Since time is short today, here are a few things that are on my mind today. Feel free to agree or disagree at will.
- Although I won’t be biting on Transformers: War For Cybertron, it’s looking like this game could be a bigger hit than many might have assumed. Preorders for this game at my retail store had been steadily mounting right up through launch, so I’m going to curious to see how it fares on the NPD software charts for June. LEGO Harry Potter should also chart well, though I expect neither Transformers nor Harry Potter to replicate the retail success that Red Dead Redemption has been over the last month.
- Speaking of May 2010′s best-seller, Red Dead Redemption copies are starting to get traded in more frequently. That’s not a huge surprise given the amount of time that it’s been available… but what is curious to me is that more PlayStation 3 versions of the game are getting traded in than its Xbox 360 counterpart. The trade-ins may also be somewhat surprising given that the free new co-op DLC pack launched today. The fact that it took about three weeks for the game to begin getting traded in regularly is certainly a longer-than-average waiting period.
- I have talked about this before on Twitter, but I don’t think that observers realize the schism that Microsoft has begun within its own userbase. The split started during the E3 press event when a good part of the event seemed targeted at a casual audience that doesn’t really make up a significant part of the current group of Xbox 360 owners… and then today’s damage report statements (which can be seen here on Kotaku) seem to indicate that Microsoft is aware of its failings last week but seems determined to continue forward on this path of casual attraction. If you pack in the motion control tools with your system from the jump, like Nintendo did with the Wii, you don’t split your userbase. Microsoft and Sony seem destined to divide, though it can be argued that Sony is at least trying to pitch to its core audience.
- Have I mentioned how easy it is to spend many hours with Yakuza 3 (SEGA for PlayStation 3) and not realize how much time has gone by? It’s fun to picked on and then proceed to beat the holy hell out of your antagonizers, and there are so many quests, side-quests, and things to do that you feel driven to do “just one more thing” before saving and ending your play session. I just started the campaign over on Monday (after losing my progress when I had to send my PS3 in for repair) and am back to Episode 4… but am at a point in the story when I feel more like doing other things than just progressing. Weapons training, golf tournaments, karaoke, and dating are just a few of the fun things that I’m doing when I’m not busting heads with the Dragon of Dojima. I will easily buy Yakuza 4 on its first day of release.
- I am still disappointed with the lack of consistent support for the Wii’s Virtual Console. Sure, Nintendo releases a game here and there, but we haven’t seen back-to-back weeks with Virtual Console games in some time. I do understand that Nintendo may have released just about all of its own first-party games that they want to release… but I have difficulty understanding why they can’t better negotiate with third-party publishers to keep the service well-stocked. I can think of at least a dozen more titles that we should be able to see without too much haggling on Nintendo’s end, but I am left to wonder whether Nintendo hasn’t gotten just about all of what it intended out of the service and is now content to let it be. If that’s indeed the case, it’s a damned shame. If we can’t see more retro compilations on disc, like we’ve seen from Konami, Data East, Capcom, and the company we once knew as Midway, then we should be able to get continued support for the Virtual Console. Worse yet is that I don’t believe that the service was even mentioned during E3– that’s not a good sign.
That’s all for now, and my mind is finally blank again… just in time to head back to work for a short shift. We’re still waiting on NPD numbers for May, and I know that you’re all as eager as I am to see them. Try to be patient; once they’re released, I assure you that we’ll break them down… and June’s predictions are a little over a week away.