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Eric: All this said, even after all this time I'd wait in the cold for a ROM Spaceknight. But we knew that.

On friday, temperatures were below zero, especially in the early parts of the morning. Saturday was also bitterly cold. Sunday, on the other hand, saw a spike of temperature, up to a practically balmy 18 degrees Fahrenheit as of 4:45 in the morning.

I was standing in that cold. It was approximately four and three quarters hours since my 39th birthday had ended, and I was spending that first morning waiting outside a WalMart in Windham, Maine. A WalMart that would be selling 19 Nintendo Wiis at 6 am. And I was not alone.

I am not a passionate gamer. Not really. I loves me some City of Heroes as you all know, and I'm forever beholden to Soulcalibur and its ilk, but for the most part I'm a casual gamer. I do not own an XBox 360, and currently I do not plan to buy one. I do not own a Playstation 3, and as near as I can tell no one who doesn't already own one plans to buy one of those. They sit on the shelves next to excited handwritten signs declaring that they are in stock, and people just sort of shrug. There is something to be said for the additional muscle these 'next generation' consoles have, but almost every review I've seen for almost every game released for them is the same -- the graphics are generally slightly prettier (though to be honest, it doesn't look that different to me. I've never cared about being able to see the sweat on a game avatar), but the games play exactly the same way as their lastgen versions did. The same button combinations, the same moves, the same modes. And all too often, the games lack some of their predecessors' functionality. For no good reason I watch XPlay, and review after review they go over this is essentially the same game as Madden was on the original XBox, only with slightly better graphics and fewer game modes. And so forth.

That will change, by the by. Games like Gears of War couldn't have effectively existed on the original XBox, and as developers get comfortable with the greater power and capacity of the XBox 360, the games they release will become bigger and grander. Which is all fine and good for the serious gamer, but of less interest to the casual gamer. As for the Playstation 3? At this point, it almost doesn't matter what they do. It's had the kiss of death in the popular culture -- it's considered lame. Half the people (it seemed) who waited on line to get one turned around and sold it on eBay for a profit, and now no one's into them at all. When prices get slashed way down, they may regain share, but I wouldn't count on it.

The Nintendo Wii, on the other hand, is a casual gamer's dream machine. It's innovative. It doesn't have the graphical power of the other nextgens, but in part that's because they decided to make the console more fun instead. It was the Christmas must-have. It continues to sell out whenever it becomes available.

Which is why, two months after the system release, I was standing in the cold for one.

I wasn't alone. There were a good number of others waiting too. High school and college guys who didn't luck out before. Parents (and grandparents) trying to make good on Christmas promises. A couple of little kids who were so excited you could power a turbine with them. Every new person who showed up kind of chuckled, too. "I'm glad I'm not the only one," was the common refrain. "I was gonna feel ridiculous if I was the only one."

At the same time, there was a way I was the only one. I was neither a late teens/early twenties guy, nor a parent or grandparent, nor a ten year old kid. I was a full adult, waiting in the cold for a toy. For myself. For my birthday.

Which might be 39 in a nutshell.

This is your last chance. Your last shot. Right now, I'm still thirtysomething without kids. I'm not beholden. I can cling to the extended adolescence that has been the hallmark of my generation -- the first generation of Generation X. I don't have to be all the way grown up just yet. I can still get excited for a new toy. I can still wait in the cold to buy it. I can still drag my amused parents on a pre-dawn quest. (Which was nice, as they could run to Tim Hortons and grab me coffee.)

The time came. There was acrimony as it looked like they opened other doors first and there was the possibility of line jumping. The doors opened. There was a mad dash to electronics. And everyone who waited got a Wii. (Though the first guy in line -- who sent his 12 year old son at a full on sprint to be the first to the electronics counter -- wanted to buy all 19. The WalMart employee just snickered, said "one to a customer sir," and moved on to the next.)

I bought my Wii. I didn't get any additional games or the like, just then. I wanted to try it out on its own merits. And I was in no way disappointed. The Wii is fun. We brought it back to my folks' house and set it up. We downloaded patches. We created Miis. And we bowled. And I was stunned at how... well, good the bowling was. My mother, who became disenchanted with video games after Zelda went 3D and the maze games of the Ladybug era were phased out, happily did the same kind of bowling dances you do at actual alleys when she did well. And the bowling went exactly as bowling always does for me. I do really well for four or five throws, and then I overthink it and it becomes harder. My Dad hooked to the right generally, too. And all that just amazed me.

Boxing? Really cool. Tennis? A lot of fun. Baseball kind of bored me, but golf was okay. All in all, it was a fun thing. A good thing. A good game that everyone enjoyed.

Tonight, I'm going to buy my first real game for it. (Not counting The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past that I downloaded off of virtual console last night, of course.) Everyone tells me I should grab the new Zelda, and of course I will. I love Zelda. But the thing that really, really stood out for me was how much fun the party game aspect was -- so I'm thinking I'll grab WiiPlay or Warioware -- quick, easy and fun games that don't take long and really use the Wiimote and the like.

Next year, I'll be forty. Chances are likely I'll have a wife and household. I trust I'll still enjoy fun, but I don't anticipate I'll wait in line at four forty-five for a toy, no matter how cool it is.

But this year? I got the best toy on Earth for my birthday, and that just plain rocks.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at January 29, 2007 12:54 PM

Comments

Comment from: Doug Wykstra [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 1:12 PM

As someone who owns both a 360 and Gears of War, I realize I probably have a different taste in games, but hear me out on this: If you want a party game, get Rayman's Raving Rabbids. It's a party-oriented game that also happens to be host to the funniest villains I've ever seen in a videogame.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 1:19 PM

Rayman's is absolutely on my list of games, though it may not be first. Right now, I intend to get:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Warioware
  • WiiPlay
  • Rayman's Raving Rabbids
  • Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (how can I say no to the chance to play Captain America?)
  • Other stuff that looks cool

Comment from: Alexandra Erin [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 1:48 PM

I heartily recommend Rampage. It's a great balance between the casual gamer's "Hey, this is just plain fun!"-type game and the more serious gamer's "Hey, you don't just play it... you play through it"-type game.

Also, being able to play the original 80s quarter-eater on a latest generation console is priceless. :P

Comment from: Tina S. [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 2:16 PM

I am Exception to Rule Girl!

Why? Because while I don't yet own a PS3, I do intend on buying one, when, y'know, I ever have money again.

But I will wait in line at 4:45 AM in cold weather for absolutely NOTHING. In fact, it'd be unlikely to find me waiting in line at 4:45 AM in warm weather for something. 4:45 AM is what's known around here as 'bedtime'.

Also, belatedly, happy birthday.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 2:25 PM

I'm a bit lazy right now, or otherwise I'd post a YouTube link to the clip that amalgamates all the Raving Rabbids ads. It's been ages since an ad pushed me towards a video game - and the entire campaign is classic. Before you say you want to put other games before that, watch the campaign.

Also, I wouldn't be so confident that things will change in terms of the latest iterations of the Playstation and the Xbox. I mean, I said much the same thing about the N64 - hey, Nintendo already hit three home runs by that point (the NES, the SNES, and the first Game Boy). It was inevitable that would succeed... until it wasn't.

Also, given that all the VC titles are full games, I think you already bought your first "real game" for the system. ROMs are just as much real games as ones you buy physical copies of.

Finally, goofy question - why did you not italicize the name of Wii Play? You italicized all the other game (and game series) names.

Comment from: Remus Shepherd [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 2:33 PM

Which might be 39 in a nutshell. This is your last chance. Your last shot.

Gah. Eric, you and I are the same age. Stop saying it's your last chance, for anything. There's a very specific point in them when your last chances are done, and it's called 'Death'. Till then, stop being so maudlin about settling down -- it's a good thing.

Me, I expect to be twice as old, playing _Gods of Porn XXIV_ on my PlayBrain 6 system, waiting for my 17-year old mistress to tell me that my heart has stopped beating. "Just one more level," I'll tell her as I load the next level. *That* will be my last chance.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 2:33 PM

The XBox 360 has essentially already succeeded. They had the advantage of early release and the chance to build an audience without competing with the Wii, and right now it seems to be the "serious gamer" machine of choice. They're not going under.

The Playstation 3 has every sign of being a complete failure as a platform. It seems destined to be a niche product at best, and might herald Sony getting out of video game console production (since the PSP got schooled by the DS as well). We'll see.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 2:35 PM

Who's maudlin. I'm growing up -- not dying. ;)

(Oh, I didn't italicize the WiiPlay because I neglected to italicize it, not out of intention.)

Comment from: Ford Dent [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 3:15 PM

Man, if I weren't in England right now, sans television, I would totally be making a Wii purchase.

But I'm in England and I don't have a television so I've never even gotten a chance to play it--which is probably a good thing. If I actually knew what I was missing I'd be in trouble.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 3:42 PM

First off, for anyone who might somehow trip into this, this isn't an invitation to start a fanboy war about certain systems. Just putting that out there right now before someone shoots their mouth off.

Now, for the Xbox 360, I would be highly hesistant to call it a success. It's selling below expectations thus far, and it doesn't have nearly the number of good games people had expected at this point. It's succeeding in North America, but that's not the same as succeeding overall. It's treading water, which is really just mediocrity.

I don't see how you could call the 360 a success overall at this point... it's not going away anytime soon, but it's not, nor has it ever been, the indispensible video game machine that all gamers should own.

Also, I've already entered one bet in regards to whether or not Sony is going to produce a PS4 (for those curious, the actual bet is whether or not all three current console developers will release another console after the current generation - the loser has to buy each console from the next gen and donate all of them to Get Well Gamers). While there are circumstances in which I can see Sony not producing a PS4, they all involve the company dissolving, which I don't think is all that likely.

Oh, as a final note, since I didn't hit it in my first comment - if the PS3 does get a price slash in the first 18 months from the company, then Sony is in huge trouble. We're talking about a company that's already losing $250+ per unit should they sell every PS3 made thus far. If they make those losses deeper, it's a sign of institutional panic from Sony.

Comment from: Zeekar [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 3:50 PM

Please tell me the implication of the name "Ford Dent" is that Arthur named his son after Ford. Because the alternative would be that Arthur and Ford got married . . . and Ford took Arthur's name, which is just way wrong.

I, too, want a Wii for my 39th birthday. Fortunately, mine's not until May (ha, Eric! you're an old codger!), so there's a slight chance we'll be done with the necessity of waiting in line at 4AM by then.

(fingers crossed)

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 4:12 PM

What, would Arthur Prefect be much more acceptable?

Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 4:21 PM

There was no conscious causality, but Guenevere is playing on a Wii in tomorrow's.

Also, get off my lawn.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 5:14 PM

32 -- I think the 360 is a success in as much as the serious gamers see it as the current game to get. It's got the nextgen of XBox Live and it's got the lock right now on stuff like Call of Duty -- not to mention Gears of War, which is arguably the first true nextgen breakout hit.

The Wii will outsell it nine ways from Sunday, mind. And likely be a bigger success, but when I was telling one of my students about the Wii earlier today, he smiled and nodded and said "yeah, but I'm sticking with my 360." That to me implies that it will hold the serious and hardcore game markets -- and Halo 3 will explode, I predict.

The PS3, on the other hand, is not seen as that same kind of solid necessity for the hardcore gamer. I don't think Metal Gear Solid 4 will make enough of a dent there to reverse it. Unless Final Fantasy remains largely Playstation exclusive (for their epic major released, not counting stuff like Crystal Chronicles), we're going to see the system be marginalized at best.

In the end, Sony wanted a convergence box. Nintendo made a video game.

Comment from: Kate Sith [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 5:18 PM

Chiming in to say I'd bump Rayman up the list to just before Wario Ware. Bits of it are kindof a pain, but the whole experience has a lot of variety to it and the games themselves are even more bizarre than Wario's. (Dentistry, pig herding, brain poking, and smacking up choirboys? oh yes.)

Plus, the bunnies. The bunnies are the best ever. As beautifully, frenetically Japanese as the Wario games are, you can't ever hope to beat the bunnies.

Comment from: Vincent Avatar [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 5:25 PM

There is a Wii in my house, and I can say with a degree of outright honesty that it is a joy and a delight. My fianceƩ's father, who never had anything to do with games, bowled and loved it; he even brought it up the next time we saw him. Now, I consider myself a casual gamer, though I am sure that for the most part, I stray closer to the hardcore end of the spectrum (I have all three last-gen systems and more games than I really should have), and Wii Sports and Twilight Princess have held my attention in a vice.

I should make mention that I do, indeed, want to get a 360 at some point for Gears of War and Halo 3... also for Assassin's Creed. But that purchase is probably way down the road, after price drops on systems, games, and accessories.

The Ps3? When I can get it for a hundred bucks I'll think about it. At the moment, there just isn't anything compelling enough for me to lay down that kind of money. Even the new Metal Gear and the next Final Fantasy aren't getting me excited. That could be because I haven't really gotten all that into FFXII, but the result is the same.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 6:36 PM

Eric, I have to point out that you're presenting me with an informal survey of one serious gamer, and it appears you base your conclusions on the 360 on that.

In dealing with a much wider swath of video gamers and their opinions, I have to politely suggest you're way off target.

There is certainly a noticable and rather vocal (because on the Internet, pretty much every subgroup is vocal) contingent of Microsoft console fans, who will stick exclusively to the 360 and be content to the rest of their days.

Expanding a bit further, you also have a very generous crowd behind the "Wii60" - getting both a 360 and a Wii on the theory that between the two, they'll get all the good games coming out this generation.

However, even amongst hardcore gamers, the Wii is seen as a much better system. For all those that talk about the fact that the other two consoles are much more oriented towards hardcore video gamers than the Wii, the Wii by far is the most desirous console amongst the hardcore of the three.

And part of the reasoning behind this is the developer attraction. Right now, developers are much more interested in potentially developing for the Wii than the other two systems. Hardcore gamers will follow the games - and the strongest indication right now indicates that the Wii will have them.

So yeah, the 360 isn't nearly as cozy as you make it sound.

Also, Halo 3 will certainly move tons of copies, but I have the suspicion it's not going to move nearly as many consoles as people expect, especially given how long it's going to take before it's finally out. Blue Dragon, when finally released in the US, is going to be more responsible for 360 console sales. Quite simply, Halo 3 already sold the Halo fans on the 360 (they're patient buggers, hardcore video gamers) - and they're not going to buy extra 360 consoles for the hell of it.

For the two titles often seen as the potential savior of the PS3, I'd be much more cautious on those predictions. MGS4 will be huge... but no Metal Gear game, even the earliest incarnations in the 8-bit days, ever stayed platform-exclusive. Either the 360 or the Wii (maybe both) will get them, and many other gamers also believe this. As for the FF series... I don't think too many people realize yet that the franchise is heading towards a big downturn. And beyond that, Square Enix has been really happy with how the older games have done on rerelease on Nintendo's portables. S-E is a bigger wildcard than you realize.

On the convergence box thing - well, yeah. That's why it has the Blu-Ray drive, which single-handedly makes the console as ridiculously expensive as it is (fun fact: Merrill Lynch determined, with wholesale prices, that it costs Sony over $300 per Blu-Ray drive. Imagine if instead the PS3 had a DVD drive instead, like the 360, and the price was dropped accordingly). Also, Nintendo made a convergence device, too. It's just they loaded theirs with goofy little things that they figure everyone would want to use - making avatars, a weather channel, a small but robust web browser... The Wii does alot of stuff too. It's just simultaneously cheaper and more useful.

One other note - Dead Rising is the first genuine hit, in both sales and critical reception, of the current generation. Gears of War is doing quite well, but DR came out first.

Finally, for those waiting on a price drop - the first price drop, and I'd lay down money on this, will be for the Wii. Microsoft has been notoriously stubborn about trying to price out Sony, and Sony can't afford to drop prices anytime in the next two years. Nintendo is already pulling a profit on Wii hardware, and even considered selling the console for $100 at one point. My guess is that in about a year or so, the Wii will be priced at $199.99, And Nintendo will return to the top of the console food chain.

Comment from: Merus [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 11:02 PM

I'm convinced that the Wii Remote represents a kind of 'special sauce' for developers - that, given a reasonable amount of attention, the Wii Remote makes games more fun than they would be spending the same amount of time on button-based controls. Madden seems to bear this theory out, and there's a lovely article on Gamasutra that suggests that so long as developers keep in mind the idea of affordance (basically that if you move the Wiimote like a sword, say, it will act like a sword) it will instantly make games more visceral, and feedback is inherently satisfying, which makes the game more fun.

I'm curious about the assertion that popular culture has declared the PS3 lame, though.

Of course, Nintendo's biggest problem is their traditional game drought, but I don't think this will be a problem for long as the difficulty has been that no-one was buying Gamecube/N64 games, and so they don't get made. People are notably starving for Wii games at this point, which makes dealing with the drought much more attractive to game developers as people are talking about and buying the Wii. And there is always the offchance that Sonic will actually be fun again, which would be nice, and would go a long away towards addressing the drought.

Comment from: Eric Burns [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 11:15 PM

32 -- you're mistaking an illustrative example as being the beginning and ending of my information gathering.

You're also adding things to my thesis that honestly don't exist. ;)

I think the 360 has been successful because people are buying them and they're buying games for them. I don't think that student plans to eschew the Wii -- and I don't think anyone can say the 360 is as successful as the Wii is, but the 360 is selling units, games are being developed for it, and it has (as you say) solid and vocal fans.

Ergo, I don't think it's going away any time soon. Further, I think that a certain kind of game -- especially the games that deal well with XBox Live support, or games where robust graphics really are a selling point -- will continue to be more successful on the 360 than the Wii. (Call of Duty leaps to mind. It's got WiiMote mojo, but it's considered an inferior game to the 360 version by more than one reviewer.)

The PS3, on the other hand, has moved into the 'easy jokes' category. That's not a good thing for a platform.

Comment from: Merus [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 29, 2007 11:18 PM

Also! Square-Enix have been shifting huge amounts of development over to Nintendo platforms. Most game sites were flabbergasted (although I don't recall netjak's reaction) that Dragon Quest 9, which is huge in Japan, had moved off the PS3 onto the DS and had become a semi-real-time game with multiplayer. (Dragon Quest changing is itself rather shocking.)

The amount of negative buzz around the PS3 has surely sunk it, however - it started at E3 last year and hasn't really let up, and I think Sony are feeling the effects of that.

Comment from: Alexandra Erin [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 30, 2007 12:16 AM

I try to stay out of debates I have no stake in because I get sucked in on the same level as if I did, but I'd say the mistake 32 steps is making is overdefining success. The Wii is inarguably successful... therfore, if something's level of success doesn't resemble the Wii's, it's not successful.

I once had an "internet disagreement" with somebody over whether certain substances (nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol) were really addictive. His argument was that withdrawing from them wasn't like withdrawing from heroin, so they weren't "really" addictive. Silly, huh? People spend millions of dollars a year trying to kick nicotice. You can die withdrawing from any of the substances we were discussing. But because they weren't equal in addictive power to the best example of addiction around, he discounted them.

By that same logic, though: the 360 is not as successful as Wii is, so it's not really successful.

So... what was the definition of successful before the Wii came around and showed us what success really meant?

I'd say a business enterprise that manages to stay in business is by definition "successful." If Microsoft is selling enough units to justify continuing to make more units, they are successful. They might not meet industry expectations... or your expectations... or even their own internal goals. I don't have the knowledge to say one way or the other on any of those things, but that information isn't required to judge the success or failure of the thing.

Are they still around? Will they still be around next year? Seems likely. That doesn't make for a phenomenal success, but it's still a success.

Comment from: Doug Wykstra [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 30, 2007 12:48 AM

32 and I must hang around different types of hardcore gamers, because by and large most gamers I know are saying that the 360 is "the gaming system for the rest of my family, which I will steal whenever a Mario, Zelda, Metroid, or Smash Bros. game comes out," while the 360 is "my gaming system." Games like Bioshock and Mass Effect seemed geared directly to the hardcore crowd, while more family-friendly games like Viva Pinata have (sadly) fallen on their face. On the other hand, almost all the Wii games thus far have emphasized pick-up-and-play ease over any actual depth (exception: Zelda).

Also, when Halo 2 came out, I thought that it wouldn't move many copies because everyone buying it would logically have already bought Halo 1. How many people are going to buy an Xbox to play a sequel when the original has been on the system for 3 years? Apparently, a couple million. Who'da thunk?

Comment from: RoboYuji [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 30, 2007 12:49 AM

Well, a friend of mine is 30, has a wife, a child, and a household and STILL waited in line for a Wii, totally on a whim. He didn't manage to get one, but he still waited in line for a toy.

I'd get one, but I'd need to FIND one first, and I can only buy one at Best Buy (I have a card, the only way I can justify buying one, since I can't put all the money down at once). I'll probably get a 360 sometime after I pay off the future Wii purchase. I've already been hearing that MG4 is going to be on the 360 anyway.

Of course, maybe I should be concentrating on finishing the games I ALREADY have before buying whole new systems . . . nah!

Comment from: Merus [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 30, 2007 3:32 AM

The winner-takes-all definition of success in games comes from the fact that it's a hit-driven business. Game sales drive console adoption, console sales drive development dollars and the amount of games in development relates to how many of them will sell well. It's also bred by the enormous prices asked for to screw around with a toy, and so people will justify their purchase by emotionally investing themselves in it - better sales for their 'choice' reflects well on them, while better sales for their competitors reflects poorly on their ability to choose which barely coherent tough-guy will be the most fun to shoot with.

This is probably no longer relevant when the industry as a whole has decided that games are too fucking expensive, but it's a hard habit to shrug off.

Comment from: 32_footsteps [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at January 30, 2007 8:07 AM

Eric, that's why I said "it appears..." when talking about your take on the current console wars. And the reason I disagree is because I don't think that your example is all that illustrative.

I'm not overdefining success or failure here, as I don't think the 360 actually falls into either category. It's doing a mediocre job as of now, and has the potential to succeed or fail. My guess is that it'll continue being a mediocrity - not an embarassment, but not truly something to brag about.

Oh, as for the CoD comparison - yeah, the Wii version is seen as inferior to reviewers, but if I've learned anything over the last 8 years, inferior to critics and inferior to the general public are two vastly different things (I mean, the two Katamari games would be top-10 sellers if they weren't). I actually expect CoD to actually be this generation's SoulCalibur for at least a short time - for some reason, it will sell best on the platform with the smallest install base (which will be true until Nintendo can produce more Wii units).

Also, keep in mind the "not going anywhere anytime soon" definition of success applies to the PS3 as well. I'm making the not-so-bold prediction that we'll see all three current console manufacturers make another console in about 5 years - so while going away is a mark of failure, persistence isn't a mark of success.

For where I hang out, besides the obvious spot, I spend quite a bit of time at Joystiq, their related system-specific blogs, Kotaku, and a couple other video game blogs. Beyond the system-specific blogs (and even there, Wii Fanboy's traffic is much more healthy than the others), there's a general consensus that the Wii is the most solid system, although the 360 isn't a failure (it's not yet a success, either though).

Also, for defining success, one useful way of doing it is making a console that sells well in more than one territory. Or making a console line that doesn't take more than 6 years to show its first profit (let alone be profitable). Microsoft has paid a very high price (for the console industry, though not a huge one in terms of the company's structure) for what little success they have had in the console market.

Finally, Netjak's reaction to the Dragon Quest 9 switch is rather muted for several reasons. First of which being, overall, we think Dragon Quest is only an okay franchise. Second, and perhaps more important, is that several of us have contacts all over S-E, and we generally have a decent grasp of what's going on in the corridors of power there.

Since this isn't quite the place to go into detail over it, I'll say we raised an eyebrow and combined this with other news to come to the conclusion that Sony is about to lose S-E as an developer of exclusive titles, and possibly as a developer period. If you're wondering what direction the company as a whole is going to take, look out for the next Kingdom Hearts game. That's going to tell alot about where S-E plans to develop most heavily.

Comment from: Matt Buchwald [TypeKey Profile Page] posted at February 5, 2007 1:06 PM

A few weeks ago I waited in the bitter cold (okay, so I got there at just before 10am for an 11am opening, but it was damn cold) outside Best Buy for a Wii. I had $300 in gift cards of Best Buy, which pretty much dictated buying one from them. I was the 18th person in line to get a ticket (though they told us to wait anyway, since people tended to be sneaky and there were limited amounts of controllers) and was the 12th to actually get one.

Bowling indeed feels very right. I also enjoyed Super Monkey Ball, once I figured out how to hold the controller so that the tilting of worlds felt natural.

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