Sony says PlayStation 4 will launch ahead of next Xbox, report claims

By on April 3, 2012 at 8:30 AM.

Sony says PlayStation 4 will launch ahead of next Xbox, report claims

Sony is aiming to launch its next-generation PlayStation video game console ahead of rival Microsoft, a recent report claims. Microsoft’s next Xbox console — which could be an ARM-based “Xbox lite” that will launch ahead of a true Xbox 360 successor that will be released some time later — is widely expected to hit store shelves for the holidays in 2013. According to an unnamed source speaking with VG247, Sony plans to launch its PlayStation 4 console before Microsoft’s next Xbox makes a splash. “Sony are completely in the belief that they have the jump on Microsoft this time,” the source reportedly said. The anonymous source continued, “Top line publishers already know about it. Developers working with publishers – like Ubisoft, for example – already know what’s going on. They’re already working on it.” Both Sony and Microsoft are expected to unveil their next-generation consoles during the annual E3 gaming conference next year. More →

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ARM-based Xbox ‘lite’ coming in 2013, Xbox 360 successor later, insider claims

By on March 22, 2012 at 11:15 AM.

ARM-based Xbox ‘lite’ coming in 2013, Xbox 360 successor later, insider claims

Microsoft had intended to unveil its next-generation Xbox console during the annual E3 conference this year according to a BGR source, but it now looks as though that won’t happen — the company has gone on record in stating, “we can confirm that there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon.” According to “MS Nerd,” an insider with a good track record of leaking unannounced information regarding Microsoft’s plans, the Redmond-based company is currently working on not one but two Xbox consoles that will launch in the coming years. Read on for more. More →

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Microsoft: No new Xbox hardware this year

By on March 16, 2012 at 9:05 PM.

Microsoft: No new Xbox hardware this year

Microsoft has confirmed that the successor to the Xbox 360 will not be announced at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo. “While we appreciate all the interest in our long-range plans for the future, we can confirm that there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon,” the company said in a statement to Kotaku on Thursday. “For us, 2012 is all about Xbox 360-and it’s the best year ever for Xbox 360. The console is coming off its biggest year ever-a year in which Xbox outsold all other consoles worldwide.” The next-generation Xbox is rumored to be six times more powerful than the current Xbox 360. It has been reported that the console will be equipped with a GPU based on ATI’s Radeon HD 6670 and should offer support for 3D technology, 1080p HD output, multiple displays and DirectX 11. It is also possible that Microsoft’s next-generation system may use online downloads and swappable solid state cards rather than a traditional disc drive. More →

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New Sonic game showcases Xbox, Windows Phone integration [video]

By on March 16, 2012 at 7:35 PM.

New Sonic game showcases Xbox, Windows Phone integration [video]

Microsoft first discussed its “three screens and a cloud” gaming strategy in 2009, describing a scenario that could carry a single video game across a TV screen, a PC and a smartphone. Now, nearly three years later, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II counts itself among the first games to showcase this exciting integration. Owners of an Xbox 360 and a Windows Phone will be able to start a game on one device, pause, and pick up on the other device exactly where they left off. “One of the cool things about it is that the Windows Mobile 7 [sic] and the Xbox are going to be able to work in tandem in ways that are completely new,” Digital Grand Manager for Sonic 4: Episode II Ken Balough told Official Xbox Magazine in an interview. “So when you pick up the Windows Mobile 7 and you’ll be able to play Sonic Episode II, save it, stop, boot up your Xbox 360 and pick up right where you left off. And that’s a really cool thing Microsoft has going between the devices and I’m a huge fan of it.” The video interview with Balough follows below, and the conversation pertaining to the Xbox and Windows Phone can be heard shortly after the 4-minute mark. More →

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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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Xbox 720 will reportedly ditch disc drive

By on March 9, 2012 at 7:30 AM.

Xbox 720 will reportedly ditch disc drive

Microsoft’s next-generation video game and home entertainment console may use online downloads and a swappable solid state card port of some kind in place of a traditional disc drive. The news comes from British gaming magazine MCV, which cites an unnamed person who claims to have obtained the information directly from Microsoft. The Xbox 360 already supports digital content distribution models and it is expected that Microsoft will continue to increase its focus on non-physical media. At the same time, however, this new rumor counters earlier reports that the next-generation “Xbox 720″ will include Blu-ray disc support. When asked to comment, a company spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the move away from discs but did say Microsoft is “always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention.” BGR exclusively reported last June that Microsoft intends to unveil its next-generation Xbox console at the annual E3 gaming conference later this year. The console is expected to hit the market some time in 2013. More →

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Epic shows us the future of gaming with new Unreal Engine 3 reel [video]

By on March 8, 2012 at 12:15 PM.

Epic shows us the future of gaming with new Unreal Engine 3 reel [video]

Apple’s unveiling of the new iPad overshadowed plenty of big news on Wednesday, and Epic Games’s unveiling of a brand new Unreal Engine 3 feature reel is something we couldn’t let slip through the cracks. The popular lab took to the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday to show off the latest features of its Unreal Engine 3, the latest version of Epic’s popular platform. Shown in the reel is a small sampling of what developers can accomplish with the latest version of Unreal Engine, and the engine supports game development across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. Game samples for each of the aforementioned platforms are shown off in Epic’s video, which follows below. More →

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Redbox surpasses 2 billion movie and video game rentals

By on March 7, 2012 at 9:35 PM.

Redbox surpasses 2 billion movie and video game rentals

Redbox announced this week that the company crossed the two billion mark for movie and video game rentals. It will celebrate the milestone by offering a free, one-night movie rental with the code “THANKS2U” for one day only on Thursday. Redbox has seen substantial growth over the past 18 months, with one billion additional rentals, a feat that previously took six years to accomplish. “We’ve always known how much America loves easy, affordable entertainment, and today we can prove it two billion times over,” said Scott Di Valerio, chief financial officer of Redbox parent company Coinstar. “Just 18 months ago, we rented our one billionth DVD and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this remarkable second rental milestone with our customers.” Read on for Redbox’s press release. More →

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Mari0, an amazing mashup of Super Mario Bros. and Portal, is now available for free [video]

By on March 5, 2012 at 10:53 PM.

Mari0, an amazing mashup of Super Mario Bros. and Portal, is now available for free [video]

One of the most beloved video games in history has been refreshed in a new mashup that gaming fans of all shapes and sizes need to download immediately. The title is “Mari0″ and simply stated, it’s Super Mario Brothers meets Portal. Game developer Maurice Guegan is the man behind Mari0, and he built the title from the ground up. It features a start to finish recreation of Nintendo’s original Super Mario Brothers game, adds a portal gun that shoots portals through which Mario can travel as in the popular PC game “Portal,” and mixes in a 4-player cooperative mode along with several additional features. The result is an addictive game that does a better job adding a new twist to an old classic than anything we’ve seen in recent history. Mari0 is free and open source, and it is available immediately for Windows, OS X and Linux PCs. A trailer video follows below, as does a link to a download that will ensure your Monday is completely unproductive. More →

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Microsoft working to add 3D features to upcoming Xbox

By on February 14, 2012 at 2:05 PM.

Microsoft working to add 3D features to upcoming Xbox

Microsoft is working to bring exciting new 3D features to future generations of it wildly popular Xbox gaming and media console. As the world waits for Microsoft to unveil its highly anticipated next-generation Xbox 720, rumors continue to swirl regarding what we might expect from the upcoming Microsoft console. We know it will be more powerful, it will support more impressive graphics and it may focus as much on other forms of home entertainment as it does on gaming. Microsoft has also teased us with the idea of integrated 3D capabilities, and a new job listing suggests the company is still hard at work to make enhanced 3D Xbox gaming a reality. Read on for more. More →

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NPD: Apple ends 2011 as No.1 brand, Best Buy top retailer

By on February 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM.

NPD: Apple ends 2011 as No.1 brand, Best Buy top retailer

Consumer technology hardware sales in the United States fell 0.5% percent in 2011, ending the year just shy of $144 billion according to market research firm The NPD Group. Roughly 60% of all sales were from PCs, TVs, tablets, eReaders, mobile phones and video game hardware, NPD said. Computers generated the most revenue with nearly $28 billion or roughly 20% of sales, with tablets and eReaders doubling sales to $15 billion in 2011. For the second year in a row, Apple led all consumer electronics brands and was the only one to increase sales during the holiday quarter, posting a 36% year-over-year increase. The Cupertino-based company accounted for 19% percent of all sales, almost double second-ranked Hewlett-Packard. Best Buy was the top retailer for the second year in a row, followed by Walmart and Apple respectively, with Staples and Amazon tied for fourth place. Online, direct mail and TV shopping channel sales increased 7% and accounted for 24% of all sales, up from 22% in 2010. Read on for NPD’s press release. More →

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Video game sales plummet in January, Xbox leads consoles for sixth straight month

By on February 10, 2012 at 4:40 PM.

Video game sales plummet in January, Xbox leads consoles for sixth straight month

Sales of video game hardware and software in the United States plummeted last month according to new data from market research firm The NPD Group. The firm’s January figures suggest that sales of video game hardware fell 38% to $199.5 million, down from $324 million in January 2011. Video game software sales slid 38% as well in January, falling to $355.9 million, and sales of accessories in the U.S. dropped 18% year-on-year to $195.2 million. Total industry sales were down 34% to $750.6 million. “January retail performance experienced steep declines with a lack of software launches, and poor Hardware and Accessory performance partly related to bad comps from Kinect-related success in Jan’11,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “Outside of new physical retail sales, we estimate that the consumer spend on other ways 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 $350 – $400 million in sales.” Callahan noted that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was the best-selling console for the sixth consecutive month in January, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was the top-selling software title. A complete list of NPD’s top-10 games for the month follows below. More →

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World’s first PC game, co-written by Bill Gates, now available for the iPhone

By on February 9, 2012 at 7:40 PM.

World’s first PC game, co-written by Bill Gates, now available for the iPhone

Owners of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch can now enjoy a remake of the first-ever PC game, co-written by Bill Gates himself, which came pre-installed on several IBM computers in 1981. First released late last month, XVision’s DONKEY.BAS is a terrific recreation of the PC game by the same name. Players control a race car as it advances up the screen. Donkeys repeatedly come into view, and the simple goal is to switch lanes before colliding with any curious creatures. “We did this game as a tribute to the original,” XVision founder Johnny Ixe told BGR, noting that the firm added a number of new features to the game in order to distinguish it from the original. The spirit of the game remains, however, and gamers looking for a bit of nostalgia would be hard-pressed to find a better blast from the past. DONKEY.BAS is available now in the App Store for $0.99. More →

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