Nightly News Roundup, 2010.12.17

Generic toys more exciting than video games, Wii should be priced $99 and a new FPS inbound on WiiWare.

By M. Noah Ward. Posted 12/17/2010 23:00 Comment on this     ShareThis

Nightly News Roundup

Video Games and Consoles #2 on U.S. Kids’ Wishlists

NPD Group conducted a November KIDS survey to find out what U.S. children were asking parents most for their holiday wishlists. “Generic toys” took first place, but in second place (at 15%) was video game hardware/software. Nintendo hardware and Mature-rated FPSs made up the bulk of specific items requested in the category. Wii and DS snagged 22 percent of the video game hardware requests, followed by Xbox 360 at 18 percent and PS3 at 7 percent. FPSs Call of Duty: Black Ops and Halo: Reach were the most-desired games. Kinect was the top accessory requested in a 6 percent-large “accessory” subcategory of the video games niche.

While video games placed second, they were still ahead of books, “consumer electronics” and “other entertainment.” The survey data was gathered not by asking the kids themselves but the parents who were buying the gifts.

Source: Gamasutra


EA CEO Provides Nintendo Advice on Wii Pricing, More

Regardless Nintendo’s top-ranking hardware sales over Black Friday, there’s no ignoring the overall decline of Wii and DS hardware sales this year. EA CEO John Riccitello had some advice in an Industry Gamers interview as to what Nintendo should do next year: drop Wii to $99.

“I would say they did exceptionally well in ‘07 and ‘08, started tapering in ‘09 and ‘10, and… I think if they were to price down to $99, they would explode,” Riccitello predicted. “I think they’ve now got competition, in the form of gesture-based gaming from Sony and Microsoft. If they were to find ways to promote third-party content better, as opposed to first-party content, and would hit pricing, I think the platform would see new life.”

Promotion of third party games has long been a point of contention between third party developers and publishers and Nintendo, whose first party offerings frequently top the charts of both critical reception and sales. EA noticeably went to bat for Nintendo’s platform last year, releasing a number of exclusive or enhanced titles, including Boom Blox Bash Party, EA Grand Slam Tennis, EA Tiger Woods PGA Tour ’10, Spore Hero, EA Sports Active, and a couple exclusive entries in the MySims franchise. Regardless of critical reception, few of those titles caught fire as EA would hope on the marketplace, and since then the publisher, along with many other third party publishers, has scaled back to a more traditional “ports” offering for Wii this year and into the future. Riccitello blames Nintendo’s focus on its first party content over third party offerings is what’s driving third party marketplace failure.

“I think it’s a frustration for all third-party publishers, when a platform holder does less to promote third-party content. A great third-party company is Apple, a company that’s all third-party content. There’s often tension in a company between first- and third-party content,” Riccitello elaborated. “Nintendo’s unique in the world… First-party hardware, first-party content is what makes them great, but it’s actually pretty tough… It’s not lack of trying; they start the morning thinking what’s best for their own intellectual property.”

Source: Industry Gamers


Third FPS WiiWare Game In-bound from Sabarasa

A recent Nintendo Power interview with Argentina- and Mexico-based Sabarasa Entertainment shed light on a new FPS in development for WiiWare. Sabarasa’s Protocol (due in “early 2011”) will follow in the footsteps of Hudson-published Onslaught (released in North America February 2009) and Water Warfare (June 2009), the only other FPSs so far produced for WiiWare.

Sabarasa believes its title will be special because of the amount of time the developer is spending focused on offering a deep multiplayer experience: two vs. two locally and up to four vs. four online (including the option for four players to connect to online multiplayer splitscreen via one Wii). The game sports Tron-inspired visuals and will include Team Fortress-styled classes for gamers to play as, such as Sniper and Heavy Gunner, and the game maps will feature manipulation of the game’s maps that will change gravity in some areas and activate teleport pads. Various modes besides traditional deathmatch will be available as well. Given the dearth of FPSs on a system that’s supposed to be perfect for them, we’ll be excited to see how Sabarasa’s game performs after its release.

Source: Go Nintendo

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