Eight news stories 10.1


Welcome back to the regular news spot for a new year. Things have understandably been quiet over the last couple of weeks, but now some important stories are emerging.

  • Wii Fit sells a million units in it’s first month in Japan. And it was almost certainly supply constrained. Yes, Nintendo have done it again. This could be the biggest grossing “game” of 2008. I can’t see what will beat it. It will also be a massive system seller worldwide.
  • Xbox Live has ten million users. And membership numbers are running six months ahead of Microsoft predictions. This is the real long term battle, the online platform. It is where Microsoft can show their superiority because they are a software company, not a consumer electronics company or a toy company like their competitors. Upgrades to Live this year should improve the social networking aspects.
  • Leaked Microsoft memo demonstrates their lead in the US. Using NPD data for the year to the end of November Xbox turnover for hardware, games and accessories was over $3.5 billion. This is $2 billion more than for Playstation 3 and $1 billion more than for Wii.
  • BT ties-in Microsoft for internet TV push. This UK deal is important as it shows how Microsoft are entering into strategic alliances that make the Xbox 360 into a powerful entertainment hub.
  • BlueBay could soon own majority of Infogrames. If/when they convert bonds into equity. They are buying it cheap and, as an investment company, they will have an exity strategy. So expect more industry consolidation. This should be a very good move by BlueBay as Infogrames have kicked out the worst of their senior management and own a vast mountain of good IP.
  • Warners back Blu-Ray. It looks like Sony may well be about to achieve their first new industry standard since the three and a half inch floppy disk, despite multiple attempts. It will be a very hollow victory though as flash memory and online largely replace rotating memory in consumer devices.
  • Take-Two has announced the acquisition of Mafia developer Illusion Softworks. Yet more industry consolidation. But how long will it be before Take Two are themselves acquired? They do look like a very juicy M&A target.
  • State Senator seeks videogame tax. More crass stupidity from the uninformed and ignorant. Hilary Clinton is anti games too. And so are the current British Labour government. And the boss of McDonalds. The sooner these Luddites retire and the gaming generation come to power the sooner we will see some sensible views from those at the top.



  1. I dont know the extact details of this BT IPTV subject, but I dont see any point to it from a consumers perspective. Why would people want to spend time downloading movies and TV shows to their console? What will this service offer that Sky/Sky+ already offer?

    Again, I dont know what this deal will offer XBox 360 users, but I heard simply TV shows and movies?

    Steve Eaterbrook of McDonalds is quite simply a **** in my humble opinion.

    Microsoft have already stated they would support Blue-Ray with an XBox 360 add-on. Although I agree online content delivery etc will surpass physical CD’s/DVD’s etc I dont think UK internet service providers are up to the job, certainly when compared to the rest of Europe.

  2. I don’t know the exact details, but I believe Take-Two are not as lucrative a target as they may first seem primarily due to the fact that the contract with Rockstar is due to expire in Feb 2009. Obviously Take2 do not appear quite as attractive an acquisition without Rockstar.

  3. Exciting stuff with the Wii Fit. To be precise it is million units for 6 weeks. Yet another Nintendo title that does well. However, We are yet to see a third party have a bit hit on the Wii.

    The Wii is doing great but we have to be realistic. I’ve taken some numbers and done some flakey number crunching with interesting results here:

    It’s all part of the Fun 😉

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