Video game sales continue to slide in February, Xbox still top console

By on March 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM.

Video game sales continue to slide in February, Xbox still top console

The video game industry continued to struggle in the United States last month as sales slid yet again according to market research firm The NPD Group. After dropping 34% year-over-year to $750.6 million in January, total video game hardware, software and accessory sales in the U.S. dipped to $1.06 billion in February, down 20% from the same period in 2011. Hardware sales dropped 18% to $381.4 million, software sales declined 23% to $464.4 million and accessory sales were down 16% to $215.2 million. “Outside of new physical retail sales, we estimate that the consumer spend on other methods to acquire content including used games, full game and add-on content downloads, social network games, mobile games, rentals and subscriptions accounted for an additional $550 – $600 million in sales, which would bring total content spend across both retail and these other spend methods to $1.0B-$1.1B for February,” NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier said. “Our official quarterly estimate of the total Q1 2012 consumer spend in these areas will be released in our Q1 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report in June.” Frazier noted that Microsoft’s Xbox was the best-selling hardware platform in February for the seventh straight month. NPD’s list of the top-10 best-selling software titles in February follows below. More →

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Sony PlayStation Vita sales plummet during second week of availability

By on December 29, 2011 at 9:00 AM.

Sony PlayStation Vita sales plummet during second week of availability

Sony’s PlayStation Vita portable gaming console launched in Japan with wind in its sails, but the device’s success appears to have been short lived. A recent report from 4Gamer suggests Sony sold just 72,479 units during the week ended December 25th, down from the estimated 324,859 units 4Gamer said Sony sold during the Vita’s first week of availability. Nintendo sold 482,200 3DS units during the same time period and Sony also sold 101,121 units of its older PSP console. Perhaps Sony will need to follow in Nintendo’s footsteps and initiate a price drop to help spur continued sales, and a wider launch ahead of the holiday shopping season surely would have helped the portable console as well. The PlayStation Vita will launch in the United States on February 22nd for $250, and a 3G-enabled version is expected to launch at a later date. More →

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Xbox 360 crushes PlayStation 3, Wii in November sales

By on December 12, 2011 at 1:15 PM.

Xbox 360 crushes PlayStation 3, Wii in November sales

Sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 video game console trounced the competition in November, nearly doubling PlayStation 3 sales and sales of Nintendo’s Wii console. According to November sales data from leading market research firm The NPD Group, Microsoft sold 1.7 million Xbox 360 consoles in November. While Sony managed unit sales growth of about 70% year-over-year, the company only sold about 900,000 PlayStation 3 consoles last month. Nintendo sold 860,000 Wii consoles, 795,000 portable Nintendo 3DS consoles and 350,000 older Nintendo DS units in November. “This is the fourth consecutive month in which the Xbox 360 has been the top selling hardware system,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement. “The gap between 360 sales and sales of the next best selling platform was the largest we’ve seen since December 2008 when the Nintendo DS was the top selling system.” Total industry sales were up less than 1% to $3.00 billion in November according to NPD, and hardware sales dipped 9% from 2010 to $982.4 million. Software sales were up 15% year-over-year to $1.67 billion but accessory sales dropped 34% to $273.8 million despite strong holiday sales of Microsoft’s Kinect controller. The NPD Group’s list of the 10 best-selling video game titles in November follows below. More →

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Video game consoles are ‘fundamentally doomed,’ Ultima creator says

By on November 30, 2011 at 10:50 AM.

Video game consoles are ‘fundamentally doomed,’ Ultima creator says

Microsoft just sold nearly one million Xbox 360 consoles last week alone, but we’re nearing the end of the road for video game consoles according to one industry visionary. Richard Garriott, known for having created the fantasy role-playing franchise Ultima and the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Tabula Rasa, says converged devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets will soon render dedicated game consoles obsolete. Read on for more. More →

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 declares war on sales records: 12M copies, $738M in first week

By on November 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 declares war on sales records: 12M copies, $738M in first week

Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has become the fastest-selling video game in history, crushing previous records set by earlier titles in the Call of Duty franchise. The game lab on Tuesday announced that week-one sales of Modern Warfare 3 totaled 12.3 million units, making it the biggest launch of all time and pulling in an estimated $738 million in revenue. The Xbox 360 version of the game lead sales with more than 7 million copies, a record for game sales on a single console that was previously held by Call of Duty: Black Ops (5.8 million), and 4.8 million copies were sold for the PlayStation 3. Nintendo’s Wii split the remaining half-million copies with the PC version of the game. Activision announced late last week that the new title sold 6.5 million copies and reeled in $400 million during its launch weekend alone, also a record. We reviewed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 last week and called it our favorite first-person shooter ever.

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Video game sales up slightly in October, Xbox leads consoles with sales up 20%

By on November 15, 2011 at 7:15 AM.

Video game sales up slightly in October, Xbox leads consoles with sales up 20%

Sales of video games and video game hardware remained lackluster in October according to market research giant The NPD Group. Overall industry sales in the U.S. grew just 1% to $1.08 billion last month compared to October 2010. Total hardware sales were up 6% year-over-year to $295.6 million in October, and software sales were up 3% to $621.3 million. Sales of video game accessories in the U.S. dipped 5% to $135.9 million last month. Microsoft’s Xbox showed the most impressive growth among home consoles with unit sales up 20% from last October, while sales of Nintendo’s 3DS/DS line topped portable devices with 25% growth. November numbers should be a bit more impressive ahead of the holidays thanks to holiday sales paired with a number of high-profile launches including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which pulled in a record $400 million in sales during its first 24 hours of availability, and Halo Anniversary, which launches on Tuesday. NPD’s list of the top-10 video game titles follows below. More →

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Sony: Hackers compromised 93,000 PSN, other online accounts

By on October 12, 2011 at 8:30 AM.

Sony: Hackers compromised 93,000 PSN, other online accounts

Following a period of peace after weeks of cyberattacks launched against various Sony-run online networks, Sony has confirmed that hackers are once again targeting the company’s digital properties. The electronics giant said on Wednesday that it discovered a “large number” of sign-in attempts on its PlayStation Network, Sony Online Entertainment and Sony Entertainment Network between October 7th and the 10th. According to Sony, approximately 93,000 accounts were compromised when valid log-in details were verified during what appears to have been a brute force attack. The company says it has locked the affected accounts and that credit card data tied to the compromised accounts was not at risk. More →

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PlayStation Vita will miss Christmas shopping season in U.S., Europe

By on August 4, 2011 at 8:00 AM.

PlayStation Vita will miss Christmas shopping season in U.S., Europe

Sony’ next-generation portable video game console will not launch in the U.S. until early 2012, Sony Executive Vice President Kazuo Hirai told The Associated Press on Thursday. Sony’s PlayStation Vita will become available later this year in Japan, but it will miss the all-important holiday shopping season here in the U.S. and in Europe as well. Some, such as Daiwa Securities Capital Markets analyst Koki Shiraishi, believe Sony’s sales will take a huge hit as a result. “That’s when you do half your year’s sales,” Shiraishi told the AP. “This is going to prove painful for Sony.” When it finally does launch next year, the PlayStation Vita will start at $249 for a Wi-Fi-only model and a 3G-equipped version will be available for $299. More →

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Redbox to adds video games to 5,000 more kiosks

By on July 29, 2011 at 5:01 AM.

Redbox to adds video games to 5,000 more kiosks

Redbox on Thursday announced that it will add video game rentals to an additional 5,000 kiosks beginning August 1st. The company announced last month that game titles for the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo Wii would be added to 16,000 more redbox kiosks by the end of June, and the total after this coming round of additions will approach 27,000. Redbox owns and operated approximately 33,000 rental kiosks around the country, and the company did not indicate if or when video games might be added to the remaining 6,000 kiosks. “Whether customers are playing a new game or genre, trying a game before they buy it or simply entertaining friends and family, they’re embracing the availability of games at redbox,” said Joel Resnik, vice president of video games, in a statement. Company president Mitch Lowe continued, “More than 1.5 billion movie rentals and the positive consumer reaction to video games highlight the ongoing demand for physical media.” All game titles carried in redbox kiosks can be rented for $2 per night. Redbox’s full press release follows below. More →

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Sony S1 Android Honeycomb tablet running PlayStation Suite spotted [video]

By on July 6, 2011 at 6:20 PM.

Sony S1 Android Honeycomb tablet running PlayStation Suite spotted [video]

Notebook Italia recently posted a hands-on video showing off several features of Sony’s S1 Android Honeycomb tablet. The S1 was announced in April — alongside the S2 — and is set for a fall release, but Sony hasn’t provided many chances for press to check out the device first-hand. As the video shows, the S1 will be the first tablet to run Sony’s PlayStation Suite software, an application that provides access to Sony PlayStaton certified games and content, such as the Green Hornet trailer spotted in the video. The S1 is powered by a 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, which means you’ll get a top notch gaming experience out of the box. It remains to be seen if Sony will offer NVIDIA’s Tegra Zone gaming portal, too, but it will directly compete with the PlayStation Suite, so we doubt it. Hit the jump for the video. More →

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Sony to launch PlayStation 4 in 2012, report claims

By on July 5, 2011 at 8:30 AM.

Sony to launch PlayStation 4 in 2012, report claims

Sony’s manufacturing partners will begin building the consumer electronics giant’s next-generation video game console toward the end of this year, with a launch scheduled for 2012, DigiTimes reports. Details surrounding Sony’s PlayStation 4 are very limited for the time being, but the report states that the new console will feature integrated movement-based controls similar to the Microsoft Kinect controller. Foxconn and Pegatron, the two manufacturing firms charged with assembling Sony’s PlayStation 3, will build the new console according to DigiTimes’ sources. 2012 shipment volume for the PS4 is said to be at least 20 million units. Sony’s PlayStation 4 was not expected to launch until 2013 or 2014, but with Nintendo’s Wii U launching next year and Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox due to be unveiled in 2012 as well, it is possible that Sony accelerated the new console’s development in order to remain competitive. Sony’s current PlayStation 3 console has sold more than 51 million units globally since its launch in November 2006. More →

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Sony CEO Howard Stringer takes a 16% pay cut

By on June 28, 2011 at 11:50 PM.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer takes a 16% pay cut

In an effort to fuel growth across the company, Sony’s CEO — Howard Stringer — has taken a 16% cut in his annual pay according to The Wall Street Journal. Stringer will take home $4.27 million for the fiscal year that ended March 30th, down from the $5.25 million he made last year. During Sony’s shareholder meeting on Tuesday, PlayStation head Kazuo Hirai said that the firm’s “most important task” was turning around its television business — an arm of Sony that has seen seven straight years of losses. Hirai named a number of ways the company could accomplish that task, including boosting the efficiency of operations, tweaking product strategies, and reducing costs. More →

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Microsoft not entering portable gaming market, COO says

By on June 27, 2011 at 4:39 PM.

Microsoft not entering portable gaming market, COO says

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 →

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