Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 12.21.07

PSP sales explode in Japan
Sony’s handheld has been selling very well lately, this last boost thanks to a new red model. If Sony simply releases a new model and/or colored PSP every other month they may be able to seriously compete with Nintendo. At least on the hardware front.

Games simply don’t appear to sell on the PSP. The leading theories as to why this is are:

If you cut yourself while playing you won’t even notice.

1. The PSP is a successful multimedia machine. A significant percentage of purchasers are using it to listen to music and watch movies. Reports of people not particularly interested in games buying the system are common, and even dedicated gamers (see Christian of this website) are very interested in all the multimedia aspects of the PSP. The argument against this position is that everyone on earth owns at least four iPods and that UMD movies suck (and will continue to do so until the hilarious yet poignant “I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry” comes out in the format).

2. PSP owners are pirating games. I’ve read that in Japan most bookstores sell guides on pirating PSP software so it’s much more widespread than originally assumed. The counter argument to this is pointing out how stupid most people are when it comes to technology. How likely is it that 75% of consumers buying the PSP are capable of running pirated software when 33% of 360 owners can’t even get their consoles to work?

3. People are buying games, we just can’t tell. Through some bizarre stroke of statistical magic, even though PSP games comprise a tiny portion of top 30 lists, software is still selling well. In fact, numbers 31 to 50 are all PSP games, they just don’t report it. I am not sure what the argument against this stance is beyond smirking condescendingly at people who make it.

The likely answer is that both 1 and 2 are correct. Let’s arbitrarily say 50% of people who buy consoles do so with the intent of buying a ton of games and missing important social events because of their hopeless addiction. That means the other half of owners buy to game casually or to brag to friends that they not only have electricity in their home, but have made use of it. Now let’s figure 1/3rd of people buying the PSP are doing so for multimedia functionality and another third are people who only want one so they can pirate SNES games. If you multiply the original 50% by the 1/3rd and then divide it by the square root of the other third after adjusting for gross domestic product, you will clearly see that I am right.

Band sues Activision, loses, sucks
You may know The Romantics from their popular song, “What I like About You.” If you know them from anything else you probably have questionable taste in music. It was this hit of theirs that Activision bought the rights to for use in a Guitar Hero game. Unfortunately for them, Activision did too good a job covering the one hit wonder’s one hit and so The Romantics sued the publisher, specifically for making a cover song that sounds too much like the original. A judge recently ruled against the band and declared their last attempt to remain relevant a failure.

Ain't it always the way?
Significantly more cinnamony than the Ninja Gaiden series.

Gamestop Wii purchase program is stupid
I remember a day when you could just preorder things from Gamestop. In fact, I distinctly recall being asked if I’d like to preorder a variety of impossible to find niche titles like Super Mario Galaxy in between being asked if I had any preowned games I’d like to trade in and being asked if I have any preowned games to trade in.

When it comes to the Wii, the new Gamestop plan appears to have shifted away from “pay us five dollars and we probably will reserve this for you but reserve the right to sell it to someone else if it is raining or a day in an odd numbered month” to “pay us for the entire console and we really probably will reserve this for you unless you wait too long. Thanks for the interest free loan.”

I can’t say I don’t understand the Wii’s immense popularity. Deep down, every gamer is dying to play Ninjabread Man.

Analyst predicts EA to devour Take 2
And why not after Blizzard and Activision merged? Then, if all goes well, Blactivision and Take Electronic Arts (no, really!) will merge and the one world government prophesied in Revelations will become an amazing Satanic reality. False messiah Trip Hawkins will return from the shadows to helm Blactonic Tarts and exactly one video game will be released every year on June 6th at 6AM – John Madden’s NFLcraft 07 on the Game Boy Advance. Unexpectedly, it will cost $665. The good news is that by this point you may have already ascended to heaven, and if not you have bigger things to worry about than publishers leaning too heavily on a single franchise. Consult the Left Behind series for more details.

I am actually in favor of companies I like buying small developers I like in order to assure they don’t go bankrupt. But only if the acquiring company entirely guts the small firm and destroys their ability to make quality games in the process.

Sonic speeds onto your cell phone
Because he runs fast. Get it? Didn’t Sega already port Sonic to the DS or GBA or something and it sucked really badly because a game that requires the player to react to screens speeding by requires more than a 2 inch wide screen? Isn’t this irrelevant because cell phones are horrendous as game machines and all cell phone game companies should be put out of business by a unilateral act of the UN (even Bolton hates cell phone games)?

Have you ever played games on a cell phone? The phone burns your fingers as they awkwardly grope and jab at the thousand button keypad in an attempt to hit the two buttons that actually control the game. Tip for religious zealots – when self-flagellation simply isn’t enough to beat the last few drops of sin out of you, try playing cell phone games while browsing the internet with Web TV (for added torture, point your Web TV to talkorigins.org).

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16 years ago

this update made me laugh. this update made me cry.

No seriously.

This update is like the Bridge to Tarabithia. It’s whatever you want it to be.