Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time Videos

Sony has posted a pair of excellent videos for the (what should be) excellent Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time. I know a lot of PS3 gamers are going gaga for Uncharted 2 (and rightfully so), but I’ve always preferred Insomniac’s games and am super looking forward to this one. Anyway, check out the vids and let me know what you think (please)!

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Coffee Talk #7: PS3 vs. Xbox 360 — The Race to #2

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.

PS3 vs Xbox 360

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!).

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Oddworld Inhabitants Invade PlayStation Network

Oddworld Abe

A pair of Oddworld classics for the PlayStation are coming to PSN on 10/22 — Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee and Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus!!! I’m a huge fan of these two games and the developer, Oddworld Inhabitants, so I was thrilled to read company co-founder Lorne Lanning on the PlayStation Blog. He wrote:

It was only about six years ago that I told our agent at the time, “Larry, don’t you get it!? Our classic Abe games are history. The systems that played them are gone and they aren’t coming back. Ours is a disposable medium and we don’t have a Turner Classics channel.” He looked at me with this defeated expression and said, “Dude, that’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard you say.” He believed me, and I too believed it at the time.

Six years later and I have to admit it’s great being proved wrong.

It’s great to have two of the most imaginative and entertaining PSone games on PSN. Any of you guys and gals going to download them? I highly recommend it.

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NPD Console Sales Figures Top 10 Games of September 2009

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!

The Beatles Rock Band

  1. Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360): 1,520,000
  2. Wii Sports Resort (Wii): 442,900
  3. Madden NFL 10 (Xbox 360): 289,600
  4. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (Nintendo DS): 258,100
  5. The Beatles: Rock Band (Xbox 360): 254,000
  6. Madden NFL 10 (PlayStation 3): 246,500
  7. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (Xbox 360): 236,000
  8. Batman: Arkham Asylum (PlayStation 3): 212,500
  9. Guitar Hero 5 (Xbox 360): 210,800
  10. 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 Hardware Sales Figures for September 2009

    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!

    Console Wars!!!
    Console Wars!!!
    • Nintendo DS: 524,200
    • PlayStation 3: 491,800
    • Wii: 462,800
    • Xbox 360: 352,600
    • PSP: 190,400
    • 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?

    Assassin’s Creed Movies Hitting YouTube on 10/27

    Assassins Creed 2

    VentureBeat has a great feature on Ubisoft’s upcoming Assassin’s Creed short films that are being used to hype Assassin’s Creed 2 and expand the game’s brand. Taking over the front page of YouTube in eight countries on October 27th, the first of three short films is a huge deal. The site reported:

    Assassin’s Creed: Lineage, created by acclaimed Hollywood special effects studio Hybride Technologies (which Ubisoft acquired last year) and Ubisoft Montreal’s Ubisoft Digital Arts (UDA), will make its global debut on Oct. 27 on the front page of YouTube in eight countries.

    The movies, which total about 38 minutes in length, feature live actors working in front of green screens. The same actors did voice work on Assassin’s Creed II. Their faces were digitzed and used in the game. The films tee up game, which takes place in Florence and Venice during the Italian Renaissance.

    While the movies were expensive to make, they can help transform Assassin’s Creed into a mainstream franchise instead of one that’s revered only by gamers. While it remains to be seen if AC will get that kind of crossover appeal, Ubi is doing everything in its power to make it so. With the Prince of Persia movie already in production, it would be remarkable if Ubi could add another mainstream feather to its cap.

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    This Week’s Videogame Releases

    While it’s not as big as last week — with Brutal Legend and Uncharted 2 leading the way — there are some significant titles shipping this Tuesday. The two biggest games on the list are Borderlands and WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 (which will likely go down in history as having the best writing in any videogame made by man). 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).

    Are you picking up any of this week’s releases? If so, leave a comment and let me know which ones.

    Smackdown vs Raw 2010 a

    PlayStation 3
    Borderlands — Super looking forward to this one. It looks stylish and smart, but I’m not sure how well it will sell. I’m hoping the best for Gearbox though.
    FIFA Soccer 2010
    Madagascar Kartz
    WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2010 — The Mickie James storyline is one of the most heart-wrenching experience you’ll ever find in a videogame.

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    Uncharted 2 Sells 300,000 on Day One, Third-Fastest Selling PS3 Game in North America

    Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is selling like hot cakes Beanie Babies whatever sells really fast these days. According to VGChartz, the game sold more than 300,000 copies on day one and is positioned to be the third-fastest selling PlayStation 3 game in North America and fourth-fastest selling worldwide.

    We can now reveal that preliminary VGChartz data shows day one sales of over 300,000 units which should rise to 450,000 – 500,000 units by the end of the week, making Uncharted 2 the 3rd fastest-selling PS3 title to date in America behind Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4.

    Uncharted 2

    If the numbers are accurate — VGChartz has an…uneven reputation in the business — this is fantastic news for Sony and Naughty Dog. By all accounts, this is one of the year’s best games, but as we’ve seen so many times in the past, the best games aren’t always the best selling. That aside, it looks like it’s full steam ahead for Uncharted 2. Congrats to Naughty Dog!

    Any of you surprised by Uncharted 2 success? Or is this what you expected from a superior developer and a great game.


    God of War Collection Trailer

    You know you want it!

    Sony Santa Monica director of product development Jon Hight noted:

    Available this November — just in time for the holidays — fans and newcomers to the franchise will be able to experience the epic journey that is God of War and God of War II on the PlayStation 3 for the first time remastered in full HD resolution on a single Blu-ray Disc. Both critically acclaimed games (originally developed for the PS2) will include 2X anti-aliased graphics running at 60 frames per second for an ultra smooth gameplay experience on the PS3. PlayStation Network trophy support will also be included — a first for the series.

    And don’t forget, the God of War Collection will also include a PSN voucher code for the God of War III E3 2009 Demo. So don’t miss your chance to check out God of War III before it hits store shelves in March 2010.

    Check out the trailer and let me know what you think (please)!


    Michael Pachter Predicts $50 Project Natal and $100 Sony Wand

    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?

    Sony Motion Controller

    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?