Sales for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 held steady in the latest Japan retail activity.

Media Create Co. this week reported the PS3 sold 22,002 units between Feb. 6 and Feb. 12 to rank No. 2 in overall hardware sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 23,293 to rank third the week prior.

The hardware ranked two titles in the top 10, including Gran Turismo 5 Spec II and From Software Inc.’s Armored Core V.

Sony this week released Firmware 4.11 to the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3.

Firmware 4.11 is an optional firmware update said to improve certain aspects of system software. The update does not require mandatory connectivity to the Playstation Network.

EA Inc. this week released the Mass Effect 3 demo to the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3.

The demo includes a single-player mode to customize Commander Shepard in appearance, combat classes, unique abilities and weapons.

Beginning Feb. 17, the multiplayer component of the demo will be available.

Sony this week released Twisted Metal for the Playstation 3 to U.S. retail.

Twisted Metal includes new vehicles and levels in the franchise.

The final game includes 16-player competitive online multiplayer functionality.

Sony this week said EA Inc.’s NFL Blitz led game sales for the Playstation Network division in Jan. U.S. data.

NFL Blitz ranked as the No. 1 PSN and PS3 Full Games in Jan. The top five titles included NBA Jam: On Fire Edition at No. 2, Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection at No. 3, Infamous 2: Festival of Blood at No. 4 and Sonic CD at No. 5.

Top PS3 Add-Ons included the Battlefield: Back to Karkand Map, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Gran Tursimo 5 Car Pack 3.

Top PSP Games included Corpse Party, Mega Man Maverick Hunter X, and NBA 2K12.

Sales for the Playstation Vita declined in the latest Japan retail figures.

The PS Vita sold 13,939 units between Feb. 6 and Feb. 12 to rank as the No. 4 hardware for the week.

The sales marked the lowest weekly hardware sell-through tally since launch of the PS Vita in Japan last Dec.

By comparison, the hardware sold 17,141 the week prior.

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

Meanwhile, the PSP sold 15,860 units to rank third in the same period.

Sony this week released the Playstation Vita First Edition Bundle to U.S. retail.

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.

The Playstation Vita 3G / Wi-Fi Launch Bundle led pre-order sales at Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this week prior to launch of the handheld.

This week, the PS Vita 3G / Wi-Fi SKU Launch Bundle ranked as the No. 1 best-selling pre-order product at Walmart.com‘s Video Games division.

The 3G / Wi-Fi SKU is a premium SKU that will include 3G data connectivity via AT&T. It will sell at $299.99.

Sony this week said it will allocate $50 million to launch the Playstation Vita hardware in the U.S.

John Koller, director of hardware marketing at Sony, told The New York Times this week the $50 marketing budget for the Playstation Vita is the company’s largest platform launch in terms of marketing investment.

Sony this week said it does not plan to release a UMD reader peripheral for the Playstation Vita handheld.

The company said this week in an FAQ that it does not have current plans to release a UMD peripheral to offer backwards compatibility to the PSP.

Instead, users must repurchase PSP titles from the Playstation Store in order to play them on the PS Vita.

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

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Xbox 360 sold 1,139 units between Feb. 6 and Feb. 12 to rank No. 7 in overall sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 1,382 units to rank at No. 6 the week prior.

Microsoft this week released a new system update for the Xbox 360 console.

The mandatory update is said to increase performance and provide a color issue fix.

Retailer Amazon.com Inc. this week began offering a free Kit Fisto digital character with the purchase of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 Kinect Star Wars Bundle.

This week, customers who purchase the Xbox 360 Kinect Star Wars Bundle will receive Kit Fisto as a playable character in Jedi Destiny mode.

Microsoft will sell the limited edition Xbox 360 Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle Apr. 3.

Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Call of Duty titles for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 ranked as the top Xbox Live games in the latest activity data.

This week, Microsoft said Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ranked as the No. 1 Xbox Live title for the week of Jan. 30 based on unique users.

Take Two Interactive Inc. this week released the second trailer for Max Payne 3 for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 and the PC.

The trailer features the title’s story, including the kidnapping of Rodrigo Blanco’s wife while under Max’s protection. The trailer is comprised entirely of in-game footage.

Developed by Rockstar Games’, Max Payne 3, to be sold in May 15, includes a single-player campaign and introduces online multiplayer functionality to the action franchise.

Activision Blizzard Inc. this week said it will release the Prototype 2 Blackwatch Collector’s Edition for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 to U.S. retail Apr. 24.

The Prototype 2 Blackwatch Collector’s Edition will include the Prototype 2 Soundtrack CD, Exclusive Illustrated Artbook, Free DLC Pack No. 1, and Prototype 2 Comic Voucher Code at $79.99.

Ubisoft Inc. this week said it will release Assassin’s Creed III to U.S. retail Oct. 30.

The title will feature an all-new protagonist to follow franchise veteran Ezio Auditore.

Capcom Co. this week released new details for Resident Evil 6.

The new control system allows users shoot while moving, roll in any direction, take cover and perform an enhanced melee attack.

Zombies can now run, jump, and even utilize weapons in attack. A new enemy called J’avo can understand speech, work in teams, and use weapons. In addition, it can regenerate itself and mutate a body part to require users to adapt their gameplay.

Capcom Co. this week announced the final four characters in the roster for Street Fighter X Tekken.

The final four include M. Bison, Akuma, Jin and Ogre.

Sales for Nintendo Co.’s Wii hardware neared 8,000 units in the latest retail data from Japan.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Wii sold 8,206 units between Feb. 6 and Feb. 12 to rank No. 5 in overall sales.

By comparison, the Wii sold 8,814 units the week prior.

The hardware ranked one title in the top 10, Ubisoft Inc.’s Just Dance Wii at No. 10.

Nintendo Co. this week announced a partnership with Hulu Inc. to allow Wii owners to stream content from Hulu Plus.

Beginning this week, Wii owners can subscribe to Hulu Plus at $7.99 per month to stream current-season TV shows like Family Guy, Glee, New Girl, The Office, The Vampire Diaries, and Modern Family.

Children’s content includes Arthur, Wild Kratts, and Dinosaur Train.

Nintendo Co. this week Rhythm Heaven Fever for the Wii hardware to U.S. retail.

Rhythm Heaven Fever includes 50 unique rhythm games that require rhythmically pressing the A and B buttons in time with the music.

The 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 67,558 units between Feb. 6 and Feb. 12 to rank as the No. 1 game hardware for the week.

The hardware sold 75,018 the week prior.

The 3DS ranked four titles in the top 10 for the week, including Capcom Co.’s Resident Evil: Revelations at No. 3, Mario Kart 7 at No. 4, Monster Hunter Tri G at No. 5, and Super Mario 3D Land at No. 6.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo DSi LL sold 957 units and the Nintendo DSi sold 651 units for the week.

Namco Bandai Games America Inc. this week released Tekken 3D Prime Edition to Nintendo Co.’s Nintendo 3DS.

Tekken 3D Prime Edition includes more than 40 fighters, new stages, 60 frames-per-second graphics, StreetPass functionality, and Wi-Fi functionality.

Techonology News

Apple Inc. this week released a sneak peek of the OS X Mountain Lion update due out this summer for Mac computers.

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will include features from the iOS like iCloud integration, Messages, Reminders, Notes, Notification Center, and Game Center.

In addition, Mountain Lion will include full Twitter integration to allow users to tweet links from Safari, iPhoto, Photo Booth, and other apps.

Finally, Gatekeeper is a new security application that allows users to control over which applications to download or install on the Mac.


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