Headline Of The Week
The latest financial reports published by Nintendo suggest that despite having a number of critically acclaimed titles released in 2014 for the Wii U, uptake for the console is still below expectation. By the end of December 2014, after two years on the market 9.2 million Wii U’s have been sold worldwide – this compares to 18.5 million PlayStation 4’s sold and 10 million Xbox One’s shipped in half that time.
Perhaps more depressingly at the same point in its lifespan Nintendo’s previous console, the Wii, had sold an incredible 44 million units – although it is unfair to say that the Wii U is a failure by those standards (the astronomical sales of the Wii proving to be an a case of pushing the right technology at the right time), the fact that even big hitters such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros For Wii U haven’t accelerated sales will be a concern. On the handheld front, year-on-year sales of the 3DS have slowed down but it is expected that the release of the New 3DS/3DS XL outside of Japan will spur sales on again.
In the meantime, the Big N has launched a beta version of the Nintendo Creators Program to share advertising revenue generated by YouTube videos with the creators of the content. Users would require a Google & Paypal account, but will receive 60% of revenue from videos containing ‘Nintendo intellectual property’ – otherwise Nintendo take the full share of the profits.
In Other News
Sony is to introduce music streaming service Spotify to consoles under the banner of ‘Playstation Music’. The service will allow PSN users to link their accounts to Spotify, and PS4 users will be given the benefit of playing music while a game is running – so you can finally have that FIFA soundtrack you always dreamed of. Both the Premium and free versions of Spotify will be available, but on the flipside of all this Music Unlimited services will be axed on March 29th 2015.
The announcement was also joined by quieter headlines that Sony is ditching support for Youtube, Near and Map applications on the PS Vita handheld console, with no explanation offered for the removal of the services.
A community organized battle on the MMOFPS Planetside 2 has claimed the Guinness World Record for ‘the greatest number of players simultaneously (in one single instance) in one server on an online FPS video game’ – there have been catchier world records, but that’s not a bad achievement by any stretch.
1158 players took part in the attempt, beating the previous record of 999 players held by the online browser game Man vs Machine. According to David Carey, producer of Planetside 2, players represented 58 countries and 53,579 kills were made.
Warner Bros. Interactive has announced two new Lego titles for 2015. Lego: Jurassic World will be released in June covering the storylines from all three Jurassic Park films and the upcoming sequel, while Lego Marvel’s Avengers will follow in Autumn. Both games will be released on PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and 3DS
The first of the 20th Anniversary Edition PlayStation 4 consoles to roll of the production line, Unit 00001, has been sold for ¥15.135 million – which comes to roughly £85,000. Before we criticize the purchaser and blabber on about fool’s gold, it is worth mentioning the console was sold as part of a charity auction arranged by Sony Japan, with the proceeds going to Save The Children Japan.
A third straight week at the top of the UK Game Sales Chart means that Grand Theft Auto V has now been at the top of the tree on seven separate weekly occasions. Two new entries managed to make a dent on the Top 10 this week, with Saints Row 4: Re-Elected slotting into 4th spot and Rugby 15 debuting in 8th.
Top Ten For Week Ending 24th January 2015 (from GFK/Chart-Track)
1 – Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar North)
2 – Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Sledgehammer Games)
3 – FIFA 15 (EA Canada)
4 – Saints Row IV: Re-Elected (Deep Silver Voliton)*
5 – Call Of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward)
6 – Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal)
7 – Minecraft: Xbox Edition (4J Studios)
8 – Rugby 15 (HB Studios)*
9 – Minecraft: Playstation Edition (4J Studios)
10 – The Crew (Ivory Tower)
(* indicates a new release)
A coder from France has been praised for developing the smallest sized Chess computer program ever made.
BootChess, which is playable on Widnows, Mac and Linux computers, is a tiny 487 bytes in size (smaller than a basic text Tweet) and breaks a 33 year old record held by 1K ZX Chess on the Sincliar ZX81 computer. Olivier Poudade hoped that his achievements would inspire other coders to become involved in ‘sizecoding’, commenting that ‘optimizing computer programming is not only about speed, but also about size’.
The program has attracted criticism from fellow advanced coders claiming that it does not allow for a full range of chess moves, but these seem to be a case of sour grapes more than anything – I think its refreshing to know in an age when games are starting to balloon beyond 50GB in size that some consideration has been taken to ease the strain on all those poor hard-drives…