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Name: el33tonline
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Nintendo responds to May NPD results, Wii reaches 20 mil in US

Wii Console Smaller

With the NPD results for May just in, Nintendo has responded by highlighting the steady performance of the DS and Wii in North America.

The publisher noted that the Nintendo DS was the best-selling console in the US in May, selling a combined total of 633 000 units. The DSi accounted for 390 000 of those sales, with the DS Lite a little further behind with 244 000 units. This new tally brings to 31 million the number of DS consoles sold to date in the US.

Perhaps more interesting was Nintendo’s announcement that the Wii crossed the 20 million sales mark in the US, just 31 months after the console was launched and making it the fastest-selling console in history. The Wii sold 298 000 units in May to secure second place on the hardware chart.

Nintendo also performed well on the software side of things during May with no fewer than six games published for Nintendo finishing in the Top 10. Wii Fit sold 353 000 copies to earn second place, just ahead of EA Sports Active at number 3 with 346 000 copies. Pokemon Platinum Version, Mario Kart Wii, Punch Out! and Wii Play also featured in the Top 10 at numbers 6, 7 ,8 and 10 respectively.

“The continued enthusiastic consumer response to our products shows that Nintendo has something for everyone,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.

“For Nintendo, precision motion controls and social gaming are realities today. Upcoming games like Wii Sports Resort, launching at the end of July, and Wii Fit Plus and New Super Mario Bros. Wii, coming this fall and holiday, will give consumers even more amazing experiences to enjoy.”

2009/06/12 11:20:00 AM

Media Create Japanese Hardware Sales for week ending 7/06: Sales plummet

The Nintendo DSi

Last week’s boost on the hardware side of things seems to have been only temporary with numbers sliding back down into the dismal realm this week.

The DS is once again the best-selling console in Japan. Combined sales of Nintendo’s handheld tally 44 447 units (DSi at 38 783 and DS Lite at 5 664), down considerably from last week’s 65 537 units which was boosted by sales of two DS titles which debuted strongly, namely Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days and Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth.

PSP sales drop slightly from last week to 29 070 units while the Wii records roughly the same sales with 17 177 units. The PS3 follows with 10 173 units, the Xbox 360 with 6 625 and the PS2 with 4 096.

Don’t forget to stop by this week’s software chart!

Hardware Chart

  • DSi - 38 783
  • PSP - 29 070
  • Wii - 17 177
  • PS3 - 10 173
  • Xbox 360 - 6 625
  • DS Lite - 5 664
  • PS2 - 4 096

Source: Media Create

2009/06/12 10:22:00 AM

NPD: May videogame sales drop 23% to 863.3 mil in US, UFC tops

Overall the performance of the videogame industry slid even further to dismal levels during May 2009. The latest data from the US tracking firm NPD Group is in and it shows that videogame sales in the US dropped by 23% year-on-year to 863.3 million in May. Hardware sales were the worst affected, down 30% to 302.5 million, while software sales slipped 17% to 448.9 million.

Hardware sales were dreary, only the Nintendo DS managed to scrape together decent sales with 633 500 units, bolstered no doubt by the recent launch of the DSi. Sales for the rest of the consoles plummeted from the previous year with the Wii selling 289 500 units, the Xbox 360 175 000 and the PS3 131 000. The PS2 followed with 117 00 and the PSP with 100 400 units.

Despite this rather poor showing NPD analyst Anita Frazier remained positive, “The video games industry continues to struggle with difficult comparisons to last year, and this is the first month that industry sales have dipped below $1B since August 2007. May is typically one of the lowest revenue-generating months in any given year for the industry in general.”

The software side of things

THQ’s UFC 2009 Undisputed debuted strongly in the software chart, with combined sales for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions totaling just over a million copies. The Xbox 360 was tops with 679 600 copies, followed by the PS3 version in fourth place with 334 400.

Wii Fit continued to perform well in second place with 352 800 copies while another Wii exclusive EA Sports Active debuted at number 3 with 345 800. Sony’s PS3 exclusive inFamous also recorded a strong debut at number 5 with 175 900 copies.

Top 10 regulars Pokemon Platinum Version and Mario Kart Wii followed in sixth and seventh with 168 900 and 158 300 copies respectively while Punch Out!, the fifth Wii exclusive title to feature in the Top 10, finished eighth with 156 900 copies. X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the Xbox 360 captured ninth place with 120 700 copies and Wii Play rounded off the Top 10 at number 10 with 109 800 copies.

According to Frazier, this month’s Top 10 games, consisting of new titles and evergreens, sold 2.6 million units combined in comparison to last year’s 3.7 million units. “Two third-party titles had a strong showing in May. UFC Undisputed had a great launch selling over a million units across both platforms, while EA Sports Active Bundle, a Wii exclusive, made it into the top 5. There are more new releases in this month’s top 10 list than we have seen for some time. As we mentioned last month, it’s a great time to release new IP, illustrated by May’s strong debuts of EA’s Sports Active and Sony’s InFAMOUS.”

Frazier believes that there are some promising games coming out in June including Sims 3 (PC), Prototype, Red Faction, Virtua Tennis, Ghostbusters, Transformers and Tiger Woods. A number of games for the tween girl market will also be introduced in the coming month. Frazier noted that although “June comparisons are still likely to be tough,” “a wide variety of new content could help reinvigorate things somewhat.”

Here’s Frazier’s take on the new Tiger Woods title: “Tiger Woods titles are typically released in August or September. It will be interesting to watch how the title performs when it’s not competing at retail with Madden, and with the impact of the Wii MotionPlus for the Wii version. Releasing it during the month when the U.S. Open (and consequently Tiger) is getting air time can’t hurt either.”

US Videogame Industry Totals for May 2009

Below is a list of the category, followed by the total and the change in brackets.

  • Video games - $863.3 million (-23%)
  • Video games hardware - $302.5 million (-30%)
  • Video games software - $448.9 million (-17%)
  • Video game accessories - $122 million (-25%)

Hardware Sales for May 2009

  1. Nintendo DS – 633 500
  2. Wii - 289 500
  3. Xbox 360 – 175 000
  4. PS3 – 131 000
  5. PS2 – 117 000
  6. PSP – 100 400

Top Ten Software Sales for May 2009

  1. UFC 2009 Undisputed (THQ, Xbox 360) – 679 600
  2. Wii Fit with Balance Board (Nintendo, Wii) – 352 800
  3. EA Sports Active Bundle (EA, Wii) – 345 800
  4. UFC 2009 Undisputed (THQ, PS3) – 334 400
  5. inFAMOUS (Sony, PS3) – 175 900
  6. Pokemon Platinum Version (Nintendo, DS) – 168 900
  7. Mario Kart Wii with Wii Wheel (Nintendo, Wii) – 158 300
  8. Punch Out! (Nintendo, Wii) – 156 900
  9. X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (Activision Blizzard, Xbox 360) – 120 700
  10. Wii Play with Wii Remote (Nintendo, Wii) – 109 800

(Figures include Collector’s Edition and non-hardware bundles)

Source: NPD

2009/06/12 09:39:00 AM

inFamous Review (PS3)

inFamous is a victim of its own features and hooks, and a fine example of a game that could have been distilled into a shorter, more tightly knit experience, maybe benefiting from a few extra weeks in the oven. As mentioned in El33tonline’s first impressions with the game, everything is well implemented from the beginning – the movement mechanics, the intriguing story, the comic book style cutscenes, the moral choices (and consequences thereof), the progression-based side missions and the look and feel of the environment are all admirably executed, to begin with.

The further into the adventure you go, however, and the more hours of play you wrack up while exploring, the more problems arise and the thinner the experience becomes - what at first seems like considerate hand-holding and slick presentation develops into frustrating restrictions and disconnected, clumsy exposition.

inFamous Screenshot 6

It’s a testament to the overall experience, then, that while playing inFamous, you can ignore many of the grievances you may have and simply enjoy the freedom of being a superhero, allowing yourself to get dangerously lost in the experience and play for hours on end without even noticing.

Continue reading El33tonline’s review of inFamous on the PS3.

2009/06/11 10:53:00 PM

Killzone 2 DLC, Flash and Thunder, hits European PSN

Killzone 2 Banner Image

Guerrilla have just released their latest multiplayer map pack for Killzone 2, Flash and Thunder, on the European PlayStation Network.

The map pack, available for £4.79 or €5.99 on PSN, comprises two new multiplayer maps, Beach Head and Southern Hills, both of which are reworked, redesigned fan favourites from the original Killzone on the PS2.

You can watch a great trailer for the Killzone 2 Flash and Thunder map pack over here.

2009/06/11 05:00:00 PM

VidZone lands on PS3 and PSP today

VidZone Logo

Ben Creasy, Head of Production at PlayStation’s VidZone, has just let everybody know that the service is going live today… but what exactly is VidZone?

VidZone, according to Creasy’s post, is a new on-demand music video service for the PS3, and will be available as a free download from the PlayStation Store in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Australia.

At launch, the service will give users access to thousands of music videos that you can watch at leisure, as well as fast forward, rewind, pause and create playlists with.

VidZone will also have a few bits of exclusive content for the launch, including a behind the scenes video of musically-inclined band Kasabian’s music video, ‘Where Did All The Love Go,’ as well as a world exclusive live version of the band’s Processed Beats video.

Creasy is also quick to remind that, amongst the 10 000 music videos, 4 000 artists, two major labels, thousands of independent labels and twelve main music genres, VidZone will have something for everyone, and will constantly be adding new content.

VidZone launches later today (June 11th) on the PS3 and PSP (via Remote Play) at 4PM in Europe, or 3PM in the UK… not long now, then.

2009/06/11 03:14:00 PM

iMP 2 in 1 Component AV Cable Review (PSP)

iMP 2 in 1 Component AV Cable

The iMP 2 in 1 Component AV Cable lets PSP owners hook their handhelds up to a TV set in order to make use of the larger display. The dilemma here though, is whether one really needs such a product.

The cable itself is well-made, except for the rather clunky switch near the output connectors. This allows the signal to be switched between component or composite output, depending on the type of signal one’s TV can accept. While the switch casing is large and clunky, the switch itself is impractically tiny, and could definitely have been better designed. That’s not too much of an issue though, as owners would very seldom find need to make use of the switch. The reason for this is that the cable’s composite output is of limited use, as PSP game video can only be displayed over a component connection.

Continue reading El33tonline’s review of the iMP 2 in 1 Component AV Cable.

2009/06/11 02:34:00 PM

Raucous Prototype gameplay footage shows massive damage

A newly released gameplay trailer for the next open-world action adventure destruct-a-thon, Prototype, shows just how much devastation and mayhem you can cause in the space of a few minutes, as well as how easy it is to navigate the city, with giant leaps and the ability to glide.

Watch the truly raucous Prototype destruction gameplay video below:

Oh, and if you live in South Africa, be sure to enter El33tonline’s Prototype competition, where you stand a chance to win an awesome figurine of the game’s protagonist, Alex Mercer.

2009/06/11 02:28:00 PM

Reggie Fils-Aime talks Metroid: Other M, Nintendo’s audience

Reggie Fils-Aime

In this wide-ranging video interview, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime talks about Nintendo’s approach to different types of gamers and their attempts to capture a new audience.

He also speaks about Nintendo’s efforts to revitalise key and fan-favourite franchises from their library of games, not least of which is their newly announced joint-venture project, Metroid: Other M, currently in development at external developer, Team Ninja.

Watch the fascinating and extensive interview with Reggie Fils-Aime below:

2009/06/11 02:14:00 PM

Tenchu: Shadow Assassins Review (PSP)

There are few figures that enjoy such timeless adoration and fascination in gaming as the ninja. The formidable warriors of Japanese yesteryear have made appearances in countless games, and the Tenchu series has been a particularly popular and long-running outlet for ninja adventurers. Tenchu: Shadow Assassins finally brings the series to the PSP, being a somewhat scaled-down but still reasonably impressive port of the well-received Wii game.

Continue reading El33tonline’s review of Tenchu: Shadow Assassins.

Tenchu: Shadow Assassins Screenshot 1

2009/06/11 02:04:00 PM
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