Items tagged with Video Games

Last month the NPD Group reported that Call of Duty: Black Ops II led slumping game sales in the U.S., noting that the video game industry as a whole declined 22 percent in December. Fast forward to today and NPD Group is now reporting a 9 percent increase in game sales in January, but that's only because January benefited from an extra week of accounting. NPD Group follows the National Retail Federation's calendar, which adds an extra week of sales every five to six years. This happened to be that year, so January's figures ended up inflated by tallying a five-week period instead of four weeks. In any event, gamers spent $834.7 million on game-related hardware, software, and accessories in January,... Read more...
Nintendo now expects to sell fewer Wii U consoles than it initially anticipated, the Japanese video game maker said Wednesday as it slashed its sales outlook for its newest gaming device. The company said it sold 3.06 million Wii U consoles to date, and only expects sales to reach 4 million through March, down from a previous forecast of 5.5 million units. It wasn't just the Wii U that was downgraded. Nintendo adjusted its sales expectations for its 3DS handheld console to 15 million units through March, down from a previous forecast of 17.5 million units. The company also expects to sell fewer software titles, reducing its forecast of Wii U game sales to 16 million units, down from 24 million... Read more...
Give it some time and when Grand Theft Auto V is released this Spring, underage gamers who somehow manage to get their hands on the title will be stuffing people in trunks in real life, right? You know that's nonsense, and I know that's nonsense, but there's a general consensus among parents that violent video games are leading to real-world violence. It's an argument we've heard a million times before, one that ignores the horrible things people have done to one another throughout history, from the rarely mentioned Tulsa Race Riot of 1921, to the twisted medieval torture devices that were invented long before the Xbox 360, or even the Atari 2600, for that matter. Lest I go off on a tangent here,... Read more...
The video game industry industry declined 22 percent in December, dropping from $4.1 billion in retail sales in 2011 to $3.21 billion in 2012, according to the latest data published by the NPD Group. Software sales were hit the hardest, dropping 27 percent because of fewer releases. "A major culprit in the decline in retail sales in 2012 was the lack of new releases with 29 percent less SKUs across consoles, portables, and PCs," analyst Liam Callahan said, according to Gamasutra. "However, the SKUs that were released generated 8 percent more units per SKU and 11 percent more dollars per SKU." That last statement should be encouraging to game developers and publishers, though it's unclear why... Read more...
It's a sad thing when you step into a GameStop or Babbages (formerly Software Etc.) and see just a single rack dedicated to PC games, but hey, we don't have it so bad. Valve has picked up the torch with its Steam platform, and it seems there's always a major sale going on. The most recent was the Steam Holiday Sale, which saw big discounts on several titles, some as high as 75 percent off. Did you miss it? Don't worry, you're getting a second chance. "Gamers will have a final opportunity to get their favorite games on Steam. A select number of the most sought-after titles from the Steam Holiday Sale will reprise their biggest discounts for two additional days," Valve announced in a blog post.... Read more...
Sony may have already lost the next generation console wars before stepping foot on the battlefield. That is, if it's granted a patent for a technology that would effectively eliminate the ability to play used games on the PlayStation 4, a move that would prove mighty unpopular among gamers and second-hand game shops if Sony actually implemented such a blocking mechanism. Here's the abstract: "A game playing system includes a use permission tag provided for use in a game disk for a user of a game, a disk drive, and a reproduction device for reproducing the game. The disk drive reads out a disk ID from the game disk. When the game is to be played, the reproduction device conveys the disk ID and... Read more...
Here's a curious thing. If you direct your browser over to the Major Nelson blog, which covers Xbox Live related topics, you'll find a countdown timer to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 158 days and some odd hours from now. Above the timer is a three word statement: "And it's on..." Yes folks, it's on indeed. Perhaps one of the worst kept secrets in cyberspace is that Microsoft is planning to unveil its next generation Xbox console at E3, and posting a countdown timer on the Major Nelson blog is a pretty big hint that Microsoft is prepping a big reveal. If not the Xbox 720, or whatever the next Xbox will be called, what else could it be? We won't even go there, because with all the... Read more...
Hard times have fallen on video game maker THQ, which reportedly filed for Chapter 1 bankruptcy this week. Affiliates of private equity firm Clearlake Capital Group L.P. will acquire THQ's assets for around $60 million, taking control of the company's four studios and any games currently in development. The sale will allow THQ to shed certain legacy obligations and emerge with a strong financial backing of a new owner, the games developer said. "The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ’s transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios and THQ’s deep bench of talent," said... Read more...
The Humble Bundle is back for a seventh iteration, and in a throwback to its earlier days, the newest package includes indie titles. As always, you get to name your own price for the bundle, after which you're afforded instant access to the games on Mac, Windows, and Linux. The seven titles up for grabs include: The Binding of Isaac + its DLC Wrath of the Lamb Closure Shank 2 Snapshot Legend of Grimrock Dungeon Defenders + DLC Indie Game: The Movie Legends of Grimrock This is a great way to support the Indie community, as well as PC gaming in general, and there are some incentives to entice users away from being complete cheapskates. Yes, you could pay as little as a penny for the bundle, but... Read more...
Valve has some great news for the open source gaming crowd. The Steam for Linux beta program is now open to the public, meaning anyone and everyone can join. All that's required is that you download the latest Steam Linux client (or upgrade your current Steam for Linux client to the latest release) and you're good to go. The new client introduces a few changes and improvements, including: Linux -- Fixed excessive CPU usage by the Steam client when running Team Fortress 2 Linux -- Fixed overlay crash when starting Cubeman Big Picture -- Improved back navigation behavior throughout user interface Big Picture -- Added discount timers and other user interface to store This is really the beginning... Read more...
Video games aren't just for kids, nor have they ever targeted just a single demographic. In fact, the average gamer is 30 years old and has been playing games for 12 years. And the average age of those who purchase games most often is 35 years old. Are you at all surprised? These statistics come courtesy of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a trade association of the video game industry in the U.S. It's member-base includes a number of top publishers, including Atari, Capcom, Eidos Interactive, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Square Enix, and plenty of other heavy hitters. "Today's gamers include millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds. This vast audience fuels the... Read more...
PC gamers are in for a treat. I can confidently say that after watching the latest Dead Space 3 trailer, which looks every bit as spooky as fans of the franchise were hoping, but also features great voice acting and sound effects. In the event Dead Space 3 turns out to be a turd, it will have nothing to do with cinematics or the ambiance. Developed by Visceral Games and published by Electronic Arts, Dead Space 3 is a survival-based third-person shooter that follows protagonists Isaac Clarke and Sergeant John Carver as they battle reanimated human corpses on a frozen planet called Tau Volantis. There will be two ways to play the game: alone as Clarke or in co-op mode. The trailer shows both types... Read more...
Hobbit game publisher Kabam announced that it secured investments from Warner Bros. Entertainment and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM). Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it should be noted that Warner Bros. owns the rights to the upcoming trilogy of Hobbit films. "Partnering with Warner Bros. and MGM is a natural fit for Kabam as we create new story lines and extensions of Hollywood studios’ intellectual properties for millions of gamers worldwide," said Kabam co-founder and CEO Kevin Chou. "Either Kevin Tsujihara or Gary Barber would be a tremendous addition to any growing entertainment company’s board. To have both is a boon to Kabam." Kabam recently released The Hobbit,... Read more...
The online game company responsible for Farmville, Mafia Wars, and other online games that clutter your Facebook feed with various requests has an request of its own. Zynga wants Nevada Gaming Control Board to approve is application for online gambling in the U.S., a process that could take up to 18 months. Zynga already offers real-money gambling in its online poker and casino games in the U.K., and if all goes to plan, it will launch those same services in the U.S. next year. Before doing that, it needs the above mentioned approval for its "application for a preliminary finding of suitability." Assuming Zynga gets it, the company can then apply for a gaming license in the state, which takes... Read more...
Let's be honest, the time we spend making calls on our smartphones pales in comparison to all the other activities we use it for, like surfing the web, logging into Facebook, streaming music and video, and of course playing games. It's that latter functionality that a startup called Green Throttle wants to tap into, and given the power of today's smartphones, why not? Green Throttle's tagline is "Games Reimagined," which simply means thinking about mobile games in a whole new way. Put simply, the company envisions harnessing the power of today's well-equipped Android smartphones and tablets in order to play console-like games on your HDTV. Right now the concept is limited to select devices --... Read more...
Hulu announced its new Video Games hub which will feature HD trailers, game play videos, and reviews of the hottest new games. Located at www.hulu.com/videogames, the new video game hub also has information about a game's release date so you will know when you can get your hands on a game you're eyeing. The Video Games hub is currently available on the PC. Hulu plans to roll it out to all Hulu Plus enabled devices over the next few months. Some of the titles you'll currently find in the Video Games hub include Halo 4, Black Ops 2., and Assassin’s Creed III. Additionally, Hulu plans to highlight some of the video games for the Wii U such as New Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land, and SiNG... Read more...
The more things change, the more they stay the same. How so? Well, it's been six long years since the last major console launch (the original Wii and PlayStation 3 both debuted in November, 2006), and though the landscape looks decidedly different these days, gamers apparently still have to deal with yesteryear issues, like low inventory and inflated online prices. Nintendo's Wii U console is sold out online, as well as in many brick-and-mortar stores. The console launched to the U.S. market just yesterday (November 18, 2012), giving gamers a choice between the Basic Set for $300 (8GB storage) or the Deluxe Set for $350 (32GB hard drive and various extras). Both are now hard to come by just a... Read more...
Nintnedo's making a concerted effort to play a bigger role in living room entertainment with its Wii U console than it did with the original Wii, but some features integral to that goal won't be available right off the bat. The company didn't give a specific reason as to why the delay was taking place, and instead offered up a canned statement about wanting its service "to be the best possible experience for all consumers." One of the features being held out until December is Nintendo TVii. "In December, Nintendo will activate this unique application that will transform how people find, watch and engage with TV shows, movies and sports," Nintendo said. "Nintendo TVii makes watching TV simple... Read more...
While it may have been easy to predict, we can now confirm that Activision's wildly popular Call of Duty series is still the one the beat. The latest title in the CoD franchise -- Black Ops II -- notched over $500 million in worldwide sales during the first 24 hours of its release, more than doubling that of Halo 4's launch, which raked in $220 million on its launch day. "With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row," said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard, Inc. "Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for... Read more...
Gamers hoping to cling to some semblance of productivity this week don't stand a chance. On one hand, there's Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to occupy your time into the wee hours of the morning, and if that doesn't float your boat, Halo 4 launched earlier this week, amassing more than $220 million in global sales in the first 24 hours. It's the biggest Halo launch in the history of the franchise, and also eclipses the biggest movie launch in U.S. box office history, Microsoft says. Halo 4 is on track to reach $300 million in global sales during its first week of sales. "We’re thrilled that ‘Halo 4’ has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year," said Phil Spencer,... Read more...
Now that you've called in sick to work or decided to skip this morning's chemistry lab in order to play through a few more missions in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, you might as well squeeze the most performance out of the game as possible. To help you do that, NVIDIA has made available a new set of beta drivers that promise to boost framerates by up to 26 percent in the latest CoD title. GeFroce 310.54 is available to download for 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. The biggest performance gain comes to Black Ops 2 (mentioned above) and applies to GeForce GTX 680 graphics cards, while those running a GTX 660 can expect up to 24 percent better framerates in the... Read more...
Productivity in the United States won't come to a screeching halt tomorrow, but we suspect there will be a fair number of people calling in "sick" to work and school. That's because Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 launches tomorrow. Call of Duty, of course, is one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time, and you can bet GameStop locations across the country will bustling once the clock strikes midnight. Speaking of GameStop, there's still time to pre-order a copy online to receive bonus content that won't be available (for free) if you wait until after it goes on sale. What you'll receive is a download code for the Nuketown 2025 bonus map. Black Ops 2 is releasing to Xbox 360, PlayStation... Read more...
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