We certainly didn't expect this so soon after the holidays. Still trudging around, weighed down by turkey and pudding-filled bellies, Nvidia injected a much-needed adrenaline shot into the arm of the industry by using CES to announce a new portable video games console. Project SHIELD – we hope it'll have a catchier name on release – packs a powerful Tegra 4 punch and boasts a full-sized gamepad and a touch screen. Sure it looks like the concept art of a school student and is destined to flop harder than a contestant on ITV's Tom Daily vehicle Splash, but that doesn't stop us being excited to touch one. I know OUYA and GameStick and all the other Android-based machines are coming too, but they're not as exciting as Nvidia's effort. It'll be out in the US in Q2.
CES was also a catalyst for lots more talk on the heavily rumoured Steam Box. A tiny machine from
Xi3, the Piston, designed to make use of Steam Big Picture Mode, showed its face, but this wasn't the Valve Steam Box we'd all hoped to see. However, Valve's Gabe Newell did reveal that the firm is in fact working on a Steam Box which it will sell to consumers. As expected, it'll be Linux-based, but will allow users to install Windows if they wish. Newell says the box will be quiet, small and offer high performance.
The week was also packed full of sales news, starting off with word from Nintendo president Satoru Iwata that Wii U sales haven't been too bad. It turns out that US launch Wii U console revenue of $300 million is actually $30 million higher than the original Wii managed – a stat Nintendo is doing its best to spin, despite Wii U selling fewer units than the Wii. Wii U has now sold 890,000 units in the US, but that's chicken feed compared to the Xbox 360's 1.4 million sold in December alone.
In other sales news, Telltale's The Walking Dead episodes have sold 8.5 million copies across all formats, proving the episodic structure works when done right. Speaking of Telltale, they've gone on record that an episodic Halo game would be something the studio would love to do. There's no indication this is a project which is actually going to happen, but we'd sure like to see it.
Elsewhere it was announced that Minecraft continues to sell handsomely, shifting a huge 15 million copies across all formats in 2012. Somewhat surprisingly, it was the mobile version which sold most across the year, followed by the XBLA version and then the PC original. Franchise sales life-to-date now stand in the region of 19 million, which is pretty good going.
THQ's proposed quick bankruptcy sale was denied and the publisher is now being auctioned off piece by piece – providing all the individual pieces sell for a total greater than the originally agreed purchase price of the whole publisher. It's believed EA, Ubisoft and Warner are interested in some of the firm's assets, most likely open-world action game Saints Row.
And finally, Nintendo announced Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, which promises to be an all-new three dimensional catch 'em all adventure, coming to 3DS worldwide in October.
Be sure to check out the latest edition of the VideoGamer.com Podcast, featuring Matt Lees' debut in the VG colours following his move in the January transfer window.
I'll leave you with the stunning teaser trailer for CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077. Bye.