Tuesday’s debut of the much-anticipated video game Titanfall likely will be a pivotal early moment for Microsoft’s newest console, the Xbox One, which has struggled to keep up with Sony’s cheaper PlayStation 4 since both launched in November. Almost four months in, Sony has sold 6 million PS4s, compared to 4 million Xbox Ones. With the Xbox One costing $100 more than the PS4, and with few other distinctive titles, Microsoft is hoping a successful Titanfall launch will keep it in the game.
Related: Microsoft’s Xbox One Breaks Sales Record, Moves 1M Units In 24 Hours
Distributed by Electronic Arts, Titanfall is a rip-roaring online-only take on standard tropes of science fiction and first-person shooters, from creators of the Call of Duty franchise. It initially will be exclusive to the Xbox One, then also be launched for Windows-based PCs and Microsoft’s older Xbox 360 console. It is not scheduled to be available on Sony consoles, an unusual move by a big third-party publisher such as EA that normally wants to make its games as widely available as possible.
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It probably is following the last year’s long-awaited introduction of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles — and growing interest in downloaded games — researchers at The NPD Group conclude in a new report on 2013 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. The firm says that total spending on video game content increased 1% to $15.39B. Consumers paid $7.22B for downloaded games, and $1.83B for used and rentals. That more than compensated for the 11% drop, to $6.34B, in sales of new physical video games for consoles and PCs. Hardware sales were up 5% — NPD doesn’t provide a dollar number — resulting in a 2% increase in spending for hardware and software combined. Consumer outlays for hardware and software fell in 2012 and 2011, NPD said. But with Microsoft and Sony offering next-gen devices to follow Nintendo’s Wii U in 2012, it’s “a positive indicator for future market growth as we enter the first full year with all three new consoles on the market,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan says. He’s impressed by research showing that 36% of people 13 and over played downloaded games. Teens and young adults are the biggest market, of course, but “there is no particular point after age 25 where incidence declines significantly.” (Really? Not even among people over 70?) Read More »
A week after its biggest competitor’s successful launch, Microsoft rolled out its own next-generation video game console, the Xbox One, in a midnight party in Hollywood amid hundreds of gamers and a fair smattering of rappers, actors, YouTube personalities and other celebrities of varying wattage. The Xbox One is $100 more expensive than Sony’s PS4 at $499, but more technically capable thanks to included motion, face and voice sensors. Sony’s console sold 1 million units on its launch day a week ago. Both companies will be fighting for consumer attention this holiday season, which kicks off officially in one more week.
Related: Retailers Brace For Holiday-Season Price Wars
At last night’s event at the Milk Studios in Hollywood, as electronic dance music star Deadmau5 and other DJs spun on a stage, the company showed off its biggest games — including some 22 titles exclusive to the platform — to fans who played for hours ahead of the machine’s first official sale at 12:01 AM. But all the night’s noise obscured Microsoft’s broader push, which is that the machine can integrate all kinds of entertainment while easing access to them all. One of the machine’s niftiest tricks is a slick and relatively reliable ability to seamlessly switch between, or even simultaneously watch/use/play, a TV show, the Internet and a game with virtually no delays. The device’s sensors can recognize when a person has sat down in front of it, and automatically open up that person’s customized interface on screen. It can even do so for more than one person at a time. Voice and gesture commands work pretty well, though many reviewers have said the gee-whiz tech isn’t reliable enough yet to completely replace using a hand controller to navigate.
When they introduced the console six months ago, Microsoft reps talked up new kinds of interactive programming being created by Microsoft Studios under former CBS honcho Nancy Tellem. But last night only games were on display. They didn’t even demonstrate the offerings for fantasy football as part of their new deal with the NFL.
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One day after the latest installment in the Call Of Duty franchise was released, Activision Blizzard announced today that the first-person shooter video game has surpassed $1 billion in global sell-in sales. Impressive as that may … Read More »
Some analysts say it might based on the over-the-top reviews the long-awaited video game is receiving today in the first few hours following the expiration of the company’s embargo for critics. The first new Grand Theft … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Comic books may be Hollywood’s hottest current wellspring of source material, but at Comic-Con 2013 a panel of industry experts will discuss what could be the next. “Video Games to Movies: Is The Golden Age Upon Us?” is slotted for Thursday, July 18, at the Hilton Bayfront’s Indigo Ballroom. Panel is set to include some of the folks behind CBS Films‘ Deus Ex adaptation and Nu Image’s Kane and Lynch, David Fincher’s Halo short, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, and games powerhouse EA Entertainment, which is underway on a Need For Speed film starring Aaron Paul. Read More »
The mobile gaming tie-in to Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 launched on the iTunes App Store last week and is #1 among free apps in 45 countries. Created with SF-based studio Kabam, it’s also the #1 overall game in 69 countries, the top racing game in 112 countries, and the #1 action game in 85 countries. Its iPad app version runs comparable if even wider in saturation as the top free app in 81 countries. By contrast, Paramount‘s Star Trek: The Game — tied to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness — stayed in-house and it’s doing lousy since it came out last month. According to VG Chartz, unit sales in its first three weeks are only 140K to date across PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 consoles. It’s also considered a failure because it’s very buggy despite years of development. Critics and users alike gave it poor reviews. So what happened?
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EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that CAA’s top video game agent has just informed the tenpercentery that he’s heading for rival UTA. Ophir Lupu is one of the video game industry’s top agents and co-head of the video game department at Creative Artists … Read More »
The Supreme Court said today that it will take up the FCC’s request to hear arguments about how much authority the agency has to police indecent programming. A lower court had shot down two FCC enforcement actions — that infamous … Read More »
UPDATE: The Propaganda closure is just part of a quiet reduction in workforce at Disney Interactive. The unit has also cut a number of console jobs at Junction Point Studios in Austin, bringing the total number of jobs nixed to around 200, or 29% of the … Read More »
Deadline doesn’t cover the videogame industry, but since it’s the WGA giving out the nominations as part of its guild awards, here goes:
Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement
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David O Russell has signed on with Sony Pictures Entertainment to rewrite and direct a movie based on the PlayStation 3 game Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Russell, who last directed Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in The Fighter, takes on a … Read More »
The MPAA is leading the charge on behalf of showbiz guilds against California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2005 California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors. The lobbying group for Hollywood studios is urging the Supreme Court to uphold … Read More »
Green Lantern co-writer Marc Guggenheim is at Comic-Con today. He’s launching Collider Entertainment, a partnership with Alisa Tager that is designed to create properties that start out as comics and then springboard onto other media platforms. Guggenheim and Tager have … Read More »
Legendary Pictures has announced a movie rights deal for Mass Effect, the Electronic Arts/BioWare videogame for Xbox 360 that will be co-financed and distributed by Warner Bros. Mark Protosevich, who adapted Marvel Entertainment’s Thor, is in talks to write the script. … Read More »
20th Century Fox has Spanish helmer Daniel Benmayor in the crosshairs to direct Hitman 2. Will original star Timothy Olyphant return? That is unclear at this point, but Benmayor will make his Hollywood debut on the sequel to the film based … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: An auction of screen rights for the PlayStation3 game Heavy Rain is coming to a close. I’m told a deal is near with Unique Features, the film shingle started by Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne after they exited New Line.
Using … Read More »
Columbia Pictures and Happy Madison are in early talks to develop a movie based on Patrick Jean’s video-game themed sci-fi invasion video Pixels, which has become a viral sensation. No deal yet at Columbia, but Happy Madison bought the rights to Jean’s work and Adam Sandler’s company is a fixture … Read More »