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  1. Nintendo Switch tops huge February for hardware sales Super Mario gets his 35th anniversary Switch. Image Credit: Nintendo In the United States, Sony and Microsoft are selling every new-generation console that they produce. Those sales combined with Nintendo Switch’s historic momentum pushed February hardware sales to their highest point in a decade, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. “Monthly sales of video game hardware increased 121% when compared to February 2020, to $406 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “This is the highest total for a February month since the $468 million reached in February 2011. Year-to-date hardware spending totaled $724 million, an increase of 130% compared to a year ago.” Once again, the Switch had an advantage over the competition thanks to the maturity of its supply pipeline versus PlayStation 5 and Xbox. Nintendo is able to get many more systems into the retail chain. And even that isn’t enough to meet demand. “Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars in February,” said Piscatella. “Unit and dollar sales of Nintendo Switch hardware in February were the highest for any hardware platform in a February month since the Nintendo Wii in February 2009.” Switch continues to rise up the ranks of best-selling consoles ever. “Lifetime dollar sales of Nintendo Switch hardware have now exceeded those of the Nintendo DS, making Switch Nintendo’s 2nd best-selling platform in U.S. tracked history Nintendo Wii ranks first,” said Piscatella. “Switch is currently the 7th best-selling hardware platform in lifetime U.S. dollar sales.” But Sony is also setting a record pace thanks in part to its $500 price tag. “PlayStation 5 ranked as the 2nd best-selling hardware platform in February in both unit and dollar sales,” said Piscatella. “PlayStation 5 is currently the fastest selling hardware platform in U.S. history — [through a four-month period]” Source: Nintendo Switch tops huge February for hardware sales
  2. Grand Theft Auto 5 sales cross 140 million copies sold, per Take-Two Q3 2021 financial results Grand Theft in your Auto? It's even more likely than you think. What you need to know Take-Two Interactive shared its Q3 2021 financial results. Grand Theft Auto 5 has now sold over 140 million copies. Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold over 36 million copies. Take-Two Interactive reported its Q3 2021 financial results today, with net revenue at $860.9 million, down from $930.1 million in Q3 2020, year-over-year. Highlighting its titles is the ongoing juggernaut of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V, which has crossed 140 million copies sold, up from 135 million copies sold in Q1 2021. CEO Strauss Zelnick noted that Grand Theft Auto 5 sold more copies in 2020 than any other year except in its release year of 2013. A current-generation version of Grand Theft Auto 5 is still slated to arrive for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5 sometime in the second half of 2021. Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 was also confirmed to have sold over 36 million copies so far. Speaking on the merger between Embracer Group and Gearbox Software, Take-Two Interactive stated that its publishing relationship for the Borderlands franchise will continue. NBA 2K21 has sold over 8 million copies, up from 5 million in the past quarter. For more on the company's recent earnings, you can take a look at Take-Two Interactive's Q2 2021 financial results. Source: Grand Theft Auto 5 sales cross 140 million copies sold, per Take-Two Q3 2021 financial results
  3. Nintendo Switch sales surge past those of the 3DS Nintendo has sold about four million more Switch consoles than those of its 3DS Sales of Nintendo's Switch gaming consoles have surpassed those of their predecessor - the 3DS - despite being available for a much shorter period. The firm said 79.87 million units had been sold since its March 2017 launch. The figures accompanied the Japanese firm's financial results, which saw it declare a record 377bn yen ($3.6bn) profit for the April-December period. Analysts attribute the Switch's success to the popularity of Animal Crossing, among other family-friendly exclusives. Super Mario 3D World - which goes on sale on 12 February - is expected to provide it with a further boost. Nintendo ended production of its 3DS handheld in September 2020 and says it sold 75.94 million units over its nine-and-a-half year lifetime. Up to four players can take part in the forthcoming Super Mario title The Switch first went on sale in 2017, and was joined by a lower-cost model - the Switch Lite - in 2019, which is also included in the tally. The firm said demand for the machines was 35.8% up on the same period the previous year, with a total of 24.1 million units sold over the last nine months of 2020. Nintendo's president Shuntaro Furukawa said that the company had sufficient components to continue producing the devices - despite wider industry shortages - and it now expected to sell 26.5 million of the consoles over the financial year as a whole. That represents 10% more than its previous guidance. He added that there were no plans to launch a successor in the near term. However, there is continued speculation the company will unveil a "pro" version of the Switch before the end of 2021. "The sales success of the Switch justifies Nintendo's decision to stick with its product strategy of combining unique and innovative dedicated games hardware with compelling first-party games," Piers Harding-Rolls from Ampere Analysis told the BBC. "Sometimes this approach misses the mark - see the Wii U for example - but when it works it tends to result in very successful products. "Clearly the stand out hit is the 30-million-selling Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a gentle, sociable game that will be synonymous with lockdown for many people." Animal Crossing: New Horizons has provided a distraction from the Covid pandemic for its millions of players Despite the Switch's success, it still has some way to go before overtaking sales of four of the firm's other consoles: Wii - 101.63 million units Nintendo DS - 154.02 million units Game Boy Advance - 81.51 million units Game Boy - 118.69 million units If ever it was needed, the Nintendo Switch is proof that you don't need the highest-resolution graphics or fastest processor to make great games. Sometimes people just want a cute, relaxing experience - and to be several thousand bells in debt to an entrepreneurial Japanese raccoon dog. Animal Crossing has always been a best-seller for Nintendo's consoles, but New Horizons has surpassed expectations, shifting about 31 million copies. Its blend of relaxing island life and home decoration have provided some much-needed escapism during the coronavirus pandemic. Its social features also helped friends connect, chat and visit one another's homes - at least virtually - during lockdown restrictions. Critics say New Horizons is not that dissimilar from previous games in the series. Indeed, some of the best-selling games for the Switch - such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - are pretty much re-releases from the flop Wii U console. But Nintendo seems to have found a winning formula with the Switch that shows no signs of slowing down. Source: Nintendo Switch sales surge past those of the 3DS
  4. Police called as Tokyo PS5 sale descends into chaos Staff pushed and cash registers knocked over: "I've never seen that kind of insanity in japan" Police were called to a popular Tokyo department store on Saturday after the intended sale of new PlayStation 5 consoles descended into chaos. Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo’s Akihabara shopping district had promised to sell several hundred PlayStation 5 consoles via a first-come, first-served policy. However, according to personal accounts on social media, the whole process was cancelled after hundreds of consumers swamped the store. As shown in multiple social media videos, huge crowds formed inside Yodobashi as staff planned to handout numbered tickets for the PS5 consoles. The situation appeared to be fairly calm until staff began distributing the tickets, causing the crowds to begin pushing, shoving and shouting. “They cancelled the sale due to people being insane,” wrote Creatures Inc’s Dave Gibson, who was at the store. “[They] pushed so hard even the cash registers and staff went backwards. I’ve never seen that kind of insanity in japan before…” He added: “People paying at the registers were pushed out of the way. Cash left on trays. Registers and staff pushed all the way back into storage area.” Tokyo is currently under a State of Emergency due to a resurgence of coronavirus infections in the city. As part of the order, companies are encouraged to work remotely and residents urged to avoid non-essential outings. As noted by PSU, Saturday’s event was likely popular due to its first come, first serve policy, which is unusual for PS5 sales. To date, most Japanese retailers have been running lotteries for their PS5 stock, which is thought to be more fair considering the huge demand for consoles. The Yodobashi retailer also usually requires customers to have active credit accounts in order to purchase in-demand items such as PS5. However, the Akihabara location is one of a few stores that do not. With this context taken into consideration, Saturday’s PS5 sale likely would’ve been attractive to both consumers and also re-sellers looking to sell the consoles on for profit. Gibson wrote: “I would estimate about 70% of that crowd to be resellers. Hope to god I didn’t get corona because I got caught up in that insanity.” A report recently suggested that re-seller targeting of PS5 consoles is so high that the long-term health of PlayStation 5 in Japan could be under threat. Like many other regions, PS5 shortages in Japan have been exacerbated by scalpers reselling large quantities of the console at significant mark-ups, keeping it out of the hands of consumers and in turn damaging pivotal software sales. The knock-on effect is an unusually low software attach rate in Japan, reports Bloomberg. As noted by the publication, a healthy ratio for a new console is around one game sold for each console bought. But based on Japanese sales data from Famitsu, as of mid-December Sony had sold around 213,000 PS5 consoles in the product’s first month of availability and just 63,000 physical games. There are other factors that could be impacting early physical PS5 software sales, most notably the shift to digital. PS5 also comes pre-installed with a game, Astro’s Playroom, and is backwards compatible with PS4 titles. Source: Police called as Tokyo PS5 sale descends into chaos
  5. Logitech sales grew 85 percent in the most recent quarter Logitech is well positioned for a strong 2021 Why it matters: You can add Logitech to the growing list of tech companies that not only survived the pandemic, but thrived during it. The Swiss-American peripheral maker in its latest earnings report said sales for the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 reached $1.67 billion, an increase of 85 percent compared to the same period a year prior. Operating income grew an impressive 248 percent to $448 million, far surpassing the $129 million generated in the year-ago period, while non-GAAP earnings per share reached $2.45. Analysts were expecting earnings to be closer to $1.02 per share. A year ago, investors earned just $0.84 per share for the three-month period. As the pandemic ramped up in the early part of 2020 and companies started sending employees home en masse to work remotely, many of them had to scramble to assemble makeshift home offices. Companies like Logitech that sell products such as keyboards, mice and webcams suddenly found themselves in a prime position to capitalize. A steady stream of new products across its portfolio hasn’t hurt, either. Logitech also raised its fiscal year 2021 annual outlook to between 57 percent and 60 percent sales growth from its previous outlook of between 35 percent and 40 percent. Share value is down around 3.4 percent as of writing but is up more than 104 percent compared to the same period in early 2020. Source: Logitech sales grew 85 percent in the most recent quarter
  6. Apple and Samsung are not outliers with respect to declining smartphone sales. Global mobile device shipments were down 4.9% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a new report from IDC. The slide in sales is now a bona fide trend with five consecutive quarters of declines on record, and the outlook for 2019 doesn’t look any better. “The challenging holiday quarter closes out the worst year ever for smartphone shipments,” the research firm wrote. During the full year of 2018, global smartphone shipments declined 4.1% to 1.4 billion units total. Smartphone vendors shipped 375.4 million units during the end-of-year quarter, according to IDC. “Globally the smartphone market is a mess right now,” Ryan Reith, vice president of IDC’s worldwide mobile device trackers program, said in a prepared statement. “Outside a handful of high-growth markets like India, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam, we did not see a lot of positive activity in 2018. We believe several factors are at play here, including lengthening replacement cycles, increasing penetration levels in many large markets, political and economic uncertainty, and growing consumer frustration around continuously rising price points.” Volumes in China, which accounts for roughly 30% of the smartphone market, were down 10% in 2018. However, the top four Chinese brands—Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi—collectively grew their share of the market to 78%, up from 66% in 2017. Globally, the top five smartphone vendors—Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo and Xiaomi—grew their collective share of the market to 69%, up from 63% a year ago. Samsung also unseated Apple as the top smartphone company in the world with 18.7% of the market share on 70.4 million units during the fourth quarter, compared to Apple’s 18.2% market share on 68.4 million units. Both companies saw their market shares decline in 2018, but Apple slid further with an 11.5% year-over-year decline in units shipped, compared to Samsung’s 5.5% annual decline in total units. Rounding out the top five, Huawei’s global shipments jumped 43.9% during the year to reach 16.1% of the market share during the fourth quarter on 60.5 million units shipped. OPPO shipped 29.2 million units during the end-of-year quarter, reaching a 7.8% share of the market. Finally, Xiaomi shipped 28.6 million devices during the quarter resulting in a 7.6% share of the market during the same period. Source
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  8. Redmond no longer expects to meet quarter guidance for personal computing unit In response to the effect of the coronavirus outbreak on Chinese suppliers, Microsoft has cut its sales forecast for Surface tablets and Windows OEM licences. In a statement to investors last night, the global software powerhouse said although it had accounted for the impact of the virus on its operations in January's second-quarter guidance, it now expects the supply chain to return to normal more slowly than predicted. "As a result, for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, we do not expect to meet our More Personal Computing segment guidance as Windows OEM and Surface are more negatively impacted than previously anticipated," Redmond said. However, Windows sales are not a huge source of growth for Microsoft, neither is hardware, which is not being helped by reports that new Surface laptops can break at the hint of a sneeze. The software giant is a well-diversified biz – unlike a certain fruit-based phone flinger. On 17 February, Apple said the virus-related shutdown of Chinese factories had resulted in a shortage of iPhone components. The "temporarily constrained" supply of iPhones and a fall in Chinese shopper numbers meant it would fail to meet its quarterly revenue target, the company said. HP also warned that the outbreak would have an impact on company performance, resulting in a $0.08 hit on earnings per share, though CFO Steve Fieler added: "We do view the situation as a temporary situation." COVID-19 has taken out IT industry events across the globe, too. GSMA called off Mobile World Congress, due in February, as big names including Cisco, Nokia, Facebook and BT all cancelled their plans to attend. Analyst firm Forrester said the quarantine in China's Wuhan city and Hubei province would affect production of electronic components. "Some factories, including auto plants and tech production facilities, are starting to reopen but at reduced levels," it said. But for computer and communications equipment, demand in China would be delayed but recover quickly, Forrester said. "Sales of durable goods that might have occurred in Q1 2020 will resurface in Q2 or Q3 when quarantines are lifted, and production returns to normal. Of all the segments of the tech market, sales of computer and communications equipment are most likely to see this pattern." Fellow analyst IDC has predicted that China's device sales would fall between 30 and 40 per cent in the first quarter before recovering. But Antonio Wang, associate vice president at IDC China, said there would be "a positive side" as Chinese consumers become aware of the importance of access to internet information as a result of the outbreak. As Romania, Estonia and Norway report their first COVID-19 cases this morning, and Northern California reports an instance with no known contact with other virus carriers, The Register suspects it is too soon to be looking for upsides. Source
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