Gamecube gasping for air?

Man, an article about the slump in console sales had this alarming paragraph:

Nintendo faces the biggest risk, Srivatsa said. The company has temporarily halted production of its GameCube console to eat up excess inventory and managed to ship a scant 80,000 units during its most recent quarter. “If they don’t do anything significant, Nintendo won’t sell any consoles next year,” he said.

They only shipped 80,000 Cubes in one quarter? That’s godawful. Here’s the link to the article.

http://news.com.com/2100-1043_3-5071063.html?tag=fd_top

Is that worldwide total, or just North America? Either way, it’s scary, but even scarier if it’s the former.

http://www.n-philes.com/php/epykyfvelfzkzlvuyev.php

News: Weekly Japanese Software, Hardware

Tales of Symphonia heads the chart on the first week of its release, but that isn’t the big news. The big news is for the first time in what seems like forever, the Nintendo GameCube has outsold the Playstation 2 in Japan.

  1. GC Tales of Symphonia – 193,500 / 193,500

  2. GBA Sword of Mana – 153,000 / 153,000

  3. PS2 World Soccer Winning Eleven 7 – 53,400 / 900,000

  4. PS2 Winning Post 6 – 33,900 / 33,900

  5. GC Square Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicle – 20,300 / 328,600

  6. GBA Pokemon Pinball Ruby & Sapphire – 19,400 / 170,247

  7. GBA Super Mario Advance 4 – 17,200 / 334,000

  8. GC Kirby’s Air Ride – 16,500 / 278,500

  9. PS2 Monster Farm 4 – 15,600 / 143,400

  10. PS2 On-the-spot Powerful Professional Baseball 10 – 14,900 / 452,100

  11. Gameboy Advance SP – 42,600 / 1,575,400

  12. GameCube – 35,600 / 486,200

  13. Playstation 2 – 35,300 / 1,953,300
    4.Game Boy Advance – 12,100 / 1,031,800

  14. Playstation – 960 / 54,300

  15. Xbox – 650 / 72,500

Damn the PS1 is outselling the Xbox in Japan? WTF is up with that?

olaf

The Xbox hasn’t exactly taken Japan by storm. On the bright side, it beat out the “Wonderswan” that week.

Price drops will be hitting soon, won’t they? If the PS2 and Xbox go to $150, maybe the Cube will go to $99 with a free game.

I read somewhere that the Xbox and Cube combined have sold less than the N64, which finshed a distant 2nd to the PS1.

If I was king of MS or Nintendo, I’d do everything I could to combine forces on the next gen machine like some weak rumors claim. I know there would be turf/cultural issues, but together they’d probably quadruple the market share they’d have by themselves.

GC is going to $99 at the end of this month.

Damn the PS1 is outselling the Xbox in Japan? WTF is up with that?

Maybe, erm. The PS1 has a superior library of games than the X-Box and is still supported. Plus, X-Box’s most prominent titles are very “American” and the Japanese see “American” as inferior.

Is that worldwide total, or just North America? Either way, it’s scary, but even scarier if it’s the former.

That’s just in Japan.

Tales of Symphonia heads the chart on the first week of its release, but that isn’t the big news. The big news is for the first time in what seems like forever, the Nintendo GameCube has outsold the Playstation 2 in Japan.

If I was king of MS or Nintendo, I’d do everything I could to combine forces on the next gen machine like some weak rumors claim. I know there would be turf/cultural issues, but together they’d probably quadruple the market share they’d have by themselves.

I don’t see this happening. Nintendo is actually raking in the bucks with their second place home console position and handheld dominance. X-Box is an American company’s money losing experiment in a new market.

There is no way in heaven, hell or earth that these two would merge. Neither really need to. The only possible motivation would be to crush Sony, and business aren’t run on purely malicious motivations, at least to my knowledge.

Or Nintendo can do what it was best at and become a software maker for every platform.

I think 3 gaming platforms is plenty, and 4 is just utter clutter. Honestly, I’d love to see PC be the only platform, so I could play every game that was released if I wanted to. But then, I’m nucking futs.

Yeah, that’s really serving Sega well. Their titles are selling for shit. Ironically, their top selling title is Sonic Adventure Battle 2 for GC with around 600k or so units sold, while their other titles including Shinobi, PDO and Super Monkey Ball have sold something around 60k.

You can own just a GC as a console be happy, you know that, right?

I’ve yet to see a game or set of games on any console in the last few years that’s made me wanna scrap my PC upgrade budget and buy into one, so I wouldn’t know.

And perhaps Sega’s games are selling poorly because they haven’t made any good ones? Again, I wouldn’t know, because I don’t think I’ve played a Sega game in years. If they have been making good games, their PR sucks, because I sure haven’t heard of them.

That’s a shame, because I get all the gaming I need and more from my GC and PC. Actually, PC releases have not been impressing me lately.

I can’t speak for their titles on PS2 or X-Box but F-Zero and Super Monkey Ball series are some good Sega gaming and excellent gaming by general standards.

Blame their advertising department. PR is reactive, marketing is proactive as far as the general public is concerned.

Oh, I agree. I just played through Tron this week, but before that, the last game I played was Vice City. And before that, it was GTA3 and Mafia.

This isn’t counting the excursions I’ve taken into gaming history, such as playing System Shock 2 co-op with a buddy, or recently buying Railroad Tycoon 2, of course.

However, there would literally have to be 12 games that were simultaneously released on a console that I HAD to play in order for me to THINK of diverting my cash flow. It’s not so much a factor of me hating console games, as it is needing a damn good reason to not upgrade my PC for a year.

I really do think that (and I’m probably gonna regret saying this, but what the hey) consoles have outlived their usefulness.

Remember when the N64 came out, and PC graphics took a year or two in order to catch up to that level of detail and speed? Nowadays, consoles are often using off-the shelf PC parts, and when they come out, they equal, or are worse than, the technology driving most PCs.

The keyword there is “most,” because not all PCs have GF4 tech in them yet, let alone DX9 parts. But integrated graphics chipsets are getting better every year, and my prediction is that in 5 years, integrated graphics won’t be topped by consoles, and add-on stuff will absolutely smoke them out of the water.

At that point, there’ll be a much larger installed base of game-ready computers, and the market for PC games will far surpass that of consoles.

But then, I’ve got 5 years to get proven wrong by the console industry. GET TO WORK! ;)

I’d say Virtua Fighter 4 qualifies as a good Sega game, but it really doesn’t because it’s TOP NOTCH as opposed to merely ‘good’. Same with Super Monkey Ball, which combined with the $99 Gamecube price is probably going to convince me to finally buy a GC soon.

Just a few reasons to buy a GC:

  1. Eternal Darkness - best survival horror game evar!
  2. Windwaker - makes Dark Cloud II look like the incompetent mess it is
  3. Super Smash Bros Melee - party game goodness
  4. Mario Sunshine - not as good as its predecessor but still a really good game
  5. Star Fox Adventures is excellent - for some reason this got so-so reviews, I have no idea why
  6. Best console version of The Sims
  7. Mario Golf

Dark Cloud II is hardly an incompetent mess. :?

Sega’s actually in the black right now, as opposed to their DC days - every quarter has been more profitable than the last. I think they’re doing a great job, so far, despite the occasional baffling business decision.

Of course, Nintendo has never been anything less than solidly profitable, so I have no idea why they’d go third party from that perspective. However, being as conservative as they are, they must be at least a LITTLE bit panicky about their dwindling marketshare and mindshare here in the States, and the continued distant-second performance in Japan.

Next to Windwaker it is.

Having said that I’m enjoying playing it right now. The cutscenes are irritating and the story is awful, but it is fun.

Well, not as much of an incompetent, poorly-designed mess as Eternal Darkness and Starfox Adventures, at any rate. :) Dark Cloud 2 has a few issues, but there’s very little to pick at in terms of game design (namely the shitty boss encounters and the terrible cutscenes). It’s potpourri approach to scenario design isn’t for everyone, though; that should be obvious.

If it looks like Zelda and occasionally quacks like Zelda doesn’t necessarily means it was designed as a Zelda clone, or even with the same fundamental goals. It’s obvious that Level-5 are big fans of dungeon hacks and sandbox games, and they did a great job wrapping those elements in a reasonably original package with DC2.

ED, on the other hand, is a repetitive, clumsy attempt at survival horror with a terrible plot cobbled from Lovecraft’s Least Exciting Exercises in Mythos Building ™. The wonky modeling and cheesy art direction/lighting didn’t really help, either; Dyack and cronies could really take a cue from the Silent Hill series in atmosphere and ambience. The puzzles were lame in the fashion of most survival-horror titles, the scares were predictable, and the recycling of dunegons was both irritating and silly. It wasn’t exactly a high point in my surival-horror experience, that’s for sure, although credit where credit was due: the aural work was top-freaking-notch, and the controls/camera weren’t too shabby.

Starfox Adventures: ugh. Hasn’t this one been critically eviscerated enough? Admittedly, I never played through to the end, where supposedly the best moment in the game – the fight against Andross – occurs, but the terrible and completely arbitrary fetch quest design, nonsensical “puzzles”, and linear level design banished my initial “Hey, Zelda!” vibe quickly. The graphics were nice, I guess, but I never got over my hate of generic anthropomorphic cartoon animals and the unimaginative art direction long enough to appreciate them. And where were the boss fights? The whole game (okay, what I played of it, which was to the end of those obnoxious mine levels) seemed like a collection of fetch quests punctuated by boring, button-mashing battles.

But, hey, those aren’t on the evil mass-market system.

Gaming-Module, did you just type out that Japan-America comment so I would see it, and get super-pissed, or do you really believe that? :evil:

Also, I believe your mistaken on Sega’s current health. Some figures:

-Sonic Adventure 2 US 676,719 + JP 192,186 == 868,905 (we don’t know the European figures, so it could be a million)

-159 GCN SUPER MONKEY BALL SEGA OF AMERICA nov-01 274 039

-163 GCN SONIC MEGA COLLECTION SEGA OF AMERICA nov-02 270 851, also add about 120,000 for Japan

-185 GCN SUPER MONKEY BALL 2 SEGA OF AMERICA aug-02 237 632

-186 PS2 SHINOBI SEGA OF AMERICA nov-02 235 885, also sold a good 200,000 or so here in Japan, so it must be around 500,000 by now worldwide.

-PS2 VIRTUA FIGHTER 4 522,327 US, in Japan, it did similarly well at about 550,000 copies, so its well over a million now, especially if you want to add Evo. Its so wonderful to see VF be that successful, how long has this series deserved the recognition now? 10 years! YAY! GO SEGA!

They may not be able to reach EA levels of success, but their sports titles haven’t done that bad:

PS2 NFL 2K3 383,979 + XBX NFL 2K3 191,856 + GCN NFL 2K3 44,878

PS2 NBA 2K3 304,414 + XBX NBA 2K3 138,659 + GCN NBA 2K3 26,218

Here in Japan, they’re “Let’s Make a …” series is extremely popular (and for a good reason, its tons of fun!)

8 J.LEAGUE プロサッカークラブをつくろう!3 セガ PS2 464,387 464,387
Thus far, as of July, it was the number eight most selling game in Japan. (That says, “Let’s create a Pro Soccer Club,” in case you were wondering.) It outsold Devil May Cry 2, the new Fire Emblem, Shin Megami Tensei and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, for instance. All games which would have been expected to outsell it.
Also

20 サクラ大戦 ~熱き血潮に~ セガ PS2 230,563 <— Yet another Sakutai game!

22 頭文字D Special Stage セガ PS2 224,408 224,408 2003/06/26 <— That’s Initial D, a Sega arcade racing game that’s very popular. If it had been better ported to the PS2, it would have sold a lot more than even that success.

23 プロ野球チームをつくろう!2 セガ PS2 220,414 220,414 <— “Let’s Make a Pro Baseball Team!” Yes, lets! ^_^ Told you it was popular!

You might say, oh but these are only around 200,000, that’s not so great. But remember 1. Japan is a much smaller country than the US 2. Our games industry isn’t doing so terribly hot right now. 3. Any game that sells over 100,000 is considered a minor hit, while games that sell over 500,000 are considered a big hit. This is the way its always been since the Famicom, recession or no recession.

Sega was the number 4 most popular third party according this year in Japan according to sales statistics. And they posted their first profit (I think the yen total worked out to around $26 million) in goodness knows how long. Sure they’ve had flops that were critically acclaimed, well-received, like Gungrave, Rez, JSRF and Panzer Dragoon Orta (though it didn’t too well, even Orta sold over your 60K idea, worldwide, its around 120,000, not good, certainly, but a little better than that).

Oh yeah, and just to back up a little more on that absurd idea about American stuff:

ラチェット&クランク(PS2本体同梱版含む) SCE PS2 262,289 538,029 <— Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac’s great platformer, sold BETTER in Japan than it did in the US. US= RATCHET & CLANK 433,827 Just like I bet Sakura Taisen or horse-racing simulations really don’t appeal to you guys despite their relative quality. Medal of Honor, BTW, is the best selling FPS series in Japan, it was a somewhat notable hit last year when it released. Other Western titles that do well in Japan throughout the years include the Donkey Kong Country games made by Rare, as well as Banjo Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot games, Jak & Daxter, the Wizardry games, Dungeon Master, Warcraft, The Neverhood and so on. Microsoft can do well if it tries, as there is precedent: it just dandy with the MSX.

These figures are through June for the US and July for Japan, BTW. I’m using NPD for the US and Famitsu or Media Create for Japan.

-Kitsune

Kitsune, has there been any speculation in the Japanese gaming press about why Take 2 hasn’t released a Japanese version of GTA 3? Or did Take 2 ever address this and I just missed it?

June 16, 2003 10:59 AM PDT
A good year and a half after it became a phenomenon in the west, Take-Two Interactive and Capcom have announced that they are bringing Grand Theft Auto III to Japan. Capcom will publish the ground-breaking crime simulation for PlayStation 2 and PC in Japan this fall.