Entries tagged with “Nintendo”.

More than 50 million units of the Nintendo Wii video game console have been sold since the system launched in 2006.

TOKYO - JUNE 26:  (L to R) Kazuo Hirai, Presid...
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Sony warned it would post a record $2.9 billion annual operating loss due to sliding demand and a stronger yen, and unveiled fresh restructuring steps to revive its ailing electronics operations. The operating loss will be Sony’s first in 14 years, underscoring deepening troubles for a company that has fallen behind Apple’s iPod in portable music and Nintendo in videogames, and is losing money on flat TVs.

“Sony needs further restructuring, not just cost-cutting but a revamping of its business operations,” said Naoki Fujiwara, a fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management.

Sony said it now expects an operating loss of 260 billion yen for the year to March, down from an earlier projection for a 200 billion yen profit and far worse than earlier media estimates of a loss of 100 billion yen.

The maker of Bravia LCD TVs and PlayStation game consoles said it would respond by accelerating restructuring, more than doubling a cost-cutting target for the year to March 2010 to 250 billion yen.

Sony said it would end TV production and design operations at one plant in Japan and consolidate those operations into another factory in the country. It plans to cut headcount by 30 percent in operations related to TV design worldwide.

Other measures include consolidation of resources for batteries and small and medium-sized liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, and pay cuts for directors and managers.

It expects restructuring charges to total 170 billion through the year to March 2010.

Last month Sony outlined a restructuring plan that included curbing investment, closing five to six plants and cutting a total of 16,000 regular and contract jobs globally to save 100 billion yen a year in costs.

But Sony’s management, led by chief executive Howard Stringer, faced criticism from analysts and investors who said more drastic measures were needed to streamline a sprawling empire that includes semiconductors, movies and insurance.

“Sony has to consider ways to lower fixed costs not only for its TV business but for the whole company. It will have to start cutting development costs in addition to production costs,” said Nomura Securities senior analyst Eiichi Katayama.

Sony attributed 340 billion of the 460 billion swing in its operating forecast to its core electronics division, as the slowing global economy depresses demand for its digital cameras, video recorders and flat TVs.

But it has also been hurt by the slide in the Japanese stock market, which sliced into the value of securities held by its financial unit. Slower sales in its game and movie divisions have also hit its results.

Illustrating the problems Sony faces, Japanese exports plunged 35 percent in December from a year earlier, with electronics sales to China and other parts of Asia among the worst affected as Western orders to Asian assembly plants dry up. The yen rallied nearly 20 percent against the dollar last year and hit a 13-year high of 87.10 on Wednesday.

Sony is not the only electronics maker suffering.

Rival Samsung Electronics this month reorganized itself into two major groups in response to the global downturn, while Panasonic has also cut its outlook and stepped up restructuring measures. Sony’s shares closed down 2.6 percent at 1,938 yen ahead of the revision, underperforming a 1.9 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei average.

Story Copyright © 2009 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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The Nintendo DS, with its quirky control set-up and small screens, is perfect for puzzle games, a genre into which Exit fits very neatly. In it you control professional escape artist Mr Esc and any people or dogs he manages to rescue from burning or crumbling buildings, a sinking cruise ship, a tidal wave inundation and various other scenes of lighthearted peril. Using the stylus to guide Mr Esc and his charges around the screen as you try to get everyone to safety, the secret to solving its progressively more complicated puzzles is discovering the right sequence in which to open doors, extinguish fires and slide down ropes. Hindered by agonising moments when the sheer flakiness of the control scheme causes unintended casualties – all too regularly forcing restarts right at the end of a level – as well as the infuriatingly pitched cries for help of your rescuees, Exit is as compelling as it was when originally released on PSP and Xbox Live.

Square Enix, £35

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Camping Out for Playstation 3 or Nintendo Wii
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AFP – SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – US videogame sales were a bright spot on November’s bleak economic landscape, climbing to nearly three billion dollars, according to market research firm NPD Thursday.

Videogame sales so far in 2008 topped 16 billion dollars at the end of November and are on pace to crest 22 billion dollars for all of 2008, according to the industry tracking group.

Sales in November were 10 percent higher than the same month last year, before a financial storm slammed the economy.

“The video games industry continues to set a blistering sales pace,” NPD analyst Anita Frazier said, citing research that showed videogames were “the category consumers are least likely to cut back on this holiday.”

Videogame sales are up 31 percent for the year, driven by demand for titles such as “Gears of War 2″ and “Call of Duty: World at War,” according to NPD.

Videogames crafted for Nintendo’s coveted Wii consoles made up half the top 10 best selling titles.

Wii sales in November were more than double those of Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles and more than five times those of Sony’s PlayStation 3 systems.

Still, each of the rival videogame console makers “had something to brag about” in the robust sales figures, Frazier said.

Videogame sales are being bolstered by an industry trend of expanding the audience beyond “hardcore gamers” by designing offerings for families, girls, seniors, and others aside from young-male fans of shooter titles.

“Economic factors are also at play given that a video game is a relatively inexpensive form of entertainment for the hours of value it provides,” said Frazier.

A freshly released “Fallout 3″ videogame from Bethesda Softworks lets people immerse themselves in the roles of heroes or outlaws in a vivid post-apocalyptic Washington for scores of hours.

At a price of 60 dollars for a copy of the videogame, the cost breaks down to less than a dollar an hour for entertainment as compared with five or so dollars an hour to go to a film.

“It’s clear there can be more multiple victors this generation (of consoles),” Frazier said.

“While price is certainly a strong factor, particularly as the current economic situation continues to prevail, the most important factor that will drive success in 2009 will be the line-up of compelling games that will keep consumers involved in the industry.”

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