Eric Watson

Eric Watson

Eric is a freelance writer who enjoys talking about video games, movies, books and Dallas-based sports teams. Every week he watches a random film from his collection of several hundred DVDs and live tweets about it @RogueWatson. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla. He lives near Fort Worth, Texas with his wife and daughter, two dogs, two cats, two fish tanks, some hermit crabs and a bookshelf full of Transformers.

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Disney Kids TV Streaming Box Unveiled at CES 2017

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Over the weekend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Disney announced a new streaming box called Disney Kids TV. Like other streaming devices, it’s a small box that plugs into your TV and internet, and allows you to stream Disney movies, TV shows, music, and even games.

As reported by Tom’s Guide, The Disney Kids TV box uses Google’s Android system, and is manufactured by Snakebyte. Snakebyte is known for developing third-party controllers and headsets.

The box will cost $99 and come pre-loaded with games and movies, though no details were available. To play games you’ll need to have a controller. A specific Disney Kids TV controller will be sold separately (also made by Snakebyte), but standard Bluetooth controllers will work as well.

Parental controls on any digital device for your child is important. The Disney Kids TV box will only allow kid-friendly Disney programming. It will have kid-friendly menus, making it easy to navigate for little ones, and no ads. It also allows you to connect external storage to download and play content for quicker, off-line access.

No details were given on packaged or available content for the streaming box. We’re especially interested in what games it could play. Disney Kids TV will cost $99, though no pricing was given for the optional controller. The streaming box is due out sometime in 2017.

christopher perkins

D&D Story Designer Chris Perkins To Provide PAX South Keynote

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PAX South 2017 has announced its full schedule of panels and tournaments today, along with its keynote speaker. Christopher Perkins, the primary story designer and writer for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast, will kick off PAX South 2017.

Over the last two decades Perkins went from pitching stories to Dungeon Magazine into his current role as Senior Producer and Story Manager for Dungeons & Dragons. His incredible knowledge of the Forgotten Realms and the D&D systems helped forge the great success that has been Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition.

He’s also something of a celebrity Dungeon Master, a concept growing increasingly popular thanks to live streaming D&D games. Perkins hosts Acquisitions Incorporated, the name of the D&D group for the Penny Arcade duo of Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, along with PvP‘s Scott Kurtz and best-selling fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss.

What began as a simple podcast to help test and show off the then-new D&D Fourth Edition soon grew into a series of live shows showcased at PAX events. Last year the team ran a video series called Acquisitions Incorporated: The Series.

Although this will be the third annual PAX South event, this marks the first time that Acquisitions Incorporated will be there hosting a live D&D show. The last few years they’ve done live shows at PAX East and PAX West.

“When we held the first PAX in 2004, a show about games seemed like a pretty good idea,” said Holkins. “Now it’s this whole big thing. It’s been a lot of fun watching PAX South grow every year, and I can’t wait to get back down there.”

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Tomb Raider Writer Rhianna Pratchett Moving On From Series

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Tomb Raider developers Crystal Dynamics announced that new reboot writer Rhianna Pratchett will be moving on from the now two-game series.

“Rhianna was instrumental in helping us find Lara’s voice in the 2013 origin story,” writes Crystal Dynamics. “And through Rise of the Tomb Raider she shaped Lara into the evolving heroine we know today. The entire team thanks Rhianna for her dedication and tireless efforts on the games.”

Pratchett took to twitter to express her own heartfelt thanks with the amicable split.

The recently rebooted series have received very favorable reviews. One of gaming’s most famous characters was re-imagined as a more realistic and gritty action heroine rather than a blow-up doll with guns. The sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, continued the same superior writing and gameplay. It was released as an Xbox exclusive in 2015 before coming to PlayStation 4 and Windows PC in 2016.

For her work on Rise of the Tomb Raider, Pratchett won Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing from the Writer’s Guild of America Awards in 2016.

While her work on Tomb Raider has been her biggest yet, Pratchett has been quietly working as a writer in the video game industry for far longer than that. Her writing credits include Prince of Persia, Mirror’s Edge, and the Overlord series.

Tom Clancy's The Division

Steam Reveals Top 100 Best-Selling PC Games of 2016

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Directly following their large annual winter sale Valve has presented their top 100 highest grossing games of the year on Steam. The best-sellers are broken up into multiple tiers, from platinum to gold. Best-sellers include a list of the biggest releases of the year, such as XCOM 2, Civilization VI, and The Division, as well as older main-stays like Counter-Strike and Grand Theft Auto V.

The following 12 games make up the “Platinum” category, representing the highest grossing games of the year on Steam (presented here alphabetically).

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Dark Souls III
  • DOTA 2
  • Fallout 4
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Rocket League
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division
  • Total War: Warhammer
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • XCOM 2

Interesting to see No Man’s Sky up there, with its widespread criticisms and reports of mass refunds. Despite its incredibly rocky launch and controversy over content, the game sold remarkably well. Also funny to see both Dishonored and its new sequel in the Bronze category. A lot of folks waited until now to jump into the series.

DOTA 2, valve’s in-house MOBA, remains very popular as well. It’s also free to play, meaning enough people bought in-game loot to make DOTA 2 one of the highest grossing games of the year.

Valve doesn’t publish or make public any actual sales numbers. These best-seller lists are the best indicator we have of PC gaming on the world’s largest digital service.

The Steam Awards also wrapped up at the end of the winter sale. Users voted each day in a number of multiple choice categories. Here are the winners:

  • Villain Most In Need of a Hug: Portal 2
  • I Thought This Game Was Cool Before It Won An Award: Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Test of Time: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  • Just 5 More Minutes: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • “Whoooaaaaaa, dude!”: Grand Theft Auto V
  • Game Within A Game: Grand Theft Auto V
  • I’m Not Crying, There’s Something In My Eye: The Walking Dead
  • Best Use of a Farm Animal: Goat Simulator
  • Boom Boom: DOOM
  • Love/Hate Relationship: Dark Souls III
  • Sit Back and Relax: Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Better With Friends: Left 4 Dead 2