If you haven’t been following me on Twitter, you may not have heard that I started a new job this week, resuming a career in video gaming retail as a low-level manager. With lots of operational things to take in, updates here at Consoleation may be a little less regular than normal for a little while until I get into a groove and a bit of a regular routine. The good news, of course, is that being gainfully employed means that I might have some money so that I can begin buying games again without trading in what I own. The bad news is that my social networking presence is likely going to be curtailed a little bit while I transition back to working more hours and adjusting to the stresses that come with the job.
Having said that, I do have a few things on my mind. I don’t have a lot of time today to expand on them as much as I’d like, but I would like to get a few thoughts out there.
For starters, Red Dead Redemption will likely be your top-selling title for May. My first day on the new job certainly gives enough anecdotal evidence to support that prediction. Allocations sold through quickly yesterday at many locations, including big box retailers. It’s expected that more supply is due later this week, so it will be interesting to see how quickly that sells. Redemption is certainly the buzz right now, leaving titles like Alan Wake, Split/Second, and Prince of Persia to sit with little interest. Despite having Sunday all to itself, I’m not convinced that Super Mario Galaxy 2 will have the sudden impact that Redemption had. I can see Redemption 360 at #1 and Super Mario Galaxy 2 possibly at #2. Pokemon SoulSilver and HeartGold will likely stay in the Top 10 for at least another month.
Word has been coming down that Ubisoft is planning on using a DLC model similar to EA’s Online Pass for its 2011 releases. The good news about this is that Ubisoft doesn’t publish anything that appeals to me… so choosing not to buy any more Ubisoft games is a pretty easy thing to do. This is, after all, the same company that actually sold an ending (of sorts) to Prince of Persia as DLC– so fleecing and content withholding is nothing new for this company. I will say this: I’m more distressed (and angered) by some of the blind loyalty that some folks out there seem to have to these companies who are crying for more revenue. Publishers are losing money for multiple reasons, and targeting used games (and rentals) is a convenient scapegoat. At one time the industry revolved around its consumer base, because consumers are what made video games successful. Now that the balance has shifted completely to the industry side, where publishers are basically holding game features and functionality for (additional) ransom, alternate revenue sourcing is getting out of control. Perhaps if publishers looked in the mirror, they’d find another cause of their problems… but they won’t. Gamers will pay, because they always do. Maybe we are part of the problem, after all.
Microsoft‘s decision to bring in Cirque du Soleil to promote Natal for E3 is just silly. No offense, Microsoft, but it’s consumers that you want to somehow convince that an extra $200 (speculation, according to MS) is going to be well-spent on Natal– not the hordes of press at E3. If the industry’s in trouble and hemorrhaging money (due to used games, development budgets, etc), then why the hell are we going to see this? We want to see the product– in actual working condition and not a tech demo– and games that go with it. It’s a spectacular waste of money. Why not use that on reducing the price of your first-party titles by $5 or $10, Microsoft? Oh, wait. You can’t do that– and publishers certainly don’t want consumers to spend less, either.
Lastly, my PlayStation 3 has been returned to me and is working just fine now. Hoping to get my hands on Heavy Rain and MLB 10: The Show after tonight’s shift to play during my downtime on Thursday and Friday. All in all, the repair process was acceptably painful. Having to download some 50+ PSN games again– at over 40GB total– was tedious, and the PS3 games in my library right now all have to be played from the start again.
That’s it for now. Thanks to all of you for continuing to read Consoleation. Now… off to work I go.