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Nintendo vs. The Hardcore …. *sigh*

If the video game world were boxing, then March 09 would be a round that you’d want to forget. Nearly every system took a dive in sales. Software sales were down. The doomsayers in the analyst world see this as prelude for things to come. While those who actually have a clue as to what’s going on, know that March 2008 is the reason that March 2009 saw decreasing numbers. Big releases March 2008: Grand Theft Auto IV and Super Smash Bros Brawl. Big releases March 2009: MadWorld and GTA: Chinatown Wars.

March 2008
GTA IV: 3.6 million units sold (first day)
Super Smash Bros Brawl: 1.4 million units in first week (fastest selling game in Nintendo history)

March 2009
MadWorld: 66,000 units sold (first month)
GTA Chinatown Wars: 68,611 units sold (first week…sales are growing though)

Hmmm…two big releases from some of the most storied franchises in gaming vs. an obscure 6-7 hour long beat-em-up and a re-imagined GTA game using a style that was out before GTA III. What do you think is going to push more software and hardware sales? Also, GTA: Chinatown Wars sales figures are growing. Maybe, no one thought it was going to be any good when it first came out.

Some blame Nintendo for not releasing enough core titles, even though the most storied Nintendo franchises have already seen a release. With my favorite franchise getting a release in May.

There’re some video game writers that blame gamers for the awful month of March. Wow, really? You think gamers should buy games they don’t want just to support some mythological, journalism fueled fight between “hardcore and casual”? I can’t speak for GTA: Chinatown Wars but I can speak for MadWorld. As someone who’s loved games since 1989; games of all genres and systems I’ll give you this advice…rent it. MadWorld can be beaten in just over 6 hours. Why spend $50 on a game that you can spend $3-5 on and still receive the same amount of enjoyment? To support some make believe idealogy?

It really is almost getting to the point that I’m ashamed to call myself a gamer. This new market of gamers that are fueling the industry at the moment; and all we can do is huddle in our corner. Surrounding ourselves with Final Fantasy discs/cartidges, and a blow up doll imaged as Link of Hyrule. Instead we should be embracing this new market. They might just surprise you given the chance. Newcomers have to start somewhere, why don’t you recommend a title to them instead of cursing them from a distance for somehow ‘ruining’ your hobby.

This weekend, my mom read a comic book trade for the first time. It was the Origin story of Wolverine. She absolutely loved it (mostly for its colonial setting, and art style). Still, my mom … reading an entire series of comics, and enjoying it should prove that anything is possible. So, get out there and start showing off the games you love to people who might not know any better. They might just end up enjoying them, and who knows…maybe March 2010 will blow 08 out of the water.

As a silver lining, Nintendo’s stocks have dipped considerably and are perfect to snatch up at the moment. Thanks to Kotaku for the tip.

SEGA Looking To Corner The ‘Core’ Market

There are a few publishers, and developers I’ve really taken a notice to this past year. The first is Capcom. They’ve really taken their company to a whole new level compared to recent years past. Which is quite a feat, considering the state of the economy. Going into 2009, Capcom is releasing two brand new games based on their current running franchises (Resident Evil, and Street Fighter).

The other developer I’m watching keenly is SEGA. With what I consider four major releases in the first half of 2009, SEGA looks poised to have a strong year. MadWorld, The Conduit, Sonic & The Black Knight, and House of the Dead: Overkill are all releasing on the Wii under the SEGA name.

Looking at that lineup, there’s a good chance that I’ll be purchasing all of those games. Besides Punch-Out!, those four titles are what I’m looking forward to most in 2009 which is saying a lot considering all the games coming out this year.
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