316 posts and columns on videogames
April was a cruel month indeed for the videogame industry. Sales of gaming hardware, software and accessories in the U.S. for the month peaked at $495.2 million, according to sales data from research firm NPD, down 25 percent from the same period in 2012. Retail software sales declined 17 percent year over year to $254.3 million. Hardware sales plummeted 42 percent from the year prior to $109.5 million. The top console for the month? Microsoft’s Xbox 360, though it sold just 130,000 units in April, down 45 percent from a year earlier.
On the back of its hit Facebook/mobile game Candy Crush Saga, casual game studio King said in a press release that it has crossed the 70 million mark in daily active players across all platforms. That puts it within striking distance of Zynga’s all-time quarterly peak of 72 million daily active users (achieved in Q2 2012), and well beyond that competitor’s latest quarterly total of 52 million DAU, as reported last month. The company also said that its cross-platform games are now being played more than 21 billion times per month.
News ByteTwitch is getting an Xbox 360 app, the company announced today. The app will let owners of Microsoft’s console watch any of the site’s top 300 live channels, though it will not let them make their own videos, one of the features Sony has promised for its upcoming PlayStation 4. However, a Twitch spokesperson said Microsoft will show off the app in more detail shortly after its next-generation console event, “Xbox Revealed,” next week.
News Bytemay have heard about Pixel Press around the Web last week. The in-development app, which lets users make their own platformer games by hand-drawing them on a special paper grid — no code required — is now live on Kickstarter, where creator Robin Rath is asking for a whopping $100,000. Rath told AllThingsD that he is “highly focused on education,” since Pixel Press teaches everyone from children to “thirtysomething geeks who played Mario” the mental skills of game design and testing the playability of what they make.