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Updated: 22 hours 34 min ago

'World of Warcraft' releases 10-year tower of stats

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 1:30pm

Already leading up to a 10-year anniversary in November, the company behind "World of Warcraft" has issued a deluge of stats relating to the behemoth MMO. Blizzard helps keep players motivated by dishing out 11 million achievements every 24 hours, while a virtual Auction House lets players trade or sell their characters' wares, allowing players to fund their own progress and Blizzard to keep a cut of all proceeds; According to July 2013 data, "World of Warcraft" is still the giant of its genre at 7 million subscribers, down from a 2010 peak of 12 million when "WoW" was in its pomp. Make no mistake, "WoW" is still the giant in its genre, but free-to-play titles are now the norm, and popular attention has been turning to games like "Dota 2" and "League of Legends," part of a new, competitive, team-based genre derived from Blizzard's older games.

Microsoft will pay you $100 to ‘ditch your PS3′ and buy a new Xbox One

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 12:15pm

We get it: you’re fed up with the ‘console war’ narrative. Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are flying off of store shelves and we’re all waiting anxiously for games to start showing up on both consoles later this year, but Microsoft’s latest offer is more than a slight jab at the competition. Oxidax, a NeoGAF forum-goer, received an email containing the image you see above, advertising a deal at any Microsoft retail store which will allow customer to trade in a working PlayStation 3 for $100 off a brand new Xbox One. “Trade up and get your hands on the new Xbox One,” says the offer on Microsoft’s website. “For a limited time, bring in your PS3,

Microsoft offers $100 to 'ditch your PS3' for an Xbox One

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 11:28am

While the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launches started off with Microsoft and Sony trading congratulatory tweets, Microsoft has stepped up its marketing recently. In promotional emails, the software giant is offering $100 towards an Xbox One when people "ditch" Sony’s PlayStation 3. The trade-in deal is only available at Microsoft’s retail stores in the US, and it applies to the PS3, Xbox 360 S, or Xbox 360 E. The promotion reduces the $100 gap, and brings the Xbox One price down to the same $399 as the PlayStation 4.

Mario Kart 8 and Non-Wearable Health Monitors: Nintendo's 2014 Strategy

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 9:42am

Is it game over for Nintendo? Following dismal sales of the company's flagship console, the Wii U, Nintendo is attempting to staunch the bleeding with a starting with company president Saturo Iwata, taking a 50 percent pay cut. In addition to the voluntary wage decrease, Nintendo announced its strategy for 2014.

Upcoming video games: 'Bravely Default,' 'Lego Movie,' 'Lightning Returns'

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 9:20am

Highly rated role-playing game "Bravely Default" arrives on the North American 3DS, the "Lego Movie" video game builds up to the release of its cinematic big brother, and "Lighting Returns" concludes the "Final Fantasy XIII" trilogy.

‘Verified insider’ issues massive Xbox One leak

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 9:10am

Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox One video game console exploded out of the gate, with sales climbing to an impressive 3 million units during the console’s first six weeks of availability alone. And according to a leak last night from a “verified insider,” the company has no plans of slowing down in 2014. NeoGAF forum user “ntkrnl” has posted a wide range of details on what he claims to be Microsoft’s plans for the Xbox One in 2014 and beyond. Some of the leaks aren’t terribly surprising while others might shocker gamers around the world and even give Microsoft’s console an edge over rival PlayStation 4 this year. First off, the forum-goer says that Microsoft plans to launch several new versions of

Nintendo chief stays on, health business planned

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 7:44am

Nintendo has been unable to arrest a slide in console sales as more people play games on smartphones and tablets. The company's apparent solution? A move into health care. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata ...

Did Angry Birds Risk Spies’ Lives?

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 6:45am

The U.S. intelligence community now say Edward Snowden’s leaks could have fatal consequences–especially the one about the U.S. spying on smartphone apps.

Nintendo to persist with console strategy, ignores calls to go mobile

Thu, 01/30/2014 - 3:48am

By Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd dug in its heels on a game console strategy that has dragged it into operating losses for three years in a row, ignoring calls to go mobile and promising instead to wow customers with health-related innovations. Investors were unimpressed, wiping $1.2 billion from the value of Nintendo's Tokyo-traded shares in little more than 30 minutes on Thursday, as CEO Satoru Iwata made his pitch for a "non-wearable" project in 2015 to help users stay healthy. The maker of hits like Super Mario and the Legend of Zelda has been under pressure to branch out from its underperforming consoles and capitalize on the spread of smartphones and tablets by releasing games that can be played on any mobile device. But Iwata was resolute that Nintendo would not take Mario mobile, just a day after Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd declared its mobile ambitions with a deal to buy Google Inc's Motorola handset division for $2.9 billion.

Nintendo climbs 7 percent after share buyback announcement

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 8:20pm

Shares in Nintendo Co Ltd climbed more than 7 percent to a one-week high of 13,850 yen in early trade on Thursday after the video games maker said it would buy back 125 billion yen ($1.22 billion)of its outstanding shares. "While the market may react positively, we are more cautious," Goldman Sachs said in a note. "The buyback will boost net profits per share by 8.2 percent, but reduce cash and marketable securities per share by 5.8 percent." Goldman Sachs maintained its 'sell' rating on Nintendo. On Wednesday, Nintendo posted lackluster results for its traditionally strongest third quarter after disappointing sales for its flagship Wii U console forced it to slash its annual forecast earlier this month.

More evidence that the PlayStation 4 is an absolute beast

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 5:03pm

The current console war will be a long and bloody one. Sony has taken a clear early lead, having sold 4.2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in 2013 compared to 3 million Xbox One units sold, and some believe that the PS4′s beastly specs will keep it in the lead for the during of this console generation. For gamers looking for raw power, it appears as though the PS4 indeed delivers — and now new comments from another satisfied game developer provide more evidence that Sony’s new console is indeed a powerhouse. Video game blog GamingBolt recently touched base with Philippe Morin, co-founder of game developer Red Barrels, to discuss the group’s efforts to port its 2013 PC hit “Outlast” to the

Angry Birds site hacked after surveillance claims

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 1:14pm

HELSINKI (AP) — Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment Ltd. says the popular game's website was defaced by hackers Wednesday, two days after reports that the personal data of its customers might have been accessed by U.S. and British spy agencies.

PlayStation Now private beta invites rolling out

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 11:15am

Sony has quietly started to send out private beta invites via email for its PlayStation Now game streaming service that was announced a few weeks ago at CES 2014, a Neogaf forum poster revealed. “With this invitation, you will receive exclusive access to test PlayStation’s game streaming service before its full launch and the opportunity to provide regular feedback to the PlayStation Now team,” Sony wrote in the invitation email. With PlayStation Now, Sony wants to offer customers a gaming experience across a variety of devices by eliminating the need of downloading or purchasing games. Instead, the PlayStation 3 titles are hosted in the cloud and played on supported devices. Initially, the service will work on PlayStation models, but Sony

Nintendo’s Q3 profit plummets as Wii U weighs heavy

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 8:25am

What oh what is Nintendo to do with the Wii U? The storied video game company on Wednesday reported earnings for its third fiscal quarter. While sales of its 3DS portable console line continued to hum along at 7.76 million units, the company only managed to sell 1.95 million Wii U consoles despite several anticipated game launches during the holiday quarter, including Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo’s net income plummeted by nearly one-third to Y10.1 billion, or about $98 million, in the December quarter. The company’s operating income came in at Y21.7 billion, or $211 million, and sales in the quarter totaled just over Y499 billion, or $4.8 billion. Nintendo has now sold a cumulative total of just over 5.8 million Wii U

Nintendo denies smartphone rumor, leaves wiggle room

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 8:12am

"There are no plans to offer mini-games on smartphone devices," clarifies the Japanese console giant, but doesn't rule out demos or video apps. Japanese newspaper Nikkei had reported on January 28 that Nintendo was looking to put demos and mini-games on smartphones as a way of whetting players' appetites for fuller gaming experiences on consoles. That snippet sneaked out ahead of the company's quarterly earnings release on the 29th, and Nintendo took the opportunity to release a statement denying Nikkei's news. "Nikkei's article contains information previously stated by Mr. Iwata during past press conferences, including statements which relate to Nintendo's willingness to make use of smart devices to promote our products," read the update.

Nintendo boss to halve pay after profit dives

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 6:47am

The head of Nintendo said Wednesday he would slash his salary in half after announcing a 30 percent dive in nine-month profit on weak demand for its new Wii U console as gamers are enticed by cheap, downloadable games for mobiles. President Satoru Iwata told reporters he would draw a reduced salary for five months to atone for the downturn, while other members of the board will take a pay cut of between 20 and 30 percent. Nintendo is due to hold an analyst conference Thursday to outline plans for a new business strategy. "Nintendo's worse-than-expected performance is mainly due to a slump in the Wii U," said Hideki Yasuda, a games analyst at Ace Securities in Tokyo.

Nintendo profit falls on sluggish Wii U sales

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 5:04am

TOKYO (AP) — Profit at Nintendo Co. fell 30 percent in the first nine months of the fiscal year as sales of Wii U home consoles, 3DS devices and game software languished. Top executives announced they would take pay cuts.

Nintendo looks to power-up Mario after not-so-super Wii U

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 4:11am

By Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd, facing a third year of losses, is getting lots of unsolicited advice on how to squeeze more out of its Mario franchise and revive its fortunes after admitting that its Wii U game console has been a flop. One thing, however, is certain - it will have to burn through a lot of its cash pile in the years it takes to try again with the Wii U's successor. The Nintendo that emerges could well be a more efficient company - better at marketing its beloved characters, but still wedded to its basic strategy of making hardware as the vehicle for software developed in-house. The Kyoto-based company has been slow to move online, falling behind Microsoft Corp and Sony Corp, which will launch a cloud-based streaming service this summer enabling users to play the same game across numerous platforms.

Nintendo turns in drab quarterly results after slashing annual forecasts

Wed, 01/29/2014 - 3:40am

Nintendo Co Ltd posted lackluster results for its traditionally strongest third quarter on Wednesday after disappointing sales for its flagship Wii U console forced it to slash its annual forecasts earlier this month. Writing by Shinichi Saoshiro;

Rovio denies selling out Angry Birds players to NSA

Tue, 01/28/2014 - 10:30pm

Although we’ve come to expect the National Security Agency to spy on Internet users by hacking into Microsoft, Google and Facebook’s data centers, even the most cynical among us didn’t imagine that the NSA had similarly latched its tentacles onto Angry Birds. And yet that’s just what we learned on Monday when a Pro Publica investigation found that spy agencies are able to determine an Angry Birds player’s “location, age, sex and other personal information” using data culled from advertising firms such as Millennial Media. Now, however, Rovio has come out with an adamant denial that it had any role in handing its gamers’ personal information to the NSA or any other spy agency. “The alleged surveillance may be conducted through