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Microsoft reportedly shipped 6.6 million Xbox game consoles to retailers, including both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, during its most recent quarter that ended on December 31, 2014, it confirmed today. Even though it saw a "strong holiday season performance" for its Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Microsoft didn't provide a shipment breakdown for each individual console.
The shipment figures were a noticeable drop from 7.4 million Xbox One and Xbox 360 units shipped to retailers during the same time frame in 2013 - as the aging Xbox 360 is shown the door in favor of its next-generation counterpart.
Despite the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 last November and December, Microsoft will have a lot of work cut out for itself in 2015.
We unfortunately spoiled the surprise in the headline, but someone has just paid a huge ¥15,135,000 (or around $129,000) for a single 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4 console, which comes in the original PlayStation gray color.
Sony performed a huge bidding war on Yahoo Auctions in Japan for the magic 20th Anniversary PS4 with the serial number of 00001 from 12,300 units. The winning bid hit a huge $129,000 with a Sony representative telling The Wall Street Journal: "We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations". The company will be donating the money to Save the Children Japan.
We've heard the small rumbles so far of a refreshed PlayStation 4, which should arrive to us as the PS4 Slim, but now we're seeing some purported images of the PS4 Slim. The refreshed console from Sony should be unveiled at either E3 or Gamescom later this year.
The images of the purported PS4 Slim are coming from Italian site Multiplayer.it, but they didn't state who was behind the original image. What we are seeing are press images for the PS4 Slim, which is going under the codename of "Monolith". The PS4 Slim looks to be around half the size of the current PlayStation 4, with a slight change to its shape, too.
We should hopefully see Sony showing off the new smaller, thinner PS4 Slim at either E3 or Gamescom later in the year. As for when we should expect it, we should expect it in 2016-2017 going by previous Slim iterations of the PlayStation consoles. Let's hope its sooner, rather than later.
Sony will be debuting its PlayStation-exclusive original series Powers on March 10, with the first season taking part over 10 episodes. The first episode will be teased to all PSN owners for free, after which you'll need to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber to watch the rest.
The show itself is based on the ongoing Image Comics series from writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Michael Avon, with the world of Powers set in a police show based in Chicago where two homicide detectives investigate cases that citizens with superhuman abilities, or, well, powers. Better yet, the show stars Sharlto Copley, who was in District 9 and Elysium, who plays Christian Walker.
Walker is a former superhero who becomes a detective after he loses his powers, while his partner Deena Pilgrim, who is played by The Following's Susan Heyward. Eddie Izzard also stars, playing as the villain 'Wolfe'.
Microsoft had to grind its way to the top of the sales chart, with the Xbox One outselling the PlayStation 4 game console in November and December last year.
"Most important thing was Xbox fans sticking with us, they kept believing," said Phil Spencer, Microsoft's top Xbox overlord, in a statement on Twitter. "More work to do but it was a good holiday."
Spencer also responded to a fan via Twitter pointing out the PS4 still outsold the Xbox One: "PS4 is also doing very well. Console and game sales are strong, which is a good thing for the industry."
Steam for Linux has a nasty bug, one that can wipe entire drives of all information in a matter of moments. The problem stems from users that have moved their installation directory from the default location. Steam for Linux features a command, 'rm -rf "$STEAMROOT/" that is used to refresh the Steam directory, which is usually required if there are installation problems with a game.
Unfortunately, many users move their game directories to SSDs, or to other locations on the computer. This removes the part of the code that specifies the correct directory, instead issuing a 'rm -rf "/"' command. Users opening the app trigger a deletion of the entire contents of their drives, including external devices. Valve has confirmed the issue affected a "handful of users". Valve also states they are unable to replicate the issue internally, and are still attempting to do so.
We've heard rumors of a redesigned, or slim PlayStation 4 to be announced in the future, but Samsung looks like it has just unveiled what will turn out to be one of the new components of the refreshed PS4 console: high-density 8Gb GDDR5 memory chips.
Samsung's latest GDDR5 VRAM chips are built on the company's 20nm technology, and are the first 8Gb density modules to hit mass production. Not only could these chips find their way into Sony's PS4 console, but it will also be a great next step for gaming laptops, as they can start baking mass amounts of VRAM into them.
Joo Sun Choi, the Executive Vice President of Memory Sales at Samsung electronics arm said: "We expect that our 8Gb GDDR5 will provide original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with the best graphics memory solution available for game consoles as well as general use notebook PCs". In the company's press release, Samsung said: "Combining only eight of the new 8Gb chips will achieve the same density as the 8 gigabytes (GB) needed in the latest game consoles". So we can see from these two quotes, game consoles seem to be a big part of the announcement of the 8Gb GDDR5 VRAM chips, which is an interesting turn.
Microsoft was pushed around by Sony throughout much of 2014, as the PlayStation 4 handily outsold the Xbox One, but that changed to end the year. Microsoft outsold the PS4 in hardware sales and video games in November and December, with a strong focus on carrying the momentum in 2015.
"Bundles were a major driver of hardware sales this December compared to last with 71 percent of hardware unit sales stemming from bundles including software, which compares to 32 percent of hardware sales last December," said Liam Callahan, analyst at The NPD Group, in a press statement.
The PS4 sold 18.5 million PS4 units in 2014 - and Microsoft hasn't updated its numbers since November, after saying it surpassed 10 million units shipped.
The Sony PlayStation 4 dominated the console market in 2014, outselling the Microsoft Xbox One throughout the entire year. The PS4 racked up 18.5 million PS4 sales worldwide, dominating every month except for November and December, The NPD Group said.
"PlayStation 4 was the top-selling console in the US and globally in 2014," a Sony spokesperson told GamesBeat. "And [it is] the fastest selling console in PlayStation history with 18.5 million sold through after just 14 months in the market. We are humbled by this success and want to thank gamers worldwide for helping us achieve holiday sales of more than 4.1 million across 123 countries and regions."
However, Sony has faced increased pressure from the Xbox One to close 2014, as Microsoft has offered competitive price cuts - and gamer bundles - as gamers have a lot to cheer for. Sony will face increased pressure from Microsoft in 2015, so it cannot bask in its 2014 success for too long.
Microsoft owned the holiday season with the Xbox One and its $349 price tag, but then the price went up to its normal $399 as Microsoft removed the discount. Well, it's been 12 days, so Microsoft is discounting the Xbox One by $50 once again, but this time for a much shorter amount of time.
As of tomorrow (Friday, January 16) the company is dropping the price of the Kinect-less Xbox One by $50, but Microsoft isn't sure when this sale will end. When asked why Microsoft is cutting the price again after 12 days of it returning to normal, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Xbox, Michael Nichols told Polygon: "Over the last year we made a bunch of moves to engage fans better. Included in that was a real lead up to the holidays".
Not only will the price cut take place, but Microsoft plans on throwing out new games, improvements to Xbox Live, and much more. Nichols added "It was really about positioning ourselves to have a breakout holiday. We were as aggressive as we could be to see how people would react. The results were staggering, it was a terrific response to the changes we made".
Do you plan on getting the Xbox One again now that it's cheap? Or will you be holding off for some new games, or a new bundle?