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

Media Create Co. this week reported the PS3 sold 21,114 units between Apr. 23 and Apr. 29 to rank No. 3 in overall hardware sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 16,390 to rank third the week prior.

Capcom Co.’s Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City PS3 SKU ranked as the No. 1 software for the week selling 252,525 units at launch.

Sony this week announced a new multiplayer mode for God of War: Ascension for the Playstation 3.

The online and offline multiplayer mode can include up to eight players in various modes with custom characters.

In a preview, two teams of four battled for supremacy. The victorious team then needed to obliterate a Cyclops boss in the background.

God of War: Ascension, 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.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale for the Playstation 3 will feature franchise-based environments according to a new retail listing.

Environments in the final game include Dreamscape from LittleBigPlanet, Sandover from Jak & Daxter, Hades from God of War, and Metropolis from Ratchet & Clank.

Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale will feature trademark characters from Playstation franchises, including Parappa the Rapper, Kratos from God of War, Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal, Col. Radec from Killzone, and Fat Princess.

Sony this week detailed an exclusive pre-order bonus package for Starhawk for the Playstation 3.

Customers who pre-order the title at GameStop Corp. will receive the Starhawk GameStop Exclusive Limited Edition SKU, which includes the Maw of Despair Outcast Pack co-op mission, Echo Scrapyard Rifter Pack multiplayer skins, Starhawk Concept Art PS3 Theme, Copy of original Warhawk Download, and the Official Starhawk Soundtrack at $59.99.

Starhawk, to be sold May 8, will include a single-player campaign and online multiplayer functionality.

The title will include ground, vehicle, and flight combat. In addition, users can earn Rift Energy to build items like turrets and supply houses to aid in battle.

The Playstation 3 held the highest level of user activity among game consoles in a new survey by Strategy Analytics Inc.

The research firm this week said 44 percent of surveyed owners use their PS3 on a weekly basis, ahead of Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 users at 40 percent and Nintendo Co.’s Wii at 30 percent.

It added, the PS3 was slightly more popular among core users in the survey but the Xbox 360 held a broader audience for games and entertainment.

Sony this month said Datura for the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3 will be sold May 8.

Developed by Plastic Studios, Datura is an interactive adventure title that utilizes the Playstation Move controller.

Ronimo Games this week released Awesomenauts to the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3.

The 2D multiplayer online battle title includes three vs. three competitive online and off, and drop-in, drop-out functionality.

The final game includes six characters, each with upgrade options for battle.

Sales for the Playstation Vita increased 34 percent in the latest Japan retail figures.

The PS Vita sold 12,299 units between Apr. 23 and Apr. 29 to rank as the No. 4 hardware for the week.

By comparison, the hardware sold 8,206 the week prior.

The PS Vita ranked one title in the top 10, Gust Co. Ltd.’s Ciel Nosurge at No. 4 selling 33,324 units.

Meanwhile, the PSP sold 22,457 units to rank No. 2 in the same period.

XSEED Games this week said it will publish Ragnorok Odyssey to the Playstation Vita in 2012.

Developed by Game Arts and GungHo Online Entertainment, Ragnorok Odyssey is an action RPG in which users can combat with ground and air melee attacks.

XSEED Games this week said it will publish Orgarythm for Playstation Vita.

Developed by Acquire and Neilo, the music title includes real-time strategy elements and touch-based gameplay.

In the game, users take the role of the God of Light to deploy elemental soldiers and battle the God of Darkness.

Each unit type is based on Earth, Water and Fire elements. In addition, users can utilize boost attack, defense, healing, or slow down enemy troops.

The final game includes 12 maps, multiplayer co-op and two-player versus modes, and functionality to accommodate future DLC packs.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment this week released Mortal Kombat for the Playstation Vita.

Developed by NetherRealm Studios, the title builds upon the 2011 release with original game content and new features.

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 hardware ranked No. 7 in sales in the latest Japan retail figures.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Xbox 360 sold 1,327 units between Apr. 23 and Apr. 29 to rank No. 7 in overall sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 1,282 units the week prior.

Capcom Co.’s Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City ranked as the No. 8 best-selling software for the week, selling 16,285 units at launch.

Microsoft this week price cut the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Star Wars Kinect Bundle by $50 post release of the bundle product.

The Xbox 360 Limited Edition Star Wars Kinect Bundle, which began sale Apr. 3, includes a R2-D2 blue-and-white themed 320GB console, custom Xbox 360 Wireless Controller inspired by C-3PO, white Kinect sensor, Kinect Star Wars game.

It now sells at $399.99, $50 less than the $449.99 MSRP. Inc. this week said pre-order sales for Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 are ten times that of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The retailer said this week pre-order sales for Black Ops 2 was more than ten times the amount of pre-orders for Black Ops in the first day of availability and more than 30 percent that of 2011’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Developed by Treyarch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, to be sold Nov. 13, will include a brand new single-player campaign and multiplayer functionality.

Locations previewed in the title include Los Angeles and a mission set in Afghanistan in which users must ride horseback.

Bethesda Softworks this week said it will release the Dawnguard DLC to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to the Xbox 360 this summer.

The publisher said details of the new expansion will be released at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

Sega Corp. this week said it will release Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed in late 2012.

The follow-up to Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing will include unique land, air and water vehicles that can transform to take advantage of select terrain.

Returning racers like Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr Eggman and AiAi join newcomers, including Gilius Thunderhead of Golden Axe and Vyse of Skies of Arcadia.

Retailer Inc. this week began offering a new pre-order bonus with the advanced purchase of EA Inc.’s Madden NFL 13 in a new retail initiative.

This week, customers who pre-order Madden NFL 13 will receive NFL legends Joe Gibbs and Lawrence Taylor for use in Madden Ultimate Team and the Connected Careers mode.

Madden NFL 13, to be sold Aug. 28, will include a new Madden Ultimate Team Mode to collect virtual cards with new content and updates that mirror current NFL events for the year.

Fable Heroes for the Xbox Live division of the Xbox 360 is a swashbuckling co-op adventure that summons the Fable universe to puppet form in a solid hack-n-slash action title for all ages in a Final Review.

Sales for Nintendo Co.’s Wii hardware increased in latest retail data from Japan.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Wii sold 9,200 units between Apr. 23 and Apr. 29 to rank No. 5 in overall sales.

By comparison, the Wii sold 7,025 units the week prior.

Mario Party 9 ranked as the No. 2 best-selling software for the week, selling 152,883 units at launch.

Retailer Inc. price cut pre-order sales for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment this week LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes for the Wii by 25 percent.

This week, the LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Wii SKU holds a pre-order price of $37.49 each, 25 percent off the $49.99 MSRP.

Developed by Travelers Tales, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes will include Batman and Robin as they join DC Super Heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern to stop the Joker and Lex Luthor from taking over Gotham City.

Sales for Nintendo Co.’s Nintendo 3DS held at No. 1 in Japan in the latest retail data from the region.

Media Create Co. this week said the Nintendo 3DS sold 74,282 units between Apr. 23 and Apr. 29 to rank as the No. 1 game hardware for the week.

The hardware sold 84,760 the week prior.

The 3DS ranked three titles in the top 10, including Fire Emblem: Awakening at No. 3, Super Mario 3D Land at No. 9, and Dynasty Warriors Vs. at No. 10.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo DSi LL sold 895 units and the Nintendo DSi sold 717 units for the week.

Nintendo this week said it will sell a new Nintendo 3DS Midnight Purple SKU to U.S. retail.

Nintendo 3DS Midnight Purple SKU will be sold May 20 to coincide with the launch of Mario Tennis Open.

The SKU joins current color schemes, including Cosmo Black, Aqua Blue, Flame Red, and Pearl Pink.

Nintendo this week released new details for Pokemon Conquest for the Nintendo DS.

In the title, users must conquer 17 regions to unite the kingdom and save the Ransei region from Nobunaga.

Users can recruit fallen warlords and their Pokemon, and strengthen their army by linking Pokemon. Each warlord will have a special ability to aid in battle.

Each kingdom will include a unique theme, including the fire-themed kingdom of Ignis in which water-based Pokemon will be the most effective.

Technology News

Bethesda Softworks this week said it will release The Elder Scrolls Online to the PC and Mac.

Developed by Zenimax Online Studios, the title will be the first entry in the franchise to allow users to explore the Elder Scrolls world with others.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd this week announced the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone.

The device will include a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 8MP camera, 1.9MP front camera with facial recognition, NFC functionality, and Google Inc.’s Android 4.0.

Facial recognition technology allows the front camera the identify how the phone is in use. For example, reading an e-book or browsing the web will automatically configure a bright display for reading.

In addition, S Voice functionality will allow users to utilize voice commands snooze, send text messages, or launch the camera.

Pre-order sales for Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Diablo III Collector’s Edition for the PC ranked sold out at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s online division due to strong advanced demand for the sequel.

This week, the Diablo III Collector’s Edition held a sold out status at

It currently ranks as the No. 1 best-selling pre-order game product at the division.

The Diablo III Collector’s Edition will include the Diablo III PC / Mac SKU, Collector’s Edition Soundtrack, Two-Disc Behind the Scenes DVD / Blu-ray Combo, Diablo Skull and 4GB USB Soulstone, The Art of Diable III Book, Diablo Skull Statuette, and Bonus In-Game Content at $99.99.

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