Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata said sales of the company’s Nintendo 3DS device in Europe and the United States were weaker than expected after the portable gaming console made its debut in April for $250. However, Nintendo dropped the price of the 3Ds to $179 after the company reported its first quarterly operating loss. The move quickly boosted sales in Japan and has reportedly resulted in a huge boost of sales in the United States, too. Nintendo sold 50,000 units between August 1st and August 12th before slashing the price of the console. The company then sold 185,000 more units during the rest of August after it reduced the price, a figure that’s up 260% from the same 19-day time period in July according to figures Nintendo quoted from the NPD Group. “Consumers are responding very positively to the new suggested retail price of $169.99 for the Nintendo 3DS,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “With Star Fox 64 3D and the new Flame Red color launching [on September 9th], and Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 arriving later this year, Nintendo 3DS will offer consumers cutting-edge entertainment and tremendous value this holiday season.” Read on for the full press release from Nintendo. More →
Looks like the weekend’s going to start a bit early. Hulu’s subscription-based Hulu Plus service will launch for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 on Friday, and here’s the best part: it’s free for Xbox Live (Gold and Silver) users until May 6th. After that you’ll have to drop $7.99 per month to kick back and watch your favorite shows from ABC, Comedy Central, FOX, NBC, MTV, and others. Hulu’s even adding Kinect support, which means you’ll be able to play, pause, fast forward, or rewind whatever you’re watching with your voice or with a gesture. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
According to analytics firm NPD Group, Microsoft’s Xbox gaming console has outsold Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 for the sixth consecutive month. Microsoft moved roughly 1.37 million consoles during November, representing a 68% increase from the same period last year. Several weeks ago, the Redmond company announced that it had sold over 2.5 million Kinect motion-controllers since its November 4th launch.
“The 360 platform accounted for over 40 percent of total industry sales driven by the successful launch of Microsoft’s Kinect,” wrote Anita Frazier, an NPD Group analyst. “Xbox 360 accessories accounted for 60 percent of that category’s dollar sales this month.”
The gaming industry saw $2.76 billion in sales this past November; up 2% year-over-year. More →
If you’re a Verizon Wireless customer with an affinity for QWERTY-keyboards, Android, and HTC, listen up. The HTC Merge, an Android 2.2 handset that is anything but a secret, briefly appeared on Big Red’s website today. The 360-degree view module, which is a treatment all Verizon phones get, was briefly live on the company’s website. The gang over a Android Central managed to grab a video of the hot little number before it was vanquished back into obscurity. Hit the read link if you want to check it out and let us know in the comments if you plan on picking one up. More →
If you are eagerly awaiting the DROID 2 to be released by Verizon Wireless, here is another good sign. The folks over at Droid-Life have found the devices 360-degree viewer on VZW’s website (a right of passage that all Verizon phones are treated to). To review: dummy units of the DROID 2 are on display and priced at some Best Buy locations, Verizon employees have been getting DROID 2 training, some Verizon Wireless and Best Buy locations are already carrying DROID 2 accessories, inventory numbers for the device began showing up in Verizon Wireless’ internal system yesterday, and the 360-degree web assets are appearing on Verizon’s site. Looks like everything is in line for a August 12th launch, no?
Announced earlier today after months of speculation, Hulu Plus has finally become official. For $9.99 per month, subscribers will be able to watch their favorite shows — including those from seasons past — on a multitude of internet-connected devices. Mobile devices are a go, with iOS devices including the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd generation) being the main attraction at this point in time. The best part as far as mobile is concerned is that streaming will work on both Wi-Fi and 3G networks. Several internet-connected HDTVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung already have support for the streaming service, and later on in the year, both Sony and Vizio will introduce support in some of their sets ad Blu-ray players. The PlayStation 3 will support the service “soon”, while the Xbox 360 will play nice come 2011. Hulu Plus will officially launch is July, but if you’re lucky you might just be able snag a preview invite. More →
Well it’s official — Microsoft formally announced the Kinect on Sunday evening with the aid of a performance by Cirque du Soleil. Previously known known as Project Natal, the Kinect plugs directly into the Xbox 360 and contains dual-cameras that are capable of tracking 48 points of motion without requiring gamers to use peripherals. The idea is that the Kinect will become the hub of home entertainment systems with titles and software for hardcore gamers while also attracting non-traditional gamers such as young children and the elderly to the Xbox. Exactly which game studios are backing the system have yet to be communicated, although titles touted Sunday by Microsoft include Kinect Sports, Kinectimals (an animal sim), Joyride, and Star Wars. Pricing, a release date and further details were not announced, although that’s hardly surprising considering Microsoft has its big E3 press conference scheduled for Monday morning.
Remember the Samsung 360 H1 we scooped the hell out of back in September? Well here’s its successor, the H2. Building on top of what was already an very impressive featurephone with a 3.5″ OLED display and 5 megapixel camera, the H2 is said to have a Super AMOLED WVGA display, 8 megapixel camera with HD video recording (720p, no doubt), 1GHz Cortex A8 processor and run LiMo complete with Vodafone’s 360 services. Of course with this being a leak, all of this information is far from official, but word is we’ll be seeing the H2 land on Vodafone in time for the World Cup.
April saw the video game industry suffer through its worst month in nearly 10 years, as both hardware and software sales tumbled for a combined total of 26%. Consoles saw the biggest decrease with a 36% drop to $398.5 million, while software titles and accessories fell 22% and 9% to $249.3 and $118.4 million respectively. According to NPD research analyst Anita Frazier, some of the decline has to do with Easter falling in early April. If it were to have fallen in the middle of the month as it did last year, Frazier believes the month would have seen an additional $55 million in sales. So what system suffered the most last month? That unfortunate title belongs to the Nintendo Wii which sold 50% less units than it did in March. On the bright side, it did manage to hold on to its title as the top-selling non-portable console with 277,200 units sold. Coming in second was Xbox 360 with 185,400 units sold, followed closely by the PS3 at 180,800. As for portables, sales of the Nintendo DS — fast approaching the Playstation 2 as being the best-selling console in history — were down 37% to 440,800 while the PSP essentially lost its will to exist selling only 65,500 for a drop of 44%. As for the top selling games… well, you’re just going to have to hit up the jump to find out. You wouldn’t want the home page of BGR to start looking cluttered, would you? More →
Dust off your old pair of Vans and get ready to party like it’s 1995, because Tony Hawk: RIDE has finally been released in North America. Available for the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, the game’s main attraction lies in its wireless skateboard controller that’s chockful of motion sensors and allows players to more or less feel that they themselves are on a real skateboard and part of the game. The game and skateboard are bundled together for $119.99, a far cry cheaper than your hospital bill will be after playing this game drunk at your office Christmas party. More →
We all knew that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was destined to smash industry sales records, but the pace at which the game is reported to be selling is absolutely shocking. By Activision’s own internal estimate, the first 24 hours of availability in the US, Canada and UK saw 4.7 million copies sold and generated approximately $310 million of revenue. As for the rest of the world, a good estimate is proving itself rather hard to come by, but Joystiq believes we’re looking at another 2.7m copies on the first day. Yes indeed, it looks as if Activision CEO Bobby Kotick will indeed be getting that mega yacht for Christmas. More →
All you movie addicts who own the PlayStation 3 no longer have to envy Xbox 360 users. Sony and Netflix are teaming up to bring movie streaming to the Ps3. The bonus for those on the PlayStation Network is, since your PSN accounts are free, all you need is a Netflix account to watch movies whereas Xbox 360 users need a $50-per-year Xbox Live Gold membership. The service will launch in November and if you decide to use your PS3 to access your Netflix account (why wouldn’t you?), Netflix will send a Blu-Ray disc that will allow you to access its library. It might seem like a hassle to pop in the disc every time you want to watch movies, but Netflix says it’s working on a software update for the PS3 that will do away with the need for a disc. It looks like you gamers and movie buffs are about to see double the couch time.
Remember that mysterious LiMo-powered smartphone we exclusively showed you a week back? Well today it was made official alongside another handset as well as a new internet service, Vodafone 360. The two devices, manufactured by Samsung, have been dubbed the 360 H1 (the device we showed you) and 360 M1. The 360 H1 looks to be an all around solid device with a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen display, 5 megapixel camera with auto-focus and flash, 16GB of internal memory, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and HSDPA. The 360 M1, on the other hand, leaves a little bit to be desired but still packs a bit of a punch with a 3.2-inch touchscreen display, 1GB of internal memory (expandable by microSD), GPS, Bluetooth 2.0 and HSDPA. As for Vodafone 360 platform, what we previously told you was correct in that it incorporates more or less the same sort of social media approach as webOS and MOTOBLUR, but with a slightly stronger emphasis placed upon games, apps and music. Nothing too crazy, but it’s something we think every smartphone should have as we draw nearer to a new decade. Of note, Voda’s 360 services will also work on dozens of Nokia and Sony Ericsson handsets so if this new dynamic duo isn’t your thing, rest easy. Oh, and just one more thing… The H1 and the M1? H1 and M1? H1M1? A bit too close for comfort.