Sales of gaming hardware are down 40% the week ending January 26th, compared to the previous year, according to data released from VGChartz. Software sales also saw a drop of 35% compared to 2012, in the clearest indicator yet that the current generation of gaming is in decline.

Weekly sales of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were 102,538 and 75,559, respectively, down 10% from last week and roughly half from last year's numbers (192,645 and 167,786, respectively). Software sales for the systems also saw a decline, though far more severe for the 360 than the PS3. Despite the 360's holiday showing, it has once more fallen behind the PS3, which is likely to overtake Microsoft's console in global sales later this year. Right now, though, the relative lack of strong January titles, along the impending next-generation, are not doing the aging systems much good.

For more comparisons, continue past the jump.

It’s Good To Be Back

February 04 2013 by Dennis Wyman

Watching Gamnesia go live this past weekend certainly has been a rush for me, but not for the same reasons as the rest of our staff. 2013 marks the tenth year since I first started in gaming journalism, though it hasn't been an unbroken run. As anybody who keeps track of the behind-the-scenes happenings could tell you, I've been largely MIA from Zelda Informer for several years now. Real-world commitments such as my freelance web development business and my constant road-tripping schedule has kept me away from, and largely disinterested in, the video game industry for quite some time. It's only recently that I came back to ZI, mostly at the urging of several close friends and other staffers, to focus on fixing many of the technical and management problems that Zelda Informer has become somewhat infamous for. My latest order of business is to roll Gamnesia out the door, but in doing so, it has triggered a lot of fond memories to my early days in this industry. So, being mired in the development of this site the past month has been a largely nostalgic moment.

Read on for some musings from someone who has been doing this for way too long.

It's no secret that the hit 3DS title, Resident Evil: Revelations is coming to home consoles and PC later this year—but don't expect it to be just a simple port of the 3DS version. According to Revelations Producer Masachika Kawata, Resident Evil: Revelations Unveiled Edition has been given 5.1 Surround Sound and the gameplay has been tweaked and fine-tuned to make it more than a simple port.

“It’s definitely not just a direct port. Not only have we improved the graphics up to HD standard for home consoles and designed it for 5.1 Surround Sound, as well, but we’ve fine tuned and retuned the gameplay, made a lot of nips and tucks here and there, so it’s certainly an improved experience.”

Accompanying this statement, it was revealed that the decision to port Revelations to home consoles was made in the wake of the 3DS release due to overwhelmingly positive feedback from the fans and critics. Kawata also credits Revelations' success due to it feeling like classic RE gameplay that was easy to pick up and play.

The Last of Us is shaping up to be an amazing title—one of the best of 2013, perhaps. The upcoming game also focuses a lot more on survival horror than you would think. While it has been known for a while that there would be infected people in the game, not many expected it to be quite so focused on fear. According to Greg Miller of IGN, a big part of the experience of The Last of Us is the sound, which really stands out.


"After actually playing The Last of Us, it’s not the beautiful graphics, the brutal violence, or the approachable crafting system that stands out to me. It’s the sound. The Last of Us isn’t Uncharted, with its happy score wafting over every moment of gameplay. It’s a slow, suspenseful crawl through a world that can kill you at any moment. As such, it’s quiet – eerily quiet. You have time to listen to the rain pitter patter on windows and each breath of the infected you’re creeping up on to shiv in the neck." — Greg Miller, IGN

More about the title after the jump.

Are you looking forward to the next entry in the Castlevania franchise? While it won't be long before Mirror of Fate hits the Nintendo 3DS, don't be surprised if it eventually makes its way to HD platforms. Konami already has an HD version ready and waiting, according to Konami's UK studio boss David Cox.

”We created everything in high definition – all the textures, all the levels, high-poly models, everything – and we kind of shrunk it all down into the 3DS.”

“Then we lost bones from characters, you know, we dropped the resolution of the textures and everything to make it fit. At MercurySteam we have an HD version of the game sitting there in a computer somewhere.”

“We want as many people to play it as possible. Obviously we have an exclusivity deal with Nintendo right now though and they’ve been very supportive of the product.”

Nintendo's exclusivity deal with Konami will probably last little more than a year, but for the time being, the title looks sure to please fans waiting for the next side-scrolling adventure from Konami's hit franchise. So let us know, will you be picking up Mirror of Fate when it comes out for the 3DS? Or will you be waiting till Nintendo's exclusivity deal with Konami ends so you can play it on the big screen? Let us know in the comments!


In a  Q&A session held during Nintendo's Q4 financial briefing, the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto spoke up on Pikmin 3. Miyamoto discussed both what he believes will help Pikmin 3 reach consumers and how they won't be forcing asymmetric gameplay in games that don't need them.

“With regard to 'Pikmin 3' for Wii U, I don’t want to be misconceived, but the biggest draw of this game is the higher-resolution images through the high-definition graphics. You can even see Pikmin’s gestures with the graphics. We are not going to put asymmetric gameplay in a game if it is unnecessary. In this game, you can see the entire map on Wii U GamePad. The two screens of the TV and Wii U GamePad will let you see what you are doing at any time during your gameplay, which alone is a great evolution for a strategy game. As a side note, you can play this game only with Wii U GamePad. If it is hard to imagine what it will be like, maybe you can recall the visuals of the original 'Pikmin' for Nintendo GameCube and imagine how you can play it with the smaller but more detailed screen in your hands. The two control sticks of Wii U GamePad will let you play this game more comfortably and, with a TV screen, the gyro sensor inside Wii Remote Plus will further help your gameplay. Wii U GamePad will give you style variations of playing this game and playing only with Wii U GamePad might be a good experience for you. I hope you will like this game.”

Of course, that's not all Miyamoto had to say about high-definition gaming. Further on in the session Miyamoto mentions the importance of making sure the image players see feels lifelike while referring to last year's E3 in which Nintendo opened up with a video of Miyamoto surrounded by Pikmin. The entire Q&A session can be found over at Nintendo's official website, so be sure to give it a read!

News today came across my desk about Resident Evil 6, and how it's considered a financial failure at Capcom, despite moving 4.8 million units across two platforms (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360). Now, I, like many others, didn't enjoy the game because it seemed to only further bastardize a franchise that helped define my childhood—but it wasn't like it was completely terrible, either. Survival Horror was once a proud genre, and while other studios are making fair attempts to make it come back full circle (I'm looking at you, Ubisoft, with ZombiU), it's clear this isn't some isolated incident.

Top tier publishers, developers, and marketing teams are all pushing the industry in a direction that is leading to its demise. Forget Atari finally closing up shop and THQ biting the dust. Let's forget about poorly-made games like Medal of Honor: Warfighter, which lead to the closing of its developer. The reality is that the top developers and publishers at the moment are trying hard to take their products and make them have mass appeal. This, however, is why indie  developers are starting to rise, because they still target a genre and create games specifically for the audience that enjoys it. For the ones with broader appeal, it's a new franchise, rather than reinventing an old one into something it's never been.

Watch out, Fire Emblem fans! The highly Anticipated Fire Emblem Awakening just received a shipment delay at a great deal of retailers in the U.S. The delay was the result of a shipping error, but numerous retailers suspect the game to be on store shelves later in the week. 

Best Buy claims that they don't expect Fire Emblem Awakening to be on store shelves until Wednesday this week, while GameStop doesn't expect the game to be on store shelves until Friday. Amazon has noted that the game was also delayed, and so no copies will be shipped for a few more days. My local GameStop has said that there is nothing to worry about and any pre-orders made are still valid and if you want to try your luck you can try getting the art book right now, free of charge.

Luckily, this delay only accounts for the physical copies of Fire Emblem Awakening. The game is available right now on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for download for those who can't wait any longer. It's an amazing game, so be sure to check it out!

AckkStudios has been working for a while on their GameBoy-styled RPG, Two Brothers. Two Brothers, the story of an inventor seeking to bring color to a monochromatic world, is coming some time this year to the Wii U eShop, alongside iOS, Xbox 360, and several other platforms. Two Brothers is nearing completion, however, and as all developers do, AckkStudios is planning to begin work—or resume it, rather—on a brand new game codenamed Project Y2K. AckkStudios began work on the game before Two Brothers' development had even begun, and it was put on hold in order to finish the smaller, retro-styled project.

Project Y2K is a 3D RPG in development exclusively for the Wii U. The story, which has now been completely finalized, takes place in the year 1999, beginning on January first at exactly 12:02 AM. Project Y2K also has a completed graphics and gameplay engine, which you can get a glimpse of to the left, as well as plenty of concept art. In addition to all this information, the original blog post and its teasers contain hashtags such as "#Space," "#Fourth Dimension," "#Double Slit Experiment," and "#WomanMadeofPlastic." Another teaser also shows off a demo of the game's soundtrack, with the caption, "viewing Earth from far away..."

I don't know what exactly this is shaping up to be, but I know that like it. What do you think of all this?

The console development process never stops. Even before the Wii U was released, the minds over at Nintendo were already spinning about what they wanted to do next, both for home consoles and handhelds. During a recent Nintendo shareholder's meeting, Iwata had this to say on the development:

"Last year we also started a project to integrate the architecture for our future platforms. What we mean by integrating platforms is not integrating handhelds devices and home consoles to make only one machine. What we are aiming at is to integrate the architecture to form a common basis for software development so that we can make software assets more transferrable, and operating systems and their build-in applications more portable, regardless of form factor or performance of each platform. They will also work to avoid software line-up shortages or software development delays which tend to happen just after the launch of new hardware. Some time ago it was technologically impossible to have the same architecture for handheld devices and home consoles and what we did was therefore reasonable. Although it has not been long since we began to integrate the architecture and this will have no short-term result, we believe that it will provide a great benefit to our platform business in the long run."

Basically, Nintendo is planning to make it easier to share assets between future handheld and console games, which would vastly expedite the development process of certain cross-platform series such as New Super Mario Bros. Nintendo is hoping that this system will prevent the "droughts" of content that the Wii U and 3DS have experienced.

How would you like to see this system implemented?

Many analysts have attributed THQ's recent demise to the gaming industry's ever fading spotlight; however, in a recent interview with MCV's Christopher Dring, the bankrupt company's former president had this to say about THQ's predicament:

"I think it is incorrect to attribute THQ's predicament with overall changes in the industry. To be sure, all triple-A publishers have been under pressure, but THQ had every chance to survive had it not made massive mistakes. Unfortunately, the mistakes that were made long before I joined, like the incredible losses attached to uDraw, massive wasted capital in the unpublished MMO that was cancelled, sticking with children's and casual titles far after mobile and tablets had killed the business, bad, late, or otherwise inferior titles like Homefront, and a generally haphazard and inefficient approach to deal making, left the company with too much negative hanging on its books. THQ had to be restructured to survive, and unfortunately, the restructuring ended up in an asset sale rather than an acquisition.  There are certainly things to be said about challenges in the mid-tier triple-A publishing business, but I don't think that conflating it with THQ's experience is helpful.” — Jason Rubin, THQ

I have to say, I completely agree with Mr. Rubin on this one. THQ was putting way too much time and money into kid's and casual games instead of focusing on higher quality products. The uDraw fiasco was a joke, and spending so much money on a project, only to cancel it, is a colossal waste.

What do you think ultimately led to THQ's demise? Any product in particular?

Charity Guy

Cody Thompson is trekking over 3,000 miles across the US to raise money for Child's Play, a gaming industry charity that gives toys and games to children in need. The path has been in the planning process for months, and Thompson will be traveling across  North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. He's currently raising money here, planning to raise $8,000 for the journey, while anything remaining will go to the organization. The hike should take roughly eight months.

 Cody is also a devoted gamer, and he's taking his 3DS along for the journey, planning to pop it open every night after a long day of hard work. Imagine all of the Play Coins and Streetpasses he's going to accumulate over the eight month endeavor!

IGN interviewed Thompson on his incoming escapade. Here's what he said on the subject.

“I’ve spent months on the planning, now I’m a few weeks out from setting off, so it’s a good time to start talking about this and raising some funds for Child’s Play. I’m seeking about $8,000 to fund the costs of the journey and everything else is for the kids. The sky’s the limit. But however much I get, I’m doing this." — Cody Thompson

For the rest of the interview hit the jump!

With all the doom and gloom surrounding analysts' take on the low sales of the Wii U, it's easy to get angry at analysts or even worried for Nintendo's future. I, for one, think all the Wii U needs is an increased advertising push and a slew of terrific content, and we already know we'll see the latter later this year. But in the wake of the professionals treating the Wii U's situation like the Vita's was, Rob Fahey of GamesIndustry has published an article forecasting Nintendo's bright future with the console.

"Nintendo has a lot of work to do on Wii U, but we’ve been here before – it had a lot of work to do on the 3DS as well. While 3DS’ price cut helped a great deal, much of the real work was done through significantly improving and bulking out the console’s software line-up, and a similar process is underway with Wii U. One need only look to the rapt response which the recent Nintendo Direct broadcast received from media and Nintendo fans alike to see the truth of Nintendo’s situation. This is a software company at heart. Its consoles are enabling hardware for its software, and as such, they sell in parallel with major software launches. Of course, this is a valid argument in favour of Nintendo’s ultimate destiny outside the hardware market entirely, but for now, the company isn’t willing to give up that level of control – and for now, it doesn’t look like it needs to. I don’t expect Wii U to match the success of Wii, in the medium or long term – but equally, I don’t count myself among those who expect it to be Nintendo’s last console. Sentiment is negative right now, but fundamentals aren’t, and for a business like Nintendo, it’s the latter that counts."

For the full article, click here. Are you in the same boat as Rob and myself, or do you think that Nintendo needs to take more drastic measures to lock in the future success of the Wii U?

The rumor train just keeps rolling! According to Clever Noob user TSA_383, patch 1.05 is set to radically shift the Mass Effect formula.

TSA_383 claims to have found data in the patch to back up the following description of the new "Reckoning" DLC:

"The day of reckoning is nigh! The Reckoning Multiplayer Expansion brings six new never before seen co-op story missions to the game and new co-op gameplay modes. It provides four new maps to conquer and hazard variations of the Earth maps. It also enables reinforcement packs that offer new kits for the salarians, krogans, humans and volus. In-game reinforcement packs now include three new weapons (Chakram Launcher, Blood Pack Punisher and Adas Anti-Synthetic Rifle)."

So far, this leak has gotten no official confirmation or denial from BioWare, so I make no claims that this rumor is valid; however, if it does turn out true, then gamers everywhere will be able to cooperatively play a few story missions with friends and family. I'm a big fan of co-op gaming, so I'm hoping that this ends up being true.

What do you think of this rumor? True? Fake? Amazing?

JP Mangalindan, the writer for CNN Money known for having the most kickass name ever, just wrote a short piece on the Wii U's struggle after launch. It's pretty insightful, critical in a fair way, and makes some good points. He starts by saying that the issue isn't with the system itself; he got some hands-on time with it and was very impressed. However, he knows business, and thinks he's figured out how to help turn sales around for the big N.

Jump inside to see what he said.