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Armchair Analysis: February 2012 NPD—A tale of two portables

Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational Screenshot

Lots of you are probably wondering who "won" the portable showdown last month. Early estimates of 300,000 units for Vita seemed likely to nudge it past the 3DS, which would have made sense given that Vita is the newer platform and that early adopters would push it to a respectable launch number. That didn't happen, however.

Armchair Analysis: February 2012 NPD—Sea of red

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Screenshot

In a way, it's good to see that there hasn't been the reaction to February's NPD data that I anticipated. On the flip side, February was another month of deep Year-over-year (YOY) negatives and presents questions to me about just how long the current console cycle can remain viable.

Poison's transgender, in a holding pattern, Misfits and Joe R. Lansdale's new book

Street Fighter X Tekken Screenshot

Most probably due to her upcoming role as a playable fighter in Street Fighter X Tekken, pink-haired, handcuff-sporting Poison has been popping up all over articles, online and on Twitter lately. If you don't know who she is, Poison (to my knowledge, anyway) is one of the only transgender characters in gaming who's gained a solid level of visibility and a decent fanbase considering that her exposure over the years has been far less frequent than some of the other well-known faces that one would usually associate with Capcom, or fighting games.

Video: Fifteen of 2011's games get the Lego treatment

Created for the opening of the 15th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, this montage depicted 15 of the year's top games. The project was created by Alex Kobbs and features a musical score called "Roll the Dice" and composed by Glen Ballard. It must have been a treat for attendees.

Video: Fifteen of 2011's games get the Lego treatment

The Ocarina of Time's Hyrule recreated in Minecraft

Going by the reception of Nintendo's 3D update of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, there is much love for the Nintendo 64 classic even today. So it's not surprising that a group of very dedicated and talented fans got together to recreate that world in Minecraft.

The Ocarina of Time's Hyrule recreated in Minecraft

Armchair Analysis: Weak Modern Warfare 3 sales and Activision stock downgrade

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Screenshot

Call of Duty has arguably been the biggest and most successful IP that this console generation has seen. Yearly releases have set sales records and the first-person shooter genre reached heights never before seen. Activision has had a great run, and the publisher has become dependent on the success of Call of Duty to carry it to success.

Armchair Analysis: Final January 2012 NPD hardware sales data analysis

Sony PlayStation 3 Image

I talked about the Xbox 360 last night in my preliminary analysis, and the unit sales number had already been made public. There's not really much to add to what I said. I expected a Year-over-year (YOY) decline, but a 29% drop was sobering to see.

Armchair Analysis: Preliminary January 2012 NPD hardware sales analysis

Microsoft Xbox 360 Dashboard Image

At first glance, the preliminary NPD sales data that has been shared with the public for January 2012 incite fear and panic. Sales fell from $1.14 billion in January 2011 to $750.6 million in January 2012. That's a stunning 34% Year-over-year (YOY) drop and is the lowest number since 2004.

Armchair Analysis: Pre-NPD thoughts

Mario Kart 7 Screenshot

Nintendo will be looking to the 3DS remain strong in January. Expected residual interest in Mario Kart 7 and Super Mario 3D Land can be cited as factors, and there's a certainly a chance that the 3DS can stay close to Xbox 360 numbers.

Armchair Analysis: Five burning questions — February 6-10

The Darkness II Screenshot

How will this week's releases fare? Kingdoms of Amalur headlines this week's slate of new releases, which is solid for a second consecutive week after a mostly dormant month of January. Early reviews have been quite positive for the game, which would be a boon to Electronic Arts. The Darkness II hits this week as well, although it seems to be flying under the radar a bit.

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