Media Create Co. this week reported solid sales for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 in the latest Japan retail activity.

The PS3 sold units between Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 to rank No. 3 in overall hardware sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 75,943 to rank third the week prior.

The hardware ranked two titles in the top 10, including Koei Tecmo Corp.’s Warriors Orochi 2 at No. 3 and Square Enix Holdings Co.’s Final Fantasy XIII-2 at No. 5.

Sony this week released new personal space available in the Playstation Home division of the Playstation 3.

New spaces include the Red Bull House of Skate, which includes a new skateboarding game, Granzella Edo of Nippon with games set in feudal Japan, and Creek Falls with a new countryside location for users to purchase.

Square Enix Holdings Co.’s Final Fantasy XIII-2 Collector’s Edition for Sony Corp.’s Playstation led pre-order sales at Best Buy Co. Inc.’s online division this week due to high demand.

This week, the Final Fantasy XIII-2 Collector’s Edition ranks as the No. 1 pre-order product in the Bestbuy.com Video Games division.

The Collector’s Edition will include special digipack packaging, a 4-disc official soundtrack, and concept art book at $79.99.

Sega Corp. this week said it will release House of the Dead 3 and House of the Dead 4 to the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3.

House of the Dead 3 will be released Feb. 7 followed by House of the Dead 4 in spring 2012.

Both titles will include updated HD graphics and Trophies.

House of the Dead 3, released in 2002, introduced rescue events, a shot ranking and grading system, and a boss cancel bar to fend off attacks.

House of the Dead 4, released in 2005, is an entry that takes place between the events of the second and third installment. The spring 2012 release will be the first time the entry has been released to a home console.

Sony Corp.’s Twisted Metal for the Playstation 3 ranked in the top 15 pre-order sales at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this week amid building demand for the racing combat title.

This week, Twisted Metal ranked as the No. 11 best-selling pre-order title in the Walmart.com Video Games division.

Twisted Metal, to be released Feb. 14, will include new vehicles and levels in the franchise.

Sony this week announced a new wave of content available in the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3 and PSP.

New PSN Games include NFL Blitz at $14.99 and TNT Racers at $9.99.

New PS3 Full Game Downloads include Darksiders at $19.99 and new Game Demos include TNT Racers and Learning with Pooyoos – Episode 2.

Finally, new PSP content includes the Alien Havoc & Bubble Trubble Bundle at $3.99.

Media Create Co. this week said demand for the Playstation Vita fell in third week sales figures.

The PS Vita sold 42,648 units between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1 to rank as the No. 4 hardware for the week.

By comparison, the hardware sold 72,479 the week prior and 324,859 units during launch week.

The hardware did not rank any titles in the top 10.

Meanwhile, the PSP sold 62,748 units to rank third in the same period.

Sony Corp.’s Playstation Vita First Edition Bundle ranked in the top 7 pre-order products at Best Buy Co. Inc.’s online division due to strong advanced demand.

This week, the Playstation Vita First Edition Bundle ranked as the No. 9 best-selling pre-order product at Bestbuy.com.

The Playstation Vita First Edition Bundle, to be sold Feb. 15, 2012, will include the PS Vita 3G / Wi-Fi SKU, 4GB Memory Card, limited edition case, a copy of Little Deviants, and will ship one week earlier than the stand-alone PS Vita SKU at $349.99.

Sales for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 hardware declined in the latest Japan retail figures.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Xbox 360 sold 2,453 units between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4 to rank No. 7 in overall sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 4,245 units the week prior.

The hardware did not rank any titles in the top 10 game sales for the week.

Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment Inc. this month said it will release LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes in summer 2012.

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, in development at TT Games, will include Batman and Robin joined by DC Universe super heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, in addition to villains like Lex Luthor and Joker.

The final game will include all-new areas of Gotham City, new vehicles, and new gadgets and suits.

Activision Blizzard Inc. this week updated the spawn logic component of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The update is said to improve when, where, and how each user spawns after death. The prior version allow users to potentially spawn in the line of fire to result in immediate death.

GameStop Corp. this week began offering new pre-order DLC to Bioware Inc. and EA Inc.’s Mass Effect 3.

This week, customers who pre-order Mass Effect 3 at GameStop will receive an exclusive code to download the N7 Valkyrie Assault Rifle and N7 Defender Armor.

In addition, customers will receive the bonus DLC M55 Carbine Rifle at no cost.

Namco Bandai Games America Inc. this week said Soul Calibur V has been released for manufacture.

Retailer Amazon.com Inc. this week began offering a $20 bonus with the pre-order purchase of EA Inc.’s Syndicate.

This week, customers who pre-order Syndicate will receive a $20 Amazon.com credit towards a future purchase.

In addition, the retailer is offering an Executive Package with extra DLC content.

Syndicate is a re-imagination of 1993 franchise. The first-person shooter is said to include upgradeable weapons, armor and gear.

The title will be sold Jan. 31 in a standard and Collector’s Edition SKU.

The Collector’s Edition SKU will include a hardcover art book, music CD, making-of video content, and downloadable armor sets at $79.99.

Sales for Nintendo Co.’s Wii hardware ranked fifth in Japan in the latest retail data for the region.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Wii sold 33,208 units between Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 to rank No. 5 in overall sales.

By comparison, the Wii sold 60,916 units the week prior.

The hardware ranked three titles in the top 10, including and Just Dance Wii at No. 7, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland at No. 8, and Wii Party at No. 9.

Nintendo this week said it sold 4.5 million units of the Wii console in the U.S. in 2011.

The 4.5 million sold brings the Wii global install base to 51 million units.

In addition, Mario Kart Wii has passed 11 million units sold and New Super Mario Bros. Wii has sold more than 10 million units.

Nintendo Co.’s Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii held in the top five at GameStop Corp.’s online division due to high demand.

This week, Xenoblade Chronicles ranked as the No. 5 best-selling pre-order product at Gamestop.com.

Developed by Monolith Soft, Xenoblade Chronicles is an science-fiction RPG adventure title that includes an open-world universe.

Retailer Amazon.com Inc. this week price cut THQ Inc.’s uDraw products after the company warned of weaker-than-expected demand for the video game tablet.

This week, Amazon discounted the uDraw tablet by up to 63 percent and game titles by 25 percent to drive sales.

THQ in Dec. cut its third quarter net sales forecast by 25 percent to $510 million citing lower demand for uDraw products.

Nintendo Co.’s Nintendo 3DS held the top hardware sales rank in the latest retail data from the region.

Media Create Co. this week said the Nintendo 3DS sold 197,952 units between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1 to rank as the No. 1 game hardware for the week.

The 3DS ranked four titles in the top 10 for the week, including Mario Kart 7 at No. 1, Capcom Co.’s Monster Hunter Tri G at No. 2, Super Mario 3D Land at No. 4, Inazuna Eleven Go: Shine / Dark at No. 6, and Bandai Namco Games Inc.’s SD Gundam G Generation 3D at No. 8.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo DSi LL sold 3,356 units, the Nintendo DSi 2,418 units, and DSL 28 units for the week.

Nintendo this week said sales for the Nintendo 3DS have passed four million units in the U.S.

The company said the Nintendo 3DS has sold more units in the first nine months of sale than the best-selling Wii console.

In addition, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 are the first Nintendo 3DS titles to sell 1 million units each in the U.S.

Technology News

Amazon.com Inc. in Dec. said sales for Kindle brand tablets totaled 1 million units per week during the month with the new Kindle Fire leading demand.

Amazon said the Kindle Fire is the best-selling, Most Gifted, and Most Wished For product at the retailer.

The tablet, which includes a 7-inch touchscreen and digital access to Amazon services, began sale Nov. 14 at $199.00.

LG Electronics Corp. in Dec. said it will preview a new 84-inch Ultra Definition TV at the Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas, NV.

The television set is said to carry a resolution of 3840 x 2160 with 3D functionality.

The product will utilize 4K technology, termed for use of 4,000 pixels stretched horizontally. It is currently used in select premium projector and display products.

Apple Inc. may sell the next iPad in mid-range and high-end SKUs according to a new report.

DigiTimes Inc. this week claimed that Apple will sell the next iPad in two versions – one with the same panel as the current iPad 2 and one with a high-resolution panel (2048 x 1536).

Both SKUs are said to incorporate the new Apple A6 CPU.

Finally, the publication said the iPad 2 would fall as the entry-level product in the iPad family, which could be sold between $299 or $399.

Research in Motion Ltd. this week discounted all Blackberry Playbook SKUs to under $300 after it wrote off the value of the product line in the third quarter.

This week, the Blackberry Playbook 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB SKUs sells at $299.99 each via the company’s online store.

The sale is valid through Feb. 4, 2012.

Roku Inc. this week said it will release the Roku Streaming Stick to add streaming functionality to TV sets in the second half of 2012.

The Roku Streaming Stick can plug into any MHL-enabled HDMI TV port to offer more than 400 channels of streaming content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Pandora, Angry Birds, Crackle, NHL GameCenter Live, and HBO GO via Wi-Fi.

In addition, the hardware does not include any cables or a separate power source. It can be controlled by the TV remote.

The product will be sold separately or bundled with select HDTV sets. Pricing is to be determined.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. this week announced the release of the Samsung DualView DV300F Digital Camera with dual LCD and Wi-Fi functionality.

The DV300F includes a 1.5-inch front-facing LCD and Wi-Fi functionality to allow users to upload images to social media networks. In addition, users can backup images to a home PC or upload to cloud services without wires.

The final product includes 16.1MP resolution functionality, 5x optical zoom, and a 25mm wide angle lens.

Sony Corp. this week discounted the Sony Tablet S SKUs by $100 in a permanent price reduction.

The Sony Tablet S 16GB now sells at $399.99, down from $499.99 and the 32GB SKU at $499.99, down from $599.99.

The Sony Tablet S includes a 9.4-inch touchscreen and Google Inc.’s Android 3.0 OS.

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