There has been a lot of good sales news for the industry over the past month. Enough numbers have been released that PR people from all three console manufacturers are able to claim some victory. We have all grown accustomed to hearing that Nintendo’s grandparent-friendly hardware is setting the world ablaze, but recent information has shown that its competitors may be gearing up to offer a viable challenge. The biggest headline probably has to be the fact that Nintendo DS sales set the record for most systems ever purchased in a single week with 653,000. This, combined with 350,000 Wiis sold during the same period adds up to…a lot of stuff sold by Nintendo during Thanksgiving week. The Wii is still supply constrained so it’s tough to say how many units Nintendo could be moving, but the Wii reached five million units in the US sold faster than any other system in history, doing so in a mere 12 months. → Read, you fools!
As you all may be aware, Sony is finally picking up the software side of backwards compatibility for its shiny new system.
Since the PS3 doesn’t have any good RPGs or strategy games of its own yet, I would like to take this opportunity to recommend a few rare games that may actually be compatible with the PS3 by now.
I won’t lie; some of these games are inordinately expensive by used-game standards. But even the most expensive doesn’t cost twice as much as a new PS3 game.
My intent with this is to show you all that the PSX was, in some ways, an incredible system; it may not have had the sturdy character of the N64, but even though I am fascinated with obscurity, I hadn’t heard of several of these games a few years ago – well after the PS2 had taken over. → Ikari Warriors 2: Postery Read
A recent announcement by Square-Enix has left more than a few people amazed. The least surprising bit, probably, was that we would be receiving the PSP remake of Final Fantasy Tactics.
Somewhat more surprising was the fact that the game would be retranslated. Now… the original PSX translation of Tactics isn’t all bad. But it does suffer from a lack of editing (such as the mission where you were to “Kill Dycedarg’s older brother”), and is a bit awkward from time to time.
For all the game’s fans, however, this is a godsend. It’s a remake of a game that doesn’t try to go too far – it adds a few aspects, some new characters, et cetera – so if it were the same translation there would be more debate over whether or not to get it. → Professor Layton and the Diabolical Post
I’m sure you’re probably bored to death of reading the blogosphere’s predictions for the cleverly-named “Min-E3” event that’s going to take place next week, but I haven’t stated mine yet, so you’re gonna sit there and listen, whether you like it or not. I’ll try to make it short, so you only have to use 3% of your brain power. Fucking babies.
-Gears of War for PC. Why? Because it’s already true.
-No portable (Jesus people, forget about it).
-$50 price drop for each 360 SKU (Core, Premium, Elite).
-No MGS4. It will happen eventually, but it’s not going to be for awhile.
-Zune will be integrated more with the Fall Update. Songs and video bought off Marketplace, then transfered to your Zune.
-Some crazy XBLA game shown off, with a million crappy ones. → You may say I’m a gamer, but I’m not the only one
Next-Gen has reported through an interview with Nintendo of America’s Perrin Kaplan that it may be awhile before the Wii Shortage of ’07 ends. Perrin stated that they are at maximum capacity right now in terms of manufacturing the system, but the demand for the system is still at a fever-pitch, making it very hard to keep an amble supply on store shelves. The Internet community has known about this situation for some time now, but it’s surprising to see that even Nintendo themselves can’t predict when the shortage will come to an end.
But let’s think about this for a second. Even though the Wii is doing gangbusters right now, you can’t call it a complete success when the demand for it far exceeds supply. It isn’t good to have virtually no stock of your product on store shelves when everyone and their grandma wants one. → Article Hominid
There has been a decent amount of industry news in the gaming spotlight recently. A next gen system (Wii) was finally the best selling piece of hardware over a month (January) in the United States with 436,000 units. While the DS (239,000) still outsold the PSP (211,000), Sony’s machine has started to close the gap. All it took was a few original titles and sales have started to pick up. In terms of raw sales numbers, 2006 was a great year for the industry, and, in the US at least, terrific January sales have started 2007 off on the right foot. Japan sales last month were lower than those in January 2006, but this is hardly troubling. There are reporting problems with both the US and Japanese numbers that make it difficult to tell anything very specific, but it does seem as though the industry is alive and kicking. → Zero Escape: Nine Hours, Nine Authors, Nine Articles
Jack Tretton wants to give you $1200
In the March issue of EGM, Sony’s Jack Tretton declared, “If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that’s been on shelves for more than five minutes, I’ll give you 1,200 bucks for it.” This interview has been reported on before, but the quote is too funny not to highlight.
To make matters worse for Tretton, EGM responds to his offer by explaining that they called 18 random retailers and half of them had PS3s sitting on shelves. Tretton replied with, “I am not sitting in the store to know when they got put on the shelves or if a salesperson is giving you accurate information, but if only nine of the 18 stores you contacted had supplies, that seems to be a clear indication that sales continue to be outstanding.” → These are the games I know, I know. These are the games I know.
A few months ago I reported that the DS was an unstoppable juggernaut that had put quite some distance between itself and the PSP. Elsewhere on this site we have mentioned that PSP software sales have fallen off. After looking at some year end numbers on handheld sales, I hold to the argument that the DS will be (already is?) the victor in this generation of portable video games I think it may be a bit early to buy Sony’s product a headstone. Lets go to the proverbial video tape.
Both handheld companies entered 2006 with approximately 3.7 million units of hardware sold (DS had slightly more, PSP slightly less, but DS also had a three month head start). In the US the DS then outpaced the PSP by selling 5.3 million units (combined DS and DS Lite) while PSP managed a very respectable 3 million. → I’m readin’ here!
Heading into the holidays the question on the collective mind of the industry was which seventh generation system would emerge with the lead. For Xbox 360 this meant continuing to sell some units despite the fact that Nintendo and Sony were releasing their competitors in the market. For Nintendo and Sony, success meant shipping as many consoles to store shelves as possible and then selling all of them. So, now that the dust has settled, who has accomplished their goals, and who may be in trouble? It’s obviously too early to call the generation for one system or another, but the numbers do tell an interesting story. For our purposes, all the numbers below (unless otherwise noted) are US sales.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 had a year head start on both of the other consoles. → PaReader the Reader
Wii breaks records in PAL territories
American developers tend to focus on American gamers. Japanese developers are more split, but many still focus primarily on local customers. Do Australian and European developers give a shit about gamers in their own countries or do they instead focus on North America because that’s where the cash money is?
The answer to this question may have a large impact on this generation of consoles. If the PAL developers focus mostly on Americans, these record breaking sales are good news for Nintendo. If, though, these territories developers do care about the local gamer, this means that the Wii should be getting a good number of Australian and British developed games. This could be bad news for Sony and Microsoft.
Sony losing money on each PS3 sold
Selling consoles at a loss is nothing new; it nearly put Sega out of business. But selling a console for a loss of $240 or $300? Those are some big numbers, especially considering Microsoft and Nintendo are making profit on each console they sell. There are a few ways to look at Sony’s situation.
The optimistic person would say, “Sony are giving us an awesome bargain and we should thank them by paying homeless people to wait in line for a PS3.” The pessimist would say, “If I want to play PS3 games, I’m forced to buy a friggin super computer with a disc drive that costs over $100 tacked on so they can get a leg up on the upcoming format war.” → 2 h4rdc0r3 4 U.
Japanese consumers want the PS3
Famitsu surveyed people at the Tokyo Games Show and got some interesting if odd results. Although we are talking about Japan so odd is a relative term. About 56% of those surveyed felt the low end PS3 was pricey. Even considering that the TGS would be full of hardcore gamers, this number seems low. Compare this to the 13% who think the Wii costs too much and 25% who think the 360 is expensive.
When asked what system they most looked forward to, 58% said the PS3 and 34% said the Wii. Contrast this, though, to what people said about which system they plan to buy on launch. 11% said they’d get a PS3 at launch while 18% said they’d get a Wii. Further. 36% said they have no current plan for getting a PS3 and 33% said the same of the Wii. → Destroy All Articles! 2
Sony has gotten a lot of crap from gamers recently. Most of it is entirely deserved. They are forcing consumers to buy a Blu Ray player if they want a PS3, charging $600 for their new console and games are anticipated to sell for $60 or $70 a piece. PR statements from Kutaragi and Hirai have made Sony seem more arrogant than ever. More recently, there have been reports of delays in production and now Sony has announced that the PS3 will launch next year in Europe and the launches in North America and Japan will be limited. To top it all off, the new Sony slogan for European territories sucks total ass – Now this is living.
All of these factors combined with how promising the 360 and the Wii are looking have led many to attack Sony, some going so far as to “break up” with them (funniest article in the world – he acts like Sony is a girl, not a company, get it?). → Read me now, believe me later.
J Allard — Corporate Vice Presient, Microsoft
Empowerment to the next level, Allard is a PR guy who really loves clichés that push the envelope. Luckily, he seems to be grounded in what makes games good as he has said many times that graphics are a single component and not necessarily important. He also frequently says he wants to expand the market, mirroring Nintendo’s stated goal. Because dirt on Allard was significantly harder to find than on Harrison, some of the quote categories have been left out and I even added a new one: Inspirational.
(For an explanation of what this article is, please read this.)
Some people say the Xbox 360 looks the same as other systems. That it is just more of the same, just more powerful than the other systems. → What is a post? A miserable little pile of secrets.
Victor Ireland starts a new company
The guy behind the now closed Working Designs is back in business. Woo? I’m not really sure. The new company is called GaijinWorks, which is probably not a great name. It’s a little similar to a Japanese company trying to do business in America with the name Ignorant Foreigner Enterprises.
Critics are already saying his new company is doomed to failure unless he has learned from his past mistakes, which include having enough principle to ruin a business. Can’t say I blame him for how he handled WD, but then I can’t say I disagree with his critics, either.
Another criticism Vic is facing is that he is no longer needed because companies like Atlus have filled his shoes. This is a stupid position to take. → The gamers have only interpreted the games, in various ways. The point, however, is to change them.
Compiled by Golden Jew, Horatio, Noah and Ben, Videolamer’s field reporters.
Dynasty Warriors Vol 2 (PSP)
I liked this game quite a bit. I was a huge fan of the Dynasty Warriors series on the PS2 till I realized every game was exactly the same. After my 1,000,000 kill (Cao Cao: Truly, you are a brave warrior! And you have no life!) I burnt out. However, I was really impressed with the PSP version of this game. Gameplay was the norm in terms of hacking things to pieces (repetitive, yet strangely fun). What was very cool is that the battle system is a large grid shaped specially for each campaign and that each army (some computer controlled, and one led by you, naturally the most productive one) moves about.
You have various conditions for victory and defeat that center around a time limit (supplies) and then key objectives. → We have the best words.