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  1. New research from Carnegie Mellon University shows that the UK Pirate Bay blockade had no affect on legal consumption. Instead, visitors switched to alternative sites, Pirate Bay mirrors, or started using VPNs. However, the same research also reveals that blocking several major pirate sites at once does boost the use of paid legal services such as Netflix. The Pirate Bay is the most censored website on the Internet. Countries all around the world have ordered Internet providers to block subscriber access to the torrent site, with Russia being the latest addition. The idea behind these blockades is that they will help to decrease online piracy. However, a new study published by Carnegie Mellon University and Wellesley College researchers, suggests that blocking one site isn’t very effective. The researchers used data collected by an anonymous Internet consumer panel tracking company to compare the browsing habits of UK citizens, both before and after The Pirate Bay was blocked by major ISPs in 2012. After comparing the results to a control group and ruling out various other variables, the researchers conclude that there is no significant effect on legal consumption. Instead, Pirate Bay users chose to circumvent the measures by using VPNs, proxies, or switching to other pirate sites. “Our results show that blocking The Pirate Bay had little impact on consumption through legal channels — instead, consumers seemed to turn to other piracy sites, Pirate Bay ‘mirror’ sites, or Virtual Private Networks that allowed them to circumvent the block.†While the above findings support the many opponents of website blocking, it’s only part of the story. The researchers also analysed data after a subsequent blockade that covered more than a dozen large pirate sites at once. The results here were quite different, with a significant uptick in the number of visits (of ‘pirates’) to legal movie services such as Netflix. “…blocking 19 different major piracy sites caused users of those sites to increase their usage of paid legal streaming sites such as Netflix by 12% on average,†the researchers write. This effect was most pronounced for people who used the pirate sites most frequently. According to the researchers this makes sense as they were most affected by the blockade. “The lightest users of the blocked sites increased their clicks on paid streaming sites by 3.5% while the heaviest users of the blocked sites increased their paid streaming clicks by 23.6%, strengthening the causal interpretation of the results.†Overall the results show that blocking The Pirate Bay in isolation is futile. For website blockades to have a serious impact they should be directed at a broad selection of pirate sites, making it harder for people to find illegal alternatives. “Our results suggest that website blocking requires persistent blocking of a number of piracy sites in order to effectively migrate pirates to legal channels,†the researchers note. Perhaps just as importantly, the researchers add that copyright holders should also make legal content more attractive in order to convert pirates into paying customers. It has to be noted that the research was carried out as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA), which received a generous donation from the MPAA. However, the researchers suggest that their work is carried out independently. The results may not help efforts to demand isolated Pirate Bay blockades, which is common in most countries. However, they can be used as ammunition to demand wider website blockades, which is arguably even better from a copyright holder perspective. Effective?
  2. Early February an Android dev revealed how his popular calendar app was suffering from 85% piracy rates. The news was echoed in dozens of headlines, but how did things turn out? TorrentFreak is informed that sales are dramatically up and piracy has been slashed by a third. Today Calendar Pro is a popular replacement calendar for Android. Several thousand voters on Google Play agree on its quality, most voting near to the fabled five stars. However, at the start of February developer Jack Underwood announced that rather than pay for his software, a huge majority are preferring to pirate it instead. The figures were substantial. According to the UK-based dev, 85% of ‘pro’ users were using his software without paying for it. While that fact might’ve caused some creators to go nuclear, Underwood remained pragmatic. He engaged his public and decided to make light of the situation by introducing some novel anti-piracy measures in his software. Rather than make it unusable, Underwood added some pirate-themed events as detailed in our earlier article. It turned out to be a great move on the PR front. News of Underwood’s approach spread quickly and dozens of news outlets covered the story giving the developer and his software plenty of exposure. Interested in the effects of this new-found fame, TF caught up with the dev to assess his mood. As it turns out Underwood was in fine form. News of massive piracy of his app published February 2nd/3rd onwards had certainly turned into a positive. Sales of his software enjoyed a significant boost, as the graph below illustrates. While reluctant to talk about money generated, Underwood did reveal the size of the increase over regular sales. Today Calender Pro sold around three times more than it usually does after the news broke, leveling to twice as many sales shortly after. However, it was the effect on Google Play’s rankings that appears to have done Underwood the biggest favor. Following news of the high piracy rates there was a five-fold increase in Play user ratings, averaging a score of 4.8. This means that Today Calendar Pro is now the highest rated calendar on the Play store. The ratings boost means that sales are now running at a steady 50% uplift, a great result all considered. Interestingly, however, the free version of the app hasn’t done quite so well. On the first day sales increased two-fold, dropping to 1.5x the day after. Unlike the ‘Pro’ version, there was no change in Play ratings and ‘sales’ are now back to the level they were before. But perhaps of most interest is how these new figures have affected piracy rates overall, which previously sat at 85%. “Over the last week pirated installs have made up 56% of the downloads,†Underwood informs TF. “Much better, but I guess we’ll see how long it lasts!†Finally, Underwood says that interest in the pirate-themed events he added to his software has resulted in lots of requests from users wanting to see them. He’s come up with the following solution. “Users can now trigger the pirate events themselves. Any event title with ‘walk the plank’ or ‘swashbuckling’ or ‘pirate’ (providing there’s no other trigger words) will cause the pirate images to be displayed,†he concludes.
  3. It's only temporary." It's what all PlayStation fans have been saying ever since Microsoft announced they'd be dropping the price of the Xbox One by $50 for the holiday rush. And it's true; the price cut is indeed only temporary, as Microsoft plans to bring their new system back to the original $399 price point on January 4, 2015. The big question is this: Will the move result in a fresh upswing in sales for Sony's console? The PlayStation 4 dominated all the way up until that Xbox One price drop, so perhaps it stands to reason that this domination will return to force. On the other hand, recent PSN issues and the lack of AAA PS4 exclusives this holiday season have had an impact. On the flip side, at least Xbox One had games like Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which definitely sweetened the deal for gamers. Having a bunch of cool holiday bundles helped as well. Going into 2015, one could easily argue that Microsoft has the momentum and despite the return to $399, that momentum will continue. But will it...? Perhaps Microsoft should consider leaving Xbox One at the $349 price point, although we know it'd cost them an arm and a leg to do so. At the very least, it makes the console war that much more exciting. I also wonder what Sony thinks. Are they hoping Xbox One goes back to $399 so PS4 can reclaim its momentum? Price is a hugely important factor, a lesson we learn and relearn every time we see a price cut on new gaming hardware.
  4. This week’s expanded Japanese software sales are as follows: 01./01. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch 2: Shin Uchi (Level 5) {2014.12.13} (¥4.968) – 532.724 / 1.776.895 (-57%) 02./02. [3DS] Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire (Pokemon Co.) {2014.11.21} (¥4.937) – 167.534 / 2.118.015 (+10%) 03./00. [3DS] Final Fantasy Explorers (Square Enix) {2014.12.18} (¥6.264) – 161.197 / NEW 04./04. [WIU] Super Smash Bros. for Wii U # (Nintendo) {2014.12.06} (¥7.776) – 78.927 / 385.460 (+0%) 05./06. [3DS] Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS (Nintendo) {2014.09.13} (¥5.616) – 74.226 / 1.910.078 (+57%) 06./00. [PS3] Gundam Breaker 2 (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥8.208) – 66.532 / NEW 07./00. [PSV] Gundam Breaker 2 (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥7.171) – 57.188 / NEW 08./07. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch 2: Ganso / Honke (Level 5) {2014.07.10} (¥4.937) – 39.223 / 2.997.335 (+22%) 09./08. [3DS] Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate # (Capcom) {2014.10.11} (¥6.264) – 38.681 / 2.293.954 (+31%) 10./09. [WIU] Mario Kart 8 # (Nintendo) {2014.05.29} (¥6.156) – 34.331 / 813.139 (+38%) 11./00. [PSV] Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3: V Century # (Compile Heart) {2014.12.18} (¥6.264) – 26.313 / NEW 12./00. [3DS] 12-Sai. Honto no Kimochi (Happinet) {2014.12.18} (¥5.480) – 23.026 / NEW 13./13. [WIU] Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo) {2014.11.13} (¥3.996) – 20.376 / 100.886 (+39%) 14./03. [PS4] Grand Theft Auto V # (Take-Two Interactive Japan) {2014.12.11} (¥7.992) – 20.130 / 101.789 (-75%) 15./16. [3DS] Sumikko Gurashi: Koko ga Ochitsukundesu (Nippon Columbia) {2014.11.20} (¥5.184) – 19.848 / 55.901 (+62%) 16./00. [PS3] Godzilla (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥8.208) – 19.777 / NEW 17./12. [3DS] Aikatsu! 365-Hi no Idol Days (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.04} (¥5.627) – 19.064 / 68.238 (+19%) 18./19. [3DS] Animal Crossing: New Leaf # (Nintendo) {2012.11.08} (¥4.800) – 17.190 / 3.847.566 (+73%) 19./05. [PS3] Shining Resonance # (Sega) {2014.12.11} (¥8.880) – 16.384 / 83.667 (-76%) 20./15. [3DS] Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind – Chain (Spike Chunsoft) {2014.12.04} (¥5.378) – 12.377 / 44.100 (-2%) 21./23. [3DS] Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo) {2011.12.01} (¥4.800) 22./25. [3DS] Gotouchi Tetsudou: Gotouchi Chara to Nihon Zenkoku no Tabi (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.11.27} (¥5.626) 23./30. [3DS] Kirby Triple Deluxe (Nintendo) {2014.01.11} (¥4.800) 24./27. [3DS] Yoshi’s New Island (Nintendo) {2014.07.24} (¥4.936) 25./33. [3DS] Tomodachi Life # (Nintendo) {2013.04.18} (¥4.800) 26./11. [3DS] Derby Stallion Gold (Kadokawa Games) {2014.12.04} (¥6.264) 27./35. [WIU] Taiko no Tatsujin: Tokumori! # (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.11.20} (¥5.627) 28./38. [3DS] Mario Party: Island Tour (Nintendo) {2014.03.20} (¥4.800) 29./44. [3DS] New Super Mario Bros. 2 # (Nintendo) {2012.07.28} (¥4.800) 30./36. [3DS] One Piece: Super Grand Battle! X (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.11.13} (¥6.145) 31./42. [3DS] Taiko no Tatsujin: Don to Katsu no Jikuu Daibouken (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.06.26} (¥5.119) 32./43. [WIU] Super Mario 3D World (Nintendo) {2013.11.21} (¥5.985) 33./18. [PSV] Phantasy Star Nova (Sega) {2014.11.27} (¥6.458) 34./24. [PS3] World Soccer Winning Eleven 2015 (Konami) {2014.11.13} (¥8.208) 35./20. [PS3] Resident Evil HD Remaster # (Capcom) {2014.11.27} (¥4.309) 36./45. [3DS] Hoppechan: Minna de Odekake! Waku Waku Hoppe Land!! (Nippon Columbia) {2014.07.17} (¥5.184) 37./00. [3DS] Super Mario 3D Land # (Nintendo) {2011.11.03} (¥4.800) 38./00. [3DS] Sega 3D Reprint Archives: Space Harrier/Fantasy Zone/OutRun/Streets of Rage/Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master/Ecco the Dolphin (Sega) {2014.12.18} (¥4.298) 39./48. [3DS] Dragon Ball Heroes: Ultimate Mission 2 (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.08.07} (¥6.145) 40./00. [PS3] Gundam Breaker 2: Best Takeout Pack (Bandai Namco Games) {2014.12.18} (¥12.744) 41./49. [3DS] Pokemon Art Academy (Nintendo) {2014.06.19} (¥3.908) 42./21. [PS3] Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Dubbed Edition (Square Enix) {2014.12.04} (¥8.424) 43./29. [3DS] Samurai Warriors: Chronicles 3 # (Koei Tecmo) {2014.12.04} (¥6.264) 44./00. [3DS] Style Savvy: Trendsetters – Tokimeki Up! (Nintendo) {2014.04.17} (¥4.936) 45./10. [PS3] Assassin’s Creed: Rogue (Ubisoft) {2014.12.11} (¥7.992) 46./46. [3DS] Yo-kai Watch (Level 5) {2013.07.11} (¥4.800) 47./14. [PS3] Nobunaga’s Ambition: Creation with Power-Up Kit # (Koei Tecmo) {2014.12.11} (¥10.584) 48./00. [3DS] Dolly Kanon Doki Doki Tokimeki Himitsu no Ongaku Katsudou Start Desu!! (Happinet) {2014.11.20} (¥5.480) 49./00. [PS3] Grand Theft Auto V [bargain Edition] (Rockstar Games) {2014.06.26} (¥5.389) 50./00. [3DS] Cooking Mama: Watashi no Sweets Shop (Office Create) {2014.11.06} (¥4.968)
  5. Sony game division's sales target raised by $89 million; PS Vita still performing poorly. Sony sold 3.3 million PlayStation 4s worldwide during the three months between July and September, bringing its total unit sales to 13.5 million. Though the summer months are usually slow for game companies, they proved to be the second-best quarter for the PlayStation 4 yet, having surpassed the 2.7 million units it sold between April and June, and the 3 million units between January and March. The next-gen system's performance continues to outperform Sony's internal targets. Game income for the quarter soared to $195 million, and as a result Sony has increased its full-year targets by $89 million. Sales of PlayStation 4 were so strong that Sony claimed it was a key reason why revenue for the whole business climbed 7.2 per cent. However, the company-wide problems persist, particularly as it tries to absorb an impairment charge of $1.58 billion. Meanwhile, PlayStation Vita sales were not reported again. Sony instead merged that number with PlayStation TV and PSP sales, though together this still only reached 700,000 units for quarter. Overall, the corporation's lost $806 million during the quarter. This figure was a better outcome than most investors feared. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  6. 32 percent of all Ubisoft games sold in the past six months were on PS4, compared to 15 percent for Xbox One. As part of Ubisoft's latest earnings report today, the French Assassin's Creed publisher released a chart that shows a breakdown of sales for Ubisoft games by platform. You might have guessed it, but this chart proves it: the PlayStation 4 is the king of current-generation consoles, for Ubisoft at least. The chart speaks for itself. One of the most standout statistics is that PS4 rival Xbox One actually rankedfourth for the quarter ended September 30. With 9 percent of sales, the Xbox One was outsold byPlayStation 3 (19 percent), PC (17 percent), and Xbox 360 (16 percent) during that three-month period. PS4 share for Ubisoft games widened when looking at sales for the six-month period ended September 30. 32 percent of all Ubisoft games sold during that term were PS4 titles, compared to 15 percent for Xbox One. This is a significant shift from the last generation of consoles. As you can see in the chart above, for the first six months of Ubisoft's first-half of last fiscal year, Xbox 360 was the leader at 29 percent, compared to 24 percent for PS3. The PS4 has sold more than 10 million units as of August 2014. Microsoft has not provided a new sales update for the Xbox One in many months, though the system is believed to have sold in excess of 5 million units. Just this week, Microsoft announced a temporary $50 price cut for the Xbox One, which goes into effect on Sunday, ahead of the all-important holiday shopping season. What stands out most to you in the chart? Let us know in the comments below. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  7. Revenue up year-on-year, but detailed Xbox One sales undisclosed. Microsoft sold about 2.4 million Xbox systems, both last gen and new, to retailers between July and September. The software giant revealed the details to investors during its quarterly earnings report on Thursday, but did not specify further on how many of those shipped consoles had sold through to customers. Nor did it specify what proportion of consoles were Xbox One as opposed to Xbox 360. Nevertheless the additional console on the market had helped drive combined Xbox sales up by 102 percent. Microsoft launched the Xbox One on November 22 in 2013, and by December had sold about three million units to customers. Since then the corporation has not provided detailed sales figures. Revenue for the Xbox platform climbed by 58 percent during the quarter, Microsoft said. Surface tablet sales were strong too, driving revenue to $908 million. Overall sales for the corporation were mixed, with revenue at $23 billion (up 25 percent) while profits fell 8 percent to $5.8 billion. “We are innovating faster, engaging more deeply across the industry, and putting our customers at the centre of everything we do, all of which positions Microsoft for future growth,†said Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chief executive. “Our teams are delivering on our core focus of reinventing productivity and creating platforms that empower every individual and organisation.†Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  8. Tablet sales are in massive decline, and, when compared to smartphone sales, the smartphone’s larger brother isn’t fairing well. This is expected in the economy, when one considers that most tablets are unsubsidized with carriers worldwide and that many individuals desire a competitive $199 price tag out of pocket for the latest tablets – something that is not common nowadays in most places. By the time tablet prices drop to prices that consumers deem reasonable, tablets are often two years old and simply too old to buy at that point. Apple finds itself in the same position with its iPad Mini and iPad Air lineup currently, but Apple isn’t done with the iPad. The company that started both the smartphone and tablet revolutions with the iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010) isn’t finished with its revolutionary tablet. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple looks to revolutionize and grow iPad sales once more with some new products down the pipeline. Tim Cook hasn’t said anything about new iPads, but the company’s current commitment to the iPad Mini and iPad Air indicates that we’ll see new iPads with each passing year. Apple owns 28% market share in the mobile tablet arena, followed by Samsung at 18% – and other Android competitors register in the single digits when it comes to tablet market share. Both Samsung and Apple dominate in smartphones as well, with Samsung and Apple taking near 100% of smartphone sales in 2013. Apple and Samsung struck a truce recently that halts all worldwide lawsuits the American tech company had against the Korean manufacturer. Samsung is also a display maker for Apple, and despite Apple’s efforts to “wean†itself from Samsung dependence, the American tech giant finds itself relying on Samsung for iPhone part production once more. We shouldn’t forget about the iPad, but we know that Apple’s iPhone sales are the company’s greatest asset. The iPhone 6, due for arrival next month, looks to bring a 13MP camera to the iPhone 6 experience, in addition to two display sizes (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays) and iOS 8, the company’s imminent upgrade to what Apple calls the world’s most advanced operating system. iOS 8 will also appear on both the iPad Mini and iPad Air, both Apple’s larger and smaller tablets that now feature Retina displays. Evidence from within Apple logs show that the company will increase its screen resolution on its new iPhone 6 models, but there’s been no word on whether or not Apple will increase the screen resolution of the iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2.
  9. Though it can't compete with the PS4 and Xbox One, Nintendo continues to see strong performance from its first-party titles. We already know that Super Smash Bros. on 3DS has been a success for Nintendo, selling over 2.8 million worldwide since its launch, but according to the September NPD report, the game also helped increase 3DS sales by 55 percent month-ove-month in the US. Super Smash Bros. on 3DS sold over 705,000 copies with only two days of data for the September NPD, making it the "No. 4 best-selling software SKU for the month" according to Nintendo. And that's also factoring in digital sales, which Nintendo says accounted for 135,000 sales. Wii U sales were also bolstered month-on-month with an increase of "nearly 50 percent over sales in August." Nintendo attributes the increase to strong performances from Hyrule Warriors and Mario Kart 8. Hyrule Warriors has sold over 190,000 copies, and it would have made the NPD top 10 in the US if rankings were based on an individual SKU basis. And Mario Kart 8 "sold nearly 60,000 combined units in its fifth month on the market, bringing its lifetime total in the U.S. to nearly 1.2 million total units." Nintendo will likely have a strong finish to the year as well with both the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros.and Pokemon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire due out in November. For full NPD data, including how the PS4 and Xbox One fared, you can check out our rundown here. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  10. Platinum Games' sequel scores a perfect ten, but is dwarfed in the charts. Bayonetta 2, the Wii U-exclusive hack-and-slash developed at Platinum Games, has failed to ignite the market in Japan as week one sales show poor uptake. Week one Bayonetta 2 sales in Japan, as shown on the 4Gamer website, suggests the game managed to sell about 39,000 copies. By comparison, the 2009 original was reported at the time to have sold 138,000 copies during its first week in Japan, split between 93,000 on PS3 and 45,000 on Xbox 360. Despite this, early critic reviews for the game suggest the Wii U title is masterfully put together. Earlier in September, Japan publication Famitsu scored the game a 38/40, while UK publication Edge has given the game a rare ten. The latest Japan sales chart shows that Super Smash Bros. for 3DS remains the frontrunner. After surpassing one million total sales in less than two days in Japan, the handheld brawler picked up another 321,000 units in its second week. Publisher Nintendo has set a Bayonetta 2 release date for October 24 across Europe and the US. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  11. "Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn't be happier," CEO Tim Cook says. Apple sold a record 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones this weekend, the company announced today. The new phones went on sale on Friday, September 19. The previous record-holder was the iPhone 5 line, which combined to sell 9 million devices during its launch weekend last year. Apple added that sales of the new iPhone 6 models could have been higher if the company was able to meet demand. Strong performance out of the gate is not much of a surprise, given that the iPhone 6 broke preorder records for Apple, with more than 4 million preorders placed in under 24 hours. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are now available in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. The devices will launch in more than 20 additional countries on September 26, and will be available in a total of 115 countries by the end of 2014. "Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn't be happier," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible." Apple says the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus represent the "biggest advancements in iPhone history." The standard model sports a 4.7-inch screen, while the Plus features a 5.5-inch screen; both are Retina HD displays. In addition, both iPhone 6 models run on Apple's proprietary A8 chip that promises "blazing fast performance." They also work with Apple Pay, the company's new payment option, and feature the iOS 8 update. The iPhone 6 begins at $199 for a 16 GB model, while the Plus starts at $299 for a 16 GB model. Those prices are assuming you lock in for a two-year contract. For more on the new iPhones, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site CNET's extended coverage of the smartphones. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  12. Strong second week for Bungie's sci-fi epic due to PlayStation 4 bundle sales. Destiny has held its position atop the UK games charts despite a 78 percent drop in sales. According to retail sales monitor GfK Chart-Track, Activision's blockbuster FPS "comfortably" held the top position despite the drop in sales. This is partly due to the continued momentum of PlayStation 4 hardware sales, 72 percent of which were of the Destiny bundle last week. That means newcomer Disney Infinity 2.0 debuted at number two, despite performing about 32 percent better than its 2013 predecessor. Nintendo's Wii U exclusive Hyrule Warriors enters at third place. These games push last week's third-placed Watch Dogs to forth, while The Sims 4 drops three places fifth. Destiny Disney Infinity 2.0 Hyrule Warriors Watch Dogs The Sims 4 Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Call of Duty: Ghosts Minecraft: PS3 Edition The Last of US: Remastered Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare Newcomer Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, a Square Enix exclusive for 3DS, makes its debut on 3DS at seventeenth. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  13. Rush of marketing for Sony hardware bundle ignites interest. Sony has recorded its most successful ever week of PlayStation 4 hardware sales in the UK, due to the craze of interest in Activision's Destiny. Industry publication MCV claims that PS4 sales soared 300 percent week-on-week during the launch of Destiny. Final sales numbers were not disclosed, though it was claimed that Sony's next-gen console had doubled Xbox One sales during the seven-day period. Destiny was advertised principally as a PS4 game in the UK, with Microsoft prohibited from advertising it for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Most TV spots and billboard adverts featured the Destiny PS4 hardware bundle. Those restrictions on Microsoft led to its ad team publishing a spoof Destiny perfume advert, which wasremoved shortly after going live. Sony executives have previously said that they are treating Destiny as though it were a first-party title. However, week one sales of Destiny showed a 50/50 split across Sony and Microsoft's cross-gen platforms, with the Xbox 360 version selling way ahead of the PS3 version. Worldwide, Activision estimates that Destiny sell-through grossed about $325 million within five days. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post Don't forget to press the Thanks button
  14. Microsoft manages to sell 23,500 units in first week -- just over a third of Xbox 360's initial performance. First-week sales numbers for Xbox One in Japan suggest Microsoft will not easily overcome difficulties of selling in the region. During the system's first four days on sale in Japan, Microsoft managed to sell 23,562 units, according to local publication Famitsu. By comparison, in 2005 Microsoft shipped an estimated initial batch of 159,000 Xbox 360s across Japan, of which about 62,000 were sold in the first two days alone. When compared with sales of systems from Sony and Nintendo, the Xbox One's commercial performance in Japan looks considerably worse. Sony managed to sell around 308,000 PlayStation 4 units during its first week on sale in Japan, while Nintendo's Wii U managed 322,000. In 2011, the PS Vita sold close to 325,000 units during its first week, and in the same year, Nintendo sold its entire initial allotment of 400,000 Nintendo 3DS units on launch day. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  15. Apple’s set to release two larger iPhone 6 models in September, and, as was the case with the release of the first-generation iPad Mini, analysts worry about the sales of the iPad. What complicates the matter is that Apple’s recent earnings report shows that iPad sales are down from the same quarter in 2013. It’s been said that iPad Mini sales have cannibalized larger iPad sales, seeing that a number of consumers find that the 8-inch tablet is ideal for gaming, travel, and portability. The iPad Mini has had its success, it’s true – but the large iPad (now known as the iPad Air) has also gained its share of adherents, who want a larger display with a tablet that still lives by the “thinner, lighter, and faster†mantra that’s come to characterize Apple products. With the introduction of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 models reduce the number of iPads? The answer is more complex than either “yes†or “no.†Factors surrounding the iPhone 6 / iPad cannibalization question Sure, we can be honest and admit that some individuals may prefer a larger iPhone 6 than an iPad, and many may find the iPhone 6 display to be more comfortable than reading experiences with iPhones in the past. At the same time, however, the size of the iPhone is nowhere near the size of Apple’s iPad Mini and iPad Air. Even if Apple does release the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 (which seems probable at this point), a 4.7-inch screen is still not as comfortable as, say, the 7.9-inch Retina iPad Mini or the 9.7-inch iPad Air. There’s a large gap between a 4.7-inch and a 9.7-inch display, namely 5 inches across – which allows the iPad Air to do things (gaming, for one) that doesn’t seem as comfortable on a 4.7-inch screen. Some of us here at Inferse own Samsung’s 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 as well as the 5-inch Nexus 5 – and neither display, no matter its size, is comparable to the gaming experience we’ve had with the third-generation iPad. Even if you take a game such as FIFA 14, soccer players on the five-inch smartphones are still too tiny, and the controls are too difficult to maneuver. The iPad’s gaming experience has been effortless and continues to be (two years in). There’re some things that smartphones can do better than others, and smartphones may have greater portability – but they can’t best the gaming experience on a tablet, no matter their size. There’re some significant size differences in both the display and body that make tablets the better gaming device than smartphones. We’re not afraid to go out on a limb and say that the iPad Air and iPad Mini are the better devices for even watching movies. Yes, sometimes, we’ve reached for our smartphones to watch a YouTube or Netflix feature when our iPad battery is on empty; we’ve enjoyed watching the movies up-close, and smartphones make better devices when watching videos and getting screenshots. Still, however, the iPad Air and iPad Mini are the better devices, even weighing more than the iPhone 6 will weigh because their size provides more enhanced user experience. This isn’t to say, however that we’re not aware of how manufacturers are starting to bridge the gap between what smartphones and tablets can do. Tablets today are being used to make phone calls, have video chats, and send emails and documents (just like smartphones). Pretty much everything you can do on a smartphone can be done on a tablet (and vice versa), but the issue boils down to size. The iPhone 6, even at 4.7 and 5.5 inches across, is still a smaller device than an iPad Mini or iPad Air. And there’s one final factor to keep in mind: tablets provide a better visual experience because everything is magnified. We’ve had times where reading an email on a 4-inch screen is difficult because the display is too small. Even reading emails on a five-inch display can prove to be difficult at times when emails come in small print because we’ve found ourselves having to manually zoom on the screen to get emails to appear in a print we can read.
  16. Takedown notices for pirated books can be quite effective in some cases, new research shows. The extensive study reveals that these anti-piracy measures can increase e-book sales by 15 percent. Other book formats are unaffected, and interestingly the results also indicate that lesser-known authors may benefit from piracy. book-pirateIn an attempt to limit the availability of pirated content, copyright holders send millions of takedown requests to online services every week. The effectiveness of these anti-piracy measures is often in doubt, since the pirated files usually reappear quickly elsewhere. But, according to new research they do have some effect. Imke Reimers, an economics researcher affiliated with NBER and Northeastern University, examined the effectiveness of these takedown notices on book sales. The results, published in the working paper “The Effect of Piracy Protection in Book Publishing,†show that e-books sales increase as a result of the takedown efforts. In her research Reimers compares sales of book titles before and after takedown notices are issued, to see the effect on book sales across different titles, genres and formats. The study is the first of its kind and reaches the conclusion that piracy protection increases e-book sales. “This paper is the first to empirically analyze the interaction of online piracy and the legal market for books. It finds that piracy protection significantly increases regular unit sales of e-books, while the effect on physical formats is not as clear,†Reimers writes. “E-books, the closest substitute for online piracy benefit from piracy protection by selling 15.4% more units, while there is no significant effect on other formats,†she adds. A 15 percent increase in e-book sales is quite significant, and translates to millions of dollars in revenue across the industry. For other book formats, including hardcovers, paperback and audiobooks, no sales increase was observed. The research controlled for a wide variety of third-party variables that could have influenced the results. Based on the current data Reimers is confident that the sales increase can indeed be attributed the takedown notices. However, she also spots differences in the impact on established and starting writers. More specifically, piracy doesn’t appear to pose a threat to the e-book sales of starting authors and could even serve as a promotional tool. “The effect varies by the title’s level of popularity. For well-known books and those by popular authors, online piracy mainly poses a threat to regular book sales, while authors who are just starting out could benefit from the additional platform. My results support this idea, at least for e-books,†Reimers writes. TorrentFreak reached out to Reimers who notes that it might be a good idea for some authors to share some of their work online. “I find no evidence that piracy protection is ‘bad’ for any books, but it seems that more obscure titles could benefit from the advertising effect of pirated versions. Some emerging authors offer their titles or excerpts of their titles for free on their websites – exactly to advertise their works. My results suggest that this might be a smart move,†she tells us. The research is based on data from Digimarc, one of the leading piracy protection firms for the book industry. Needless to say, the company is happy to hear that their efforts indeed appear to have an effect. “This new research strongly validates our position that Digimarc Guardian’s anti-piracy strategies provide a substantial return-on-investment for customers, in the form of increased legitimate sales and revenue,†Chris Shepard, Director of Product Management at Digimarc, informs us. Digimarc assured TorrentFreak that they had no hand in the academic research other than providing the piracy takedown data. The sales data used for the research comes from the leading independent e-book publisher RosettaBooks. Needless to say, they are also happy with the results. “Rightsholders feel exposed or taken advantage of by piracy. We believe that Digimarc’s services improve our overall sales and the effect of dampened piracy greatly exceeds the cost of the service,†Greg Freed, eBook Production and Distribution Director at RosettaBooks tells TorrentFreak. While the research indicates that takedown notices can have a positive effect on e-book sales, future research will have to show whether or not this can be generalized to other industries, including the movie and music business. In any case, with the above in mind it’s expected that the volume of takedown notices will only increase in the near future, a trend that has been going on for several years now.
  17. Anti-Piracy Law Boosted Music Sales , Plunged Internet Traffic A new study on the effects of the IPRED anti-piracy law in Sweden shows that the legislation increased music sales by 36 percent. At the same time, Internet traffic in the country dropped significantly. The results suggest that the law initially had the desired effect, but the researchers also note this didn't last long. It’s been five years since Sweden implemented the controversial anti-piracy legislation, IPRED. The law, which gives rights holders the authority to request the personal details of alleged copyright infringers, was met with fierce resistance from ISPs and the public at large. At the same time, however, there were plenty of signs that the law stopped people from pirating. A day after it went into effect, Netnod Internet Exchange reported a significant drop in Swedish Internet traffic. Inspired by the anecdote, the effectiveness of IPRED has become a topic of interest for economists at Uppsala University in Sweden. In a new paper they report their findings on the effect of the anti-piracy law on Internet traffic and music sales. The main goal of the research is to examine whether the anti-piracy law did indeed have an effect, and to what extent. To make sure that the effect is unique to Sweden, both Norway and Finland were chosen as control groups. The results, which will be published in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, confirm that Internet traffic decreased quite a bit after IPRED went into effect, beginning abruptly the very same day. IPRED’s apparent effect on Internet traffic Perhaps even more surprisingly, music sales also skyrocketed compared to the other two Scandinavian countries. “We find that the reform decreased Internet traffic by 16% and increased music sales by 36% during the first six months. Pirated music therefore seems to be a strong substitute to legal music,†the researchers write, summarizing the results. IPRED’s apparent effect on digital music sales Interestingly, however, the overall effect on Internet traffic and music sales vanished after half a year. The only effect that remained was the increase in digital sales. Internet traffic and physical music sales returned to normal, in part because the chance of getting caught is quite low. “The deterrent effect decreased quickly, possibly because of the few and slow legal processes. Law enforcement through convictions therefore seems to be a necessary ingredient for the long-run success of a copyright protection law,†the researchers note. The researchers suggest that if more people are convicted, the effects may last longer. During the first few years only a handful of file-sharers were brought to justice, while hundreds of thousands took steps to circumvent the law. “As the first court cases were only settled recently, it is still possible that further convictions would restore an effect that is more long-lasting,†they write in their conclusion. The question remains, however, whether bankrupting people or throwing them in jail is the ideal strategy in the long run…
  18. YouTube Hurts Music Album Sales, Research Finds The music industry has often cited piracy as the main reason for the decline in music sales over the past decade, but new research suggests that YouTube may have played a role as well. Based on Warner Music's YouTube blackout, researchers conclude that the video streaming portal cost the label up to $40 million in lost album sales per year. In recent years many academics have researched the link between Internet piracy and the revenues of the major music labels, with varying results. Some have concluded that there is no adverse impact of piracy on sales, others argue that there’s a moderate negative relation. While the music industry and many researchers seek answers in the piracy realm, other drastic changes are too often ignored. The availability of free on-demand music through legal services such as YouTube for example. Researchers from Fairfield University and the University of Colorado have started to fill this gap with a new study. In their working paper the researchers examine the effect of Warner Music’s 2009 YouTube blackout on the record label’s album sales. At the time, Warner pulled all their music from the video hosting service due to a licensing dispute. The researchers use this event to compare the sales of Warner’s artists listed in the Billboard Album 200, to those from labels that still had their videos on YouTube. The results are intriguing, to say the least. After controlling for several variables, such as music genre and album specific characteristics, they found that Warner’s top artists sold many more albums during the blackout. “We showed that the removal of content from YouTube had a causal impact on album sales by upwards of on average 10,000 units per week for top albums,†the paper reads. According to the researchers, these results indicate that YouTube doesn’t always serve as a promotional tool as many claim, certainly not for the top artists. “While a great deal has been said about the potential role of these service in promoting and discovering new artists and music, our results cast some doubt on this widely believed notion, at least with regards to top selling albums [...], they write. The researchers estimate that for the top albums the total in lost sales because of YouTube equals roughly $1 million per year. This is a significant percentage of the label’s total revenue. It is hard to say, however, that YouTube is hurting overall revenue, as the advertising revenue it receives from Google also brings in a significant sum of money. The results, which are largely driven by the top selling albums, suggest that there is no promotional effect of YouTube on album sales. In addition, there is no effect on Google searches for the artists in question either. In other words, YouTube doesn’t mainly hurt album sales. “Our findings suggest that sales displacement effect can be real without a promotional effect. That is, the people listening on YouTube appear to be, to some extent people who would know about this album anyway, but may not buy it because of YouTube,†the researchers conclude. The findings are interesting for a variety of reasons. Although they don’t prove that YouTube costs the music industry more than it brings in, it clearly shows that there are more factors that can explain people’s shift in music buying habits than piracy alone.