Sales for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 held as the second best-selling hardware in the latest Japan retail activity.

Media Create Co. this week reported the PS3 sold 17,765 units between Apr. 9 and Apr. 15 to rank No. 2 in overall hardware sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 19,370 to rank third the week prior.

The hardware ranked one titles in the top 10, including Konami Corp.’s Pro Baseball Spirits 2012 at No. 7. It ranked at No. 4 the week prior.

GameStop Corp. this week price cut the Playstation 3 by $50 in a new online hardware sale initiative.

This week, customers can purchase the PS3 160GB SKU at $199.99, $50 off the $249.99 MSRP.

The price cut is the largest discount for the hardware since the 2011 holiday period.

Sony this week announced it will release God of War: Ascension to the Playstation 3 console.

The title, which is a prequel to the God of War franchise, will feature Kratos prior to his consumption of rage when he breaks a blood-oath to an unjust god.

The company will release additional details for the title next week.

Namco Bandai Games America Inc. this week released the Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch trailer for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3.

Developed by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a role-playing title in which a young boy who loses his mother traverses between the real world and the fantasy world when a doll passed on from his mother comes to life.

EA Inc. this week said it will sell Crysis 3 in 2013.

Developed by Crytek GmbH, Crysis 3 will feature the Prophet in a New York City encased in a Nanodome. The Liberty Dome will include seven distinct environments from trees, swamplands, and rivers, in which the Prophet must utilize new weapons and tactics to survive.

Customers who pre-order the title will receive the Crysis 3 Hunter Edition, which includes early access to the new signature bow and its attachments, plus the Hunter Nanosuit module. In addition, users will receive bonus XP boost up to level 5, a unique bow skin and three exclusive dog tags.

Sega Corp. this week released House of the Dead 4 to the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3.

House of the Dead 4 is an arcade lightgun shooter that includes new Playstation Move compatibility, Multiplayer Mode, Multiple Paths, Ranking and Grading System, Additional Levels, Bonus Unlockable Playstation Home item, Original Creator Interview and Trophies.

Activision Blizzard Inc. this week detailed the Pack Leader functionality for Prototype 2.

The Pack Leader ability will allow users to command a band of enemy mutants and direct them to destroy any target. After the targets have outlived the usefulness, the protagonist can detonate them to create further destruction.

Prototype 2, to be sold Apr. 24, is a third-person action follow-up to the 2009 release Prototype.

Sales for the Playstation Vita dropped to near 8,000 units in the latest Japan retail figures.

The PS Vita sold 8,250 units between Apr. 9 and Apr. 15 to rank as the No. 4 hardware for the week.

By comparison, the hardware sold 8,931 the week prior.

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

Meanwhile, the PSP sold 14,804 units to rank third in the same period.

PSP titles in the top 10 include Bandai Namco Games Inc.’s 2nd Super Robot Wars Z at No. 1 and Konami Corp.’s Pro Baseball Spirits 2012 at No. 4.

Sales for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 hardware fell back post a one-week gain in the latest Japan retail figures.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Xbox 360 sold 1,373 units between Apr. 9 and Apr. 15 to rank No. 6 in overall sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 3,764 units to rank at No. 6 the week prior, aided by the release of Kinect Star Wars.

Microsoft in Apr. recorded a 16 percent in the division that includes the Xbox business in third quarter results.

The Entertainment and Devices division this week posted revenue of $1.62 billion, a 16 percent decline from the year prior.

Microsoft cited a soft gaming market for the decline. The Xbox 360 held as the top console for the 15th consecutive month, and the company this quarter introduced new entertainment options to Xbox Live service to more than 40 million members.

Microsoft this week said Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 will be sold Nov. 6 to worldwide retail.

In the title, Master Chief returns to face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the universe.

Halo 4 is the beginning of a brand new trilogy in the franchise.

Microsoft this month said Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ranked as the top Xbox Live title in recent usage data.

For the week ending Apr. 9, Modern Warfare 3 ranked as the No. 1 Xbox Live title based on unique users.

Call of Duty: Black Ops ranked at No. 2 and EA Inc.’s FIFA 2012 ranked third in the same period.

In addition, Polytron Corp. Inc.’s Fez ranked as the top title for the Xbox Live Arcade division of Xbox 360.

Capcom Co. this week released the Echo Six Expansion Pack for Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.

The Echo Six Expansion Pack includes three all-new Spec Ops missions.

The first DLC mission, released in Apr., was be sold at no cost and featured Spec Ops characters in a mission to recover evidence to reveal the truth about the Raccoon City virus outbreak.

Capcom Co. this week said it will release a demo of Dragon’s Dogma Apr. 24.

The demo will include two character classes, including the melee specialist Fighter and the nimble Strider in two challenges.

Dragon’s Dogma, to be sold May 22 in the U.S. and May 25 in Europe, is a new action title that includes combat in a large, open world.

CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings: Enhanced Edition for the Xbox 360 and the PC is an epic and complex role-playing title that features versatile combat, magic and character building in an intricately detailed medieval tale in a Final Review.

Polytron Corp. Inc.’s Fez for the Xbox Live division of the Xbox 360 is a brilliant download title that warps 2D sprite-based gameplay into a 3D perspective for inventive platforming and puzzles in a charming world in a Final Review.

Trials Evolution for the Xbox Live division of the Xbox 360 is a technical arcade racer that offers challenging, physics-based racing in arcade-friendly tracks in a Final Review.

Sales for Nintendo Co.’s Wii hardware fell to under 7,000 units in latest retail data from Japan.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Wii sold 6,837 units between Apr. 9 and Apr. 15 to rank No. 5 in overall sales.

By comparison, the Wii sold 7,099 units the week prior.

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

XSEED Games’ The Last Story for Wii ranked as a top ‘Most Wished For’ title this week at Inc. amid strong pre-order demand.

This week, The Last Story ranked as the No. 2 Most Wished For game product in Amazon’s Video Games division.

Developed by Mistwalker, The Last Story is an RPG title that features a band of adventurers in a cinematic adventure.

The final game includes functions like Gathering to distract enemies and Focus to make long-distance attacks.

Nintendo this week said confirmed a new Super Mario Bros. title for the Wii U hardware will be demonstrated at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

Shigeru Miyamoto, Analysis and Entertainment General Manager, Nintendo, intimated to Spanish newspaper El Mundo the development of a new Super Mario title for the next Nintendo platform.

Consumer publication Eurogamer subsequently confirmed the development with the company.

Nintendo added it will announced more about the company’s plans for E3 at a later date.

Sales for the Nintendo 3DS held as the top-selling game hardware in Japan in the latest retail data from the region.

Media Create Co. this week said the Nintendo 3DS sold 63,796 units between Apr. 9 and Apr. 15 to rank as the No. 1 game hardware for the week.

The hardware sold 72,115 the week prior.

The 3DS ranked six titles in the top 10 for the week, including Square Enix Co.’s Kingdom Hearts 3D – Dream Drop Distance at No. 2, Super Mario 3D Land at No. 3, Kid Icarus: Uprising at No. 5, Capcom Co.’s Monster Hunter 3G at No. 6, Konami Corp.’s Pro Baseball Spirits 2012 at No. 7, Mario Kart 7 at No. 8, and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games at No. 10.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo DSi LL sold 800 units and the Nintendo DSi sold 633 units for the week.

Nintendo this week said it will release New Super Mario Bros. 2 to the Nintendo 3DS handheld this Aug.

The brand new 2D side-scroller will include Mario, Luigi and other trademark characters in a pick-up-and-play experience.

In addition, Nintendo will release a new update to the Nintendo 3DS hardware Apr. 25 to allow users to create folders in the Home menu to organize content.

Technology News

Microsoft Corp. this week announced four editions of Windows 8 to be sold in the consumer, enterprise, and business retail levels.

For consumers, Windows 8 will be sold in Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro SKUs.

The Windows 8 SKU will include an updated Windows Explorer, Task Manager, and better multi-monitor support.

The Windows 8 Pro SKU will include all features in Windows 8 plus features for encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. A Windows Media Center add-on pack will be available for the Pro SKU.

Finally, Windows 8 RT will be sold to manufacture businesses as a pre-installed operating system for ARM-based PCs and tablets. RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

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