Saturday, June 20, 2009

Activision Blizzard threatens to stop PlayStation support



Activision Blizzard, the world's largest third party publisher, has warned that they "might have to stop supporting Sony" as early as next year, the company's CEO Robert A. Kotick told the British daily newspaper The Times.

I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform. It's expensive to develop for the console, and the Wii and the Xbox are just selling better. Games generate a better return on invested capital on the Xbox than on the PlayStation. (...)

They [Sony] have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow. If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony. (...) When we look at 2010 and 2011, we might want to consider if we support the console — and the PSP [portable] too.





Analysts have already predicted doom and gloom for Sony Computer Entertainment, which is nothing unusual. Analysts do not have to be terribly diplomatic and others have voiced similar criticism concerning the other console manufacturers. But this is not the first time that Sony has been confronted with unusually harsh criticism by third party publishers, which is rare in this industry.

Back in May and September of 2007, respectively, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot demanded a price cut for the console ("They have to decrease the price quite significantly") and Square Enix president Yoichi Wada criticized Sony's marketing efforts ("[The future of the PS3] would be tough if its marketing strategy is not straightened up.")

The future of the PlayStation depends on when Sony will reduce the PS3's price tag. The latest guess by an analyst is August. But I maintain that Sony simply has not got the financial resources to reduce the price until Christmas. Sony CEO Stringer has made it quite clear that he puts profitability above everything else.

The real question is, though, whether Activision Blizzard is merely bluffing or if these unusually harsh comments contain a very real threat. Sure, a number of the publisher's games sold more than a million on the PS3. So the console generates revenue for them. We simply don't know what little profit is left. Kotick revealed some of the additional costs of developing for Sony, noting that Activision Blizzard "paid $500 million to Sony in royalties and other goods last year." Again, such a disclosure is highly unusual. What is Kotick up to? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

EDIT Videogame analyst Michael Pachter has commented on the story, noting:

Of course Bobby’s bluffing, and good for him. (...) I think Bobby’s obviously interested in Sony selling as many PS3s as they possibly can, and he’s not happy with their penetration so far. I think he favours a price cut, and would rather see one sooner than later.


Sony Computer Entertainment has yet to respond in a meaningful way.

I would also like to remind you of the last big debate about whether the PlayStation3 is dead or dying. Back in December, an analyst's assertion that the PS3 was a "sinking ship" which was "flopping so badly" had sparked a lively debate which I quoted extensively.

EDIT As expected, the news of Activision's threat has sparked a lively debate, which I will attempt to capture here, in the familiar style of guest commentary.



Sony's clearly in a pinch

Is the PS3 really losing momentum? It depends, as usual, on where you're standing. Since the system launched in late 2006, it's clearly been growing in year over year unit sales. In 2008--the system's best year yet--Sony sold over 10 million PS3s worldwide. And while sales have been down for all contenders recently, Sony's sold nearly as many PS3s worldwide as Microsoft has Xbox 360s so far this year. Of course Microsoft still has more than a third as many Xbox 360s in the wild, but since 2008, Sony's slowly (very slowly) been gaining. (...)

That said, Sony's clearly in a pinch. Its game division lost nearly $600 million in 2008, the PS3 consistently lags in NPD's US sales reports, and the system charts the fewest high sales software titles month after month.

If Sony lowers the PS3's price, we've been assuming they'll lose even more money. But if they keep it sky-high, they theoretically stifle sales and by virtue thereof, their growth rate, frustrating publishers, who naturally want to sell to as many customers as possible.
PC World




Stark and somewhat surprising

A stark and somewhat surprising statement. (...) PS3 price cut soon, surely?
Play.tm




Could seriously hurt console sales

That’s pretty serious considering Activision is the largest video game publisher in the world. It probably won’t come to that — I can’t see them not lowering the cost in the next year or so regardless of what Kotick thinks — but if I were Sony I would definitely be a little nervous about this. If this inspires some bravado in EA and they make a similar statement it could seriously hurt console sales.
A+E Interactive




The pressure is on

For its part, Sony, which is mired in third place behind Nintendo and Microsoft in the next-gen game-console wars, keeps saying it won't be pressured into trimming the price of the PS3. But with industry heavyweights like Activision making these types of remarks, it's becoming more and more clear that the pressure is indeed on.
CNET




Ever saw a publisher threaten a platform holder?

In that absolute worst-case scenario, that would mean no Call of Duty for Sony consoles. No Guitar Hero for Sony consoles. No Tony Hawk, either. It probably won't ever come to that, of course, but Kotick's words are still worth noting. After all, when was the last time you ever saw a third-party publisher so openly threaten a major platform holder?
Kotaku




A huge bomb

Activision boss Bobby Kotick has dropped a huge bomb on Sony. (...) While Kotick may sound a bit cocky here, I don't think Sony wants to sit on statements like these. And no one is going to argue about the PS3 needing a price cut either.
Destructoid




Nintendo has issued similar denials

Sony has continued to insist that it will not be pressured into lowering PS3 prices before the 2009 holiday season.

"I think everybody but us would love to see it given away for free," Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America told CNBC. He added that cheapest wasn't always the most successful, but rather, "what you get for your dollar."

It should be noted that Nintendo has issued similar denials regarding a lowered Wii price tag, despite confirmation of a (May) 57 percent year-on-year drop in sales.
TG Daily




What if EA said the same thing?

Now, Kotick's words are just corporate smacktalk (bottom line: Activision still makes money on the platform). But what if a company like EA came forward and said the same thing? No good can come of this for Sony.
Gizmodo




Activision Blizzard needs the numbers Sony delivers

Is it a credible threat? That is hard to say, but the industry has ample evidence of just how ruthless Activision Blizzard has become. (...) By slamming the console maker in public it creates a perception of weakness witih Sony's platforms. Now the developer is in a very good position to bargain for lower licensing fees, help with advertising dollars, or other financial rewards to "stick with" the PS3 and PSP platforms.

It's doubtful Activision Blizzard has lost money by supporting the PS3 and PSP as platforms, and again, the company needs the numbers Sony delivers to meet its goal of having Modern Warfare 2 be the "biggest property launch of all time." What Kotick can do is attack Sony in the press and create a perception of weakness and then exploit it for better terms when releasing these blockbuster titles, and that's what we're seeing here.
Ars Technica




A crazy precedent

Activision is the world's largest third-party publisher, with huge franchises like World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero and, most importantly, Call of Duty under its belt. The loss of even Call of Duty seems to me like it would significantly hurt the PS3. Still, the big question everyone is wondering is if Kotick has enough sway to actually force Sony into a price drop. Maybe Kotick's just blowing steam, but it'd be a crazy precedent for the largest publisher to drop the system entirely.
GameSpy




Cutting prices would be difficult for Sony

Kotick's comments have weight because of the market strength of Activision. The company is the world's largest independent computer games company and has a market value of $16 billion.

Cutting PS3 prices would be difficult for Sony. The company last month reported its first annual loss in 14 years, caused by a strong yen and a sales slump in its consumer electronics business. While the economic downturn hurt sales, Sony also suffered from competitors' lower prices.

As a result, sales in Sony's electronics business fell 17% from the previous fiscal year, and revenue from its game unit fell 18%. While Sony sold more units of the PS3 and PSP, the company saw a drop in software sales.
InformationWeek




PS3 could be Sony's last big console

Could Activision really be considering ditching the PS3? If so, this concept breathes a lot of life into the possibility that the PS3 could be Sony's last big console. Sure, the company would stay afloat if Activision was the only publisher to back away, but that might encourage a lot of publishers to get out of Dodge. Is Sony a sinking ship? (...)

I'm a firm believer in the idea that all three console makers should have a spot on the market. Competition breeds excellence and innovation. Sony cannot disappear, if they do... what would happen to gaming?
Kombo




A total bluff

Sounds like a total bluff — I can’t see Activision pulling support from Sony, but I can see them attempting to influence PS3’s price by publicly threatening to.
Wired


Sources: The Times, VG247
Thanks to: Joystiq

44 comments:

X said...

yikes!

Falafelkid said...

Hi X.

Yikes indeed ;)

I also like the newspaper's advice: "Sounds like Sir Howard Stringer, Sony's chief executive, is going to have to call Mr Kotick pretty fast."

Anonymous said...

the fact its SONY and not NINTENDO is the only reason this hasnt already happened im getting sick and tired of 3rd party bullshit

drop sony like yesterday get in touch with consumers/gamers everyone hates the machine

Falafelkid said...

Hi Anonymous.

While you seem quite biased, there is a degree of truth in your words. Obviously, Sony is being treated differently by third parties. But there is a very good reason here. Sony is the former market leader of two consecutive generations. And let us not forget that such acclaim is never undeserved.

Whoever sells the most hardware has done everything right. Regardless of who has invented rumble, the analogue stick or shoulder buttons, if Sony manages to expand on those inventions and the consumers want it in their form, then they have done everything right.

So, Sony was king and justifiedly so. That makes it very understandable why publishers give them some leeway in the wake of bad or disastrous sales figures (depending on your interpretation). Why else was a title like ´MGS4´ even released exclusively for the worst selling console? Only because third party relations with the former market leader cannot simply cool down overnight, for reasons of contractual obligations, if not good business relationships. While Nintendo's standing with third parties is slowly increasing, Sony's is on the way down at the same pace. It's not too far-fetched an assertion. Just consider ´Monster Hunter Tri´.

Some Guy said...

Well I guess in two years we will find out if this is true, or if PS3 has a price cut we will know a lot sooner.

I have to agree with Michael Pachter on this one.

Falafelkid said...

Hi Some Guy.

I am not so sure if Kotick is bluffing. He is a businessman and let us remember that he is missing profit from the PS3, not revenue. We all know revenue is fine on some of Activision’s PS3 titles. He’s talking profits, though, and has given us a clue about how expensive development is for the PS3 and much much Sony is taking in license fees. The worst install base of this generation (at perhaps a little over 20 million) and the highest price tag aren’t helping either and, obviously, without the latter coming down, the former is not about to shoot up.

Kotick’s intention may be to force Stringer to lower the price tag but I wouldn’t call it a bluff. Stringer has clearly said that profitability is his main goal, which means no PS3 price cut for some time. And if there is none until 2010 (which is a possibility), Kotick could well drop the PlayStation platforms. EA dropped the Dreamcast when other publishers were still making money on the platform. I wouldn’t rule out that Kotick will put his money where is mouth is, should he not see profits improve.

Anonymous said...

Sony's Playstation 3 is a remarkable system. It offers the most robust expirience out of all the systems currently available, with cutting edge software like Little Big Planet, The Guardian, Final Fantasy, Gran Turismo, Agent and GTA4. Sony will eventually regain its monopoly. It's just a matter of time.

The Wii on the other hand is hopelessly outdated last gen trash with a useless and redundant waggle controller. Many key franchises like Metroid Prime 3, Smash Bros Wii and Zelda failed to impress the masses.

At the end of the day, Wii is a piece of shit.

Some Guy said...

@ Falifelkid

Good points but allow me play devils advocate :)

EA dropped the Dreamcast when other publishers were still making money on the platform.

Actually EA never supported the Dreamcast.

Kotick’s intention may be to force Stringer to lower the price tag but I wouldn’t call it a bluff.

Actually that is exactly what a bluff is; he is misleading Sony by putting on a strong front (in this case dropping support) in order to have Sony drop the PS3s price. (Or lower royalties)

Stringer has clearly said that profitability is his main goal, which means no PS3 price cut for some time.

I would say this has more to do with the Osborne effect

@ anom above me:

???

Let’s keep this an intelligent conversation with people giving points and counter points. There is no need to attempt to turn this in to a “what platform holder is better” that is just a waste of everybody’s time and will only lead to a brand loyalty flame war.

M. Ferreira said...

Quite a troubling situation for Sony if Mr. Kotick puts his money where his mouth is. The loss of both Guitar Hero and Call of Duty would be devastating blows for the console as a whole, since they would make the competition that much more attractive in the short term.

However, I smell a bluff at this point. It would be interesting to see him actually go through with the deed, though. ~_^

Falafelkid said...

Hey everybody.

@ last Anonymous.

That's hardly worth answering. Wii is the clear market leader and will remain so for this generation, as most analysts agree. And, like I said, market leadership is never undeserved. This is the point that fanboys never see. Sony actually did something better to replace Nintendo at the top with their original PlayStation. And now, Nintendo did something better. Why else are Sony and Microsoft head over heels to copy them? You're clearly a biased fool, sorry to have to say that.

Hi Some Guy.

Good to have you here, as ever.

Good points but allow me play devils advocate :)

Is that a PS3 game? Must be by Activision ;)

Actually EA never supported the Dreamcast.

Quite right. There was never a question of dropping support. There never was any to begin with. Should have made hat clearer. But it shows that it's possible for the biggest third party to ignore one of the consoles.

Actually that is exactly what a bluff is; he is misleading Sony by putting on a strong front (in this case dropping support) in order to have Sony drop the PS3s price. (Or lower royalties)

Well, it would only be a bluff if Kotick wasn't prepared to go through with his threat. But I think he is.

I would say this has more to do with the Osborne effect

Fair point. But Stringer is also desperate to reassure investors that Sony is becoming more profitable again. Make no mistake: Sony is still in a desperate financial situation. The gigantic corporation was very close to bankrupcy and still hasn't turned things around. I am sure that Stringer flat-out refuses to continue to sell the PS3 at a loss. A price cut will not come before Christmas, if at all. But your guess is as good as mine, of course.

Hi M Ferreira.

Same here, always a pleasure to have you here.

Quite a troubling situation for Sony if Mr. Kotick puts his money where his mouth is. The loss of both Guitar Hero and Call of Duty would be devastating blows for the console as a whole, since they would make the competition that much more attractive in the short term.

Regardless of the direct, tangible impact, such a move would also be seen as a symbolic gesture. Consumers would understand that the PS3 is the losing system and the brand would suffer greatly.

However, I smell a bluff at this point. It would be interesting to see him actually go through with the deed, though. ~_^

We'll see. It's anyone's guess. If we really knew what profit remains from the revenue generated by Activision games on PS3, we could judge Kotick's comments better. If he really earns next to nothing, it's no skin off his nose to cancel all PS3 projects and ports.

Anonymous said...

The PlayStation 3 as well as Sony is doomed. They won't release new hardware for 3 more years.... BECAUSE THEY CAN'T! The NEXT next gen system that is released first, WILL dominate the next console cycle, simple as that. No current console is really strong enough to manipulate 1080P so we need new HW, now.

Anonymous said...

THERES NOTHING BIASED IN MY BELIEFS ITS ALL COMMON SENSE BASED


PS3 = DUALSHOCK = SHITFEST

PS3= LONG LOADTIMES= SHITFEST

PS123=SHITFEST BUILD QUALITY=SHITFEST

PS3=DUALSHOCK=OBSOLETE


this isnt me being a nintendo fan its me simply being honerst with my observations and deep intelligent thinking

SONY WILL NOT HOLD BACK GAMEPLAY WITH THERE SHIT CONTROLLERS I WONT SUPPORT SUCH RUBBISH

SONY WILL NOT HOLD A GUN TO MY HEAD AND MAKE ME A BLURAY SLAVE

SONY WILL NOT GET AWAY WITH STINK LONG LOADTIMES

SONY WILL NO LONGER COPY NINTENDO AND GET AWAY WITH IT

the worlds awoke from playstation brainwashing WITCH I PREDICTED THIS GEN


and thank god for it

Anonymous said...

Wii is a horrible system. As a core gamer and long time Nintendo supporter, I'm extremely disapointed with the titles that have come out. Wii is essentialy a toy for kids, hardly a satisfying solution for core gamers. It doesn't deserve to be the market leader in my opnion. It doesn't make any sense. The PS 3 has so much more to offer in just about every regard.

M. Ferreira said...

Falafelkid: Always a pleasure to chat with you. You make some fine points - the symbolic end is indeed far more important to the PlayStation brand as a whole than the simple tangible loss, since it does paint Sony unfavorably. We saw the very same happen with the Gamecube no less than five years ago, when supposed "exclusive" titles started bleeding to the competition, and developers shied away entirely.

I'm a bit curious as to whether Bobby will actually go through with it. Personally, I'd like to see it happen, since it would show that a company is willing to acknowledge that the PS3 is hurting on the market, and hurting profits. Still, I have to wonder if Sony isn't already planning to send a "loyalty bonus" (or some other name for a big cash payout in exchange for support) to Activision's front door. If this is the case, then we may see Kotick's tune change very quickly.

@Anon 10:16 PM:

Have to ask, mate... why are you on a Nintendo discussion group if you think the system is rubbish? ;)

I have to resurrect an old one for this argument:

http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/8149/churuyaeditfalafelkid.jpg

Anonymous said...

The dualshock is my favourite controller of all time.

Anonymous said...

theres nothing next gen about dualshocks and long loadtimes its the same dam experience ps 1 ps2 offered HOW IS THAT NEXT ANYTHING

THE VERY CONCEPT OF A GAMING DEVICE HAS EVOLVED MATURED THE PS123 ARE STUCK IN A PS1 FOR EVER MENTALLITY/CULTURE WITH BETTER GRAPHICS EACH JUMP

ITS TIME SONY FANS AWOKE FROM THIS NIGHTMARE

AND GOT WITH THE FUTURE OF GAMING

NIN TEN DO

ps3 motion offers no ir mouse pointer or analog stick i just see nintendo continue to dominate casual/bridge games

and move in on core gaming much harder even a wii+ maybe released AND ITS GAME OVER SONY

my personal wish list

wireless nunchuck including wm+ ir mouse pointer rumble pak and speaker

wiimote 2 with wm+ built in

senser bar camera and wii speak all in one unit on tv


out the box hd wii with super resolution/upscalling included

release at wii retail price with wii 1 selling at lower price

a wii dsi if you like


imagine a fps built from scratch with dual ir mouse aiming true dual weapons

a main camera weapon via wiimote

a secondery cam in cam aim (think zelda and wii sports resorts) via second ir pointer in nunchuck


PRESTO DUAL WEAPON FPS FOR REAL ADD WM+ INTERACTION


SONY AND MICROSOFT WATCH IN OOOORRRRRR AS NATAL AND PS3 MOTION CANNOT DO THIS


THINK GAME = NINTENDO

WAKE UP GAMERS

Anonymous said...

greatest standard now obsolete controller

WAVEBIRD AND STANDARD GAMECUBE PAD NOT OPINION DAM FACT THE THING LITERALLY MELTS INTO UR HANDS BUTTON LAYOUT IS GENIUS AND COMMONSENSE

ANALOGS ARE SMOOTH AND PERFECT

DUALSHOCK HARD BLISTER COURSING BUTTONS

DEAD NEAR USELESS ANALOG STICKS

ANALOG STICKS IN CRAPPY POSITION

NO ACCTUAL D-PAD JUST 4 CHUNKS OF HARD ON THE THUMB PLASTIC

SHARP EDGES THAT DIGG IN UR HANDS


YES DUALSHOCKS ARE SO COOL


I HATE SONYS MORONIC FANS



GAMING DOESNOT EVOLVE WEN THE CONTROLLER DOES NOT EVOLVE WHY IS IT ONLY NINTENDO AND THERE FANS SEEM ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THIS


"""""""""""""""""!!!!FACT!!!""""""""""

Grandmaster B said...

I honestly think Sony put too much into one generation. It is the same as Apple bringing out an iPhone which has their entire 3 year roadmap for future models.

The put too much into one model when they should of made it more cost effective and open for upgrades for future generations.

M. Ferreira said...

I agree Grandmaster B. I really think that the biggest issue, though, is that Sony (read: former PlayStation head Ken Kutaragi) seems locked in a pissing contest with Microsoft. Rather than develop a sustainable console, they made something big, black, and shiny in hopes that the market would be stupid enough to buy it.

To make a sustainable console next gen, they have to break the "MS = RIVAL" mentality. Similar notions ("NINTENDO = KILL ON SIGHT") may have fueled the PSX and PS2, but it's just getting unhealthy at this point.

Falafelkid said...

Hey Grandmaster

The put too much into one model when they should of made it more cost effective and open for upgrades for future generations.

Quite. It's obvious that Kutaragi went unchecked in the design of the PS3. It was meant to have two HDMI outs and extra USBs which they had to cut. The same goes for the backwards compatibility, also cut only to save money.

Let us not forget that Sony subsidized each console with up to $300 in the beginning and they are still making a loss today. Now, I am no economist. But such subsidies are madness, especially when considering the billions the corporation had to invest into research and development. No wonder they cut all those features.

Hey Ferreira.

Sony (read: former PlayStation head Ken Kutaragi) seems locked in a pissing contest with Microsoft. Rather than develop a sustainable console, they made something big, black, and shiny in hopes that the market would be stupid enough to buy it.

Absolutely. Like I mentioned above, there seems to have been a race to have more HDMI and USB ports than the competitor. Also, these ridiculous arguments about which console supported 1080p output and which didn't are proof of your point. It was a hardware war that had little to do with consumer needs. After all, the penetration of households with HD ready sets (i.e. those that support 720p) is still well below 50 percent. And you don't really care about what your console can do if you cannot make use of it. At least, not anymore.

There was a time when it was simply reassuring to know that you owned a 64-bit console rather than a 32-bit one, even though noone knew what that really meant, but those times have long gone. Consumers have changed their focus to the actual games and the gaming experience.

Oh, and once again, great to have you two here. All the unreasonable people are preoccupied with my last post. ;)

M. Ferreira said...

Falafelkid:

It's always a pleasure to comment here when I get the chance - this site has more of an open exchange of ideas than most other Nintendo sites out there (most of whom seem to be content with whining about the latest thing Nintendo has or hasn't done). It's refreshing to speak about the market in such terms. :) And, well... if the undesirables show up, we all get a good laugh out of it.

Nowadays, I have to wonder if Sony and MS have done more harm than good to the market. Their focus on pushing little more than the highest number of polygonss, the sharpest resolutions, have really spoiled the average game consumer. I've seen it in my experience in game sales - people have changed in both their buying habits, and their demeanor towards gaming, with "resolution whores" being the new "graphics whores." Overall taste in genres has pretty much dwindled to FPS, sports, and, well... FPS by and large. I've seen a huge number of excellent games fail to the likes of Turok, or the latest Tom Clancy abortion. It's sad, really.

This mentality's bled right into the gaming press, who seem outright insulted by the Wii, with its lower specs. Games get nitpicked, scores are lower, and some journalists make outright insulting remarks to fanbases as a whole. The whole situation's become almost a grade-school level of maturity.

All of this is happening as both parties grow more and more fussy, and the developer budgets continue to climb. I can't help but wonder if the whole situation is an indirect effect of the power struggle that Sony and MS have been grappling with for the past few years.

-sigh- but... I guess it would've happened no matter what. :) Humans are prone to fighting over silly things, after all.

Anonymous said...

@ferreira. Sorry m8 but you cannot be serious...the games on 360 and PS3 are so much fresher better and nicer overall that you'd have to be a retard to stick to that last gen waggle trash scam they call the wii.and I hate to tell you that but either you're completely out of touch with core gaming reality to figure that the best games get released for ps3 and 360 or you're just a sad lil fanboy with an inferiority complex who's stuck in his childhood fantasies like this blogs author who's on a quest to teach the trife to be trifer.to mr it's obvious that you aren't someone who takes the time to sit down and play games on a regular basis when you talk like that.you have absolutely no clue...

Falafelkid said...

Hey Ferreira.

Overall taste in genres has pretty much dwindled to FPS, sports, and, well... FPS by and large. I've seen a huge number of excellent games fail to the likes of Turok, or the latest Tom Clancy abortion. It's sad, really.

True. Let's consider ´Little Big Planet´, undoubtedly one of the most original games of this generation and also the one that was marketed the most. It still underperformed massively, even relative to the PS3's installed hardware base. It's a crying shame.

This mentality's bled right into the gaming press, who seem outright insulted by the Wii, with its lower specs. Games get nitpicked, scores are lower, and some journalists make outright insulting remarks to fanbases as a whole. The whole situation's become almost a grade-school level of maturity.

That is also true, I feel. There are plenty of aspects Nintendo should be criticized for, starting with their online strategy. But why do media like Joystiq condescengingly use the term ´waggle´ to sum up the Wii's motion controls? There are a few games where you do have to waggle. But what about titles like ´Kororinpa´ where extremely subtle movements are required? How are the rail shooters waggle? It's just condescending and I don't see those media outlets use the term for Natal or the PS3's system, simply because it's a different company.

The same goes for the Miis and the 360's avatars, but I'll leave it here ;)

M. Ferreira said...

Hello, Falafelkid.

True. Let's consider ´Little Big Planet´, undoubtedly one of the most original games of this generation and also the one that was marketed the most. It still underperformed massively, even relative to the PS3's installed hardware base. It's a crying shame.

I'd also like to throw Valkyria Chronicles (est. 500,000 sales) and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (also about 500,000 sales) into the mix. Despite high marks from the critical camps, the games sat on shelves. Both were fantastic titles, but the market just didn't care about them. It's particularly saddening to see something like Bully, a port, or Kane & Lynch, which was pretty terrible outsell amazing games, simply because they are loaded with guns and gore.


That is also true, I feel. There are plenty of aspects Nintendo should be criticized for, starting with their online strategy. But why do media like Joystiq condescengingly use the term ´waggle´ to sum up the Wii's motion controls?

I agree there, as well. Nintendo's made a number of mistakes - online strategy, a seeming lack of software approvals, and whatnot. But the journalists tend to latch onto the silly things, to make the molehills seem like mountains. Personally, I think "waggle" is used in general, mainly because of what the term means now. It's both condescending and descriptive at the same time. The word "waggle" evokes an image of shoddy, slapped-together controls that can, and will hinder the final experience. It's a shame, because the term is greatly overused, especially in the case of games like, say, No More Heroes, or Samba de Amigo, which showed a good use for motion controls. It's become a trollish rallying cry for some people - that, or the increasingly popular "This would be better if it were on an HD system."

I fully expect to see very, very apologetic responses to the PS3 wands and Project Natal once they hit. After all, there's a mentality that Sony and MS are winning the console war already - why not go the whole nine yards?

pero_detlic said...

mister ferreira...

"And, well... if the undesirables show up, we all get a good laugh out of it."

well, here I am.

now, please find my post where i glorify sony and their piece of shit hardware.

i actually agree with you and falafel on this topic, but i guess you're just too narrow minded to think about that possibility

every console has it's flaws and wii is still waaay from being perfect. i'm not saying that wii must be perfect, it's just that wii has far more potential than we are getting right now

M. Ferreira said...

pero_detlic: I'm really getting tired of being snarky to a random person on the internet. Seriously, I'm not a mean person at heart, and I'm fairly tired of the arguing. So, shall we bury the hatchet here and now, since we're both obviously over-ran game of cat and mouse?

Some Guy said...

Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer responds to Kotick:

He likes to make a lot of noise

He's putting pressure on me and I'm putting pressure on him. That's the nature of business.
Link

Falafelkid said...

Hi Some Guy.

Thanks for the heads-up. I already saw the story linked to on NeoGAF. Will post as soon as I hear from the authors who I asked to verify the quote:

Asked about the logic of not cutting prices, Stringer said, "I (would) lose money on every PlayStation I make -- how's that for logic."

Gregory Weagle said...

Activision Blizzard is bluffing about stopping support altogether; but if I'm Sony, I would be worried since it indicates that Activision will be reducing support for Sony platforms in the near future. Other developers and publishers have been doing the same thing over the last few years simply because the PS3/PSP sales on the whole are less than the XBOX 360 and in many respects less than Wii and even DS on multiplatform.

This isn't unusual; this happened to Nintendo with N64 and Gamecube years ago. Market leader = market support. Weither you like the games they make is irrevelent. Business talks and a giant weighs.

Some Guy said...

BioWare: Activision PS3 comment "silly"
Link

Solace said...

All of this is happening as both parties grow more and more fussy, and the developer budgets continue to climb. I can't help but wonder if the whole situation is an indirect effect of the power struggle that Sony and MS have been grappling with for the past few years.

I don't think you're far off. Whether we want to believe it or not, graphics have always been the deciding factor of what makes a console. The consumers and journalists have been conditioned to think this way since 3D polygons were introduced. Many don't consider the Wii to be much of a relevant system, whether it's a gimmicky peripheral or a condescendingly "new-gen" console. It's a troubling pattern I've been witnessing in gaming forums and the press. I've seen the Wii being bashed left and right with no middle ground, where reviewers are more interested in bashing the console than reviewing one of its games. Take a look at Zero Punctuation's review of MadWorld. The console is the black sheep of this generation. It seems no matter what Nintendo does, they can't seem to win. And do you want to know what the sad thing is? There are idiots out there who are still jumping on the bandwagon that Nintendo needs to be third-party no matter how much they have gained from the Wii and how it has influenced Microsoft and Sony to create their own motion-sensing product.

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