UK Seniors Playing Games

UK discount web site MyVoucherCodes has surveyed its users and found that eighteen percent of those over sixty years old are playing videogames, reports InfoWorld. The survey found the Nintendo DS as the most popular console, owned by nearly a third of those surveyed. About a third of Nintendo DS owners said they were playing Namco Bandai’s Brain Exercise with Dr. Kawashima, making it the most popular title in the survey. Nintendo Wii was the second most popular console among survey respondents, with about a quarter of them saying they owned one. Sony PlayStation 3 was the least owned, with about 80 percent citing its expensive price as the reason for not buying one.

Bare-Chested CG

Koei’s trailer for the latest in its Fist of the North Star beat em up franchise manages to feel nostalgic and current at the same time. Parts of it feel like those early CG cinematics that started to appear just about the time game consoles started spinning discs. That’s partly because of the game’s visual style as a classic fighter. Yet the animation is polished, and some clever direction with a few notably subtle if sometimes mystical segues make it entirely watchable. Plus it has that wonderful Asian video trailer characteristic of not exactly telling you the storyline, rather making you wonder what the heck is going on.


Watch it at GameTrailers.

To Boldly Run

Atari and developer Cryptic might be going for the general structure of most Star Trek films in this trailer for Star Trek Online. With 2009’s Star Trek excepted, there’s usually a lot of buildup, some drawn out scenes, and eventually, with 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture excepted, an explosive finale. But given that the pattern for this video is along the lines of roam, scan, roam, beam up, beam down before it gets to any action, that buildup needs punch. At minimum it could use some context. The beaming and the shooting are self-explanatory, but even a few choice bullet points at the front to explain, say, the running and the scanning. That would help.


Watch it at Joystiq.

M2 Game Industry Brief For 2009

M2 Research’s Wanda Meloni presents her findings for the game industry in 2009 in the most recent periodical brief from the firm. Meloni paints the year as one of ups and downs, marked by drags such as rising development costs and a surge in studio layoffs even as hopeful signs came in the growth of digital distribution and virtual goods. She also looks ahead to coming tech such as 3D games and motion controllers, developments that may ultimately have 2009 remembered as gaming’s gateway year to future trends.



Nielsen Media Usage Study

Nielsen has a study aggregating data for media usage across television, web, mobile, videogames, books, music and radio.  The firm has a two-page fact sheet presenting some of their data, which although top line comprises useful statistics for TV, mobile, internet and videogames. Included are surprising results for the number of female gamers on handheld systems.


Read the Nielsen fact sheet PDF.

Nintendo Says US Holiday Sales Were Strong

Nintendo says it saw strong holiday sales in the US with both hardware and software performing well, reports Edge-Online. Nintendo says it sold about 3 million units of Wii in December. While it didn’t reveal sales for its other current generation console, Nintendo DS, it said the handheld system set a record in 2009 for most sales in a year in the US for any console. The company said holiday sales were also helped along by Wii title New Super Mario Brothers, which it estimates as selling four million units since its November launch. Read more at Edge-Online.

Resident Evil For Wii Selling Below Expectations

Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles has become the latest mature-rated Wii game to miss its sales mark. In remarks reported by Edge-Online, Capcom France’s Antoine Seux has told a European game site that the title has sold only about 16,000 units after three weeks. Speaking to GameKult, Seux said there is a very clear problem on Wii with the style of game the latest Resident Evil title represents. The title is an M-Rated light gun shooting game based on the long-running, often brisk selling franchise. Seux says that while the 2007 re-release of Resident Evil 4 sold well on Wii, the market for Nintendo’s console has since radically changed.  Read more at Edge-Online.

Company Launches Sponsored Tweets

Media companies are getting ready to follow celebrities like Kim Kardashian in monetizing their large Twitter followings. As reported in Ad Age, Twitter prospector is leading the way in launching a service for inserting paid Tweets into threads with a large following. Kardashian has been among the first to take advantage, offering a going rate of $10,000 per Tweet sent to her monstrous 2.8 million strong Twitter following. Media giants with their own impressive audiences, such as the NY Times and its 2.3 million followers, are treading more carefully. The Times advertising chief Denise Warren says the paper has a wait-and-see attitude about Twitter readers’ ability to decipher paid messages from genuine communication. In the meantime the company is exploring other ways of leveraging its social media following including ads targeted to visitors who come to the paper s web site through Twitter. Ad Age says is moving forward with its plan and modeling out paid Tweets. As with Kardashian s pricing model,’s going rate is about $1-3 per one thousand Twitter followers. It also plans to introduce an algorithm this month to measure the quality of Twitter feeds such as number of re-Tweets and how much advertising it attracts. Read more at Ad Age.

Google Phone Previewers Start To Talk

Google quietly sent out preview units of its smart phone Nexus One in mid-December and details are emerging as its information embargo was lifted yesterday, reports Ad Age. Ad Age says press were not the only ones among lucky preview recipients, but also digital VIPs such as Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson. Wilson is among the first to post details about the phone, pointing out one nifty ability being that it can run multiple applications. The ability is an often-touted one as a leg-up over iPhone for all phones running Google’s mobile operating system Android. Wilson also pointed out that the phone s touch screen is missing a couple of iPhone’s neat abilities such as pinching to resize images and swiping to scroll. The phone is expected to be priced at about $180 with a contract through mobile carrier T-Mobile, or about $530 full price. Ad Age points to a full tech review of the Nexus One by Engadget, who reveals that the phone is built by HTC and powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chip. Read more at Ad Age.