Sales for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 ranked second in hardware in the latest retail data from Japan.

Media Create Co. this week reported the PS3 sold 21,310 units between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4 to rank No. 2 in overall hardware sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 20,364 units to rank third the week prior.

The PS3 ranked six titles in the top 10 including Tales of Xilla at No. 1, Okami HD at No. 2, and Yakuza 1 & 2 HD Edition at No. 3.

Capcom Co. this week announced a new post-launch DLC chapter for DmC: Devil May Cry.

The Vergil’s Downfall DLC is the untold story of Dante’s twin brother Virgil. It will include Virgil in an all-new storyline with new gameplay, combos, enemies and locations.

The DLC will be sold shortly after launch at $8.99 via the Playstation Network and 720 Microsoft Points via Xbox Live.

Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II is a solid installment in the blockbuster franchise that offers consistent aim-n-shoot gameplay. While the campaign stays conservative, the top-notch online modes aid to complete the mission in a Final Review.

Ubisoft Inc. this week released Assassin’s Creed Ezio Trilogy for the Playstation 3.

The exclusive SKU includes Assassin’s Creed II with all downloadable content, Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed Revelations at $39.99.

Rockstar Games this week released Trailer No. 2 for Grand Theft Auto V.

Trailer No. 2 features explosive criminal activity, multiple vehicular chases, and subsequent banter to be found in the final game.

Grand Theft Auto V, to be sold spring 2013, will include a middle-aged character who moves to a modern-day fictional Los Angeles and subsequently falls back into a life of crime.

Retailer Amazon.com Inc. this week price cut LittleBigPlanet Karting for the Playstation 3 to under $50 in a new retail initiative.

This week, LittleBigPlanet Karting holds a sale price of $49.99, 17 percent off the $59.99 MSRP.

Sales for the Playstation Vita ranked fourth in the latest retail data from Japan.

The PS Vita sold 4,842 units between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4 to rank as the No. 4 hardware for the week.

By comparison, the hardware sold 5,806 the week prior.

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

Meanwhile, the PSP sold 13,868 units to rank at No. 3 in the same period.

Sony this week said the Playstation Plus service will expand to the Playstation Vita handheld Nov. 19.

The service will be part of the PS Vita System Software Update version 2.00.

Playstation Plus members can download the Instant Game Collection, a collection of hit PS Vita titles, at no additional cost.

Instant Game Collection titles at launch include Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Jet Set Radio, Wipeout 2048, Gravity Rush, and Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!.

Street Fighter X Tekken for the Playstation Vita is a solid mobile fighter that includes the entire console experience and more into a tight handheld SKU in a Final Review.

Sales for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 hardware were roughly even in week-to-week figures in Japan.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Xbox 360 sold 1,339 units between Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 to rank No. 7 in overall sales.

By comparison, the hardware sold 1,931 units the week prior.

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

Microsoft Corp. this week celebrated the 10th year anniversary of the Xbox Live online service.

Xbox Live, which launched Nov. 15, 2002, began as a premium online gaming service with titles like MechAssault, NFL Fever, and Ghost Recon.

Currently, the service provides a range of entertainment services, from online gaming, TV and movie e-commerce to live streaming from content providers.

Xbox Live holds more than 40 million members in global territories.

Microsoft this week said Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 generated $220 million in the first 24 hours at global retail.

In addition, the title is on track to reach $300 million in the first full week of sale.

The Halo franchise has now generated $3.38 billion at retail to date.

A total of four million users played the title in the first five days of release.

Activision Blizzard Inc. this week said Call of Duty: Black Ops II generated $500 million in the first 24 hours of sale at global retail.

By comparison, Modern Warfare 3 raked in $400M in the first 24 hours of sale in 2012 and Black Ops took $360 million in the first 24 hours in 2011.

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.

Sales for Nintendo Co.’s Wii hardware ranked as the fifth top-selling hardware in Japan in the latest retail data from the region.

Media Create Co. on Fri. reported that the Wii sold 3,806 units between Oct. 29 and Nov. 4 to rank No. 5 in overall sales.

By comparison, the Wii sold 3,744 units the week prior.

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

Nintendo this week released the Wii U to U.S. retail.

The Basic Set includes the Wii U console and the Wii U GamePad in White, 8GB storage, AC adapters, HDMI cable and Wii U sensor bar at $299.99.

The Deluxe Set includes the Wii U console and Wii U GamePad in Black, 32GB storage, GamePad Charging Cradle, Stands for the GamePad and Console, AC adapters, HDMI cable, and Nintendo Land at $349.99.

The Wii U is backwards compatible with most Wii games and accessories, including the Wii Remote, Nunchuck, and Wii Balance Board.

Nintendo this week detailed the Nintendo Network, Miiverse, and Browser features to be found in the Wii U hardware.

The Nintendo Network allows users to create an ID to be used at the Nintendo eShop and as a user ID to add friends. The Nintendo Network ID will be used across future Nintendo hardware and on PC and mobile devices for Miiverse and Nintendo eShop services.

Miiverse will be fully integrated into the operating system and game titles. Users can view other comments from players within a game. At certain points of difficulty where a user dies repeatedly, the game title may show comments from other players who died at the same point and allow the user to add his or her comment.

The web browser can be used via the Wii U GamePad to quickly find information even when remotely away from the television.

Nintendo this week announced a partnership with Old Navy, a division of Gap Inc., to offer a Black Friday incentive to promote the launch of New Super Mario Bros. U for the Wii U.

On Nov. 23, customers who line up early and spend at least $40 at the store have a chance to win a copy of New Super Mario Bros. U.

In addition, Black Friday customers will receive a special game card for a chance to win one of 1,000 Wii U systems in a contest on Nov. 24.

Between Nov. 22 and Nov. 24, select Old Navy stores will have special New Super Mario Bros. U demo units to allow shoppers to try out the latest title in the Mario franchise.

iSuppli, a division of IHS Inc., this week said Nintendo Co.’s Wii U will sell 3.5 million units this year, an increase from initial launch sales for the Wii.

The firm says that demand will exceed supply due to inventory constaints.

In addition, it estimates that Wii U sales will total 70 percent of Wii sales in the first four years at retail, citing a fragmented landscape for game consumption.

Sales for the Nintendo 3DS 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 93,989 units between Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 to rank as the No. 1 game hardware for the week.

The hardware sold 61,542 the week prior.

The 3DS ranked two titles in top 10, New Super Mario Bros. 2 at No. 5 and Bravely Default: Flying Fairy No. 6.

The Nintendo DS sold 568 units for the week.

Technology News

Activision Blizzard Inc. this week said Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm for the PC will be sold Mar. 13, 2013.

The expansion pack to Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty will be sold in a standard SKU at $39.99 and a Collector’s SKU at $79.99.

Pre-order customers will receive access to the Heart of the Swarm beta.

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm will include a 20-mission campaign for the Zerg species.

The final game will include additional units, ability and multiplayer tuning.

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