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Posts with tag Wii

Only a small fraction of console gamers use video playback

Read the title again, then think about Blu-ray. The small fraction of people taking advantage of a console's video playback function? We're almost certain most of that market is centered on the PS3 crowd. We're driving the Blu-ray format home. The Diffusion Group, however, isn't looking at the PS3 alone, but the three next-gen consoles together. How much do people use video playback on those? Apparently, "80 percent of console owners have the option, only 30 percent realized it was part of its feature set, and only 13 percent actually utilize it." Chances are we are the bulk of that 13 percent.

We know that many parents who may buy game systems for their children are largely uneducated to the video game industry and all the functions available not only to their kids, but to themselves as well. Thus why people still have parts of their homes dubbed "dens" or "game rooms". The PS3 deserves front-and-center attention to a family's media center and these results reflect that many are not even aware of the awesomeness of Blu-ray movies. Or nobody watches DVDs on the 360 or the Wii ... well, the 360. Wii owners don't exactly have a choice.

Sega believes in the eventual success of the PS3

In a recent interview with Reuters, Sega Sammy VP of Marketing Scott Steinberg spoke about the Wii and his hypothesis that the PS3 will emerge victorious. He admitted to being "a little concerned about the creative depth of the Wii pool ... The Wii will start to look really dated in a couple years when developers get more value from the 360 and learn more and more about the PlayStation 3." It is a good question -- how much more will developers get out of the Wiimote in five years that isn't derivative of something else that's already been done?

The same could be said of the Sixaxis. However, Steinberg insists that "We know the PS3 pool is pretty deep. There's a lot to exploit there." Which is also rooted in truth. As Factor 5 said, the potential is limitless. It will just take some exploratory surgery time, so to speak. Steinberg also predicts the PlayStation 3 growing into the ultimate winner this console generation due not only to graphical prowess and hidden potential, but the inclusion of Blu-ray will be a great addition in the coming years. Time to sound off your own thoughts to his words. Can the PS3 really last the 10 years claimed by Sony?

[via Gamasutra]

Screen Digest objectively talks about next-gen console standings

This is another incredibly interesting read thanks to avid gamers over at the PS3Forums, specifically Doc Evils. Screen Digest has opened up their hearts and minds to the state of the gaming industry and released some fairly entertaining and truthful observations about all of the next-gen consoles. This is in no way meant to fan any flames -- it's meant to show all of us how our beloved consoles are stacking up around the world. Are you curious to read on?

  • "For Xbox 360, European hardware sales seem to have hit a wall." Screen Digest says Microsoft's console focuses too narrowly on the young male demographic, inundating the market with shooters and other testosterone-ridden titles. The lack of diversity in genre is crippling its sales worldwide, questioning the validity of the console on a worldwide basis. SD says "without year on year sales improving across the rest of the region, the platform could be in jeopardy on a global basis." Of course, most people's anticipated titles for this year are 360 games, so don't worry Xbox loyalists, your system should be fine.
  • "The Wii's target market could be saturated more quickly than its competitors as the technology looks increasingly tired by comparison." Caught on the collar of many other analysts and hardcore gamers, Screen Digest feels the Wii will reach as many consumers as it possibly can in a short time, then putter away just as rapidly. With a historical 3rd party abandonment policy, it's up to Nintendo's 1st party devs to keep the system alive. Japanese publishers have even said they don't plan to try very hard on Wii games, planning only to make whatever profit is possible with mediocre ports.
  • Regarding the PS3, "the education of consumers as to what is in the box and what its benefits are has not been forthcoming from Sony." Basically, Sony's marketing has really taken a toll on what could've been showcased as the greatest piece of home entertainment ever created (we say this while we stream Arrested Development from our computer to our PS3 and onto our PSP while visiting a friend's house). Aside from that, European developers feel the PS3 will win out due to the strong brand image in the PAL territories. Also, a lineup unparalleled this Fall should bolster sales. SD goes so far to say that Sony "could reveal some unrivaled games which are exclusive to PS3, not least because competing platforms would be technically incapable of offering them."

Wow! Regardless of where you stand in the console "war" you've got to take all this information in as objectively as possible. It is true about the PS3's marketing -- it's been a joke. Nobody knows what makes it so unique. It is true about the Wii -- most third party companies aren't going to try very hard to make standout titles. It's also true about the 360 -- outside of America, it's suffering. It's choking on a narrow genre that can only get so many fans. What do you guys think of the state of the consoles? Let's be nice about it. Will there be any dynamic shifts by the end of this year?

[via PS3Forums]

Point and click your way to The Half Broken Crown

Are you sick of actually playing those pesky video games? Do you miss the ol' point-and-click days like Myst and other such insanely difficult puzzle adventures? Well, how would you like it if you could get back into those games with a ton of friends online? Enter The Half Broken Crown: The Broken Kingdom, an MMO Adventure for the PC, PS3, Wii, PSP, DS, and Macs where every platform can play and communicate with one another.

Instead of playing the game and solving puzzles alone, you can pick up and play with a large community of people from many different platforms. We're not exactly sure how this would work, especially when the point-and-click genre has all but faded out of existence. The browser-based game deserves a look, though, just because it's stringing so many different consoles together. But if that's all it has going for it, we've got nothing more to say.

HMV reports healthy console sales all around, PS3 exceeds

Popular retailer HMV reports that every console is selling as expected. Nope, no flamebait here. This is an opportunity for all of us to pat one another on the back. Let's break down how the store reports each console is performing. We'll start with our namesake, of course.

  • The PlayStation 3 is meeting sales expectations, sometimes exceeding them! When games start dropping, sales are anticipated to improve. If the price drops, they expect an even larger sales boost.
  • The Wii is, as always, in high demand. However, Nintendo has upped the ante and supplies are reportedly starting to stabilize.
  • Microsoft's Xbox 360, despite being on the market for a lot longer than the competition, is still performing well. Like with the PS3, sales boosts are expected should the pricing for the console change.

Hats off, all around. We're all doing well (some more than others) and we all deserve praise for actually having a gaming market where three consoles are all doing relatively well. It's impressive. Perhaps the HMV spokesperson Tim Ellis put it best: "From a retail and customer perspective it's great to have three games heavyweights relatively matched and vying for market domination. This creative tension is leading to fantastic innovative technology and brilliant games."

The first six months show PS3 lagging behind everything

PlayStation 2 is one of the most successful consoles of all time. Last generation, it devastated its competition, with Xbox claiming a very distant second, and Nintendo's Gamecube trailing behind at third. Interestingly, the first six months of sales for these consoles show a similar pattern: PS2, followed by Xbox, followed by Gamecube. While correlation does not imply causality, these figures certainly show that the interest a product garners within its first six months can be quite important.

Fast-forward to today. PS3 has suffered a crucial blow last month, and with fewer than a dozen games coming out in the next month, the immediate future does not look much brighter. Infendo (a Nintendo fan site) has constructed a graph, pointing out PS3's lackluster momentum in its first six months. Comparatively, it has been outpaced by last generation's "failures."

What can we garner from this data? Firstly, Sony is going to have to try much harder. Secondly, the PS3 isn't that much farther behind the Xbox 360. Finally, the most startling revelation: people aren't as interested in this new generation of console technology as they were previous year's. A look at Wii's phenomenal success is indicative of the industry moving in a direction that many could not have predicted. As distressing as this information may be to Sony fanboys, we have to remember that the battle is far from over.

[Via Joystiq]

SGD '07: Wii Sports-like bowling game for PSN

Sony revolutionizes the games industry yet again by introducing a sports game that detects your motion through the controller! Instead of pressing buttons, one can hold the controller and move it as if it were a real bowling ball. We love the idea!

But in all honesty, we think that the SIXAXIS may not be as well-suited for this type of gameplay as other consoles. Joystiq's Kevin Kelly tried the game, and as we suspected, didn't have the easiest time with the game: "You literally flip the controller on its side, hold it with your thumb between the analog sticks, and then sweep your arm gracefully along an arc while holding and releasing one of the buttons to send your ball down the alley. Sound simple? Well, it is and it isn't. Holding the SIXAXIS like that feels really, really weird. It's like we're wired or programmed to hold that controller with both hands, and doing something like that makes our gamer genes cry out in pain. Although, in all honesty, once we got the hang of it, it wasn't all that bad."

So while not truly revolutionary, High Velocity Bowling should offer some motion-sensing fun for the Wii-less. Because it's coming through the PLAYSTATION Network, this experiment in copycat design should, at the very least, be affordable.

Japanese devs hop off the PS3 boat into the Wii wagon

The Los Angeles Times has posted a quote from Kyoshi Shin of the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) regarding developer interest in the PlayStation 3. It isn't good. While it isn't good, that doesn't mean it isn't true. In fact, the quote pretty much explains exactly what I'm thinking in food terms. Shin said: "When people talk about the PS3 on chat forums they say it's like going to a very expensive restaurant and not getting anything to eat." This is an obvious play on Kutaragi's previous quote about the PlayStation 3 being a fine restaurant.

The context of Shin's quote relates to developer interest -- namely, they're leaving the Sony restaurant and taking some drive-thru from Nintendo's Wii window (so to speak). If devs focus on the Wii, we've got a problem. Games will reverse engineer themselves to lesser graphics and scale. More minigames isn't the only issue to arise -- porting from the Wii would be nearly impossible due to the control scheme.

It's a waste of the PS3's power, too, as Kojima's quote from a long time ago will explain: "The PS3 is like the theatre, it's a little bit high-priced but it has to be high quality as well. The 360 is a DVD, it still needs to be high quality but you need more variations, while the Wii is almost like a TV channel, because every game you have it with your family." We need games that will take advantage of the PS3's power and Wii titles simply may not do that. If devs leave, there's no reason to buy a $600 console when most games are on a $250 one.

[via Gamasutra]

Namco not happy about PS3 sales, states new plan

Namco Bandai shot out a statement recently that went over their latest software plans for the next-gen consoles. Citing slower sales than expected from the PS3, they imagine their Gundam Musou title (Dynasty Warriors: Gundam outside of Japan) will only sell 300,000 copies instead of their previously estimated 500,000.

From their statement: "PS3 did not make a good start, which will make the transition from the old game console to the next generation system more prolonged than we had earlier thought. This will keep a lid on sales of our video games in the first half, although we believe that sales of PS3 will increase in the second half (to March 2008)."

Namco Bandai announced a total of 23 PlayStation 3 titles in that time frame (24 for the 360) and the Nintendo Wii gets the majority of 37 titles. This translates to one thing: multi-platform. If the PS3 sales are slow, which they are, then Namco Bandai isn't going to stick around and keep making exclusive titles on Sony's platform. Why else would there be more for the 360 than the PS3? They've got one exclusive, we think, and most of the others will be multi-platform. Whatever the case, let's hope sales pick up so Namco Bandai can make a fantastic game utlizing the full potential of the PS3.

RUMOR: Command and Conquer 3 coming to PS3 and Wii?

Here's another rumor to satisfy your hunger for all things curious and interesting -- Command and Conquer 3 might just make its way onto the PS3 and Wii, in addition to its upcoming release on the 360 and the couple-of-weeks-age release on the PC. Since the game is getting tossed around by EA, we're hardly surprised. About the PS3 version, Senior Producer Mike Glosecki said: "I don't see why it's not feasible," citing also how the controls are nearly identical.

The Wii version really does add a new breath of life to RTS titles -- in our opinion, it would be the best console version to get. Why? The motion sensor would really make moving around the map simple and highlighting groups would be a snap (just think, holding the trigger button and using another button to select specific troops, kind of like how ctrl+click works on the PC). Wait. Is it ctrl+click? The last RTS game Nick done played on the computer was Dune 2000. Well, you get the idea. The issue with the Wii version is the lack of power. The game won't look as good, says Glosecki. Which version would you guys ultimately buy if your PC somehow exploded into tiny bits?

How about some random hardware sales numbers?

We're not giving this an official title, because we've heard time and again how unreliable VGChartz is when it comes to hardware sales. Regardless, it'll at least give you a ballpark range of the US hardware sales for the week ending April 29th. PS3 fanboys beware, the numbers, as usual, aren't that good.

  • DS: 168,541
  • Wii: 100,222
  • 360: 54,331
  • PSP: 47,275
  • PS3: 25,240

These numbers haven't shifted all that much from the site's previous week estimations, but no matter how you try to spin this, the numbers for the PS3 are still low. But there are 300 million people in the US... if these numbers hold, all we've got to do is wait about 1,000 weeks, right?! We kid, of course. That's a really, really long time. Games are coming and, for some reason, all come out around Fall. Some developer should realize "hey, Summer is an untapped market -- people beg for games. Maybe we should release a decent title at that time". I'd buy it.

Final Fantasy hates PlayStation -- the minds behind each, at least

If you want to get nitpicky (or nit-picky, if you're especially nitpicky), Hironobu Sakaguchi (the father of Final Fantasy and by default, the success of Square Enix) let his tongue fly recently against the father of PlayStation -- Ken Kutaragi. Heck, the lord of newly-formed Mistwalker bashed pretty much every system out there except for Nintendo. He didn't compliment it, really, but he danced around anything negative.

EGM asked Sakaguchi why Mistwalker currently had no plans for the PlayStation 3. He responded quickly: "The machine's architecture is tricky, and I don't like Ken Kutaragi." Fair enough, good sir. Even though a lot of the devs for PS3 claim that if you just sit down and try, the potential is limitless and that you're lazy if you don't try.

About the XBox 360, Sakaguchi said, "Microsoft has to change its marketing strategy in Japan. There are a lot of excellent games on the 360, far better games than what's on the Wii or PS3. But not a lot of people in Japan have a clear idea what games like Gears of War are all about. Just look at the Windows Vista commercial -- it's terrible." Fair enough, again.

How about Nintendo? He doesn't have anything planned for the Wii, does he? "The system is intriguing, but right now, I have no plans on making a game for the Wii." It seems like he doesn't want to take any risks and he doesn't like anyone. Well, Mr. Sakaguchi, would you rather make your own console and see what happens when there are four systems in the market?

CNet hails the PS3 as the most wanted product for the week!

In a strange event that even made us go "wow, really?" we learned that a weekly "what product do you most want?" poll thing over at CNet, the PlayStation 3 is currently the number one most desired product. It was at the number 5 slot last week, but it jumped up four positions for some reason. Maybe a number of positive press releases appeared, who knows.

While this is interesting to note and all, seriously, the PS3 garnering more "want" than the Wii? We have our opinions about the two consoles, but the public outcry for the Wii is definitely a lot louder than our favorite Sony product. Both are beating out the 360 Elite, which we also have our own opinion on... thanks to Dave Karraker, we guess. Anyway, hooray for the PS3 catching the top of a wanted list for a week! It's a small accomplishment, but we know that people out there do, indeed, want the system.

THQ says "games are awesome" and other trite things

Oh, THQ. Whatever dost thou stand for? Thy acronym is't clear to decipher, nay, nary a soul can'st bear to think of it. Perhaps Totally High Quality? Or could it be... Try Homemade Quilts? Whatever the case, THQ has come out and announced its thoughts on the console war and where it stands -- where they're making the most games, who they think will win, and the market segments for each.

First up, THQ doesn't plan to make a game across every platform. Going forward, they'll be making different games for different gamers. Wii games will stay there and PS3/360 titles will probably still shake hands. THQ can't recall the last time three consoles co-existed so well and they're not complaining. They don't know who's going to grab the biggest market share, but they don't really mind, either.

So far, THQ is more aggressive on the Wii -- marketing titles for the younger, or more casual gamers with titles from Nickelodeon, Pixar, whatever. They've got some games under wraps for now, but there are more. They insist that in the number of games, the Wii has the most from them, but in terms of revenue, the split is even between the markets of casual and core. Oh, they don't care whether or not the PS3 or 360 comes out on top. To them, they appeal to the same market. Disagree? I do. But not so much that I'm going to nag.

Battle of the console browsers: Wii vs PS3

PS3 vs. WiiIt's always fun to pit one console against another in a steel-caged match to the death. In this case, the fine folks over at Games Digest have created a battle royale between the browsing capabilities of the big, black monolith and the little, white cottonball.

To determine a winner, each browser was sent onto the dangerous Interweb all by itself to see how it faired against 15 different Web 2.0ish sites, including the likes of Facebook, ebay and Digg. Scoring was simple: you get 0 points for total failure to render, 1 point for partial success and 2 points for full-on success.

The ultimate conclusion?

"Wii: 26. PS3: 20. Victory goes to Opera's Wii browser, hurt by the fact that two sites (Bloglines and Google Maps) didn't work at all on the PS3 browser. However, it's worth stressing that PS3's ability to upload photos and (possibly) video gives it an advantage if you're big on this user-generated content lark."

Both browsers are frankly lacking. They have more in common with a cellphone browser than they do their PC counterparts. Until we see a full-featured browser, backed by a keyboard (fullsize or thumbpad), we'll continue to do the vast majority of our browsing on a dedicated computer. Over time, we expect this to change.

[Via Nintendo Wii Fanboy]

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