A recent robbery of a videogame store in Moriyama, Japan revealed that Japanese thieves don’t care about the Xbox 360. Out of the 460 games stolen, only 20 were for the Microsoft console. Andriasang listed the complete breakdown:
PSP: 200 games
PS3: 140 games
Wii: 100 games
Xbox 360: 20 games
That’s just frickin’ hilarious. I know the Xbox 360 isn’t popular in Japan, but you know things are bad when thieves can’t be bothered to steal games for the system. Somewhere in Japan, a Microsoft executive is thinking, “Crap. We can’t even give these things away.”
Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Joe Girardi’s interesting bullpen management, the sexy Motorola Droid for Verizon, or what games you’ll be buying this week, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.
By now, most of you will have had time to think about the September 2009 NPD Group console sales figures. Sony did very well for itself, selling loads of systems thanks to the PS3 price cut and the introduction of the PlayStation 3 Slim. While the Nintendo Wii will end up being the sales winner this console generation (barring some catastrophe like Romulans attacking Earth to steal every Wii on the planet), some feel that second place is up for grabs.
Xbots will argue that the 360 has way too big a lead in North America. The company will continue to sell its exclusives and sell more third-party games thanks to a larger installed base. Improvements to Xbox Live will cement the console’s position of having the best online console-gaming experience.
Members of the Sony Defense Force will point out that this is a marathon, not a sprint. This console generation is far from over and Sony has superior first-party games lined up for 2010. With the console’s price cut, the PS3’s capabilities — Blu-ray playback, built-in Wifi, etc. — clearly make it a better value than the 360. With better games and better hardware that’s now at a competitive price, it’s only a matter of time until the PS3 surpasses the Xbox 360.
Certainly there are still too many variables, too many years, and too many unannounced games that will shape the remaining years of this generation, but it’s still fun to play analyst. So pretend for a few minutes that you’re Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter or EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich. I want to know which console you think will end up grabbing the silver medal this console generation. Do you think it’ll be Microsoft’s Xbox 360 or Sony’s PlayStation 3? Pick a side and state your case (please!).
NPD Group has issued its console software sales data for September 2009. Did MTV Games prove that all you need is love and a cool Gretsch peripheral? Or did Activision trounce it with the more varied Guitar Hero 5? Do any of you doubt that Halo 3: ODST did some major damage? Was Batman strong enough to take on the entire Marvel Universe? Let’s take a look!
Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360): 1,520,000
Wii Sports Resort (Wii): 442,900
Madden NFL 10 (Xbox 360): 289,600
Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (Nintendo DS): 258,100
The Beatles: Rock Band (Xbox 360): 254,000
Madden NFL 10 (PlayStation 3): 246,500
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (Xbox 360): 236,000
Batman: Arkham Asylum (PlayStation 3): 212,500
Guitar Hero 5 (Xbox 360): 210,800
The Beatles: Rock Band (Wii): 208,600
I’m relieved that The Beatles: Rock Band did better than Guitar Hero 5. I don’t have anything against GH5, but I needed to know that America had the good taste to support The Beatles. I’m a little bummed that Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 didn’t perform better, but I’m also not surprised. At the end of the day, the chart was dominated by balls (Madden) and guns (Halo). While millions of people are (what I like to call) balls-and-guns gamers, that’s just not my thing. Seriously though, it’s not so much about the genre, but two strongly established brands performing extremely well in September.
What do you think of NPD’s September sales figures? Anything surprise you?
NPD Group has issued its console hardware sales data for September 2009. How big of a difference did Sony’s PlayStation 3 price cut make? Was Microsoft able to do some damage control? Did the Wii — which still continues to dominate the field — continue its slide? Let’s find out!
Nintendo DS: 524,200
PlayStation 3: 491,800
Xbox 360: 352,600
PlayStation 2: 146,000
Ah, there’s nothing like a price cut to make the console wars more interesting, eh? The $100 price reduction and the introduction of the PS3 Slim helped Sony achieve some nice numbers. It will be interesting to see if it can hang onto the momentum for the rest of 2009. Although the Wii’s pace has cooled off, it’s still selling well and adding to a huge installed base. The Nintendo DS? That portable console has yet to encounter any kryptonite.
What do you guys and dolls make of the September numbers?!? Is this the start of Sony’s big comeback? Or it it just a temporary thing, like some Microsoft executives suggest?
In today’s Coffee Talk, reader RRODisHere pointed out this interesting tidbit from Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter. On an episode of Gametrailer’s Bonus Round, Pachter said:
Microsoft wants you to never play a game again on your PC and play everything on your 360.
You really want to hook every gamer who has a 360, you want them to buy all their games on 360, play everything multiplayer, pay you 50 bucks a year so that, in a couple years, it’s a 100 bucks a year. That’s going up — we all know that. It’s a profit deal.
While it’s normal for prices to go up, this is one case where it might be a tough sell. There’s no doubt that Microsoft offers the best online console gaming experience with Xbox Live. It’s so good that the company justifies charging its customers $50 a year to use the service. That said, Sony’s PlayStation Network is getting better and better all the time. If both services continue to improve and Sony’s continues to be free, it will be difficult for Microsoft to raise the price of online admission to $100.
Then again, I could be totally wrong. I’ll ask you what RROD asked earlier — would you pay $100 for Xbox Live? I don’t think I would. The service is good, but not $100 good. Hit the break for the full video.
Last month, I wrote about Microsoft and Activision releasing a limited edition 250GB Xbox 360 for the release of Modern Warfare 2. According to Amazon, the console will be released on November 10.
Although the quantities are limited, this should help Microsoft compete with Sony’s upcoming 250GB PlayStation 3 Slim. While the Slim is coming in at $50 less, this Xbox 360 bundle comes with an extra controller and a slick, limited edition paint job.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has given his price guesstimates on Microsoft’s Project Natal and Sony’s wave motion sex toy EyeWand. He recently told IndustryGamers:
I think that Natal will cost $50, as it only really involves a camera (a three-lensed camera, but a camera nonetheless). The EyeWand, on the other hand, involves a camera and two controllers, so it may be slightly more expensive. I would be surprised if the EyeWand retails for more than $100. Neither impacts the other, as neither is intended to compete with the other.
That last sentence sounded like Professor Trelawney’s prophecy on Voldemort and Harry Potter…but I digress. I’m surprised Pachter doesn’t feel that these are competing products. Am I missing something here? Both are aimed at expanding the audience for their respective consoles. Both will be used to attract more mainstream gamers. Seems like competition to me, but I’m not some highly paid analyst, so what do I know?
What do you think of Pachter’s price estimates for these motion-control add-ons? Do you agree with him that they’re not competing products?
NPD Group’s sales data for September 2009 has been delayed. My theory is that September was simply too powerful a month for the company to handle (Christopher Reeve and I were born in the glorious month). Another guess is that a game publisher attacked NPD with a virus to delay some embarrassing sales info from being revealed.
The world will have to wait until Monday to see how effective Sony’s PS3 price cut was, who won in the war between The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero 5, and how many people plopped down $60 for Halo 3: ODST.
Since we don’t have numbers to talk about today, any guesses in regards to the three items I mentioned above?
Sony has officially announced details on the 250GB PS3 Slim that everyone knew was coming. Here are some tidbits from the press release:
Following the successful launch of the slimmer and lighter PlayStation 3 system with 120GB hard disk drive (HDD), Sony Computer Entertainment America today announced that a new PS3 system with a 250GB HDD will be available on November 3 for $349.99 (MSRP).
The 250GB PS3 system offers the same form factor and functionality as the current 120GB system, which achieved retail sales of 1 million units worldwide in the three weeks since its launch on September 1. Both models will be available at retail this holiday, providing both gamers and gift-givers with the opportunity to choose the PS3 system that’s right for them.
While it’s not as exciting as the GameCom 2009 announcement of the PS3 Slim and price cut, the 250GB model is pretty important. In addition to giving consumers (that don’t know how to replace a hard drive themselves — duh!) more choice, it allows Sony some wiggle room in the future. With two models, price cuts can be manipulated in a clever way. Besides, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has multiple models, so Sony can use two models to compete for different customers (the differences will be more pronounced as future price cuts occur).
What do you think of the 250GB PS3 Slim’s price? Any of you plan on picking one up in November?
With the recent price cut to the PlayStation 3, Microsoft expects that it will be behind Sony when the September 2009 NPD console sales figures are released later today. Ultimately, Microsoft feels that it doesn’t matter. Company director of project management Aaron Greenberg told Game Informer:
I can tell you to that when NPD releases September sales later today, we fully expect PlayStation 3 will come in as the console with the most units sold for the month. This is frankly not a real surprise to us or the analysts that follow this industry, as it is typical to see a short term bump following the introduction of new hardware and pricing into the marketplace. What I can tell you is we remain confident that Xbox 360 will not only outsell PS3 for the full calendar year, but for this entire generation. It is similar to a game of baseball, it is not about just winning one inning, but instead being able to win the game by consistently delivering across all nine innings.
While I doubt that Sony can sell enough PS3s to overtake Microsoft for the year, it has a strong chance at outselling its rival for the remainder of 2009, which includes the lucrative holiday-shopping season. Considering the recent economy and the immediate financial future, this console generation will probably be longer than either company expected. This bodes well for Sony; the more time it has to catch up, the better.
What do you think of Aaron’s comments? Do you think the PS3 will outsell the Xbox 360 for the rest of the year? What do you think Sony’s chances are of catching up to Microsoft this generation?