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March 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 3


Where Will Wii Be?

Xbox and PS3 Battle With New Releases

In January I published several buyers’ best guesses as to the most promising video games for the year. In the last column of the chart below are updates of what has happened since. In addition to three delays in release dates, you’ll notice that “The Club” by Sega, which buyers predicted to be the 13th-best-selling game of 2008, did not come in among the top 10 in February. Capcom’s “Devil May Cry” was ranked to become the 19th-best-selling game of the year, but highly surpassed those expectations in February, coming in at No. 2 in the United States and No. 1 in the UK.

Rank Name of Game Consoles Publisher Release Date Comments
1 Grand Theft Auto IV 360, PS3 Take-Two 04/11/2008
2 Halo Wars 360 Microsoft 07/01/2008
3 Spore PC Electronic Arts 05/01/2008
4 Saints Row 360, PS3 THQ 12/31/2008
5 Metal Gear Solid PS3 Konami 06/17/2008
6 Gran Turismo 5 Prologue PS3 Sony 03/10/2008 Delayed to 12/4/08
7 Smash Bros Brawl Wii Nintendo 02/10/2008 Released: 3/9/08
8 Fall Out 3 PS3 Bethesda/Activision 09/09/2008
9 Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 360 Lucas Arts 04/08/2008
10 World of WarCraft: Wrath
of the Lich King
PC Blizzard/ Activision 09/09/2008
11 Final Fantasy XIII PS3 Square Enix 12/01/2008
12 Splinter Cell Conviction 360 Ubisoft 06/03/2008
13 The Club 360, PC Sega 02/19/2008 Not among top 10 in February
14 Alan Wake 360 Remedy 12/31/2008
15 Ghostbusters PS3, Wii,
360, PC
Sierra/Activision 10/07/2008
16 Battlefield: Bad Company 360, PS3 Electronic Arts 03/24/2008 Delayed to 6/3/08
17 Army of Two 360, PS3 Electronic Arts 03/04/2008
18 Kill Zone PS3 Sony 04/07/2008
19 Devil May Cry 360, PS3 Capcom 02/05/2008 No. 1 in UK and
No. 2 in US in February*
20 StarCraft II PC Blizzard/ Activision 10/01/2008
* as per retailer panel

It is too early to draw any conclusions for March releases “Super Smash Bros Brawl” by Nintendo and “Army of Two” by Electronic Arts except to say that both are performing very well. “Super Smash” is actually on par with the first days of “Guitar Hero III” by Activision. Additionally, first numbers for “God of War: Chains of Olympus” (which came up from nowhere) by Sony for PSP suggest that the game is performing way above expectations. GameStop shop-floor kids think it is probably going to be the best handheld game of the year.

In terms of company performance, preliminary numbers provided by the buyers suggest that Sony’s PS3 is starting to do well and that Nintendo’s Wii is tailing off, as I predicted. Additionally, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 saw more sales in the beginning of 2007. According to the NPD Group, unit sales for the first two months in 2008 compared to 2007 are as follows:

These comparisons are also demonstrated in the web traffic for Sony, Nintendo and Electronic Arts:

However, blog intensity metrics suggest that the interest level in all three systems peaked just before Christmas, then took a nosedive and is now on the uptrend again. The PS3 has held steady with a marked upturn in March.

Lutz MullerWriter's Bio: Lutz Muller is a Swiss who has lived on five continents. In  the United States, he was the CEO for four manufacturing companies, including two in the toy industry. Since 2002, he has provided competitive intelligence on the toy and video game market to manufacturers and financial institutions coast-to-coast. He gets his information from his retailer panel, from big-box buyers and his many friends in the industry. If anything happens, he is usually the first to know. Read more on his website at Read more articles by this author


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