Last year, consumers spent $17 billion on video games. That sounds like a lot, but it was nearly $1.5 billion lower than the previous year. One reason: there haven't been any new game consoles out to excite buyers.
Only Nintendo's Wii U might be on shelves for the holiday season.
The console makers are having a hard time figuring out how to improve on what they've got.
Try asking a gamer like Ryan Block what would entice him to drop a few hundred bucks on a new console.
Craig Allen, left, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and Jorge Castro, a visiting professor of ecology from Spain, survey a plateau ravaged during last year's Las Conchas fire in New Mexico. The megafire burned over 150,000 acres of forest.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
Jorge Castro looks onto the Cerro Picacho and the St. Peter's Dome trail, adjacent to the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. Last year's Las Conchas fire was the third in a string of blazes that devastated the area.
Credit David Gilkey / NPR
University of Arizona professor Tom Swetnam examines tree samples at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research in Tucson, Ariz. Swetnam says forests are burning hotter because they are overgrown.
The narrator of Maria Semple's newest book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is 15-year-old Bee Fox. She's a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. In fact, she's such a great student that her parents have promised her anything she wants — and she chooses a family trip to Antarctica.
Bain is the private equity firm founded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Now what the documents tell us, is up for debate. And it's worth noting that NPR has not independently verified their authenticity.
A character we've yet to meet flies through the air in slow motion, above a busy New York street, arms and legs splayed. He's wearing a bike helmet, which is a good thing — because as The Who's "Baba O'Riley" pulses in the background and numbers come up on the screen telling us it's 6:33 p.m., he lands with a thud on the pavement.
For a second or two, he lies there staring — at a car careering toward him, a woman mouthing his name, a bike that lies crumpled at his side. You might want to take those moments to catch your breath. You won't be offered many other chances.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:32 pm
It's summer in France, time for stressed urbanites to head to the beach and forget their problems. For the circle of friends featured in Little White Lies, however, this year's problems are a little more memorable than most.
A bank robber, played by Bradley Cooper, is in hot pursuit of the runaway protagonists in Hit and Run.
Credit Open Road Films
Former getaway driver Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) is just trying to get his girlfriend Annie (Kristen Bell) to L.A., but his guardians in the Witness Protection Program, as well as his ex-associates, don't want him to go.
Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:31 pm
The backbone of a good comedy is always, supposedly, the script. But in the case of Dax Shepard and David Palmer's marvelous road-trip comedy Hit and Run, maybe not. The key to the picture isn't so much the what as the how: Instead of handing over every joke right on the beat, Hit and Run lures you in with its jackalope rhythms. There's nothing else like it on the current landscape.
This week, first lady Michelle Obama was doing something she loves to do, talking about nutrition with kids. She hosted the first state dinner for children, welcoming 54 of them and their parents to the White House.
"This is the hottest ticket at the White House, right here, because of all of you," Obama said to the children, who ranged in age from 8 to 12.