Media Create’s hardware sales numbers for the week ending December 10th have been released, and the Xbox 360 received a considerable bump due to the release of Blue Dragon for the console, moving 35,343 units during the week. This number is the highest the console has seen since launch, and the numbers are respectable but not spectacular. The top selling console this week was the DS Lite, selling 309,630 units. The Wii followed behind with 85,439, and the Playstation 3 came in third with 50,171. One assumes that the Wii and PS3 numbers are heavily constrained by supply. Coming up after the Xbox 360 are the Playstation 2 at 30,460 consoles and the PSP at 28,930 units.
The DS Lite just continues to absolutely dominate console sales in Japan. Microsoft has to be somewhat happy with the bump in sales in Japan. Considering that the Blue Dragon bundle is an insanely great deal on the hardware and software included, the company may be paying a heavy price for this improvement in sales. If Microsoft can ride the wave to further success the cost might be worth it for the company, but if this is a temporary blip, one has to wonder if anything can turn around the console in Japan.
Read More | Media Create
Square Enix recently held a press conference to detail the next iteration in the Dragon Quest series. IGN reports that the company has announced that Dragon Quest XI will be the first in the franchise to appear on a handheld system, the Nintendo DS. According to IGN, the full title will be Dragon Quest 9: Hoshizora no Mamoribito or Dragon Quest 9: Protectors of the Sky. Gamers were assured that the title would not be a side-story, and the pedigree of the development staff would seem to bear that out. Level 5, developer of Dragon Quest VIII, is developing the new game, and series creator Yuji Horii is overseeing the title. Kouichi Sugiyama will once again provide the music for the game. Overall, this is a huge announcement for the DS; the Dragon Quest series is immensely popular in Japan, and the safe platform for the game would have been the Playstation 2, like its predecessor. Announcing the next release in the series for the Nintendo DS shows just how popular the handheld has gotten in Japan.
Read More | IGN
NPD today released its official game sales numbers for November, and the numbers are showing amazing growth. Next Generation reports on the figures; year-over-year sales increased 34% to $1.7 billion. For this generation’s consoles, the Xbox 360 lead the pack with 551K sales. Nintendo’s Wii followed with 476K units, and the Playstation 3 trailed with 197K units. Supply issues hampered sales for the Playstation 3 and the Wii, and slightly under 200,000 consoles sold, Sony’s inability to provide consoles for their launch became apparent. Overall, though, last generation’s Playstation 2 continues to rack up huge sales, moving 664K consoles for November.
In the handheld arena, the Nintendo DS continues to absolutely dominate, selling 918,000 units in November. The Game Boy followed with 641,000 sold, and the PSP brought up the rear with 412,000 units sold.
On the software side of things, Gears of War took the number one spot, moving 1 million copies during the month. Final Fantasy XII sold 896,000 units, continuing that series’ success, and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess sold 412,000 copies, perhaps constrained a bit by Wii hardware supplies.
Overall, the industry is showing excellent year-over-year growth, and all three console manufacturers have something to smile about in November.
Read More | Next Generation
Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently spoke with Reuters after the launch of the Wii in Japan. In this interview, Iwata indicated that stronger than expected sales for the DS may help take Nintendo past their previous earnings estimates. There was some worry from both Nintendo and market analysts that the launch of the Wii might leech away sales from the DS; so far, it looks like that hasn’t happened. Instead, the momentum Nintendo has accumulated with the DS may be driving the popularity of the Wii up through a halo effect, much like Apple experiences with the iPod. It is still too early to tell if that is the case; consoles usually will see strong numbers at launch. Until the market has time to shake down, it will be hard to see how the DS and the Wii affect each other’s sales.
Read More | Reuters
It’s been a busy week ladies and gentlemen - Sony’s Playstation 3 will be released in a matter of hours, and the Wii will follow shortly in two days. You’ve got a lot to keep track of - reviews for the new systems, choices on which consoles to pick up. With all that going on, it’s no wonder that you probably didn’t notice that Tomb Raider: Legends shipped today for Nintendo’s Gamecube, DS, and GBA platforms. While the GC iteration follows quite a few months after the PS2 / Xbox 360 iterations, the game received fairly high scores across the board, and might be a great bargain-bin buy for folks looking to get every last hour out of their soon-to-be-obsolete Gamecube. And, with Wii’s backwards compatibility for GC games, you won’t be wasting your money.
Eidos seemed to learn that it pays to support Nintendo when Lego Star Wars sold phenomenally on the GC. Here’s hoping that Eidos decides to support Nintendo in their current console iteration!
Read More | Tomb Raider.com
The Seattle Times has a lengthy profile of Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime and the turnaround that he is engineering at the company. Part of the profile is focused on the swagger that Fils-Aime seems to be bringing back to the company and its fanboys. Which Nintendo’s presence and influence in the videogame industry had been on the wane, their approach with their new products like the DS and the Wii appears to be turning this around.
Fils-Aime has helped Nintendo become more aggressive in the market, and part of this has been due to Reggie’s attitude and discipline, as detailed in the article. While a good part of the profile is aimed at Nintendo’s attempts to recapture and grow the video game market with the DS and the Wii, there are a number of insights into Fils-Aime’s background that led him to succeed at Nintendo of America. The next year should be an interesting one as Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony battle in the next generation of gaming.
Read More | The Seattle Times
Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime recently talked about the company’s strategies for the Wii and the DS at the Montreal Games Summit. According to Gamasutra, the focus of the talk was Nintendo’s “distruptive” strategy to bring new gamers to the table with their various software offerings on the DS and the Wii. Fils-Aime discussed Nintendo’s successes with the DS, relying on NPD data and demographic information from the Nintendo.com website to bolster his arguments. Sales numbers indicate that without the Nintendo DS, year-over-year sales are down 8%, but including the DS numbers in the mix boosts those figures to an 8% growth. Nintendo is starting to see successes with their marketing strategy to reach the non-traditional gamer. This is extending towards the marketing plan for the Wii; Fils-Aime believes that once Nintendo gets the Wii-mote into a consumer’s hands, “we’ve got a sale.”
Read More | Gamasutra
This is perhaps one of the best pieces of news for those of you out there worrying about the Wii’s online functionality. While the Wii will still utilize a “friend code” system, the friend code will be specific to the console, not to each game, meaning that you’ll be able to connect with your friends simply and quickly without having to update their info each time they buy a new game.
The multiple-code system is one of the biggest annoyances with the DS Nintendo WiFi Connection experience, so we’re overjoyed to hear that going online with your Wii is going to be that much easier. Look after the jump for better pictures of the console’s “address book” functionality.
Read More | Go Nintendo
Japan gets another limited edition Nintendo DS in November, this time the bundle is a special edition pink DS tied with the release of Love and Berry for the console. The limited edition console will hit stores on November 22, and will likely sell out that day. The bundle will sell for 23,730 Yen ($200 US). The arcade game Oshare Majo: Love and Berry and its related collectible cards have been popular in Japan, but the games have not really penetrated the US market. Still, this is one more limited edition Nintendo DS that will drive more sales in Japan, while the US hasn’t yet seen anything beyond the new DS colors.
Read More | Game Watch Japan
The latest NPD data showed strong September sales growth; 38% over 2005. Nintendo and the DS showed strong growth, and the “next generation” transition doesn’t seem to have hurt the industry as much as expected. But hidden in the NPD data are some interesting points that various analysts have started to dissect. GameDaily reports on analysis from Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan Securities, and Deutsche Bank analyst Jeetil Patel. Pachter sees the PS2 growth as a good sign, with software sales up 12 percent compared to last year. But the original Xbox has been fading fast. As one looks at the numbers, it appears that the Xbox 360 is completely cannibalizing the original Xbox user base. The Xbox 360 seems to be pushing better than expected software sales, a good thing for Microsoft.
Still, things don’t appear to be completely rosy in the Xbox 360 camp. Jeetil Patel feels like the Xbox 360 is underperforming. Tracking the Xbox 360 versus the original Xbox’s sales path seems to indicate that the Xbox 360 has moved fewer net units than the original Xbox at this point in the console life cycle; the lack of units during Microsoft’s holiday launch last year really set the company back. In addition, NPD data has the total Xbox 360 sell through at approximately 2.7 million units. Japan adds only a fraction to that number, with well under 200,000 units sold through in that territory. An optimistic projection for the Xbox 360 in the rest of the world might match the US total. At this point, it is starting to look like Microsoft’s projections of a 10 million unit head start by the time the Playstation 3 launches was extremely aggressive. With probably just over six million Xbox 360 consoles moved worldwide to date, Microsoft would have to nearly double their worldwide sales in October and November to match their goals before Sony’s November launch of the Playstation 3.
Read More | GameDaily BIZ
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