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Nintendo has endured several years of uncertainty and chaos, but appears to be ready to end 2014 on an extremely high note. Despite losing $193 million in 2013, Nintendo has enjoyed success from Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8, and Amiibo, the company will also sell an estimated 3.6 million Wii U console units in 2014. Amiibo sales in the US should top $1 billion, and shows President Satoru Iwata's decision of sticking with game titles for Nintendo devices alone isn't as disastrous as once believed.
"Nintendo has picked up good momentum heading into the Christmas season," said Tomoaki Kawasaki, analyst from Iwai Cosmo Securities, regarding Nintendo's recent success. "This time they have a hit lineup. Amiibo represents a new revenue source, and we are watching it very closely."
It may have taken longer than expected, but the Wii U game catalog continues to strengthen - after poor sales in 2012 and 2013 - as Nintendo caters to a niche gaming demographic when compared to Microsoft and Sony.
The Sony PlayStation 4 has largely dominated the Microsoft Xbox One throughout 2014, but a recent price cut - and unbundling the Xbox One from the Kinect - has helped generate more interest in the Xbox One. The price cut helped spur sales for the Xbox One, with Microsoft trying to build on a strong end of 2014 leading into the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in early 2015.
The Xbox One snatched up 53 percent of console sales on Black Friday, while the PS4 trailed with 31 percent - and both companies likely saw strong sales on Cyber Monday - as sales continue leading up to Christmas.
Microsoft added this tidbit: "Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9, we've seen sales of Xbox One more than double in the U.S., compared to sales in May."
The 4th of December marks Sony's 20-year birthday in the technology market. It's hard to believe that the PSone was released that long ago, seeing a decrease in school children's homework activity and birthing absolute classics like Crash Bandicoot.
To celebrate this milestone, instead of moving out of home, Sony have released their very own PSone-themed PlayStation 4 console. This 20th Anniversary edition console will only be available through special means, not your general retail stores. In total there will be 12,300 made worldwide, this is to signify the original amount of PSone products that were built on their first production run. If you're wanting to get your hands-on one of these consoles you're going to have to wait as Sony hasn't seemed to release this information as of yet.
Sony has pushed out another update for its PlayStation 4 console, with the 2.03 patch offering up some "system software stability during use of some features has been improved".
It was only three weeks ago that Sony updated the PS4 to version 2.02, with the previous patch offering pretty much the same thing the new patch is offering, system stability. In late October, Sony offered its major 2.00 update, but that update ushered in a smorgasbord of problems. The company quickly released the early November patch which put it on the path it is now.
Walmart had its busiest Cyber Monday in company history, with the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and Nintendo 3DS helping drive sales. The Xbox 360 bundle that included Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Black Ops II for $250 also saw strong sales figures, Walmart confirmed.
The PS4 500GB console bundle that included Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and LittleBigPlanet 3, Nintendo 3DS XL New Super Mario Bros 2 Limited Edition, and Xbox One Assassin's Creed Unity Bundle helped lead the way.
"We worked hard to bring amazing deals to our customers on Cyber Monday and they responded by driving our Cyber Monday volume to a new all-time high," noted Fernando Madeira, Walmart.com president and CEO.
Reports have just come to light of an error code reading "160-0103" in-game which has been causing some users' Wii U systems to brick themselves or wipe their data fully off the console.
Gamnesia originally broke this news to the public, stating that the error is only applicable to one of the consoles latest releases and further issues appear when the user tries to enter their settings to figure out the source of the problem:
"It seems that this error only shows up with Super Smash Bros., and all other games and functions work fine until you play Smash Bros. or try to enter the Data Management page on the Wii U. When trying to enter the Data Management page, people have been receiving the error code 160-1710."
According to new reports, Microsoft will unleash an update for the Xbox One in January that will refresh its dashboard with an injection of Windows 10.
Microsoft is reportedly holding an event in January that will better showcase the new features in Windows 10, an event that I'm sure we'll see the new Xbox One dashboard either shown off, or released. The company is expected to announce the Xbox One update in the coming month, but until then, we'll just have to wait and see.
It appears the Microsoft Xbox One carried its recent momentum into Black Friday, outselling the Sony PlayStation 4 in the United States, according to a report from InfoScout. Sixty-six percent of consumers purchased a console for their children, with 92 percent of Nintendo Wii U buyers reporting a purchase for their kids - while 66 percent of Xbox One and 50 percent of PS4 buyers making a purchase for someone else.
Microsoft sold several appealing game console bundles, including its Assassin's Creed Unity Xbox One bundle - and a recent price drop - also seemed to help Microsoft.
Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo prepared for what they hoped would be a busy 2014 holiday shopping season, and it seems to be off to a great start.
Due to poor demand for the Microsoft Xbox One game console in Japan, the GM of Xbox in Japan, Takashi Sensui, has stepped down. Sensui reportedly "stepped down" from the position, but has been given a new role within the company's gaming unit: He will assume the role of General Manager for the Interactive Entertainment Business in Redmond, Washington.
Not surprisingly, the Xbox One hasn't sold well in Japan - where Sony and Nintendo reign supreme - with the next-generation Xbox One only moving 38,461 units since September. There were 23,562 units sold within the first week, and Microsoft hasn't been able to build any type of momentum.
Xbox Japan continues to reshuffle its management, with Nobuyoshi Yokoi and Yoshinami Takahashi now in control of the Xbox Japan business.
The Sony PlayStation 4 has enjoyed a significant sales lead over the Microsoft Xbox One throughout 2014, but after a price cut, Microsoft is reportedly closing the gap. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, now is the perfect opportunity for Microsoft to make the next-generation console market even more competitive.
The Xbox One has some major exclusive titles: Forza Motorsport 5, Forza Horizon, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Sunset Overdrive. Game titles such as Titanfall are available for the PC, but not on the PS4 - and only boost the Xbox One's catalog even further.
It will be telling to see how each company does after the holidays, with consumers expected to open up their wallets to spend on gaming hardware and software this year, analysts predict.