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The Biggest Stories Of The Week (November 2, 2013)

 

Every three months or so, all of the publishers release their financial results for the quarter. Sometimes it's good news, sometimes less so. This quarter was a mix.

Take Two unsurprisingly had a strong quarter, even with only a couple of weeks of Grand Theft Auto V sales. We learned that 29 million copies have been sold at this point. We also learned that the publisher has ten next-generation games currently in development, including Turtle Rock's Evolve, which it picked up from the THQ bankruptcy auction.

EA also had a strong quarter, as CEO Andrew Wilson presented for the first time in his new role. If you play EA Sports titles, expect Ultimate Teams to stick around. That revenue stream saw enormous growth year over year. More importantly, EA confirmed that Titanfall will be exclusive to Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC "for the life of the title." This is only for the first game (right now), as Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella took to Twitter to clarify

We learned that Nintendo only shipped 300,000 Wii U consoles in the second quarter, but still hopes to increase its overall sales from 3.91 million units to 9 million units (a difference of over 5 million) by March 31, 2014. I find this number to be extremely aggressive and absolutely unattainable. Even an immense holiday season doesn't get Nintendo to 9 million Wii U units shipped over the console's lifetime.

Capcom had a strong second quarter, largely on the back of Monster Hunter 4 on 3DS in Japan. 2.8 million copies have been sold, with another half-million targeted for the second half of the fiscal year. Sales of Lost Planet 3 were lower than expectations (300,000), and the publisher is targeting 1.2 million copies of Dead Rising 3 to move by March 31, 2014. I think this is likely a bit aggressive, but I expect that title to be a standout among the Xbox One launch lineup.

As for Ubisoft, who has already had its earnings call for the quarter, things aren't getting any better. After the delay of Watch Dogs and Driveclub pounded the company's finances, another blow was dealt this week. South Park: The Stick of Truth has been delayed from December until March 4, 2014, just one week before the release of Titanfall. More importantly, this is only three weeks before the end of the fiscal year. Ubisoft citeed significant quality issues in a blunt statement posted on the company's blog.

This week also brought a flood of next-generation news. Activision confirmed that Call of Duty: Ghosts will run at native 1080p on PlayStation 4, but will be upscaled from 720p on Xbox One. Additionally, Sony released an enormous FAQ that details 22 launch titles along with some information about key features. We did learn that the PS4 will not support external system storage, nor will it serve as a media server. For more on the highlights of the FAQ, check out our coverage.

We're getting close to the launch of both systems, and if one thing is becoming clear, it's that both will likely evolve quite a bit in the first year. This is an exciting time, but just remember that the systems we bring home next month will grow and mature over the life cycle.

 

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