Nintendo Switch Fastest-Selling Game System of Its Generation

Nintendo announced that the Nintendo Switch has become the fastest-selling video game system of this hardware generation in its first 21 months of release, citing data from The NPD Group.

NPD tracks video game sales in the United States.

From its launch in March 2017 through November 2018, Nintendo Switch has sold more than 8.7 million units, outpacing U.S. sales of all other current-generation systems at the same point in their life cycles, according to Nintendo, citing NPD data.

Nintendo is also the overall top-selling U.S. software publisher so far for 2018, according to NPD data through November, the company stated.

The December release of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game has become not only the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time, but also the fastest-selling game in the “Super Smash Bros.” series, with U.S. sales of more than 3 million units in just 11 days, according to Nintendo’s internal sales data.

“We are thrilled to see such a strong reaction from consumers in the second holiday season for Nintendo Switch,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s SVP of sales and marketing, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to delivering more excitement and smiles to our fans in the coming year and beyond.”

U.S. hardware unit and dollar sales for 2018 are at their highest annual totals since 2011, according to Nintendo, with Nintendo eShop sales growing 105% from 2017.

Cult Video Game Movie ‘Double Dragon’ Due Jan. 22 from MVD’s Rewind Collection

Double Dragon, the cult classic 1994 movie based on the video game hit, is smashing its way to Blu-ray and DVD combo pack Jan. 22 in MVD Entertainment Group’s “Rewind Collection.”

It’s the year 2007, and what remains of Los Angeles is now New Angeles, a city ravaged by earthquakes, tidal waves and vicious gangs. The evil tycoon Koga Shuko (Robert Patrick, Terminator 2: Judgment Day) is obsessed with finding the two halves of a talisman known as the “Double Dragon,” which will give him mystical powers. Two teenaged brothers, Jimmy (Mark Dacascos, John Wick 3) and Billy Lee (Scott Wolf, “Party of Five”) find themselves in possession of the amulet’s missing half, thrusting them into the adventure of their lives. With the help of Maria (Alyssa Milano, “Charmed”) and her vigilante group the Power Corps, Jimmy and Billy must summon all of their courage, resourcefulness and martial-arts skills to stop the villain’s malevolent plan.

Double Dragon was arguably one of my favorite projects for the Rewind Collection,” said MVD’s Eric Wilkinson, who oversees the collection, in a statement. “This release marks the first time Double Dragon will be available on Blu-ray and in HD in North America. Special features producer Richard Schenkman and I worked tirelessly to create some amazing brand-new bonus material that includes a feature length making-of documentary that I know collectors will love. With these new bonus features, along with some great archival bonus material and the addition of the pilot of the ‘Double Dragon’ animated television series (courtesy of Invincible Entertainment), MVD is proud to present the definitive edition of Double Dragon in a kick-ass (pun intended) Blu-ray plus DVD combo pack collector’s set.”

Bonus features include the new featurette “The Making of Double Dragon,” featuring interviews with stars Scott Wolf and Marc Dacascos, writers Peter Gould and Michael Davis, and producer Don Murphy; the new featurette “Don Murphy: Portrait of a Producer”; an archival making-of featurette; a behind-the-scenes featurette; the 1993 “Double Dragon” animated series pilot episode “The Shadow Falls”; a storyboard gallery; press photos, marketing and behind-the-scenes photo galleries; TV spots; a VHS home video trailer; the original theatrical trailer; a collectible mini-poster; and a reversible sleeve featuring alternate artwork.

‘Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3’ Game Coming Exclusively to Nintendo Switch

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is heading exclusively to the Nintendo Switch video game system, Nintendo announced.

Nintendo made the announcement with a trailer shown during The Game Awards in Los Angeles.

The game brings together superheroes and villains from across the Marvel Universe to battle for the limitless power of the Infinity Gauntlet, one Stone at a time. The team of characters must use their superpowers to defeat the mad cosmic tyrant Thanos and his ruthless warmasters, The Black Order. The game will feature an original story and a playable cast of dozens of Marvel superheroes, including the Avengers, the X-Men, and — for the first time in series history — the Guardians of the Galaxy, according to the Nintendo release.

Up to four players can drop in for co-op battles in a variety of ways: They can play online (through a Nintendo account), link up offline via local wireless or pass a Joy-Con controller to a friend to join the team, according to Nintendo. With another pair of Joy-Con (sold separately), four players can team up on one system. In addition to the series’ traditional perspective, the new entry will let players select a dynamic, zoomed-in heroic view, allowing for a more immersive play style for single-player or multiplayer when using multiple systems.

“As longtime fans of the franchise, we could not be prouder and more excited to bring back Ultimate Alliance with its biggest game yet,” said Mike Jones, VP and executive producer, Marvel Games, in a statement. “Marvel Ultimate Alliance is all about teaming up with your friends and creating your own ‘dream team’ of superheroes to go on adventures across the Marvel Universe, and Nintendo Switch is perfect for delivering on that promise of cooperative gameplay and shared experiences.”

“The Marvel Ultimate Alliance games have been beloved by fans for more than a decade, and this new installment on Nintendo Switch will deliver even more of the thrills and heroics that the franchise is known for,” said Doug Bowser, Nintendo of America’s SVP of sales and marketing, in a statement. “Thanks to our partnership with Marvel, the fate of the Marvel Universe will literally be in the hands of Nintendo Switch players, whether they’re at home or on the go.”

Additional details about the game will be announced in the future, according to Nintendo.

Sony Announces 20 Games Pre-Loaded on PlayStation Classic Due Dec. 3

Sony has revealed the lineup of the 20 games that come pre-loaded on the PlayStation Classic  console when it launches in the United States and Canada Dec. 3.

In addition to the previously announced Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms, the rest of the games are:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal

Xbox Partners With Taco Bell to Give Away Xbox One X Consoles

Taco Bell is partnering with Xbox to give fans in the United States the chance to win limited-edition Xbox One X consoles each time they buy a $5 double chalupa box, Xbox announced.

The promotion lasts from Oct. 18 through Nov. 21.

The exclusive platinum-colored console features Taco Bell’s “ring” when powered on (exclusive to the limited-edition consoles); a white, special-edition Xbox Elite wireless controller; and three months of Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold.

An Xbox One X will be rewarded every 10 minutes throughout the promotion and it will be delivered to fans 72 hours after being declared a winner, according to Xbox.

The Xbox One S and Xbox One X both feature a built-in 4K UHD Blu-ray player and Dolby Atmos support.

Report: Nintendo to Bow New Version of Switch

Nintendo is working on a new version of the Switch console, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources.

The new console could be released as soon as next summer, according to the report.

In a statement provided to USA Today Nintendo said it had “nothing to announce on this topic.”

The Switch debuted in March of last year.

Competitors Sony and Microsoft have each released multiple versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Comcast, Activision Team for ‘Call of Duty’ Multiplayer Early-Play Promotion

Comcast and Activision are partnering to provide gamers with a chance to play the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer before its official release Oct. 12.

Xfinity and Activision made the announcement at the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles.

Starting June 14 and continuing through the end of August, people online can enter a sweepstakes for a chance to play Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer at select Xfinity stores in Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Seattle, Chicago, Indianapolis and Atlanta.

“This year, Xfinity has elevated the consumer experience by offering Call of Duty fans a chance to play Black Ops 4 through the Xfinity store sweepstakes before its official release on Oct. 12,” said Tyler Michaud, VP, product management at Activision, in a statement. “Gamers will get a sneak peek at the engaging gameplay and depth of content that makes Black Ops 4 a blast to play together with your friends, and we thank Xfinity for the continued support in celebrating gamers throughout the U.S.”

In each location, Xfinity plans special events. For instance, professional basketball player Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics) will join players at the new Cambridge Xfinity store event in Boston, where he will play Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 alongside the city’s sweepstakes winners. Hayward will also partner with Xfinity on other gaming and esports initiatives throughout the year.

“Fast internet is a must-have for every gamer and as a longtime Xfinity customer, I can vouch for the speed and seamless gameplay it delivers,” said Hayward in a statement. “I’m excited to team up with Xfinity to bring early access of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to fans and I can’t wait to join my fellow gamers in Boston.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is part of a top-selling series that’s had more than 200 million players and more than 15 billion hours played, according to the companies.

“Multiplayer features gritty, grounded combat, along with new levels of customization and tactical gameplay, and a variety of new weaponry, maps and modes,” according to a press release. “’While Zombies’ mode debuts an entirely new and unprecedented experience that’s the biggest Day One offering in franchise history — with three fully-featured Zombies experiences at launch. Black Ops 4 also delivers Blackout – the new battle royale-style experience that combines Black Ops’ signature fast, fluid, guns-up combat, with fierce new levels of survival competition across iconic Black Ops settings re-imagined at a colossal scale in an experience that only Black Ops could deliver.”

“We’re excited to partner with Activision and Call of Duty in an even bigger way for fans this year,” said Todd Arata, SVP of brand marketing at Comcast, in a statement. “Xfinity is proud to offer our Internet customers this special opportunity to get in early and play what is no doubt one of the world’s most anticipated video games of the year, plus it reinforces our Internet speed and capabilities that maximize the gaming experience.”

For official rules and regulations, as well as a complete list of locations, visit xfinity.com/CallofDuty. Dates for the promotion vary by location.

This marks the second consecutive year Xfinity has partnered with Activision to provide its Internet customers with early access to one of the world’s best-selling video game franchises.

Irdeto Acquires Gaming Security Company

Digital platform security company Irdeto has acquired Salzburg-based gaming security outfit Denuvo to provide anti-piracy and anti-cheat solutions for games on desktop, mobile, console and VR devices, according to an Irdeto release.

Denuvo provides technology and services for game publishers and platforms, independent software vendors, e-publishers and video publishers across the globe. Current Denuvo customers include Electronic Arts, UbiSoft, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate Entertainment, with protection provided for games such as Star Wars Battlefront II, Football Manager and Injustice 2.

Denuvo will continue to operate as usual with all staff retained, the release stated.

“The success of any game title is dependent upon the ability of the title to operate as the publisher intended,” said Irdeto CEO Doug Lowther. “As a result, protection of both the game itself and the gaming experience for end users is critical. Our partnership brings together decades of security expertise under one roof to better address new and evolving security threats. We are looking forward to collaborating as a team on a number of initiatives to improve our core technology and services to better serve our customers.”

Denuvo’s anti-tamper technology prevents hackers from copying and reverse engineering games to redistribute the content. Denuvo will leverage Irdeto’s security expertise, anti-piracy technology, Irdeto Cloakware software security software security and application protection technology and IP to strengthen Denuvo’s own core offering, according to the release.

“Cheating on gaming platforms is also a challenge which must be addressed, as it can distort virtual in-game economies,” the release stated. “This makes the game less enjoyable or even unplayable for gamers and can be used to manipulate or bypass in-game micro-transactions.”

Denuvo’s anti-cheat technology prevents hackers in multi-player games from manipulating and distorting data and code to gain an advantage over other gamers or bypass in-game micro-transactions.

“Hackers and cybercriminals in the gaming space are savvy, and always have been. It is critical to implement robust security strategies to combat the latest gaming threats and protect the investment in games. Much like the movie industry, it’s the only way to ensure that great games continue to get made,” said Reinhard Blaukovitsch, managing director of Denuvo. “In joining with Irdeto, we are bringing together a unique combination of security expertise, technology and enhanced piracy services to aggressively address security challenges that customers and gamers face from hackers.”

Denuvo technology enables binary protection for games and enterprise applications across multiple platforms, including desktops (windows), consoles (PS4, Xbox), VR devices and mobile gaming. Founded in 2013, Denuvo also provides additional technologies for use beyond the gaming market to protect B2B software, e-books and video assets for Hollywood studios, including protecting the “Hunger Games” trilogy, according to the release.