PSP Price Point Pared, PS2 Price Point Persisting?[psp]
CNN/Money's Chris Morris posted the latest edition of his Game Over column today, reporting on analyst expectations in regards to potential price cuts for Sony's two current consoles. American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy expects Sony to drop the price of its PSP to as low as $149 by the end of the year. Why? According to McNealy, the system has "lost momentum" to Nintendo's DS Lite and Sony will want to "regain some ground."
However, according to Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian, Sony will remain firm with the price point for PlayStation 2, despite frequent internet hopes that the machine will drop to $99 from its current $129. PS2 has seen consistently strong performance even well after the launch of the next-generation Xbox 360, and its sales are unlikely to be impacted by the more expensive PlayStation 3, which will be largely purchased by hardcore early adopters rather than the remaining gamers picking up a PS2 on a budget.
Bomberman Explodes Onto DS (Again)[ds]
Bomberman is coming back to Nintendo DS--but this time he's online, as the gaming gods no doubt intended. Atlus today announced Bomberman Land Touch!, the latest edition of the long running explosive based party game. The game is classified by Atlus as "an action adventure game," as it consists of a substantial 15-hour story mode comprised of a full cast of characters over 36 stages.
Of course, that's not the important part. The important part is that the game supports up to four players in classic Bomberman multiplayer via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. It will also support up to eight players using single- or multi-cart play via local wireless. - Screenshots.
Atlus and Hudson Soft's Bomberman Land Touch! is set to ship for Nintendo DS in November 2006.
Sierra Sees a Spark on Next Generation Consoles
Sierra Entertainment (aka Vivendi Games) today announced that it has entered an agreement with developer Spark Unlimited to create a new franchise for unspecified next generation consoles. No details regarding the gameplay, genre, or backstory of this franchise were given. The two companies expect to ship the first product of their collaboration in 2007.
July Sales Up Year Over Year[ps2] [xbox] [xbox360] [gamecube] [ds] [psp] [gba]
NPD Funworld today released U.S. monthly console sales data, and it turns out the industry collectively did a bit better than expected. Sales saw a 29% increase year over year, up to $684.6M from last July's $531.4M.
In hardware, the Nintendo DS had another month of handily outselling its competitors, with sales of 377,000. PlayStation 2 followed with 241,000 and Xbox 360 with 206,000. Somewhat surprisingly, Game Boy Advance managed to edge out PSP, whose sales took a sharp drop. The two systems sold 163,000 and 161,000 respectively. The waning GameCube and Xbox rounded out the list, with Nintendo's system moving 44,000 and Microsoft's 12,000.
On the software side, the Xbox 360 lineup and publisher Electronic Arts were the big winners. Ten of the top 25 games were for Xbox 360, though PS2 was close behind with nine. Eight of the top 25 were published by EA. Various versions of EA Tiburon's NCAA Football 07 took slots 1, 2, and 4, with Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. (NDS) sliding in between at 3. RedOctane and Harmonix's Guitar Hero (PS2) managed number 8, somewhat surprising given its November 2005 release. From Software's Chromehounds (X360) debuted at 5. Nintendo's two brain games, Brain Age (NDS) and Big Brain Academy (NDS) snagged the 18 and 21 slots, respectively.
Gamasutra has an interesting and lengthy postmortem on Wideload Studios' Stubbs the Zombie in "Rebel Without a Pulse" (Xbox, PC), written by Wideload founder and Bungie co-founder Alex Seropian.
GameSpy previews Tecmo's Tokobot Plus: Mysteries of the Karakuri (PS2).
GameSpot checks out an import version of Hudson Soft's Bomberman: Act Zero (X360).
Screenshots: Bomberman Land: Touch! (NDS).
Console Game Of The Evening [Submit Yours!]
Street Fighter 3: Third Strike for the Dreamcast. "SF3 was met with mixed reactions when it first came out, when fighting games were moving to 3D. But this title is very solid. The parrying system was new to the series, and it still has an active competitive scene to this day." (submitted by volitionism)