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Xbox One to be launched in China after 14 year ban

Microsoft are to start selling its Xbox One video game console in China in September, after 14 years of banning consoles.

In a statement by Xbox, the corporate vice-president at Microsoft Yusuf Mehdi said "launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry".

The Xbox One has been very successful in Europe and the US. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA

China banned gaming consoles in the year 2000, citing their adverse effect on the mental health of young people.

Giant Tetris game on skyscraper marks 30 years

A giant game of Tetris has been played on the side of a Philadelphia skyscraper to mark 30 years since the game was developed.

Hundreds of LED lights were attached to the Cira Centre building by organiser and game designer Frank Lee, who previously holds the Guinness World Record for the largest architectural game display for a similar event, Pong in 2013.

Game designer Lee said the skyscraper Tetris project "was a personal love letter to the games I loved as a child."

Apple to refund US parents over 'pay to play' games

Apple will refund at least $32.5 million (£19.8 million) to US consumers whose children made in-app purchases without their consent, the US Federal Trade Commission announced.

Under the terms of the settlement, Apple will also be required to change its billing practices to make sure it has obtained "express, informed consent from consumers" before charging them for items sold in mobile apps.

Apple will refund at least $32.5 million (£19.8 million) to US consumers following the complaint Credit: PA Wire

FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez said the complaint alleges that Apple did not inform account holders that entering their password would open a 15-minute window during which unlimited charges could be made with no further action by the account holder.

Latest Call of Duty sets $1 billion first day sales record

Zohaib Ali became the first person to pick up a copy after its midnight release at Westfield Stratford City in London. Credit: David Parry/PA Wire

The fervour for the latest Call of Duty computer game has reached record levels, with the title breaking the $1 billion (£622 million) barrier on the first day of its release.

Call of Duty: Ghosts smashed the previous record set by Grand Theft Auto V, which generated sales of $800 million (£498 million) within 24 hours of it hitting the shelves in September.

The record-breaking Activision title was released yesterday for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC and Wii U at 15,000 midnight openings worldwide.


Games makers take responsibilities 'very seriously'

Games trade body Ukie said all its members "take their responsibility to their players, particularly children, very seriously".

Ukie chief executive Jo Twist said:

We welcome any guidance from the OFT [Office of Fair Trading] to clarify how they are interpreting the law and shall be taking our time to digest the proposed guidelines before responding fully to the OFT’s consultation.

Smurfs' Village added features 'to protect customers'

The maker of the free-to-download game Smurfs' Village said the last thing they want "is to be misperceived as taking advantage of children."

Capcom, the parent company of games maker Beeline, said: "Since this issue has come to our attention we’ve added a number of features and messages to the game to help protect customers.

Capcom is the parent company of Beeline, the maker of Smurfs' Village. Credit: Smurfs' Village

"If a customer purchases in-App content by accident, they may also request a refund.”

How to turn off in-app purchases

Screenshot of iPad settings Credit: ITV News

The online games app industry has been warned by the Office of Fair Trading of "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices" that could target "susceptible" children to pay to continue playing 'free' web and app-based games.

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