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Sony teased gamers with details of its next-generation PlayStation 4, expected to launch around Christmas, at an event in New York this week. But with no console to be seen, promises of improved graphics and social gaming features did not appease the concerns of those who worry that the group could be close to losing its last chance at a comeback. Read more
The speculation will soon be over. After months of waiting, Sony is set to announce details of its next generation PlayStation 4 at an event in New York on Wednesday evening, setting the stage for the next round of the console wars.
The company is likely to emphasise the wrap-around software and overall “consumer experience”, rather than the “speeds and feeds” of the hardware itself – though these will no doubt be impressive. Read more
Even another record-breaking Call of Duty could not rescue the US video game industry from a twelfth consecutive month of declining software sales in November, according to the latest official figures from the NPD research firm.
But the “packaged goods” disc sales are only a part of the picture, now that we have digital and social and mobile games to take into account. Judging by announcements from Facebook and DeNA this week, hard-core gamers seem just as likely nowadays to be competing in these new gaming territories. Read more
Nintendo Wii U
Nintendo has launched the next generation of home video consoles with the debut of the Wii U in the US, and European and Japanese launches to follow on November 30 and December 8. The unique GamePad controller is earning plaudits, but network problems and content delays are a concern.
In a week of big numbers for a previously slumping video game industry, Activision has come up with the biggest one of all – $500m in sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II in its first 24 hours.
On Monday, Microsoft announced $220m in first-day sales for Halo 4 and then revealed, on the 10th anniversary of Xbox Live on Thursday, that a record 442m hours were played on it last week. Meanwhile, Sony announced sales of the PlayStation 3 had passed 70m and Nintendo expects the Wii U to sell out when it goes on sale in the US this weekend. Read more
Zynga has acquired the Silicon Valley game developer A Bit Lucky as it tries to attract players more eager to spend money on its social games.
Rivals such as Kixeye have been monetising at much better rates than Zynga by making games that appeal to hard-core gamers. Zynga has focused on casual players to date, but it described its acquisition as a “mid-core” (whatever that means!), “multi-platform games developer”. No financial details were released, but Zynga described the deal as “small”. Read more
Two more executives have left Zynga, the leading social gaming company whose stock has lost 70 per cent of its value since going public in December.
There has been a string of departures this month after the San Francisco-based company issued disappointing quarterly results and its stock price continued to slide. The latest to leave are vice presidents Bill Mooney and Brian Birtwistle. Read more