As any in-the-know gamer should be aware of, Mass Effect 3 was released last Tuesday, and, man, is it flying off the store shelves. Opening day sales for the game hit 890,000 units, which is most definitely a lot of cheddar. 1.5 million units of the title have been shipped to retailers worldwide, however take note that the number of units shipped does not correlate with the number of units sold.
To learn more about the game check out our Mass Effect 3 Kinect feature.
Ahh Nintendo, rarely an innovator, often an imitator. At least that can be said about the company’s next online “innovative” venture. The company is looking to various media service providers in order to kick off the Wii U release later this year with a bang. Like the Xbox 360, Nintendo has every intention of collecting as many service providers as it can in order to try to replace your cable or satellite box with the console. Nintendo is currently in talks with several ‘top content’ companies, possibly including Comcast, to become a cable TV provider alongside or after the Wii U launch.
Currently there are no official statements from Nintendo as to what content we can expect to see with the Wii U. What we do know is that Nintendo has announced that the Wii will soon be receiving Hulu compatibility.
UPDATE: Microsoft responded to our request for comment with the following statement from a spokesperson, which indicates that the company regards the "xbox dump" user information as a minor phishing incident, not a major network breach:
"We do not have any evidence the Xbox Live service has been compromised. We take the security of our service seriously and work on an ongoing basis to improve it against evolving threats. However, we are aware that phishing attackers will occasionally post small lists of victims on public channels, and we will work directly with the impacted members to resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts. As always, we highly recommend our members follow the Xbox Live Account Security guidance provided at www.xbox.com/security to protect your account."
Microsoft may be sweating out a possible rehash of Sony's PlayStation Network nightmare from earlier this year if an anonymous posting of dozens of purported Xbox Live Gamertags and passwords is what it claims to be.
We've seen an anonymous Pastebin.com data dump called "xbox dump" posted Monday that contains more than 90 supposed gamertags, most with associated email addresses and passwords.
Microsoft had yet to respond to a request for more information and it couldn't be confirmed Tuesday if the Pastebin document contained real Xbox Live user information. Even if a number of Xbox Live members had their private information compromised somehow, it obviously would remain to be seen if the "xbox dump" document was part of a larger security breach or just a one-off affair.
LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment announced last week that they will shut down Star Wars Galaxies, effective December 15.
"The shutdown of SWG is a very difficult decision, but SOE and LucasArts have mutually agreed that the end of 2011 is the appropriate time to end the game," the companies said in a note on the game's support forum.
The closure affects the MMO and the Trading Card Game. To soften the blow, Sony and LucasArts said the current SWG community will be able to take advantage of a "galaxy-ending in-game event" in December.
"During the last week that SWG is available ... we're going to end with a bang and we want the final chapter of the galaxy to be written in part by the dedicated and passionate SWG community. Details will be announced at a later date," the companies said.
Active SWG subscribers in good standing, meanwhile, will be able to play several SOE massively multiplayer online PC games at the subscriber level at no extra charge. Between October 15 and December 15, those users will have access to Free Realms, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and DC Universe Online via the Star Wars Galaxies Web site.
When Sony started restoring its PlayStation network this weekend, it promised a welcome-back consolation package for users who have been patiently waiting for its return since it went dark on April 20.
This afternoon, the company provided some details on what returning users will receive, including free games, movie rentals, and virtual items.
"We developed the program as an expression of our gratitude for your patience, support and continued loyalty during the service outage. From all of us at PlayStation, thank you and welcome back!" Patrick Seybold, senior director of corporate communications and social media, wrote in a blog post. "This package will be made available to all existing registered PlayStation Network and Qriocity users in North America (US and Canada), and will be made available shortly after we have fully restored the service."
What do you get? All PlayStation Network customers can choose two of five PS3 games: Dead Nation; inFAMOUS; LittleBigPlanet; Super Stardust HD; or Wipeout HD + Fury. PSP owners can select two of four games: LittleBigPlanet; ModNation Racers; Pursuit Force; or Killzone Liberation. All games will be available for 30 days after the store is restored and can be kept forever.
Sony Online Entertainment brought its PlayStation Network back online (after a major security breach took PSN down) in parts of Europe and the U.S. Saturday, but some 12 hours after the announcement many PSN customers were left wondering when it would be their turn.
At about 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Sony announced it would begin a "phased" return of PSN services to customers following a three-week outage caused by a hack of the network that forced the company to take it down. But a map of the U.S. that Sony is updating to reflect when its network goes live in individual states was left with numerous states without service in the Midwest, South and Northeast as of about 8 a.m. ET.
Several hours after the initial announcement, readers in Texas, Illinois and other states were complaining that PSN service had not been restored to their areas. Sony had warned that it would "take several hours to restore PSN throughout the entire country."
Meanwhile, PSN customers in Australia and the Caribbean wondered when their areas would go back online. Sony's Saturday announcement only referred to Europe and North America.
The company issued a further notice to PSN customers whose service had been turned on but who still weren't able to access the network:
Sony said Thursday that its PlayStation Network, the online service that connects Sony's game consoles like the PlayStation 3, may be out for a "full day or two" due to an unexpected and unexplained outage.
Sony first confirmed the outage at 5:50 PM Wednesday night, when Patrick Seybold, the senior director of corporate communications and social media, reported that "We're aware certain functions of PlayStation Network are down," Seybold said. "We will report back here as soon as we can with more information."
At 9:34 AM on Thursday, Seybold added the latest information, which will be grim news for PlayStation players.
"While we are investigating the cause of the Network outage, we wanted to alert you that it may be a full day or two before we're able to get the service completely back up and running," Seybold added. "Thank you very much for your patience while we work to resolve this matter. Please stay tuned to this space for more details, and we'll update you again as soon as we can."
We've played "Duke Nukem Forever." We swear we've played it. We've even brought back proof that we played it. And when we played it, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford promised us—promised us!—unequivocally that the game would be released May 3. Today, word has emerged that the game is being delayed until June 14 in the United States and June 10 internationally.
We're crushed, but we suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Duke Nukem Forever is the most-delayed title in the modern history of game development. Originally slated for release in 1997—and that's not a typo—this sequel to 1996's "Duke Nukem 3D" has seen countless changes of hands, vanishing and reappearing developers, lawsuits, and more trade shows than PCMag's intrepid staff. It's even won Wired's Vaporware of the Year of the Award more than once—several times after it received a 2004 lifetime achievement award.
Sony announced today that it will drop the price of its PlayStation Portable device by $40 to $129.99.
The price drop is effective February 27. PSP Entertainment Packs, meanwhile, will be sold for $159.99.
The company is also adding new games to its Greatest Hits and Favorites Collections. New additions to Greatest Hits, which sell for $19.99, include "Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines," "Dissidia Final Fantasy," "LittleBigPlanet PSP," "Metal Solid Gear: Peace Walker," "Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters," "Resistance: Retribution," and "Toy Story 3: The Video Game."
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.
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