Nintendo records best Q1 sales since 2012 thanks to Amiibo and Splatoon

Nintendo has published its first quarter earnings for the three months ending June 30th, revealing net sales of ¥90 billion ($727 million) and operating profit of ¥1.1 billion ($9.3 million). This is good news for the Japanese company on two counts: firstly, this is Nintendo’s best first quarter sales since 2012, and secondly, its operating profit has beaten the expectations of Wall Street analysts, who were predicting losses of anywhere between $1 million and $50 million. These figures compare favorably to a year ago, when Nintendo suffered a ¥9.4 billion loss in operating income.

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Author: James Vincent

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Wii U Worldwide Sales Pass 10 Million Units

Sales of the Wii U have surpassed 10 million units, according to figures released by Nintendo.

The company’s latest earnings report states the Wii U sold 470,000 units between April and June 2015. Although this is just short of Nintendo’s projections–and is down from the same period in 2014, when it sold 500,000 units–the figure does push life-to-date sales of the Wii U to 10.1 million.

Currently, the Wii U is most popular in the Americas, where Nintendo reports it has managed to sell 4.8 million units to date. Japan, meanwhile, accounts for 2.4 million units. 2.6 million unit sales were attributed to other territories.

Looking ahead, Nintendo has forecasted sales of the Wii U for April to March 2016 will be around the 3.4 million unit mark.

The Wii U was launched in November 2012, followed by Sony’s PlayStation 4, a year later. In March 2015, Sony announced the PS4 had sold through more than 20.2 million units and labelled its latest console the “fastest and strongest” growing hardware in all of PlayStation history.

Microsoft has not released recent sales figures for the Xbox One.

Nintendo confirmed its next home console is codenamed the NX in March 2015, but little is known about the hardware. The company has said it does not plan to fully reveal the hardware until 2016.

At the time of its announcement, Nintendo said the NX represents a “brand-new concept,” but didn’t elaborate further.

A report has indicated that Nintendo could begin assembly of the NX in October, as the company has signed a contract with Foxcon Electronics and wants to begin pilot assembly on the hardware by October “at the latest.”

Nintendo has said it will continue to support the Wii U and 3DS after the NX is launched.

“NX is a new platform, so the installed base will have to be built up from zero,” it said. “When NX is launched, there already will be a certain volume of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U hardware widely existing in the market, so from a software business perspective, it would be highly inefficient to stop releasing titles for Nintendo 3DS or Wii U right after the launch of NX.”

The company has been adamant that the NX is not a simple replacement for the Wii U and 3DS.

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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Yelp reviewers tear apart American dentist who killed Cecil the lion

The man who paid $54,000 to kill a beloved lion in Zimbabwe was identified this week as Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota. Palmer, whose name was first reported by The Telegraph on Tuesday, traveled to Zimbabwe earlier this month, where he killed Cecil the lion with a bow and arrow after luring the animal out of a national park.

The 13-year-old lion had been part of an Oxford University study, and was one of the most popular animals at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Palmer and the people he paid to organize the hunt allegedly used bait to lure Cecil outside of the park before killing, beheading, and skinning the animal.

News of Cecil’s death elicited swift condemnation from conservation groups. “Actions, like these, are…

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Author: Amar Toor

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Xbox chief doesn’t see 'as much value' in TV cable box features

When Microsoft originally unveiled the Xbox One nearly two years ago, the software maker was focused heavily on entertainment. Reaction was swift and critical from fans, and the launch quickly turned into a disaster. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Xbox chief, took over the role around a year ago and he has re-centered the company’s focus on gaming. In an interview with The Verge, Spencer has shared some of his vision around the future of the entertainment features in the Xbox One.

While as much time is spent watching entertainment on an Xbox console as playing games, Microsoft appears to be looking at new ways to bring entertainment features to the Xbox. “We probably have taken a little different approach than we did at launch,” admits…

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Author: Tom Warren

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Nokia reveals Ozo, a futuristic new camera for filming virtual reality

Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset business in 2013, two big questions hovered above all. The first was “why,” and we never got a convincing answer: Microsoft wrote off $7.6 billion in Nokia costs this month, higher than the purchase price. The second question was what would become of the rest of Nokia, which had just exited the business it had once dominated. The company said it planned to focus on maps, network infrastructure, and “advanced technologies” — but what those technologies would be went unsaid.

Today Nokia is beginning to lay out its vision. At an event for the entertainment industry in Los Angeles tonight, Nokia is announcing Ozo, a next-generation camera for capturing audio and video in 360 degrees. Nokia intends for the…

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Author: Casey Newton

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Xbox One Gets World of Tanks Today

Wargaming has announced the global release of World of Tanks for Xbox One. The game features cross-play between its Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions. In addition to sporting enhanced graphics, World of Tanks on Xbox One will introduce a Player versus Environment mode called Proving Grounds.

Players using a single Xbox Live account sign-in between the two platforms can carry over all technology tree progress, in-game research, and achievements. Voice chat is also enabled between both Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions of the game. An active Xbox Live Gold membership is required to play the game, although it is free to download. Fans who pre-loaded the Xbox One version prior to launch are able to unlock a special T1E6-X1 premium tank.

World of Tanks was first launched in 2011 for the PC. An Xbox 360 version was released in February last year. The game was positively received in GameSpot’s review, scoring an eight out of ten for its rewarding strategy-centric battles and praised for its balance of authenticity and accessibility, but criticized for the grind required to progress.

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Author: Zorine Te

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Victory's $19,999 Empulse TT electric motorcycle can go 140 miles on a charge

If the Empulse TT looks familiar, there’s a good reason: it’s a refreshed and rebadged version of the Brammo Empulse. Victory bought Brammo’s motorcycle business earlier this year, taking its electric vehicle tech over to the famed (and notoriously deadly) Isle of Man TT for a proper shakedown — now, it’s heading back to the retail market.

The bike is virtually indistinguishable from the Brammo model it replaces, but that might be okay: it’ll go over 100 miles per hour, climb from zero to 100 percent charge in three and a half hours, and run up to 140 miles between those charges. Most of those stats are the same, but the range has jumped a few miles from the 2014 model. (Real-world range will inevitably be lower.) Power also remains the…

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Author: Chris Ziegler

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Don't Expect Fallout 4 Mod Tools on Launch Day

If you’re looking forward to modding Fallout 4, you’ll have to be patient: Bethesda has revealed that mod tools for the game are still a long ways from being released.

Speaking to IGN, Marketing VP Pete Hines said that developer Bethesda is focusing only on completing the game itself, and it will transition to working on mod support after the game is finished. “Our entire focus is on finishing the game,” he explained. “Nobody cares about mods if the game sucks. This has always been our philosophy. We shift energy to construction tools, the creation kit, and all of that stuff once the game is done, and we start to figure out what all of that is going to look like.”

This, of course, means that the game’s much-touted support for mods on consoles is even further away. Hines said that the support requires work that’s brand-new and hasn’t been done yet. He stated, “The idea is that [the tools] will work on all platforms, but the truth is the system doesn’t exist. It’s still being built and worked on and it’s going to take awhile. It’s going to take clearly into next year because we can’t even start it…”

Recently, Hines spoke with GameSpot and revealed some more information about Fallout 4. He said that the game was already almost completed by the time it was announced last month, and that Bethesda does not have the capacity to make any more Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Editions. He also shared that pre-production on Fallout 4 began as soon as Fallout 3 launched in 2008, and he revealed that Fallout 4’s building customization has a wealth of options available to players.

Fallout 4 will be released on November 10 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Keep an eye on GameSpot for more news about the game in the coming months.

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Author: Alex Newhouse

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