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Console Gaming: From the PC Gamer Perspective

About a month ago, I ordered an Xbox 360. My reasoning for not having one has revolved around the fact that I have plenty to keep me busy (in a good way) with PC games. But then came the announcement that pushed me to purchase: Netflix would soon be available via the Xbox 360. The irony here, though, is that I haven’t even experienced that combination (coming in the fall) but now wouldn’t give up my Xbox 360 even if the Netflix deal didn’t work out. Here’s why:

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Match Made In Heaven: Netflix on the Xbox 360

Back in February, I titled a post “Dear Microsoft: Get Netflix on the Xbox 360 and I’ll Buy One.” True to my word, today I ordered an Xbox 360 following the latest announcement. I’m a huge fan of Netflix and have always had an interest in getting an Xbox 360 (even though I’m more of a PC gamer).

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Nintendo Profit Quadruples, Wii Continues to Outsell Competition

Nintendo WiiCompared to the same period last year, Nintendo sales more than doubled while net income jumped to ¥80.3 billion ($668.82 million) from ¥15.6 billion. Nintendo’s strategy of bringing gaming to the masses is paying off. Approximately 9.3 million Wii consoles have been sold world-wide as of the end of June. Wii sports seems to be fueling the sales at least in part with women and even seniors participating. While sales are strongest in Japan, the Wii has been incredibly popular in the U.S. outselling the PlayStation 3 by nearly 4 to 1 and the Xbox 360 by close to 2 to 1.

But will the success last in the long run? Is there more fun to be had by the casual gamer past Wii Sports? Whatever the answer, Nintendo has proven in the here and now that gaming can be for everyone.

Wii-mote Hacks: New Uses by DJs, Doctors, Musicians, and Engineers

Wii2A DJ in the Netherlands uses his Wii-mote (what fans call the Nintendo Wii’s remote control) to mix techno music at dance parties while a medical student in Italy has reconfigured his to analyze results from CT scans. More uses? You bet. A software engineer in Los Angeles controls a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner with his, and a formally trained conductor in Connecticut is showing classical musicians how to conduct a Beethoven symphony. The musicians use Wii-motes to control a digital section of an orchestra.

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Sony Now Trying the “Unconventional” with PS3 While Nintendo Sales Soar 90%

In the latest news from the console wars, Nintendo released sales and profits. Sales soared 90%, fueled by the success of the Wii. Nintendo has now sold 5.84 million of the consoles worldwide. Meanwhile, Sony announced a partnership with Hasbro to combine the worlds of trading cards and videogames using a new Sony video camera designed specifically for the PlayStation 3 console. The camera can recognize trading cards as you place them on a tabletop mat (see picture).

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February Sales Figures Compared: Wii vs. Xbox 360 vs. PlayStation 3

GamingconsolesThe research company NPD Group released data for U.S. sales of gaming consoles: 335,000 Wiis, 228,000 Xbox 360s, and 127,000 PlayStation 3s. The Wii continues to outsell all other consoles in the short term but has a ways to go to catch up to Microsoft in terms of total sales. Latest cumulative figures for U.S. sales for the big three: 5.1 million Xbox 360s, 1.9 million Nintendo Wiis, and 1.1 million PlayStation 3s.

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Game Industry Worried: Gamers Giving It Up As They Grow Up

Mike Vorhaus is the managing director of the consulting and research firm Frank N. Magid Associates and is in charge of a fairly in-depth study of consumer trends in gaming. His latest work is that of profiling “lapsed” console gamers. Here’s what he found:

Guys, of course, are the core of the console-games market and are the basis of his study. Vorhaus refers to declining gamer activity as “cliffs” in the gamers life. The first group, 12-to-17-year-old boys, has 78% playing console games at least once a week. But when boys become men and enter the 18-to-34-year-old bracket, they fall off the first cliff. Those still playing console games weekly: 42%.

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Sony Claims Wii Is “More of a Novelty” Despite Wii Sales Doubling PS3 Sales

Wii_4The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has an article out that indirectly outlines Nintendo’s comeback into the gaming world. Accordingly, U.S. retailers estimate that nearly 1.5 million Wiis will be sold before Christmas, about twice as many as the PS3. Nintendo explains that “Demand, as you can see from the reaction of consumers, has been greater than even we had hoped for.”

Sony’s response? “We feel very confident that the PlayStation fan is going to wait until
they can get a PlayStation 3…If they do pick up a Wii, it’s as more of a novelty,” says Sony spokesman Dave Karraker.

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