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Microsoft Xbox 360 Sales Fall 2.3% As 'Halo Effect' Fizzles!

Microsoft Xbox 360 Sales Fall 2.3% As 'Halo Effect' Fizzles! 50°
371w ago - Microsoft shipped 4.3 million Xbox 360 systems in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with 4.4 million systems during the same period in 2006.

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) sold fewer Xbox 360 video game consoles during the lucrative holiday shopping season than it did the previous year -- despite September's launch of the blockbuster Xbox 360 title Halo 3.

Microsoft shipped 4.3 million Xbox 360 systems in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with 4.4 million systems during the same period in 2006-- a decline of 2.3%.

Halo 3 -- a first-person shooter that runs exclusively on the Xbox 360 -- debuted in late September, just before the start of Microsoft's crucial second fiscal quarter. The quarter covers sales made during the key Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping periods.

Halo 3 smashed numerous game industry sales records during the days following its launch. The game racked up sales of $170 million during its first 24 hours on the market and receipts of $300 million during its first week.

It also set new standards for online play. More than 2.7 million gamers played Halo 3 on the Xbox Live online gaming platform in the first week, Microsoft said.

Anticipation around Halo 3 sparked a sharp increase in Xbox 360 sales during Microsoft's first fiscal...
 

Windows 7 details emerge: new boot screen, less RAM usage

Windows 7 details emerge: new boot screen, less RAM usage 100°
371w ago - Since we've recently written about the upcoming "heterogenous graphics system" in Windows 7 (nick-named Blackcomb), we thought it wouldn't be bad if we just went a bit further down the road with our inquisitiveness and guess what we've come up with?

Over at Neowin.net, there's a post about Windows 7 which indicates that Microsoft's next operating system might be less hardware consuming than Vista. According to Neowin administrator Steven Parker (aka Neobond) the build used for testing was 6.1.6519 and apparently it consumed only 480MB or RAM after boot. Although the UI of Blackcomb is similar to Vista's, Parker didn't manage to make Aero work, most probably because there is currently no driver support for any video cards out there.

Video can be seen below:




"Gadgets are now integrated into explorer. You can right click on desktop and select "Add Gadget" or "Hide Gadget". There is a new gadget called "Windows Media Center" that displays now playing information from the WMC. On the same menu, "Display" is added above "Personalization" which gives you direct access to display DPI settings. The page is much more polished than the one in Vista.

The start menu features a pin besides each item. Clicking on it toggles pinning/unpinning the item....
 

Fox Responds to EA, Invites onto News Show

Fox Responds to EA, Invites onto News Show 50°
371w ago - This Fox News Mass Effect imbroglio is turning into quite the drama. To bring everyone up to speed: Fox News made erroneous claims about Mass Effect. Game journalist and one-time Kotaku guest editor Geoff Keighley tried to clear the air, but the network's panel and dime store Freud shrink Cooper Lawrence wouldn't listen.

The internet got angry and spammed her book's Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble listings. Amazon.com has since turned off the comments and erased user added images for her book's page.

Electronic Arts, likewise, got upset and called out the news network on its "insulting" inaccuracies. The Fox producer of the segment in question blew off Electronic Arts' request for a correction. There still hasn't been a correction or an apology from Fox News. The game publisher added that it won't back down and will continue to "step up when someone maligns our creative teams." According to MTV Multiplayer, Fox News issued this statement:

Fox News Channel has extended several invitations to EA through a company representative to appear on Live Desk With Martha MacCallum to discuss Mass Effect and the segment which aired on Monday. We have received no response.

Hey Fox, the point isn't inviting EA onto your dog and pony show to set the record straight. It's for you to do that yourself....
 

Reeves reveals 1 million consoles were sold in PAL regions in December

Reeves reveals 1 million consoles were sold in PAL regions in December 50°
371w ago - Sales of Sony's PlayStation 3 are on course to overtake Microsoft's Xbox 360 in Europe by the summer of this year, according to Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's president and CEO David Reeves.

According to Reeves the console is already outselling its rival in France, Spain, Germany and Italy, and over 1 million units were sold across the continent in the December build-up to Christmas last year.

On top of that, the latest numbers show Sony with a three-to-one advantage over the 360 in sales last week.

Reeves, talking to MCV, also explained that around a fifth of that number was down to the UK alone: "We're very happy with the performance of PS3 in the UK," he said.

He added that his company's console now had a higher cumulative installed base in some regions.

"It has not yet reached that in the UK. But the team here expect to overtake the installed base of Xbox 360 across all PAL territories in late summer.

"It's also worth mentioning that last week we outsold Xbox 360 in PAL territories by a ratio of three-to-one."

Momentum seems to be building for Sony's flagship console following a torrid time last year, as the effects of the price cut and increasing popularity of Blu-ray continue to kick in.
 

Sony Corp boss believes his business is holding up well, but worried about currency

Sony Corp boss believes his business is holding up well, but worried about currency 50°
371w ago - The chief executive of Sony Corporation, Sir Howard Stringer, has revealed that he believes the company is performing well, but has expressed concern about the impact a strengthening yen could have on the business.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, he admitted: "There is always an impact on exports. The yen is volatile...We watch it with some anxiety," reports Reuters.

Because a significant proportion of the company's goods are exported for sale overseas, a rise in the strength of the native currency automatically makes its goods more expensive for other countries to import.

But despite that, he said, the consumer electronics arm is holding up well so far, buoyed by a better performance in the last month or so by the PlayStation division.

"PlayStation 3 has now gone past Xbox on the Christmas market. It's moving into its own as it gets into higher bandwidth...PS3 is out of the woods and beginning to hold its own," he said.

His comments echo others made separately by SCEE boss David Reeves, who earlier revealed the extent of sales in Europe, and claimed that the PS3 would outsell the Microsoft machine by the summer.
 

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