IPad 2 First Weekend Sales Estimated At 1 Million

According to analysts, the iPad 2 sold roughly one million units during its first weekend of availability. By contrast, it took the original iPad roughly four weeks to reach the same mark.

“Our field checks over the weekend indicate that the iPad 2 sold out at every Apple and non-Apple store we contacted,” said Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. “In fact, all the stores had worked through iPad 2 inventory by Saturday afternoon, and there were no new iPad 2 deliveries on Sunday.

Source: Reuters

Time Warner Cable TV Riles Cable Networks

Time Warner Cable is in hot water right now over an app that lets subscribers have access to content on various tablet devices. TV rights holders released strongly worded statements that such in-house streaming is not sanctioned by existing agreements.

Distribution via any sort of third-party app is not addressed in our carriage deals with Time Warner Cable or any other operator, said one affiliate chief. There is going to be a messy dissection of what the rights are but our position is that [this sort of distribution] is not authorized by our affiliate agreements.

While it’s currently only an option for short-range viewing, Time Warner Cable is clearly considering a streaming option for customers beyond their houses. We’re enabling the direct experience between the user and the content they love, said VP of Web Services Jason Gaedtke. If you’re on the road, on a train perhaps, maybe you can stream to that device, start watching an episode or a news program.

One affiliate CEO wasn’t incredibly worried about the current offerings. There’s the worry that you re letting our content out the front door, and then there’s the reality that, right now anyway, none of the MSOs are going that far with it. So, yes: Our reaction is somewhat informed by our wanting to give ourselves a little more leverage down the road.

If it’s not the portability issue, there’s the ad-insertion issue, the exec added. There are a lot of things to be wary of when someone starts moving your stuff around.

Source: AdWeek

RewardVille Open For Business

Zynga has announced the official launch of RewardVille, an online rewards program. This will let users build their Zynga network status, earn Zynga-level points and coins, and unlock exclusive and limited edition virtual goods to apply to various Zynga games.

Our players are at the heart of all we do so our goal is to constantly look at ways to bring them the best and most fun experience when they play, said Roy Sehgal, vice president, Zynga. “With RewardVille, our aim is to delight players by rewarding them with new Zynga-level points, and exclusive limited edition virtual items. We love that you love our games, so here’s your chance to reap some rewards!

Find out more at RewardVille.com.

Zune Not Getting New Hardware: Report

Reports are that Microsoft will stop making new versions of the Zune music and video player. The Zune has failed to crack the top five most popular most popular music players in its five years since its introduction; Zune features and software will instead be funneled into Windows Phone 7.

We have nothing to announce about another Zune device — but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America, said Microsoft in a statement. We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.

Source: Bloomberg

PlayStation Blog Revamp

Sony has unveiled a new design for their U.S. PlayStation Blog. Examining traffic patterns, Google searches and the portions users click on, Sony has somewhat radically redesigned the blog.

So we’ve added prominent, permanent links to PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Home content. We’ve overhauled the search box with autocomplete. Our biggest recent releases now live at the top right of the site. And huge news won’t get pushed down the page nearly as quickly as it used to, said Jeff Rubenstein, Social Media Manager. Conversely, with the old design many things weren’t as easy to find as they should have been. You’ll now find it easier to give feedback on posts via Twitter and Facebook (both of which had a fraction of their current userbase when we first launched the site). Related content will appear at the bottom of a post, and a string of features can be found in a scrolling ‘red box’ belt right in the middle of the homepage.

More takeovers of the site, like what happened with Uncharted 3, are also planned.

Source: PlayStation Blog

Blizzard: We Are Looking Into Consoles For Diablo III

Diablo III has been rumored to be coming to consoles for a while now, rumors that were stoked by a job posting for a senior producer with console experience. While Blizzard has maintained that the action/RPG is only confirmed for PC, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime confirmed that they’re looking into bringing the franchise to PS3/Xbox 360.

We are looking for a couple of console developers, yes. At this stage though, it’s basically an investigation to see if it makes sense for Diablo to be a console game as well as a PC game, said Morhaime. “We haven’t made any decisions yet, but a lot us feel that if ever there was a Blizzard franchise that could play well as a console game, then that’s probably it.”

Source: MCV

Sony Talks PlayStation Suite As Future Of Mobile Games

The smartphone market is ever increasing, but it can be hard for a game publisher to differentiate oneself given the vast amount of content available. SCEE CEO Andrew House thinks there’s an answer in the PlayStation Suite on Android.

If you talk to content providers they will uniformly tell you that it is very difficult to run a business within the Android model or the iOS model as it currently sits, said House. There are huge amounts of competition and free content out there and it is difficult to differentiate premium gaming experiences from lesser quality ones.

So with PlayStation Suite we are trying to establish a PlayStation Store within the Android marketplace. This will be a destination for games that have a seal of quality which use the PlayStation tried and tested interface, either physically or via virtual or on-screen representation of that, he added. Where it is easier to differentiate your content of being of good quality, it becomes easier for consumers to navigate through. And we think consumers are prepared to pay a little bit more of a premium if they can get that sense of quality.

If you think about the audience for games as a pyramid, you have at the top the core or committed gamers who want the best of the best, the richest, deepest, most immersive gaming experiences. They will naturally be the NGP early adopters, said House. Then if you look at the wider bottom of the pyramid, you have got a huge amount of activity in the area of casual mobile games. Much of the content in that area is free. Our feeling, and our research bears this out, is that there is potential for an audience that sits in-between those two.

Source: MCV

Insomniac Games Clicks On Mobile

Insomniac Games has announced that it has founded a a new mobile division. Called Insomniac Click, it will be about reaching a wider audience for the developer.

Insomniac Games is proud to introduce our newest division: Insomniac Click, wrote Brian Hastings, Insomniac Games Chief Creative Officer. It is dedicated to creating new games for web and mobile platforms. Insomniac Click is an expansion of the company rather than a shift. With the exception of myself, everyone working in the group has been newly hired specifically for their expertise in this space. All our existing teams are still 100 percent dedicated to making unforgettable AAA console experiences with our proprietary blend of double rainbows and awesomesauce.

It s also a pragmatic necessity, he added. The gaming landscape is changing faster now than at any time in the industry s existence. More people are playing games every day than ever before and the kinds of games they are playing are diversifying more rapidly than ever. The whole game industry is in the midst of what appears to be a sea change. But with this change comes some of the most exciting challenges and opportunities we ve ever had.

Source: InsomniacGames.com

Angry Birds Exceeds 100 Million Downloads

Rovio has revealed that Angry Birds has been downloaded in excess of 100 million times worldwide. Rovio marketing executive Peter Vesterbacka speaking at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas noted that the game has 40 million monthly active users who spend 200 million minutes a day playing the game across various devices.

“Everyone is playing Angry Birds,” said Vesterbacka, who added, “Tablets are killing consoles. Four generations of new tablets come before a new console, if one ever comes.”

Source: Mobile Entertainment