Japanese Developers’, Publishers’ Status After Quake
While the earthquake and tsunami disaster that struck Japan is still unfolding, as of Friday afternoon most video game companies and their employees in the island nation are doing alright, according to IGN. The majority of game companies you’re familiar with– Nintendo, Sega, Sony, Capcom, Namco, Konami, Tecmo Koei, Atlus, Square Enix and more– have offices based in Tokyo, which is over 150 miles southwest from the initial 8.9 magnitude ocean quake and 23 foot tsunami waves that struck Japan’s Sendai region. Nevertheless, over four million remain without power in the Tokyo region, most public transportation is shut down, and if unable to walk home, many are stranded at their workplaces since the earthquake occurred during the afternoon work hours.
Further north where the brunt of the disaster hit, things are of course much worse. With at least 600 dead, many more missing or injured, and a potential nuclear plant disaster being addressed, the situation remains serious. If you wish to donate aid, you may do so via the American Red Cross website.
Cowen Analyst Creutz: 360 Outsold Wii Last 12 Months
Video game business analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen has predicted, in a note to investors, that March 2011 NPD numbers will reveal Microsoft’s Xbox 360 will have outsold Wii overall for the last 12 months. This would be a first for either of Nintendo’s primary competitors since Wii’s launch in November 2006. This sort of news is likely no surprise for dedicated Nintendo followers, since the last year has contained consistent stories of 360 outselling Wii across many months.
“This illustrates the significant shift that has gone on over the last year in the console space,” Creutz wrote. “This does represent a share shift as opposed to just a decline for the Wii. We believe the significant shift in hardware sales towards HD consoles is a positive ongoing development for the US publishers, who earn the majority of their sales on the 360/PS3.”
Whether or not Nintendo feels this is positive in any respect is unlikely, but the company is probably prepared to address this change of headwinds with 3DS’s release and possibly a new console on the horizon sooner than you think, according to the next story.
New Nintendo Console at E3 2011?
An unfamiliar name in the weekly flow of analyst prognostication has popped up. Arvind Bhatia, brokerage firm Sterne Agee’s managing director, put out a very loose prediction to Gamasutra that Nintendo will at least announce its next generation console in just a few months at E3 2011.
“We would not be surprised if Nintendo unveiled the specifications of its next console at E3 in June this year, followed by product introduction early next year,” Bhatia said, in classic Analyst Royal We speak.
Does “product introduction” mean retail sales? Perhaps. Bhatia specified to Gamasutra that he doesn’t believe Sony’s or Microsoft’s next consoles will come out for another two or three more years, but Nintendo needs to jump the gun to remain competitively relevant in the home console arena. If Nintendo does take a two year reveal and release strategy, that would be faster than the 2004 mention, 2005 introduction (sans remote) and 2006 reveal and release Wii went through over three years.