Posts by Reuters
By Malathi Nayak, Reuters
(Reuters) - More U.S. shoppers prefer Sony Corp's upcoming PlayStation 4 than Microsoft Corp's Xbox One, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, as the industry's two leading videogame console makers prepare to do battle this holiday season.
Asked about their interest in dedicated game devices, 26 percent of 1,297 people surveyed online last week say they are likely to purchase the new PlayStation 4 when available, versus 15 percent opting for the Xbox One.
The rift widens among those below the age of 40. Of that group of 408 people, 41 percent picked Sony's PS4 versus 27 percent for Microsoft's Xbox One, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted from Sept 23 to Sept 27.
Though based on a limited sample, the results potentially point to a lopsided battle during the crucial holiday season, with Microsoft and Sony hoping to get their newest consoles into U.S. households. Apart from games, they act as conduits for living-room entertainment, from TV shows to music.
REVERSING THE TIDE
(Editing by Edwin Chan and Leslie Gevirtz)
By Malathi Nayak, Reuters
(Reuters) - Electronic Arts said it had reached a settlement with former college football athletes who have accused the company of using their images without permission and would not be making a new game for the popular "NCAA Football" series in 2014.
The athletes sued the video game publisher and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which has strict rules prohibiting them from sharing in the millions of dollars that schools receive from television and licensing deals. The case against the NCAA is still pending.
Electronic Arts' move follows a decision by the NCAA in mid-July to not renew a contract to license its name and logo for EA's college football game.
Its most recent installment in the series, "NCAA Football 14", which was launched in July, is one of the company's major sports games releases this year alongside "Madden" football and "FIFA" soccer video games.
Terms of the settlement were not made public. It now awaits the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
By Sarah N. Lynch, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The creator of a video game based on the popular Christian "Left Behind" novel series and his friend have been charged with scheming to inflate the company's revenue by nearly 1,300 percent, U.S. regulators announced Wednesday.
Left Behind Games Inc Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer Troy Lyndon issued nearly 2 billion shares to his friend Ronald Zaucha, purportedly as compensation for consulting services, the Securities and Exchange Commission's complaint alleges.
The real reason for issuing the stock was so Zaucha could sell millions of unregistered shares in the marketplace and then kick back the proceeds and use other "sham purchases" to help bolster the struggling company's books, the SEC said.
The SEC's lawsuit was filed late on Tuesday in a federal court in Hawaii, where Lyndon and Zaucha both reside. The SEC suspended the company's stock Wednesday.
The complaint charges both men with fraud, and the SEC said its probe is continuing.
Last year, in March 2012, Lyndon filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the SEC said.
By Tim Kelly, Reuters
Microsoft and rivals Sony Corp and Nintendo Co Ltd have broadened the scope of gamesconsoles by giving users the ability to play games whilst watching television, listening to music or communicating via video phone.
Microsoft's Xbox One console, unveiled in May, will be released in tandem with a Spielberg-produced television series based on the Halo game series.
Gamers in Japan will have to wait longer for both the Xbox One and Playstation 4.
By Sophie Knight, Reuters
TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp announced the Japanese release of its PlayStation 4 on Monday as the electronics maker braces for a console war with Microsoft Corp that could make or break the Japanese firm's struggle to return to profit.
Sony said it will launch the PS4 on February 22 in Japan, three months later than its November 15 release in the United States. The basic version of the PS4 will retail for 39,980 yen ($400), in line with its North American $399 price tag. That compares with $499 for Microsoft's Xbox One, which will be rolled out on November 22.
With the PS4, Sony is hoping its gaming division - one of its key businesses along with its mobile and imaging segments - will power a return to profit after the company rejected a proposal from activist shareholder Daniel Loeb to spin off its lucrative entertainment business.
To hit its numbers, Sony must ensure that the PS4 triumphs in the battle against Microsoft's XBox One, as well fighting off competition from Nintendo Co Ltd's Wii U.
($1 = 98.9250 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Matt Driskill)
By Malathi Nayak, Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's recently launched video game "Infinity" is selling strongly and major retailers report they are replenishing stock to meet demand, an encouraging start for the media giant's plans to turn around its loss-making game division.
GameStop, Toys"R"Us and Wal-Mart Stores said they are restocking to stay ahead of demand for the game, which was released on August 18.
"The momentum continues to be very strong," said Matt Hodges, a GameStop spokesman. "A couple of toy characters like Violet (the young female superhero from "The Incredibles") are hard to get."
Disney and the retailers did not share specific sales figures. Research firm NPD, that tracks video game industry sales, is expected to release its monthly report next week.
A sales representative at a GameStop store in San Francisco said that Infinity products were sold out at the store on launch day and were well-received in the weeks that followed.
Toys"R"Us expects the game's momentum to continue through the holiday season, Barry said.
By Karen Brooks, Reuters
(Reuters) - An 8-year-old Louisiana boy who shot and killed his elderly grandmother after playing a violent video game told authorities "he thought it was a toy gun," East Feliciana Parish District Attorney Samuel D'Aquilla said on Tuesday.
The boy, whose name was not disclosed, is not charged with a crime and has been released to his parents. Louisiana law prevents children under 10 from facing criminal charges, on the assumption that they are not mature enough to have criminal intent, D'Aquilla said.
The boy did not appear to have murder in mind when he pointed the handgun at the back of 87-year-old Marie Smothers' head and pulled the trigger last week, D'Aquilla said.
"He doesn't know that if you point a gun at somebody, it kills them and they're gone forever," D'Aquilla said. "It's not because he is a cold-blooded killer and he did this to kill his grandmother."
D'Aquilla said the boy was "really shaken up" by what happened.
The shooting happened Thursday evening about 100 miles northwest of New Orleans in Slaughter, Louisiana, authorities said.
By Bill Rigby and Sinead Carew, Reuters
SEATTLE/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer unexpectedly announced his retirement on Friday, ending a controversial 13-year reign at the head of the world's largest software company and sending the company's shares up nearly 6 percent.
Ballmer, 57, took over from co-founder Bill Gates in January 2000, but his leadership was questioned throughout his tenure by Wall Street and Silicon Valley, as Microsoft's stock price floundered and the company that drove the personal computer revolution was overtaken by Apple Inc and Google Inc in the shift toward mobile computing.
Ballmer's planned exit comes shortly after activist investing fund ValueAct Capital Management LP took a small stake in the company, and started agitating for a change in strategy and a clear CEO succession plan.
There are no obvious candidates to succeed Ballmer at the company that has only had two CEOs in its 38-year history. Many promising executives have left or were pushed out by Ballmer.
Ballmer is to retire within the next 12 months, once a special committee has selected a new CEO.
By Christiaan Hetzner and Harro Ten Wolde, Reuters
COLOGNE, Germany (Reuters) - The spoiler popped up automatically when the speedometer of the new Audi RS7 Sportback moved past 130 kilometers an hour on Charles Bridge in central Prague, creating just enough downforce to ensure the tires gripped the road around the next turn.
Racing through the city's scenic old quarter in the "Forza Motorsport 5" videogame is unnervingly realistic - not least thanks to the force-feedback steering wheel that makes the speeding driver struggle to keep control.
The upcoming Microsoft Xbox One game is also just one example of an increasingly symbiotic relationship between software developers and the auto industry. Together they get games fans behind the wheel and carmakers in pole position to woo today's younger consumers as tomorrow's car buyers.
Even if many of the players may not be able to afford to buy a car now, Volkswagen's Audi sponsors the game since it can start winning brand loyalty for the future. It is also well aware that driving games are not just enjoyed by the young.
By Bernard Vaughan, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday ruled that inventor Seijiro Tomita can take half the $30.2 million in damages awarded him after a jury found Nintendo Co infringed one of his patents, or risk getting nothing.
The federal jury in New York awarded Tomita the damages in March after deciding the video game company infringed a 3-D display technology patent with its handheld 3DS videogame system.
Tomita's patent related to technology he developed for providing 3-D images without the need for 3-D glasses. He sued Nintendo and its U.S. unit in 2011 for patent infringement.
In a ruling on Wednesday, federal judge Jed Rakoff deemed the award "'intrinsically excessive' and unsupported by the evidence presented at trial."
By August 23, Tomita, 59, must decide whether to accept $15.1 million in damages or proceed to a new damages trial, the U.S. district judge ruled.
Rakoff noted that evidence at the trial showed Nintendo's 3DS console is not profitable, and the vast majority of games designed for it do not use technology covered by Tomita's patent.