SIE’s PlayStation 4 Pro hits retail this week with a consumer proposition that is as confusing as it was two months ago when I first posted the article below. With PlayStation’s latest overly-reliant on 4K TV ownership, which has yet to achieve any significant level of penetration into American homes, and confusing jargon like “HDR” that takes hardware marketing to a new level of minutia, it seems like the Pro will be appealing to a VERY small audience – possibly smaller than that of PlayStation VR (which looks to have sold, LTD, roughly 250,000 units on a global basis.) In any event, get ready for a bunch of software patches and warm market media debate/side-by-side comparisons on a pixel-by-pixel basis as the week unfolds…
About two months ago, I replaced my aging GTX 660 GPU in My Alienware X1/R2 with the new GTX 1060 from NVIDIA. The 660 had done an admirable job over the four years that I had it, even… just barely… handling VR through my Oculus Rift DK2. The 1060 was a game changer and prepared my PC, with the 391 games that currently rest on its HDD, for the next few years of high-resolution and VR gameplay. It also took me about 15 minutes to install and get it up and running without a single issue or glitch.
Two days ago, Sony Interactive Entertainment officially announced the price and availability of the ‘PlayStation 4 Pro” – the company’s attempt to boost the PS4’s spec’s while maintaining compatibility with the 43 million PS4’s that are currently out in the wild. You know… like replacing the GPU on your PC. The Pro is set to hit the market on November 10th – just a few weeks after PSVR starts making its way into early-adopters’ hands – at a price of $399 – the same price the base PS4 launched at in November, 2013.
So, riddle me this, Batman – with day one patches, HDD swaps, DLC and now platform life-cycles that are being dramatically shortened, what is the difference between consoles and PC’s? The answer? Over the course of the next few years… almost nothing. With the announcement of PS4 Pro, the well-etched line in the sand that divided console owners from the “PC Master Race” has been obliterated. In reality, this has been coming on for some time. PC’s have become easier to use, upgrade and modify, while consoles and their ecosystems have become more complex.
And, I just upgraded my PC to a spec similar to what is going to be offered with PS4 Pro for significantly less money than the cost of Sony’s platform evolution. The times, they are a-changin’.
I am one of a small group that is fortunate enough to be able to own all major consoles, a decent gaming PC and VR and, for the first time since I started playing my Amiga 500 more than my SEGA Genesis, I am spending the majority of my gaming time on PC – and I am not the [...]
For the week ending 10/1/16, two more sports have made their way up the rankings in the latest VGChartz Top 10 list (USA.) 2K Sports’ latest NBA game and EA’s latest version of European football have combined with the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Madden to claim seven of the ten slots for sports titles (eight if you include “Forza Horizon 3.”) Although, from my POV, what makes the week special is the inclusion of a game with the words “Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls” as part of the title… pure genius.
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 10/1/161. (PS4) FIFA 17 2. (Xbox One) FIFA 17 3. (PS4) NBA 2K17 4. (Xbox One) Forza Horizon 3 5. (Xbox One) NBA 2K17 6. (Xbox One) Madden NFL 17 7. (PS4) Madden NFL 17 8. (3DS) Yokai Watch 2: Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls 9. (Xbox 360) FIFA 17 10. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
It’s All Just SO Intense! And The Microphone Holding Dudes Are Just SO Cool… I Think I Need Artisan Facial Hair and a Tat!
In a word…
Yes, it does look like Nintendo did enough with their new console/handheld hybrid to ensure that third-party software is not an issue – mainstream GPU, and a fairly “normal” controller (well… Nintendo Normal.) But, let’s face it – at this point in time in video game history, your average gaming enthusiast is not going to purchase Nintendo hardware to play what we can safely assume will be slightly watered down versions of CoD, GTA, Dishonored, Madden, etc. (when compared to their PlayStation, Xbox and/or PC brethren.)
So, leaving their main gaming platforms and making the switch to Switch is not going to be within the realm of probability for most gamers. Once again, and without any compelling reason for mass-man to join in on the fun (as they did with the original Wii), my belief is that the Switch will be (if Nintendo is lucky/smart) relegated to “second system” status and that its relative success will be almost entirely dependent on the quality and quantity of first-party software.
The new Zelda is already a foregone conclusion. The Switch teaser trailer offered a short, generic Mario game and not a whole lot else. How willing is Nintendo going to be to dip into their bag of under-utilized IP’S (here’s looking at you “Metroid Prime” series) and to nurture new IP’s more befitting an adult gamer demographic (if they can even remember how to do that?) And, can they put a new face/spin on those series’ that they have gone back to time and again to give them a reboot (here’s looking at you “Mario Kart” series?)
No, I think it is safe to say that there is not enough in what we have seen of Switch to make gamers switch. And, only time will tell if Nintendo’s first-party software development studios are up to the task this time around. They failed miserably with the Wii U and that wasn’t too long ago – their customers are still feeling the sting of that purchase decision. A strong offering out of the gate, with a clear road map of year one releases, could make their path to second system success a little easier to navigate and make Wii U consumers a little more forgiving/excited. But, without a strong lineup and a lack of vision on the software side of things?…
… consumers might just flip this particular Switch off.
Did Nintendo Learn Their Lesson? Will New IP Be a Priority? Will They Give Gamers ANY Reason to Make the “Switch?”
I used to be a big-time sports video game player. Hell, back in the day, I even contributed to the design of SCEA’s original “MLB Pennant Race” on the first PlayStation, the NFL GameDay franchise (same publisher/same platform) and a few others. Sports and racing games were my two biggest passions in gaming. But, that was some time ago, and I honestly have to say that, in 2016, I can’t be bothered to play the latest and greatest that the genre has to offer. I mean, the games don’t really change much, do they? With graphics display technology leveling and robust features lists negating the need to upgrade every year because there is something employed that makes you want to jump back in, I simply have grown tired and bored by the latest Madden, MLB: The Show and NBA 2K. Truth be told, the only sports game that I actually do play (and absolutely LOVE) in 2016 is “Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings” on PC. But, I also realize, in the US at least, that these games still push a decent number of units every late Summer/Fall and that consumers seem content to pay 60 bucks for the latest rosters. The latest VGChartz Top 10 list (USA) is verification of this. The 2016 versions of Madden, NHL and NBA 2K comprise six of the ten spots for the week ending 9/17/16 and manage to do what hasn’t been done (at least to my recollection) in a very long time – knock Grand Theft Auto V off the list (don’t worry… it will be back!)
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 9/17/161. (PS4) NBA 2K 17 2. (Xbox One) NBA 2K 17 3. (PS4) Madden NFL 17 4. (PS4) NHL 17 5. (Xbox One) Madden NFL 17 6. (Xbox One) NHL 17 7. (3DS) Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past 8. (Xbox One) ReCore 9. (PS4) The Bioshock Collection 10. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
The Cav’s With Rings… LOL – Jewelery Should Have Gone to the NBA’s NYC Executive Team – #DubsGotScrewed
So… they didn’t completely blow it up.
Yesterday, September 30th, 2016, was the day that the original Disney Infinity for PC (1.0) was supposed to be completely shutdown. No online play, no Toy Box, no support of any kind, purchased Play Sets and virtual figures… all dead. This is how Disney Interactive and the Infinity website itself (https://infinity.disney.com/) explained it. You see, DI always required an internet connection so their servers could verify that you hadn’t pulled a fast one and cheated the mouse out of some cheddar. Without that connection, it was going to be Bob Iger telling his most enthusiastic/dedicated customers/fans of all things Disney “you’ll get nothing and like it.” That connection was severed yesterday and the game told me so.
But… a funny thing happened just after that warning – the game booted up and allowed me to play The Incredibles Play Set. Now, all of my other Play Sets and characters were locked, but I was encouraged. Then, I quit The Incredibles and backed out to the main menu – a menu that now showed all of my Play Sets (Pirates, Cars, Lone Ranger, Toy Story and Monsters, Inc.) as unlocked! In addition, all of my purchased characters associated with those Play Sets were now accessible. And, all of my save game files were still valid. Still… to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, I repeated the process a few more times and achieved the same results. It’s kind of a hassle that I have to start The Incredibles Play Set and back out before I can play any of the others every time I launch the game, but still…
And, to be clear, all community features are gone – no sharing of levels created for the Toy Box, no TB challenges, none of that good stuff. But, for me, I never got into any of that… I just wanted to get the Play Sets and play them as I would any other single player game, and have them sit on my HDD to enjoy for as long as I cared to. Now, unless there is another anti-consumer policy out there waiting to become the next monkey in the wrench, I have that ability.
The cat (well… corporate stooges) must be away – because the mouse is still letting us play!
In Spite of Disney Infinity Supposedly Having a Finite Lifespan, it Lives… it Lives!
Are you ready for some football? Apparently, at least 250,000 US-based humans that purchased the game during the week ending 9/3/16 are, as the PS4 and Xbox One versions of “Madden NFL 17” hold down the first and second spots on the latest VGChartz Top 10 list (USA.) Madden NFL 16 sold roughly 7.5 million units worldwide. The 2015 version sold roughly 7 million. As of 9/3/16, Madden NFL 17 has sold approximately 1.3 million units. Will it hit the 7 million + figure as its two predecessors did? Hard to say – the prior two years, the Gen 7 SKU’s did fairly well. Out of the gate, it doesn’t look like that same set of circumstances will apply to the Gen 7 models of 17, as they are barely making an impact at retail. So, the Gen 8 versions will have to carry their weight, and then some, to match prior years’ performance. If I were a betting man, I would put my money on the under.
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 9/3/161. (PS4) Madden NFL 17 2. (Xbox One) Madden NFL 17 3. (PC) World of Warcraft: Legion 4. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 5. (PS4) Doom 6. (3DS) Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 7. (PS4) Resident Evil 4 HD 8. (Xbox One) Gears of War 9. (PS4) Attack on Titan 10. (PS4) Grand Theft Auto V
A 30 Second Spot with No Gameplay Until the 20 Second Mark? I Love When a Game Believes Itself to Be a Cultural Phenomenon!
The shuffling of existing titles continues on the latest VGChartz Top 10 list (USA.) The one new entry, Nintendo’s much-maligned “Metroid Prime: Federation Force,” sold less than 10,000 units in its debut… ouch! While the game debuted a little later in Japan and the EU/UK and sales figures are not available for those territories quite yet, I think it is safe to say what we all already knew – Federation Force is not the Prime game that fans of the Metroid series wanted, nor was it delivered on the appropriate platform. Nintendo’s refusal to see the writing on the wall going back two years now, coupled with the various product and policy decisions that the company has made over the last few years, begs the question… How many different ways can they screw the pooch?
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 8/20/161. (PS4) No Man’s Sky 2. (3DS) Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 3. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 4. (3DS) Pokemon X/Y 5. (Xbox One) Gears of War 6. (Xbox One) Tom Clancy’s The Division 7. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 8. (PS4) Grand Theft Auto V 9. (3DS) Monster Hunter Generations 10. (3DS) Metroid Prime: Federation Force
The Game That Nobody Wanted… Nintendo – Always Listening, Quick to Adapt… Can’t Read the Room
The majority of last week’s winners on VGChartz Top 10 list (USA) took a step down on the list to make room at the top for one of the most divisive games released in recent memory – “No Man’s Sky” on PlayStation 4 (also available on PC/Steam… if you dare…) In spite of the critical and user reviews that attacked the game’s failure to deliver on its promise, the repetitive and boring gameplay and the severe technical issues that plagued the PC/Steam version, the game has managed to move close to one million units on the two platforms – once again proving that PT Barnum was right (for our younger readers… the circus guy… he was famously quoted as saying “there is a sucker born every minute.”) Of course, there is no telling how many of these purchasers self-corrected and removed themselves from the “suckers” list, as it seems the level of returns through Steam was in record-setting territory.
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 8/13/161. (PS4) No Man’s Sky 2. (3DS) Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 3. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 4. (3DS) Pokemon X/Y 5. (Xbox One) Gears of War 6. (3DS) Monster Hunter Generations 7. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 8. (Xbox One) Tom Clancy’s The Division 9. (PS4) Grand Theft Auto V 10. (Xbox One) Grand Theft Auto V
$60 and One Million Suckers Later, We Have the Legacy of No Man’s Sky…
There was barely any movement from the prior week on VGChartz Top 10 list (USA) for the week ending 8/6/16. The lingering effects of Pokemon Go are still apparent, the overall sales volume is low, and the Call of Duty’s, Grand Theft Auto’s and other less persistent, common entries in the list are all present and accounted for. Kind of boring, isn’t it? And, I really want to know the details of a gaming demographic that waits two years to purchase Grand Theft Auto V. The game is still 60 bucks, so it’s not bargain hunters that were waiting for some type of “Greatest Hits” pricing (which seems to be going the way of the dodo… thanks Steam, PSN and Xbox Live!) Yes, hardware prices have gone down, but hardware volume has also been down in the summer months… so that can’t be it. Maybe it’s the GTA zealots that play that and nothing else… they have worn the Blu-ray down to the nub and have to replace their game. Yep… that’s the ticket. Mystery solved!
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 8/6/161. (3DS) Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 2. (3DS) Pokemon X/Y 3. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 4. (Xbox One) Gears of War 5. (3DS) Monster Hunter Generations 6. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 7. (PS4) Grand Theft Auto V 8. (PS4) Overwatch 9. (Xbox One) Tom Clancy’s The Division 10. (Xbox One) Grand Theft Auto V
Oy… Still #1… Come on, Pokemon Zealots… Haven’t You Caught Them All Yet?
I have to admit that I have never understood the whole Pokemon phenomena. My oldest son, who was hooked when he was five or six years old, is now 26 and still plays Pokemon games. I, however, in spite of playing thousands of games over the years, have never felt the desire to “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.” Obviously, I am in a very small minority, and this has, once again, been reflected in two Pokemon games holding the top two spots on VGChartz Top 10 list (USA) for the week ending 7/30/16. Of course, it was a very quiet week and the overall sales volume was low (when was the last time we found THREE 3DS titles lurking within the Top 10?), with a number of well-worn games making a reappearance on the list, but still impressive – particularly given the fact that most of these purchasers were likely trampling on your aunt’s prized petunias while scouring the countryside playing Pokemon Go!
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 7/30/161. (3DS) Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 2. (3DS) Pokemon X/Y 3. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 4. (Xbox One) Gears of War 5. (3DS) Monster Hunter Generations 6. (PS4) Grand Theft Auto V 7. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 8. (Xbox One) Grand Theft Auto V 9. (PS4) Overwatch 10. (Xbox One) Tom Clancy’s The Division
Is it Just Me, or Are the Naming Conventions of Pokemon Games Getting More and More Ridiculous?
Below, you will find the forecast that I ran last week for “No Man’s Sky.” Since this was published, a virtual firestorm of hate has engulfed the title – from both PC users, who are furious with the game’s technical issues at launch, and, more importantly, from those that have actually played the game (be it on PlayStation 4 or PC.) Why is the response from consumers who have actually played the game more important that the opinions of the thousands upon thousands that have put down their cash only to be given the high hard one? Because (one would assume) the developer will eventually sort out the technical issues, what they are far less likely to fix is the game’s biggest problem.
It is boring…
Sure… we get it… infinite galaxy, randomly generated celestial bodies… yada, yada, yada. But, it seems the economics “Law of Diminishing Returns” is at play in NMS. The more you play it, the less likely you are to want to play it. Metacritic has the game (PS4 version) sitting at a score of 70 – no doubt skewing higher than it normally would almost one week after release as a result of most reputable gaming sites not yet posting scores. The user score, however, is a 4.9 – not good. Adding to that, Steam currently shows almost 30,000 (!) negative reviews. While most of these are because of the aforementioned tech issues and the resulting rage that they have induced, the rest are all talking about how the game is no different in hour 20 than hour one.
It seems my concerns were justified – concerns that I had back when I was at SCEA and that I voiced on numerous occasions behind the hallowed walls. After all the hype and all of the money – taking an Indie game and trying to convince the gaming public that it had actually evolved into a $60 AAA title – we are left with the realization that No Man’s Sky should probably have stayed “Indie,” SIE should have tapped the breaks on the marketing BS, and the game should be selling for half of its current price.
Which it no doubt will be doing within a few weeks…
No Man’s SkyPublisher: Hello Games Developer: Hello Games Release Date: 8/9/16 Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC/Steam Price: $59.99 Forecast: Huge expectations… will be difficult to deliver on the promise
If nothing else, the release of “No Man’s Sky” is going to be an interesting study in marketing, PR and how the industry and consumers define an “Indie” game. It is easy to forget that a few years back, Hello Games’ baby was the darling of E3, the gaming media and the independent development scene. Then, the hype machine kicked into high gear, Sony and PlayStation got behind it and started pushing the vision. Then, the legend grew, as did the game’s scope and media and consumer expectations. With that growing legend and expectations [...]
It wasn’t a particularly strong week of sales on the VGChartz Top 10 (USA) for the week ending 7/2/16, but the game at the top of the list, “Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” is a great one that should have long legs and see a big bump as we move to Q4 and the holiday season. In other news, there was a dead platform siting as the PlayStation Vita version of Aksys Games’ “Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma” squeezed its way onto the bottom of the list. Yeah… I’ve never heard of them either… Looked them up – localization specialists located in Southern California. Who knew?
Best-Selling Games (USA) for the Week Ending 7/2/161. (PS4) Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 3. (Xbox One) Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens 4. (Xbox One) Overwatch 5. (PS4) Star Ocean V: Integrity and Faithlessness 6. (PS4) Overwatch 7. (3DS) Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma 8. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 9. (PS4) Grand Theft Auto V 10. (PSV) Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma
The Sales Force is Strong with This One!
Below you will find the text from an email I received last week from the Disney Infinity team. I encourage you to read it in its entirety, as it has far reaching implications for the idea of ownership and consumer rights in the digital age, and – specifically to the matter at hand – the value of online-only games. If you have purchased Playsets and virtual Disney Infinity figures for the PC and/or mobile versions of the game, you might want to skip on down to “As of September 30, 2016.” Here you will find that the base Disney Infinity 1.0 game, which was made available to consumers for free, and which requires an online connection, will be turned off as of this date. So, all of the content that PC and mobile players purchased for the base game will then become useless.
As you can see in the body of the email, console owners of DI 1.0 won’t be affected by Disney hitting the kill switch (for now.) But, that is of little consolation for those that only invested in the PC version. Unless Disney has a change of heart and enables those of us who are invested in the PC version of DI 1.0 to continue to play via a patch enabling an offline mode, we have paid for products that we will, for all intent and purposes, no longer own. Can you imagine purchasing a car, in full possession of its pink slip, and having the dealer come back to you a few years later and take it back because they were no longer going to “support” that particular model? This is really bad business folks.
And, it is an indictment of digital goods and online-only gaming in general. If you purchased 2K’s “Battleborn” a few weeks back, now knowing that the multiplayer shooter has fared poorly with consumers, how confident are you that you will be able to play this game six months or a year from now? What about “Destiny?” Are you confident that Bungie’s “10 year plan” will still be in place should the next iteration of/addition to the game bomb? Did you purchase virtual goods for HOME on PlayStation 3? Ask those investors how they feel now that Sony locked the doors and boarded up the virtual house.
It all adds up to a very anti-consumer stance (in this specific case) by a company (Disney) that prides itself on being very consumer-centric, and serves as a very real warning (for gaming in general) to digital and online consumers that we are no longer the owners of the products we purchase…
We are renters, and game publishers are the landlords.
Attention, Toy Box Builders:
Since announcing that we will discontinue the production of Disney Infinity, we’ve been exploring timelines for the closure of the game’s online versions and community features. Our goal has been to offer extended access to these services, while also providing clear communication about what you can expect. It’s important to note that:The console versions [...]
PlayStation 4 dominates the VGChartz Top 10 (Global) for the week ending 6/18/16, claiming the top four spots and seven of the top ten. Leading the way is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, as it reclaims the top spot and will likely remain in the top 10 for the remainder of 2016 – or at least until the big Q4 titles start rolling out. That being said, it wasn’t a particular strong week, in terms of total unit sales – highlighted by the fact that Black Ops 3 and GTA V both moved up/back on the list and that there was a pink unicorn sighting in the form of a third-party Wii U game making the list (Minecraft.)
Best-Selling Games (Global) for the Week Ending 6/18/161. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 2. (PS4) Overwatch 3. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 4. (PS4) Doom (2016) 5. (3DS) Kirby: Planet Robobot 6. (PS4) Grand Theft Auto V 7. (Xbox One) Overwatch 8. (PS4) Mirror’s Edge Catalyst 9. (Wii U) Minecraft 10. (PS4) FIFA 16
A Third-Party Wii U Game Makes the Global Top 10?! It Must be a REALLY Slow Week!
There is no denying that Nintendo’s “Pokemon Go” has been an instant sensation in the world of social media and that it is enjoying phenomenal popularity as Android and iOS device users across the US, New Zealand and Australia get their hands on the game/exercise encouragement app/public nuisance simulator. The game, allowing players to track down, train, battle and trade virtual Pokemon via Augmented Reality in the real world, is the product of a joint venture between Niantic (the developer – based on their previous (and very similar) “Ingress” games), Nintendo, The Pokemon Company and Google.
That list contains quite a few major players in gaming and technology – players with deep pockets… VERY deep pockets. And, where there is a lot of money, there are a lot of lawyers. Like sharks to blood, they simply can not resist the direct path to stuffed wallets in the possession of large, publicly held companies that avoid litigation in favor of settlement.
In the case of Pokemon Go, this is relevant because the game is sort of a cross between the Pokemon gaming IP, the “Where’s Waldo” children’s hide-and-seek series of books, and a real world Snipe hunt. Any product that requires people to wander cities, suburbs and the countryside, staring at their phones while crossing streets, railroad tracks, etc. is just begging for ambulance chasers the world over to sit up and take notice. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be morons, idiots and dolts – but they are all around us, aren’t they? It is only a matter of time before one of the constituents of these large demographic groups will wander off while fixated on their device’s screen and get plowed by one type of vehicle or another. Or, they will hop a fence and cross private property… meeting the business end of a card-carrying member of the NRA’s weapon of choice in the process.
The possibilities for mayhem and negative outcomes are almost endless. Surely the PTB in this venture have taken these risks into consideration? In this first week of the game’s availability, there have already been a number of reports of minor injuries, players congregating near private homes and property, and of local police concerns. To date, over one million players are combing their locales, attempting to “catch them all.” It won’t be long before that figure increases by a factor of 10. What will happen then?
I mean, doesn’t Nintendo have enough problems with the Wii U, its dearth of software development and the impending launch of the NX? Surely a major class action lawsuit that quite possibly could include injury, damage to private property and death is something they would rather avoid? I can just see it… the year is 2020 and you can’t watch any old syndicated sit-com on late-night cable without seeing ad after ad asking “Were you [...]
The good news for EA Dice and “Mirror’s Edge Catalyst?” It debuted in the top two positions on the VGChartz Top 10 (North America) for the week ending 6/11/16. The bad news? The combined sales of the physical game, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, totaled roughly 140,000 units in North America. If we assume that half of the global sales occur in NA, that means the total first week sales of the game (disc) were less than 300,000 units. And, because the PC version is only available through EA’s “Origin” e-tail site, we can also assume that the consumer uptake of the PC version was limited – let’s say 20% of the combined sales of the Gen 8 console versions (roughly 60,000 units.) This would bring total global sales, across all three platforms, to 360,000 units. We can then add 20% of physical sales for console digital sales and we get total week one sales of 420,000 units across all three platforms – combined physical and digital. AND… you can snag the game for $35 if you are an Xbox Live Gold subscriber during their Summer sale – not a good sign one month after the game’s release.
That’s not going to feed the beast and I am afraid that the future prospects for the ME IP look bleak. It’s really a shame, because the game is great and I am really enjoying playing it through on both PS4 and PC. Maybe discounted sales will save the day and EA will find a way to continue to support the franchise, but history is not on its side.
Still, to quote George Michael and Wham! (look it up) – you got to have “Faith!”
Best-Selling Games (North America) for the Week Ending 6/11/161. (PS4) Mirror’s Edge Catalyst 2. (Xbox One) Mirror’s Edge Catalyst 3. (3DS) Kirby: Planet Robobot 4. (PS4) Overwatch 5. (PS4) Odin Sphere: Leifdrasir 6. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 7. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 8. (Xbox One) Gears of War 9. (Xbox One) Overwatch 10. (PS4) MLB The Show 16
With Weak Sales Out of the Gate, is Faith Running Out of Time?
The PlayStation 4 version of Blizzard’s “Overwatch” holds on to the top slot of the VGChartz Top 10 (North America) for the week ending 6/4/16, while the Xbox One and PC (boxed) versions slip down a few places. The only new entry this week comes courtesy of Namco-Bandai’s fighting game – “One Piece: Burning Blood” – charting for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Best-Selling Games (North America) for the Week Ending 6/4/161. (PS4) Overwatch 2. (PS4) One Piece: Burning Blood 3. (Xbox One) Overwatch 4. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 5. (PC) Overwatch 6. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 7. (PS4) Doom 8. (PS4) Gears of War 9. (Xbox One) Doom 10. (Xbox One) One Piece: Burning Blood
Namco-Bandai’s Fighting Game is “Burning” Up the Charts! LOL… I’m On Fire!
If I am to be completely honest with myself, E3 2016 was a disappointment. Between the announcement of Neo and Scorpio introducing the new three year console life-cycle and the parade of game trailers for games that have not announced release dates (God of War, Spider-Man, Death Stranding, etc.), it was like the major players were effectively saying that the games industry is done with 2016.
Of course, this is not the case and there are a number of good (potentially great) games coming between now and the end of the first quarter of 2017. Whether any of them are going to be better than the best that we have seen so far since last holiday season (Rise of the Tomb Raider, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, The Climb, Ratchet & Clank comprise my short list), remains to be seen (although I am predisposed to believing that Dishonored 2 will give these titles a run for their money.)
In any event, the following games are those that stood out for me at the show, with the qualifier that they had to be scheduled for release no later than 3/31/17:
Dishonored 2 (Bethesda: 11/11/16)
Batman: Arkham VR (WBI: 10/13/16)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo: Early 2017)
Mafia III (2K: 10/7/16)
Horizon: Zero Dawn (SIE: 2/28/17)
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (WBI: 6/28/16)
For Honor (Ubisoft: 2/14/17)
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Square-Enix: 8/23/16)
Batman: The Telltale Series (Telltale: Summer 2016)
Overwatch begins its ride at the top of the VGChartz Top 10 (North America) for the week ending 5/28/16, displacing Uncharted 4 in the process. It will be interesting in the coming weeks to see if Mirror’s Edge Catalyst can displace it from the top slots, or if Nate’s last adventure can make a comeback. Looking down the road, the only other major release that could alter the sales landscape between now and the release of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” on August 23rd, is “Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” releasing next week. So, I would expect Overwatch, Uncharted and Doom to continue to make this list in the coming weeks.
Best-Selling Games (North America) for the Week Ending 5/28/161. (PS4) Overwatch 2. (Xbox One) Overwatch 3. (PC) Overwatch 4. (PS4) Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End 5. (PS4) Doom 6. (Xbox One) Doom 7. (PS4) Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 8. (PS4) TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan 9. (PS4) MLB The Show 16 10. (Xbox One) Gears of War
Overwatch Makes a “Heroic” Debut for Blizzard and Activision This Week
It has been over four years since Sony’s Bend studio (named after the city in Oregon that they call home) has published anything (the excellent and very underrated “Uncharted: Golden Abyss” for PlayStation Vita.) After all this time, they finally have announced their next project… a post-apocalyptic, humans becoming beasts third-person shooter entitled “Days Gone.”
Really? Good god… how many of these are developers going to keep cranking out? I mean… no offense to Bend – they have always been one of my favorite studios and I have a lot of personal history with them, going back to when they were known as “Eidetic.” But, this genre is just so played out at this point in time. Sure, there have been a couple of titles that have achieved “hit” status (“The Last of Us” comes immediately to mind), but there have been many, many more that have sunk without a trace.
While I wish them the best of luck, I don’t see the logic in delivering yet another game in this overcrowded vertical. Wait a minute… Naughty Dog creates “Uncharted,” Bend creates an off-shoot. Naughty Dog creates “The Last of Us” – Bend replicates the feat… I see a pattern developing here!
The First Thing to Disappear After an Apocalypse? Razors!