to get now after the break.
Late Night host Jimmy Fallon and rapper/Law & Order actor Ice-T turned into PlayStation fanboys yesterday when they laid their eyes on the new, yet-to-be-released PS4. Both tested the rad built-in camera game called The Playroom, which projects adorable animated robots onto the screen that you can then interact with — or, if you're Ice-T, that you can kick and stomp on.
They also took us back to middle school by playing virtual air hockey; Fallon won and, naturally, was congratulated by a virtual bottle of Champagne that he sprayed everywhere.
If you're jealous of the pair, don't be! The PlayStation 4 ($400) is available in US stores tomorrow, Nov. 15, but you can preorder it now. Special features include new controllers with a touch pad, motion sensors, built-in speakers, and much more.
Do you really have to catch them all? Yes, that's the whole point! In this guide for Pokémon n00bs, The Sync Up host Veronica Belmont breaks down what's new and notable in Pokémon X and Y, the sixth generation of the popular role-playing game.
Watch the full-length version over on the POPSUGAR Girls' Guide YouTube channel, and let us know: what's your favorite Pokémon?
Man your gaming stations, folks: 'tis the season of new consoles. Whether you're picking up the next generation PlayStation 4 later this week or an Xbox One early next week, get ready for play right out of the box with a stack of new games. Don't miss these great (short-lived) deals at Amazon and Target.
Select games are eligible for a buy two, get one free offer. The deal runs now until Nov. 16.
- Xbox One — Battlefield 4: Standard Edition, Fighter Within, and Call of Duty: Ghosts.
- PlayStation 4 — NBA 2K14
- Titles for other platforms, such as Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, PC, and Xbox 360, are also included in the Target deal.
- PlayStation 4 — Angry Birds: Star Wars, Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghost, FIFA 14, Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, Just Dance 2014, Killzone: Shadow Fall,Knack, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, Madden NFL 25, NBA 2K14, Need for Speed Rivals , Skylanders SWAP Force
This November, we're thankful for all the new gaming consoles coming our way, namely the Xbox One, which comes out on Nov. 22, and PlayStation 4, due to launch a week earlier on Nov. 15. Both Microsoft and Sony have been teasing what will ship on their respective platforms, and the latest announcements highlight what will give the next generation systems mass market appeal: entertainment apps.
Take a look at all the movie, TV, and sports offerings coming to an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 near you. Apps available on both consoles are in bold.
- Amazon Instant Video
- Hulu Plus
- NBA Game Time
- NHL GameCenter LIVE
- Redbox Instant by Verizon
- Amazon Instant Video
- FOX NOW
- HBO GO (coming soon)
- Hulu Plus
- MUZU TV
- Redbox Instant by Verizon
- Target Ticket
- The NFL on Xbox One
- Univision Deportes
- Verizon FiOS TV
- Xbox family of apps: Xbox Fitness, Xbox Video, Xbox Music, Internet Explorer, Skype, SkyDrive, and Upload
Pokémon is full of bright, cuddly things — but cute waters run (really) deep, as our partners at ReadWrite discover.
By Taylor Hatmaker
The Pokémon franchise, a series of role-playing games with strategic elements, is a smash hit, both in its origin country of Japan and around the world. With its first simultaneous worldwide release on Oct. 12, Pokémon X and Y (two barely dissimilar versions of the same game) sold over four million copies in three days. The Pokémon series takes up five slots on the list of the 25 top selling console games of all-time.
That level of sales isn’t just driven by kids’ Christmas lists. So what gives ... and why do adults like this stuff?
Look a little closer at Pokémon's absurdly cute sprite animations, thoroughly Japanese trappings and seemingly simple gameplay and you'll discover a vast underlying framework with plenty to teach us self-respecting adult types.
1. Strategy: Rock, Paper, Scissors on Crack
Pokémon's core mechanic seems simple enough on the surface. For the uninitiated, two pokémon (those cute creatures controlled by you, the “trainer”) take turns whacking each other until one “faints”. Each pokémon in this sprawling world of rock, paper, scissors has a “type” (fire, water, grass, psychic, dragon … the list goes on and on).
Rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock, eat your heart out.
But you know how paper is weak to scissors and scissors are weak to rock? Imagine if there was also coffee cup and blowtorch and slide rule . . . and . . . well, lots of things. And not just that, but scissors could be both scissors and paper. Did you brain just explode? If not, please enjoy this chart, the holy grail of Pokémon strategy:
2. Economics: Like Wall Street, but Fluffier
There I was last week, minding my business in Pokémon X’s iconic tall grass, when I discovered a little thing called the Global Trade Station (GTS). Granted this is my first Pokémon game in over 12 years, but whoa. The GTS is an online marketplace that connects you — the Pokémon trainer and hero of your own personal journey to gently subjugate the creatures of the greater Kalos region — to the other four million-plus trainers doing exactly the same thing the world over.
If you’re the arguably the obsessive sort like myself, you could spend a whole day just observing the in-game economy—not even playing the game at all—studying which Pokémon players are trading, which are commanding a high value in the market and why and jumping on in-game economic trends. Stop looking at me like that.
3. Statistics: Enter a Numerical Wonderland
The Pokémon series is essentially two things: battling and collecting. Dive into the online elements of the game, and the insanely varied strategy meta-game of Pokémon battles with other sentient players might be your kryptonite. And now that us would-be adults ablaze with late 90s Pokemon nostalgia are all grown up (kinda), this gets extraordinarily complex very quickly. It’s not as simple as assembling a team of six critters and wielding them at opponents all willy-nilly.
Like I mentioned in item one, each critter has a “type". That type has subtypes in the form of numerical values that represent its strengths and weaknesses . . . and those subtypes have subtypes. And you know, those subtypes might even have subtypes. It’s a rabbit hole with seemingly infinite permutations of 718 different sets of statistical variability (a.k.a. “ Pokémon”) ready to romp down it with you. Not just that, but these numbers aren’t fixed by any means—you can play mini-games and get into the Pokémon breeding business (don’t even get me started…) to up your statistical odds of total domination/awesomeness.
4. Happiness: Escapism Meets Unconditional Positive Regard
Grand Theft Auto lets you maim, rape and generally pillage your way through a hyper-realistic in-game world; Pokémon must be its complete antithesis. The world of Pokémon doesn’t really make sense and the story is thin bordering on nonexistent. The great part about that? Pokémon embraces the central conceit of a video game, whispering in your ear: Hey, you’re playing a video game … let’s skip to the game part, you know?
Forget yoga class with your cheating wife. Go out into the nonsense world and assemble a team of fantastical creatures just for the hell of it! Out there, everyone will greet you with unconditionally positive statements like “Don’t you just love collecting Pokémon?!” (yes!) right before they hand you a gift for no apparent reason.
If you’ve grown weary of insanely realistic games depicting the darkness and drudgery of “real life," just hop into the world of Pokémon, where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.
5. Patience: Neurotic Stamp Collector Types Unite!
Are you the kind of person who puts “detail oriented” on a resume? Yeah, me too. Pokémon is a completionist’s dream, turning our favorite compulsion into an actual game. Collect things for the sake of collecting them! Collect like things and group them together… virtual things—cute ones, even! And because Pokémon X and Y are on the Nintendo 3DS console, these things literally live in your pocket.
On the surface, the Pokémon series is a cloyingly cutesy game about collecting tiny virtual animals—but look closer and it quickly spirals into a web of intricate statistical analysis, deep strategy and positive psychology. The people behind this whole Pokémon thing appear to really have us figured out, which is slightly unsettling. But hey, this crazy-smart, endlessly self-sustaining business model preys on our weaknesses to bring us untold joy, so it could be a lot worse. Collect all the things!
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