Nintendo selling a ton of Wiis, Rockband tops 1,000 & 3D Gaming will be wave of the future? – Welcome to the column that promises to push technology that will be around a hundred years from now like the ballpoint pen & Ding Dongs known as Dare to Play the Game.
Thanksgiving has come and gone along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I geared up a little differently this year for Black Friday by sitting in front of my computer and watching Amazon. After the dust cleared, I think my wallet was probably gasping for air a bit. Two cds, four blu-rays, a dvd tv set, a couple of things for the significant other, and yes even my wedding ring. Five orders in all, and actually no video games.
Saturday, I actually decided to go out into the world and went to Hastings. Hastings is a good sized media store and it mainly sells dvds, games, music, books and a few blu-rays. It’s sale for Friday & Saturday? 30% off used. To be truthful, we got a lot of cheap books. I grabbed a few graphic novels & a couple of hardbacks. The dvds were mostly picked over but I was able to get a tv box set for my dad that somehow got missed. Still no games, though I did take a long look at a copy of Burnout Paradise for the 360.
Cyber Monday was a little different, I kept it low key and didn’t go crazy. My wallet was still stirring from its coma, what can a man do? I finally broke on the video game front snagging Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 & Ghostbusters. In reality, over the three days; I didn’t spend too much. Other years, I ended up going to more places and experiencing more frustration. I kept it simple this year, and hope that as we draw closer to Christmas, I can keep it that way.
This is Maggie Baird. She’s a singer and a songwriter. She also does voice over work, in particular the part of Samara of the upcoming Mass Effect 2. Samara is a very sultry and powerful Justicar, a member of asari sect dedicated to bringing criminals to justice. I do wonder, if we eventually find life out there, are there going to be hot aliens? If there are ones like Samara, I’m all for space research.
November will be a big month for Nintendo when all is said and done, based on the more than 1.5 million consoles and handhelds it sold in the United States last week.
That 1.5 million breaks down to more than 550,000 Wii consoles and more than 1 million Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi portables, according to Nintendo’s internal estimates. In terms of frequency, that’s over 150 Nintendo hardware units sold every minute, more than 2.5 smiles put on faces every second.
Yes, those are impressive numbers. But one of those numbers was more impressive last year, when Nintendo says it sold more than 800,000 Wiis during the same time period.
In 2007, Nintendo sold a comparatively meager 350,000 Wiis during the Thanksgiving spending spree. That year, Nintendo boasted that Nintendo DS sales topped 600,000 during the same week long period, a number that jumped 20% the following year, nothing that compares to the new 1 million unit sold record held by combined DS and DSi sales.
Since Nintendo sold 506,900 Wii consoles and 457,600 Nintendo DSs during the full month of October, we’ll bet the company will have something to brag about when November’s tally rolls around. While we suspect it won’t shatter November 2008’s amazing, “historic” records, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Nintendo branded things topping the charts.
Impressive numbers for Nintendo. Actually according to reports, all three systems did well this holiday which will mean a strong holiday season. Unfortunately this will also mean a few shortages here and there too. Hopefully they have worked out that Wii shortage thing by now. I still think that minus the hardcores that the majority of the people buying the Wii will have it sitting on a shelf in six months. But people spending money frivolously is what makes the economy strong right?
As it turns out, my own family has been hit by the “I want a Wii” bug. Well my fiancee anyway. The cat might want it too, who knows. Over Thanksgiving, we went over to Sarah’s brother’s place and we played a Wii. We mostly played Wii Sports Resort and Sarah was hooked on bowling and sword fighting. I did like bowling, but really couldn’t get into the sword fighting. 3-point contest in basketball wasn’t bad either come to think of it.
But honestly, I was kinda blah on the experience. The only time I really enjoyed myself oddly enough was playing Super Mario 3 with her brother. For the VC, old school even. Of course this holds true with what I’ve been saying for a while. If I got a Wii, I’d mainly get it for the old games. Their VC catalog is awesome because I get to play it with a basic controller and the games are 100% authentic to their roots. I’m simply not into the motion sensor thing no matter how much Nintendo wants to shove it down my throat.
Yeah, we all know this is fake by now and will probably never exist. But I can’t stop and wonder if Wii had an optional hard drive (or the ability to buy an external and hook it up), how many more would be bought. I would have had less reservations, that’s for sure.
Harmonix and MTV Games promised more than 1,000 songs for Rock Band by the year 2010, and they have delivered with more than a month to spare.
Today Harmonix and MTV Games proudly announced reaching and surpassing the goal they set back in August, with more than 1,000 songs from nearly 400 different artists available for purchase and play between the Rock BandMusic Store and the songs included on the Rock Band and Rock Band 2 discs. This week also marks the 105th consecutive week of new Rock Band DLC releases. Impressive!
“When we launched Rock Band two years ago, we made a promise to create a music gaming experience that delivered on a weekly basis more songs and artists than ever imagined,” said Alex Rigopulos, co-founder and CEO of Harmonix Music Systems. “We’re extremely proud to pass this remarkable milestone of over 1,000 songs in Rock Band and will continue to innovate and bring more of the best music to Rock Band players all over the world.”
With the impeding launch of the Rock Band Network Music Store, which will allow bands to upload their own music for purchase, expect that number to explode in the coming months. Enjoy the milestone while you can, cause we’re more than likely going to leave it in the dust real soon.
I’ve really come to appreciate Rock Band. As a special point, this marks the first time where I’ve completely ignored a Guitar Hero major release. GH5 was $30 during Black Friday on Amazon. Easy as heck for me to score a copy. I thought longer and harder on Resident Evil 5 (and I haven’t owned a RE game since the original PSX days) than I did the game where I’ve bought every major release and even a couple of minor ones.
The reason? Because I still absolutely love Rock Band’s catalog. Every week to every other week something comes out that I want to sing or rock out to and I go download it. Actually, I probably need to buy a points card just so I can catch up, I’ve been a bit slow lately letting some Breaking Benjamin and Tom Petty fly under the radar. I’m sure there are a couple of songs I didn’t even realize came out that I want as well.
A thousand songs is a lot. The best part, it’s about to grow by leaps and bounds. Rock Band Network is going to be huge and one of the best things this century to come out for the world of music. Big artists, little artists, anybody with a little bit of brains and some time can put out their tracks for the masses to enjoy. I’ve never got into downloading digital music (I still buy plenty of cds), but digital Rock Band tracks? That’s something I can sink my teeth into.
There was a recent charity event here in Houston which included guys trying to break the record for playing Rock Band, 100 hours over 5 days. I’m sorry, but if I’m playing for five days and you try to go back to back with me, that’s not going to work very well. We aren’t in Van Halen and you aren’t Michael Anthony (or I guess Wolfgang now).
With a new game coming out that supports 3D glasses gaming, publisher Ubisoft is claiming that 3D glasses gaming will someday be essential.
The action-shooter Avatar: The Game hits on December 1, tying in to the upcoming movie of the same name from James Cameron. The film and the Xbox 360 / PS3 versions of the game will support 3D visuals, utilizing the more advanced digital 3D techniques that are intended to supplant the old cardboard-glasses anaglyph approach that worked with any old display.
To experience Avatar in 3D through the video games, users will need to have 3D-compatible TVs. Otherwise they’ll be playing the game in its non-3D mode.
But 3D TVs are not something many folks have. Some day, if Ubisoft is right, we’ll wonder how we coped without them.
Here is Yannis Mallat, head of Ubisoft Montreal, where the Avatar games are being made, from an interview with the Financial Post:
“3D is to pictures what Dolby Stereo was to sound,” he said. “No one wants to go back to mono.”
Sony, as we reported recently, is also pushing 3D TVs and 3D games as a big thing for the near future.
Back in the summer, I wore 3D glasses while watching Avatar being played, maybe for five minutes. And I’ve played a side-scroller from Blitz Games using similar digital 3D technology. Both required 3D TVs. And both were impressive, moreso for how much depth into the TV they presented, rather than for what you often expect 3D to get you: Stuff flying out toward your face. But I don’t feel that I’ve had enough time with 3D set-ups or the games built for them to say whether Mallat is just providing hype or if he’s on to something.
And without owning a 3D-compatible TV, I don’t think I can assess what he’s talking about any time soon.
*sigh*, I really hope that like digital download only games, this doesn’t come to pass as the norm. About once or twice a year, I usually go to the movie theaters and try to watch a movie in 3d. Without fail, every year I walk out with a nice sized headache. I know the technology is getting better every year, but apparently my eyes are still not caring for it. Actually, do you know anybody with a 3d tv? This is probably not the case unless you are some elite high definition elite junkie who buys a television every year.
Heck, most people are barely making the switch to high def in the first place and now the jump is into the 3d realm? That’s a pretty hard bone to swallow. I’m sure that the technology is wonderful, but dare I say that instead of working with the next wonderful thing that only 5% of the people will care about, can we go back to working on what the other 95% of the world cares about? Good gameplay? Ever hear of it? Anybody, anybody? Didn’t think so. Sometimes, I really think that we will see another gaming crash in my lifetime similar to the early 80’s but I hope not.
The game that started the Call of Duty craze. This original game broke on the pc & the mac and was game of the year in many circles. The plot is centered around D-Day and many other important events of World War II where you fight with several different armies including the British, Soviets and the Americans. It was an extremely well made game for the time, has multiplayer and a few other cool ideas (shell shock concept among others). I would have liked to see a 800 point release, but 1200 is not too far fetched.
Subtitled “The Trial & Execution of Guybrush Threepwood”, this centers around Guybrush returning to Floatsam Island. He is handed over to De Singe by Morgan LeFlay and thrown up on trial. Guybrush must figure out how to defend himself if he wants to escape the noose. Apparently this sucker will have quite the cliff hanger at the end to set up the final episode which should appear on WiiWare by the end of the year. I’m still hoping they make a cumulative release for this one on the Wii and maybe the Live Arcade network.
You my friend are an animal breeder. No, you aren’t doing funny things with livestock, you are actually raising animals. There will be twelve different types of animals to raise and you must feed, pet and clean them in order to have them grow up correctly. Some of them will have babies which only add to your headaches. Don’t they already have several facebook apps like this?
Join an elite Helicopter Rescue Squad where you have to respond to various emergencies anywhere and everywhere around Black Rock Canyon. Be careful, you’ll need to avoid rocks, severe weather and even a little firepower from other flying craft. Nice premise, but judging by those graphics, I wouldn’t expect very much.
Totally for the kids, this is a Christmas adventure where you get to play various mini-games with Santa. Like decorating the tree, putting together presents, and collecting candy canes. Umm. Yee haw, it’s 1000 points. Please do yourself a favor, go download two NES games off VC instead.
Very much conflicted at the release of this game. I absolutely loved Combatribes in the arcades. However, the SNES version we are getting here is crippled in comparison. Blood was removed, stages & bosses were altered, and no 3 player support. At the core, the game is very fun as it featured three men named Bezerker, Bullova and Blitz against a mountain of street gangs. The variety of moves and combinations made this a co-op’s dream. I played through the Arcade and SNES version multiple times and I can tell you the Arcade is certainly better but the SNES version isn’t terrible either. Just gimped.
We do however get the arcade version of Solomon’s Key this month. For those who don’t know, Solomon’s Key is one of the more difficult puzzlers to appear in the 8-bit era. The arcade version was basically the same as the NES version most of us know just with much prettier graphics and better gameplay. So suffice to say if you already have Solomon’s Key for VC just the Nintendo version, there is little reason to re-buy this. For those who are curious, the NES version is available for 500 points.
MX vs ATV Reflex
MX vs ATV Reflex
MX vs ATV Reflex
th!nk Logic Trainer
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
th!nk Logic Trainer: Kids
Picture Perfect Hair Salon
MX vs ATV Reflex
th!nk Logic Trainer
One would think that this would be a little better, but unfortunately that is not the case. There are only three games even worth mentioning this week. Avatar comes to the big screen & the video game market with a system wide release. The movie looks interesting, I can’t decide if I want to see it or not. I love the animation, but have serious reservations about the content. Suffice to say, the game probably won’t reach out to me that much. MX vs ATV is a fun little racer and should be another good highlight for fans of the genre. The final title, Rogue Warrior is another first person shooter in a very crowded field of such games. The good news, it’s made by Bethesda and it’s based on a popular book series of the same name. Mickey Rourke is doing the voice of the lead character: Marcinko. Tactical gaming will be incorporated akin the Rainbow Six series. If done correctly, this could get some hits. Done incorrectly and this will land all too quickly in the $20 bin.
There was a time when I was going to start Dragon Age and then unfortunately it got put on the back burner because of a silly thing called a novel that laid out the prequel. The ending ruined the otherwise decent book and I kept staring at the game rather than playing it. I even decided to go back to playing WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 and pick up some achievements.
Now, I got a couple of games in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and Ghostbusters making their way to my house which might get Dragon Age lost in the shuffle. However, I have set a tentative date for Dragon Age and that is by December 25th. I still plan to write a review, but I’m going to have to work it in a fashion where I am sure to enjoy it. So as the holidays approach, find a great game and keep your gaming heart strong. Maybe even finish the darn thing, which has always been my issue. Have fun and take care kiddoes.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)