Black Friday Weekend Sales Up Estimated 6 Percent For 2012

Merchants raked in an estimated $59.1 billion in sales from Thanksgiving Day through Sunday during Black Friday sales, up from $52.4 billion a year earlier, according to the National Retail Federation. Millions flocked to stores and browsed online, and spending per shopper jumped 6 percent to $423.

“Everyone is feeling very bullish,” said Matthew Shay, chief executive of the National Retail Federation. “We are really seeing a five-day weekend that started on Thursday and ends on Monday. The entire week is really getting extended with special promotions that roll out in waves.”

Shoppers were drawn in by sales offers earlier than ever before, some as early as 8 PM Thanksgiving day. 30 percent of consumers who went out shopping over the long weekend were in stores by midnight Thanksgiving, of which 40 percent were between the ages 18 and 34.

The Thursday deals likely sapped some enthusiasm for Friday sales, as it was estimated that Black Friday sales were down 1.8 percent to $11.2 billion. “There was definitely more hype this year for Black Friday, and the shoppers came out in droves,” said James Rushing, a partner in the retail practice at consulting firm A.T. Kearney.

A positive sign for sellers in their confidence in the economy is that sales prices for 75 percent or more off were far rarer. “Retailers are feeling more confident about consumer sentiment,” said Kearney. “They were more focused on making a profit” rather than just making the sale, which “has potential to lead to a stronger fourth quarter.”

Despite the good returns, there’s still concern over the “fiscal cliff,” where tax hikes and spending cuts go into effect at the first of the year. “The economic concern is still out there as are the political concerns,” Shay said. “For that reason people are more prepared this holiday season to spend what they got and look for value, because of what might happen next year.”

“It was quite apparent this year the self-gifting process during Black Friday was on the rise,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group, estimating at least a quarter of shoppers treated themselves to a present over the weekend.

Source: LA

Wii U First Week Sales At 400,000 In U.S.

Nintendo has revealed that the Wii U has sold roughly 400,000 hardware units during its first week of availability. The original Wii saw 300,000 systems sold and the DS outsold the 3DS 275,000 to 250,000; the 3DS has seen 6 million units sold in its first 21 months on sale.

“Wii U is essentially sold out of retail and we are doing our best to continually replenish stock,” said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. “Retailers are also doing their best to get the product to store shelves. But as soon as product hits retail, they’re selling out immediately.”

Despite Fils-Aime’s assertions, the Wii U is still available at a smattering of retail locations around the U.S. and can still be readily purchased online.

Source: CNET

Ed Fries Sees Consoles Going The iOS, Ouya Route

Game consoles have always had red tape to deal with when it comes to games getting official certification. Ed Fries, consulting on the open-source Android powered Ouya and one of the creators of the original Xbox, says that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will have to streamline their licensing process.

“It’s getting harder and harder for the traditional consoles to ignore the Apple kind of experience,” said Fries. “Anybody can develop for the platform, certification is a relatively cheap and painless thing, and in the old days of consoles there are all sorts of myths and legends that say that’s a bad thing to do. That’s why the game business melted down in ’84, there was too much junk on the market, but now you’ve got guys who make games like Fez who can’t do an update to their game because it costs too much, if that game was on iOS that wouldn’t be a problem, but because it’s on XBLA it’s a problem.”

“Those kinds of ideas have to go away in the next generation,” he added. “They’ll go away in Ouya, they’ll go away if Apple brings some kind of product into this space, the console makers like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, they have to respond to that, it’s just the future. Likewise they have to respond to the free-to-play game model, the world is changing, people want this free-to-play experience, game developers want to build free-to-play experiences and the console ecosystem has to adapt to that. It can’t just be $50 product in a box all the time.”

Source: GameInformer

GameStop Receives Anarchy Reigns Pre-Order Bonus

Sega confirmed that GameStop will receive exclusive DLC for Anarchy Reigns in the U.S. Those that pre-order the game at GameStop will receive the game modes Mad Survival and Dogfight and an extra playable character in Bayonetta.

“In Mad Survival mode, a team of 3 players duke it out against waves of enemies, much as in the normal survival mode. However, these enemies now take the form of the other playable characters in Anarchy Reigns, leading to a far tougher series of battles that require serious tactical thinking to outsmart your foes. In traditional PlatinumGames style, Dogfight mode sees players hanging from helicopters -pelting each other with bullets until their opponents fall out of the sky. As well as being a surreal new spin on this multiplayer brawler, this aerial-based game mode is an entertaining change of pace from land-based combat, offering gamers a new way to explore the locations found in-game,” describes Sega. “The iconic star of her own self-titled adventure, Bayonetta is a formidable force on the battlefield. Players who unlock Bayonetta will be able to wield her four guns, collectively known as Scarborough Fair, and use her patented ‘Wicked Weave’ attacks to deal even more damage to any poor soul that falls in her sights.”

Anarchy Reigns will be available on January 8, 2013 on PS3 and Xbox 360 for $29.99.

Dust 514 — Developer Diary On The Vehicles

As an immortal mercenary in Dust 514, you will be able to buy and endlessly customize the war-machines of the far future, summoning them to the battlefield at a moment’s notice. Lead vehicle designer Ryan Thornton gives players an inside look at the assault vehicles, tanks, and dropships available to purchase and deploy on the planetary battlefields of New Eden.

DmC Dev Diary 3 – Becoming Dante

Probably the most controversial change with the Devil May Cry series reboot DmC is Dante, partially for his looks but also for his voice. Now you get a chance to meet the man behind both the voice and mo-cap work for the new Dante in Tim Phillips, veteran of Neighbors, Animal Kingdom, The Secret Circle and Once Upon a Time.

Far Cry 3 — Explore The Rook Islands

Far Cry 3 is a wide and beautiful environment, but it’s also a dynamic world in which you’ll be surprised in each situation. All creatures and enemies have their own behavior and all your choices will impact your environment. To survive the Rook Islands and their twisted inhabitants, you’ll have to adapt yourself and fight your way. In Far Cry 3, you should only expect the unexpected!

Ubisoft Tops Amazon Black Friday Sales

Amazon has revealed that Ubisoft was the best-selling publisher for their Black Friday weekend. The publisher had five titles in the top 20 between November 23 and 25.

Cowen & Company estimates that Just Dance 4 for the Wii and Assassin’s Creed III for the Xbox 360 were the two best-selling games, followed by Microsoft’s Halo 4. This comes despite an average discount of only 3 cents for the platform exclusive.

Just Dance has taken the top position among Amazon Black Friday video game sales for the past three years. The top discounted title was Borderlands 2, selling at an average of $31.66, while other heavily discounted games included Activision’s Skylanders Giants for the Wii at an average of $26.33 off and EA’s FIFA Soccer 13 and Madden NFL at about $25 off.

Estimated top selling video games on, November 23-25


  • Just Dance 4 (Wii)
  • Assassin’s Creed III (Xbox 360)
  • Halo 4 (Xbox 360)
  • Assassin’s Creed III (PS3)
  • Dishonored (Xbox 360)
  • Madden NFL 13 (Xbox 360)
  • FIFA Soccer 13 (PS3)
  • FIFA Soccer 13 (Xbox 360)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Just Dance 4 (Xbox 360)
  • Madden NFL 13 (PS3)
  • Borderlands 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (PS3)
  • Dishonored (PS3)
  • Gran Turismo 5 (PS3)
  • Dance Central 3 (Xbox 360)
  • Skylanders Giants (Wii)
  • God of War Saga (PS3)
  • Just Dance 3 (Wii)
  • Lego Lord of the Rings (Xbox 360)

IGN Partners With Retailer GAME

IGN has announced that it has signed a new agreement with GAME. The media company will work with the U.K. game specialist retailer for community initiatives, with special events and live-streamed gatherings of gamers with special guests at various retail locations.

“2012 has been a significant year for GAME and we are ambitious and excited about 2013, kick-starting the year with this partnership with IGN,” said GAME Retail CEO Martyn Gibbs. “Gamers absolutely love IGN and our customer research has reinforced what a great fit this is for our brand. The partnership offers us an exciting opportunity to maximize our engagement with gamers both in-store and online and ultimately help us to achieve our ambition of building the U.K.’s most valuable community of gamers”

“We’re delighted to be working with the U.K.’s largest specialist games retailer on this pioneering partnership, bringing the IGN and GAME communities together around their shared passion,” added IGN Entertainment’s Ian Chambers. “Our partnership will set the standard for how a media owner and retailer can collaborate to deliver impactful, community engagement.”

Mass Effect Future Crowd Sourced On Twitter

Mass Effect executive producer Casey Hudson has taken to Twitter to ask fans what future incarnations of the franchise will look like. “Parsing through your thoughts on the next #ME game,” he asked. “Would you be more interested in a game that takes place before the trilogy, or after ”

Responses have been many and varied to the query. Some don’t want to experience the Mass Effect universe after the end of the trilogy, taking into account the various happenings at that conclusion, and others want the series to move on instead of trying to fill narrative holes from the past.

A fourth main Mass Effect game has been confirmed to be in development at BioWare Montreal. It is unknown if Hudson is polling for the announced game or some unannounced project for BioWare Edmonton, where he is based and the majority of Mass Effect development had taken place in the past.