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 →
While Nintendo has been quiet when it comes to the specs of its newly announced Wii U gaming console, preliminary details are beginning to emerge from the E3 2011 show. We obviously already know plenty about the Wii U touchscreen controller, which we went hands-on with yesterday, but the console itself is a bit of a mystery. A few of Nintendo’s hardware partners got a little excited, however, and we now have a few pieces of the puzzle. We know the Wii U will support full HD 1080p gaming, and now we also know it will be facilitated by a custom Radeon HD graphics processor from AMD. In addition, IBM will be supplying Nintendo with a 45nm multi-core processor with embedded DRAM for the console.There are also four USB ports on hand, an HDMI port, an S-video port and component jacks, and the console with obviously feature 802.11n Wi-Fi. The rest, for the time being, is still a mystery. In case you missed it, we’ve also included Nintendo’s full press release below. More →
We just stormed the show floor at E3 and strong-armed a few people to get right up close and personal with Nintendo’s brand new Wii U controller. The demo game required a lot of movement on the user’s part — there was a lot of shaking involved with controlling the character on the screen — but the interaction definitely looked like nothing we’ve seen before. The large touchscreen display was bright, too, and the controls are all comfortably within reach of your thumbs. We dig the white color of the controller as well, and it absolutely looks like a substantial high-end device. Hit the gallery below to see the rest of our hands-on images!
After all of the rumors and speculation, we now finally have a name and details for Nintendo’s next-generation Wii console… the Wii U! Nintendo just announced the new Wii U at its keynote presentation from the annual E3 conference. As the rumors suggested, the Wii U controller features a 6.2-inch touchscreen centered between a d-pad and an analog stick on the left side and a second analog stick and buttons on the right side. The controller also features a microphone, stereo speakers, a camera, an accelerometer, and even a gyroscope — in fact, the controller can act as a console itself! Moreover, the controller becomes a second window into the game being played, showing different views of the current scene, plays and options in sports games, items in a players cache… the possibilities are endless. Nintendo also stated that all current Wii games will work with Wii U and the new Wii U controller. The console supports High Definition gaming, online gaming much like the solutions offered by Sony and Microsoft, and even social networking integration. Nintendo states that the goal of its Wii U console is to serve the avid gamer and casual gaming communities alike, with a single console. From the look of things, they might just be able to pull it off. The Wii U console will launch in 2012 and pricing has not yet been announced.
That’s right folks, it’s finally time to sit back and watch as Nintendo unveils the console we’ve all been waiting to see: the next-generation Wii. Nintendo’s Wii has been an absolute blockbuster for the storied Japanese gaming giant. The company has sold nearly 90 million Wii consoles to date, but sales have slowed significantly over the past few years as the Wii began to show its age. With features like full HD gaming and controllers with built-in touchscreen displays, Nintendo’s next-gen Wii 2 will be an effort to recapture the early success of the Wii… but can Nintendo manage to appeal to casual gamers and hardcore gamers with a single console? Hit the break for our live coverage of Nintendo’s E3 keynote to find out!
Listen up gaming fanatics. It looks like Nintendo’s Project Café, otherwise known as the Wii 2, has been caught on video thanks to a sneaky developer and their utter disregard of non-disclosure agreements. Aside from slides that showcase the “Screen Stream” controllers, we see the Wii 2 console projected and lurking in the background as well. There appears to be a docking accessory — most likely for controller recharging — shown on the screen towards the end of the clip, although it is hard to tell as an audience member’s head obfuscates our view. The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) is scheduled for next month from June 7th to 9th; don’t be surprised if the Wii 2 gets a lengthy preview from the folks at Nintendo. The video is waiting for you after the break.
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 has just announced that the Nintendo Wii retail price will drop to $149.99 beginning May 15th, and it will include a free copy of Mario Kart and the Wii Wheel accessory as well. This bundle replaces the bundled Wii Sports game that used to come with the system, and we have to admit, this is an amazing deal and a great way to help revitalize sales of the Wii system and games. Nintendo also lets us know that it is into color coordination, because the steering wheel and the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controllers match the color console you purchase — white or black. Not bad, Nintendo, not bad. Hit the break for the full press release. 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 →
According to Kotaku, neither Microsoft nor Sony will launch new gaming consoles before 2014. “Both [Microsoft] and Sony are telegraphing to each other that they’re delaying, to milk the current [generation] and fill in previous craters better,” one source told Kotaku. By contrast, Nintendo’s next generation gaming console is expected to land sometime next year. Microsoft and Sony may decide to build onto the current systems, however; for example, Microsoft may release a “Kinect-upgraded” Xbox 360 in 2013. “Sony definitely isn’t launching a successor before 2014 and could stand to benefit by having Microsoft launch first as PS3 builds in North America and builds a strong position in Europe,” said Billy Pidgeon, an analyst with M2 Research. Microsoft has gone on the record saying that it will offer support for the Xbox 360 through 2015, but we’re curious how it will hold consumer interest in a system that made its debut in 2005. More →
Nintendo may drop the price of its Nintendo Wii game console from $200 to $150 on May 15th, Engadget is reporting. The new price will likely help Nintendo compete better against Microsoft and its Xbox 360 4GB console —which currently retails for $199.99. According to recent figures from NPD Group, Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii consoles during the month of February, far behind Microsoft’s 535,000 Xbox 360 sales figure. Similarly, Nintendo reported weaker hardware sales in its Q3 earnings report, so the move could help it reignite consumer interest. More →
Electronics Arts has announced that Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters has beat all previous first-week sales records in its Tiger Woods game franchise history. According to Gamasutra, the title sold 225,000 copies during its first week, and early estimates suggest it earned twice the revenue of last year’s game. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters is the first game in the family to allow players to hit the links at the famous Augusta National golf club — roughly 2 million rounds through that course have already been played. Similarly, players have already hit 182 million shots in the game, and 7 million games have been logged since the title’s launch on March 29th. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, is available on all of the major gaming consoles, including the Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, and the Nintendo Wii. More →
The U.S. retail video games market grew 3% in February, up from the same time period last year, to $1.36 billion, according to new figures from NPD Group. Video game hardware sales were up 10%, but software revenue fell 5% during the month. Microsoft’s Kinect controller for the Xbox 360, which Microsoft recently said passed 10 million unit sales, helped drive the 22% jump in sales of video game accessories. Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console rocked the top sales spot in the console market, with 535,000 consoles sold in February. Nintendo sold 454,000 Wii units, and Sony has not yet disclosed sales figures for the PlayStation 3. More →