Rock Band Kiosks Invading Old Navy Starting November 26

Old Navy logo

In an interesting crossover, MTV Games is setting up Rock Band kiosks at hundreds of Old Navy stores starting November 26. Gamers will be able to shop for performance fleece, rock out to the game, and win Rock Band prizes. The official press release stated:

Consumers will be treated to a rockin’ shopping experience when Old Navy unveils Rock Band game play kiosks in close to 700 stores in the United States and Canada. The kiosks will be featured throughout the holiday season, giving families a fun outlet during their busy holiday shopping trips.

In addition, six of the Old Navy flagship stores will install 10 x 10 fully equipped Rock Band entertainment stages providing consumers the chance to perform like rock stars. Families are invited to come down and play on Thanksgiving Thursday as part of the Gobblepalooza weekend. Customers will also get a chance to win a $200 shopping spree, Rock Band song tracks and other great prizes.

I absolutely dread holiday shopping and try to do most of it online to avoid the crowds. Somehow, I always manage to get roped into at least one shopping session, which almost always gives me a migraine. Being able to play Rock Band while my friends shop would be much better than Excedrin.

NY State Wants to Use Consoles for Emergency Contact

Achievement NYS Emergency Broadcast System

The New York State Emergency Management Office wants to reach gamers that might be too absorbed in the latest shooter or RPG to notice catastrophic events. Fearing that its citizens, particularly youngsters, will miss out on emergency broadcast messages on television or radio, the state is trying to communicate through online services like PlayStation Network and Xbox Live as part of its Empire 2.0 initiative. InformationWeek has reported:

State authorities are testing a plan that would see the Emergency Management Office issue alerts over online gaming networks in addition to regular channels.

The goal, said New York State Deputy CIO Rico Singleton, is to reach younger residents who spend more time on the Xbox, PlayStation, or Wii than with television or radio.

While I’m pretty sure I’d notice a hurricane or nuclear attack while playing a game, I’m happy that my home state (born in the Bronx!) is being forward thinking. Also, the Yankees won the world series so NY rules even more.

Source via Joystiq

Nintendo to Go on a Holiday Shopping Mall Tour


Taking a page from Tiffany’s book, Nintendo is set to embark on a nationwide tour of shopping malls across America. Its Nintendo Holiday Mall Experience hopes to entice shoppers with the latest DS and Wii goods from November 23 to December 20. The official press release stated:

The Nintendo Holiday Mall Experience will touch down in 35 shopping malls from coast to coast, offering free hands-on demos of some of Nintendo’s hottest games. Whether they’re seeking gifts for friends and family members or simply taking a break from the season’s hustle and bustle, attendees can enjoy an interactive glimpse into the rich variety of entertainment offered by Nintendo.

Yeah…because Nintendo needs help selling more hardware. Ha! I’m going to try to check out the one in Culver City, but if the tour is hitting a mall near you, I’d love to see your pictures. You can see the entire list of malls and cities below the fold.

Continue reading “Nintendo to Go on a Holiday Shopping Mall Tour”

CNet UK Poll Shows 60% Failure Rate for Xbox 360

Xbox 360 RROD smallA recent poll by CNet UK showed that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 failed way more than Nintedo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3. The poll found that “60% of the respondents indicating that their 360 had failed at some point. Sony’s PlayStation 3 broke for 16% of those who took part in the poll, while the Wii stopped working for just 6%.” Here are some other interesting results:

  • 32% said their Xbox 360 console broke twice
  • 19% claimed Xbox 360 broke three or more times
  • The 360 failure rate fell to 34 percent for respondents who had purchased a console since January 2008

It’s important to note that 1,128 people took the poll, with 591 owning a Wii, 562 owning an Xbox 360 and 473 possessing a PS3. The sample is very small and hardly random. While Microsoft has certainly improved the reliability of newer Xbox 360 models, the figures are still pretty severe. Besides, it’s always fun to look at poll results like these.

As some of you know, my Xbox 360 Elite red ringed twice. My other systems have been fine. How about you? Any of your consoles break down?


This Week’s Videogame Releases

The gaming year is coming to a close, but it’s going out with a bang! There are lots of great games available this week for all the major platforms. Assassin’s Creed 2, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and God of War Collection are just some of the titles you can pick up. Here are this week’s PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Portable, and Nintendo DS releases…along with some brief commentary. I’ve taken out most of the garbage and kids games (unless I found them funny). As always, let me know if you’re planning to buy any of this week’s new releases.

God of War slider

PlayStation 3
Assassin’s Creed II — All my industry buddies are saying this one is awesome and addresses all the flaws in the original.
God of War: Collection — You get revamped version of two awesome games and a God of War III demo!!!
LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues — The adventure will continue…until Indy needs hip surgery.
NCAA Basketball 2010
Planet 51
Scene It: Bright Lights Big Screen
— It’s not Buzz.
Tony Hawk: Ride Skateboard — Surely this will sell better than DJ Hero, right?

Continue reading “This Week’s Videogame Releases”

NPD Hardware Sales Figures for October 2009

Console Wars!!!
Console Wars!!!

NPD Group has issued its console hardware sales data for October 2009. Was Nintendo’s Wii price cut put it back on top? Could Sony continue it’s momentum after an excellent September? Let’s take a look at the numbers!

  • Wii: 506,900
  • Nintendo DS: 457,600
  • PlayStation 3: 320,600
  • Xbox 360: 249,700
  • PSP: 174,600
  • PlayStation 2: 117,800

So yeah, Nintendo’s “fad” of a console reclaimed its crown. It will be interesting to see if the Wii can keep the top spot in the crucial months of November and December. Sony has to be disappointed in its drop off, while Microsoft is surely snickering at its rival’s decline. That said, it’s not like MS didn’t slide as well.

What do you make off October’s numbers? Any predictions for November?

NPD Console Sales Figures Top 10 Games of October 2009

NPD Group has released its console software sales information for October 2009. The month pretty much went as expected with Sony’s Uncharted 2 and Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus leading the way. There was one very pleasant surprise in October. Check out the list and see for yourself.

Uncharted 2

  1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3): 537,000
  2. Wii Fit Plus (Wii): 441,000
  3. Borderlands (Xbox 360): 418,000
  4. Wii Sports Resort (Wii): 314,000
  5. NBA 2K10 (Xbox 360): 311,000
  6. Halo 3 ODST (Xbox 360): 271,000
  7. NBA 2K10 (PS3): 213,000
  8. Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360): 175,000
  9. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS): 169,000
  10. FIFA Soccer 10 (Xbox 360): 156,000

Borderlands did way better than most people were expecting. Sandwiched between ODST and Modern Warfare 2, most people — including renowned analyst Michael Pachter — thought that the game was going to take a pounding. Instead, it sold very well. This makes me happy on several levels. It’s completely immature, but I love it when Pachter is wrong. More importantly, I’m thrilled for Gearbox’s success. Well done guys!

Anything on October’s NPD software list surprise you?

Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime Calls Out Rivals’ Motion Controls

Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime dismissed the motion controllers coming from rivals Microsoft and Sony at BMO Capital Markets’ Digital Entertainment conference in New York. According to Gamasutra, the Reginator said:

All of this talk around new motion controllers does make me think about the people who initially said that the Wii Remote was just a fad. I wonder what happened to those people?

Yes, it could be that our current 100 percent marketshare in motion control could lose a couple of points, but…with a head-start of over 51 million controllers, I still like our chances.

Reggie Fils-Aime 2

I still find it amusing that people consider the Wii a fad. Merriam Webster defines a fad as “a practice or interest followed for a time with exaggerated zeal”. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Nintendo has been outselling the competition for years. The Wii has consistently outsold the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. People are still buying more of these consoles today than any of the others. Explain to Reggie and me (mostly to me, because Reggie will zap you with his eye beams) how this is a fad.


Tatsunoko vs. Capcom Being Used to Show Wii Owners Some Love

Tatsunoku vs Capcom

Capcom’s upcoming Tatsunoko VS Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars seems like an odd choice for the Nintendo Wii. The company has lots of fans of its “vs.” fighting games on the PS3 and Xbox 360; it just seems like a better fit on those consoles and their respective audiences. Producer Ryota Niitsuma told Gamasutra why the game is on the Wii and how the company is taking advantage of the hardware:

If you take the Wii for example, we don’t just want to put a game out on the Wii. We want to put out a game on the Wii that actually utilizes all the capabilities of the Wii. I like to think about the people who bought a Wii just to play a game like this. I want to take care of them, too.

I think, as I said previously, we’ve tried to exploit the Wii to its full potential for this game. Of course, that’s just my opinion, but, I mean, Capcom might come down on me and say, ‘Hey, we want to make more money, so put on this,’ but that’s on them.

Those are all very nice sentiments, but I can’t imagine this game not hitting the PS3 and/or Xbox 360. While it won’t be as successful as Street Fighter IV on those platforms, it would still be like leaving money on the table.

Any Wii owners out there picking this one up? Any PS3/Xbox 360 owners wishing for it to hit their consoles?