Blizzard continues to add millions of gamers to the pile of Overwatch players, with the first-person shooter now home to over 30 million registered gamers.
The company didn't reveal any platform specific numbers, or the percentage of gamers who downloaded Overwatch when Blizzard held its free-to-play weekends. Considering Overwatch has only been out for less than a year, hitting 30 million is a huge milestone. Especially when we consider there's not many playing Battlefield 1, for example.
Despite near-universal unavailability, Nintendo has sold over 2 million NES Classic Edition consoles across the globe.
In a recent interview with TIME, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed the famously unattainable retro NES micro-console has sold 2.3 million units worldwide. In fact, the mini NES and its 30 classic games was only meant to be a holiday product but Nintendo extended its lifespan due to popularity. "We had originally planned for this to be a product for last holiday. We just didn't anticipate how incredible the response would be. Once we saw that response, we added shipments and extended the product for as long as we could to meet more of that consumer demand," the NoA President told TIME in the interview.
Assuming every console shipped out sold at retail value, Nintendo made about $138 million on the NES Classic Edition. Despite these impressive earnings Nintendo has discontinued the NES Classic Edition across all markets, and has no plans to re-release the hot 8-bit system this year. Fils-Aime says Nintendo killed off the NES Mini to "focus on the future."
Following stellar launch-month sales, Nintendo forecasts its new handheld-console hybrid Switch system will hit 10 million sales.
Nintendo's new unique Switch system sold 2.74 million in just 29 days and pulled in $822 million in global sales, offering a significant boost to the company's third-quarter financials. Now the Japanese console-maker plans to keep the console's strong sales momentum going throughout its 2017 fiscal year.
Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima said in the latest financial results briefing that the company expects to sell 10 million Nintendo Switch consoles from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. "We are planning to ship 10 million units of Nintendo Switch hardware in the fiscal year ending March 2018. The cumulative total for units shipped through the fiscal year ending March 2018 will be 12.7 million units," Mr. Kimishima said in the briefing.
Capcom just reported its yearly earnings, and they're positive.
As with any company's financials, Capcom's latest Fiscal Year 2016 earnings give us a good idea on its current position and its plans for 2017. Capcom recorded increases across the board in net sales, operating income, and bottom-line profits. From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017 Capcom earned 87.1 billion yen ($781.68 million) in net sales representing a 13.2% increase year-over-year. Operating income was boosted by 13.5% YoY to 13.65 billion yen ($122.4 million). Finally we have Capcom's bottom-line profits, which boosted by 14.6% YoY to 8.87 billion yen ($79.6 million).
Capcom's Digital Contents division--games across all platforms--is by far the company's most lucrative segment, and also enjoyed boosts in net sales, but losses in operating income. The division's net sales increased by 11.7% year-over-year to 58.7 billion yen ($526.4 million) due to strong sales of key IPs like Resident Evil 7 and Monster Hunter XX as well as other online titles. Operating income was down by 8.8% YoY to 11 billion yen ($99.5 million).
Sony has shipped about 60 million PlayStation 4 consoles across the globe, pushing it farther ahead of its competitors.
While Sony hasn't officially announced the console's huge sales milestone, a bit of simple math reveals the number. In its recent fiscal year earnings report Sony confirmed it shipped 20 million PS4 consoles from April 2016 to March 2017. Back in May 2016 Sony revealed the PS4 has shipped 40 million consoles to date. So combining the two figures we get 60 million...but that figure isn't 100% exact. Sony's fiscal year ends in March, so May 2016 is part of its Fiscal Year 2016, meaning we're not sure how many of those 40 million PS4s overlap with Sony's total 20 million FY16 sales.
Sony's fiscal data only goes back to FY14 and doesn't include how many PS4 consoles were sold in its Q3-Q4 FY13 (November 2013 onwards) timeframe, so until Sony announces the data, we're not exactly sure how many consoles have been sold globally.
Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Damien Thong predicts that Sony will release a next-gen PlayStation console by the second half of 2018, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal's Takashi Mochizuki. Sony's new PlayStation systemwould coincide with the company's Fiscal Year 2018.
While WSJ's Mochizuki specifically says "next-gen," I believe industry analyst Damien Thong meant the new PlayStation console will be an iterative system, not a new PlayStation 5. Sony has put far too much effort into the PlayStation 4 to just scrap it and reset everything with a brand new console generation.
I fervently believe Halo 5: Guardians is the worst Halo game ever made, and that 343 Industries doesn't know what it's doing with the franchise. Now the developers say they've learned a lot from their terrible decisions with Halo 5, and promise to do better with future games.
One of the biggest disappointments about Halo 5 was its truly awful storyline. It started out with so much promise; with the help of his beloved Blue Team (and some of the most deadly Spartans alive), Master Chief goes "rogue" to find Cortana. Then 343i decided to throw in Osiris Team, a group of throwaway "heroes" led by one of the most one-dimensional characters in video games history. So instead of playing as Master Chief and his esteemed Blue Team, who haven't ever been in a Halo game before Halo 5, we spend half of the game chasing after Chief as Osiris Team. Most gamers--myself included--didn't care about Locke and Osiris, we wanted the Chief.
In a recent interview with GamesTM, 343 Industries executive producer Kiki Wolfkill they've heard our feedback...but in the same breath she proves she doesn't really understand Halo--or what Master Chief means to gamers and the franchise. "We took some digs for storytelling in Halo 5, but they were absolutely merited. We very much realized that people wanted Master Chief's story of Halo 5. For some fans and certainly fans of Master Chief, it was a huge disappointment because they wanted more Chief," Wolfkill said.
Nintendo has a long tradition skipping E3 pressers, and this year will be no different.
Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima confirms that the Japanese console-maker won't be holding a press conference at E3 2017 in June. "The video game tradeshow E3 will be held in Los Angeles this June. Again this year, we will not be hosting a large-scale press conference for institutional investors, analysts and the media," Mr. Kimishima said in the latest investor relations report.
This doesn't mean Nintendo won't reveal new games at or around E3: it just means Nintendo won't physically have a massive showcase at the event. Nintendo is hosting a Splatoon 2 tournament at E3, so it will be at the show, but it just won't hold a presser. It's likely that Nintendo will instead opt for a massive Nintendo Direct livestream versus an on-stage conference and disseminate tons of new info on its three gaming pillars: the Nintendo Switch, the 3DS, and smartphone mobile games.
Unikrn is making big moves into Las Vegas by acquiring LEET, a tournament organizer that works with casinos run events, and recently working with Downtown Grand to become the first casino in Vegas with eSports betting, setting a new trend leading into Luxor, and other casinos.
I reached out to Unikrn boss Rahul Sood, who said: "Far and away the biggest threat to casino operators is their complete lack of understanding and empathy to their future customer. This is a pretty big issue, and I believe alot of it stems from trying to protect old business models". He continued: "So the best way to start is with some smaller, less risky changes".
"So the best way to start is with some smaller, less risky changes. Over time those smaller changes become bigger cultural changes. I think this is what LEET does really well. The Downtown Grand is a good example of how a casino client started out with an idea and a vision, and they have now turned it into a money making business. Granted these changes were driven from the top, and Seth Shorr should be credited for making esports a "thing" in Las Vegas casinos".
Sood even referred to the UFC, saying "There was a time when UFC was really small. They had this big idea that Vegas would eventually become the mecca for UFC, and the entire city bought into it - the rest is history". But when it comes to Vegas, Sood added: "Vegas is the mecca of entertainment, and as such I have no doubt that esports and video games will be embedded into the fabric of Las Vegas over time. Needless to say we are excited to get to work!"
Just hours after reporting its latest yearly earnings, Nintendo starts off its new fiscal year with a brand new handheld in the 3DS family: the New 2DS XL.
Nintendo's New 2DS XL is perhaps the logical successor to the 3DS that doesn't actually replace it, and represents an incredibly smart move in Nintendo's part. The New 2DS XL hits all the right checkboxes: it has a clamshell folding mechanism with dual XL screens, no pesky 3D gimmick, a faster processor, a C-stick, and the best part: it'll play all existing and new 3DS games.
We also expect the New 2DS XL to have access to the Super Nintendo Virtual Console library too. The New 2DS XL launches July 28, the same day as Hey Pikmin! and Miitopia, for the lower price of $149.