July game sales worst since Oct 2006

There’s often a summer lull in the video game space, but this is taking things a little too far. Video game retail sales were down 26 percent in July, hitting their lowest levels in almost five years.

It was, frankly, a bloodbath for the industry. Physical game sales came in more than twice as bad as predicted, dropping 17 percent to $336 million and hardware sales plunged 29 percent. It was also a month where some seemingly bulletproof franchises were shot down.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

PlayStation Vita won’t hit U.S, Europe in time for holidays

Scratch the PlayStation Vita off your note to Santa.

Sony confirmed Thursday that its new handheld system won’t launch in the U.S. or Europe until 2012. While not officially a delay, the announcement still surprised a lot of people, who expected the company to push hard for a widespread launch before the holiday season, since that’s such a crucial sales period for the industry.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Analysis: The Upside To Releasing Vita In 2012

[Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks at Sony’s recent decision not to release its Vita portable in the U.S. and Europe this year, seeing potential benefits to the company’s cautious approach.]

Given the early adopter mentality of the core gaming world, the disappointment over news that Sony’s PlayStation Vita wouldn’t hit U.S. or European stores until 2012 was hardly a surprise. As a group, we generally like to be the first to get our grubby mitts on the latest and greatest tech toys.

I won’t pretend to know the reasons for Sony’s decision to wait until next year – but whether the “delay” (which, of course, it wasn’t – since the company hadn’t actually confirmed a release date prior to Thursday) was intentional or due to circumstance, it’s hardly the disaster Wall Street is making it out to be. (The company’s stock was down 5 percent in midday trading.)

Read more at Gamasutra

Nintendo CEO takes 50% pay cut after 3DS debacle

Sick of watching CEOs cashing out while their company — and employees — suffer? So is Nintendo. After slashing the price of the Nintendo 3DS, the company is cutting executive salaries just as ferociously.

Global president and CEO Satoru Iwata announced Friday at a meeting with shareholders that he would be taking a 50 percent cut to his fixed salary as a show of responsibility for the dismal quarterly earnings and failure of the 3DS to catch on. In addition, members of the board of directors are taking a 30 percent pay cut, while other executives will see their paychecks cut by 20 percent.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Nintendo cuts CEO salary in half

After the company’s stock hit a six-year low yesterday, Nintendo executives are feeling the heat.

Satoru Iwata, global president and CEO of the game giant, effectively fell on his sword for the 3DS’s lagging performance, today announcing he felt a “very great responsibility” for the situation and would be taking a 50 percent salary cut.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Nintendo slashes 3DS price to $170

Faced with horrendous earnings and ongoing weak demand, Nintendo has dramatically lowered the price of its 3DS handheld system just four months after the system hit store shelves.

Starting Aug. 12, the company will drop the price of the 3DS from $250 to $170 — a move it hopes will spark flagging consumer interest and lay the groundwork for a strong holiday season.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

Opinion: Nintendo Slashes 3DS Price, But Did It Do Enough?

Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris questions whether today’s major Nintendo 3DS price drop is enough to “resuscitate” long-term hardware sales in a world of smartphones and Angry Birds.

Welcome to the post-iPhone world, Nintendo. We were wondering when you’d take those blinders off.

Thursday’s announcement that the game giant would be slicing the price of the 3DS by nearly one-third after just four months was significant on a number of levels. But as the mobile gaming world continues to evolve at a breathtaking pace, it may not be enough to secure the system’s long-term future.

Read more at Gamasutra

Nintendo slashes 3DS price

Just four months after the high profile launch of its 3DS handheld gaming system, Nintendo is acknowledging that it has a problem on its hands.

The video game giant announced plans Thursday to slash the price for the 3DS by one-third — from $250 to $170 — effective August 12. The move came as the company reported fiscal first quarter revenue that was more than 50 percent below the previous year and a $328 million dollar quarterly loss. It also cut its projected earnings by 82 percent.

Read more at Daily Variety

Nintendo rolls out 3D video service

The 3DS is slowly fulfilling its destiny as a 3D multimedia device.

Nintendo has rolled out its 3D video service, giving owners of the handheld gaming system another option beyond games. The service will feature clips and videos selected by the game publisher – generally music, comedy, animation and trailers for Hollywood films.

Read more at Variety’s Technotainment blog

Why gaming may be the key to 3D

It’s too early to call 3D TV a disappointment, but given the hype surrounding it and the accompanying marketing push, it certainly hasn’t lived up to expectations.

The price of the sets is partially to blame (and those wonky, dorktacular glasses aren’t doing the industry a lot of favors, either.) But what it really comes down to is a lack of content — and that’s where television manufacturers are counting on video games to come to the rescue.

Read more at Yahoo! Games