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Posts with tag Nintendo

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]

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."

Has Sony failed to understand the casual gamer?

In a recent interview with GI.biz, Nintendo VP of marketing, George Harrison, said that Sony and Microsoft have both attempted to woo the casual gamer but both failed due to a lack of understanding of the casual gamer. Specifically, Harrison mentioned the Sixaxis as Sony's failure:

"We can already see some of the things they've tried. For last year's E3, at the last minute, Sony rushed out their Sixaxis controller as an effort to respond to the Wii remote. We saw Microsoft roll out Viva Piñata as their killer app for the Pokemon set. And neither of those worked really well.

It's true that Nintendo knows how to dominate a certain kind of casual gamer market, but it seems a bit disingenuous to be writing off the Sixaxis as a failed attempt to capture Nintendo's market share. Sony has never particularly positioned that motion-sensitivity of the Sixaxis as a lure to the casual gamer. They've marketed it as a feature that adds to existing games and allows you to do things you've never done before (see LAIR and Warhawk). It's true that they have utilized the motion sensitivity aspect of the controller to create more easily accessible games like Blast Factor, flOw and Super Rub-a-Dub, but unlike Nintendo, thats that's clearly not their whole focus.

Continue reading Has Sony failed to understand the casual gamer?

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?

Business Week: Sony ranks 10th in Most Innovative Companies

Business Week just published their yearly list of 'The 50 Most Innovative Companies', and Sony came in at number 10. They seemed particularly impressed with Home, stating:

"This traditional tech hardware maker is devoting more resources to software. To turn its PlayStation 3 console from living-room box to virtual gateway, it created a 3D online world that simulates the real one."

Sony beat out Nintendo, who came in at a lowly 39th, but lost out to Microsoft, who came in 5th on the strength of the Vista launch. Apple dominated them all though, staying in first place for the third year in a row.

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.

Famitsu readers unleash their anticipation for games!

A poll concluded at the beginning of this month where Famitsu magazine asked their Japanese readers to say what games they're most looking forward to. We're going to post the results, because we're that awesome. Don't worry, competing console readers, there is something on this list for everybody.

  1. Final Fantasy XIII -- PS3
  2. Dragon Quest IX -- DS
  3. Biohazard 5 -- PS3/360
  4. Metal Gear Solid 4 -- PS3
  5. Persona 3 -- PS2
  6. Gyakuten Saiban 4 -- DS
  7. Monster Hunter 3 -- PS3
  8. Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass --DS
  9. Super Robot Taisen: Original Generations -- PS2
  10. Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors -- Wii
  11. Minna no Golf 5 -- PS3
  12. Odin Sphere -- PS2
  13. Super Smash Bros. Brawl -- Wii
  14. Lost Odyssey -- 360
  15. Doubutsu no Mori -- Wii
  16. Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings -- DS
  17. Devil May Cry 4 -- PS3/360
  18. Shining Wind -- PS2
  19. Final Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War -- PSP
  20. Final Fantasy Versus XIII -- PS3

Well, there you go. A chart dominated by Sony, with Nintendo picking up the remains. Way to go, Sony! Everyone wants what you've promised, now you just have to deliver on the promise. Don't make us wait for too long!

Virgin radio gives PS3 owners a personal radio station

What a nice feature! Seems that Virgin radio is giving a nice heads up to the online world available in the web browsers via the PS3 and Nintendo Wii. They are claiming to be the first UK radio stations to make such an effort -- the effort to put a unique radio station on the web available only through the two consoles mentioned.

They don't just toss out whatever's on their actual radio station at the time, they also offer videos and exclusive session recordings... not to mention concert tickets, CDs and tracks available for download. There will also be a few additional radio stations available, including Virgin Radio Xtreme, Virgin Radio Classic Rock, and Virgin Radio Groove. So... enjoy that!

[Thanks, Ant!]

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