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

Satoru Iwata, Nintendo’s chief executive, did not make his usual appearance at his company’s E3 press conference on Tuesday, preferring instead to tweet backstage about the announcements as he explores social media ahead of the launch of Nintendo’s Miiverse social service for its gamers.

But in an FT interview shortly afterwards, he talked in person about his hopes for the Wii U, the new console launching this holiday season, the concept of asymmetrical gaming it introduces and the early attempts by rivals to match its features. Highlights after the jump: Read more

For anyone seeking holes in Activision’s seemingly bulletproof Call of Duty franchise, there was a chink in the armour exposed in NPD US January sales figures released late on Thursday.

Sales fell nearly 50 per cent year-on-year for the world’s best-selling video game in 2011 – that’s comparing the performance of the latest in the franchise – Modern Warfare 3 – with its predecessor, Black Ops.

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Tech news from around the web:

People who used Megaupload to store files – legitimate or otherwise – could soon find their data has been deleted altogether, reports the WSJ. Federal prosecutors bringing a huge criminal copyright infringement action against the file-sharing site have written to the Virginia judge overseeing the case, saying: “It is our understanding that the hosting companies may begin deleting the contents of the servers beginning as early as February 2, 2012.” Read more

Nintendo was demonstrating its forthcoming Wii U next-generation console and Sony its PlayStation Vita handheld at CES in Vegas this week and they cannot come soon enough for the video game industry.

Cowen and Company analysts, mulling December’s NPD-collated US sales figures on Friday, described them as a Wii-saster, with a 42 per cent fall in Wii software dollar-sales year-on-year contributing to a 21 per cent overall industry decline in hardware, packaged software and accessory sales. Read more

Nintendo has received a Black Friday boost after a black year for sales – shifting more than 500,000 Wii consoles on the biggest shopping day of the year in the US.

Sales of the 3DS handheld console have also been booming, due to a new Mario game, bundling offers and a precipitous price cut. Read more

“Can I play a game on it?” Any parent with a smartphone or tablet has heard his or her child ask this. With all that mobile devices are capable of doing, smartphones and tablets are also driving the rise in mobile gaming.

This week, new research revealed growing revenue in mobile gaming. The shift in consumer behaviour has had a negative impact on console maker Nintendo, which cut its profit outlook for the year. Read more

Nintendo Wii U

Touch and gesture have al­ready made gaming more instinctive and now we are about to have gaming from all angles. I have been seeing video games from literally every point of view at the annual E3 trade show ex­travaganza in Los Angeles this week.

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Nintendo Wii U

Touch and gesture have al­ready made gaming more instinctive and now we are about to have gaming from all angles. I have been seeing video games from literally every point of view at the annual E3 trade show ex­travaganza in Los Angeles this week.

There was the depth of 3D as water rushed towards me when a ship’s hold was flooded in Sony’s Uncharted 3. Finger-painting in mid-air in front of the Kinect’s motion-sensing camera produced a hologram-like image on­screen that could be viewed in the round simply by shifting the player’s body position.

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Nintendo has announced the Wii U, a new home console with a companion controller that can switch gaming from the TV onto its 6.2in touchscreen.

The controller amounts to a reinvention of the Wii. Nintendo said it would change the way people played games when it appeared in 2012. The controller rather than its console was the focus of Nintendo’s press conference at the E3 video game trade show on Tuesday. Read more

On the eve of the E3 video game trade show, Nintendo has admitted that its network is also vulnerable to hackers playing games. Sony has yet to restore fully the PlayStation Network after it was crippled by hackers in April, but the cyber break-in at one of Nintendo’s US web servers seems much less serious. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Nintendo is set to release a  successor to the Wii games console, according to Game Informer. The console, which could be launched at E3 trade conference in California this summer, will be capable of running games at a high-definition resolution.

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Parts for the Nintendo 3DS, which went on sale on Sunday at $250 in the US, cost the Japanese console maker just $100, according to analysts. A “teardown analysis” by IHS iSuppli prices the bill of materials for the handheld at $100.71, with the 3D upper screen and lower touchscreen accounting for a third of the bill. Read more

The announcement of the Nintendo DS in 2004 was greeted with some scepticism for its two-screen gaming gimmickry, but 145m unit sales later it is the best selling handheld console of all time. Now Nintendo is launching its successor, the 3DS, with not just dual screens but dual images to add a 3D effect to games. This week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section is sceptical about the 3D element of the console but approving of several other new features on the device. Read more

Apple has shown its usual disdain for other events and companies’ plans in choosing to launch its second-generation iPad at the same time and next door to where Nintendo could make its own big announcement next Wednesday. It is not inconceivable that a Wii 2 could be unveiled at the same time as an iPad 2, with Satoru Iwata, Nintendo chief executive, delivering the main keynote speech at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Read more

There was one inexplicable omission in the features unveiled for Sony’s next-generation portable (NGP) device in Tokyo on Wednesday night and one bold and exciting move regarding the future of the PlayStation platform. Read more

Nintendo’s latest handheld console will cost more than the Wii home console when it goes on sale in the US and Europe in March.

At news conferences in New York and Amsterdam on Wednesday, the Japanese console maker revealed the 3DS will cost $250 in the US, with a retail price of around the same figure in euros expected in Europe and a UK price of #230. The Wii costs $200 (€190, £180). Read more

On the eve of the unveiling of US launch details for the 3DS handheld console, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has been casting an eye over Nintendo’s 3D health warning. Reading between the eye-chart lines, the AAO appears to suggest the Japanese console maker is being a mite too cautious in suggesting parents should prevent children under six from viewing 3D images on the new device for prolonged periods. Read more

Nintendo was showing off its 3DS handheld game console at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week, begging the question of where was Sony’s 3D PlayStation Portable. Sony made a point at its news conference that it was bringing 3D to the smaller screen, with products like the Bloggie camcorder, but a gaming machine was notable in its absence. Read more

Waving at our televisions is replacing button pushing with the new motion controllers for games consoles from Microsoft and Sony.

The Kinect, launched in Europe this week, and Sony’s Move are inspired by the Wii, but what do they offer that’s better or different from Nintendo’s big success? – a question I sought to answer in the Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section this week. Read more