You may have noticed every gaming blog in the world publishing five or six stories today in rapid succession to discuss the US videogame sales figures from March. This can mean only one thing: the NPD figures are out! The PS3 had perhaps its best month ever for software sales thanks to strong performance from God of War III, the PS3 SKUs of FFXIII and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and MLB: The Show 2010. The 360 managed to maintain a slight edge over the PS3 in hardware sales, though ongoing PS3 shortages likely helped there. Nintendo destroyed everyone, but that’s pretty boring.
It’s interesting to see the proportional sales of the PS3 and 360 versions of FFXIII and BF:BC2 almost exactly flopped, but when you consider the advantage in installed base the 360 has in North America BF:BC2 only sold at a slightly greater rate on the 360 than the PS3. FFXIII, however, sold almost twice as many units to half as many PS3 owners. Essentially, the attach rate for Final Fantasy on the PS3 was somewhere between 3 and 4 times what it was on the 360. And this despite Microsoft’s exclusive marketing push and custom hardware bundle. Once again MS tries to moneyhat a Japanese publisher and doesn’t seem to get much out of it.
In other news: Hideo Kojima is a drama queen. He’s saying if his next, post MGS: Peacewalker project goes badly he’ll have to leave the industry. Lots of sites are reporting this like a piece of serious news, but it just seems like some Twitter-born hyperbole from a guy who regularly makes these kind of self deprecating declarations. Remember, this is a guy who’s been making his very last Metal Gear game for the last 4 iterations.
There’s a certain amount of mystery regarding the “taboo” Kojima refers to breaking. Most speculation seems to naturally surround the IP or story or game genre of this next project. My guess is Hideo is actually going to experiment with a more western-style of game development. For the last couple years he has been expressing lots of interest in learning how games are made in Europe and America, making high profile visits to studios like Treyarch. Perhaps this means working even more directly with a Western Studio than he already is on Castlevania: Lord of Shadows, or some kind of joint production between studios in Japan and the West on a single title.
They finally shut down Xbox Live for the original Xbox. Should be interesting to see what gnarled, Halo 2 addicted wretches come crawling out into the light over the next few days.