As their markets and libraries continue to grow, how are digital stores adapting?

Stores-top

Platform holders used to pad out the tail end of a hardware generation with price cuts or slight shifts in focus to target different markets. In the seven years since Microsoft kicked off the current console generation with the 360’s release, though, much has changed. Consoles now do much more than play games, and PCs are no longer confined to the desk or our laps, but are often found under the TV as well. The explosion in mobile gaming has also meant we can download and play games in the brief window we spend waiting for a bus.

Guardians Of Middle-Earth review

Guardians Of Middle-Earth review

Guardians Of Middle-Earth suffers from problems of nomenclature. Its ultra-generic title gives no window into the game’s makeup. Its genre – multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA – provides no help to those who confine their gaming to consoles. We’re left with a confused, Tolkien-tinged picture of a five-on-five Lord Of The Rings game.

New PlayStation Store now launched in Europe, US still facing delay

PlayStation Store revision

The new PlayStation Store is now live across Europe, according to Sony, following delays to the service’s launch earlier this month. The new look store, which was originally due to launch on October 17 in the PAL regions, uses a darker palette and more of the available screen estate to pack in content. There’s also a new storefront, of course, that has been designed to better promote new games, movies and TV content.

The Unfinished Swan review

The Unfinished Swan gateway

It’s impossible to miss the thematic ambitions driving Giant Sparrow’s endearing first-person puzzler. They’re exhibited with all the subtlety of a bright orange beak against white feathers. The Unfinished Swan simulates the evolution through which a creative work progresses, and prompts us to reflect on the beauty already evident in the first halting steps of that journey. The set-up involves an orphaned boy named Monroe, whose only keepsake from his late mother is a swan painting that she adored but never got around to completing. Waking one night, Monroe notices a magic door, takes his mother’s paintbrush and steps through into the world beyond.

Sony unveils new-look PlayStation Store

PlayStation-Store-revision-2

PSN, Sony’s digital marketplace, is to receive an overhaul this month which aims to address criticisms levelled at the service by users. The new look uses a darker palette and more of the available screen estate to pack in content. There’s also a new storefront, of course, that has been designed to better promote new games, movies and TV content.