While E3 is beginning to fade away into our memories, for another year at least, one lasting effect of the expo’s presence can still be felt in the gaming industry. While the witty, editorial-driven Nintendojo is able to stride ahead on our own merit, the wider news-focussed video game press is still floundering somewhat aimlessly in its search for some kind of valid information. Yes, welcome to the Summer Drought, a period from mid-June til around September when little news, games or rumours will surface because everyone’s presumably too busy being outside in the sun to care. (I was out in the sun this morning until the heavens decided to open, Scottish Summers are fleeting and regretful.)
Regardless of this relative vacuum of coherent, worthwhile news, the good folks at Nintendojo will endeavour as always to inform you of… something newsworthy. Perhaps we can look at the 3DS? Yes, let’s do that.
Ocarina of Time boosts Japanese 3DS sales
While the game is hardly a Spring chicken, Link’s most acclaimed adventure clearly still has immense selling power. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D went on sale in Japan this week for the Nintendo 3DS and was well received with 164,110 units sold. Not only did the game enter the best selling chart in the number two slot (missing first place by ~2,000 units) but the game also helped Nintendo’s handheld become the best selling console in Japan. While the 3D handheld has suffered slow sales since launch, it outsold its nearest competitor (the PSP) by 9,000 units. Elsewhere in the console charts, Nintendo’s various iterations of the DS collectively sold another 11,000 units to further push the handheld’s legacy. While the PSP sold 31,741 units, it’s download-only sibling, the PSP-Go, only managed to sell 55 units. Oh dear.
Sonic showing his age?
How old do hedgehogs live? (On British roads, about forty-five seconds.) Sonic is pushing the ripe old age of twenty now (Eek, Sonic is older than me?) and some people at Sega have been looking back at the franchise’s mixed history. Sega West boss, Mike Hayes claimed that the compay “making too many Sonic games“, promising: “The development teams now know what they need to do”. Would that be, “start making decent games”, Mike?
While the franchise has had obvious highs (the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the Sonic Advance franchise, anything features Knuckles) it’s also had some sour notes (Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Heroes, anything with Tails in it). Will Sonic Generations return the series to its former grandeur? We’ll find out as it reaches 3DS in November.
Super Smash Bros. 4 not yet in development
Remember when Iwata announced that the next iteration of Smash Bros. was coming to both 3DS and WiiU? Well apparently that reveal was a bit premature as series director, Masahiro Sakurai, seems to been put out by the announcement. In a column in Famitsu, Sakurai explained “We’ve got no plans whatsoever… We’ve got two new games out in the open when there’s no extra time to work with them at all. It makes me cringe, and I’m not sure it’s the smartest thing to make gamers wait for several years, but the early announcement was made chiefly in order to attract new team members.”
Not good, not good at all. But Sakurai has a history of getting his ear bent over Smash Bros., the latest ieration Brawl was actually announced at E3 before Sakurai was notified. How will this affect the next version of Nintendo’s all-star fighting franchise? And more importantly, will Chibi-Robo feature this time? (I’m hoping…)
And that’s all the “news” for this week. What are your thoughts on the Ocarina of Time 3D release? Think that Sonic needs to be retired? Will Smash Bros. 4 ever actually release? Let us know in the comments.