Xbox One beats PS4 sales at Walmart, Target.


InfoScout finds Microsoft systems take 61% share of console sales at retailers on Black Friday.

Xbox One_PS4

The Xbox One was the best-selling game hardware at Walmart and Target on Black Friday, according to retail research firm InfoScout. According to a post on the company blog, Microsoft’s new console accounted for 31 percent of console sales at the retailers on Friday, outpacing the PlayStation 4’s 15 percent share, which was only enough to make it the fourth best-selling system of the day.

The Xbox 360, bolstered by a $99 sale price at Walmart, was the second-best-seller of Black Friday, accounting for 30 percent of systems sold. The PS3, which was less heavily discounted at $149, was third with a 15 percent share of consoles sold. Nintendo brought up the rear, with the Wii U accounting for just 6 percent of sales, while the original Wii scraped out a 1 percent share.

InfoScout attributed much of the Xbox family’s success to supply constraints on the PS4 and the deeply discounted Xbox 360 price. According to a survey of Black Friday receipts from 5,000 InfoScout panelists, the Xbox One was the sixth best-selling item at Walmart, behind a trio of TVs, an HP laptop, and a $300 16GB Apple iPad Mini, which ordinarily sells for $320.

 

PS4 beats Xbox One to become UK’s fastest ever selling console


Sony’s console sold more than a million consoles during its US launch, and has now beaten records in the UK.

Sony has duplicated their successful launch of the PS4 in North America by becoming the UK’s fastest ever selling console.

The PS4’s sales figures have beaten both the PS3’s, the Xbox 360’s, and the previous record holder – Sony’s PSP. This handheld console managed to sell 185,000 units in the same time period during its 2005 release.

Most importantly for Sony though, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One, clearing more than 250,000 units within the first 48 hours of launch and easily beating the Xbox One’s sales of around 150,000 consoles in the same time period.

Industry news-site MCV reported the figures, also noting that this means both Microsoft and Sony’s consoles have sold more in two days than Nintendo’s Wii U has sold in a year since its launch in November 2012.

However, in the US the Xbox One may be taking the lead, becoming the best-selling console during the country’s annual Black Friday sales event. Analysts InfoScout reported that both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One outsold the PS3 and PS4, with Microsoft’s consoles collecting 61% of console sales on the day in comparison with Sony’s 30 per cent.

InfoScout also noted though that this may be due to limited availability for the PS4 in the US, as well as retail giant Walmart’s decision to discount the Xbox 360 to just $99.

In terms of games sold, Call of Duty: Ghosts seems to be convincing audiences on both sides of the Atlantic. InfoScout’s data showed the latest instalment in the CoD franchise easily outpacing the competition (though didn’t give specific numbers) whilst the UK’s all-platform top 10 also put Ghosts in the number one spot.

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PlayStation 3 Tops Xbox 360 for the First Time in Nearly Three Years


Sony fans can finally celebrate a triumphant month in the United States, with the PlayStation 3 landing on top of the sales charts.

How would Microsoft PR  handle the Xbox 360 losing a month to the PlayStation 3?  Microsoft’s been sending out a sales report each month since 2011 that goes something like “Xbox 360 maintains its lead in the U.S. console market for the X month in a row…”

Not this time. For September, NPD reports the PlayStation 3 finally pulled ahead of the Xbox 360, thanks in part to a Grand Theft Auto V PS3 system bundle. Microsoft’s email chose instead to highlight an Xbox 360 sales milestone (passing 80 million units sold worldwide) and added that the system “maintained its lead as the number one selling console in the U.S. in 2013.”

Was the latter ever in doubt? The Xbox 360′s been ahead of the PlayStation 3 in North America by millions of units for years; the chances it was going to lose that lead were precisely zero. In any event, it’s testament to the Xbox 360′s appeal (in the U.S., anyway — Sony’s slightly ahead in worldwide console sales) that the console’s held that top sales spot (excluding games handhelds) for 32 months straight.

September was really Nintendo’s month, however: the 3DS outsold everything, hardware-wise, for the fifth consecutive month despite Grand Theft Auto V‘s arrival, and with Pokémon X & Y demolishing sales records, it’s probably safe to assume the 3DS is a lock for October.

What about the Wii U after that $50 price drop on the Deluxe model, which lowered the price to $300? Nintendo says sales of its beleaguered console increased “by more than 200 percent over sales in August,” adding that that’s with just two weeks of data being reported at the new price. NPD says the Wii U The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD bundle helped. October should be telling.

Last but not least, software juggernaut Grand Theft Auto V accounted for fully half of all gaming dollar sales in September, says NPD, and “had the highest first month sales than any other previous launch in the Grand Theft Auto franchise.”

Founding Xbox engineer: last 5 years “painful to watch”


Nat Brown says machine “Coasting on past momentum. Failing to innovate”

Nat Brown

Nat Brown, an engineer who joined the Xbox engineering team in its infancy in 1999 and claims to have given it its name, has penned an explosive declamation on the path which the brand is taking, calling the last five years, and “the last year in particular,” “painful to watch.”

Brown’s post, on his personal blog, reveals that, whilst a multimedia experience was always a vital part of the long term plans for Xbox, it has taken centre-stage at the cost of gaming. Specifically, Brown feels that support for smaller developers and digital distribution has been dangerously lacking.

“My gripe, my head-smack, is not that the broader content/entertainment business isn’t where you want to go with a living-room-connected device. It absolutely is,” writes Brown. “Indeed, this was the point of Xbox, that was why it was the Trojan horse for the living room, where we could land and be welcomed by millions of console customers with more hardware and better software and network connectivity than the non-console devices (webtv, cable set-top-boxes) we had been pursuing.

“The past 5 years, and the last year in particular, have been simply painful to watch. Coasting on past momentum. Failing to innovate and failing to capitalize on innovations like Kinect.”

Nat Brown

“No, more and better content was always the point and the plan. My gripe is that, as usual, Microsoft has jumped its own shark and is out stomping through the weeds planning and talking about far-flung future strategies in interactive television and original programming partnerships with big dying media companies when their core product, their home town is on fire, their soldiers, their developers, are tired and deserting, and their supply-lines are broken.

“Xbox’s primary critical problem is the lack of a functional and growing platform ecosystem for small developers to sell digitally-/network-distributed (non-disc) content through to the installed base of xBox customers, period. Why can’t I write a game for Xbox tomorrow using $100 worth of tools and my existing Windows laptop and test it on my home Xbox or at my friends’ houses?”

Going on to rail against the $10,000 cost for registering as an Xbox developer, Brown decries the lack of ecosystem features seen on explosive platforms like iOS, where low-barriers to entry have seen a wealth of content driving both system popularity and breadth of choice.

“Why can’t I then distribute it digitally in a decent online store, give up a 30 per cent cut and strike it rich if it’s a great game, like I can for Android, for iPhone, or for iPad,” he asks. “This is where indie developers have found they can go in order to not make money on xBox, despite an installed base of 76 million devices. Microsoft, you are idiotic to have ceded not just indie game developers but also a generation of loyal kids and teens to making games for other people’s mobile devices.”

Brown’s disappointment isn’t limited to the machine’s poor support for smaller developers, however, he’s also angry with the Dashboard UI, which he calls “creaky, slow, and full-of-s***.”

“These are the 2 fronts Microsoft is going to lose on in the living room battle with Android 38, iOS,” continues Brown. “It’s not going to be based on whether they have (a more expensive) Netflix, whether they have original TV/video content or interactive kids television shows which integrate with Kinect. They will lose unless these two things are sorted out well and quickly.

“Microsoft is living in a naive dream-world. I have heard people still there arguing that the transition of the brand from hardcore gamers to casual users and tv-uses was an intentional and crafted success. It was not. It was an accident of circumstance that Microsoft is neither leveraging nor in control of.”

Nat Brown left Microsoft in early 2000.

 

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Microsoft to announce next-gen Xbox on May 21


Microsoft to announce next-gen Xbox on May 21

As expected, the company will be holding a special event prior to E3 to unveil its new Xbox [UPDATE: The event will be live streamed]

Microsoft finally announced today that it’s planning to unveil its next generation plans during a special event on May 21 at Microsoft’s Redmond campus. The news came via press invites sent out to media this afternoon.

The event, dubbed “A New Generational Revealed”, lists a start time of 10 a.m. and mentions that Don Mattrick will lead the announcement. And in case there’s any doubt that the event is to announce a new Xbox, the invitation also includes the Twitter hashtag #XboxReveal.

Given all the controversial rumors about the next Xbox being always-online and requiring players to possibly need to be online even to play solo, it’ll be very interesting to see what the final feature set on the new hardware ends up being. Many are expecting hardware specifications somewhat similar to what Sony is including in the PS4, and given Sony’s developer-centric and more open approach to the PS4, a number of developers are hopeful that Microsoft will be equally open with the next Xbox.

Update: Microsoft representatives have confirmed to GamesIndustry International that the event will be streamed live on Xbox.com, Xbox Live and it will appear on Spike TV. Additionally, Microsoft will be showcasing its next-gen lineup for the next Xbox at E3 this year with an event at the Galen Center in Los Angeles on June 10. That event will be streamed online as well.

 

[soure]