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Apple and Google top Best Global Brands in 2015

samsung galaxy note 5 vs iphone 6 plus aa (7 of 13)

Interbrand has released its latest annual ranking of the world’s most valuable brands and for the third year running, Apple and Google have topped the list. The 2015 edition of the Best Global Brands reveals that technology brands show no sign of slowing down with six out of the top ten made up of technology companies.

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For the third year running, Apple has topped the list and Google has come second, with both companies leading the list for the third year in a row. Apple is valued at $170 billion while Google is valued at $120 billion and the consultancy derives its valuation from a company’s financials, ability to influence purchase decisions and the extend that it can support premium pricing (which explains why Apple has topped the list).

Microsoft and IBM swapped places, with the Redmond-based Windows-maker valued at $68 billion in fourth place. Korean giant Samsung stayed in seventh place with a valuation of $45 billion while Amazon (who is technically classified as a retailer), is up 29 percent to $38 billion in tenth place. Other brands in the top ten include Coca-Cola, General Electric and McDonald’s.

Elsewhere on the list outside the top 10:

  • Intel rank in 14th with a 4 percent increase to $35 billion
  • HP dropped 3 percent to $23 billion in 18th place
  • Social giant Facebook rose 54 percent to a valuation of $22 billion in 23rd place
  • Camera giant Canon dropped 4 percent to $11 billion in 40th place
  • Siemens ranked 53rd ($8.5 billion)
  • Sony dropped 5 percent to a valuation of $8 billion in 58th place
  • Panasonic rose 2 percent to $6.4 billion in 65th place
  • Huawei rose a whopping 15% percent to $5 billion in 88th place

This year’s edition also saw PayPal and Lenovo enter the list at 97th and 100th place with valuations of $4.25 billion and $4.11 billion but the list isn’t great for everyone; as might be expected, troubled Finnish company Nokia joined troubled gamer Nintendo in dropping out of the list.

What do you think of the companies on (and off) the list? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!


‘Super Mario Maker’ crushed my dreams of making video games

“Isn’t this supposed to be fun?” I asked myself over and over again. I knew the answer was “yes,” but I still wasn’t having any. I’d been playing Super Mario Maker, a video game that lets you make your own Super Mario Bros. levels and play them on a real Nintendo console, and I was completely miserable. It didn’t make any sense. I’d dreamed about making Nintendo games since I was 6 years old, but when the company gave me the chance to prove a game design genius lived under my skin, I flopped. It was then that a shocking and heartbreaking realization washed over me: I hate making video games.

My ego didn’t take this realization well. As both a hobbyist gamer and a journalist that covers games, I’ve always humored the little voice in the back of my head that said, “I could do this if I wanted. I could make games.” No, Super Mario Maker has shown me, I can’t — not really. Yes, technically I can construct a stage from set pieces I’ve seen in other Mario games, but I’m not really creating anything. My by-the-numbers Mario levels (a few power-ups to start, some pipes to leap over, maybe a Hammer brother or two and a flagpole at the end) feel more like light plagiarism than original content. Why do I suck at this so much?

Objectively, I knew that my failure to fall in love with Super Mario Maker’s level editor is little more than a simple mismatch with my own creative sensibilities, but the reality of it still bothered me to the core. My self-image has always revolved, in some fashion, around the idea that I am a creative person; Super Mario Maker contradicts that in a way that other DIY game builders never have. When Minecraft’s building mode failed to garner my attention, I easily dismissed it as just “not my thing.” When Disney Infinity‘s sandbox world didn’t spark my interest, I blamed it for having “convoluted” tools that weren’t “straightforward.” I can’t apply these excuses to Super Mario Maker. I love Nintendo’s platforming games and Maker‘s creation toolset is as intuitive as they come. I’m the problem, not Super Mario Maker.

Coming to terms with this was like getting punched in the gut. If I’m not having fun making Mario levels, is that proof that I’m not really the creative-type I see myself as? I couldn’t accept that. “I’m a dang writer,” I told myself. “I’m not going to let some video game throw my personal identity into question.” I scoured the game’s online Course World mode for inspiration from highly rated level designers and poured over Nintendo’s official Super Mario Maker Idea Book, but still wound up with terrible, boring levels that weren’t fun to make or play. In a last-ditch effort, I turned to the internet for help. There, scattered across Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and a dozen gaming forums, I found my answer. This is a skill, not a talent.

My soul settled as I realized my failure wasn’t a lack of creativity, but another belief that closely orbits my fragile sense of self: There’s no such thing as effortless, natural talent — only the gumption to learn and master a skill. Online, I found level designers who had spent hours carefully planning out their stages before they ever touched the Wii U GamePad. They drew them on graph paper; they brainstormed ideas with friends and told stories through level design. My childhood dreams of creating games was merely romantic, but for these people it had been a practical passion. They drew levels on paper; they used other game-making programs; they built up their love for game design as a skill. I didn’t. It’s as simple as that.

It took me awhile to figure out, but Super Mario Maker taught me that game design is a lot like writing. On the surface, it sounds easy — but the truth is that it’s a skill that needs to be pursued, learned and developed. There are unspoken rules that have to be followed, and good writing (or design) requires planning and forethought. Nobody sits in front of a blank sheet of paper unprepared and writes the next great American novel (despite our egotistical assumption that we can), Pulitzer prize-winning essay or, well, award-winning Super Mario Bros. game. It takes practice, experience and passion. I have all of those as a writer, but none of them as a game designer.

I may never be a great game designer, but thanks to Super Mario Maker, a mild reality check and a little more thought than I ever expected to dedicate to a Japanese-Italian plumber, I now have a much better idea what it takes to be one. I think I’ve always known, but it’s nice to be able to consciously recognize it and give the folks who have put the effort into cultivating their skills the respect they deserve.

Playdate: Building the Mushroom Kingdom in 'Super Mario Maker'


30 years of Super Mario in pop culture

Mario may have cut his teeth hopping barrels as “Jumpman” in Donkey Kong back in 1981, but his true claim to fame came with Super Mario Bros. Created by acclaimed video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, that game launched in September 1985, landing on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)/Famicom consoles. This year, the highly influential Mario series celebrates its 30th birthday, having entertained generations of arcade and console fans throughout several iterations over three decades. The impact of Nintendo’s iconic Mario and his player-two bro Luigi on pop culture has gone far beyond just gaming itself; they’ve appeared in cartoons, movies, comics and even art. To join in celebrating 30 years of Super Mario Bros., we’ve put together a photo album of all things Mario over the years.



‘Star Fox Zero’ barrel rolls into next year

Longtime Nintendo fans are used to delays, but that won’t make the news of Star Fox Zero not releasing this year any easier to swallow. Legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto took to Facebook to announce the delay (embedded below), saying that the Wii U game’s technically ready to hit the initially promised November release, but the company is putting it back in the oven to sand off rough edges on level design and to perfect the tone of its cutscenes. Oh, and Nintendo is also putting more time toward working on the “unprecedented discovery” innate to Zero‘s unique two-screen control scheme. Miyamoto says that the game isn’t far off though and that his team is shooting for a release in the first quarter of next year.

A Message from Mr. Miyamoto Regarding Star Fox ZeroI made a big decision last week.We have been developing Star Fox…

Posted by Nintendo Console Gaming on Thursday, 17 September 2015

Via: Kotaku

Source: Nintendo Console Gaming (Facebook)


Wanted: your custom ‘Super Mario Maker’ levels

Something happened when we were broadcasting the Wii U’s Super Mario Maker on Playdate last week. Sean Buckley and myself (and almost assuredly someone from Twitch chat) thought it’d be a great idea to play through levels that the community made, live on the internet. And guess what? That’s absolutely what we want to do, but we’ll need your help. For a future stream we’d love to do nothing but play custom levels created exclusively by our loyal Playdate viewers. All you need to do is take the ID code for your masterpiece and drop it in an email to It’s easy! We’re playing pretty loose with the rules too. You can send us a couple of your favorites (but fewer than 30) if you’re having a tough time narrowing it down to just one, and all that we ask if you not have anything lewd contained therein.

You have until 12 am ET next Tuesday, September 22nd to make any submissions. Should we choose to play through your level we’ll be in contact via email to let you know when you need to be online for the broadcast. Ideally, you’ll be able to join us in chat while we play.

Simple as that! Since it’s going to be my cohost Sean that’s actually playing through the game while I cackle in delight as his misfortunes, if you could make them a tad on the difficult side that’d be even better. Or, you know, maybe try and curry favor with him by cramming as many amiibo blocks into the level as possible. It’s up to you!

Playdate: Building the Mushroom Kingdom in 'Super Mario Maker'

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Tags: community, gaming, hd, hdpostcross, mario, mariomaker, nintendo, playdate, supermariomaker, wanted, wii, wiiu


Nintendo appoints Tatsumi Kimishima as president

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata Earnings News Conference

After Satoru Iwata’s passing, Nintendo has announced its new company president today — and no, it’s not the legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Instead, the console maker has promoted Tatsumi Kimishima (above left), a name that’s probably unfamiliar to most of the gaming populace. Until now he’s been a managing director at Nintendo, overseeing the human resources division. Not the most exciting role, but since he joined the company in 2000 Kimishima has also been chief financial officer for the Pokemon Company, president of Pokemon USA, and president of Nintendo of America.

Kimishima takes the reigns in a difficult period — the Wii U is struggling, the 3DS is nearing the end of its lifecycle and Nintendo is about to dive into mobile gaming for the first time. In addition, the company is working on its new “NX” console and a mysterious “quality of life” initiative. Sure, the latter two projects were born under Iwata’s watch, but it’s Kimishima that will be taking responsibility for their success (or lack thereof). Meanwhile, Miyamato and Genyo Takeda, one of the lead visionaries for the Wii, have been given new roles as “Creative Fellow” and “Technology Fellow” respectively. Both will help Kimishima during the transition — but even with their assistance, he has unquestionably huge shoes to fill.

[Image Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Filed under:
Gaming, Nintendo



Tags: CEO, iwata, kimishima, nintendo, president, SatoruIwata, tatsumikimishima


Playdate: Building the Mushroom Kingdom in ‘Super Mario Maker’

A lot of games are about wish fulfilment, but what if your dream is to make Nintendo games? Well, now there’s a game for that, too: Super Mario Maker — a video game creation suite that’s exactly what it sounds like. Nintendo’s been hyping this game for over a year, and it hits shelves today. How is it? We’re about to find out. Join me and Tim Seppala for an ad hoc remodelling of the Mushroom Kingdom, starting at 6PM ET (3PM PT) on, on the Engadget gaming homepage or right here in this post. live video from Joystiq on
[We’re streaming Super Mario Maker at 720p through OBS, so rest assured this game will look dramatically better on your Wii U at home.]

Filed under:
Gaming, Nintendo


Tags: gaming, mario, Nintendo, playdate, streaming, supermario, supermariomaker, twitch, video, videogames, wiiu


“Pokémon GO” gets real world touch with Niantic Labs help


The world of Pokémon will be getting an infusion of virtual and real world gaming fun thanks to a new title called Pokémon GO that is in the works. The interaction between digital space and meat space is on its way to being a reality for Pokémon fans thanks to some help from Google’s – er, Alphabet’s – Niantic Labs. You may be familiar with Niantic Labs as the creator of the popular Ingress game and it appears Pokémon GO will get a touch of that same technology.

Like the Ingress game, Pokémon GO will enable users to launch the game on their smartphone to then access the virtual world of Pokémon overlaid on their real location. Taking things a step further though, the companies involved in the development of Pokémon GO which include Niantic Labs, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo Co., Ltd., will also be releasing a device called the Pokémon GO Plus. The device is a Bluetooth enabled accessory that will alert players to in-game events that may be close to their location. The Pokémon GO Plus will also have the ability to perform some actions like catching Pokémon through a button press.


Pokémon GO is expected to launch in 2016. You can check out the video below to see what the creators envision for Pokémon GO.

Click here to view the embedded video.

source: Pokémon


Come comment on this article: “Pokémon GO” gets real world touch with Niantic Labs help


Pokemon Go is an AR game that lets you “catch ’em all” in real life

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m a recovering addict. During the late-90s and into the earlier 2000s I had a problem, I just had to catch ’em all. Eventually I learned to kick the habit, though I’ve had a few relapses over the years. If you too are a Pokemon addict, you might be intrigued to know that the series is leaping off Nintendo hardware and onto your smartphone in a big and unusual way.

Nintendo’s Pokemon Company has now introduced a new mobile-only experience dubbed Pokemon Go, in partnership with Niantic Labs, the creators of Ingress. While this isn’t the first time that Pokemon have appeared on mobile, this is certainly the most ambitious, and oddest, effort so far. Basically, Pokemon Go is Ingress with all your favorite Pokemon friends, including Pikachu, Charizard, Mewtwo, and others.


Not much is known about the actual gameplay just yet, though the really cool and totally unrealistic video above certainly hypes up the concept. In reality, the AR game will probably play a lot like Ingress, with you wandering around the real world trying to find both wild pokemon and other trainers to challenge. Once you find your target, there will be some kind of onscreen battle to tie it all together. A lot of the gameplay elements remain unseen, though it appears that the visuals will be in 3D.

The Pokemon Company is also releasing a special optional wearable to help further augment the experience, called the Pokemon Go Plus. This smart wearable basically alerts you of nearby Pokemon, without the need to take out your phone. A cool idea, but probably only suitable for the most addicted Pokemon trainers out there.

Pokemon Go is slated for release sometime in 2016 as a free game, though there will be some sort of in-app purchase system. It is currently unclear if this title was created as part of the Nintendo/DeNA arrangement, but either way I have to admit I’m curious to see how this one unfolds. Although Ingress had a following, it never took off in a massive way. Can the mainstream-recognized Pokemon franchise help AR gaming take off in a bigger way? Let us know what you think in the comments.


Pokémon GO brings Pokémon to the real world

When Nintendo announced that they would be releasing 5 mobile games by 2017, they created quite a bit of buzz. After all, Nintendo has always been a closed eco-system. Perhaps after the Wii U suffered lackluster sales, Nintendo has decided that a more multifaceted approach is best.

So today, Nintendo in conjunction with Niantic announced that Pokémon GO would be released sometime next year. If Niantic sounds familiar, it’s because they are the developer spun off from Google that is responsible for the popular real-world augmented reality game Ingress.

Pokémon GO seeks to combine Niantic’s augmented reality with Pokémon. Take a look at the trailer.

The game will allow Pokémon trainers to explore real-world locations to catch, trade, and battle with each other in their search for Pokémon. There will also be a separate Bluetooth device for their smartphone called Pokémon GO Plus, developed and manufactured by Nintendo, alerting Pokémon trainers to nearby events (such as Pokémon in the vicinity) with flashes and vibrations, and the ability to catch them with the press of a button.

Pokemon_GO_Plus_wo_strap Pokemon_GO_Plus_w_strap

“Our challenge was to develop a great game for smart phone devices that expressed the core values of Pokémon,” said Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokémon Company. “Pokémon GO is the answer to that challenge.”

“Pokémon GO is a wonderful combination of Niantic’s real world gaming platform and one of the most beloved franchises in popular culture,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc. “Our partnership with The Pokémon Company and Nintendo is an exciting step forward in real-world gaming and using technology to help players discover the world and people around them.”

Pokémon GO will be a free download on Google Play in 2016 with available in-app purchases.

This game sounds really interesting to me. I had a hard time getting into Ingress because I didn’t really have time to spend away from home capturing spots. I have 3 children. However, this looks like a game that I can take the kids with me to play.

What do you think? Will you be downloading Pokémon GO next year? Let us know in the comments below.

The post Pokémon GO brings Pokémon to the real world appeared first on AndroidGuys.


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