In a turnaround of the Xbox 360 vs Sony PS3 launches, Microsoft has yet to announce any details of its forthcoming PS4 chanenger. Despite this, some industry watchers are convinced that the new Xbox will dominate the next generation of games consoles. Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, believes Microsoft will win the next generation console battle.

In a South by Southwest presentation Pachter stated that non-gaming related features such as Skype integration and TV services will allow it to win the next-generation console war. Whilst the current Xbox 360 features a good selection of entertainment features, its successor is expected to push entertainment to another level thanks to Kinect 2 integration, digital video recording features and possibly set-top box functionality.

Whilst Sony’s PlayStation 4 (get a free PS4 via freeps4.net) may aim to catch the Microsoft console over time, Pacher believes the Xbox’s early edge will be maintained.

Maybe Sony’s desire to get information about their new console out first may not pay off after all.

 

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Industry research firm NDP expects a dip in game buying numbers this holiday season, accoring to its latest survey.

Sales have droped almost every month this year compared to 2009 and according to a survey of mover 2,000 respondents only 15 percent of US consumers plan on buying this holiday season.

This is despite the new PlayStation Move, Xbox Kinect and refreshed Xbox 360 line-up bringing renewed interest to consumers this year.

Stay tuned for more Console News.

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Chart Track sales figures have revealed that in the UK Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has sold a whopping 1.7 million copies in just one week.

This breaks the previous record set by Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto IV which shifted 927,000 in the same time frame.

Interstingly, the Xbox 360 version of Modern Warfare 2 sold the most copies, accounting for one million units. In total, the game grossed GBP £67.4 million.

The games has made its way to the top of the UK All Format Charts, knocking FIFA 10 off the top spot.

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The launch of the revised Slim PS3 has given Sony a huge sales boost, with them selling 38,000 consoles more than they did the previous week, This represents a whopping 104% week-on-week increase. Next week should see even bigger gains as the figures were taken pre September 1 when the new console wasn’t fully available.

Thanks to the recent price cut Microsoft’s Xbox 360 saw a 32% sales increase, selling 74,689 units compared with 56,448 during the pre-price cut week. Total Xbox 360 sales were just 1,242 units shy of the PS3’s total.

Without a revised console or a price cut to boost sales, Nintendo saw a 4% drop in the same week. Despite this it still sold an impressive 74,245 units, only a few hundred shy of the Xbox and less than 2,000 off the PS3.

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June’s NPD hardware sales figures are out and they reveal that the PlayStation 3 sold just over 164,000 consoles with the Xbox 360 selling 240,600 units in the same period. The Wii was again the leader with 361,000 sales.

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The Sony corporation are finding themselves with a large problem in the form of their PlayStation 3 console.

Internal Problems
It appears that they still can’t make money based on the consoles current price and as a result, despite intense pressure, are refusing to drop the price further. The PS3 has been at its current retail price for such a long time that it now looks very expensive, even the long-standing argument that you get a ‘free’ Blu-ray player included with the PS3 no longer washes, especially when a stand-alone Blu-ray player can be had for around £120 or less. Sure you get integrated wireless connectivity and free online gaming with the PS3, but not everybody wants these, nor are they essential to the PS3 gaming experience. As well as the perceived lack of value that the PS3 provides, the persistent rumours of a impending price reduction and/or a slim version are sure to keep potential buyers from making a purchase any time soon. Sony therefore has a dilemma. Reduce the price to enable them to keep existing and attract new customers to the Sony brand but loose money in the process, or leave the price alone, loose a minimum amount on each unit but risk loosing customers to main rival Microsoft and their Xbox 360 console. From a financial perspective at least they will sell fewer units with the latter options and therefore loose less money, although at the detriment to long term strategy due to the erosion of the PlayStation user base, something that needs to be avoided in the competitive games console world.

Microsoft Problems
Despite the PS3′s current woes, I think the biggest problem for Sony is yet to come. I think this problem will come from Microsoft in the form of a new Xbox console much sooner than anyone is expecting. Such a product, released as a successor to the Xbox 360, would surely be the worst possible news for Sony. The hype of a new console and the demand that this creates would not only steal buyers away from Sony but it would cement the current generation of Xbox users firmly in the Microsoft camp, especially if full backwards compatibility is included. Judging by the furore over the lack of PS3 backward compatibility it would surely be crazy to overlook this feature. A further knock on effect of a new Xbox would be that developers may, in light of falling hardware (and hence software sales), drop the Sony platform altogether to concentrate on the new Microsoft console. That it is a well-known fact that the PS3 is hard to write software for will only make dropping support for it more likely. This is only my opinion, but a new Microsoft console brought to market in the next 18 months would be perfect timing for Microsoft and could cause irreparable damage to Sony’s gaming division. It could even spell the end for the PlayStation series of gaming machines and this is something that any consumer should not want to see.

Final Thoughts
Maybe the rumoured Slim PS3 will become a reality and be used as a tool to counteract a possible attack from Microsoft? Sony’s current stance of doing nothing certainly won’t work for much longer. Monopolies are no good for anyone, except the company with the monopoly. Windows operating system anyone?

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Rumours are suggesting that the PlayStation 3 might get two additional downloadable content packages for Grand Theft Auto IV, PS3 Informer are reporting that one of the new packs will be named Blood and a Four Leaf Clover and will focus on the Irish family Nico helped in the first episode. It will also be available on the Xbox 360. There was no news on the other pack but this could be The Lost and the Damned Xbox 360 exclusive which was previously reported as coming to the PS3 when Mcrosoft’s exclusivity deal runs out later this year.

More news as we get it.

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When the Jasper motherboards started showing up in Xbox 360 consoles late last year there was reason for excitement – quieter fans, more efficient design and 256MB of internal storage to set gamers free of overpriced memory cards. Now the systems are receiving an unannounced storage boost, with an Xbox Hacker forum member noticing that his Japanese Arcade model sported a 4Gb Samsung NAND chip. That’s twice the size of the old one, giving the equivalent of 512MB internal memory. That system was manufactured in April and are starting to hit US Arcade units as well. We’re not yet sure if there is a way to tell if you have this beefier revision from outside the box.

Source: Engadget

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On Monday Microsoft look the E3 convention by storm when it unveiled a revolutionary new control system for the Xbox 360 where the player actually becomes the controller replacing the need for a traditional controller.

The system, dubbed Project Natal, uses a 3D motion-sensing camera that follows the users movements and puts them straight into the action. The system will also feature a voice recognition system allowing the player to interact directly with the game.

The revolutionary system takes Nintendo’s motion controllers one step further and is surely to give a major boost to the now well established Xbox 360 system.

Microsoft have not yet issued a release date for the hardware.

Microsoft Natal control system

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Media Create figures reveal that the Sony PlayStation 3 weekly sales figures for week ending 3 May were again ahead of the Wii and Xbox 360. The PS3 sold 23,500 units against 21,500 for the Wii and just 7,300 for the Xbox 360. This is the third week in a row that the PS3 has been ahead of the competition. Good news for Sony and probably bad news for those hoping for a price cut.

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