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The gaming market is alive and well, with PC and console gamers both enjoying hardware and software titles available to them. Sony and Microsoft have a lot to be thankful for, as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox are enjoying appealing titles able to keep gamers interested.
Both saw strong year one shipments - and the global install base for both consoles has been extremely successful.
"Despite reports to the contrary, the game console market is not dead," said Eric Smith, senior analyst for connected home devices at Strategy Analytics, in a statement published by Venture Beat. "Core gamers have moved faster to this current generation than in any previous generation. The main difference in this generation is that casual gamers who bought a Wii are remaining largely on the sidelines as free-to-play casual games and mid-core games on tablets and smartphones have captured this segment of consumers."
The Sony PlayStation 4 will see its sales dominance over the Microsoft Xbox One continue, with the Japanese console outselling its American counterpart 40 percent by 2019, according to Strategy Analytics.
Through the first 14 months, the PS4 has sold 18.5 million units - and is on track to mimic the same success the PlayStation 2 had years ago. Strategy Analytics believes the PS4 will sell 80 million consoles by 2019, a dominant lead over the estimated 57 million units for the Xbox One.
The PS4 dominated the Xbox One for most of 2014, and has recaptured its lead in 2015 - and predicting extended dominance wouldn't be overly surprising. Even if Microsoft is unable to catch up to the PS4, there is still plenty of room for both consoles to rack up impressive sales figures.
Nintendo left some gamers confused when it confirmed it would release the New Nintendo 3DS XL console but not the smaller New Nintendo 3DS in the United States. However, the marketing decision was made in an effort to avoid confusing US gamers regarding the previous 3DS models and New Nintendo 3DS console unit.
"We're a different market," said Damon Baker, Senior Manager of Nintendo of America, in a statement to Nintendo Life. "And now we have clear differentiation between those three systems. Before, there was a very limited difference between the 3DS and 3DS XL: other than size. It was the same resolution, same functionality... now, there's the 2DS, 3DS, and New 3DS XL, all of which have their own functionality and features."
The hardware specifications are the same, but US gamers lose out on custom faceplates available for the New Nintendo 3DS unit. The New Nintendo 3DS can be found in Japan and Europe, and it's possible a US release could happen, but the company didn't confirm future plans.
In a surprising move from Microsoft, all Xbox One consoles will be turned into developer kits later this year, according to The Verge. The Verge's sources have said that Microsoft will tell the world more about it at its developer-focused Build conference in April.
Back in July of last year, then-Corporate Vice President of Xbox, Marc Whitten said "every Xbox One can be used for development". But with the expensive price of development kit units, it stopped smaller developers from making content for the Xbox consoles. We should also expect an expansion of Xbox One app development, which is limited to select developers at the moment.
A new SDK will be shown off in May, something that will provider developers with the ability to create apps as early as the summer.
Allowing users to play Android games, run Android apps, browse the internet and watch Netflix,the ZRRO Box sets out to be a new-age console, telling Razer that "We'll Take It From Here" - as seen in their release headline.
Currently on Kickstarter, this project has raised $35,392 in only a few days and is looking at a $200,000 total target with 41 more days to reach it.
Set out to turn your TV into somewhat of a "huge tablet," the ZRRO Pad will track and mirror your fingers' 3D position onto your TV, meaning you hover your finger over the pad to move your position and press the screen itself to select. You can also pinch, swipe and drag - just like other portable devices.
Along with the advanced controller, the package comes complete with the ZRRO BOX, which is the console itself - offering support for up to 4K resolution, with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a quad-core processor and 16GB of internal storage.
After facing increased pressure from the Microsoft Xbox One to end 2014, it looks like the Sony PlayStation 4 has climbed back atop the gaming console world. It wouldn't be surprising to hear Microsoft lost its sales lead after holiday promotional pricing ended in January.
"PlayStation 4 was the top selling console in January and remains the cumulative leader in the US according to NPD data," said a Sony Computer Entertainment America spokesperson. "Since launch in November 2013, 18.5 million PS4 units and 81.8 million software units have been sold through to consumers worldwide."
The software industry earned $625.7 million revenue in January, a slight five percent drop from $662.1 million year-over-year - with Dying Light, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Grand Theft Auto V leading the way.
The current generation of consoles, which includes the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4, are selling incredibly well when compared to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
"The combined hardware install base of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One," said Liam Callahan, from The NPD Group, in a statement to Polygon, "is close to 60 percent higher than the cumulative hardware totals for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at the same point in their lifecycles (after 15 months)."
Software sales increased 5 percent year-over-year, with current generation software sales 74 percent higher after the same time frame compared to the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Nintendo won't throw in the towel on its Wii U gaming console, hoping that it can sell more units in the United States and European markets.
"I believe the Wii U business still has considerable room for growth, as a number of software titles that are compatible with the console are slated for release in 2015," said Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo, in a statement published by Nikkei.
Iwata believes many Japanese consumers enjoy using smartphones and Nintendo 3DS for mobile gaming, while gamers in the western world still prefer to have devices connected to their TVs. However, some critics believe Nintendo is fooling itself into thinking there is hope for the Wii U - and should consider preparing a next-generation console to compete against the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4.
Valve might have unveiled its NVIDIA-powered Steam Machine all the way back in 2013, and while we were promised to see Steam Machines properly unveiled and released last year, all we saw were prototypes at CES 2014. Well, it's 2015 and we're closer than ever to proper Steam Machines, with Valve announcing that their partners will be showcasing their latest prototypes at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015 next month.
Valve has partnered up with PC manufacturers like Alienware, CyberPowerPC and iBuyPower, wherer we should see most, if not all of them unveiling their latest Steam Machine prototypes at GDC 2015. Valve's Doug Lombardi has confirmed with Polygon that the latest Steam Machine prototypes will be at the show, but outside of that, we know nothing new. Don't fear, as GDC 2015 isn't even a month away, taking place between March 2-6.
We know that NVIDIA will be hosting a special "Made to Game" event on March 3 during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015, but the company hasn't said anything outside of the new product will "redefine the future of gaming". No details, not even so much of a tease of what it could be.
We know that it has been five years in the making, but what we're going to report is that it will be an Android-powered console. We're sure that it will be powered by a Tegra processor, most likely the Tegra X1 that NVIDIA unveiled at CES 2015 earlier this year. It would make sense, as NVIDIA has been pushing in that direction with its Shield line for a while now.
It wasn't long ago that we reported on a Tegra X1-powered Shield Tablet, but maybe it is the new Android-powered console that we here at TweakTown think it will arrive as? We have a Shield Tablet that would be close to an Android-powered console as it is, the Shield Controller which could connect to it, but a new 4K-capable gaming box that could bake down to 1080p 60FPS? Yes, please. This is all speculation until NVIDIA unveils the new device on March 3, which isn't too far away from now.