As the supposed console war kicks off, it looks like Sony has a slight edge over Microsoft. According to data released by retail research firm NPD Group, the PS4 edged out the Xbox One in sales, but Microsoft says that won a battle on a different front during the launch window for the next- gen consoles. More PS4 software was sold as well during the period, but more sales of PS4 consoles and software makes sense given that the system went on sale a week before the Xbox One did in North America.
Microsoft fared considerably better than Sony on Black Friday, according to data analysts InfoScout. The firm claims that Xbox One was the highest selling console during the period, comprising 31 percent of total hardware sales. The Xbox 360 also fared pretty well, grabbing a 30 percent share resulting in a joint Microsoft lead of 60 percent. Joint sales of the PS3 and PS4 amounted to 30 percent share in sales total, while sales of the Wii U and Wii combined was 7 percent.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata admitted in a briefing for investors and analysts this week that the Wii U has - so far - failed as a worthy successor to the Wii. The Wii is currently outselling the Wii U, which has only managed to sell 3.9 million units to-date worldwide. Speaking during a briefing about its second quarter financial results, Iwata noted that the Wii U has only done one thing right - backwards compatibility with the Wii.
Nintendo says that it sold 460,000 Wii U units worldwide in the six month period that ended on September 30. The figure was revealed as part of the company's financial results for the last three months. In this quarter the company only sold 300,000, despite knocking $50 off the price tag of the system a few months ago. The company also had a number of high profile releases to go alongside that price cut including Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.
As part of its release of financial results for the second fiscal quarter, Electronic Arts revealed that the Wii and Wii U account for a little over one percent of the company's total sales, while PC game sales are its top segment. EA said that Wii and Wii U games accounted for 1.3 percent of EA's software revenues in the last fiscal quarter. Of the $695 million in revenue earned from combined sales of console, mobile and PC software, about $9 million came from Wii and Wii U software.
Though Nintendo recently said that the Wii production halt was only aimed at Japan, it turns out that the original Wii will no longer be produced for European markets either. Instead Nintendo UK says that consumers who don't own a Wii and want one can still buy the Wii Mini - a SKU offering a lower price-point at the cost of a number of missing features (only disc-based Wii games can be played and backwards compatibility and downloadable titles are not supported).
Nintendo of Japan has confirmed via its official web site - as translated by Kotaku - that it has halted production of its last-generation Wii console for Japan. The company said earlier in the month that it would halt production of the console for the region "soon," and the latest update to the site confirms that that time is now.
In a recent conversation with Benzinga IHS senior games analyst Christine Arrington said that Nintendo's Wii U console continues to suffer from a general messaging problem about its brand and continues to confuse consumers. Arrington says that the system still suffers from the same messaging problem it did when it launched nearly a year ago.
Nintendo revealed that it is finally winding down production of its popular Wii console in Japan. Last year the company said that it had stopped making games for the platform. Speaking to Eurogamer, a Nintendo of Europe representative noted that the company's Japanese parent company will stop making new Wii systems in the near future.
According to GoNintendo, Nintendo has sold an impressive 654.12 million consoles and hand-helds worldwide over the last 30 years. On the home console front, Nintendo has sold 268.97 million systems - from collective sales of the NES (Famicom), SNES (Super Famicom), N64, GameCube, Wii, and Wii U. The rest of the number is made up of hand-held device sales. Nintendo has sold 385.15 million hand-helds to-date. That number comes from cumulative sales of the Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, DS, and 3DS.
A new research report from ABI Research claims that new technologies like cloud-based streaming will not be a game changer for new consoles coming out this fall. In fact the research firm predicts that new console numbers will not be on par with the previous generation's retail sales number in the first five years. ABI Research says that the push to "market online video access in the new consoles is undermined by the availability of cheaper streaming devices from Roku, Netgear, WD, Apple and Seagate, among others."
New research from Penn State Altoona suggests that new technology such as the motion sensing technology used in the Wii does not increase aggressive behavior in players. The research, which was recently published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, was conducted by Eric Charles and a team of researchers at Penn State Altoona (thanks to PHX Corp. for the tip).
A former Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer claims that a bet on a Wii game competition involving sex as the prize was what triggered him murdering her in self defense. Keith Wiens is currently on trial for shooting his common law wife and faces a charge of second degree murder. Wiens testified this week, admitting that he fired a single shot into the head of Lynn Kalmring in August 2011 at their Penticton (British Columbia, Canada) home, but maintained that he did it in self defense because she was brandishing a knife.
Nearly 10,000 fans have signed a petition on Change.org asking Nintendo to end region locking on Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, according to IGN. The petition begins by citing Microsoft's recent change of heart on DRM and region locking related to the Xbox One and Sony's plans to make the PS4 region-free as well.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that if game developers and publishers are worried about used games cannibalizing new games then they should simply make better games. He also said that it is important to support the used games market because the sale of a used game usually goes towards the purchase of a new game.
The best way for console makers to deal with the used games market is to ensure their games are so good that people don't want to trade them in, he told Polygon. But supporting used games is also important, he added.
Legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto says that used games are less of a concern than the elephant that has always been in the room: piracy. Speaking to CVG Nintendo's most prominent and prolific game creators said that piracy is a bigger threat to his company's business than the used games market.
Nintendo released its earnings report for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, revealing that it had taken a loss much like it did in the last fiscal year. Nintendo recorded a 36.4 billion yen operating loss ($366 million) for the fiscal year, with less than expected sales of the Wii U continue to have a "negative impact on Nintendo's profits." Thanks to a depreciation of the yen, Nintendo's net income was 7 billion yen ($71 million). Net sales for the year were forecast at 635.4 billion yen ($6.38 billion), down from the year before.
Nintendo announced today that it will discontinue five channels on the Wii in June due to what it calls a "very low participation rate" of its customers. It will also kill one service that apparently very few people use. A handful of original Wii channels and some network services are soon to be no more. Nintendo announced today that due to a "very low participation rate," the company has decided to discontinue the following applications beginning June 28, 2013.
Earlier in the week we reported that Nintendo announced plans to bring the budget minded Wii Mini to the United Kingdom after launching it in Canada back in December. One of the things we did not know was just how well the scaled down console was performing at retail in Canada. Popular Nintendo-focused web site Nintendo World Report offers some insight on that today. According to NWR, the Nintendo Mini has sold 35,700 units across Canada - from launch to January 31.
The Wii Mini, the feature-disabled version of the Wii that no one was clamoring for, is nonetheless coming to Europe. The special version of the console was released in Canada last year, though how it performed there is anyone's guess because Nintendo has not released any sales data on it yet. Nintendo announced that it will release the Wii Mini on March 22, and will also be releasing a budget range (dubbed "Nintendo Selects") of games that includes such popular titles as Mario Party 8, Wii Sports Resort, Mario Power Tennis and Super Paper Mario...
Rayman creator Michel Ancel and staff members from Ubisoft Montpellier have joined fans in protesting the delayed release of Rayman Legends on the Wii U in order to simultaneously release the former Wii U exclusive on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Apparently the Wii U version is ready to go, but parent company Ubisoft wants to keep it locked down until the other versions of the game are done. Our pal Andrew Eisen shared his thoughts on that yesterday in this amusing video...
Earlier this week we reported that the Chinese government was considering lifting a 13-year ban on game consoles in the country. While there's plenty of black market devices and software for Chinese consumers, there's no way to legally buy a PS3, Xbox 360, or Nintendo device in the country. The story from a few days ago was based on a China Daily report that quoted an anonymous source inside the Ministry of Culture.
Citing a government source, the 13-year-old ban of consoles in China may be coming to an end. According to sources cites by China Daily the seven Chinese government ministries that banned the sale of consoles in the country in 2000 are opening up discussions on allowing them to be sold to Chinese citizens.
While many think that the Nintendo Wii has won the overall race in this current console cycle against Xbox 360 and PS3 in the United States, one research firm says that it will ultimately be Microsoft's console that sits at the top of the mountain. DFC Intelligence's new report predicts that more Xbox 360s will be sold in the US than Wiis by 2017. The research firm is forecasting that Xbox 360 will have sold over 46 million units in the US by 2017, while the Wii is estimated at just over 42 million. Sony's PS3 comes in at 33.5 million.
Seen anyone wandering around with 7,000 Wii consoles?
If you have, pick up the phone and give the SeaTac, Washington police a call because those units are probably stolen.
Sgt. Cindy West told ABC News that thieves pulled up two 53-foot semi-truck trailers and a large box-truck van to a Nintendo distribution warehouse in Seattle Air Cargo last Saturday evening and, using forklifts on site, loaded up the vehicles with approximately $2 million worth of Wii consoles.
Then they left.
Nintendo of Canada communications manager
director Matt Ryan tells Polygon that the Wii Mini lacks important features such as GameCube backwards compatibility and online connectivity because the firm wanted to keep the cost low so that "families" and "non-core gamers" could afford the device. Nintendo announced the pared down Nintendo Wii recently as being only for Canada and set at a suggested retail price of $99 CAN.
It turns out that the rumors about a new pared down Wii console were true but there are several caveats. For one, the new console will be released only in Canada for some reason. It will be released to our wonderful neighbors in the northern kingdom on December 7 and will retail for right around $99 CAN. So what are the other caveats? For one it does not support backwards compatibility, which means it is not capable of playing those old GameCube games. It is also not online capable, which means you can't use any services such as Netflix or Hulu Plus...