NPD sales results for September 2008

Here we go, let’s start off with hardware and then move to the software top ten.

Hardware

  1. Nintendo Wii – 687,000
  2. Nintendo DS – 536,800
  3. Xbox 360 – 347,200
  4. Sony PSP – 238,100
  5. Sony PlayStation 3 – 232,400
  6. Sony PlayStation 2 – 173,500

Software

  1. 360 – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – 610,000
  2. Wii – Wii Fit w/ Balance Board – 518,000
  3. 360 – Rock Band 2 – 363,000
  4. Wii – Mario Kart Wii – 353,000
  5. PS3 – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – 325,000
  6. 360 – Mercenaries 2: World in Flames – 297,000
  7. Wii – Wii Play w/ Remote – 243,000
  8. 360 – Madden 2009 – 224,000
  9. Wii – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – 223,000
  10. PS2 – Madden 2009 – 158,000

360 4/10 – Wii 4/10 – PS3 1/10 PS2 1/10

So on the hardware side the Xbox 360 was able to reclaim its lead over the PS3, thanks to a price drop, but Nintendo still holds the top two spots with the Wii and DS. On the software side of things, Nintendo and Microsoft are basically just mopping up the charts, but only one of the Wii titles on the list is from a 3rd party. The coming months will be very interesting as all the big guns will be rolling out from both the 3rd parties and each company’s 1st and 2nd party developers. Fanboys, commence fighting…NOW!

TGS 2008: Sega releases a new trailer for 7th Dragon

This new DS RPG from Sega was announced on September 25th. Here are a few quick facts about the game and a trailer straight from Tokyo Game Show.

  • New game from Niinou, the director of Etrian Odyssey.
  • Command based battles.
  • 4 characters in a party at one time.
  • Simple game concept: kill all the dragons.
  • There are 7 classes in the game (Rogue, Mage, Fighter, Princess, Knight, Samurai, Healer).
  • For each class there are 4 different appearances.
  • There are skill trees for each of the classes.
  • The stats include LIFE, MANA, ATK, POW, DEF, INT, SPD.
  • While moving around, the top screen is a top-down map view, while the bottom screen is a conquest map.

7th Dragon is currently set for a Spring 2009 release in Japan. No word yet on a stateside release.

Nintendo unveils new DS, the DSi

In a conference yesterday in Japan, Nintendo unveiled some new games, services, and even a brand new DS model. The new DS is called the DSi, and will sport a few improvements over the DS Lite, while at the sime time dropping the GBA slot in favor of a slimmer design. The DSi was presented by Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, and here are the details that we know so far:

  • Smaller and lighter than the DS Lite with bigger screens
  • No GameBoy Advance slot
  • VGA resolution camera
  • SD card slot for media and storage
  • Larger speakers with improved sound quality
  • Music player
  • Downloadable software (DS Ware). Wii Points renamed to Nintendo Points. Software price brackets will be Free/200/500/800 points.
  • Built-in web browser.
  • Will release in Japan November 1 for 18900 yen (about $180), two colors: White and flat gray.

Satoru Iwata introduces the DSi

The device hasn’t been given a release date for North America yet. It’s possible that the US won’t see a release until the Spring, but we’ll definitely find out more soon. There was more announced at the conference than just the DSi, so we’ll be updating on that shortly.

Official Site: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/dsi.html

Nintendo E3 press conference notes

Once again, a little sloppy. Sorry.

-Starts off with montage of very different gamer types
-Kids, adults, teens, the elderly play

Cammy (sp?) Dunaway VP of Sales and Marketing

-“We promise to keep you smiling…” CHEESY!
-This lady is definitely out there to appeal to moms and Nintendo’s “new audience” types
-This is nearly unbearable. She’s telling stories about her fall snowboarding last year.
-Shaun White is on stage to demo snowboarding with the Balance Board and totally hamming it up.
-Whatever game it is, it looks good
-Of course, it’s Shaun White’s Snowboarding by Ubisoft

Shaun White’s Snowboarding
-Shaun White gave lots of input in development such as look and feel
-Goofy mom figure steps on the a board next to Shaun
-I don’t know if this is pre-rendered, but she’s nailing some nice tricks in the half pipe…ok, not pre-rendered, she wipes out a few times
-Exlusively for Wii by year end

Satoru Iwata
-A true paradigm shift has taken place
-5 years ago in May 2003 was Iwata’s first E3
-Everybody had negative outlook on Nintendo’s future
-Agrees that view was common sense, even Nintendo couldn’t imagine that 5 years later that Nintendo would be on top and selling “bathroom scales” by the millions around the world
-Games like Nintendogs and Brain Age combined with games like Mario Kart and New Super Mario Bros. are causing the big change in the market
-Graphics aren’t always the answer (yeah, we know this stance all too well)
-Nintendo is dedicated to making impressive games from a technical standpoint…internal teams hard at work on those (confirmation of Mario and Zelda games on the way?)
-Small games and small budgets can be worldwide hits if they have good ideas backing them
-Intuitive interfaces attracting new games and expanding audience
-Seasonal nature of hardware sales is gone. No longer just a gift item.
-Nintendo selling hardware like every week is a holiday week
-Guitar Hero III selling best on Wii
-Takes a jab at those trying to “reproduce” what Nintendo has done
-Must find more ways to engage players and enrich games to grow enthusiasm
-Nintendo always challenges itself to be a pioneer in the industry

Katsuya Eguchi – Creator of Animal Crossing

Animal Crossing: City Folk
-Curved world, like DS
-No required goals (as in the past)
-Players still rise and sleep while you aren’t playing
-City is new place to explore…separate from Town where you live
-You can put things up for sale in the city auction center
-Stores located in the city for customization
-Letters can be sent to PCs, cell phones, Wiis
-NEW PERIPHERAL…WiiSpeak
-Microphone for the Wii, shows a group (4 players) talking while fishing together
-Still looks very similar to old Animal Crossing experience
-By the end of the year

Reggie Fils-Aime

-Nintendo is pleased, but not satisfied
-Wii over 10 million, DS over 20 million in North America alone
-Total DS worldwide sales will be over 100 million by the end of the fiscal year
-Pokemon over 180 million sales
-DS software 29% higher than last year, hardware 12% up
-After ads ran targetng females using celebs, software sales doubled on those featured titles
-Wii software sales are at a higher pace than 360 and PS3
-Wii library fastest growing of all 3 consoles

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

-Trailer showing players in lightsaber duels using Wii remote and nunchuck
-Force moves motion controlled
-Coming for the holidays

Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party
-Balance Board + Wii Remote + Nunchuch
-Looks fun and silly, just like you’d expect

Call of Duty: World at War
-Graphically very strong for Wii
-Using Wii Zapper
-Co-op mode included
-“Coming Soon”

-Audience pretty underwhelmed…WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THESE GAMES

Back to Mommy to speak about DS releases
-DS appeal for females growing fast
-Guitar Hero: On Tour sold over 300k in first week, On Tour: Decades on the way

Guitar Hero: On Tour Decades
-Able to song share between other versions of the game

Spore Creatures
-DS version is unique and custom
-Missed a lot of the rest…

Pokemon Rangers: Shadows of (something or other)

-No info given

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
-DS this winter
-That’s it for info?!

-DS going to be used to improve air travel
-Currently being tested in airports

-DS to be used to check box scores, watch highlights, play trivia, order food, and more at Seattle Mariners baseball games

-Cooking Navi is an electronic cookbook in Japan
-English version coming in November
-Jeez, laying it on thick wit the moms, huh?

Back to Reggie
-Wii remote improvement through Wii MotionPlus
-Makes the Wii remote much more precise
-Successor to Wii Sports

Wii Sports: Resort
-Comes with MotionPlus and extended Wii remote jacket
-Wow, MotionPlus looks super accurate with Wii Sports: Resort
-Mommy throws a frisbee, her puppy doesn’t catch it
-Second try the puppy catches the frisbee…Reggie not impressed (jokingly)
-Reggie playing a Wave Race type of game using Remote and Nunchuck
-Mom and reggie getting ready to duel with swords
-Game understands any angle of slashing or blocking
-Reggie takes down mommy in first round
-Reggie loses round 2
-Launches next Spring

Wii Music
-Starts off with a guy showing drumming
-Uses balance board for bass drum and hi-hat, Wii remote and nunchuck for the rest
-Shigeru Miyamoto using Wii remote to play a sax instrument, buttons like valves
-Shiggy on sax, funny looking second dude on the drums…they’re playing a jazzy song
-Was in development while in finalization of plans for Wii
-Music transcends age and gender
-Different than most music games
-Wii Music allows everybody to perform, rather than just try to hit buttons quickly
-Wii Music lets you create music through movement
-Ok, this looks insanely simple to play…maybe too simple?
-Over 50 different intsruments
-You control tempo, but the game controls the tone
-Amount of motion controls volume
-Other game types including (conductor, record videos, etc.)
-Showing 4 players (Nintendo execs) choosing from 6 parts
-All 4 perform Super Mario Bros. theme w/ drummer dude in the background
-It looks fun, but everybody looks like a giant tool doing it…except Shiggy of course, he’s the muthaflippin’

Reggie and Mommy
-Recapping the show
-Is this it? C’mon Nintendo, at least one more game!
-Looks like they’re playing it safe with the casual crowd
-Reggie saying that you can’t call the Wii a fad anymore

That’s it. Underwhelming, for sure, and the crowd looks confused. Yes, it looked like they were having fun out there, and I’m sure there are more games coming, but the spotlight was given to some pretty tame stuff. The mainstream news is going to be all giddy about what Nintendo has in store, long time fans didn’t get any Mario, Zelda, Metroid, F-Zero, Fire Emblem, or any other big franchise outside of Animal Crossing.

Pre-E3 predictions, hopes, and expectations: Nintendo

Just days away, boys and girls…E3 is upon us once again. It’s that special time of year when airport food prices expand all across Los Angeles, hotel rates jump 33%, and hot dog carts can be found 2 blocks in each direction around the LA convention center. Yes, even in its terribly scaled back form E3 is stirring up the industry and its supporters. Nintendo has their conference on Tuesday, and as usual, knowing what to expect is like cracking into a fortune cookie. You’re expecting something cute, but there’s always a chance you’ll be highly entertained. Usually, however, you just kind of nod and say, “well, that’s sort of what I was expecting.” Either way, Nintendo is always the company to garner the most pre-show hype. Here is what I’m expecting to see:

Bringing Back the Classics – Nintendo’s greatest strength has always been its franchise characters. Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and others have been driving Nintendo profits for more than two decades now. Because of this, and because the fans demand it, we’re going to get more classic characters getting new games. We know Mario will be there with a sport game or two, Pokemon will have some sort of presence, but we should also be seeing Kid Icarus’ return, along with a balance board supported version of Punch-Out!!. Animal Crossing is going to be there, and I really hope it’s announced alongside a hard drive solution for the Wii (more on that later). Much like Capcom is doing with Mega Man 9, look for 3rd parties to jump in on the retro love with the Wii in some fashion.

Fixing Things That Need Fixin’ – It’s no secret that the Wii needs a better storage solution than its built-in memory. I’m hoping that along with their Animal Crossing unveiling that Nintendo will also announce that it will come bundled with a hard drive. I’m out of space on my Wii, and I’ve been swapping things on and off my SD card, and it’s a bit obnoxious.  A hard drive would immediately fix these issues. Also, without a hard drive, Nintendo would be severely limited in what they could offer as DLC for Animal Crossing. I also hope that they’d make the hard drive available separately. In addition to the storage issues, Nintendo needs to bring voice chat to the Wii. I’m not real confident in it happening just yet, but there’s always a chance that Nintendo has paid attention to the complaints.

LOOK AT ME!!! – As always, Nintendo will parade around with their chest out and show how completely insane the sales have been for the Wii and DS. They’lll reiterate that they’ve become the media darlings, and continue to showcase products that illustrate just how they’re going to keep soccer moms buzzing about the Wii. Continued support of the balance board can be expected, and there’s an outside chance that some other crazy peripheral will make its debut.

Eye to the Future – Nintendo is hot now, but they have got to realize internally that the DS and Wii are getting old in a technological sense. While high power has never been the focus of either platform, there are cell phones pushing out visuals on par with the Wii (almost) and much better than the DS. I was doubtful a few months back, but now I’m beginning to think that Nintendo may start to hint at the successor for the DS or even another possible redesign (removed GBA slot, slimmer form factor, better battery life, etc.). Without showing too much, Nintendo will definitely attempt to instill faith in their fans that they are actively working on their future beyond the Wii and DS.

Nintendo logo

Nintendo always has 2-3 games that everybody wants to play in each conference, another 3-5 that are interesting on some level, and then a whole bunch of games that just seem to be for “someone else”. With the revival of Punch-Out!! and Kid Icarus, I’m pretty much happy with things already, but I really hope we can see some quality 3rd party efforts beyond Fatal Frame and Mega Man 9. Capcom has done very well on the Wii, so I can really see them tossing some love in the Wii’s direction.

Microsoft: http://stupidgamer.com/2008/07/11/pre-e3-predictions-hopes-and-expectations-microsoft/

Sony: http://stupidgamer.com/2008/07/11/pre-e3-predictions-hopes-and-expectations-sony/

Rumor: Chrono Trigger DS this winter

If true…holy crap. I don’t care if it’s a remake, a port, or a new adventure entirely, I just sorely want the rumor to be true. Apparently a scan is floating around on 2ch from Jump News, but I’ll wait for more concrete info before getting too excited. Hopefully we’ll hear more at E3.

Do the right thing, SquareEnix…give us Chrono Trigger.

Nintendo defines “Holy Crap!” with their earnings report

Nintendo’s latest earnings report showcased some insane sales numbers and some pretty lofty sales expectations for the DS and Wii. The numbers also provided lifetime sales for the GBA and GameCube. While there are still a few Cubes and GBAs getting sold, the numbers are so insignificant that we can effectively take these numbers as their final sales totals. Here are the numbers pulled from the report:

GameBoy Advance (all versions): 81,060,000
North America: 41,640,000
Japan: 16,880,000
Other: 22,530,000

GameCube: 21,740,000
North America: 12,940,000
Japan: 4,040,000
Other: 4,770,000

Current hardware (lifetime to date):
Nintendo DS: 70,600,000
North America: 22,390,000
Japan: 22,380,000
Other: 25,820,000

Nintendo Wii: 24,450,000
North America: 10,610,000
Japan: 5,900,000
Other: 7,940,000

Other Fun Numbers:
DS has 57 million-selling games (LTD)
Pokemon Diamond/Pearl: 14.77 million sold
Brain Age 1 and 2 (combined): 23.81 million sold
Smash Bros Brawl: 4.85 million as of March 31
The Wii has 26 million-selling games.

Sales Forecast For Next Fiscal Year:
Nintendo Wii hardware: 25 million sold worldwide
Nintendo DS hardware: 28 million sold worldwide
Nintendo Wii Software: 177 million sold
DS software: 187 million sold

So in less than half the time, the Wii has already surpassed GameCube (and Xbox) lifetime sales. That’s pretty impressive and a big turnaround for Nintendo who has struggled the past two generations. The DS is just crazy. There’s not a lot that needs to be said there, because the monstrous numbers speak for themselves. It’s easily going to fly past the GBA lifetime sales,especially if the DS is around for as long before a true successor hits.


Mario and Sonic surpass 5 million in sales

No, not Mario games plus Sonic games, but rather Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games has sold over 5 million copies to date. Between the DS and Wii versions, this game is blowing up in every territory, and that’s before the expected sales bump that the game will receive once the Beijing Olympic games roll around. By most accounts the game was merely average (I never tried it), but this is definitely a sign that Mario and Sonic still have some serious draw.

marioandsonic.jpg

So does this mean that we’ll be seeing more Mario and Sonic crossover titles? Maybe. Sonic is already in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to see Nintendo and Sega getting the characters together again in some sort of racer or other type of party game. With the sales that this game has received, you can count on seeing Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games two years from now.

Advance Wars Tips and Strategies

With the release of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, I decided to pull together some tips and strategies for Advance Wars. I noticed that a lot of newcomers to the series were on message boards across the Internet complaining about the difficulty of the game or their inability to nail down a good strategy. I hope this little guide helps out, and I’ll be adding to it over time. Here’s the link: Advance Wars Strategy and Tips. You can find this easily in the link just below the site banner as well, right next to that HDTV buying guide that I never finished and is probably horribly out of date.

Banner Logo.png

So, feel free to comment on whether or not the guide was useful or if you have anything to add. If you haven’t played Advance Wars, now is the time to start! All of the titles are excellent, don’t pass on a single one.