The UpStream

Satoru Iwata Takes Price Cut

posted Saturday Jul 30, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Satoru Iwata Takes Price Cut

By now, I think we all know about Nintendo's 3DS price cut, but that isn't the only thing getting slashed at Nintendo. Satoru Iwata, Nintendo's corporate president, has taken responsibility for the poor sales numbers and recognizes the probable loss that will accompany the price drop on the 3DS, and has announced that he will take a 50% pay cut, as well.

He won't be the only executive to be taking a major pay cut, either. In explaination of the pay cuts, Iwata himself said,

For cuts in fixed salaries, I'm taking a fifty percent cut, other representative directors are taking a 30 percent cut, and other execs are taking a 20 percent cut.

Hit the break to find out how and why this is happening.

NCSoft to Reveal New Game

posted Friday Jul 29, 2011 by Scott Ertz

NCSoft to Reveal New Game

Ever since NCsoft announced that they would be attending gamescom 2011 and were going to "make some world exclusive announcements," the Interwebz have been trying to figure out what it could be. The prevailing theory seems to have been there would finally be a release date for Guild Wars 2.

This week, however, NCsoft announced through a letter from Executive Producer Jeremy Gaffney that the big announcement will not have anything to do with any existing IP, but instead will be the game the guys over at Carbine Studios have been working on. While we may not know a lot about it, we do know that it is a new sci-fi MMO IP.

Want more information that that? Hit the break.

Nintendo Slashes Price on 3DS After an 82% Cut in Sales Forecast

posted Thursday Jul 28, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

Nintendo Slashes Price on 3DS After an 82% Cut in Sales Forecast

Nintendo had high hopes that its Nintendo 3DS would bring the company out of the basement of the gaming world and bring it back to the glory days. Unfortunately, Quarter 2 results did not look so good for the company. Nintendo posted a total net loss of $324 million for Q2, a little more than their hit from last year as the same time. The bigger issue here is that Nintendo also reduced their sales forecast for 2010 by 82 percent, from $11.5 billion to a mere $257 million.

Because of this, Nintendo's stock dropped by a fifth of its value this week. As it turns out, 11,190 investors didn't seem to like an 82 percent decrease in sales projections. Nintendo is putting the blame on a lack of sales for the big titles on the Wii and 3DS.

So what is a company who is struggling to barely keep afloat this year to do after a disastrous financial report? Drop the price of their headlining handheld gaming device, of course! More details on that after the break.

FOX Limits How Soon You Can Watch Their Content Online After It Airs

posted Wednesday Jul 27, 2011 by Nicholas DiMeo

FOX Limits How Soon You Can Watch Their Content Online After It Airs

In less than a month, FOX Broadcasting will be launching a new campaign to go after the pirates (Davey Jones, Giant Squid). FOX is aiming to make sure cord-cutters aren't going to benefit from sites like Hulu and anymore. Starting on August 15th, if you have DISH Network, you will be the first to be able to watch new episodes of FOX TV shows online. If you don't have DISH, you will have to wait 8 days after the episode airs on TV. This change will affect anywhere that hosts FOX TV shows on their site, legally, of course. This particularly affects and Hulu.

We have more on the change and why after the break.

RadioShack Upgrades From 3G+ to 4G LTE

posted Wednesday Jul 27, 2011 by Scott Ertz

RadioShack Upgrades From 3G+ to 4G LTE

As regular readers of The UpStream know, many of us here are RadioShack alumni. Over the years, we have seen a lot of changes, particularly in the wireless business. In my tenure with the company, I had the opportunity to interact with all of the major networks but always in smaller, odd pairings. The largest, and possibly strangest pairing, is the current 3 that The Shack offers - Sprint, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile.

This week, however, RadioShack announced that they plan to oust T-Mobile and replace them with Verizon Wireless. This is a surprising move considering remarks that RadioShack leaders have made about the smallest national carrier's interactions with the retailer. At one point during the 4th quarter earnings call for 2010, there was even a comment about T-Mobile breaching their contract with the corporation. With all of that said, I don't think anyone is surprised that the new CEO, James F. Gooch, is ready to be done with them.

How does this impact the wireless-buying populace? Hit the break to find out.

Facebook Wants Mobile Money

posted Wednesday Jul 27, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Facebook Wants Mobile Money

Before 2011 this year Facebook Credits were merely an option for game developers and it was a nice option to have. If they chose not to manage their own virtual currency but wanted the option to sell virtual goods, Facebook took care of it for a fee. Then in January this year, Facebook announced a new policy, effective July 1st 2011, that would make it mandatory for game developers to use Facebook Credits should they want to sell virtual goods to users through Facebook. Basically, they were leveraging their then 500 million plus user base to get mega social game developers like Zynga to concede to the 30% Facebook takes off the top. To be fair, there are advantages to having one universal currency and Facebook has offered targeted ad campaigns as part of the deal.

What Facebook has been missing out on is the revenue generated by smartphone and tablet users who take advantage of the mobile apps and mobile browsers for the various platforms. They are asking developers to start building apps with HTML 5 standards which might put them in a better position to take advantage of the revenue slipping through their fingers. ThinkEquity LLC estimates the virtual goods market to be around $20 billion by 2014 and, with the growing popularity of mobile gaming, Facebook could be missing out on a lot of revenue right now. Undisclosed sources told reporters at Bloomberg that Facebook might include something like a news feed in apps that is dedicated to displaying your friends in-game activities in an effort to get game developers more recognition.

With a possible Facebook IPO early next year, hit the break to find out why they need to take advantage of these revenues.

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