Saturday, March 13, 2010

Six Months Later - Tidbits of Interest

Digital Stardust has been mute primarily for a single reason - we have had nothing to say for quite a while. Our stated mission statement remains "Analysis and Commentary on the Video Game Industry" but the problem is so little has changed in a significant way in the industry since our last post in August 2009. A few things have crossed the radar, but nothing alone has been enough to warrant a standalone post. Rather than continue to wait, we present several small items of interest we believe keep in line with our mission statement.

Analyst Claims Wii May be in Hot Water
Industry Gamer reports analyst Mike Hickey has been crunching the numbers and is predicting the Wii will "Fade meaningfully" during this year. Consoles typically last around four to five years in traditional lifespan, and the Wii appears to have been designed on this timetable. Nintendo is also releasing all their big-hitter titles this year (Mario Galaxy 2, Metroid: The Other M, and Zelda), leaving a fog of uncertainty once the release cycle completes. Can Nintendo afford to announce and launch another console when the 360 and PlayStation 3 appear to have plenty of steam left? Hickey suggests Nintendo instead offer a console price drop and open the door wider to third-party support.

Source: Industry Gamers

Music Gaming Sales Down
Billboard reports music gaming sales are down about half when comparing December 2008 to December 2009 ($468m to $250m). Several commentators around the internet have speculated, and I have to agree, the trend is being caused by lack of real innovation in the formula employed across most music games - timing notes move toward a fixed point on the screen and you press a button, hopefully in time with the music. This has been the case since beatmania and persists into recent titles such as Guitar Hero: Van Halen. Solution? Change the formula to be fresh and new. Will Power Gig accomplish this? Time will tell.

Source: Billboard

Reggie Has Spoken
One of DiS' biggest gripes is the lack of the Regginator's crowd-exciting speeches we heard back five years ago before the Wii launch. We're pleased to report Reggie has spoken with Forbes magazine. The results, however, have left us scratching our heads - for instance, Reggie indicates Mii clothing will not be made available as "it's not an idea that creates value for the consumer" (Nevermind the fact 360 Avatar clothing has made enough money to draw big names like Disney). He also states Nintendo is not interested in HD as it does not create new experiences for gamers. We smell a bit of Sony attitude here, and we don't like it.

Source: Forbes

GameStop Alternatives Going, Going, Gone?
Some shoppers love GameStop, some hate it (I do). It appears GameStop's position as one of North America's dominant game retailers has been strengthened with Movie Gallery's (owner of Game Crazy) filing for bankruptcy this week. Reports claim a combined 760 Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video, and Game Crazy stores will be shuttered. Several of my local Game Crazy stores have gone off into the abyss, so if you're inclined, check in with yours to ensure they'll be there when you need them.

Source: The Lamron

This is Digital Stardust, signing off.

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