In Case You Missed It November 2013

We’ve tackled a number of compelling topics in the last few weeks at the [a]list daily, and we’ve collected some of the best features here so you can catch up on the important trends this month. It’s the season for sharing, so spread this around to your friends. If you like this content, be sure to subscribe to our [a]list daily newsletter (head to the Subscribe area on the right side of the homepage). Happy Thanksgiving!

The PlayStation 4 Launch

The PlayStation 4 launched in North America on November 15, and the [a]list daily covered the events at the GameStop store in San Francisco.

Check out what Sony and GameStop had going on with pictures from the scene.

Then find out what GameStop VP Josh Cochran had to say about the company’s launch plans for the PlayStation 4. 

The Xbox One Launch

On November 22 Microsoft launched the Xbox One in a number of countries, and once again the [a]list daily covered the events.

We rounded up on-the-scene reports from California to Berlin, from Toronto to London with pictures from the Xbox One launch events.

The [a]list daily was also on hand for Microsoft’s big event in Los Angeles, covering the festivities launching the Xbox One.

We also talked with Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb, better known by his handle Major Nelson, about the Xbox One and what sets it apart from the previous generation. 

The State of the Game Industry

The [a]list daily checked in on the latest retail sales numbers and what they mean, as well as looking at some of the key things Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft face ahead of them.

Retail sales for video game hardware, software, and accessories were up in October, and we take a close look at the ups and downs in the numbers and what they mean.

We think of Nintendo as major force in the industry, but the numbers show it’s nowhere near what it used to be — so we need to change how we think of Nintendo.

The marketing challenge is just beginning for next-gen consoles and next-gen games, and here’s a radical idea for backwards compatibility.

The Latest in Mobile

While many were focused on new console launches, the mobile game business continues to grow and change rapidly. We looked at some of the numbers and the challenges facing mobile games.

The mobile game business has winners and plenty of losers, and this has some wondering if it is a good market to be in — here’s an in-depth analysis of the situation.

Ads in mobile games are commonplace, but they are not working very well — but industry experts have ways to make them better.

The October data on mobile games shows the biggest and the best titles for iOS and Android, with some surprises.

Game Marketing Insights

There are many interesting games coming up, and creative new ways to market them on console, mobile, and social. We talked with some key players on the marketing front.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt promises to be the first next-gen RPG for both next-gen consoles and PC, and we talk to the marketers behind it.

Entertainment for kids is becoming more popular than ever on mobile, and we talk to game publisher Fingerprint’s CEO about their unusual ways to expand that market.

Xbox One 2014 Highlights

As is true in every launch, there’s always a limited supply of games and Xbox One owners are no doubt waiting for new titles to slake their appetite. The good news is that there are plenty of games coming right around the corner, and similar to what Sony did right after the launch of PS4, they’ve released a video highlighting the hottest upcoming games.

‘Persona 5’ Breaks Out

The Persona series is among the most popular in Atlus’ line up, so the several year wait since the last numbered title in the series has been excruciating for fans. Finally, after weeks of rumors, the game has been officially unveiled in a very minimalist trailer that nonetheless still has fans salivating.

Kevin Garnett Tunes Out the Haters With Beats

There can be a lot of hate for professional athletes when they are at away games, and headphones help silence that negativity. The message in this ad is clear: wear Beats by Dre Studio Wireless and you will be able to focus on what really matters.

Tablet Shipments To Equal PCs In 2014

Though PC gaming is still quite popular these days, there’s no question that tablet sales have left a huge mark, and, according to a report from Canalys, it’s only going to get better. Canalys defines tablets as just another type of personal computing device, considering the market to include desktop PCs, notebooks, and tablets.

The report indicates that out of all the PC units that will be shipped in 2014, half of them will be tablet-oriented, including Galaxy Tabs and iPads. In fact, out of that half, Android based ones will take a sizable lead with 65 percent, while Apple will follow a bit behind at 30 percent. That’s still a profitable margin, however.

Tim Coulling, a senior analyst with Canalys, explained Apple’s stance, despite the lower market share. “Apple is one of the few companies making money from the tablet boom,” said Coulling. “Premium products attract high value consumers; for Apple, remaining highly profitable and driving revenue from its entire ecosystem is of greater importance than market share statistics.”

As for Microsoft, it will dwell in last place with a rough five percent — not exactly what it was hoping for with its user-friendly Surface 2 line.

Source: Techcrunch


This Week’s [a]list Jobs – November 27

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. -Thomas Edison

Here are this week’s [a]list jobs:

  • Konami – Marketing Manager (San Mateo, CA)
  • Roku – OEM Marketing Manager (Saratoga, CA)
  • Storm8 – Product Manager – New Games (Redwood City, CA)
  • Ayzenberg Group – Business Development for Broadcast (Pasadena, CA)

[a]list daily is your source for the hottest job openings for senior management and marketing in games, entertainment and social media.

To see last week’s jobs, click here.

Steam Machine Prototype Shown

Though the program is currently in the testing phases, Valve’s Steam Machines continue to roll on towards a 2014 release. While we don’t have an idea on pricing and modeling yet, iBuyPower did unveil its own model of the device, which looks sleek and comes at about the same price of an Xbox One.

The machine features a multicore AMD CPU and an AMD Radeon R9 270 graphics card – that’s an estimated $180 in GPU value – as well as Valve’s own Steam controller, complete with touch sensors in the place of traditional analog sticks.

The build is roughly between the sizes of the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, not too big but bulky enough to make proper room on a shelf. It also comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, along with a built-in 500 GB hard drive. And who could deny that funky red glow… It runs SteamOS rather than Windows, but Valve is promising plenty of games for SteamOS.

The Steam Machine is set to retail for $499. No word yet on an exact release date, but we should have more details early next year.

Source: The Verge

Xbox One’s Production Cost Revealed

Following its dissection of the PlayStation 4 over a week ago – where it learned that the unit costs $391 to put together – IHS has run through the same process with the Xbox One, finding out how much it costs to assemble and make it tick.

With its report to All Things D, IHS has reported that the cost for the components in Microsoft’s system come out to $471 – approximately $80 more than the PS4, but still enough for the company to make a small profit on every system sold. That’s without considering the discount to retailers, shipping and handling costs, and marketing costs, of course. As usual for consoles, profits will come from software, not hardware.

$75 of that cost comes from the Kinect add-on device that comes included in the box, but the most expensive part, according to IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler, is the microprocessor provided by Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD. It runs about $110.

The rest of the parts vary, with the controller coming in at $15, the memory chips from SK Hynix going for $60, and the external power supply, complete with “power brick,” estimating at $25. It costs about $14 to put together overall.

The Xbox One is available now, albeit in limited numbers, at retailers.

Source: All Things D

Next-Gen Records For ‘Call Of Duty’

Activision’s Call of Duty: Ghosts hasn’t even been out a month yet, and it’s already making big waves in the next-generation of video games.

The company has reported that Ghosts stands as the number one Xbox One multiplayer game worldwide, as well as the top-selling Xbox One title for many North American retailers. In addition, it’s also the most played PlayStation 4 game, as well as the top-selling PS4 game among similar retailers.

Sony Computer Entertainment America confirmed the PS4 numbers, while Best Buy, GameStop, Target and Wal-Mart have all reported strong sales for the sequel.

“Around the globe, Call of Duty: Ghosts is leading the next generation. It’s the #1 selling title at key retailers and it’s also the most played game on Xbox One and PS4 globally,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “As we’ve said before, we’ve got the best community of fans in the world, and we’re thrilled they’re coming with us to the next generation.”

Call of Duty: Ghosts is available now for various consoles, including the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.

Source: Activision