If you've been playing the Smite alpha on the weekends you have likely earned a solid amount of gems. For those unaware, Hi-Rez has unlocked all gods and allowed players to earn gems for their win of the day bonuses on the weekends during the alpha. There are three skin bundle sales on the Xbox One. You can find them by clicking on any of the skins listed below. It's a great way to spend those gems and get a high bang for your buck.
Xbox One's holiday price drop continues to do wonders for the system, according to new data from Microsoft and the NPD group. Polygon reported that last month the Xbox One outsold the PS4 in both the US and the UK last month, making it the first month this year the console was the leader in sales. This comes as no surprise, as previous figures proved Xbox One to be the top-selling system of Black Friday.
In a statement, corporate vice president of Xbox marketing Mike Nichols said, "Response to the holiday lineup of games on Xbox One was incredible, with Xbox One fans buying more games in November in the U.S. than any other gen eight platform and enjoying over 357 million hours of gameplay globally. In fact, more fans logged into Xbox Live across Xbox One and Xbox 360, and enjoyed more entertainment, than any other month in the history of Xbox."
In the eight months immediately following the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launches in November of 2013, Sony, riding high on major public relations victories over Microsoft, led next-gen console sales by a supposed margin of nearly two to one. Despite selling at a pace much quicker than the last-gen-market-leading Xbox 360 did during the same point in its life cycle, the Xbox One was lagging far behind the PlayStation 4 in market share.
So Microsoft made some changes.
Executives Don Mattrick and Marc Whitten left the company. Phil Spencer took over as the head of the Xbox team. Kinect was unbundled from the console. Larger multimedia initiatives were cut entirely or made ancillary in favor of a focus on gaming first and foremost. Finally, the Xbox One's price was temporarily (for the holidays) dropped to $350 with a $60 retail game bundled in.
Those maneuvers seem to be paying off, as data reporting firm InfoScout found that the Xbox One enjoyed a Black Friday sales lead of 22 percent over the PlayStation 4, according to data compiled from more than 180,000 sales receipts. InfoScout followed up by conducting a survey of 350 consumers who purchased a console on Black Friday, and found that 71 percent of Xbox One buyers cited cost as a major influence on their purchase. Comparatively, just 48 percent of PlayStation 4 buyers surveyed indicated that price played a major role in their purchase decision.
The numbers are in for the month of July, and it seems as though Pacific Rim: The Video Game is one of the more popular new additions to the store (of the games for which player statistics were available) with a total of 6,482 new players. Other new games included Scourge: Outbreak, Capsized and Zeno Clash 2, which on the whole received more favourable Metacritic scores but for which player statistics were unavailable on Gamasutra.
However, compared with fan favorite Castle Crashers, which picked up a total of 63,625 new players during the month, Pacific Rim: The Video Game did not perform quite as well. Castle Crashers, for which the overall amount of players now adds up to 3,583,918, was the most popular established game on Xbox Live Arcade. The Behemoth's most recent release, BattleBlock Theater, didn't do as well, managing to pick up 42,311 new players. Overall the older game that managed to pick up the most new players was Doritos Crash Course 2, which nabbed 345,411 people. Doritos Crash Course 2 is a free-to-play game that uses in-app purchases.
In terms of DLC, Pinball FX 2 seemed to dominate alongside Trials Evolution, Trials HD and Defense Grid: The Awakening. The latter, however, managed to pick up 837,860 new players for the base game itself. This spike in popularity was due to it being made available for free for a two-week period for Xbox Live Gold Members. The leaderboard also includes five additional pieces of DLC for the popular game.
Head over to Ryan Langley’s blog at Gamasutra for more details and the full roundup of sales for the month of July.
This week on the marketplace, the Sales & Specials area is filled with a variety of sales for gamers of all kinds. From an Assassins Creed themed sale to a Mortal Kombat themed Deal of the Week and over to a Capcom publisher sale, it looks like you're covered from all angles. To find this section on the dashboard, be sure to go to Games> Browse Games> Sales & Specials. But we will go ahead and break down the XBLA specific sales for ya below. Click on the title of the game to download the demo and be sure to let us know what you pick up. All sales listed below end on July 22nd so scoop these game up quick!
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection – Was 800MSP, is now 400MSP
Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition – Was 1200MSP, is now 300MSP
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix – Was 1200MSP, is now 600MSP
Megaman 9 – Was 800MSP, is now 400MSP
Megaman 10 – Was 800MSP, is now 400MSP
Final Fight: Double Impact – Was 800MSP, is now 400MSP
Capcom Arcade Canbinet - Was 400MSP, is now 200MSP
Capcom Arcade Cabinet All-In-One Pack (DLC) – Was 2000MSP, is now 1000MSP (You'll need the above mentioned Capcom Arcade Cabinet for this. This is not a stand alone game.)
This week there is one lone XBLA offering included in the Deal of the Week and to be honest, it's not the greatest game. However, if you're just looking to burn through an hour or two on a day off or even pick up a very easy 200 Gamerscore, then Battle: Los Angeles might be worth the 400MSP price. If that sounds like it might grab your attention, then give the free demo a download and let us know what you think in the comments below. Have fun!
- We've all had the wish that ordering pizza would be as easy as using an app on Xbox Live, and now you can do just that. Too lazy to pick up your phone? Log right into the Pizza Hut app and order away. It'll even save you 15% off your order until May 6th.
- The CW has also received its own app. You'll be able to watch next-day episodes of your (not) favorite shows for free, and even use Xbox SmartGlass to interact with them. You can find more details on Major Nelson's blog.
- Microsoft reported that sales revenue is up 55% year-over-year for the third quarter of 2013. Unfortunately, revenue is still down for the full fiscal year. The numbers were reported on the investor relations part of the Microsoft website, but you can find a more friendly rundown of the numbers over at Polygon.
- Press Play, the studio behind Max and the Curse of Brotherhood, says that Microsoft hasn't forgotten about Indie devs, and they have a hard time relating to stories saying the opposite. Lead designer Mikkel Thorsted had some highly encouraging words, which you can read over at OXM.
- On The Official Microsoft Blog they revealed a big upgrade to Microsoft accounts by adding a two-step verification process. Major Nelson later posted on how it would directly affect your Xbox Live account, with a step-by-step process on how to use it. With how non-secure services involving your credit card can be, it may not be a bad idea to take a look and use it yourself.
Have you played Minecraft? With the newly released sales figures for the game, odds are high that you have. 4J Studios, the developer behind the mega-hit, took to Twitter today to announce an impressive feat: more than six million copies of the Xbox 360 version have been purchased to date.
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition has now sold over SIX MILLION copies !!! #MinecraftXBLA
— 4J Studios (@4JStudios) March 26, 2013
For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to jump into Minecraft's world, you'll have another option for doing so when the retail version of the game releases on April 30.
At this point, it's safe to call Minecraft a legitimate phenomenon – especially the Xbox 360 Edition, where it's one of the best-selling games in XBLA history and spent the months since its early May release smashing records like crazy. Keeping with that tradition, 4J and Mojang Studios announced that the little game that could finished the year by hitting a staggering milestone: It passed five million sales Monday. Not bad for a game that released just a little over a third of the way into the year.
That achievement caps off an already impressive year for Minecraft: The world-building adventure game sold two million copies within its first month of release on XBLA (and at one point was averaging close to 20,000 sales a day), and a special Halloween-themed DLC skin pack raised over $500K for charity in just two weeks. The game also made history by knocking Call of Duty from the top of the Xbox LIVE Activity Charts, a first for an XBLA title. More recently, the game sold 453K copies on Christmas Day alone (although that was across all platforms, not just XBLA). To say Minecraft has been popular is a bit of an understatement; to say it's been a huge boost to the visibility of Xbox's digital platform even moreso.
Minecraft, originally released for PC in 2009, unleashed its highly-anticipated Xbox version in May to rave reviews (including our own, though not all our staffers agreed) and, obviously, smashing sales success. The game is currently available on XBLA for 1600 MSP, with numerous add-ons available at varying price points.
As is tradition during the holidays, Xbox Live has some great sales on Xbox Live Arcade games going on now until November 26. Also included (but not shown here) are a handful of Games on Demand games, some avatar props and DLC that has also been discounted. Be sure to sign in to Xbox Live on Black Friday and Cyber Monday for special deals as well. We haven't heard official word on those sales, but if tradition stands a few XBLA games will be anywhere from 66—80% off. Check out Major Nelson's blog for more information on other deals related to this promotion.
- I Am Alive — was 1200 MSP now 800 MSP
- Daytona USA — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light — was 1200 MSP now 600 MSP
- Magic 2013 — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- Magic 2013 Expansion — was 400 MSP now 200 MSP
- Rock Band Blitz — was 1200 MSP now 600 MSP
- Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co. — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- Sega Vintage Collection: Golden Axe Collection — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- Sega Vintage Collection: Monster World Collection — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- Sega Vintage Collection: Streets of Rage — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- South Park: Tenorman's Revenge — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- Space Channel 5: Part 2 — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
- Spelunky — was 1200 MSP now 600 MSP
- Warp — was 800 MSP now 400 MSP
Source: Major Nelson