News: Pre-E3 Surprises Amid Strong May Sales

The bananas say 'NO'!
The bananas say “NO”!

Prease Understand

Definitely not a timed exclusive, it’s an Xbox One game” Capcom said of Xbone “exclusive” Dead Rising 3, “We see a lot of this online. It’s not coming to PS4 or PC” – which is why Lusigamers can expect to see the PC build of Dead Rising 3 up and running at next week’s E3, a mere seven months after its release during the Xbone launch. So too can gamers look forward to next week’s probable announcement of the next entry in From Software’s Souls series, in the form of a PS4 exclusive tentatively named Project Beast.

In a development that scarcely qualifies as a surprise, Square Enix has this week confirmed that no new information pertaining to Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts III will be on offer at E3. This is par for the course, as they usually reserve such information for the Tokyo Game Show later in the year, though this practice is becoming increasingly nonsensical given the degree to which the Japanese market for console gaming has shrunken to insignificance over the past decade.

Finally, it has been revealed this week that Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata will not be in attendance at this year’s E3 on his doctor’s [read: his oracular banana’s] orders. Quite why he would wish to attend E3 when his company will not even be delivering a presentation is anyone’s guess, though it would seem that the task of attempting to save his job as head of the company has proven a mite too trying to afford him time for such frivolities. Nintendo’s president of corporate affairs Cindy Gordon has urged fans not to worry:

Please understand that it is business as usual for Mr. Iwata, and he continues his normal duties as president of Nintendo Co., Ltd. while he remains in Japan. As always, he will be actively involved in all of Nintendo’s activities at the show.

Mario Kart 8 has spurred gravity-defying console sales for the Wii U.
Mario Kart 8 has spurred gravity-defying console sales for the Wii U.

May Sees Strong Industry Sales for Some

Going in to E3 it has been a bumper month for game related sales, brought on in large part by the release of two of the year’s most anticipated titles: Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8. The release of Watch Dogs caused sales of Sony’s PS4 to almost double last week – surging to 201,630 units sold and propelling the PS4 to over 8.1 million units sold since November of 2013. By contrast the release of Watch Dogs looks to have had an almost negligible effect on sales of Microsoft’s Xbone, which sold a mere 52,180 units, or quarter of the sales achieved by Sony’s PS4 for the week. This likely reflects the dampening effect caused by the announcement of a June release for a Kinectless Xbone SKU, making Microsoft a week or two too late to capitalise on the launch of one of the most successful new IPs to have ever debuted.

Earlier in the week Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs had managed to sell four million units across five platforms within twenty-four hours of the game’s release. What they failed to mention is that nearly half of all sales occurred on the PS4, a fact that was reflected in the previously mentioned hardware sales. Watch Dogs managed to sell 1,856,387 copies on PS4, 898,780 copies on Xbone, 457,620 copies on Xbox 360, 427,117 copies on PS3, and 109,037 copies on the PC. If the figures mentioned do not add up to Ubisoft’s much-touted four million sales figure, it is likely only because VG Chartz cannot account for digital sales. By contrast, Mario Kart 8 did not quite manage a sales figure as impressive as four million, yet the effect that it had on hardware sales was even more profound than that of Watch Dogs. The release of Mario Kart 8 sees the Wii U as home to yet another million-seller, racking up sales of 1,122,658 units, and only beaten in global software sales charts by the PS4 release of Watch Dogs. The success of Mario Kart 8 in terms of software sales truly pales in comparison when viewed against what it has achieved in terms of hardware sales, nearly catching-up the PS4’s weekly sales figures [already buoyed by the release of Watch Dogs], making it last week’s second-most purchased piece of console hardware at 187,028 units sold. Not too shabby for a game that by many accounts felt like a rushed product owing to the feature-poor array of game modes that it shipped with.

[Pictured]: The Destructoid editor for quality control.
[Pictured]: The Destructoid editor for quality control.

Second-Rate Media Watch: Destructoid’s News Coverage Even More Tardy Than Usual

As a news writer, the fact that legitimate news stories are a little thin on the ground in the week or two leading in to E3 is something that one appreciates implicitly. As stories begin dry up the relevance of content grows ever more tenuous, seeing as scaling-back coverage to match the drawing down of available content is something that most gaming enthusiast sites are simply unwilling to countenance. Even despite that being the case, and even accepting the fact that Destructoid are usually about as punctual in their news coverage as CatFancy, their reporting exploits for the week have been eyebrow raising to say the least.

This week Destructoid contributor Brett Makedonski ran a story on Activision advertising to hire someone for the express purpose of creating bullshots for their games. For the unfamiliar, bullshots are screenshots of games that have been uprezzed and retouched in order to make them much more visually appealing than the game’s graphics could ever hope to be. This practice is blatantly widespread within the industry and yet it is immensely rare for gamers to ever catch a glimpse of the smoking gun, as it were. It is for this reason that stories such as the one reported on by Destructoid are as compelling as they are valid, or rather they would be if they were at all current in any way. You see, the source that Destructoid linked to was prominently dated the 28th of January 2009, making it well over five years old at this point. This is yet another glowing example of why the gaming “journalism” industry simply cannot be taken seriously – the entire field is primed to generate regurgitated quantity over quality and uniqueness. Now it would seem that Destructoid writers no longer even posses a sufficient critical capacity to determine whether or not they are copying valid stories from the larger gaming media sites. It is not as if the date of the original source were particularly subtle in its placement or ambiguous in any way.

2 comments

  1. I think it might be more surprising if they were to say, “Prease understand, Mr. Iwata STILL HAS FANS.”

    “The success of Mario Kart 8 in terms of software sales truly pales in comparison when viewed against what it has achieved in terms of hardware sales, nearly catching-up the PS4′s weekly sales figures [already buoyed by the release of Watch Dogs], making it last week’s second-most purchased piece of console hardware at 187,028 units sold.”

    Impressive, but ultimately bootless. It’s going to take more than selling 200K Wii U units to turn things around. And, I think there’s no turning things around any longer. That ship has well and truly sailed. The Wii U is a busted flush, so we can look forward to a future of sub-Gamecube-level support until the Nintendo Woö is announced at next year’s E3.

  2. I wonder how much the free Wii U game with Mario Kart 8 influenced sales. I had been planning on buying the Wind Waker HD until I found out it was one of the games I could get for free with a Mario Kart 8 purchase.

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