Sales of video game hardware and software declined 10% in June according to new data reported by industry watcher The NPD Group. Total content sales including home consoles, portable consoles and PC game sales totaled $1.03 billion last month, down 10% from June 2010. Hardware sales declined 9% from $401.7 million in June 2010 to $366.6 million last month, and software sales dropped 12% over the same period to $469.5 million. Video game accessory sales also declined from June of last year, dropping 11% from $177.7 million in 2010 to $158.9 million last month. Game publisher Take 2 Interactive was responsible for the two best-selling games in June, with L.A. Noire occupying the top spot and Duke Nukem Forever coming in at No. 2 despite low ratings from reviewers. Sony’s Infamous 2 was the third best-selling game for the month, while Disney’s Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game and Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D rounded out the top-5. Overall hardware, software and accessory sales in the first half declined 2.4% compared to the first half of 2010. A list of The NPD Group’s top-10 software titles for the month of June follow below. More →
In a recent interview with Forbes, Nintendo of America’s president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime was asked how his company will market the new Nintendo Wii U console — given that the existing Wii will still be on the market. Fils-Aime responded by noting that the console will not launch until after April 1st of next year — a date we hadn’t heard yet — and that, historically, Nintendo has sold multiple devices side by side. Fils-Aime pointed to the launch of the Nintendo DS alongside the Gameboy Advance, and also said that the Wii was on the market at the same time as the Game Cube. He also discussed cross-platform play, which could allow users to play against one another using different Nintendo machines “We have one key developer with a very strong relationship to Nintendo, the same developer who created Smash Brothers, that is envisioning a Smash Brothers experience that will be cross platform between Wii U and 3DS,” Fils-Aime said. Nintendo took the wraps off of the highly anticipated Wii U during the E3 tradeshow early last month, but has yet to announce a price for the console.
Will Microsoft enter the portable gaming market to compete with Nintendo, Sony, and Apple? According to its chief operating officer, Dennis Durkin, not yet. In an interview with Industry Gamers, Durkin explained that the portable gaming market is too crowded right now and that there’s too much change happening. “I’m not sure I would want to be launching a dedicated portable device right now into that market,” Durkin said. “I think the DS – if you look at the 3DS, certainly versus people’s expectation’s it’s not been as successful as people would have thought. So that’s a very crowded market and a very, very red ocean right now with a lot of change happening. So I’m not sure it’s [a good idea] … You only have a certain number of bets you can make as a company and you have to decide what you want to put your wood behind and I’m just not sure that that’s a place that I would put mine.” Durkin said he sees strength in Microsoft’s Xbox 360 system and is excited about the future of the firm’s future plans for Kinect and Xbox Live. We also imagine Microsoft has its hands full right now with the company’s next-generation Xbox console, which is set to debut at E3 next year. More →
Sales of video game consoles in the U.S. hit a five-year low last month according to new data from research firm NPD Group. “May 2011 was the lowest month of sales for the industry since October 2006,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. “A light slate of new releases is at the heart of this month’s performance.” Combined sales of hardware, software and accessories totalled $743 million according to the firm, representing a 14% decline compared to May 2010. Software sales were down 21% from the same month a year prior to $400 million. Microsoft managed to combat the trend — and keep total console sales in May from sliding to unheard-of lows — having sold 270,000 Xbox 360 consoles, up 39% year-over-year. Take-Two Interactive’s L.A. Noire was the top-selling software title for the month. More →
On Friday Nintendo announced that the much anticipated software update for the 3DS — which will deliver the eShop application store, a web browser, and more — will officially be available on June 6th. Anyone who installs the update before July 7th will also get a free 3D version of the NES game Excitebike. Nintendo also announced that it will deploy new content to the eShop every Thursday including Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare titles. The initial Gameboy titles include Super Mario Land, Alleyway, and Radar Mission. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Netflix support in the update, but we won’t have long to find out if that’s a last-minute addition. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Consumer electronics tracker NPD Group on Thursday released its tallies for the U.S. gaming industry, revealing continued console sales growth and rebounding software sales. Last month, sales of video game software dipped to $735.4 million from $875.3 million in March 2010. While sales shrank sequentially, as they do in April in many industries, gaming software jumped 26% from $398.5 million in April 2010 to $503.2 million last month. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console in April, having climbed 60% year-over-year to 297,000 units. Sales of Sony’s PlayStation 3 grew 13% to 204,000 units and Nintendo sold 174,000 Wii consoles, a 37% decline compared to April 2010. Mortal Kombat 2011 was the best-selling software title in April, having sold over 1 million units including standard games and special editions. Portal 2, Lego Star Wars III, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters rounded out the top five titles. More →
Nintendo will launch the 3DS web browser and eShop on June 6th during the E3 game tradeshow in Los Angeles. A post on Nintendo’s website confirms: “The Nintendo eShop will be enabled through a system update which has been announced for the evening of June 6, 2011. We’ll have more information for you after this update becomes available.” The eShop should allow 3DS users to download extra game content directly to their devices, although it’s unclear what else will be available at launch. Nintendo has said that a Netflix client is in the works, so our fingers are crossed that it’s part of the package, too. We reviewed the Nintendo 3DS in early April and the lack of an eShop, Netflix, and web browser, were some of our biggest gripes with the device. More →
Speaking during an investor briefing on Tuesday, Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata said that sales of his firms new 3DS portable gaming system failed to meet expectations. “Sales of the 3DS have been weaker than expected since the second week of launch in the US and Europe,” Iwata said while discussing the device’s launches in Europe, the United States, and in Japan. Nintendo had expected to sell 4 million units last quarter, but sales fell short at 3.61 million units. Iwata said that he hopes sales will increase as much as 40% during the next year, AFP reported. We reviewed the 3DS earlier this month and argue that the gaming system doesn’t offer enough features to justify its $250 price point. More →
On Monday, Nintendo released a statement confirming that it will reveal the successor to the original Wii during the E3 Expo tradeshow in Los Angeles — which takes place June 7-9, 2011. The new console, currently codenamed “Project Cafe,” may feature a new “Screen Stream” controller option that will provide each individual gamer with their own touchscreen display, although Nintendo did not disclose any of the console’s new features in its statement. The Japanese gaming firm also announced its earnings for the fiscal year ending March, 2011. Net sales of ¥1,014 billion ($12.35 billion) were down 29.3% year-over-year and Nintendo’s net income fell 66.1% to ¥77.62 million ($946,110). Hardware and software sales for the United States, Nintendo’s largest market, also fell year-over-year. Nintendo sold 15.08 million Nintendo Wii units, 3.61 million of its new Nintendo 3DS devices, and 17.52 million of its Nintendo DS portable gaming consoles in the States. By contrast, the firm sold 20.5 million Wii units in the U.S. last year. Globally, the firm sold 171.26 million Wii units, 120.98 million DS devices, and 9.43 million Nintendo 3DS units. Hit the jump for Nintendo’s earnings release, as well as its official statement on E3. More →
In an interview with USA Today, Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, confirmed that Nintendo sold nearly 400,000 of its 3DS units in the week following its March 27th launch. That’s the same figure Nintendo sold in Japan on its first day of availability when it launched there in February. “We are very satisfied with this start and we look forward to the momentum that we will build on the Nintendo 3DS with the launch of the E-Shop, the launch of the 3-D trailers for Hollywood movies, and the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in mid-June, as well as the launch of Netflix later on in the summer,” Fils-Aime said. We noted the glaring lack of services like Netflix and an app/game store in our recent Nintendo 3DS review, so we look forward to those updates. In addition to solid 3DS sales, Nintendo sold more than 460,000 units of its previous-generation DS portable gaming consoles, and 290,000 Wii consoles during the month of March. More →
In our recent review of the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming console, we noted that the iPhone and iPod touch could be a big threat to devices like the 3DS due to the low cost of iOS games and the increasingly impressive gaming capabilities. Research firm IHS on Friday issued a report in line with that thinking, suggesting sales of the 3DS may be limited by the increasing popularity of converged gaming devices like the iPhone, iPod touch and Android-based devices. “Nintendo’s accent on network services in the key U.S. market represents an attempt to convince users to carry their 3DS systems with them at all times and to engage with the platform everyday and in every place,” said Piers Harding Rolls, lead games analyst at IHS, in a statement. “This engagement strategy, alongside 3-D graphics, camera and video, is key to Nintendo competing with upcoming devices from Sony and also from non-specialist smart phones, entertainment devices and tablets, which offer a legitimate alternative to handheld consoles.” IHS still expects strong 3DS sales, but thinks performance will fail to meet the precedent set by earlier DS models due to the emerging competition from converged devices. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
The 3DS, Nintendo’s latest portable gaming platform and the first with a 3D display, made its U.S. debut on March 27th. Nintendo moved 400,000 units on launch day in Japan, and Amazon U.K. said the device broke console pre-order records as well. So, being the subway riding gamer that I am, I knew I had to find out what all this hype was about. I took it for a spin over the last week, staying up late trying to beat games and carrying it in my backpack to rock on the subway. And now, after a week of 3D gaming, it’s time to drop the hammer and see if the 3DS really is worthy of all that hype.More →
Living on the land of the rising sun? Well, we’re jealous because the Nintendo 3DS went on sale there this morning and Nintendo is said to have swiftly moved their initial 400,000 unit stockpile pretty swiftly (including pre-orders). Lines were said to be as long as 2,000 people deep for the ¥25,000 portable gaming system, but you can’t put a price on 3D, can you? Nintendo’s 3DS launches in the US on March 27th for $349 and is backward-compatible with previous Nintendo DS games including DSi games.