xbox 360

Chris Nuttall

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

Chris Nuttall

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

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft has announced Xbox SmartGlass, a new way of transferring content from smartphones and tablets to a TV, using its home console.

When movies and other media are moved to the TV, the phone or tablet becomes a second screen on the couch, offering more information on what is being shown. Microsoft also announced the long-awaited introduction of its Internet Explorer browser to Xbox, tight integration with devices running the new Windows 8 operating system and a revamped music service. Details from its press conference on the eve of the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles are after the jump. Read more

Google tv 

 

Apps, voice control and fresh interfaces are reshaping smartphones. Now the same is happening for televisions in the updates to services that have been made available for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Google TV. OnLive, meanwhile, is taking gaming out of the living room.

 Read more

Chris Nuttall

Video game publishers have had their best November on record in the US, according to the NPD research firm, with hard-core gamers loading up on two first-person shooters and a classic role-playing game.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from Activision was the top-selling title, with Electronic Arts rival, Battlefield 3, at number three, and the highly-rated Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (pictured) from Bethesda Softworks splitting the two shooters. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Could it finally be time to wave goodbye to passive TV advertising?

A year ago at the Cannes Lions advertising festival, Microsoft demonstrated the first in-game ads to use Kinect, its motion-sensing Xbox 360 controller. It was rudimentary but there was clearly huge potential for advertisers in having a camera, microphone and internet connection plugged into the TV.

This week, back in Cannes, Microsoft took a big step forward to unlocking that potential with “NUads”. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft kicked off this week’s E3 video game trade show in Los Angeles with its usual eve-of-show press conference, where the emphasis seemed to be on consolidating its place in the living room rather than making any ground-breaking announcements. While Sony is expected to reveal more details on its next-generation portable device coming later this year at the show and Nintendo is due to unveil its successor to the Wii, Microsoft confined itself to touting the success of its Kinect motion controller and revealing new features and games that would take advantage of it. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Microsoft’s video game triple-play for the holiday season is Halo: Reach, released in September, its Kinect motion controller out this Thursday in the US and the just-launched Fable III.

Exclusive among consoles to the slimmed-down Xbox 360, these could give Microsoft a winning edge over Sony’s PlayStation 3 and its new Move controller and the Nintendo Wii over the Christmas period. Read more

Chris Nuttall

A new, slimmer Xbox boosted sales of the Microsoft console by 88 per cent in June, but video game software sales slumped 15 per cent.

The latest figures from the NPD research group on Thursday continued a disappointing trend for the industry in 2010, with overall sales down 9 per cent so far this year compared to 2009. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The US video game industry remains in Dead Man’s Gulch despite the success of a spaghetti Western title in May.

The latest figures from the NPD research firm show Take-Two shifted more than 1.5m copies of Red Dead Redemption as the best-selling game of the month, but overall industry sales fell 5 per cent on a year ago to $823m, with console sales down 20 per cent at $241m. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

The Cannes Lions International Advertising festival is upon us. Once again, agencies, advertisers and tech companies are vying to out-geek each other, to prove they’re on top of the latest digital trends.

Delegates are welcomed to the Palais des Festivals by a giant “touchwall” – a 12-foot by five-foot screen by WPP unit Schematic, showing seminars, 3D maps and other interactive goodies.

SapientNitro – the digital agency which caused a stir last year by buying a traditional agency and scooping several awards for its “best job in the world” campaign for Tourism Queensland – has unveiled what it claims (and who could say otherwise) is the world’s first smile-activated ice-cream van. The van dishes out Unilever treats from Ben & Jerry’s and Wall’s to passers-by in return for a photo of a big grin, which is (inevitably) uploaded to Facebook.

Microsoft, meanwhile, is crowing about its first advertiser to use Kinect, the motion-sensing camera for Xbox 360 that was unveiled at E3 last weekRead more

Chris Nuttall

The US video game industry suffered one of its worst sales declines last month, according to April figures released on Thursday by the NPD research firm.

Console sales fell by 37 per cent and software sales by 22 per cent, with the industry suffering an overall 26 per cent fall to $766m in revenues, down from $1.03bn a year earlier. Read more

Chris Nuttall

The Beatles: Rock Band outsold Guitar Hero 5 in September in the US, while Sony’s PS3 console beat its rivals’ sales figures for the first time, according to the latest figures from the NPD research firm.

The “Battle of the Bands” was a key focus as the two titles were released at the same time, but both were outsold by the latest release in the Halo franchise - Halo 3: ODST - and Madden NFL 10. Read more

Robin Harding

Sony PS3The first data are starting to appear on sales of Sony’s revamped Playstation 3 “Slim” since price cuts went into effect at the start of September. The data are good. The question is whether they are good enough.

In Japan, research company Enterbrain says that Sony sold 150,252 PS3 Slims in the four days between its launch on September 3 and September 6. That is the highest weekly sales number Sony has recorded for the PS3 since its launch in 2006 and also compares well with products past, such as the 170,779 units of Nintendo’s DSi handheld console sold during its first two days in the shops last autumn. Read more

 Read more

  • Google executives mounted a concerted public defence of how the search company wields its wide-ranging power on the internet amid signs of growing regulatory concern. The comments came as a Google lawyer confirmed for the first time that US regulators had shown their interest in possible competition issues raised by chief executive Eric Schmidt’s position as a director on Apple’s board.
  • Hulu, the US online video service owned by NBC Universal, Fox and Walt Disney, has signed its first batch of content deals with international television producers, the first step towards a full global launch of the service. The company was set up 18 months ago by the media companies as a viable alternative to YouTube for professionally produced content.

 Read more