Sony has released its financial report for the first quarter of the year from April to June 30, revealing games revenue has risen 95.7 percent year-on-year.
The results reveal ¥257.5bn ($2.5bn) generated in sales from Sony's Games & Network Services division, which the company attributes to the successful launch of the PS4. As a result, last year's first quarter loss of ¥16.4bn ($164m) has been replaced by an operating profit of ¥4.3bn ($43m), even though sales of PS3 consoles and games have fallen.
Though Sony doesn't reveal how many PS4 and PS3 consoles were sold separately, the report confirms combined sales to the consumer of 3.5 million units in the first quarter of the year, a big jump from last year's 1.1 million, while sales of PSP, Vita and Vita TV rose to 750,000, up from last year's 600,000.Combined software sales also saw a leap from ¥68bn to ¥85bn.
Note: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
First of all, apologies for not posting a review of Extant last week. San Diego Comic-Con got in the way.
"Shelter" started off with a sense of urgency as Molly and John continued their escape from the clutches of the ISEA, Director Sparks, and Yasumoto, but then it fizzled. There were intense moments that pushed the edge and made me cringe and worry, but in between those scenes, the story fizzled and ultimately didn't reveal any new pieces of puzzle.
Part of the reason the episode didn't work incredibly well is that it focused on the family dynamics. Molly, John, and Ethan aren't your average unit, and while some of the awkwardness between them is intentional due to Ethan's nature, there's not much chemistry. Louis Gossett, Jr. (Quinn) and Pierce Gagnon had some interesting back and forth as the grandfather exploited his humanic grandson's abilities, but there should have been stilted interaction there. Quinn tries to treat Ethan as a normal kid but clearly isn't quite there yet. Beyond that, the scenes between Molly and John fell flat. And while Quinn could get more interesting, he doesn't have the most original of backstories.
It's a huge week for Guardians of the Galaxy with the big movie release this Friday, so naturally Marvel put out two comics featuring the space adventurers. There's also a long-awaited Hawkeye issue, a new look for the damaged mutant Dazzler, and a huge finale to the current story arc in Uncanny Avengers.
Over at DC, you have to take notice whenever Sandman Overture hits. So take notice! Other notable releases include Justice League with a new Power Ring, a Superman story by Ron Marz, and the much-anticipated finale to The Wake.
Rick Remender launches yet another new series at Image Comics -- this one is called Low, and it gets off to an amazing start. We also got the next chapter of Outcast, a pair of comics from Jonathan Hickman in East of West and Manhattan Projects, and the end of Dark Horse's Star Wars: Rebel Heist mini-series.
A new English-language Nintendo Direct will take place next Monday, August 4 at 8:00 p.m. PT, providing new details on Hyrule Warriors for Wii U, Nintendo announced today.
Hyrule Warriors is a Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors mash-up from Tecmo Koei Games. The hack-and-slash title takes iconic characters from the Legend of Zelda franchise, such as Link, Zelda, Impa and Midna, and makes them playable with over-the-top Dynasty Warriors-style moves.
If The Wake was to be summed up in one word, it'd be "big." Big in ideas, big in scope, big in execution. Since the very first issue we've been treated to numerous histories and mythologies, clues and teases, breadcrumbs on an ever winding trail. Tasked now with finishing their grand design, Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy deliver a truly all encompassing read, offering a uniquely riveting and remarkably constructed finale that pays off in about every way imaginable.
After spending the last few issues pulling the Guardians apart, issue #17 serves to bring them back together, just in time to make their cinematic debut. The latest from writer Brian Michael Bendis offers the same enjoyable team dynamic that's made the book so enjoyable thus far, but it also features many of the same hang-ups, resulting in an uneven and ultimately pedestrian installment.
With King J-Son finally exposed as the manipulative sour-puss that he is, the bulk of issue #17 is spent traversing the various story lines in order to bring the group together once more. Bendis does a decent job closing each of these threads, but there's a definite sense of ease to the proceedings that makes everything they've been through recently feel largely unimportant in the grand scheme of things. From the ship finding Drax to the sudden miraculous return of Rocket, everything feels remarkably scripted, losing the sense of randomness that's made their continued adventures so engaging.
Had Sandman Overture stuck to its originally intended shipping schedule, the series would be almost finished now instead of just reaching the halfway point. Unfortunately, it looks like Overture is really going to test the patience of readers by the time everything is said and done. But if this comic isn't worth waiting months and months for, what is?
Issue #2 was a significant improvement over the first, which in hindsight was a little too scattered and meandering for its own good. Neil Gaiman has honed in on the meat of his conflict now. And it's quickly developing into a story that manages to flaunt all the creativity and narrative eloquence Sandman is known for while also carving new territory and exploring new genres for the series. There are shades of Western films and The Dark Tower in this issue as Morpheus' little group grows and makes its way across a harsh landscape. Young orphan girl Hope proves to be a great addition to the cast, offering a childlike sense of awe and also helping to keep her lofty companions a bit more grounded.
Rick Remender has been on quite the hot streak lately between his Image hits like Black Science and Deadly Class and his monumental announcement of Sam Wilson taking over the role of Captain America. He’s also penning Marvel’s next big crossover, Axis. That he’s found time in between all of that to team up with artist Greg Tocchini for a book like Low is astounding.
Low is a book readers should go into as blind as possible. Doing so makes the twists and turns of its first issue all the more surprising and enjoyable. At play in Low’s first issue is complex and intriguing worldbuilding and precise, emotional character work. Remender has found a way to play up both of these without having one take a backseat. You’re on this journey with real people, not hollow storytelling vessels, from the moment they’re introduced.
North American and European Nintendo 3DS users will be able to play together online when Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate launches in the regions early next year, Capcom confirmed in a post today.
“But let's talk about the main focus again: multiplayer! I'm proud to confirm that multiplayer in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will work amongst both North American and European versions, online AND locally!” the post reads.
Capcom also reaveld the game’s box art (below) in full where fan’s can catch a glimpse of new in-game features, according to the post, such as “a hunter on the Gore Magala's back and the more subtle idea of terrain differences affecting gameplay manifesting itself in the archer on the right.
Shocker of the week: the new issue of Hawkeye is super good. Fresh off of their Best Single Issue Eisner at SDCC, Fraction and Aja’s series is back with a vengeance in this inventive and memorable first issue. The timing of its release is uncanny. The creative team just this past weekend won an Eisner for the now-legendary Hawkeye #11, told entirely from the point of view of Clint Barton’s dog. That the issue that comes out the week following would also be told in a unique and unconventional fashion is perfect timing.
Production on the upcoming eighth season of The Big Bang Theory has stalled due to ongoing contract negotiations.
The Wrap reports that Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons and Kaley Cuoco are among the series stars still negotiating.
In an official statement delivered Wednesday, Warner Bros. Television announced, “Due to ongoing contract negotiations, production on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ — which was originally scheduled to begin today — has been postponed.”
This Guardians of the Galaxy issue is the latest in a series of wacky one-shots that explore what form the franchise might take 100 years after its original debut (in this case, the year 2069). But this issue actually works as a movie-friendly celebration of the Guardians franchise independent of the rest of the 100th Anniversary Specials. It manages to pay homage to all incarnations of the team, from the classic 31st Century Guardians to the Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning revamp to the current Brian Michael Bendis series. Fans of any of those books, or just cosmic craziness in general, will find a lot to like with this issue.
This issue brings back one half of the Abnett/Lanning team. Unfortunately, the two writers seem to have parted ways in recent years. Instead, Lanning teams up with Ron Marz to script this issue. The tone still manages to be pretty similar to the 2008 series. It's humorous, but a little more dramatic and weird than the current Guardians book. As with the other 100th Anniversary Specials, the goal isn't necessarily to flash forward 50 years into Marvel's timeline, but merely approximate what a Guardians comic crafted by writers and editors and artists in 2069 might look like.
The problem with time travel is that it offers heroes an easy way out of their problems. Did your failure to achieve Avengers team unity cause a giant space god to destroy Earth, leaving the mutant race to start a new civilization on a faraway planet? We've all been there. But all you need is a little blast of Kang's temporal magic, and Earth is as good as saved.
That might be how some writers would resolve the conflict in "Avenge the Earth." But luckily, Rick Remender isn't one of them. Issue #22 chronicles the big battle between the Avengers and the Chronos Corps as the former realize too late they've been bamboozled by Kang. Shocking. What ensues is an epic battle against characters pulled from all corners of the Marvel Universe. And the conflict only gets crazier as Remender draws in Immortus and his Infinity Watch, as well as bringing the Apocalypse Twins back into the picture.
As we learned in the first chapter of "The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier," Chuck has now been dead long enough that his legal counsel (She-Hulk, of course) feels comfortable reading his will. But before that can happen, all of the X-Men need to be present. The drama of forcing two opposing factions of mutants into the same room so they can confront the lingering pain of Xavier's death forms the crux of the conflict in this second issue. That might just be the best premise for a story arc Brian Bendis has cooked up in either of his X-titles so far. And even if this arc is moving pretty slowly right now, it definitely has its appeal.
Saying that there is a lot going on in Hickman’s Avengers books right now is a huge understatement, but it’s also certainly true. That said, the emotional weight of New Avengers #21 completely blows everything else out of the water. The Illuminati have been unabashedly brandishing a world-killing bomb for many issues now, but that all comes to a head with this latest issue. The results are gut-wrenchingly hard to read, and both surprising and unsurprising when all is said and done making this a must read issue and one of Hickman’s best so far.
None of the Original Sin tie-ins have much direct relevance towards the core Original Sin series. But at least it can't be said that Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man has no impact on the two characters. So far, the series has mined another dirty nugget from Tony Stark's already sordid past, and caused a transformation in Hulk that has merged his limitless strength with Bruce Banner's prodigious intelligence. Granted, Smart Hulk is something we've seen before in various incarnations and colors. But even one issue later, Hulk's latest transformation seems like just the thing to reinvigorate a struggling franchise.
Jonathan Hickman’s era of adventures have been often, if not always, heavily laced with high concepts and science fiction fun. Avengers #33 is a prime example of this as it continues to explore the story of our time lost heroes. More than that though, this issue introduces a terrifying, but fascinating sci-fi threat that makes this issue an entertaining and exciting read.
This issue focuses on Captain America, who is seemingly the last of the Avengers still traveling further into the future. He arrives in a place completely devoid of humanity and soon finds out why. Hickman’s main threat of the issue is unique, scary, and truly interesting both as a villain and a sci-fi concept. Cap faces this threat alone which is definitely riveting to read, but since this is an Avengers book, it’s a bit of a bummer that he’s basically the only hero featured in this issue. This is by design of course, and Hickman does find an interesting way to get at least another version of the Avengers in the issue, but it still feels more like an issue of Captain America than anything else.
X-Men #17 marks the end of Brian Wood's tenure on the series. The previous issue gave me hope that he'd be able to wrap up his run on a satisfying note, but that doesn't prove to be the case. Poorly paced and largely unfulfilling, X-Men #17 only eaves me wishing Wood had stuck around a bit longer to take care of some loose threads and more definitively cap off this arc.
In the tradition of so many X-Men storylines before it, "Bloodline" ends with the X-Men dusting themselves off after recent defeats and suddenly roaring back to beat the enemy into submission. I'm all for comics the showcase the X-Men fighting as a well-oiled unit. That's something Wood has excelled at. But it's always a little odd to see the stakes so suddenly shift in the climax of a story. The X-Men wind up dealing with The Future so quickly and resoundingly here that all sense of conflict leaks out of the story. For a guy who supposedly knows every move his enemies will make, the Future is bizarrely short-sighted.
You'd think the one upside of Forever Evil being delayed so long in its final chapters is that Justice League would have a chance to catch up and eventually resume a more steady shipping schedule. That hasn't been the case so far. This series is caught a couple months behind the pack, exploring how the new incarnation of the Justice League comes to be even as we're already seeing said League in action in books like Robin Rises. Justice League could definitely use a pacing boost right now, but there's enough enjoyable material in this issue that the slower pace is hardly a deal-breaker.
While the cover suggests this issue will continue to focus on the showdown between Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor, Johns instead turns his attention to the hunt for Jessica Cruz, the new Power Ring. The fact that the new Doom Patrol are the first responders at the scene of Power Ring's fiery carnage allows Johns to explore the team in greater depth than ever before. This process begins with a flashback as Dr, Caulder introduces Element Woman (and by extension, the readers) to her new teammates. It's a pretty elegant way of setting the stage without lingering too long on setup.
Developer NetherRealm studios may unveil new Mortal Kombat X information during this year's Gamescom, series creator Ed Boon teased on Twitter today.
"I won't play GAMES or try to COMpete with you," Boon hinted in response to a fan’s question when new information will be released about the 2015 fighting game.
Boon did a similar tease prior to recent fighting game tournament EVO 2014 where the studio revealed Raiden and his variations across his three different styles. For more on the fighting game franchise, be sure to check out our Mortal Kombat X preview from E3 2014 and read our feature on how NetherRealm resurrected Mortal Kombat.