The Week in Review news piece summarizes and highlights the most important gaming related news and rumors over the past week. This weekly article will keep you plugged in and in-tune.
Nintendo was the biggest newsmaker this week. For starters, the Big N announced they were plunking down nearly $140 million (¥12.8 billion) for a 40,000 square meter R&D facilitiy. The complex, formerly a driving range, will be located near the company’s Kyoto headquarters.
Later in the week, Nintendo and NPD released the Nintendo January numbers. They were very impressive, indeed. “While the video game industry grew by $150 million (12 percent) year-on-year, Nintendo’s total sales grew by $300 million in January, offsetting declines on other platforms.”
What’s more, five of the top ten games in terms of units sold were first-party Nintendo games. “These games include Wii Fit at No. 1 with more than 777,000 sold, Wii Play at No. 2 with nearly 415,000 sold, Mario Kart Wii at No. 3 with more than 292,000 sold, New Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo DS at No. 7 with nearly 135,000 sold, and Mario Kart DS at No. 8 with more than 132,000 sold.”
Not to be outdone, Sony announced that the perception surrounding their handheld should be changed. That’s because Sony has sold through more than 50 million units of the PSP worldwide as of January.
Continuing on the financial front, Square Enix has made a substantial move to pick up Eidos Interactive from Warner Bros. Entertainment and, subsequently, Time Warner. Square Enix has offered £84.3 million ($120+ million) for Eidos. This bid represents a 258% premium to where the stock is currently trading. As such, Eidos’ board of directors has agreed to recommend the bid to shareholders.
On the other side of the spectrum, Midway Chairman, President, and CEO Matt Booty has announced that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Fortunately, this won’t be the last we’ve heard from Midway. Under Chapter 11, Midway will be able to keep the creditor hounds at bay and restructure their company in order to become profitable again. After all, Midway had wonderful holiday sales which saw Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe ship two million units
We also found out that Activision Blizzard will be releasing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 during holiday 2009 and Raven Software’s Singularity this summer.
In a nearly unprecedented move, Valve has announced that the L4D Survival Pack will be offered for free to Xbox 360 and PC players. The pack will include three new ways to play L4D: Survival, Death Toll, and Dead Air.
Pair this news with Friday rumblings that L4D will be sold at half price this weekend only via Steam. That means players with capable PCs will be shooting zombies at budget price.
Rumors have not been particularly compelling this week. We did find out that Mass Effect will still be receiving support from BioWare. Apparently, according to an interview with Jay Watamaniuk of BioWare, a second DLC offering for Mass Effect is forthcoming.
Finally, according to an internal memo being shifted about GameStop, the “DS Lite Onyx hardware systems have been discontinued and stores will no longer be replenished on this product. Once your store sells through its current stock of this item, please remove any empty DS Onyx display boxes (onyx color only) from the sales floor and discard.”
This has prompted speculation that the Onyx DSi, rumored to be launching in April, will take the place of its DS Lite counterpart.
Thanks so much everyone and we will see you next week!