NPD Group reported Thursday that new consoles from Sony and Microsoft powered a winning holiday season for the videogame industry in the United States. “The newest consoles from Microsoft and Sony are off to a tremendous start," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. The rival consoles were released in November and eagerly snapped up by players. Videogame hardware sales more than offset a 17 percent drop in sales of game software to $1.31 billion in December, according to NPD.
The latest Xbox One ad is all about immersion. According to Microsoft, the games on the Xbox One look so good that you might actually forget you’re playing a game. This heightened sense of realism is demonstrated by a man who sees the cuts and bruises from his character in Ryse: Son of Rome appearing on his own body, as if he had been the armored soldier himself. Of course, this early in a console’s life cycle, developers aren’t able to take advantage of each and every aspect of the new hardware to create the kind of experiences we will see a few years from now, but it’s a smart move from a marketing department that has some talented competition
It remains to be seen how well the Wii U sold in its first full year on the market, but at least one Nintendo console flourished in 2013. According to a recent press release, Nintendo sold more than 16 million physical and digital 3DS games last year, a 45% increase in year-over-year sales. The 3DS family (which includes the 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS) has also surpassed more than 11.5 million sales in the U.S. There were plenty of great games for the portable console released in 2013, including the new Pokemon titles and the system seller that is The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Another long-awaited sequel, Yoshi’s New Island, is set to lead the charge in
By Paul Carsten, Sophie Knight and Malathi Nayak BEIJING/TOKYO/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - For the past five years, Zhang Yang has sold Xboxes, Wiis and PlayStations at his Beijing shop, but the Chinese merchant is a thorn in the side of video game console makers now allowed into the world's third biggest market. The consoles that Zhang sells are smuggled into China because they are illegal, although that may change after the government lifted a 14-year-old ban on the devices this week. The proliferation of these bootlegged games, along with China's reputation for weak intellectual property rights, means console makers Microsoft Corp, Sony Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd will lose out on lucrative royalties from software sales. Combine that with the fact that most Chinese gamers prefer to play free games on their PCs and mobiles anyway, and the decision to lift the ban on console sales presents a challenge, rather than a big opportunity.
At CES 2014, Tobii Technology showcased its eye tracking technology that will be featured in an upcoming peripheral from SteelSeries. After calibrating our eyes, we simply looked left and right to move our character when playing World of Warcraft. The technology worked fairly smoothly during our demo.
Sony’s PlayStation Now game streaming service unveiled at CES 2014 will work on a variety of smart gadgets in addition to regular PlayStation consoles, such as TVs, tablets and smartphones. But the PS3 games that will be available to users won’t be usable on any devices without the company’s DualShock controller, The Verge has learned. While there already are ways to control those games using a touchscreen interface, Sony will not make the DualShock controller purchase optional, at least not for the time being. “You need to have the DualShock to be able to play,” PlayStation marketing vice president John Koller said, further explaining that the game controller requirement is related to how those old games were created. “It’s a
When Apple originally announced Siri, many people thought that a voice-controlled personal assistant would lead to some very unfortunate pranks at the expense of iPhone owners. The potential for mayhem was quickly debunked when everyone realized Siri wasn’t going to be listening all the time, but that’s not the case with Kinect on the Xbox One. Unless you make a conscious effort to disable or unplug the Kinect, it will listen to every word you say, and one Xbox Live user has taken advantage of this feature to hilarious effect. We won’t spoil the surprise, but without saying a word, one brilliant troll is able to frustrate some very gullible gamers. Check out the video below.
No console launch is perfect, exemplified most recently by both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but some of the issues with Microsoft’s latest entry are especially bewildering. If there was a trump card in the last console generation, it was Xbox Live. The social features of the Xbox 360 generally blew the PS3 and the Wii out of the water, but on the Xbox One, Microsoft managed to break something that didn’t need fixing. In an interview with Engadget, Xbox chief product officer Marc Whitten was upfront about the less-than-positive feedback surrounding some of the changes Microsoft had implemented to a system that everyone was happy with for the past eight years: “The feedback we’ve gotten is pretty valid;
Bad news for Xbox One owners hoping to stream their games in the near future — according to the Twitch Twitter account, the Direct Broadcasting feature still lacks a release date from Microsoft, and the Twitch team tells future streamers to “expect a few more months.” Just days before the system launch in November, Microsoft took to the Xbox Wire to announce the delay of game streaming on Xbox One, a surprising announcement considering that the PlayStation 4 Twitch integration had already rolled out without a hitch. At the time, Microsoft stated that the streaming capabilities of the Twitch app would be delayed until “the first part of 2014,” but a few days into January, Twitch isn’t quite so optimistic.
Event if it’s not yet available to gamers yet, Sony’s PlayStation Now cloud-based game streaming service may get a whole lot better in the future, a new patent filed by Sony last March, and discovered by Re/code, indicates. Titled “Suspending state of cloud-based legacy applications,” the patent shows ways through which game developers could include additional content in older games that are played using a cloud streaming solution, without having to mess with the code of the legacy game. The system would allow Sony to stop the game at certain intervals, save its progress in the cloud, bring the new mini-game to the forefront, and then move back to the older game. In such a way, Sony would be able to freshen up