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 23,478 units between Apr. 30 and May 6 to rank No. 3 in overall hardware sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 21,114 units to rank third the week prior.

Capcom Co.’s Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City PS3 SKU held in the top three software sales for the week selling 52,428 units to rank at No. 2.

Sony this week recorded a $2.8 billion loss in the Playstation division due to declining sales of console and handheld products.

For the fiscal year ending Mar. 31, 2012, the PS3 sold 13.9 million units, down from 14.3 million in 2011. It sold 1.9 million units in the quarter. In addition PSP sales fell to 6.8 million and PS2 sales dropped to 4.1 million.

PS3 software sales increased 8.7 million units in the year to 156.6 million units.

However, it expects console sales to fall to 16 million units next fiscal year.

Sony did not disclose to date sales of the Playstation Vita, but said the handheld sold 1.8 million units to date.

Sony this week said it will release the Playstation 3 Modern Warfare 3 Bundle to U.S. retail May 25.

The bundle will include the PS3 320GB SKU, a copy of Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Modern Warfare 3, and a Dualshock 3 Controller at $299.99.

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

Starhawk includes a single-player campaign and online multiplayer functionality.

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

EA Inc. this week released Commendation Packs to Mass Effect 3 for the Playstation 3.

The Commendation Packs for Operation Goliath and Operation Raptor includes special weapons made available in limited multiplayer sessions.

The Commendation Packs are available for download at no cost.

Sony this week released Datura for the Playstation Network division.

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

Sales for the Playstation Vita fell back in the latest Japan retail figures.

The PS Vita sold 10,583 units between Apr. 30 and May 6 to rank as the No. 4 hardware for the week.

By comparison, the hardware sold 12,299 the week prior.

The PS Vita did not rank any software titles in the top 10.

Meanwhile, the PSP sold 20,033 units to rank No. 2 in the same period.

Sony this week announced the LittleBigPlanet Beta for the Playstation Vita.

The beta will allow users to test out the latest LittleBigPlanet adventure for the PS Vita.

Interested customers can register via an online sign-up page.

Retailer Inc. this week began offering a new pre-order bonus with the advanced purchase of Konami Corp.’s Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for the Playstation Vita.

This week, customers who pre-order Metal Gear Solid HD Collection will receive a $10 retail credit.

Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, to be sold July 12, includes Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Each title will utilize a new interface for HD resolutions, redrawn high-resolution 2D art, effects, and fonts, all-new Trophies and Achievements, ‘Transfarring System’ to transfer save data between the PS Vita and the PS3, and improved audio quality.

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 1,420 units between Apr. 30 to May 6 to rank No. 7 in overall sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 1,327 units the week prior.

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

Microsoft Corp. this week began sale of the Xbox 360 with Kinect at $99 to users in a new hardware subscription package.

This week, customers at the Microsoft Store can purchase the Xbox 360 4GB SKU with Kinect sensor at $99 with a two-year subscription to Xbox Live Gold at $14.99 per month.

The lower barrier-to-entry may entice new consumers in a declining video game market.

The Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect SKU typically sells at $299.99.

LucasArts Inc. this week released Kinect Star Wars demo for the Xbox Live division.

The Kinect Star Wars demo holds at 1.97GB and is available now at no cost.

Kinect Star Wars includes motion control functionality to wield a virtual lightsaber, use The Force, pilot a pod racer vehicle or fire guns from an X-Wing.

Microsoft Corp. this week said Minecraft for the Xbox 360 has broken all digital sales records in the Xbox Live Arcade divison.

The title has sold more than any other title previously released in the first 24 hours in the Xbox Live Arcade, including Trials Evolution.

Developed by 4J Studios, Minecraft for Xbox 360 is a translation of the sandbox simulation title.

Activision Blizzard Inc. this week detailed the new Face-Off Mode for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Face-Off will include 1 vs. 1 or 2 vs. 2 matches in mode-specific maps.

The new maps, which include Erosion, Aground, Getaway, and Lookout are smaller and offer more player engagement opportunities.

In addition, the mode will support two-player split-screen functionality.

Face-Off Mode will deploy May 16th on Xbox Live with Erosion and Aground maps available at no cost.

Lookout and Getaway maps will be sold in a collection pack May 22.

Collection 2 will include Lookout and Getaway in addition to three new multiplayer maps – Foundation, Sanctuary, and Oasis – and two new Spec-Ops maps, Iron Zone and Kill Switch.

Capcom Co. this week said it will release a patch to Street Fighter X Tekken May 16.

The patch includes the removal of certain infinite combos, move property adjustments, and removal of select glitches.

Retailer Inc. this week began offering a new pre-order bonus for Activision Blizzard Inc.’s The Amazing Spider-Man for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360.

Customers who pre-order The Amazing Spider-Man PS3 or Xbox 360 will receive the Stan Lee Adventure Pack, which allows users to play as Stan Lee and web sling across New York City.

2K Games, a division of Take Two Interactive Inc., this week said Bioshock Infinite will be sold in Feb. 26, 2013.

It was previously scheduled to be released Oct. 19 to U.S. retail.

Developer Irrational Games this week said it will make specific tweaks and improvements to the title. It added that it delayed the original release of Bioshock by several months to fine tune the game.

Finally, the developer will refrain from demonstrating the title at upcoming trade events like E3 and Gamescom in order to proceed with development.

Capcom Co. this week Dragon’s Dogma will include a new Ur-Dragon online event mode.

The Ur-Dragon event mode global online parties to battle the enemy Ur-Dragon. The encounter will require multiple attempts and the party to relay the final blow will receive the maximum reward.

In addition, offline users can battle the Ur-Dragon to gather different rewards than those received online.

All Ur-Dragon slayers names and play times recorded for others to beat.

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.

Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead for the Playstation Network and Xbox Live is a thrilling interactive adventure that offers intense scenarios in a context-sensitive and decision-making game world in a Final Review.

Mojang’s Minecraft for the Xbox Live division of the Xbox 360 is a solid translation of the building simulation that allows console users to move into a virtual world alone or with friends 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 15,789 units between Apr. 30 to May 6 to rank No. 4 in overall sales.

By comparison, the Wii sold 9,200 units the week prior.

Mario Party 9 ranked as the No. 1 best-selling software for the week, selling 144,585 units in its second week at retail.

Sales for the 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 91,868 units between Apr. 30 and May 6 to rank as the No. 1 game hardware for the week.

The hardware sold 74,282 the week prior.

The 3DS ranked six titles in the top 10, including Fire Emblem: Awakening at No. 3, Super Mario 3D Land at No. 4, Mario Kart 7 at No. 5, Kid Icarus: Uprising at No. 6, and Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games at No. 8.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo DSi LL sold 1,097 units and the Nintendo DSi sold 814 units for the week.

Technology News

AT&T Inc. this week released HTC Corp.’s HTC One X to U.S. customers.

The HTC One X includes a 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU, 4.7-inch Super LCD 720p HD display, 1GB RAM, 16GB Memory, 8MP camera with f/2.0 shutter and 1080p video, front VGA camera with 720p video, Beats Audio, and 4G LTE functionality.

In addition, the product includes Google Inc.’s Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 OS.

The hardware sells at $199.99 with a two-year contract.

AT&T LTE service is available in select markets.

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