— GameStop’s stock rises on ’09 guidance: The game retailer turned in stellar Q4 and full year numbers: Q4 revenues were up 22 percent to $3.5 billion, while 2008 revenues were up 24 percent to $8.8 billion. GameStop’s 2009 guidance also topped the Street’s expectations: it expects overall sales growth of about 10 to 12 percent, and EPS growth of 18 to 22 percent. Analysts were expecting sales growth of just 10 percent and EPS growth of 16 percent, per the WSJ. The results sent GameStop’s shares up 11 percent in early trading. Release.
— Microsoft’s Rare cuts 12 jobs, more to come: The Viva Pinata studio has laid off 12 staffers from its engineering and art teams, GamesIndustry.biz reports, with project lead reductions to follow. *Microsoft* said it would be restructuring Rare earlier this week, but didn’t provide details on how many staffers would be let go.
— Wii’s appeal among women, young boys: Nielsen’s latest GamePlay Metrics data confirms what most game industry execs take for granted: the Nintendo Wii’s audience skews younger and much more female than the other consoles’. Boys aged 6-11, women aged 18-24 and women 35+ flock to the Wii, while the Xbox 360 attracts mostly boys aged 12-17 and women aged 25-34. On the other hand, the audience for Sony’s PS3 seems to be the “typical” gamer demo: it attracts mostly males and females aged 18-24.