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 15,680 units between June 18 and June 24 to rank No. 3 in overall hardware sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 14,673 units to rank third the week prior.

The PS3 ranked three titles in top 10 software sales for the week, including Tokyo Jungle at No. 5, Dragon’s Dogma at No.9 a and Lollipop Chainsaw at No. 10.

Sony this week released System Software Update 4.20 for the Playstation 3.

The new firmware update improve sidetone audio performance for the Wireless Stereo Headset in multiplayer modes. The update will allow users to select one of five levels for microphone audio or turn off the feature.

In addition, the update will allow users to set the amount of time the system will wait before turning itself off automatically.

Sony this week said it will hold a new Summer Sale in the Playstation Network division beginning July 3.

The sale will discount a total of 11 titles at 30 percent off or 50 percent off for Playstation Plus members.

Discounted titles include Gotham City Imposters, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, Shadow of the Colossus, Infamous: Festival of Blood, Crysis, Killzone 3 Multiplayer, Jurassic Park The Game, Worms Ultimate Mayhem, The House of the Dead III, and Real Steel.

The sale will be valid through July 10.

SideQuest Studios this week said it will Rainbow Moon to the Playstation Network division of Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 July 10.

The strategy RPG title includes turn-based combat, character customization and resource earning for improved character attributes and limits.

It will be sold at $14.99 and at $11.99 for Playstation Plus members.

Sony this week released Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves to the Playstation Network division of the Playstation 3.

In Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, Nathan Drake hunts for the treasure of El Dorado.

In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Drake treks to the Himalayan valley of Shambhala to uncover a new treasure.

In addition, all DLC available for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is now available at no cost until the digital launch of the title.

Sony this week said it will sell the Journey Collector’s Edition Aug. 28 to U.S. retail.

The Blu-ray title will include Journey, in addition to bonus games flOw and Flower.

The final release will include a behind-the-scenes documentary, exclusive mini-games, concept art, original soundtracks, PS3 Dynamic Themes and Wallpapers, PSN Avatars, and official game trailers at $29.99.

Sony this week said it will launch the beta for LittleBigPlanet Karting for the Playstation 3 soon.

The beta will allow users to test out the upcoming racer and provide feedback to developers.

Developed by United Front Games, LittleBigPlanet Karting, will include a new campaign and level editor with the ability to share custom tracks.

The final game will include objective-based missions, bosst battles, mini-games, and single player and multiplayer components.

It will be sold Oct. 31.

Sales for the Playstation Vita ranked third in Japan in the latest retail data for the region.

The PS Vita sold 13,589 units between June 18 and June 24 to rank as the No. 2 hardware for the week.

By comparison, the hardware sold 34,459 the week prior.

The hardware ranked one title in top 10 sales, Persona 4 Golden at No. 3. It has sold 166,369 units to date.

Meanwhile, the PSP sold 8,954 units to rank No. 4 in the same period.

Sony this week announced new pre-order bonus incentives for LittleBigPlanet for the Playstation Vita.

New pre-order bonus items include Big Daddy and Little Sister from Bioshock and Knights of the Old costumes knight, damsel in distress, and fearsome dragon.

Developed by Tarsier Studios and Media Molecule, the title will include a brand new story mode, new art, new features, and new tools.

In addition, the title will utilize touch and tilt functionality for new level interactivity.

Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 hardware ranked at No. 6 in the latest Japan retail figures.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Xbox 360 sold 1,073 units between June 18 and June 24 to rank No. 6 in overall sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 1,084 units the week prior.

The hardware ranked one title in top 10 game sales, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor at No. 14 with 4,889 units sold.

Bethesda Softworks this week released the Dawnguard DLC to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim to Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360.

The DLC includes an original quest with vampires, demonic beings, and supernatural battles.

Bioware Corp. this week released the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut.

The Extended Cut DLC is available now at no cost and is said to contain additional cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes to provide context and clarity to the ending.

It requires 1.9GB of storage.

Microsoft this week expanded the pilot program to allow customers to purchase the Xbox 360 at $99 with a 2-year commitment to the Xbox Live online service at Best Buy Co. Inc. and GameStop Corp.

Under the initiative, customers can purchase the Xbox 360 4GB SKU at $99 with a two-year contract for the Xbox Live Gold service at $14.99 per month.

The program was initiated at Microsoft Stores several weeks prior.

Microsoft this week said the title Haunt for the Kinect for Xbox 360 is available for free in a limited promotion.

Through July 2, U.S. customers can download Haunt via Xbox Live Arcade as part of a new dashboard feature called Kinect Central.

Haunt allows users to traverse a haunted house and outsmart ghosts using motion controls.

It typically sells at 800 Microsoft Points.

Ubisoft Inc. this week delayed the release of Far Cry 3 to Dec.

The publisher cited increased development time to deliver the highest possible quality for players.

The title was originally scheduled to be sold in the U.S. Sept. 4.

Far Cry 3 is a first-person shooter sequel that includes shooting and melee action.

Telltale Games this week released The Walking Dead: Episode 2 – Starved For Help.

The second installment of the digital download series takes place three months after Episode 1 and forces a group to seek food from strangers.

Choices made from Episode 1 will continue to affect the story.

2K Games this week released Spec Ops: The Line.

Spec Ops: The Line is a third-person squad-based shooter that includes squad commands, customizable multiplayer, sandstorm combat, and a Dubai setting.

The final multiplayer mode includes squad-based games with sand-filled environments that impact visibility, communication and weapon handling.

Retailer Inc. this month discounted pre-order sales for EA Inc.’s NCAA Football 13 to under $45 in a new retail initiative.

This week, customers can pre-order NCAA Football PS3 or Xbox 360 SKU at $44.99 each, $15 off the $59.99 MSRP.

In addition, pre-order customers will receive the Nike Pro Combat downloadable premium uniforms at no additional cost.

Capcom Co.’s Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor for Microsoft Corp.’s Kinect for Xbox 360 is a decent war simulation title that offers motion-based controls via the Kinect sensor for complimentary and sometimes useful actions in a Final Review.

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

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Wii sold 6,127 units between June 18 and June 24 to rank No. 5 in overall sales.

By comparison, the Wii sold 5,963 units the week prior.

Mario Party 9 ranked as the No. 7 best-selling software for the week. It has sold 447,126 units in the region to date.

Sales for Nintendo Co.’s Nintendo 3DS declined but held the top sales rank in Japan in the latest retail data from the region.

Media Create Co. this week said the Nintendo 3DS sold 68,056 units between June 18 and June 24 to rank as the No. 1 game hardware for the week.

The hardware sold 61,793 the week prior.

Meanwhile, the Nintendo DSi LL sold 704 units and the Nintendo DSi sold 900 units for the week.

The 3DS ranked two titles in top 10, including Square Enix Holdings Co.’s Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D at No. 2 and Mario Tennis Open at No. 8.

Nintendo this week said it will release Pokemon Black Version 2 and Pokemon White Version 2 to the Nintendo DS handheld Oct. 7 to U.S. retail.

New characters include the Black Kyurem and White Kyurem.

The titles will be compatible with Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS hardware platforms.

In addition, Pokemon Dream Radar will be available for download the same day.

Pokemon Dream Radar utilizes the 3DS camera, motion control, and augmented reality to catch hidden Pokemon by moving the handheld. Caught Pokemon can be transferred to Pokemon Black Version 2 and Pokemon White Version 2.

Nintendo Co.’s Nintendo 3DS XL SKUs topped sales at GameStop Corp. this week post announcement of the new deluxe handheld.

This week, the Nintendo 3DS XL Red SKU ranked as the No. 1 best-selling pre-order product at

The 3DS XL Blue SKU ranked at No. 2 in the same period.

The Nintendo 3DS XL will include a 4.88-inch main display, 90 percent larger the current Nintendo 3DS, and include a 4GB SD card. It will hold an MSRP of $199.99, $20 more than the standard 3DS.

Technology News

Google Inc. this week began pre-order sales for the Nexus 7 tablet starting at $199.

The Nexus 7 is an Android-based product that includes Android 4.1, code-named Jellybean.

The hardware includes a 7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display, Quad-Core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, scratch-resistant Corning display, 1.2MP front camera, microphone, NFC, GPS, accelerometer, magnetometer, and gyroscope.

The 8GB SKU sells at $199 while the 16GB SKU sells at $249.

EA Inc. this week said 800,000 users have purchased the Battlefield 3 Premium service for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3, Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 and the PC in the first two weeks of sale.

Battlefield 3 Premium, which began sale June 4, will include five themed expansion packs, early access to all future expansion packs, unique in-game items, the ability to reset stats, queue priority into servers, and new decals for a one-time fee of $49.99.

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