Archive for March, 2009

NPD February 2009

NPD sales data for February is as follows:

Hardware Sales

Wii: 753k
360: 391k
PS3: 276k
PS2: 131k
NDS: 588k
PSP: 199k

Weekly Sales February 09

Software Sales Top 20 Overall

  1. Wii Fit (Wii) – 644K
  2. Street Fighter IV (360) – 446K
  3. Street Fighter IV (PS3) – 403K
  4. Wii Play (Wii) – 386K
  5. Killzone 2 (PS3) – 323K
  6. Mario Kart (Wii) – 263K
  7. Call of Duty: World at War (360) – 193K
  8. Mario Kart DS (NDS) – 145K
  9. New Super Mario Bros (NDS) – 144K
  10. Guitar Hero World Tour (Wii) – 136K
  11. FEAR 2 (360)
  12. Skate 2 (360)
  13. Left 4 Dead (360)
  14. NBA 2K9 (360)
  15. Halo 3 (360)
  16. Call of Duty: World At War (PS3)
  17. Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga (Wii)
  18. Guitar Hero World Tour (360)
  19. My Fitness Coach (Wii)
  20. Fallout 3 (360)

Top 10 Wii

  1. WII WII FIT    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  2. WII WII PLAY W/ REMOTE    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  3. WII MARIO KART W/WHEEL    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  4. WII GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR*    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  5. WII LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA    LUCASARTS
  6. WII MY FITNESS COACH    UBISOFT
  7. WII JILLIAN MICHAELS FITNESS ULTIMATUM 2009    MAJESCO
  8. WII NASCAR KART RACING    ELECTRONIC ARTS
  9. WII SUPER SMASH BROS: BRAWL    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  10. WII TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR 09    ELECTRONIC ARTS

Top 10 Xbox 360

  1. 360 STREET FIGHTER IV*    CAPCOM USA
  2. 360 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR*    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  3. 360 F.E.A.R. 2: PROJECT ORIGIN    WARNER INTERACTIVE
  4. 360 SKATE 2    ELECTRONIC ARTS
  5. 360 LEFT 4 DEAD    ELECTRONIC ARTS
  6. 360 NBA 2K9    TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
  7. 360 HALO 3*    MICROSOFT
  8. 360 GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR*    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  9. 360 FALLOUT 3*    BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
  10. 360 GEARS OF WAR 2*    MICROSOFT

Top 10 PlayStation 2

  1. PS2 GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR*    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  2. PS2 NBA 2K9    TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
  3. PS2 GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS    TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
  4. PS2 GUITAR HERO AEROSMITH*    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  5. PS2 MADDEN NFL 09    ELECTRONIC ARTS
  6. PS2 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  7. PS2 RESIDENT EVIL 4    CAPCOM USA
  8. PS2 KINGDOM HEARTS RE: CHAIN OF MEMORIES    SQUARE ENIX INC
  9. PS2 WWE SMACKDOWN VS. RAW 2009    THQ
  10. PS2 LEGO BATMAN    WARNER INTERACTIVE

Top 10 PlayStation 3

  1. PS3 STREET FIGHTER IV*    CAPCOM USA
  2. PS3 KILLZONE 2    SONY
  3. PS3 CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  4. PS3 F.E.A.R. 2: PROJECT ORIGIN    WARNER INTERACTIVE
  5. PS3 GUITAR HERO III LEGENDS OF ROCK    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  6. PS3 GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR*    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  7. PS3 SONIC’S ULTIMATE GENESIS COLLECTION    SEGA OF AMERICA
  8. PS3 NBA 2K9    TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
  9. PS3 RESISTANCE 2*    SONY
  10. PS3 MORTAL KOMBAT VS. DC UNIVERSE*    MIDWAY

Top 10 Game Boy Advance

  1. GBA UNO 52    DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
  2. GBA SHREK 2/MADAGASCAR OPERATION PEN    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  3. GBA BIG MUTHA TRUCKERS    DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
  4. GBA PUPPY LUV: SPA & RESORT    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  5. GBA MADAGASCAR    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD
  6. GBA ASTEROIDS/PONG/YARS    DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
  7. GBA DRILL DOZER    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  8. GBA GOLDEN NUGGET CASINO    MAJESCO
  9. GBA SPYHUNTER/SUPERSPRINT    DESTINATION SOFTWARE INC.
  10. GBA VAN HELSING    ACTIVISION BLIZZARD

Top 10 Nintendo DS

  1. NDS MARIO KART DS    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  2. NDS NEW SUPER MARIO BROS    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  3. NDS CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE    DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
  4. NDS LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA    LUCASARTS
  5. NDS SUPER MARIO 64 DS    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  6. NDS FIRE EMBLEM: SHADOW DRAGON    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  7. NDS MARIO PARTY    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  8. NDS KIRBY SUPER STAR ULTRA    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  9. NDS POKEMON RANGER: SHADOWS OF ALMIA    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  10. NDS BRAIN AGE 2: MORE TRAINING IN MINUTES A DAY    NINTENDO OF AMERICA

Top 10 PSP

  1. PSP GRAND THEFT AUTO: LIBERTY CITY STORIES    TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
  2. PSP MIDNIGHT CLUB: LA REMIX    TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
  3. PSP GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY STORIES    TAKE 2 INTERACTIVE
  4. PSP IRON MAN    SEGA OF AMERICA
  5. PSP LOCOROCO 2    SONY
  6. PSP MADDEN NFL 09    ELECTRONIC ARTS
  7. PSP WWE SMACKDOWN VS. RAW 2008    THQ
  8. PSP LEGO BATMAN    WARNER INTERACTIVE
  9. PSP WWE SMACKDOWN VS. RAW 2009    THQ
  10. PSP CRISIS CORE: FINAL FANTASY VII    SQUARE ENIX INC

Top 10 Portable Games Overall

  1. NDS MARIO KART DS    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  2. NDS NEW SUPER MARIO BROS    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  3. NDS CLUB PENGUIN: ELITE PENGUIN FORCE    NDS     DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS
  4. NDS LEGO STAR WARS: COMPLETE SAGA    NDS     LUCASARTS
  5. NDS SUPER MARIO 64 DS    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  6. NDS FIRE EMBLEM: SHADOW DRAGON    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  7. NDS MARIO PARTY    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  8. NDS KIRBY SUPER STAR ULTRA    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  9. NDS POKEMON RANGER: SHADOWS OF ALMIA    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  10. NDS BRAIN AGE 2: MORE TRAINING IN MINUTES A DAY    NDS     NINTENDO OF AMERICA

Top 10 Accessories

  1. WII NUNCHUK CONTROLLER    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  2. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER W/ JACKET    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  3. PS3 DUALSHOCK 3 WIRELESS CONTROLLER    SONY
  4. 360 LIVE 1600 POINT GAME CARD    MICROSOFT
  5. 360 LIVE 1 MONTH GOLD CARD    MICROSOFT
  6. 360 LIVE 12 MONTH GOLD CARD    MICROSOFT
  7. WII REMOTE CONTROLLER    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  8. WII CHARGE STATION    NYKO
  9. WII WHEEL GRIP    NINTENDO OF AMERICA
  10. 360 HEADSET    MICROSOFT

*Inclusive of collectors’, limited, instrument bundles

(source: Wired)

Aggregate HW February 09

Analysis

I’m late to the game here with NPD analysis, so I’ll keep my thoughts short and sweet.

  • Again, Nintendo stole the show. Wii supply has finally outpaced demand, and while that’s notable, 753k is a mammoth total that simply can’t be ignored. Friendly warning: don’t underestimate DSi demand – it will be huge.
  • Killzone 2 saw modest sales success, but it had a middling effect on PS3 hardware sales. Again, all Sony hardware was down yoy– not exactly the sales momentum they were hoping for.
  • Xbox 360’s continued growth is the biggest (new) story of 2009. They had some unacceptable supply issues in early 2008 that inflate yoy comparisons, but even still, Microsoft has to be pleased with how the first quarter of this year has played out. Aggressive moves like the exclusive GTA DLC and RE5 themed console will continue to push sales up.

 

Monthly HW February 09 

Sales Trends February 09

YOY February 09

Burnout, Literally?

I am overwhelmed by Burnout Paradise – there’s just so much to do that I’m having trouble distilling the experience to a consumable substance. Criterion is to be commended for their continued support of the game via patches and free DLC, but there is such a glut of content (in addition to a completely revamped UI) that I don’t know where to start.

I’m not really complaining, of course. In this day and age of carefully metered entertainment, it’s refreshing to experience such… excess. Still, though I’m mildly ashamed to admit it, there’s a small part of me that is annoyed at having to traverse this ocean without a hand to guide me.

..I’m still debating whether this is a legitimate complaint or the manifestation of my intellect’s atrophy…

“Don’t call me a mindless philosopher,
you overweight glob of grease!”

Peace

Spring is always a refreshing and relaxing time of year. As the world around me collectively wakes from its long slumber, I’m allowed to consume my games at a more palatable pace than usual. Each gameplay concept lingers on my tongue a second or two longer, each graphical detail maintains my gaze for an extra moment. The buzz of the holidays has finally died down, and the din and clatter of trade shows is still manageably distant.

Savor these few months of peace the best you can.

MadWorld is on the way – Amazon says Monday, but I’m thinking that I might just luck into a delivery tomorrow. At least that’s what I’m hoping for – I’m really looking forward this game. Reviews have been good so far, and I’m just really jonesin’ for a quality brawler/beat-em-up. The game’s style is undeniably awesome, and it should be a nice foil to De Blob, which I’m close to finishing up.

Just in case Amazon is right, I picked up Deadly Creatures and Burnout Paradise the other day – the first for its unique premise and the latter for it’s quantifiable and expected amount of quality. I’ve always tended towards arcade racers over their more realistic brethren, and the Burnout series has consistently been one of the purest in the genre. The first few games were especially delicious. I’m not expecting a masterpiece out of Paradise, but I’m hoping for a fulfilling and long-lasting experience.

Epilogue

I liked Prince of Persia – quite a bit, actually. Some people were put off by the game’s passive gameplay style, but I thought the flow of the action combined with its distinct (and gorgeous) art style and quality characterizations made for a refreshing experience. The recently released DLC won’t win over the game’s critics, but fans will no doubt eat it up.

Prince of Persia Epilogue The art, and the story, take a dark turn in the Epilogue DLC

I appreciate that Ubisoft Montreal recognizes that anyone playing this new content will have already bested the main adventure. As such, the game offers some new takes on old mechanics that made me stop and think more than once. The platforming is a little more hands-on than before, with a larger emphasis on traps and obstacles.

As anticipated, the Epilogue offers few new storyline threads, but the new banter between Elika and the Prince is as entertaining as ever (for better or for worse, depending on you’re thoughts of the original). The game definitely ends on an ominous note, and I hope that the development team gets a shot at a sequel. I loved this first round, and I’d love to see what could be done with some refinement and iteration on the base design.

Predictions: NPD February 2009

NPD video game sales data for February 2009 will be released next Thursday (release has been delayed a week, but I wanted to get predictions out before real analysts).

Predictions

Format: “Total Hardware” (“Weekly Hardware” | “% change of weekly sales over January”)

Wii: 740k ( 185k | +8.96% )
360: 312k ( 78k | +0.97% )
PS3: 220k ( 55k | +8.27% )
PS2: 100k ( 25k | –1.19% )
NDS: 520k ( 130k | +1.80% )
PSP: 180k ( 45k | +4.47% )

Notes regarding my predictions:

  • Don’t expect many surprises this month.
  • The release of Killzone 2 should have an effect on PS3 sales, just not in the context that some might be expecting. I see it mostly mitigating a small drop off that would have occurred if it had not been released.
  • Wii supply has been unprecedented. That makes February a hard month to predict. While I’ve come up with a high number, I wouldn’t be shocked if the actual total was notably larger.

Actual sales data from The NPD Group will be released on Thursday, March 19th after market close (4:00 PM).

Henry Hatsworth: The Guy, nay, Gentleman You Didn’t Know You’ve Been Missing

So if you haven’t heard of Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure, pay attention. It’s a platform/puzzle hybrid game, and it feature’s this guy:

Henry Hatsworth

I can’t look at him without cracking a grin. And get this: Henry’s rival is a gentleman named Leopold Charles Anthony Weasleby the Third. That’s just good stuff. If you still aren’t sold, take a look at this description:

…the real entertainment comes from maxing out the bar and bringing up a super-attack mode called "Tea Time", in which Henry morphs into a gigantic robot, and kicks the crap out of everything with infinite health while guitar riffs blaze in the background. [via IGN, emphasis mine]

Sometimes, usually when I should be doing something “important,” I find my mind wandering, conjuring up untold amounts of awesome that I would unleash on the world if only I had the means. But I must admit, Henry Hatsworth, the product of an EA Tiburon employee’s free time, outpaces my wildest dreams on every level. I wonder what important things he was putting off.

I’m glad that the game has been universally well received, because this is one of those concepts that I just can’t help rooting for. I hope that EA is rewarded for this little slice of excellence.

Baby Steps

Watching EA struggle to find some resonance with Wii’s audience has been like watching an infant struggle to take his first steps – he knows exactly what he wants to do, but he just can’t get his muscles to move like he wants them to. It’s been an awkward couple of years.

I must admit, though, that the upcoming Grand Slam Tennis looks pretty intriguing. Right off the bat, they’ve chosen a distinctive art style that, while decidedly colorful and exaggerated, maintains a healthy dose of reality. Further, the controls seem to be exactly what Wii Sports pros have been pleading for. EA has decided to embrace the upcoming MotionPlus accessory right out of the gate – both this new tennis game and Tiger Woods 10 will make use of it. Nintendo Power took the game for a spin and liked what they saw: “The game recognizes whether you’re doing a forehand or backhand swing, how high you’re holding the racket, and even the angle at which you’re striking the ball.” EA might have a hit on their hands.

I’ve been working the spreadsheet in preparation for February NPDs, and I’m not anticipating any real surprises. I don’t see Killzone 2 significantly pushing PS3 sales – it should do well for a February release, but don’t expect any seismic effect on the hardware trends. Wii sales are are particularly hard to gauge this month. It’s been widely available all month, but it’s tough figuring out the point at which supply meets demand.

Excitebots

I’m not sure how I feel about the recent Excitebotsreveal.” I understand Nintendo’s philosophy of keeping their cards close to their chest, but it’s odd to hear about a new game a mere month and a half from its release. I am extremely excited by the premise, though, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one. Pies and clown faces, anyone? Yes.