Analysts React! …to August NPD Numbers
There were predictions, there were numbers, and today are the industry analyst reactions. Given that the actual 14 percent drop in software sales was significantly greater than Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter’s prediction of a 6 percent drop, Pachter did not surprise in calling the final numbers “in a word, shocking.” Granted, the odds were stacked against retailers. August of last year featured the launches of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Wii Sports Resort, both of which were blockbusters. This year, the mantle of “mega sales” was put on Mafia II and Kane & Lynch 2, neither of which have performed comparably.
The five percent drop in hardware sales was attributed to the lowest number of Wii sales since the system’s launch but, more important in Pachter’s mind, the 39 percent year-over-year drop in PSP and DS sales combined had a greater impact. Pachter believes the iPod Touch is taking voracious bites from the handheld gaming market that may only be countered by the release of 3DS.
Looking into September, Pachter’s taking an optimistic tact, stating the month “will mark the beginning of a sustainable rebound in software sales, as the game lineup in October (Medal of Honor, Fallout New Vegas, and Fable 3) and November (Call of Duty: Black Ops) is strong,”
That may happen, but none of those are releases in September. For a rebound to happen in the next few weeks so far as Nintendo’s concerned, Other M (which apparently was not highlighted by Pachter) will need to sell well, and be assisted by the releases of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Samurai Warriors 3 and Etrian Odyssey III. Plus, maybe someone will actually be swayed by the $20 price drop on DSi and DSi XL.
Sonic Colors Producer: Bring It On, Haters
Sonic Colors Producer Takashi Iizuka didn’t exactly say that. But he did say that his team was very confident that Sonic Colors will be a success. This isn’t a new opinion from the super-confident developer, but the reason for their confidence was further explained again as a thoughtful analysis of previous Sonic games– both 2D and 3D.
“In Sonic Colors, the team looked back at previous Sonic games and looked at the pros and cons of each title, and they hope they have addressed all the goods and bads in Sonic Colors. We believe that this Sonic game is as good as or even better than the 2D Sonic games,” said Iizuka, who has worked on nearly every Sonic game since Sonic 3 — to include Sonic Adventure and Sonic Unleashed.
When asked if Colors is the best 3D Sonic game ever, Iizuka didn’t hold back: “Yes, we think so!” Not that we’d expect him to say otherwise, especially when a sweet hedgehog hat preorder bonus is involved.
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Gets All Social
In case you missed it earlier today, we broke that Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock will be the first Wii game to broadcast your in-game achievements (with a lower-case “A,” Microsoft) to your Facebook and Twitter, should you so desire. If Nintendo’s not going to make its online gameplay and support offerings relevant, Guitar Hero developer Vicarious Visions will fight tooth and nail to do so on its own. If you’re interested in further enhancements of the upcoming guitar rock game, check out our hands-on preview.