Prizes for XBOX 360 Achievements, Wii drives profits and a Rogue Release – Welcome to the Plinko chip that never quite makes it to the bottom known as Dare to Play the Game.
Welcome to another edition of Dare to Play the Game. Life is doing okay for me right now, just going through a lot of paperwork at this current point in time. But in a couple of months or possibly less, I should be resuming something of a normal life. It will be worth it to a point, but there should…be more on the horizon for the Kedster. Games, dvds, women, singing, dancing and hot cars. Hrmm, well perhaps just gaming and dvds. And a little singing to boot but no dancing!
Ode To Morgan Webb
Yes, I have a question for Morgan. Morgan, what is it like being part of Kedrix’s fantasies every waking hour of every waking day? Yes, yes…stop calling you. Oh that’s my publicist. Yes I know he sounds a lot like me. And yes he has the same name as me and kinda wears the same aftershave. But I swear I am twice as attractive as he is and wittier. (hey who do you think comes up with these columns anyway?) So, back to the question, oh you kinda dig it? Well..perhaps we can *smack*. Ow, how come my fantasies always end up with me getting slapped? I really don’t quite understand it.
Quick news stories of interest
Forbes.com is reporting that the massive sales of Nintendo’s Wii have driven thecompany’s earnings up 43 percent over last year for the nine-monthperiod ended December 31, 2006.
These reports from Nintendo helped its stock hit a 52-week high of34,150 yen ($281.114) on Friday. In the past year, Nintendo’s stockshave seen an increase of 113%; making most of us here wish we had someforesight.
Nintendo’s net income for the first nine-months of the fiscal year wasa whopping 131.92 billion yen ($1.1 billion), topping the company’slofty 12-month profit forecast of 120 billion yen ($996 million), andobliterating last year’s 92.19 billion yen ($764.6 million) for thesame period.
While much of these results were no doubt due to the Nintendo DS’sstranglehold on the Japanese handheld market, Nintendo accredited itsincrease to the successful launch of the Wii in all regions. Accordingto NPD market reporting data, Nintendo shipped 1.1 million units toNorth America, with Nintendo claiming that there are several hundredthousand more that are not included in that figure. In Japan, the Wiialso sold through 990,000 units in December, almost twice the sales ofrival Sony’s PlayStation 3 in its two months on store shelves.
Excellent news for Nintendo. They have always dominated the handheld market, but it’s good to see them doing so well in the console market again. Now while there still needs to be a hearty adult alternative (being filled by Sony & XBOX); Nintendo seems to be neck & neck with the other big two. So no clear winner, but it is best assured that Sony is possibly finding themselves at third in this current point in time. The only things that might be keeping from that is the still solid sales of cash cow PS2 and the decent sales of PSP (which are probably going slowly down the toilet too though).
Majesco Reports Increased Revenue
Today, Majesco announced its financial results for the fiscal fourthquarter and year ended October 31, 2006, and things were looking goodfor the publisher.
Jesse Sutton, CEO of Majesco, commented, “In 2006, we made significantimprovements to our financial results compared to 2005. We have alsotaken great strides to transition our business away from big budgetconsole games to a more balanced product portfolio comprised mainly ofquality, easy-to-play, affordable games for the mass market. Withnotable successes including Cooking Mama for the Nintendo DS andJAWS(TM) Unleashed for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, we are optimisticthat our refined strategy is working.”
Regarding 2007, Sutton responded, “In 2007, the core of our line-upwill include a variety of titles for the handheld markets, with anemphasis on products for the increasingly popular Nintendo DS system.We currently have games in development for the DS based on popularlicenses that we believe will appeal to the mass market audience.Specific titles include: New York Times Crosswords, Nancy Drew, andCake Mania. We also believe Nintendo’s new Wii console, with itsappealing price point and unique play mechanics, will increasinglyresonate with the mainstream gamer. The Wii’s mass appeal, combinedwith its relatively affordable development costs, fits in our strategy.As such, we now have three games, including the previously announcedCooking Mama: Cook Off and Bust-A-Move Bash, in development for thissystem.”
I did get pictures and a couple of videos of Cooking Mama for the Wii slated for release in April. They look interesting, while this type of gaming isn’t for everybody, it is certainly unique and will sell a lot of copies. The DS provides a simple platform for unique titles too and expect see a Crosswords puzzle game do great business due to use of a stylus and all sorts of options. Actually, I never really got into crosswords because I tend to make mistakes frequently so a simple crossword puzzle would become slowly a big hole due to scratchouts and crossovers. This would help to eliminate that I’m sure, and actually make it fun. Continued success to Majesco, we appreciate your innovation.
XBOX Giving us Prizes for 360 Achievements?
Due to various reports this week and several inside sources, Prizes for specific 360 achievements (it sure won’t be for anything I do in Galaga) could be forthcoming. The achievement points (I currently only have 1485) is basically a meaningless barometer we can show off to our friends and family that says we play a lot of games and we can accomplish certain things in those games. Great and addicting idea (those *beeping* folks). The program is also great if it is achievements that can not be overcome by cheating or using some flaw in the game to make it happen. The prize should also be worthy of the achievement and not something to the equivalent of “A X-BOX Hat” or “A X-BOX Coffee Mug” or a “A X-BOX Nerf Football”. Live points would be welcome as a prize (since the achievement is virtual anyway), and I would think free games or strategy guides would also be a good idea. I’m not sure where exactly this would go. It could all just be a rumor but perhaps us stirring the pot will create something out of this for us to enjoy.
Arcade Classic of the Week
Discs of Tron
I have many memories of sitting in an arcade in the early 80’s begging my mom for another quarter to play Pole Position or Galaga. However, one of the games that I also played at this time was a game called Discs of Tron. I would usually play it a couple of times and get frustrated. But looking back and once I understood and played it again many years later when you could find the occasional standup in the “older” arcades; I had come to appreciate its brilliance. This was the second arcade game based on the movie and your mission as disc thrower was to knock the other disc thrower off their pedestal with well placed disc shots. The Rotary dial that was your joystick was hard to get used to but eventually provided effective results. The speech synthesis of Sark (your constant opponent) was mockingly well done. The cabinet was an unique environmental design with some standups weighing in @ 700 pounds. The thing I liked about the game was the hollow or another dimension feel by looking at the display. Very cool, very surreal and stayed with you for an hour afterwards but in a good way. (not a headache laced way).
SnoCross 2: Featuring Blair Morgan
Real World Golf 2
Sonic the Hedgehog
Fuzion Frenzy 2
A pretty decent crop of releases for this week. Rogue Galaxy as previewed in previous weeks should be the last great RPG for PS2. Pick it up, I have a feeling it might become hard to find due to limited release numbers. The PS3 finally gets the little blue hedgehog and XBOX 360 gets a couple of fringe releases. Fuzion Frenzy 2 seeks to be the Mario Party killer for XBOX and could be an entertaining romp if you have friends. (some of us don’t, and some of us are very lonely)
Some Final Thoughts and Mutterings
As some of you observant folk have noticed, I wrote up a review of Rainbow Six Vegas . It is a fun game and I should be finishing up a review of Arcade Unplugged Vol. 1 for 360 sometime soon. I might also be dipping my hat into the dvd reviewing arena for a title or two. Anyhow, I hope to bring many exciting things to the folks who actually read this column in the coming weeks and just maybe make this column as big as it perceives itself to be. Take care :).
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)