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Thu, Jan. 28, 12:58 PM
- IHS expects Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY -0.8%) to release a new handheld game system this year, meaning portables will be a key part of the company's new "NX" system.
- IHS expects shipments of small flat-panel displays -- between 3.1 inches and 5 inches -- to bump to 16.5M units this year from last year's 14.1M units, with a recovery in screens for game devices "because of Nintendo’s new game hardware expected to be released in 2016,” IHS says.
- The firm's Hiroshi Hayase didn't speculate on the size of display but is looking for a stand-alone system, such as the company's 3DS, rather than a display controller (such as for the Wii U).
- Nintendo is expected to detail its NX system at a Los Angeles show in June and make it available by the end-of-year holidays.
Thu, Jan. 14, 7:54 PM
- December marked a strong month for new videogames, though the sum was down slightly Y/Y likely due to drag from older-generation consoles.
- New games at retail sold at the pace of $3.22B, NPD Group reports, down from 2014's $3.26B. Hardware and software were down, though accessory sales rose 10%.
- A 4% increase in spending on newest-generation PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U was offset by a 71% drop in PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii hardware. Overall, hardware sales fell 6% Y/Y. Unsurprisingly, December was the best month on record for software for the newest consoles.
- In U.S. new physical software: December is usually Call of Duty month and this one was no exception, as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (ATVI +1.6%) won the period, followed by Star Wars: Battlefront (EA +1.7%) and Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks). With holiday gifting, the rest of the chart was full of familiar names: Take-Two's (TTWO +0.6%) Grand Theft Auto V, sports games from EA and Take-Two, and Minecraft (MSFT +2.9%).
- As usual, Sony's (SNE -0.8%) PS4 was the top-selling console. It beat the Xbox One and Wii U (OTCPK:NTDOY -0.7%) in sales in every month except April and October, and it claimed the crown in the two best-selling months of the year (November and December). Sony says it's nearing 36M PS4s sold overall, after 6.4M-plus from this holiday season.
Nov. 25, 2015, 5:57 PM
- Walt Disney (DIS +0.6%) is keeping its toes dipped into the burgeoning phenomenon of e-sports, teaming up again with Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY +1%) for a second original show devoted to watching competitive videogaming.
- The company's Disney XD channel will air Clash of Karts: Mario Kart 8 Dec. 5, a one-hour special where four two-person child teams will compete with the help of "YouTube influencers" as coaches.
- Disney says it saw some positive results from an Oct. 16 special based on the Nintendo World Championships, and is taking a more specific game tack with this one because the Mario Kart franchise is cross-generational and also lends a comedy element.
- “With e-sports we’re seeing the growth of a new business,” Disney's Marc Buhaj says. “We need to make sure that our game shows are appropriate to the folks watching. If we see a gaming opportunity that pops up, we’ll look at it.”
- Elsewhere: As the company is moving toward a high-profile opening of its park in Shanghai, China has fined five fake Disney hotels that had set up in the area, for trademark infringement. The five hotels, all owned by Shenzhen Vienna Hotels Group, were penalized a combined 100K yuan (about $15,656).
Oct. 28, 2015, 9:59 PM
- At long last, Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) has detailed the launch of its first smartphone game, and it's delaying it until March (and it won't be about Mario).
- During an investor meeting going on in Tokyo, the company confirmed it wouldn't launch this year, but its game, Miitomo, would be ready in the spring, with the company looking at a global launch. The game will be social and focused on the company's avatars, called Miis.
- Earlier this year, Nintendo confirmed that despite its previous resistance to mobile gaming, it would launch five games for mobile devices by March 2017.
- The first game will be free to play with in-game payments for "attractive" add-ons. Other games will have charges to download, the company said.
- In other revelations, the company's new membership service will be "Nintendo Account," connecting hardware, PC and smart device users. Meanwhile, CEO Tatsumi Kimishima says more titles are yet to come this year to promote Wii U and 3DS during the holiday season, though with few details so far.
- Nintendo shares are up 0.6% in Tokyo.
- Updated 10:21 p.m.: Shares have now sunk 8.9% in Tokyo as Nintendo details the delay. The company says it wants time to promote and explain the game appropriately. Mobile partner DeNA (OTC:DNACF) is down 12.6% in Tokyo.
- WSJ live blog
- Previously: Rumor of Nintendo going Android-based: Not the worst idea? (Jun. 01 2015)
- Previously: Nintendo's mobile plan: Five games by March 2017 (May. 08 2015)
Oct. 20, 2015, 12:08 AM
- Videogame sales tumbled in September, NPD Group says, falling 9% to $1.01B, with holiday promotions seemingly just around the corner.
- Once again, both hardware and software declined, though hardware took the beating -- down 27% to $313.5M -- as many gamers may be awaiting a console price break or bundle in time for holiday shopping. Software sales fell just 3% by comparison, to $465.6M. Accessory sales rose again.
- In new games at retail, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (OTCPK:KNMCY) couldn't unseat either NBA 2K16 (NASDAQ:TTWO) or Madden NFL 16 (NASDAQ:EA), which finished September with a one-two punch, and settled at third place, just ahead of FIFA 16 (EA). Rounding out EA's sports-title success, NHL 16 debuted at No. 9.
- The only single-platform exclusive to make that top 10 was Super Mario Maker (OTCPK:NTDOY), which debuted at No. 6.
- Once again, Sony (NYSE:SNE) confirmed the PlayStation 4 was the top console, outselling the Xbox One (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Wii U. Sony's box has outsold Xbox One every month this year except April.
- But the hardware faced a tough comp against last year's sales, buttressed by the release of Destiny (NASDAQ:ATVI), says NPD's Liam Callahan. And he notes that the consoles are trending up M/M: “All eighth generation consoles [which includes PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U] experienced double-digit growth when comparing sales on a per-week basis.”
Oct. 7, 2015, 8:14 PM
- Good news for Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) in the Nielsen Game Rank study, as its Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the most anticipated multiplatform video game for the holiday season.
- The game got a 98% rating in the Nielsen study, which measured overall anticipation for games to be released in Q4.
- Tied for second place were Fallout 4 from Bethesda Softworks and Ubisoft's (OTCPK:UBSFY +1.8%) Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, each at 95%.
- Eagerly awaited Star Wars: Battlefront, from Electronic Arts (EA -0.7%), was a surprising fifth place with 88% behind EA's new Need for Speed title at 92%.
- Among console exclusives, the top rankers vary: For the Xbox One, it's Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Halo 5: Guardians (100%). For the PS4 (NYSE:SNE), Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection (79%). For Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY) Wii U, it's Yoshi's Woolly World (91%).
Sep. 14, 2015, 9:02 AM
Sep. 11, 2015, 5:27 PM
- Videogame sales slipped in August, despite the "annual Madden," with new physical games and hardware down 2% to $548M, according to NPD Group.
- That's due to a bigger decline in software sales, though hardware slipped as well. Game sales fell 10% to $207.9M on tough comps against last year's Diablo III console launch and Sony's The Last of Us.
- Spending on hardware dropped a comparatively lighter 2% to $190.5M. Accessory sales rose, however, up 12% to $150M. Current-gen consoles rose to 68% of software sales from the prior month's 61%, according to Piper Jaffray.
- Madden NFL 16 (EA +0.3%) was the unsurprising leader in software for August after its late-month release, ahead of a pair of Microsoft (MSFT +0.4%) titles, Minecraft and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
- “New physical software sales for [Xbox One and PS4] consoles, up 34%, did not offset the 51% decline in [last] generation console sales as well as the 24% drop in portable software sales,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.
- Piper's Michael Olson reiterated Overweight ratings on Activision Blizzard (ATVI +0.3%), EA and Take-Two (TTWO +0.1%), as well as on GameStop (GME +1%). "We expect that 2015 and 2016 will be the equivalent to 2007 and 2008 during the prior console cycle," he writes; "both were years that experienced significant industry software growth, following several years of decline or limited growth in the space."
- Meanwhile, Sony (SNE +0.9%) confirmed its PlayStation 4 outsold competing hardware from Microsoft and Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY -1.5%) yet again in August.
Jul. 12, 2015, 8:31 PM
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) reports that its CEO and president, Satoru Iwata, has died at 55 from a bile duct growth.
- Iwata had taken an extended leave last year to address the growth.
- His passing leaves two representative directors at the company, it said in its release: Genyo Takeda and Shigeru Miyamoto, both senior managing directors.
- Miyamoto, a legendary game creator for Nintendo, last month discussed his own succession and noted that younger members of his teams were stepping up.
Jun. 18, 2015, 11:17 PM
- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) grabbed the reins at the E3 gaming expo -- announcing three new Star Wars games, headlined by Star Wars: Battlefront, and pointing to its annual sports titles.
- Positivity around Battlefront may be raising the company's fortunes as analysts raise sales estimates; Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson thinks EA could sell 9.5M units in its fiscal 2016. The game comes out Nov. 17 ahead of the Dec. 18 release of the seventh film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
- EA shares rose 4% through the conference. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI), which didn't hold a media event, fell 1%. For its part, it highlighted November's Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, the latest entry in that multibillion-dollar franchise, as well as the return of another franchise in Guitar Hero Live.
- Activision also will be adding playable vehicles to its $3B toys-to-life franchise Skylanders.
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) -- with a fairly surprise-free lineup and no media briefing -- had a lackluster show, and shares fell 3.3% in the interim.
Jun. 16, 2015, 11:38 PM
- Stocks of videogame makers have been on a run heading into this year's E3 conference, but will they have anything left for the holiday season?
- Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) and Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) are up 30% and 22% YTD respectively -- but are also trading at 21 times and 18 times forward earnings, well above average. Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) have risen more than 50% in Tokyo trading.
- There's still tailwinds to come, Dan Gallagher says, including the shift to digital sales and the migration to next-gen consoles, not to mention the potential of virtual reality.
- This E3 is heavy on the games -- a natural outcome of a bigger installed base for new-generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.
- Meanwhile, digital game sales ($979M in May) have increased to four times physical new game sales, meaning better margins.
- Previously: Sony's PS4 gains from new exclusives, preferred game windows (Jun. 16 2015)
- Previously: Ubisoft previews new 'South Park' game, range of sequels (Jun. 15 2015)
- Previously: EA gives first in-game look at 'Star Wars: Battlefront' (Jun. 15 2015)
- Previously: Microsoft bringing Xbox 360 games to One, Minecraft to HoloLens (Jun. 15 2015)
Jun. 3, 2015, 3:50 PM
- Activision Blizzard (ATVI +1.6%) is extending its popular $3B Skylanders game/toy franchise -- with 20 vehicles.
- Skylanders Superchargers adds land, sky and sea vehicles to let players race through various terrain and environments along with 20 new characters. The game is out Sept. 20.
- Activision's getting increasing competition in this toys-to-life genre it pioneered, not only with Disney's Infinity (NYSE:DIS) and Nintendo's Amiibo (OTCPK:NTDOY), but also Lego, planning a game where players' real-life brick creations can be played inside the videogame.
- While Disney and Nintendo have a stable of characters to draw on, Activision may need new "hooks" (like vehicles) with each release since its characters are original creations.
- Activision reported that (including toys) Skylanders was the No. 1 console franchise and title globally in Q1 and outsold the No. 1 action figure line globally.
- Toys-to-life needs something new, though; trailing-12-months sales in the category grew just 2% in Q1 vs. 45% a year earlier.
Jun. 1, 2015, 9:08 PM
- It's a thin rumor, fed by the secrecy around Nintendo's (OTCPK:NTDOY +1.9%) upcoming "NX" console/platform, but a column in Nikkei Shimbun suggests the company could base the system on Google's Android OS.
- That would be a stark change for a company with tight control over software and OS development, but it's building up some media support today: Users are familiar with a slow Wii U interface that could benefit from a speed injection, and there's a case to be made for stronger third-party development support.
- Nintendo would likely pursue an Android fork where it wouldn't have to share a cut of game sales with Google (which would surely be a dealbreaker), and -- again due to its tight grip -- would be able to strictly manage a consistent look and feel.
- As for whether ceding OS development is too much of a culture shock for the company, it did break another barrier this spring by paving the way for its games to go mobile (and thus to other hardware).
- Previously: Nintendo's mobile plan: Five games by March 2017 (May. 08 2015)
May 15, 2015, 4:52 PM
- Video game spending was up slightly Y/Y in April, gaining 3% to $595.7M, paced by a 13% increase in physical software sales, according to industry trackers NPD Group.
- That's apart from mixed results in hardware sales -- which were up 12% in unit terms, but declined 4% on a dollar basis to $183.9M, after a round of console price cuts.
- Physical software rose to $256.7M. This month, violent games took the spotlight, with "Fatality"-friendly Mortal Kombat X (NYSE:TWX) the new game topping the chart. It was followed by Grand Theft Auto V (NASDAQ:TTWO) and Battlefield: Hardline (NASDAQ:EA). MLB 15: The Show (NYSE:SNE), another new game, came in at the fourth spot, just ahead of Minecraft.
- GTAV was one of three games that Take Two had in the top 10, along with NBA 2K15 and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection.
- At long last, the Xbox One (NASDAQ:MSFT) took over the top console spot from PlayStation 4 (SNE) despite no big game news to push it; Xbox One sales were up 63% Y/Y.
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY) says that the Wii U is up 15% for the first four months of 2015 vs. the year-ago period, and 3DS sales up 65% Y/Y for that same period.
May 8, 2015, 1:37 PM
- Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY +0.5%) -- famously resistant to making its games for mobile devices -- is laying out its plan to get into the smartphone market, developing five games for release by March 2017.
- President Satoru Iwata detailed the numbers in the company's earnings call, saying the focus would be on quality, not quantity. The first game would be introduced by the end of 2015.
- In March, Nintendo said it would team up with Japan's DeNA to make mobile games in a key strategic reversal.
- The company's past resistance has ranged from worries about how games could look on mobile to the concern that a mobile experience would discourage people from buying Nintendo hardware. Iwata these days: “By tapping into the smartphone we can increase the number of Nintendo fans ... No companies in any industries can survive if they fail to adjust to changing market environments."
May 7, 2015, 11:59 AM
- Universal Parks & Resorts (NASDAQ:CMCSA) is partnering with Nintendo (OTCPK:NTDOY +4.6%) to bring the latter's Mario and other popular (and numerous) video game characters to themed attractions.
- Potential Nintendo rides got a good public test at the 2014 SXSW Festival, where Pennzoil and Nintendo created a live version of Mario Kart 8.
- For Nintendo, it's another partnership after some reluctance to team up with others. The company got together with online gaming company DeNA to jump into smartphone gaming this spring.
- "For Nintendo IP, a more active approach will be taken in areas outside the video game business, including visual content production and character merchandising," Nintendo says in a statement.
- Details of the deal weren't available, but Universal has theme parks in Orlando, Fla.; Hollywood; Singapore; and Japan.
Nintendo Co., Ltd. manufactures and markets home-use video games. The company also produces related software used in conjunction with its television-compatible entertainment systems. Nintendo diversifies its business by seeking to offer new applications of video game systems, such as e-mail... More
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