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Oct 31, 2012

Thousands throng San Francisco to mark World Series win

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 31 (Reuters) – Thousands of fans resplendent in orange and black choked downtown San Francisco’s largest thoroughfare on Wednesday, noisily celebrating the Giants’ second World Series baseball title in three years.

Giants faithful journeyed from all over the Bay Area from dawn to stake out a clear view of a celebratory parade that kicked off with a military band and featured floats, cheerleaders, double-decker buses and replicas of the city’s iconic cable cars along a three-mile route from the eastern ferry terminus to the Civic Center in the heart of downtown.

Oct 31, 2012

Electronic Arts Q3 forecast disappoints as “Medal” seen lagging

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc forecast third-quarter earnings below Wall Street targets on Tuesday after its just-released “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” title failed to wow gamers ahead of a crowded holiday season.

Poor reviews for the latest installment in the first-person shooter franchise released last week and the postponement of its “NBA Live 13″ will hurt current-quarter sales, analysts say. A clutch of new sports games, such as the popular “FIFA 13,” did not seem able to take up the slack, they say.

Oct 29, 2012

Microsoft CEO says Windows 8 demand outpaces Windows 7

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Monday demand for the company’s new Windows 8 operating system, released to the public on Friday, was running at a higher rate than its last release, Windows 7.

“We’re seeing preliminary demand well above where we were with Windows 7, which is gratifying,” Ballmer said at an event launching new Windows phones.

Oct 19, 2012

Activision hopes new Skylanders game is a holiday hit

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Activision Blizzard
is betting big on children’s fantasy adventure game
“Skylanders” this holiday, with the launch of a new title on
Sunday and plans for more mobile versions of the console game.

The franchise’s second offering, “Skylanders: Giants”, will
hit stores in North America following the success of
“Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures” whose U.S. sales have exceeded
286 million game packs, toys and accessories since its 2011
release.

Oct 15, 2012

Microsoft debuts Xbox music service to take on Apple

Oct 15 (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp on Monday
announced that Xbox Music, a digital music service to vie with
Apple Inc’s iTunes and Amazon.com Inc’s Cloud
Player, will be available for its Xbox game consoles on Tuesday.

The service will be expanded to Windows software-based
computers and tablets, including the upcoming Surface tablet,
from Oct. 26, when Microsoft launches Windows 8. It will be
expanded to phones shortly after that.

Oct 6, 2012

Zynga’s weak pivot to mobile, loss of casual gamers turns serious

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Zynga Inc’s
inexorable decline over the past six months, capped by a sharp
reduction in its 2012 outlook on Thursday, has sharpened
interest in what Chief Executive Mark Pincus will do next.

Wall Street’s excitement over a game publisher once counted
among the stars of the new social Internet has cooled since its
December initial public offering. On Friday, analysts slashed
their price targets on a stock that dived as much as 22 percent,
to $2.21 – more than three-quarters off its $10 debut.

Oct 5, 2012

Zynga slashes 2012 outlook again, shares hit record low

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Zynga Inc slashed its 2012 outlook for a second time on the poor performance of its live Internet games and the writeoff of an acquisition, fanning doubts about its ability to halt a steep decline in earnings and sending its shares to a record low.

The social games maker — hailed a year ago as part of a new generation of hot consumer Internet companies — acknowledged on Thursday that it is still struggling to stem user flight from Facebook titles like “CityVille” and “FarmVille” that had once driven revenue growth.

Oct 4, 2012

Asia’s virtual masters eye Zynga’s real lunch

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A decade ago, a developer from Korean gamemaker Nexon threw a few lines of code together to create an image of a flower to present to his girlfriend, buying himself more videogame time as she sat impatiently by his side at an Internet cafe.

And, so the industry legend goes, the “virtual good” was born. In the years since, digitally created items for games and social media – from beers on Facebook to weapons in role-playing worlds – have grown into a $15 billion globe-spanning business. They helped generate the likes of Zynga Inc and underpin a fast-expanding online-gaming industry.

Sep 14, 2012

Nintendo Wii U adds TV, video for November launch

NEW YORK/TOKYO (Reuters) – Nintendo Co’s “Wii U”, packed with innovative TV and video features, will hit U.S. store shelves on November 18 as it plays catch-up with Microsoft and Sony and aims to lure gamers back from the Internet and mobile devices.

The first Nintendo machine in 16 years will allow users to make personal TV and video programming lists and record shows through TiVo and other digital recording services.

Sep 13, 2012

Nintendo’s $300 Wii U goes on sale November 18 in U.S

NEW YORK/TOKYO (Reuters) – Nintendo Co’s Wii U will hit U.S. store shelves November 18 starting at just under $300, as the creator of Super Mario looks to regain the lead in gaming from Sony and Microsoft, and fend off tablet and smartphone makers led by Apple Inc.

The new version of the console that took the industry by storm six years ago comes with a built-in DVR that will allow users to watch and record live television like a cable set-top box.