Fat Princess: Piece of Cake is now Free on PS Vita!

You can now rescue the princess on Playstation Vita, iOS and Android for Free. Fat Princess: Piece of Cake  includes a brand-new strategic match-three game.

Fat Princess: Piece of Cake

Fat Princess:Piece of Cake has been available on iOS and Android for a while now but is now available for the PS Vita. The game has well over 55 levels which spread across 5 different landscapes. You will use your red army to attempt to smash through the Blue army with 4 different character classes to choose from. The PS Vita version also supports Trophies.

Fat Princess: Piece of Cake

Gameplay is quite simple and easy to learn but  you’ll need to strategically upgrade your characters – the Knights attack single enemies for high damage, a Ranger whose gun can blast enemies in the front row, a Demolition specialist with bombs to stun all enemies, and a Wizard to heal your troops.

But what about the Princess?

The game isn’t called “Fat Princess” for nothing…the princess is hungry, really hungry, feed cake to the princess by matching special tiles to unleash her devastating slam attack, trigger massive combos to save the day and her Kingdom.

Fat Princess: Piece of Cake

The mobile version offers the game for Free when you reach level 15. For this you must have an active Facebook account to receive the voucher code and you will also need a valid Sony Entertainment Network account to redeem that voucher code to download the game to your PS3 console.

Fat Princess: Piece of Cake

Yea, but is it really free?

“Fat Princess: Piece of Cake is a free-to-play game set in an incredible universe and can be played without making in-app purchases, however some in-game items such as power-ups and character upgrades can be acquired through in-app purchases”

Console resurgence starts with PS4, Xbox One launches – Riccitiello

Ex-EA CEO bullish on living room segment, dismayed with abundance of cloning in mobile.


Since stepping down as Electronic Arts CEO, John Riccitiello has been looking at the game business as an investor, and for the most part, he’s liked what he’s seen. Speaking at the GamesBeat 2013 conference today, Riccitiello said the industry is booming like never before, and with the exception of pay-to-play MMOs, it’s a great time to be involved in any segment of the industry, even the much maligned console business.

“We’ve got a robust free-to-play market. We’ve got a robust mobile market. They’re both going through the roof,” Riccitiello said. “But at the same time, we are seeing the early indications of a console resurgence starting two to three weeks from now.”

Riccitiello is referring to the November 15 launch of the PlayStation 4, and the November 22 launch of the Xbox One, each of which he expects to outperform its predecessor. Riccitiello referenced EA’s expectation that the two systems will ship 10 million systems by March, and noted that far outpaces the 7.7 million the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 managed in their first 14 months on sale combined. He also noted that surveys tracking gamers’ playing habits found that the percentage who play their consoles every week has been pretty steady for the past three years, hovering around 30 percent.

“Now I think that’s particularly stunning given we’re on year eight–or nine depending on how you count it–of a console transition, when we should all expect pretty significant declines,” Ricitiello said. “And we’re not really seeing that.”

Other signs of health included Grand Theft Auto V’s 29 million units shipped, as well as recent positive financial reports from big publishers including Take-Two, Ubisoft, and EA. (Riccitiello had especially kind things to say about the management team at his previous employer, saying they have guided it through a transition to digital. It’s especially impressive in light of a 2007 “burning platform” meeting the same group of execs held in New York during which they believed EA held roughly the same position in the market as THQ.)

“Right now, all the naysayers that were predicting the demise of the major console players, they’re not seeing it,” Riccitiello said. “In fact, they’re seeing record numbers.”

Riccitiello also brought up a common criticism of the console market, that smartphones and tablets are eroding its user base. He pointed to research that when surveyed about their playing habits, heavy tablet gamers have reported “a pretty strong degradation on console.” Riccitiello admitted that sounds bad, but offered another way to think about it.

“Ford is having the best year ever on pick-up trucks right now,” Riccitiello said. “And if you just studied people that bought Chevy trucks, you would find they’re actually not using Ford trucks as much. There’s a constant ebb and flow of gamers in and around things. So if you isolate around the heavy users of one [platform], they’re quite consistently lesser users of something else.”

Finally, Riccitiello turned his attention to the mobile market, expressing his concerns that publishers in mobile are boosting their bottom line today at the expense of building lasting lucrative brands for tomorrow.

“While I think some of the best entrepreneurs I’ve met are working in the game industry, there’s a lot of folks pursuing me-too strategies, virtual copycats,” Riccitiello said, adding, “There’s blue ocean, there’s red ocean, and then there’s oceans that are so red that the prior six entries have already failed. Why copy that strategy?”

Riccitiello admitted to being “a little depressed by the lemmings,” but stressed that there were a number of people in the field doing innovative, interesting, and different work, including Supercell, Natural Motion, Kixeye, and thatgamecompany.

“It doesn’t have to be the bluest of blue oceans,” Riccitiello encouraged those building new game companies. “Just a tinge of blue would be nice, a little more towards the purple maybe, as opposed to just straight copies of what’s out there.”


EA: “We’ve asked for too much time, too much skill, too much money”

Players learning from mobile, not Miyamoto; user content more important than in-house devs, says Hilleman.

EA’s Richard Hilleman has said that the console industry has demanded too much from the consumer, with players turning to innovation in the mobile space for their gaming entertainment.

Where once young players learned from video games designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, they now pick up lessons in play from the touch screens of iOS devices.

“I thank Miyamoto for that,” he said of the Nintendo designers historical contribution to games. “But he’s falling down on the job. And for the past five years that job has been taken over by a dead guy from Cupertino.”

“We’ve asked for too much time, too much skill, and too much money, sometimes all at once,” he told the audience at D.I.C.E. Europe today.

“Customers today… are generally looking for a single fabric of play. They want their game where they want it, when they want it, and at a price they can defend to other people.”

He suggested that the next generation of consoles can get gamers back if it learns from new trends, where players have become content creators and the focus in development has shifted from hardware to software. According to EA research, mobile games hold the attention for 90 seconds and PC games for 90 minutes, but consoles can keep engagement for two hours at a time.

“Once I get your butt on a couch, I can get two hours for sure. That granularity means I cannot build the same game on every platform. I cannot build Battlefield on every platform.”

Next generation games consoles will be more focused on updates to software and services rather than hardware specs, which will scale back the reliance on physical sales and mean the systems will be in a constant state of evolution rather than staggered over time.

“We are no longer in step function; we are in evolution,” he said. “We are not changing every four years; we are in continuous change.”

“Gen 4 will increasingly become a surrogate to the development of the platform overall, to the point where the hardware doesn’t even matter any more.”

He also highlighted the importance of user generated content and artwork in the new gaming ecosystem, suggesting that users will be just as important, if not more so, than staff employed in-house.

“Maybe these guys are the new software artists, and that means they will be the key strategic resource for the future… And they know it.”



Can the 2DS change the game for Nintendo?

The 2DS

The 2DS is a neat package for a nice price. But can it rejuvenate Nintendo’s ailing business?

When Nintendo unveiled the 2DS, a new lower-priced member of its celebrated line of DS mobile gaming consoles, fans met the news with characteristic excitement. But for market watchers, the 2DS seemed like a peculiar answer to a persistent problem. The Wii U hasn’t been selling very well, Nintendo admits, and the marketplace for mobile gaming devices has steadily shrunk as the one for other mobile products has exploded. Whether or not fans want the 2DS, is it what Nintendo needs to set itself back on the right course again?

“I think the 2DS is brilliant,” Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities told NBC News. Pachter is one Nintendo’s most vocal critics — he called the Wii U a “failure” and said Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata “sucks.” So it’s surprising to hear him sound such a positive note.

Yet Pachter insists that Nintendo can’t really go wrong with the 2DS, chopping 3DS bells and whistles — the stereoscopic 3-D effects and a bendable hinge for its two-screen display —  giving it a more affordable price ($129 vs. $169) in the process.

“It’s going to lift sales,” he said. “It just is!”

Other analysts like Piers Harding-Rolls of IHS Electronics and Media and Lewis Ward of IDC’s gaming division, agree. Both told NBC News that Nintendo is essentially going down market to snag a new group of customers — prospective buyers, mostly young children or their parents turned off either by the price of the 3DS or the scary-sounding labels that warn about its potential to cause seizures. In the process Nintendo can then up-sell the 3DS as a “premium” counterpart to the new device, thus hitting the mobile gaming market with a sort of one-two punch.

“The 2DS launch removes the pricing pressure on the higher-end 3DS and gives the company a path to up-sell from 2DS to 3DS, with both the hinged form factor and 3D as a selling point,” Harding-Rolls of IHS told NBC News.

This is how Nintendo itself sees the new product. The new console is “designed specifically for consumers looking for an entry point into or a new way to enjoy the Nintendo hand-held experience.” Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, told NBC News. He added that the launch of the 2DS does not mean the company had any plans to phase out the 3DS or spend any less time focused on that device as well.  “Content will be shared between both systems” Moffitt said, and that the 3DS is “very popular in the market, and we expect that will continue.”

But Melissa Otto, an analyst at TIAA-CREFF, isn’t convinced that a new DS will do Nintendo any favors.

“The DS was a huge success in the past,” Otto told NBC News. “But we have a whole new group of products now — tablets and smartphones. We didn’t have those five or six years ago!”

Now, Otto said, parents are no longer choosing between Nintendo or Sony when it comes to buying their children a portable entertainment device, but choosing between “tablet and console,” or “smartphone and gaming device.” And at the end of the day, a console “is not as multidimensional a product.” It may cost less than a smartphone with a data plan, but it also gives its owners “less bang for their buck.”

Other analysts didn’t deny that smartphones and tablets have eaten away at the market for mobile gaming consoles, but questioned how profound the immediate impact of these devices would be on Nintendo’s business.

Still, even Pachter said that the market for smartphones and tablets is now “10 times as large” as the one for mobile gaming consoles, describing Nintendo as “a victim of technological advances” that mean the latter is no longer a 30-million-sales-a-year market. The 3DS may be selling well — reaching 32.48 million units sold as of July 2013, according to Nintendo, and remaining the best-selling console for three months this summer in the U.S., according to NPD data. But that’s nothing compared to the 153.93 million units the original DS has sold.

For Otto, that’s the whole problem. “Hardware doesn’t make Nintendo money,” Otto said. “What makes them money is their content, their software.”

But the company still won’t separate the two by putting any of its franchises on massive platforms like the iOS app store or Android’s Google Play. And as far as Nintendo is concerned, it’s never going to.

“I think it’s plain to see that Nintendo hand-helds offer a more complete gaming experience, with richer controls and more immersive gaming worlds,” Scott Moffitt of Nintendo said. “One of the reasons that people have such a fondness for Nintendo franchises and characters is that their games are paired so well to Nintendo’s hardware. Nintendo’s IP works best on Nintendo systems, and that’s where it will remain.”



PlayStation Vita price cut to $199, €199 Memory Cards will see lower prices as well

Memory card prices will also see “significant reduction” in North America and Europe beginning tomorrow.


With the PlayStation 4 on the way, Sony is looking to goose demand for the PlayStation Vita by cutting the price of the portable in Europe and North America. During its Gamescom press conference, Sony confirmed that starting tomorrow, the suggested retail price for the Vita will drop in those regions to €199 or $199, respectively.

The hardware isn’t the only thing getting cheaper. Sony has also heard complaints about the price of memory cards for the system, promising to make “significant reductions in the price” of those accessories in both regions. Currently, the 32GB cards retail for $100 in North America, and €90 in Europe.

In addition to the price cut, Sony showed off some new software for the Vita. The company confirmed that games like Borderlands 2, Fez, and Starbound would be receiving Vita ports, and showed off new titles including the concert promoter sim Big Fest and Ovosonico’s debut title, Murasaki Baby.