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wii sales

January has just not been a pleasant month for video game sales. At least, that's according to new numbers released by NPD. Total January 2011 sales for gaming accessories, portable systems, and games for PCs and consoles fell to $1.16 billion from last year's total of $1.22 billion. And the $1.22 billion figure for January 2010 is itself a decrease from January 2009 figures, or $1.33 billion in total sales.

Breaking that number out a bit, hardware sales took the biggest year-to-year hit, dropping 8 percent from $353.7 million in January 2010 to $324 million in January 2011. NPD no longer splits this number out into publicly available data for the various console manufacturers; however, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said that Microsoft was the only big player to experience year-to-year growth on hardware sales.

According to Pachter, Microsoft sold approximately 332,800 Xbox 360 units, representing a year-to-year growth of 14.4 percent for the company. More than half of the systems sold were also bundled with Microsoft's Kinect accessory.

Nintendo, on the other hand, found its sales down 31.5 percent compared to the same period of time last year. That's a drop from 465,800 Wii consoles sold in January 2010 to 319,000 sold in January 2011. The company still leads the current console market with 34.5 million Wii units sold in the U.S., in total, with Microsoft's Xbox 360 coming in second place at 25.8 million, followed by Sony's PlayStation 3 at 15.7 million.

Click to continue reading Nintendo Wii sales plummet by 31.5 percent from January 2010

Gallery: Nintendo Wii sales plummet by 31.5 percent from January 2010


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dj hero"Due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011," the company said in its fourth quarter earnings report.

The move also covers "DJ Hero" games, and Activision said it will also stop development on "True Crime: Hong Kong."

"These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world's best interactive entertainment experiences," Activision said.

In a FAQ posted on its Web site, Activision said that based on current demand, the company could not profit from the "Guitar Hero" franchise because of licensing and manufacturing costs.

Click to continue reading Activision kills Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, and True Crime

Gallery: Activision kills Guitar Hero, DJ Hero, and True Crime


gran turismo 5 cars

Video games have pushed the boundaries between fantasy and reality since their creation. Each year a game comes along that suceeds in blurring these lines even further - Grand Turismo 5 is one such game. The creators of GT5 even put together a side by side comparison of the actual Nürburgring track and the video game version, and the results are stunning. Check out the comparison video after the jump.

Click to continue reading Gran Turismo 5 looks almost like real life

Read More | YouTube

Gallery: Gran Turismo 5 looks almost like real life


sony ps3 hackers fail0verflow

However popular  hacking or moding consoles has become, one thing remains true -- it's Illegal. A fact Sony is not willing to overlook. Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA ) is suing 21 year-old hacker George Hotz (AKA "geohot") and more than 100  members of fail0verflow, who contributed to the release of the PlayStation 3's root key. However, this is not new to Sony. Last year Hotz published an exploit for the PlayStation 3, but it wasn't until this year that the hackers released a complete "jailbreak" of the system. "SCEA charged Hotz and the others with violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, plus breaches of California copyright law, breach of contract, and other violations. SCEA also asked the court for a temporary restraining order preventing the plaintiffs from posting any code, including the so-called Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm keys, encryption keys, dePKG firmware decrypter, or other tools."  Restraining order? Ouch. 

This restraining order has been set in motion to prevent Hotz to post the jail break information on this website. But we all know this never works, right?

Read More | Games Industry

Gallery: Sony sues PlayStation 3 fail0verflow hackers


angry birds ps3 psp

The PlayStation Blog tells us that one of the most popular iOS game is coming to the PS3 and PSP this week. Angry Birds will feature 63 levels and be playable on the console. Classified as a 'mini' game, this means that it will likely not be on the scale of a full console release, and instead most likely look a lot like its iOS counterpart. Still, while many developers port console or PC games to the iPhone, this is a rare case of the reverse, where after being so immensely popular on Apple's platform, they are now expanding to other systems. Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, announced that we will see the game on Xbox 360 and Wii soon also.

Read More | PlayStation blog

Gallery: Angry Birds on the PS3 and PSP this week


During the Chaos Communication Conference, a group of hackers claimed that they discovered the Sony Playstation 3 private key, which the device uses to verify code and run its DRM system, preventing users from running games that hasn't been approved by Sony. In a long talk, they described the process of how the system works, and what it took to break it down. Consoles running the latest firmware are currently unable to run homebrew games, but if the claims are true, this would give any user complete control over their system. While it doesn't mean much for the average user right now, it could lead to the ability to run Linux, or any other software on the console. In a nutshell, it seems the code which gives the device random numbers to generate the crypto needed, instead returns a predictable number, as illustrated above. Hit the jump for videos of the talk.

Click to continue reading Hackers claim to have jailbroken the PS3

Gallery: Hackers claim to have jailbroken the PS3


This goes out to all my broke Assassin's Creed fans. I know what it's like; the next instalment of your favorite game comes out, one you have been waiting for what feels like a lifetime. But there is one big, big problem -- you don't have an extra 60 bucks to shell out for a video game. Things like rent, baby diapers, and holidays often get in the way of what we really want. Well, I think I can help. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood  is available for $34.99 on Amazon for both Xbox 360 and PS3 platforms--that's a savings of 42%. Sure, it's not free but every little bit helps!

Gallery: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood now available for $34.99 on Amazon


tomb raider new lara croft

Tomb Raider has never been a game about pushing the boundaries of the character. Lara Croft herself served as the main attraction, using her alluring sexuality to coerce fan boys into controlling her around through uninspired sequel after sequel. While the gameplay was a novel innovation back in the PS One days, Lara Croft – and Tomb Raider in particular – has been spinning her tires in a rut. Not one to let character die, Crystal Dynamics finally has decided to bring Lara in for rehabilitation.

What is it that drives the story of a game? Is it the action? Or perhaps it is the environment? Certainly these things matter, but what drives them is the character. Great stories are moved along by the characters. The old Lara Croft really had nothing going for her. She’s the trophy wife – a hot chick you married too quickly only to realize just how vapid she really is. Sure you raid tombs and look hot doing it, but why do you do it, Lara? Are you truly happy?

Ironically, Toby Gard designed the character of Lara Croft as a reaction against stereotypes. But look at Lara Croft today and she is the biggest ‘F’-you to female gamers everywhere. Saddening considering the character behind the double D’s is an intriguing one: a wealthy and well educated aristocrat searching for her own way in life.

Transforming Lara into a believable character that is both accessible and strong willed is no simple task. Global Brand Director Karl Stewart and Art Director Brian Horton had to strip down the old Lara Croft in order to birth a new, more authentic person in her place.

Click to continue reading Lara Croft gets reinvented for Tomb Raider reboot

Read More | Game Informer

Gallery: Lara Croft gets reinvented for Tomb Raider reboot


deus ex human revolution extended trailer

A new extended trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution has surfaced - and it. is. good. While no actual gameplay is seen throughout the entire five minutes, you probably won't really care because what is shown is pure awesomeness. Human Revolution is set for release early 2011 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Check out the extended trailer, which is over five minutes long, after the break.

Click to continue reading Deus Ex: Human Revolution extended trailer

Gallery: Deus Ex: Human Revolution extended trailer


uncharted 3 drakes deception

The PlayStation Blog has been updating new information and images for Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception since Entertainment Weekly broke the news earlier today, producing new screenshots, the box art, and a teaser trailer. Also, Uncharted 3 will support stereoscopic 3D. Amazon lists Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception for a December 1, 2011 release date, but this is just a placeholder date, and will more likely see a 2012 release date. Hit the jump for the trailer.

Click to continue reading More Uncharted 3 details surface (and a trailer!)

Gallery: More Uncharted 3 details surface (and a trailer!)


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